August, 2007

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8/4/07 - Title: "You Won't Realize What You've Got Till It's (Almost) Gone"

I have a coupon or rebate for replacement of my car body (and interior?). My wife (Frances) and I go over to an auto-repair-and-body shop. I am driving. She is in the passenger seat. I take the (all black, kind of boxy or angular) car in and leave it with the folks at the shop. They check out the engine and find that is (it) is fine, not simply as good as new but like a super-engine, running superbly and with far more horsepower than most cars of this (standard sedan) size. It also has little wear and tear. It is really sturdy. The car is old, but it's a classic and reliable as jungle rain. The mechanics' report is good news, of course, but I feel a little disappointed, for I thought I wanted to refurbish the engine and replace the body (using the coupon or rebate), thus having a great new car, perhaps one that seems sportier or more modern. The body goes with the engine. It is built to last, heavy-duty, much tougher than the contemporary models. It has been fixed and repainted a few times, but just fits the engine perfectly in form, style, and durability. There is a lot more tempered and reinforced steel in it that (than) we can get in car bodies of today. I follow my first impulse anyway and ask the mechanics to honor the coupon and to give me a new body. They look doubtful but have an attitude of "the customer is always right, even when he's wrong." They get ready to do the requested trade. I confer with Fran and say I am not sure I am doing the right thing. She has been silent till now, just going along with what I wanted, but, since I've expressed misgivings, she feels free to say what she things (thinks), that the old body is just right for that engine and, if it were up to her, she would not have changed it. I realize I have made a mistake and want the car left just as it is. To heck with the coupon! I go to cancel the order and get my great car back.

8/8/07 - Title: "Preying Creatures to Discuss or Watch"

1. I have been designated as the person in charge of a discussion group. This was not my choice, and I do not feel up to the task. The group is quite large, perhaps a couple hundred people, sitting in folding chairs in tightly packed, orderly rows in a big meeting room or hall. The topic changes at each meeting. Tonight it is the preying (praying?) mantis. There is an illustration handy of one, a pen-and-ink drawing about 6 inches tall. After I briefly introduce the topic of praying (preying?) mantises to the group, I ask how many have knowledge of this topic and so could speak on it. I am surprised when scores of hands go up, maybe 30-40% of the group. I realize we have more than enough specialists to fill up our discussion time. I suggest we limit the talks to those who are experts and that each speak for 10 minutes. I make a lame attempt to introduce the topic myself, with a few comments before the first speaker starts, but several people point right away out that some of what I say is wrong, so I stop trying to facilitate for the group at all and just let the speakers talk, one after another. (I don't know how we determined who would go first, next, etc., but assume the speakers are self-selected and go up just as they feel like it. They all seem to have interesting things to say. None are challenged by the rest of the group as I had been.)

2. We have a dog. He (she?) becomes interested in some animal a little up in a tree (maybe 5-6 feet off the ground) in the backyard. I do not see it, but have the impression it is a large cat species, maybe a mountain lion. However, it could be a wolf. There is no sense that the animal is a serious threat. It's position in weak branches is very precarious. We can just all stay indoors until it has left. There are a couple children in this household too, it seems, who normally play in the back and climb into the same lower parts of the trees where the creature is now. They are quite curious about it, but I am watching them and believe I can keep them from danger.

8/13/07 - Title: "Onward Through the Fog"

1. I'm in a suite or apartment, waking up slowly and then getting ready to start the day. All is quiet except for my activities. I assume I am alone. Then a man appears from around a partition (partial or incomplete wall) and says "Good Morning," and I realize he is one of my two roommates. I still do not see or hear the other one, but comment to the first that lately I have become rather forgetful or have been making wrong assumptions, for instance just now that I was alone, not recalling that I had roommates (room-mates). "In fact," I tell him, "I do not remember your name."

