March, 2007

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3/3/07 - Title: "Resisting the Borg"

I'm talking first with one and then another tall man, and then with a diminutive woman, and am aware that these, with me as the 3rd entity (with the men) or the 2nd (with the woman), represent 3-in-1 and 2-in-1 unities.

The men are a famous Nobel Laureate physicist (whom, however, I do not recognize and whose name I do not actually know) and Mr. Edward O. Wilson, a well-known nature documentary host (whom I've seen in interview by Charlie Rose and whose book, Naturalist, I've seen at the library).

The woman is a blend of Dr. Ruth (the famous, petite sex specialist, who also is a teacher and guest at times on children's PBS educational programs) and of a similarly short lady (whose name I've forgotten but whom I knew well then as a friend and classmate when we were in a two-year masters [in rehab. counseling] program together, in '78-'80).

Later, I'm working inside a cube with the physicist on a secret government/corporations project. The cube is black marble on all sides and so smooth and polished it is reflective. Inside it are thousands of worker cubicles. We workers live in here, hive- or colony-like, and the government/corporations complex intends that there be no escape, for it is paramount to its power that its secrecy not be violated.

The physicist and I are speaking of even more restrictions being planned. In coded messages, we communicate about how we might escape. The gov-corp's project here is to give it total control of all citizens' lives and thoughts. Already, significant headway toward this objective has been achieved. The physicist warns me the next step is coming soon, to begin with the cube/cubicle resident workers.

Next, I somehow am alone and outside the cube, in a shady yard area, as if on a short recess. I stash my collected writings inside the bottom drawer of a 5-drawer metal cabinet, hoping nobody has seen me or will notice them there. The writings may be key in my escape and in preventing the gov-corp from gaining complete power and control.

3/8/07 - In DG last night, we discussed about 7 or 8 dreams, and not much time was spend on each. I related mine of 2/18/07, about the CD of "The Complete Sam Beckett." These were comments, insights, speculations, or added info about that dream:

  • There are two ways to analyze the dream, first with respect to the packaging, then the content of the CD.

  • From the packaging, we learn that there is great symmetry here, a square surrounding a circle, which would be like a frame for a mandala, everything perfectly centered.

  • Also, there is transparency. So, in one way or another, I already know and understand the message of the dream, just as, in other dreams, transparency was apparent when I knew that the main issues for me at the time were grieving, not having had children of my own, learning to "be" more than simply to do, and seeking a deeper meaning for my life than I felt I'd found to that point.

  • One wag last night also suggested with tongue at least half in cheek that the fact that there was a "new disc" implied nudity (nudist), which, combined with transparency, plasticity, and hardness, suggested to him male arousal.

  • There was quite a contrast noted between the rather modern packaging, a hard plastic case for a digital disc, and the older content, which came mainly from a time before there were computers or discs or even slim transparent plastic cases for transporting, exchanging, or protecting a fairly new form of media.

  • One person, well experienced in dream interpretation, Jungian analysis, Buddhism, and Taoism, noted the significant irony apparent in the notion of the completeness of Beckett (or of an audio collection of his works) when in fact the title itself was incomplete: "Sam" instead of "Samuel" Beckett. Considering that Beckett's works were noted for irony, humor, poetry, dark content, and satire, I found this interpretation the most compelling.

  • The DG felt there probably was not a pun in the dream about Sam or Beckett, though there might be in connection with CD, i.e. "see D," perhaps underlining the transparency, encouraging that the dream message be seen (?). But this remained obscure.

  • Instead, the content message was likely more straightforward, according to one old hand at dreams analyses: Beckett was famous as a writer of plays in the existential, theater of the absurd genre, his most recognized work being "Waiting for Godot." Since this is generally understood to have meant "Waiting for God," and in my dream it was the complete Beckett, the meaning must be that the wait is over, God has appeared (or been found) and hence, whether my ego is ready to accept (or be aware of it) or not, in fact I am already enlightened.

Unfortunately, though these ideas were interesting or even amusing, for the first time in the DG I felt my dream may have gotten somewhat short shrift and that perhaps the person giving the "already enlightened" interpretation may have been projecting, for this did not ring true for me.

