January, 2008

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1/1/08 - Title: "Hurtling (Hurting? "Hurling", i.e. Vomiting?) in a Dark and Scary Place"

(Just awoke from a nightmare - that seemed to go on and on - in which) I am in a big house at night or in some other terribly large, dark place. I call and call for help and am terrified, but nobody comes to comfort or look after me. It seems that at some point I am intensely sick to my stomach and there is great turbulence, as if it is motion sickness from being unable to stop hurtling forward, with no steadiness around me so that I might simply stand still (yet it did not seem like being in a car, more as if I were in a dark structure, but with nonetheless great movement, or perhaps I am falling).

[It seems I must have been very young in this dream or in a real memory that inspired it. I already have forgotten the rest, just after getting up to write down the dream, though it seems there was much more to it and that there were several people in the dream with me. In reality, I felt somewhat nauseous on awakening, with a lot of gas in my stomach, as well as having a vague but disturbing sense of things being out of control.]

1/2/08 - Title: "Investigating, Acting, and Looking Down the Drain"

It is quite early, before the first work shift. I'm in a large office building, on the 3rd or 4th floor. I have been alone, checking things out, but now a few other men (whom I know from prior associations here) show up for work. They are surprised to find me already here. In fact, I have been doing some private investigating, but don't want them to know this. I pretend to be part of the security department and casually question why a sensitive or classified document (which moments before I had been examining) has been left out in the open. I warn them to be more careful.

There is also something about looking down into the large mouth of a dark industrial-sized drain/garbage disposal, at a sink area where workers make coffee, wash their hands, etc., on the large office building floor or work bay where I am.

1/3/08 - Title: "A Sweet Little Wake-up Call"

I was sleeping late, having gotten to bed after 3 AM, and had woken up just momentarily before, when Fran (and Puff) got up somewhat after 7 AM. However, I have a busy day planned. At 8:05, I heard a "feminine" phone ring on Fran's night stand (a small table, which does not actually have a phone, next to Fran's side of our bed). I was so surprised to get a call from there, and such an unusual, sweet little ring (like from a Princess phone with the ring set on "gentle"), that I raised up and looked at the night table, then saw the clock (though its alarm had not been set either) that's there instead and realized I had been dreaming, but it was time to get up, so I did.

Meanwhile, the DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 1/2/08 "Investigating, Acting, & Looking Down the Drain" dream. Highlights:

  • The dream is about my being in transformation, or manifesting reality beyond transformation which has already occurred, and so I am on a positive, higher level (3rd or 4th floor - the building and work bay reminiscent of my job site when I was working for the state).

  • And I am conflicted within my selves, on the one hand the ego is trying to find out more about secret, sensitive, or classified information on which shadow characters have been working, while on the other it is trying to keep things from them, pretending it is not checking up on them and their work but only interested in security work (status quo maintenance?).

  • The ego at least pays lip service to concern that secret, sensitive information may get out and so advises the shadow characters to be more careful in their handling of it, so such unpleasant or protected against realities do not appear "out in the open." But the ego is almost never right. So, it probably would be best, in the interest of my health and wholeness, if instead the secret and sensitive info does come out.

  • The classified things the ego wants to protect from likely include my true feelings, not so nice nature, or unpleasant memories. These must come to light before they can be put down the drain or disposal, like any other garbage.

  • Fortunately, the drain/disposal is industrial-sized, and so able to accommodate even a large volume of such garbage that needs disposal.

  • There is some background stuff about concerns over my relationship with Fran, that we may need to work on it better, to avoid its going down the drain. One dream group member also felt strongly there are underlying issues of inequity in how Fran and I relate, that I am bending over backwards to adjust to her without a similar commitment from her, and that this is making the relationship more and more tenuous. Other DG members, however, felt the issues between me and Fran may be sort of kept on a back burner while, independent of them, I pursue the exposure and disposal of my extra "shit" or baggage, and that, if I am successful in this effort, without engaging Fran in some of the usual games or negative transactions we have been playing (with cycles such as her tending to try to bait, patronize, or control me, my getting depressed or angered by her attitudes, omissions, comments, or behaviors, her reacting to my moods, the whole thing repeating, and with many variations on the dance, etc.), then a lot of the overheated and bad "air" between her and me will be dissipated, or she will see little point in continuing the "game," seeing that I am no longer so willing to play.

  • There is also concern that I have been neglecting my chores, part of which, in dream work terms, are to bring to light the "shit" within me and deal with it, as through further dream work, meditation, or other means of relatively safe but in depth truth seeking and self-examination.

  • And there is more grieving to be done. This is further emphasized by the location of the drain/disposal in a sink (or depression).

  • Although from the ego's point of view, such chores (bringing garbage to light and then disposing of it) are difficult, expected to cause unhappiness, and so to be avoided, in fact they are means to better and more complete integration, health, contentment, empathy with others or compassion, and even enlightenment.

  • There is surprise among the shadows that I am already here (at work, on the 3rd or 4th floor?). This could mean recognition that I have gotten to transformation or manifestation of reality, though some aspects of myself would have expected it to take longer to make it this far.

1/5/08 - Title: "Dizziness and Nausea"

Another of several nights since the new year began in which, while dreaming, I become aware of so much dizziness and/or nausea I wake up, after which the sensations gradually go away. Sometimes it seems there is some external movement (or falling) in the (dream) house that takes me along with it and causes the sickening dizziness. It is severe enough that in the dream I think I'm dying! When I wake up, I experience a few more minutes of virtigo (vertigo), accompanied by gas or an impending need to vomit, but, as I say, these sensations slowly dissipate. This time, I again had an upset stomach with "angry" noises coming from it for some time, as though having special difficulty with my digestion.

[About a week ago, I began using a new container of prescription medication, after the previous one had run out. And on 12/31, I also started using the Coenzyme Q10, an over the counter supplement. (It is to help avoid heart muscle damage from another supplement, Red Yeast Rice, which aids in lowering cholesterol. I've never had any problems from Red Yeast Rice, but supposedly it also suppresses the development of muscle - including the heart muscle - as does simply getting older; hence the apparent need for Coenzyme Q10, per a health article in a recent issue of AARP magazine.) I don't know if these dreams and reactions reflect simply a response to a medication or supplement (and the need to change or eliminate one or both of them), or if it also has some dream meaning I might benefit from. The dream might, for instance, show concern over loss of control: I certainly have alarm and little control once vertigo, indigestion, or impending vomiting take over.]

1/7/08 -The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 1/1/08 to 1/5//08 dreams involving nausea and dizziness or vertigo, associated with having taken Coenzyme Q10 supplements. Highlights:

  • While there may indeed have been physiological changes due to taking the over the counter meds, and there might also or instead be some medical problem behind the symptoms which need to be checked out (for instance, one lady was emphatic that the symptoms could indicate an impending heart attack), it is also quite possible, even more so in the opinion of the group leader, that the symptoms are a reaction not to the physical supplement (so that, indeed, there may be no need to actually give up taking that medication) but psychically to the "co-" aspect, since this is a medication for the heart, i.e. having enhancing ramifications for the inner or emotional heart at least as much as for the physical one.

