November, 20095 7 8 11 15 17 20 21 22 28 29
There is to be a huge gathering, at a large building in a city, for a great project. I am not part of the management here and folks who put this thing together do not see me as important. Indeed, I too do not feel that I have a big role to play here.
However, once it has begun, it is obvious there was not enough preparation or planning. There are scores or hundreds of guests, all or most of them men or teen-age boys. (Reminds of a Boy Scout Camporee or an old style military shindig in that way, but is not either.)
For one thing, there is not nearly enough to eat. I offer right away to go get more food, but those in charge still do not recognize there is a problem and say no or ignore my suggestion.
After everyone has arrived and the activities are in full swing, it is obvious to everyone the food won't nearly go around.
Again, I offer to go buy more food, this time to a person not quite so high in the management but still partly in charge. He gives me money and urges me as soon as I can to go get shopping carts full of meat and other foodstuffs, which I agree to do, leaving at once. I am alone in this task but feel sure I can help out this way.
11/7/09 - Title: "Bullshit!"
Scene 1 - I've gone to Anne's home. She's out in the front yard talking with a neighbor woman acquaintance of hers who leaves when I arrive. Anne invites me into her house. Either I suggest or it is understood that we'll go somewhere to talk. First, she needs to let her husband know she's leaving for awhile, so she goes into the main part of the house to do that, leaving me alone in a kind of den near the entrance, the first room one comes to inside their house.
Scene 2 - Anne's substance abuse addicted husband has come out of the main part of the house and seems to be suspicious and/or jealous of me and of Anne's being about to go off somewhere with me. He asks how Anne and I met. For some reason I cannot recall at first (that we met at a newcomers' Alanon group meeting) and say the first thing I can think of, telling him it was at a poltergeist group. Anne looks at me oddly but then seems to confirm this to her husband.
Scene 3 - Anne and I are still at her house, in the den near the entrance, and about to leave. Her husband is nearby and keeping a suspicious or angry eye on us, but instead of venting at either Anne or me, he is playing a rough, bullying, abusive game with his son (who seems about age 12 or 13), hitting him and/or growling at him, as if they are a couple of bears, he the papa bear and his son a younger one. I look to Anne to see if we should intervene. She looks upset though clearly not wanting us to "go there," as if it would only make the situation worse.
Scene 4 - Anne and I are about to leave her house. I am heading out first. But now (instead of just a first floor entrance off the den, like before) the entrance is separated from the den and one floor lower. To get to it, we must descend an unstable little platform that seems not well supported, made out of round lengths of bamboo or of rickety boards.
Between this platform and the lower entrance, there is a barn-like area, a covered yard-like dirt enclosure, in which there are several Black Angus looking cattle milling about. A large one with horns, evidently a bull, is right where we need to get down off the platform, its hindquarters at first nearest us and in the way.
Even as I am about to descend anyway, the bull begins to shit a large volume of fecal material right where we need to be to get down and then out of this place. Anne and I have to step in this large fresh cow patty to make our escape, but, before we can even do that, the bull is still in the way. He has moved his rear back enough that I can now touch his head by reaching a leg down and hitting or kicking him with my shoe. I tap his neck or head with one foot in this way to try to get him to move, but instead he becomes angry, rearing around so he is facing us and ready to attack if we try to get off the teetering platform to leave. Anne says something like "Now you've done it!" One charge by the bull or swipe of his horns against the platform's sides or base, and Anne and I both will be falling into the shit-covered dirt below and at the bull's mercy.
[I have never met her husband, but Anne (not her real name) is an early 30s, I'd guess, very eloquent, smart, and attractive member of my Alanon group. She is handling with great competence and maturity a chaotic situation (of drug and family abuse) created by her husband, from whom she is now recently separated. She lives with their precocious 9-year-old daughter.
Anne is an anima with these qualities, there to in some way show me, by her example, right feeling.
I had the impression in the dream that Anne's husband was not wrong in his suspicions, for I was in this dream younger than in reality and did want an intimate relationship with her. In dream terms, of course, this would represent better integration with a positive anima figure.