And if that idea were correct, it would seem to have no bearing: the fact is, I am utterly unconscious of the God supposedly already found. (This reminds me of the irrelevance of the message, often heard in the past, that I have already been saved by Jesus [from my sins?] and so promised eternal life. Such notions may be so glibly said, yet surely they have no more reality than assurances of the magical, benevolent existences of a tooth fairy or Santa Claus.)

3/12/07 - Title: "In a Bad Way in Dallas"

I'm on foot (my car having broken down) in a big sprawling city, probably Dallas. I'm alone except that, under each arm, I have a struggling dog. The one on the left is my own dog, Puff. The one on the right is new and a stranger. He looks like a little red fox. I think I picked him up partly because he was a stray, and liable to be hit by traffic if left by himself, and partly because Puff was so intent on greeting and playing (or fighting) with him that she was about to get free from my hold on her and fall or get away and possibly be lost or hit by traffic herself. Now I do not know where to go in this huge, frightening traffic madhouse, so alien to pedestrians. It seems best to try to get back to my disabled car. I had been in it, I think, with 2-3 others when it broke down. To go get or call for help, I had left it in a small, otherwise empty lot. It had stopped running next to a busy access road and almost beneath an even busier freeway, all the traffic whizzing by heedlessly, oblivious of our situation. I was now in some extremely urban, traffic-intensive part of the city. There were no residences in sight, just businesses or roadways. The distances, to seek help on foot, were immense and dangerous. With both dogs struggling, it seemed inevitable that, momentarily, one or both would get loose and then likely run off and be lost or hit by a car or truck. For some reason, I now do not even have a leash for Puff.

3/16/07 - On Tuesday night, 3/13, I attended an interesting lecture on a new meta-cosmology hypothesis. The lecturer has a background in dreams interpretation, Buddhism, Taoism, literature, Jungian psychology, myths, symbols, the I Ching, etc.

I have also recently learned of a new dream group, beginning this month, and since I cannot attend all the meetings of my original group, due to one of the book discussions (for which I'm now a co-facilitator) meeting at the same time, plus my occasionally being away on trips, I shall begin going as well to the new group this coming Sunday, aiming for altogether 3-4 dream group meetings each month.

It has long been a significant issue for me how much of what I (and everyone else) perceive and understand is objective and how much subjective. I am finding that this is a quite relevant question with respect to the dream interpretations, for some of the leaders of my group(s) and many of the members appear to accept on faith that there is an afterlife, that we reincarnate, that dreams are sometimes predictive, that they are manifestations from God (or at least from one's highest Self), that they cannot present material that is not in the furtherance of our health and well-being, and otherwise that they come from a source similar to "the Force" (from "Star Wars" lore). Just as I had credibility problems, and was ultimately too skeptical, about certain aspects of the Lifestream Way to continue with it, so now I am having doubts about this overarching belief system behind Jungian dream interpretation, as locally practiced.

I find, though, that just as in my dream about becoming Jewish in order to get married (2/23/07), I feel OK taking a pragmatic approach to the prevailing dream group assumptions, so long as the DG continues to accept me as a member and provide both help with the dreams and a sense of community even if I certainly do not have a true believer's commitment to the esoteric side of things.

Incidentally, a person who drowned earlier this week, in one of the major storms and at a low water crossing flood here in Austin, was well known to some of the DG members. It has come as quite a shock.

Along with several other dreams discussed the evening of 3/14, at our last meeting the DG talked about my 2/23 "All's Well That Ends Well" dream. Here are some points mentioned in that connection:

  • The dream is about uniting with my anima or feminine self. By the end of the dream this has been accomplished after I have taken on, if only as a pragmatic gesture, the faith of my bride, which is Jewish.

  • What I think about Jews is therefore significant. In answer to questions about this, I said I have mixed thoughts and feelings about Jews or the Jewish tradition, nation, or culture. I have, embarrassing to tell a group that is probably more than half Jewish (hence the dream is also about my dream group and the dream interpretation process, community, etc.), both pro and con feelings and likely rather stereotypical biases and prejudices.

