Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Guest Dreamer: Zebra Run and Flow

Guest dreamer Openfoot has contributed today's magical dream. You can read more of his dreams and check out his artwork here.
Openfoot's Dream: I stand on Yorkshire cliffs high above the sea. A large fishing boat is just leaving the bay. Under the surface of the bay a huge grey cloud can be seen clearly revealing that the shoal of fish the boat has been targeting is still there. Now I'm flying and moving towards the shoal, at first flying over it but then diving underwater. Here great shapes appear, the shadows of Orca, Killer Whales. I watch them lunge through the shoal and then on to pursue individual fish. Now, and to my great surprise, a herd of underwater zebra "gallop", with little apparent effort, through water as they too pursue the small fish. This herd of "sea horses" are amazing.

Now standing at a lakeside, the zebra emerge from its still waters. In my position at right angles to the galloping herd I watch them move along the shore. I am in wonder. This is remarkable. They seem to have brought the water of the lake with them. As they begin to enter open woodland the "water" of the lake fills all the air and space. It's mostly invisible but you get the odd shimmer to indicate its presence. The movements of the zebra herd, although now very free, seem just as if they were still running under the sea.

The rest of my family arrive and I urge them to watch this wondrous scene. I continue to express my amazement and delight. The zebra seem to be having great fun as they duck under branches and leap over bramble patches, demonstrating great grace and agility.

Carla's thoughts: Tony Crisp says that “deeply unconscious processes are often depicted by fish” and that fishing can symbolize “a receptive state of consciousness which allows the deep insights or processes to become known.”

If this were my dream, it would be about my movement toward a more expansive, intuitive understanding of my place in the world and a more joyful experience of life. Life abounds in my dream, but in the beginning I am looking down on it from a lofty cliff; I'm far above the sea. So I go “fishing” for something else. A bay is more constricted than the sea, and as I leave this more confined space I see a huge gray cloud, representing a shoal of fish. As I progress through my dream, I notice the proportion of gray to black and white reverses. At this early point, my quest lacks clarity, and so it appears huge and gray. The resolution I experience in the dream will be symbolized by the proportion of black, white and gray in the dream animals.

I'm in pursuit, and what I'm after is the resolution of a conflict I'm feeling between my personal and my group identity. Can I be my true self in a group? Fish in a shoal band together, but do not coordinate their movements as do those in a school. I am sociable, but not immersed in the herd. I investigate this community from above and below: I fly above it; I dive beneath it. As I watch, the shadowy Orca, another great gray shape, goes after “individual” fish. Being an individual is clearly a scary and vulnerable thing to be. But wait! Something is coming into focus for me: the Orca is mostly a black and white creature, with only a small gray area over its dorsal fin. My confusion (the gray area) has shrunk. With the appearance of the zebra I have resolved my conflict: these creatures have no gray areas at all. I am free to be me!

The zebra leave the sea; as they come out of the water I gallop toward a rebirth. I am at right angles to them (I see them correctly, from the right angle or viewpoint). Magical and mysterious and wonderful imagery tells me that I have had an epiphany. The zebra have brought the water of the lake (the mists of the mythical Avalon) with them. Their shimmer is my enlightenment. I watch in wonder, sharing the moment with those dearest to me. I am in sync both with my family (the community of man) and with my natural and unique self.


Openfoot said...

Hello Carla, Once again many thanks for you comments on my dream. It's great to have another perspective put forward. As with your comments on my previous Guest Dreams I find nothing to take issue with. There is nothing that makes me feel uncomfortable or that leads me to think "No! No! That's not right!" There are many personal associations in the dream; I think could write an essay, but I will restrain myself. In any event I often find myself more concerned with the feeling component of the dream and its broad conceptual sweep, so I'll focus there.

Over the last year or so I have had a number of long dreams which I consider to be in a similar vein. This is perhaps the shortest them. For me they all have the feeling of review, confirmation and restatement. They seem to me to encapsulate the whole of my dream progress over the last four decades while at the same time making a statement about how the various components of my psyche now stand in relation to one another and to the outside world. They have all had a very positive feel and have seemed to me to provide a "seal" on all that has gone before.

For example, the me on the cliff was the me forty years ago contemplating setting out on the path. From here I view and consider the fundamental divisions and dualities of the world such as earth and water, conscious and unconscious, black and white etc. I try to "catch" these issues with my educated, constructed, rational, mind (the fishing boat) but without success and it moves out of the scene.

I dive into what is, at this stage, largely unconscious and discover its various forms and autonomous living elements. Gradually they become less threatening and less of an unknown. My relationship with them is transformed as is my perception of the dualities of life. The dualities are now combined into one dynamic organic whole and this process proceeds at all levels of my psyche; with individual elements (the zebra) the collective (the herd) and now with that which is below combined with what is above, ( the zebra bring the water on to the land). Now the life that was below (was unconscious) is woven with the life that is above (is conscious), the woodland, trees and brambles, into a dynamic tapestry of being. I am at one and the same time both all of this and it observer. All elements of "my" psyche partake in it, they are it. The "world" has come to fruition in this "ecology of mind" and it is liberating. I want to share.

At the end of the dream I am once again standing on the shore , the dividing line between earth and water, and this time I'm with others. The man who at the start of the dream stood alone on a cliff (in itself a dangerous place to be) has not gone away but his position, perspective, his being have undergone a radical change.

Although it seems to me that the dream provides a lifetime review it is, I think, also a process which plays out each day as we sink into an emerge from the great deep, which means that life and being remain in their essence a wonderful mystery.

Thank you Carla for providing a space in which to share. With many thanks.


P.S. "Steps to an Ecology of Mind" by Gregory Bateson has always been my very favourite book title. :-)

Carla Young said...

Openfoot: an amazing dream and a wonderful analysis. Thanks so much for both. Clearly your careful attention to your dream life has well rewarded you--and us, as we share your journey.

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