Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DREAM: PAPER ROSES..July 5, 2010

Introduction: I always hesitate to include dreams having sexual content on my blog. This is because our culture is overly- sensitive to sexual content and either treats it only as a physical appetite and drive leading toward dehumanized pornography or is so puritanical to think that human sexuality is somehow naughty or unclean lacking spirituality. One thing I can certainly say is that the source of dreams , the Collective Unconscious, uses sexual images to make some of its strongest statements regarding the spiritual life and regarding the importance of Sacred/Human love. This dream does not foucs on sexuality but like many dreams matter of factly uses some sexual imagery to help the dreamer become more conscious of some of life's most important issues and present day Human needs. This dream demonstrates the dream source using what most consider a 'secular' song to make its very spiritually rich argument.  So with these comments I offer this dream as an addition to my blog.

1. I had three needles, pins or splinters that pierced my head on both sides and back. I noticed blood was spurting out in arterial gushes. Also a boy in my care had the same kind of wound and was bleeding in a life threatening way. I tried to help him apply pressure to his wound but he was too young.  We got to an incompetent hospital where they could not imagine how such wounds had happened or how to heal them. Finally it was somehow brought under control. Very frightening.

2. I was on a youthful pole vaulting team. We were given no training instruction. Suddenly I was suppose to jump 12 feet.  The pole was some new kind that had a top and bottom part but the middle was a flexible strap. Somehow at the last moment you were to throw the bottom in the wooden chute and the whole pole became stiff for the jump. I was first and found that I could not even run fast enough to have adequate momentum to even start to pull myself up and over. The coach just watched and did not comment. I tried with no luck several times. Finally we stopped. I kept studying the situation and felt, with some better understanding and practice, I should be able, with a real pole, to clear 10 feet. Frustrating, humiliating
Pole Vaulter Gaining Energy From Flexible  Pole

3. My name was on a list with others. It was burned into cork. If taken away it kept coming back as part of the list. Then continuously playing is the song 'Paper Roses'.

I realize the way your eyes deceived me with tender looks that I mistook for love. So take away the flowers that you gave me and send the kind that you remind me of .

Paper roses paper roses oh how real those roses seem to be But they're only imitation like your imitation love for me.

I thought that you would be a perfect lover
You seemed so full of sweetness at the start
But like a big red rose that's made of paper there isn't any sweetness in your heart.
Paper roses paper roses...

REFLECTION: I've lived with these images for two days. I think the dreams are affirming and presenting how I am attempting to interpret the last 26 years of my life. I wrestle continuously with the fact that most any outside observer of my internal life dynamics, and even outer life, would have a huge question. Has Jim, through some self deception, wasted the energy and opportunity of this part of his life? I carry that question daily. While I was living these years, both the beginnings when I was under the direct influence of the 'collective unconscious' and then when I was professionally practicing as counselor, teacher and pastor I was confident that my life was building itself always with a good future and honorable end goal in mind. But now as things have slowed down I’m left with great doubts.

1. I'm pictured as wounded, a  three point head wound. That it is a 'Trinity wound' reflects that I have taken a stand questioning the present day efficiency of the orthodox Trinity concept of my formal religion. And to do so has left me wondering just what kind of price I will pay for this? Even though it has come from sincerest motives, centering from logical and 'head' strong reasons. The wounds are 'piercing' ones into my
Head Wound, The Dream Uses This As Metaphor
blood or spiritual  'life' flow. I’m reminded that Jesus' wounds were also ones that 'pierced' his body and life system. (The Eden story has God speaking of  less serious 'wounds to the heel' compared the more serious ones that can 'bruise the head.' This dream depicts the serious 'head wound' but also depicts the wounded one as recovering. This is an example of how new information  needs to be added to the traditional and orthodox  archetypal interpretations.  The goal has changed from trying to avoid the 'head wound' to transcending the strongest blow  that any evil can administer.) A young boy is similarly wounded in the dream. The young boy would represent my 'inner child' who remains a part of the 'sincere and trusting' aspect of my personal psyche. I feel I have a good relationship with 'that boy' and I do not forget to appreciate and tend to him. I’m sorry that he also has to feel this wound. These are wounds that post modern culture has little understanding of and human help is often negligible. But the dream implies that the wound is not increasing and is well on the mend.