It may, however, be the pretense that I am just interested in Anne from a selfless point of view, as her supportive friend from Alanon, that is rather graphically labeled "bullshit" in the last scene of the dream. My motives are about as pure as the material gushing from the bull's rectum.
This male shadow, her husband, however, perhaps represents a possessive, insecure side of my personality that I do not acknowledge, one that is also disabled, having addictive and abusive behaviors.
It may be significant, though, that today at the end of a meditation group session one of the members happened to note in another connection that in Meditation in Action, by Chogyam Trungpa, he mentions that all of life's experiences, both what we call "good" and what we think of as "bad," make up the manure which will fertilize our growth on a spiritual path.
There clearly is some unstable and untenable position I am in with my anima right now, one likely to result at least in our having to go through some shit, metaphorically speaking.
I discussed this dream with Janet. She believes the shadow's addiction is my not fully acknowledged but excessive concern for and sensitivity to the opinions and attitudes of others, often having more regard for them than a healthy self-confident respect for myself.
She added that others' opinions, and whether or not they like and approve of me or of what I am doing, being, saying, etc., is what the dream is indicating to be "bullshit."]
11/8/09 - Title: "Expensive Savings"
Scene - I go to buy a snack during the night at an upscale retail food shop (the kind one might find in NYC selling specialty foods to tourists or available at an all night deli in the lobby of an expensive hotel). I get a little loaf of bread, wrapped in cellophane to look even poor posh (meant to write "more posh") than it is, and am glad to get it on sale. Later am mentioning my luck with someone. In our conversation we realize I may have gotten it at 10-20% off, but the mark-up from the retailer's cost was still probably at least 40%, maybe even 100 or 200%.
New Scene - In my absence, a young woman has been working for me or in my place on an upper floor of a really ritzy employer's building. Her shift (perhaps also mine) was at night. It is dark outside. She had found very creative ways to do the job. Now my work area is transformed. She made big expenditures because of the added potential efficiencies in my work operations, but what she did was over the top. Many are concerned she went too far. Either she was brilliantly innovative and her creativity will have profound positive effects and should be recognized and rewarded, or she lost all sense of proportion and made extravagant, unjustified purchases and should be criticized, perhaps fired. My sense is that the feeling is more toward the former than the latter, though I and others are still shocked by how much she must have spent in transforming my much enlarged work space (now about 200-300 square feet). For instance, it is now under special artistic ceiling lights toward the center of an open space on this very posh looking upper story floor, glass at the curved exterior allowing for neat views of the night cityscape. Instead of a simple copier and/or scanner, my "office," which has no walls at all but instead just looks like a large, relaxed surround "desk" combined with a massive but curved and aesthetic looking machine (blue and a silvery gray chrome) for copying, scanning, drawing, blueprints, or more sophisticated engineering drafts. It has pleasing contours, is almost as big as a Steinway, and its sloping, curved glass area, where material is to be put in or taken out, is vast, maybe about 3-4 feet on a side.
The dream group discussed my "Expensive Savings" dream today, along with two others. Highlights:
11/11/09 - Title: "Tunnel Water Blues"
Scene One - I'm feeling exhilarated at first and am ahead of a number of others in going rapidly down (I wrote "down," as if descending, but am actually hurrying across a horizontal tunnel) a vast, long, high tunnel. The others are roughly a football-field length (100 yards) back and are coming in my direction too, but more slowly.
Several more other people are up ahead, urging me to hurry even more as water is soon going to rise in the tunnel. Till now, the wide (roughly 100 feet), flat, concrete floor of the tunnel has been dry.
The others ahead (apparently already protected themselves) extend a thick, long, flexible hose or rope to me. (It is rubbery and flexible, like bungee cord.) I tie the end around my waste (waist), and they pull me toward them with it just as a huge, turbulent wave of onrushing water pours in from their direction. The water washes by and over me, but I know I'll be OK because of the hose/rope. I'm aware that the slower ones, still well behind me, will not have an easy time of it and may perish, but I can do nothing for them as the flood continues and rushes toward them.
