June, 2009

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6/2/09 - Title: "A Mystery Message From My Janet Anima"

An important message (for, about, to, or from?) my friend and former dream group member, Janet. The message is... (nothing more remembered, though there are further associations that provide a little info).

[There are 3 or 4 lines of emphasized words or sentences, appearing as if bold or in a different color in an e-mail. The dream has to do with some mystery business about Janet. Her actual business emphasizes the importance of trust. Seen in hypnagogic imagery right after the dream: Janet also is knocking at my front door, wanting to come in.

Her top 3 qualities or descriptors: exceptionally facilitating; positive; and genuine. Others include that she is: athletic (strong), independent, clear, intent on her own terms while seeking win/win consensus with others, outgoing, light, an activist, analytical, intuitive, passionate, inspiring, a writer, concise, courageous, involved/engaged, a friend, brilliant, expressive of a great sense of humor, musical (balanced), attractive, loyal, a good influence in many others' lives, empathic, and intense.]

Later today, I discussed the above dream with Janet herself. Highlights of our interpretation are as follows:

  • Almost no matter how much is forgotten, there is enough for an interpretation. The dream is trying to give me an important message, and since I only remember my anima, represented by Janet, that must be the message I need to get. The rest does not really matter, since it is all forgotten.

  • An anima, in this case Janet, is there to show right feeling or attitude, by example or counterexample. In this case, it is evidently by example, since my descriptors for her are upbeat. The attitudes particularly emphasized here as both productive and a part of me are no more and no less than being positive, facilitating, and genuine.

  • Since the associations to the dream include that there are 3 or 4 lines of words or sentences, both transformation and manifestation in reality are suggested.

  • The anima wants to come in. So, the message of the dream is that I should have within me more of being positive, facilitating, and genuine, an emphasis on qualities I already have, but which may not have lately been underlined for me as important. That is all there is to it.

  • It is a very straightforward dream, right to the point, with no complications, a quite good and healthy message.

  • It is key to remember that the multiple adjectives or descriptors used for Janet are an inventory of qualities already actual or latent within me, as my anima is here represented by her, so "she" is an aspect of me.

  • Since the message was in a different color or as if in bold in an e-mail, it may be stressing boldness, i.e. a bold expression of the emphasized qualities: being positive, genuine, and facilitating. In addition, there may be a different emotional hue, tone, or feel to the emphasized attitudes.

  • The reference to e-mail may be straightforward, or it might be about mail (and hence a message) specifically for my e-go.

6/3/09 - Title: "Me and My Shadow, Not So Alone and Not So Blue"

It was about my nephew, Jim, and there were a number of people (cannot remember who else we were, but there were both men and women among us). I and several of these other people were there visiting him at his place, which was like an apartment or a loft (a little more spacious than I imagine the one is that he actually shares with two roommates in NYC). He, who is not a morning person, had just gotten up this morning and was sort of trying to focus on what he was doing and on this situation of having several visitors there, feeling like he needed to play the host, even though we were there in some way as a surprise to him and to celebrate him, and as yet he was not sufficiently awake to be good at fixing us breakfast, being social, etc. From my pallet or sleeping bag or whatever on the floor, where I was still sacked out, barely awake myself, having come in during the night, I told him he did not need to look after us and (I believe) then that he did not have to fix breakfast at all, as he was still trying to wrap his sleepy mind around the situation and what he needed to do. I was trying to convey to him he could just relax and let it happen, not have to make it happen or be in charge, that we would all just get up and get started in our separate ways, and then we could all go out for breakfast or have one delivered or something, but for now we could just kind of hang out together, which was the main reason we were there together now anyway, till everybody felt more awake. Besides, I knew, or thought I did, that Jim had this morning off from his usual dance teaching or performing routines, so there was no great rush. It kind of gradually dawned on him, through the morning mental fog and his own sense of obligation toward his rather unexpected guests, that he really could just let things happen, and it be already (meant to say "alright"), maybe even kind of fun.

