Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Things are Not What They Seem

Often it’s a lot of work to get to the truth of a dream. In this one, my initial reaction was far from what I later concluded.

The Dream: An evil and powerful woman -- ambitious and driven, caring only about her own advancement -- is trying to kill me in an exotic way. I am the captain of a small crew, and we are going to be shot into space. Then I will be murdered—remotely by her. The crew knows nothing of her plot and is not involved. I am frantically trying to stave off this event, which seems to be moving forward inexorably.

I try to get Clark to notify the press. I am famous, and I think that if the public realizes that someone is trying to kill me there will be an up-roar, and I will be saved. He looks at me blankly, thinking it’s impossible to get negative press for someone as powerful as this woman. I take matter into my own hands, looking for some sympathetic journalists. I find a couple (not sympathetic, but journalists) in something resembling an arcade photography booth: a space curtained off with black fabric, dark on the inside. I say to the first young woman, “I have the scoop of a lifetime.” But she’s a sports writer. It’s not in her professional area; she’s not interested. Her colleague, a young black woman, seems a little more interested, but I don’t get too far with her either.

I get back to watching preparations for my murder. I see a small box being loaded onto the spaceship. It looks like equipment, and at first I don’t think of it as a casket.

I’ve done a large impressionist-style painting on canvas. In the center is a tree. The evil woman cuts around the tree, removing the center.

I wonder how she will murder me. Will she poison my food? If so, will it be something I eat in space, or will it be a slow-reacting poison she’ll somehow get into my food prior to take-off? Can I foil her by not eating? For how long?

Interpretation: This odd dream is an attempt to resolve two opposing forces of my psyche. The dream ego sees one part (the “evil” woman) as ruthless, while it sees itself as the hero of an adventure film. The paragraph about the painting caused me to question this point of view.

Please excuse a little jargon as I try to explain this. Jung says that psychic development takes place as the ego (that is, who I am aware of being) expands to include previously unconscious material. The more of this material I become aware of, the closer I am to what he calls the self (the totality of who I am). Just as the earth is not the center of the solar system, the ego is not the center of the self. Jung feels that as we bring more material into consciousness the center of the self will shift. In this dream, it is the “evil” woman who moves the center of the canvas. This is a symbolic move of the self, resisted mightily by the “good” dream ego, who is sure her food is going to be poisoned. In other words, the dream ego fears what is actually good for her (food, nourishment). Her being shot into space tells me that her point of view will expand once she gets over her fear of this necessary change.

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