Scene Two - I was following a man in a system of smaller tunnels. (It seems) I was invited into one of the side tunnels for a particular purpose (not remembered). Now I am in here alone and the door in/exit out is closed. This tunnel is about 8-10 feet wide and 6 feet or so high. It goes off in several turns and with yet more side tunnels. Everywhere in here is very cold. Water is frozen in all these tunnels into cave-like formations, hanging from the ceilings and attached to the floor and sides. The tunnels have background lighting, and the ice formations are a beautiful, translucent blue. There are so many turns in here that with the ice on all sides I cannot tell now where is the entrance/exit. I may never get out. Even if I could find the exit, there may be no way to open it from the inside. Lost and cold, I am still searching for the exit but worry I may freeze to death in here.
[I do not know what to make of the tunnels as a dream metaphor. I think of Freudian tunnels, but that does not seem right. I think of tunnel vision (as in a very limited view), but that does not seem quite it either. The liquid water in flood must represent emotional or intuitional material of which I am usually not conscious. I wonder if the people ahead in scene one may be members of my Alanon, meditation, and/or dream groups. Am not sure what to make of the rope or hose they extend to me, but assume it is a metaphor for a kind of friendship or spiritual lifeline.
The frozen water with the beautiful blue hue, in scene two, may represent frozen emotions (repressed feelings) which somehow have both spiritual (the color suggesting spirituality to me) and "the blues" or depression connotations. I know from prior dreams that not being in touch with significant aspects of my larger self can lead to great sadness.
The ego is worried for its survival at the conclusion. And, in the first scene, several who were well behind me (unconscious and/or shadow parts) apparently may perish from the emotional flood.
The numbers in the dream suggest success or progress, flexibility, and a big theme of unity, integration, or wholeness. 8 in the I Ching suggests good fortune. 6 in the I Ching, however, indicates caution is in order, for opposition and obstruction may be encountered, though good fortune will follow unless the contention must be pursued to the bitter end, which would have an evil outcome.]
11/15/09 - Title: "New Man on Campus"
I am on a large college campus, apparently having started a course or courses with several large classes (having many students in each). The area is so totally new to me I am constantly having trouble getting oriented. There are also many, many other students in the halls, ones who know their ways around this place far better than I, who evidently have been going here for awhile already. Oddly enough, my mother is here and apparently taking classes, or at least visiting this campus, as well. During a break, I go where I thought she might have been, a big student cafeteria or lounge type space. It too is crowded, though not so much so as the halls, but it is obvious after looking around that Mom is not here, either among those standing or those seated. I hear from a black male student or staff member that there is another cafeteria/lounge area not far away, and I figure she may be over there.
[The impression is that this is just a fragment of a much longer, more complicated dream. Clearly it is about being in a place of learning. The main learning process in which I am currently involved is the sponsored progress through the Alanon 12-step program, so this may be about that. I have my second face-to-face meeting with my sponsor later today and we shall be discussing step one of the 12-steps.
A black student or staff member is a helpful shadow who points out there are two (dawning awareness) cafeteria or lounge type spaces here.
The only identified anima is my mom, who, like the cafeteria areas, may represent nurturance but probably also some issues to be learned or gone through with respect to an as yet too strong alliance with my mother.
There is some type of break, which makes me think there is or needs to be a break with or from something in my life. Indeed, this may be another way of saying there needs to be a cutting of the cord still too tightly binding me to identification with my mom. In that regard, it may be hopeful that I have lost track of her here.
The crowded halls suggest a time of transition. There are big, long halls, but they are crowded, and to me seem chaotic and disorienting, so I suspect this is either a picture of how I see my current involvement in Alanon on simply of my life in general, with a number of distractions (physical concerns, tax records work, Alanon involvements that sometimes seem more like spinning my wheels than really making any progress, too many busy-ness things going on to really meditate much or well, etc.) keeping me from feeling settled and at ease. Alternatively, the dream may be (or may also be) predictive of this situation continuing for awhile.]
11/17/09 - Title: "HELP!"