[Jim is my brilliant nephew dancer and dance teacher who graduated with a masters from a prestigious school about two years ago. He is as close as I've come to having a child, which is not very close. His father, my brother, Ralph, died of brain cancer when Jim was 8, and after that for several years I would often go to spend time alone with Jim or with he and his mother, Mary. I also attended various choral or dramatic events featuring, or at least involving, him as he was growing up and tried to be a good uncle, there for him when I could be, though it was never truly like I was his father, and he does not relate to me as a father substitute. Still, I attended his high school graduation (where he had finished with honors) and later his graduation with honors from an excellent music school, where he had completed a degree in composition. Fran and I as well as his mom, Mary, were invited to meet last Thanksgiving the parents of his roommate-lover-dance partner, Angela (one of two brilliant, attractive roommates with whom he lives, though he's only in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with Angela).

He is obviously extremely talented, also funny, but has as well a serious side. He keeps his cool, in more ways than one. He is kind of insulated and isolated emotionally, even though he has, especially with Angela, lots of friends. His professional career seems to be taking off. He and Angela teach and perform both separately and together, in various venues. Both have been overseas more than once on dancing tours, as well as many places in the U.S. The two of them together have won dance competitions and are both well regarded as teachers.

I suspect that, like a lot of us, Jim has unresolved emotional baggage from a difficult childhood. But he does not deal with that negativity. He seems intent on, even driven to, staying focused on his dance career instead, which of course is also necessary at this stage of his work. When he takes time off, he often spends it in the company of other brilliant, extremely talented, active, and involved people in the city that is his base.

Jim is often exhausted or nearly so by his lifestyle, but it demands his being "up", at 100% or close to it, most of the time. I think he really digs the challenge and rush of that, even as he feels the pressure. I cannot imagine what it is like to be so involved with Angela, at once his career partner, roommate, and lover, but they have so far been making it all work for at least a couple years.]

Later today, I discussed this dream with Janet. Highlights of our interpretation follow:

  • Jim is a shadow part of me, one I do not own. So there is a part of me that tries to stay emotionally up, is talented, has a good relationship, but is not dealing with the negativity of the baggage that came from when I grew up.

  • Parts of myself are represented in the dream besides this Jim shadow. There are both male (shadow) and female (anima) aspects, perhaps including Fran and/or Janet.

  • Since Jim is referred to as the host, there may be a way that he represents, or that the dream is here touching on, there being a whole host of aspects to me, or a way in which some aspects, maybe the ego, are in a parasitic type relationship to this nephew shadow. Am I vicariously living through Jim in a way, rather than having "a life" of my own?

  • There may be more space or spaciousness in me that I had realized. Also, since there is reference to the Jim shadow having two roommates, and thus three are living there, it means the potential for dawning awareness and for transformation.

  • This place is an apartment or a loft. So, perhaps there is a sense in which there is separation or apart-ment (estrangement), as well as either a higher perspective or a superior ego outlook, looking down on things from aloft.

  • Although Jim is not a mourning person (now), there are several references in the dream to morning, which suggests grieving, further dealing with negative emotional baggage.

  • However, in the dream Jim and I are both waking up, so there is probably a way in which some at least of the mourning is ending. Waking up would imply a level of insight that has greater perspective and so is not as submerged in emotional negativity.

  • Although the Jim shadow part of me (as well as the ego) is normally used to waking up to things rather late, in this case he and the ego are waking up early.

  • While this part of me is waking up, it is not yet in a place to nourish me or be social. And yet, in some way I am also there to celebrate this part I usually am not owning.

  • The Jim shadow does not need to concern himself with the ego, which also is not fully awake yet, or to do anything special other than just complete the process of waking up himself.

  • The ego, though, is pointing out, correctly, that the shadow does not have to make things happen, to accomplish waking up, being social, etc. Instead, he can just allow things to occur naturally.

  • For now, we, the ego plus my inner aspects, can just visit together. While we become more awake, hanging out together in a relaxed way and celebrating the qualities of the shadow are why we are here and all we have to "do." When everyone is more awake, better decisions can be made.

  • Meanwhile, my shadow does not have to perform, being up and positive all the time. We can just hang out.

  • By not trying to push things, we might even have a good time.

  • Overall, Janet feels the dream means there is this very positive shadow who has had some difficult childhood stuff (from my childhood) to deal with. He has done the best he could trying to stay positive and create positive circumstances for himself. He is now together with his father figure (the ego) and anima (Fran). And there’s nothing in particular I need to do. If I just hang out, things will happen in a productive way, the different aspects of myself will awaken naturally, and I may even have some fun.

