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DreamWork ~ Thoughts to Share

I have a life long interest in Dreams and DreamWork, which has contributed to my writing, drawing and appreciation for "Magical Realism" in movies and animation style.

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  Entrancing Gems of MindJan. 27 2012
 

Entrancing gems of mind, cast up upon the shore
Stumbled on by my waking self
first dismissed as "just a rock."
Waking self is cautious of surprises
particularly those outside of its control.

Both ancient in pedigree, but fresh in the new light of day
Uncountable facets reflect archaic time eternal
and the modest cares of yesterday
Not subject to only the tide of yesteryear
It casts it's light forward into
the dark of tomorrow and futures unseen.

I awake, calling it a dream, but I was only a tertiary
witness to a marvelous staged event.
With minimum volition I played my part
inter-played with untold various characters
only occasionally having recognizable features.

All the facets of these jewels, part of a whole
revealing mysterious shades of thought within
catching fragments of context all the world around
Who is the creator of these gems?
Whose light finds it way into my mind.


Red Bird image, All is askew, except for you. Copyright © Paul Hartsuyker 2012
All is askew, except for you.
Copyright © Paul Hartsuyker 2012

I recently posted this image to my web site and thought to complete the "loop" by also posting it here. The original image came more as a vision, not the usual way I start drawings, all the more important to honor having arrived in such an auspicious manner. I only have a chance to work on it when "paid" work is done, but I think it feels complete. The original working title had been "A visitor from (the land of) uncertainty" and more recently I have settled on "All is askew, except for you." It isn't really an either/or notion, but more of a both/and... construct, that is best with imaginary realms, as they never sit neatly as the waking mind might want. I am including the first sketch and the "final" version. Note that the final version now includes the skewed frame of the original as "it insisted" on being included. I know, such funny language, but the process is more non-rational than easily explainable. I am quite comfortable with this, though it is likely to cause some discomfort with others. Talk among yourselves, carry on....

 
       
   
 
     

Member of International Association for the Study of Dreams
and the Friends of Jung Society, San Diego

      I have chosen to create a separate portal for my overflowing collection of thoughts and ideas about DreamWork, Dreaming and Consciousness. I had been posting them on various social media but they end up being a bit of a random strew that you have to wade through, trying to find the continuity. Perhaps posting here may help collect the pieces.

Question about identity in Dreams: Nov. 5, 2011
     For those who don't know me, I have maintained a Dream Journal, for "3+? decades" and have used this dialogue as a growth experience and knowledge training opportunity, seeing patterns in rapid evolution, sifting out the repeated motifs, noting the 'unusual," as I sit here, listening to a video stream on NPR from Robert Louis Stevenson and his encounters with "the little people," who helped him in his writings. The question that was posed included the puzzle, who is the 'creator' of dreams. If I claim them to be of my own creation(?), how do I become surprised, or alarmed and frightened. James Hollis (Depth Psychology author/analyst) shares the thought of a multiplicity of "selves" only a fraction of which we have any volitional relationship. Are we directing our attention to the Self, the Objective Psyche as suggested by Robert Waggoner.
    I have been doing DreamWork with others for more than two decades, and recently had an unusual experience, and I toss it into the stream to see if it floats, and who may pick it up.
     I had a dream the other night, only part of which I will include here.
     "I am in college with similar age related peers, in a lecture hall, engaging in the lecture, seated in rows of seats, 3 or 4 seats in from the walkway in the middle. I feel to be here appropriately, and am not surprised as the lecturer walks up the aisle, turns to look down my row, and directs a question to me 'directly' using a name (Walter), which while reasonably common, is not my name. But in the dream, my dream ego (the point of view of the one who experiences a dream) is immediately solid with the identity, feels like the lecturer is addressing me with an expectation that I should respond."
     Only upon waking do I question the curiosity of being a differently named and identified person, which, from within the dream, seemed correct.
     I have had many dreams in which I have been a women, animals, disembodied points of view within a scene, a third party observer watching myself, but in each of these cases I did not experience myself as personified by a different specifically named entity, but as myself inhabiting another identity. I currently only have two immediate associations to the personal name, which I will pursue for my own edification, but the question is directed to the aspect of identification being so distinctly other.
     I have not "bumped" into similar dream reports by individuals I have worked with, nor in the body of literature I have read, thus the curiosity.


Listening at the door of the dreaming mind: Jan. 10, 2012

. Our mind "dreams" continuously with bursts of notable activity at intervals in the night, only a few of which we notice. Like ignorant children listening at the door to adults talking, we gather little from the conversation, declaring it so much foreign language babble.
     Oh the arrogance of the little "self" who rules the conversation in another language nonsense, reluctant to imagine there is knowledge transpiring to which we are not privy. Yet this activity is ongoing and is best thought to be the mind talking to itself, in commune with still deeper layers and potentially transpersonal components.
     Some of the conversations are modest in scope, sorting through the items of the day that the little self has had to contend, putting them into the larger context of the Mind that has a far more comprehensive scope of future and past, and always in reference to a greater Self that transcends the individual.
     Some conversations are Large, beyond the scope of the individual who experiences the dream, meant to be attended to by a wide audience, most cultures and thinkers reference these as "Big Dreams."
     To imagine that I create my dreams, with my little self, denies reality. Why would I surprise, scare, puzzle and amuse, with images and concepts grandly beyond any that my waking ego self can imagine, if I am the creator of dreams.
     I sit by the door of the greater mind, listening intently, gaining glimmers of insight, occasionally spoken to directly, but always humbled by the marvel that I am witness to, including the modest limits of my understanding. Learning to understand this language is a life's work, always with the assumption that at the end I will remain a child in the reflection of this larger Self.


