August, 2008

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8/3/08 - Title: "Missing the Party While Urgently Seeking Self-Expression"

I'm a guest in a large one-story house full of much useful but disorderly junk in otherwise vacant rooms. I have driven over here with a few others (apparently people in my birth family, though nobody I actually know).

I am wandering about the place, increasingly in urgent need to use the bathroom, but wherever I go to do so is the wrong place, or no longer has a privacy door, or the bathroom facilities have been taken over with other things, apparatuses or the stored stuff of a quite inquisitive mind, a collection treasury from a lifetime of gathering arcane misc. items for this or that discarded or neglected hobby, each impulsively taken up and then restlessly set aside, mostly by the man of the house.

I know there is a usable bathroom here, for I saw one soon after arriving. But I've been to 3 former bathrooms so far, and none could accommodate my need.

Meanwhile, the people I brought and the family who lives here are going on with their big, sumptuous dinner, though beginning to be a little concerned what's taking me so long and what I am doing.

Even as these are modern times, still the family that lives here seems kind of old-fashioned. It likes to carefully prepare and eat evening meals together. And, as in Jane Austin novels and movies, much is communicated with polite, restrained innuendo or with excessive concern over what is proper.

There is a marriageable-aged beauty, the daughter of the brilliant, urbane and wise head of the house (a gentleman who reminds me of the father of the several eligible women, much more sensible than his wife, in Pride and Prejudice, except that this man is also an amateur or self-taught scientist). There is definitely in the air much interest in whether or not the marriageable-aged beauty and I will hit it off.

But this woman had been busy and absorbed with who knows what hobby(ies) of her own and arrives so late for the dinner party that now it will be too late for the guests to go elsewhere for a place to stay the night. The practical thing to do is to stay here, but someone (likely the marriageable-aged beauty's mother) notes it "won't do" to have two marriageable people of opposite sexes (and different families) under the same roof for a whole night! What might people think? (The worst - or best - of course.) At this, I had volunteered that it was no problem. I would sleep in my car.

Just after I have left, then, to go in search of a bathroom, I overheard someone at the dinner party (likely her mother), saying that what's-her-name (the marriageable-age beauty) was not really cut out for marriage. She has too many quirks, intellectual passions, and independent ways, taking after her brilliant father in this, though in a woman such inclinations appear to make for a poor match. To which the witty, cosmopolitan head of the house makes some amusing reply (perhaps suggesting it sounded like the perfect match to him, given my own idiosyncrasies), and so making light of such concerns, but I do not hear or remember just what he said. I think to myself that, appealing as she seems, it may be best if I do not woo the marriageable beauty.

8/4/08 - Title: "Oh Yes, I'm Retired!"

I am working as a vocational rehab. counselor and am still adjusting to doing this occupation again. I spend most of my time working with one rehab. client (a woman having some adjustment difficulties), but also have a chance to visit with some friends (from my earlier time working for the Texas Rehab. Commission). I develop a rehab. plan for and with my single client and realize that such focused concentration on one person is more rewarding than I remember my much larger TRC caseloads being. At first, I am then feeling unsure I really want to take on the full workload of a voc. rehab. employee. Then I remember I am retired and a volunteer now, so do not have to be dealing with an overwhelming workload but instead am free to do only as much as I wish.

8/11/08 - Title: "Getting to Know Carl Better"

I'm riding in Carl's car through a somewhat rundown urban neighborhood. He is driving and I am a front seat passenger. We are talking. He suggests I must have been writing recently, stimulated by what I have just experienced. I admit I have been trying to put it into words.

[Carl is confident, brilliant, masculine, well integrated, engaged, spontaneous, and genuine.]

8/12/08 - Title: "Considering Taking a Course with an Exotic, Troubled Woman"

Fran and I are living on or near a university campus. She and I are not having much sex or emotional engagement.

I go alone to a meeting or picnic near campus sponsored by a library or book group. I enjoy meeting the people there but find none of them especially interesting.

Afterward, though, I cross campus (on my way home?) and a woman approaches me who appears to be one of those the book people warned me about, a troubled soul whom they said I ought to avoid because they have way too many problems.

