December, 2006

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12/2/06 - Title: "Four Found Pairs of New Reflective Change"

I am in a large restaurant/meeting place/working establishment. On some fashionable stone or covered concrete stairs, several feet from the nearest diners or employees, I see a number of odd denomination or mint coins. There are two sizes and kinds of coins, in stacks. I look around to see if I can tell who would have left them, but nobody is close, and I can't remember who might have been there. At a quick glance, there are four coins each of two foreign looking denominations, and so around four stacks of two each in all. They are attractive, as if freshly minted and in polished, nice looking hues, the smaller ones about penny or dime dize (size) in diameter but much thicker than those common coins, perhaps a quarter-inch or half-centimeter in thickness, hollow, and silvery (or a similar light metal) looking. The other four stacked coins, two stacks of two, I think, are about quarter size in diameter but also much thicker than our quarters, maybe three-eighths of an inch thick or a centimeter thick [about the size and shape of checkers, but made of polished, hollow metal], and of a burnished bronze or copper or a highly polished, reddish brown appearance. I can't identify either the design or script on either type coin as anything I've seen before. They could be expensive play money, a unique minting, foreign currency from an unknown country, or even alien artifacts. I am picking them up and debating whether to turn them in as lost and found or just keep them [when I wake up].

12/5/06 - Title: "It's Personal Now - No More Mister Nice Guy"

At night outside, in a dark part of town, I'm in a personal life and death war with several others whom I know. I'm armed only with fists, feet, and head. So far the others are not using guns or knives either, but I've been fighting as if my life depended on it, and, though exhausted, bloodied, and battered badly, I've been holding on. I am neither giving in nor running, as if there were anywhere to go. Soon they'll either come at me in sufficient numbers or with more deadly weapons, so I can no longer win or break even. The fury and violence of the fighting so far is already frightening. I've yelled at them to leave me alone, but they do not. I've warned them to stay away or I'll continue to fight them as hard as I can, but they come on. So, I must be vicious, slamming them with right or left punches that would break bones and tenderize slabs of meat. Yet I know they will, as soon as they get a chance, beat the hell out of me, beat me to death if they can. [I suppose I should let these toughs, whoever they are, beat me to a pulp, and then see what happens. It is scary.]

12/6/06 - Title: "Almost Time to Go. Now What?"

My supervisor and I are in a clinic setting, supervising a new, young, male doctor (physician) who has been assigned to our area, showing him the ropes, and trying to make sure he does not royally screw up. We are all working in a poor section of town. Many of the people here are barely hanging on. Overdoses and other crises are common in their lives. Our new doctor must realize that if he makes a mistake with a prescription or a diagnosis, there may be nobody to back him up and correct it. His mistake then may have serious, perhaps deadly consequences on the street. I am feeling anxious about the green doctor, lest he mess up, but am also appreciative that he means well, is conscientious, and is bright enough to do well once more experienced. I like him. He's a fine fellow. He is pretty nervous about just starting out, but has both a good head on his shoulders and a good heart.

In another scene, I've been a social worker, counselor, or another sort of community healer. The young doctor's being in the clinic means that my own job here is now over. I'm being reassigned or retired. Some of the people in the neighborhood are saying "Goodbye." My leaving has been explained to them, and they seem concerned, glad because they care for me and assume I'm pleased to be moving on, but also very worried. A number of them had depended on receiving my kind words, social services help, and wit on a nearly daily basis, and don't know how they'll manage once I'm gone. A nearby social worker or nurse realizes an old man has been given the wrong prescription. If she had not happened to notice it, he'd probably have died. I hear her in the background complaining about or chewing out the new doctor, even as I'm trying to tell folks it will be OK once I'm gone. This is my last day here. It is not just that I'm worried about my former clients. I'm really sad to be leaving them. They are my friends.

[Another belonging dream? I'm concerned not only about things going wrong if I'm not there, but the absence in my life then of an almost daily sense of purpose and friendship. I like that the new doctor is a good guy and should do well once he knows the ropes. It seems I've made a difference here. It would be nice to think I'll be missed when I'm gone. My concerns over the new doctor may relate to feelings about being in the dream group, not really knowing yet what I'm doing, but trying to wing it. There's also concern over how to be relevant in retirement, particularly as I have no children or grandchildren, now that I am no longer engaged the way I was while working.]

12/8/06 - In the dream group, night before last, we discussed the immediately preceding dream. Additional ideas or insights included:

  • The dream may not actually be so much about belonging, meaning, or making a difference as I thought. Instead, such thoughts or feelings could be just from the old ego's point of view, but "he" is being retired or otherwise shifted away and will no longer be part of the picture, which is a good thing.

