Sunday, February 28, 2016

What's Cooking?

If you find your dream baffling, here's an idea. Ask questions. Make a list of the questions that your dream evokes, and let one lead to another. Then spend some time thinking about them. You'll learn something as you go through the process. Today's dream is an example.
The Dream: I have a little creature, supposedly a pig, but with the attributes of a toddler. It's very sweet and acquiescent, but is meant to be dinner. I have put her on a tray and am about to put her in the oven (alive). I get more and more upset at the thought, and finally I say to my husband, “I can't do it!” I am distraught, and he says it's okay not to cook the creature.

She turns into a little girl, and I tell her that I will take her home. In time it occurs to me that it might have been her own parents who sold her for food. In any case, she says she doesn't want to go home, she wants to stay with me. As time goes on she turns into a little horror and her sister appears. I don't remember what they did, but their behavior is so bad I begin to wish I'd put her into the oven after all.

: This dream was triggered by an article in The American Scholar about raising sentient beings (animals) for food. The cover featured a cute pink pig; the dream creature, before she turned into a little girl, was pink.

The odd thing about the dream is the creature's change from a sweet, passive acquiescent little thing to an impossible to control little monster. Are these the unacknowledged feelings I had toward my own children as they grew? Or is the horrid little girl my own willful “animal,” the force that I couldn't bear to have baked out of me, but have no idea what to do with? Or perhaps her behavior is a reaction to her position in society, a helpless girl at the mercy of others?

My conclusion from these questions? In the process of being “civilized” the little animal we are at birth (the child) reacts with uncontrollable bad behavior, inwardly if not outwardly: the beast in Beauty and the Beast: the not-yet-tamed outlier within. At this (rather late) stage of life I must acknowledge her. Once I do, she will sustain me; she'll become the "food" of a richer self.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Life and Death

Today's sample dream deals with the dreamer's search for her spiritual self.
The Dream: I'm with my husband Clark, and we are going to do some diving near an old-fashioned bridge in search of an answer to a naturalist's question. We are studying a butterfly. We are en route to the venue when Clark stops abruptly near a pond. He jumps out of the car with a butterfly net and catches a couple of very beautiful red and black butterflies, mating. These aren't the butterflies we were meant to study, and while I am thrilled to have an opportunity to see them close up I say, “You know we'll have to return them to the spot where we picked them up?” They will need a very specific habitat to survive. I'm concerned that those who see us will think we are harming the creatures; I want them to understand our higher, scientific purpose.

Interpretation: In this dream, I dive into the Unconscious (the water). The bridge tells me that the dream is dealing with a transitional state, I'm going to a new place. The naturalist and the butterfly are a tip off that this dream is about understanding my physical being (what the naturalist studies) and its relationship to my spiritual being (the butterfly, an ancient symbol of the soul). We have found two of these creatures, and they are mating. Finding two emphasizes the symbol's importance, and mating implies a rebirth or regeneration.

When I find my soul,  it's not the one I expected, and it isn't where I expected it to be. The dream tells me I need to carefully handle this newly discovered part of myself.  (It needs a very specific habitat to survive.) What about my fear of social sanction?  I might want to see what's going on rationally (my scientific purpose), but I doubt that will yield an answer that others will find convincing. I understand that it's imperative for me to return what I've found to its natural habitat. Is that on this earth, I wonder?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Can't Complain

Here's another way to approach your dream content. As you go over the dream, look at the things that are frustrating. Write down your reaction to each as you go. I'll demonstrate the method by indicating each frustration as I report the dream.
The Dream: I'm staying outside New York City in a run-down, less expensive area. (1. I can't afford a better place, closer to where I want to go.) I have parked my convertible, roof down, in a lot. The next morning I hurry past the lot to get a bus for the art museum, mentally timing how long it will take to get there, not long, I think. (2. I'm feeling time pressure.) Then I notice the locked glove compartment of my car has been pried open and its contents stolen. (3. Something has been taken from me.) I wonder if my husband will blame me for leaving the top down, but I don't think that putting it up would have stopped the perps; they would have cut through it. (4. Will others—do I—think this is my own fault?)

I try to locate the lot owners. To do so I walk around the outskirts of the lot. (5. Where are the people who should be available to help me?) The lot is part of a surprisingly upscale, mall-like area with restaurants and shops. I finally locate their classy desk, and there are others grouped around it, also ready to lodge complaints (6. There's a lot of dissatisfaction here.)

After a while I notice a sign on the desk saying the employee will return in 15 minutes. I wish I had seen it earlier so I could have timed my wait (7. I've been wasting my time.)

Most waiting around the desk are men, and all are congenial. We're making the best of it. I figure there are these four ahead of me and I try to estimate how long it will be before I can lodge my complaint if each takes X amount of time. (8. Time is slipping away from me.) Off to my right I notice a room full of college desks filled with people, and that there was some sort of sign-in sheet on the large desk. Oh no! All these others are ahead of me (9. It's worse than I thought.) I'll never be able to get on with what I had intended to do today.

Interpretation: As I noted the frustrations, the dream's meaning became clear. I'm not close to where I want to go on my life's journey. I'm in a difficult place. I underestimated how long it would take me to get where I had intended to go. I feel that something's been taken from me, and I suspect it's my own fault. It's not at all likely that anyone else is going to help me. I'd say the dream's message is that if I need help I'd better get it from myself and stop expecting someone else to solve my problem, no matter whose fault it is. And the worst part? There's no one to hear my complaint!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hanging on for Dear Life

If a chat with a friend influences your dream, try to figure out what part of you she represents.
The Dream: I'm walking along the edge of a rocky path overlooking a deep abyss. I lose my footing in the loose rocks and dangle above the bottom of a deep pit.

Interpretation: In this nightmare there was no one around to help. The rocky path indicates that I'm struggling with something. I lose my footing: clearly I'm off-balance. If this were someone else's dream I would think they were depressed, and yet I'm not aware of feeling unhappy. A severely troubled friend had told me about a similar dream the day before; does she represent the troubled part of me? Some part of me identifies with her depression very strongly, and my unconscious is telling me it's time to become aware of that, and to take a look at the issues that might have created the pit I'm in danger of falling into.