12/3/07 - The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 11/23/07 "Help Me, Older Won (One) Before Me... " dream. Highlights:
- The dream anima has some similarity to my 85-year-old mother, but is an idealized version. Whereas, though a survivor of major childhood obstacles as well as later abuse from my father, she is scarred, insecure, anxious, and often depressed, this inner anima is calm, centered, confident, and relatively enlightened.
- It was felt that the tone of the title, including "Help me... ! You are my only hope," suggests feelings of inadequacy about the potential hurdles I see ahead in my own existence, whether they are as complex as finding meaning in life after retirement, happiness in our marital relationship, or good functioning amid various onslaughts of aging, as direct as dealing with whatever comes up in a more intensive meditation regimen, or as relatively "simple" and short-term as handling duties as the administrator and executor of my mother's affairs and estate, or handling her funeral and memorial services, despite possible hostility or even rebellion from some of my more conservative, right-wing family members, who may think they should be able to manage such matters themselves, just as they please, in contrast to Mom's more liberal, agnostic beliefs, values, or hopes for such ceremonies.
- Another in the dream group suggested I may also have my own values skewed, claiming I am more concerned over acquiring or maintaining material wealth than in what she feels are correct priorities (though there is some indication she herself has mixed feelings about the importance of wealth, based on how she markets her business, puts herself forward and others down, or charges for her creations).
- There was discussion of the need to clarify identity issues, if only to be more open to a wide spectrum of archetypal "masculine" vs. "feminine" qualities or energies in real people, who happen to be biologically male or female, instead of trying to make one male "size" or female "size" fit all of each respective sex.
- It was acknowledged that there is some confusion on this point even within Jungian dream interpretation, and that in the DG there have been comments made suggesting at one time that I become more "masculine" or "yang" while at others that I be more "feminine" or "yin." There was not good resolution on this matter but simply the notion that I be more comfortable with my own qualities and energies and integrate within myself the actual aspects of myself, however others, including those in the DG, may respond at one time or another.
- Despite the rather critical comments received at times, from DG members who seemed more interested in scoring points or playing "gotcha" than in productive dream interpretation, there were positive responses as well.
- For instance, it was put to me that I take responsibility for and acknowledge the wise, calm, well centered, confident, more enlightened older one (an anima before me, i.e. in front of me) within.
- And it was noted that (in spite of the sometimes negative feedback) my persona in DG was already also more confident, easygoing, or calm.
- It was suggested that, just as I accept all male and female energy aspects of myself, that I be open to all such expressions in others as well, particularly those of people close to me, in DG, other acquaintances, etc.
- The "Jungian slip" in the dream title, of first using the word "won" instead of "one," might mean that I see the anima (or myself) as having survived or won over the odds against her (or me).
- The title comes from, or is a take-off of, a call in the opening scenes of the first "Star Wars" movie for assistance from a now famous positive wizard, sorcerer, mentor, or teacher, an appeal that is ultimately heeded, with great success. Similarly, there is a teacher or sorcerer within, a resource available to me.
- The short dream and its long title made one DG member feel sad and, as she said, "want to cry." There is a poignancy to it, but this may stress a greater urgency to take this dream anima, the "last of the great ones," more fully into account in my waking life.
Title: "I Pee; Therefore I Am."
I get up from a nap, go to the bathroom adjoining the master bedroom where I've been sleeping (our actual bedroom), stand over the toilet, and pee liberally.
[Then I wake up and realize I had not really gotten up yet and still need to pee. Based on prior dream analyses, I assume that, besides the actual inclination toward urination after having consumed a lot of tea during lunch and then after the nap, I'm feeling a need to have more self-expression (writing, ceramics, teaching, acting, counseling, clowning, painting, singing, other?). At least, this is a usual Jungian interpretation.]
12/5/07 (AM) - Title: "Cutting Wood, a Great House, and My Looming Wedding"
My soon to be brother-in-law, Scott, has asked me to saw up a bunch of tree branches for him into firewood. I do, mainly using a big outdoor table saw. I stack the pieces, each about 18 inches long, in an efficient, orderly way onto several open metal shelves (with no front or back) apparently there for the purpose.
