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

Since 1998

Since 2012

Since 2005
Contribute to
Kitty Fund
The Dream Forum Is Open

By submitting a post you have read and agree to Our Disclaimer/Privacy Policy



Power of Dreams/MDS Dream Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

My brother Michael and I are with an old man. He is giving us instructions. We are each about to assemble our gear/vehicles and depart for a journey together. Preparing to set off, I step outside and see our three vehicles staged to depart. I fasten my Army rucksack to the front grill of my vehicle, a sport utility vehicle that is new to me. I then see an image of the old man’s face very close before me, speaking to me. It is a weathered/wizened face, but not excessively so, not in a manner that gives the impression of weakness or frailty. And it is not so refined appearing as if to produce ideals of some elevated grace. This is a face that has lived and lives “in the world.” He is not even clean shaven. I see the growth of his whiskers. I like that. He is real and has no need to impress. As I wake from this dream, I have a deep sense of the ocean, coming out of or away from the ocean.

Later, I have an image of being as is separating two heads of hair, combing them free of one another. And then of a single feather, using my fingers to comb it free of any miniscule debris’ and then preening, reforming and smoothing its barbs. (Scene chagnes) I am before my mother. I am standing and speaking to her with a raised voice, certain of my self-expression. I tell her a few times over in different words/language that though I was born of her, I do not belong to her, that I am not hers, and I am not her. She yields to me, does not feel any right to refute what I have said. (Scene chagnes) I am with Aunt Mary and Uncle Chuck, sitting on a sofa beside my Aunt Mary. They have witnessed or are aware of what I have just communicated to my mother. I “get” that they also know/understand what I suffered through as a child. Aunt Mary is telling me/reminding me how she and another provided for me/communicated love to me as a child. I imagine the other is my Godmother, my Aunt Delores. I do remember and “feel” this as she speaks to me. I then see someone new in the home, a young male child, perhaps 9 or 10 years old. He is happy and he is bright/intelligent. He wants to show me his puppy, to share his puppy with me. I greet the dog. My Uncle Chuck then accompanies me upstairs, telling me where things are, where I will sleep and then takes me to the bathroom and points out a clean hand towel and facecloth for me. Through this portion of the dream, I feel that I am coming clean of mind impressions, of bitterness.

Kristi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 44, Kansas

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? yes

Re: Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

Kristi,
The first paragraph looks to be focused on 'wise' masculine aspects. 'He' is wanting to take the lead in your journey. This animus aspect is in dialog with your unconscious the dream}. Although this aspect is not frail/weak, neither is it refined. It is maturing {growing whiskers} and is from the deep unconscious {ocean}.

The second part of the dream begins with the separation of two aspects, two heads. Perhaps this is to distinguish the masculine from the feminine. It could be addressing both inner qualities as well as personal experiences {early life}. As all dreams do, there is the need to free oneself of the 'emotional debris' accumulated throughout life.

You are not your mother. This may be saying something about the differences in personalities/traits between you and your mother. It may also be addressing strong feminine attitudes that conceal a weak masculine self. You possess a strong feminine attitude {certain of my self expression} which may be different from your mother {was she unable to express herself, possess weaknesses you do not admire?}. Was your mother submissive, a trait of a weak masculine? This may be a trait you fear you inherited and thus a need to grow in {first paragraph}.

Scene changes. This may be a focus on early life experiences but also dealing with the whole self {relatives, aunt and uncle}. Aunt Mary and Uncle Chuck could also be the opposites being addressed in the dream which would be emotional conflicts of personality. It may be your Aunt Mary did provide comfort to you as a child but more so you could represent your own inner strengths as a child taking it on yourself to provide that comfort {it comes to my mind you were introverted as a child, looking inward for that needed comfort}. Did your Godmother also provide close comfort for you as a child?

The last part of this paragraph is probably important. Anytime I see age mentioned in a dream {usually it is at the beginning of a dream} it is a reference to that time frame of the dreamer's life {9-10 years old}. It usually addresses literal experiences. and although it is a boy in the dream who is 9/10 it would be you at that age {with the possibility of a literal experience with a boy also}. The puppy may symbolize 'undeveloped skills', something that began in childhood related to experiences expressed in the dream. From here we have an interaction with your Uncle Chuck. And the language reverts back to metaphor {with a less likely possibility of literal experiences}.
Was Uncle Chuck a good role model as a masculine figure? Upstairs where you sleep, your unconscious {possible unconscious stimuli}. There is a cleansing/bathroom {or a need/desire for} of the persona {facecloth}. With such a cleansing of personality there is also a cleansing of the bitterness from early life.

