Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guest Dreamer: Bed, Bath and Beyond

A typical dream for Hunky, a visual artist, is composed of images. She is perplexed by this dream because it consists only of words.

The Dream: This morning before I was totally awake I almost called out loud to my husband, "John, call Bed, Bath and Beyond!  Correct the error!  We don't want to pay for what we didn't receive!"  

Hunky: My imagination takes off with this dream, Carla, but I could be totally wrong.  Does it refer to my marriage?  Does it refer to my health (just got good news)?  Does it refer to my continuing concerns (issues around my father)?  Should I sleep on it (bed), and what is it?  Should I wash away certain concerns from my thinking (bath)? Should I look to the future (beyond) for positive, fulfilling endeavors?  I am totally confused.  Because this dream had no visual context I am challenged by its words. Can you imagine the dream as yours?

Carla: My version of Hunky’s dream operates on two levels. Marie-Louise von Franz says that a dream refers to, or is triggered by, something that happened in the past day or two. The trigger doesn't limit the meaning of the dream, but it can be helpful in starting to understand it. The first level has to do with my day-to-day concerns and issues, such as the ones that Hunky has mentioned. If it were my dream, I would ask myself if there were something that I had felt as if I had paid for (not necessarily with money--perhaps with my effort) that gave me nothing back. I call on my animus (my husband, my other-half) to fix the situation. I don't feel my feminine side can deal with the problem. Perhaps I feel I have to give, to support and to nurture beyond my capability. I need my male half to step in, be practical, and protect me from my tendency to overextend for the benefit of others.

On another level, Bed, Bath, and Beyond has other possibilities: The bed symbolizes something I'm very close to (I'm in bed with it). The bath hints that it is personal (what I do in a bathroom is private). And it has a dimension that is beyond both of these: so in addition to being close to me and something private, it is something that might also apply universally, to all. Does it point to a spiritual longing? The soul is as close to me as anything can get, it’s private, and it longs for a connection to something greater than itself: it wants to reach beyond.

There are other elements in my dream that make me think the spiritual element is important. As Hunky has pointed out, this dream consists of "words." In the New Testament the evangelist John opens his gospel by saying “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . .” * In the dream I am appealing to John to solve my problem. My husband John has a strong religious belief that I don't share. I wish I could have his certainty about the Beyond. Perhaps I feel cheated that I once bought into a religious system that I can no longer believe.

For a discussion of the Biblical John’s the word and its place in Jung’s spiritual development see pages 268-9 of The Red Book. **

* The Oxford Annotated Bible, The Holy Bible, edited by Herbert G. May and Bruce M. Metzger, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), 1482.

** 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), 268-269.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Carla, for helping me understand my dream of words. Problems I have immersed myself in these past 12 months have taken a toll on me physically and emotionally. I definitely overextended myself. I believe my dream is a call to myself for help in finding a healthier way to spend my time and energy.

Carla Young said...

Hunky, it sounds as if you have gotten "the word." Thanks for sharing your dream with us.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting image, Carla. I see the transcendence dominating in picture with the day to day issues floating in the boxes. It seems like the higher self is present yet at the same time so difficult to access. Your role as dream translator helps with finding this healthier, spiritual source.


Anonymous said...

"Bed, Bath and Beyond" could represent the unconscious.

Bed ---> dreams
Bath ---> Working with the unconscious = work of purification
Beyond ---> in the unconscious, time is relative

letter B ---> ?

"We don't want to pay for what we didn't receive!"
The dreamer is impatient ?


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