  • Thus, the symptoms might be a reaction to enhanced potential for passion, sorrow, anger (as with the "angry" noises coming from my stomach), terror, joy, compassion, spontaneity, etc., all the perhaps pent up or potential for a fully functioning emotional heart. And, in fact, that these are nightmares I have been having in response to the symptoms suggests that my unconscious has a very powerful message to send me, that I pay attention to this change and to these "secondary gains" from taking the supplements (which are actually to enhance heart muscle maintenance).

  • It is significant that in the dreams I think I am about to die. Thus, my ego, alarmed at loss of control or worse, is clearly feeling threatened, and this current ego may die as a result of my taking these meds or of the inner heart passions that are released and more available to me now, but if so it will be replaced by a healthier, more open and effective one.

  • That there seems to be such rapid movement inside the terribly large, dark house of my being, so that it leaves me feeling unstable, dizzy with the change, and unable to simply stand still, also sounds like a good thing from this inner or Jungian point of view, even if naturally it is scary for the ego.

  • That in a way this inner change manifests like a horizontal vortex around or before me, suggests I am being drawn forward into a whirlpool of healthy transformation. It reminds too of a black hole, which is at once seen as potentially the end of one set of things (or even of a whole universe of being) and the beginning of another.

  • My "task" is to surf the waves of change rather than being totally overwhelmed or scared off by them, and if this ego cannot cope with that, another will be needed who can.

  • Just as in the movie, "Poltergeist" a small child has been caught in another realm and at first cannot get back, and there seems to be a kind of vortex through which she had fallen into this other region, so there may have been a very young, emotional part of myself that was "lost" to an inner realm, maybe due to traumas in childhood, but who may be retrievable through the inner vortex that now has an opening through and into my house of being.

  • I can expect further, strong heart issues to make their appearance in the days ahead. There might be big emotional experiences coming or at least in potential. Some I might classify as suffering, while others might seem very positive. It is important, as much as I can, to be these feelings.

  • That I am at some points in the dreams "hurtling forward" so fast it is like falling (or flying?) suggests also that I am both hurting and hurling (vomiting), the latter a natural and healthy reaction to great change or getting more in touch with reality, in this case perhaps the truth of honest emotion and of such profound change I can no longer hold in some of the "crap" that I had swallowed over the years.

  • I had neglected to mention in the dream descriptions that, coincident with the dreams, I have been having burst capillaries in my right eye. From a Jungian standpoint, this may represent some weakness or vulnerability in my more (familiar) rational, sensing, detached, or skeptical thinking outlook and a need to depend instead more on my potential for seeing in a spontaneous, emotional, intuitive way.

1/7/08 (AM) - Title: "Still More Nausea and Dizziness"

Although I had stopped taking Coenzyme Q1O on 1/4 or 1/5, last night I had yet another dream, similar to the just previous ones, involving some nausea as well as dizziness, but with no vortex this time. There was just dizziness and "feeling faint," plus nausea associated with some food (in the dream), and a sense that I was responsible (though how or for what is not clear at all.)

[This was, again, a nightmare, but nothing more about it is remembered. As before, the nausea and dizziness gradually dissipate after I wake up, though a half-hour later I am still feeling somewhat disturbed, unsteady, and bothered by a lot of stomach gas.

It now seems the Coenzyme Q1O may not be the culprit in these episodes, and I am quite puzzled about what, physiologically, is behind them. Perhaps the DG interpretation is accurate, and they are psychically generated rather than directly due to changes from the supplement itself.

On the other hand, I wonder if now I ought to take seriously the suggestion by a physical therapist in the DG that these (dream) symptoms are consistent with an imminent heart attack. Certainly, I'll mention them at my 2/7 annual physical exam. And I'll check online for if what I'm experiencing seems to warrant more immediate attention.]

1/7/08 (PM) - Title: "I Think I Can... ; a Bonding Time with My Nephew"

I've gone somewhere with my (in the dream) still young, early teens perhaps, nephew, Jim. It's an extensive cave or cave-like place. We are here alone together for several days and nights (something that in reality was never possible).

We are talking, and I mention a movie that his father, Ralph, had liked (Mel Gibson's "Man Without a Face"), that he had watched in the last few weeks before he died. Jim has now seen it too. I say it was maybe not the best movie, and if everybody knew just when they were going to die, they might be more careful about what they would see in their last days, but it had definitely been meaningful to him at the time.

Jim related how his dad had made a series of drawings for him when he was little, that together were like a still-picture cartoon of a train, and he had kept those drawings. They were one of the few real things he still had of his dad. (I think Ralph had neatly painted his designs onto the sides of wooden blocks, a different car or engine for each block, so Jim could line them up like a train.)

It reminds me of the [Disney?] movie and Golden Book, "The Little Train That Could" (or something like that), about a train given an important hauling job over a mountain, and how he overcame his fears and succeeded by repeating to himself the rhythmical, choo-choo train engine-sounding optimistic mantra of: "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!" until, finally, on the way down the mountain on the other side, it changed to "I know I can, I know I can, I know I can!"

During our stay together, Jim later asks me to go with him and see something. He is very creative, and he takes me to a dark little cavern of a room in the bigger cave, with only dim lights at a couple places. He shows me where to sit, then starts a silent movie projected onto a screen he has improvised at one end of the cavern/room. It is a cartoon using all of Ralph's individual drawings of a train, just the designs without their wooden blocks, plus little background sets Jim has drawn and put together with them into this cute, several-minute long movie showing Ralph's cheerful train chugging along through the mountains.

I have at once such joy and sadness on seeing this that I start crying, and then Jim is crying too, and we're crying together.

[At the end of a recent dream group meeting, Carl had mentioned that he hoped next summer to go on a several week driving and camping vacation with his nephew.]

1/8/08 (AM) - Title: "1. Volunteering; and 2. This One's Too Hot; This One's Not; But This One's Just Right!"

[Regarding recently prior entries, took the Coenzyme Q10 supplement again yesterday, but, happily, had no subsequent nightmare, severe dizziness, or nausea. Nor did any eye capillaries burst.]

I am considerably younger. I'm at a large co-ed (coed) (as in coenzyme?, i.e. referring to an emphasis on the heart and enhancing its maintenance and function) military compound, set of 3-4 barracks, or a big headquarters building with multiple floors. Men and women are all in uniform, but the situation is relaxed, so we are not currently in training, preparing for inspection, on maneuvers, or otherwise particularly on duty.

