Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Feathercraft Boat, Similar To One My Family Gave Me As Teen
1. I was in the rear part of my father and brother's store in Alabama. I was a young teen. I was in the area where boats were prepared with outboard motors, controls and steering. I was observing one that I liked. It was a modern 14 foot ski boat. It was aluminum and its color was yellow and brown. I noticed it was very wide and sat low in the water. They had arranged so that the back of the store opened up to a small lake. The worker took the finished boat for a quick spin around the lake. I was impressed and knew I would like to be driving this boat.

 2. I was a young student in dental school. But I was also going to regular school full time. I was sitting with classmates and  six professors. I was to soon be given an oral exam on the anatomy of the head. I felt confident at that moment. Then some time passed and I realized I had forgotten to study for the exam. I had left to attend to my other schooling matters. Then I became aware that I had not been studying at all for the dental school courses. I knew I would have failed that oral test if I had taken it. I realized that I had not even been getting clear assignments from the professors. I did not feel I knew what they expected at all. One other  student explained to me that he had regular private talks with the professors , and knew he had A's in every course. I believed I was as capable as he. I was rather panicked knowing I was so far behind now. I went to the professors, apologized and asked if I could make up the exam. I tried to find out where I stood in my classes. They gave me confusing and conflicting information. Before I left this unhelpful meeting I was told that Rush Limbaugh was going to join the faculty. They were not all pleased with it but not nearly as upset as I was. They said he had a political connection with the school and he just wanted the prestige of the position and would be giving lectures to us. I was disgusted with this and I told classmates about it. Some of them were Rush fans and embarrassingly admitted that it was O.K. with them even though he had no credentials and was doing it to boost his own image. (These negative impressions of Rush have to do with his kind of  'leadership role' not him as a person.)
Rush Limbaugh

3. I found two female purses on the ground. One had a lot of money in it. I attempted to announce it so the owners could be found. In handling the money I got confused and did not know which money went with which purse. One lady claimed a purse and I asked her to go through them both and to put the correct amount in each purse. I assumed the other owner would be found soon and all restored properly.

REFLECTION: This material all seems to primarily come from the personal unconscious, images that reflect experiences similar to what I have had and images that are contemporary with my actual life and time. There is nothing very ancient here.

1. I spent much time watching the men work on the boats in my family's store. When I was about 14  my Dad and brothers gave me a 12 foot aluminum boat with a 35 horsepower motor on it. How I loved that boat for the five years I had it on the lake. Even though I much enjoyed the mechanics and the atmosphere of the motor repairs I never  tried to learn the skill they were performing. I could have watched and  learned about the inner working and repairs of motors and the mechanics of boats. The same is true for the front of the store. I did do a lot of sales work for the store. I learned the inventory , was knowledgeable of all the products and how to ring up sales and charges. I think I learned how to be a welcoming clerk. But I never explored the bookkeeping or the behind the scenes  running of a business with some 15 employees. It just never occurred to me . I had no interest in that aspect of it. I don't think I  viewed myself as being an adult in this business even though I would have been in line to eventually be an owner. My brother sold the 25 stores he  created for more than a million dollars some 20 years go. I liked the atmosphere of the place. I liked to roam the store and I liked to help with anything I was asked to do. The first dream reminds me of my erotic type love and sense of the Sacred regarding beautiful waters.

2. I attended dental school for nearly a full quarter. I was doing well and getting along well with the competent faculty when I quit due to an irrational decision to 'prepare to preach' as we called it in the Church of Christ. The dream shows me distraught with academic authority. I have had in my life some excellent teachers. I assumed until well into adult hood that  authority figures and groups were reliable and to be trusted. But when I ran into a power struggle with my church elders in '84 I realized just how disappointing to me some in authority can be. (I was disappointed in them in their 'ruling group' role. I continued to appreciate them as individuals.) Since then I have seen this sad situation in most every kind of institution including the public schools, the churches and in politics at all levels. George Bush represents to me one of he most poorly prepared or capable of modern leaders in high office. He resorted to serious misrepresentation, stubbornness and an incapacity to re-evaluate. He exhibited  a dangerous level of unawareness regarding aspects of  the human global situation. In my opinion his leadership was overall unhealthy for the country. None of this criticism is about him as a person but  about his discharge of public leadership. He seemed to be significantly 'in over his head.'

The dream shows me not focused on the dental school education. It says I was going to 'regular school' also. I think in all my formal education I was unconsciously beginning to learn from another source. I was attending, however unconsciously, the 'school of the unconscious.' I had much training in science and teaching ending with an M.S. I was a reasonably competent and even excited teacher. But I realized later that all of that was a forced interest, it was nearly purely an intellectual interest. I understood the meaning of science and valued it but it simply did not touch me at the deepest level of my being. During all that time I was a Church of Christ preacher. I claimed  my religion was my highest value and I think was sincere in that. But time showed that interest also was far more at an intellectual level than my embracing it with my full being. I was a passionate preacher but my passion remained about being intellectually right and seeking to convince myself and others of that rightness. I could get emotional sometimes such as in telling the story of Abraham's willingness to kill his own son and of this being parallel to God allowing Jesus to be killed for us. These are emotional stories and served a temporary purpose for me(a way to feel some emotion, any emotion) but they are also violent stories and  are terribly misleading of how I now view human and divine love and justice. I am as repulsed as I was once turned on by such archetypes. Such interpretations of the Sacred-Human connection do not capture my emotion in the way they did then. I realize they had inspired very negative and dark aspects of my psyche.

