Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Dream Work Session

In my experience, dream exploration has been a tremendously rewarding process. There are many ways to approach dreams. Mine is a decidedly psychological one with a Jungian bent, though I always stay open to other levels that may be pertinent, such as the psychic and the spiritual. The vast majority of my dream work tends to produce insights and advice that I can apply to daily life and to my understandings of it. Sometimes I find cautionary or preparatory advice in dreams, too.

Below is a recent dream of mine, followed by the notes I made on it. They have been only very slightly edited for punctuation and grammar, as my dream work is frequently scribbled when I’m still half asleep – in the wee hours of the night or when I first wake up. Good times for me to do dream work as my inner censor is also rather sleepy then, too. :-)

Dream of March 24, 2006

There’s a new young secretary in our office. She’s not working out. There’s something rather “off” about her attitude and way of working. My boss fires her, but for some reason I feel sympathy for her. I suggest that, if she’d like, we can talk about all this a little bit in private. She seems resistant to the idea but does follow me. I cannot find a really private space to talk, and finally settle on talking to her quietly in a hallway, outside several doors. I say a bunch of good stuff about her work first. Then I say something to the effect of “However, you need to concentrate on doing what you are told to do, especially in the beginning; then later, once you’ve developed a relationship with your boss, then you can begin to be innovative.” She seems a bit put off at first by this, but then appears to take it in.

Notes Made About the Dream on March 25, 2006:

I’m tempted to see this in terms of food issues, too. (An earlier dream that same night appeared to be largely about my food/eating issues. I’ve found a night of dreams frequently has a theme running through them.) I do always take on a diet change in a haphazard way, or in the dream’s terminology “innovative” way. I never completely stick to either what is recommended or to what I myself had planned. How can I ever learn and “get the job done” that way? What sort of message am I giving myself that way? Ah Hah! This also applies to how I do anything new, any new inner or outer “work.” I’d do well to follow the laid down principles and ways, before getting innovative. I’m reminded here of how I first made a good attempt to learn the basic haiku form before experimenting. So I do know how to do this. Putting a different spin on this all, I need to do what I know is laid out to be done – eat the way I’ve learned I must, and exercise – which will earn me the "pay off" of better health. I cannot substitute creative thinking/ innovation for particular action that is imperative and non-negotiable.

(End of Notes of March 25, 2006)

I hasten to add that having worked with a dream this way doesn’t mean I’ve gotten everything it is offering. Only probably what I most needed or was able to hear at the time. I.e., I’ve had new insights from dreams days, weeks, and even years after working with them. Whether this is in the very nature of dreams or simply my way of working with them I don’t know. However, I often see them as being like sophisticated Rorschach ink blot tests onto which we project aspects of ourselves. As Jung said about symbols: vessels into which we pour our unconscious contents.

These notes illustrate a common experience I have when working with a dream. I have preparatory and often convoluted responses to the dream. Then something crystallizes or “pops” and a valuable point becomes clear to me. Some of my dream notes can go on for many pages, with several valuable gems “popping” along the way. In these notes the valuable point is in the last two bolded sentences. Not all dreams offer gems of insight, some give sweet or funny chips. But all offer something if I take the time to sit and ponder them.

I approached this dream as I do all, by re-reading it as needed and letting the responses flow in writing. I find that handwriting forces my sometimes erratic thinking to organize itself, and at the same time, avoid the distraction of instant editing that keyboarding offers.

I also occasionally use The Tarot with a dream if I don’t seem to be able to “decode it” or an image has a resonance I can’t quite bring through into awareness. In a future post I’ll talk more about how I use Tarot with my dreams. It’s basically not all that different from what I did above: being receptive to whatever thoughts, feelings, memories, images, associations, etc. surface. Even allowing myself to go down paths that may appear to be – and sometimes are – absurd or irrelevant. In my experience, they all prime the pump for that eventual “pop;” that crystallized awareness; that gem of insight or advice.

In closing, here's an excellent resource in the field of dreams:
The Association for the Study of Dreams.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


* * * *If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me – it’s under “View my complete profile” – for permission. * * * *


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