Two issues keep coming up for me. The first is whether or not to submit paperwork to our commanding officer (CO), volunteering for a more advanced type unit or force, i.e. to become a member of special forces or an officer, either of which would be challenging, but which I realize I'm qualified to do, yet I am not sure I want that much work. While I am deciding, I note that several others in our group take the plunge and submit the needed forms to our CO. Their biggest hurdle (and later mine) is figuring out the CO's (again, as in coenzyme, referring to enhancing the heart's maintenance and function?) correct names and titles, but eventually we or I see them written out on some mail addressed to him. I also hear his proud mother talking about him and his military record and realize that, despite his appearance (tall but otherwise nondescript and not especially impressive, with a disarmingly laid-back, easygoing, casual manner), he is in fact a bona fide hero, having courageous exploits in his background. Eventually, I do decide to sign up for the more specialized training and responsibilities.

The other issue is which of several women soldiers here to date, make out with, or perhaps marry. Several are quite attractive, though each in a different way. For instance, one is quite voluptuous, seductive, and emotional. Another is pretty though a little too thin, but really funny, and she has a great, kind of ironic attitude. A good number of the women, including these two, are not yet matched up with anyone and are checking the men out, just as I am them. A goodly amount of flirting is going on, back and forth.

I go out with the voluptuous one but find myself wishing I'd gone out with the thin, funny one, which I later do. Still later, I'm closer to my present age and (even in the dream) remember I am already married to Frances. When this dawns on me, it is like a missing piece of a puzzle having been found, and everything now seems to fit, make sense, and be right. And Fran, though younger, is closer to my age, we have already had many years together, and she can be very funny. Nor do either of us now feel the need or desire to be such frequently passionate sex partners.

1/8/08 (PM) - Title: "A Depression Era Deposit"

I've been asked to go to the bank. It's during the Depression and everything is old fashioned by today's standards. People are looking plain and poor. All the contraptions, like telephones at the bank, are pretty basic and simple. I take the family's extra money up to the teller and make our deposit. It is only a few dollars in loose change but precious. The woman teller is very pretty but also quite nice and proper. She carefully double-checks my sum (which is correct) and then gives me credit for the deposit, which I had pushed over to her after neatly stacking the coins into little piles, like 4 quarters for a dollar, etc.

[I cannot help thinking that my "depression era deposit" has something to do with, first, my actually being depressed and, second, Fran and I making love this afternoon, leading to a precious deposit (after all, in an ideal world in which both parents desire offspring, are healthy, and are of an age and income level to permit having a family, it could lead to a "blessed event").]

Title: "A Narrow Escape from the Collapse"

I'm alone and caught or locked in a big cable car or a complex big bridge high above a gorge with a powerful deep river running through it. I think this occurs during the Depression. The bridge or cable begins to break and the whole thing, the bridge or the cable car contraption, begins to come loose and then fall. I desperately try to find something secure to jump to and hold while the rest rapidly falls away into the waters far below. Somehow I manage, but the part I'm on then also slowly sinks or falls on down and begins to submerge. I'm unhurt, though, and swim away unscathed.

[Much of the just above dream's specifics are beyond me, but, again, it has to do with my depression. In addition, there has been (as noted earlier) a bridge collapse, i.e. bridge = a joining, co- = two, and a lapse = a break in a norm (which could mean a moral break or error but could also simply mean a failure to sustain a prior status quo), so, in this case referring to a renewal of sexual activity between Fran and myself after an extended hiatus, one long enough that I had wondered, before today's "afternoon delight" lapse, if now might be the time for me to switch gears and simply be more monkish through the balance of my life. Meanwhile, there is concern in the dream I may be submerged in the "waters far below" = the unconscious, uncontrolled passions or forces, yin or female energy, a scary realm of intuition rather than logical thinking, etc. But in fact I escape and "swim away unscathed," an outcome which is perhaps a mixed blessing.]

Title: "A Righteous Action"

It is again the Depression era. A man just like Robert Duval is our father. I'm late getting back to our homestead and land (perhaps because of the bridge or cable car collapse). When I do return to our nearly hand-to-mouth farm (looks like AR, WV, or some other then poor, hilly region of the South - Robert Duval's sons and daughters-in-law living here with him on the place), there is a crisis Dad (Duval) has just learned of. He yells at me to get the car and drive over to the draw and meet him there, but then he starts off down the dirt road alone at a loping kind of jog-run.

I don't know at first what he's up to, but then I hear some of the women talking and realize my big mean brother has raped one of the young women (seemingly another brother's wife, and this brother is temporarily away).

As usual, I'm a total clutz (klutz) with things very mechanical, and the old Depression era car we own is no exception. I'm young. I barely know how to drive anyway, and the car's tricky starter system and clutch are almost beyond me. I finally get it going, backed out of the garage, and turned around, then try to figure out where Dad meant me to meet him. By the time I get there (where the creek that runs through our place and the road almost meet at a low point), it's all over. I don't see anybody else, but Dad (Duval) is just standing there waiting for me, looking extremely sad yet furious, not saying anything. But eventually I overhear some of the ladies again. They are saying he'd come up to my mean brother like the wrath of God, knocked him down, smashed out several teeth, and like to stove his face in with a heavy rock. He'll live probably, but won't ever look the same.

1/10/08 - The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 1/8/08 "A Righteous Action" dream. Highlights:

  • In the DG's view, this is primarily a dream about the "inner geography" of my depression (which varies from a Great Depression era, on the one hand, to my simply being "at a low point," on the other). While perhaps not so well written, the dream description has the starkness, essential depth, or basic truth confronting of a William Faulkner story.

  • And, whether Frances or I like the message or not, it is as unflinching in its revelations as the tape from a lie detector interview or the bright glare on a doomed deer caught in the headlights of an onrushing auto.

  • There are several fundamental bases they say the dream shows for my being chronically depressed:

    • My shadow figures, a Robert Duval character (solid, competent, brilliant, down to earth, authentic, and a superb actor, yet often playing parts in which the character has major flaws, like alcoholism or being prone to easy displays of violence) and "my big mean brother," hold most of the power, energy, initiative, confidence, or force of action in my constellation of selves, leaving precious little for me, as the relatively weak, insecure ego that feels inadequate to the circumstances with which it (I) must deal.

    • There is little real relationship or integration between me and the other characters in the dream. That with the Robert Duval character is one of a relatively immature young man to a rather distant father figure. That with the big mean brother seems nonexistent. Compared with me, he seems more an out of control force of nature than a human I can relate to. The others in the dream are all so little involved that I never even see them.

    • There are no really positive, moderate figures in the dream. The Robert Duval character means well, but he is excessive in his "righteous action," in response to the big brother's perhaps even more excessive violence toward a woman relative. In the dream, I am a gentleman (a gentle man) who has only the best regard for either the women or Duval, but I am not strong enough to stand up to either of the other male characters and to rein in their intemperateness.

    • There are no fleshed out female characters, really none at all with whom I can have a healthy relationship or inner integration. I hear different women speaking from the wings, as it were, apparently from adjoining rooms, talking among themselves. And I learn from these (Greek chorus like) voices that a family crisis has been precipitated: one of the women has been raped by my big brother. Otherwise, there is no anima figure with whom to interact at all or from whom to learn right feeling. It seems too that I would scarcely have been much help to the victim, before or after the rape.

