Dream catcher 7/9/12
Last night’s dreams:
I was in M’s house. It wasn’t like his real house though. It was more inner city. M wasn’t feeling well and he needed weed. He asked me to go and get it for him. To do so, I was going to have to go outside and cross a sort of barren old park and then go into I didn’t know what kind of neighborhood to find the dealer. I felt so uncomfortable about it. I also didn’t understand how he could ask such a thing of me. Why would he put me in that kind of jeopardy? I looked outside and thought that at least it was daylight, but as I hesitated, the sky was growing darker. I thought, “even if I go now, it will be dark on the return”. I was worried about being mugged or accosted in some way. I was worried about getting caught and arrested. I really didn’t want to do it.
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This dream is immediately interesting to me. At first interpretation, I could say it’s a dream about negative Animus putting me in danger. But there is another angle to it. Last night, I was listening to a podcast about Jungian Analysis and I was thinking about the fairy tale work that Marion Woodman and Robert Bly do; the same fairy tale work I do in my workshops. I was thinking about my impulses and feelings when hearing the tales. I always want to cut to the chase; kill the bad guy, cut off my long hair and use it as a rope to climb down from the tower, etc… I always want to take matters into my own hands.
Couple this with the understanding that I have a lot of difficulty around “trusting the process”, a lot of impatience, and I have a rather profound revelation on my hands.
As a child, my parents were children themselves. They did not know what they were doing. They did not (or could not) guide us, they did not know what was best for us or how to care for us beyond basic physical needs. My brother and I were just kind of thrown into life and left to our own devices; to essentially take matters into our own hands. Trusting a higher authority or, in the case of the unconscious Self, a deeper authority, is therefore extremely uncomfortable for me.
In so many of the fairy tale interpretations, we find that the reward of Individuation is given to the hero or heroine who follows the path as it unfolds before them. They do their tasks as the tasks present themselves until the next door opens or the next guide comes along with an assignment. This is a metaphor for listening to and following Self rather than ego.
In some ways, this dream strikes me as a picture of my inner conflict with this Way (yes, I do mean to connote Tao). Perhaps this is an image of me resisting and questioning what is called for. And I justify the resistance with logic and reason…”Oh I might get caught”, “Oh drugs are not a solution to pain”, “Oh it is too dangerous”, “Oh a gentleman would never ask this of a woman”… It’s quite fascinating how tangled and insidious the negative Animus can be. On the surface, it appears that M is the negative Animus, misguiding me, but if I look deeper, perhaps the negative Animus is really operating on the level of “logic” driven fear and resistance. Is this not the essence of Patriarchy’s true weapon of mass destruction?
There are many gurus and Spiritual practitioners who speak of Individuation, but in different terms. They describe it as “response-ability”. In other words, are we balanced enough, agile enough in mind and body to be able to respond to any given situation with what is called for? Do we have our Whole Self at our disposal? Or do we fumble in the grips of fear, self doubt, inadequacy, lack? Are we well equipped or ill equipped?
In this dream, my response-ability is clearly weak. I neither accept the task nor reject it resolutely as the wrong course of action. Instead, I waver. I am split. I am at odds. There is conflict within clouding my ability to respond. When Ivan, in the Maiden King, is told by the Golden Woman to cut off his tutor’s head, he does so without the slightest hesitation. In that moment, he is connected to Truth. There is no beat between knowing what is called for and doing what is called for. They are one in the same thing and he is completely tapped in.
The degree to which we are or are not tapped into this source (call it Self, call it Source, call it Tao) is, I believe, the degree to which we are or are not Individuated. This was part of the topic in the podcast I was listening to last night. A huge part of analysis is simply to assess where we are in our evolutionary path toward Individuation. Then the task is to hone in on what is frustrating or standing in the way of that evolution. Where are the blocks?
Before going to sleep last night, I asked to be shown. I’m impressed, grateful and mostly relieved that my unconscious mind at least appears to be response-able. It’s a start.
A link to the podcast referenced here: http://www.jungian.ca/jung-podcasts/