The Dream: In a classroom having missed a test I was told to solve the problem written on the board. Try as I would, I could not solve the problem. In fact, I didn’t even understand the problem or how to break it down into its simplest form. It was as though I had no understanding of the math involved, too stupid to even get started. Finally, embarrassed, and greatly saddened, I admitted before everyone and the teacher that I didn’t know how. I knew that by admitting this I had failed and my career as a student would end. I awoke depressed anxious, and agitated, a failure and loser. The teacher consoled me with “that’s alright”.
Comments on the dream: Oh my! I thought, “I hope this dream was not confirming my constant worry that I am stupid and everyone around me knows it”.
I then remembered an earlier blog article* that I wrote on the purpose of life. When I write on such things, I always worry that these explorations of life are sophomoric and reveal my ignorant and immature nature (my apologies to college Sophomores a period of my life that I enjoyed immensely and seem in many ways to have never grown out of).
In the article I packed it all under the rubric of “Mystery” that basically I love a mystery because I don’t have to have the answer or be able to parse the meaning. I can just enjoy my ignorance and play the Fool even if others think me stupid. By aligning myself with the great mystery that is life I can’t really be wrong. As the dream says I am not a student of answers but of questions and mystery. And the dream also reveals that admitting my lack before everyone is the first step in the acceptance of self. The teacher in me says that that’s just fine.
One can hardly miss the craziness of our “leaders” and the number of deaths and shootings, police beatings and shootings, extreme weather damage, and unprovoked wars inundating us from the media. I’ve tried to moderate the amount of craziness by what I read or watch on TV but it’s all so pervasive that it’s almost impossible to screen out.
The craziness, mayhem, and fear also show up in my dreams or when I’m just watching a show.
Sometimes it just gets to be too much, and I find myself having a grieving response, a shoulder shaking response with no tears and no sound coming forth through my wide-open mouth, but real grief, nonetheless. Sometimes I’m bent over in grief unable to stand upright before it. Sometimes it all feels so helpless and hopeless.
But sometimes a witnessed act of love and kindness will trigger the grief response and I’m made to realize how much I long for kindness and love in a world that seems to have so little of it to go around.
However, when any of these grief responses want release from what I normally try to control, my dreams often suggest that I just let go and let the grief flow. I know that my dreams always have my back, my six as they say, my well-being. My dreams often recommend that I let my grief just fall out of me back into the ocean of tears that can be the world sometimes. For some it’s letting those cries for help fall into the open arms of God.
When awake I know that when this soul urging comes that it’s not what I’m reading or watching that is causing the need but that psychically I’m being touched by the event and that this moves me strongly. By letting go of the control and letting the feelings flow and knowing that it’s safe to do so, and that I’ll come back when it’s done, I find it releasing and cathartic, sort of like the old “primal therapy” technique of screaming and punching the pillow type of coping and healing. For some, doing this with a trusted friend or therapist can be very useful.
And that is what happens when I let go, when I let my soul speak for me, it heals or begins the healing of the psychic damage that life through ego-self humanity is causing. It loosens all that scar tissue that has built up over the years.
I’ve always known it; dreams can be about healing and well-being but listening to them now is even more important in order to deal more effectively with the self-serving human chaos spreading across the world.
Opening up to a good cry if that is what the soul is urging and then do your part to heal others through your enhanced listening and help to make room for love to come through is often the meta message of my dreams and perhaps to the dreams of millions more if they were to look more closely.
Philosophy and religion on the surface look like opposites where on one side one operates on faith and belief while the other critiques and challenges belief. One espouses the rational while the other embraces the irrational.
However, both are of one mind regarding death in that both welcome the mysteries of death because it speaks to the mysteries of life.
When life and death are seen as opposites separated at birth death becomes real. But when death is seen as the continued transition of the soul’s migration through reality the separation and opposition disappear into a mystical unity.
In Jungian philosophy a goal of life is the reunion of opposites called the coniunctio.
In this vision of life’s purpose death takes on a new meaning shifting from an ending to an element in the soul’s journey toward unity and becomes about change and transition from one way of being to another. This point of view is also reflected in one’s dreams where death can be a symbol for change, an end from one way of being to another. Thus, the image of death becomes an archetype for transition. To embrace it is to partially fulfill the purpose of life i.e., to bring all of life’s opposites (life/death, male/female, the conscious/unconscious) into unity.
After doing a little research on the meaning of death psychologically I put down my laptop and ambled down the hall to bed. During the night I had a dream where I sat before a desk with others standing around me and I placed a small beaker upon the desk and concentrated my focus upon it. When I did it correctly a transition from one place of being would become a new one i.e., we would all sort of “portal jump” from one place to another. I was elated with each successful transition.