As I finish, it's getting dark and time to dress for my 7:30 wedding to Fran. Scott comes up then, though, sees the neat stacks, and criticizes my work, implying it is too uniform and that the pieces are not big enough. I tell him that's how it seemed best to me and, in any case, I don't have time to do it some other way. Still not feeling right about it, he asks a half-grown girl (about 10 or so) nearby how it looks to her, and she says it's fine. He is somewhat appeased that the girl says my orderly stack is just right. I realize if Scott had done it, the branches would have been cut with a large chain saw into much bigger chunks or pieces and all of them tossed into one giant disorderly pile on the snowy ground, suitable for a great bonfire but not a house fireplace.
Next, I am a little in a daze inside a huge mansion of a place. It seems I'm on the second floor, alone in a large bedroom and trying to figure out what to do first to get ready for my wedding. It is now after 6:30. I still have gobs of brown mud on the sides and bottoms of my expensive looking shoes. At least there is a bathroom attached to this big room where I can clean them. Fortunately, all my wedding clothes are here freshly cleaned and in a garment bag on the bed. It's just a matter of putting them on in the next few minutes.
Some people (& I understand there are many others in the house) knock on my room door. I say I'm getting dressed and can't open it right now. They should (shout) through its thick mahogany wood (& all the floors are a very posh dark brown natural or stained wood as well) asking where they should make up the wedding night bed for me and Fran, and I yell back that the big bedroom (with its vast, luxurious bed) just above the one I'm in would be fine. They agree and go to get it ready.
I'm looking forward to seeing my lovely bride in her wedding gown.
12/5/07 (PM) - Title: "A Hole in One Tooth"
While sliding my tongue around inside my mouth, I am distressed to note a small painful place, where I assume there is a new cavity in one of my teeth.
12/6/07 - The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 12/5/07 "Cutting Wood, a Great House, & My Looming Wedding" dream, as well as my "A Hole in One Tooth" dream of the same date. Highlights:
- The dream involves issues over my masculinity, whether it will be a balanced expression or a more macho one. It also involves further integration with the anima. In addition, there are aspects reflective of a lust for life. And there are a lot of inclination or volition issues, what I would (wood) do. There are concerns here too with my stance (shoes) in life. And even over what is my role in this existence, perhaps in former existences as well. There is reference to cleaning, and even the garment bag reference is similar to the bags one gets from taking in cleaning to be done, protecting the freshly cleaned things when the clothes come back. There are significant contrasts indicated. And, in the vast, plush bed, we can see the potential of a luxuriant, productive dream life and work. Another theme is that of decay and so of restoration.
- My brother-in-law, Scott, a shadow figure in the first dream, is not merely macho but also quite impulsive, compared with the more cautious, methodical, carefully considered approach to meeting my needs and desires that I typically show.
- Overall, I see Scott as complex: highly intelligent, tending toward abusive, bullying expressions of anger or attempted control of others, yet also often spontaneous and playful, energetic, a conscientious breadwinner, hardworking, a dedicated if somewhat intrusive father, dominant, artistic, highly social, quite competent, aggressive, yet also nurturing.
- Frances is brilliant, an excellent teacher (though uninterested in young children or having our own kids), rather well organized, an introvert and often preferring to be alone, impatient, yet tending to make friends easily if they are interested in her main specialties, such as music, photography, computers, writing, web sites, and any aspect of natural history. For reasons discussed in the DG, references to her in my dreams can also represent attention to values, valor, or a model of heroism such as that of Prince Valiant.
- 18 in the I Ching stands for decay which is followed by restoration, so both the first dream and the second have this common notion, of restoration being about to occur.
- There is an emphasis on change, renewal, or growth.
- The half-grown girl is my new anima energy, and it is significantly positive that she approves of my current, balanced approach to the expression of masculinity, saying it is "fine" or "just right," in contrast to the Scott approach, more characteristic of a "chain saw massacre."
- The house fireplace type wood refers to my appropriate, contained expression of emotions, as distinct from the Scott type which would be suitable only for a bonfire or big conflagration (explosive or unfettered emotional display, lacking in sufficient "anger management" or other indications of constraint in the emotional arena).
- The use of the table saw can refer to tabling things till the best time for them, placing them in good, clear order, manifestations of reality, etc. It is thus a more positive expression of masculine energy than the energy- and emotions-wasteful, relatively wild chain saw version.