6/7/09 - Title: "Glow in the Dark Toxic Assets"

It is nighttime. I'm needing to submit Fran's and my financial records (perhaps to our accountant for the tax return preparations), but some of them are so radioactive or otherwise hazardous that even the lines about them, in a concise half-page typed summary, are shining or glowing on their own, and so standing out from the rest of the text, an alarming development.

[The news about our economy being recently on the brink of collapse, partly due to banks' toxic assets, must have been somewhat in my awareness as a catalyst for this dream. In addition, I had been reading an article on unlikely places for embryonic planetary systems (or disks of dust and debris) to be found, including around distant brown dwarf stars whose surrounding disks give them away to astronomers by glowing in the dark.

Fran is my brilliant and exceptionally talented spouse of 24 years, as of this month. She is a good or excellent teacher, musician, artist, amateur scientist, writer, website designer, and photographer, makes friends easily with folks of similar interests, is amusing as well as easily amused, and focuses well on doing things she really enjoys, but she can be rather impatient and abrasive at times, getting personal and occasionally putting others down in an aggressive manner if they disagree with her or express even minor criticism.

I cannot help suspecting there is something in my inner assets or "holdings" so "toxic" or "radioactive" it feels too hazardous for my ego to touch or even be around, yet which still displays its presence through glow in the dark images (dreams?).]

Title: "A Visit to the Ear Clinic"

On impulse, Fran and I stop (on our way home from somewhere else) at an ear clinic. I think I ought to have my ears checked out. (In reality, they itch at times due to allergies, and my hearing is a little less now than when I was young, but I do not believe I need to have them evaluated.) The clinic is very busy and crowded, but there are as many men and women on the staff as patients here, maybe more. It turns out the clinic is closing in only a few minutes. I had not wanted to get involved in some big production about my ears, just wanted a quick opinion and then to be on my way, but now this does not seem possible.

I overhear an older woman patient being told about some medication to help her ears and decide I want that too. So, I sign up for an appointment. Yet the staff folks insist I must also quickly complete a complicated form giving various permissions, agreements, and/or history info. It takes awhile to finish the form. I submit it and am told I must sign it too. I look it over but cannot see where to sign. They still insist, saying to sign at the indicated place near the bottom on the back. I point out someone else has already signed it. In fact there are spaces for several signatures and counter-signatures, most by the ear doctor, audiologist, or others on the staff, but just one place for the patient's signature, and there is no empty space at any of them for me to sign. The staff member looks at it again and gets upset because it is a form for another patient, already signed by this previous person.

A male doctor takes my information on another form or sheaf of forms. I ask for the medication or prescription they had given the older lady. But I'm told I must first have an appointment, for which there's not time today. They are closing any minute now. All the other patients are gone. Only Fran and I plus the several members of the clinic staff are still here. Fran is waiting and being patient with all this, though I'd thought we'd just be popping in and out on our way home.

The doctor who helped complete the correct paperwork for me says I'll need to call back for the appointment. I am kind of fed up with how involved, inconvenient, and complicated this process is. As a result, I am now only mildly interested, no longer sure I want to follow through. He insists that, now they have my contact info, they'll keep reminding me till I complete the needed appointment(s). The threat of this uninvited intrusiveness is all the more alarming and irritating.

[So far, I am making no associative connections to the content of this dream. However, I do relate to its feel. To a lesser degree recently, but in a major way when I was growing up, it has been all too easy to be dismayed, on following an innocent spontaneous impulse, expecting to just do or say something quickly and easily and be done with it or readily gain some positive result from it, only to discover that a "can of worms" has been opened, so that one is frustrated and inadvertently into something quite complicated or tiresome and from which it will then be difficult to extricate oneself. In my early childhood years, I could hardly even utter a short sentence without my father correcting my grammar and then giving me lessons that might last for tortuous minutes or even hours in which I had to practice over and over till I had gotten whatever the lesson was right to his satisfaction or, if I could not because, at three or four, I did not yet even understand what I was being taught, until I had been exhausted by crying or punishments, and it was finally time to go to bed in disgrace. Of course it did not endear me to picky, stubborn, and large ego people, and I find I am as yet often "hooked" in otherwise seemingly innocent, spontaneous interactions with them, then afterward regretting having opened my mouth.

