Friday, January 31, 2014

Sujal in Paradise

In this dream about a young friend who died I begin to get a hint about the place where immortality might dwell.
The Dream: I'm at a conference. It might be some sort of awards conference. I see Sujal. I'm happy to see him; he is lively and healthy and exuberant, lots of smiles. I think that I will remind him that he is always welcome to Thanksgiving--that even though he and my daughter are no longer dating we can all be friends.

When I first see him I am a little surprised that he has returned from Africa, and that he is well. I have a dim realization that he had been ill, and I'm relieved that he has recovered. As time goes on I become confused, because I gradually remember that he has died.

Interpretation: This dream left me feeling sad, experiencing again the loss of of this remarkable young man. Before drifting off to sleep the night before I had asked for a dream that would put me in touch with spirituality and show me what, if any, spiritual truths I subscribe to. Is this my answer? If it is, what is it telling me?

When I told my daughter about this dream she mentioned that it occurred within two days of the anniversary of Sujal's death. Looking on the web I discovered that his amazing spirit has indeed lived on after him; he has inspired others from his medical school to create a yearly symposium named after him and dedicated to health and justice, the causes he devoted his life to. (Although I hadn't known about the symposium, the dream setting is a conference!) The dream has shown me that we live on in the hearts, minds, and actions of others. What we choose to do with our time here creates a "spirit" with a lasting impact.

Monday, January 27, 2014

An Uphill Struggle

In this dream I try to come to terms with the cycle of life.
The Dream: I'm with others, my brother Greg (who died recently), my husband Clark, a man from Boston and a man from Spain. We're a team participating in a sporting event that is considered the equivalent of the Spanish bullfights. We have a huge snake in our RV: the animal is so big that its head and tale stick out the ends. The idea of the event is that we run along the outside of the camper, pushing it and its snake up a very steep, icy, snow-covered mountain. When we get to the top we are to dispose of the snake in some way, butchering and eating it, or maybe throwing it into the sea—but butchering and eating it is somehow involved.

Interpretation: My path is slippery (icy), cold and difficult, and our objective (destroying the snake) is one I'm not in complete sympathy with. My brother Greg represents the inescapable reality of my own mortality. But what about the other “players?” Clark represents my other half. We're both in the dream, so all parts of me are engaged in this struggle. The other two men represent my unresolved conflict. The man from Boston is propriety, a person who knows how the game is played, and the man from Spain evokes the dramatic ghoulishness of that country's church art. This tells me that my psyche is trying to integrate the acceptable social reaction to death (stiff upper lip, don't make others uncomfortable, pretend it doesn't happen) with my innate horrified emotional response.

In an attempt to resolve my dilemma my dream presents me with several rebirth symbols. Snakes, of course, are traditional symbols of rebirth. By eating the snake we take in his qualities and he lives on through us. Since water accompanies birth, the alternate action of throwing the snake into the water implies that he will be reborn. The issue is not resolved, but I'm working on it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Snake

The Dream: I don't know if this was a dream or if it actually happened. In the middle of the night I heard Clark talking in his sleep.He talked about a snake and something else that I didn't remember afterward. I spoke to him, telling him what he had said. In the morning he didn't remember any of this, and I was left wondering if I had dreamt it.

Interpretation: The snake, as a rebirth symbol, fits into the sequence of dreams from this time that attempts to get me more comfortable with death. I am not ready to embrace the rebirth idea, so I perceive it as coming from outside myself.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Howl

Psychically we heal by fits and starts. Here I slide back from the equanimity toward death that I was beginning to achieve in my last dream.

The Dream: I get a phone call from my older brother. He is crying and inarticulate, howling. I understand with a sinking feeling that Mother is dead.

Interpretation: My mother had been dead for more than seven years when I had this dream, but my younger brother had died a few months before. In the dream I feel terror at facing the mortality of those I love and, ultimately, of myself. I've lost all sense of the hope Stephen had offered in the previous night's dream.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Boxed In

This dream begins a series dealing with the deaths of loved ones over the years.

The Dream: I am trying to move, packing my things into a car. Stephen (a friend from long ago, now dead) is helping. There are things I can't solve that he easily overcomes. For example, to load the backseat he removes a sliding door, effortlessly. I hadn't realized that was possible. I'm in the backseat as he does this and get “boxed” in. I wonder how I'll get out so that I can join him in the front seat, but then it occurs to me that I can climb over the seat back. This realization gives me a free and happy feeling.

Stephen, my first close friend to die, has come to help me move (move on). In other words, he helps me begin to accept our limited time on earth and gives me a sense of the possibility of an afterlife. Because he has passed through death he understands things that I don't. He knows how to work the sliding door, the moveable separation between this life and the next. I am almost boxed in by my limited view, but just in time get enough insight to climb out of my difficulty.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Blond, A Baby, and a Joint

The Dream: A platinum blond woman has a new baby. I am wondering about her age: I would have thought she was as old as I—but the baby proves she's younger. I think her platinum blond hair is so close to gray in color that she might as well let it go gray. She is very petite and superficial, reminding me of someone who might work in real estate. She is very judgmental over superficial things. To show off how petite she is, she sits with her baby in a baby car seat.

