March, 2011

2 5 6 9 10 12 13 15 25 26 27 30

3/2/11 - Title: "In the Presence of My Higher Power"

I am in the Punjab, in India, at the main spiritual colony of the Lifestream Way. (I visited there for about a month in 1975.) In the dream, I understand that I am in the spiritual presence, and imminently shall also be in the physical presence, of the Maharji, our then spiritual leader and the teacher of the Lifestream Way spiritual community and path. (I met and/or saw him several times when I was there, and, though I was often skeptical of claims some of his followers made about him, regarded him as a very advanced being, perhaps equivalent to the Dalai Lama, for instance, perhaps a Divine Representative, a god on Earth.) The scene is sunny and bright. The sense is of being "high," at a very elevated and spiritual inner place.

[I am working, in the Alanon 12-step program, on amends to myself (Step 9). I had written to the higher power a confession and apology for a number of shortcomings. I had also written a formal apology to myself and had posted it to me, this ego, the letter then having been received back in yesterday's mail. Last night, before this dream, but following prayer and meditation and some insights while doing journal entries and during recent walks, I had begun the draft of a hypothetical reply to myself from my higher power (HP). Of Maharaji, I believe he was in personality very powerful, like a lion. He was also highly intelligent, empathic, plus spiritually intuitive to a remarkable degree.]

3/5/11 - Title: "Stranded in the Future with Josh Lyman"

I am with the Josh Lyman* character (from "The West Wing") in a super metropolis future-scape. He is my partner in some temporary work assignment. We know something, and are perhaps investigating to know more, so we can figure out a solution to a major problem for our employee (employer) or company. The employer/company is a very big deal, so big that reporters would almost kill to get the goods on us or on what we know, to embarrass us and thereby the employer/company.

Indeed, as, Josh at the wheel, we are heading out on a road trip from where we work, and I am in the front right (passenger) seat of a super charged, techno-crazy, extremely complicated dashboard, massive car of the future, careening around the urban landscape shell that covers everything above the planet's surface in a confusing maze of lanes, tunnels, stairs, bridges, steel, and masonry, endlessly, with no living thing (except us) or green space evident in any direction, a reporter guy spots us and takes out his camera phone to video us through my (right side) window so he can use it to do an exposé front page story on us and our employer/company, but I look away before he has a chance at a recognizable image of my face and warn Josh who then aims the careening, racing future car at one of about 10 lanes across the super-freeway we are on, to cut off the reporter who is in pursuit, except the lane we are in without warning closes down to a space too narrow for our vehicle's width and too short for its height, due to big bridge-like sets of beams that are mostly perpendicular to our direction of travel.

No time or space left, we somehow exit the vehicle, which evidently will crash, and now are in a maze of sort-of pedestrian places/lanes. I tell Josh hurriedly about my quickly dashed off notes about our project and the reporter, and he glances at them with glee, as though they are the answer to our predicament, writes something on them by way of an address, and drops them in a handy postal box/receptacle nearby, assuring me that now our side of the story will get to the papers and take precedence over whatever spin on things the reporter attempts.

But unfortunately, before that, since we had had to abandon our vehicle in an area that, like virtually everywhere here, is alien and arduous and unsafe to pedestrians, to make any progress - which we must, since remaining still on this alien metropolis outer shell, only the dark sky of night above us and a great fall (under the shell) below us, while mega-cars of the future are whizzing about, is pretty much out of the question - we now have to climb virtually vertical pedestrian lanes that go up the steep, high sides of bubble-like bridges reaching up toward outer space. There are almost no lights here, so we climb by feel, adjusting our feet as best we can and holding onto a thin metal rope (a "wire rope," like a trolley car cable only thinner) that goes up the middle of each of a bank of adjoining pedestrian lanes, with Josh now in the lane next to me on my right, even with me, as we climb higher and higher.

Strenuous and tenuous as this seemingly endless dark scary climb is for me, Josh seems at home in this environment and relatively relaxed. After I have told him about my notes and he takes them with glee and, standing on a narrow ledge near the near-vertical pedestrian lanes, writes something more on them, giving to me his verdict that they will solve our problem, he is even more relaxed and satisfied, as though we have now pulled a fast one on the opposition, and he is confident that posting the notes will square things, putting them in the soup and allowing our side to win.

As he is adding his info to the notes, I see to our left a big door that looks to be an access (to) a stairwell. I open it up and, sure enough, there are dimly lit stairs leading down, for me obviously a much better way to travel than what we have been using. I call over to Josh and tell him I'm going this way, assuming he'll want to keep going the way we had been. But he says he can't believe I would just abandon him there. I tell him he seems quite at ease traveling that way, but that I am afraid of heights and that open spaces so far above, with almost no handholds like this, really terrify me.

However, he quickly finishes getting the notes ready, drops them in the postal box, and follows me into the stairwell.

After only one or two flights of steps they have led to a place filled with futuristic machinery. There is, for instance, a huge 3-D-ish TV-like screen machine that is big enough to fill most of a regular room.

