Archive for the ‘Dream’ category

Waking Reflections on the Great Fish, Loss of Identity, and Meeting the Father of the River Dream

March 23, 2021

Comment: Here are my waking reflections (WR) recorded when I woke up after the dream posted just below (see Close Encounters of the Dream Kind: Battling the Leviathan and Meeting the Father of the River). My practice in recording dreams when I wake up with one is to find a low light space and just begin writing as fast as I can in order to capture as much of the detail, energy and flow as possible. I care about being able to read what I’ve written later(!), but try not to worry about punctuation or spelling at all; I just keep writing and try to record everything that comes into my head, in the timing it comes. I am recalling I believe Jeffrey Raff’s description of Jung recommending this fast writing as a way to support greater access to these communications from the dream time. This is as if a spontaneous active imagination experience, as the ego is involved in sorting and making sense of this somewhat altered state.

Waking Reflections: when I first sat down to write, I was struck with the question of what happened beneath the surface! Popping back up naked and and in a state, in a public place, was uncomfortable, but strangely secondary to the real action. I had a vague sense of apprehensiveness about the possibility this dream be alerting me to the fact the I wasn’t able to land an important fish in my life, and, I lost my identity in the process to boot… and, and, a part of me has been dazed and confused since? Questions about who was the fisher person, in the world versus anima or an inner lover figure drifted through my head. How was it that I was in the position I was in, as if perched on the little craggy island between the channels, and, alert to possibility of diving in after the rod and reel instantaneously? feeling … when it came to describing the scene with the elder who seemed to live on the riverbank, looking after the cache, the name that popped vividly directly into my head was Father of the River, He who has his station of ancient order along the banks of the wildly abundant river, where the fish are mythological Leviathans. The opposites of order and wildness felt very important. Who is this Father of the River in relationship to me, my work. My strong sense being he was/is the deep guide to all my work, the elder, the wise old man, the Father of the River, in psyche, guiding me, Chuck, in relationship to the river of life, emotion, life flow, and all the abundance in psyche, nature, and the work of becoming conscious. He understands being a part of nature and the ways that as humans we cannot control or dominant elemental energies through force.

When recording this dream, Behemoth first came to mind; in researching a bit, it seemed Leviathan would be more appropriate. For now, it seems most accurate to say it was a very large, salmon like fish. In the dream action, I was decidedly pulled under by it and experienced complete amnesia for what happened beneath the surface. *In posting this today, with regards to these initial associations, I would like to do some research about the Leviathan, to see what the spiritual and historical record can contribute; it’s always a question of time and priority.

Before sharing one more vivid association to the last scene, being invited into talk to the keeper of the cache, I want to say my next post here will be my active imagination process in search of answers to the question what happened when I was pulled under?

One more complicated association towards the end of my recording this dream was a dream and the timing of meeting Doug Von Koss while attending a week long men’s mytho-poetic gathering in the Mendocino Woodlands. After waking up about 4:30 AM with a powerful Eye fetish dream, spending an hour outside in the moon light in a round of very powerful waking dream embodiment, I had just finished a pen, ink, and watercolor picture capturing the vividness of the image, when I heard someone singing, slowly working their way down the path leading up to the lodge where I was sitting, alone, with my painting. Doug, on a mission to get a cup of tea, walked right up to me. He took one long look at me, my freshly painted image, and said “something’s happened.” He then invited me to find a time later to tell him all about it. And, to my surprise, suggested if I would like him to paint it on my forehead on the day of the planned major ritual, this was something he could do for me. This was very much like the river elder inviting me into his realm to hear my story. He then also invited me to join his small group of men who would be offering the morning wake up chant for each of the cabins. This ritual became an important part of my waking to world each. How lovely…

Close Encounters of the Dream Kind: Battling the Leviathan and Meeting the Father of the River

March 19, 2021

Author note: Keeping a dream journal is a wonderful major step to beginning to pay attention to our depth. I have been pondering posting more dreams with their active imagination (AI) dialogue transcripts for some time. In my excitement to be diving into Jung’s Black Books, see post below, and witnessing his process, and his courage, I feel compelled to post more of my own close encounters of the dream kind. While one could make the case that dreams without specific personal life context can only be lacking, the burden of connecting the dots with one’s intimate life and work is great. In the spirit of all creative processes, and embodiment, it seems dream offerings and active imagination dialogues, from/with psyche, can stand alone. Might we give them that respect? I am deeply curious about what could come out of such an (limited) engagement with you, fellow dreamers. May we experiment with bearing embodied witness together in celebration of psyche? Let the images and affects, the energies and the mysteries speak for themselves!

