August, 2012

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8/1/12 - Title: "The Price To Be Paid"

(Most forgotten, but a series of vivid [at the time] nightmares depicting similar macabre settings/situations, the last one of which involved...) being part of a small team (maybe 9-10) of people who are totally committed to a frenetic, violent, live-in-the-moment, heedless of consequences way of life on a concrete factory floor, machinery all around, grease and blood sluicing and scattered on the floor, maiming, killing, eating raw the flesh, blood, brains of others, and using the machinery to carry out the whole operation with ruthless efficiency.

My team includes a young Black man, attractive white women, and others (like myself in the dream) of indeterminate (though adult) age and not noticeably of one race or another. There is a strong incentive to be part of the team and a joy in efficiently, spontaneously operating together to dispatch quickly and thoroughly the victims of our processing. At times, our "work" is highly intimate, and then orgiastic sex with attractive partners is like a feast. One tries not to think of the costs, but each of us at the outset must have periodically committed or re-committed ourselves to this work and to our team, knowing however that, at some point before long, we must pay the price.

Another scene - A series of frenzied, sensory, violent team operations has just ended. Briefly, as my current team is disbanding and a new team combination is being formed, I indulge in the hope that I have lucked out and will not have to pay the horrible price I had agreed to before this set of operations started. I may get off Scott-free. But then I am in an instant caught. My nude body is fastened between metal pieces above and below. These can move separately in the parts over my legs. I know that they will be manipulated so as to remove the bones from my foot and lower leg on one side. I see in horror that there is nothing I can do to prevent it. Apparently there will not even be any anesthetic. My bones are needed for some process, and this is the payment I had agreed to but feared. I had hoped it would not actually happen, that I could get away without paying. Someone is carefully positioning the metal cutting pieces. They will in another instant slice into one of my legs, cut off the bones, and extract them. Then the metal pieces will be opened again, their work done, leaving my lower leg and foot a useless, painful mass of bleeding flesh...(but then I wake up, just before the bones extraction occurs).

[The stuff about bones needing to be removed, which are to be used in another process, reminds me of the phrase: "I have a bone to pick with... (him, her, or you)." I have had a bias in favor of a stance of feeling pissed, self-righteous, or judgmental in response to others' criticisms (i.e. in favor of having bones to pick with others) on any number of fronts. These bones or this stance needs to be removed for me to be well integrated in the scene one process. In addition, for the proper integration to occur in scene one, I need the strength and confidence metaphorically represented by the properly utilized "bones" from scene two.

Put another way, I need the strength those correctly utilized "bones" will give me to stand on my own two feet and be confident and assertive for a well integrated, efficient processing of life to occur. I do not need the badly utilized "bones" implied in a whining, blaming, bone to pick with you, victim, judgmental, get even, or martyr outlook.

Nonetheless, replacing the latter with a healthier, more assertive mode of feeling and expression may really hurt and feel awkward, like having "a useless, painful mass of bleeding flesh," a giving up process that could involve some grieving but is healthier in the end.]

8/9/12 - Title: "Intending to Do the Right Thing"

I am at my father's and mother's home, with Frances, in the evening, at the supper table. I have been telling my folks that I intend to do the right thing about military service, to own up to being unwilling to serve in a war I think is wrong. (Oddly enough...) this apparently will involve serving onboard a ship. My father, irate, says I shall ruin my life and suggests dire consequences of doing my own thing instead of following his demands. I try to explain that I mean to be upfront about my views and principles but do not think it will mean ruining my life or going to prison (as he has implied). He interrupts before I've uttered more than two words, angrily demanding to know... (something about what I plan to do). I get very angry, in turn, at him, so furious that there are tears of frustration in my eyes, though I do not cry. Fran (who's on my right) is concerned and tries to comfort me or give her support, patting my right arm. I want to say something more, but realize it is useless arguing with Dad. It seems best, instead, if Fran and I just abruptly leave. I had tried to explain, but he would not listen. Mom, in the background, just seems anxious, sad that Dad and I are having another fight. She does not know how to improve things and is worried about the rift if we leave now with so much tension between Dad and me.