But this woman is extremely attractive to me. She is exotic, passionate, completely spontaneous, troubled, yes, but in an appealing way, dark-haired but with pale, almost white skin.

She approaches, her every gesture arousing and seductive, and asks me to go with her for a skinny-dip swim in a huge darkened campus pool. But I am still a little leery, perhaps because of the earlier warning or due to being married.

I avoid either going for a swim or immediately having sex with her, but am really turned on. Before we part, she urges me to take a course she is in. It is a philosophy course, I think, which she praises highly. I tell her I'll look into it. It is a small, intimate class of only a few (perhaps 5-6) graduate students, who meet regularly with their male instructor to discuss important questions.

Fran and I are then later going across campus at night when the exotic woman rushes up and hands me a piece of paper, then goes on away. Fran wants to know who she is, suspecting I had been having an affair with her, but I show her the paper, which just gives details, as would a course syllabus, about the recommended class.

Frances asks if I'm planning to take the course, and I say I am thinking about it. But she may have noticed that there was an intimacy and attraction between me and the exotic, troubled lady, apparent in just the few moments we were again near one another as she was giving me the paper.

Title: "Appeasement - for the Sake of Getting Along"

I am in Fran's and my front yard but on the side nearest our neighbors named Hank and Monica. I am probably hand watering the lawn and plants there. Hank appears, evidently coming out of his house to get into his truck. I yell over to him: "Hi, Hank! Listen, I'm sorry I made a big deal about your dogs being in our yard the other day." He turns toward me, smiles, seems willing to put the incident behind us, and says: "Oh. Hi, Phil. No problem. I understand."

[In reality, our little territorial frictions have been escalated after he broke off (a few inches into our property) some branches of one of our trees that had extended a little into his yard. It is unlikely the minor border disputes will end soon. In addition to letting his dogs go into our yard to do their business, he trims some of our plants, inside our yard, when it suits him and has put his large sprinkler into our yard, but so arranged that none of the water went on our grass. This was just a convenient place for him to place it to better soak his turf, so to speak.

Hank is young, arrogant, an extrovert, a devoted father, a Black Belt karate expert, and believes apparently in controlling, not nurturing nature. He cut down several of the beautiful, healthy trees growing in his yard when he moved in.]

8/15/08 - Title: "No Dry Way Forward"

There is a flood from big rainstorms. It has cut off the way I need to go, splitting the usual path with a fast-water gully, still turbulent. I wonder if I can get around the flooded area but see that a lake from the flood has filled the road adjacent to the footpath, so high it is even well up into the yards on the other side of the road-lake. There also does not appear to be any way forward on this side except through the flood. It is way too turbulent to safely do so on this side. I would be able to go around this fast-water gully part by going a long way around and getting into the more quiet water on the other side of the road, but would be completely soaked in the process and probably would have to swim part of the way. Am considering my options.

Title: "Preparations for a Performance"

I am in a quite large, spacious, high-ceilinged building, at least two levels of which are for a big, popular Mexican restaurant dining area plus its basement facilities, which are accessed by a long, straight wooden stairway. I have arrived here apparently to sing a song (for the restaurant patrons?), give a speech, or deliver a stand-up comedy routine. I asked a woman for advice on how I look in my formal duds, with slacks, sport coat, nice shirt, and a tie. The tie is not properly adjusted. The woman says something about how I look (not remembered). I am fitting the thinner (narrower) part of the tie through a loop at the back, to keep it where it belongs, and am pulling it through the knot till of a better length, as it had been too short, or alternately too long, at first. But before I "go on" for my performance, I need to find and use a restroom. I look for it but do not find it at first, then am told it is in the basement, so I go down the stairs and look for the bathroom there.

Title: "Meeting Angel-Something"

Fran and I have a small apartment or other residence. She is sleeping in our bedroom, the first room one comes to after entering. At the entry hall the bedroom is off to the right and the small living room area is to the left. I am in there when a visitor comes who was foretold. Someone (Fran?) had earlier told me to expect a man called Angel-Something. (She had said it properly, but I forgot just what the second part of the name is.) So, he knocks lightly on the door between the entry hall and this living room and comes on in.