On it a big bug appears, a cross between a giant spider and beetle. It crawls right out of the screen and looks like it might leap or fly over to us. It is at least a foot across as it sits there on the outside of the screen about to make its move. I am concerned, but Josh just grabs something near us, a cylinder or gun-thing of some sort, and with it he quickly sprays a cloud of white frozen powder onto the bug and screen (carbon dioxide, I assume), freezing and evidently killing it. All is well again. We can continue our journey on foot back toward our workplace. I am still completely lost here, but Josh apparently is prepared for every eventuality and knows where we are going and why.

[*Josh is:

  • a schemer;

  • attractive to women;

  • an operator;

  • politically very savvy;

  • a doer, often impulsively taking needed action rather than being a deep thinker;

  • deputy chief of staff to the President;

  • a very good man to have on your side, because he can figure out how to turn adversity to advantage.

Other associations:

  • I am wondering, perhaps more than consciously realized, how to deal with the future now that, in a sense, I am the new me, after completing Alanon's Step 9, amends to myself;

  • The way forward is harrowing, unpredictable, unfamiliar, scary, at times even terrifying;

  • Fortunately or not (for better or worse), I am partnered with a shadow who is a liar, a schemer, an actor, a political operator, but is also very savvy, turns adversity to advantage, is manly, uses humor ("josh") to his benefit, and seems able and confident to deal with any eventuality;

  • Transformational issues appear to be involved (3-D);

  • There is something about getting the picture or perspective (a huge TV);

  • There is also a way to filter or sift a lot of information or emotional input (screen);

  • Something is really bugging me (a very big bug that comes right through the ways I filter my experience);

  • There are both fast vehicular and pedestrian ways of moving forward in life, and both in this setting are scary and unfamiliar to the ego;

  • There is the fear (likely unrealistic) that in this alien future environment there may be little sense of being really alive in positive and nurturing ways;

  • Toward the end there is a stairwell access on the left, and the "stairwell" likely represents a healthy way of looking at things, for instance via the Alanon steps, tools, and program;

  • A second shadow, the reporter, wants to expose the not so savory or the politically incorrect activities of the ego and his Josh Lyman shadow partner, but is ultimately foiled in this by my notes and the way they are used by the Josh Lyman character;

  • We are trying to do our work, so this probably is related to dream work, Alanon progress, and/or meditation type issues;

  • The escape, toward the end, is via a door on the left and is so through access to the emotions, intuition, and unconscious material of the Jungian left;

  • The "10 lanes" may symbolize amped up unity and integration or 10 in the "I Ching," which stands for treading on the tail of a tiger that does not bite him, or for progress and success;

  • It might refer to things going on 10 years ago: getting ready to retire and so for a major change in my life;

  • On the other hand, it might be about something when I was about 10 years old, when I developed a better relationship with a positive grandfather model of manliness, while my dad was overseas, also when I had my first school crush on a cute girl, but as well lost a cherished dog in a road accident and was bereft for awhile afterward;

  • It seems the operator, schemer, doer is in control, that the ego is mainly just along for the ride, though my notes were key to overcoming the threat from the reporter shadow, and my seeing the door on the left also got us out of a bad predicament.]

3/6/11 - Title: "Missing"

I am in an "oldish" men's dorm of sorts (that is, the building and rooms are kind of old-fashioned), sharing a set of rooms with several other college age young men.

For some reason, I have borrowed a key, like for a padlock, from one of my dorm roommates, apparently to secure something important. I have the impression this roommate or dorm mate is Hispanic.

After awhile, when I go to open what has been locked up, none of my keys, of which I have many, will work on it. Frustrated and a little distressed, I go looking for my Hispanic dorm mate to see if he had given me the wrong key.

Several of my other dorm mates join in the search for him and/or for the missing key which will open what is locked up.

Someone (a woman, I believe) mentions thinking she heard that the dorm mate was going to change the lock. Everyone, all the several men and women, begins searching for the missing dorm mate, as all the keys that anyone can find, of which there are now a great many, do not work to open up the locked place.

I realize we cannot find my Hispanic dorm mate because he himself is locked up in the small space where I had secured something important. It is really too small a space for a person. Moreover, there is no ventilation, and much time has gone by while I and the others have been searching for him or the new key, which he must have with him. Alarmed, I realize he must be running out of air and soon unable to breathe.

Unfortunately, we now also cannot find the place that was locked, where he must be with the missing key. If we could find it, maybe we could just break the lock to let him out.

[I have the impression the missing Hispanic dorm mate is just an all around nice guy, helpful, conscientious, well liked, easygoing, not competitive or abrasive, hardworking, friendly, not particularly pushing for his own needs to be met, having a ready sense of humor, but the kind of person who does not stand out so much and may go unnoticed in a large group, the opposite of the squeaky wheel.

I note that "dorm mate," which is repeated, is very close to "doormat," a negative slang term for someone with the otherwise positive description given for the Hispanic shadow.

It is also interesting that there is nothing particularly Hispanic about that description, but that the word "Hispanic" combines "his" and "panic."

