Saturday, July 30, 2011

ME AND MY SHADOW DreamAp25,2010(edited July2011)

This dream came through while I was attempting to sleep working the night shift at the hospital. I was in an extravagant suite of a mansion house. While filling the jacuzzi water began to run out onto the floor of the whole suite, soaking carpets and rugs. I was frantically trying to stop the water and look for ways to clean up the horrible mess. _______ came in. It was his house. He was very calm and not blaming me in the least. He said he had a special vacuum that would clean it up. He got the expensive high tech vacuum out and without any apparent upset or frustration began to suck all the water up. Even though _____ was not angry at me I was quite upset for the mess I had caused. On waking I also had a nauseous feeling to realize that Beverly is really dead. I did not want to get up and start the day.

REFLECTION: I think the dream source again uses ____, former Clearlake COC member and strong supporter of my ministry there, as a symbol for my shadow. (I noticed this morning that COC can stand for my present job of 'Chaplain On Call' or the denomination of my heritage, Church Of Christ. )Out of control water perpetually represents the negative and frightening aspects of 'collective unconscious' in my dreams. It being out of control symbolizes how threatening to ordinary life routine and relationships the unconscious can be as it creatively seeks to become more conscious.

I've had countless dreams where this is the case. It shows even a darker side of the unconscious when it is pictured underground. Here it is all above ground, in the open. Trying to bring water under control in my actual basement has been an ongoing project for me for 35 years. In the early years the water poured in and was often carrying dirt and red clay with it, making it look like blood at times. Gradually I have brought it under control more and more. During the past year I have put underground drain pipes to take more of the water far from the house. This weekend really tested the progress. I was outside during hard rains checking how the drains and gutters were working. I was pleased. The basement took in the smallest amount of seep water ever, and what came in came into a 'behind the wall' trough that takes it to a floor drain. (In Feb, 2011 I finally had all basement walls secured with steel and all seep water professionally channeled to the drain system, ending this 35 year battle.)

Now this dream pictures out-of control-water on an upper floor of a very extravagant home where I am visiting. I have felt I have been attempting, in my life, to 'clean up' the rupture of the unconscious into consciousness all the way back to 1985. The visions and continued experience of the unconscious certainly in many ways was upsetting and disturbing my ordinary life routine. It also was very disturbing to my family to never know if I were going to be OK as I handled various new and more responsible outer jobs. The worry was always that I might fall into serious emotional disruption or depression.

Like in the dream, I've always felt very sad about the negative experience my family has had due to my wrestling with the unconscious. I was always working to keep the disturbances of the unconscious 'cleaned up' and ' under control' as best I could. And I was apparently successful for, since the eruption in Aug. '85, I have led a reasonably ordinary outer life, fulfilling basic family, friendship and work responsibilities. I made continuous advancements in my employment and ministry. Now, in the past two years, everything has slowed down. Few are hardly aware were my life to be bothered by unconscious factors. And bsed on my long experience with such matters, I see no such trouble on the horizon. Regularly recording my dreams and thinking, and now sharing some publicly, is a great assurance that I am cooperating with and honoring the Collective Unconscious.  It seems, as in the dream, that all is rather 'cleaned up' and the stress of 'out -of-control', 'life-disrupting' unconscious elements have appeared subdued now for more than two decades.

I think the dream is symbolically expressing the nature of my outer life as it has been continuously under the effect of unconscious forces. Now any remaining trouble  is on the 'top floor', minor disruptions in an outwardly respectful, responsible 'normal' life. The threat of continuous damage to ordinary life that the unconscious potentially brings  to any of us is stated in the presence of my shadow. When one acts on formerly unconscious elements, it may make  some people suspicious or perhaps fear one  could 'go off some deep end.'  I am quite sensitive to that, as the dream depicts. So my shadow is showing a benevolent understanding and helpfulness in bringing the negative effects of the Unconscious under control, finding ways to help  me clean it all up, not blaming me for what is always a messy business, dealing with unconscious material. Just as ones shadow does its own kind of threats and harm to ones life and relationships, in order to accomplish a higher good, it also helps in ways, that are often unconscious, to clean up the messes and protect the ego from being harmed, permanently damaged or too much misunderstood. This is all a part of the dance of the process of individuation, a cooperative balance between the observing and refereeing ego-consciousness with the 'collective unconscious' and its various components and archetypes, including the 'shadow', 'anima' and the  all-in-all 'self.'

The dream pictures this well in symbolic language. It is overall encouraging for it shows that with the help of these sometimes negative unconscious forces my outer life is now able to be presentable to the outside world , even with the so-called higher class elements that put a lot of stock in things 'looking good and in order.' This continues to show that the outer life of each of us, as important as it is, is very much for show, of giving forth an acceptable persona in order help maintain an essential stability in outer life and surface relationships. The more deep factors and spiritual qualities that inspire life  are under the surface, hidden from those who simply do not 'see' or who would be motivated to harm the fragile existence of the ego-consciousness of the dreamer.

Beverly's absence hits me strong and I feel sick that she is not still here. As much positive life and love as Beverly and I shared , it was also through our relationship that we experienced much suffering, disappointment, and sadness. Our life together brought shadow aspects to the surface in our relationship, as well as those experiences we enjoyed. Now the dream shows my shadow in a positive and helpful light and I always enjoyed so much sharing something good with her. But she is gone and I can't. It leaves me sick at the Ego level.

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