Sunday, October 21, 2012

No Light at the End of the Tunnel


The Dream: Dettie and I are at the underground entrance to a NYC subway. She has a token and goes through the turnstile and down the escalator to the platform. I realize I have no money. I set down my large purse, at the same time noticing a lost-and-found-box containing cash and other items that people have left on the train, open to all with no oversight. I think, after a little ethical quavering, that it's probably okay if I “borrow” some of the money to buy a token. I feel a little guilty, but climb up to the box—it's a bit of a stretch—and help myself to a small amount of cash. In some part of my mind I am surprised that the money hasn't all disappeared.

I take the money to the ticket booths; the one to the left is closed, and the agent in the middle booth ignores me. I'm getting anxious about finding Dettie with all this delay. Then I notice an available agent to the right: I had 't been aware of him. He is a very affable black man and while I don't have enough money for a return, he sells me a one-way token.

As I approach the turnstile I realize my bag is missing. I feel very uneasy about this, thinking about my credit cards and how I should have made a list of them. I try to remember which membership cards were in my purse. This will be a mess to sort out; I hope Clark can help me.

I descend the escalator and my surroundings become darker and darker. When I reach the platform I look for Dettie, but she's nowhere to be seen. I had been counting on her to loan me money for the return trip. The platform is deserted, very dark, and no trains appear to be running. After a while I decide to try a different level, thinking I must be on the wrong track. I turn to go, and things become even darker until it's pitch black. I become frightened and decide to go back up.

I climb a long flight of stairs. At the top is a closed door with a window. The door is locked. I bang and bang on it, yelling “Help!” until I'm afraid my voice will go. A man appears—I see his face silhouetted against the door's window. He has a mustache and looks creepy, like something out of a surrealist's work. I think that if he opens the door it will be to rape me, not to help. I awaken in terror.

Interpretation: Jung warns us that encountering the unconscious is a fearsome project, and this dream verifies it. My friend's name is the key to this dream: “Dettie” evokes both death and debt. As I begin my descent into the underworld of the unconscious I grapple with feeling inadequate: I have no money (worth), but I might be able to retrieve some if I'm willing to take a chance and reach higher. It's interesting that I have an ethical difficulty in giving myself what I need: I don't feel entitled to take it. But even when I do my problems are not over. I have enough money to embark on my journey, but not enough to return. I lose my purse with its membership and credit cards (I'm totally alone; I'll get no credit in the future). I call on my animus to save the situation, but the male figure who appears is another threat, not a savior. I go lower and lower, facing my darkest fears: my vulnerability, my worthlessness and my mortality. My vision is so narrow (tunnel like) that I can't see a way out.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Open foot says: "No light at the end of the tunnel" was a BIG one and its theme of darkness instantly reminded me of your " Preparing the Spirit for Rebirth" dream of January in which you pressed a bird against a dark spinning spindle, and on which commented. Taking it as my dream I think I would consider that I was no longer pressing against the darkness but had well and truly penetrated it. In the earlier dream the darkness was dynamic and spinning but now it is clothed with a living face, its presence is real and vital and induces terror. I've often wondered about the terror which arises in these circumstances and have often felt that it results from the egoic mind being scared out of its wits at the notion of ceding control and that it is therefore keen to depict that larger other in ourselves a something dark scary and frightening as its way of discouraging us and retaining control. Just my take on things :-) But as you dream, and you say, there is light at the end of the tunnel and you count!

Carla Young said...

Thank you, Openfoot. I like the way you have dissected our terror at facing what seems like annihilation. The ego terror is probably necessary to keep us from doing ourselves in at the end of a bad day--but when faced with the inevitable, I fervently hope your larger vision with prevail.

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