  • I think that, on average, Jewish people tend to emphasize more a good education, are more intelligent, and are more creative than the typical Gentile. I believe they have often been severely victimized and alienated by the people and cultures with whom they found themselves. Defensively or as a matter of community heritage, they have tended to see themselves and their beliefs and practices as apart from, and in some cases and ways superior to, those around them, so that they seem, from the point of view of an outsider, elitist and exclusionary, creating a sense that, as a culture, and unless one accepts their faith in a rigorous, formal way or was born into the Jewish "race," there is a largely unbridgeable schism between them and us.

  • As a child and youth I had felt myself to be alienated and victimized and, no doubt partly for this reason, I easily identified with the plight of Jews who, when I was growing up, had a recent history of being horribly persecuted and having had genocide massively practiced against them, which I found deplorable, feeling shame and righteous anger toward our government for not having been more proactive in support of Jewish people before, during, and after World War II.

  • My feelings may have been all the stronger for my own heritage as a child of German American ancestry. I was sensitive to the horrors endured by, and identified particularly with, a number of individual Jewish persons about whom I had read, such as Ann Frank.

  • However, just as I thought the Nazi "solution" to "the Jewish question" was wrong, I thought the imposition of a "solution" by Zionists, Britain, the US, and the United Nations, in the form of a new Jewish state, Israel, on the Middle East, and especially on the Palestinians living there prior to the Jews taking over and calling it theirs, was also wrong, a political expedient in keeping with some of the hogwash done at the end of World War I by "the victors." Like the mess created and imposed then, this was likely, I thought, to cause dissension for decades to come.

  • It has, and this country's backing almost everything aggressive (toward the Palestinian refugees or their children or grandchildren or toward Israel's Middle East Arabic and Islamic neighbor countries) the Jewish state does with vast supplies of our money, arms, and superpower political rhetoric has not helped but instead has greatly inflamed the situation.

  • Nonetheless, the Jewish American community also represents overall a quite positive contribution to our country. Jewish Americans have on balance been hardworking, vital, creative, and exemplary in making a host of important contributions, probably out of proportion to their percentage of the overall population, particularly as educators, legislators, writers, lawyers, politicians, artists, financiers, entrepreneurs, entertainers, heads of corporations, and scientists, but also at all levels of the economy and in all classes of society.

  • Individuals in the DG suggested that the adjectives I applied to Jewish or Jewish American people, in keeping with the dream, ought to be owned as part of my own makeup, including: well educated, intelligent, dedicated to a sense of community, productive, hardworking, creative, etc. They also felt that, not only was my sensitivity important, but the aggression (which I felt Jews had come, after their World War II experience, to exhibit) might also be appropriate to enhance within myself, under certain conditions, to balance some my gentler, more artistic side.

  • I had also described the rabbi in the dream as like a member of our DG: sweet, probably comfortable dealing with whatever might happen, wise, and intuitive. Here again, the DG felt these characteristics should be owned as representing aspects of myself.

  • They said too the dreams show that, even if I have not acknowledged it yet, much progress toward integration, dawning awareness, and positive transformation has already occurred in me, but they pointed out that acceptance of a healthy new self-concept is one of the hardest things to do after dealing with personality rifts and alienations that often result in nightmares or dreams involving great conflict. They told me, not for the first time, essentially that the storm is over, I have weathered it, and now I'm OK. "All's well that ends well." Time to relax and enjoy life, to be all I can be (to use a platitude or two).

  • I expressed what I assume to be my ego's resistance to such optimism, pointing out that I am not smarter or more intuitive or even brilliant (as some aspects of my dreams have been), that I still have confusions, conflicts, etc.

  • They were, however, consistent and emphatic that I am smart, well educated, intuitive, sweet, integrated, have in some ways brilliance in me, as well as having a healthy portion of aggression I can use when it is needed, along with wisdom, etc. They suggested I take responsibility for the growth I have actually been making, scary perhaps though it may be to start afresh as a "new person" who no longer has to depend on his old hang-ups or PTSD for protection.

