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Haunted Dreams

I had a dream a couple of nights ago. (duh) I was dreaming that I was in my bedroom sleeping on my stomach with my toes hanging off the bed. I was stirred by the feeling of someone caressing my left foot, playing with my toes and rubbing the pad of my toes. I awoke, keeping my eyes closed and laying quite still. I laid there for a moment simply feeling the sensation wondering if it was the cover blowing in the breeze of my open sliding glass door, but it felt like fingers, lovingly and softly touching my toes. After a few moments I lifted my head and turned to look over my left shoulder. I saw a man crouched down at the foot of my bed who looked surprised that I was awakened. He stood up, and walked out of the room. He was a lovely dark skinned man with high cheek bones and African almond eyes. His hair was cut low to his head (a low ceasar/fade) and he was tall and slender. He wore a sky blue button-down shirt and a white athletic jacket that had two red stripes that went from the collar of the jacket to the cuffs. Curiously he also had earphones in his ears... white ones (like the kind you get with an ipod). I think he had on khakis, but I couldn't take my eyes off his face as I looked at him over my left shoulder. He was handsome. He walked out of my room to the right and I couldn't turn my head fast enough to follow him. He wasn't hurried, but he left immediately. My apartment was dark except for the flicker of my t.v. screen in my bedroom that sat on the dresser across from the foot of my bed. He walked out of the room and I expected to hear the front door open and close, but I didn't. As I turned my head to the right and saw nothing, I realized that I had to get up. I had to see where he'd gone. My head was filled with questions: who was he; how did he get in here; why was he here; where did he come from; why was he playing with my feet; where was he going; and most importantly, why was he leaving so quickly? I was not afraid of the stranger. Neither was he that he'd been discovered.
As I turned my head, I struggled to speak. I wanted to say, "Wait!" but I couldn't get my voice to speak, so I moaned as I tried to work myself out of my dream. It took a minute but I managed to wake myself out of my dream. Everything was just as it had been in my dream. I lay on my stomach, the apartment dark except for the t.v. No sounds were coming out of the other rooms...except, all of a sudden, I faintly heard the quick sound of what seemed like a spoon shifting in the sink. Why the dish suddenly moved alarmed me more than the dream. Was I here alone? Was that really a dream?

What makes me wonder is:
One day I was sitting on a bench in a small park in Downtown Memphis along the Mississippi river. The sun was going down, which was why I was there. The sun was low on the horizon, so low, in fact that I could look at it without glare. I delighted myself in seeing how long I could look before the brightness got to me, burning the imprint on my retinas. (yes, I am self-entertaining.) Suddenly, I saw the profile of a man's face. I could make out his lips, the curve of his forehead into his nose. It filled half of the sun like an old fashion broach. I was seeing things, surely, but when I looked down at the sparkling river, the sun's rays on the water was a direct reflection of the sun, yet upside down...as if the silhouette was casting a shadow. I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed, but no one was looking in the direction that I was. I looked back at the water and it started to fade away... slowly, like it really wanted me to see it. I looked back at the sun as it faded and it disappeared. 'Okay,' I thought to myself, 'it's time to go.' And I got up to leave. It was kinda spooky.
As I approached the edge of the park toward the traffic and bustle of Riverside Drive, I turned to look again to see if I could see it. The sun was a blazing red-orange by now, dark and just over the trees sitting on the bank of the West Memphis side of the Mississippi. There was no silhouette.

I brought that up because the man in my dream looked like the man in the sun. The difference was that I was wide awake on the river and in that fuzzy state between dreaming and waking the other night, you know, that point when you can hear your surroundings, but you are still in the dream you are having? On the river there was a side profile, and in my dream it was a full frontal facial view. However, both times I was startled to see him and he lingered long enough for me to get an eye full but faded out/left before I could speak. In my dream there was no real sounds other than the sound of his clothes rustling as he rose, but I couldn't hear his footsteps. And there was never any light from the hallway to indicate that he walked out of the door.
...But I felt his touch as though it were real. It was loving, and unhurried... How is that?

When I woke, I could still feel it lingering.

Because I felt safe, I wasted no time getting back to sleep, that event was over, right? I was simply dreaming, right? There was no man in here, right? Right? Then why could I still feel him? (for example: touch your arm right now then stop. yeah, it was like that.)