The last part involving Uncle Chuck may need deeper examination. If he fits the role of a good model then it would be metaphor. But literal experiences may also be in play, literal experiences with Uncle Chuck other than being a role model.

Generally the dream does seem to be addressing masculine aspects. What was underdeveloped from childhood is now maturing. Of course the 'bitterness' in life would also be a focus of the dream. You can fill in the blanks.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

It was a white whiskered face which I attributed to being consistent with the wise/aged masculine. I did not look at the angle of "growing" a beard as reflecting growth of the wise masculine, but it fits. It was important that I perceived him as a "worldly" man...

Given what I know of myself and taking my other (Mark) dream, what it being spoke of is the Puer aeternus:


Puer aeternus. Latin for "eternal child," used in mythology to designate a child-god who is forever young; psychologically it refers to an older man whose emotional life has remained at an adolescent level, usually coupled with too great a dependence on the mother.[The term puella is used when referring to a woman, though one might also speak of a puer animus-or a puella anima.]

The puer typically leads a provisional life, due to the fear of being caught in a situation from which it might not be possible to escape. His lot is seldom what he really wants and one day he will do something about it-but not just yet. Plans for the future slip away in fantasies of what will be, what could be, while no decisive action is taken to change. He covets independence and freedom, chafes at boundaries and limits, and tends to find any restriction intolerable.

[The world] makes demands on the masculinity of a man, on his ardour, above all on his courage and resolution when it comes to throwing his whole being into the scales. For this he would need a faithless Eros, one capable of forgetting his mother and undergoing the pain of relinquishing the first love of his life.[The Syzygy: Anima and Animus," CW 9ii, par. 22.]
Common symptoms of puer psychology are dreams of imprisonment and similar imagery: chains, bars, cages, entrapment, bondage. Life itself, existential reality, is experienced as a prison. The bars are unconscious ties to the unfettered world of early life.
The puer's shadow is the senex (Latin for "old man"), associated with the god Apollo-disciplined, controlled, responsible, rational, ordered. Conversely, the shadow of the senex is the puer, related to Dionysus-unbounded instinct, disorder, intoxication, whimsy.

Whoever lives out one pattern to the exclusion of the other risks constellating the opposite. Hence individuation quite as often involves the need for a well-controlled person to get closer to the spontaneous, instinctual life as it does the puer's need to grow up.

The "eternal child" in man is an indescribable experience, an incongruity, a handicap, and a divine prerogative; an imponderable that determines the ultimate worth or worthlessness of a personality.[The Psychology of the Child Archetype," CW 9i, par. 300.]

The wise old man is what is needed, the compensation to remedy the part of me resistant to growing up, the one possessing the courage, knowledge and direction needed.

While the wise old man may come from the deep unconscious, I am seeing the ocean, in this instance, as coming away from/out of the mother, moving into the journey of individuating, out of unconsciousness and into the world, more individually.

I only now think of the Army rucksack on the front of the vehicle as reflective of my first entry into the world, to now garner/regain, utilize more of my initial inspiration for an individual life, in a new way.

I've had these dreams of imprisonment that the definition above speaks to. Another side of the puer, not seen in my Mark, is the masculine who likes to fly high, ascending, above life, in the world of light and spirit, to be "above it all," and not in the dirty mix of life. This is me (has been me), too.

I think the dream is a good reflection of what I am working through.

The separating of two heads of hair and the language with which I speak to my mother are reminiscent of a poem that has been important to me:
On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

As hair can be reflective of thoughts, I think this is showing a furtherance of separation from "mother." The mother complex has been huge for me. I believe this dream has a therapeutic value, shows the tensions I am working through. I did not write it in the language of the dream, but after I speak to my mother, she sits down, sort of "deflated." I see this now as important given I have had "mother" in an inflated position.

