Saturday, November 12, 2011


I had a very rough but functional rural house with two very close up neighbors. The only part of he house in the dream was a rough old basement that was fully open to the outside at one end, so it was full of light. But still it was a basement. There was a large natural white rock formation at the back end of the basement. One neighbor and I discussed how unusual such a white rock formation is. I had gone to some trouble to clean up the rock so that its whiteness was very obvious and appreciated by most anyone who saw it.

The Petree's Strange Rock In The Basement
I had hired someone to put up a wooden fence around the back yard of this place. I was pleased with the work. The neighbor whose property was not involved with the fence pointed out that part of the fence seemed to have not been done with the highest quality. It did not have a solid large corner post but a smaller stake holding the end of it. At first I also wondered if the builder had not given me the expected quality. Then I noticed that this piece of fence was a wire fence, not part of the wood fence. And the builder had erected it at no charge to me as a simple favor. I had not even contracted for him to place that fence around my garden. I felt bad that I had let myself doubt the builder's good will. The end.

REFLECTION This dream contains a lot of archetypal material as well as personal material. The first part is archetypal.  The dream is elevating the value of the basement which represents the unconscious aspect of human life. This is representing the collective unconscious and presenting it as an important part of common human life. It contains an obviously ancient large rock structure. This rock symbolizes that the collective unconscious is filled with the ancient past development of the collective human psyche. The unconscious is pictured as now being more exposed to the light of consciousness which is such an encouraging symbol. I think this is saying that we are at a time in evolutionary history that the material from the collective unconscious is being made more open to consciousness. That the unconscious is finally not being seen as something to avoid and as a place where only the bad and ugly and evil come from. The large white rock is implying that the collective unconscious is a source of 'light' , 'wisdom' and 'goodness'. The unconscious is depicted in the gospel story of the 'treasure hid in a field' . Common 
Large Natural  White Rock
unenlightened ego-consciousness is not aware of the value that lies hidden in the 'dirt.'  But the wise more enlightened person has found and recognizes the value of it and decides to buy the whole field to have access to this treasure. The large white rock shows the dream source as speaking very positively about the value of the material in the Collective Unconscious that seeks always to become conscious in present day humans. This content makes its way to consciousness via dreams, visions, intuitions, art, religious symbolism, music, sacred texts and literature.

This material, to bring its potential good results to humanity, must be received into consciousness and worked with and explored by the critical, scientific, questioning human ego conscious mind. The dream is very hopeful that things are opening up for a coming together and a combining of the opposites..... consciousness and the unconscious to the great benefit of humanity.  My hope is that this era's chaos in most every area of human life is a necessary predecessor  to a new and brighter development for human  and creation's life.  I take great hope in such a dream.

I was called early this  morning to work  a good part of the day. My focus had to of necessity become my outer life and world in order to work. This is a necessary thing for all humans. In recent months I've had the luxury and natural interest to stay closer tuned to unconscious content, including my dreams, than is ordinarily possible for most people. I've had more of that luxury for twenty five years than is common for a person who is also actively working. My work as pastor, teacher, counselor and chaplain itself has allowed me to use much energy for keeping aware of the stirring of the unconscious in my inner life. I have attempted  to be responsible to that unique opportunity. Because of my outer focus today I nearly lost consciousness of this dream. A few minutes ago I became aware that I had dreamed but had no immediate remembrance of it. Suddenly it came back to memory. Most dreams of Western humans are lost in this way. When there is no strong value placed on the nightly message from the unconscious, this makes likely that very little of its kind of treasure is ever received or maintained by ones conscious mind.( Scientific studies show that the 'non dreaming' person is quite rare.)   This can result, in a sense,  in a person experiencing  only half of his/her life. Life becomes nearly completely an experience of the 'outer' and the 'inner' life risks becoming empty and desolate. And one is not clearly  conscious of this imbalance. This unbalanced psyche situation is far more likely in Western people in the post modern world than it has ever been in human history. Until the age of enlightenment the unconscious was experienced through superstition and religion. Drastically during the last 300 years avenues to the inner world have been closed  by a materialistic world view. Even our religions, invite and  often   insist that we focus on our outer life only. Look at our children who are mesmerized by electronic gadgets....T.V. , cell phones, computer games. It is possible that some of this is generating some of the image language of the unconscious  but mostly is more reinforcement that only what is 'out there' is important. Anticipating excitement for life we unintentionally cut off the source of greatest  excitement and hope and go to the outer,and ultimately disappointing,  enticements instead.  Our culture's addictive focus fastens on the 'external,rational, factual,analytical and objective'  at the expense of inner, intuitive symbolic life. And so does the 'busy busy' outward focused work and social life Americans.  But it  is from ones inner life that the capacity to relate intimately and emotionally with other humans is most fully developed. The dream is saying we are at a time where this one sided development of ignoring the inner life  fed by the Collective Unconscious is on the verge of a genuine and  needed shift toward a better balance. The wisdom of the dream says I should stay open to these realities.
The fence dream shows some resemblance to the wooden fence I've been working on this summer between me and a neighbor. That project has finished with the neighbor having a very fine wooden fence facing his property. I had planned that would be the case for my neighbor. The rougher face of the fence faces my side. It was also a personal experience that I had moments of doubting the integrity of the builder which were proven to not be justified. This dream is warning  me that I  may tend to question a person's honesty and integrity before I should and that I could be embarrassed at that lack of trust. That does not mean that I should be naive of the reality of those who would take advantage. But  I need to keep engaged with people and not be as quick to allow myself to think worse about them. In the dream I let the one neighbor influence me in that negative direction. I should have questioned his negative idea before questioning the work that had been well done  by  the builder. JH

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