2. I'm with two friendly male characters, one of whom is a murderer, though at this point I am not sure which one. In a roundabout way, I figure the one with a Revolutionary War musket (rifle) is the killer. Thinking I have the other man's cooperation, I decide we shall apprehend the killer and turn him over to the police.

Somehow, this involves my driving at night in an unfamiliar area of the city with the other two. We park on a side street and go to an all-night cafe/bar. But when, after a few minutes there, I decide it is time to go ahead and take the killer to the authorities, both of the others have stopped cooperating. Indeed, it seems the cafe manager/bar tender (bartender) is friendly with them and wants to help them avoid the police as well.

I realize my first assessment may be wrong and that I do not know which of them is the murderer, or if they both are. I leave alone to get my car, drive over to find the police, and tell them where the possible murderers are.

"Good luck finding your car on a night like this!" the one I had first thought was not the murderer yells as I am leaving. And, in fact, I realize I cannot recall either the name of the establishment or the part of town where it is, and I am quickly forgetting the names of the two possible murderers too.

Outside, there is such thick fog that the wholesome, girl-next-door streetwalkers (prostitutes who, though young and attractive, are not dressed or made up in any way distinguishable from other youthful women, just attired in a not flashy manner reminding me of conservatively dressed Hollywood movies (movie) stars in black-and-white films of the 1930s [Great Depression era]).

These women just suddenly appear, one at a time, walking out of the fog a few feet in front of me, each once she sees me offering her services in a quietly discreet but direct way as she gets close to me. I turn them down with regret and continue searching for my car, but with less and less hope of finding it. I expect I'll have to ask the help of the police.

They have sturdy, brightly lit, and colorful (blue and white) vehicles, "manned" by two-person female crews, out helping people find their missing cars, periodically stopping near a likely prospect, using computers and searchlights to confirm, from the recorded car descriptions and license plates, they have found the right ones, then calling in the news to Mr. or Ms. (So-and-So), that "We have located your vehicle. It is at (such-and-such address), near (this and that) intersection. Thank you for using our Vehicle Locator Service. Feel free to call us anytime." It is embarrassing, but I must ask for their help too.

8/16/07 - Title: "Beware Cash-Only Sea Voyage (Maritime Trip) Deals"

Several relatives have disappeared. I know that they had contracted with a pair of brothers to be taken on a cruise or other fairly short trip by sea, though I do not know precisely when they were to depart and return. The brothers and their small maritime business have been doing Very (very) well, "making" lots of money (or at least becoming wealthy). And they cannot or will not account for the absence of my relatives. They deny ever seeing them. I know, but cannot prove, that they have gotten cash for taking many people on boat trips, people who now have disappeared. I am convinced the brothers took all the victims' available money, killed them, and dumped their bodies overboard at night, outside the harbor in shark-infested waters. There now appear to be dozens or perhaps scores of people unaccounted for who presumably have been bumped off by the murdering brothers, though as yet there is no proof.

8/17/07 - Title: "All the World's a Stage, and Pete and I Are Mere (Mer?) (Merely?) Players"

I am impressed with a dynamic, polished, urbane personality who, in a large busy populated lower level area, befriends me and helps assure I successfully negotiate the ins and outs of this nether world existence, find a meaningful thread that connects me to several rooms here, get some of the refined ("let them eat cake") food available here, and enjoy a show or two, where live entertainers perform on a small stage. Then, I see a tray sitting on the floor containing all the costume elements of this personality and even the top half of it sitting there upright on the tray, as if it were simply a clown costume one could put on for a performance, head, chest, arms, and all, and I realize the whole thing has been part of a dramatization starring my brother, Pete. I wonder where he is now that he is out of costume, for not since he was a young teenager can I recall a time when he has been simply genuine, vulnerably and completely himself, not putting on a phony act. I am all the more impressed with the polished personality, knowing now what a great performance it was and is, but am sad to think of Pete without this protective cloak. I wonder if I shall find the real Pete in some corner down here, cowering and frightened, or if he will be happy being himself and just enjoying a break from performing.

