November, 2007

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11/1/07 - Title: "What I Want Too Much, I Can't Have"

I am much younger, perhaps in my late teens or early twenties, and trying to woo a young woman. She finds me interesting, even fascinating, but is leery of having a relationship with me. Her mother likes me (groan!) and thinks I would be a good match for her daughter, even once encouraging me to continue my pursuit of her, but I realize that the mother's approval is almost the kiss of death on ever really making it with the daughter. There are some cell-like rooms or apartments in a row, all cubes with clear glass sides, so there is no privacy but completely clear, intimate views between them, from outside in, or from in to outside. At least temporarily, my room is just one or two away from the young woman's, but we are on different schedules, so I seldom see her. I leave her cards or letters which the mother sees and likes, but which the young woman "ignores," just seeming exasperated when she finds them later. She sees that I am too interested in her. I would be more attractive if more confident, less concerned with whether or not she likes me. The situation is frustrating and depressing.

11/2/07 - Title: "No Longer Alone"

There is a great concrete structure. It is at once a bridge, a means of flood control, and a channel for river flow. Folks have been challenging themselves by walking out to this (isolated in the central Texas countryside) huge artifact, though it does not sid (sit) on or near any existing roads and is several miles from any town, a distance over which one may encounter muddy barriers, insect nuisances, scorpions, spiders, high humidity, the Texas sun, etc. There is no convenient way to lug in enough water for the trek. And, once started, there may be no human contact, just isolation, till one returns. It is a hot day when I tackle this feat and at length, after scary encounters with snakes, deep mud, thirst, fatigue, and being eaten by mosquitoes, reach the concrete structure. Now, from here, I just have to get down into the muddy river (which looks like the Colorado or Guadalupe in flood), swim across, and return. From the top of the concrete bridge/river "channeler," I see, perhaps a half mile downstream and standing level with me on a high bank, someone else who has tested himself in this way and has already also swum the river. We wave.

[This reminds me of the last scene before the intermission in the movie "Lawrence of Arabia," after the exhausted Lawrence character, played by Peter O'Toole, has come across the desert, the last part of the way completely alone, has at last reached the Suez Canal, and has just gotten the attention of someone on the other side. But they seem to be the only two people over an immense distance or area and are still separated by the canal itself. The other man repeatedly shouts asking Lawrence "Who are you?"]

11/3/07 - Title: "A Lot of Old Blood Gathering - Imminent Death of a Weak Ego"

I'm visiting in the home of some older relatives (none I know in waking life). There are some outside stairs and then, inside, there is a fairly small house, but with at least three levels or floors. Between the first and second (split-level) levels there are just a few stairs (5-6). From the second, there are yet more, other stairs up to at least one higher level set of rooms, a full story above. (There seems to be some type family gathering I and others from out of town are here for. And then there are the relatives who own the house, who of course are not from out of town, but I do not know or remember among them which is which, the owners vs. the guests.) I have been unusually inactive and quiet for this gathering, not feeling too well physically. And now I notice that at the top of my right wrist, under the skin, a lot of blood has collected. Even seen through the skin, it is so dark it appears almost black, apparently old blood that is pooled there. With fear and sadness (for I know the answer), I ask the others sitting around in the little lowest level (entrance level) room: "That's not normal is it?" and indicate my wrist. Everyone becomes quiet on seeing the trapped blood collected on top of my wrist, and someone agrees it is not normal.

The others suggest I go upstairs and rest, and gently help me up the few stairs to the second level. I suddenly feel very weak and stop to rest before going up the next, longer set of stairs to the 3rd level. It sinks in that I must be dying. I think I'll just rest here (on the second or upper split-level, in sight of all the others) awhile before going on up to the 3rd level (where I would be more alone to die).

[Before going to bed last night, I had noticed some changes in my wrist. There is a little atrophy in one place but also small or large bulges that were not there several months ago. They feel like fatty deposits, perhaps because the joint has not been getting a normal amount of use due to my tendonitis, but I wondered too if they might be primary or metastasized lymphomas.

When the wrist problem first appeared, around February, it was on waking from a dream that I had cancer (in my right forearm) which was causing a lot of pain. In reality, the pain turned out to be from the tendonitis. I have a new doctor's app't. next Wednesday.

"Old blood" collected = an accumulation of "bad blood"? or = a family gathering?

About a week before this dream, I had a dream of a friend of Sonya's who had just died suddenly. He appeared to me as a young man. I reacted as if he were the Angel of Death coming for me, and I woke up as from a nightmare. Earlier, on hearing (in reality) of his death and from Sonya his age when he died, I had thought "but he was so young!" i.e. just a few years older than I am.]

11/5/07 - The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 11/3/07 "A Lot of Old Blood Gathering... " dream. Highlights:

  • Themes include the death of limiting, dysfunctional aspects of myself, issues of culturally endorsed and gender appropriate identification and expression, the harboring or accumulation of unexpressed "bad blood" between people, possible concerns over coming family gatherings (both in the real realm, as in Thanksgiving or Christmas get-togethers, and on the inner or dream realm), and reactions to changes within the overall system (due to acupuncture, dream work, ordinary life experiences, medical conditions, aging, etc.).