3/19/07 - I met with the new dream group yesterday afternoon, and, besides the others' dreams, we discussed my "In a Bad Way in Dallas" (3/12) one. Here are the highlights of the interpretations:

  • The dream is about concern over my being way too busy to stay in touch with, protect, or nurture either (or both) of my feminine, intuitive side and my more male, intelligent, rational side.

  • Puff represents my anima or feminine. She is extremely extroverted, independent, emotional (very positively or negatively), intuitive, pretty smart (for a dog), sweet, endearing, playful, curious, and physically active.

  • The red fox-like dog represents my male shadow. He is dominant, intelligent, shrewd, sometimes spiritual, straight (genuine, direct), often energized by anger, and also physically active.

  • There are 2 or 3 others (who were with me in the vehicle). 2 represents dawning awareness, and 3 means transformation. The disabled vehicle that I had left behind represents my dysfunctional existence before a larger role in my life for the anima and shadow aspects. It is therefore not a good idea to try to go back to that disabled vehicle, which is parked in a lot, representing my being parked (stuck) in one place instead of getting on with things.

  • Another level of or possible meaning for the disabled or broken down vehicle is that it represents my body, which lately seems to have more and more physical difficulties, that then do not fully resolve before a new one is added, as with my recent tendonitis in the right hand or wrist, that remains problematic. In addition, I have been more concerned lately over a few mental lapses, incidents in which the right word or name will not come to me, or in which I'll seem to have a brief fugue state, noticing after awhile that I had forgotten about something I had started to do earlier, the time somehow having slipped by till it is now several minutes later without my remembering what I had been doing to fill the lost time. I have felt that these, and perhaps some of the physical infirmities as well, have been partly, or even completely, the result of my generally not getting nearly enough rest, which, in turn, relates to the dream theme of my being assailed by way too many things that seem to demand a better priority attention (as with Ernie - see below), or which keep me feeling so busy, virtually continuously, though little is being actually accomplished, and hence the cycle persists.

  • Dallas may have significance because my wife had been leaving soon after that dream for a few days' stay in Dallas, I have anxiety over that metropolis because of its dangerous traffic and so was concerned for Fran's welfare while she would be there, I previously had had a car breakdown there, which resulted in great inconvenience and anxiety till I was successfully on the road again, and in that general area I have relations whom I sometimes visit, such as Ernie, who is rather competitive and a little arrogant, to the extent that when we are visiting he often feels compelled to try to one-up me, put me down or in my place, or otherwise to demonstrate, to his own satisfaction anyway, that he is better than me. At other times, there is hardly any of this, but it does come up enough to be unpleasantly noticeable.

  • Dallas is also distinguished in my mind for having the most dangerous and busiest traffic situations of any city I've encountered here in TX. Since the "busy" or "business (busy-ness)" idea is repeated in the dream, this is considered relevant.

  • The "busy-ness" of my life is fearful as it leaves me feeling little is really being accomplished, hence that my life may be being wasted and meaningless, as if forfeit, and so as if I had been or am about to be killed. There is a sense of struggle, not merely to hold onto my newly gained insights and awareness of my anima and shadow selves but also to properly prioritize all the busy things I have to choose among to do, in the hope of finally getting enough accomplished to feel more at peace and relaxed, instead of on a constant, unrelenting, meaningless treadmill.

  • It feels as though what is needed is to somehow transform my life (now chaotic with so terribly much busy work to do that there is no opportunity for either my playful, intuitive side or my intelligent, rational side to be well expressed) into a much more monastic, calm, quiet, predictable, relaxed existence, but I have no idea how to achieve this, having tried and failed several times over the last few months. This is particularly the case because I feel that, with both mental and physical challenges, it now takes me 16-17 hours a day just to do what, before, I might have accomplished in 8 hours.

  • The DG advised that I shall need to firmly and severely restrict what I expect to do, cutting out everything, or at least most of what is, non-essential, so that I concentrate only, or primarily, on the things of truly greatest importance for me. They said the good news is that I apparently already know this and understand the dream myself, having gotten the gist of the interpretation even before the others did (during the course of our dream discussion).