"Are you Angel-Something?" I ask him. "Yes," he says, "I am Angel-Something," and reaches forward to shake my hand, a very slight glint in his eye at saying it that way, instead of just confirming exactly what his name is.

He has a quite intelligent but informal and disheveled appearance with a several days' growth of beard, his hair looking uncombed, his clothes evidently having been slept in, perhaps often. None of this seems to bother him. He seems easygoing and self-confident, patiently waiting for me to say why I had asked for his services.

"And was my wife sleeping in the bedroom when you came in?" I ask. He says simply "Yes, she was sleeping," in the same way he had answered about his name, as though quite familiar with everything, but most patient, waiting for me to get through with the polite small talk and get to why I had asked to see him.

[Fran reminds me that the other day we were discussing how our toilet paper brand has really gone downhill lately. Whereas it used to be quite soft and rolled tightly, now, evidently to save money while still charging the same or even higher prices, the company has put out a rather rough, cheap texture of toilet paper and rolls it so loosely that there are many fewer squares than the old way. I remembered the first name of the brand but not the rest, so I asked Frances what the rest of that "Angel Something" brand name was, to be sure I did not buy that kind again, and she told me it was Angel Soft (which we now think is a misnomer and a rip-off).]

On 8/12, I related in an e-mail to Janet my dream of that date, "Considering Taking a Course with an Exotic, Troubled Woman." I think it is about her as the troubled lady, and she wishes to know of dreams about her, in case they have lessons for her as well.

In that e-mail I wrote her about the dream as follows: "I do not see you as pale or almost white, but you are often able to bring light to the darkness of others' dreams. I cannot say why I think of you as exotic or troubled, but I have that impression, quite possibly just my own projections, or more about my anima than about you. You are not seductive in my experience, but you are unconsciously (that is, in an unstudied, not intentional way) very attractive, not just to me but to many people. And at the end of a recent e-mail you wrote "love, me" (which could have been a pun for "Love me," - though of course I know you meant it as an affectionate closing rather than a wish that we be intimate any other way, but which unconsciously might be seen as a more physical invitation, as the dream appears to indicate) to which I did not then feel free to respond, given that I am married and wanted no question by Fran about the kind of relationship we have. The suggestion by this anima that we swim nude in the darkened pool must be an invitation to plumb more of the depths of my unconscious, feminine, intuitional, yin, or emotional side. As Sonya had suggested about another dream, the references to a course, may be to 'intercourse.' But they also, at the same time, as with the several references to campus, a place of learning or higher study, may refer to an intimate (in the sense that there is sharing of the most personal details with one another) course of study, such as dream work. This would be consistent with the dream group meetings this summer being mainly small numbers of folks who have been already in the groups for awhile. I think Fran knows I would not have an actual affair, but may suspect there might by "psychic mates" with whom there could be other kinds of intimacy. The two animas suggest dawning awareness of a spectrum between one inner pole or option of fairly superficial relating vs. another of passionate, spontaneous, intimate, genuine, in-depth relating. In a sense, the latter anima is troubled, but in another she is simply so intensely real as to seem exotic compared with the norm! I perhaps take what the book people say as a warning against the latter anima because to be more like her would threaten my ego's comfort with and security in the status quo. There is implicit in the dream the potential for greater integration, at least between me and the troubled anima, despite my ego concerns (for what would be correct or what my wife might think). I've no idea about the male instructor, my shadow, who evidently does a competent job teaching a graduate course on higher philosophical questions, though, come to think of it, this reminds me of an introduction by Aldous Huxley to an edition of the Bhagavad-Gita in which Huxley is reviewing the 4 main aspects of the "Perennial Philosophy," principles that are common to several religious traditions. If the second anima is showing right feeling (the first shows little feeling other than suspicion), it may be significant that she is both passionate, spontaneous, intimate, genuine, plus in-depth and recommends highly the philosophy course."