Especially as I do not really feel the need of an ear or hearing appointment, I suspect some audiology, auditory, otology, or other ear pun is involved, but do not know what it might be. I recall that in another recent dream there was the "auditory image" of our garage door opening, that is, I dreamed of hearing it open as if by itself, and then it did not close again, perhaps indicating a new door had opened for me and that it remained open.

There must be a significance to the repetition of "appointment," but I do not get it.

I have felt for some time that my daily or weekly agendas are crowded and a bit confusing. I nearly always seem to have more that needs to be done or that I want to do than I have time to juggle successfully. This is partly a result of mild medical conditions, but neither they nor extra medication I do each day account for how I feel I have less time now that I am retired for what I want to do than when I was still working full-time.

The form, evidently given to me by mistake, that could not be signed because it had already been signed by someone else, may indicate some identity issue.

The older woman, who has received a medication supply or prescription which I would like as well, may be a wise anima. However, at this point I do not know enough about her to receive her message.

Since my anima represented by Fran is for me as I describe after the first dream, it is ironic and probably significant that in this dream she is patient with circumstances that are generally frustrating and confusing for the ego.]

6/10/09 - Title: "Effeminacy Integration Transition Rejected - No Gain"

I am at a large gathering of many men and women in fine attire. It is a hall of some type, which later I realize is an informal concert or other performance hall. Fran and I have arrived here together and are both also well dressed. But she is not with me at the moment. Instead, there is a back entrance/exit to and from the outside, and both Fran and a somewhat effeminate man (in a tuxedo with tails) come through it, he a little ahead of her. Seeing me then soon after he comes in, as I am at that point about 10 feet from the entrance/exit, he immediately goes up to me with a wide smile, takes hold of my upper arms, leans in, and is about to kiss me on the lips, except that I back off abruptly, then turn to Fran and angrily accuse her, saying something like "What have you been telling him about me!?" Offended by my tone, she turns away saying: "Leave me alone!" The man who had tried to kiss me then sort of shrugs, walks over to the front of the performing area, and begins to play (piano? violin? - cannot remember exactly what he was playing), as he is obviously the main performer, the person people have eagerly come here to see and hear.

[I do not know anyone at the gathering but Fran. She is as I've described before. To sum up: she is very talented and also excellent at doing and staying focused on things she finds of most reward and interest, easily amused or amusing, yet has some abrasive or antisocial characteristics as well.

Clearly there is some new transition, for I called the place where we were a hall, but this time instead of it being very short, with hardly room for the few people in it, as in the dream in which you were temporarily forced out the door/window, it is a large hall and can accommodate many people, both shadows and animas.

The main shadow in the dream is an artistic performer, a musician of some type and so must represent being balanced. He is at home with his homosexuality, finds me attractive, and wants a relationship with me. He seems to be used to going after what he wants without inhibition. He is also confident being a soloist, the center of attention and the one responsible for others' entertainment, and he is as well comfortable with himself generally. He reminds me, except for his effeminacy & sexual orientation, of the Austin Symphony conductor, Peter Bay. Peter Bay is quite good at what he does and very professional when rehearsing or leading a concert. He has a winning, conscientious personality and is well liked by audiences and orchestra players alike, not to mention by radio and TV interviewers, other artists, his family, etc.

This shadow apparently does not have a thin skin, is not terribly hurt when I do not respond as he'd wish, and shrugs off my rejection. For the others, he is simply a highly accomplished artist, and they are here for and expect to receive an excellent show. They like him, respect him, and could not care any less about his sexual preferences if he were Leonard Bernstein.

Fran apparently has told him I might be responsive to his overtures and has given him the impression as well that she would not mind if he and I had an intimate relationship.

As in that earlier dream with the short, cramped hall, there is here an entrance/exit, and Fran has gone out of it and then returned through it, in this case with my shadow. So there is something about not having been for a little while with my intuition, feminine, intuitive side, but then being with that side again, except part of my reaction to the shadow's overtures is a rejection of Fran for what I assume she has told him about me, and she in turn turns away offended, rejecting me as well.

