Monday, August 22, 2011

DREAM: WILD DONKEYS...december 5, 2009(edited July 11, 2012)

I was in a foreign desert region. I was assigned the task of freeing up individuals and/or situations from their bondage. These people and situations were represented by blank side by side squares on a sheet of plastic covered paper. There were eight rows of six of these squares on the sheet. I was in constant battle with a herd of black donkeys. These appeared to be mean animals. Unlike typical donkeys these were very large and strong. They seem to be more conscious than any animal, as if they were humans in this animal body. I tried to convince myself that they would not actually do me harm and tried to draw closer to them. They would charge me, rear up and attempt to stomp me into the ground. I once escaped by climbing a scrubby tree but knew they were strong enough to bring the tree down with me in it. I really saw no way to overcome these donkeys physically. But I stayed focused on the squares and was confident that there must be a way to set these prisoners held in some kind of bondage free.
Wild Donkeys In Arizona Desert
REFLECTION: This was not a pleasant dream and certainly different in theme and texture than any I recall ever having. The dream has a 'collective archetypal' atmosphere about it. It is about more than just myself  personally. I'm given a difficult task and seem assured it can be accomplished though the how escapes me. I am in a foreign environment and have some serious enemies. How many stories picture a person in similar conflict? Too numerous to count.  I'm shown doing battle with donkeys. The donkey is the symbol of the Democratic Party. Anyone would consider me a strongly motivated Democrat. Actually I find politics distasteful  and wish it were not the necessary way of  a democratic republic. It just happens that in our present day I usually align in general with Democratic emphasis for I find there a stronger voice for the ethical and moral issues of our day. To the extent that Democrats see their way and refuse to seriously consider other legitimate voices I view them as much a part of the problem as anyone else. Unfortunately many who are emotionally involved in  party politics takes up 'talking points' far more than they do the broad range of needs of the country.  Such political attitudes are nearly making our government dysfunctional presently. This kind of stale mate, one side take all must be transcended if our national problems are to be seriously addressed.  So to make clear to myself that I am not primarily a Democrat in my political interest it shows my adversary as the donkey.  No one party winning is going to be the solution to our deepest problems.

The dream is utilizing  the eternal hero symbolism and uses the  typical way  heroes and heroines  are generally presented in secular and sacred story without end.  The concepts of hero/heroine in real life  are more appropriately seen as important life attributes of courage and sacrifice  found in ordinary humans from time to time rather than as belonging to only a few exceptional persons.  We will not be saved  from present day collective problems by a single heroic savior as may seem to have been the case in historic breakthroughs of the past. The image here of one fighting the mean donkeys  surely must be a deeply seated archetype of the Collective Unconscious. The enemy is pictured as  dark  and part human-part animal. Donkeys bring to my mind the qualities of stubbornness and sometimes seeming  self imposed stupidity. These opposing forces do sometimes seem in my experiences  like 'big jack asses'. I seem to be confident they will not destroy me or keep me from accomplishing the necessary task. The task is presented as 'setting captives free'. Not in the specific context that phrase is found in scripture but surely from the same archetype and the same kind of need being addressed. Again heroes and heroines are generally pictured in mythology as doing such work. (One exception are Adam and Eve who are shown at first  to be utterly helpless and totally at the mercy of an extraneous god who makes arbitrary rules and seems to not want his creatures to discover their own strengths, power and capability. This is a model, if not questioned, that produces humans with a strong 'victim mentality' and who can only 'plead their case' with an arbitrary controlling deity.  People trained to believe  this way will consistently abuse  power over others when then come to have it themselves. This is one way of identifying a major ethical  flaw in our Western understanding and use of power.)  But the Eden myth changes  when Eve manages the courage to eat the 'forbidden fruit' capable of ushering in 'knowledge of good and evil' or what we now call a maturing Consciousness.  The initial Eden  image  of God and humans is in significant  conflict with the divine/human Jesus of the gospels who is eventually described as being 'one with God.' Jesus is shown as one who empowered those around him instead of seeking to dominate and intimidate them like the God of the Old Testament frequently does his devotees.  This dream pictures in different form the same archetypal tensions for a much  needed freedom  for individuals and communities like is also depicted in the Jesus Story of the gospels. Of the delivering hero Jesus it is said, "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the shadow of death a light has dawned ...and the blind receive sight, lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them."  'Matt.4:16 and 11:16.
Our Goal  Is To Arrive At Preservation of Human Dignity

