September, 2010

10 14 19 22 28

9/10/10 - Title: "A Challenging New Situation and a New Lover Lost"

(Most not remembered, but...) I am alone and have come up a steep, new, curving footpath in a mountainous area. The path leads to a large modern spacious commercial building with many glass windows. The walls at times offer such open views it is almost like being outside, while also at high elevation, so the views are splendid. Inside the building, I feel like an outsider, arriving for the first time here. There are several men and women here already. Some are working. Others are guests like me. (I am younger than my present age.) There is a relaxed atmosphere and several are also drinking alcoholic beverages. One other guest is an attractive woman who has a build like a swimmer, large in the upper arms and chest. (And, indeed, I sense she is a very good swimmer who also works out a lot, swimming several miles each morning. She is more extroverted than I and has more natural self-confidence.) She and I hit it off and make love in one of the building's rooms. She is easy in her intimacy, generous in her lovemaking.

Later, I do not know where she is. I am alone. I hope I shall find her. I do not know where to begin looking for her. It feels kind of daunting here. Once more I feel like an outsider. My focus is on finding her. I must rely on a chance encounter. I go outside, hoping I might meet her on or near the path.

[The overall context of this dream includes a lot of stirred up emotional "craziness" and co-dependence involving my family right now. My own reactions to others' bizarre behaviors or attitudes have not been the best, and I have been obsessing about the situation. My mom (who will be 88 next month) has kind of stirred things up in an upsetting way with changes she impulsively is making in her will. These have encouraged a lot of extra competitiveness and ill-feeling between some of my siblings as well as in me and directed toward me. This in turn has led to other unfortunate occurrences, and, by a weird chain of cause and effect, to my mom falling twice while on a vacation trip out to CA this week (and I suspect the mishaps are with alcohol involved), leaving her with aches all over and severe bruising at least to her knees.

A recovering alcoholic brother (till now for over a year in Austin, TX), whose stability is sometimes in question, has also finally gotten a job, but in problematic circumstances and in Germany, where he will be of course far from his social support network, while taking on work in which he will probably be over his head. I can relate, since the will/estate mess now stirred up, my own roles as executor as well as administrator of Mom's affairs if she becomes clearly incompetent, plus the reality or prospect of negative reactions of all sorts from others in my dysfunctional birth family, has me at times feeling overwhelmed.

I asked last night for a dream that would help me clarify and deal with the present family brouhaha.

So I am, with more or less success (mostly less success) practicing not obsessing about such "relative matters" and instead attempting to stay more focused on things that matter in the here and now.

Meanwhile too, I am working on Steps 6 and 7 in my Alanon program, but my sponsors are both rather preoccupied with their own stuff at the moment and do not have the time or emotional freedom to address my distressing family situation, other than in brief to encourage me to stay in the present, not to obsess in a co-dependent way. Much easier said than done, but of course they cannot resolve this for me.

My friend Janet looked over the dream and came up with the following analysis: "So mountains are about spiritual obstacles. Your ego is alone and you find yourself on a path to walk (that it seems you must walk alone)."

When you walk this path, it takes you to a place inside yourself which is commercial (and what does that mean to you? business? out in the collective? what?) And there are many places to get perspective. The walls, boundaries, or things that are walled off to you offer different perspectives. Even though a building is an aspect of the self, this is the first time you (the ego) were in this place in yourself."

"Your shadow and your anima are working. Your ego is a guest here. And it's relaxed and your drinking in spiritual things."

"You have an anima who knows how to maneuver and work through emotions. She's very good at this and very strong. In fact, when she does swim in the emotions, it 'works out.' As the anima, you put your feelings out there more than your ego does and you have more confidence in the feeling part of you."

"Its easy to integrate this part of you, to be intimate, and the feeling part of you is generous is creating love."

"Then you don't know where she's gone, and once again you feel you are alone. Your focus is on finding this part of yourself. So you go out in the world, figuring you might meet her when you walk your spiritual path."

"Bottom Line: You actually, inside yourself, can use these difficulties to get perspective. Windows not only give you perspective but let the light in. When you get perspective (when you get a high enough picture of what is going on) and are walking your spiritual path, you meet this wonderful anima figure who can "make love" rather than negativity. So right now you may be feeling this part of you is gone, but the end of the dream suggests that, in getting out with other people and walking your spiritual path (Alanon, and the other things you do) you are likely to find that part of you again."