So, three of us get some form of rejection, me, Fran, and the shadow, perhaps ironically indicating transformation.

As so often is the case, the ego is likely wrong, and, despite homophobic reactions, he is not actually being threatened by the artist's greeting. Rather, maybe there is here the offer of integration with the shadow and his qualities.]

6/11/09 - Title: "Skating on The Nice (Thin Ice)"

We are in a large upper story floor at a company headquarters. There are a number of people, mostly men, some women, all in formal attire and all wearing men's clothing, tuxedos or black suits, with white dress shirts and ties. As we attempt to move about, we discover that the floor is so slick (from fresh waxing and being in stocking feet, or from a thin layer of wet ice and being in slick-soled shoes, or another unknown cause?) that there is almost no friction. It is unavoidable that we slip and slide.

It is also as though we are in a formal Asian company setting.

The challenge is to remain upright and not knock each other down. It becomes like a game, and there is much laughter, sometimes nervous and embarrassed laughter, noticeably both male and female laughter being heard, sometimes simply because our situation is ridiculous and so amusing.

Both I and the CEO arrive at about the same time but from different directions, among the last to arrive at this large room. From my perspective, he arrives from the front and the left. His demeanor reminds me of a Japanese company in past decades, very top-down hierarchical, and yet the CEO is not stuffy or a stuffed shirt. He too is amused by the situation as he, along with others, are sliding on the smooth surface. I seem to be a little more challenged by the smooth flooring than others and soon am sliding forward at a good clip, maybe a foot or two per second, bent over some at the waist as I try to keep my balance.

My direction accidentally turns out to be toward where the CEO has just wound up. So far, despite the slick condition of the floor, nobody has collided with anyone else or not so hard that anyone has fallen. Part of the challenge is that it now has become like a game to see if all can remain standing or if someone will lose face a bit by being the first one to knock someone else down.

Everyone sees that I am about to slide into the CEO. He does as well, of course, and there is general amusement, including for him and me, at the prospect of our slow collision, for by now I am slowing but still have not come to a stop. There is a dance or ballet quality to the scene, but it is also like burlesque.

I do collide with the CEO, and at first it seems certain we shall both loss (meant to write "lose") our footing and topple, but then instead we do a slow accidental embrace while both keeping our feet, absorbing in our moving bodies the slight shock of our mild collision. I am anxious not to be the cause of his falling but am also admiring of his being such a good sport, for he remains amused, and as we together come to a stop after this contact, even if in awkward poses because we had absorbed the energy of the slight impact, there is general merriment, and the CEO is laughing, as am I, and with shared joy and amusement from several others, for we have bested the situation and both remained on our feet, though the challenge had been the greatest so far.

Nonetheless, as a result of our frictionless engagement, contact, or collision, I have become more intimate in a way with the CEO than I normally would, having invaded his space and wound up in a delicately balanced brief embrace. He has taken it well and is not at all full of himself. We disengage gingerly. Things can now be moved along on to other business.

[There are shadows as well as some animas here, but none of the latter are featured this time.

My chief executive officer shadow seems a fairly affable fellow.

Both yesterday's dreaming and this one involve formal attire. And the dream just before that involved completion of forms and some form-alities. Wonder if all 3 have partly to do with some form-ative (early childhood) stuff. As with yesterday's dream, there is an embrace-like event between the ego and a shadow, though here I am the "aggressive" one who initiates, even if accidentally, whereas in yesterday's dream it was the shadow. Both shadows apparently have positive qualities overall.

Cannot help noticing that a lot is made of things being frictionless as well as with everyone trying to avoid knocking others down, which suggests things being done with a minimum of ego-type clashes or disputes. In fact, here all is so affable, amusing, in good spirits, with folks being good sports under odd or challenging circumstances, it is kind of fake, awkward, or unreal. Yet we do get into situations in which we are all almost falling over each other, in a way, overdoing being nice, maintaining our nice, polite formalities in lieu of more genuine disagreements or fights. It is not necessarily a bad thing. But it can also seem artificial and precarious, as does skating on the nice or thin ice.

