Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Guest Dreamer: My Inner Light

Today’s guest dream comes from artist and writer Gail Gray who has recently published Shaman Circus. She had the dream the night before her 61st birthday.

The Dream:  I was at the Burgholzi Clinic in Zurich and Dr. Carl Jung was there.  He had asked many of us to bring our “patients” into a room so he could see how we were doing with their analyses.  At first we were all worried, what would these unusual people do with each other?  Would there be trouble?  Would they get along?

So I left and got my patient (I never saw myself in the dream, I just know it was me in my own skin walking around and doing things. I never talked.  I came back with my “patient” who was a large teddy bear sort of man, mute, who carried a large mason jar full of lightening bugs.  He moved very slowly--as if in a dream within my dream, sort of “not with it,” - a lumbering giant. The man himself was sad and poignant, not quite sure what to do. I was uncomfortable and feeling bad because I hadn't made much progress with my giant and had not come to know him very well. There wasn't much action after this, even when other people brought in their “patients,” except that we were all rather mesmerized by the beauty of the light in the jar, but also the bittersweet sadness of them being trapped in a jar. 

When I woke on my birthday I was elated, even though in the dream I'd been uncomfortable because of the remarkable appearance of Jung.

Carla’s thoughts: As usual when interpreting a guest dream, I’ll react to Gail’s dream as if it were my own. (If you would like to know why, read this post: Cement Men of Mars.)

Here’s my take on Gail’s dream: Dr. Jung has asked me (the dream ego) to produce my patient (a part of myself that I don’t entirely accept) so that he can assess my progress in analyzing (understanding and integrating) him. My concern about whether or not my patient will get along with the others hints at a social discomfort: I am afraid of conflict or some sort of disharmony if I allow this part of me out in public. The fact that I’m not talking in the dream tells me that I’m dealing with something that is unconscious: it can’t be “verbalized” or discussed—at least not yet.

Because my patient evokes a “teddy bear” he symbolizes my vulnerable inner child, possibly the Divine Child archetype (he carries light). That he is large tells me he represents something that is very important to me; and that he’s mute emphasizes the nonverbal, unconscious element that my own silence in the dream alludes to. This child has not been able to get through to me (he’s not quite sure what to do, and I feel bad because I don’t know him very well). The crux of the dream, however, lies in this unusual detail about the figure:  He is the source of a mesmerizing--if confined--light.

Dr. Jung represents my healing journey toward getting in touch with this source of light within me. The word “patient” is repeated four times in this relatively short dream, hinting that I need to be patient in order to understand the spiritual truth of the light I carry. My light is carried in a Mason jar; a mason works with stone; revealing this light is hard (as stone) for me.

The timing of this dream is significant. Because I had this dream on the eve of my birthday, it symbolizes the birth of a new understanding. I am elated because I’ve begun to experience my own inner light, and I can anticipate freeing it from its previously limited existence (in the mason jar).

The dreamer always gets the last word, so I encourage Gail to leave us her thoughts in a comment.


  1. Carla:
    Thank you for a highly astute explanation of my dream. Some of the concepts I had thought of as well - the large man meaning it was important = the sharing of the spiritual truth of the lightening bugs (I started posting a series of reviews of novels which address Jungian themes or even has Jung as a character)but I didn't think of the angle of being afraid of conflict, and prone to social discomfort, (which is true. And with synchronicity, I just realized I'm an HSP Highly Sensitive Person, and thought I was alone in this up until two weeks ago, when a friend recommended, the book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking". I've since that 15-20% of the population fall into this category (many of them spiritual seekers, psychologists of people involved in the arts).
    And yes, it is also true the child in me can't had not been able to get through to me until I recently started playing with my 9 year old granddaughter when she plays with her Monster High dolls, finding it very rewarding to role play with the dolls as we do as children. I especially enjoyed the way you even looked at textures, substances, resonances and free associations. Before your post, I never thought of exploring the word, "Mason." What a helpful insight. Thank you so much for posting my dream - it has been going around in my head since I experienced it and I feel it to be one of my "big" dreams which I can turn back to and contemplate. You did a wonderful job, validating some of my ideas but bringing up much more. Thanks so much for your time and interest in offering this blog to us!

  2. Gail, thanks for sharing this wonderful example of the amazingly clever way our unconscious minds formulate images that reflect our immediate inner necessity. I feel sure you will no longer be (lightning) bugged by the beautiful light within you that wants to be free.