Listening at the door again:: Jan. 17, 2012

    To continue. There as many functions and types of dreams as there are people and commentaries, so any characterization, by me or others, is comparable to the parable of the blind men and the elephant, each only perceiving a small point of view, but fervently arguing it to be the truth. Recent research into the levels of norepinephrine during REM sleep suggest that as the stress hormone (one of it's functions) is decreased during REM, it allows more "relaxed" review of charged content, so as to consolidate and integrate, providing hope to PTSD individuals. Again, only one of many aspects of dreams (remember the blind men) and we are encouraged to adopt the attitude of "this/and" rather than "either/or" leaving the 'and' as an open end for further thought. What else might be going on....
     Most recently, as I watched from the cracked open door at the conversation in the other room, I was struck by the variations of deconstruction and construction motifs in some of the content, albeit only a small portion of the flow, but it caught my attention. Since I know that my Mind is constantly updating, reorganizing and re-prioritizing it's use of the neurons (physical structure for the moment only) then some portion of the conversation that I "hear" at the doorway of consciousness, conceivably, will be my "dream egos" view and translation of this process of consolidating and re-building.
     This is not to dismiss more comprehensive reflections on the content and images, but just a very narrow slice, for the moment. Since I only have the subjective lens of my "little self," to witness the "dream egos" view of this stream and dream content, my perception is limited. How I perceive it, invariably takes on the "garments in my subjective closet," which for me, are often "construction motifs." That I should have a dream one night of a dystopian landscape, and not feel an immediate connection to waking events, and have in a subsequent night, a dream of now cleared out space and buildings, followed by yet another night in which I am witness to "someone" connecting some intricate pipes and wires is a small arc of content, but the progression on this one thematic stream seems plausible.
     There were certainly other aspects of the content that had more subjective "grounding" in my awareness, and the dreams were certainly more detailed and substantial that my brief reference here, but... at least some portion of the endless flow of images and stories that I listen to intently from my perch by the door, could be a reflection of this small, but important aspect of consciousness, as witnessed by my "dream ego." My "self" is to my "dream ego" as it is to my "Mind" and as my "Mind" is to the greater "Self." An order of magnitude of unknown scale between each increment. My little "self" is but a small reflection of my "dream ego" and yet my waking attention perceives it (the small "self") to be the one who directs the flow, oh, the delusions of "self-importance."


The "wheel" rolls on:: Jun. 14, 2012

     To continue. The wheel rolls on, as daily life unfolds, yet the parade within steps to a different drummer. With a profound reverence for the spiritual gifts and wisdom that can find their way into my mind, I offer the caveat and question. How to weigh the significance of "this dream element," how to make sense of the more quixotic and curious. I trust the premise that "all dreams come in the service of wholeness" first phrased by ancient visionaries, made a central tenet by Carl Jung, and more recently promoted by many within the dream community, Jeremy Taylor, Montague Ullman, et.al. But I hestitate to imagine that they are all of equally profound weight. Why, because we are also offered the knowledge that some dreams and visions are compensatory, some confirming, some future casting, others sifting the days debris. The waking ego mind that then turns these over in the daylight of thought, tends to settle on "one" of these choices, little suspecting that ego function moves to protect itself, (and us) from troubling knowledge and deflating thoughts, and has difficulty contemplating the more rigorous premise that the inner mind is best recognized for "this and... both and... something else yet to be discovered." Is it compensatory?, is it confirming?, is it profound and destined to reverberate for decades, or is it the necessary "grocery list of today," important in the moment but not to be put in the same category as "Big Dreams."
     I trust my intuition and feelings in this arena, but always maintain a watchful eye/ear to the lightning quick parry of deflection that ego function will push into the mix. Usually a few days of reflection are helpful in this regard to sort the kernel from the chaff, as it takes a few days for consciousness to accept the new knowledge and ego function to then parry and thrust, "the next intrusion." and so the dance continues.
     I recently listened to Anne Hill and her presentation about helping children with their dreams, something I have attended to both personally and clinically. She gave a fine discussion and suggestions. It wasn't the forum for a more careful dissection, but one of the cautions to be considered is that the adults my find the content of a child's dream inherently more difficult to assimilate than the child. The child does not have the fund of knowledge and rational process to confound their experience. I recently have been assimilating a book by Carl Jung on "Children's Dreams," from series of lectures he gave. One of the insights that he offered that I found illuminating is that children's dreams often contain more archetypal material than adults. Children don't have the fund of experience and thought to contribute and they are just emerging from the larger unconscious mind. This emergence of archetypal materials can be very unsettling to the adult mind as it is so transpersonal in nature and confounding to contemplate. Where did this come from? why did it arrive? are the usual questions we ask, but here the answers point to deep and mysterious connections far beyond the simple dismissal of "oh, it must be about the meeting I had yesterday...."
     Ah, more puzzled than before. I trust the ambiguity as being closer to the truth than any well baked answer, however comforting it may seem. The great mind resides comfortably amidst all of the possibilities, forever leaving the door open to the next, and the next....