  • There is an M. C. Escher-like juxtaposition of differently oriented stairs (stares?) in this dream that may indicate that in some respects "the impossible" (for Escher specializes in drawings and paintings of things that appear to fit together but actually are not possible) is about to happen, healthy changes that could not earlier have been conceived of or believed. These may be reflected in the real world attitudes and relationships.

  • Part of the change involves the loss of the recent, weak, dysfunctional ego, to be replaced by one that is healthier, stronger, more competent.

  • The inactivity or weakness of the dreamer at one point may imply a passivity or receptivity that is inconsistent with a typical macho masculine role in our society, yet there needs to be more flexibility about male vs. female roles, a creative blending of the two for best adaptation, rather than folks rigidly fitting into stratified identities such as that of the "cowboy," perhaps represented most outrageously these days by President George W. Bush. Would that he were and had been a little more reflective, intuitive, and receptive (to other ideas about things) than the quite limited male-only type buffoon he has become.

  • Besides fear and sadness over the apparently imminent demise of the then present ego, there was a sense of relief that the struggles for this identity were about over.

  • The split-level suggests internal splits, such as between yin and yang or reason and emotion.

  • The several sets of stairs, which may also be "stares," could indicate seeing from different perspectives, especially when considered along with the view from the second level of all the other family gathering folks.

  • The three levels probably indicate a transition form dawning awareness to imminent transformation.

  • There is gentleness here, but also the collected blood suggests both bottled up anger and passion, which is "not normal."

  • However, the sets of stairs are perpendicular, i.e. the outside stairs and the stairs from the second to the third level are parallel to each other, but they are both perpendicular to the orientation of the stairs from the first to the second level. Ironically, perhaps, in calculus terms, the perpendicular orientations are described by formulae called "normals." So this dream encompasses elements of both the not normal and the normal.

  • Other, older relatives may be inner advisors or mentors, and they are suggesting to and helping me to ascend to the higher levels (levels involving more growth and integration).

  • For each of us, the journey to higher levels and death is made alone.

  • The noted 5-6 stairs from the first to the second levels may indicate an ordered advance inside, with potential involvement of the first 5-6 chakras.

  • Last year about this time, I had at least one significant dream about a family gathering, indicating some emotional investment in the events then as well. This probably will be a recurrent inner theme, mirroring outside the inner questions of integration and intimacy vs. adequate protection, privacy, function vs. dysfunction, etc.

  • We are described sometimes as being "thin-skinned," as letting things "get under our skin," etc. The skin is the largest physical organ and marks the demarcation between inner and outer realms of experience, between what is conventionally regarded as "me" vs. them or others or everything else but me. It is the means by which we express intimacy, sexual interaction, physical abuse or affection. It is how we feel the world around us, from our earliest, inside the womb experiences to our final moments of outer contact with this world's living reality. It keeps us from catching infections or being at the whim of whatever painful stimulation might be in the immediate surroundings.

  • So, the collected dead blood, old blood, or bad blood (which should naturally be a representation of life or vitality) "under the skin" suggests an imbalance that is subverting the usual going with the flow pattern and instead cutting off feelings, health, etc. It suggests inadequate protection from dis-ease, etc.

  • In a way, it suggests that at least with this old, dying ego, the shutting down of the normal, healthy flow of passions and experiences is making my old, bad-blood-clogged skin part of the problem instead of the solution to or expression of life's various major or minor assaults vs. beautiful moments.

11/8/07 - Among others, the DG last night discussed my "No Longer Alone" dream of 11/2/07. Highlights:

  • Themes included a life or spiritual quest, exploration of the unconscious, inner landscape, or emotions, providing structure, practical or concrete issues, accepting success and happiness, isolation vs. companionship, health, unclear, ever changing, and turbulent feelings, allowing or going with the flow vs. control, bridging diverse inner qualities or ways of perceiving and relating, channeling the inner experience, and encouragement for the challenges ahead from a shadow self who has already been there.

  • The TX countryside, besides the other obstacles or challenges referred to in the dream, is often a place of abundant sharp edges and points, metaphorical for my own sometimes prickly nature that may need to be partially overcome.

  • I am astrologically a Scorpio, so the presence of scorpions in the dream indicates this as one more thing to be overcome, the negative aspects (though not the strengths) of my own "Scorpio nature."

  • The dream is a study in contrasts, such as between the hot, semi-arid, yet humid landscape and the river in flood. The humidity (tears) plus the muddiness (lack of clarity) in places together indicate a "veil of tears."

  • The great concrete structure reminds me of a huge skull, a Chinese dragon head, or a statue of one, with the flooding river water channeled through, under intense pressure, from the back of the dragon's throat and out through its mouth. There is a bottling up to an extent of the emotions, represented by the flood waters, which are then forced out under greater control. That this is not fully effective and functional is shown by the vast flood waters on the other side of the skull- or dragon statue-like great concrete structure, that are not channeled at all but turbulently churning and coursing downstream.

  • So, it is as if the emotion that comes into consciousness (into the "head-like" structure) is being channeled, but the vast stream of unconsciousness remains outside such control. Yet still, despite being usually outside awareness, it is influencing everything around it, much as a great mass in motion is said to gravitationally bend space, time, and light around it. And the quest in fact (arti-fact) includes not merely an arduous trek out to the bridge/control/channel structure and back but also an immersing of self in and then swimming across the entire width of these emotion-laden flood waters and returning.