8/18/07 - Title: "Out of My Hands Now"

I am making exceptional efforts to get a new job. For instance, I have a thick, carefully constructed application I am submitting at the final minute, indeed, after the final minute, for I squeeze in once the establishment has officially closed and talk my way into having an extra several minutes alone to finalize and submit this sheaf of application papers and references. I pull it off, but am uncertain if all my frantic, persistent, last-minute efforts will have been worthwhile, so that I'll land the job. Still, I am satisfied that I at least put my all into the attempt.

[I have no idea what the dream job is that I'm trying so hard to secure, or what it would mean to my waking life if I do or do not land it.]

8/22/07 - Title: "A Ghost in the Garage"

It is late evening or at night and is dark outside. Puff and I are home alone. We both hear a noise from the garage. This is spooky. I open the door between the kitchen and garage and flip on the light. Puff is on the floor at my heels looking too. I think we both expect to find some ordinary explanation for the noise we'd heard, perhaps a cat that somehow got trapped in there. With the kitchen to garage door open and Puff and I both looking in at the ordinary garage, we hear the noise again, louder now and somehow ominous. Something is there making a noise, but we can see nothing causing it. Spookier and spookier. The outer garage doors are closed. Everything appears to be normal, the cars there as usual (but with their hoods up), and misc. other stored things are as and where they ought to be. I seem to realize there is no rational explanation, and then, as if to drive this point home, the noise, indescribable except like something large, malicious, metallic or mechanical, and heavily material shifting by itself, comes again, almost daring me to explain the unexplainable. We see nothing shift at all, but clearly something is there doing this. It is a menacing, malevolent kind of sound under the circumstances. I am shocked and very frightened. Puff is quite alarmed too. I seem to wake up in my terror but cannot cry out. Then, as though screaming through clenched or locked jaws, I make a weak, pinched yell, so slight I come fully awake and realize that my yell had been still a dream yell, while asleep.

[The sense of terror and menace persisted on waking, as though the presence of something independently willful but invisible in the garage were quite disturbing. - This afternoon, I picked up a new book selection for my discussion group: A Ghost in the Machine, a title not consciously remembered till at the library today, where it had been on hold since a week earlier. - Puff is my wife's and my nearly 4-year-old female wirehair fox terrier. She is quite playful, emotional, extroverted, cute, creative, companionable, and intuitive. ]

8/23/07 - Last night the DG discussed my "A Ghost in the Garage" dream. Highlights:

  • There is a theme here of something more (than the conscious ego identity) having real power, normally not acknowledged by the small self identity. The ego interprets it as malevolent because it is fearsomely independent of the ego self, obviously powerful, and outside the small self's understanding of how things are. But the dream is actually positive: it is simply attempting to get the ego's attention to something that has been neglected and should be attended to without further delay.

  • The ego, generally not being conscious or awake in any substantial way, is machine-like or mechanical in many of its responses or reactions. So this independent inner power is indeed like a ghost in the machine.

  • From the dream creator's standpoint, it is imperative that I take seriously the dream's message. I have apparently been ignoring it too long already. But what is this vital message? In fact, this is still unclear.

  • Certainly part of it is that it is time for me to "check under the hood," meaning to see how things are going, both for the way Fran gets around (her car) and for how I do (my car).

  • I do not know if I have a particularly dense block at this point or if the dream itself is that hard to interpret, but even after several minutes of discussion with the DG, I do not understand the dream's meaning, though I absolutely "get" that it is an important one, one I cannot go on ignoring.

  • Since I retired, it feels as though I have been spinning my wheels, not accomplishing anything much meaningful, whereas in most of my working life I did feel part of purposeful activity in which I had a sense of competent accomplishment.

  • So, there may be an urgency to be about what is the main thing needed in this retirement phase of my life. And is this thing to be urgently attended to one of "doing" or of "being"? For there seem to have been indications in earlier dreams that now is the time to be more into yin rather than yang involvements.