Upon awakening the dream seemed significant though a mystery as to how. As I continued my research later that morning the dream’s meaning began to clear. The portal jump from one reality to another was an archetype of death. It’s a focus that I find I often think about these days as life gets closer and closer to this transition period. A shift in focus from an ‘ending’ of life, or place of being, to one of a ‘change’ of place of being seems important to me and gives me a new sense of purpose. As with my earlier life my purpose was to prepare myself through all of life’s transitions to live my life as fully as possible, I now can create another purpose that of preparing myself for this next transition. As a soul it’s all my life.
“Without death, life would be meaningless…limitation enables you to fulfill your being.” –C. Jung
Basically he’s saying that death is a condition for the meaning of life.
Death in Dreams (The symbolic meaning)Death often relates to the ending of something. But it can also suggest our relationship, or attitude towards death e.g. how do we feel about it? As an archetype it can show up as a sunset, crossing a river, twilight, a skeleton, gravestones, a cemetery, blackness, the grim reaper, an old man, or woman, a fallen mirror, a stopped clock, or an empty abyss.
Death often shows up in our dreams during times of transition Dead animals can also be metaphors for our own demise.
“These are the woods you love where the secret name of every death is life again” Associated with death is also rebirth and resurrection. -Mary Oliver (Skunk cabbage)
Such things as a cave, or an egg, Spring, dawn, the cross, a snake, a seed, a bird taking flight (though if it were to fly off into the sunset it might suggest death), a Phoenix, flame, a pearl, or the womb.The body itself is in a constant birth, death and renewal cycle in that individual cells need to die in order to be replaced and renewed without constant injury to the body’s cells, fresh cells could not revitalize. This is the idea of creating by destroying. The Hindu god Shiva is the destroyer of the world (actually the ego—the false identification with form, and the letting go of habits and attachments). Brahma then recreates what has been destroyed. In short, all that has a beginning must also have an end. The only thing that dies according to this concept is the illusion of individuality and separateness. In this way Shiva is the great purifier.
The ancient Greeks believed that a person’s well-being depended on the opposing forces of dissolution and creation. The Caduceus with its entwined snakes and being the symbol of the healer can be symbolically linked with Psyche interacting with matter and transforming both. This idea of the snake representing both death and renewal sheds its old skin to reveal something new and revitalized, thus dying so as to be reborn.
Dead people in Dreams:In most cases this is about the dreamer trying to deal with the passing of someone close. It’s all a process of letting go and of resurrecting the one you interacted with on a physical level into the memory of that same person. For some the deceased become eternally living within the memory of those left behind.
To see a dead person in a dream:This can represent some area in ones life that has “died” such as a feeling, a relationship, or situation. Sometimes anger repressed in your waking life can kill ones vitality and satisfaction. It can also represent a part of yourself that you would like to leave behind (to see that part, look at what aspect the dead person may represent).
To see your own death in a dream:This can suggest a transformation in the way you have been, in thought, in feeling, or in attitude. It can also suggest the transition of one phase of your life into a new one.
“Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear?Who made the grasshopper?This grasshopper, I mean-the one who has flung herself out of the grass,the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.I do know how to pay attention, how to fall downinto the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.Tell me, what else should I have done?Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” –Mary Oliver (the Summer Day)
The night before’s dream centered around a vision of a “heart,” more an experience than a physical image. It is a life-altering experience that appears to have a physical form but is not material in essence. The heart experience seems real, but it is not; it appears present, but it is not. I can get it for someone but can’t guarantee that it will work for them. There’s a sense that it brings profound connection and dispels the feeling of separation. I reach into the ether to pull one into existence.
My interpretation of this dream appears to be as cryptic as the dream but reflects something I’ve been psycho-emotionally wrestling with for quite some time. As time has moved on, I’ve developed more and more clarity regarding the thoughts and feelings that have plagued me.
Are we but avatars of One being? Not actual, not separate, with the experience of separateness being illusory born of a system designed to create the illusion built over time.
I wonder if stories of Jesus being sent to earth so that God can experience the human condition are but a human projection or metaphor that reveals a much deeper reality of life?
The creation stories of many cultures also seem to suggest that the “we” we see ourselves as is, but an illusion created by the One.
The reality of death may be part of that illusion because if we are only avatars or expressions, then we were never really born. We are not separate because we were never apart. We are only the illusion of individual beings. As avatars, we may be “experiencers,” aka the “heart of God” or the One. We are both black and white, illumined and dark, gold and lead, wise and foolish, believers or non-believers, loving and hateful, holograms of the One’s expression into the world.