  • It's also upbeat that the setting is to change, and so the cast of characters, for most of the activity in this dream is in the poor (wrong) part of town amid a bunch of losers. In fact, though both the anima and animus are generally positive, the female reminding me of my longtime Lifestream Way and vegetarian restaurant friend, Michelle (whom I once asked to marry me), and the younger male being someone I like, with a good head and heart, the only negative aspect of it is that the Michelle character, the nurse or social worker, is trying to stop the doctor from "accidentally" killing off folks in the neighborhood.

  • From this point of view, the intention of the dream is to kill off several of the bums, junkies, or other riff-raff parts of myself, eliminate an antiquated ego, and then for me to start afresh in a better place.

  • It's also positive that I'm to be replaced by a "green doctor," for green in this context (as opposed to jealousy) represents opening of the heart center (or the expressive, spontaneous, and emotional, as opposed to the analytical, relatively lifeless identity that seems to have been more dominant for awhile).

  • Overall, the potential offing or removal of various old parts or settings of the dream self is considered very beneficial.

  • I have the possibility of "owning" the green doctor self, a healer who is bright, likeable, and conscientious, possesses a good head and heart, and is capable of getting rid of dysfunctional aspects of the self.

  • The consensus in the group was that the dream was quite encouraging, that my continued nervousness or unease about it reflects my old ego's defensiveness and anxiety till the transformation is more complete, unused as I am to the new order of things.

  • Nonetheless, the import of the dream is that big changes have been and will be occurring, and that they will serve me well, a most happy situation.

12/10/06 - One aspect of "being" must be to experience real feelings authentically. If so, I've been quite successful in this type emphasis over the last day or two, still having abundant anger and sadness.

12/11/06 - Title: "In Case You Don't Hear From Me Again..."

I'm about to leave on an experimental trip or test flight. Everything's set, but now beyond my control. I'm alone in a confined space, as with the cab of a small car on the driver's side, when all other space is occupied. It is a narrow, in some ways coffin-like space, only large enough for me to sit. It may be in a tiny ocean-going boat or submarine, an early one-man spacecraft, or the cabin of a new type airplane. I'm using a speaker phone to talk with my brother, Horace. I tell him something such as: "If our communications break down, then I'll try to contact Mom. If that does not work either, let's try...[?]. There's around a 25% chance we won't be able to talk to each other at all and about a 50% chance I'll be able to talk to you but not you to me, or vice versa."

[In reality, I was leaving today from Waco for Austin in my compact car, with my trip stuff taking up all but the driver's seat. I think much of that journey is out of my hands, for the drivers with whom I share the road are numerous enough to cause a lot of traffic congestion and are too frequently reckless. I always am aware of my mortality when driving I35 and Mopac for any significant distance. Also, I think communication and understanding between me and Mom is difficult, but they are truly problematic between me and Horace. At times, he seems like an alien to me (as when recently he was showing a handgun at a public event, taking it upon himself to apprehend a streaker and then, at the same time, using his cell phone to summon a police helicopter and other gendarmes on the ground to take over from him). He likely feels much the same about me, except, with his excessively fundamentalist and self-righteous religious perspective, he might say I'm "of the devil." Of course, what is at issue here is not the real Horace or Mom, but those aspects of myself. Interesting. Perhaps even distressing. So far, I'm only seeing the superficial explanations for the dream's content.]

12/13/06 - Title: "I Think You'd Better Go!"

Several crows [or ravens? Poe?] have been loudly tapping on the sheet metal door, roof, and sides of our building. People have been getting hurt. A message has been received, left anonymously for us to find, with an "XXX" sign, implying one or more of us [including at least myself] will be attacked or killed. A tough, practical, fierce fellow has taken over the defense. "Why is all this happening?" I ask him. "Someone at the library [where I work as a volunteer] is a snitch," he says, as if telling what's been going on [in the dream group?] puts us in jeopardy. He adds in a firm, brooking-no-objection tone: "I think you'd better go!" At first I think he means I'm the snitch and he's mad I'm putting our operation and all of ourselves (us) in danger. But then I realize he sees me as the least able to defend myself, too innocent, idealistic, or naive, and not up to the grim realities of the fight that is coming, and wants to get me away before things turn even more nasty (violent).