I am out in front of my house (as though I have just left it, through the front door, perhaps going for a walk, and am on the sidewalk, but am not yet past the garage, on my left). I have an open black umbrella in my right hand. Suddenly, there is a very large black dog, quite intelligent looking, aggressively playful, and giant, maybe 3-4 times as big as a black lab. He darts about as if to get at me and/or play, swerving away as I swing my umbrella at him, then turning and charging again, great sport. (The look in his eyes combines cunning and laughter at my expense.) I think to yell for help, but expect nobody will hear me, or not in time. He is so large that our eyes are on the same level. At any moment, he may calculate better than I how to get around my next swing of the umbrella and close the short distance between us.
[I once had a regular size, playful, though comparatively dumb black lab. He chewed on the wooden house, till I sold him to a new owner with some land where he could play and roam. I had first given him away to two others, but he kept turning up again.
The numbers may indicate transformation or manifestation in reality.
I do not recognize this big dog, but his behavior reminds me of my unstable, recovering alcoholic brother, Pete, who recently told me he has moved into a luxurious apartment but I must not divulge the address to anyone, as he wants to pretend he is still staying with my other recovering alcoholic brother in town, Ron. He will not tell me over the phone why the subterfuge, only saying he'll let me know when he sees me, at his place this coming Saturday when I'd planned a visit and dinner to help celebrate his birthday. In another recent conversation he has mentioned concern that an ex-girlfriend, whom he began sleeping with when he was in his late 30s to early 40s, while she was only 14-15 - whom I did not meet till a couple years later - was furious with him and might turn him in for statutory rape.
I do not think it likely Pete is trying to evade the law when he tells me I must not give out his address, but he has done crazier things. Also, he likes to get easy loans from our mom and pretend to her that he is worse off than he is, so she won't expect him to pay the loans back properly and she will keep being inclined to give him more money down the road.
For this reason, he did not want her to know earlier that, soon after getting a prior loan from her, he had bought an expensive car, one that probably cost more than the amount of the loan.
So, for whatever specific reasons in this case, I think he is asking me to help him cover up the truth of his current situation, but, especially as I am now in the Alanon program, I am not feeling comfortable with that and am about to let him know I would rather not go over to his place and even keep a record of his address if I cannot be upfront with others about his current residence.
Whether or not the dog represents Pete, he is a shadow part of me that has unacknowledged qualities as described.
The fact that I already have the umbrella open suggests at least sprinkles, if not rain, have started, which, in turn, suggests some unconscious, intuitional, and/or emotional material coming into consciousness.
Janet took a look at this dream and provided several added insights into it. She said I begin the dream in front of the collective (my house), and I go for a side walk past the unconscious (the garage, a place of collection or storage). I am prepared for the rain (umbrella), which would be emotion. The dog is my version of a higher power (dog = god). Based on this dream and my associations to it, for me a higher power is elusive and I am not sure why, aggressive but intelligent, playful, definitely wanting to "get to me," and there is some transformation going on in my version of a higher power. In some sense, my higher power committed some kind of violation when I was younger. I do not know how to deal with this encounter with my higher power, because it can obviously outthink me. She thinks the dream is somehow describing my struggle to come to terms with a concept of a higher power that fits for me. She suspects I still have some anger at my higher power. (In Judaism, she says, this is perfectly acceptable, but people with other religious backgrounds have a more difficult time with it.)
My sponsor points out that my higher power also appears as a lovable dog, potential companion, and "man's best friend."
11/20/09 - Title: "Prison Guard Recruit Maneuvers"
I am one of several, like a platoon of olive green (I think) uniformed men and women who are new recruit prison guards. The prison has at least 3-4 stories. We are still in training for how to guard the prisoners, but the maneuvers, or tactics we practice, for how to deal with different prisoner escape or attack scenarios are taken seriously both by we recruits and the people teaching us.
In one scenario, we suddenly must adjust to the prisoners being outside the prison building, in the yard adjacent to the building, which, even though they are in their proper ranks or positions, which match ours (ours being a few feet farther out from them), means we temporarily lack sufficient coverage, since being the same number of guards but a few feet farther out, our perimeter or cordon is larger now, and we are thus having to cover more space per person.