Not until my first CPE(Clinical Pastoral Education) unit where for the first time I was exploring my inner self did I come to a point of totally embracing my work as a minister at an emotional and whole-person level. For the first time, at about 38 years old, I sensed I knew more clearly what I was attempting to do as a pastor and to some extent as an individual human being. I became more 'alive' to life than I had ever experienced. I was introduced to some excellent 'teachers'  and 'leaders' during this time and my learning continued to  deeper levels than they  had helped me to go. I think the learning path that was  connecting me to all aspects of my real life came to a climax on a mid August  early morning in a deserted N.W. Houston new housing parking lot. The 'visions' began; some veil was lifted so that a depths of the Collective psyche was much more transparent for me. I was experiencing  what I can still only call 'miracle' and 'ecstasy.'(Yet I think this was a fully natural, not super-natural happening.) I was fully consciousness of what was going on. My ego, through nearly overwhelmed, was functioning, even if primarily as an observer and certainly not a controller. I now believe that I was experiencing the result of about five years(in some ways a life time) of some of the most healthy intensive learning and human spiritual development that is possible in our day. This led to a coming together of the 'collective unconscious' and 'ego consciousness' in such a full way that could easily destroy a person. But I had been unknowingly  prepared to take the initial jolt and over some years to assimilate this surge from the Collective Unconscious. My life since then has been a process of continued assimilation, improved ways expressing the experience and being able to make a living doing the kind of work that I do most naturally....... not being a motor boat mechanic, or a businessman, a dentist or a focused science teacher. My work has been spiritual ministry, whether counseling youth or families, preparing and preaching sermons to small churches, providing pastoral care for church members, teaching math and science to kids at risk and being a chaplain for the sick.

I have missed since my teens being literally 'on the water'. Sailing along the surface of the water, on boat or ski, as well as enjoying being bodily in natural waters are both timeless symbols of being in good relationship to the unconscious and to the treasures and delights it seeks to bring to human life. I think that  implanted in the timeless 'Collective Unconscious' is a strong interest in every human being successful in their 'desire for joy'. The Sacred delights in the reality of 'human joy'. Scripture speaks of , 'joy unspeakable and full of glory'. Jesus was motivated to pass through suffering because of the 'joy set before him.' That joy should not be diminished to some intellectual other worldly time in the sky but should translate to a time of earthly ecstatic joy. Otherwise Jesus is  not like us at all and we can't really pass through our sufferings with a sense of ' the joy set before us.' Among other things my experiences with the unconscious have instilled in me an expectation of such joy, not only for myself but for others. That is a strong part of the spiritual hope that the continual message from the Collective Unconscious brings to light.

I have seen the peril of weakness and misuse of leadership roles. I have also experienced excellent human leadership.  Rush Limbaugh in the dream being accepted as a professor is an extreme example of what leaders with values that conflict with  my experience of the Collective Unconscious can mean for people. Talk radio has surfaced the most  culturally destructive leadership personalities imaginable for the country. And such people have been  given  full influence with some national political leaders. Rush likely has more influence in one of the major political parties now than any elected official.  These are one-sided, unbalanced voices that carry no responsibility for what they speak. They speak to the fears and lower ego-self interest of people, not to communal need and realities. I consider such  charismatic messages  a threat to the social, moral and psychological health of the country. Such messages are apparently attached to a very strong collective archetype so that many find them irresistible and enchanting. Any voice that is 'so wonderful' needs to always be questioned regarding its archetypal appeal and its offer to easy solutions to mass fears. An example of such is the slogan, 'Just say No!'  I believe the  balanced message from the 'collective unconscious' that is gaining traction in the American and World psyche will eventually bring balance to such misguided destructive influences.

3.The lost purses reflect a genuine honesty that I value. In matters of survival a human stealing is understandable and even justified.
 But a thing that drives me in general is a strong desire for environments and behaviors of fairness and justice in all areas of human life. The right thing being done for all people is the world I long for and would like for all persons to live in. This dream also implies  'the moral' response in any real life situation is not simple. A list of general rules like the ten commandments is not sufficient to gauge what it means in all situations to act with genuine human/divine morality. Jesus was clear about that. Paul was able to teach that there is a moral path that transcends any formal law. No 'law' can reach the depths of what is required to be truly a moral being. The purse dream also reflects the higher value my experience with the Collective Unconscious has taught me for the feminine principle and real women in the world. It shows the confusion I moved  through to reach such a strong and focused value. The dream recognizes the importance of the feminine and specifically , in our day, the economics of women. It implies the importance of women being treated fairly and as full equals of men. It shows me trusting the woman to be fair and just with the other woman. I don't recall in 1965 that there were any women in my dental school class. The dream depicts women as being very present when the theme of 'leadership' is being addressed.

No comments: