Monday, August 23, 2010

The Inquisition

The Dream: In a classroom, with several rows of people seated in an orderly arrangement on the Danish modern classroom chairs of my childhood. A Chinese dictator presides. He is very angry because he has opened a package meant for me that has exploded, singeing his brows and mouth, which are the most prominent features of his mask-like face. He wants to know who’s to blame for the explosion. I admit, after a while, that it is my fault. He says, ominously, “You will suffer.” He demands to know the full story, and although I’m reluctant at first to implicate others, I tell it.

I acted at the behest of another authority figure, a white middle-aged man. As I tell my story, the Asian dictator comes to me, and he very gently hugs me. This seems out of character and I don’t know what to think. I don’t trust him, and I don’t think his affectionate gesture means that he will not administer whatever punishment he feels my deed merits.

I’m in a classroom; I have something to learn. The room’s furniture tells me it’s a lesson from my childhood when I did something that caused an explosion (emotional upheaval). As seems to be the case in childhood, the most important thing to the one in charge is to find out whose fault it is. But I am stuck, since my action was demanded by yet another authority, this one a white man. The Asian, being a different race from me, represents what Jung calls my “shadow,” a part of myself that I have not consciously acknowledged. My shadow shows some tenderness and compassion upon realizing my dilemma, but my dream ego is not won over. This issue needs more work, and I expect to see it arise in future dreams.

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