I do not know what it is that is missing and needs protection or extra security, for which then there is a need for a special key or a new key, but think it is not coincidental that in a nightmarish dream yesterday there was a very big bug, over a foot across, suggesting something big is bugging me, though I could not figure out what that was either. I believe it likely, since I've had several recent dreams that clearly were about Alanon 12-step program issues, that this dream also relates to Alanon matters, but as yet cannot see just how.

With all the things that continue go missing in this dream, the right key, the Hispanic dorm mate, then the secured place that needs to be unlocked, and even the air in there which my Hispanic shadow needs to breathe, a bottom line might be "all is lost." On the other hand, looking at the glass as at least half-full, perhaps losing a side of myself that is prone to panic and a little too shy, reticent, and retiring, much like a doormat, might be a good thing!

I took the above dream to dream group this afternoon and also sent it to my friend, Janet, for analysis. Highlights of the responses:

  • There are some anomalies that do not completely make sense, for instance, the first key not working because the Hispanic shadow had changed the lock, yet I was the one who had used the padlock, so unless I had changed it myself the key should still work.

  • Also, even though I was securing something, I then lost the place where it was secured.

  • In addition, though I had locked up something and had the key, somehow the Hispanic shadow had gotten into that tiny locked space with a new key.

  • The confusion implicit in these examples of dream weirdness suggests as well some lack of clarity about who is the Hispanic shadow vs. who I (as the ego) am, a lack of separation between (or a blending of) the two aspects of myself and an indistinctness about which of "us" is whom and doing what.

  • At one point in the dream, there is reference to "several of my other dorm mates," which suggests that not just the Hispanic shadow, but I along with several other shadow aspects of my larger Self tend to be shy, reticent, and retiring, i.e. "doormats."

  • This as well as the just previous dream suggest there is a puzzle to be resolved, one involving both something that is really bugging me and something especially important that has been locked up, apparently for greater security, but for which it seems now crucial that the correct key be found.

  • The dream is a litany of controlled, or one could say "low-key," panic ("his panic") about all that is going missing, especially the needed key.

  • "locked up" can refer to aspects of myself that are prevented from expression, such as suppressed or repressed emotions.

  • Multiple keys suggests the multiple tools I now have as a result of my Alanon, dream, and/or meditation endeavors.

  • Yet, despite all of them now readily available, the truly needed one required to release the vital thing that has been locked up and may in fact be dying in its cramped, locked away space, remains missing.

  • It was strongly suggested in the group I focus hard on finding out what is bugging me, what is locked up, and what may be the important but missing key to unlocking it.

  • On the other hand, Janet believes I may be correct that what is locked up with the key is my "doormat" shadow self, in which case his being out of circulation (and even dying) may be a positive thing, and so I might just leave well enough alone instead of worrying any further about saving him.

  • Another possibility, she suggests, is that the "dorm mate" may be a shadow who is a friend (as in the meaning of "mate" in Australia), in which case I might want to find the key and let him out.

  • Assuming I once had the key but he has it now, what part of me, she asks, finds itself now in a small space without any breathing room?

  • She further offers the possibility that the dreams yesterday might be about my feelings concerning leading dream group, as I did today in Sonya's absence, a circumstance which for various reasons has bugged me before, and for which I have sometimes lacked the "key" to not worrying or being frustrated, etc.

  • In that event - and I think, indeed, that is a partial explanation for those two dreams - she says the key I have known, at least intellectually, before is to not be concerned with how many people show up or with the results, but to be content with:

    1. Just taking to the situation what I know about doing others' dreams or leading a group (not trying to emulate Sonya);

    2. Not attempting to be perfect;

    3. Not being concerned with numbers of folks who attend, comparing them to those who attend when Sonya is leading, but assuming that the right number will show up, just as the right dream themes will become evident;

    4. Backup bands, she points out, no matter how good in their own right, experience people wanting the main band instead, though some of those backup bands turn out to be amazing, truly excellent!

    5. Raising the questions the others' dreams suggest;

    6. Inviting the group members to speak;

    7. Accepting that it can in this way be a great meeting for those who show up.]

3/9/11 - Title: "Oh, It Got Me!"

Scene 1 - Something about several large (fat) women sitting and lying around and chatting in a living room. A feeling of impatience, frustration, even disgust with them and this overall situation.

Scene 2 - It is late afternoon to early evening in a vast flat grassland, as in Africa, with here and there a lone leafless Acacia (or similar) tree. It is the dry season, and the grass that remains is dry, short, and straw colored, not green. There are a number of large, poisonous snakes on the hot grassy ground, so many that, as I am lying a few feet from a tree, I am afraid to move lest I startle one of the snakes and it bites me.

There is a long, probably 4-6 foot, viper hanging down from the first split in the trunk of the nearest tree. It is beginning to move onto the ground on my side of the tree. The snake's greatest girth is about the same as a man's wrist.

Another viper, bigger, perhaps as large around as a man's biceps, is much closer, only inches from my feet, which, the way I am oriented, are closer to the tree than my head is.