With this view that everything, including what we call “we,” are but God expressions, I seem to have moved from a monotheistic view of God to a pantheistic one. In this view, God, whatever it is, acts as a prism diffracting itself into a myriad of colors (The “we” I’m referring to) but, in essence, is only the One all-encompassing color. The “heart” of my dream is the One we call God.
Shades of the movie Matrix!
Once seen, it changes my relationship with everything I’ve been calling and believing to be “other.”
The strange thing for me is that if this were a true reflection of reality, what would I do with it? In other words, so what? I don’t have an answer for that, yet I somehow feel more at ease with these thoughts than with the belief in separateness. Separateness brings with it fear, helplessness, and vulnerability.
This point of view also seems to answer in part my age-old question of what is my purpose? My purpose in this scenario is just to be, do what I do, experience what I experience, strive for what I strive, feel what I feel, change when I think I need to, and think what I think whenever I think it. That may seem too easy to some, but for me, it’s always been a struggle and probably, to some extent, will remain the same. So, to my list, I’ll add “struggle” with what I struggle with.
A young man begins to awaken from a dream and finds himself at the door of a strangers house. He knocks and is confronted with the strangest dream of all and up until then what had been an ordinary life became very unordinary indeed.
Originally titled The Twelve Laws of Magic follows an unwitting student through his alchemical transformation into a world most people have never thought existed. It changes him but how and how it will change the reader is for you to find out.
In a recent post I talked about the vivid dreams people seem to be having during the Coronavirus lockdown. Several people have shared their dreams and experiences during the lock down and I thought I’d share an example of what many people are experiencing along with my response to them.
Hi , thank you for reading this! Last night I had 2 very distinct dreams: 1st dream: I watched 3 tornados form in my back field (NE), and a bolt of lightening nearly struck my 7 year old, standing on the back porch. I was able to get my son and 2 dogs into our safe spot. We were fine. 2nd dream : Real life -I have 5 cats (we live on 10 acres). My cats are inside/outside . I fear that I will loose them but I also know they are willing to take the risk and are very happy. Dream: I watched 3 large coyotes move in and surround The house/the back porch once again; where the cats love to hang out. I made eye contact with the largest coyote and held its gaze, walk past all of the coyotes and was able to have all the kitties come into the garage and lock it down. No harm came to anyone. I know there was a 3rd and I can’t recall it. I know it’s there though. Honestly it was odd feeling when I woke up, curious and not fearful or worried. In an odd way it was very reassuring that I will be able to keep my loved ones safe. I do believe there will be 3 waves of the virus. Recently I have been connecting on a spiritual side with Gaia and embracing those beliefs. We have started celebrating pagan holidays as well. Thoughts?
Interpretation:I use the image suggestions from the book Morpheus Speaks to assist in the interpretation.
These all seem to be anxiety type dreams and probably reflect the inner emotional turmoil that you are experiencing right now. Bad weather dreams often reflect the state of ones emotions. Children often reflect the ambitions or future aspirations of the mother and in the dream this has been attacked (by the lightning). Note also that lightning can symbolize an inspiration or insight as well. The “safe spot’ could be your subconscious dealing with the ‘troubled waters’/situation/circumstances you see yourself in at the moment and your need to stay safe in order to protect your family.
The kittens can be about vulnerability, yours and your sons, to the wildness of the circumstances you are having to face down (the coyotes). Overall the dream is suggesting that you can face up to the threats you are encountering. The coyotes could also reflect your animal nature, your instinctual feelings. They can also come to us in our dreams as spirit guides and speak to our inner power and their symbolic energies (which yours does). You have it within you to face down whatever threatens you at this time.
Note also that in Native American lore the coyote is a trickster come to stir things up in one’s life and to test one’s mettle and to challenge one’s traditional way of looking at things (this is why some theologians think of Jesus as a trickster symbol). Consider also that the coyote may reflect an aspect of your own personality such as being clever and resourceful (the raven is also one of these animals).
Dreamer’s response(partially edited for privacy):
I felt it was a message that we would be safe, to trust myself and my instincts. I am capable of navigating and caring for my family during these times. My son’s health is compromised and life for all of us in a bit challenging right now.
I didn’t pick up on my internal struggle until this weekend. I see it clearly now, in the dreams about the tornados and in my most recent. I have been on the fence about some very personal beliefs and how to accept the changes that I have undergone and the impact they may have on my relationships. Yet I saw this weekend that I will become stagnant and unhealthy if I do not move forward. Plus, to trust my instinct regardless of how they materialize within the world at large.