At the corners (out from the prison building corners, that is) this means we cannot see around to cover both sides of the corner as well (both to cover for each other and around the corners, that is) and so must adapt by going still farther out, to a perimeter position that permits the necessary expanded view, or else some of the prisoners could escape in our blind spots at those corners.
We promptly improvise and make this adjustment correctly, led in this by a (smart, creative, versatile, warm, personable, but also insecure) woman recruit, who is just in front of me as we march out or next to me as we are in the cordon, at the corner to which she and I have been assigned. In the cordon, she is to my left.
11/21/09 - Title: "Almost There"
Scene 1 - I am much younger than in reality and at a huge campus. There are multiple halls, stories to the buildings, and classrooms. I seem to be homeless, but make a kind of home here on the campus, going here and there to meet my needs. It feels as though I am on the verge of a major discovery or breakthrough, but it eludes me.
Scene 2 - I am still on the campus, at one edge (it seems it is in the SW part) and have been noticed by a man who has some money and/or wisdom he can let me have. We are talking. I think he is giving me very short street smarts lessons plus some pocket change, yet I have the impression he could assist much more.
Scene 3 - I am trying to cross a busy thoroughfare. There are 4 lanes. I hurry, but only make it across 3 lanes before oncoming traffic, heading from my right to my left, is overtaking me with no signs of slowing down.
Scene 4 - I am walking with someone who is on my right. I see a flock of birds flying fairly close by but a little above the nearby houses and trees. The way they fly together, flowing, dipping, and rising as if one organism, seems wondrous to me. "Look!" I say, pointing at them.
11/22/09 - Title: "I Did It My Way!"
I am talking with a man who is a little taller and more experienced than me. He is talking about when I was handling things on my own, without guidance, just before he got there. He says something like:
"Well, the good news is that you were not afraid to give it a try, do some things that you were unfamiliar with, and act like you knew what you were doing. Kudos for that.
On the other hand, you really did several things wrong that will now have to be corrected, so let me show you where you went wrong and how we can get things back the way they should be."
My reaction to his patronizing little speech is at first mild, though uncertain pride, but then rage at his arrogant, smug, know-it-all, put-down attitude, and I am deeply resentful I shall have to work with and take instruction from him. I wonder if he really knows what he's talking about, of if he is just putting on airs and taking advantage of having a bit more experience than I have.
[In thinking later about the above dream, I think it was another version of a struggle to come to terms with my higher power. Of course, the ego does not accept the idea of anything that is higher than itself!]
Among others, my dream of "Prison Guard Recruit Maneuvers" was discussed today in dream group. Highlights:
11/28/09 - Title: "Precarious Positions"
Scene One - I am alone in a kayak on a lake or river of frigid water. An accumulation of ice and snow covers the kayak as well as the surface of the water. It is night. I realize my situation is perilous. I cannot move the kayak due to the large and growing amount of ice and snow. If I try to shift my position or even to clear the growing snowfall amount off the kayak, it may tip over, for it is delicately balanced. If it tips over, I'll be soaked in the frigid water, and the shock will paralyze me, so I shall both freeze and drown.
Scene Two (dreamed about an hour later) - Exactly the same as in Scene One except a powerful man, not far from me, perhaps 200 yards away, is the only other person around but he becomes aware of my situation and wants to help. He is in a boat that is not going to tip. It is bigger and has an upper and a lower deck. We communicate with shouts. There still is no light. I still worry that the slightest movement I make will tip me over into the frigid water where I shall be frozen and drown before I can be rescued, even that the rescue attempt may have this result, but at least now someone else is aware of the situation. He seems to know more and be more competent than I about how to possibly help.