- Cutting the branches can refer to chopping off limbs from the dysfunctional family tree, perhaps even starting afresh with a new family of my own choosing or at least with new relationships in the old one.
- The Scott shadow character is a highly critical part of myself. Along with other aspects of the shadow figure mentioned above, these are traits that I need not express but have in my inventory in case for some reason there is a fitting time for them or a wish to be more like that side of myself. One can imagine circumstances in which traits such as these Scott possesses might be useful, might even mean the difference between survival or dying (for myself or those about whom I most care).
- 7:30 is halfway between 7 and 8. Seven can stand for the chakras or the complete whole. The culmination of the chakras is a potential union with God or the highest self. Eight lying down is the symbol of infinity and has spiritual implications too.
- There is too an earthiness to the dream, as with the references to the snowy ground, the gobs of mud on my shoes, or the rich hues of brown or mahogany in the mansion.
- Along with the integration with my anima suggested by the imminent wedding, there is the idea of putting on new finery. In addition, the wedding bed and vast bedroom are on the floor above, i.e. the third floor, all of which suggests transformation.
- But the first bedroom is on the second floor, implying dawning awareness.
- There are many others in the house, suggesting a multitude of aspects of selves in the overall constellation of being.
- The title, "A Hole in One Tooth," for the second remembered dream that day, calls to mind, in its "hole in one" phrase, a quote I read recently in an old little gem of a Zen book, in which a master practitioner points out that one can meditate for twenty years, but if the practice is not right and a part of one's entire life, then one would have done better to have simply practiced his or her golf swing!
12/8/07 - Title: "Not Fully Engaged"
I go back to visit at my main earlier place of work. Things have changed (both in the dream and in reality) since I was there. As I'm going in, I see one of my former best friends, Larry, and jokingly say "Well, there's Mr. Cucumber Sandwich!" (because he was usually more into healthy foods than I). He smiles too (as if we'd not had a falling out, though really we ceased being friends shortly before I retired) on seeing and recognizing me there (for the first time in several years), and makes some funny comment in reply. He and I walk back together to his office/cubicle, but before we can even have a brief conversation and begin to catch up on each other's news, another worker, a woman who seems to be his colleague or assistant in running one of the units, comes in and consults with him on a matter (they're already in the middle of) that must be dealt with right away. He politely excuses himself for needing to attend to the other concern, but says they must make a short-notice transition in how they do their operations there and, besides, that he's busy with an application for a more responsible and independent position in another state (one that somehow combines safety management - my old field in younger days - and disability determination - my last government work). He has a good chance at this other opening and hopes to move out there soon with his wife to begin the new position (in Tennessee? Kentucky?). As I'm waiting, one call or question follows another, between he and the woman or others. I realize this reunion isn't going to work out and leave while he's on the phone yet again, though the woman urges me to wait, saying he'll want to have a few minutes with me once he is more free. I sort of regret going instead, but it's apparent he really is too engaged with important other matters and that, even if to be nice he made a few minutes for me, he does not really have the time. I leave envious of his involvement in things meaningful for him. I wonder if I ought to apply for a position in another state too. I realize I could handle a full-time job there, although it does not really sound like one that would be right for me, as I'd be working mostly alone in a large warehouse-and-machinery type operation. Besides, Fran would not want us to move. I'll need to find another way to be more engaged.
12/9/07 - Title: "A Happy Family Reunion and Imminent Wedding for Fran and Me"
It's Fran's and my wedding day, held at a huge old southern mansion on a vast lot. My entire living extended family is there for the rehearsal and then for the ceremony itself.
My Aunt Hazel and Uncle Jack (from LA - both in their 80s and not well), though, wish Fran and me well and then start to leave before the wedding, saying they have to go early and get back (presumably for health or driving vision reasons). I pull away from the crush of people and rush to hug them "Goodbye," but when I open the big side double doors where they've just gone out, I do not see them, instead noticing there is a cloudburst. Nobody could drive in this intense storm, so I assume they've decided to stay through the imminent ceremony after all.