  • I was also advised that I come to better terms with the fears demonstrated in the dream, lest they be more expressed or manifest in some fashion in the real world.

  • There is no leash now for Puff. From the ego's point of view, this is worrisome, but from a dream interpretation standpoint, it may well be good that I am no longer keeping my anima or feminine, intuitive side so controlled or tethered. Similarly, the shadow side is not under "good control," a positive development.

  • The dogs (gods, or representatives of my Highest Self, in one type dream interpretation) need better integration, lest they fight. But even fighting among dogs can be a form of play. Left to their own devices, and except for all the busy "traffic" of things that must be done before "deadlines," these two sides of myself would likely get along and integrate just fine!

3/21/07 - Title: "We Dodged a Bullet This Time"

I'm in our house when I hear male shouting and gunshots. I notice that Frances and Puff are not here. They must have gone out for a walk while I was napping. I realize that the shouting and shots are from a policeman. A couple of the bullets enter our house. I'm staying low, but see the holes and damage to artwork or frames on the wall nearby and a few feet off the floor. The policeman sounds angry and frustrated. He apparently does not know where his intended prisoner or victim has gone, or even just who he or she is, but, shooting wildly, by chance has been hitting our house. Frances and Puff show up back in the house, both excited, as though they have been running and playing a fun game at the cop's expense. I understand that they must have done something that set the policeman off, but when I ask Fran about it, she pretends to know nothing. I'm sure she is lying. She is way too flippant, as though childishly smug about what has happened but unwilling to take any responsibility for it. I wish I could ask Puff, who is incapable of guile. Final shouts are heard from the policeman, saying he will be keeping an eye on the neighborhood and will get "you," (meaning Fran, I think) sooner or later. She is still pretending to be innocent, but I've seen her antics before. I tell her about earlier incidents that convince me the police have been suspicious of us already. We had better not bait them, I tell her, and remind her they can get away with this kind of shit (I point at the bullet holes) and worse. She is surprised and a little subdued by the earlier incidents I mention, but still admits to nothing about what she and Puff were doing, that had gotten the cop so riled up.

3/23/07 - Title: "How to Clean An Irritated Eye?"

I feel an irritation in my left eye. When I look at it closely in the mirror, I see there is a quantity of oily, brown matter adhering to the lower eyeball. It has a definite shape, like a tiny, symmetrical, upside down mountain. It seems partly attached to the eyeball and partly just floating in the fluid below the eye, so some of the time when the eyeball moves, this matter partly goes with it, still adhering to the eyeball, and part of the time it continues to occupy a space at the base of the eye, whatever the orientation of the eyeball. After several movements of the eye, it is apparent this debris or foreign matter had settled there at the base of the eye, but is not really a growth on the eyeball. I cannot tell if it is residue from an infection, or is like a reagent that had settled out of the liquid due to a chemical change, or is a completely foreign substance, such as a dirty oil that gravity had caused to gradually settle down there. [The latter possibility is most consistent with the way the material is behaving when the eye moves, except that oil normally would have floated on the top of an eye's watery liquid, such as tears, instead of falling to the bottom.] I wonder how this substance can be safely removed. I think it might be done by repeatedly sliding strips of absorbant (absorbent) paper, such as are used for litmus tests, under the left eyeball and into the space between the eye socket and the eye, so the foreign matter gradually adheres to or is absorbed by the paper strips and can, bit by bit, by (be) safely taken out. I try this once or twice. It seems to be working but is a quite frustratingly slow process. I guess I'll have to go to an eye doctor and hope he or she knows his/her stuff. [I wonder if this foreign matter might be washed out with a clear, pure, warm antibiotic oil, that might disinfect at the same time it cleans the debris from under the eye.]

3/24/07 - Title: "Revenge of My Multiple Identities"

A nightmarishly bizarre dream, like some of the surreal, evil replicated identity, computer generated attacking "robot" sequences in the movie, "The Matrix." [It left me thinking and worrying briefly that I might be going crazy.]

