Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DREAM: VOCATION, RELIGION, FAMILY ... january 19, 2010

The scene was a country elementary school whose campus was more like a small farm. The central issue was the work that a young male teacher was doing. It was very creative. I was there as a guest to give my opinion. Beverly was with me. Somehow we were the only ones who were positively impressed.

This teacher with another assisting him put on weekly teaching stunts outdoors for the school. The stunts were so detailed and clever and took a lot of preparation. They involved making at least one full sized old fashion truck out of a soft balsa kind of wood. Beverly and I examined the wood and could see how it was layered to easily come apart in a crash. During the stunt that had some kind of plot,often with an appropriate amount of humor, the car would wreck with the male teachers in it. The kids always looked forward to the wreck with

Creative Teacher
the wood flying in every direction. To prepare, both men would dip themselves in a large vat of black thick liquid. They would be totally black except for their faces. They were dressed like country farmers. The men were nearly clown like in the stunts. To help prepare, the kids in their art classes would draw and paint back ground sets for the upcoming stunt. The men worked on the truck in a hidden place in the barn all week. I saw several of these stunts and could not get over the high quality of the scenes. One involved a different stunt car that was driven by my brother Gene and his wife who were also teachers at this school.

During the dream I was letting the two teachers and others know that I thought it was a wonderful education project. I only wondered how they found time to do such elaborate creations every week. But they both insisted that it was just a routine that they followed and that the other teachers and kids helped them with everything. They were not the least over impressed with themselves but were just hard working committed educators doing their very creative thing and capturing the adoring attention of the young students.
Educaiton In Natural Setting
Another side scene of the dream involved a would be teacher who was seeking to get hired and who wanted to take over this stunt project herself. She had come to visit this community and was attending a church service at a country church. Also visiting this community and church overnight were my brother George and his wife. I was speaking with some others about a mutual church member. We were implying that he was pretty tight with money but we knew he was a very a faithful and caring church person. At a church service several things happened. The one who wished to be a newly hired teacher found out she was not going to be and pitched an open fit in church. She was screaming that she was the best person for the job and they would regret not hiring her. Also an elementary boy told a story at church that suddenly turned very mean spirited. He began making fun of another boy who was huddled defenselessly in his mother's arms. The speaking boy kept attacking and name calling the other boy. He was physically taken away by adults

About this same time we got upsetting news that one of my brothers had been in an auto wreck in his new large white car. He had run over the top of another vehicle. Apparently no one was hurt badly. We wondered if he should be driving at all.

REFLECTION: I have no initial idea of any meaning to assign to this at the moment. It was very vivid so I thought I should record it. I cannot yet imagine anything else to say about it.......

The only structure that is forming about these dreams is they represent three components of the typical adult human life as it develops. These are work or vocation, religious or philosophical disposition and extended family. Each of these is represented in the dream. Much attention is given in the dream to the work aspect of human life. I'm not sure at the moment how much the dreams are describing my personal experience of these or whether it is a statement of how these are ideally to be experienced in general. I guess it is a combination.

So much of one's life energy is poured into what in our culture is our vocation, our calling. It is generally how we spend at least forty hours of waking life a week making a living. I think this dream shows some attitudes and experiences that are part of successful vocation. One thing is that at its best it involves creativity. These teachers were being very creative in their goal of affecting children at a very profound level. And like the story Jesus told they were unaware of what a good job they were doing. They were just being themselves. This made what looked like a very complicated job seem normal and routine to them. They were like the ones who said, 'when did we do anything out of the ordinary?" Their vocation put them in touch with the children in such a way that the children were involved in their own learning in very practical ways. The whole vocational setting was 'country'. It was closely connected to nature and to the lives of creatures(It was on a farm.) So the dream pictures vocation being creative and connecting to other humans and creation in very natural ways. These qualities of vocation easily slip away in our high tech, money driven, impersonal world. The dream would encourage cultural and corporate leaders to create vocational environments where workers have a richer more humane experience.

Also, the vocation shows the need of being conscious of one's persona, that mask that we all need to function in the outside world, that helps give us a 'role to play' and a way to relate to people in our social and vocational surroundings. The men dressed up as 'characters' or 'clowns' each week and presented themselves to others through this persona. Even the 'role of teacher' is a persona as are all described vocations. 
Fits Can Be Thrown Many Ways And At All Ages
It is a tragedy when a person is unconscious of where his real self ends and his persona begins. The woman who demanded a teaching position is a person who thought the role she tried to play was her real person so she pushed it much to far, demanding respect of her role in a way that is not justified or healthy. If one is unconscious of his/her persona, they will take any rejection of their persona as an unbearable rejection of themselves. One hopefully understands that their 'job' or 'profession' is a role and not their truest self. In fact part of its purpose is to cover up or protect one's truest self.

The dream acknowledges that one's religious or philosophical viewpoint is an important aspect of ones life. It is from our religious viewpoint that , like it or not, we make judgments of the values and actions of other 
Religious Learning Project
 people. Here we are shown discussing and making some judgment of one of our members. Fortunately we seem to be able to make a somewhat balanced judgment. We see his human imperfection of being somewhat tight(aren't many of us?.) but we also see his virtue as a positive contributor to the community and lives of others. It is also implied by the dream that our religious or philosophical viewpoint serves to put restrictions on our nasty and uncivil behavior. Hopefully our religious viewpoint can rescue us from our dark and demonic tendencies. Both the would-be teacher and the mean spirited boy were provided disapproval by the religious community for their uncivil behavior. As we mature we carry our own inner corrector of destructive behavior and do not rely on the external community or any external authority to correct us. It is done through the natural development our our religious or spiritual sensibility.

The dream speaks of my connection to biological family. Most of us gradually move away from daily contact with our family of origin. But the impact and the images of family remain very important and influential to us. Two brothers and their wives unexpectedly appear to me as they go about their vocations and living out their personae in ways that are presently quite detached and unknown personally to me. But I still feel a very genuine and 
Two Of My Big Brothers.. Lester and Geroge
caring connection to them. The one I am delighted to see again in this unexpected crossing of paths. And the other I feel I am happy to see can then have  strong concern  as he goes through one of life's troubles. But we are no longer related in such a way that we are having daily profound affect on each other. The people in our immediate family and our vocations are the ones who impact us on a daily basis. In those relationships we have opportunity to sometimes step out of our persona and reveal our more true selves to others. Also , barely noticeable yet very present is Beverly with me. I feel a closeness and presence that never leaves even though she is gone from this life. Also I experience what may can only be true of long time spouses, that (about some things)I know her judgments and values like I know my own. This is because we have experienced each other very close to our actual selves with most of the persona lifted. To a significant extent we've had the experience of 'knowing as we are known.' In this dream I was aware that Beverly was feeling just as I did, especially about the high quality of education the farm school is giving to its children. Beverly would have been very outward in her praise for them and would have been a source of great encouragement to them. I was trying to do that but knew I was not as effective at it as she would be.

Some therapist may see some much deeper themes to this dream but this is the most I can glean from it at the present time. Some of the symbols that may need explored include: the 'wrecking of the cars', the 'clown likeness of the characters', the 'dipping in black' liquid, how my 'brothers appear in the dream' , the 'role of church' to notice a few. But overall it seems to be reminding me of the importance of my life experience of Vocation,Religion and Family. It seems to be more of an enjoyable review than a motivation for me to do or change something. That is nice. Jim

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