As I am heading in again, by another route after looking for Hazel and Jack, I see my brother, Horace, with his handgun out and one other person with a small rifle. They are at the head of the crowd waiting for us to come through other double doors, these leading toward the side entrance into a huge sanctuary where the ceremony will be. They know we are to come in together that way, side by side, as we enter to be married, and they are planning then to surprise us with gunshots going off next to our ears. Horace is in great form, happy as anything at this practical joke he thinks he's about to play on us, but in a friendly way as only a loving relative would play such a joke on another brother (odd in view of our actual relationship [more distant and formal, so we do not have to discuss our differences], but more in keeping with how we were when together 25 or so years ago).
Back in the area where Fran and I had been before Hazel and Jack started to leave, there is yet again a huge crush of people heartily wishing us well and all wanting to hug us, one after another.
At one point, I am surprised to realize I am hugging the very real, substantial, living form of my Grandma Rose(who died in 1975 while I was in India). Then, as she's smiling at me and I'm hugging her and feeling the strangeness, almost with a sense of the miraculous, of her tangible presence in my arms, her form kind of dissolves, transmutes, and, even as I am looking at her and holding her, becomes my sister, Alice (who is sometimes psychic). Alice is at first puzzled by the very odd way I'm looking at her, but then her face clears and she says "Oh! I feel her too!" and, while reaching out toward me, gets to briefly embrace the fading Grandma Rose form/energy herself.
12/13/07 - The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 12/9/07 "A Happy Family Reunion and Imminent Wedding for Fran and Me" dream. Highlights:
- The dream is like a Victorian novel in its type title, story, etc. It is very positive, indicating transition or transformation, greater awareness, and further engagement plus integration.
- However, a negative element is that the Horace character is seeking to cause (emotional?) explosions that would disrupt the proceedings and possibly undermine the imminent wedding (with its implication of union between the ego and anima), a union leading hopefully (if not undermined by this shadow character) to more stability and strength for both. Thus, there is as one part of me, a shadow self, that, although an excellent father and now grandfather, is also arrogant, self-centered, aggressive, competitive, insecure, manipulative, anal-retentive, closed-minded, rigid, hypocritical, right-wing extremist, religiously fanatical, jealous, and with a warped, sadistic sense of humor. He feels justified in taking advantage of others. He is in some ways a natural bully. He holds onto feelings of having been offended or slighted, and feels self-righteous in telling his version of things, being frank, even if in ways that are hurtful toward others and needlessly rude. And this negative part of me wants to sabotage the positive growth signified by an integration of my ego and my Frances anima. Likely in other ways too there is this sinister other aspect of myself that seeks to do the positive selves harm. Hmm. Clearly danger signals here! There are things about my inner territory that would bear watching and need to be better addressed.
- There are other ways in which the dream shows, not just between the assumed qualities of the ego and the less than favorable attributes of this shadow figure, but also between the various anima figures in the dream, there is a flux or transmutation possible and actively apparent, back and forth between positive and negative sets of quality options, for instance (among the several animas in the dream) between such healthy attributes as flowing, open energy, smart or brilliant intellect, having natural leadership ability, being personable, showing valor or insight into true value, sensitivity (in a good way), even being a little psychic, musical, wholesomely spiritual, artistic, and into dance vs. the detrimental aspects: strong-willed, narcissistic, too easily frustrated, passive aggressive, unstable, arrogant, whiney, hard to get along with, harboring resentments, and holding onto myths of dark secrets that give melodrama and with which to try to undermine the strengths or hard won victories of others.
- There are archetypes or constellations of these energies apparent through various generations of my internal landscape, as with sets of negative shadow qualities appearing in Horace, our dad, and his father as well. Alternatively, there is a largely positive set of qualities (at least from my experience of her in my childhood), from my Grandma Rose, but these too easily shift into such unstable sets of qualities as represented by my sister anima, Alice.
- There is an emphasis here on practical joking, the kind that can effectively (or practically) take others down a peg or two, which is what this type joking aspect of myself seeks to do. It is not that it is a large, intentional part of my conscious self or ego, quite the contrary, but that there is this mostly unrecognized aspect in my inner inventory (or else it would not have appeared in my dream).
- One DG member thought it possible the dream hinted at some health issue, since she thought it unnatural that in the last paragraph there is the transmutation between my grandmother anima and that of my sister.
- However, another member thought it fairly normal for there to be the appearance of ghost-like characters in dreaming and for these to transition into living persons.
