Let me tell you about the mysterious woman with the cowboy hat from dream #209 (see my previous post: The Metaphoric Meaning of Dreams.) This is one of those things about dreamwork that always blows my mind.
I never took dreams very seriously until about 22 years ago when I enrolled in a five-year Centerpoint course on Jungian psychology. One of the first topics we discussed was dreams, and one of our first activities was to share a dream. When my turn came I related a dream I’d had at the age of 10 in which the Lone Ranger shot me and I woke up screaming in outraged protest. Why was I a victim of my hero? my child’s heart had wondered without words. Didn’t he like me? Why not? Was it because I was a girl? Was he telling me I could never be a hero like him?
As I told my dream to my Jung group I was surprised, then alarmed to notice my heart pounding. Before long I realized I was struggling to hold back tears: I was going to cry and these people were going to see it! All because of a childhood dream. This utterly unexpected public display of strong emotion had a profound and lasting impact on me. Determined to figure out what had caused it, I became intentional about working with my dreams. About a year later I had dream #209: Running Out of Gas. By then I knew my dreamwork was waking up my ego and taking me on a thrilling journey to increasing wholeness.
Fast forward 15 years. My life was dramatically different. I was an author, speaker, workshop leader and teacher at the local Jung Center, had been practicing dreamwork, meditation and yoga for years, and had fulfilled a lifelong dream of buying and training my own horse. One day in preparation for a speech I reread Part I of my book Dream Theatres of the Soul for the first time in many years and ran across dream #209. More heart pounding. More tears. More insights.
That year my husband had commissioned a painting of my horse and me for a birthday present. When I’d had the photographs made for the painting I wore a party dress with a cowboy hat hanging down my back, even though I rarely rode Western. Why? I had no idea. Just a whim, I thought. But there, at the end of a dream I’d had 16 years earlier, was the image of a peaceful woman with her back to me sitting in a lotus position with a cowboy hat hanging down her back!
What was going on? Is the Self an oracle or simply a guide? Did the woman in dream #209 prefigure the person I was destined to become, or did that dream unconsciously influence my future choices? Or both? I do not know the objective truth, but I know that the symbols of this and my Lone Ranger dream spoke to my souls’ truths and “something” in me knew it. Knows it. Knows me. Knows my issues, needs, and passions and is still creating original dramas to affirm and empower my soul.
I have theories about this mystery, but when it comes to knowing, I really only know this: Whether I understand it or deserve it I am loved by an unimaginably benevolent and wise “something” that sends me love letters when I’m asleep. Call it Life, call it Self, call it God/dess, Dream Mother, or Beloved. I don’t care what you call it. For me, this is not about words, creeds, or beliefs. It’s simply what I know!
Like me, you are loved and need to know it. Have you had a love letter in a dream? If so, I hope you’ll share it. If not, I hope you’ll start looking for one. We need more stories about love.
Mandorla Consciousness: Part II
There is a time for everything. The dualism that gave rise to our evolving ego and developing Christ potential has become our worst enemy: the anti- Christ. And as long as we repress unwanted parts of ourselves and project them onto others—whether these be our compulsive instincts, dangerous emotions, or frightening aspects of our masculine and feminine sides—we will struggle through the darkness of confusion and the world will be a dangerous place.
i believe i understand what you mean. there are dreams that i look back on, some from early in life, that have guided or succored me along the road of this lifetime. they do indeed feel like testaments of love…..
and i agree completely! it is a “wise something” that cares for me and i have come to trust: something that is “not me” and is “me” at the same time: no wonder it is such a mystery…..
sometimes i think it my electrons, those mysterious little things that harken all the way back to the big bang and will endure, unchanged, all the way to the end of the universe: hotter than stars, as dense as black holes, insatiable devourers of photons (light that crosses the great void of night space). these electrons, my electrons, that have been part of intergalactic space, part of stars and supernovas, part of volcanic eruptions and air and stones and rivers and trees and flowers and deer and bison and dinosaurs and dodos…..these dreaming electrons, these memories (light as information, negentropy, against the cosmic background of entropy) of the past 14 billion years–these electrons that gather up my own life experiences and carry them with them into all the other possible incarnations of spirit in matter…..a loving universe embracing me just as i am learning to pour out love on the cells of my own body…..
if the above seems strange, i cannot recommend enough Jean Charon’s book, “Spirit: That Stanger Inside Us.” World-class physicist-turned-metaphysician, Charon simply cannot be ignored in his speculations…..
a universal quantum field of dreaming electrons: a kind of Collective Collective Unconscious. 🙂
i like the idea of the universe dreaming me….
thanks jeanie, for all your insightful and inspiring work,
“A universal quantum field of dreaming electrons… the universe dreaming me…” What exciting concepts. I’ve been fascinated with quantum physics since reading Gary Zukav’s “The Dancing Wu Li Masters” years ago and have been on the lookout for a good, readable update. I appreciate your recommendation of Jean Charon and will order his book as soon as I finish writing this!!
