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The Cat and the Window

Hi Jerry
Perhaps I could share with you another dream from last night. I dreamt that my sister's cat was trying to jump from the upstairs flat - I presume from the ledge directly through the window of my flat. The cat did not really look like my sister's cat - she was sleeker and seemed more 'able'. Her cat was actually a stray which my sister took in and looked after and had a history we think, of abuse, abandonment and ill health. And in the dream, for these reasons, I was really concerned that this cat would hurt herself and not be able to negotiate the distance and the angle from the top ledge , through the window and into my flat...or apartment as I think you say in America!! I realised if my window was closed the cat would bump into it and fall to her death and I could see this happening in the dream - though I was not sure whether this was just a thought or 'actuality.' The overwhelming feeling was that this cat was simply not in a fit state to look after herself and needed protecting - although it did not look like my sister's cat! Your thoughts would be appreciated Jerry - many thanks. Liz

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Re: The Cat and the Window

Liz,
The associations with your sister's cat may have to do with actual waking associations with your sister or shared experiences with her. The upstairs flat may represent your 'upstairs' mind. A window has opened to memories of these associations with the cat {usually such 'openings' are in the form of our dreams}.

This dream cat does not look like your sister's cat so the emotional issues are different from your sister's {the shared experiences would have been in earlier life but the two of you have taken separate paths}. This cat is a stray and likely represents some aspect of you. Your sister took the cat/you in. This cat as abused. Is there emotional abuse in your life? The cat may hurt 'herself'. Do you sometimes feel this way? Are there times, or were there times you felt you could no longer 'negotiate' your way? Your defense mechanism is to close yourself off, isolation, which only makes things worse. Thoughts of emotional pain, are they overwhelming at times? Are you able to take care of yourself emotionally at this present time? Do you need protecting? Or is the dream speaking to unconscious aspects from your past that you are exploring, and discovering deeper emotions? The issues may not actually involve present day experiences {} but past emotional experiences or even deeper unresolved issues that have yet to come to the surface.

This cat is you. Your sister may be your true sister or she could be an aspect of yourself that needs to be brought up to be strong and take care of you {my sense is it represents your true sister}.

Going back to your previous posted dream Dream Interpretation we have established childhood issues. How does this cat fit with those experiences? In your explorations of your psyche you may be touching on those past experiences, as if they were today. As negative as it may seem it is actually, if true, a positive. Confronting those emotional issues from childhood, understanding them, resolving them. This is healing you seek.

I do have a couple of questions that would be helpful in understanding your dream. The part where your sister took in the stray cat. Does that fit with actual experiences, you being the cat? Or is 'she' representative of your own feminine psyche? And the different paths, is that how you and your sister lives evolved, differently? The answers to these questions will reveal whether the dream is being 'direct' in its application to your relationship with sister or is using her as a symbolic reference to your psyche. I sense it is primarily about your real sister of course it could do both.

Jerry


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Re: The Cat and the Window

Thanks Jerry - yes there are perhaps multi layers in the dream - the cat, emotional difficulties, protection, my sister, myself etc. Yes the cat related directly to my sister and her kindness to a suffering stray - still looking after her now!! This kindness which my sister has to the cat was also apparent to me personally when I was young and she was nine years older and tried her best to be protective in an environment where we both experienced different types of abuse from 'ill parents.' Obviously she had her own stuff to deal with and we were both trying our best to survive. Much of this has been spoken about and dealt with but because the wounds are quite deep they might well be surfacing at the moment for different reasons - so yes the vulnerability is there again, the need for 'looking after' etc but not for the same reasons as forty years ago. Rather there are a whole swathe of things happening at the moment from health issues to a change in direction physically and spiritually which brings up a real sense of insecurity to say the least and this is probably reigniting old feelings of a very open place where there is little protection and little surety. I am aware of this and at the same time there is no way I can make decisions any longer simply because they are easier and provide security. There is much more at stake now and the discomfort is real but I simply can't take the easy path any longer. So dreams are probably bringing up themes of the past because present painful situations are also being faced - however inadequately. Anyway I'll stop there for now - thanks again for the feedback. Liz

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Re: The Cat and the Window

Liz,
Thanks for the response. It does provide insights to the possibilities of the dream meaning and also some interesting associations. In particular the stray cat. Of course symbolically, and emotionally, it would represent you, the feminine self as well as the actual waking life experience of your sister and her new cat.

One interesting aspect is the two applications of the cat in your dream I mentioned previously. These would be the 'at least' two aspects of the dream Jung tells us every dream possesses. The cat is a real cat but also an aspect of your psyche. The past and the present. Past experiences having 'natural' associations to the present life. Your sister taking in the cat as a recent event and her 'taking' you in when you were young. The 'abuse' suffered by the cat and your own abusive experiences.