In her reply, Janet said of the dream the following: "When I read 'course' I thought of a path or a way of going. So there's something about taking on a particular philosophical course or way of being. If I were to interpret what this dream is saying, then it would be inviting both of us (since Fran would be my shadow) to get into the emotional, as a philosophical way of being. And if I looked at what we had in common... neither of us like to get angry. We grew up with some of that and don't really like to go there, but I suspect we both have some repressed anger that needs to come out. I can't offer much in how to get to that, but I think that is where things are headed. If our philosophical course is that anger is somehow a place you don't go, then that is problematic."

Janet's interpretation of a philosophical course seems right on for me as, on the one hand, the existence of a prior stance or habit (course) of avoiding the feeling or expression of intense negative emotion and, on the other, the option of taking a new course, that I would share with the second anima, of being more aware and expressive of such raw emotions.

8/19/08 - Title: "Relieved to Hear I Have a Polyp"

I am lying down on an examining table, being scanned using an instrument (such as the doctor used in "Star Trek") by the medical technologist or doctor waving it slowly near my body.

He said: "Here's something serious in your intestine."

I asked anxiously: "Cancer or a polyp?"

"Looks like a polyp," he answered. I felt moderately relieved.

[It may or may not be relevant to this dream, but after I had had it, I learned today that my nephew in WI, aged nine, has just been diagnosed with an osteosarcoma on one knee. It is likely he recently received a CT scan in the process of the doctors determining the nature of the problem. I had also quite recently seen a TV mystery show in which a special infrared scanner was used to determine if there were a still living body in a large otherwise vacant building.]

8/21/08 - Title: "Balancing on the High Beam"

Several of us are on a single-file journey. There is at least one man just behind me and at least one woman just ahead. There may be other men and women farther behind or ahead also. We have already been going quite awhile. It seems our way continues on ahead for an indefinite distance. At this point in our journey the way is narrowed to about a 4" wide (and perhaps 12" deep) bridge that rises, spans, and falls in a gradual arch across a wide river or bay far below, so far that to lose one's balance and fall off to either right or left would surely mean death on impact with the distant, placid green waters. I have crossed similar arch-bridge-beams before on this trip with no particular fear, but they were only a few dozen feet at most above the water, while this one is hundreds or even thousands of feet up. Having looked down, I am almost paralyzed with fear. There is no way to go back. The only way to get back lower and continue the journey safely is to pull myself along with hands and arms, gripping within or onto the sides of a smooth two-inch wide by two-inch deep groove that runs down the middle of the beam, and so slide forward, perfectly balanced, on my stomach. Because I am so afraid of falling, I have a moment of vertigo and even imagine myself going down and disappearing into the waters below. But then I realize I am still up atop the beam, roughly in the middle of the span. There is danger, since I have stopped, of the man just behind me getting impatient and shoving at one of my feet or a leg, to make me go on. If he did that, I'm afraid it might cause me to lose my balance and fall. The women just ahead handled this span (of the beam) well, easily and quickly pulling themselves along and crossing on their stomachs. The woman just ahead now encourages me from the other side to come on, assuring I can do it. She says I just have to focus on the couple inches at a time where my thumbs are, with my arms alternately extended or flexed as I pull myself along. If I concentrate only on the fine grains of the hard lumber that makes up the span-bridge-beam, right where my thumbs are, I can sort of forget about how high I am and how dangerous it seems and so finish getting across. I realize she is right. I can focus just on that little space and go on forward. It is a relief, and I begin to pull myself along again, though still very very scared.

8/22/08 - Title: "Finding the Thing I Need"

I have gone to a department store looking for a particular item (a piece of hardware, I think).

There is some business about the way through one area into another being blocked by some repairs or remodeling that is underway. One of the store or department managers apologizes for the way being blocked temporarily. He seems, though, to want to help me find a way through. Meanwhile, I have, on my own, gone around, using a detour just a little out of the way, avoiding the blocked opening through the wall.