  • Thus, sooner or later, to fulfill my new life's work (per another recent dream) I must take on this aspect of the feat as well, one I have been avoiding since my days in CA, and experiments there with injected Ritalin plus an inhaled blend of carbon dioxide and oxygen, "trips" used when I began dealing with then intense negative feelings about my parents.

  • I have always seen myself as more nerd than jock, but the dream message includes that I must become something more of an athlete than previously, for the analogy is of tackling an inner opponent's feat (feet).

  • Encounters with snakes, as previously indicated in this log, also suggest dealing with life, health, and powerful emotions.

  • And the association to a Chinese dragon indicates a call to accept my own success, wealth, bountiful life, and happiness.

  • Spiders can represent the feminine, in this context seen as having negative aspects, threatening to the ego, though actually the inner feminine energy can be powerful and positive.

  • Besides the other challenges of such a trek (requiring the strength, courage, and endurance to complete both a cross country marathon-like hike plus a Poseidon-like swim), there are extra barriers to be overcome, and the potential for great loneliness.

  • There is no assurance of any company at all along this route, so the surprise appearance of a shadow, who reminds me of another dream group member, Arthur, about my age and who in reality even has dreams similar to mine and issues from childhood very like my own, is a happy surprise. This encounter promises the possibility there will not be such great isolation in future, at least on the inner plane.

  • This shadow of myself is somewhat like the conscious me as well. He is smart, possessed of a sense of humor, courageous, spiritual, and has begun to deal with his own not so attractive emotions, though, as with me, he still is reluctant to take on the full measure of negative feeling submerged within.

  • Though for him too the job of becoming aware of the entire emotional spectrum is not complete, at least he has already swum across the river in flood, and in waving, is not only providing friendship but the encouraging assurance that, as he has done it, so can I.

  • The wave in the dream is a friendly, encouraging gesture, an end to complete isolation, but it also indicates a wave as in the rhythm of the waters, an upwelling progression of unconscious energy.

  • There is in the phrase "come back from the other side" a suggestion that what is called for, as in the Lifestream Way teachings, is a kind of dying while living and then returning from this consciousness expanding to the more mundane, "nothing special" day to day moments of ordinary reality.

  • Likewise, in the idea of going out and returning, there is a reflection of the ever expanding and contracting or undulating nature of the universe at sub-atomic and higher levels, one mirrored in the way that a mother delivers a baby, and so indicative of (re)birth.

11/10/07 (AM) - Title: "Dangerous Passages"

I'm with many others (men and women) in a mostly empty landscape frontier region. (Reminds of high CO territory, above the tree line, but could also be a wetter area in Palestine or Lebanon. It is grassy here, not dry, just open.) The area is quite hilly and with a single, not very used roadway (no pavement, more just a 4-wheel drive, high track through a remote area) on which I and these many others (refugees? demonstrators?) are traveling in vehicles, single file, on the narrow roadway. (It is unclear if we are fleeing persecution or if we are activists about to be doing the persecuting, maybe wanting to demonstrate our political wishes and get our way, forcing it on others while ignoring their rights) Frances is driving one of the vehicles, a large one, like a bus or an RV, and I am on the roof, barely hanging on. She yells that I should get down and back in (with her), for the road is too high and rough. I may get thrown off and hurt. The roadway is not just high, but in places has quite steep sides with long drop-offs. But she cannot easily stop now that we are going, for others are following closely behind, and it is too dangerous to try to get down while we are moving.

Then we are in a flatter area (though still in a similar landscape, grassy and open, very hilly, with here and there a large boulder). The road is still rough. We have stopped briefly, and I have gotten down. Several others have gotten off or out of their vehicles too. We seem to be taking a break in our journey.

Suddenly, troops roll up from our right flank (except it appears left to me, as I'm toward the front of our column of vehicles and looking back). The troops are both on foot and on military vehicles and apparently wearing gas masks. They block all escape on their side of the road and release a whitish cloud of gas into our midst. As we begin to flee to the other side of our route, we see that troops and their vehicles block our escape there as well, and they in turn gas us. Next we are being rounded up. The commander tells us something like: "This time is just a warning. If you try this again, you'll be taken into custody once more. If you do it a 3rd time, you'll be killed."

11/10/07 (PM) - Title: "Judgment Calls"

Rachael, my volunteer manager at the library warehouse - which has its last day of operation for awhile tomorrow - asks me to do something for her, a special project (as she is inclined to do at the library, for instance organizing the business books, the history section, etc.). Only this time it involves something more sophisticated, going off by myself through the mostly green rural American countryside (a slightly hilly mix of farmland and older houses [in not so great condition] on large lots with a mix of old trees, dirt roads, vacant fields, horse pasteurs [pastures], etc.). I am to be doing some sleuthing for her, investigating certain people whom she thinks are up to no good and trying to take advantage of others or rip them off using a combination of manipulative and bullying tactics.

I warn her to the effect that: "I'm not so good at making a judgment when to use a firm word vs. a fist or a kick, etc."