Another interested possibility to the cat that relates to your childhood could be a reference to your sister at the age of nine. Cats have 'nine lives' and your sister taking in the stray cat gave her another chance at life. The same can be said of you as a childhood, your sister being there and providing comfort and support that, if had not happened, could have left your life in a much worse condition. The psyche often processes such associations {cat with nine lives and your sister at the age of nine} and uses them in dreams to express the inner conflictive emotions. Although such references can be dismissed as minor or in-coincidental the reference to nine would lead the dreamer back to the origins of the emotional distress, childhood. The reason is to provide the dreamer of where to begin so to discover what are the 'usual' causes of later life emotional conflicts. The 'ill health' would also be a 'clue' to those origins {ill and abused cat vs the 'ill abusive parents}.

These associations are not just by chance. Dreams, in my assessment, are much like the body's immune system. Nature has provided a mechanism for the 'emotional mind' that helps resolve inner conflicts and bring about healing. The body has the immune system in its healing process and the mind/brain has the dream. Jung's mapping of the emotional self and the processes of the dream has laid the groundwork for understanding how dreams do afford a healing mechanism for the emotional self.

The fact these emotions are now coming up is not just by chance either. It is in later life, during mid-life that we begin to 'naturally' reflect on the past. In early life we 'look forward' to the future, to the possibilities of what will be. In later life we begin to look back at what could have been. Trying to make sense of it all. It is during these years many of us also begin to explore new spiritual avenues. This spiritual experience is not by chance either, Jung proclaiming that as with the other inner qualities all humans possess {masculine/feminine qualities, a shadow self} there is an inherent spiritual aspect also {having to do more with a natural spiritual ground and less to do with religious dogma}. Exploring ones past stimulates the mind to explore the deeper aspects and for those like yourself who take time to investigate what these 'inner' rumblings are about, the spiritual aspect often brings about comfort and support. As with all that is in your emotional life, the spiritual path is as much an 'inner journey' of self exploration as it is an outer proclamation to some religious idea. 'Look inward to find God', God being a metaphor for your own highest qualities. You become your own savior when you begin to realize all the emotional aspects of your life are psychological. My simple motto for living life is to
Think psychologically
Live spiritually


Think psychologically by exploring your own deepest qualities/experiences/thoughts, resolving the inner conflicts, and then living life from an objective perspective and less emotionally

Live spiritually by emulating those spiritual icons {Jesus, the Buddha} who in their lives gave of themselves from their own higher aspects. Compassion, caring, love, giving, sacrifice. These are a few of the higher qualities we often identify with.
Notice how all these higher qualities are of the feminine nature {Jesus lived from the feminine, God the masculine}

In the personal life I think of living life by the natural laws of Karma. "what goes around, comes around" or "you reap what you sow". Included in this philosophy in life are the highest qualities we can exhibit, not just on Sundays or Wednesdays but in every moment of life.
Other higher aspects that will help provide a balanced, harmonious life are the Muse, our creative abilities, those things we love doing most. For me it is my dream work and my Myths-Dreams-Symbols website, an expression of my true self. We all possess a creative quality or higher calling that not only sustains life but also fills the spiritual need to 'give to the other'. This is what Joseph Campbell called 'following your bliss'. And when you follow your bliss, that inner calling, you come to bliss.

Do you know what your bliss is?

Jerry


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Re: The Cat and the Window

Jerry,
Many thanks for taking the time to make such a fulsome and detailed response - again the effort you make is much appreciated. I don't really know where to start as you made so many connections from which I could make real associations and will continue to make, I am sure as I reflect further. I often notice how nothing is cast in stone either and how reflections may often change with further discussion, digestion and quiet pondering...as well as the next dreams!!Even something as simple as the number nine had not occurred to me and how interesting it is that one's inner being can let such things rise to the surface through dreams. Your words about the immune system needed for healing of the body are particularly apt at the moment as I am in the middle of a physical illness - in a way it would seem as though my whole being is undergoing a rather radical change at present - the odd thing is - on the one hand I'm certainly feeling its affects and on the other hand it's not the overwhelmingly awful annihilatory feelings of one's childhood although some dreams and feelings will be a reflection of more despairing times - so something is healing somewhere although when in the middle of it all everything is as clear as mud!
Dreams are incredibly fascinating and I do feel that very often they hold a deeply personal key which will never be found in outside dogmas as you mentioned. Part of the sickness of my childhood was abuse along with a fundamentalist approach to religion founded on concretised doctrine. The emergence from this hell has been a long one and is in a sense only now becoming more conscious and surprising. I no longer have any interest in dogmas - the 'pull within' - for want of a better term - cannot be ignored and perhaps part of the physical illness and the lack of peace and letting go has been a strong determination to avoid it for as long as possible - because I have a strong inkling of what it will entail - and basically I have so often opted for comfort over integrity. I can't do it any longer because both the body and inner being are giving me some very loud messages. What is your bliss, you ask?
At the moment it's not about 'doing' as much as it is about letting this present moment be with some spaciousness and openness so that I don't keep running back in fear to the safe and secure - but simply be there, wait and ...see - I have no prearranged anything anymore - I simply don't have it and can't manufacture it - everything in me is telling me that it will no longer work. This probably sounds quite odd but that's where I am. I don't think I've said everything I was going to say but that's probably okay too. Thanks again for your thoughts. Liz

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