Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst
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white wolf

In my dream, I was hiking on a mountain near the ski area where I used to live, but I had gotten far away from the people that were usually around up there, and it seemed a different and lonely place where I was. It was brushy and damp but there was no snow until near the top of the ridge. I got to a little narrow saddle where everything was covered with snow, it was still winter while it was spring below. All of a sudden I noticed camoflaged in the white backdrop a pure white wolf. I immediately felt a rush of fear, and although the wolf did not seem to be hostile or aggressive it was not friendly either and stood its ground. I knew there was no one else around and having no other resources at hand, I decided to just tell that wolf to leave me alone. I said out loud to it that it could not attack or hurt me, and after that, the wolf slowly turned and walked away along the ridge. Then I realized that I did have a gun with me but also realized that I did not need it.

In some other part of the dream, or perhaps a different dream, I was on my ex-husband's fishing boat. He was not on board, but had entrusted me to take it out of the harbor to somewhere it needed to go (for repairs? loading?). He was somewhere else up in town and was not able to do it, whether because he had other things he had to do or just could not pilot his own boat anymore I'm not sure. I felt confident to be able to do this, except it had been some years since I had been in and out of this harbor and was not confident I remembered all the navigational details. I knew that in one place there were rocks, and I could see and hear a line of breakers off that way too. There were channel markers and landmarks for navigational aids but I wasn't sure that I remembered the placement or meaning of each and whether there was enough slack in the route that I could figure it out as I went. This part of the dream recurred and did not resolve itself.

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Re: white wolf

jaime,
Having 'gotten away from the people that were usually around up there' suggests two possibilities of which both may apply. One would be getting away from your normal self or routine and the other a literal getting away from certain people in your life. The 'up there' may suggest the something in your head/mind or your thinking aspect. This getting away has caused feelings of isolation {lonely place where I was}.

The wolf may symbolize those aspects within yourself that you fear. These would be emotional fears, something in your life {possibly recent} that have caused you to feel emotional, something that brings about feelings of aggression {in your past}. The wolf being white may suggest a danger you need be aware of. You have the ability to escape from this situation {getting away as a literal move} but are having an emotional time in doing so.

Enters your ex. Has he re-enterd your life? Or are there aspects about the relationship that have come about recently? Navigating that past experience may be what these emotions are about. Something needs repair but you feel you are able to do so even though it has been some time since you have dealt with the situation {possibly referring to your ex}. The white wolf may be a warning about that relationship. The emotions about getting away may be addressing getting away from the norm you have created since the end of the relationship. The getting away may also be a a reference to your ex, having had an inability to navigate through that experience in the past {and causing you have to have fears about navigating through it now}. It could be relationships in general that are being addressed, the fears you have associated with those experiences. Something is unresolved.

The gun that you did not need. Freudian psyche suggests the gun is a phallic symbol. Have you gotten away from relationships over time and feel you no longer need a man in your life? This is a possible meaning of the gun, in light of the past relationship with your ex and the emotions that cause fear in the present time. Something to consider.
Jerry

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Re: white wolf

Jerry,

Much of your interpretation rings true. In part, I realized later, emotions were aroused by a temporary situation in which I had to contact ex-husband about a sum of money. It was not a large sum of money but seemed to arouse (in me) disproportionate feelings of fear and anger. The situation got resolved peacefully and certain questions were answered though others remain.

There is a lot of loneliness in my life, that has been true for some time (even before end of marriage). My current situation (work, place of residence) is to some extent "an escape" from all that seemed wrong when the marriage ended. But of course when it's inner life that's out of balance, escape is just an illusion. Current situation lacks feelings of "home" and "belonging," family connections, permanency. Also it is true, no man. True enough, this is something unresolved. Can a person decide to live and remain single and still be whole?

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Re: white wolf

jamie,
Your reply does seem to confirm what I thought the dream was addressing. If it fits with your waking life then it likely is true. You seem to have put the pieces together, the dream symbols fitting your waking condition as well as your emotional condition. .