But she reassures me she doesn't think it will come to any of that, that I am cunning enough and a good enough actor she thinks I can find out what I need to without confrontations. As I begin to plan my strategy, I am pleased at this encouragement, but not sure it is correct. I notice then that one of the people whom I think might need investigating has been lying down in the grass just on the other side of a big tree while Rachael and I were talking, and so must have listened in and now be on the alert. Then I see it was not whom I thought it was, so "no worries."

(The scene skips to... )I'm out in the country alone when a large, chubby, middle-aged man sees me and seems to take me for an appraiser, as of antiques and other valuable things that might be sold in an old-fashioned county or farm auction. He shows me a big ornate looking old metal fence gate that I could probably get for a song and sell dearly. I have no idea why he does not just do the deal himself, but the gate is impressive, and I am deciding whether to acquire it for Rachael's non-profit organization or if the man is one of those I was sent to investigate and just trying to somehow dupe me (when I wake up).

11/15/07 - Title: "A Highly Imposing, Yet Useless Gate"

There is a huge (12 feet high or more) fence (or wall) panel or gate with strong bars running horizontally, fitting so closely together one cannot see in or out. Up and down the panel, there are also a few verticle (vertical) bars that hold the horizontal ones in place. The fence or wall with the gate or panel runs through the middle of the city. The gate or panel is so big it is on a track recessed deep into the ground or pavement, so the gate/panel can be rolled open or shut. I see some people on the other side looking back, from the right side (to my right of the gate), who in turn see me looking at them from outside the fence or wall and its gate/panel. They are at an area adjacent to the heavily reinforced panel and right next to it. The gate is heavy and strong, so that even a tank would get through only with difficulty and would probably have to batter it several times or destroy it with explosives to remove it as a barrier. Yet, starting where the other people are, next to the gate and looking back, there is a gaping hole or opening in the fence through which people can seemingly go freely. It is as wide as, if not wider than, the gate/panel. I suppose the gate might just have been rolled open and then could be rolled shut, closing the space in the fence, but it looks instead as though the gate/panel is already in its closed position, but that beside it, making the gate useless, there is just a big unprotected space, letting anyone in our out as they wish.

[It reminds me of the Zilker Botanical Gardens' wrought iron perimeter fence, and the gates there, which were installed at great expense several years ago. At night, for security purposes, the gates are closed. Yet, only a few yards away, for years the designers and management had left big gaps in the fence through which anyone could go in or out as they wished.

I have the impression this dream gate is like the first appearances of the Wizard, in "The Wizard of Oz," who from a distance is quite imposing, even frightening, but in the end it is mostly for show.

Another thought is that the "gate" plus gateless space present two sides of my personality, one very closed and the other very open, aspects of myself that are in conflict, each aborting or sabotaging the strengths and benefits of the other, and yet there is such a polarity of opposites that it maybe precludes a constructive merging of their disparate qualities.]

In my DG yesterday, we discussed my 11/10/07 dreaming, "Dangerous Passages," and "Judgment Calls." Highlights:

  • Themes included: a very sick, depressed anima who is also somewhat paranoid; the ego being uncomfortable with making judgments, though the anima and shadow indicate I should be able to assess the relative merits or values of things and come up with the best choices, judgments, etc.; concerns over aging and its effects; having had mental deterioration, though still smart; needing the security and protection of a good gate; its utility as a means of access to more restricted, protected states; perhaps "paying" for such a means to higher realms with music ("a song" - inner sound? Shabd? Lifestream Way?) and also getting more into my romantic side ("selling it dearly").

  • There may be feelings of emptiness as well as depression. Some of this can be moderated with medication or supplements. There may also still be a need for more grieving over a sense of loss, over things that can now never be the way I had hoped for them in life.

  • There may be a need for more precision and organization, channeling the natural, but self-defeating impulses with "right flank" or "left flank," military-like maneuvers, controls, structure, and warnings, or containing them within a metaphorical fence, gate, or even prison. If the ego is still noncompliant in the means to accomplish its assigned tasks, it may have to be supplanted with a newer, healthier, more adaptable version.

  • There is a call for doing things or assuming attitudes that are here and there bolder ("boulder").

  • There is a fresh openness in areas that are wetter (more involved in the emotions and exploration of the unconscious) and full of greenness and so life, vitality.

  • "horse pasteurs" calls to mind pasteurizing horses! Horses are also symbols of the emotions and the unconscious. Perhaps if they are pasteurized they are a bit less likely to act out of their emotional, unconscious sides in ways perceived by a more rational ego as unsafe, chaotic, or destructive. Horse pastures leading to "pasteurized horses" reminds of the parable of letting a cow wander freely within its whole valley (albeit naturally hemmed in by mountains) and so its being more contented and productive, rather than trying to control or restrict the cow, which would set up unnatural conflicts that defeat the purposes and inclinations of both cow and farmer.

  • There are aspects of me that are brilliant, quite competent, and well balanced, others that are kind of rough, edgy, manipulative, bullying, very impatient, self-centered, overly sensitive, yet others that are controlling, some under a lot of stress, others that are not brilliant but certainly smart, good managers, personable, strong, enduring, ones that are good at investigation or appraisal, able to make sophisticated assessments, some with flatter affect, but others that are deeply, almost instinctively emotional, operating largely out of the unconscious, others that are more rational, some that feel martyred and under persecution, while others are inclined to be actively in the business of persecuting others, taking advantage of them, some that are cunning, ones good at acting, others that are judgmental but not in a bad way, simply because we must make choices and discriminations, while still others are aggressively judgmental, smugly and self-righteously feeling as if I am morally higher than and more superior to other people.