It is true that my mother was submissive. I did inherit this from her. I often compensated for it (the weak masculine) through "bravado" or a sort of pseudo-courage...not real courage, not a self-directed assertiveness, but more from a protective sort of aggressiveness (defensiveness).

Right now, I think the Aunt Mary and Uncle Chuck are showing a stage of the change of my inner parenting. It is the inner mother and father that is being worked with. The old mother sits down. I am given to see where there was some positive mothering received in my early life, which is still a bit of an unfolding mysetery to me. I say this as your questions caused me to ponder the nature of my Aunt Mary and Aunt Delores. I did not have very much contact with either one of them. Yet, because I was an intuitive and introspective child, I studied them when I did see them and I did derive positive benefits from doing so. I was given/did receive another face of "mother" not received from my own mother. My Aunt Mary/Uncle Chuck are ones I saw as having provided positive scaffolding for their own daughters who entered life as mature and well adjusted adults with professional educations, etc. This was not a possibility in my early life. And yet, that positive parenting is still available to me now.

What my Godmother did for me was to "see me," to recognize aspects of myself that were not "noticed" by others. Though I saw her very little through life, it was her calling attention to them that furthered my own consciousness of myself, gave me the ability to see my own self. It was my intutive aspects she called attention to.

Another twist I thought this dream may have held is that of Mary and Delores. I searched the meaning of Delores last night and found that it comes from the Spanish "Dolores," from the epithet " María de los Dolores, meaning "Mary of Sorrows." In my return to my Christian faith, I have embraced Mother Mary and praying of the Rosary. And besides these little connections, the truth is that there was a huge grace in my young life, that becomes more and more apparent to me as I continue to work through things, as I continue to own the story of my life.

I did have to take a lot upon myself as a child, as you mention. But a child does not do that, I could not have done that, were it not for the presence of a grace. There was definately a something "other" that guided my young life.

I may find that there is more to be added/found, but right now I am seeing the young boy as "new life," a new masculine attitude ... part of the undeveloped masculine psyche that is and will continue to grow with the positive inner-parenting. This parenting is the compensation/remedy/medicine/therapy for the embittered little boy of Mark (me). With continued good inner-work, he may well become the masculine half of the "divine child" born of my maturing adult self.

I am not drawing any associations with the upstairs sleeping area other than to "sleep on this" information the dream presented, to receive it, let it be in me.

I think the washing of the face is the washing of the attitudes/mindset/perspective of the old Mark of me.

Kristi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 44, Kansas

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? yes

Re: Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

Kristi,

Let me say first for those who may not be aware of this fact, you are one of those who has consciously decided to do serious inner work using Jungian psyche {Individuation Process}. Such an undertaking is a 'heroic' deed because it does take much courage, and discipline, to dare do so. Self discovery is something few ever truly engage in, the deeper work that really does address the true nature of the self. I believe being a good example is what the hero/heroine does upon the 'return'. You are a great example.

The work you have done is tremendous, your detailed response indicative of that. I was greatly interested in knowing if there were inherent/learned traits you shared with your mother since it was something I 'sensed' from the dream. Of course you confirmed this, and your knowing the shared aspects is very important as you know {for anyone who did not know the importance, shared or learned traits can link underlying/unconscious influences formed from earlier life that cause emotional conflicts in the present day}. Where there are weaknesses of the psyche, knowing what they are is paramount to addressing how to improve or change such traits. That is what dreams do as a therapeutic device {where the body has the immune system to help ward off and heal physical conflicts, the psyche/mind has the dream to perform the same function}.

You have realized a need for a 'separation from mother' in your journey to wholeness. The 'mother complex' has been a negative influence in your life as was my 'father complex' was in my search. Compensation has been in the form of wrong decisions and actions throughout life, the need so great to change those negatives {which were not our fault, our inner child still thinking it was} being most important in healing the wounds caused by our parents. I believe most everyone has such childhood issues. They may not solely cause a person to do 'one thing' or another but the influences do often predispose us to. It isn't rocket science to understand that.

The dream is about that journey and the whole plot involved from your waking life. What the dream does that most people will not or can not do is look at the life objectively. As individuals we are so focused on self, a subjective view of self, we never see what is really there. The dream, with its often strange language of symbol and metaphor, is about helping to see oneself objectively, and as it truly is. This is what is meant when the term 'true self' is used. It is much like someone following a person around all the time, video/filming everything, and then showing the video to the person. There is a true realization, an actual view of what is actually happening and not how the person perceived the actions to be
Again, not rocket science.