3/25/07 - Title: "Collateral Damage"

It is during the day but overcast and a little dark. I am alone at a large overgrown vacant lot. The area is all in hues of tan and brown, as though it is fall. There is one simple, roughly four feet high, western style wood fence (with thick posts about 10 feet apart and upper and lower crosspieces between them). The wild vegetation is luxurious, in places almost as high as the fence, and throughout at least a foot or two high. There are also a number of autumn hued trees in the area, with abundant leave (leaf) litter scattered widely. Things are relatively moist. I do not get the impression of recent rain, but just that the vegetation, leave (leaf) litter, and soil are holding their moisture, or plentiful dew, well and that the climate is wetter than is typical in central Texas. I have a push type power lawnmower here and want or need to use it to go over the lot, inside and outside the fence, but starting in an area several feet deep (wide) all along the outside area, up to and including immediately adjacent to and between the fence posts, under the lower fence crosspieces. The job really needs a large, heavy-duty mower or a tractor, but I'm starting to do it instead with this regular residential yard power lawnmower. Clearly, no mowing at all has been done here for quite some time. As I start to cut a path through, next to the outside of the fence, I wonder if I might encounter snakes. The area seems perfect for them. At first, I'm concerned lest a poisonous one bite me, realizing that several venomous ones could be completely camouflaged in the leaf litter. I begin to look carefully down and around my path of advance and imagine I see a strikingly beautiful but extremely dangerous one, such as I've often seen in zoo reptile houses, the Gaboon viper. In fact, what happens instead is not harmful to me but, to my great sadness and distress, before I see the snake, the mower blades hit and tear into the top of a large, perhaps 6-8 foot long, brown constrictor snake, no doubt mortally wounding it. There is a torn and quite mangled section along the top of its main body, the injury area about a foot long and rather bloody. I wonder if it might be saved if I took it to a vet or animal rescue, but realize that, between the severity of the wound, the difficulty of quickly capturing the creature, and the long distance and time before help could be obtained, it is hopeless.

3/29/07 - I met with my Wednesday night DG last night. I was able to make a significant contribution to others' dream interpretations. We also discussed my "Collateral Damage" (3/25) dream. Here are the highlights:

  • The dream is about being less constricted, about a wish to be striking out, my ego reactions, cutting ties, reducing deadlines and "busy-ness," the grass being greener on the other side (of the fence), a balance between light and dark, and a garden-like setting but (as in Eden) with a snake that represents both wisdom and spirituality.

  • As the ego, I am alone and also sad, themes that often recur.

  • There is a strong desire (though less so than when I first began attending the dream group meetings, last summer) to strike out (on my own) and leave central TX and my life here, as not what I want or what would be most fulfilling, with the fantasy that, in another place, the Pacific Northwest, New England, or New York State, for instance, and without the constraints I see myself under here, opportunities for happiness would be greater.

  • Intellectually, I know myself that this is bogus, that I carry the grief, sadness, loneliness, or whatever around with me, and that in new areas, before long, these negative states would crop up there as well, maybe even more so, since the new locations would have their own challenges, and the solutions to them might not be as directly apparent or convenient. Yet, the drive to leave here remains compelling, and, under its influence, I still feel frustrated that Frances is inclined instead to remain here indefinitely, ignoring our prior-to-retirement plans that, upon retirement and having sufficient funds, we would begin anew elsewhere, in an area with a cooler climate, where the scenery and recreational opportunities are much more picturesque, etc.

  • I have tended to be compulsive and limited in my views, behaviors, repertoire of responses, and so on. But under the influences of the dream work, the grieving process, and meditation, there is now less of this kind of constriction. The second snake in the dream represents this constriction, so it is good that it is (accidentally or on purpose) mortally wounded.

  • There is the suggestion by one other dream group member that the snake is always a magical creature and that, if I had made efforts to save the wounded one, I might have been successful, the snake perhaps then becoming a pet or a mentor, but others felt it was actually better that this "constrictor" was not to survive.

  • One DG member pointed out that for me snakes and luxuriant vegetation growth have also been symbols of fertility and life, that I have had other dreams with snakes and garden-like or jungle settings.