A large, almost cartoon-like and evidently happy and playful horse comes bounding over till close to me, quickly arriving and standing only inches from the viper nearest me. It is a beautiful horse with long, furry, reddish-brown hair and a big expressive face, including unreasonably large eyes that seem to convey mirth. It ignores or does not even notice the snake. I assume the horse just wants to be friendly, but its approach startles the nearest snake. For some reason, the reptile takes its anger out on me and strikes one of my legs. I can tell even as the horse approaches what the snake is about to do but have no chance to escape before it bites me.

"Oh, it got me!" I yell. I know that I am dying now. I cannot even move to try to get more comfortable because any movement would encourage yet more strikes.

The big snake, cold, implacable, slowly moves toward my head, its own head now on my belly as it continues to slide forward, perhaps intent on striking my face or neck, perhaps simply watching to assure I make no threatening moves while I die.

[This dream is rather puzzling for me. At best, I get bits and pieces of it so far. Scene one is of about 3-4, I believe, negative animas who appear to me to be complacent in their fatness and in rather lazy, self-absorbed lifestyles, which appears to be an indictment of the same qualities in myself, though I believe I am actually more into personal growth and exercise than is the case with these couch potatoes. That there seem to be 3-4 of them suggests transformation vs. manifestation in reality.

Scene 2 is yet another snake dream, and snakes typically are for me about suppressed or repressed passion or emotions, especially anger. Here the current ego evidently must die in the face of too much unexpressed passion or negative feeling about something.

Perhaps the friendly horse approaching as the sun is setting is in fact an ironically playful and cartoon-like representation of my nightmare!

Although grass often has to do with spirituality, the grass here is dry and apparently dead.

I think it significant that a snake is approaching from a split in the tree trunk, suggesting that there is a split in me just now which is engendering suppressed or repressed passion or negative emotions.

There may be relevance to the word "lying." I assume I am hurt or else resting at the beginning of the second scene, but maybe it is also a metaphor for a way I am not being fully truthful. I do not let our dream group leader know the extent of my misgivings about being some kind of substitute facilitator, a role I have occasionally had an interest in but lately just do not want at all. Perhaps this is the lying referred to and also the reason another recent dream included a Josh Lyman, i.e. a lying man with a sense of humor?

I am aware of five things bugging me at the moment with greater or lesser urgency and suspect the dream is related to one or more of them:

1. I do not want to be in charge of, or one of those having responsibility for, my dream group, not even as a substitute when the main facilitator is not there, yet feel others want me in that role, repeatedly urging me to remain available to serve in that way. Also, I am not sure my discomfort is not just natural, something I ought to live with for awhile instead of "giving in" to it by no longer being willing to take any of that responsibility, even when I keep getting mixed signals and negative feedback in one way or another. Thus, I feel in a bind but do not know if the right thing to do here is no longer be a "doormat" and unequivocally tell the leader not to put me in that position again vs. to hang in there with the discomfort, even if it feels like I am being a "doormat," in the hope that eventually some good will come of it.

2. My mom is upset currently about the severe illnesses of both an uncle and aunt of mine and wants me available to drive her over to LA to help out with things there, or at least to help her attend the funeral, if my uncle dies soon, and then, once there, try and see to the needs of her sister, who is blind, diabetic, and has early Alzheimer's. Mom, besides drinking way too much herself, has a variety of strong co-dependency impulses about this kind of situation, as do I. Mom is too fragile to be rushing over to try and save the day for her sister or brother-in-law, even if that were an appropriate response otherwise.

3. I am afraid of getting sucked into an emotional mess for both me and Mom that too quickly could become as well a medical one, for Mom (who has a heart condition and is 88) might readily become too entangled and wind up in the hospital herself. There is too much potential for disaster and little for good that can come from assisting Mom, yet no good way to say "no" to taking her over there, especially if my uncle dies. She naturally would want to go to the funeral. Once there, however, it may not be possible to keep Mom from overdoing the interfering she is prone to do. Of course, one thinks my aunt's and uncle's children should handle such matters during a crisis, but one lives far away, only occasionally and briefly visits, and is not well enough off to be long away from work. The other has been totally estranged from his parents for much of his life.

4. Fran and I need to work out a better arrangement between us for handling our mutual finances, one that accommodates contributions we might make to charities or gifts to relatives. Presently there seems to be little flexibility on certain issues, a circumstance that has been tolerable for a few years, but which I think now needs to be dealt with more squarely.

5. I am quite worried (as in "his-panic," from a recent dream) about getting in over my head with needing to be the responsible person once my mom (likely sooner rather than later) needs much extra care and things resolved for her, just as she is now fretting over needing to try to do for her sister or her brother-in-law.]

Later, my friend, Janet, commented on this "Oh, It Got Me!" dream, saying:

  • The several large women in scene 1 likely refer to big problems with which I am dealing now.

  • The land of the spirit and mysterious (Africa) is flat and there is one Acacia tree (which are thorny trees if they are non-Australian) without leaves. It seems like its here to stay awhile (not about leaves, i.e. leaving).

  • The time of year is without emotion or growth.