To address your question about being single and being whole. For most people I believe it is a hard thing to do. Navigating the emotional life, and life in general is hard for the individual, the need to supplement what was lacking in childhood and earlier life being something {the void} I believe we try to fulfill through relationships. One reason so many relationships fail is because what was intended to be a life long commitment because of a general feeling of love is really a substitute for what is lacking in the emotional life. It is illusional if not delusional and becomes another emotional conflict that must be lived with. It is hard to discern anymore what a good relationship really consists of. Love is something we all seek and must receive but all too often we 'look for love in all the wrong places' and it may be best that relationships be avoided {the lack of proper love and acceptance in childhood being the one great thing that diminishes a happy life in later years}. But this is dependent on the individual psyche and its evolution of experiences. I can only speak from experience, not just my own but so many others I have crossed paths with in my life. I am amazed at how so many make the same mistake over and over in choosing relationships. It is a patter of behavior that is often betrayed in our dreams. Unconsciously it can be seen {dream interpretation} but consciously the dreamer is often unaware of the behavior pattern.

But it is not impossible to live life alone and be happy. I have lived single since 1992 and although at times during that period I looked for a relationship I now believe a being 'committed' is not something I want or need. And the desire is definitely not as strong as it once was. I don't close the door completely to possibilities but have long ago accepted the fact that what I need is an 'inner' thing and not something that comes from outside sources. Having been married three times and having had as many more serious relationships I have experienced so many emotions I don't want to go there again. {Numerous relationships were once considered abnormal, and in reality are, but in this day and age so many have experienced multiple relationships it is now not thought of as uncommon}. Relationships often become attachments, substitutes for the void. If you look to Buddhism as a wise philosophy {as I do} attachments are the one thing in life you must resist and avoid. Especially if the attachment is meant to fill the inner void, something we all experience at some period in life.

But my case is probably different. I have found something to replace the human companionship {beyond my four cats for whom I do love and cherish}. It is the participation in my bliss, my dreamwork and my Myths-Dreams-Symbols website {which is a tool for expressing my true self}. I have often spoke about my working with dreams and my MDS website as being my mistress. It is fulfilling, lets me feel useful and whole, it gives meaning to 'my' life. Deep down I know it is what my soul requires and wishes for. It fulfills the inner void and along with having engaged in the self psychology that Jung offers {Individuation} I have slain most of my inner demons {which were primarily from childhood} and I know what the meaning in my life is. As Campbell often said, "Follow your bliss and you will come to bliss".

You touched on the one thing that can turn things around for you, and anyone who 'gets' the message. It will take time, discipline and patience to get there. Your statement, 'Current situation lacks feelings of "home" and "belonging", and permanency'. That is where you need to focus your attention. But not outward but inward. All three are inner spaces, with 'home' being your true self, 'belonging' being the meaning in your life and 'permanency' the existing here and now within the inner realms life. Being in the moment, that is the task. Being anywhere is the true illusion in life. Creativity, the muses, your bliss, that thing that the soul rejoices to. Discovering your bliss is the a great part of the journey. working to achieve your bliss is what the myths speak of. Living your bliss is the reward that comes with your bliss. Focus on this aspect of your life and at the same time live life spiritually. In life the one statement that makes the most sense is 'think psychologically......live spiritually'. If you do this nature will provide you with what you wish for. Call it Karma, cause and effect, it is the one true philosophy to live by that 'naturally' works. I know this to be true from experience. And continually so.
Jerry

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Re: white wolf

Jerry,

Interesting discussion. I do appreciate your comments about relationships and the choice to remain alone. I for now have committed to remaining alone, I truly think that is what I want at this time in life and what is in my best interests. Your ideas are both reassuring and helpful in suggesting how to think and respond inwardly to those feelings that do come up when living alone in a partner (and sex) oriented world.

It took me 6 months to find the right person but after the end of my marriage I went to a good counselor for awhile. She was Buddhist-oriented. In one session, she gently taught me to view the relationship (and previous one) as a part of my life which had existed at a specific time and under specific circumstances, which I could look at from all different angles, without attachment and judgement as to whether bad or good. I like this especially because this marriage represented to me a time of harmony and healing, of successful struggle through and beyond a number of very difficult situations, and of deep contentment. That made the ending so much more shocking and painful, but the choice to live alone now feels natural and "right." I am a Baha'i and the Baha'i Faith expresses a similar philosophy, I believe, as Buddhism concerning the need for that quality of detachment.