    • There is the fact, indicated by more in-depth analyses by the dream group, that my relationship with the father figure is all mixed up with that in reality with my wife, and vice versa, as though I am replicating with her aspects of the dysfunctional "bond" I had for the first 52 years (till he died) of my life with my real father.

      For instance, by strength of will or force of personality, he tended to dominate, while I generally would feel I had to give in to his preferences, but I resented this aspect of our father-son interaction. Of course, this was much less the case once I became more independent as a late teenager, after many great rows between us, and subsequently I dealt with him more forthrightly or by simply staying away or keeping my physical or emotional distance, but a pattern had been set early, that if I were to relate to this dominant individual it would be mostly on his terms. And there are certainly ways this is now true for my involvement with Fran.

      There is, psychically, perhaps even a sexual aspect to this. My father was repeatedly both physically and emotionally quite harsh toward me in my very early childhood, so that I came to see him as a tormentor and to deal with him as would a victim toward his abuser. On a fundamental feeling level, as a child I was in a sense "screwed" by the bastard time and again. And now, with Fran, if and when we still have sex, our relations are generally in the position she prefers, with her in the more dominant (on top) position.

      The relationship with father vs. Fran is complex and confused in more subtle ways. She tends to be more "the doer," typically in our culture the male role, while I respond to or must adjust to her choices, actions, and initiatives. On the other hand, when I suggest things, she often indicates no interest or simply turns the idea down. If decisions are to be made, her inclination is to make them unilaterally, while mine is more to seek cooperation, compromise, and consensus (but good luck with that in dealing with someone who feels she need only decide on her own for the two of us).

      There are exceptions, naturally, but usually between us I am the more intuitive ("yin") and focused on the inner landscape, while she is more into the outer ("yang") realms of experience. She (like Dad was) is also more the rational thinker between the two of us, while on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator I am more into feelings, again a crossing of the cultural mores for female vs. male roles. And several of her interests, talents, or skills, including especially science, crafts, repairs, outdoor hobbies, or artisan type activities, are more traditionally male ones, while mine, including reading or writing, kids, social work type involvements, movies or other dramas, etc., are much more likely to figure in our society's traditional female roles.

      It is true that in some ways Frances is quite feminine and that she also likes chatting with several female friends about all sorts of affairs of life, just as any woman in our culture would do, and that on some aptitude tests she shows up as most fitting the counselor occupation, traditionally a more female vocation, as is teaching, which she does well too. And she has a great rapport with her mom, just as any "normal" daughter would with her mother. She also plays a position as a musician that is second to others with the same instrument, so it is not as though she has to be in the dominant role with others or in all circumstances.

      Moreover, my own skills, interests, or hobbies include investing, money management generally, politics, good documentaries about history or combat situations or works of fiction like mysteries, thrillers, etc. And I usually handle most of the car maintenance issues for the two of us.

      In other words, the picture is not totally stereotypical for either Fran or myself, and there are ways she is more like most women and that I am like most men. However, on a spectrum of cultural "maleness" vs. "femaleness" norms, my natural inclinations are more toward the latter end while hers are more toward the former.

    • The relationship between Fran and myself is improving, in my view, but the growth feels glacial, which several in the DG were quick to point out means not just slow but cold.

    • Finally, maybe most relevant to my depression, for none of the rest might matter so much otherwise, the unfortunate reality is that I am dissatisfied with the overall status quo. I am, ironically, "wedded" to traditional expectations for what makes a man a man (namely more like my father, ogre that he sometimes was) or a woman a woman (in some ways submissive to the man, which Fran, of course, is usually not), and a family a family (a male dominant or at least equal head of household, a less dominant or at least equal wife and mother, and a couple or more children being brought up well in fairly "Leave it to Beaver" fashion).

      But Fran's and my (childless, of course) relationship, in which she does her thing, and I, willy-nilly, must usually do mine separately as well, and frequently we cannot even agree on a meal to eat together at home, much less a vacation to take, is distant from this vision. It seems improbable that will change much. Nor do the DG members hold out hope that it could be altered, so long as my cast of inner characters and the dream realm situations remains close to what they are today, while Fran's and my personalities continue to be as disparate as they are. All things considered, the weight of the present arrangement would seem, instead, to keep us locked into a more or less mutually unsatisfactory "no exit" till death do us part, unless...

  • The DG or I or both are making too much of one dream, when, kaleidoscope-like, everything could change the next time a new view takes shape. Even if this is a correct and relatively stable picture, might there not at some point be unanticipated alterations in the circumstances or in ourselves which, taken with a few other changes, due to age, insight, meditation, becoming really bored with the same old "shit," or whatever, allows us either little by little or in one swift new gestalt to escape the present predicament? In any case, I choose to be optimistic. For now at least, the options of either divorce or hopelessness do not seem viable.

  • Meanwhile, though I'm not that good at the merely mechanical, going-through-the-motions routines of getting the car of my forward movement through life going and driving it correctly despite my depression, I am managing to cope with the tasks, and, even if just mechanically, keeping my worst moods at bay with staying busy and somewhat engaged, doing exercises, meditation, hot baths, etc.

1/11/08 - Title: "Not Coping So Well With Unexpected Developments"

I'm in a big place on some type of frontier. I have an older male teacher or supervisor. I am moving materials in a large warehouse-looking room in this place. I accidentally drop something, and it breaks. The fragments scatter, flying about to several spots on the floor as if a grenade of sharp glass pieces. They need to be gathered up and disposed of properly. I begin to do this but cut myself, and also I am not sure I have found everything (all the sharp debris).

Later, I am practicing camping out (or other outdoor activities) with some others. But I had not known I would be doing this, and my outdoor gear (backpack, warm clothing, tent, etc.) is missing or inadequate. I hope I can still get through the maneuvers or camping experiences alright. It will be a challenge, but I should do OK. Besides, the whole thing is unlikely to last more than 2-3 days.

[Incidentally, took the Coenzyme Q10 again last evening, but had no bad reaction or scary dreaming during the night as a result.]

1/14/08 - The following were speculations and insights by my sister, Alice (who for several years facilitated a dream group), about my 1/7/08 dream, "I Think I Can; a Bonding Time with My Nephew:"

  • There is an on-going grieving process for (our brother) Ralph, and perhaps for the child you haven't had in this lifetime, as well as "pre-grieving" for yourself, in that you are getting used to the idea of being "over the hill". You seem to be cheerful for having made it this far. After the struggles of youth, you are enjoying a good, meaningful time of life. You are as alert and creative as a teen, eager to spend time in the mysteries of the cave. ([Our nephew] Jim has certainly had plenty of sorrows and pressures to overcome, and nowadays we are happy for him as he has really come into his own.) You are finding the joy in good memories, and finding a sense of belonging and continuity by bonding with the next generation in our family.

