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shadow work

I moved back home a year ago and since then have been in this old darkness I thought was over.
I had a dream the night I left to return to colorado. My son told me that night that he had found the 'answer' and we had a heated discussion over it. It scared the hell out of me too.

I was told that this dream was about how to be a a constant in my son's life - in a way that I believe is right. Now, I think this dream is about me and my shadow work. I'm back in therapy because I feel immobilized and I keep thinking about this dream.
You should know that my father and brother both committed suicide. My brother was a Jehovaha's Witness and my Dad was an artist.

Dream:
I walk into the house I raised my son in, and my brother is standing in front of me. My Dad is behind him sitting on the couch in a daze.. he has 'given up' and joined my brother in his religion. My brother says he has found the answer and that it is 'love and light'. I say I agree and I am glad he has found what he needed. He asks me to join and I say no, I have my own beliefs. He tells me his way is the only way and that he must kill me if I don't join him and my Dad. I run from the house and hide. Then I decide to go back and face him. I walk back into the house. He comes forward to kill me. I have a 'lightening rod' in my right hand and a cross dagger in my left ( a cross with a dagger that is attached to the cross). I rush forward and stab my brother with the lightening rod. I can hear his heart rip open. He looks bewildered and betrayed. I scream " Get the fuck away from me and stay away" and I wake up.

I feel grief for weeks over this dream and end up at my mom's church because of the symbolism in the dream.
I would love to hear a Jungian take on this dream. I keep having very intense dreams about my son adn am trying to take the projection back and do my own creative work.
much thanks ahead of time.
Leslie

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 52 Colorado

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

Re: shadow work

Leslie,
The fact that you are aware of your shadow indicates that you have explored those deeper aspects of your unconscious. Hopefully your therapist is familiar with Jung and dreams. If so then the road to recovery and discovery may be lessened by that knowledge. A willingness to confron those hidden aspects is most important. A knowledge of just how to do that is even more so.

A comment about your father and brother. Being an artist can be just a step from total distruction{genius/insanity}. Being caught up in a cult type religion {not to demean Jehovaha's Witness - this is how established christianity sees them} implies a search for that spiritual self and being caught up in something that is more destructive than it is helpful. Both were looking inward and came up with destructive results. This may indicate inherent possibilities. Those imherent traits could very well be physical as much as it is psychological. Medications may help with the physical but the psychological will need much more involved work. Of course you are probably already aware of this.

Your dream and the intreptretation

The focus of the dream and probably in your waking life does seem to be on your brother and father. This probably is in reference to your own thoughts of suicide. Both have succumed to the destructive attitudes that they could not control {the cult representation of your brother's religion}. This reference may also indicate that your own masculine aspects have succumed to destructive attitudes {see Anima/Animus at left column}. This may indicate a breakdown of te masculine self due to inherent forces as much as life experiences.

The answer that your brother has found is love and light. Love could be that love and acceptance that is needed in childhood and throughout the early years of life that promotes a harmoneous life. The light may be the recogniztion within oneself of those aspects that can give or take from that harmony. These could be from biological traits that result in a psychological distructive attitude.

Your masculine self {as a symbol of your brother} has/wants to reject the path that was chosen by your brother/father. Through theraphy and self examination {your own beliefs} you have found an alternative to the path they chose. The only way to find the true harmoneous life is to change {death is often symbol of change - it is also a rejection of death} from their chosen path. You must face those demons within, go inside your psyche and kill/change those destructive attitudes. There must be a death and resurrection {the cross - Jesus on the cross is symbolic of a death and resurrection} within yourself, which will ultimately cause a cahnge of attitude in your waking life. The lightning rod can be associated to that of myth and the Greek god Zeus, the destructive force of the right hand if the higher Self is not recognized. The dagger is the cross {} and the left hand is the ability to overcome the dangers of life {the chosen path of the hero is the left hand path, that of danger and adventure instead of accepting what is expected of you}. Stabbing your brother with the lightning rod is inflicking wounds upon your masculine self, that destructive aspect {a masculine trait}. The heart is pierced, the masculine self is confused but reject the implications of harming yourself {in the way that your brother and father did}.

This dream has much to do with your own inner and outer struggles. The house you raised your son probably indicates a fear that your son will take the chosen path of your brother and father, and your own struggle with the inner demons. This may be a well founded fear if there are inherent traits of self distruction {if your are indeed experiencing the same destructive attitudes}. It may be wise to follow-up on such fears by monitoring his behavior patterns. How old is he now?

As far as psychological aspects that may lend themselves to such destructive impulses, there does seem to be that destructive masculine attitude that may have been a result of childhood/life experiences not only inherented bilogically but aalso from experinecs in your life. Without the proper love and acceptance that all children required for a same mental attitude, these forces can lend themselves to the destructive attitudes that were displayed by your brother and father. In other words it is most important that your son receives the proper love and acceptance in his life to help counter any destructive impluses. But monitoring his behavior is most important. If there is something that is inherited then it must be realized right off so he can receive proper treatment. Let's hope he has not inherited such traits. But caution is better than hindsight.

