Wednesday 15 June 2016

Altercation As Waking Dream: Post #2

I am analyzing a confrontation I witnessed recently in the baggage claim of our local airport. Two families got into an escalating and insulting verbal exchange that eventually necessitated the intervention of airport security. Scroll down to my last post to read what happened.

Watching this incident unfold left me unsettled. Even though I was only a bystander, I kept reliving the event hours after it occurred. I kept wanting to side with one of the two squabbling parties, but then I remembered that both parties were acting inappropriately.

A waking dream
The kind of mental ruminating that I was doing was a clear sign that I had just gone through a waking dream. Waking dreams are experiences we have during our waking hours that leave us rattled. They don’t “go away,” and there is usually some sort of injustice represented that leaves us feeling wronged—even if vicariously so.

It is not my goal in this series of posts to meticulously analyze this waking dream. Rather, I want to examine the phenomenon of the waking dream itself. So instead of guiding you, the reader, through a detailed analysis of this dream, let me briefly describe what I came up with on my own:

My own dream analysis
The incident involved two families. Each one had parents and each one had children (although one “child” was now an adult). Each family had a child with an impairment of one kind or another. Each family felt wronged by insults that had been hurled at it by the other family. When the peacekeepers arrived, they, too, were confrontational and did not seem to be defusing the conflict.

The part of this dream about the two conflicted families rings a bell loudly within me. There is an old conflict inside of me (newly reignited) about what I wish to maintain as my own “inner family” of thoughts and attitudes, and there is definitely a conflict between some older concepts that I have carried for years and some newer ones that I am exploring.

The part of this dream that was the most instructive to me was understanding that neither of my concepts of inner family is flawless; they both have elements of “impairment.” Further, the confrontational method I have been using on myself to try and keep peace within me is counterproductive. The overall message of the dream is for me to relax, to be less judgmental, to be patient with the imperfections of all of my inner facets, and to ease up a bit.

What I found so extraordinary about this incident—as I invariably do with waking dreams in general—was the timing of the event and its seeming appearance “just for me.” There were no other witnesses until the police arrived. Did life really put these two families at my disposal, as they acted out an unpleasant play for my instruction? Can that really be true?

We’re going to explore that possibility thoroughly in the next two posts.

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