  • The dream occurred during the winter - the season of hibernation in a cave if you were a bear, and of extra contemplation for an introspective human like yourself. Ralph loved exploring caves, and lived in a cave on Kauai. You may wish that the two of you had bonded even more than you did, given your mutual interests in exploring nature and the mind. Also, going inward into the cave is a way to rest and store up energy for renewal in the spring.

  • In addition, going into a cave is a metaphor for going into the afterlife - the underworld for many cultures. Meeting with Ralph's son in a cave is like bonding at a sacred burial site that is and has been there for generations.

  • I haven't seen the "Man Without a Face" movie, but since you mentioned it as meaningful to Ralph, and your having watched it not long from when he died, then you could delve into why the Ralph aspect of yourself found it meaningful. You are still grieving Ralph's passage while you are preparing yourself to FACE your own eventual death. The face reminds me of the koan which goes something like this: "What is the image/appearance of your original face?" (You probably know the exact wording.) The bonding with Jim is perhaps a way to initiate your young relative into the journey of the afterlife - one that we all will face as members of the family of man.

  • Going into the cave is also like going inside the skull, the location of Ralph's brain tumor. Likewise, it is an exploration inside your own mind, into the mental images and beyond, into the unseen Presence of All That Is. In meditation, you may observe your TRAIN of thoughts as they arise and then go on. It is positive and nurturing that the artistic train drawings are "real" - on something organic and wholesome like a child's wooden blocks. The blocks are toys, but also may represent blockages that have to be overcome.

  • It does bring up the question as to what is real and enduring - the physical body, with its building blocks of life forming the spine (the train, the body)? or the everlasting designs themselves - the Creator's visions/concepts/outlines or essence of life? The train drawings that Jim set into motion in the movie projected onto the screen remind me of Plato's forms. Plato posited that the shadows cast on the "screen" of a cave were like the ideas of forms, and that these ideas were more real/true than the forms themselves. This is also like the god Shiva's opening his eyes and creating a whole world of "reality" only to then shut his eyes, and go into another time of nothingness. So we go from one movie of our lives into a state of nothingness while our Inner Being continues, and then into another lifetime where, once again, we learn the value of affirming that we can get over seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We learn to believe in ourselves, and we achieve the knowingness that we can indeed reach the heights of our goals or "higher purpose" and actually enjoy the ride. What a relief!

  • It's interesting that there are 2 movies in your dream. You talk about 1 seen with Ralph, and then Jim, an extension of Ralph, continues the teaching by showing you where to sit in the cave in order to see with your 3rd eye, the 2 physical eyes represented by the "dim lights at a couple places" in the dark little cavern.

  • All that we have left of Ralph is a "SET" of images/memories, but that is as real and more enduring than the physical. His existence will always be, even after he cheerfully went on to the Other Side. Like the child's train, it took great courage and determination to climb the mountain and pass over. What sadness to leave one known reality and yet what joy to "know you can" make it over the peak experience and keep going into the beyond. I am very happy for you that, at least in the inner realms, you could have such a creative & in-depth bonding with Jim.

  • I hope you will also look at whatever situation in your current waking reality seems insurmountable, which could be helped by the example of the positive-thinking train.

1/16/08 - Title: "A Man's Best Friend..."

I'm younger, but not terribly young - likely in my 30s-40s - and first am at a young women's college dorm, as though for a friendly visit, not romantically involved with any of about four women I know there. I am lonely, though, and regret no special tie or bond, so that I could delay my departure. I keep things simple, superficial, and at a "just friends" level, however, and so leave shortly after having stopped by. There is an obstacle in my way in the entrance hall before I leave their dorm, as though someone had put up a makeshift pile of stuff (backpacks, bags of clothes, etc.) to help keep folks out. I move it, leave, and put it back.

In another scene, I am walking outside and alone after having asked someone in a large building (at a university?) for directions. I am walking by a new steel wire mesh fence, shiny and silvery-looking in the light. It is well made, taut, and tall, maybe 6-7 feet in height, and encloses a big suburban yard which is yellow-brown because of the autumn (fall) season.

A late 1950s or early 1960s style two-tone American car (a big convertible), red and white, driven badly, careens by. It does not hit me but comes quite close. Then the driver somehow (accidentally) drives under an edge of the new fencing, forcing the bottom of it up over the top of the car's front. The car has also spun partly around, so it is now inside the fencing, with big fresh ruts or tears in the turf. The front end of the car is now stuck between the ground and the distorted, pushed up fencing, and it extends partly out under the fencing from inside the yard.

Next a medium size, short hair, brown mutt of an excited dog is running about, perhaps released to go onto the roadway, where I am, when the car lifted up the lower edge of the fence. It keeps running up to me, evidently wanting to play. I want to greet it and play too but am a little worried that it is free when it ought to be penned up. Put (But) the enthusiasm of the dog is contagious and more fun than walking alone. For now, I just enjoy the dog's friendliness and energy.

1/17/08 - Title: "He had HIGH hopes, but...OOPS! There Goes Another Candidate..."

I am huge relative to ex-Senator John Edwards, or he is toy-size (about 4-5 inches tall) compared to me. For safety, I have strapped him into his SUV (also conveniently toy-sized) with a strip of duct tape. But this is way too large and crude a harness for Edwards' now diminutive dimensions, so I reach through the open driver's side window with a massive pair of shears, roughly 3-4 times the size of most scissors and giant compared with Edwards, intending to just snip some pieces off the tape so he can be more comfortable and to more neatly secure the way he is fastened into the driver's seat. Only a slight movement of my right hand makes a larger than intended slash by the blades of these big shears, though, and I accidentally snip off his head. It gets stuck in some of the extra duct tape (but Edwards' hair is not mussed). I am alarmed at this result, even more so as I realize there is no way to hide what I have done or keep from being blamed for it.

1/19/08 - Title: "In and Around the Pits with Plenty to Eat But Little Respect"

I'm driving my car in south Austin. As I'm about to pull out of the old Texas Rehab. Commission (where I worked in much of the 1980s and 1990s) parking lot (at Congress & Riverside) onto Riverside, someone yells from behind me and comes running up, startling me. I look in the rear-view mirror and see him. He's apparently just a practical joker or kidder. As I drive off and pull safely onto the roadway, heading to the right (roughly west), he is yelling again, this time as though pretending I have hit or run over him, which clearly I haven't. I drive down about a block and get into the left lane to turn onto another road (Barton Springs Rd.). I have the green light to complete my turn, but just before I do someone pulls up in a white pickup in a lane perpendicular to mine. From that direction, the light is red, but instead of stopping where she should she rolls a little into the intersection (from my left) not yielding right of way, so that, to avoid an accident, I must veer to the right at the last moment, just hoping I do not then hit anyone in the lane next to mine (which I don't). I start to honk angrily at the aggressive or careless driver, but by then I am into my left turn, must use both hands to complete it safely, and so I just go on.