  • Might the dream mean I ought to get a part-time job or go into business for myself with consulting work, perhaps tutoring or teaching folks how to pick stocks and manage an investment plan?

  • Or does it mean I ought to go into meditation much more, and more steadily, than I ever have before?

  • Or should I have a lot more play and fun and express more an extroverted side of myself, as suggested by the presence of the Puff anima or dream character?

  • Or perhaps ought I be doing paid work or volunteer activities related to my interests in kids, maybe through a school or hospital?

  • Or is there a major shift in my overall worldview called for, one not of the rational, but in the realm of the "a-rational" or even irrational?

  • Or ought I be more attuned to checking out my wife's needs and thoughts and feelings, one interpretation if the spooky and powerful noise were to have come from my wife's car engine?

  • Some doors are now closed in the dream, perhaps implying a restriction of available options.

  • The dream, not for the first time, has some of the feel of a Zen koan. As though to solve it I must step entirely out of my usual mental and emotional frames of reference into a different view of things entirely.

  • There has been other dreaming lately about a car and a hood being up. How does it relate to this?

  • Problems under the hood could mean concerns with lubrication or with one's fluids. A dip-stick may be a Freudian reference. Might this be as simple as a demand for attention to the needs of the libido? Is it significant that both my car and Fran's are involved, each as if needing attention under the hoods. At the same time, for whatever reasons - and Fran says she just does not have the hormones anymore to be interested in sex or to be well lubricated if we attempt it - we have not for awhile been very sensually active. But maybe the dream suggests this status quo is unacceptable. There may be other ways to exchange affection and/or keep fluids "in proper check" beyond what we have been trying lately.

  • Google indicates, under urban slang, that "checking under the hood" refers to female masturbation (hood being the clitoral hood). Presumably, if there is a need to check under the hoods of both Fran's and my cars, there may be a "drive" to having such needs met by both she and I. There may be body language and other awareness exercises to use with Fran, to reach a better level of understanding and companionship between us, a more compassionate insight into one another's needs and feelings.

  • But hood also can refer to the neighborhood.

  • Since the dream occurs completely in the kitchen and an attached (part of the house) garage, it is all inside me (rooms of the house representing aspects of my life or self).

  • My anima in this dream is a "female fox" terrier or vixen, again implying a sexual element or context. This anima is also emotional and intuitive, other aspects I may be neglecting. And she represents the unconscious. In addition, in dream language she is a spiritual companion (dog = god).

  • It would be appropriate to accept that the things I anticipated for my wife's and my retirement were not realistic, that things simply are not and will not be fitting such elaborate preconceptions and that, in a sense, it does not matter where one is or in what circumstances, so long as essential needs are being met, wherever one is. Also, that we are not here considering or dealing with a major flaw in our conditions in life. Fran and I are both doing fairly well overall.

  • The things for which one yearns, that are not realistic, can mean a putting off of real living in the here and now. "Things are as they are. Just deal with them" was a fitting bit of advice I had given myself first about thirty years ago, and it is applicable today.

  • But before we can "just deal with them" we likely need to forgive others, whom we may mistakenly blame for thwarting us in what we thought we really wanted, and ourselves, for getting us into these kinds of frustrating situations, or perhaps for choosing as mates or partners people whom we later think have blocked us from having our needs met.

  • Such thinking or feeling holds us back from enjoying life or finding it as meaningful as it could be. So, we must accept that things are as they are, forgive others and ourselves, and then fully grieve over the perceived losses.

  • Once these steps are taken, we may be ready to get back on the road again, trading in our broken down heaps for more powerful and exciting sets of wheels. Time's a wastin'. Best be about getting it done!

8/24/07 - Title: "Mister Mom"

I see a single image, as if a photograph, of a man in the nude, a profile view. He is clearly very pregnant. It looks like he could give birth at any moment.

