dream logs, and the bugs that breed in them

Yesterday after getting home from a day of interviewing, optometrist visiting, and hanging out with Mom, I was very drained. Moreso after listening to Dad for an hour or so upon my arrival. Yada yada. Mom wants me to move in with her so she can have all her fun play-toy spawns under one roof again, Dad wants to kill himself because he feels terrible for being a crippled old man and a burden and not being able to succeed at any of his various schemes. Encouraging him not to takes up a lot of my time and emotional energy. The thing about pity is that it can be scrubbed out by the recipient. Scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed until nothing is left but a brownish stain on the sidewalk.

Not that I would say any of that to either of my parents' faces.

Dave gave me very good and encouraging advice last night. Bossman's problems are not my problems; Dad's problems can make me only as sad as I let them. And whatever happens in the future beyond my control is no more worth driving myself nuts over now than it was before. God, I miss Dave.

So I've been thinking more about that dream I had last Monday ("happy Monday dream log"), where I went to the basement and saw the little girl(s) in a bad time. Surprising really it's taken me this long to consider that said little girl could be the little girl who represents my Shadow in the Jungian sense, the selfparts too dangerous and important to be easily integrated.

I've written earlier some thoughts on the difference between dreams that seem to represent things inside my psyche and those that seem to represent things outside. Whether that means the outside things are part of the collective unconscious or the world of ideas or what have you, I admit I don't know. And I admit too that this idea of outside factors being part of dreams is also an idea whose accuracy I don't know. It's one of those working theories that is difficult to verify one way or the other, because the data set to which is refers is obstinate of rigorous study. Does "true dreaming" in the sense of traveling while sleeping require conscious intent and forethought? Or can it occur naturally for reasons difficult to sort out until well after the fact? Is there such a thing as traveling while sleeping? Are the little creatures I encounter in dreams and later interact with in waking life merely symbols for various aspects of my psyche? Or are the representations with which I interact expressions of living creatures, separate from me, who choose or are constrained to enter my fiat for one reason or another?

Lines like this are very difficult to draw. Any theory about the personality is a map; the experiences one's personality goes through are the territory. If two nations are at peace and keep few guards at their borders, could an alien outsider easily learn enough draw a boundary line across his alien map which matched the boundaries in the official records of the two nations? That is in the nature of the same problem I'm considering here. Personalities of living beings must be interconnected in various ways, there must be many forms of exchange, mana and content passing across the edges of their envelopes. Even if one is able to say "Here I end, and you begin" to a particular being, the very next moment the relationship between the self and the other may have shifted so that the stated definition no longer holds true.

And if it is difficult to make such distinctions between living humans who at least have bodies by which to distinguish their actions, how much more difficult must it be when one postulates invisible beings, who are assumed to take up residence inside one's psyche when filling various roles?

I know I am far too fond of postulating entities. It could be reasonably alleged that I needlessly multiply entities. I retort that while it may be needless, it is certainly useful in some contexts. With creative works especially I'm pretty well committed to believing that they are separate beings in some sense; it produces the optimum mental attitude for composition in my experience. With psychological problems as well, I have my theory of demons, which is much different than other people's theories of demons. I have no way of knowing, again, any extent to which my theory may or may not match up to scientifically verifiable reality. The important thing is that it works, works better than anything else I've tried. The map allows me to navigate the territory and that is ultimately what matters. I don't give it any credit beyond that. If my knowledge of the territory changes, the map also must change!

With all these things in mind, I have been reconsidering that dream.

I've referred here in one post or another to something in my psyche I call the demon factory. Many people have one. My own demon factory is closed, thanks to my horrible, exacting labors and the love and aid of the people I hold most dear. But I know perfectly well that this little girl, the shadowy aspect of my self who was once the CEO of the demon factory so to speak, is absolutely not gone. Self-aspects can only be pushed out of the way or transformed.

So I can clearly think of that dream as a chaperoned visit to the former site of the demon factory. Basement of the house I grew up in, large room scrubbed clean and well-lit with the walls painted. She still is where she always was, about to come in through a hole in the floor. Symbols are very obvious and exact in retrospect. Couldn't speak to her directly, didn't know what to say even when reacting afterwards. Had an urge to lend her my beasties, which is a fucking terrible idea in light of the interpretation I'm working with now. Har, har. Good one. Give some freshly scrubbed and housebroken creatures to the vindictive and not entirely integrated selfpart who once operated your demon factory. Sneaky little bitch I am down there, n'est-ce pas? Though in defense, said sneaky bitchery was of enormous help yesterday in dealing with Mom. I was doing clever passive-aggressive shit I didn't even recognize as great tactics until minutes after the requisite interaction had been completed!