WTF, Jerry? (excuse my language) help a Sista out. What is this about?

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 38, Oakland, Ca

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Katchi,
I'll try and provide a response to your dream later today. My internet service has been down this morning and since it is a long dream I will need time to thoroughly analyze the possibilities.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Katchi,
I just now read your dream for the first time and even before I got to the narrative you provided about the 'shadow' shiloutte and the Memphis sunset I was feeling the dream could have meaning beyond just the norm. Let me incubate the dream and your sunrise showdown until this weekend so I can 'look' at it in my best intuitive mind and see what comes up.

What day was it you saw the silhouette shadow in Memphis? I notice your location is in Oakland.

Jerry

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Jerry, take all the time you need. I thought about it for two days myself before posting it.
The silhouette sighting was years ago. All I remember about it spacially was that it was a weekday during the summer. Since then I have lived in both Atlanta and now Oakland and will soon be returning to Atlanta. (Yes, I travel much.)
This is the first time I actually fully recounted the riverside episode, but I remember it better than I remember yesterday. I know it was at least six years ago... maybe a Thursday?

When I woke fully (i.e., for real, for the day) I kept wondering: why the feet? Why was he playing with my feet at the foot of my bed?

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Katchi,
I'll tackle your dream this weekend. It seems to contain elements I need to pursue with a clear mind, something that is not always possible during the 'work' week.

Jerry [mdeitate]

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Katchi,
I promised a detailed response and here it is. Please bare with me. My internet is to illuminate what I see from your post and the experiences we share that may, or may not, have relevance to our self discovery. I have not 'edited' my response due to time restraints and i hope I have made good sense in what I have written.


The dream seems to be addressing unconscious thoughts, or more correctly stimulating unconscious thoughts. My sense is it may have to do with a metaphysical aspect, something you have experienced but has left you and moved deeper into the unconscious {possibly for incubation - the beautiful black man leaving but not hearing the front door close}. This unconscious thinking would address a specific aspect of who you are, or will become {I get this from the detailed description of the black male}. This is something you need/will to discover about yourself. Something that you may not yet be ready for due to the outer life. Something that will 'stir' strong emotions when realized/acknowledged {spoon in sink}.

When looking at the dream the first question would naturally turn to the 'beautiful black man'. Of course we would also look to your animus or masculine aspects since you are a female and unknown men usually symbolize masculine aspects. This may hold true in that it could be addressing the need/desire to develop a more mature masculine attitude {we all have a need to better develop those opposite qualities to obtain true balance}. But I am thinking this particular 'beautiful black man' fits more with the metaphysical occurrence of the 'beautiful black woman' in a man's dream. According to Joseph Campbell such a dream is an indication of major transitions of the psyche. It is a 'shadow' figure except it is represented by an image from the opposite sex {whereas the usual shadow figure is of the same sex}. Such a figure occurs in dreams when there is a major transition of 'psyche' indicating a transformation of being, inner and outer. Here is a post from a thread that explains my own experience with my 'opposite shadow' during a major transition of my psyche that eventually led to the creation of the Myths-Dreams-Symbols website and my further exploration of dreams and the deeper psyche. Below is an excerpt from that threaded post.

Dream Post: Peru Posted July 2010



In the first dream there is the shadow. There is a darkness and a goddess on her throne. Such images remind me of Joseph Campbell's instruct that images of this kind in a dream often represent a great realization, perhaps an elevation to the next level {in your quest for balance and harmony} on your path. I had such a dream {the image was of Kali the 'Black one'} at a time of great transformation in my life some 12 years ago.



Note: Opposite Shadow or transforming shadow may be a good description since the original dream shadow is of those negative aspects that are repressed, denied or ignore within the psyche. This 'opposite shadow' is of a positive nature, indeed transforming the psyche to the 'truest' Self, revealing and transforming the life to a spiritual and creative being.

Let me state emphatically this concept of the 'Opposite Shadow' is my own thinking and not from any resource I have read from Jung, Campbell or any other source. Thus you may want to take it as a 'grain of salt', something so small it is not noteworthy.
But again, maybe not!