[Of Dad, I'd say he was domineering, intelligent, and practical. Of Mom, she is easily depressed and anxious and tends to see herself as a victim. Of Fran, she is brilliant, exceptionally competent, and generally happy, though we do at times have friction if tired or under stress.

The exact specifics of the dream may not be as relevant as some of the themes, such as effective vs. ineffective (or fruitless) ways to interact with others, here both my dad shadow and me, the ego, putting responsibility for a poor interaction (or for our own negative feelings) onto another person, rather than owning that (them) in ourselves. The two animas (dawning awareness) both seem concerned about the unrewarding ways that feelings are being expressed and the resultant greater distance between my shadow and me, when integration would be so much better, yet seem themselves ineffectual in bringing about a better outcome, given the circumstances. The models here from both my dad shadow and my mom anima are not so good, more what are to be avoided than to be cultivated for my own growth.]

8/10/12 - Title: "Receiving and Giving Criticism"

I am toward the back of the group with a few others walking at a good pace across a pleasant, mostly green and natural area of a campus. Fran, who is toward the front of our little group, says something to which I take exception, and I promptly respond with a comment to her, said lightly but with an implicit criticism. Jim, part of our little fast-paced group as well, drops back till close to me and going more slowly, the rest of the group going on ahead as I match my pace to Jim's to be able to hear what he has to say. I suspect it may be a word of advice in defense of Fran. Sure enough, once the others are far enough ahead to be out of earshot, yet with a big smile on his face as though this is all a joke (so as not to give offense), he quietly suggests perhaps it would be better to respond to Fran more in private, in a bit less negative way and once I am no longer still bothered by whatever comment of hers occasions the response. (He actually conveys this message much more concisely than I have here [or than I can remember].) I'm thinking I know how to talk with my wife, that she does not need Jim's protection, and that she can definitely look after herself. Nonetheless, I decide to respond politely and thank him for so well demonstrating the right way to deliver a criticism. He laughs and says he does not know that he has done all that! By now we are so far behind the others that they are no longer in sight and must have gone somewhere between buildings we see ahead. We walk faster, hoping to soon see them and catch up.

[Of Jim, I'd say he is brilliant as a dancer, teacher, and chess player, has a great sense of humor, and has many friends, yet is still bothered by too domineering a mother. Of Frances, I describe her as also brilliant, getting along well with many with whom she shares interests, and having a knack for focusing on things that are very rewarding for her.

None of the three main characters in this dream, my anima, Fran, my shadow, Jim, or me, are without "fault." Frances has been publicly critical of her spouse, my Jim shadow plays the part of rescuer rather than dealing with his own business (his feelings about a tense situation), and I am feeling defensive, overreacting to what others think of me instead of recognizing that "Their bullshit is their bullshit" or "What others think of me is none of my business." It is not surprising that the net effect is that greater distance (rather than closeness and integration) is put between me and most of the others (parts of myself) manifest in the dream.

In this and the prior day's dream, there are good qualities to take, cultivate, or own from the model of my anima represented by Frances: brilliant, good at focusing on what is rewarding, getting along well with many others, and being both competent and happy.]

8/14/12 - Title: "Off Balance"

I am at first walking with another man. He is to my right and a little behind, though almost abreast of me. Later it seems he is not there still. We are walking on an area of land that is light brown, almost golden, reminding of a long dune or wave of sand/land in the Sahara, and it is kind of shaped like the top of a whale. There is a contour, as though we are walking down the longitudinal (vertical) axis of the body, except the land's contour is over a much larger area, maybe at least 3-4 or 4-5 times as long and wide as if it were a real whale. The slope down to the right ends in a drop-off for an indefinite distance, at least 15-20 feet, possibly more like 30-40 feet, and where the drop-off is there is no noticeable light. It is in shadow.