The dream takes me on an archetypal numerical trip. These tasks are laid out in 'squares' of 'eight rows of six'. Square is one of those images of wholeness representing the goal of human and sacred activity. I refer here to 'numbers' for various number arrangements  have been demonstrated as arising from the archetypal world of the Collective Unconscious. This dream is such a demonstration. Six has become to me personally to represent the start of seemingly impossible projects and tasks. I personally associate six with having six older, father like, brothers for whom  my changes in some values unintentionally caused concern in various degrees. The ancient oriental IChing, meaning book of changes,  is built on a foundation of six with 'hexagrams' being the avenue of guidance. The pencils I used for numerous of IChing engagements were six sided. The first mandalas that I drew where six sided. My address here is 608. Eight is a strong number of wholeness, right direction and completion. It is the first multiple of four. My mandala drawings  gradually graduated from six sided to eight sided. I now have four brothers. Six times eight equals forty eight. Forty Eight is made of a four and an eight, both strong symbols of wholeness. And forty eight is twelve times four, and twelve is a multiple of four and a strong number symbol itself. Biblically there are twelve tribes and special effort is made to keep the number of apostles twelve. Twelve is a favorite number in the Revelation as well. I feel that I have experienced a process of moving from six through zero and now being led toward eight- 608. Six represents my very 'culturally correct' status and 'common sense' nature religiously and socially before my encounter with unconscious forces got underway beginning about age 38. Zero represents my psychological and spiritual 'return to the center' of the 'collective unconscious', to my direct encounter with the Sacred, to my return to the the 'nothingness' that lies behind all that has taken form in creation. This nothingness has been referred to historically as The Great Mother or The Ground Of Being. This is where all the representations of the Sacred have also had their origins including the Trinity. That return to 'the center' climaxed for me in mid August of 1985. So my street address of 608 reflects this movement I've experienced, especially inward, over the time  or 35 years  I have lived here. I began living in six, was moved dangerously through the zero, and am now living in the effects of eight.

I sense this dream is a depiction of what I, and many others, have already experienced as the problem which continues to challenge us. I have exerted in my small way and place in life an effort to 'free' people, including myself,  from the clutches of one-sided religious thinking  and harmful socialized images of self, others and ethical realities.  This has been what my counseling and preaching have centered around. I certainly do not see any grand results but this has been where much of my energy has been spent. There have truly  been moments when I have witnessed someone being set free in some significant way, usually by a new inner understanding of themselves or their situation. My 'opponents'  have often  appeared to me  at times  like 'jack asses'  for they have seemed to be primarily stubbornly clinging to untrue or outdated belief systems of a religious or socialized type. But the dream warns me about our typical human short-sightedness of only seeing the negative aspect  or shadow of our imagined  opponents. My four major newspaper articles some five years ago are examples of  my  trying to expose some of the stubborn beliefs and damaging ideas that I personally oppose. These were my efforts to defend 1.woman reproductive rights 2. equal rights for gay persons 3. Importance of Evolution and 4. Post-modern Biblical Interpretation. These remain what seem to me to be some of the issues  I have been assigned to stand up for in hopes of setting free those who remain strongly imprisoned by what seems to me as  public resistance to them. None of this activity was originally, or is now, a kind of activity that I am comfortable with. This battle is not what drives me at my deepest level. So this battle has been like being in a foreign land. The opponents against this project are very formidable as represented by the large mean black donkeys. But in the end this task will be sufficiently completed and some will continue to be set free. 
The Complexity Of  The Ethical Goal Mustn't Dissuade Us.

The dream shows this conflict as one in which I am involved but I think more importantly  it depicts the heart of  major changes emerging  nationally and throughout the West(and whole world) regarding   ethical/spiritual/psychological  dynamics  regarding  social, religious and political  issues of our era. This is not just my personal task but one carried on by many others in all kinds of places and situations, high and low. Thus the collective archetypal images of strange semi-human  beasts are shown as  strong opposing forces to the destined changes. This fight is the heart and center of the struggle  for the continued spiritual /psychological evolution of the human species. It is not likely that any force, however formidable and stubborn, will stop this progress no matter how it seems to get bogged down. I expect that the end of the conflict, and what I and the donkeys represent,  will be some kind of unexpected new unity. In the dream I  not only was frightened by them but felt a kind of genuine respect for them. This after all was more their desert than mine. In the dream I sensed that the donkeys are not just valueless  'foreign others'  or 'jack asses' to be permanently destroyed but are somehow even 'human' and so must contain the spark of life and Spirit  from God.

 Unlike one-sided religious and political view points so common today, this dream does not see 'getting rid of the enemy' or restricting its natural purpose as necessary or wise. The enemy does threaten me in the dream but each of us is  engaged seeking our own perceived needs and purposes. I'm confident that such restrained  engagements of 'opponents' can result in new levels of consciousness for both sides of all polarizations and the place and value of each being discovered. This is my kind of hope for world peace and preservation as well . Waring sides whether fundamentalist powers within Islam, Judaism, Catholicism or Nationalized Christianity(which is what I see America often being in world affairs) or those of  more progressive wider encompassing perspectives  will continue this frightening engagement until some kind of order is found from the chaos and all will reach a new urgently needed higher level of consciousness. That or some of these 'isms' will simply lose all vitality due to the already dead and  often bigoted issues they seek to keep alive  propagate. This message from the collective unconscious shows the real danger our present situation but it also shows, with conscious responsible human cooperation, the world can move into a far more human place than where we are now.   Jim

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