  • The journey of life has many ups and downs, plus circumstances that are particularly hazardous.

  • I still have blocks or at least ways that I block lateral movement (or escape).

  • It may be worthwhile to go off by myself some, even into remote or frontier areas, in reality as well as in the inner realms, or metaphorically.

11/16/07 - Title: "Here Today, Neighbors Tomorrow"

I am a teenager or young man. I am in a friend's family's big modern house to get something I have gone back for. I had slipped quietly through a window to get in, but then stopped on a set of carpeted stairs (up to the second floor), afraid there might be an intruder alarm security system turned on and that any loud movement would set it off. My friend's mother comes in and finds me there. Whatever it was I'd gone back for was needed for a joint project or venture in which I'm involved with my friend, his mother, and, I think, some others. She assures me there is no alarm, and neither is she alarmed to find me there. We get to talking about old times. "How many times have we moved and then found ourselves again living near each other," she asks (or words to that effect), adding it seemed it had happened several times already. I said I could remember only a couple times definitely, but she could be right. We would be living in other places, different cities, and without prior planning or coordination each time when we would move we'd then find ourselves close neighbors again. Once we were side-to-side house neighbors. Another time it was back-to-back, that I recalled, and we each remembered a little about our lives together then, before the next moves had happened, then another set of times together, yet another move, etc., till now.

11/20/07 - On Sunday, the DG discussed, among others, my 11/15/07 "An Imposing, Useless Gate" dream. Highlights:

  • There is a polarity here between being very closed and very open, but also between resistant and totally nonresistant, quite imposing vs. a total absence of any imposition.

  • It is ironic, this juxtaposition of the completely closed vs. completely open.

  • If I as the dreamer I were to just step back a bit and so gain a little more perspective, I could see at one time both the huge closed gate and the absolutely open side of the wide hypothetical entrance to the other side of an assumed barrier.

  • If instead, however, I just focus from close at hand on the one side or the other, shut vs. open, I can get very reactive to the one or feel very relaxed about the other, instead of taking a more balanced view, one that takes both conditions into consideration so that neither should be taken so seriously (or lightly).

  • The closed, imposing gate or panel reminds me of my father, while the completely open way suggests more my mother's outlook. And from the point of view of the almost sculpture-like monster of a gate, there is reason to be paranoid, as Dad was, for where there is such a gate who can not believe there are "barbarians at the gate" who must be subdued or overcome, lest they break through and intrude or destroy?

  • On the other hand, where there are no boundaries or defenses whatever, and everyone is free to come or go as they please, might there not be those who would take advantage and abuse all that freedom? Might disasters not ensue from sheer lack of any defense or resistance to them?

  • My impression was that, though feared (or at times ridiculed), my rigid, disciplinarian father, in his closed stance was at least taken much more seriously than my mother has been in her far more generous, open, permissive approach to others or to life in general.

  • I get an image of a (Morse code) semaphore, with two crossed flags (one dark and one light) and their staffs from this dream, which, in turn, reminds me of the yin vs. yang circle or mandala. But it also reminds me of the insignia of my father's military unit, in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, during and shortly after World War II. Thus, the dream imagery suggests communication, a flow of information (vs. the cutting off of good communication or information flow).

  • The word panel suggests people on a panel and the possibility of folks there who lack moderation, being all one thing or another, holding all one extreme position vs. another, with little if any cooperation or common ground between them.

  • I get an emotional response to the idea of doing without one side or the other. Feeling-wise, it seems I "need" both the open way and the closed one.

  • Yet, in the main, the open way is more fruitful and brings one more benefits in relationships or in life.

  • There may still be barriers, or at least one large barrier, the metaphorical or psychological equivalent of a Berlin wall. For example, might I be still resisting things, circumstances, or people simply being as or who they are?

  • Is it perhaps relevant that as the dreamer I see myself on the outside looking in and so estranged, alienated, or alone?

  • There really is nothing to keep me from joining the others who are inside looking out except my sense of being a separate self from them and their community.

  • There may as yet be a heaviness about me.

  • And might the "runs" refer to loose bowels, which I have noted sometimes of late, though equally there have been the opposite problem, with seldom recently a happy medium between them.

  • Indeed, the whole dream might be grossly interpreted as a polarity between a "constipated," anal retentive vs. an unfettered "loosey-goosey" or diarrheic flow, and the divergent personality traits associated with these two dispositions. Anger, frustration, and depression may be more consistent emotions on the closed, anal retentive side, but anxiety more the characteristic feeling on the opposite side.

  • The idea of the gate or panel being on a track but in the more or less permanently closed position is like a "tic" that keeps on repeating dysfunctional or purposeless behavior. The opposite would be represented probably by a gate that opens or shuts (shits?) appropriately in response to conditions.