Then I am at a park, recreational area, or "camp" (though here there are rooms in a building, not tents). I enter a small brightly lit grocery store that's part of this "campground" and ask about some foodstuffs. I'm told to go into the large cooler/food locker myself and get what I need. I do and get a little assistance, with what all is available (i.e. big baskets, tipped at about a 45 degree angle, contain large quantities of food, a different type in each: cheeses, various kinds of fruit, vegetables, breads, etc.) from a friendly stock clerk working there. I am pleased with the abundant delicious foods at my disposal.

Next, I am outside at the recreational area/"campground." My brother, Ron (among others), has come here separately. He is rather standoffish toward me, but as long as we are here we each still intend separately to enjoy the area. A group of folks from this recreational area have gone off in a bus for an extroverted recreational field trip. Only Ron, myself, and a few others are still hanging around this generally disused area. There is a series of big pits (at least 3) extending far below road level. The roads are just above them with no protective barrier. Ron and I are both at first in a one-story building down at the base of the first pit. He goes outside in a one-piece, black, old fashioned (early 20th Century) swimsuit that covers his chest and trunk. (He's not as overweight as in reality.) He goes over to an unused swimming pool and starts to get in, despite the temperature being cool and nobody else being around out there. There is a lot of green algae in the pool, since it has not been used or maintained for some time. He'll no doubt get some of the algae on him while wading or swimming.

I decide to swim too, but at another pit and pool. I climb a rise or hill in the two-lane road till I am beside and above the next pit. It has its own (even less used) swimming pool. There is no proper road shoulder, just a narrow and slippery gravel-strewn slope slanting down from the road to a sudden steep drop-off of 20-30 feet or so to the pit bottom below. I can see this pit's swimming pool. But no safety barrier warns of or protects drivers from the drop off, and there is no evident way down. The pits are like limestone quarry holes except that at the bottom of each a regular concrete swimming pool (disused) had been put in at some point in the past. As I'm looking over the situation, I slip on a little gravel and fall, sliding toward the drop-off. I am lying where I fell, just between the edge of this pit and the edge of the road. Only a little movement will cause me to fall on down into the pit. I see a couple young men in jogging suits running by on the other side of the road and yell to them (repeatedly, louder and louder) for help. They ignore me. One even looks at me, where I've fallen and seemingly can't get up, and keeps going on by. After yelling several times, I am angry but give up on any assistance. It is so precarious I do not dare just getting up here. I decide to roll myself over till more on the pavement before standing, just hoping I'm not meanwhile hit by any of the oncoming cars going by next to me.

1/21/08 - The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 1/19/08 "In and Around the Pits with Plenty to Eat But Little Respect" dream. Highlights:

  • The dream is about nourishing my "soul," for want of a better word, and yet there are concerns over how to best do so safely, despite circumstances that might thwart my efforts and my natural fears or disgust over getting involved in the depths or core of my being. Part of the background of the dream is my reading the Stanislav Grof book, The Adventure of Self-Discovery, a work about a breathing technique for accessing both one's blocks or demons in the unconscious and/or for attaining spiritual realms.

  • I want to explore the recesses and depths of the inner landscape, as indeed I had done four times in the 1960s, with professionally supervised group sessions, using injections of Ritalin plus breathing through an anesthetist's mask a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen, the combined effect of which was a very powerful, though temporary blasting away of the ego structures and defenses, yielding an intense exposure to previously unconscious mental material.

  • These "trips" each lasted for me from one to several hours in real time, but were so overwhelming, emotion-laden, and vivid that I was left with lasting impressions from them and a sense of having been through years of added events. They seemed more real than most all of my ordinary waking life. I felt as though I had, in the course of just these four sessions, witnessed or endured the entire (future) third world war, dying, going to hell, also to heaven, suicidal depression, and dealing with then vast rage directed at my father as well as antipathies toward my mother, etc.

  • For months afterward, I still had flashbacks and felt that the inner journeys I had taken were not simply induced or hallucinatory but represented an underlying reality. To this day, I believe, fundamentally, that we know in our usual awareness states but a tiny fraction of what there is to know, whether or not there is in fact any persistence of awareness beyond the death of our physical bodies (about which I am now skeptical).

  • In any case, from these intense experiences as well as dreams, psychotherapy, and meditation, and a few other spontaneous occurrences that mirrored or hinted at these other avenues to the vast inner realms, I have a strong desire to not simply let the sands of time run out on what remains of my consciousness but instead to explore further the regions within, if for no other reason than that they exist, a truly major part of what we are! They are like a fantastic reservoir of which we normally have little inkling and so in ignorance go about our desert creature lives in a great thirst though, but a little way down, there are unplumbed depths of clear, delicious, life giving water!

  • The DG pointed out, not for the first time in connection with my dreams, that for men the psyche's journey in the second half of their lives typically involves a rich descent into their own depths, whereas for women, more characteristically, the equivalent journey is into their soaring heights within.

  • In this dream, there is first a concern for making the life journey safely. There is some confusing bit about a male or shadow character that is something of a clown, who does not take things seriously and tends to use kidding or joking when things begin to get serious, as if thus to deflect or "protect" me from the nitty-gritty realities.

  • And there is concern and some anger as well about a woman driver (slightly reminiscent of Frances, competent but impatient or aggressive, single-minded in pursuit of her own goals even if in the process she undermines the intentions of others she is close to, and who had denigrated the Grof breath work when asked if she would be interested in our making such inner explorations together, as co-facilitators for one another) who comes in from my left but nearly causes a collision because she does not give me and my car the proper right of way.

  • I have later safely arrived, though, at a recreational center. It is also in some ways a park or campground. That it is a park is worrisome, for this may imply I am "parked" and so not dealing with the main issues of the dream but instead just putting them off over and over.

  • This campground is fairly unusual, as it has a series of at least three (suggesting transformation) pits (inner depths) at the base of which are still lower depths, in the form of poorly maintained and disused swimming pools (unconscious pools of potential psychic energy, primal material, intuition, insight, self-awareness, integration, powerful emotion, mythic meaning, vast information, etc. that have been ignored by the dreamer for years but still are available for my "recreational" pleasure or enlightenment).

  • And at the base of the first one there is a brightly lit grocery store with its cooler/locker (a place behind a thick door but where I can gather an abundance of delicious, nurturing inner "nutrients" to sustain me in the potential recreations to come, aided in this by a helpful shadow figure).

  • There is also, at the base of the first pit, a one-story (my story) building with several residential rooms for the center's guests. From here there are windows allowing me to observe the disused swimming pool also here at the pit's base. And I see my younger, more spontaneous and more natural brother, Ron (my shadow self with these qualities, who is READY, wants to go swimming in the pool, and does not hesitate, despite the cool [less than ideal] conditions and the pool's disuse, so that the slimy green primal material, that I fear or which disgusts me, is evident there) appropriately dressed to ward off some of the primal material but quite willing to go on in, despite the water's altered state.