Somewhere in all of this is an artist. I'm not sure whether it's her, a friend of mine (I think that's it) or me. But everything about the blond is done with style, so it seems she would appreciate this artist, whose work is hip and stylish.

I decide, in light of having this done-up creature around, that I'd better put on some eyebrows. My brothers think this would be interesting to watch, and they peer at me as I apply the eyebrow powder. I get the impression that Nick has smoked a marijuana joint. I'm surprised. Nick has always impressed me as very straight. Greg says, “You'd better watch it; you'll get Dad in trouble.” He's alluding to our father's security clearance.

Interpretation: Dreams can tell us many things, but one thing this dream is telling me is that I think I'm superficial. And I have this to say to my dream:
You say I'm superficial:
I won't deny it.
I'm not the diamond, but its sparkle.
I'm not the ocean, but its glinting.
I'm not the cave, but its hand prints.  
Play with me.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Guest Dreamer: Trying to Turn a Corner

Today's guest dreamer, Wild Rice, is having some trouble turning a corner. I'll interpret her dream as if it were my own. Only she knows the personal associations that play a part in her dream, but I hope to give her some ideas about its universal symbols.

The Dream: I was with an older man. He had caramel colored hair. The hair reminds me a little of the sleazy attorney from the TV series “Breaking Bad.” This man wanted me to hypnotize him (I am a Hypnotherapist IRL.)

He had status in the community. He was a high ranking business man. He had a lot of interest in receiving my help. He took my hand in his. Part of the time, he held his arm out, in a chivalrous fashion, for me to take, I took it.

We kept walking along, as we moved from the indoors, down an easy set of wide stairs, and were then suddenly outside. I was very worried what others would think, as this felt very improper to be with him this way. It was a feeling of an illicit affair, or something very wrong.

We had a destination in mind. We were headed toward a place where I could perform the hypnosis for him. I saw others around us, making a similar journey, walking near us. He also had a woman on his left arm. I was on his right. We were moving around a curve then, in this roadway, which had only foot traffic. It was almost like a wide track. It was as if my body were a vehicle that I had to steer. It was difficult to move my body around this curve. I could feel a lot of force pressing against me as I attempted to steer myself to move with him smoothly. It took every ounce of my strength, almost super human strength. I really had to focus. He seemed to do this easily.

*I have had a similar dream on many occasions, where I am on a road, and instead of a car, I only have my body, maybe it’s got a set of wheels on a bare frame under it. I have to move it with my body. It feels so difficult to make the journey home, or to my place of residence. I keep trying to get there, despite the difficult circumstances. Sometimes I have a bike, but no proper car. I am usually on a highway, and the last time I dreamed this, I was at a shady place of town, under the bridge, near the freeway exit. There is usually hardly any traffic in these dreams.

Carla's commentary: An older man who lives in my psyche both attracts and repels me. Who he might be based on in waking life only Wild Rice can say. His caramel hair suggests something appealing--warmth and sweetness--but at the same time alludes to something unsavory (the sleazy attorney). As the dream ego I want to forget about him: his request that I hypnotize him is my own desire to move him into my unconscious (put him to sleep). It's difficult for me to do this for several reasons. For one thing, he is important to me (he has status in the community). Perhaps he is associated with the part of me that is successful in the world (he is a high-ranking businessman) or maybe I am intimidated by his status. And there's another aspect to “businessman:” what do they wear? Suits. Is he my suitor? That he needs my help, takes my hand, and offers his arm tells me that what he represents is a part of me, or of my life, that I need to integrate rather than push away from my conscious awareness. When I take the arm he offers I am taking the first step.

Once I've taken the step toward acknowledging this uncomfortable part of my inner life and I walk outside, into the “open” with it, I have immediate misgivings. It feels wrong and improper. My feelings about the impropriety are centered on what others will think more than on what I think, yet they might be telling me that there's something I need to look at that is socially or culturally unacceptable.

We are headed for a destination, but at this point in the dream I've circled back to my original goal of “hypnotizing,” or “putting to sleep” this uncomfortable psychic element. Suddenly another woman is with us. In my dream, this 2nd woman is my mother, and the thing I want to put to sleep is my oedipal desire to monopolize my father. My body has become mechanical—a vehicle I must steer (control) in spite of the fact that I find it very difficult. I've lost touch with my body in order to deaden feelings I find inappropriate. This conundrum has thrown me a curve (the curved track), and I'm having a difficult time negotiating my path. I need to resolve this particular issue so that I can find my way home, that is, to the place where my authentic self can reside comfortably.