  • The left vs. right aspects of this dream may have significance, but it is hard to know what that is, given that I write with the left hand and do everything else either with the right hand or bilaterally, and so it cannot be easily determined which (left or right) for me points to the unconscious or intuitive side. Left-handed folks tend to be "more interesting" and yet may also have less integration within their brains that naturally right-handed people. Again, though, the issue is clouded by my having some things I do well with the right and some with the left hand.

11/21/07 - Title: "A Great Place to Work or Play"

I'm at a swimming camp. (There are other activities as well, as at a regular summer camp, but I only recall vaguely anything we did there besides calisthenics or swimming.) It is as if we are in central TX in summer, and so it is hot. I seem not quite my current age, maybe 10 years or so younger, but I am still a lot older than most of the men and women here. They seem in their late teens or in their twenties, except for the staff, who are perhaps in their 30s and 40s. We have various ways we are to work out, as at most any vigorous camp. I recall a big open field with lots of juniper ("cedar") trees in the vicinity, and here and there a limestone rock boulder or place where the dirt has been washed or eroded or dug out down to a limestone base. There are tan or gray dusty spots in regular intervals or rows, and these represent our separate positions for doing calisthenics as a group, with plenty of space between for our arms to be outstretched while we exercise without our touching. There are lots of opportunities for swimming. The water is clear and always feels good temperature-wise, as though the big limestone pools are spring-fed cool (though not as cold as Barton Springs) and refreshing. Often we do not intend to go swimming, but some game or test occurs, and, as a ready "penalty," for losing (or at least not passing) whatever spontaneously chosen test it is, involves "having" to go swimming at the nearest clear pool. So, there is a sense of it being a great way to "fail," as when at camp your friends toss you into the pool. You hadn't really intended to go swimming, but you're sort of thrilled they like you enough to do it, and then being in the water feels great too. At any one time, there are lots of other people playing or swimming there as well, once one voluntarily or "accidentally" finds oneself in the big pools. There is no rush to get out. The play is too much fun, but the camp experience otherwise is not too onerous either, so it seems "cool" to be either out or in, and I'm on a friendly basis with everyone: myself, the different staff members, and the many young men and women. I do seem to be about the oldest one at the camp and in the pools, but no big deal is made of this. I have a beard, and the water stays in it awhile, cooling my lower face, even for awhile after I'm out of the pool. All of the pools are in natural channels or big springs ponds, no manmade ones, though here and there are fountains that have been added.

11/23/07 - Title: "Help me, Older Won (One) Before Me! You are my only hope."

I note that a very wise older woman survives but is the last of her kind, and I think: "the last of the great ones."

[The dream anima was somewhat like my mom, only smarter, wiser, more nurturing, and calmer. In reality, my mom is 85. All my other close relatives of her or older generations have died. These older generations experienced, survived, and learned from the Great Depression, the rise for awhile of Japan, Germany, and later the Soviet Union to great power status, World War II, the birth of Israel, for better or worse, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the collapse of Britain as a major global power, the rise to current global hegemony of the USA, the world population having about tripled, vast advances in science, and the spread of technologies and weapons unimaginable in their childhoods. The changes ahead are likely to be every bit as dramatic and challenging, but we don't have many left of these wise ones who can help us cope with them.]

11/24/07 - Title: "Lookin' for love in all the (wrong?) places..." or "Seeking a Goldilocks (Just Right) Breakfast Nook (Nookie?)" or "What if this is as good as it gets?"

I'm in a new (to me) community or a series of them and have the impression I've been traveling or have a job (such as a truck driver) that takes me to several places, but that now I'm trying to settle down more, at least to establish a more regular routine. It is also apparent I'm wanting to develop new friendship(s) and other dependable social contacts.

I go to a café at a big hotel, but the service is poor, the prices are high, and the other customers or staff are formal or unfriendly.

In an apparently different city or town, I meet some nice people and go to a little place, like a church food pantry, cheap but not free, where I can get everything I want for breakfast for a couple dollars, but it is hard to get to know people there. Folks crowd in for the food but seem uninterested in a more one-on-one relationship.

Another day, in the same smaller community, I have seen an attractive young woman (not take-your-breath-away beautiful, but a wholesome looking, pretty, girl-next-door, college age woman. She is serious, interested in helping, social, and friendly. I ask her for advice and/or directions, which she is glad to provide.

I see the back of her slender neck as she is walking away toward the nearby campus, and I think how sweet and lovely her neck looks, where the hair grows out or touches it and leaves part bare. I'd like to kiss a neck like that, I think, but realize this woman is too young for an old codger like me.

Later, near the same campus, I see her again, at a little hole-in-the-wall breakfast shop, like a combination non-profit food pantry and a very small student union cafeteria, except open to anyone in the area. I'm delighted to see her there. Checking out the menu, printed on little disposable paper flyers in pastel colors, with the current day's food offerings and prices highlighted in bold, I see I can get coffee and a muffin or each of several other breakfast basics for just a buck or two total. The people serving here are also quite friendly, as is the young woman when she sees me again, though with reservation, more as she would treat an acquaintance or just someone she recognizes and is polite to than a true friend at this point. It's OK, I think. Maybe we can be better friends later. I decide I'll stay around here and begin using this little food place each morning.

[I realize, of course, my hunger is not just for food but for genuine companionship and intimacy.]