  • Snakes can be about what tempts us into evil, like Adam & Eve. It can be about sexuality. And it can be about spirituality. So I do not want to make a move that will come back to bite me, either spirituality or sexually.

  • There is this one associated with the split that is poisonous, that can manifest in reality or create conflict.

  • There is also another one that is near my stance. (Vipers are also vehicle security.)

  • A horse is about go-power and sexuality. So this part of me goes near the snake. Snakes can also be about someone who is a snake, or slime. So my go power in trying to be friendly startles the snake part of me.

  • The snake does bite and I know I am going to have an ego death.

  • Bottom line of her view: There is a tradition that if one gets bitten by a snake and lives, its good-luck. She gets the feeling this is positive, that the snake bites me. My go-power and my sexuality create a situation in which my ego dies and therefore must come back in a new and improved form, meaning I shall have good luck.]

3/10/11 - Title: "Mother Stuff"

Scene 1 - I have returned to a big group home that has lots of residents. One is a youngster, glad to see me, with whom I have had a prior relationship. I'm not sure, but believe the youngster is male. A lady (who reminds me of Christine) is like the dorm mother here and is glad to see me too but wants to know if I am back to stay this time. I say that I am. I have every intention of resuming the relationship with the youngster and being a good friend to him as he grows up.

Scene 2 - I have arrived back at a big building, with lots of rooms and tenants, after having been away. With me, I have a bear cub, still so young it can be held in my arms like a Teddy bear. Without me or the accommodations others make here for it, the orphan bear would be all alone and likely die or be stuck in a zoo.

However, some are not happy with the bear being here. It grows rapidly, and the accommodations must be greater and greater. Some believe it is becoming more dangerous to have a potentially angry and nearly grown bear in our midst. Indeed, it seems either the bear alone or both the bear and I must soon leave. I hope there will not be a bad incident and harm by the bear before this. I do not know what will happen next for me or the bear.

[Of Christine, I would say she is brilliant, very ill but also remarkably resilient, successfully battling a terminal illness for several years beyond what anyone would normally expect, competitive, and at times both positively and negatively like an emotional mother toward several close friends and acquaintances.

Both scenes appear to relate in part to issues about a relationship with my mother. It is not insignificant that I only lack completion of my amends to my mother to finish Alanon's Step 9.]

3/12/11 - Title: "Foundation for a Good Friendship"

Something about a woman and the Hillel Foundation (the foundation for Jewish youth on campus).

[I believe this has to do with concerns over the relationship with my friend, Janet, who is Jewish (Hillel Foundation) and has not replied to my last email to her. In the past, non-response has sometimes been indicative of her being pissed off but not wanting to deal with it directly with the person with whom she is angry.

There have of late been some crossed signals in our efforts to get together while she is here in Austin this time. (She is often away for weeks or months at a time.) This led to a frustrating impasse yesterday, and in fact no meeting took place, as has also not occurred in about 2-3 months.

I am wondering whether to make the first move in overcoming our current awkwardness. (Added later: I did make that first move, but did so without apology or co-dependence, and all worked out well.)

Of Janet, I would say she is brilliant, a fantastic facilitator, very popular, but a little distorted in her perception of certain things, as about our mutual friend, Sonya, not accepting any comments about her being kind of inconsistent and unreliable, and not seeing herself and her motives quite realistically either, as in this case apparently believing that folks who expect one-on-one get-togethers ought to instead like being with her when she is with others about as much as being just with her.

The Hillel Foundation part of the dream suggests this it is partly about personal growth issues, ones pertinent to a place - in oneself - of learning.]

3/13/11 - Title: "Different Agendas"

I am young and in a large house, perhaps my parents' place. I look at a drop of water under a microscope and see myriad life forms there. My father (also younger) enters the room and, on learning what I am doing, becomes enthusiastic and says he will go look up what kinds of life I am seeing. I appreciate his interest but also want to let him know I already have some of the names of the creatures I am seeing. So I guess at some of them, telling him the major group, the "protozoa," and some individual types in that group, like "paramecia" and "vermicelli," even though in the dream I am not certain I am right. He does seem impressed that I already know names of some of the microscopic life, though he is still also wanting to get more info to tell me about it and so have a personal engagement with me in what I am doing.

[Perhaps I want Dad to give me credit for what I already know instead of having to wait for him to tell me and interpret for me what I am experiencing. My dad was often overbearing, intrusive, and judgmental, but he could as well be interesting, an intelligent conversationalist, charming, and amusing. In this dream, however, he is more like an ideal Dad, interested in his kid and in being positively involved with him. It is the ego that is in part resisting this and wanting instead to do it himself or to impress rather than to cooperate in sharing the moment.]

3/15/11 - Title: "A Matter of Perspective"

I have set up an ant farm (one of those thin things with dirt and an ant [antsy?] colony, with its tunnels and industrious workers and a queen and eggs, all sandwiched between two clear panes of glass and in a wooden frame) and now am watching the ants in their activities.

