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.
Ego and God-Image: Part VII
Intellectually the Self is no more than a psychological concept, a construct that serves to express an unknowable essence which we cannot grasp as such,
Great post today thanks. I really enjoyed reading it very much.
Thanks again for posting this.
Today’s Writing – Raining Purple Rain
Dear Broken Cactus,
I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m glad you liked it.
I’m sorry I didn’t have the chance to weigh in on your dream, but have been busy with one thing and another…most notably a brand new granddaughter in the family. I like what you say about the dream having many levels and that, often, what is revealed depends on the level one chooses to focus on – personal, physical, spiritual, collective, emotional, and so on. I attended a dream intensive a few weeks ago with dream master Jeremy Taylor and discovered that there are actually many more levels to a shared dream than can be uncovered in just a few sessions of working with it. In my own dreamwork, I’ve found that it might even take years for a dream to reveal insights that can be applied to later stages of my life. That is why I’ve been keeping dream journals for the better part of my adult life. And I so agree that working with others projections on my dreams helps to bring out things that my ego is either unaware of or resistant to until I feel the zing of an “Aha!” that someone has helped bring to light.
I wrote about some of the interesting synchronicities that we dreamers encountered during the JT dream intensive on my blog if you are interested in checking it out at http://nina4667-funwithdreams.blogspot.com
I always enjoy your posts,
Congratulations on your new granddaughter! I know what joy and new life a baby brings to a family and am happy for you and yours.
Your comment about how long it can take to mine certain insights in dreams is so true. Thirteen years after my book, “Dream Theatres of the Soul,” came out I was re-reading portions of in in preparation for a workshop and was stopped in my tracks by a recent stunning synchronicity in my waking life that spoke directly to a dream I had discussed there. It feels as if Dream Mother “knows” and “sees” your soul’s purpose and life path so well that sometimes she cannot help but prefigure some inevitable outcomes. It’s extraordinary to be known and loved like this, isn’t it?
Thanks for including the link to your blog. I’ll check it out asap!
God is a mystery and we are a mystery, since we are made in His image. The journey we are all on is discovering and unfolding our relationship with Him and ourselves. What a wonderful adventure!!!
…an adventure everyone can take. I think of it as inner archaeology, which, while it may not provide the adrenaline rush of the Indiana Jones version of outer archaeology, has rewards infinitely more lasting and beneficial!
After sending off the comment to your post yesterday, I thought a lot about how dreams in one period in my life have supported later periods and, often, in the way you describe in your response to me: realizing that a prior dream that occurred years ago has so much to do with what is happening today.
Later that evening, I picked up a book I’ve been reading, written in the ’90s by Naomi Epel, a woman in my dream group here in Berkeley, titled “Writers Dreaming: Twenty Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process.” It is a great book with essays by Maya Angelou, Isabel Allende, Clive Barker, Elmore Leonard, Anne Rivers Siddons, and others. Unfortunately, it is out of print today. Anyway, I’m reading and within a page I came to this passage that author Leonard Michael writes in his section of the book: “You [have this dream] at one point in your life, and [then you are] you, at a much later point in your life, when you’re really a considerably different person. There you are in an earlier incarnation dreaming of your future, your fate.”
Nice confirmation of what we’ve been discussing here!
I love it. And I so enjoy your heightened awareness of all the wonderful synchronicities in your life. They add so much excitement and meaning to this adventure! Thank you for sharing this with us, and thank you for pointing me to your blog at _http://nina4667-funwithdreams.blogspot.com_ (http://nina4667-funwithdreams.blogspot.com/) It’s a marvelous source of information and inspiration for those who would like to know more about the very real phenomenon of synchronicity! My best, Jeanie