Your Experience in Memphis

What caught my attention to this experience in particular was the statement 'I saw the profile of a man's face' along with 'as if the silhouette was casting a shadow'. This silhouette was 'upside down', or in 'reverse' {Opposite Shadow?}. This instantly made me think of Jung's 'original' realization of 'Collective Unconscious', his discovery experience with a patient at Burghölzli psychiatric hospital at the University in Zürich, Switzerland where the patient had a vision of the sun with a penis. Here is that experience:

In 1909 Jung was immersed in the studies of ancient mythology. He found that one Burgholzli patient had a hallucination and dreams of a penis coming out of the centre of the sun, moving and producing the wind. This made no sense until Jung came across a reference to the pre-Christian mithraic religion which described how the wind originated from a tube hanging from the centre of the sun. The patient knew nothing of this image so Jung postulated that it came from archaic or ancient residues, part of a collective inherited image harking back to forgotten mythologies buried in our unconscious. At the same time Jung diagnosed an American woman, Frank Miller, who described a vision, cloaked in unconscious archaic residues, as about to have a complete breakdown. In later editions of his publication he added the information that his prognosis had 'hit the mark' in all essential respects because the lady was admitted to a sanitarium suffering from schizophrenic collapse. The success of this prediction suggested that Jung's method could correctly diagnose psychological symptoms from fantasies interpreted in line with mythological and historical images.

There are major difference in Jung's experience with a schizophrenic patient and your experience in Memphis. But your experience could also be 'touching' the collective mind, the deep unconscious. These are my senses and nothing more. Again, the 'grain of salt' thing.

The profile of a man's face in the 'sun', the sun's rays on the water as a direct reflection of the sun, yet upside down...as if the silhouette was casting a shadow. A premonition of a future dream, a reflection of the evolving self which is your life? These could fit together. The reason you mentioned the two events was because you felt they were related. I sense such a possibility also.

On Observation on the Deep Exploration of the Psyche & the Dream Forum

This is in relationship to your experience, your dream, and those experiences associated with the Dream Forum.

As a student of Jungian psyche who thrives on the exploration of the deeper psyche I believe in greater possibilities that are available to the senses when this path is undertaken. I feel there are senses we all possess that enable us to access skills that are dormant but were a natural aspect of early humans. One of those is of the intuitive mind and I feel I have developed a keen ability to 'let go' when I workout shooting basketball {a video I have posted in part to remind and encourage others that a balanced life must include 'taking care of the temple', the body}. These are 'intuitive skills' and if not for my great interest in the deep psyche I believe I would have never been able to perform the tasks I do with a basketball. Successfully working with dreams requires a keen 'intuitive' mind. Touching the realm of the deeper unconscious psyche there is a resurrection of lost senses.

Your interest in dreams and the psyche puts you in a similar place. Looking at the number of posts you have made at the Dream Forum {your first post was in May 2006} it seems you are also a student, at least of sorts, of Jungian psyche. For most people it would probably seem a great stretch to think of dream/psyche exploration as a tool of developing the deeper senses. But I think different, my experiences in developing my psyche relevant to my abilities in interpreting dreams as well as my 'magic fingers' that result in an intuitive ability to perform with a basketball as I do. Having had a dream of the 'black woman' at a time when I was on the eve of a great transformation allows me to ponder the great possibilities of the power of exploring the psyche. Your dream may be in the same context of realization. You have yet to fully develop an ability to verbalize these greater senses {As I turned my head, I struggled to speak. I wanted to say, "Wait!" but I couldn't get my voice to speak, so I moaned as I tried to work myself out of my dream. It took a minute but I managed to wake myself out of my dream}. At the age of 38 you are at the beginnings of your journey to wholeness but having resources that stimulate the psyche {my encounter with the positive 'dark' forces where before the Internet became of age} you have sources of information in real time. Your education in Jungian psyche is at least partially from your dreamwork and that involves to some degree the Dream Forum. Perhaps the shared experiences are related in some ways to how we process the outer world. It is not at every corner you will find 'people like us' who give as much interest to the inner life as the outer. And when you do meet such people I think the commonalities are more profound than may show on the surface. In our world one level of duality to think about is that f the inner life vs the outer life. Our goal is to make the inner life {of spirituality and creativity} the true life we live. There is that death and resurrection thing i often mention that separates 'us' from the rest. Death to the ego-centered material life and a resurrection to the true being within, one that thrives on metaphysical contents of the soul. I like to think of myself and those who believe as I do as modern Gnostics. This heretic tribe from early christian history knew of the inner knowledge, that life is metaphorical and psychological. In all context of their belief system they were Buddhist and Buddhism is a psychology and not a religion. That is exactly what life is first and foremost, psychological. And where does one discover their own psychology? On going inwards, exploring dreams and the deeper psyche.
At least I think so.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Wow, you really did your homework on this one! I agree with you in so many ways and on so many points that all I'm going to say is, "yes!"