- The double doors, of which there are actually three sets (one to the outside, that my aunt and uncle use to start to leave, another into a hall leading to the sanctuary, and the third into the sanctuary itself), may represent dawning awareness as well as transformation plus major openings into other states.
- The storm could represent strong emotions and the unconscious.
- Another DG member thought there is in this dream still some focus on gender issues, as though showing positive and negative aspects of both the male and female, from which to pick and choose at one time vs. another, but with as yet no clear definition or stability of self fixed or focused on one healthy shadow or anima model, respectively. It is unclear if this is valid, however, since it can be argued, and often is in Buddhism, Zen, and other meditative disciplines or traditions, that the notion of one fixed or focused self is simply a myth, an artificial construct for convenience, but that enlightenment will only occur after one has realized at least in part that "I" do not exist as any one entity.
- It was felt too that this dream is about pursuing the pearl of great price.
12/15/07 - Title: "The Start of My Health Spa Wedding Weekend"
I'm at a health spa for a 3-4 day long weekend retreat with several others, mostly women. There are two purposes for our time together: a wedding; and changing our diets into healthy ones, with little or no caffeine, fried or processed foods, sugar, etc., but instead eating or drinking all or almost all organic foods, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, water, and such.
Frances is not here yet, or at least I have not seen her, and she may not actually be seeking a healthy diet herself, but we are to get married here in a day or two.
There are a variety of (not remembered) interesting and/or healthy activities here for those of us into the dieting. And we have a combination guide and coach or personal trainer who is leading us to or in these activities together.
At one point, he asks us about our diet logs. Most are embarrassed to admit having as yet few if any entries in theirs. I already have 16 in mine, detailing my numerous beverages and snacks. (It is not clear if my snacking has been healthy or not, but if anything like my real diet it has not.)
The other folks are at least impressed with the thoroughness of my record keeping.
12/17/07 - The DG yesterday discussed, among others, my 12/15/07 "The Start of My Health Spa Wedding Weekend" dream. Highlights:
- The dream involves further evidence of integration between my ego and my anima, Frances, whom I am (again, for perhaps the 3rd or 4th or more time in the last 2-3 months or so) imminently to wed. In addition, there is a very positive shadow figure who is described as a combination guide and coach or personal trainer who is leading the various inner selves, wording that brought a smile to one leading DG member.
- That it is a 3-4 day long weekend retreat suggests transition or transformation as well as manifestation (of the changes) in reality or stability. Further, there are already 16 entries in my diet log. This greatly reemphasizes the manifestation in reality idea (16 = 4 x 4). From the I Ching, #16, we get the Yu Hexagram, indicating harmony, contentment, happiness, with success assured if one will maintain self-confidence and steadfastness of purpose. There is enthusiasm for spiritual matters or the divine.
- The mood in general is happy, almost joyous, but it is not as though I were feeling it so much as that the dream itself conveys this, which is interpreted as predictive of a future situation, not one that has occurred so far. It is perhaps in some ways more a promise, what is potential, than a fact today. Or perhaps it is partly present reality and partly a forecast.
- The dieting notion is a metaphor for all related healthy activities or intentions in the overall lifestyle, not simply that I am on a healthy diet, but also involved in meditation, stress reduction, an exercise program, dream work, seeking to be more aware, integrating various inner characters, etc.
- It is significant that Fran is not yet here and may not be wanting to be part of the dieting or other healthy activities. In this is it more consistent with the real Frances, my actual wife, but in the dream my anima Fran will nonetheless appear here soon. Maybe the real and anima Frances are beginning to diverge, for it is quite unlikely my wife will in fact take up such interests.
- The word "diet" may be a pun, referring to dying to aspects of my former life or self. The eating of more "organic" foods suggests as well a more integrated self.
- The "log" (diet log) is probably also a pun. Wood in a dream often is a pun referring to a conditional instance of intention, i.e. I would if not for this or that objection or resistance. But in this instance the wood has become reality and so it is in the form of a log, which is a form of wood that may be cut into standard lengths and used in construction of a new house or other edifice, built from nature's potential. "Log" may also be short for logging, the constructive cutting down of things ready to be harvested or eliminated.
- Fran is in the main a positive part of my inner cast, highly talented and intelligent, well organized, personable especially among others who share her primary interest such as music, natural history, or photography, yet also tending to roll over those around her who are not at the time as high energy, strong-willed, or naturally robust in dominant behaviors as she, as a consequence showing less interest in one-on-one quality time interactions on an equal footing. There can instead be an uncompromising attitude and unreasonable expressions of annoyance toward her spouse at times.