Dream: Encountering the Leviathan and Meeting the Father of the River

April 10, 2020 4 AM: awakened with a big dream: Bank side of powerful river within a developed almost city like park, I recognize a medical staff person, like a hospital nurse I know; she/we are comfortable and collegial, and chat briefly; I see she has a very long fishing rod and reel set up and is ready to cast out into the water upstream; I am, have been, standing on what seems to be a rocky island like outcropping, with just enough height to block one’s view of the right bank, just off the left bank where she is; I am looking upstream from my rocky perch, which is running parallel to the current, with the larger flow and deeper channel to my right. I see her hook a huge 12-16 foot long fish! It strikes and jerks her off the bank and into the water flowing through the left channel of the outcropping, and I see that she can’t hold onto the rod and reel, and in an instant, I realize if I just dive into the water from my rocky observation point I might be able to snag the rod and hold onto the fish; I do and sure enough I am just able to grab it as it goes banging, and flying by; I am now being pulled into the deep water in the channel on the right side of the island. I can’t think about how I’m going to hold onto the fish, only that I have a chance to save the gear and the catch …

For a brief moment, I am being pulled under towards the opposite shore; I feel strong and hopeful, not worried about drowning, but really, just totally engaged, and then … poof, it’s over and I am crawling out of the river, naked, somewhat disoriented, and I have no idea what happened to the fish, the gear, my clothes. I am looking around trying to orient myself to the bank, others, only slightly distracted by the fact of my nakedness; I see her, stunned, and throw up my arms as if to say “wow!” Then I became aware of the loss of my wallet and everything else usually in my pockets, ID, credit cards, phone, and begin to want to find something to put it on and find out what happened to my clothes. Did anyone see the action? See what happened? I seem to be amazing or a problem for some who are just trying to do there usual daily business. I see what seems to be a group of wait staff setting up a buffet honoring dinner with well-dressed people being seated in a riverside hall like garden area. I am/feel way out way out of sync with this group!

Then I find myself on the opposite side of the river, along the deep channel, walking downstream, south along the east river bank and I discover a hidden from view storage area, with closets, clothes rods, and a cache of well preserved, boiled wool and other heavy duty fishing/fishing boat, navy surplus type gear and I feel hopeful “this is where my stuff will show up, in salvage.” I am taking a close look when a ruggedly dressed-for-the-elements, ancient mariner type man confronts me with what am I doing here? While initially stern and guarded/protective, I get his attention and he directs me to step into a nearby place to talk; I start with pouring out my recounting of what happened, how I found myself, there, just now… about the amazing fish, like the ones known to be in this river… I remembered having seen others this big; I sense he knows everything about this river, this station along the banks of this river; he will be the key… I woke up. It was 4 AM.

Waking reflections: In honoring the dream itself, I am holding back on my reflections for this post for now.

I will follow this dream up with my active imagination process dedicated to trying to find out what did happen when I was pulled under?

Initiation Dream Series: Healing Splits, Flying, Swimming, & Singing Dawn Songs

September 28, 2019

The following dream is the first of three I want to interpret as a series at some point. The second in the series, the Three Crones Receive the Knife dream posted below, jumped into getting posted first because I was discussing the issue of how/why encapsulated trauma requires special handling, eg: piercing prior to working through. I will be posting the third and writing about how dreams can anticipate or foreshadow future developments.

This one opens with a seminar discussion in which I am concerned with how best to describe the conditions conducive to healing splits. I then have this experience which I would describe as reflective of Borderland Consciousness as formulated by Jerome Bernstein.

11-23-12 Friday AM (after Thanksgiving Gathering): I’m at a conference/seminar/training of some kind, coastal, sprawled out hotel/campus like, with descending levels, when moving from north to south, along the beach to the immediate west. A woman presenter, analyst type, is discussing a case, and makes a conclusion. It is about a young man with a split problem of some kind; I want to carry the dialogue further, as in my mind I picture asking the group to reflect on what each person senses is the essence of what will help heal this state/condition? What would each of us say about our way into this scenario? After weighing the possibility of engaging the presenter and suggesting such an exercise, I decided not to break into the real time possibility, rather I spontaneously pictured asking the group and then, in my turn, offering the vivid, clear guidance which came to me, something like: all that is required is that one who has the experience of both (parts of the split), to be the split, to be in the split, and to be whole, also; that one, that one, in simply being present, creates the container, the energetic field, for the other, the split one, to begin to orient to what is all around, inner/outer, and the wholeness begins to flow in, and where there was/were split(s), the tension goes out, dissipates, and there is first then the bridge between all facets, and then the filling in, and now oneness in diversity. Something like that.