[I believe this may be another higher power dream. Even on his lower deck, but especially from his upper one, my shadow is higher than I in my low to the water kayak. There is also "amped up" dawning awareness indicated. Perhaps the dream is a reflection on going it alone (scene one) vs. with the help of a higher power (scene two). As it happens, I am now focusing on Step 2 in the Alanon 12-Step program. This step has to do with acknowledging that a power greater than me could assist. The frigid and/or frozen water likely has to do with emotions that are frozen (perhaps repressed or suppressed, perhaps feelings such as those pertaining to father and mother issues and a variety of other dissatisfactions and stressful situations). In both scenes it is night, the time when the unconscious, intuition, and feelings hold sway. The ego is concerned that if he tries to do anything he may be killed. Yet clearly he is not coping very well by simply sitting there in his kayak as the ice and snow keep accumulating.]
11/29/09 - Title: "A Crisis of Leaking Emotions"
Without checking with me first, my spouse (not sure who she is, possibly Fran, but maybe someone else) has had one of our kitchen appliances (a dishwasher?) hauled off. Apparently she had sold it as junk or in some other way had it removed.
Nothing is in its place, and the space where it was is lower than the rest of the kitchen, which is also lower than the rest of the house. The ends of the connections (gas, water, electricity?) for the old appliance are exposed and sticking up out of the floor space where it had been.
Now a leak has developed in the dining room area adjacent to the kitchen, and a stream of water is flowing from near the far end of the buffet (near where a leak had occurred many years before, in the wall adjacent to my bathroom) into the kitchen, and it continues then to the space where the old appliance had been and then down there, through a hole in the floor.
I am upset both by the leak and my wife's having created this situation by removing the appliance without checking or conferring with me, thus making that area of the kitchen, and even that whole part of the house, lower. I am not sure where to begin in trying to deal with the crisis.
[I assume this dream is about changes in my collective or larger Self over which I as the ego have no control. Since it is an appliance that was removed, I think it has to do with an application or a practical tool of doing that was not being used and which my anima therefore removed, in so doing exposing not very attractive connections underneath and lowering (exploring a little more in depth) that part of my inner being, with the result that a leak in my emotional control has occurred, and feelings plus unconscious material are flowing toward the newly exposed lowest point, upsetting the ego but no doubt otherwise performing a useful function.]
My friend, Janet, reviewed my dream of the other day, about being unable to move in a kayak in ice, snow, and frigid water, and had some commentary about it. She said: "a kayak is a vehicle in which only one person can ride. So you are riding the unconscious but you are doing it alone. And the emotion you're riding is really cold. An accumulation of ice and snow covers the kayak as well as the surface of the water. So there is frozen emotion both that you are in and on the vehicle you are using. It is night, so this is the mysterious, the dark, and you know its a difficult situation. And because of the frozen emotion, you can't move your vehicle to maneuver through the frozen feelings. If you change your stance, you will have an ego death, which means your ego will freeze and die. So the vehicle you are traveling in is delicately balanced; thus you can't move, and if you move you have an ego death."
Regarding the second part of that dream, she added: "So you have this powerful shadow that wants to help. As Sonya once told me, decks are about dicks. So suppose this shadow has the courage, the vehicle and the power to make the change without requiring an ego death. You still can't see the light, but you do have someone now who can help you. Bottom Line: You either stay where you are, which is a precarious position, you have an ego death, or you get this powerful man to help you. Seems like a no-brainer to me. : )"
Her final commentary: "And who is this powerful man? I suspect...your higher power. All you need to do is ask your higher power to help, and then listen to the answer. That's it. You don't need to have all the answers figured out. (What does this higher power look like? What exactly do you believe in? Etc.) You only need to believe that something other than you can help, and then you be willing to put your trust into that something and listen to what you think he/she/it is saying to you. That's it."
To which I had a couple new observations about that dream: it seems too that masculinity (shadow) issues are conjoined with higher power ones; and if the double-decker boat is really a metaphor for a "double-dicker" vehicle for navigating the unconscious, etc., it is no doubt significant that the kayak is a vehicle for navigating those waters as well, one with a metaphorical phallus projected out whether one is moving forward or backward. The three phalluses would appear to make this a transformative dream and show that, for me, sexuality, masculinity, and my concepts of a higher power are all blended issues.