Friday, April 2, 2010

Animal Instinct

When your dreams reward you with an encouraging symbol on one night, you can be pretty sure they’ll throw you a challenge the next.

The Dream: I’m running around a group of buildings at a campground. The buildings form a rectangle surrounded by a covered porch with a wood floor. A tribe of nearby apes seems very human in its social organization and behavior, but nevertheless its proximity is frightening. I am both intrigued by and leery of the apes.

Interpretation: A couple of symbols stand out here. Jung talks about the temenos, which is a contained space in which transformation can take place. In this dream I’m not inside the space, but running around its perimeter. Now that I’ve made peace with my inner child, my next challenge is to integrate my inner ape: my natural, impulsive, and uncivilized inclinations.

This doesn’t mean that these inclinations should lead me or be given free reign—on the contrary. It means I need to be aware that I have these inclinations. I’m probably on my way toward accepting this part of myself, even though I’m frightened, since one of my reactions to the apes (to be intrigued) is not wholly negative.

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