It seems I have at least one other encounter with a male employee who tries to be helpful, the way people are who want to be good salesmen or saleswomen around someone whom they hope will spend money in their establishment. I know it is mainly a sales technique, but I still appreciate the attention and solicitude of the various men and women who work here.

An older woman suggests that a particular attractive younger one will be able to help me and may find what I need, and she introduces the younger one to me. The young lady is adorable and affectionate, and I naturally, spontaneously put my left arm around her, pull her close, and begin stroking her neck, back, and arm, and then tightening my hold around her waist. She seems delighted with these physical attentions, all the while having me look through a catalogue for the thing I need.

Once she believes she knows what it is, she creates a special card and a set of other pages in the shape of a Christmas tree. The stack of pages she creates can be flipped through quickly, creating the appearance of a little moving-picture or movie, for instance showing the tree being decorated. And she swiftly creates a tableau in a small box, roughly show-box size, in which is confectionary material (edible, sugary, and colorful, like the colorful icing sometimes put on birthday cakes), mostly in thick tasty green colors but with a sprinkling of other colorful decorations through it, like M&Ms. This tableau is to the sides of and underneath the neat Christmas tree shaped stack of pages or cards in the box. The colorful icing-like confectionary decorations are very thick in places. There are two little mounds of them underneath the movie cards stack, and the young woman encourages me to open them. My fingers get messy with the confectionary, but I like (lick) them clean, enjoying the sweet taste. I open the longer, larger of the two mound-like confection-covered packages, and inside there is the very thing I need, that I had gone to the store to get.

My helpful attendant is pleased that I am pleased, and also to have been able to find and nicely package the item for me. I wonder if she and I might have a fun date soon and realize she would probably be delighted to go out with me.

The thing I had opened, that she had "given" me (or is selling me), as if it were a gift, is not something I recognize or even remember well. It seems it is made of smooth, hard plastic, and is about six inches long (which description makes me think of a penis), but it is shaped something like a bottle-opener and is taffy-colored. In any case, I am glad to have gotten what I needed and so beautifully, "tastefully" packaged by the affectionate, creative young lady.

[I wonder if the needed thing might have been my manhood.]

Yesterday, Sonya called me to discuss my 7/30 dream, "It's Not Just Winning But the Competition," a copy of which I had sent by e-mail to she and Janet, since I felt the female instructor in that dream was a composite of the two women. Earlier, Janet had replied by e-mail as well. Between the two of them, and I understand from Sonya that they had called and chatted about the dream, my feelings, etc. before getting back with me, they came up with the following feedback:

  • They have more confidence in me than I do. Janet added that she would be glad to be in a dream group that I would lead.

  • They feel it is hard to gain more confidence without putting oneself in situations in which one is not really confident, then learning, despite the fears, that one can do things and be competent.

  • They both see me, as do others, as having a talent for dream interpretation, one which it would be a shame to ignore.

  • I do not have to follow the example of Sonya, of Carl, of Janet, or anyone else, but can come up with my own unique dream group facilitator style.

  • My misgivings about leadership and my lack of confidence are no doubt all tied up with my family issues, the abuse from my father plus the severe, often destructive competition from more assertive or aggressive brothers, so that I came to feel it best to take a backseat most of the time and to feel anxious when in the limelight or when having responsibility for how things would turn out, because often I would have been belittled and/or rejected to the extent I stood up for myself and showed I could do things well and on my own. It became more comfortable, then, to have a more passive role, and I grew so used to that I now sometimes limit myself from taking a more active, engaged stance or "course," even in something I can do well, such as dream work.

  • There will always be some, in any endeavor, who try to manipulate, act out, belittle, bully, become angry with us, etc. I ought not give into them by letting their issues dominate me or block my own positive growth and development.

  • I can give the dream groups a chance, neither deciding definitely and finally that I shall or shall not continue to be involved with them, nor deciding now whether to facilitate them in future, but just playing things by ear for awhile.

  • It is never too late to face one's fears and to take on a growth path with heart. This kind of risk-taking ironically can have great rewards and few downsides.