I do have a question about Aunt Mary and Uncle Chuck. Were they so close in your early life that you viewed or thought of them as parents? Have you had dreams were they were depicted as 'parents' to you? Do you feel as if they qualify as true 'inner parents' to the point there presence in a dream is metaphor for them being inner parents? I am always aware of what Jung say about the dream. It means what it says. I don't question that this is true or not, I wish only to clarify it so we understand how such imagery cam represent something so emotional attached as parents. Even if they represent 'inner parents'. Being role models could of course present in a light of such.

The relationship with your Godmother. Was there an actual experience{s} where she did bring attention to your 'intuitive' self or was that part of the dream grandmother? She is also an aunt which could make one believe your extended family was very involved in your life and a need to look to those experiences as strong influences in your life. And the possible inherent/learned traits they may have passed onto you.

And finally. The mention of the age 9/10 years old. Can you think of anythings so emotionally strong from those years in your life that may be relevant to your life? You state your childhood was challenging but does the dream reference of a 9/10 year old boy have any relevance to actual experience? Or was it, as you state and which makes sense, the boy merely being a 'part of the undeveloped masculine psyche'? You identify him with Mark. That may suggest you and Mark possess even more similar traits which would be understandable since the two of you grew up together. Are there other traits you share with Mark that this 9/10 year old may be wishing to communicate? Are there experiences at age 9/10 that involved him that may be significant to your emotional self. Knowing that answer would be helpful in understanding what a specific mentioned age may have in a dream and to the dreamer's life. I have seen defined patterns of such mention of age in many dreams but they were always put forth in the beginning of a dream, or in the early narrative of the dream. Is the focus on age the same or different because it is in the later stages of the dream.
Inquiring minds need to know.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

Hi Jerry,

I've written this in a hurry, and not sure I have answered all of your questions. I will come back to look at it again, later.

No, my aunt and uncle (Mary and Chuck) were not very close to my family in early life. For the first ten years of my life, our visits together were rather infrequent, perhaps only few to (maybe) several times a year (some years) that I would see them, either in my home, my grandparents home, and once in a while spending a weekend in their home, with their daughters. I just always looked on them as "good" parents, better than my own at providing for their children. As I write, I am impressed with seeing that I "read" in them what their evaluations were of my own parents/family, how they wished it was better for me (and my siblings) - though this was never spoken aloud. It was their actions, the energy of their actions, the affect with which I felt regarded and addressed by them. So, again, it was an intuitive reading on my part, while there was also very objective evidence of the good standards by which they raised their own children.

You asked, do you think they qualify as true inner parents? They have featured in many of my dreams, that have shown how it was that I was attracted to them as parents better than my own. My sense is that they are becoming that to me, "now." Meaning, I am now "realizing" the very positive impact they had on my young and developing life. And I believe that is still there, the numinosity I assigned to them, for lack of a better way to say it. Like, we build a little inner "store" of characters through the valuations we assign them as children...and, indeed, through what they give to us. I believe those positives do not leave us, they are part of what makes us who we are. They do become part of us. Through the projection, we assimilate these qualities of the other. We sometimes (often) have a way of focusing only on the negatives of our life experiences, and lesser on the positive influences. But I believe those balancing aspects are there, we only have to search for them. There are so many others who were also as parents to me, and truly, there continues to be others. I believe there are many who help us to grow and develop in the parental sense, that it is not always "mom" and "dad." It is said, isn't it, that "it takes a village to raise a child." As we look at the whole village of our life, we can begin to see all the influences that have made us who and what we are. But back again to your original question. I think the dream/psyche is using Mary and Chuck because as a child, they were the better or positive model of parenting to me, that the child I was desired to have.

I am having the experience currently, where my inner world is coming alive to me in a much richer way. I mean, "What a wondrous kaleidescope of the experience of life any one of us truly is!" I feel like there is gold to be found everywhere.

