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.


  1. This reminds me of the movie Waking Life.

  2. Waking life, sleeping life; waking dream, sleeping dream--is the king dreaming a butterfly, or the butterfly dreaming the king?