November, 2010

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11/7/10 - Title: "At the Mall"

I'm in a crowded, brightly lit department store inside a big shopping mall. Many other (male and female) customers are already waiting, taking up most of the floor space. There are several brightly colored (in shades of red, orange, and yellow) large (probably king-size) beds around (so this is apparently a bed or sleep-wear [meant to write sleep accessories] store, where mattresses, pillows, bedding, blankets, quilts, bed frames, etc. are to be selected and bought/sold) on the spacious sales floor. There is only one sales clerk, a thin (healthy), well dressed woman, perhaps in her 30s, whose attention is diverted by something known only to her and so she is not noticing or attending to the would-be shoppers. She finally looks up at the impatient crowd of customers and says something like "May I help whomever is next?" A man says something sarcastic about her ability to help at all if she could not even tell everyone had been there waiting before her for so long. Someone else refers to being there for the free (something), for folks who look at or try out one of the beds, but this too results in a sarcastic customer's response about the quality of the service here. Having just arrived, I am at the back of the people in this department and decide I do not want anything from here enough to wait or to listen to all the complaining. I leave to find something I need (for or about kids) elsewhere.

[The dream occurs in a department store, so it may have to do with departures, things that end, deaths, or separations. My mother-in-law left us after a 23 day visit the morning of the dream, so it may be partly about that. Animas and shadows are waiting and have been for awhile, not being properly attended to by the anima part of the larger self who is responsible for looking after the needs of the other parts. About her we only know she appears physically healthy and in her 30s (transformation) and well dressed (having a pleasing persona?) but seems to have been mentally challenged, at least at the moment, so preoccupied with internal mental processing of some kind that for a long while she does not notice all the unattended potential customers filling up her area. The colors suggest at least an upbeat atmosphere (brightly lit as opposed to drab, dull, gloomy, etc.) but also heartfelt emotion, possible anger, caution, a sunny disposition, possible fear. The word that keeps coming to mind about the yellow bedcover is lemon, as in the fruit or in lemon pie. Combined with the orange one, this suggests also food and so nourishment, nurturing. The red one suggests apples too. On the other hand, these bright colors may denote passion, energy, and the powerful lower chakras. The lemon of lemon yellow may suggest something significant which is not working as it should. All this emphasis on sleep furniture or accessories and even sleepwear suggests a desire to buy and so own (acknowledge) more from the realm of sleep, which can include both good rest, which I really need, usually not getting enough of it, as well as dreams, and they have not been remembered so much lately. However, the sleep and bed associations likely as well have to do with intimacy, in this case with fewer options for its expression and realization. The ego is not hooked by all the negativity and dysfunction in this regard, but just leaves, deciding to look elsewhere for what he needs, which has something to do with the young growth parts of the larger self and with projects or creativity within which he may achieve the missed intimacy in other than direct and physical ways, as through spirituality, sublimation in hobbies, etc. It may be relevant too that on Mondays I do some preparations for my Tuesday morning session with three second grade boys, as their volunteer reading coach.]

11/14/10 - Title: "Honest Emotion, Conflict, and Inner Demons"

Much of this dream is forgotten and confused, but, as best I recall, I am a crime reporter or investigator or some such. The setting is mainly a house of some type where some men whom I do not know live in the various rooms. I arrive and am in close association here with a man who pretends to be a "good guy," even a police detective, but actually, whether or not he is really a detective, is himself an extremely violent person who uses savage beatings as well as pistols to main and then kill a number of other men. Often trickery is used so that one does not realize he is about to be killed but instead thinks he is being saved from others' violence, only then to fall victim to the mayhem of the detective or others.

Once I have witnessed some of this, I am in danger as well, for apparently the detective does not want the truth of his extremely violent, sadistic, and deceitful nature known and is prepared to, indeed intends to, kill me to protect his secret as well. (The violence in the dream is far more complicated and general, though, than the above description indicates.) Several men are involved in maiming and killing, and it is impossible to know in advance who are really the "good guys" and who are the "bad guys." A number of men who seem at first to be OK turn out to be very violent and quite willing to turn their aggression against "good people." I wonder in the dream if I myself might be capable of severe aggression. At one point, there is also a woman involved in carrying out some of the violence.

[I do not remember having a dream of this level of violence and conflict since at least the early months of my involvement in a dream group, back in 2006. Clearly there is some type intense internal conflict going on, as well as a lot of consciously unfelt and unexpressed anger, plus a general sense of risk, issues of trust vs. deceit, good vs. bad, etc., and a general lack of integration, such as I have not previously noted for years.