2. At the beginning of this 25 years, when I was roughly 40, I was given a task by my life's situation that was an enormous personal challenge. I was expected, with very little guidance and no answers, to have my own consciousness lifted in  seemingly quantum amounts. I had no references or guidelines that were solid. I had 'flimsy' intuition and , in my setting, very doubtful sources of support centered much in Jungian ideas. The dreams present me as breaking the challenge down from what I was first given and coming to think that with appropriate sources and daily practice I should be able to accomplish something significant toward the goal. This is a good and accurate way of describing how I have felt throughout the daily grind of my internal and external life throughout these years.

There is an obvious sexual image in this dream. The 'flimsy pole' is symbolic of 'male erectile dysfunction.' Not only is this a literal male love problem in our day as evidenced in T.V ads, but here it is a metaphor for the 'state of Love's meaning' in our culture. I take this to mean that the 'equipment' I was given to work with by my culture was quite impotent, like a flimsy vaulting pole. Especially much of the religion and spiritual/psychological traditions I inherited had become disconnected from life as it is now commonly experienced. Yet the dream does not show me discarding these resources and starting over, but instead counting on the religious tradition to have sufficient life in it to 'become erect' when used in a critical,thoughtful and trusting way.

3. I take the last dream as affirming that 'my name', who I am, is listed in whatever group my kind of life is a part of. I associate cork with a rather ancient kind of human technology. It is a natural substance that is good at floating, staying on top of even turbulent waters. In dealings with the 'collective unconscious' which can easily sweep one under and out to sea to drown, some individual's life and soul having a 'cork like' quality is a great advantage. Also 'cork' is a common material used as a 'bobber for' fishing. And fishing is a universal symbol of seeking to find, fish for, the needed contents and help from the Collective Unconscious. These
Cork Stamper
'floating' and 'fishing' qualities seem to have been a 'given' for me and thus totally a gift of 'grace', not one that I developed consciously. I also associate, due to some youthful experience, cork being a way to 'stamp' ones name or image onto other parts of his/her environment. I once, for a scout merit badge, made an 'ink stamper' out of cork with my name on it. This might imply that eventually my kind of life and its peculiar challenges can result in something worthy of 'stamping its image' into part of the culture in which my life is lived. I would like to think that my experience will be of some practical value at some point. Even though cork floats and can be used to transmit language, it is also soft and easily destroyed. I think my kind of life and work is also very vulnerable to being discredited and destroyed.

The song continues the theme of whether or not my life has been a waste the last 25 years or has been a significant accomplishment for myself and some others? It all , in my view, has to do with the 'quality and reality of love.' It all began with my awakening via life's outer and inner experience to a greater awareness of Human/Sacred love. I've felt since near the beginning that my life has been a experiment to find out if 'love REALLY is the greatest reality of all.' I Cor. 13, as well as many other Biblical, religious, psychological and philosophical statements make such claims for love and its mysterious powers for good in the world and human life. I hope I will live long enough to find out that the 'love' I have experienced and tried to describe is the genuine article and not a love of 'Paper Roses'. The big question I have of my own life's path is , “Has it overall been built on 'substantial embodied love' or have I been deceived by some betraying inner voice?” I truly don't know. I have little evidence against the latter, though there is some. For example, to my knowledge my four closest relatives, I think, are assured that I love them and I am confident that they experience genuine love for me. This is my intuition, not something that is a matter of detailed conversation. I realize that love could , by Divine grace, have been maintained in family in spite of my failures to grasp a true meaning and practice of love in the other aspects of my life and work

The Question the dreams raise but do not answer: Is there enough living harmony, with the ways I have perceived and described love, for them to be able to effect, in life-building and affirming ways, the broad areas of religion, psychology, sociology and other sciences? I, of course, do not like this song and never did. It's a last choice of mine to ask the central question of my life. But it has been playing in my mind all day long. The dream is asking me to clearly realize that if my entire private and public story of the past 25 years were laid out to a reasonably informed public of peers, that many voices would conclude, at this time, that the 'love' which has captured and ruled my heart and life is only one of 'paper roses.' In Jesus words the question becomes, 'Have I built on rock or sand?'  Considering this dream is coming decades after the situations described, I take this as a  question that has already been answered. So the dream keeps me grateful but also always cautious. I think the dream is primarily a way to help me explain  and describe what I have experienced rather than a warning of present failures or dangers.  The whole process has been supported by 'Sacred Promise' all along.  Jim

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