[Two suggests dawning awareness. There is also clarity, industriousness, curiosity. Work is being done or represented. Some of what is being accomplished may seem trivial, as suggested by bits of sand or the lives of small creatures going about their tiny dramas, heedless of the bigger picture. The tunnels may suggest getting into certain matters in greater depth, uncovering what had been buried or hidden. On the other hand, they may be metaphors for a spiritual access or dimension or an escape, as in "light at the end of the tunnel." Panes (which might be spelled "pains") could represent unpleasantness, perhaps that of feeling hemmed in by the many inconsequential necessities of existence, that can take up much of our time if we are prone to impatient striving and its frustrations, more than simply being with each moment as a potential source of joy in its own right. Hemmed in is a mood consistent with feeling "framed," perhaps by the conditional "woulds" (I) would... if only...) of life. The frame also suggests things that might be reframed and so seen in a different, better light.

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Another very recent dream revealed the unpleasant truth that at least a significant one of my shadows has tendencies both to panic and to be a "doormat." Yet another dream, however, showed, more positively, that I am growing through the Alanon program so that new potential for life is becoming apparent. It is transforming me even at the cellular level. In the same vein, honest observation of my existence shows in this dream a rather basic tendency toward being fearful (nervous, "antsy," or anxious), yet this shortcoming may be looked on, faced, and framed in a positive way as a matter for objective scrutiny and curiosity.]

3/25/11 - Title: "Seeing My Inner Bully vs. Victim Split"

We are in a big one-story house. Suddenly I see two tall men, one kind of boyish and emotional. Perhaps he is a little retarded. He is terrified and thinks he may be killed by the other one, who is older and is bullying the first one and chasing him, maliciously pretending he will beat him up or kill him if he catches him. I object and angrily yell at them to stop. I wonder aloud why this has been allowed to happen. An older woman with an Earth-motherly presence (not my real mother) says no, that I misunderstand, that she intended this, that it is healthy for me to see this.

[I think the one who is younger may be less mature and the older one, more mature. The motherly anima may be one conception of my higher power. In my Alanon 12-step work, I have completed Step 9 (making amends) and now am in two at once, Step 10 (which is a daily review and making amends promptly if I see new mistakes I am making) and Step 11 (which is seeking a better rapport with my higher power and a better overall integration, through prayer [if only the Serenity Prayer], journaling, and meditation. As I was going to sleep last night, I specifically asked for a dream to reveal what my HP wants me to see now.

In the past few days I had also had several incidents of feeling anxious and/or depressed and had realized these immediately followed times I was being very judgmental toward myself, beating myself up for minor imperfections, even beating myself up for being judgmental and then feeling badly! Here the answer to my dream request seems to be a metaphor for my both being a victim, evidently the emotional, somewhat undeveloped (right brain?) side of myself, and being the more aggressive, bullying, and more developed side of myself (left brain?). The nurturing anima aspect of myself wants me to see it, to observe it neutrally rather than judgmentally. This process in itself is healthy. Yet it also shows more clearly that for which I need to be making ongoing amends and for which I need help from my HP.]

3/26/11 - Title: "New Arrivals"

Scene One - I have been taken in at the home of an eccentric successful fellow who has a number of rooms and roomers (the latter of both genders). In partial payment for my room and board, he tells me I am to look after the special desires of an even more eccentric old codger, so I am to be more or less as his servant or butler. I start by fixing him his coffee, the way he likes it prepared, in a sooty metal pot over a little campfire. Apparently I do it correctly, because this hard to please codger makes eye contact with the eccentric landlord with an expression that indicates approval but also the question, where did he find this person, and yet also that he is a little leery of my being able to do the rest of my duties properly.

Scene Two - There are many shallow streams in a very marshy area on a beautiful, cool morning. In the water, there are lots of interesting life forms. There is no way back to the house except by walking through the streams. I shall get my feet and shoes wet and muddy, but there is no help for it. Someone is there to guide me, but he just wades in, as though it is the most natural thing to do this.

Scene Three - There is indecision and conversation about whom will sleep with whom on this first night at the eccentric successful landlord's rooming house. There evidently are no single beds. The number of folks staying there overnight require that everyone double up. However, it is not a big deal to anyone. Folks try it out one way, but if that does not work right away, partners are switched until the pairings are compatible. I have arrived with several men and women, and the way I expected them to pair up is tried at first, but this is not a good fit for some reason, so people, including me, just change our partners quickly. The new arrangement may look a bit odd in some cases, but it works for everyone. I miss having a television on to watch while I am brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed, but it is not a major sacrifice. I am one of the last ones still up, but then I join my sleeping partner (not remembered) in bed as well. I realize I enjoy this new home, that my new life can work out well here.

[I have completed all but the "maintenance" steps, the ones intended to assure better habits are retained, of my Alanon 12-step program. It is like having finished an intensive masters program, but now it is time to do the new work I have trained for.]

3/27/11 - Title: "Swimming with Dolphins vs. Stepping in Shit"

Scene One - Something about stepping off some concrete steps in an urban setting into a little bay and swimming there with dolphins. They keep playfully porpoising.