The main catalyst I note from waking life for this kind of dream is that I have just completed Step 7 and am beginning Step 8 in the Alanon 12-Step Program. In this latter step, I am to list persons whom I have wronged and to whom I may need to make amends. In working through this step, I go to the Step 4 workbook, reviewing my shortcomings (and positive qualities that have been neglected) as well as those people toward whom I have felt significant resentment, anger, or other negativity, or whom I have used badly. For some reason, when I was doing Step 4, this kind of severe inner conflict was not apparent. Now, however, as I am getting closer to needing to own up to some of these issues and feelings by really expressing regret for ways I have hurt or wronged others, a step I would very much prefer to avoid, all this conflict is very much "in my face."]

11/17/10 - Title: "Building Brane Power"

An immensely intelligent species has taken over. I never see them, but they have remade my house into an incredibly elaborate city-like underground dwelling and prevented me from entering most of it. However, they apparently have left now. I still cannot access everything, but I find amid tunnels with golden light a machine that is built into an enormous underground golden glow room and wall. Part of it (the machine) fits (over) my head (like a space helmet or football helmet), and I try it out a few seconds at a time. It yields a level of consciousness and intelligence far beyond anything (I have) known before. My wife (not known in reality) lives in this vastly complicated underground "house" with me too, but so far she has not tried the brain machine. Another man warns me not to spend time with the machine, that it is not meant for humans and could destroy me, but I am determined to keep using it and to see if by this means I can grow my awareness.

[I suspect this has to do with unconscious stuff, things forgotten or emotions not in my ordinary awareness, since it all occurs underground. It may also be about a relationship with my higher power, represented here by the immensely intelligent species that has left the means to growth, at least in consciousness. A spiritual aspect may also be emphasized by the reference to tunnels with golden light, as in light at the end of the tunnel. Do not know what it means, though, that the other species representatives evidently have left now. It may also be about gaining more intuitive information than I usually can access. That my wife is there (though not my real wife, Fran) suggests that my emotions are involved and accessible in this new setting too. She and I seem to have a good relationship, a natural affinity or intimacy in this dream. The other man, my shadow, is more cautious, maybe knowing that this level of growth could destroy the ego. Or perhaps that just means that the ego will need to change.]

11/18/10 - Title: "Stamp of Approval"

My mentor from the 1960s, Dr. Harold Pearl, had come for a visit. We had a good embrace. He was jovial, and, as we were catching up on each other a little, he was clearly pleased with how I was doing.

[Harold Pearl had been for me like a new and improved (vs. the real one) father-figure as well as a teacher in being a grownup and a good facilitator. He was a big part way back when of my starting on the road toward personal growth, with groups of folks working to build maturity and awareness (focusing on Jungian psychology, experiments in inner space progress, Gurdjiev-Ouspensky esoteric lessons, etc.). I had not been ready, though, and dropped out of the groups, returning to school and work, eventually getting my masters, then making a career. Though our face to face acquaintance had ended in 1970, we had kept up through occasional phone chats and a more frequent written correspondence for years afterward. However, he died, so my earlier intention to resume our in-person relationship "once ready" came to an end. Harold as a dream symbol is about as clear a humanized HP as I am likely to have. This seems to have been very a positive and cool dream.]

11/28/10 - Title: "The Alien"

There is to my left a bubble- or a double-bowl-shaped something (one upside down bowl above a right side up one) that I watch form. It is female. It forms like the growth of a cauliflower, in both its shape and internal structure, and occurs rapidly, though not quite so fast as an explosion. Besides the impression of a cauliflower-like internal structure, there is also, to my surprise, a coiled up dragon, which then angrily strikes out toward me, as though the bowl-shaped entity, that had looked as harmless as a cauliflower, actually camouflages and is this dragon. She flares a hood at the back of her head and opens her mouth as she angrily lunges toward me to strike or bite.

[The dream probably represents unacknowledged (left side, and hence unconscious material, feelings, and intuition) emotion (my anima) - in this case anger, often an alien feeling for me - which, like cauliflower, a favorite food, is actually good for me, at least for me to own up to it. The anima is there to show, by example or counter-example, right feeling, in this instance apparently the conscious feeling of real negative emotion. It may also mean the expression of such emotion. The presence of cauliflower imagery also suggests what is nourishing or nurturing. The use of the term explosion, not quite an explosion in this example, suggests pent up or unexpressed negative feeling.]

Title: "Loser"

Scene one - I am living in a compound of some type. It also seems to be a learning center. College students are walking all around here on boardwalks. I try to befriend a pretty young co-ed. Though a little weird, generally absorbed with her own thoughts and feelings and not so into other people, she seems interested in and responsive to me.