[I've been hurt by a lack of trust implicit in Fran telling her mom we'd not be coming home from our visit with her until two days later than the date Fran and I had agreed to. I've argued with Fran about it, but otherwise am not doing anything to correct things this time, though the situation has left me sad and angry. I have not consciously been obsessing over it, as I might have in the past, but I do feel that, if important agreements made between us will not be kept, then something major is lost in our relationship. I am resolved to take a firm stand when we arrive at future such arrangements. If there then is a similar result, the consequences for Fran will be less palatable than merely my being upset. Perhaps the dream shows doubt that I'm up for the kind of strong will and resolve needed to assure her breaking of agreements definitely will have such a deterrent cost for her, implying that this ego identity may be too weak for the task, but that a stronger one is waiting in the wings to take over once I'm out of the picture, either "killed" or leaving voluntarily. I also think the current ego is not ready for the kind of life changes required for a much greater emphasis on "being," resisting them with one lame excuse or another, such as not having enough time or first needing to better understand what "being" means.]

12/18/06 - Title: "Up On the Sticky Berm Without a Pair of Walking-Through-The-Slippery-Snakes Shoes"

I'm out about mid-day in a dry sandy desert area where there is a lone green tree somewhat in the distance. The desert is of reddish brown sand, seemingly as far as the eye can see, except for the tree. I'm there at first with a woman, perhaps my wife, Frances. We have some business there, something we need to do in the sandy wasteland. It's as though we are scientists or environmentalists, and if our researches or experiments are successful we can transform the desert and make it luxuriant again.

Later, at night of the same day, I leave home (that is in a normal area) and intend to walk over to the desert again, but an obstacle is now in the way. An area of jungle-like growth intervenes between me and the desert. It is very land (large), this verdant area, and roughly rectangular, as though here (existing) due to special irrigation or cultivation efforts. Without those efforts, it would be just like the desert beyond. I start through it on a berm that seems to run toward the desert. The top of it is narrow and elevated about 3-5 feet above ground level in the thick jungle area on either side. Despite the lower level of the (berm divided) jungle to either side, the plants there grow so well and profusely that the jungle would rise higher than I am if I were standing on top of the berm. There is green growth on the berm too, but it is only a few inches high, as though periodically grazed or mowed.

As I have just stepped onto the berm, I fall and then slide down, almost into the thick, dark jungle on the right side of it. I make several more attempts to get up and go on, but keep sliding and falling. When I look to see what is so slippery, there are thousands of (or) millions of snakes in among the short vegetations (vegetation) of the berm, even more of them, almost impenetrably thick, in the jungle to either side. There (their) bodies are thin and short and sticky as though there (they) are a cross between fast green tree snakes, transparent worms, and gray slugs. They are actually gray and slimy and translucent in appearance. I see their little eyes and mouths. They can't do me much damage, despite their huge numbers, by biting me with those tiny mouths. But they are disgusting, and I can't go anywhere as long as I keep falling when I try to walk on the berm amid all their sticky, fleshy bodies. My pants, which had been clean khakis, are now all messed up from stepped-on and fallen-on, crushed, sticky snake bodies smeared on them by my falls.

[Decades ago, snakes in my dreams were much more dangerous and aggressive and stood for unacknowledged feelings. "Berm" = be room? (Perhaps a meditation room where the focus is particularly on "being"? I do have a meditation room.) Or: be... something else? Last year, when Fran and I last went to FL (we're leaving for there again on Sunday), we almost stepped on a large cottonmouth on a berm beside a big marsh. After hearing of my dream, Fran pointed out that, as she had gotten up before me this morning, I probably was having the dream when she was discovering a big, long caterpillar on the floor of our kitchen, wondering how it got there, and taking it outside. Millions of small, snake-like creatures in sticky fluid, of course, calls to mind sperm in semen. Emissions occasionally also can mess up a man's pants. Tiny eyes and mouths remind of fetuses. The "bee dreams" too have involved a sticky substance, honey. There are two references to "green tree" in the dream (?).]

12/21/06 - In the dream group last night, one person objected particularly to how I was interpreting another person's dream. I happen to think she was wrong and being too rigid. It seemed she was also trying to put me in my place. I responded to her mildly, but actually was rather provoked. I do not think it is an encounter group. Still, since she is a "veteran," and I am only the "baby" of the group, I bit back my anger about what I considered unfair criticism.

Later, thinking about it, I realized that, besides any "sibling rivalry" kinds of feelings between us, or any of her "I'm an old hand at this. Where does this new upstart get off acting as though he knows how to interpret dreams?" business that may have been involved, the lady may have had a point in that I was perhaps being too glib in some of my interpretations, particularly with the dreamer in question, who is going through really rough times right now. Perhaps the lady attacking me was doing so more out of a desire to protect the dreamer from insensitively flip comments from me, when I was just guessing and hoping I might be correct, not truly knowing what I was doing.

Then, later, I got quite a bit of positive feedback again for the direct, "right-on-target-ness" of the responses I was making, in fact far more so than the criticism.

