Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst
Gerald Gifford {at Forum #1}

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dreams and themes

Fisrt I just wanted to respond to you Jerry, and say I'm sorry if I hijacked Stephen's post, I wanted to try to help understand the gay theme since it is active in my dreams too.

I liked your question to me about if I thought there was a censor in dreams. I don't really think of it as a censor that inserts misleading symbols, but I just meant it as that typical conflict, I think that Campbell calls the product of the organs and energies of the body in conflict with each other. Doesn't he say something like that?

That brings me up to your other point that the essence of the dream is theraputic. I do believe you there, but you also say that the dream presents the problem, so I may be splitting hairs, but I wonder if it would be technically inappropriate to say that the dream is just as much presenting the problem as the problem or bias is imposing itself on the dream. And that the theraputic aspect of the dream is possibly chiefly in its compensatory function.

I trust your understanding of the function of the aspects of the psyche and dream, my interpretation may be in need of revision, and it certainly is in need of further developement. Please let me share a dream or two to explain my thoughts.

Today:

I walk into a room where carpenters are installing reinforcements and it is going to be a room for audio and video media. There is a woman there among the men helping. someone mentions the woman is crazy or stupid. A large man is speaking to me kindly, I believe he tells me the woman is not fit to help us.

a couple years ago:

At the paper mill where I used to work during summers between college. (this is a place that has taken on a pejorative meaning in my dreams, a place where I dump alot of inferiories). Outside on top of a middle sized structure. A tv is playing a short loop of a news anchor saying something, it just repeats continuously. I'm with a friend Joe(who is in real life well adjusted and rationally inclined, but we have some different political and philosophical views). There is a door, I think it is locked, but Joe opens it. Inside is a kind of cell phone store or something. I notice I have a white shirt on. In the middle of the store is a woman standing inside a round glass cylindrical barrier. I have the understanding she is crazy. Joe and I walk across the store to the opposite wall and look at some display items. My sister in law is beside me looking at items. I do not say anything to her. I have a mouthful of food and am worried about swallowing loudly.

To me this shows the problem and there is little compensation in the way of nature for the bias. Perhaps my sister-in-law is showing me that the crazy woman is actually some one who I can know and don't have to be afraid of.

July 18 2009

I find myself looking down on a city. I'm looking out of a hotel room or apartment from a very high floor. I understand I'm in a reality show where the contestants have to outlast each other up here. I want to get down, but the top of the next tallest building is too far down for me to jump. When the reason for this reality show dawns on me, suddenly a woman or two give up and throw themselves out of the room. I hear them talking to each other as disembodied spirits. One tells the other she would rather die than be a robot, speaking the end of her statement in a robotic voice. I realize there must be a door to the hallway and I could just leave that way. When I get to the door, a group of guys in the room ask me to shut the door. After a pause, I see my foot kick the door shut decidedly. I ask them why they wanted my to do that. One says they just wanted to know who's or what side I'm on. One of the guys is laying on a couch and the group and I all put our heads together next to his affectionately....at the bottom of a hill at my childhood friends house. I'm playing Soundgarden (grunge rock) really loud, my wife and her family are there. I'm mad for some reason, I don't want to turn the music down or talk to them. My dad directs my attention to a man walking up the hill to a neighboring house. It is hugh jackman (wolverine from x-men) there is a wolf or some animal walking behind him, not stalking him, and maybe as his pet. My dad remarks he is suprised by this.

Maybe the compensation is trying to say that I think I'm some kind of inflated x-men person, but I'm only climbing a childish hill. Or maybe it's saying there are issues that formed at this childhood time in my life that led to my current bias and intoleration. Am I reading these properly? In a day or two I hope to share a dream or two that is part of a more mysterious or numinous chapter from my recent dreaming and maybe it will show some more feminine activity. Don't worry about applying too much detail in your response, I just wanted to share. Thanks Jerry

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Re: dreams and themes

Sam,
You need not worry about any hijacking. I appreciate your comments. A thorough discuss of Jungian concepts is how we learn from each other. Only a fool considers himself to be always correct. My thinking is always question authority and in this instance I guess I would be the 'authority'.
Oohh!. My 'hippie' instincts cringe at thinking I am the 'authority'. Envision a Chicago policeman with a night stick swinging away at some innocent bystander. Reminisce of 1968.

As for your question about the essence of the dream being therapeutic. My belief is it is therapeutic in the way nature provided it to be. As with the immune system of the body, nature's intent to help ward off illness and infections, I see the dream as providing the same function. Indeed the compensatory function would reveal the therapeutic value, if recognized by the dreamer {a stipulation of any dream, the dreamer understanding the dream message and intent}. But I believe because the dream is 'truthful', without ego bias as an obstacle to that truth, it is a 'natural' therapeutic process. Whether nature had a conscious intent to provide such a tool {we can say the same for the immune system} would imply we believe in an intelligent source behind such mechanisms. I believe evolution has its way of providing what is needed for a species to survive. Darwin started that discussion and for any objective thinking person it can not be denied {we are getting away from the subject but I can not help but comment on such matters}. The dream just happens to be one of those tools that is less understood. Or was before Jung provided his theories.