This dream is full of very vivid images that mostly relate to the dreamer’s emotional state and they reflect what is going on with them during their day. Note also that with most dreams there is new material or insights that one may not have focused on during the waking hours. The unconscious mind from whence dreams come picks up on what’s happening while the conscious mind is busy trying to survive and during the download process of dreaming can provide a wealth of information that the waking mind may not have noticed. This dream had the potential to create powerful change through new insight. Most dreams if not all come in the service of our health and well-being.
There were also archetypal symbols such as the coyote/trickster in this dream that have somewhat universal meanings beyond the unique meaning that the dreamer brings into the dream.
One of my dreams of this new year ended with these words, “We are each other”. This seemed profound of course, but then I have a tendency to make everything significant.
Okay, it’s a nice sentiment but physical and observational evidence suggests that I’m me and you’re you, I’m over here and you’re over there. We have individual bodies and personalities and I identify with mine and you identify with yours. When I refer to “me”, “mine” and “Bob” I’m pretty sure whom I’m referencing this body as I’m sure you are with regard to your self. Each of us holds the self as separate from other selves i.e. our reference point is located within ourselves.
And I will defend that reference point, its ideas, beliefs, points-of-view and the body that contains it all from anything and everything that is another reference point. In short, I will do whatever is needed to maintain the integrity of the separation between us.
This defense, both conscious and unconscious, uses up a lot of psychic and even physical energy. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to control the image that I have of myself and my world. There’s also the need for approval and maintaining a sense of importance. Most of the time I’m using up so much of what I call my ‘attentional energy’ on my own illusory grandeur that I have little awareness of the grandeur that resides in others or the rest of the universe that’s ‘not Bob”.
What keeps this in place are my judgments i.e. I either look at people in terms of how they are better or how they are worse than me. I also judge all events, situations and circumstances as either being “good” or “bad”. Instead of just accepting people and circumstances for what they are, for what they are being, I judge them and thus maintain the separation between us or I miss the value of the diversity by projecting my beliefs upon them.
Most of the time I do not see that people and moments are exactly as they should be and then I fret and worry and try to change them into my own vision. In short, I am always struggling against the moment. Actually I’m struggling against all existence i.e. the whole universe.
When I react to my feelings about who you are, I separate myself from you. In order to reconnect I need to take responsibility for the feelings that I project upon you.
When I let go of the projection as though it were reality and just let you be I get a glimpse of who you really are. When I also do that with myself, I get a glimpse of who I am as well and at that moment I get to see that at the level beyond our egos and beyond our bodies, we are each other.
Today I posted an article on the Book of Dreams Blog on Becoming Real and wanted to expand on that idea. The thought then struck me that in the Dark Knight blog I often speak to the hidden parts of ourselves and the how and why that material gets hidden in the first place. This blog posting is then an answer to those thoughts.
Most of my writings have been about reality and my relationship to it. When younger I thought that reality was pretty much created by something outside my self and that I was pretty much at the effect of it versus being at cause with it and God forbid I should be responsible for any of it.
The truth was my reality was conditioned by those around me i.e. I pretty much went for acknowledgment of any kind, negative or positive. Why? Because in a state of being separate from others, an individual entity, my only chance of feeling connected i.e. related was to seek and get acknowledgment, or approval. I would therefor do those things that achieved the goal. What I learned to do was to behave in those ways that insured approval i.e. I became something other than myself. This is called behavioral conditioning.
This is where we all begin to develop a mask because often being who we are beneath the mask is often not enough to secure the needed approval. So we fashion a mask that seems to be what people want us to be in order to give us the acknowledgment that we so crave. Note that the people we are seeking acknowledgment from are doing the same thing. So neither of us is being real, we’re all being what we think the other mask wants us to be with each desperately wanting to feel connected. But connection can only happen between real people, not their masks, so there’s no real satisfaction in the relationship.
The problem with this kind of relationship is that we never really get the approval we seek because what we get is for the fake us, not the real us. Most of us then decide that there must be something wrong with us because being ourselves isn’t enough. And the bottom line to this farce is that one cannot truly experience a joyful, happy relationship with anything or anyone because even if we’re loved it is only the mask, the “not me” that is loved. And out of that reality is created, the threat of being found out.
So here we are trying to avoid the pain of being separated by creating an avatar of ourselves so as to feel connected but by definition this isn’t the real us so we still aren’t in relationship, we still don’t feel connected and still don’t feel acknowledged. Can you see how this can become neurotic? We cannot win in this state, nor can anyone else. The masks we wear actually sustain the disconnect we’re hoping to overcome.
But what would happen if we were to support each other in being ourselves, with all the blemishes, habits, doubts and fears that make up a human being? What would happen if we could be like our much younger selves before we learned how not to be ourselves?
What would happen if we stopped enabling each other’s masks? What if we stopped using each other to support our soap operas?