Then, I was separate from the group, making my way from one end of the campus to the other, mostly inside, as if long multi-level hotel, and working down, south, with the ocean to my right, and I started to realize I could fly/lift off/hover my way in negotiating a narrow staircase, and that I like to do this; this took the form of a certain feeling I get when trying this in dreams; I concentrate, and sort of begin by intentionally, when I can feel it, slowly lifting my feet off the ground, and find, yes, I can hang, free from gravity, suspended for a moment, and establishing my feeling of connection to the air and my ability to float/fly, I can then begin to slowly, in this instance, steer/guide myself, through arm gesturing, guiding up, over, back and forth, around and down. I begin to do this with awareness of others possibly taking notice – it is very striking in its quietness and impossibility – but let that go, the issue of calling attention to myself with risk for distracting my process, as I was primarily concentrating intensely on the descent through the narrow staircase, a bit spirally, and was noticing how I thought I should be falling, but instead, I had to work at dropping; pulling with my arms, twisting my body a bit, slowly, quite slowly, with patience and total focus, winding my way down the channel; after this I decided to continue with the flying/hovering, and move up and over a wall, which was open at the top, to the next room/hall over; I was concentrating intensely; effort-full but relaxed, until finally, I was outside, standing on the street at the end of the complex, and I saw a man, one of the event organizers, watching me approach. He said “Chuck?” I said ”You are Patrick?” “Yes, yes.” He said the others had already moved through, and we will join them now for the closing; first we stop and sit at the banquet table (it seems), with evidence of the others having been there. Patrick is to my right, and another man sits down to my left, and introduces himself as “Endrick.” I say I am Chuck. I see the remains of the feast; in front of me are my servings, a number of tasty looking morsels, including a miniature hamburger like roll/ food bite, with a purple berry like “patty” filling. We look at each other; and I say to them “This is a little like the wizard of Oz, when we’re back, and I recognize the two of you from our long journey….” I woke up feeling very amazed and thinking “Endrick?”.

Waking reflections and dreaming the dream onward: When I woke up the owls were calling; I thought about the long sequence and realized it was an interesting and important dream to record right then. I got up, put on my robe and slippers and headed downstairs to I grab my journal; I decided to pass on turning on any lights and keep going down to the daylight basement level and use my newly installed Walter Pelton Bender memorial bathroom to move my bowels. I liked the idea I could turn on the wall heater and relax with the images. I turned on the overhead light on super low and listened to the owls; thought about the fun yesterday, and how much I enjoyed the family, my grand kids, and everyone; as my attention turned to the dream “flying” sequence, I was struck with how those sensations mimicked a salmon negotiating a narrow stream passage; the way I was as if floating, seemed practically identical with swimming, pulling my self through the waters in my descent on the stairway, a carefully negotiated hard work effort, almost in slow motion, that worked. It took the time and concentration it took. I thought about the salmon dream last week; and all the others, and thought about all of this as from view of recognizing a deep initiation into connecting with the salmon peoples, and this dream as contributing to my understanding of this ancient connection, awareness now accomplished at some breakthrough level, and wept with gratitude and wonderful feeling of more wholeness; then I walked outside and approached the trail in the direction of the owls.

They sounded right overhead, with one to my left, one ahead, and one a bit away to my right. I stood quietly, listening, and then moved slowly ahead; I crouched down, doing what I could to get into an owl-like position; the owl to my left flew ahead, above the tree tops, and landed on the very top of a tree within my direct line of site. I thought “this is their dawn song.” I quietly began to call back, joining into their call/response song. The other close in owl flew ahead, and landed in a nearby treetop, also now revealed to me from where I was crouching. I could see both moving as they called back and forth, we, with the third calling from a bit farther south, out of my view. I guess I made the fourth. This went on for a few minutes before the two closest, one and then the other, flew back towards what I imagined to be their nest at the back of our acreage in a very large Douglas Fir tree. By now it was about 7 AM. I recognized this was their dawn song, and I was blessed too be able to sing with them this morning. I slowly walked in the direction of the back acreage and found myself in a spontaneous prayer: thank you brothers…thank you sisters…from nature, to nature, in nature…thank you.

Curiously, along with several other associations to Endrick, when I tried Googling the name Endrick, I found references to Endrick Water, or the River Endrick, a river which flows into the eastern end of Loch Lomond, Scotland. I enjoyed the association I was connecting with an ancient salmon run. On this note, “Magic Words“, a Netsilik Eskimo Poem comes to mind.

Comment on Three Crones Dream Below

September 19, 2019

In a comment from below, Anarkali offered: “As an archetypal astrologer, I see you have noted the date and time of this dream. Be interesting to study the transit chart to see what was caught in your dream.”