11/27/07 - Title: "Hand in Hand, We Can Cope with This 'Best of All Possible Worlds' "

I'm younger, perhaps in my 30s or 40s. A woman (also in her 30s or 40s), who is like a blend of Maureen and a girl I knew in the 1960s, Karen, and I are either working closely together or married and have gone to a man similar to Carl for counseling. The overall situation is turbulent, the population under extreme stress and in transition, as in wartime and when one's country has been invaded and partially occupied, perhaps in northern Europe or Scandinavia. Where we are, the area is no longer directly affected, but the aftermath of the violence is still horrendous.

In the first scene, I have waited in line a long time and finally get to the front. I have found ten cards or large stamps and I'm having them examined, as by an antiques or old currency expert. This occurs outside on a sunny, cold day at a makeshift table, with hundreds of others in line themselves or else milling about waiting or watching. The expert comments that a couple of the cards/large stamps are interesting, but none of them have any genuine value. It is bad news. I see an attractive woman I know in the crowd of onlookers, but there is no time to even speak with her. Nonetheless, we both see each other and make eye contact. It is a small link or bond in the general chaos.

In the last scene, this woman and I are meeting with someone like Carl, as mentioned earlier, and she has morphed into a blend of Maureen plus Karen.

Both the Maureen/Karen person and I are quite emotionally invested in the counseling, wanting it to go well so we can resolve our difficulties together, but each afraid that the way he (in my case) or she (in hers) is will mean an end to the relationship. But Carl is reassuring, pointing out that we both are trying hard to make it work and want to stay together, so it is just a matter of seeing things more from each others' viewpoints and realizing that everybody has his or her natural reaction to things. He says it's not as though there is one right answer or way of responding. He asks Maureen/Karen and me to each say how we feel about the horrors we have seen (and that we must still work with together). As we do, there is one particular horror (something about finding parts of blown-up people, buried by the war's huge explosions) that most gets to both of us but in different ways. I'm afraid my feelings are getting in the way of staying professional and just doing my job. Maureen/Karen is already very emotional and it kind of drives her to do the work, but then she sort of lashes out at others (me) as her way of dealing with overwhelming feelings. Carl is again reassuring to both of us, saying both reactions are normal and that it's apparent that, these differences aside, we really like each other and, by the way, who wouldn't be upset by the horrors we've seen? This sinks in for each of us.

[I wake up with a sense of relief, love for Maureen/Karen, assurance that she cares for me, and the knowledge that, horrible as our work is, we can stay together and go on doing it.

Carl is facilitating, competent, and masculine.

Karen is direct, emotional, and spontaneous.

Maureen is smart, passionate, and well organized.]

11/28/07 - Title: "Lost Change"

I've come a long way, it seems, without much food and with a car that doesn't run right. With relief, I pull into a combination auto service station and Quicky-Mart (Quickie-Mart) or Stop-N-Go type place. I see the woman who runs the food shop and ask her if she'll get some things together for me while I see about getting my car looked at. Among other things, I order a piece of toast with butter and ask, if its not too much trouble, if she'll sprinkle some chocolate or cocoa powder on it, adding of course I'll pay extra, that I know she doesn't get if for free. She nods, acknowledging both my order and the offer to pay extra for chocolate powder. I check to see if anything can be done about the car. A mechanic tells me a special wrench would be required to do the job, and its not available there. It has a unique head that looks a little like the head of a hammerhead shark. I wonder if there's anyone there who can interpret my dream. I realize I could not expect just anyone to do that for me for free. I'll need to pay extra for it. I wonder what is the going rate. The food lady sees me through her window (she's inside and I'm outside) and signals to me. I open the door, and she says my toast and the other things I'd ordered are ready. She hands me what she says is my change. It's a wad of small paper money bills, perhaps $20 or so altogether. I'm confused. I don't remember having given her any payment yet. She thinks I did. I check my jeans pockets to see if my cash is still there. This check takes a little while, as my money is not in the pocket (left front) where I would usually keep it. Eventually, I find it in the right front pocket, but very little is left, maybe not even enough to pay for what I've ordered, or perhaps barely enough. Somehow, this means she should not give me the change. I hope she appreciates my honesty in giving her money back, but now I realize I'll have almost nothing left when I leave here. At least I've gotten some food, but the car still doesn't run right, and I still need my dream interpreted. I wish I could have stayed. I like the attractive food lady, but it seems there's no chance of my getting a job in this little social island. I'd best be getting on down the road.

[In this dream, embarrassingly enough, there are several innuendos suggestive of sex. The phrases "with relief" is followed by "I pull..." and then "auto. service," "Quicky (Quickie)," and even "Stop-N-Go type place" can all be interpreted to refer to autoeroticism, a brief stop for sexual relief, or the penis (which may be pulled, or which can stop a urine stream or "go"), etc. There are also several references to the exchange of money for services or for special services. Chocolate has often been associated with love or a feeling like love. A "piece" of bread, lubricated with warm butter oil and then sprinkled with a love substitute sounds kind of erotic if one lets his or her imagination run just a bit. And, of course, the food lady is noted to be attractive. The fact there is no longer a "wad" (as in the slang "shot his wad") in my "pockets," that it seemingly has been largely "spent ("very little is left")," etc. is similarly suggestive. Even "barely" and the several references to "head" (as in "giving head") seem to be part of the same theme. A "special wrench" could mean a "special wench." Perhaps the only surprising thing here is that I was not aroused when I woke up. Nor was this a "wet dream."