- Whether we are discussing the inner realm or the outer reality, to the extent we are engaged, there are buttons that may be pushed and leverages that may be applied. As we are susceptible to button pushing, we are at risk of losing personal power. So, disengage, disengage, disengage!
- This may be accomplished by any means that lessens the "charge" of a situation (particularly a situation that is at issue or in contention between two people), whether through exercise, meditation, dream work, hot baths, pursuing independent interests, avoiding the hooks by which another seeks to bait someone into a reaction (to maintain a certain kind of destructive power), keeping a journal (or log), and so forth. In particular, a focus on inner realms and spirituality will allow greater disengagement in the outer environment.
- The group of people I am with at the health spa, mostly women, mirrors some of my actual healthy associations, i.e. dream groups, book groups, volunteer groups, etc.
- In the dream, I am thorough or conscientious (about my log keeping). Typically, even if mistakes are made, a conscientious, responsibility taking attitude is highly positive for the prognosis for growth or healthy change. Others in the DG believe my own conscientiousness is impressive.
Meanwhile, I have received from my sister, Alice (for several years a dream group facilitator), an e-mail response to a copy of my 12/9/07 "A Happy Family Reunion and Imminent Wedding for Fran and Me" dream. Highlights:
- There has been plenty going on in my waking reality recently that was related to the dream topics. I had sent she and her husband a nice card for their anniversary, and there had been her e-mail response to Ernie's anniversary greetings, in which she asked about their wedding date. Also, in Mom's Christmas letter she wrote about the Diane and Hank wedding, which was also a family reunion, and Mom wrote that she felt that Arthur and Carrie (from the Louisiana side of the family) knew that they were part of the family. So, it was all-inclusive, as was my dream wedding/reunion. So, I'm in a more comfortable "place" with so many aspects of my being participating and hugging and wishing me well (health-wise, too)!
- Then there's the more than usually loveable brother teasing about it's being a shotgun wedding. A shotgun wedding is traditionally for a couple where the man was caught in bed with his love-interest, and so has to do the honorable thing by marrying her. Perhaps the assertive parts of my self went and got my receptive parts pregnant with ideas, and now it's time to celebrate by making a commitment to my selves, two single ways of being who are then joined as one couple (and both left and right sides of the brain), to become an integrated whole. With this integration comes an opening of the kinesthetic and third eye psychic senses, such that the formerly unseen and intangible become available to my awareness. (So now I'm a Foolly-Realized Being, as Alice's friend, "Swami Beyondananda" would say!)
- The mansion was huge, vast, and the entire extended family was there, so there's a great spaciousness, a valuing of myself as older, and I'm really at home with myself.
- The relatives (related aspects of self) come from both Mom's (French, Cajun) side, and Dad's (German) side to be together in one shared purpose. France and Germany fought on opposite sides during WWII and now are members of the European Community, so there's the sense of reconciliation and understanding of others' differences. There are several couplings in the dream: me and Fran, Aunt Hazel and Jack, neighboring southern states represented, sets of double-doors, and the brother Horace and/vs. the sister Alice. The latter "couple" represents such extreme opposites as personalities as to end up having some basic similarities. (Perhaps Fran and I are like that at times.)
- The Horace and Alice characters in my family both believe in the power and importance of what is unseen and unproven. Take Halloween, for instance:
Horace is so skeptical and fearful of the occult that he avoids the traditions as much as possible, whereas Alice sees All Hallows Eve as a time to light candles and commune with and honor the "dead." (And she enjoys the alter-ego costumes, too!) However, Phil, the integrated one, takes the holiday lightly. He sees both the fun version of scary and the humorous version of the macabre to be celebrated, but not worried over. So there's the aspect of myself that is like the carnivorous, down-to-earth shotgun shooting song lover, Horace, and there's the aspect that is vegetarian, sometimes psychic, meditative believer in "The All That Is," Alice. Both sides believe in wondrous other-worldly beings such as angels. I am probably in the main somewhere in the middle, or perhaps skeptical of either set of "mythical" or mysterious belief systems.
