Monday, 16 January 2017

Part Of A Cocker Spaniel Eating Salmon



 photo courtesy of jarde.org
Sometimes dream imagery is so bizarre that it is ludicrous even under the most implausible circumstances. That was the case with a dreamer who dreamed that she was at the veterinarian’s office with just the head of her cocker spaniel. There was no gore, no dismemberment, no surgical procedures. It was simply that, from the dream’s perspective, the only important element of the dog was its head. Here’s her dream:

A dream about a cocker spaniel’s head (among other things)
My dream has two parts. In the first part, I am standing outside looking at the night sky. I am not alone. There is a crowd of people all interested in the same thing. We are watching as a strange and frightening substance keeps falling out of the sky, as if it were rain. Each piece of this stuff is about a foot long and it is elongated and oily. It’s kind of the shape of a string of mucous or slobber. It’s ominous and threatening, and there is a huge amount of it coming down. We’re all nervous. Then the scene shifts and I am in the veterinarian’s office with my cocker spaniel (who, incidentally, in real life, died years ago). But it’s not the whole dog, just his head. That doesn’t seem to be a problem, and I don’t even know where the rest of his body is. But the vet is examining him and then tells me that my spaniel needs to eat a lot more salmon. That’s when I wake up.

Some observations about dreams
No question about it, dreams, when considered at face value, can be strange! That strangeness is what puts so many people off if they don’t understand how dreams work. After all, what sense can one possibly make of a series of disjointed images, first about globs of junk falling out of the sky, and then about body-less dogs needing to eat salmon? Our logical minds want to dismiss this as absurdity.

That is because we have yet to translate the dream’s “language” into English. Imagine if we were to suddenly come upon an obscure, indigenous tribe in Brazil, and the tribal leader suddenly started entreating us passionately in his language—one that no one could understand. It would be similar to looking at an absurd dream. There would be sounds, ones that we could recognize as human. We could probably even imitate most of them. But as for making sense of them, that would be beyond us.

The same is true with dream language. In the dream above, we have a series of images, any one of which we can recognize and understand by itself. Put them all together, and what we end up with is gibberish.

Like the tribal leader, there is a message of vital importance that wants to be delivered. Our first job is to become translators, and that’s what we’ll do on Wednesday when we begin to decipher this odd series of images, understanding them as metaphors.

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Saturday, 14 January 2017

A Dream About BART: Concluding Post



 Photo courtesy of vaelen.org
I’ve been working with a dreamer who dreamed that she got stuck in a turnstile while trying to use the San Francisco’s BART. When she and I worked together to isolate the dream’s symbols and to make metaphoric associations, there was a clear set of themes that emerged. (Scroll down to my last posts to follow along.)

Analyzed metaphorically, the dream seems to imply that the dreamer is trying to travel through the “greater metropolitan area” of herself. But she can’t tell if she’s “coming or going.” She’s with other parts of herself who have no problem, but she is carrying “excess stored mass.” She has the “certificate” giving her permission, but she is experiencing problems. She tries unsuccessfully to go through the “control room.” Finally, it is a “magical” solution that gives her hope.

There was an additional symbol which she and I discussed at length. It was her reference to not knowing if her companion was male or female. We talked about how, in dreams, feminine energy often represents a more intuitive quality, whereas masculine energy is more assertive and demonstrative.

As with all dreams, the only person who can really decipher it and put it into context is the dreamer herself.

The dreamer discusses her own dream
The first word that comes to my mind is indecision. Oh boy! Does that ever describe me. I have been stuck so many times in my life, not knowing which direction to go, or knowing it and being unable to act on it. That’s the whole masculine-feminine reference in my dream. It’s both an intuitive and an assertive obstruction. I know I have permission to do what needs to be done—that’s the “certificate.” And I know that I have earned the right. But the dream is correct that I carry a bunch of attitudes around with me, and I try to manipulate things so that I don’t have to face the decision. It never works.

So far, the dream is just repeating what I already know. But now comes the part that is really interesting to me. It’s the part that talks about how there is a solution to my problem, and it has to do with “magic.” That reference came from the dream’s image of sprinkling Disney-like fairy dust all over myself. I have to smile, because that is a lot like an image used by my yoga teacher during a recent visualization she led us through. She said to have us imagine a crystalline sheath of light descending over us to block out all the world’s distractions so that we could concentrate better. I have to say, that visualization worked for me; I felt a lot calmer afterwards. So maybe I do need to bring that technique into my regular decision making in general. I’ll give it a try.

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Friday, 13 January 2017

A Dream About BART: Post #3



                                                   photo courtesy of sfphototour.tripod.com
On Wednesday a dreamer isolated the symbols in her dream about getting stuck in a BART turnstile. She then made comments on each one, supplying her own metaphoric associations. (Scroll down to my last post to read our interaction.)

Today, I’ll take her comments about each symbol and string them together to reassemble her dream in its metaphoric version. However, I will make one significant change. If you read her comments, you’ll see that she made them all in past tense. I will restate them in present tense. Dreams are most often commentaries about a current issue in the dreamer’s life, and it helps to hear the dream message stated as such. Also, I will add phrases like, “There is a part of me” or “…my own inner…” to remind the dreamer that all aspects of the dream represent a facet of her own psyche.

As you read, try to pick out the most prominent themes that are stated.

A BART user’s dream
I am using the part of me that gets me around my own internal community and greater metropolitan area. But I can’t tell if I’m coming or going, starting or finishing. I can tell that I’m with another part of myself, but I have no specifics on who it is. I have different types of relationships with the two sexes, but I have no idea which this is. I need to get past the spot where I get in and get out again. I have a certificate of permission to do this. It shows that I have paid for the right to use the system. My companion—who is a part of myself—has no trouble. But I’m carrying a lot of excessive stored mass which makes entry impossible. I try to find a way around my dilemma by going through my own inner control room. But there’s no way out from there. And the part of me that’s the control person objects to my being there. But she suggests a different approach: using an otherworldly substance that I have access to within myself. I apply this to my person, to my body. It is attractive and compelling—very alluring. It’s magical, and things can happen in this magic that don’t happen in normal life. I’m not yet absolutely positive this will work, but I am counting on it.

Initial thoughts
What a delightful dream! And one that clearly presents both the dreamer’s dilemma and the dilemma’s solution. The dreamer says she is trying to travel through the “greater metropolitan area” of herself. But she can’t tell if she’s “coming or going.” She’s with other parts of herself who have no problem with this travel, but she is carrying “excess stored mass.” She has the “certificate” giving her the right to do what she is doing, but she is experiencing problems. She tries unsuccessfully to go through the “control room.” But finally, it is a “magical” solution that gives her hope.

Tomorrow, we’ll get the dreamer’s comments.

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