I find this suggestion fascinating, as it seems the option of checking the stars on that now remote time and space would be a wonderful way to think about the collective influences, as reflected in/through the dreamer’s (me) consciousness. In the interest of this being a dialogue, I have reached out via email to Anarkali about a consultation.

The opening dream setting and imagery suggests the archetypal layer of consciousness: three crones in a space that is both ancient and contemporary in some parts of the world, the curved knives indicating iron age or more recent. The consciousness reflected in “we understand we are dead, or have died, and its not a problem for us” is an other worldly, dream time consciousness. The ritual with intention aspect offered during this current time of such global turmoil, with sacrifices being suffered in so many unconscious ways, pull for some witnessing consciousness. What are we to make of the onslaught of violence against others and all of nature? The initiated choose to suffer these symbolic deaths with consciousness and meaning. What might the stars tell us? I am open.

Piercing Encapsulated Trauma: Three Crones Receive the Knife

August 14, 2019

I want to offer this dream in support of recognizing the issue of how to access encapsulated trauma complexes. Healing requires the dismantling of the defenses which were our survival; one must first cure the partial cure.

11-29-12 Thursday 4:56: Very vivid, short dream with three of us, all women. I’m one of the them, and I am also myself, observing my woman-self as if standing behind and looking over my crone self’s shoulder. We are standing together in a kitchen and we understand we are dead, or have died, and its not a problem for us. The focus turns to the idea, the recognition of the timing being right, for giving and receiving the knife. This is a ritual process we are in charge of doing periodically. It is somehow vitally important we attend to this for the sake of the community. The woman opposite me pulls out several ancient, long curved bladed knives and with great intention brings one forward towards the belly of the woman on my left, making contact and slowly plunging it into her; the movement is a bit downward; I/we can all feel it going in deeply. Then, slowly withdrawing the blade, she turns to see me, signaling now it will be my turn to receive the knife. I seem to ready myself for this by involuntarily shuddering and leaning first forward, leading with my head/chin pulling up and back, offering my belly, and then, intensely anticipating the knife finding my belly, I can’t help flinching and pulling slightly back. I am struck by how deeply I can feel this wounding, penetrating me to my core, opening me up completely; there is a moment of tremendous surrender and release of pitiful grief as I fully experience receiving the knife. Coming out of this deep practicing of having been pierced, I am silently, through my tears, attentive to what will happen immediately, my turn… I am thinking, yes, this is what we do; this is what it is like, it happens like this to all of us. It is painful. This is the way it is.”

At the time I had this dream, my sense was it was a compensatory dream pointing to my ongoing vulnerability to inflation; this offered a radical image of deflation. The intensity and directness of the action suggested I was/am experienced in the giving and receiving of this primary wound. The ritual, anchored by ritual elders, crones in this instance, seemed to be in the service of supporting the community/collective to be continuously aware of the reality of ongoing sacrifices, both conscious, in this case, but also unconscious. A contemporary example of this would be government actions which seem completely removed from the profound impact on the children separated from their parents, without notice.

My analyst offered what seemed to me to be a very helpful interpretation. He suggested the crone on my left represented the opening of encapsulated trauma. While I have been able to grasp the conceptual meaning of this dynamic in this regard, the dream provided a direct experience of the relationship between role of the encapsulation in defending against previously unbearable trauma, in contrast to gaining direct access in the service healing: this piercing of the encapsulation is necessary for one to access the original wound directly.

From this perspective, this sequence signals progress on the continuum of my personal work to “cure the cure”.

In order to access our wounds directly for purposes of healing the split one must both suffer and bear witness to an immersion into the original affects. As Donald Kalsched has observed, for this to occur, a deconstruction of the partial cure defenses is required.

One more comment for now: We clearly have problems with inflation at the collective level. At this level, it seems the three crones are keeping the vigil for all who may not be able to choose deflation. At the human, personal and couple work level, how often do we put our partner in the position of delivering a necessarily deflating message? What might be going on here for you?

From the Dream Time: An Eye Fetish

January 18, 2019

During an hour this past week, in reflecting on an apparent mismatch in enthusiasm between two family members, and the amount of suffering this produced, consciously, for one of the party, the issue of archaic human longing came up. The dream below is one of several which moved me towards a deeply felt experience of this. I will be looking through my archives for a couple more in series as part of bringing this forward. As a stand alone dream, this one is pretty fun in terms of the sheer intensity of the energy. I had the dream the second night into a week long gathering of men with Robert Bly, Robert Moore, Malidoma Some and others, in the primitive Mendocino Woodlands Camp.