   
   
 
     

Oh, the questions of a puzzled mind: Aug. 21, 2012 
    While I have valued the insight that "dreams come in the service of wholeness," as a general principle, I have a certain leeriness about "general principles" or absolutes as the nature of MIND includes contradictions, paradoxes, resting side by side with ease. One of the areas of caution, is to assume that the "child at the door" can ever fully comprehend the nature of some of the discussions overheard. Put more simply, can the isolate "self/ego mind" really have any point of objectivity on the larger scope of Self/Great Mind.
    Where this question comes to it's sharpest point, is in regard to autonomous complex elements and the nature of evil, markedly big questions to be sure. Having served in the front lines of inpatient child/adolescent/adult psychiatric programs for twenty-five(25) years, I have been confronted and confounded by some of the more troubling disruptions of consciousness possible. I think it a bit too "easy" to make assumptions about "wholeness" and the nature of what can be encountered while exploring transpersonal space.
    By it's very nature, it's "transpersonal" and to make assumptions that it is all to the good, denies the very real aspect of evil in the world, and it's necessary inclusion in any discussion of "Mind/God." There is material that is truly "Other" however that is understood, and I find it incautious to assume that it has my best interests in mind.
    Autonomous complexes, need I say, are autonomous. Notice the persistence of the "Predator" archetype in mythic and folk literature. Not all characters have a happy ending. This is an alarming notion to hold and contemplate, as it sets the very ground of being a quiver.
    I have been blessed by birth, with a fairly solid ego/center temperament, which has served me well in professional work and interpersonal contemplation and introspection. I feel a kinship to Carl Jung in this regard (no inflation intended) and have encountered elements that moved beyond explanation and safe understanding. Some of explorations by Dr. Rick Strassman (and others..) recognize the fragile nature of our ego/island, but also the consistency of encountering very "other" entities. Very challenging information to integrate into any understanding of mind. Dreams can engage these elements as readily as any other "content" and to place these in the category of archetypal material remains a bit too "neat," for my open ended paradoxical child mind, and to attribute my "wholeness" as the intent of these encounters seems naive at best, and potentially dangerous inflation of my own capacity to understand.
    So, I proceed cautiously, allowing the "general principle" to guide my work, but always leave the door open to that which is truly beyond my understanding, and I am but a child at the door, listening with my limited understanding, to the discussion that I hear...

   
   
 
     

The wonder and persistence of place: Sep. 26, 2012 
    After a particularly stunning dream the other day, I was again struck by two inter-related questions. I have ideas about both, but I am more inclined to pose the questions that challenge any comfortable assumption of what dreams are, rather than speculate on what they "mean" on a personal level or as dream theory.
    The
 first question is a direct outgrowth of the "stunning" dream I had recently. I found myself in an extensive and elaborate "set piece," of a small, closely related, community , which included characters, families, community members, rituals, activities, history, and core beliefs. It included furniture handed down from previous generations. The entire scene was colorful, elaborate, finely detailed, coherent within itself, not full of confabulation or "odd" dream components, and perhaps most important for this discussion, unrecognizable or accountable to waking conscious ego function. It did not include any known people or waking references. My "dream ego" did not seem to be synonymous with my "waking ego function," but I am fully participant and related to the dream people.
    In other words, I awoke without any sense that this had been seen before consciously, in the recent or remote past, nor could I notice any books or other waking references that might have contributed. Yet the entire sequence was "movie ready," "high production value" content. I can create discussion within myself that can attribute meaning and value to the content for myself‚ and while this is personally important, it is not the point of this discussion. I am more than impressed (if that can be the word used??) by the incalculable depth and scope of the dream creator, to provide such a visual and emotional feast. Some would argue that it is a parallel or past life dream, which could be made plausible, but brings up it's own set of questions without really sitting with the wonder. Why this dream, why now, why should it be parsed out to this dreamer? It seems so "over the top" and richly adorned, how lucky am I??
    A somewhat related but different questions emerges from a set of periodic dreams that I have had, which again, are an occasion for marvel and puzzlement.
    In these dreams, I am in a setting which feels familiar, including the sense within the dream that I am in a neighborhood, and nearby streets or places are expected to be there, even if this particular dream doesn't make use of them. When I wake up there is the sense that this is a consistent place that I have been to before. Once again, it doesn't correspond to any waking environment or objective reference that I can bring to mind, is not "identical" time after time, but persistent in that recognizable sense of "I have been here before," in previous dreams.
    The astute student of dreamwork in me can make the leap to meaningful content and connection. This is a "place" in my life that I have been to before. I am "returning" to further investigate and understand a context that I need to "visit" once again. I don't deny the value of this aspect of the process, and try to give it living presence in my life, to strengthen my connection to that aspect, so I may grow in my understanding.
    What I find most engaging and puzzling, is the creativity and wonder (there's that word again) of a consistant, and persistant "place," which is never identical, nor objectively referenced, yet returns in an oddly reassuring manner. In the dream I will have the sense that "here I am again," or "I know this place," yet wake up to the determined sensibility that it was "created" on the fly, as it where, for the purposes of this dream/dreamer. Oh the wonder? Because as this is happening to me, it is also happening in myriad variations, 5-7 times a night, to each and every person on this known world without even proposing other place it might be going on. The "poor" ego function quite willingly sits down in a funk while the little "self" sits in wonder. It is like the aurora borealis, stunning in it's display and implications.
     I am off to sit and wonder... won't you join me??