Regarding her question about what "commercial" means to me, I came up with the following associations:

1. Having to do with commerce, i.e. transactions, business, trades, sales; 2. An advertisement on the radio or TV; 3. Something kind of crass and shallow, even corrupt, for instance the way American politics is becoming more and more; 4. Driven by money or money interests or lobbying; 5. Moneyed self-interest, that puts raw capitalism ahead of other concerns or values (and this nearly caused the second Great Depression or worse, in the 2008 to early 2009 period); 6. Having to do with my mother's current nest egg and future estate; 7. And hence all matters related to her attempted manipulations of family members via her money and will and the various obsessive co-dependencies or other Alanon issues that surround that overall situation. (I would guess the last two are most pertinent in this context.)]

9/14/10 - Title: "The Two-Part Test"

I am young (Jung?), a student, in a big old room, like a library in a school of ancient vintage, and sitting at a long table, with seats along one side of it for several, and old-fashioned electric lamps with green glass shades. These lights may be individually switched on for each student. I am taking an exam of many pages. I answer a number of multiple choice questions, not feeling that I am doing excellently, but at least having some idea of the correct answers, and turn my test booklet in, handing it to a middle-aged male teacher up at the front of the room. He promptly begins to look through and grade it as I have sat down again, as if to await the results. Suddenly, it occurs to me that I may have missed doing several pages of the test questions. Maybe there were essay portions as well. Shocked that this might mean I had flunked, but also that I had even missed noting the larger part of the exam, I go up to the teacher at the front and tell him I think I may have omitted some of the test. He says yes, that he was amazed how little I had completed, and that I would surely fail. However, he agrees to let me try again when I tell him I had somehow not even noticed or remembered that there were the other questions. Back at the desk with my barely completed booklet, I glance through the essay questions and am appalled. I really have no idea what to write. I must put down something. I try to mess with the lamp over my part of the desk as well as then with the one over to my right, for a student but who is not there, hoping, while I am fiddling with the lamp switches and adjusting them so there is more light, that something will occur to me to write down. I must have missed most of the course and now can only attempt to bluff my way through to the end of the test.

I am excited then with some revelation and say, at least to myself, something like: "Surely the spritely (should be spelled "sprightly") wizards will come to my aid!"

[I am, in my Alanon 12-Step program, at Steps 6 and 7, which are, respectively, "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character" and "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." I have at several key points in my Alanon progress been receiving helpful dreams. I think this dream is related to Steps 6 and 7 and, in particular, to a recognition that I as the ego just cannot do it myself. I hardly have a traditional view of God, but perhaps the "spritely wizards" are conceptions I have of my Higher Power. The school or library room must represent a place of learning, and in this place I am engaged, though with so far apparently not great success, in a process of spiritual growth.]

9/19/10 - Title: "Meeting A Niece Poet"

Scene One -I am introduced by someone to a young woman poet, Anis. (I think the meeting is in someone's home, but possibly it is at a bookstore.) The subject comes up that I write a little poetry. She is gracious and seems happy to meet me as well as curious about what I write. However, I am shy and am thinking that it cannot compare with her writing. She seems about to read some of her poetry. I look forward to hearing it and want to get to know her better. I hope I shall understand her writing.

[In years past I rather often wrote a kind of free associative, blank verse poetry, but seldom do now. The ideas used to flow easily, but only occasionally occur to me these days. It is good to know that at least one of my animas, possibly a relative (a niece), is still writing. She is young, which could mean Jung. As the anima, her qualities, gracious, happy, and curious, may be there to show me right feeling. The ego in this dream is probably at once realistic and too self-effacing in comparing himself as a poet to her. Even though I have been a writer, I have many times had the experience of not understanding others' poetry, feeling that I would benefit from a course in which a teacher explains the meanings that are frequently there on more subtle levels.]

