Asking Good Questions

Lately I’ve been thinking about questions. How asking the right ones can open our minds up, sparking curiosity, and offering new perspectives. When someone asks a thought-provoking question, it sets our neurons a-firing. We get interested, we lean in, or we might lean back in reflection. Good questions are like that: juicy, the meat of rich conversation. A good question can change us, reverberating into the soil of our internal landscape. This week, these three podcasts asked exactly these sorts of questions.

In this episode of This Jungian Life (Lee et al., 2022), Machiel Klerk discusses dream incubation, and reminds us that the dream want to help us. By asking a good question, we can tap into the highly personal wisdom that our dreams offer us. He discusses what kinds of questions are good ones and how a vague question—or a biased one—is going to yield a confusing answer.


Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, marine biologist and all-around cool human, in a recent interview with Krista Tippett (2022), asks one of those reverberating questions: ‘What if we get it right?’. The entire episode is so good, including Johnson’s recitation of Ayisha Siddiqa’s poem, called “On Another Panel About Climate, They Ask Me to Sell the Future and All I’ve Got Is a Love Poem” (which you can find at 34:56). Johnson talks about how being motivated by love is a wonderful way to approach our work. The times we are in are uncomfortable, everything is shifting, breaking, collapsing, and yet there is also great possibility for transformation.…and, what if we get this right?


Krista Tippett talks with Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen (2005). This is not a recent episode, but it is timeless. Remen is a repository of wisdom and insight, and I enjoyed her voice; familiar, raspy, wise, and kind. In sharing about tikkun olam, Remen says, “We heal the world one heart at a time” (6:20). Regarding the Mystery that is Life, she shares this gem: “I have no answers, but I have a lot of questions, and those questions have helped me to live better than any answers I might find” (38:17).


References

Tippett, K. (Host). (2005, August 11). How we live with loss [Audio podcast episode]. In On Being with Krista Tippett. https://onbeing.org/programs/rachel-naomi-remen-how-we-live-with-loss/

Tippett, K. (Host). (2022, June 9). What if we get this right? [Audio podcast episode]. In On Being with Krista Tippett. https://onbeing.org/programs/ayana-elizabeth-johnson-what-if-we-get-this-right/

Lee, J., Marciano, L., Stewart, D. (Hosts). (2022, June 16). Dream incubation with Machiel Klerk (No. 218) [Audio Podcast episode]. In This Jungian Life. https://thisjungianlife.com/episode-218-dream-incubation/

Project: Dreaming with Purpose

The senior project is a big deal. It is a capstone to the three semesters of hard work, and a requirement for the successful completion of the undergraduate program at CIIS. Because I chose the Bachelor of Science in Psychology, the senior project assignment is to conduct a study, as in research. In the 2nd semester there is an entire class, Research Methods, which prepares us for carrying out the senior project in the 3rd semester.

So yeah, this was a massive undertaking, and somehow, remarkably, I really enjoyed it. Had I not chosen a topic that I am truly passionate about, it could have been miserable (I learned that lesson in the first semester- another story). There were multiple components to this project, including a 30 plus page research paper, a research poster, and a video, where I address the main data points that I gleaned from my research. For the poster and video, scroll down this page. To read the research paper, click here: https://librakaplan.com/my-senior-research-project/ , password: staylucid


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Dream engineering, 1.0

Active Dreaming

Anyone that knows me, knows I am a big time dreamer. I keep a daily journal, and find great insight and guidance from my nightly adventures. Many times I’ve found myself writing a dream down and the words, time traveler, a straddler of worlds, shapeshifting come tumbling out of my pencil and onto the page.

When I discovered the author and dream teacher, Robert Moss a few months ago, I found a kindred spirit. He spoke the same dream language that I do, and his books have opened me up to a new way of working with my dreams.

Moss has written many books and it can be hard to know where to start. Dreaming the Soul Back Home is where I began; now I’m into his newest, Growing Big Dreams on Audible, which is wonderful! On his blog, Moss says that the linear answer to the where to begin question is go for Conscious Dreaming, his first and still foundational, book; then move onto The Three “Only” Things.

Go here to read more about how Moss’ recommendations. But the short answer is, read the descriptions, see what speaks to your soul, and dive in.