Among others, we discussed in the dream group (DG) last night my "sticky berm" dream. Here are the new ideas or insights that resulted from this exploration:

  • The dream is partly about sperm (or "being" and sperm). The dream has no regard for the ego's feelings or reactions, like "disgusting." It is, in fact, another positive dream, sperm or not.

  • It is also about meditation (what one does in the "be" room) as an ongoing resource.

  • The lessons of the dream are transparent, meaning already known. It just emphasizes the prior lessons, that the primary issues for me at this time are 1. deep regret over not having had any children; 2. feeling that I do not "have a life;" 3. still grieving; 4. being; 5. dawning awareness combined with transformation.

  • The way to transform both the desert and my life is through further focusing on being and grieving.

  • The snakes/sperm/slugs are instincts. The ego is limited and seeking to control or restrain these positive aspects of myself. But inevitably it will succumb to either the tiny nibbling bites of the snakes, with all their little mouths, or will be "lost" in the jungle, or killed off by the huge masses of the millions of snakes/sperm/slugs which just overwhelm the ego or suffocate it beneath them or their gooey slime, or the ego will be transformed itself into a snake creature. At that point, special footwear for traveling on sticky berms would be totally redundant.

  • The snake (or serpent) is also a powerful and often beneficent symbol, representing variously the Kundalini, healing (hence the twined snakes on a staff, or caduceus, used as the symbol for the medical profession), male energy, life (in which we move to and fro, that way and this, occasionally coming full circle, like a snake slithering or biting its own tail), the mystery of birth and death (seen as linked by the life symbol or snake), fertility, wisdom, the guardian or ruler of the underworld, creation, renewal (from the snake's fresh appearance when it has just shed its skin), rebirth, and so on.

  • Just as the green tree snake implies some feelings and instincts that react and move very swiftly, so the multitude of slugs demonstrate a tendency toward sluggishness in my personality.

  • There may be a connection between the dream and Fran's seeing a long caterpillar in the kitchen at the same time I was dreaming, but that is irrelevant since there is no significance for the dreamer to be taken from that information.

  • The dream is about fertility, in several forms: making the desert lush again; thick, luxuriant jungle growth, plenty of growth even up on the berm; the millions of sperm, of course; and the more advanced life forms with little eyes and mouths, that remind of fetuses.

  • The idea of working with children, perhaps as a volunteer, is supported by the dream.

  • If I do, I should not be surprised if some of the time it involves changing diapers, since the khakis imply caca. (Another dream member thought they represented a military aspect, since khakis are often associated with summer uniforms among troops. I'm just aware of liking khakis, though my father was a military man and did often wear khaki uniforms.)

  • The green tree (repeated twice) represents, among other things, feelings, life, knowledge, enlightenment, and the connection between the material and spiritual (or earth and heaven, or people and gods).

  • The desert represents life's endless, detailed minutiae, in which one can become bogged down and so avoid the stickiness of relationships, unpleasant emotions, etc. It also might represent emptiness, meaninglessness (T. E. Lawrence notwithstanding).

  • Lone (green tree) may refer to my feelings of isolation or loneliness.

  • In India, the jungle often is regarded positively, as a park. So, it may be possible to look on the dream jungle in a refocused and so more positive way, as a place of renewal, many options, possibility, and of rich, abundant life.

  • I usually think of my life as devoid of much relevance or meaning, as if I were alone in a desert, but I have the choice to own instead the jungle which, though scary perhaps at first, shows that an amazing vitality exists within me as well.

  • On our upcoming trip to FL and future visits with relatives, I need to assure I have down time to myself for reflection and to recharge my batteries, for times of social interaction dissipate my energies, which are better restored in relative isolation.

12/23/06 - Title: "Traveling in Higher Learning Circles"

I'm at an institution of higher learning. The sun is out. All is bright. There is a circular coliseum, similar to the Erwin Center. I'm enjoying wandering around the spacious campus on foot. There are just a few other people, mainly at a distance. Most students and staff have left for the holidays and semester break. There is some confusion about where to meet someone. Part of the time he goes around the outside, while I'm going around the inside (of the big coliseum), and part of the time vice versa. It is not clear if we ever get together. I'm moving counter-clockwise next to the side of the coliseum, and he's walking clockwise.

[Separations in time and space. Outer vs. inner world paths. Bright. Emphasis on learning, as through the dream group and its suggestions. Am also in other circles of higher learning: living with Frances, who is highly intelligent, our dyad is one circle; working at the library with smart, well educated folks (and around books written by savvy people); my book discussion groups. In each of the groups, we sit around roughly in circles. The circles and the large coliseum are mandala-like. Some confusion. Not yet well integrated with my shadow self(selves). We are in fact having a break for the holidays and between semesters (of learning with the dream group and of Fran's gigs).]