As we are walking, suddenly the contoured land begins to shift, almost as if it actually were a creature that is shifting its position, also like stories of the land liquefying in some kinds of earthquake. This throws me off balance, and I am at the point of losing my footing and falling. It seems if I were to fall now I might be engulfed in the shifting earth or fall over the drop-off.

I lose track of the other man as I am attempting to keep my balance, moving faster, a little bent over, in the hope that in this way I might have a better chance of not falling. It seems I must move faster and faster, almost running, almost as if I am flying, only contacting the shifting surface briefly, for brief moments, lest I get caught in the shifting earth. It seems certain I'll not be able to continue in this way indefinitely, but for now I am able to compensate for being off balance by going faster and touching the ground less often.

Ahead I see a darker stretch, like a stain running lengthwise on this shifting, whale-like area of earth I am traversing. This part is flatter, less contoured, and the stain is a little more on the right, though still running lengthwise up the area I am running or almost flying along. I realize it is chemical, probably a type of polluted land, oily, like a slick, except on the surface of this shifting, nearly liquefied land, instead of on water. It feels as though if I fall onto this darker, oily part it will be even worse than to fall and possibly be engulfed in the rest of the sandy dirt. This stained area appears to stretch about two football field lengths or more ahead. I am at the extreme of my ability to stay barely balanced by moving faster and faster. It seems I must fall at any moment now, that this cannot be avoided.

[The situation in the dream may be a metaphor for a feeling that I am lately more and more off balance in dealing with my emotions over various frustrating or irritating circumstances and people, that I am all too easily, and more so than has been the case for awhile, getting caught up in negative emotions and then staying mired in them. For instance, my sister-in-law, Mary, has been acting in what I see as a quite aggressive, controlling way with respect to managing the preparations for a 90th birthday celebration coming up in October for my mom, in the process being critical of my efforts in that they were not "cleared" with her first, etc., though she is technically only one of two people in charge of the food planning for the occasion and not at all responsible for several other areas of the planning into which she is now intruding. Since she is hard to deal with and does have some good ideas, most of the other planners tend to simply defer to her. Instead, I too often sort of lock horns and get into contests of will with her, then obsess about the issues and how to best her in our "battles," so that I can "win." She appears to be trying at least as hard to "win" as well, and so to make me the "loser," and thinks I am thwarting or undermining her.

Of Mary, I'd say she is highly intelligent, rather bullying if she is not promptly getting her way, and good at organizing special social events, so long as she sees herself as being in charge and that others are bowing to her expertise. Yet she can miss many finer details, get way off track at times, and often lacks the insight to see that others' points of view are worth hearing and applying as well.

It occurs to me that the "whale" that is shifting might be spelled "wail." In any case, my stance on a highly mobile, uncontrollable surface is untenable, and falling really is inevitable, especially since I have already lost my emotional balance and am trying to move faster and faster with even less contact, i.e. with my feet even less solidly on the ground, a prescription for failure.

Just as I am caught up in my emotions, so there is little or no light where reason should be (on the right), but a drop-off (of rationality?) instead.]

8/15/12 - Title: "Good Man"

In an earlier scene there is something about a beautiful young woman whom I am in love with, but also whom another man is in love with, and we are both at different times enjoying sex with her, and she apparently glad to make love with either of us, not feeling any need to choose. In some fashion, she and we two men are all involved in a space program.

In a later scene, a rocket has been prepared for launch. This will be a first of its kind space research mission. There is a drawback, however. This will be a manned trip, but it is just one-way. There is room in the final rocket stage for two people. I have not yet decided if I shall go, though the other man (from the first scene) has asked me to go along. In the end, I agree to go too. "Good man," he says.