  • It is not true that any dream group facilitator or leader style is alright, for there are some, for instance, who are involved in it mainly as a way of being competitive or dominant, and this stance can be harmful, but when one is sincerely trying conscientiously to be a good facilitator, it is nearly impossible to really mess up.

  • Instead, just as there are different dreams that synchronously can come together around common themes at a dream group meeting, so the leader's particular style, or even how she or he is on one particular day, is a holistic reflection of That Which Is, a mirror on or symbol of reality at a higher dimensional level, so that what appears awkward, separate, or even discordant here may be part of something as harmonic as a beautiful symphony or a balanced, in-depth work of graphic art.

8/24/08 - Title: "Dances with Water"

There is some business about drinking extra water, at least two full glasses at times, and at least daily, and also about my brother, Ralph. The impression is that, to assure good health and to be of service, I can get Ralph to drink two or more glasses of water a day and do the same (drink two or more glassfuls) myself. Then, in the dream, the title came to me, "Dances with Water."

[Associations: The movie "Dances with Wolves." Water drinking as a way of restoring or assuring better health, and specifically before bed as a counter to acid reflux. Acid reflux has been the main culprit in my throat and larynx difficulties (express strain) over the past several months. Two = dawning awareness. Service = volunteer work of all kinds I have been doing or considering? Ralph = my oldest brother (though 9 years younger than me), who died at 38 of brain cancer. He was a great father, highly competitive, musical, disciplined, very intelligent, stubborn, a philosophy major and grad. student, well organized, a meditator, spiritual, with a keen sense of humor, and yet also often quite angry and prone to put others down, arrogant. Water = life nurturing and a symbol of the unconscious, of emotions, of the feminine, yin, and my intuitive side. Glassfuls = the opposite of glasses empty, as a philosophy of life. The notion that the beginning of spiritual or meditative progress may be to become a happier person, seeing the glass and life itself as not just half-full but full.]

8/25/08 - Yesterday, among others, the DG discussed my 8/24/08 dream, "Dances with Water." Highlights:

  • My associations, written in the journal entry following that dream, appear to be right on. In addition, there is a need to deal better with the awareness and communication of anger, in particular, but emotions generally. They are represented in the dream by both my shadow, Ralph, and the references to water.

  • There is a dawning awareness of the dichotomy or choice between staying detached from repressed or suppressed emotions and more fully feeling and expressing them in a spontaneous way.

  • All it may take is the definite intention to feel and express true emotions spontaneously, as they occur, for this to begin to happen. There need not be any big program to effect such a change. Once that intention is there, the opportunities to practice this new way of feeling and acting will present themselves!

  • The water may also be seen as a way of cleansing and washing out impurities, with the idea that dammed up water, not allowed its proper flow, can become stagnant and unhealthy. Also that it has destructive tendencies when it is suddenly released, probably with reactions out of proportion to the inciting situation, due to having been pent up for awhile.

  • But the reference to water in this way may suggest a need of some extra plumbing to assure adequate flushing out of the system, as with a toilet's flushing to remove the waste, etc.

  • In a way, the dream is also about "dances with bees," i.e. with being, reminiscent of the way Zorba the Greek would spontaneously dance about anything that moved him, and just for the hell of it.

  • It may be good as well to look into volunteer work or some other kind of meaningful service in the next few weeks. Offering to help out in WI, as our relatives there deal with our nephew getting bone cancer, may be such a venue, but if they do not need or want me to assist at this point, I might look into new local volunteer opportunities.

  • When people see that someone is beginning to change, even if it is inch by inch, as when two people are on a teeter-totter and one moves a little closer to or farther from the center, thus altering the respective leverage of moving mass at one vs. the other end, the second person must adjust to that new reality too.

  • So long as the relationship continues, the new position or stance of the one who takes on an intent of positive change must be taken into account by the other person or persons. But usually it takes about three times before the new stance or behavior is taken seriously by the second person or by other people. They will continue to test out the new situation and to act as if no change has occurred, somewhat the way a heater blower will keep running for a few minutes after the heat has been turned off at the thermostat. So, stick to the new stance or behavior, and then it will be acknowledged by others as well.

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