July 24, 1991: I woke up at 4:30 AM with a long dream in mind; details fuzzy/sharp and excessive. Doing men’s work here at Mendocino Camp; On and on and on; making shit, talking shit, doing shit; singing and dancing and drumming and imagining.

After all this stuff, what a mess of bodies and stuff happening everywhere, all over, all the time. Robert Bly picks up a little piece of wood I had painted to look like a green snake(?) eye; blue eye, mottled green and white serpents shape; fashioned from a stick with a knot in the center, or maybe plywood, jigged out, and painted. Pretty crude representation at that.

I’m delighted at his interest in something I made. “Why do you want that thing Robert? What is so special about it to you?” He just laughs that big grin and says: “I just like the feel of it, you know…” and caresses it in his fingers and moves on.

EyeFetishDream1.22.14I woke up somewhat disoriented, having gone to sleep with one ear plug in (snoring in the cabin) and decided to go outside with my journal to write it down. The moon was overhead, moving powerfully through the sky channel created by the creek running through the very tall old growth forest. After writing it down and spending some time with it, I went in to the Lodge and painted the image. Just when I was finishing doing so, I heard the voice of an elder coming down the path, quietly singing, who, coming into the lodge to get a cup of tea, walked up to me, took a long look at me, my painting, and then back at me, and said: “Something’s happened! When you are ready, we must talk!” Later that week, we did.

Luminous Wolf, Shared Piercing Dream

January 18, 2019

January 26, 2009 Dream: “My friends are giving me a medal, to be ‘pinned’ on my left flank, belly. I’m apprehensive, say ‘are you going to use rubbing alcohol on that large pin?’

Just then, a luminous wolf crosses from left to right in front of me. Hard to say how far, how close, her actual size, as she seems to be arriving from another dimension. Very healthy with a full silvery black coat, and surrounded by an incredible aura. She stops, turns her head over her right shoulder, to gaze at me. I notice, as part of her energetic aura, from her left flank, extending above her back, is a large arrow shaft, with feathers, suggesting she has an embedded arrow point in her left side, about where I am to be pierced. Her aura incorporates the arrow, as if she is living with it in vibrant health…”

WolfPiercedbyArrowDreamSelected

Waking Reflections: What struck me was how healthy she was, while still carrying the evidence of a likely mortal wound. Still, energetically, this arrow wasn’t limiting her presence and power.

In the dream it seems I am about to receive a blessing from the Spirit Brothers, a medal of some kind, in recognition of my relationship to my wound. (Unpublished back story) The pinning itself will be a flesh offering. At this moment the Wolf appears, affirming our work from the dream time. YES, she shows us, one’s wound need not be the death of one’s vitality. Something like that. Associations to the pelican piercing her own breast, the piercing of Jesus’ side on the cross, and the Sun Dance ceremony all come to mind.

And, we might ask, who is she, showing up with such vibrancy and generating such an incredible aura? An image of the Self? A transrational presence/being?

Dream: When life is a parade!

July 11, 2018

Sunday, 5 AM: Dream Setting, my office in the Academy, with my couch against a wall, when all of a sudden the couch started to seemingly push itself away from the wall, revealing a hidden door, opening, with someone coming through the door into my office. And it was, he was, the first in a procession of an increasing number of circus like performers, mostly wearing red, who colorfully, exuberantly, take over the space, singing songs, putting on a show; quite a musical actually, reminiscent of the Music Man…

Waking reflections: I was struck with how it was like a musical production, and the fact that historically I have not been a fan of musicals. While writing the dream down, I associated the emergence of the singer/dancer, as if out of the woodwork with the Rilke image of “…that which steps, festively clothed, out of the great darkness.” (from his essay on Love and Other Difficulties.)

Comments: With all the  heaviness in the country, and in each of us, this was a fun, magical, refreshing interlude, reminding me of the existence of resources in psyche which can come in when needed. This dream felt a bit like my delight in reading the Rilke image:

“Therefore this too must be the standard for rejection or choice: whether one is willing to stand guard over the solitude of a person and whether one is inclined to set this same person at the gate of one’s own solitude, of which he learns only through that which steps, festively clothed, out of the great darkness.” (my italics)

Secondarily, I did recently enjoy watching the movie The Greatest Showman which was amazing and likely helped populate my dream images. I watched West Side Story earlier this year and found it very powerful – and still highly relevant.

In terms of family of origin, as a family we did love to sing. I did grow up in Mason City, Iowa, birthplace of Meredith Wilson, best known for his play/movie The Music Man.