   
   
 
      Four part drama... pause... then coda: Oct. 1, 2012 
    There is something remarkable about the continuity of dreams, across a night or across long separated intervals. The dream in question awoke me with a startled alarm as it came to a "crashing" scene that could be referenced as the "finale." The dream had a setting (beginning), unfolding (middle), crisis, and a conclusion (ending). I awoke alarmed about the final scene, and pondered the entire dream, sifting it gently for content and understanding. The puzzle is always confounded by the waking egos attempts to "shoehorn" the dream in the context of recent events, while the dream has no such restrictions. It can point to any aspect, past, present, future, or alternate life stream sometimes simultaneously. Poor "little mind" trying to make much sense of such contextually rich dramas.
    In this particular case, I remained awake for 15-20 min. then sank once again below the threshold of everyday consciousness, whereupon the dream picked up, and provided a "coda," with a markedly different tone. All of the same context and characters were present, but here the tone was markedly different, upbeat, humorous and playful. Oh the marvelous architect of dreams, to create the initial dream such that I am awakened in a condition of alarm, fully surprised by what has arrived at my doorstep, then return with a coda fully scripted to allow the "viewer" to leave the theatre of the mind, challenged but not pummeled.
    This isn't without precedence, as others have spoken of their dreams having continuity across a night. Even more remarkable is a sequence of dreams that are strung across a series of nights. These can be separated by "mere" days, or months and years. This suggests a much "larger" agenda than a "mere sifting of the days contents."
    Like chapters is a larger volume, these linked dreams, can build and develop, much like a fine novel. Each can be digested as it arrives and turned in the light of day, to marvel and confound. But more importantly is the contemplation of the series. This is similar to the suggestion to see the multiple dreams of a night as different facets of a larger gem. Each can be markedly different in it's context, content, characters, as separate elements, but, a working assumption can be investigated. These are all appearing on a given night, and can be speculative assumed to be about a shared core. Sometimes this produces marvelous results, in that one dream will illuminate another. They can have the qualtiy of a actors workshop where a theme is given and each author is asked to write a small piece on the theme. Context, characters, tone and complexity can all be different, yet a thoughtful pondering will bring to light, the common theme.
    The fact that these are fairly common dream experience, yet are dazzling in their wonder and catch us by surprise, is extremely humbling and challenging. I am left with the respect for the author, wishing to be invited to the stage party and meet the "illustrious one," who provides such marvels, day in, day out, across years of growing and learning.
   
   
 
      Companions on our journey: Oct. 2, 2012 
    Depth psychology offers many deep and engaging ways of looking at the many faceted jewel of the little self. Shadow, anima/animus, are key landmarks on this interior journey, but closer to our side rides a variety of companions who we may not acknowledge to ourself, but are more easily seen by those who are close to us.
    These are the complexes. Did you imagine, "little self, waking ego" to be of a different substance than a complex. Not really, "little self, waking ego"
is one of the complexes, differentiated only by our attachment to it and our identification with it as to "who we are." Yet, wait a moment, one of disquiet and disruption, usually during an emotional tussle with our partner, and who seems to take center stage??? An alternate self that is very much alive and charged with energy, but of a different coloration, with shades and hues we tend to disown in quieter moments, and do not want to talk about, for fear of stirring it to life again?? These complexes are constant traveling companions, aspects of "shadow," every ready to move to center stage when called forth to defend the realm.
    Complexes are a collection of acquired attitudes, emotions, self-perceptions, and perceptions of others. The "grandest" of these is "waking ego," with whom we quickly identify, but who among us have not heard feedback from others that we are acting in some less flattering way. "You are frightening, when you are angry," or, "You are using self-devaluing comments in broad sweeps," "which does not fit the general person that I know you to be."
    There are many variations on this, but each is characterized by an emotional charge, different sets of attitudes and ideas about self, ways of acting and body language. To imagine that the waking ego self is stable and persistent is an illusion. Perhaps a helpful one, particularly in the first half of life, but in the second and "third half" of life it becomes less tenable as anything solid.
    I am reminded of throwing spinning tops as a child, something that is little known today, but serves in this moment as a useful visual analogy. When the top is thrown, it spins at a fierce rate, and is relatived stable and holds position. It can wander, first being in one area of our imaginary "vend" diagram with many overlapping circles, then shifting to another adjacent circle of influence, which shares some of the characteristics of the first, but has a different center and flavor.
    As the "top" energy decays, or outside influences intrude, the "top" wanders and gyrates, moving from perceived center to another. In each moment, from the "top's" point of view, this is "who I am," and it acts as if no other point of reference is even present. These complexes can be very intrusive and dominating, like an unruly senior actor who has always played for the center of the stage, they are reluctant to leave, and rightfully don't take well to challenges to their hold of the psychic energy. They usually have been with us since early in our life, adaptive strategies of emotional posture and defense, that artfully and curiously protect the threatened "little self," but have an eerie way of holding the foreground once granted.

    Being willing to acknowledge their presence, recognize them in the reflective mirror of contemplation, requires humility and patience. We are challenged by the comments of others, to know these companions on our journey.
   