Scene Two - I am one of four men involved in a terrorism plot to blow up something major, like a train station or a landmark. The date of this proposed event is still months away and in another state, one hundreds of miles away and to the north. I have decided it is not a good idea and hope in the interim to convince my amateur co-conspirators to do the right thing, trade-in our plan for destruction on one for good, maybe a volunteer project or a non-profit cause.

Meanwhile, we are living in filth and disorder in the one-story house of one of my co-conspirators. His wife was already here when we arrived, surprising her with our uninvited presence. For someone who is no good at housekeeping, she is surprisingly accommodative upon her husband's return with three guests. Still, the conditions here grow steadily worse. Finally, we can hardly take a step without stepping in shit. It may be the dog's, our (or) the baby's, or even fecal matter from one or more of we five adults. I tell them the thing to do is just give up on our plans for blowing something up, instead getting regular jobs, cleaning the place up, and maybe moving out and getting our own separate places and leaving the couple on their own again, so they can work things out and keep their place better cleaned up between them. At first, the other men seem a little resistant to just dropping our plans for mayhem, but, after another time or two of someone stepping in shit, everyone is on board with turning our lives around.

Scene Three - I have gone for a walk and find myself over at the campus grounds of a grade school. I still have notes in one of my pockets about my group's plans for destruction. While I am over there, an unrelated plot comes to light, and a swat-team led by a Black policewoman takes over, arresting all the adults on campus. It will obviously go very badly for me once the notes in my pocket are discovered. Somehow, I must get them out of my pocket, shredded, and thrown away into a trash container while arrested and without anyone noticing. I wait for a way to do this.

Meanwhile, though, we are all being confined in a large, makeshift enclosure out on a playground. The policewoman apprehends two adults from among us whom she says are the leaders of the plot at the school. She says the rest of us can go. We have not even been interrogated, much less strip-searched. I am so relieved as I go. I take the next opportunity to safely get rid of the notes and resolve to lead the good life from now on, tell the others in my terrorism group of my narrow escape, and convince them we must abandon our earlier plans and lead better lives from now on.

[I had, as I was going to sleep, asked for a dream of what my HP currently wants to show me. So, I think the dream is a conception of my HP's perspective on my life. Also, the references to steps or stepping suggest some of the issues relate to my work on the Alanon 12-step program, in which I am 3/4 done for my initial time working through them.

Dolphins or porpoises may have to do not only with creatures at home in the sea, i.e. with unconscious material, emotions, and intuition and my becoming familiar with this side of myself as well, even playing in, being at home in this "element," but also with getting into the usually neglected right hemisphere stuff with purpose (porpoise), not a hit and miss or haphazard matter.

The dog ("god" spelled backwards) in the dream is not so apparent except via its shit, but it seems likely, given my question as I was going to sleep, that in some way this is a representation of my higher power.

4 suggests manifestation in reality. 3 suggests transformation. Concern with housekeeping issues suggests not enough care to keep my life orderly and well looked after, and indeed there is often the sense that things are out of control instead of simple and orderly. In view of a recent dream in which "Hispanic" had to do with "his panic," I think the focus on being a terrorist here really has to do with terror or great anxiety that often seem imminent or at bay on the periphery of my life. Similarly, worries about a blow-up probably have to do with the negative emotion of anger that feels as if it could easily be out of control. It is interesting that I get arrested and put into a kind of confinement on a playground, as though arrested childhood or stifled ability to play may be involved. While I get these specifics, an overall bottom line for the dream is not yet clear.

This afternoon, I attended another of Sonya's dream group meetings. Highlights related to the above dream:

  • It is significant that we want to perhaps blow up a major landmark. The one that occurs to me first is the Statue of Liberty. So there may be a split represented here between a part of me that wants to destroy liberty and another to preserve it.

  • There is a greater sense of liberty or freedom upon completing all but the maintenance steps in the Alanon 12-step program. How to keep that freedom is the question, and it is not an academic one. I could very well slip back into old patterns or trains of thought that could destroy the sensed liberty.

  • The ego comes around to wanting to have a good life and preserve that liberty, but there are three shadows who are co-conspirators and inclined to go ahead and destroy it.

  • My wife, Fran, like the wife in the dream, is not that focused on housekeeping or other aspects of the maintenance of our abode or freedom of my expression, behavior, etc.

  • At this point, it is hard to do anything without stepping in shit in terms of negativity coming up at times between my wife and me. The dream group thinks this is partly due to my being too gentle, a theme that is painfully, frustratingly recurrent but might also be accurate, not simply with her but generally. Indeed, I feel bullied at times in dream group and by Sonya herself, and then the doubt is whether to come on strong with an angry reaction to the point of a blow-up, which would feel most natural, or to hem in the reaction and continue to be a "gentle man."

  • Five adults in the dream suggests waiting and creativity.

  • Notes in a pocket suggest things I know or have taken note of, suggesting inclinations toward terror, anxiety, or severe anger, even to the point of blow-ups.

  • The Black woman policeman is an exotic shadow anima who actually turns out to be beneficial, curtailing only the ringleaders in the latest plot to blow things up but releasing - giving back the freedom to - everyone else, and so offering an opportunity for redemption.