Scene Two - I am lying on my stomach on top of a train that is moving at good speed down railroad tracks at night. There must be light from the train or near the tracks. From my position atop the engine, I can see the tracks just ahead and how the train, as if "deciding" automatically, goes onto this set or that set of them when there are two or three sets that criss-cross at slight angles to one another. I sense that someone to the train's rear is directing which directions or "choices" the train makes in where to go at these junctures. I hope the train will go where I wish. I want to meet a young woman at a not far station. Sure enough, it does arrive at a small town where the young woman I want to meet lives. I get off, but the train continues on. I am excited about my meeting with the young woman. I hope I can find the house where she lives and then also that she will like me. I had seen her before, when she was traveling in the community where I live, and knew I wanted us to get to know each other much better.

[Here again there is an anima who is young, which may mean Jung. As in the first scene, there is an interest in getting to know this anima better. This woman seems bright, attractive, and pleasant. I would guess she is someone who is easy to get along with. In the dream I have an ideal view of her and likely am already a little in love with her, even though we have not even met. The train's taking different routes when the tracks meet other tracks suggests decisions that are made in how one goes through life. The train itself may be about how I am going through life but also suggests the present, where I am on the train, the future, the decision points just ahead, and the past, the cars that stretch out behind. The left and right rails of the track suggest yin and yang or the more traditionally feminine mode vs. the more traditionally masculine mode, or being more into feelings, intuition, and the unconscious vs. more into the rational, logical, and analytical, respectively. Seeing where the tracks meet at "slight angles" suggests seeing the angles by which things may be manipulated or explained. I wonder too if angles could partly be about "angels." There is in both scenes an interest in getting to know the anima better. This seems encouraging for greater integration. "two or three" suggests dawning awareness vs. transformation. Perhaps the "someone" to the rear, sensed as male, who directs the way the train goes, is a shadow conception of my higher power, deciding for me which directions my life will take.]

9/22/10 - I met with the Sunday afternoon dream group, which has just started up again after a several months' hiatus, on 9/19, and, among others, my dream of that date was discussed. Some of the points made about it or additional insights I had then included:

  • The dream is partly about libido or sexual interest and partly about a desire for greater integration with my feminine side or anima.

  • It also reflects a willingness for and recognition of the ego being in the dark but the higher power (HP) making the real and important decisions and choosing the directions in which my life is to go.

  • There is a strong emphasis on going after and uniting with the creative, emotional side. In this case, since there is stress on the fact the anima is a poet and she shows interest in this aspect of the ego's creativity as well, the interpretation includes a strong urge that I ardently, actively pursue my more emotional and creative side through much greater dedication to writing.

  • So, via creativity I can come to a better owning and realization of the richness and depth of my emotional side. Sonya encouraged me to think of this as like a one-pointed pursuit of a woman in whom I have great interest for a passionate relationship, and to not let a day go by that I am not finding ways to be creative, especially through writing, even if at first this effort and its results might seem very dry.

  • There is a sense that there are many levels, some subtle, that may be revealed, just as poetry may be read and understood at superficial as well as profound levels, some, for instance, having to do with simple sexual passion while others reflect an intense spirituality.

9/28/10 - Title: "The Unexploded Bomb"

Fran, Puff, and I are living in an apartment that takes up one upper floor of a multi-story building. All is well at first, and Frances and I are just talking normally about something interesting when we hear a nearby plane, and then the scream of a falling bomb. It strikes before we have a chance to run for cover of some type. There is an explosion, but we are alright. The plane continues its bombing run, evidently the pilot intent on damage specifically to our apartment or us. We lose track of Puff amid the fear and the destructive chaos. One bomb crashes into our living room, very close to Fran and me, but it lodges there unexploded. I yell to Frances to get out of there, that we must leave; the bomb could go off any second. However, she is intent on something that takes her concentration and does not join me in rushing out of the room. I yell at her again to get out of there. No response. I am looking for Puff and find her cowering under a bookcase in the third room of our apartment, the one on the opposite end from the living room. (From my observer/dreamer perspective, the first room or living room is to the right of the apartment, and this room is on the left, with a middle room between.) Suddenly, there is a large explosion at the other end of the apartment from where Puff and I now are (an explosion back in the first room, the living room area), the building shakes, and the power (lights) go off. I do not see how Fran could have survived the blast. She had apparently still been in the first room when the till then unexploded bomb went off. Puff continues to cower under the bookcase and is trembling badly. (I am shocked, sad, frightened, and lonely, sure that Frances is dead.)

