Monday, November 9, 2009

Dream Play in the Beyond, An Invitation to Play

In the previous post, I asked a dream-incubation question, “What is beyond the dream?” After the dream visitations of the Day of the Dead, I asked, “What is beyond the body?” and got this dream in response:

I drive my red Triumph Spitfire (the one that I went back to college to retrieve in the healing-dream post) into a tropical town and roll under a big truck in an intersection. I turn off the ignition and crawl out, unharmed, while rescuers take a lifeless body out of the car. They place another victim in a body bag, that shakes spasmodically, and I feel for the victim. The rescuers tell me that it is a miracle I survived.

I look where they have put my car and realize that I could get in and drive away, but I want to stay and help. Besides, I can’t escape, because a red Triumph Spitfire is easy to spot.

In my previous healing dream, the red car is my body image with old gas. After the crystal dream- incubation question, “How can I be faithful?”, one of the responses was, “filling stations”, to service others with old gas. Now the response to my question, “What is beyond the body?”, is similar—don’t escape, but stay and help the others. That’s the miracle!

The same car appeared in a dream response to the question, “How can I be free?” I am racing in my car and flip off the track. The car with my body disappears, while I remain on the track and feel a gradual transformation, beginning at my feet and moving up, like the description of the death of Falstaff by Shakespeare. Having become the living dead, I return to my college fraternity house.

It could be body narcissism represented by my college sports car, but that is how the ego isolates itself from others, from the fraternity. In the first half of life the narcissism fuels the heroic journey, but the second half is the time for fraternity and service, in this realm and beyond.

The red Triumph Spitfire was used in dreamplay in the dreams that I have shared. I invite you to share vehicles that have appeared in your dreams—cars, buses, airplanes, bikes—anything that comes to mind. It’s playtime!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Who is the Dream Play Mate?

In the previous post, the quantum leap of lucid dream energy allowed me to finally leave the childhood home of my midlife dream journey. I asked a dream-incubation question, “What is my lucidity?”, and had a single dream image of a man, collapsed, with strings attached to his body, like a puppet. It was as if the strings held by the puppet master were cut. The new freedom gained on awakening from dream, separated from the puppet master, can be traumatic.

So who is the puppet master, the dreamer who dreams the dream? -- the id, the Self, the not-me, the divine? I incubated the question to see if the dreamer would identify him/her/itself and got this dream in reply. I am on a bus with my wife and others. Beside me is my office laptop computer. I am sitting up front looking out of the windshield as we descend rapidly, causing me concern. I get out at the stop at the bottom of the descent and leave my wife and laptop behind, but get concerned again, run out into the street recklessly and try to get the bus driver to stop for me, but he regards me impassively and drives on.

So who is the puppet master or dreamer? Myself, the dream ego? My wife, my feminine counterpart or anima? The bus driver, the pilot of the dream of my married and working reality? The dream ego has an infantile wish to escape his marital and work responsibilities in the descent of the second half of life. It could be his dream. His wife and anima wants to keep the karmic couple together, the yin and yang, and wants the dream ego to feel the pain and consequences of separation, like the puppet cut loose from the master. The bus driver knows the marital and working reality is only a dream and will not let the dreamer back on board once he has awakened. The driver is indifferent to the loss of reality, the descent, the impermanence of the waking of reality. It’s only a dream.

If the divine is indifferent, why does it bother to answer my questions? The indifference is to my dream, not my awakening. The divine is concerned with awakening; the dream is only a vehicle, a bus. Only play.

The world religions are about awakening. Christ awakened, and the name Buddha means “the awakened one.” But what is it to be awake? What is beyond the dream? I incubated that question also and got only one word in response -- Phoenix. The mythological Phoenix is the bird that rises from its own ashes. Life after death? Reincarnation? Rebirth? Transformation? Then I started humming the Glen Campbell song “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” The next line is “she’ll be rising.” Who will be rising? The mythological bird? The collapsed puppet? The wife I left behind on the dream bus? My anima, my soul? There’s a lot of play in a single word.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Midlife Dream Play--IV The Ascent

My therapist and guide on my midlife dream journey, Z, retired not long after my dream from the last post, but it took me ten more years to finally leave my childhood home in my dreams. It was not until I was able to become conscious in my dreams, to dream lucidly, that I made the escape.

In my first lucid dream I am in my childhood home as I had for over ten years of dreams in analysis, but for the first time I leave! I haul my stuff behind me in some kind of tractor, out of the driveway and into the street out front of the house. I see some black boys in the street, similar to those in my first dream with Z, The Descent, and say, “I’m dreaming,” and everything becomes more intense and alive. The boys pass me without incident, and I decide to use the street as a runway to take off in my tractor and fly. It is a difficult and belabored takeoff, but I do clear the ground and rise above my neighborhood.

The technique of saying, “I’m dreaming” is practiced daily while awake whenever a target event occurs. I practiced this technique whenever what I experienced while awake was in my own imagination, like anxiety or over-excitement, psychic reality versus the concrete. Therefore, when I felt threatened by the boys in the street, I recognized the anxiety and took responsibility for the psychic reality, the imaginal. I could acknowledge the imaginal consciously while both awake and asleep and take responsibility for it. Otherwise I never would have had the courage to finally leave my childhood dream home after all those years of analysis. The month before I had dreamed that the ocean was now close to my childhood home when in fact it is twenty miles away. With the imaginal so close I could finally leave home.

Lucid dreaming is awakening to dream, to the waking and sleeping dream, to the imaginal that includes both. It is our egos that awake from the illusion of our duality, our separateness and isolation, our conflict with others. I see threatening males all the time, but its only a dream that I awaken from. As Jung would say, I take back my projections of my vitality onto threatening men and realize that it is all a dream. Taking responsibility and control in lucid dreaming is taking back all the power the ego has given away. With that power, I was finally able to leave my childhood dream home and face the threatening street males and even fly a little with all my baggage after years of dreamwork in therapy and ASD conferences.

Lucidity is like a quantum leap to a higher level of energy and consciousness in dreaming that allows dreamplay while asleep. When I realized that I was dreaming in the street in front of my childhood home, I was able to play with flight rather than be concerned with the threatening people. Without Z, my guide, I was on my own.