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Island, Mud, Knives, Strangely Labeled Bonbons, and a Cracked Chimney

Hi everyone. I recently became interested in Jungian psychology after reading Robert Johnson's autobiography. Having only limited exposure to the subject in the past, I am finding my interpretive ability likewise limited, and I'm hoping I can get some direction. I've just started paying serious attention to my dreams. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

This is a long dream, and even though it may seem silly at points, it felt BIG. I apologize if I'm violating any special rules or conventions. I can only plead ignorance (I did read "for dummies," but I knew a lot of that stuff already). Here goes:

"T" is someone I hardly know in real life. She is the best friend of an ex-lover who I have no terribly strong feelings towards, although we're on amiable terms. I never got to know T. well, so her appearance in my dream doesn't seem to really be about her.

We went on a strange "date" to an island in the middle of a lake. It wasn't a "real date," because I knew she was going to Prom with her real boyfriend later that night. We were both about 17 in the dream, and I acted as if I was that age.

She told me she'd make out with me because I somehow impressed her (I can't remember how). But we were both covered in mud from the island, so I went to the sink on the island (naturally, there was a sink, complete with mirror), and started washing the mud off my hands. Then she realized she had mud on her face, and started washing her face. As a result of washing, we ran out of time for our "date," so we never made out.

She had me get in the car (location leap) with her friend from Brooklyn (strong accent = stereotype), who was going to drive me home, as T. was now rushing to get ready for Prom. In the car, I kept trying to do a mobster impression. It wasn't any good, but I kept doing it anyway. Then the ghost of Tony Soprano (?! - I don't watch the show, so I think his appearance is archetypal) appeared outside the window of the car. We laughed at him because he didn't realize that he was a ghost, but we knew he was because he'd materialized outside a moving car, and was floating along with the car just outside the window. I strangely felt no guilt for mocking his confusion and pain, which was plain on his face.

The next day in the dream, T came over to my house. My oldest brother lived downstairs, with hired houseservants who were black, and rather stereotypical (I'm white, and I don't consider myself a racist = this is odd). She came upstairs so we could have some privacy. Outside my room, there were a variety of knives of different quality and size, stuck point down into the wood molding, as if in some sort of haphazard decorative motif.

I brought her into my room. She wanted to give me a gift. She was very timid and respectful, taking on the subservient posture of a "well-trained" Asian woman (another stereotype - and I'm not into submissive women at all - but I felt a strange reverence for the situation). Not exactly T-like behavior (she's a fiery sports fan tomboy type in real life). Then she gave it to me. It was a tin of bonbons called, as if it were a novel: "The Love of My Honor."

I awoke (in the dream) sometime later to my brother banging on the ceiling to get my attention. A storm was raging outside, and I'd been ignoring it in my slumber. It was a violent storm. Somehow, it had cracked the chimney of the house, and rainwater was pouring in like a waterfall. Then I awoke from the dream, feeling a strong need to write it down, which I rarely feel compelled to do, but I'm trying to do it more often now.

My questions:

Islands seem to indicate solitude. Why would I take someone on a "date" there?

Washing away mud seems to be either about clarity or "dirtiness" associated with physical intimacy. Why wash, then be denied the contact?

What on earth is going on with Tony Soprano's confused, sad ghost?

Knives are obvious phallic symbols. Why so many? Why point down, buried in wood? Some sort of sexual repression? (This would resonate more if there was only one knife) Is there any other possible meaning?

I can't imagine what candy might mean, especially so elaborately titled.

I think the cracked chimney is about a breakdown occuring in the relationship between my older brother and me. But what does the water mean in this context?

Sorry, I know this is a lot. Any insights offered will be appreciated.

Thanks!

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 29, Michigan

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

Re: Island, Mud, Knives, Strangely Labeled Bonbons, and a Cracked Chimney

Darren,
Thank you for the many details you provided in your post. It's so very helpful when looking at a dream to know a dreamer's associations, both personal and towards dream characters, to waking life and current Self.