One association I have to the above paragraph is that I'm leaving tomorrow for an out of town wedding of one of my nieces, this weekend. Inevitably it involves a family gathering, and there are potentially a lot of ego clashes among my rather dysfunctional extended family, but hopefully we'll all be on our best behaviors.

Upper story suggests this may have to do with something with higher perspective or executive function(s).

Difficulty keeping one's footing reminds of dreaming several weeks ago in which I was about to have my toes cut off, which would also have resulted in problems keeping well grounded and having secure footing or being able to move forward with good balance.

"White dress shirts" could be interpreted as describing a persona that blends masculine and feminine characteristics, as could the fact that even the women here are wearing male clothing.

The CEO, in contrast to my formative years' CEO, my father, seems a rather mellow and approachable fellow. It is more like Dad was after having had a few grandchildren and getting into more advanced age, when his mind was not as sharp and his personality as well had lost its sharp edges.

There clearly is a lot of emphasis here on maintaining one's balance under difficult conditions for doing so, again perhaps a reflection of my concerns for the upcoming weekend, but, from a Jungian outlook, suggesting inner difficulties with balancing disparate aspects of my larger self.]

6/15/09 - Toward the end of last week, I discussed the above dreams with Janet. Highlights, first for the 6/10 one, "Effeminacy Integration Transition Rejected - No Gain," are as follows:

  • Many anima and shadow aspects of my larger self appear.

  • There is transition represented, but it includes something informal (and perhaps something not about the formative years, as well as other things that are from that period) and something about performing for this transition.

  • My anima, represented by Fran, comes with me to this place of transition, but is not with me at first. Hence, her qualities and intuition, emotion, unconscious material, etc. are there but not immediately present initially.

  • She appears then a little behind a somewhat effeminate man and both have come in from the outside, through an entrance/exit to the outside, at the back. The back is the unconscious and it is also a place to exit. Here it leads to the way one is in the collective (outside world). I have this shadow who is dressed formally, who is a bit ahead in where I need to be, ahead of my feelings.

  • The shadow greets me enthusiastically, intending to kiss me on the lips and embrace. This shadow is effeminate but has many positive qualities. So integration with the shadow, which the kiss and embrace would represent, is a healthy thing for the larger self, however I (the ego) do not want this integration and so reject the shadow's greeting and thus this part of myself.

  • Next I get angry at the feelings (anima) I have.

  • Unacknowledged by me, my genuine feelings (represented by the anima) then will not acknowledge me.

  • It is this part of myself that I do not own, that people really like, who can play music and knows how to perform in front of people, that I ignore, so that part of myself ignores me, and, under the circumstances, my feelings also ignore me.

  • When Janet is emphasizing the anima's having figured things out better than the ego and that the ego (me) is wrong in his rejection of both his shadow and his feelings in this instance (again!), she is speaking as my anima as well, for one of my key animas is represented by Janet.

  • Janet thinks the deal is that this part of me that is effeminate is a super aspect of myself that needs to be integrated, not rejected. Then it can be used to my full advantage and not control me in places or ways I do not want it to.

  • Her impression is that this is not about my being gay, since dreams are usually symbolic, not literal. She says, though, the fact that I know this intellectually and yet tended to take the dream literally tells her I am not accepting this wonderful part of myself, that is somewhat effeminate (so what?) and also has much to offer. She believes the dream is here to say my anima is fine with it (and incidentally so is she, Janet), with this shadow, but it is my ego which is not. Meanwhile, she says the dream's message to Phil's ego is: "Get with the program; accept your anima's assessment of the situation; and integrate with your marvelous shadow!"

Highlights of Janet's and my discussion of the 6/11 dream, "Skating on The Nice (Thin Ice)," are as follows:

  • I am with others, company. It is where the head of me (the CEO) is, and where I can get a positive (upper) story.

  • Here, all the parts of myself are very formal (and/or representing formative years material).

  • In this place there is almost no friction, possibly due to a thin layer of frozen emotion. Because of this, some slips (or slip-ups) are unavoidable.

  • This place is like an Asian company, in other words, from the opposite side of the world from where I live, hence in some ways a completely different, unfamiliar setting.

  • The trick is to remain respectful and not put others down. There is a lot of laughter, because the whole thing (all this frictionless sliding and slipping) gets rather funny.