Still later, the two of us are in space and in the payload capsule. His seat is facing mine but a little above mine in this small, "nosecone"-shaped craft. We are enthralled by the clear views, through small windows in the craft, of stars, etc. We know we are making history. We find the sights here fascinating, the first ones humans have seen from above Earth's atmosphere. Yet we also know our remaining time is quite limited. There is no air, food, water, or heat for a long journey. We take in the experiences with an immediacy and concentration we might not have had with the luxury of having "all the time in the world" in our normal lives down below.

[In this dream, the ego is apparently dealing with the reality of its mortality. There is also some integration involved. Two vs. three suggests dawning awareness and transformation.

There is a sexual theme: making love, "mission" short for emission, rocket as phallic symbol, etc.

There is also an issue of what it means to be a "good man" on a "manned trip." Is a "good man" one who is willing to sacrifice himself when he does not have to (for there is a choice)? What might life have been like had I decided to continue with things down on the surface, with all its complicated pros and cons, difficult relationships, expectations, frustrations, and so forth, instead of going on this terminal odyssey? Could I also have been a "good man" in that more mundane way? "Good man" is also perhaps a kind of "God-man" in the same way that Jesus is assumed to have been, after his sacrifice. Yet is it truly good to be a martyr?

The matter of living in the moment, for that is all there is, getting into the "Zen zone" of that, is emphasized too. This aspect verges on the spiritual.

Space may have to do more with inner than outer space, i.e. with inner realms of being and awareness.]

8/18/12 - Title: "Prepared to Bomb"

I am in a large military aircraft, a bomber (one of those around in the 1950s, like the B-36), a huge prop-plane, capable of flying long distances and dropping a big bomb load and/or a nuclear bomb load. I am one of the several-man crew. We are airborne for a long time, our mission simply to be already in the air, in case we need to proceed toward enemy airspace and drop our bombs. Meanwhile, with nothing much else to do, we talk at length about a variety of things.

8/21/12 - Title: "Pie in the Sky"

First scene - I have been sleeping in a large bed in a big house, someone else's, the governor's (though not his official mansion). I think I am the only one here. I wake up, though, to a loud noise as if from a leaf blower or power mower, and assume a neighbor lady is mowing the adjacent yard. Some of the dust and debris from the operation then is spraying onto my face, neck, and shoulders. In fact it is one of the advance party for the governor's imminent arrival beginning the process of sprucing up the place and using power equipment on the hedge, lawn, etc., very close to where I have been sleeping. He seems to assume I am in the advance party too. I decide to get out of there while I can. I get Puff out of the house and into my small car, and we drive away.

Another scene - The advance party for the governor's arrival includes a number of beautiful women. It is not clear if they have other, more official functions, but apparently they will be helping to entertain the governor sexually. I know that the governor's plane is arriving soon and understand that additional beautiful ladies are on the plane with him, no doubt in some cases for his pleasures, including mutual oral sex. The phrase "pie in the sky" comes to mind in the dream.

[Puff's traits include: female, intuitive, creative, emotional, extroverted, and playful. She may here also be a stand-in for my Higher Power (Dog can = god to a dreaming mind.) Of "pie in the sky," I'd say, besides the innuendo of sexual encounters (integration), the phrase as used here is ironic and refers to a pipe dream, something highly unlikely but to be hoped for, wishful thinking. "Advance" is repeated and could have to do with growth. "Party" also appears more than once. Might a theme be something about parting(s), as in separation, the loss of something, or grieving? "Governor" appears often and can have the in-context meaning of a head administrator, but may also have to do with regulating or limiting something. A governor on a vehicle, for example, may be used to hold its speed down, as with school buses or military vehicles that in the past had governors to hold the top speed at 55 or below.]

8/28/12 - Title: "Buying Into Buffet's (Buffett's) Qualities"

I am in a gathering of associates of Warren Buffet (Buffett), including at least one of his closest managers or corporate executives. I have been seeking advice on what they think are good investments. My intention is to buy 10. Buffett seems to be aging more rapidly but is still sharp, and after I have talked with others and gotten good recommendations (unfortunately not remembered!) I mention my top 4 picks from among these (BRK plus 3 others), and he agrees with all 4 being good.