   
 
      Dreams and "Reality": May 5, 2013
    An individual on a separate forum, posted a short dream fragment that included the actions in the dream (pushing the 'on' button on a re-connected TV) having an apparent immediate effect on waking reality upon awakening (the TV turned on remotely in another room as observed by another person), leaving the dreamer more than a little puzzled. I reponded...
    We, collectively, tend to draw sharp lines between subjective world and objective world, and... for the most part this works fairly well, a comfortable illusion. It's broadly adaptive and roughly corresponds to general experience. Except, when it doesn't. Your story is a wonderful example, I appreciate your willingness to share and prompt this conversation. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli had a long and productive conversation on these issues, agreeing towards the end of their lives, that the research and discussion will have to continue into future generations, as each reached out from their primary domain to embrace the understanding of the other. They proposed that "it" is a continuous, seamless, field, "two sides of the same coin." Normal conceptual thinking and casual observation doesn't conform to this but more thoughtful encounters make this a more accurate perception.
     I had the funny memory of growing up in a household in which my father had the uncanny capacity to "heal" mechanical devices, motors, toasters, etc. by almost a hands-on approach. The wonderful contrast was my mother who had the inverse capacity, the ability to make the toaster spark and quit by proximity alone, ala Wolfgang Pauli and his "famous" Pauli effect. Much like RB's comment, I have always included an approach that is cautious about "speaking ill" of computers or printers too loudly, and like my father, often make something work, with my "magic finger," much to the puzzlement of others.
     Dreaming is that "interior" venue we all visit, which is inherently transpersonal in nature, and allows remote knowledge, prescient perception, and physical manifestations such as you experienced. The increased presence of emotional valence of these interior perceptions tends to correspond to the likeliness of "external" manifestations (again, like your description), such as remote knowledge of a tragedy via dreams (ala war trauma, accidents, etc.) knowledge of rapture (remote knowledge of a joyous birth via dreams) and poltegeist phenomena classically associated with the emotional intensity of adolescence.
     If this were to happen to me, I would be compelled to "push my 'on' button," in my life, and "wake up" and pay attention to the effect I generate in the field around me when I deliberately try to "re-connect" the elements that were set aside. The capacity seems to be in close contact with my "immature feminine" "sleeping" self and is witnessed by my more mature feminine aspect. If I keep in mind that the elements of my dreaming are first best understood as subjective aspects of self, not the objective people I pin them to, how do I characterize my "wife" who both pushes aside my connections, and recognizes when I re-connect them. Wonderful fun. Since it doesn't sit easily with our "normal" perceptions, most people dismiss these encounters or don't notice, as there is no easy explanation in our current language. But, if it happens to me, and I notice and take some action to honor the manifestation, it tends to increase the likelihood of a return visit, baring in mind that it is inherently non-linear, non-rational, non-predictable, but still, just as likely, particularly when I open the door for "it's" return.

     Now, where is that "on" switch, I need to wake up.
   
   
 
      Dreams and Change: May 5, 2013
    I had a series of dreams last night that I found remarkable, both for their content and the potential implications of their "meaning." The area of question that is prompted is the mapping of content to (1)objective world, (2)subjective world and (3)interior brain process.
    (Dream Fragment #1) "I look up outside with a companion to notice two very large trees swaying intensely in the wind, leaning over precariously, particularly aggravated by some overly large kids toys strewn in the branches left their by one of my daughters. I decide I may have to climb up and remove some of them to lessen the burden, only to watch as the trees finally crash down onto the house, partially crushing a section. I find this alarming, in the dream. While examining the damage, I watch as a rolling earthquake moves through the ground, rippling the ground in front of me and further crashing parts of the already damaged house. I quickly move to inspect the damage and note that my neighbors house has some damage, but they are unhurt. We are all grateful, still stunned by the enormity of the event."
     First, objectively upon waking, I noted the time and day, and did not find any immediate correlation to weather, or earthquakes, but thought to stay alert to the potential, if this was a forewarning of some kind?? After a suitable interval, I fell back asleep and then had a dream (Dream Fragment #2) "of sorting, beginning repair, tossing out of less useful objects, saving others and noting some would be useful later. Some re-structuring would be necessary, but the disaster also made the process of re-building some parts in a different way possible, which I found productive as an assortment of people assisted me in the process and I directed them. This was fairly upbeat in tone, constructive would be a useful adjective."
     As the day moved on, no weather, no earthquakes, so the most immediate aspect of (1)objective check-ins are addressed. I am savvy enough to know that dreams are non-temporal, so this could just as easily portend a yet to happen, "objective" event, time would tell.
    So, second check-in, how does this relate to the perceived (2)subjective experience. Owning all of the elements, as "mine" I find some correlations, but "waking ego" is tricky stuff, lightening fast and prone to deflecting, so a three(3) day reflection interval is often useful, as well as a periodic re-visit farther down the road, to see what fits, after the reactivity of "waking ego" has had time to assimilate the revelations. Since this "just" happened, I will have to await some settling of the content and time to better assess subjective connections.
    Which brings me to a "third premise," always watchful for the "this and..." aspect of depth psychology which assumes multiple determinants can be all operative, while keeping the door open for yet additional understandings. "Waking ego" is quick to prematurely close the discussion, in case some uncomfortable "truth' slip through, so keep the "door cracked open."
    What is this (3)third understanding. Our current understanding of brain physiology includes the knowledge of it's "plastic" nature. Learn something "new," and new connections, literally, are made in the physical structure, pathways strengthened. Move on in our life and old "paths" lose their strength, fade, and in some cases, get recruited by nearby areas for entirely new functions. This is a remarkable capacity allowing recovery from injury, and acquiring entirely new data sets as we march through our years. Sometimes we need wholesale upheaval and alteration, rather than piece by piece tinkering.
    So, back to the content of the dream. Imagery of strong elemental forces, such as fierce winds, storms, earthquakes, etc. are of a "low occurrence value" in the continuum of dream content, meaning that if we watch a bunch of dreams, these kind of elements don't occur very often, and when they do, they are often observed during times of transition and turmoil.
    Since there wasn't any, as of yet, (1)objective phenomenological correlate, and the (2)subjective check-in so far has only generated a few sparks, the (3)third premise comes into play. Imagine for the moment that a given dream can simultaneously represent all three of these streams and yet others (4,5,...). So, I am the observer of the brain, as it prunes and re-arranges a large section of territory, as part of the normal process of growth and development. From the "dream ego's" point of view, which is the only immediate perspective that I have available, sections are crashing down, whole branches are coming down, burdened by left over stuff, and taking out adjacent sections with it. Then rippling changes move through, as a second pass, further altering the landscape, but inevitably bringing about new growth, pruning, and re-purposing of sections. I experience the dream as a visual/emotive narrative, but what if it wasn't necessarily directed to my attention, but just a chronicle of activity which I happened to able to retrieve as a "dream," sitting by the door, listening in the conversation, only partially understood, if at all.
    Dreams are remarkable, and seen to be multi-variant in their purpose, content, level of meaningfulness, all going on in the night, and only occasionally referenced as a "dream," that I actually remember. If I take notice, do "something," like this Blog chronicle, then the likeliness that I will be assisted or informed by the "Self" are increased, at least that is my experience, and the recommendation of Jung and Marie Louise vonFranz. So much for this meander...
    Now, what might be a (4)fourth, (5)fifth, and (...)other premise. Experience has taught be to ask the question, listen for an answer, as voices drift into my attention as I sit beside the door...
   
