Wednesday, February 29, 2012


1. A continuous repetition of my being in meaningful  conversation with 'The Church Woman' of previous dreams. This was extremely pleasant, enlivening and encouraging to me in every way.

2.First at a community hometown gathering in Florence, AL I met the person who plays Al(likely a  humorous play on AL and Al) Bundy on the  T.V. sitcom  Married With Children.  It turned out that he is, in the dream, a native of nearby Tuscumbia, AL. I was surprised to hear of this and said, "well I've been away from here since 1962." He did not have the negative qualities and poor taste his T.V. character displays. He was very down to earth and hospitable. Then I went to his home which was very lived in and even run down in many ways. He enjoyed his wife and twin boys. We ate tasty food and drank some beer. I've never felt more welcome or entertained. My daughter in law appeared and in a most sincere way questioned to me if 'Al' may have an alcohol problem. I agreed with her that when a person is strongly under the influence they are not fully available emotionally to family and friends. I could not tell if he had a problem/addiction or not. The run down state  of the home might indicate that his drinking was interfering with normal life responsibilities but I certainly could not make such a judgment. He and his wife may have had less materialistic values than many of us about straightness and upkeep of property etc. I knew I had been lifted in spirit by being there for the several hour visit.
Bridge From Florence To Tuscumbia Over Tennessee River

REFELCTION: I have always been more interested in seeing and knowing about celebrities than I  admit. It is hard to not project upon famous people our thoughts and images of the ideal privileged life. To the extent that one would go out of their way at all to just see a celebrity in person is a clue that they are projecting some degree of unconscious  mythological content onto a mortal human. My guess is that most of us do that with  celebrities  we admire from a distance, even more so if we imagine they have personal values that we admire and share. To the extent the projection is about physical appearance and charm even the more we are experiencing the projection of an archetype that makes our actual knowledge of the person close to zero. This may be one of the best ways to see the unconscious projection process going on in the typical Western psyche. The fact that celebrity-ism has built an incredibly strong level of commercial success is evidence of how powerful and real our supposedly  'innocent' projections really are. The character AL Bundy would be considered by nearly everyone as an un-redeeming shadow figure. So the dream is a reminder to me that I, like everyone, carry a shadow aspect. One of the high achievements of spiritual/psychological development is recognizing, facing and eventually accepting  and integrating one's shadow. Only then can the shadow function in its positive role in our life. Similarly any group, family, organization or culture  contains a shadow that functions very negatively and destructively until it is recognized and integrated by some individuals in that demographic. The dream; by attaching a shadow figure, who is imaged as having strong human values, to the  roots of my culture- community, challenges me to  a high appreciation of my origins while not ignoring it's  shadow aspects.
Pump Where Keller Spoke. 'water'

Keller  'Ivy Green' Home Built In 1820
Consciously, I most closely associate Tuscumbia with the birth place of Helen Keller. It may be that the source of the Unconscious  uses this connection to remind me just how 'blind, deaf and dumb' I am spiritually/psychologically  at the purely ego conscious level. That just as Helen Keller is a heroic example of a person   facing and overcoming the childhood physical disabilities of  being unable  to see, hear or talk; so it is with all of us regarding becoming who we are destined to be  by the strength of  our own  sheer will, intelligence and determination. These are all necessary but without the guidance and voice of the Unconscious we can never reach near the goal of fully being  the conscious person of our potential. For it takes both the Unconscious and the Conscious Ego to make a whole human person. No one reaches the goal fully but we can surely be encouraged to know that is our ideal destiny. 
Helen Keller -America's First Lady Of Courage   1880-1968

Tuscumbia is a  Chickasaw word meaning 'cold water' due to it's clear Spring water. Water in all times and places  refers to the  deep boundless source of all that is which we can now rightly call the Collective Unconscious. This can be another way the dream  source is calling my attention to its foundational  importance and how we humans need to drink deeply of its resources. Synchronistically significant also is  the backyard  pump where  child Keller spoke her first word which was 'water.'  'Water' must be the single most common  dream symbol for the 'Collective Unconscious.'  And it is as if this little Alabama town from my roots  shouts from its history, 'Give me water.' The dream also has me 'cross the river' of my youth symbolizing a contained and harmonious  connection to the Collective Unconscious. Is it any surprise the wisdom of the Unconscious leads me there for this lesson? 

Water Falls Of Spring Park Tuscumbia, AL

 And could the Collective Unconscious show any more splendidly its general and determined  intent to bring the 'opposites' together?  It refuses to get rid of any part of reality. Here it casts  Al Bundy along side of Helen Keller, about as opposite as we could at first imagine. But the archetypes behind  both of these contrasting  images and kinds of lives are important and very alive in the human psyche.
Al Bundy Played By Ed O'Neill

The dream goes back to my hometown and thus to my 'core'  origins of personality and psyche. I think it says something earthy and healthy that I am pleased to find this celebrity to be down to earth and having a high value for family, friendship and relaxation with table fellowship. The dream shows my initial projection being lifted and the real person appearing behind it. Now it makes no difference what his work or social  status is for I am experiencing more and more of his core.(This dream has absolutely nothing to do with the real Al Bundy person but is used to plainly describe the psychological projection factor so important and at first unconscious in all human life.) As always, the more clearly we see a human the more certain we will also begin to not only see their virtues but also to experience their 'shadow'. I recall writing in a University paper in 1981 that ,' invariably the more I get to know someone the more certainly I am to have some disappointment in them.' The instructor congratulated me for my honesty. I was aware I was confessing something that was sad to admit. But I think this is an expected human experience in consciousness development. An awareness of the personal shadow always raises a 'question' about the acceptability of a person's private ways or his ethics and morality. The questions here are very common ones in our culture, 'Does s/he have an alcohol or drug problem?' " Is s/he responsible in private family life?' These are actual areas of real weakness and shadow for numerous people. They are also ways that people 'project' parts of their own shadow upon others. And just as celebrities are sometimes projection targets of our high ideals they also receive our negative shadow projections. Any barber, beautician  or local bartender will observe many  examples of this projection process out in the open. And it is obviously quite unconscious. A person leaves pretty much forgetting what they talked about or eagerly listened to for an hour. 

 It was also in Tuscumbia that I had my first childhood experiences with celebrity persons. At the Armory there(or next door Sheffield) as a teen I attended  afternoon concerts including: Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and and country singer Webb Pierce. I missed the afternoon concert of the new young hip-swinging  singer from Tupelo, Mississippi.                      
Image Of A 'Church Woman'

The collective unconscious can unfortunately be a trickster and has led people to very absurd, destructive and obscene actions as they seek to fulfill some image that has welled up in a day or night time dream or 'idea.' That is why I have to question the meaning of the first dream. Why am I receiving this regular encouragement regarding a close relationship with this figure The Church Woman? Am I being teased and played with? Am I being tested to make a fool of myself? Under such an image some men might start going to a different church each Sunday and asking any attractive woman for a date. I must say these images have not led me to take any such action, not even register for For one thing I have to , because of my view of unconscious material, consider that this may always be a representation of my anima, my inner woman and not speaking of a real human woman 'out there' at all. But I also can't deny that there seems to be nothing that would put the 'icing on the cake' of my life experience than for this to be a forecast that such an opportunity is forthcoming in my outer life. I have to as a matter of spiritual discipline hold these two possibilities in tension. Either way my belief is that I am blessed for my inner and/or outer life stand to be enriched either way. It just seems to more likely be pointing to a real woman and I would prefer, from my limited understanding of myself and actual needs, for it to be so.

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