[On awakening, I think a good approach may be to refine a list of stocks of which the CEOs had managed to be in a select group: leading their companies to maintaining a 20% or greater average annual increase in book value for at least 20 consecutive years.

Of Buffett, I'd say he is brilliant, single-minded in his focus on what he enjoys most (in his case, investing and everything related to it), concerned about measuring and enhancing the true value of things, and possessed of a good sense of humor, a regard for business ethics, and a desire for fairness in taxes and otherwise, for the good of the people generally. These are pretty fine qualities for a shadow of mine to have! In addition, they may correspond with my concept of a Higher Power.

The numbers suggest transformation, manifestation in reality, success, progress, and unity/integration.

I spelled "Buffett" incorrectly as "Buffet" a couple times, suggesting an interest in an array of nourishing investments or, in dream terms, nurturance.]

8/31/12 - Title: "Remus and Puff are Fine"

Scene one - I am in a place like a campground where there are a number of separate buildings for people to stay temporarily. I am in one of these and a number of men come by and some want to use the bathroom (pee). For some reason, at first the pee facilities closest to where I am are not occupied but still are not available. Then they are available, so the situation resolves, though I'm uncomfortable with having several men coming by just when they feel like, instead wanting more privacy for myself.

Scene two - A man (my walking buddy, Remus) is here and somebody calls him out (challenges him to a fight). He does not know what it is about (nor do I), though it could have been about Puff and wanting to take Puff, which Remus does not agree to. I look out a window or some other opening and see Remus outside. His back is to me and I do not see whom he is talking to but assume it is the guy who called him out. He has some dry grass in his left hand and is saying that he'll let the grass go (fall) and when it hits the ground then the fight has begun. For some reason, I cannot keep watching and do not know the outcome.

Scene three - I see Remus again. He is fine and acting normally, as though he had not been in a fight at all.

Scene four - This one is completely like a cartoon. It is as though all the normal characters in my dream(s) have been transformed into cartoon characters. I see a big gathering of these characters, with big cartoon heads compared with their small multi-colored cartoon-ish, puffy looking bodies. In the gathering are maybe 25 happy, smiling, or dumb (goofy) clown-like faces, as if in a crowd or an audience, that is, like in a gallery of them at a theater. One of the dumb or out of it looking faces has a black eye and other bruises, and I realize that must be the fellow who had called Remus out. I am worried I have not seen Puff. Is she OK?

Then I see a big, black "cave" opening that turns out to be a big open cartoon mouth with big cartoon teeth, big enough that the tiny, clown-like characters can sit on them or hop around on them. Someone calls Puff and her "cartooned" self (just like her but turned into a tiny cartoon character) hops out from toward the back of the open mouth where she had been hiding on or behind a "cartooned" molar tooth bigger than she is. I'm relieved to see she's just fine!

[Of Remus, I'd say he is very smart (always has concise wise shares, with good analogies, in our meetings; used to be a chemical engineer), an ex-Marine and feather-weight boxing type guy, short like me, very fit, mostly quite rational but at times very emotional (for instance, after a punk told him off, started to punch his lights out, and after wife called him rude - for something he did not do - was very upset about the unfair accusation till that situation got resolved, yet normally is very considerate of her), a few years younger than me, but also retired, has been in Alanon for over 30 years, kind, a "biker," seems to enjoy our walking buddy friendship without putting strings on it, usually walks and chats with me for 20-25 minutes around the church parking area after our Men's Group Alanon meetings, and though we both share personal stuff, not just me, he is sort of like my sponsor, since my real sponsor moved to Fredericksburg over a year and a half ago and is never available in person, only sometimes by phone, yet Remus says he does not have time to be a sponsor, likes informal meetings such as we have instead.

Of Puff I'd say she is our dog (spelled "God" backwards), very extroverted, extremely playful, creative, and impulsive.

I did not know the other men or the cartoon characters, except for Puff, of course.]

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