  • Perhaps this shadow is showing me right action, or perhaps he is not sufficiently cautious, just as I see my brother Ron as too often ready to jump in foolishly where wise men fear to go.

  • In the dream, though, I think I shall find a better pit, one of my own, with its own swimming pool, that I hope may be in a better condition. However, this does not work out too well. That pit does not have any easy or safe way down. I lose my footing on a slippery slope and slide to the pit's edge, almost falling on in (which of course would be a way, but a traumatic one, to get into the sought after depths).

  • After other shadow figures go by, unwilling to assist (though the shadow figure at the first pit's grocery locker had been willing to help), despite my frightened and then angry cries (which suggests that my having sought out this alternate means to the depths, instead of simply exploring them via the pit I was already in to begin with, had not been the best idea, so the other dream aspects of my self are leaving me to my own perhaps foolishly ego-bound fate), I decide to just roll myself back out of the most hazardous area, more onto the stable, safer pavement before getting up, hoping that I do not in the process get hit by oncoming traffic in that lane of the road. Seemingly, I want now safer routes (such as dream work or meditation) to exploring the primal unconscious, rather than falling, jumping, swimming, or even wading into it right away via such intense means as the Grof breath work.

  • The DG leader, however, indicated that there is here in Austin a Grof type breath work facility or group and that such explorations as my more spontaneous and natural younger shadow self, Ron, was eager to get right into were not in fact unsafe, though it was understandable, after my 1960s experiences, that I would be leery of leaping into these "waters" at once. In fact, she said she had worked with Grof herself in Europe and had many times seen excellent, very positive results from his breath work among others too.

  • Later, another DG member indicated she had been through four sessions of Grof type breath work here in Austin and could recommend them. She also said similar results may be had through several days' long meditation workshops put on by the Vipassana (or Insight) Meditation Society here in town.

1/22/08 - Title: "Another Close Encounter of the Scary Kind"

I am jogging or walking quickly down a sidewalk to the right of and next to a major thoroughfare. Suddenly an old jalopy races past me in the closest lane (just to my left) and then veers to the right and so out of the lane, about half a block up from me. Very fast, it continues this error trajectory off the road, across the sidewalk, and into and through part of a very small old wood frame house. I think it may have plowed on through and then hit and come to a sudden stop at a big tree. Building debris and smashed jalopy parts are scattered ahead. There is a little "smoke," but seemingly it is just dust from the impact that has not resettled.

I "know" there will be just a crushed wreck of a mangled human body left somewhere in the wreckage. How could anyone survive that? The idea is somehow quite frightening for me. Besides, though it was clear enough to see the accident fine, now already it is night and how would I see well enough in the darkness to be able to help somebody injured or dying in all that mess?

I hear three men reacting. They are in a nearby small old house. (I imagine they are hobos, transients squatting there, or retired and not so well off old guys living together in one of the shacks or little houses - am reminded of several older guys living at a corner place on the west end of the block Allison lives on, whom I would see and sometimes say "Hello" to when walking Barney, just interested old guys who enjoy hanging out and apparently have nothing much else to do - except these houses are even smaller, maybe half or a quarter as big as Allison's.) It is between me and the crash site. The older guys are saying things like: "What the heck was that!?" "Sounded like a bad crash, didn't it?" "Well, we'd better check it out." Obviously they are about to come out of their shack and take a look.

I know it is cowardly and that someone may even see me taking off, but I'm so upset and reluctant to get involved or to see the crash victim, dead or barely alive, that I turn around and rush off back the way I had come. At the corner, I turn left and hurry off away from the main highway (on which I'd been walking at first and from which the jalopy had driven off the road).

At the end of this small block, at the next corner, I come to a weird obstacle in my (new) way. There is a drop off in front of me that I must get down to go on in this direction. For some reason, it is not possible to go this way without going down into this depressed area. There are places or things to hold or balance on, like on a jungle Jim (gym), but in this case they are spaced at odd angles and farther apart, so they are not that easy to negotiate, though I can still if very careful put my feet and hands on them in order to slowly work my way on down. It certainly does not look like an easy, convenient route. Nor it is thoroughly safe. Still, I swing myself out over this little pit, maybe 10-12 feet deep and 8 feet across, and begin to try, gingerly and balancing carefully, afraid at any moment I'll lose my handhold or footing, to get myself on down.

[It feels like the whole thing is a nightmare. Even as I am waking up, not yet fully awake, it occurs to me that, where (whether) I do dream work, meditation, or Stanislav Grof breath work to access my own depths and demons, it's not going to be a picnic, and there will be a lot of painful, scary stuff to deal with. I can't get away from it.]

1/24/08 - The DG yesterday discussed, along with other folks' dreams, my 1/22/08 "Another Close Encounter of the Scary Kind" dream. Highlights:

  • A key to the dream seems to be that there is going to be no escape from a choice between two unappealing alternatives. There is doubt and divergent opinion about what the first of those choices means, but the second choice, in any case, is dealing with depression, represented in the dream by the 10-12 foot deep pit, including with the core or primal material that is behind that depression. The impression is that in my case the best way to overcome the depression is to "go through it," to deal with what I fear most having to look at that lies behind it.

  • The first alternative, represented by the wreck, was thought by some in the group, notwithstanding that I disagreed with them on this (that they believed was my ego defense of the status quo [with which I also do not agree, of course]), to be how I view my marriage or relationship with Frances, as if the two choices were a kind of "Lady or the Tiger" scenario, but in which both those classic choices have forbidding outcomes.

  • In my own view, tentatively agreed to by some others in the DG, the wreck represents how my inner self sees my whole previous life, including the angers or resentments I retain from both early and later childhood experiences of abuse, plus regrets, anxieties, low self-confidence, or grieving over lost opportunities, and otherwise over subsequent relationships throughout my life, rages toward my father, some negative feelings toward my mother as well, difficult choices with respect to higher education, involvement with the military vs. civil disobedience, periods when I have been suicidal, etc.

  • In this view, the basic issues in earlier dreams, as from 1/19/08 (In and Around the Pits With Plenty to Eat But Not Much Respect), are present this time too but here, instead of simply a great depression, there is also the alternative of a no-frills examination of the wreck made of my life (and particularly the intensely negative emotions behind it or resultant from it), a choice from which I flee, but then find my way blocked by other intensely negative feelings (the pit or depression).

  • There are positive aspects to this dream, despite the fact it all felt like a nightmare. First, simply because it was a nightmare, my unconscious must have been trying to really "wake me up" about the issues involved, my till now relatively unexamined, raw emotions over what I see as a completely or almost destroyed or "wasted" (as in both killed and wasted) life.

  • Now that I see how important (and unavoidable, with no escape) they are, however, I can find a practical way to truly deal with them: as through intense meditation, ongoing dream work, auto-hypnosis, the personal equivalent of "sweat lodge" or "forty days in the wilderness" or hermitage periods of isolation, Stanislav Grof type breath work, etc.

  • Also, the two uninviting choices represent dawning awareness, and the three old retired guys represent transformation.