Some thoughts follow on possible meanings to the questions you posed. As I'm sure you're aware many times dreams hold several meanings. What I read in your dream may or may not be relevant, only you will know. Please feel free to respond with your thoughts whether or not the information is close.

Islands seem to indicate solitude. Why would I take someone on a "date" there?

That the 'date' may symbolize an unconsious desire to integrate a feminine aspect the island may then symbolize consciousness. In that consciousnesss is the outer part of Self that functions as a connection of the Psyche to the physical existence.
The water being the unconscious and archetypically the island as Self and the water as Collective Unconscious. As consciousness it is likened to the surface of an island in a sea of water. It connects Self to the physical existence, although the island extends, out of the realm of the five physical senses, to connect to the metaphysical, the All, the universal/collective unconscious. In this way the island could hold dual or parallel symbolism.

Washing away mud seems to be either about clarity or "dirtiness" associated with physical intimacy. Why wash, then be denied the contact?

Perhaps presented in this way the unconscious describes and makes known the source of the issue to the conscious. An ‘unclean’ attitude that may hinder the Self’s integration of a feminine aspect. While this could represent physical intimacy it could also be integration of a feminine aspect. An aspect in this acquaintance ‘T’ your unconscious recognizes and is drawn to integrate but the conscious has yet to acknowledge either it’s lack of position or need in Self. That the mud is on your hands and her face may be significant. Hands are what we work with, the face is that ego Persona which we show to the outer society but not our true inner self. This may represent an ego issue in that the ego is part of the ‘unclean’ attitude or ‘muddies’ the work that your unconscious desires to achieve.


What on earth is going on with Tony Soprano's confused, sad ghost?

The mobster impression could depict the ego relies on a form of mimicry. Mimicking some outer learned behaviour or attitude that works to disrupt rather than support the Self. That the ghost is outside the car again seems to show an outer ego/Persona, and in it’s current state of development it resides ‘outside’ of the true Self or the path you are on. The ego communicates it's distress at loss of influence in the Self indicated by the emotions of confusion and sadness. The unconscious, in it’s desire for a fully functioning and supportive ego establishes there is no guilt for the desire to remake the ego into that which would be positive change in support of the Psyche.


Knives are obvious phallic symbols. Why so many? Why point down, buried in wood? Some sort of sexual repression? (This would resonate more if there was only one knife) Is there any other possible meaning?

Possibly sexual repression. You know best what a symbol means to you. Another definition could be knives as tools used to cut or section something or to cut away what is unwanted. Molding serves no real function other than decoration. Perhaps this symbolizes an urge to remove or cut away the ‘decorative’ aspect of ego as it does not serve the Self. In that molding and the placement of the knives were both ‘decorative’. The many types of knives could represent the many different types of tools available to facilitate this modification. The location of the molding could be significant. If it was baseboard it could be a foundation of belief or if around a door or window may indicate opportunity exists.

I can't imagine what candy might mean, especially so elaborately titled.

The subservient tone combined with an Asian reference could indicate the masculine needs to 'submit' to the feminine as shown in an Eastern methodology typeset. That Eastern religions and spiritualities generally accept and honor the feminine, it is a gift, within the male/masculine as opposed to the Western theology of males to disown or deny any integration or even recognition of the feminine. The title, The Love of My Honor, could mean honoring this feminine aspect, through self love and integration of the feminine.

I think the cracked chimney is about a breakdown occuring in the relationship between my older brother and me. But what does the water mean in this context?

A chimney is a vent for the purpose of release of hot and or toxic air. Possibly this ‘vent’ is broken and emotions, symbolized as water, enter into the unconscious and are retained in the Self rather than being released from the Self. Do you absorb the emotions of your older brother and in doing so do they negatively or positively affect you?

In addition, the setting in high school could point to the incident or events when this ego aspect was damaged or negatively altered, maybe by learned behaviour. Try to look back at this time in your life and examine any events that seem to correlate.