Your thoughts on the interpretations and speculations are welcome. Perhaps we can get more from the dream if you provide those thoughts.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 55 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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

Re: shadow work

Hi Gerald,
Sorry ahead of time if this is too long. I’ve tried a couple of different responses.
Boy oh boy am I ever aware of the family traits –both inherent and learned. It goes back several generations.
The difference between me and my family is that I went into treatment when I was young which requires looking inside for answers in a way that’s fairly grounded.
I also lost my family in different ways over different time periods, because I fought back against the energy that suicidal tendencies were ok-or just part of the creative personality.
In other words, there were no boundaries and no one looked for help.

My son is like I am in that way. He is also very fiery and independent.
My concerns for him have revolved around his drinking and his interest in a religion I am afraid of – and his level of intelligence. In this way, he has followed a path similar to my brother and Dad. The reason I think this dream is about me, is because I believe I’m at a level of growth where perhaps I can take an honest look at my own wounded mother self (shadow), and be supportive of my son in a way that is healthy.

I told him several months ago that I would not help him out of any trouble he got into because of alcohol. I also told him that he had innate abilities to rescue himself and that I believed very strongly in his ability to do this work. Typical to addiction he was mad as hell. We did not talk until last night.
But now this is the magical stuff that happens. He has gone into therapy with a woman who has her masters in metaphysics. He has been sober for several months and has a new apartment in the mountains. Wow! What awesome work he’s doing.

I have just finished reading ‘The Middle Passage” From Misery to Meaning in Midlife.
It’s a Jungian book and perhaps you’ve heard of it. It sums up where I sit right now and is the immobilization I speak of. I’m not feeling suicidal. I’m feeling inept and ineffective.

I just want to know more about myself in regards to the dream. Perhaps I’m looking too far back though? I don’t know.
I’ve had dreams since, about my Dad’s art transforming ‘him’ to a level of beauty and awareness that was new. This was a huge mural he did of Artimis as a cross with flowers coming out of her head, and animals all around her. Also of Isis with a cross on her dress who said she would heal me but needed to rest first.

Two nights ago I dreamed my new baby (who was male/female but still my son) said he wanted a direct link to God and didn’t want to talk to me. “God” appeared overhead (also male/female) and said ‘the answer you seek will come from your mother’.
The dream ended with me nursing my baby and thinking ‘thank God someone finally took my abilities seriously and thank God I do have what it takes to nurture this child”

I am very appreciative of the time you have taken with my post.
Leslie

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 52 Colorado

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

Re: shadow work

Leslie,
It is great news to hear that your son has found a path that should help lead him out of those destructive habits and traits. It is unusual but does not surprise me that it was a female versed in metaphysics {metaphysics is an important aspect in studying the psyche, and dreams} that has given him new hope. His intelligence was bound to help him see that cult like religion is not the answer. His involvement in that, as well as your brother, was an attempt to find answers to that inner dispare. Religion does that.

I am one who believe you can never go too far back in your past. The experiences of our earliest years often form those traits that guide us throughout our lives. A lot of our bad habits are formed in the early years {like parents, like child}. And those needed aspects of love and acceptance are formed starting as early as in the womb. So I think it wise to look back and determine what it is that may be the stimulus for who we are as adults. The imprintation on the early mind is hard to change.

Archetypes were formed from the primitive mind.

I like the idea that you call God male/female. Most metaphysicians think as I do that there must be a balance of the masculine/feminine psyche to achieve through harmony in life. We see the 'Goddess' as equal if not superier to the masculine concept of God. Unfortunately our Western religions deny the feminine and see it as inferior. That began in the Garden of Eden where Eve is blamed for tempting Adam. In early Greek mythology {all religions, even Buddhism, are myths} there were Gods and Goddesses. The only disciple who gave the feminine and reswpect was Luke, and he was Greek. Hinduism has both Gods and Goddesses. The psyche of all humans has both masculine/feminine aspects. Yet our Western religions denegrate the feminine. It is purely a matter of power, and resentment. Power to the feminine.
Your reading of the Jungian book 'The Middle Passage' probably resignated within you because it does call for balance.

Jesus lived out of the feminine aspect, God the masculine.

Your dream of two nights ago about the new baby which was male/female may have been a percognative dream as well as a message of your own rebirth. You state that you just last night reunited with your son. The dream may have been a precurser of that. But it also may have been addressing your own spiritual rebirth of the new masculine/feminine identity. And the Mother, she is you and that ever present Mother within the psyche. She can appear as God, if you have no barriers to sexual identity.

Thanks for the follow-up. Your comments about what i have stated are most welcome. And let's hope, pray and meditate that your son has found that path that leads him away from those self destructive impulses.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 55 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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

Re: shadow work

Hi Gerald,
First let me say that you are very generous with your time and thoughts. I appreciate all the work you've given my dreams.
To sort of bring it all together ( I went off into several things!), the first dream: Are you saying that this is an animus dream and if so, what is the main message (force) that I need to be looking at.
Was it a good thing that I stabbed my brother? I felt it was, but I might be wrong.
My son is at an age, where he has to seperate his energy from mine, it's his passage. I need to respect that. I think this dream is about that energy.
He is NOT my Dad or brother. Does that make sense?

On the flip side of all this, I grew up with a bunch of risk taking artists and musicians, teachers and searchers. I learned many wonderful and unique things this way and this quality is in my son too.
I am very open minded about recovery..I know it will take time. What I think is magical is that he picks a woman.. a healer to work with his feminine energy while I pick a man! that is totally different.
You have been very helpful. I have made notes from your thoughts and will share them with my therapist.
blessings to you.
Leslie

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 52 Colorado

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

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