  • The earthy tones and colors of the dream and the overcast, dark setting, despite its being daytime, are positive.

  • The lack of any mowing at all having been done for some time may reflect that I have allowed a terrific amount of "need doing" items and deadlines to accumulate, so that now I am not sure the ordinary cutting I can do (with my regular lawnmower) will be sufficient. Yet, if I will do a little at a time, the job does not have to be overwhelming. In addition, once the old debris has been cut, mulched, and cleared out better, there will be room for new growth, and indeed then I may find that the fresh "grass" grows just as green on either side of the fence.

  • There are references to a couple ruts. The two implied in "couple" may represent dawning awareness. (This is also emphasized by the reference to two horizontal crosspieces in each section of the fence.) On the other hand, there could be the implication that I am in some ruts in my life. There is the more direct or specific suggestion that Fran and I, the most significant couple relationship, instead of being very engaged together, are on parallel but not touching tracks or ruts. This might indicate a need to do more things to bring us closer. (A suggestion that appealed to both of us lately, for example, was to get videos or DVDs of Academy Award winning foreign films, with subtitles, that we then would enjoy watching together, as we are both "into" good film, etc.)

  • The concern that the power mower may not be up to the task may not merely indicate concern with the amount of "need doing" deadlines, etc., but also with my having less energy, due to age, diet, lack of enough rest, and so forth. There could be ways this situation might be improved (i.e. better diet, more exercise, extra rest) even though the age factor cannot be changed.

  • The "cross" in crosspieces, as well as the violence to the reptile, suggest irritation or aggression. The reactions may be appropriate or just "stuff," like meditation emotions that can be observed but have no significance unless taken seriously and identified with.

3/30/07 (AM) - Title: "This Man's Best Friend is a Bear."

I'm having a great, playful, roughhouse time with a young (half-grown) black bear that lives in the house with me and 2-3 others. At first I was a little afraid, on our initial encounter, when he got loose or had been let loose in the part of the house where I was, a basement or a large, back area of the house, with access to outside. But when I "played dead" so he would quickly lose interest, he instead began a play of his own, nuzzling and then pushing me with his snout, chasing me playfully when I would run off, temporarily playing keep-away when I would pretend to be after him, free-for-all wrestling, etc. He learned to hold briefly with either paws or teeth yet without badly hurting me. Each time we played became great sport, a spontaneous session both loved. For me, it was like playing with a huge, furry, powerful, but essentially gentle pet dog. Such play became a frequent, at least daily, part of our routines, one we both eagerly looked forward to even though there was always a little danger that, for the human playmate, things might get a bit too rough.

3/30/07 (PM) - Title: "Bowing Again to the One True God, the Father"

I've just watched an interesting, dramatic war movie with a complicated plot [such as "Patton," though that was not it]. I turn to my father, who has either been watching it with me or listening to me tell about it. I make the true but also flattering comment that I enjoy seeing that kind of films partly because I see them as a way of better understanding and appreciating him. I add that I see him as someone who valued the ideal of, and saw himself as, a man who would lead others in battle, with the ultimate aim of successfully defeating the enemy and conquering and then holding what had been enemy-occupied territory. He obviously is pleased with my assessment, egotistically accepting it as praise to which he is due, and so, with a gleam of pride in his eye, agrees with my statement about him. On the one hand, I am glad to have this little moment of bonding with him. On the other, I note that there is nothing about me that he found worthy of approval, except my willingness to put myself in the background and, somewhat manipulatively, to make a filial comment in one more (partly phony) bit of acting, to get him to like me, an ultimately fruitless quest.

[Words to describe Dad: arrogant, playful (when he controlled the game), intelligent, successful, passionate, charming (at times), abusive, defensive, domineering, thorough (compulsive), introverted, decisive, musical, argumentative, pedantic, competitive, a marksman, skeptical, and curious. To a kid, he often seemed "a real bear." Also a real bore, when spouting off to a captive audience, as if endlessly, his political and other opinions, criticisms, etc.]

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