By saying the 'dream presents the problem' I see it as doing so to provide the dreamer with the truth in their life and not as a problem with the dream. I look at the dream as a 'film' of the dreamer's emotional life, with every piece being truthful and without bias. My take is that is what Jung proposed. There is no censor as Freud proposed, I've never seen that within a dream that would fit with the waking life experiences of the dreamer. If it doesn't fit you must acquit {OJ got off with that statement}. The problem is not with the dream, its structure, its symbolic message. It is the emotional problem of the dreamer's life.

Campbell's statement you quote is a strong statement most miss when reading his many works. The organs and energies in conflict with each other is in my view a statement of the varies aspects of the whole psyche in conflict. The body craves one thing, the mind concurs and thus a conflict with the other positive aspects of the psyche {the spiritual aspect}. Campbell commented on the psyche having this natural aspect of caring for the other. His story of the police officer saving the man jumping from a cliff at his own {policeman's} peril illustrated his belief of such an aspect. The officer said when asked why he did not let go, " I could not have lived with myself if I had".

It is the emotional self that gives in to the desires of the body. It is the desires and fears that are in conflict with those 'greater' qualities of Self. Self with a capital S vs the self. Nirvana is when we reach that plateau of balance and harmony, where Campbell put it this way:
"Nirvana is the a psychological indifference to fear, desire and SOCIAL DUTY". Fear and desire, and in everyday life of commitments social duty, is the cause of suffering. Nirvana is teh cessation of all suffering and to get there the emotional fears and desires must be extinguished.

Your quote takes me to Campbell's opening paragraph from Transformations of Myth Through Time.
The material of our life, the material of our body, the materials of our environment, and a living, vital mythology deals with these in terms that are appropriate to the nature of knowledge of the time.

This woman with her baby is the basic image of mythology. The first experience of anybody is the mother's body. And what Le Bebleu called participation mystique, mystic participation between the mother and the child and the child and the mother, is the the final happy land. The earth and the whole universe, as our mother, carries this experience into the larger sphere of adult experience. When one can feel oneself in relation to the universe in the same complete was as that of the child with the mother, one is in complete harmony and tune with the universe. Getting into harmony and tune with the universe and staying there is the principal function of mythology.


Although this is primarily a statement of mythology I see it as a truth to the universal realms,a universal truth. It states two concepts I believe to be true and most important in understanding how the psyche functions. One is the 'mother' being the center in which we all enter into life. She is the most important aspect and I see this as a statement of the power of the feminine {and why the 'church' resists attempts to give power to women}. The second is the association and relationship of the individual to the whole. What is truth on one level is truth on all levels. The mother applies to both the human and the universal truths.

My education in Jungian psyche began with Campbell, is primarily an education of Jung through Campbell. Studing Campbell let me skip the in depth studies of the great masters from which he and Jung derived their philosophies {as is true with most studies of any master-you learn what they have learned}. Campbell was great at 'articulating' Jung's message. But even with his great ability to articulate it took me many attempts in reading his works to understand all that he had to say. And within those statements I discovered many tidbits of truth, secrets if you will that are often missed when generally reading Campbell. His words above, "the child and the mother, is the final happy land. The earth and the whole universe, as our mother, carries this experience into a larger sphere of adult experience" illustrate this belief. The mother, whether it be the human mother or the universal mother, is the final happy land. For me this says that it is the 'feminine' aspect from which we receive the nourishment needed for true balance and harmony. Whether it be spiritual, Jesus living from the feminine aspects of love, giving, sacrifice, nourishment, or the creative where we utilize those feminine aspects in self discovery of that thing in life that provides us our bliss, or the intuitive nature that let's one understand 'hidden' aspects {as in dreams and myth as well as other earthly human abilities}, it is from the feminine aspects of the psyche we gain greater understanding and abilities. What may seem a great statement by Campbell has the limitations of understanding. I see these as truths that underlie nature itself. It took me many years to understand these truths and I am constantly amazed at finding new truths in statements by Campbell, Jung and other pioneers of the deeper psyche.

Because this post is so long I will comment on your dreams in another. And again, you need not worry about posting your thoughts. I encourage participation by everyone. If there are concerns about the legitimacy of a concept or thought,do not let that stop you from posting. Discussion is the path to understanding. Understanding is the road to truths. Understanding the truths, whether it be personal or universal, is the journey to a balanced and harmonious life.