Unfortunately, I am not so nimble in finding or understanding the Jungian (or other non-Freudian) dream interpretation meanings here. A car is how we get through life, I believe, but I do not know the significance of one's car then not running right. Presumably there is a problem with my means of getting through life (?). The attractive food lady is certainly my anima or feminine self here, offering me not just nurturance but also my "change." Since the ego is almost always wrong, perhaps I am mistaken when I think I have not already paid her. If so, then I am due some change, and it is only the ego's (stubborn? resistant?) refusal to acknowledge it (that I am due change) which prevents my receiving it. I wonder how I might have been changed if more open to it.

20 is a strongly emphasized (x 10) 2, which may represent dawning awareness. A "hammerhead" may be someone very hard-headed or stubborn. But perhaps it is just that, to fix what is wrong, I'll need to be really hit over the head (with the message I'm not getting, so thick is my skull?) with a "hammer" head wrench. There is a window through which the lady and I see each other. This would indicate some clarity, maybe getting the picture intellectually even if not yet emotionally. The lady is inside (part of my inner landscape, perhaps). The mechanic is my shadow. But I know little about him other than that he is practically employed, fixing up the means for people to get through life, and seems competent, even if he cannot fix my problem.

In this dream, the food lady anima and my shadow seem to have a good and balanced working relationship, she servicing with nurturing food items, he with fixing people's autos (the things we do automatically while we sleepwalk through life?), and the two in a way in business together, having an ongoing relationship together, their own "little social island."

Money often means energy, and in this dream I am almost out of mine. Perhaps not insignificantly, I have been getting way too little sleep lately.

Overall, I think the main significance of the dream from a Jungian standpoint could be that a time of significant change has been delayed due to my confusion or resistance.]

11/29/07 - The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 11/27/07 "Hand in Hand, We Can Cope with This Best of All Possible Worlds" dream. Highlights:

  • The dream is about integration with my feminine self or anima, represented here by the Maureen/Karen woman, with the intersession of Carl, my shadow, here as a counselor.

  • The anima's combined qualities include: smart, direct, emotional, spontaneous, passionate, and well organized.

  • My shadow's qualities in this dream include: facilitating, competent, and masculine.

  • It is important to own these characteristics.

  • The dream is also about digging up old parts of myself that have been forgotten, parts that were torn asunder and buried by past emotional wars and their traumatic explosions of negative energy. These may have been from childhood abuse or other very disturbing experiences, or from later times of emotional tempest and turmoil that had been suppressed or repressed.

  • The horrors of these emotional explosions and torn off parts are not only part of my (ego) history but also of my anima's.

  • Realizing our shared state as "damaged" beings, it may be easier for us, my inner selves, to have love, caring, and compassion for one another.

  • The 30s and 40s may be an emphasized (x10) 3 and 4, indicating transformation and a manifesting of reality.

  • There is a strong bond and also a complementary relationship between me and my anima, as in the way we experience or cope with our feelings, she being driven by them and energized into action toward her own growth (digging up and finding the missing parts) yet they also result in her sometimes lashing out at me. On the other hand, I try to maintain a professional perspective, staying rational, insulated, isolated, or detached, rather than being swayed by intense emotions to the extent I can no longer do my job (of discovering my inner landscape and history, and of integrating the diverse parts or aspects of myself).

  • As Carl says, it is OK to have these different responses or ways of reacting to strong emotions, also OK to be upset by the horrors we have been and shall be discovering. Despite these responses, though, my anima and ego can get along and work together as integrated selves as well as co-workers on the inner tasks yet to be done.

  • The ten cards or stamps, that are taken to an expert, represent different things I have thought were important and believed would help see me through these hard times, things saved or dredged from the turbulent past, and even salvaged from an extreme stress still residual from those earlier times, but which the inner expert advisor, who knows the true worth of things, indicates may be of interest but are not genuinely valuable.

  • What might those things be? Whatever they are, they were in a sense stamped on me, perhaps similar to the way raw dough is stamped into cookie shapes or decorated with designs added from the outside, that then get baked into pastries as they are being cooked (in the metaphorical oven crucible of life experience). Might these be neuroses, archetypes (for instance automatic reactions, as if of being a martyr, etc.), complexes, disorders, compulsions, dysfunctional ways of adapting? Or filters through which reality is seen but without a clear vision of things? Gender identity issues? Hobbies? Ambitions to get rich or "be happy," etc.? Searches for what will give us peace? Existential issues? What is truly significant, if anything?

  • Hundreds of people in line or milling about might represent a multitude of other aspects of myself. It is obvious that it is not so much the country that is in transition as the collection of selves I think of as me. The invasion and partial occupation suffered by this country may represent the sense of intrusion and lack of sufficient defenses against attacks from parents or other adults when I was still rather vulnerable (as a child? or once defences were down in DG?), figures who imposed their will and stamp upon the poorly defended folks of this place.

  • In the DG, Christine pointed out an insight she had recently about herself. Applied to me, it would be this: in the grand scope of all that is, nobody else could be as good a Phil Wagner as I can.

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