My primary goal in this blog is to share what I’ve learned after decades of searching for self-knowledge, inner peace and wholeness. Sometimes, giving examples from my own life is the most effective way to do this. After all, this is what I know best. Lately I’ve been discussing a recent puzzling dream and inviting readers to comment with their questions and associations. Today’s post explains certain aspects of that process you might be wondering about. If there’s anything else you’d like me to clarity, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Why did I call this a dream about individuation? Didn’t I conclude that it actually referred to a few waking life experiences with Twitter a few weeks before? What do the social media have to do with my psycho-spiritual journey?
Jerry gave a beautiful answer to these questions in a comment after Part II when he said that such waking life experiences “may be a test….of the caliber of the ‘hero/heroine’ journey, transforming the old self into the new, becoming ‘wholly’ that new person where the spiritual is in command and not letting the emotions be the guide as is usual with the ego centered self. The death and resurrection as symbolized by Jesus on the cross can only be realized when the individual takes on ‘wholly’ the spirituality identity, applying it in every phase of life, every experience in life….Becoming that spiritual person makes the individual the hero in their own life.”
Every experience presents an opportunity to grow into our heroic selves. The spiritual journeyer’s question is not, “Why did this happen to me?” but, “What is the most authentic and beneficial response I can make to this situation?” Thus, one level of meaning in every dream pertains to our behavior in the outer world, and another to the inner condition of the psyche from which it originates. These are not opposite, but complementary ways of interpreting a dream. Both are true and each brings insights about the other. Facilitating this cooperation between ego-consciousness and the unconscious self so we can move forward on the individuation journey is the purpose of dreams.
Furthermore, every dream has additional levels of meaning depending on which associations we pursue. For example, my first inclination was to see this dream as a commentary on how my introverted tendencies effect my outer life relationships. Like the thirsty woman, I tend to withdraw into myself in social situations; like Ms X, I do my cerebral, creative work in solitude and seclusion. Spiritually speaking, I “get high” on following this passion. But since I already knew this about myself I kept searching for new insights and eventually found them in my readers’ comments. It is extraordinarily helpful to see your dream from another’s perspective.
Were my conclusions about the meaning of this dream the final word on it? Absolutely not. In keeping with the living, growing mystery and multi-dimensionality of dreams, today’s resolution becomes tomorrow’s question, and then the search begins anew. Who knows what lies beneath or ahead? The trick on this journey, and the lesson of this dream, is essentially the same advice my policeman father gave me at the age of seven when he taught me how to navigate the streets and traffic lights on my daily walk home from school: “When you reach a crossroads, stop, look and listen before you take the next step.”
Thanks, Daddy, wherever you are, for being my first guide on the journey to myself.