   
 
      Reflections and Memory: July 12, 2013
    I had a series of memory flashes recently, triggered by a poignant song that was playing along while I was otherwise focused. It pulled me into a vortex of feelings and reflections, about a person from an earlier part of my life. She was pivotal in my early relationship development, and having thought of her on previous occasions, I was struck with the lingering feeling intensity this time around. Why this time, why now? Feelings are useful clues to the interior of our lives and one of many ways that the unconscious "flags" elements in the "exterior" world that have meaningful connections to what is going on inside. It is a form of projection. Generally, the unconscious does not have direct access to immediate verbal expression, unless "leaked" through slips of the tongue. More commonly it makes itself known though dreams, fantasy, and all too commonly as events in the "exterior" world that spark strong emotional responses, often unexpectedly, such as movies, passages in a book, something someone says, and this event, etc. Here was a person from deep past (5 decades?) making an insistent visit in the present. This provokes the reminder that, for the unconscious, timelessness is the temporal framework, and it is waking consciousness that tries to keep timelines current.
    So, what could be provoking this tumult of memory. The best understanding that I would offer myself, is that this memory of a more innocent time, with a genuinely sincere and kind young feminine image was needed to compensate for a "lop-sided" aspect of my current thinking/feeling self. For the unconscious mind the "key" element is "feeling," so, the intensity of the emotional connection, during that time past, and the importance this person played in formulating my inner relationship with love of another, is a tribute to them and a strong statement of how these emotional events serve as "templates" for later use by the dreaming mind.
    I had multiple "other" relationships in the subsequent years, but they don't pop to mind as fervently as this person does, which makes it all the more curious that she pops forward now.
    So, what do I do about this?? First allow that other thoughts and feelings are just as likely to be just as relevant, and to watch for them as the days unfold. Waking mind tends to want to say "this is it," in part as an ego-defensive, pre-emptive response. Take some action to recognize the content that is seeking recognition. Writing this blog is one example, actually writing to the person in question is also part of the process, as part of "taking some action" (ala Marie Louise von Franz admonition to her Depth Psychology students in response to dreams). I make no assumptions that this is exclusively "my" process, as this is the claim holding attitude of "little self." Is something happening in "that person's" life that nudges it way into my awareness. While this question is immediately "transpersonal" in it's nature, I always need to keep an open-ness of mind that I do not "know" the extent of mind. The dreams I have every night are sure reminders of this aspect, and a lifetime of drawings that "just appear" from beneath my hand, cause me to be cautious of any "claim" to ownership.
    Does this "actual" person need to hear all of my inner dialogue, no, not really, that is self-indulgent at best, but a friendly contact is certainly warranted. I trust my intuition, as it has been a faithful companion and guide along a long and winding path. I tend to be better off, if I follow it's gentle nudging. If I ignore it's soft voice, "stuff happens," as they say. That which is not attended to from within, tends to manifest as "accident, or incident, symptom, or sychronicity" to paraphrase Carl Jung. If I have given this event it's proper attention, I can expect some form of affirmation in dream or fantasy. If I am "off" then a good thump on the head can be expected.
    Watching the fantasies and associated feelings are just as important as DreamWork.
    Just as I wrote that last sentence... the same song came on the stream I enjoy.
Perhaps I am going in the correct direction?? Careful there Paul, hubris provokes the trickster everytime. ;>)
   
   
 
     