Thank you, and back at you with the “insightful and inspiring work,” friend!
This is so beautiful! I dream every night! Just saw an awesome movie about dreams. Inception. Have you seen it?
Yes, I saw Inception four days ago and it really was interesting. I’m not a lover of fast-paced, action-packed thrillers and grew weary of the non-stop special effects after a while but found some of the premises on which it’s based compelling.
I’ve had lucid dreams in which I knew I was dreaming and was able to shape the direction of the dream, if only briefly. Moreover, it’s true that a dream event can feel as real and be as influential to the psyche as a waking one. The world of the unconscious self is a fascinating frontier and I can’t wait to see what wonders its explorers will discover!!
I too, recently saw Inception and was intrigued. The movie did an outstanding job of creating the images and confusion that we encounter in our dreams, plus showing the multiple layers of a self buried within the unconscious.
However, it seems to be based on the Freudian assumption that one’s unconscious world is created by an individual’s past experience in a singularly, self-contained vessel. Missing was any intimation that deeply within the unconscious realm of every individual, lies a link to the collective unconscious, the universal quantum field, the mysterious reality that gives meaning beyond meaning to our lives. I fear that viewers of the movie, who get beyond the special effects which were remarkable, may feel that “Inception” is an accurate map of our unconscious dreamworlds.
This said, I want to thank you, Jeanie, for showing us how your mysterious woman in the cowboy hat took years and your continual awareness to reveal a beautiful, loving truth that connects you with the collective unconscious and life’s greater realm.
Right on, Sally! I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for this valuable insight!
Much love and gratitude for your insightful contributions,
I absolutely LOVE the concept of dreams being love letters….so perfect! Every night I receive love letters from deep within, and from now on I shall feel the enveloping warmth of the love wisdom they send. Thank you for this gift of a wonderful image! – and the gift of your wisdom.
You are very welcome! I’m thrilled that you love this idea. In my experience it’s utterly true. I’ve been grateful to every dream I’ve every worked on because the insights they bring always make me feel better about myself…even the unpleasant ones! I feel better because I know it’s in my own best interest to know what they’re telling me. And it always is.
Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
Ah… dreams as ‘love letters’ that assist our ‘becoming and developing’. Last night in a dream I discovered a shoe that was hidden deep in a car boot. After many challenging weeks, that was truly a love letter albeit a unique one. Your thoughts helped me to ponder this through a different lens. Thank you 🙂
It’s lovely to hear from you, Catherine. Wow. Unique for sure. As in, “Love letter from your soul (sole)? Or about your soul/sole? As in, “I’ve got your soul/sole covered now?” As in, “Why has your soul/sole been hiding the car boot? Is it because it wants to keep taking the journey but would rather lie low than be too far ‘out there?’ And why might that be?” 🙂 I could go on, and on with lots more of my associations but won’t. I’m sure you have plenty of your own that have already spoken to you. I’m so pleased to know this post opened a new lens for you from which to view these works of creative genius that come from some extraordinary “something” within us every night! Blessings.
Jean, I was enrolled in a Jungian class at TAMU (College Station, TX) and had to share a dream with the class. I had the exact same reactions and cried during my presentation. I was moved and certainly embarrassed. But after class one of the other students told how brave she thought I was! Anyhow, during some of my research I came across one of Jung’s book with dream symbols and realized because I have some Native American Indian in my family tree, some of my childhood dreams contained symbols from Native American legends/stories. I was over come with the connection we really have with one another (present and past) and I had no concious knowledge of these stories. I reminded me of the Scripture in Hebrews that says “we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnessess”!! I realized that we have an emotional DNA pool we pull from just the same as the physical DNA pool. Thanks so much for this post, I loved it! Kay
Hi Kay. Yes, I believe the emotional DNA pool you’re talking about is what Jung called the collective unconscious. It contains every emotion associated with every human instinct and all the myriad symbols that go with them. And I agree that the particular symbols that were important to our forbears speak especially strongly to us. And when we take these emotions and stories and symbols seriously, really seriously, and begin to find meaning for our lives in them, we are set on the path to self-discovery and self-fulfillment. And dreams are our guides on this path! It’s all so simple, really. We have all the answers we need to the mysteries of our lives. We just have to pay attention and not miss the meaning when we have the experience! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Blessings! Jeanie