[Fran is generally happy, pleasant, and intent on her own activities, but can get impatient, judgmental, critical, and sarcastic in blaming and trying to dominate and control others if upset. She is highly intelligent and very talented, and tends to focus on projects and pastimes that are quite rewarding for her.

Puff is very playful, emotional, independent, and social. She is, however, extremely fearful of things she does not understand, such as thunder, fireworks, or kids coming to the door in costumes at Halloween.

I am involved in Step 7 Alanon work right now (about humbly asking for one's higher power to remove one's shortcomings), and I think of Alanon literature in connection with the "book" in the word bookcase. Also about my conception of a higher power (HP) that Puff likely represents (dog = god). This week, I am also leading an Alanon meeting. The topic will be Step 2 (about coming to believe in a power greater than ourselves and able to restore us to sanity).

Fran and I have been having fewer and less prolonged or intense arguments or bickering sessions lately, probably since about the time I began getting seriously involved in Alanon. Nonetheless, skirmishes do arise at times. By coincidence or not, we had a minor flare-up this morning, only about an hour after getting up, our first in awhile. It lasted about 10-15 minutes and was then evidently completely over, not like before when we might have escalated something like that into a week-long conflict. In the midst of it, I remembered a bit of counsel from the Alanon program and did not respond with so much a tit-for-tat reaction to the last thing she had said, intended to win her round. She also backed off from the fight, and we were even saying nice things to each other a few minutes later. This scene may be what was meant in the dream, summarized by the line: "There is an explosion, but we are alright."

If Puff in the dream is partly a metaphor for my HP, then in this real life situation it is significant that for awhile we had lost contact with her, i.e. my connection with my HP, but partly regained it as I remembered the Alanon program.

I do not know what the dream's bottom line meaning is re my inner dynamic, but assume the three rooms suggest transformation. And "apart-ment" can be about being or feeling apart, or about alienation.

The Fran and Puff animas in this dream may be there to show right feeling by example or counter-example. So, presumably this is an emphasis on my maybe being more happy and pleasant while also acknowledging more my intelligence and talent and focusing more on things I find rewarding, yet avoiding a tendency toward being critical, blaming, upset, or sarcastic. It would also suggest being more playful, social, emotional, and independent, while avoiding being as preoccupied with and immobilized by my fears as I get at times.

The bombs that go off may be emotional explosions, while the one that remains unexploded for awhile but goes off later may suggest issues that fester with resentments, probably on both sides, but have not yet ignited, which, however, are terribly devastating once they do.

It may be relevant that in real life my mother-in-law (with whom there is little rapport and who, in archetypal in-law fashion, has often seemed to want to undermine me over the years of my marriage to her daughter) is coming in about two weeks for a three-week visit with Fran and me, three times longer than she has ever visited before. I find I have feelings of resentment about this as well as, generally, how Fran sort of caters to her mom even when the latter is undermining me in my own home and seeking to maintain a more exclusive relationship with her daughter, making it obvious when she is around that, for her, she and Fran are a winning two-some but that I, making it three, am a crowd, leading to my having angry and hurt feelings.

On the other hand, as my female sponsor has pointed out, I have not been with my mother-in-law since being in Alanon so it is possible that the dynamic described above will have changed, just as I had noted that Fran and I seem less at odds after I have been in the Alanon program.

If the dream is relevant to this mother-in-law visit situation, maybe there is danger, or at least a fear, of a real blowup between me and Fran's mom and/or me and Frances in the weeks ahead, amid the potential "chaos and destruction" of this lady's visit. I might for awhile lose touch with my HP and then, after regaining that contact, with my feelings as represented by my Frances anima. It is possible too that, during the possible stress of that visit, I would be seeking to be with my HP (as represented by my Puff anima?) in a scary situation while one aspect of my feminine is wanting to stay in or with the negative emotions and is in a sense destroyed by them.

The power and lights going off when the bomb explodes (in the right hand side room, where logic and reason are supposed to prevail), suggest that the big blowup I fear could be at once disabling and reducing of my ability to see things clearly. The building shaking when the explosion happens also suggests a danger that the growth in which I am involved, through dream and meditation work plus the Alanon program, might be at least temporarily suspended or shaken.

So far, this is all I can get from the dream.]

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