Sunday, January 16, 2011

Guest Dreamer: Coming Together

Michael has given us this dream, a reaction to the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions.

The Dream: Had a dream last night that spoke to this goal setting approach: I was sitting with my son-in-law’s father, a dentist.  He was frustrated with me that at my age I had not set my career goal related to my PhD work. I replied confidently that I was going to let psyche be my guide this time and that for me to set my goal now makes about as much sense as a 20 year old setting a life's goal at that age. (He mentioned something about drag queens to which I responded with something about American Presidents - but I think that's a bit off topic).

Michael’s Interpretation: When you invite psyche to the table, the goal-setting ego has to move from the head of the table and just be part of the discussion.

Carla: I like Michael’s simple and direct interpretation of his dream. In my version of Michael’s dream the psyche represents my soul, or feminine side; and my son’s father-in-law, my worldly ambition, or masculine side. The basic issue of the dream is the emergence of a new “me” that integrates the masculine and the feminine. I feel that society’s expectations of what I, as a man, should accomplish are out of whack with the things that nurture my soul. At this point in my life I feel it’s right for me to be guided by my soul. Or do I? The American president represents the part of me that still buys into what men are expected to aspire to. But there may be a resolution here (just not one of the New Year's variety): the drag queen represents a compromise of these two warring parts of myself. She symbolizes the masculine and feminine coming together to make me a complete person. Here’s what Jung has to say on the topic:

“What about masculinity? Do you know how much femininity man lacks for completeness? Do you know how much masculinity woman lacks for completeness? You see the feminine in women and the masculine in men. And thus there are always only men and women. But where are the people?”
“. . . . It is good for you once to put on women’s clothes: people will laugh at you, but through becoming a woman you attain freedom from women and their tyranny. The acceptance of femininity leads to completion. The same is valid for the woman who accepts her masculinity.”*

* C.G. Jung, The Red Book Liber Novus, edited by Sonu Shamdasani, translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani, (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009), 265.


Anonymous said...

This is Michael,
Really appreciated your interpretation and it is spot on, even the parenthetical material. My life's challenge has been my inner balance of male and female in a society where the definition of being a male has been so tightly and physically defined. Until my introduction to the Psyche and anima, I had no language with which to express the powers of the struggle. The dreams began, anima introduced herself and, well, here I am.

Carla Young said...

Michael, Thanks for sharing your dream with us. Your dream resonated with me, as I think it will with many others.

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