Jerry

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Re: dreams and themes

Sam,
The first dream.
I look at the various people in the dream as aspects of yourself. You are the carpenter installing reinforcements {the question becomes, reinforcements to what emotional aspects in your life}. Audio and video is seeing and hearing. Certain feminine aspects are at a lower level to the the masculine. Not only at a submissive level but also being defamed, unworthy as opposed to masculine aspects.
Where does this fit in your life?

Dream 2
The opening sentence for me describes a time and place were particular emotional energies took birth. I see such language about childhood often in dreams and my take is they are pointing to the underlying causation of emotional conflicts in the dreamer's life. I have had this verified many times and look at it as a 'universal concept' in my understanding of dreams { always qualifying that statement in the whole context of a dream}.

You state is a place where you dump a lot of inferiority. Could it be a source of some of those inferiority, or a time/experience where such inferiority were reinforced to the point they took on great energies?
Something is repeating itself. Attitudes, bad habits, emotional patterns? You identify with these even though they cause conflict in your life {Joe}. Joe may possess aspects you need to open locked doors within the unconscious.

Again your feminine aspects are at a lesser level. These could be inner feelings toward yourself, and/or have associations with waking life experiences. But she is in the 'middle' of you attempts to realize harmony and balance {round glass cylindrical barrier}. You lack communication with certain feminine aspects/qualities {sister-in-law}. You have problems in vocalizing these aspects, unable to swallow/accept them.

What are the inferior feminine qualities in your life. Where did they begin? There isn't a bias of the feminine, there is a barrier.

Dream 3
Of course the city is you, your total being. My take on 'outlasting' each other is you may be avoiding those aspects that need attention or resolution. You are too 'high up' to realize this. Perhaps this is a statement about the bias you perceive in your dreams toward the feminine. It could even be addressing waking life biases {you can fill in the blanks toward whom or what}.

Disembodied spirits. This seems to be a description of feminine aspects/experiences. Robotic is a description of an aspect of yourself toward the feminine. A 'robotic' pattern of behavior or thinking?
A strong masculine identity. As usual, in my philosophy in reading dreams where there is language about children, its roots began in childhood. Grudge rock. Not familiar with that game but the wording itself suggests resentment, emotional energies of conflict. It may be causing obstacles in your family life, an inability/unwillingness to communicate.
Your dad is directing you. This could be addressing inherited/learned influences from your father. There is something about him that follows him around, not a thing that conflicts with who he is. The wolf symbol, perhaps hostility or aggression. It is his pet. It may be your pet. Perhaps another indication that supports childhood experiences as being the root of adult behavior/thinking.
"Or maybe it's saying there are issues that formed at this childhood time in my life that led to my current bias and in-toleration."

What are your biases and in tolerances? Are you aware of them?

The proper method, or should I say the best method in interpreting a dream is to have the dreamer and interpreter together so there can be an assessment of the dream language first hand. I don't have that luxury using only gender and age as the primary information about the dreamer. Although this may limit my ability to understand the dream it does not necessarily limit my abilities to read the dream. But getting to the exact details of what the dream is addressing does require in-depth knowledge of the dreamer. This is where you must take the lead and use what I have proposed and go with that. I used to have illusions about my abilities to understand the dream but with teh acceptance of my intuitive self, that being an acceptance of the power of the feminine, I no longer have such doubts. I may not always be 'right on' in my assessments {my responsibilities to the social dragon being one obstacle to that} I am generally in the ball park. I take this as a truth from the responses to my interpretations, especially over the past year and a half.
In other words, beyond perhaps a too strong opinion of my abilities, the feminine aspect is indeed the powerful force I believe it to be. And when that powerful aspect is ignored, relegated to a lesser level, emotional neurosis is often the consequence.

It sounds as if you may have that problem with certain feminine aspects in your life. Of the first dream I ask where do these qualities of seeing the feminine as a lesser quality fit within your life. How did your father feel about such things?

Jerry

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Re: dreams and themes

Thanks for your thoughtful replies Jerry. I think a powerful characteristic of mine is my need to feel authoritative, because in reality I have created for myself a certain amount of dependence on authority. I have a pretty acute conscience, and while that can be a good thing, it often flares up around my dad when I know I've done something he would admonish. Not that he is really much of a moralist, but he acts very much in the conventions of our society. I can see in people who I know or am friends with, the degrees to which this decides people's character. There are people I think who have submitted to authority who may have success or only limited success under that authority, but who I would guess would not test their conscience in order to search their own judgments. And I think I know people who might be somewhat cruder or primitive than me, but who don't suffer the kind of difficult guilt that I might if I had done what they did.
What might be an organic need for more self-confidence, or whether it's the dynamics of a primitive power drive, it must be related to the emotional feminine center, or the Self. It must be an obstacle toward emotional development. I'm very grateful for your help and encouragement, Jerry. Thank You

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