  • The CEO, my shadow, is the part in charge of all of me. He comes in from my unconscious, at least from my (my ego's) perspective.

  • This part of me who is usually in control, with lots of decorum (Japanese), is amused by all this, and slides as well.

  • The ego is having a more difficult time avoiding problems, but I am trying to keep my balance.

  • The idea is to try not to have anyone lose face. I ended up where my CEO shadow is.

  • And I slowly collide (which Janet thinks is a positive thing) and do a dance with the aspects offered in ballet (grace) and burlesque (humor, being down to earth, etc.).

  • When I embrace the CEO shadow in me, I do not have to take a fall. I can actually absorb the shock and keep grounded.

  • In the event, even though it has been a great challenge, the integration embrace with the CEO shadow is successful and ends in acceptance and general amusement.

  • The bottom line is that, because I let the CEO collide with me and me with the CEO, I am now intimate with this part of myself, much more than if I had just shaken hands. So, now that I own this aspect of myself, I can get on with other things.

  • Janet adds that to her this was a very, very, very cool dream.

6/16/09 - Title: "Abusive Labor Practices"

Two Oriental (Chinese?) lower class male laborers (coolies?), blindfolded and with their hands bound behind their backs, are next to but facing away from a pair of railroad tracks. They have been forced down by other men so that their (four) ankles are on the track. A fast train is due to arrive. It will of course crush their ankles and severe (meant sever) their feet. I am an observer of this, and in the dream I am puzzled at and distressed by such harsh treatment.

[I do not remember anything about the ones forcing them into their final positions, but believe they were soldiers (or perhaps railroad company security personnel?). I imagine this may be taking place in early 20th Century wartime or in 19th Century western America, when Chinese laborers helped build or worked on the railroads.

The references to two laborers and their four ankles suggest dawning awareness and manifestation in reality.

The fast train may represent some type of s-train, i.e. strain that threatens to cut off a couple of my shadows not at the knees (a more common phrase) but at the ankles, whatever that means. Perhaps the ankles are angles (i.e. other options) that are to be eliminated.

So, bottom line, maybe there is a situation in which I am under some threat or strain but it seems or feels as if the options for dealing with things are being cut off. The fact that the shadows are blindfolded and have their hands bound further emphasizes the inability to see any options, and being bound by the circumstances, unable to take any positive, liberating action, as though they are just prisoners of a situation. I ought to look for ways I feel imprisoned by circumstances, with extra strain and a feeling of having very few or no options. There is also the idea of something being crushed, i.e. devastated, caused great grief.

Fran, when I discussed the dream with her, thought it about my view of our marriage, in which she thinks at times I feel trapped. However, I believe the dream about something more specific than that. I grow increasingly resentful of or at least discontented with living in Austin as, week by week, conditions again this year are getting hotter and hotter here. I believe we have already had about ten 100 degree F days so far here this year, and the weather report forecasts 100 to 102 degree days for the next week or more, with heat indexes as much as 5-8 degrees warmer than that. Since I love cold weather and always wanted us to move after retiring to a cooler climate area but could not since Fran decided we would remain here, to that extent maybe it is about our marriage. But I am reminded daily of the situation by the necessity of watering our yard for about two hours to offset the intense heat that would kill most of our already partially dead yard otherwise. It is those two lost hours per day, I think, that the dream is about. I feel trapped into having to expend them although I really have lots of other things I would rather be doing with my time. And, so far, I see no options. It is at least a reminder, if not a primary source, of my grieving over being here in this terribly hot place, so alien to where I would like to be and had expected to be by this time in my life.

I am aware that one of the first steps to overcome in meditation is the one in which we resent the way things simply are. By that standard, my thoughts about this dream would indicate I must still be at a relatively low spiritual level of development! But another of the markers early along the road to enlightenment is that we still beat ourselves up for simply being as we are.]

6/28/09 - Title: "The Carrion Eaters"

I observe a couple or three black vultures (buzzards) at a large piece of unidentified road-kill (evidently the bloody remains of a mammal). As I get closer (I assume in a car, though that's not clear), they fly up and a short distance away.