 

1994 Dream: Rites of Passage and the Rock-Light Being

March 22, 2016

EncounteringRLBeingImage2.3.23.16

The following two part dream was a big dream for me, one of a series of dreams during my early years with the mytho-poetic men’s community; during this period I attending many weekend and week long workshops with Robert Bly, Micheal Meade, James Hillman, Robert Moore, and Malidoma Some among others. Locally, a ragtag band of us dedicated ourselves to exploring first hand what we could learn about midlife initiatory ritual process through an evolving collective and personal story enactment model. The dream:

“I am at a grand competition of some kind, like a graduation rite, with lots of people cheering on those who have achieved their goal; the ritual consisted of the graduate first throwing a small ball out as far as he could, and then running as fast as he could to bring it back. This was an individual act, with no attention paid to the time or comparisons with anyone else. Sending him out and welcoming him back, the crowd simply roared in celebration of his achievement, reflected in his level of clarity and intention. This was most impressive, an honor and joy to behold, and the enactment enabled all to witness. I didn’t know how the game worked but his throw was so compelling that I elected to go running after the ball also; Coming from the side of the field, he had thrown it down field in my direction, I dived over and behind a large bolder in pursuit of it, and then heard an urgent warning: “Get ready because he surely is coming after it. It means a great deal to him.” The implication is that his force could unintentionally kill me if I were in his path.

Part 2: Then the scene switched to three of us, two men guided by a woman, working our way up a rocky terrain stream-bed like path. I am in the middle. It’s quite dark and there is a strong sense of wilderness, adventure. We get to a rocky rise and our guide stopped suddenly, pointing to a watery place contained by the stone to a set of large eyes watching us. An archaic archetypal crocodile, huge, was perfectly lined up on us; should we have continued up and over we would have been eaten. She motioned us to move sideways and we looked for a way up while watching for more crocodiles. I saw another one and couldn’t find an easy way up. Calling to her, she had gone up and was out of sight, she doubled back and offered a hand, pulling me up near by, saying “this old VW bus windshield comes in handy.” Working our way along the trail next to a vertical rock face, I got into the lead. As we walked along in darkness a door suddenly flew open, right in front of me, letting a flood of bright yellow light out; with it, I saw something was tossed out; then the door closed just as quickly, leaving no trace. At first I felt anxious about almost being hit or seen, then I was curious about who or what lived in the rock, and what had been thrown out? I sensed some indigenous peoples must be living there secretly.” Pausing, the alarm went off.

REFLECTIONS: At the time of this dream I was wrestling with my awareness that while I felt very serious about my personal analysis, more attention and focus was possible. In the opening celebratory ritual process scene, I noticed my dream ego was identified more with the witness who  jumped into the ritual action from the sidelines, in contrast to the dream figure  who has done the work and is moving into the new life with community blessing. In reality, I was at the time deeply engaged in working through my own childhood near death, initiatory life event with the help of a band of spirit/soul brothers.

In active imagination, I re-entered the second scene, hoping to dream-the-dream-onward and discover more about the origins of the rock dweller and the meaning of the tossed out object. I dialogued with an ancient reptile man-like being, a self identified gatekeeper and light tender who releases the light. In response to my question, “What did you throw out?” he replied they were shards of light, reflections of everything that has ever happened in my (Chuck’s) life. Each shard mirrored a scene of my life. I was to know they existed and seek to gather them all up; this was my path to self-knowledge. Considering the flash of light as an image of enlightenment, the Self shining through, I interpreted this as signaling the importance of doing the work to remember everything fully. The shards would provide every detail in turn.

Source Quotes: Dreams as Portal to the Source (Eward Whitmont and Sylvia Pereira)

November 9, 2014

Here are a number of selected quotes from a very wonderful offering by Whitmont and Pereira:

P. 2: Quotes: “the dream itself is an actual and necessary expression of the life force– One that manifests in sleeping consciousness and is sometimes remembered and re counted across the threshold of waking. Like a flower or a hurricane or a human gesture, its basic purpose is the manifestation in expression of this life force. It gives us images of energy, synthesizing past and present, personal and collective experiences.” (Page 2)

P. 3. “To approach dream interpretation adequately we need to find perspectives beyond those created by dualistic consciousness, which rest content with oppositions–exterior/interior, object/subject, day/night, life/death, functional – descriptive/imaginal, focused attention/openness, etc. While these opposites are valuable for defining rational awareness, we need also to develop an integrated consciousness that can read both daily and nightly actions and events and nightly and daily visions from many perspectives and to integrate these perspectives for our selves and the patient–dreamer before us in our consulting rooms. This capacity relies on an ability to shift between the many forms of magic– affective, body, mythological, allegoric, symbolic, and rational awareness.