  • "makeshift" suggests a transformation that is taking place.

  • There is a difference in how I read some of the final words of the dream vs. how they were written. Instead of the way I wrote them, "...resolve to lead the good life from now on..." when I read them what I actually said was "resolve to lead a good life." It was pointed out, and I agree that "the" vs. "a" makes a big difference, and I am encouraged not to try to follow "the" correct path, as if there can only be one perfect way, but instead simply "a" life that is rewarding, open, and in potential.

  • The freedom possible at the end of Alanon's steps 1-9 includes liberty from responsibilities for most things other than oneself, turning the rest over to my HP, and freedom from being excessively put down without my responding to let the bully know I seriously object, and freedom from too much self-control, rigidity, or limitation via shortcomings. It includes as well the freedom to be nurturing of myself and to give myself credit for and own my many and strong positive qualities and talents.

  • My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator profile, INFJ, suggests areas I can work on further, being more extroverted, sensing, thinking, and perceiving.

  • One dream group member recommended the book by Shawn Anchor, The Happiness Advantage.

  • The dream may be partly about a winnowing process, not only getting rid of shortcomings and catching them early when they show up often again, but also about enhancing the positive, what feels good, true, and useful.

  • Put play at the top of the to do list! After it comes R & R.

  • And it is about opening to new ways of doing and being, how to go and act and exist in the world, how to relate with my male energy in the external environment of people and things.

  • Go for more mental picnics, less 5-year-plans!

  • There needs to be adventure, but also the use of both the head and heart to help assure it is adventure engaged in with good sense.]

3/30/11 - Title: "Of Parents and Children"

Scene 1 - I am in a large building with a father and a mother (not my real parents, I think), and am much younger than my real age, perhaps around 12 or in my early teens. I am going somewhere and trying not to wake my dad as I get ready. (He shares at least his physique with my real dad, being short and stout, with his tummy prominent as he is sleeping.)

Scene 2 - I am in a small corner on the ground floor of a much larger building and am with a mother (not clear if she is my mother, but in some fashion I am tied to her at least loosely). She does not seem very maternal toward, nurturing of, or caring for her kids. It is as though she is kind of "out of it."

She leaves one of her youngest babies unattended. At first, I think it is a puppy or wild animal and think I might make it into a pet, so I begin caring for it, and it becomes (or it becomes clear it is) a baby human.

I am looking after it, but it is totally ignored by its mother. I do not really want to have to care for it all the time, but she shows no interest. She has at least one other baby, also young, and does tend to it and acts lovingly toward it while I am caring for the first one.

A man arrives. He comes over to talk with me. He is aware of the whole situation and says I must look after the first baby, that its mother does not recognize it as her own. Indeed, she is still totally ignoring it, acting as if it has nothing to do with her, though I know it is hers.

I am shocked that she is so indifferent to or even rejecting of her own child. Now it seems I am stuck. I am the only one to look after it.

[Of scene one, all that occurs to me is that there must be some growth occurring (large building). In this sense perhaps I am "going places." The father is likely like my real dad, tending to be rather judgmental and negative, so it seems best not to awaken that part of my shadow self lest things get pretty unpleasant.

12 may have to do with something about 12 years ago or when I was about 12 years old, or could apply to the I Ching hexagram #12. Starting with the last first, #12 stands for the processes of growth being at an end, with decay settling in. This is the tendency, but if the subject of the hexagram set himself on a path that is firm and correct, he will bring about a different issue. Let us hope so!

When I was 12, we lived in Tacoma, WA. It was a time and place of depression for me most of the time, when I was either at home or at school. However, I could find delight to be out in nature as well as in contact with neighbors, both circumstances being cherished as ways to be outside the oppressive home setting and away from bullies who could make things dismal for a shy and new guy at school.

12 years ago or so, I was finishing up my last years of state employment. The work situation was stressful but not unbearably so. I had several friends, even for awhile was having a flirtation that seemed half-serious, though I was not willing to leave my wife to start anew with this woman. Actually, about then Fran and I had some neat vacations together, including in southwest CO, where we climbed some into the mountains and enjoyed camping at 10,000 feet.

Scene two reminds me of a circumstance in Fran's and my household. My wife loves nature, and early in our marriage, at our new home and yard, she got really into the landscaping, lawn, trees, shrubs, flowers, and gardens around our house, later even featuring some of her projects and plants there in an online gardening site that had quite a few hits at first. Now, though, Frances often can hardly be bothered to help assure they get enough water, though she goes out and away almost daily to study nature and photograph individual aspects of it elsewhere, at special parks and centers for nature preservation/conservation. Any systematic watering, fertilizing, etc. is left up to me.

I was the first child my mom had and in some ways she left me unattended, though in others she tried to get us to be too closely tied, as to my Mama's apron strings. She tended toward being very emotional, arguing with Dad a lot, also being depressed a great deal. She kept herself more upbeat most of the time by being creative and staying busy.

The shadow may be like my HP, there to suggest I now take care of the youngest part of me, that may not have gotten all the quality nurturing and love he needed as an infant.]

Home | Previous | Next