Sunday, November 20, 2011


1. I was on my hometown football team. My brother Gene came to visit and attended my practice. I felt bad that I was busy and not giving him much time. The practice consisted of boys being in a circle and learning to quickly raise ourselves up when we were down on our backs. I seemed as able as the other players.

2. I was dining with B.W. my best boyhood friend. We discussed cell phones and how to get the best deal. He described his saying he pays $ 30 a month for his calls to other people only. I told him about my tracfone costing only $10 a month. He had to leave in the midst of the conversation.

3.With Beverly and others we were in a dark woods. We became aware that there were rattle snakes in the environment. It was frightening as snakes began to spring from beneath logs and trees as we made our way home. We arrived at my Alabama childhood home. On the front lawn and porch were dozens of these large rattle snakes. We were trying to avoid getting bit. Beverly picked up a bag of snakes that had been captured. But one of them got its head out of the bag and bit her firmly on the hand. I pulled the snake's fangs out of her hand. We headed to a hospital where I became concerned that too much time was passing without Beverly receiving treatment. She finally did and was O.K. The doctors were interested in helping victims of snake bites but they also seemed very interested in and protective of the snakes, not wanting to destroy them or declare them as primarily bad. Beverly took that attitude more and more . By the end of the dream she had requested to be part of an ongoing study that would keep her connected to the snake that had bitten her.

REFLECTION: On the surface this seems like a strange set of dreams. I reflected on them throughout day. The  dream from yesterday was about what might be called  my core self. This dream presents several symbols from my childhood core personality. These are brother Gene who actually came to one of my Jr. high basketball games where I stole the ball three times only to miss the lay up shot each time. I was mortified but I surely knew he cared by his taking time to come see me play. So his appearance refers back to my core person. The same is true of B.W., a very secure image of childhood. The phone conversation documents my conservative/thrifty side as being a part of my central core. And that we arrive from the forest to my childhood home front yard and porch. A fourth part of the scene is Beverly appearing as very close to my core person. My experience of Beverly is the most extensive and challenging I've had with any human being. So the dreams build the solid foundation of my core personality, the kinds of structures and relationships that are the root of my conscious being.
My Double Minute Tracfone

The snake symbolism is the strongest and most emotional in the dream. The snake dream begins with me, Bev and others coming out of the deep forest. The deep forest adds an archetypal element and refers to the collective unconscious with all its danger, timelessness and mysterious creatures. The serpent or snake is one of the widest and oldest archetypal symbols imaginable. With the exception of the demonization of woman and serpent  the Genesis narrative made central for Western civilization, the serpent has often been a positive symbol, indicating especially wisdom and the feminine. It carries forth its ancient meaning of healing on the present American physician's logo. Westerners have one of the strongest negative internal demonizations of the serpent that the 'collective unconscious' could ever bring into realization . If you doubt that imagine the American households who this spring will greet the innocent garter snake with nothing less than  a shovel or hoe with one goal in mind, to kill the creepy creature. I surely had my share of such encounters with snakes in my early adult years. I killed a good number for irrational reasons in my life. Do most ever stop and ask where these feelings of fear and hate come from or what they mean? I would say anytime a human's reaction to any creature of nature is to kill it without asking questions something has gone quite wrong in the human psyche. How can a Christian allow such an unquestioned attitude continue and also take seriously the creator once saying of all creatures, 'they are good?"
Snakes Valued Across Cultures

This dream pictures Beverly taking the direct bite of a snake and my pulling the snake's fangs out of her. Interestingly she and I are pictured in a similar fashion as the Adam and Eve myth in their dealings with the serpent. And Beverly and I are at first pictured also as experiencing the serpent as an enemy and one set to harm us. Beverly surely experienced her share of what can only be called evil in the harsh anxiety that threatened to paralyze her joy and the horrible burn accident and finally the experience with cancer. So the dream does not deal lightly with this symbol that has been so universally associated as evil. The dream presents evil as a reality, not just the 'absence of good' that so many Christian apologists have argued through the ages. Jung pointed out that good and evil in nature reign as mutual powers, one as real as the other. He lamented that Christianity has often tried to artificially give good the upper hand when the experience of evil and the psychology of it is as real and unpleasant as the good that is its psychological opposite. His psychology demands that both be accepted as part of the original source of all that is, so somehow evil has to be seen as a real part of the Sacred source or of the Godhead. I have, as the dream implies, experienced such evil threats from within and without. And in my bond with Beverly I experienced the way she courageously fought  and endured various kinds evil threats against her. Such experience has been deep and continuous enough to become a part of my true core person.

The dream shows a transition or transcendence of the meaning of the snake. The doctors, those who claim and try to operate from an objective and healing standpoint of reality, avoid being pulled into the strong negative emotion regarding the snake that is so common in the masses. They are not denying it can do harm to humans, as can most other animals and vice verse, but they are saying the snake has every right to be here as the human and serves some good purposes as all creatures must. And the dream shows Beverly, even though hurt by the snake, come to a 'new mind' about it. She is pictured as undergoing a 'repentance' regarding the nature of the snake. So much so that she wants to be somehow in contact with the specific snake that bit her causing very serious circumstances.
Why Are We So Disturbed Even By Harmless Serpents?
 The story of the Israelites looking at a serpent on a standard to avoid the bites of the serpents on the ground is a description of the serpent being the means of transcending its own evil reputation. The image of many snakes( in this story and in my dream) makes the threat of harm and evil amplified in the human mind.

Beverly in the dream is a beautiful example of a personal ego-consciousness being raised to a higher level. The symbolism takes us in the direction of the uniting of opposites, of enemies becoming friends, of emotional reactions being brought into harmony with a full reality of both our conscious and unconscious lives and experience. A balance is found so the answer in this life is not the eradication of either of the opposites. The first human-like vision I had at Park Point in N.W. Houston on a mid August morning in 1985 was an Adam and Eve figure both holding the serpent, implying they had somehow transcended the picture of serpent deceiving or harming them. There was nothing in the image implying that their intent was to kill the serpent. Perhaps it is to bring all forces into equilibrium and then to discern how all three were designed to live together in a harmonized creation. Psychologically and spiritually the dream is pointing to a transcendence of good and evil. This is a picture of the human ego as having an essential role to play in this happening. I suggest that The Sacred itself also reaches new heights of inner stability and maturity as humans undergo the process of experiencing evil through suffering and through raised levels the opposites in our human psyches becoming united and balanced. We should remember that these opposite pairs include: 'good and evil', 'human and divine', 'power and form', 'consciousness and unconscious', 'Agape and Eros', 'body and soul' , 'sexuality and spirituality, and 'spirit and matter'

Positive symbols in the football practice scene are that I am on the team. That is something I never accomplished in real life. I am a part of a 'circle' , which is a strong symbol of wholeness and completeness. And we are learning how to 'raise ourselves up when we were down on our backs.' These would later become conscious measures I would undertake as guided by what at first were unconscious processes.

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