[I had asked for an answer in a dream, following my "A Ghost in the Garage" nightmare, to the question: "What needs to change?" Thinking about the dream, I realize natural childbirth is out of the question, but a caesarian ought to do the trick. As with the other dream's unexplainable and powerful sounds, there is no rational explanation for this image. I do not know who the pregnant man is (did not notice or remember), but assume he is meant to be me or one part of me.]

8/26/07 - Title: "Getting Into Stuff"

1. A young woman and I are getting acquainted. I am younger as well. We are quite interested in one another, though the conversation topics are all neutral or scholarly. Our talking is thus lively and stimulating.

2. There is a cityscape similar to Venice, with lots of deep, dark canals or old quarry water holes. At one point, I fall or get into one of these and am swimming. The cool water feels good on my body.

3. I'm in a strange place, partly outdoors, partly indoors. I'm doing productive researches on my own, but a lushly sexy woman takes an interest. I explain. She says by coincidence she is a magistrate and able to judge my specialty. We both are pleased that to test my abilities we must undress and have lush, powerful sex in a dark, private bower. We get it on.

8/30/07 - Last night, the DG discussed my "Out of My Hands Now" dream, among others. Highlights:

  • At a Freudian or basic level, the dream could be interpreted as wanting or needing a hand job, yet not with my hands(!), and also as having some bowel problems, perhaps constipation, so there was concern with squeezing things out in that sense as well. Such eliminative functions in dream language often refer to self-expression issues. So, here, there is another emphasis on personal expression, as has occurred in prior dreaming.

  • On another level, there is definitely a need to have a new job, though probably not a literal one, and the outcome (so to speak) is indeed out of my hands.

  • In this interpretation, the ego has done everything it can think of to assure a meaningful and rewarding life and involvement, including a meditation quest, trip to India, relationships with women, getting a masters degree in counseling, becoming well read in literature, history, and psychology, assuming a certain sort of patriarchal role in my extended family, having personal and group counseling, co-editing over 10 years' worth of family newsletters, trying to have a special relationship with my nephew, Jim, after his dad, Ralph, had died from brain cancer, doing volunteer work, keeping extensive journals, writing poetry, taking other special trips such as the most recent one, to the Pacific Northwest, becoming a good investor, being the unofficial photographer for family gatherings, working with a labor union, being a draft counselor and anti-Vietnam war activist, joining with others in experimental researches with drugs and groups in Berkeley and San Francisco, overcoming a serious problem with alcohol abuse, etc., all in hopes of a positive transformation that would make life relevant, worthwhile, fulfilling, enriching, joyous, etc.

  • However, none of these efforts have been lastingly successful. And the time for my submitting further (practical) applications or real manifestations of new "job hunting" efforts, to achieve a truly meaningful existence, is over. That avenue is now closed. I have given such efforts my all, as the ego self. I can and need do no more. It may have been necessary that I do all these things, if only to prove to myself that the task is beyond me, that everything I have done has been fruitless, in terms of an intended goal of a meaningful life, that I had truly made a difference as a result of my actions here.

  • But, now at last, particularly as it is too late to submit any further applications (since this course of action is not the means to what I actually want and, in any case, it is too late, at this stage or phase of my life journey, to tackle any fresh attempts to do something that will provide that metanoia I seek, instead, now I need to be receptive to what a hypothetical "higher power" or Highest Self will offer or provide, admitting that I cannot do it on my own, or, in fact, at all.

  • The transformation I seek either will not happen or it will occur in a way or in ways that I, as the ego, cannot now imagine, but which will be right, what is or are needed, from beyond the ego level entirely.

  • It may be that the dream job is in truth merely, and yet profoundly, the dream work in which I am already engaged, following that process where it leads with as few preconceptions as possible.

  • Or it may be some involvement with kids.

  • It may be a way I can express or realize a passionate, deep love and gentleness toward others, for others see me in the dream group at least as already very loving and as a gentle man with deeply held beliefs, a certain wisdom to impart, and with caring I can show. At the same time, it may involve a receptivity to acceptance or love for myself, just as I am, from others or from a Higher (or Highest) Self.