Useful are, Invented Dreams: Sep 26, 2013
    The careening arrow of time, relentlessly moves on, and I, the surprised passenger, catapult along, happy to be.
    While sitting in converse with another, I gave a fancifully brief, "invented" dream to make a point about the non-temporal overview that seems to manifest in dreams and creative activities. It (the invented dream) was "made up" on the spot, but it reminded me that this is an ever present process, this upwelling from the unconscious and realms beyond, which we (I) tend to quantify in "dreams" parsed out in the night. Yet it is always present, spilling out in associations, turns of phrase, intuitions, transient thoughts. The more I thought about this "invention of the moment," I noted it's strong compliance to the qualities of dreams, even tho it emerged mid-thought while fully(?) awake in conversation with another person. It included a reference to an imaginary person, (I gave him a name with ease, tho I have no immediate association to the name chosen??), presient knowledge, confabulated actions and dramatic exaggerations, all with emotive tension and surprise.
    [The actual "dream" as I told it in the moment was, "I am traveling, by myself, and come to an intersection, and have the strong impression that I should turn left immediately, which I do, only to see two actions simultaneously. I note a long lost friend on the right sidewalk (Alfred?) and watch in the rear-view mirror, as a massive/horrific collision of vehicles occurs in the intersection, I had just allowed myself to be diverted from, by the intuition to "turn left."]
    While I have personally and clinically had multiple version of "this dream," this particular one was "created" and told in the moment as a useful invention. Upon secondary reflection, after the fact, I noted strong pun elements in the directionality of the action, always to be looked for in any unpacking of dream content. "Going straight, or turning right, invited disaster, only following my intuition, turning left, avoided the calamitous potential, and produced the charmed encounter." Our literal waking ego mind, hears only the implied directionality in it's concrete form, but the "inner" ear notes that I should not insist on "right," as in being right, nor straight, as in inflexible, but left, as in "the path left chosen." I then encounter "Alfred" of which I have no personal association, but my first "hit" in a search brings me to a long posting about the "Mentor" archetype in which Alfred is noted as the mentor of Batman, an association that I fine useful. He is on the right, as in "correct" and his smile confirms the connection. The rearview mirror is that which reflects backwards upon the path not chosen.
    For a momentary concoction, in the midst of a rapidly flowing conversation, "this imaginary dream," ends up having more to it, beyond the making of a point, about the non-temporal nature of dreams and creative activities. It is an important reminder that dreaming is the primary condition of mind, and the epiphenomena of my thoughts, skittering upon the surface, like drops of water on a heated skillet, here for the moment, vanishing evanescently. I am not the source of the energy, that bubbles up, like magical springs, nourishing the attentive visitor, and creating life forms in it's wake. Grateful I am, to acknowledge the source, however unknowable. Tis' the fool who claims any presumption of authorship, as I am but a conduit for a grand designer. The spontaneous noun/verb inversion just used, invokes Yoda, another Mentor figure, which tends to confirm that I might be "on to something."

Off I go, to search for the source of that spring....

   
   
 
      So Here is the Puzzle: Feb 23, 2015 ~ (I know, it has been awhile)
    I have had multiple times in my life, in which a dream has been continuous over several days, or in a series of dreams in a single night. These always intrigue me, but more recently, one particular night series caused a flutter of thought.
    I awoke near dawn, in the midst of a particular drama, sat up briefly to drink some water, then settled back down for the expected last cycle of sleep-dream before actually getting up. Hovering in a hypnogogic state pondering the dream just witnessed I could sense it's intent to continue. I slipped under sleeps undertow, only to awake 90 min. later to a coherent continuation of the prior dream, as in another chapter of a larger saga.
    Curious, what was I witness to?, what might this suggest about the nature of the underlying mind??? If I now hover in the transitional state of near awake, an active fantasy can be witnessed. A careful balancing act of remaining unmoving, quiet, yet not tumbling back down sleeps dark corridor. What a puzzle, the drama is quietly going on, now, just below the surface, of full consciousness, unhindered by me, as if once again, I am that wide eyed child, hovering by the door, listening to the adult conversations, sensing their intelligent coherence, while only vaguely understanding any of the actual content. This conversation may, or may not, be vaguely related to me. In fact, my adult 'self' in this moment, is highly suspicious of any assumptions about the nature of the origin of dreams and who may or may not be the audience, or even the suggestion that there is an objective audience. Yes, quite often, my dreams are profoundly instructive, as if a portion of the stream is made to address me, if I might be listening?? At other times, the agenda seems unknowable despite the most vigorous scrutiny and reflection. It is as if, there is a vastly larger MIND, which is involved in inner dialogue, (with itself?? parts of itself??) which may then appear as a dream. Sometimes, the dream seems to be a reflection upons "it's" own process which I can, or not, make any better sense of, with my witness being a brief aside.
    The point that is more relevant, to this particular discussion, is that the continuant nature of a series of dreams, in one night, or nights, makes it seem to be apparent, that there is a continuity of consciousness, within that part that dreams. We are fortunate to note that we awake each day, having the general sense of continuity of our personality and it's story, our individual life, from day to day. What is suggested by this particular dream reflection, is that the same continuity is very much in evidence, as noted in the fragmented glimpses I get, in serial dreams and hypnogogic, active imagination. "It" has agenda, continuity, development, as a "life" and perhaps, a world of "others," or a world, vast in scope.
    Carl Jung, famously noted this in his ongoing "active imagination" sessions, as chronicled in "Memories, Dreams and Reflections." In this remarkable book, there is the introduction to him, of characters, who have agenda, separate thoughts, things that need be communicated. The point that he makes is that the witness (himself) need keep a distance (stay by the doorway) and not disappear into the fantasy (troublesome word here), but interact with the characters, as they appear, ask questions, and note that they provide a dialogue, of which he (Jung) is not always well prepared to receive. They can say things he finds profoundly distressing.
    How is it that I (or Jung, or anyone else) can be surprised, and alarmed, by content, if for any moment I pretend to imagine that I have some authorship of the flow of content. It can rude, intrusive, dismissive, of my petty scope, and needs, pursuing a much wider field, and occasionally dragging me along, if I insist that I want to learn and grow.
    Sometimes, I have repeated dreamed of "places" in which a dream takes place. These are not necessarily places I have ever been to (to my knowledge) but I awake with a sense of familiarity, as in, "I have been there before, some of the buildings or settings, seem familiar," once again provoking that sense of continuity. I have had the persistent appearance of a character, across time, of which I can not in waking consciousness, deliberately, specify, as to being anyone known, or even composited of known, but there they are again, with a continuity to their personalities, and having an agenda of their own.
    "Author, author," I call out in the darkness, "show thy self, explain this convoluted dance!!"
   