A couple other things concerning the dream and consideration of your interpretation have emerged. Finding this counselor was associated in my mind with a waking event that occurred to me and was strikingly parallel to the appearance of the white wolf in the dream. I had been through a summer of intense crisis with the separation (that had also precipitated a series of really frightening nightmares which initially led me to seek out your site here), and in the late fall had finally figured out and decided to take charge of the situation, with more than a little help from some good friends. One late fall afternoon, just before my first appointment with this counselor, I went hiking up a steep trail near town. The light was already fading as I approached the snowline; I was still in the trees and heard an animal which I assumed was another hiker's dog. But there was no one around. I got a glimpse of a furry white animal, then two mountain goats appeared much to my surprise -- and delight -- in the dusky forest. I did not expect them there at all, below treeline and so close to town, and took the experience as a mysterious but very good sign that gave me strength for the work to be done.

Concerning the recent dream and interpretation, I experienced some feelings of self-doubt and also puzzlement over this lack of resolution that you suggested in your interpretation. I feel pretty good about progress I have made and my current state of emotional health and was not sure what unresolved situations I might be overlooking. Then a during wakeful early-morning hours, a new thought emerged concerning the circumstances of my ex-husband's departure. I now believe there may be a child involved. This would explain many things. It satisfies my training as a scientist, to look for the explanation that best fits most of the data and is the most parsimonious. I may never know, and it's not my place to find out, but the idea does liberate me from persistent feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and such that linger with the unanswered question, "why?"

So as always, thank you for your insight and thoughtfulness. Your site and work are such an antidote to our cynical, over-produced, and mass-marketed culture -- someone using their own God-given resources and intelligence, with individuality and spirit, to do good in the world and promote wholeness in themselves and in the world.

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Re: white wolf

Jaime,
I appreciate the thoughtful reply. It is good to know you found a counselor who was able to help you work through your inner conflicts. Her Buddhist orientation undoubtedly provides her with insights that most Western oriented counselors are not privy to. Both Jung and Campbell stressed the importance of knowing Eastern traditions and philosophy. As I have said often Buddhism is not a religion, it is a psychology.

Your experience in the woods. Like you I believe in an objective view of life and dismiss most observations about mysterious events as illusions {UFOs, ghosts, that sort of thing}. But I do believe nature has a way of providing moments of mystical experiences that fit with a person's life. Jung called these occurrences Sychronicities. They have or add meaning to the person's life and come about at a time when they are most needed. Such an experience happened to me, an experience that led me to discover Joseph Campbell and put me on a path that I have followed for the past 19 years. Your experience may have fit with the need to refocus your inner guide, a white wolf being such a symbol for inner strength. Your dream would be a continuation of that inner dialog.

Your speech in your reply makes me believe you are taking a correct path to finding balance and harmony in your life. Being alone does not mean loneliness. It can be difficult at first not to have the 'other' to share life but as I stated in my post there are other things that be substitutes. Campbell's declaration to 'follow your bliss' is often a call to the individual to look to the muses for companionship. We all possess a talent and when that 'art' is discovered and utilized there is meaning in life. Here is the dialog between Campbell and Bill Moyers from The Power of Myth on the meaning of life:

Bill Moyers: I came to understand from reading your books - The Masks of God or The Hero With A Thousand Faces
, for example - that what human beings have in common is revealed in myths. Myths are the stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance. We all need to tell our story and to understand our story. We all need to understand death and to cope with death, and we all need help in our passages from birth to life and then to death. We need life to signify, to touch the eternal, to understand the mysterious, to find out who we are.



Joseph Campbell: People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about, and that's what these clues help us to find within ourselves.



Bill Moyers: Myths are clues?




Joseph Campbell: Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.



Bill Moyers: What we are capable of knowing and experiencing within?



Joseph Campbell: Yes.



Bill Moyers: You changed the definition of a myth from the search for meaning to the experience of meaning.



Joseph Campbell: Experience of life. The mind has to do with meaning. What's the meaning of a flower. There's the Zen story about a sermon of the Buddha in which he simply lifeted a flower. There was only one man who gave him a sign with his eyes that he understood what was said. Now, the Buddha himself is called "the one thus come". There's no meaning. What's the meaning of the universe? What's the meaning of a flea? It's just there. We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it's all about.



You can see from the above why Campbell is so instrumental in helping so many find the inner path to understanding. Finding your bliss, if you not already done so, may be the next great step in your life. I am of the opinion that many who happen upon my website are led by those natural forces such as Sychronicities. When a person discovers the inner life and begins the rehabilitation from the outer ego self they put themselves on a higher plane of understanding and knowledge. I sense you already have an understanding of the 'clues' in life that help bring about a harmonious existence. Staying the course, discipline, is how we finally discover the bliss we seek in life. I sense you are not far from that achievement.
Jerry

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