Scene two - In the same setting as scene one, but here I am mostly in a tiny box of a two-story office, working on the second floor. This little building is on the campus but isolated from most other things here, except that it too is connected via the boardwalks. The spaces between the boardwalks are mostly muddy rectangles of open ground, due to lots of rain. It is still overcast. At times I forget how to find my boxy second story office, going too far or not far enough to reach it and getting it confused with other places accessible by the boardwalks. I have a boss who is like Harold Pritcher. He is rather firm and cold now, unwilling to give me any slack. My work is mixed up and unorganized, some of the cases missing, others having been neglected or forgotten for several weeks.

Apparently it is late May now. The date is like 5/29/xx, but the last entries on some of these cases is about 3/xx/xx. There should never be more than a week or 10 days between entries and actions on the cases. I discover these old, neglected cases just by going through the ones in the file drawer, from front to back, in order. However, I have not had a chance to go through all of them yet. There may be still others that are equally behind. I have to take care of all the neglected cases while at the same time keeping up with all the newer ones, a seemingly impossible task. It is obvious I am terribly behind in my work as a case manager. I have been away for awhile, but not so long that it accounts for how behind things have gotten. I must somehow come up with a system for succeeding and stick with it, or I shall be fired. Even now, If Harold Pritcher were to discover the sorry state of my case management, I might be fired before I have a chance to deal with this crisis.

Scene three - In the same setting again, but when I try to renew my acquaintance with the pretty co-ed from the first scene, as she is on a nearby boardwalk, evidently studying, she ignores me. She barely looks at me and, as though I am not worthy of an acknowledging nod, just continues with something she is working on.

[The different responses of the anima in this second dream suggest co-dependent issues as well as ones of acceptance vs. rejection. The anima is at first, but later is not, interested in greater integration with the ego. The numbers from these scenes, 2, 3, 5, and 10, suggest dawning awareness, transformation, creativity and waiting, as well as "amped up" unity (10) or treading on the tail of the tiger, which does not bite him and is interpreted as progress and success (I Ching). The 10th hexagram is also made up of a trigram for marsh (yin) on the bottom, with that for sky (yang) on top. This is interpreted to mean a time of danger but of coming out of the hazardous circumstance unscathed. What is my work? I see myself as involved in three main kinds of work, all dovetailing. In Alanon I am working through their 12-step program and am on Step 8, which has to do with becoming willing to make amends for the harm I have done to different individuals, including particularly myself. I am also in a meditation program and, as well, in this dream group and following my dreams on my own, to see what they have to teach me and in what ways they suggest I need to grow. Evidently I have been seriously neglectful in certain ways of the work I am doing along these lines, and this has the effect that my supervisory shadow as well as my anima are inclined now to reject me, as the rather unorganized or irresponsible ego.

Harold Pritcher was my supervisor for many years when I was working for the state. When one was doing his work well, he was very affable, friendly, and supportive. Most of the time, he regarded me as one of his "A" students or workers. However, if one got behind, he could be equally a hard-ass, threatening, and, indeed, had fired several in the course of his and my careers there. On one occasion, he was rather arbitrary and emotional, almost firing me for no legitimate reason, when he was going through severe difficulties in his personal life. I never got as behind as depicted in the dream, though during a time one of my brothers was dying of cancer, and I was going to Houston often to help out and be with him, my work did suffer, and I had a hard time getting it back into good shape.]

Not long after writing the above, I attended today's dream group meeting at Sonya's house. Here are some ideas (whether projections or legitimate insights not being certain) that came out as a result of discussion of my dreams today:

  • The boardwalks may refer to being bored with the current yin-dominated walks of my life.

  • One needs to be ready instead to "walk on the wild side," to do things more at one's own risk, rather than mainly just what is safe, tame, and non-challenging.

  • One needs at times to explore where are the edges, precipices, or thrills and adventures of one's life, on the shadow side of existence.

  • One needs to have more trust in the unknown and unfamiliar.

  • How does one go about breaking out of one's mold or comfort zone?

  • A way is needed toward greater inner realm prosperity, to really savor life's richness.

  • Here one is given the opportunity to investigate and actualize less the responsible and more the danger-loving parts of the self.

  • Seeing the emptiness of one's old style can help motivate one to make true leaps into the dark.

  • The current predicament involves the attempt, but poorly, to manage "the sorry state of my case."

  • There may be two main stories to this set of dreams and to my life. One is the present, well known one, in which it feels like being in a small box. What, then, is the other, as yet unexplored one? All things considered, whatever happens, can it really be so bad!? There might be worse things, in fact, than either dying or seeming the fool.

  • The go-along, adaptive, make do, passive, kind of receptive present way of relating to existence, perhaps came about mainly in relation to my mom's history and personality, and, to a lesser degree, my spouse's, but seems to have now for me less of genuine joy or meaning, and has apparently been "overcast" for quite awhile.