I had another dream last night, a long one (because of a good long sleep, yay!). It involved me, Dave, and dream-people filling out the roles of close friends and trusted associates. One dream-person was even in the role of girlfriend to me and Dave! I have a feeling that this would normally have been one of those long, complicated dreams where I wake up knowing I knew what was going on but without any memories with which to make sense of the process.

First part I don't remember at all. Something was happening, all the people were involved, no images stuck. (Wait a minute. Right when I started to think on the third part, with the weird rot forest, bits from this part began to come back to me. The group was wandering down a street; I was looking at clothing through shop windows, but all the shops were closed. The street seemed crowded or hard to navigate, but I don't remember there being any other people there. Even the other people in the group with me I didn't see, simply had the vague sense that they were all there.)

Second part we were in an enormous room. I don't know whether the room itself was our opponent, it had been programmed by an enemy, or had been activated by us when we knew that we (typo: wrote "he") had no idea what effect our actions would have. Some situation like that. It was kind of a cross between a videogame level and one of those long high-energy scenes from an action movie. Things would move and we would move and do stuff and dangerous things would be happening and we would respond, with varying degrees of success. The tail end of that part had the whole group fleeing from the room to seek medical attention. The dream-person in the role of me and Dave's girlfriend actually fell on the hallway floor when we were running, and I stopped and held and kissed her and said something reassuring. There was something a little too soft or insubstantial about her, like she wasn't firmly held together, now that I've thought about it. Oh, hell, that dream-person was probably some sort of bait. Stupid sneaky unconscious self grumble grumble...

Third part me and the girl were sitting in a treehouse in a forest. The colors of the forest and the smell of the air were not normal. They appeared to be at first (right after I typed those words I began to remember the first part of the dream) but the more you looked and smelled, the more you noticed that the greens were a little too gray or too neon, the browns were a little too ashy or translucent, the smell of normal forest rot not underlain by the smell of new growth. These were things I did not notice at first, but they are important. Anyway. We were about halfway up a tree, sitting on a wooden platform and talking. I kept fidgeting; the boards underneath me felt soft and I was worried they wouldn't support my weight. She was saying she really, really liked it here, that it was a good place for hiding. I had an idea that she had something in her hand--no visuals of her or hand or thing though--and she showed me how she could scoop out a handful from the platform, as it was loose and spongy, to make a little space to hide a thing in. I reached down with my left hand and scooped out a similar scoop, interested to see for myself how bad was the structural integrity of the platform I was sitting on. When I brought my hand back up to look at it I noticed movement--a tiny, translucent white bug thing like a caterpillar on my hand, about to burrow under the skin. I got the one I saw first but there'd been another next to it that I didn't get. When I turned my hand over to look at it there were little black dots or bumps everywhere under the skin, even under the bed of one of my fingernails, which was what the tiny white bug things turned into once they got inside. I tried picking at one of the bumps to get the bug out from under there, but I'd've needed a sharp instrument, and I couldn't see an easy way of getting the one out that was under my nail. I was irked to have been tricked in this way. Dream ends there.

Even without a factory it seems I generate or accumulate demons from time to time! Grr! Must remain vigilant, and develop perhaps some sort of spiky mental magnet to draw them to the surface and cut them out! How am I supposed to make peace with and integrate my shadow self if the way she demonstrates affection is by tricking me into taking up stupid tiny nasties that I have to bother with and root out and clean? I am secretly pleased and thrilled to have interaction at this new level, where "she" respects and trusts and knows "me" well enough to try sneakily tricking me instead of attacking me full frontal. But at the same time it is aggravating.

Far less aggravating than the situations and problems in my external, visible life, however. And much more fun to ponder and ruminate upon, since all of the issues herein discussed are things I can actually DO something about.


Amber E said...

Hi sweetie, sorry I didn't get to see or talk to you Friday but it sounds like you had plenty of conversation :( love you and hope things get better.

Fiat Lex said...

Love you too!
I was sorry to hear about your ankle, by the way, that sucks. Hopefully you have enough sick / vacation time that you can recover and still get back to work soonly!
Call you tonight maybe?