[The reference to a couple or three suggests dawning awareness or transformation. The vultures are apparently transforming dead meat into their living tissue. Black can be the color of mourning, but is also a common color for wedding clothes, and was much in evidence both on men and women at a pleasant, upbeat wedding and reception I attended about two weeks ago. In the past, I have had traffic jam dreams that were about deadlines. I am still finding it difficult to get all I need and want to done. Here there is almost no traffic, but a death has definitely occurred, perhaps to an ego. The title reminds of the Van Gogh painting called "The Potato Eaters." It depicts a poor family around a simple table eating potatoes. The art conveys the perfection and beauty in the humble scene. Van Gogh was passionate, loved his brother Theo very much, and was obsessed with expressing a brilliant talent, but was also mentally disturbed, often very depressed and lonely, and ultimately took his life. I do not feel suicidal but do at times feel loneliness and a sense of loss or sadness. The dream, besides that the birds are transforming what is dead into what is living, may point to a spiritual dimension, from the Van Gogh painting association and the fact that these birds are able at times to fly above the commonplace settings, gaining a larger outlook.]

I went to dream group today and discussed the above dream, among others. Highlights:

  • There is this "roadkill" to be dealt with. It may be an ego death or the mind and body's final death or the death of a formerly significant part of me, or (in some views) just the next in a series of deaths followed by rebirths or reincarnations.

  • There are the normal day-to-day details of life, kind of the background noise or "buzz" of existence, and these buzz-ards, of which we normally take little notice, are metaphors for aspects of oneself that can take the dead parts and transform them.

  • Some things in our experience are too big, powerful, or overwhelming to grasp all at once, but the vultures/buzzards show how to deal with them, one bit at a time. When there are distractions, they just go aloft and retreat a safe distance, then return a little later when it is appropriate to "eat" more.

  • Black is, in one way, not the absence of color, shading, or hue but the combination of all the shades that make up visible light.

  • It may be the unemotional quality of the dream conceals repressed feelings, such as fear of dying, of one's life not having any ultimate meaning, or sorrow, anger, or loneliness, just as black conceals within it much more noticeably emotional colors.

  • When faced with an absolute "nullity," one has a variety of possible attitudes or responses. The dream suggests I not be too into the morbid aspects but instead simply "carry on."

  • Vultures are among the very few vertebrates that can not merely find and eat what is dead but can thrive on rotting flesh that would kill other animals if they tried to consume it.

  • They can, often from miles away, locate what is dead, dying, and unhealthy and then turn it into life-giving food for themselves, creation of their eggs, and nourishment for their offspring.

  • The vulture is in some cultures a sacred symbol, due to this quality it has of taking what the ego sees as threatening or disgusting (death) and transforming it.

  • Thus, in Tibet and among Native Americans, the vulture serves the burial function, using and disposing of all of the dead person's body in the creation of new life.

  • The vultures in the dream may be seen as of both genders and so as both shadow and anima. As shadow, a vulture may be a part of me that can be both in mourning and celebrating of new union and integration (as with the recent wedding and reception I attended, in which black was well represented among the many attendees), but that also has the capacity to rise above things and see with a higher, larger perspective.

  • But as anima, a vulture in this dream shows right feeling or attitude: as I draw closer to death, rising up to a higher level within. This option is always there and but a short distance away.

  • Meditation sitting, as well as a more general, meditative practice (as a part of life as a whole), can be seen, like the vultures' behavior, as a process, bit by bit, of taking small portions of my life and awareness that are no longer healthy and vital and transforming them into insight and relative equanimity.

  • Though dreams normally speak a language of metaphors, they can also be predictive. There is the possibility the unidentified roadkill refers to a literal loss in a traffic accident, my own death, another one associated with my driving, or the imminent death in a road accident of someone close to me.

  • The larger or whole Self, for which this dream is a positive metaphor, encompasses all of my life, the unidentified dead creature part, the neutral observer part, the ego with its various emotional responses, the semi-arid setting with little of either death or life in evidence, the part that identifies with Van Gogh's depression and loneliness as well as with his passionate nature and his need to express with great brilliance the artistry and perfection of all that is (even the simple scenes and settings), the part that is transitional, transforming the "negative" into the "positive" as naturally as mulch can become a rich compost, and the part that can rise above the daily details to loftier heights, and so to greater vision and intuitive perception.

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