  • Or it may be something entirely other than what I or others might anticipate.

  • My dream job, then, would be to be genuinely receptive to what may arise from my Highest Self, and to accept that there is nothing now I am to DO to get there from here.

  • There may as yet be much grieving to do, a great deal of sadness that I am holding back from expressing, even literally so, through keeping the lungs restricted to fairly shallow breaths much of the time.

  • All my exceptional efforts as the ego have been worthwhile, for they sort of prepared the field, but the growth now must come from another source, just as flowers and crops come up as if of their own accord, and their germination cannot be forced.

  • I have already made excellent progress in the dream work, and this ought not to be discounted.

  • All my frantic, last-minute, persistent efforts have not and cannot achieve what the ego feels it wants and needs, not only because the time for their achieving anything has officially closed, but also because the ego's intent is to pin down a situation of greater security, reliably offering me the fulfillment I seek. But progress only comes on this journey as we are receptive to what, out of our hands, the Highest Self shall provide. Thus, from an ego point of view, there is no control and so no security.

  • The wrist tendonitis problems are relevant to this dream. It may be related to my having done or tried to do too much, and using too much effort, with my hands, figuratively and literally. But, both because those efforts have not led to what I truly want and need, and because the tendonitis reduces my capacity for further such efforts, particularly in "my good right arm" or dominant and (yang) "doing" hand, it is "out of my hands now." (Incidentally, one of the DG members mentioned that tumeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that may be helpful with my tendonitis.)

8/31/07 - Title: "Time for Study, Fun, and Help for an Agitated One"

1. I'm a student at a college campus and am younger again, though still somewhat older than the average folks on campus. I have returned after not completing the coursework my first time here. There is a foreign student, a small oriental (Asian) gentleman, perhaps my roommate. He is rather agitated, insisting we must order a special ring right away. Evidently I had agreed to eventually help him with this. The ring is part of a long family and national tradition for him and is very important. It is somehow tied to his completing his studies here. Acquiring it will prove his place in that tradition, as if it is a royal ring, and entitle him to acceptance as the leader in his country of origin. I picture it as a thick, wide, shiny gold band, perhaps with a royal seal on top. I privately think the ring ordering process can wait. We are as yet near the beginning of the new semester, but he is anxiously insistent, as though he believes any delay or failure to follow all the procedures and traditions will have dire consequences for him. So, though without much personal sense of urgency about it and mainly to appease him, I agree to help him start the ordering process soon.

2. I am taking one very tough course. It will likely require more effort than the others. There is a big exam coming up in this course. I believe I can do alright on it if I really concentrate and focus on the lectures and book. However, the book is terribly thick and is filled with details, while my memory is not the best. It seems to be a history text, but a better one than most, with elaborate, interesting connections drawn between or among all sorts of separate times, peoples, and events, leading up to the present. A teacher or professor (who reminds me of Sonya) is not my instructor for this hard course (which is led by a male scholar) but a friend and advisor, aware of my overall situation. She encourages my having good study habits, particularly for this toughest course.

3. I see several attractive younger women. I am younger than I am now, but not as young as most of them. I'm about in my 30s. They probably are in their 20s, except for on (one) I've known before who is about my age. We happen to be going across campus in the same way (direction) and to be near one another, this earlier known woman and I. She seems more mature than I and a little leery of me, as though suspecting (no doubt correctly) I'm an irresponsible slacker, prone to go for quick and easy satisfactions and solutions rather than having commitment or persistence. I ask her out, telling her I'm only taking 12 hours this semester, and so ought to have a little time for fun. I call [can] tell that my having less than a full course load confirms her misgivings about me. She politely turns me down and goes on her way. I'm not particularly disappointed. Indeed, it is almost a relief. Now I can hit on the younger women, with whom I'll have more chances of success and carefree enjoyment. Any sense of obligation or loyalty toward the first woman, due to our former friendship, has now been taken care of.

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