  • The dream is also positive in that the depression before me in this case is not so overwhelming as in the last one, that involved huge pits, with in some cases no feasible way down to the bottom, whereas here there is at least a jungle Jim (gym) kind of apparatus I can clamber down on, even if it is oddly spaced and angled so it is not completely safe, and I must be careful and take it slowly.

  • The fact that I spelled the gym in jungle gym "Jim" is interesting: Jim is my Juliard graduate nephew who is a well coordinated and excellent dancer. So he likely would have much less trouble than I negotiating the apparatus for going down into the depression pit.

  • And though Jim has demons and extra stresses of his own, by virtue of his father dying when he was age 8, his mother being very domineering when he was growing up, etc., he handles them partly by being most of the time oriented to the thinking side of the thinking-feeling continuum discussed in guidance for the Myers Briggs Type Indicator interpretation. It remains to be seen if he will ever be aware of the need for, or benefit from, a more in depth kind of dealing with his own underlying feelings.

  • The other interesting aspect of the apparatus in the pit is that I see it as a jungle Jim. I have had other dreams about jungle, and it represents primal material, but not merely negative feelings. It also stands for all the deep and mysterious richness of life in its manifold forms, the yin or intuitive side, feelings, and the vast potential of the unconscious. In a sense, by going into the jungle one might both lose his or her life and yet also find it anew in even greater abundance. It is as if I were given the private injunction: "He who would gain his life must first lose it."

  • This reminds me of teachings in Zen philosophy, that we must embrace or become suffering, not in any passive acceptance way but in the sense that we simply are suffering and so no longer feel we must always, by so much fruitless energy or attention, be into avoiding it.

  • The three old retired guys (as I too, of course, am an old retired guy) are showing me the right way: "We'd better check it out," referring to the wreck. In truth there is no dichotomy between the unpleasant alternatives. To examine and truly come to terms with the roots of either my anger and regret over a wasted life or of my depression must have the same effect and involve the same repressed or suppressed psychic and primal material.

  • Yet it is possible that when they do check things out, the three old codgers will discover that the driver and/or passengers in the old wrecked jalopy of my previous existence will have had on seat belt(s) and by some fluke have survived to eventually recover, perhaps partly nursed back to good health by these three transformative spirits.

  • The use of the term "crushed" in connection with the body in the wreck further emphasizes that a major part of this dream is to do with depression.

  • It is possible that the vehicle's veering to the right, and so more into the rational, logical, linear, and further from the insightful, intuitive, spontaneous, feelings oriented, analog, or unconscious side, is for me its "error trajectory."

  • There is just a "small block" (not much of a mental block) I need to traverse before getting to the pit, and being able to use its "jungle Jim" to negotiate or deal with its depression.

  • Like the jalopy, I need to "plow on through," in my case through the defenses still preventing me from accessing and dealing with my personal demons. Again it was emphasized that in the latter halves of their lives men need to come to terms with their dark sides to become whole.

  • The tree which has stopped the jalopy's error trajectory is the tree of life and growth.

  • A small old wood frame house has been smashed. The conditional or volitional but indecisive, hesitant part of myself, the "I would, except for this or that... " part of myself has been broken. It is time to take needed action instead.

  • The reference to smoke may imply fire or anger, as in "where there's smoke there is fire." However, this is less clear since it also appears to just be dust not yet resettled.

  • There are means to find balance on the jungle Jim.

  • Since Jim is a pseudonym used in my journal for a nephew, it was pointed out I may use journaling as one more way to deal with the mostly unconscious material that underlies my depression.

  • One of the members in the DG the longest, herself one of its unofficial leaders, Christine, gave me a compliment, saying that in ten years of working with Jungian analysis dream groups she has never seen anyone who caught onto the principles or had so great a facility with dream interpretation as I do, that I have a brilliant ability and she hopes I shall "own it," in the sense of acknowledgement of and taking responsibility for it, and put it to good use. I thanked her but was kind of bowled over by her comment. At this time it seems little will come of this talent if I do not first become more intimately familiar than I have so far with both my inner depths and heights.

  • It may be significant that in the dream I have turned (left) a corner, implying crossing a milestone or reversing a negative situation. There is a small block left, perhaps indicating only this one small impediment to growth remains.

1/28/08 (AM) - Title: "What We've Got Here is a Failure to Communicate."

There's a boy, about 12 years old, who comes from a broken home background and is having trouble healing. He is impatient and seemingly cannot just let things BE long enough for all the hurt to mend and the healing to occur. (I'm unsure afterward of my relationship with him, but it is like being an uncle or a foster parent. In any case, he is staying with me.) I don't have the time to supervise him constantly or give him all the comfort and reassurance he needs. We live in an unusual place, kind of a two-story loft. He lives upstairs with an eagle. It is not entirely tame and may in fact have given him the severe wound he has on his right hand. His part of the place is partly open to the sky, which allows the eagle to come and go as it pleases. His part of the loft connects at the far end to mine via a circular staircase. While I'm talking on the phone with the kid's mother (I think), he comes downstairs, gives me a look (like: "Why, when I want to talk with you, are you busy with somebody else!?"), then, as I'm still on the phone, seconds later thrusts his still quite raw, stitched up, torn hand in my face, grasps a flap of his flesh, fastened in place by stitches, a graft, and (medical) staples, and violently yanks, ripping it loose and exposing his wounds again, making an even worse big deep freshly bleeding laceration (several inches long) in his hand, so most of it is now just the flap of ripped flesh and a gaping, blood filled tear. "Oh shit!" I yell, and the person I'm talking to says "What!?"

[The title is a quote from the Paul Newman film, "Cool Hand Luke." It is about a man, played by Newman, who while drunk commits some fairly minor malicious mischief and is arrested, then sentenced to a rural prison chain gang work detail. He refuses to conform. It leads to his death.]

1/28/08 (PM) - Title: "Not Quite Afternoon Delight"

I'm staying in someone else's apartment or house while the owner(s) is (are) away. It is a gorgeous big residence with multiple, large, well decorated rooms and a luxurious, spaceous (spacious) feel throughout. (If this were an apartment in NYC, it would probably be worth at least $4 million.)

My mother has recently died (not actually), which may be why I am here, though I don't think that's it, and I do not feel the dream is really about that.

A lovely woman (in her early 40s, I believe) comes over. (Maybe it is her place or hers and her husband's.) As we are talking, our one-on-one interaction is with such rapport and mutual understanding, it is intimate, almost sensual. I feel as though I am right inside her, not just in her head but all of her. I lean in closer and continue talking, inches from the softness of her face. She is leaning against a floor-to-ceiling book-filled wall, just right there, and then our mouths touch in a wonderful kiss.

"This must not happen," she says. "I'm married." But she does not move away.

"I know," I say, thinking we have to stop, but, even as I say it, we are so ready for each other that our sheer clothes hardly get in the way, and, despite our being dressed, I feel my penis begin to enter her vagina.

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