No, my extended family was not very involved in my life. Again, visits were rather infrequent and almost null in the second half of my early life. Simply because Aunt Delores was my "Godmother" she carried a certain numinosity for me a child. "Godmother!" Just that term gave her a sort of radiant life in my eyes. She was a someone special to me, onto whom I projected very positive, "Godly" qualities. To me, she was like a wishing well of possibility and wonder...someone, somehow close to "God." So, again, I built up a little store of possibility in my ruminations of Aunt Delores. Any moment I encountered her was as if filled with some special grace she would shower on me. I savored every moment of being around her, held onto and wondered over every word she said to me, assigned important meaning to our exchanges. It was as an adolescent and young teen that she began noticing and calling attention to my intuitive aspects. Things as simple as walking in the door of my home after having been out for a contemplative walk and she would say, "Kristi, you have been meditating." Indeed, I had been, and making discoveries, but these things were never noticed by my own parents or family members. That she could see the depth of my inquiries into life was very important for me. She validated that in me. These little things, though few, are huge in a child's life, imo.

At 10 years old, Mark used to beat me (there is other, but this is not the place for sharing that). He was the eldest charged with the care of the children until my parents returned from work in the evening. So, in a sense, Mark was a parent figure to me, too. In a manner of speaking, he beat his angry child into me. I took in, absorbed his own bitterness. I had enough of my own bitterness, some of which has been directed at him, because of this and other events. I don't need to carry his anymore, or be confused between Mark and me. So, more of that sorting/separating going on here. I will not parent myself in that way any longer. That Mark and my ties to him do need to be severed, are being severed. Blame gets us nowhere. It keeps one in a juvenile state and ultimately, it is about power and control. It’s a lack of personal responsibility. One has to "stop" it within themselves if they are to grow. That dream of the train tracks was huge, it was about drawing a line, cutting these cords. I will not ride that track anymore. I can choose and I do have the ability to move on. I will cross that track and that train will pass behind me, severing these negative cords to the past.

Kristi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 44, Kansas

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

Hi Jerry,

I want to mention that the way I experience Mary and Chuck in the dream is not in a way that sees/feels separate from them. What I understand of this is hard for me to put into words.
For me, it is much lesser like watching a movie and much more like "experiencing"/feeling these changes taking place in the dream. Mary and Chuck do not even look or feel like the actual Mary and Chuck of my early life. How can I make better sense of that to you and other readers? I am not seeing them with the eyes (or emotional body) of the child I was. Nor do I feel an emotional attachment to them. They and their responses to me are very objective. It is more like they are a real part of me/my psyche. I have a degree of awareness in the dream that they are part of me, responding/bringing what is needed for resolution. The word, "resolution," leads to a question I left unanswered in my earlier response. Why is the age of the little boy indicated at the end of the dream verses the beginning of the dream? My opinion in this case is because he is part of the answer/resolution and not the conflict. This boy does not have any issues. Even the language of my dream tells it, he is "new." Born from a different mother, from me. Hence, I wash myself of the face of the old mother.

And thank you, Jerry, for what you said regarding my inner work. I've much (and many others) to be grateful for, including this here site of yours, which was real food for me early in my journey.

Kristi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 44, Kansas

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

Another something my analyst helped to amplify for me was the image of the rucksack on the front of my "new" vehicle.

I have talked here before, Jerry, of the need to incorporate my military skills in a positive way. This is needed, and beginning to happen for me.

While I don't miss carrying those buggers :) - my Army rucksack is something that contained all needed personal equipment and survival gear: tools, food, clothing, first aid kit, shelter material, rope, etc. So, having it on the front of my vehilce is sort of emblematic, saying I have what I need, it's all here with/within me. It's also a sort of statement to others that I'm not looking for what I need "in you" of "from you," as in taking from another. A sort of token of honesty, statement of how I am to (and will) approach my interaction in life.

It really "fits" with where I am at.

Kristi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 44, Kansas

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

Kristi,
I had forgotten your military service. We can not overlook those experiences in your earlier life and how they play into the scheme of things. How you think that applies to masculine development? Was it a tool to project your shadow, becoming that masculine self through military service?

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Journey with Old Man to Comb Free

Yes, Jerry, it was, in many ways, both the negative AND THE POSITIVE, as is the case for all of us in life, projecting both our negative and positive aspects through whatever avenues are before us...

Kristi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 44, Kansas

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

stats from 7-14-10 to the present