     
   
     

Making the Case for Multiple Aspects of self in Dreams.: Jul 16, 2015 ~
    Curious dreams as of late. Last night, in particular, highlighted the question, which is the title of this section of my musings. An overly extended dream with a spiraling development of increasingly strange elements, that seems to take a strong case for multiple aspects of self interacting in dreams.
    The parts that are relevant to this discussion, start relatively early in the dream when I am going on a skiing adventure with several others, some of whom I know. It is now late in the evening and I decide that I really should send a note, or communicate with my wife B. about my plans since I clearly won't be home anytime soon, and I had left no notice of this adventure.
    I pulled out some kind of cell phone device, which I immediately find frustrating. Now the important aspect of this is, that this tends to be a fairly reliable 'dream sign' for me and others, in that mechanical and electronic device don't behave properly, or as expected in dream states. The hope is that this would trigger an awareness of the dream state. In this particular dream, the efforts to try to use a device persists as do my frustrations, while attempting with multiple versions of the the device, including help from others and offers to use alternate devices, all of which I find frustrating. Almost as if the persistence of the motif, with variations, would provoke a response?
    For the point of this discussion I am deliberately choosing to not discuss the content as meaning, though I recognize that there is meaning implied in the flow of images and situations. What is more intriguing in this particular dream is the presentation of this motif of, 'trying to communicate with a device unsuccessfully' as a very effective dream sign. Now, who is presenting this motif, to what purpose, why the persistence in maintaining the motif, with variations, almost as if there is a part of the self that is attempting to communicate with 'me' the dream ego, to take notice and 'wake up' to the reality of the dreaming condition.
    The dream continues with a series of frustrations, mostly laughably self constructed, that seem to spiral towards a more deteriorated condition of mind, with many of the principal dream characters attempting to intervene in some manner to assist me (dream ego). Again, disregarding for the moment, the meaning component, of the content, I choose to focus more on the 'meta-agenda' of multiple aspects of the self, as depicted as dream characters attempting to assist me (dream ego) to a more stable condition as the dream seems to unravel. I move along, and consider that 'all I need now, is something scary' and of course, by intention and expectation, there is just such an apparition around the corner, which in it's expected predictability causes my dream ego to smile, as if to say, “really.” I try some 'tests' of my state, like looking at my hands, pushing one finger into the palm of the other to see if it goes through, repeating a stabilizing mantra, but these seem to not have the desired effect, as I remain entrenched in the flow of content, unable to wrestle my focus free. There is a subtle sense that I am dreaming but I am unable to sufficiently respond to lift myself into a more lucid state.
    In an attempt to communicate my condition to somebody (Who?? My unaware self??), I attempt to write on a piece of paper with a pencil, and characteristically find this very difficult, another extremely good dream sign, as written words are noticeable fragile and fugitive. And, sure enough the pencil doesn't seem to write at all well but with persistence I am able to write the letters, “DREAM” on the wrinkled paper. You would think that this would be sufficient to prompt my awareness to my condition and I truly wonder at the ingenuity of the dreaming self to have me try to write this word so that my witnessing dream ego might be provoked into awareness. Sadly, this was not meant to be, as the deteriorating condition in the dream and the sense of urgency propelled me to wake up, very shaken by the experience, with a lingering residue that remained for the rest of the morning.
    Who was attempting to assist me (dream ego) in becoming lucid in my dream. What part was persisting in the presentation of dream signs and motifs trying to bring me into awareness. This kind of dream scenario and series of motifs make a strong suggestion for alternate aspects of self contributing to the process. My discussion does not even attempt to address the “elephant” sitting in the middle of the discussion, who, again, created this entire scenario, as I, me (dream ego), finds it very frustrating, while in the dream and certainly upon waking. If, big if, I am proposed to be the constructor of my dreams, why would I come up with such a deteriorating scenario, unless it was just an effort by some part (who) to propel my waking self to notice age related limitations of the mind my waking self would rather choose to ignore.
    As Jeremy Taylor has stated along with others in the field, 'the dream' does not come to tell me something I already know.,This statement suggests that there is an implied 'other' that seeks to inform me (waking ego) as to the condition of the psyche, whether through compensation or affirmation. Carl Jung makes a repeated distinction about some of the more autonomous aspects of Psyche, some of whom he engaged during Active Imagination. He makes no mention as to the specifics of my discussion, but does attribute the dream creation to be a function of unconscious, a kind of mystic 'black-box' about which we can only make inferences, which are inherently subjective in nature, after the fact, and obfuscated by waking ego function, in it's ever vigilant efforts to shield itself from too traumatic an encounter.
    I remain puzzled throughout the remainder of the day, and eventually feel provoked into writing about the event and my thoughts, always a valuable tool for generating some objective distance to the remarkably subjective and intriguing content that has been presented. Without any expectations of resolve or clarity, I wrestle with the questions. Who do I dance with to this inner melody?

 

   
   
 

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