Friday, March 22, 2013

Guest Dreamer: No Longer Intractable


James is re-evaluating concepts that were inculcated in his youth. His grandparents represent the values he has lived with; as dream figures they now give him “permission” to allow his self-concept  to become more relevant in today's world.
The Dream: I found myself in a rural area, next to river. My great granddad was there. He called me over to look at a tractor he had there. He let me drive it towards a vast area of farmland beyond an iron gate. The gate and the fence it was in, was made from heavy cast iron. Strangely, the tractor had controls on it to make it narrower and shorter, in order to fit through this gate. I tried to operate the controls I thought would do this. Instead, the vehicle broke into two parts. The part I was riding in continued towards the open gate, out of control, and clanged into the top of the gate and came to a halt. Great granddad came and sorted it all out, he wasn't angry, mildly amused maybe.

Next, we are both riding in the tractor, with a ploughing device attached to the front. We were ploughing up rows of various vegetables. I asked him why we were doing this, the vegetables looked perfectly fine and salable to me. He said they were from "old seed" and were no longer any good to him, so he wanted them ploughed up and destroyed, readying the ground for a new planting. Great grandma was there briefly at the end of this section of the dream, asking us if we wanted dinner etc.

Next, we drove the tractor onwards towards a large grand red sandstone building, apparently in the middle of the ploughed field. Inside were lots of different farmers selling and weighing vegetables on large industrial scales. In the large open are of the building were various sealed doors, and no one knew what was in these sealed rooms. I didn't feel this dream was in the present day, 50 years ago maybe.

Carla's thoughts: I'll respond to James' dream as if it were my own. The rural setting, with its river, represents my perception of the natural order of things. In the dream my great grandfather works on two levels: like a father figure in a dream, he is the holder of society's patriarchal expectations with its rules and roles; at the same time, he is a kindly person who loves me. A tractor is a very masculine piece of machinery: it is something I use to do my work in the world. (I'm ploughing through it.) When my grandfather lets me drive he tells me he expects me to perform the masculine role, and he implies that he is sure that I can. Nearby I see the vast field I must plough (a big job ahead of me). The size of the task overwhelms me, and my access to the job is blocked (gated and fenced). The blocks ahead of me are sturdy and inflexible (cast iron), emphasizing the difficulty I have in breaching them. Even so, the tool I'll use to do the job (the tractor: my capability) has an unexpected built-in flexibility that enables me to go forward.

When the dream reveals this flexibility I face an inner conflict. My vehicle, the way I get somewhere, splits in two. I feel out of control and I'm momentarily stopped by the gate. The holder of my inner masculine force, my great grandfather, comes to the rescue. He understands the difficulty, and his acceptance allows me to lighten up on myself, to realize that the world of work is a difficulty that men have faced since time began. Together we begin to destroy old and childish concepts of masculinity I've held without being aware of them, the old seed that no longer serves me. Once we have prepared the ground for its new planting (once I've updated the old, ingrained concepts I've been carrying around) the feminine force rewards me (great grandmother offers us food, sustenance). A vision of plenty appears in the form of many farmers having so much food they need industrial (work, again!) scales to weigh it. My inner masculine and feminine (the part that deals with the world and the part that holds my soul) have a better relationship. The sealed rooms tell me that I have still more hidden potential, capabilities that no one knows. Perhaps a future dream will reveal some of these.

2 comments:

Emily said...


I have a lot of the same thought's as Carla does about this dream, so some of these will be like hers, and others grow out of that!

I see the earth and river as being the Feminine. The idea of planting new seeds are, to me, germinating and growing new ideas. Sometimes an older generation needs to actually die before new ideas are accepted by the following generations. This seems to be a more "collective" dream to me, speaking more to the collective than to the dreamer. The industrial lot somehow reminds me of the Industrial Evolution, when technology usurped our ability to do and make things for our family survival, making what once were home chores, collective chores. I also wonder what has been held "behind closed doors for 50 years" or 50 years ago. Questions that arise for me now are what was my society's belief system then and what is it now? How do my now personal beliefs fit into this system as a whole? What do I feel is "cast in iron" and can't be changed? Cultural mores? For this is what I crash into, after breaking in two. I believe there's also the expression that "my heart has broken in two". I am also reminded that what appears fine to me (the salable vegetables) are in reality not so as evidenced by my grandfather, someone with a lifetime of experience. This dream, as mine, holds the tension between societal beliefs in 2 generations before I, and society's beliefs today. The past is sealed, and not only is it unknown to everyone, the doors to the past can't yet be open. There may come a time that it will be revealed what is held in those doors of the industrial complex.

Carla Young said...

Emily refers to an "industrial complex." Although this phrase wasn't explicitly used in the dream, it presents a play on words that might apply: Jung used the word complex to refer to the tangle of feelings we have on an emotionally charged topic. An industrial complex, therefore, might refer to the dreamer's tangle of feelings regarding his industry (work).

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