I must admit, however, that I haven't had much experience dealing with my shadow in interpretation, and therefore did not see him as an aspect of myself (the dream man), but rather a visitor to my unconscious. The feeling was if someome has stepped inside my conscious unconscious... a feeling I have had before, an intruder who knew he was intruding. The spoon moved after I was woke. (That just spooked me! That was not part of the dream.)

I, too, felt like I had tapped into something ancient when I saw the profile in the sun. The occurance of that vision tapped into something primal in my sub-conscious. I had been exploring the more 'arcane' arts, sciences and philosophies during this period (I think it was around the time I had the dream of the lady in red by the tree?) So I was seeing lots of things and KNOWING lots of things that were previously unknown to me.

When you mentioned Gnosticism, I decided to take your words for more than a grain of salt (salt is good for you, tho, in small doses). I had for a time been fascinated with their philosophy since it really did so greatly mirror my own. But when you spoke of the battle of the soul vs. ego, I know now that you get me, but how can that battle ever be won by the soul? This is my great Life Question. I know not where to find that solution, for they seem so intertwined.

But your interpretation... I had walked away from all the mysticism of inner and spiritual exploration when I left Memphis ...your interpretation kinda makes me wanna pick it back up.

Lots to ponder...
As always, thanks, Jerry.

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Katchi,
About Gnosticism. What it did for me was to clarify truths about Christianity for which I was raised but have now rejected as my spiritual path, the questions in doubt being the true Jesus vs the biblical Jesus {I do not subscribe to any one religion other than perhaps Buddhism which is a psychology more than a religion, and Native American spirituality which is centered in nature}. When you read the Gospel of Thomas it points inward, the inner self, and not the accepted traditional outward path the church demands. In fact Gnosticism is akin to Buddhism in this aspect. The message is, and something I agree with, is you go inward to find the spiritual self and not outward. It is a question of psychology more so than one of religious acceptance.

Jerry

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Jerry:
You're right about Gnosticism. I was doing my own sort of personal quest to find the synthesis of symbolism from even ancient times on to today and it led me on a secondary quest throughout the world of religion. When I approached Gnosticism, it filled in some missing parts of the Baptist and Holiness Christianity I was raised in. Ultimately, my search led me away from Christianity completely as a religion, but I do still hold on to the tenets of the teachings of "Jesus" even though I doubt the bible in many ways. While I was interested in what Jesus had to say, I was more interested in the things the people before him did. The First and Second Books of Adam and Eve, as well as the Kebra Nagast were both very entertaining and enlightening. It was during this journey that all these things (in my earlier posted dreams) came into focus, the interest in dream psychology, mysticism, and visions. I believe there are many paths towards wisdom, which is the only (non)religion I can really adhere to for any length of time.

For, if God truly exists...what would God's religion (way of life) be?

But I digress, because of my adherence so long to the religion of the bible, I did find a fascination in dreams. Then I found that in many philosophies and religions dreams were very significant, also, they played a prominent role in forming the world of today. So I don't take your advice lightly.

But still, what about all the imagery and symbols in the dreams... what have you to say about that? (the colors, the feet, him going from the bedroom towards the kitchen -which is right by the front door he never went out of)

I would love to get your take on that.