- A wedding can symbolize a union with death also. The family reunion and location are an idealized memorial service. Those who have special connections with their loved ones can see beyond the illusion of death, and see into the hereafter, as in the case with my and Alice's knowing of Grandma Rose's presence in the dream/vision (or we could say that by passing on one becomes able to see our elders, who are in the divine light).
The dream can also be seen as my coming to grips with seeming opposites in my self. There's the surprising, gun shooting prankster or trickster who usually appears distant and formal at first. This is in contrast with the surprise of a Grandma Rose who fades out, like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland, and who transmutes into being the psychic Alice who, like the Phil identity, sees and feels what is intangible and unknowable to most. The Horace side is a fundamentalist belonging to "his God" (an admirable quality, to make a full commitment to one belief system) and the Alice side is more open-minded and "into" what is universal. I may be finding the way to combine the best of these philosophies.
- Grandma Rose is the only one mentioned without her spouse. She is one of our "Ancient Mother" archetypes. She believed in the wondrous and miraculous, and approached life with an inner quietude, whereas her husband, Papa Joseph, was a fun-loving, yet strict fundamentalist, more similar to our brother Horace.
- Speaking of Grandma Rose, she is like a pearl, valuable, beautiful, and unattainable to the average person, but for those who can "see" and "touch" her/its essence, there are "pearls of wisdom" to be shared.
- Alice suggests I contemplate whatever "pearls of wisdom" I may have gained from what our paternal grandmother said or taught me as I was growing up, or what she demonstrated by how she lived her life. She may have taken more of an interest in me than I had realized.
- Another theme of the dream, in Alice's interpretation is, of course, love. Even if some of my aspects are troubling, there is a whole lot of love, caring, and connection throughout the whole dream.
12/19/07 - Title: "Don't Forget to Water!"
I am presented (by someone unknown, who does not appear in the dream) with a plastic bottle of water, just set before me on a bar (like the bar between our kitchen and living room/dining room) and assume (even in the dream) it means I'm not drinking enough healthy liquids. I resolve to be more conscientious about my water drinking.
12/22/07 - Title: "A New Lesson (Exercise) From My Switching Master (Supervisor)"
I am late returning to the office after doing work in the field. A swarthy middle-aged Indian (Asian) gentleman, my supervisor, who has been leading and advising me in certain detailed inner computer or telecommunication switching functions, has me watch as he demonstrates a couple conditioning exercise or yoga positions in my cubicle. Evidently the others in the office have already been doing these today, but he is getting me up to speed too, since I missed the earlier demonstration. He shows me slowly, and it involves a new to me coordinated blending movement of my upper torso in certain ways to the left and then the right while the legs are in a stable position on the floor, then switching, so my legs are in a new position, 180° from where they were, and then repeating the left vs. right upper torso movements. The exercise is good for the muscles of my back, abdomen, shoulders, and arms. He says it is important that we stay in good shape. I worry that I might not do the exercises well enough.
[When I get up, I have a mild new pain in my lower back and am aware too of not enough strength in my abdominal muscles. I have been doing a lot of walking but quite a few days often go by without doing conditioning or back exercises, such as those learned in physical therapy after my last serious back injury. I have also learned that red yeast rice, which I take to help control cholesterol, inhibits muscle (including heart) maintenance and so may be making me vulnerable to loss of muscle tissue generally and to heart weakness specifically, which is disturbing. Fortunately, there is a remedy for this, which I expect to start using.]
12/27/07 - Title: "There Goes the Neighborhood!"
There's a housing subdivision with large, or at least long, backyards, but with the houses built too close together, with only a few feet between them and with generally no fences or just incomplete fencing between them as well. At first, both the house two over from mine plus the one between it and mine are vacant. But later a pleasant young man moves into the one next to mine, and he and I are on friendly terms.
Then a cult-like group or family of people move into the vacant place on the other side from his. I have been looking around that front yard, of the till then vacant property, when one of its new owners shows up. She does not introduce herself or tell me she is now an owner and one of my new neighbors, but instead tries to engage me in some legalistic issues of interpretation about the meanings of ownership and property. I am quickly on my guard but not before she and others in her group/cult/family have gotten my signatures on some forms, supposedly for minor acts of charity, but I later suspect they want to use my signatures against me, as proof I was on their property, for I.D. in a suit they plan to bring against me, etc.