 P. 5: “The clinical understanding of dreams requires both art and skill. The art consists of an ability to sense the dream as a multifaceted dramatic presentation, as if one were allowed to witness a scene from the play of life. The performance would require attendance with full respect, empathy, sensitive intelligence, intuition, and a sense of symbolic expression.”

P. 6: “…  the skills acquired through the practice of techniques must always be subject to the art of interpretation. The first ‘rule’, then, is the paradox of all the healing arts: the applicability of basic principles must be determined by feeling, sensitivity, and intuition.”

P. 6: “as expressions of pre-rational, ‘altered’ states of consciousness, dreams are as variable as nature itself. Indeed they are a lusus naturae, a play of nature that can never be fitted into rigid systems. Rather, our rational thought capacity has to learn to adapt itself to the Protean variability of the life processes which dreams represent. Rational or ‘secondary’ thought must learn to adapt itself to the feeling tones and images of the dream, in reverie and to play intuitively, as seriously as a musician does with a sonata, until meanings emerge.”

P. 7: “…  in clinical practice each dream offers diagnosis, prognosis, and appropriate material and timing to address the dreamers current psychological reality and to address and compensate the dreamer’s– and/or analyst’s – blind spots of consciousness. Diagnostically, the dream’s images and structure give evidence of ego strength and may reveal qualities of relationship between various forms of consciousness and the psychological and somatic unconscious. Prognostically, the dream calls attention to what confronts consciousness, as well as to likely clinical developments, and often, to how the present awareness and capacities of the dreamer and/or analyst tend to relate to those confrontations. … The psychological reality and blind spots of consciousness are addressed because every dream points to an unconscious complex and to the archetypal dynamism behind the complex’s emotionally charged layers.”

P. 8: “Not only does the dream inevitably address the dreamer’s and analyst’s blind spots, it also… is ‘an answer in hieroglyphics to the question we would pose.’ …  The dreamer is invariably unable to see those blind spots or to realize the nature of the ‘question’ he or she needs to ‘pose.’ Too often the dreamer identifies only with the dream ego’s perspective and it’s emotional responses to the images presented.

…  Dream work, thus, requires a witness, someone to provide a perspective coming from other than the dreamer’s context, with whom the dream can initially be encountered.”

P. 9: “But even at best, and even among experienced therapist themselves, dream work needs dialogue with another person. In spite of extensive experience with dreams, such collegial checking and confrontation usually reveals essential details and personal applications that were overlooked. The saying popular among doctors, ‘the doctor who treats himself has a fool for a physician,’ applies here, for the dream brings us unconscious dynamics, and we cannot, by definition, be aware of them easily.

P. 11: “Musing on the contents of the person’s ‘own’ dreams with an empathic other, associating to them, grounding specific dream images in analogous events and patterns of daily life, finding objective explanations, sharing reactions–all provide method and material to build the safe enough therapeutic relationship in which, eventually, genuine affects and individuality can come forth. Repeatedly, such dream work brings about a sense of valuable individual contents and of awareness of capacity to deal with images. Over time such mutual activity assists greatly in conveying and developing a sense of fluid and merged, yet constant and separate, identity – a felt individuality for which play and symbolic understanding is both possible and pleasurable.”

P. 12: “Knowing immediately what a dream purports to mean rest usually on a projection of the therapist’s own bias or countertransference, rather than on genuine, and often necessarily mutual, understanding. Like all utterances from the ‘other side’, the dream tends to be multi-leveled and oracular, hence ambivalent (even polyvalent) and resistant to a rational, black– white, simplistic approach.”

P. 14: “… the therapist must revere the dream’s image material carefully in it’s context and with open puzzlement until a corresponding associative affect–response emerges from the dreamer. …  Jung’s warning: ‘The analyst who wishes to rule out conscious suggestion [must] consider every dream interpretation invalid until such time as a formula is found which wins the patients assent.” … If assent is to be reliable, it must come from what might be called an embodied or gut sense of ‘Aha!’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Touché.’ This kinesthetic validation presents a deep confirmation from ‘the Self in the body’ which knows even when the conscious ‘I’ cannot. Unless this response is forthcoming, the analyst’s views of the meaning of a dream can only be considered hypothetical possibilities still awaiting confirmation or disavowal from the Self of the dreamer. Inevitably, too, the following dreams will confirm, modify, or challenge an interpretation and the dreamer’s understanding of the dream.”