-katchi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 38, Oakland, Ca

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Jerry:
You're right about Gnosticism. I was doing my own sort of personal quest to find the synthesis of symbolism from even ancient times on to today and it led me on a secondary quest throughout the world of religion. When I approached Gnosticism, it filled in some missing parts of the Baptist and Holiness Christianity I was raised in. Ultimately, my search led me away from Christianity completely as a religion, but I do still hold on to the tenets of the teachings of "Jesus" even though I doubt the bible in many ways. While I was interested in what Jesus and his disciples had to SAY (as opposed to what they did), I was more interested in the things the people before him in the old testament did and said. The First and Second Books of Adam and Eve, as well as the Kebra Nagast were also both very entertaining and enlightening. But it was during this journey that all these things (in my earlier posted dreams) came into focus, the interest in dream psychology, mysticism, and visions became more prominent in my life and I even worked with the Tarot to develop these senses and foster greater inner wisdom of the inner self. I believe there are many paths towards wisdom, which is the only (non)religion I can really adhere to for any length of time. Still, I am like you, not really subscribing to any (formally acknowledged) religion. But I have found many similarities in them all which have contributed to my belief in Universal Consciousness, because even when the Gods were different, they all seemed to be doing a lot of the same things (See Encyclopedia of Gods), and many of the symbols are universal from Mu to Islam.

But I digress, because of my adherence so long to the religion of the bible, I did find a fascination in dreams. Then I found that in many philosophies and religions dreams were very significant, also, they played a prominent role in forming the world of today. So I don't take your advice lightly.

But still, what about all the imagery and symbols in the dreams... what have you to say about that? (the colors, the feet, him going from the bedroom towards the kitchen -which is right by the front door he never went out of)

I would love to get your take on that.

-katchi

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 38, Oakland, Ca

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Katchi,
I got the impression the details you provided about his appearance were a reflection of your personality {or the true inner self that should be reflective in your outer self}. The colorful description you saw would be how you view much of your outer life, using colorful terms that fit with your positive approach, positive descriptions because that is the type person you are. When there are such detailed descriptions, especially when they support each other {as in the 'positive description' you give to him, the bright colors, the stately manner, his handsome appearance} they usually are descriptions of you, or aspects of personality/psyche. Although all symbols usually have some metaphorical reference, the general attitude falls within a pattern that describes you. Plus this black skinned man is a positive aspect, inner self wise. There may be individual associations to the descriptive adjectives, especially with the clothing {clothing as descriptive of your interior and/or one that would be be reflective of your outer personality see clothes in Dream Dictionary}. This man would be a 'part/aspect' of your psyche. Your attention is focused on is his 'face' {symbolic of the persona}.

The questions about where he came from, why is he here, why was he playing with your feet/foundations. This is what primarily led me to believe this 'shadow' type figure was addressing transitions in your life. This positive 'masculine/shadow' would be something of a metaphysical transition, possibly a prelude to 'greater' things in your 'blissful' journey {my 'black' reverse shadow came at a time that coincide with the beginning of my advanced interest in dreams and a prelude to the birth of Myths-Dreams-Symbols}.
Do you see where I am going with this line of dialog?

What boosters my 'intuitive' sense about your possible 'metaphysical transitions' was your visit and experience in Memphis and the imagery I described eerily similar to what Jung saw with his patient at Burghölzli psychiatric hospital. Although they are great differences the patterns available to the original psyche are what causes me to believe they could be related. The dream and the Memphis experiences would be related psyche events {a metaphysical event but one related to the laws of nature and not a mystical event related to the paranormal}.

Ah! Ha! I just noticed your statement about helping out a 'Sista'. That doesn't change my intuitive sense about my interpretation but may solve why there was the language description of the black man. A statuesque, refined, handsome man with high cheek bones {a positive feature}. That is something a 'Sista' would look for in a man, the slang type description.
Doesn't change the associations to you, just another way to look at your inner masculine.
Note the 'white' earphones from his Ipod. Is that connection to the muse?

Jerry

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Re: Haunted Dreams

Thanks, Jerry. I have a lot to think about as far as how this dream and the vision reflects in life lessons and progress. I originally posted this dream because it spooked me, but after your insight, I realized that sometimes change can be scary, and life as well, but that doesn't stop our curiosity, nor does it stop our quest. Once again, allow me to brag on your awesomeness and shower you with thanks.

(And I'm glad you picked up on my 'sista', and your understanding that the man would have been desirable to me.) I did a bit of research on those colors, then I realized that the colors red and white can also symbolize desire and purity (he was striped with it and 'purity' was in his ears). And the color blue can symbolize hope. With the tan (a shade of brown) this can symbolize being grounded (but not restrained)... i love colors in my dreams because they help me to focus on the exact issue that my dream is trying to get me to resolve. So I put what you said (the psychology) with the symbolism and realized some important things about me, which is extremely helpful at this time in my life.

Thank you again for helping me to know myself. You do well what you do.

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