  • The "I may" opportunities are there now, though it is late in this "month" of permission to do more in my life than I have seriously tried before.

  • Instead, in some cases or ways I have remained back in the "month" of following others' "march-ing orders."

  • The animas manifesting in me now, in contrast to in some other dreams of late, are not healthy ones for me and need to be let go.

  • One looks benign, even healthy, but then inappropriately turns into an angry, biting manifestation of yang masculine energy.

  • The other seems self-absorbed and is neither truly interested in nor responsive toward me.

  • While i am still in a center of learning and at a place where I can work (on myself), this setting is too constraining, dark, isolated, and small for me.

  • There are at least plenty of ways to access real feelings here.

  • All of them, my animus (Harold Pritcher) and my two anima energy characters in today's dreaming, are arbitrary and cold, unwilling to give me any slack, not really nurturing and positive.

  • These dreams do not constitute a prognosis but are diagnostic. They represent snapshots of how I am doing today, a presentation of the dilemmas that remain, though some significant progress has been made.

  • To break out of these "bored walks" through my life, it is time to assume more active, creative, doing energy roles, in which I can and do take charge. These could include more solo trips, more in-depth meditation, dream work, and/or "active imagination" efforts, Alanon work, endeavors with investments, serious writing, or some other venture.

  • At this time, the situation appears rather warped, like the alien in the movie of the same name being both a supposedly nurturing, adaptable mother and yet destructive, in charge, and getting away with most everything she intends in an arbitrary, controlling, doing energy, adversarial manner.

  • Though I am in a place that is supposed to be a co-ed center of learning, there is barely co-existence, much less cooperation and a sense of rough equality or complementarity in how the masculine and feminine sides of my inner realm engage with one another.

  • All is not doom and gloom, however. Today's dream snapshots are more dark and negative than are several other recent dreams, but, on average, the trend remains upward.

11/30/10 - Title: "Do It, Or Else!"

There is a brightly lit (sunny) community in a likely Mediterranean country, and my female Alanon sponsor (whose name suggests spiritual realms) has a residence here with sunny streets on at least three sides. Over the course of 2-3 days, I have visited her here more than once. We discussed something that I am to do before I can move on in the Alanon program. For some reason, it is hard for me to do it. There are obstacles to be overcome. She knows and understands this. Nonetheless, she reminds me each time I visit that she is waiting for me to go ahead and do it.

Now it is broad daylight, the sun is beating down brightly, and I visit her again. She has an unknown (to me) woman visitor. Because of this and something else, I am hesitant to meet with her then and to discuss how things are going in my Alanon efforts. So she speaks up, while I am in her place but still a number of yards away, not as near her as the other visitor is.

She says, referring for probably the 3rd time to what needs to be done, "If I find that there are still the (?) (x number - five? - of... something) forms (that are waiting for my - the ego's -signature, to make them legal and confirm my completion of certain pending tasks) on the top of my bureau, then it will be over between us (for our sponsor-sponsi relationship)."

I see (in the dream) a stack of these forms, on the right hand top part of her bureau in her bedroom and decide to go get them (to sign or do something else with them), even though it is her place, and she is occupied with the woman visitor.

I sort of know she wouldn't really reject me from being her sponsi, that she is deliberately playing a role of being stern with me, in giving this ultimatum, yet I also understand it is important, despite the significant obstacles, to go ahead and do what I have to in order to complete those forms.

[I think the "forms" in the dream refer to my next steps in the Alanon 12-step program, of which I have so far finished the first seven. The ultimatum is amusing and ironic even in the dream, and I could sense the upward curl of my sponsor's lips as she issued it, for just last night in reality, when I was talking with her by phone, she emphasized that a sponsor's suggestions are just that, meant to be considered and possibly helpful, but in no way things which must be done.

In contrast to the dream situation, she also stresses that the Alanon program is not on a timetable, and so we need not try to rush through it. In this too the dream is ironic, probably reflecting my own concerns with achieving completion of the twelve steps by a certain time. Initially I had wanted to be through in a year. Later, the new target has been completion in about 18 months.

The emphasis on three in the dream suggests transformation. Two suggests dawning awareness. Five suggests creativity and waiting.

The sunny, bright setting likely emphasizes an upbeat, clear outlook.

Of my sponsor, I would say she is very bright, feminine, compassionate, and yet, in her personal situation, prone to being overly concerned with others' opinions and to beating herself up and having bouts of depression.

A Mediterranean country for the setting of this dream suggests it is in the middle Earth, hence a region of moderation, a place between and so devoid of extremes.]

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