Many thanks,
Kathy

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 43 Central OH

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

Re: Re: Island, Mud, Knives, Strangely Labeled Bonbons, and a Cracked Chimney

Kathy,

I have brought this dream to a number of people. This was BY FAR the most useful interpretation I've received. So much of this would never have occured to me without your comments, but rang true (or at least worth thinking about) when I read it.

I think everyone else has been too distracted by the humor of Tony Soprano's ghost to see what you saw here. And it's absolutely an integral part of the dream and is incredibly relevant to the particulars of my life at the moment. I think you completely nailed this part for me, and it's the part I was most clueless about.

I've been looking very literally at the female as being related to outer females in my life, not the inner feminine. I realize that mistake now, as I have habitually projected my anima onto women and have therefore not incorporated it. I have long resisted the idea that I had failed to incorporate my feminine side, because I do not really attempt to conform to standard definitions of masculinity. However, I'm beginning to realize that that is merely a surface appearance issue, which is not necessarily a psychological reality. You observation here is very helpful, and again, wouldn't have occured to me.

Your interpretation of the knives again rings true (the more I think about this, the more shocked I become at how accurate your interpretation feels on the whole, especially when placed along side the lower level, though still somewhat valid, interpretations). The knives were in the molding around the bedroom door, most prominently (whatever that might mean - geez I get annoyed by the tyranny of sexual metaphor, because that's always the first conclusion one jumps to (Freudian cultural hegemony), but it didn't really feel right about the knives... except now I have to wonder about the bedroom door). They were also around the window in the room outside of the bedroom.

Your comments about the island are useful and interesting, but I still feel as if there is something to be unlocked there.

Your comments about the mud are also very useful, especially as regards the significance of the location of the mud. That, again, is something I wouldn't have noticed. I think I have to digest that part for a while, though.

The waterfall makes some sense in that light. It didn't seem to be a terribly important part of the dream, so it's possible that what seems a simple explanation may in fact be accurate.

And I don't know anyone who didn't have some ego aspect damaged or negatively altered in high school. ;) But I definitely started putting a lot of masks on back then, and that's part of what I'm going through right now.

Thank you so much. This was a much more enlightening response than I dared hope for.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 29, Michigan

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

Re: Island, Mud, Knives, Strangely Labeled Bonbons, and a Cracked Chimney

Darren,
Thank you for responding with such detail. I appreciate your feedback as this is a place of learning. When we receive a detailed response to an interpretation it facilitates our own self work, our support of others and provides good checks and balances on the progression of our insight and interpretation skills. I’m glad to be of service and that you found the MDS Dream Forum worthwhile. The level of accuracy is very much dependant on personal information from the dreamer. That you provided detailed personal information is the real source of the closeness of the interpretation.

Your view of the Freudian discipline is shared. Jung incorporates personal and archetypical symbolism, spirituality and the physical/metaphysical, all relevant aspects in a single model-Individuation. This is what drew me to and why I’m committed to working in this discipline. In the limited time I’ve worked within this model I’ve accomplished more in two years than the nine years prior without it. The key factor in my progress is the Myths Dreams Symbols site and a great deal of assistance from others on the MDS Forum.

Perhaps the date & island/solitude symbolism point to the self work of integration of the feminine aspect requiring solitude. Sometimes a measure of solitude is necessary in self work. I’ve found this most helpful, and frankly preferable, during this time of self work.

Locations, directions, etc can be significant. The mind tends to read words in groups or clusters. The faster a person reads usually equates to larger ‘word groups’ and more details missed. I tend to read quickly so must consciously slow reading to individual words to identify individual symbols. This helps but I still read a dream through five or six times each time pulling in symbols & definitions before I start interpreting the dream.

I found Jung based personality tests to be a great tool in self work. If you have not already taken a personality test it is worth the effort. Gerard offers a link to this site:
Personality Test

Another version of this test is at Keirsey.com:
Keirsey Temperament Sorter
Here you get the ‘mini’ report free but it doesn’t fully identify the four types. This is the lengthy version and takes about 30 minutes. Still, the free information is useful and worth the time.

Thanks again,
Kathy

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 43 Central OH

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

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