P. 17: “The dream is a spontaneous self portrayal, symbolic form, the actual situation in the unconscious.” Jung

“In each of us there is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves. When, therefore, we find ourselves in a difficult situation to which there is no solution, he can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude. (Jung)

Jung called the dream ‘a highly objective, natural product of the Psyche…  [a] self representation of the psychic life– process. …  The dream compensates or compliments a deficiency of the dreamer’s conscious position; And/or of the therapist’s position with regards to the dreamer or the analysis.”

Page 18: “… to differentiate Jung’s postulated Self from the self concept psychoanalysis… we shall capitalize it and referred to it as Guiding Self…. It is also to be viewed as the source and director of the individuation drive, that archetypal urge to ‘become what one is’. It is also to be viewed as the source and director of life events and of dream material, both providing invaluable metaphoric/allegoric and symbolic messages which aid the individuation process to those who learn to read them.

The Dream ego may represent: the dreamer’s actual and felt sense of identity as observing witness or actor.

Appears as the Guiding Self sees her or him.

The dream may point up the Self’s view of the dreamer’s identification (merger) with an ego-ideal or an inflated grandiosity.

P. 22: “Developmental possibilities through Dream Work

The dreams dramatic outcome, then, is to be considered conditional: given the situation as it is now (namely, the setting or exposition of the dream, to be discussed below), this or that is likely to develop. … nothing in a dream outcome, therefore, is to be regarded as fixed or unalterable; unless it is explicitly shown to be so by the terms of the dramatic structure of the dream itself and by the symbolic or allegoric tenor of the images.”

P. 24: “Rarely, if ever, will the dream tell the waking ego what to do. Even when a problem is solved in the dream this shows only a possibility that is available. The dream shows what psychological realities the dreamer is up against, what happens to work for or against his current attitude and position, and what the effects of that position or particular approach are likely to be. It leaves the matter to the dreamer to draw his or her own conclusion, to make decisions, and to act. In this way an ongoing dialectic occurs between conscious and unconscious dynamics. For better and/or worse, conscious freedom of response is respected and preserved.

The ‘situation as it is,’ seen from the perspective of the Guiding Self, includes both inner developmental potentials and trends, as well as the consequences inherent in the dreamer’s current, ‘just so’ psychological situation.”

P. 119: “dream series

Until now, we have been dealing with single dreams. However, there is a continuity, we might almost say, an extended story, as dreams unfold sequentially as part of a steadily evolving series. They tend to tell a running narrative, which feeds the conscious ego the kind of information it requires and is able to assimilate, given its particular position in the developmental process. As consciousness takes in response to the dream’s messages, the dreams again respond to the newly gained positions of consciousness; thus a dialectical play develops. When it is a matter of vitally important or fundamental life issues and consciousness does not respond adequately to assimilate the message, dreams will recur. Sometimes they repeat in the same form; sometimes the images become more numerous, larger, or threatening. These kind of recurrent dream series may even lead to nightmares. Such nightmares and recurring dreams – and particularly those that have been recurring since childhood – deserve urgent attention.

… When a dream journal is kept, one gets the impression of an unfolding continuum of views, and of a seeming intentionality in the selection of themes for each given moment.

Indeed, in the instance of a specific, organic symbol, birth in dreams can usually be seen to refer back to a process seeded some nine months before. Or the age of a dream figure will refer to some energy that was ‘born’ those many years before. But more than that, it is as though dream number six in October knew what dream number twenty-nine in April was going to raise and was preparing the dreamer with preliminary insights. Subsequent dreams quite often, therefore, need to be considered in the light of preceding ones, that might have dealt with the same or similar subject matter. A central theme or themes are developed in sequence overtime. Often, one cannot avoid the impression that the series operates as though the unconscious could ‘anticipate . . . future conscious achievements,’ no less than future unconscious dilemmas, for an early dream seems already to know or plan what a later dream is to pick up and carry further. This is an aspect of what Jung called the ‘prospective function’ of dreams.

Usually, such an elaboration occurs not a linear progression but rather like a circular or spiral movement around a central thematic core, casting light upon the central theme from, what might be considered, different psychological angles. It is as though dream one raises a theme; dream two raises a seemingly different one; dream three presents again another angle and so forth; while dream 12 may perhaps pick up on one, and 14 may link up what was raised by three and 12 – or whatever. This circumambulation of the dreamer psyche field bus repeatedly brings up crucial complexes, and elaborates on them, building on previous consequences. Gradually a sense of wholeness pattern adults to the process of being shown the various aspects of the themes, presented with all their very nations from a variety of viewpoints. And keeping up with the images of the dream series, one can keep up with the life– And the individuation process.”

see: Dreams, A Portal to the Source, by Whitemont, Edward, and Pereira, Sylvia, 1992.