A Dream Time Case Study: Identifying a “Terrestrial Canalization” Complex

This is an interesting dream in that it was so vivid, and introduces a very specific complex, at least in terms of its name! I will offer my personal reflections at some point. At this point, I am posting dreams which stand out in one way of another. My hope is to encourage your interest in dreams as communications from the Guiding Self.

March 27, 2010 Dream: “Seminar setting with an analyst teaching via a case. I was orienting to a screen with images, which I then realized was a modern overhead projector, showing diagrams from a text book. The analyst seemed older, but with dark hair and was prominent, but not known to me. His name was something like Bonaventuri, Italian sounding; with his shade style glasses, black tops and and clear bottom rims, he looked a bit like Marcello Mastroianni, from a 1960’s movie. The conversation, didactic at that point, got a little quiet and hard for me to hear; the analyst was surprisingly relaxed, in fact reclining on the green grass next to the podium. He had his head propped up on one hand and elbow. I asked if he could talk a little louder for me. He did so while standing up and began in earnest to orient me to the case at hand, a man with a complex demonstrating what he called a ‘terrestrial canalization.’

Next he pointed to the screen, which was now more of a blueprint or architectural drawing depicting the first floor of a house. It was a schematic, showing traffic flow, ie: kid’s play movements, as if observed and recorded over time, each signified by a stylized curved arrow symbol. These arrows showed the repeated movements, typically as if a child would duck behind a chair, moving from right to left. These multiple movements, all in the same direction, he explained, were the traces which were the indication the children had grown up in a house where the father suffered with an activated terrestrial canalization complex. The picture revealed a dozen or so arrows, all as if capturing the data from a time lapse study, and pointing to the evidence that an unseen power was guiding the movements of the family in a particular way. He observed this patterning was the basis for recognizing the presence of a terrestrial canalization complex.”

Waking reflections: The dream time naming of the complex seemed familiar, and marvelous.Could it actually exist? I have dreams about the origins, function (teleos) and healing of complexes quite regularly. Upon waking, I was excited to Google terrestrial canalization and gratified to find a number of hits. Psyche can be so playful! The particular one which caught my eye was a research discussion of primate evolution and scapula differentiation. Plains dwellers vs jungle dwellers show critical distinctions; in short, primates evolving on the plains tend to be dedicated quadrupeds. In contrast, jungle dwelling evolutionary process pulls for a greater range of motion and differentiation of forelimb function; the scapula canalization here is what enable reaching up and overhead movements, necessary for climbing and bipedal walking. I played with the idea the dream might be showing me my upbringing was ruled by a dedicated quadruped, a plains dweller who was not evolved enough to move through the world upright? Funny, if not true!

And what about the analyst? Was he a little too relaxed, chill? A grasshopper slacker not an ant fable image? He was pretty cool, carried a deep understanding of psyche, and was teaching with the help of schematics, which is definitely a core part of my work. I thought about the detail of needing to ask him to speak up for me, and how this worked in the dream to increase our engagement in the work at hand. Back to the analyst presence, I also associated to my first pair of black rim glasses in the 1950s; Buddy Holly died ten miles from my home town about that time. I will share more at some point but the idea is play and reflection, trying on the scenes, images, and affects; opening to seeing what sticks, or not.

I recognized canalization as a real word, but didn’t remember Jung’s discussion of the canalization of libido (which was familiar to me) until my analyst referenced it the next week. Jung used the phrase canalization of libido to “characterize the process of energic transformation or conversion.” He discusses it in the context of analogues, such as a water wheel on a stream, which enables one to convert the stream/libido into a more differentiated, directable, power resource. How do we develop/evolve a healthy relationship with our full blessing of libido? (CGJ, CW Vol. 8, p. 41.)



Explore posts in the same categories: Communications from the Dream Time, Complexes and More

One Comment on “A Dream Time Case Study: Identifying a “Terrestrial Canalization” Complex”

  1. reveritus Says:

    “The latent content of a neurosis is registered in the manifest content of a dream: registered yet hidden, registered in the unconscious yet unknown or misconstrued by the conscious mind”

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