12/25/06 - Title: "No Way Left and Can't See What's Coming Anyway"

I'm trying to safely see around the corners at a cramped intersection [such as sometimes have to try to negotiate in the neighborhood of the dream group] with opposite (oncoming) traffic backed up in the adjoining lane into the intersection. I ease forward to try and get a look around the last car in line next to me, and thus see to the left, right, and ahead. I'm concerned cars and trucks from any of these directions will appear at any moment, but, because of the angles of the roads, I cannot see well enough ahead or to either side. Suddenly, a hot number in a sporty little red convertible, with top down, coming the other way, whips round the angle from the way ahead to get behind the last car in the backed up opposite flow (line) of traffic and drives right into the intersection as I'm trying to ease around. "Excuse me, fella!" she shouts. Relieved nobody is blocking me in from behind, but frustrated about a further delay in getting through my turn to the left, I back up out of the hot number's way.

[There are, of course, from a Freudian perspective sexual aspects to the dream, the "a hot number" euphemism for a sexy young woman chief among them. She is my anima or feminine self, and it's good I see her as attractive enough that I'd want to have sex with her since that would imply good communication and integration. However, there is also frustration, implying no consummation of such sexual interest or potential. Relief at not being blocked from behind seems appropriate, the innuendo perhaps being that otherwise I might be receiving unwanted male sexual attentions!

A turn to the left in a Jungian interpretation likely indicates a more inner, intuitive, insightful, "feeling-ful," or spontaneous orientation, as opposed to the more rational, analytical, passionless way of the right. In contrast to the anima, the ego self is safety-first cautious and so hesitates in turning to the left, attempting be first be sure all will be OK, even though he's at a crossroads where he can't see what's coming (the outcome or implications), to either side (the intuitive vs. rational way), or ahead (the future).

By contrast, the female part is acting more in a male role, bold, decisive, active, spontaneous, and unreserved, almost reckless in her disregard for the potential consequences as she rushes into the intersection without having gotten a good look at it (due to the angle). Oddly, she seems to be coming from my future (the way ahead) and, having dealt with some of the ambiguities, hazards, or obstacles of the present (the intersection) by getting the ego to move out of the way ("Excuse me, fella!"), she nonetheless is stuck in a jam on the way back, as though her intuitive, insightful way is blocked by the past (repressed or suppressed memories or feelings.)

From the ego's point of view, it may seem best to give up at this point (he sees "no way left"), since it seems so hard to change enough to complete the turn to the left (the way of intuition or insight, i.e. finish the transformation in which now engaged?).

Overall, it seems for the moment that both the male ego and the anima are stuck, in both cases implying a halt in progress toward a more fully intuitive way of "being." Meanwhile, though, unknown changes (which I cannot see) are coming.]

12/28/06 - Title: "Hey! This Cart's Not Up-for-Grabs!"

It is night or early enough in the morning that things are still dark. I'm on a narrow concrete walkway. It is the worse for wear, with lots of ruts and broken place obstacles, dips, and mild rises in which the wheels of our shopping carts keep getting caught. There is quite a long line and group of potential shoppers besides me. We are kind of bunched up together where I am, but the line extends forward and back as far as can be seen. The walk is narrow, supposed to be single file, and all in one direction, forward. Because of the crush of people, it's hard to keep in the right order and remember just where we are in the line. After one particularly bad section of broken concrete, where there is also a dip or two, a number of people get mixed up and some become separated from their carts. I am still holding tightly to mine and am pushing it along ahead, but I must slow down because of the confusion of bunched up people. A man I don't know, in black slacks and a white dress shirt, taller and younger than me, seems confused, but he also is a cheat. He comes up, and, not looking at me, grabs my cart and tries to pull it as if it is his and to get it away from me. "Excuse me! That's my cart!" I yell angrily at him. He releases it momentarily, still not looking at me, but never acknowledges an error or apologizes. Instead, a few steps later, as he's been still walking beside my cart, he steps in again and tries to grab it and continue on, acting as if I'm not still holding and pushing it. He is obviously intent on taking it from me and pretending it was his all along. "EXCUSE ME! That's MY CART!" I shout angrily once more.

I recall thinking that vacationing with Fran and her mom is sometimes like being a small boy when with my mom (and perhaps also if she is with another woman) on a day-long shopping trip, when the women just love shopping, and the lad wants nothing so much as to be home doing his preferred play activities. Otherwise, can't make much of this dream.

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