Next, I have an encounter with one of the cult member men (who reminds me of my brother Horace), as he is riding a motorcycle loudly and tauntingly about the front yards of his place, my friendly neighbor's place, and then somewhat into my front yard as well, evidently daring my good neighbor and me to try to do something about it.
I confront him, but this seems to be what he wants, and he is gloating as he argues with me about nit-picky details of his rights vs. mine, never giving an inch on his but clearly seeking every loophole by which to encroach on mine. I realize there are dozens of people, like these first two I've met, now living in their place and that in the days ahead they'll use every opportunity to make life hell for others and to bully the neighborhood into submission.
Sure enough, my friendly new neighbor quickly throws in the towel, and I see him out in his yard pounding a "For Rent" sign into place. He's clearly intimidated and bailing out already, just days after having bought his place and moved in.
12/29/07 - Title: "Fun and Fear on the Eve of Destruction"
There's a huge compound, big as the White House, but a different location and structure, 3-5 stories from basement to top, rectangular, and massive, close to a city block square in size. I'm the President's son (not the current President!), but sort of do my own thing and am sometimes a bit of a rebel.
The Secret Service agents don't know quite how to handle me. They want to always be in control and appear intimidating, but I am friends with their big police dogs and mastiffs, so the animals like to play when they see me. The agents want to keep me in line, but I'm the President's son. What can they do?
I'm younger at first and with some teenage boys and girls who are my friends. I have overheard a serious conversation by the Secret Service and realize there is a terrorist plot. I tell my friends there's some serious shit that may be going down (relief from constipation?). "What?" they ask, "Will there be an attack?" "The bomb is already here," I say. I add that it may be nuclear or a huge conventional one. The Secret Service may be able to stop it from exploding, but as yet they haven't found it. It could go off at any moment.
(In another scene) I am older, perhaps in my 30s-40s, and outside the presidential compound with another man. In the dream, I know him but not particularly well (and not known in reality). I can tell he's about to spill the beans about something he has cooked up. We are walking around the compound, about 10 feet from the building. He begins to tell me of some plot, which may not actually be against the President but sounds suspicious as hell. I stop him in mid-sentence and remind him there are cameras and microphones on the sides of the compound. He looks alarmed and wants to walk swiftly a lot further away from the building, but I realize that is futile. What he had already said will be enough that we'll be arrested and interrogated.
I am younger again. I see a couple of the Secret Service mastiffs and am glad they are friendly. My dog, Puff, is there too but on top of a doghouse on the distant perimeter of the compound, looking like the cartoon dog, Snoopy, on his doghouse. She wants to play with the Secret Service mastiffs, and is standing up on the doghouse now, eager for permission to run over and play.
12/30/07 - Title: "Heads, You Lose; Tails, You Lose"
I witness a professional hit. In fact, three people are killed in front of me by rifle fire. I know some of the people involved in arranging or covering up the hits (including Cynthia, known through library volunteer work: highly intelligent, conventional, efficient, helpful, a poet and retired teacher, social, but easily exasperated by the foibles or stubbornness of others).
Later, those behind the hits, Cynthia among them, meet with me and a few others who know the truth, and they explain why it had to be done. They try to persuade me and the others not to talk. I am in fact persuaded to lie about what I saw and know, but the killers are unconvinced that all of us will keep quiet. They meet with us too and kill one of us, both to eliminate threat to them from a weak witness and to impress the rest of us that they mean business and will kill us all rather than be put at serious risk themselves.
Again, I am convinced. However, not everyone is. Some believe they should tell the truth on principle. Others are persuaded by the investigators or prosecutors that the authorities know the truth, that if we don't officially own up to it we'll be convicted for the conspiracy too.
A young woman met at work (in the dream only) accuses me of helping cover up the truth and says she'll tell the investigators what she knows.
I meet with the lead investigator or prosecutor. She is a brilliant, attractive young woman who may not really know enough to get a conviction but is very impressive and convincing, using what little she does know to put pressure on us to fill in the rest or face being arrested ourselves. She is tough, makes excellent guesses, and has amazing intuition when interrogating each of us.
I know I must either cooperate, and run a real risk of being killed, or be willing to be subpoenaed, lie, and likely go to prison. I could be killed in either case if the killers think I might talk.