Dreams of the Lost.

From what I have been able to recall from my dreams, the theme on the 15th and 16th involved pet animals, much has been the case with my dreams over the course of the last few months. Rather than forgetting I own them and forgetting to feed and water them, however, they were escaping and I was unable to track them down. More recently, the theme of “lost and not found” has carried on, though the manifestations have extended beyond animals.

1/15/16

I had two pets in a glass tank in what appears and feels like my parents living room. One of the animals died, and though I cannot recall what the first animal was the second was a chameleon, and I soon found that it had managed to escape its tank. As I hunted around the house for it, I at first thought I had squished it — I could even see its legs in the pile of stuff I had accidentally, evidently squished it in — but found that this was not the case. It was still alive and roaming free, hiding from me. 

I kept losing it in ways that seemed impossible. I remember catching it at one point and looking in the small tank where I had temporarily put it in shortly thereafter only to find that it was gone. Poof. He was a goddamn Houdini with cold blood. 

I was getting frustrated. And the dream ended without me ever having completed my mission of finding the damned thing.

The next time I slept (which is to say on the same day/evening), I had more dreams. A group and I had been in the house of someone else and the feeling I got is that our presence there was not in the least bit called for, not the least bit legal. They left, and only I remained — in one of the bedrooms at the end of the hall — when I heard the door open and heard (or in any case ascertained) that two people had entered the house.

Grabbing a stuffed dog nearby, I peek around the door frame of the room to see into the hallway, using the plush puppy to mimic the same behavior. It was done in a very childlike way, and I did it so as to not alarm them when they undoubtedly saw me. Evidently, it worked. It was a guy and a girl who came in, though I never saw the girl and didn’t recognize the guy he saw me peering around the corner, hardly glancing at the plush dog, looked me in the eyes and with a casual and even warm sense of recognition said to me, “Hey, Rick.” 

I had a vague sense of having seen the guy’s face before, but I’d be damned if I knew where — and the guy acts as if my presence is no surprise, no big deal. The only problem is that name he called me by. I am not Rick.

In another dream, I find that someone has a pair of leg braces like the ones I used to wear when I was young, and I was curious as to why they had them. Had they also had Perthes Disease? 

In yet another dream, I bump into two shift managers at work, though one was fired a few months back. I give one of them a belated birthday present for her daughter that I had been carrying around. She took it without saying anything, and I feared it meant nothing to her for she saw me as doing it out of guilt.

1/21/16:

I was thinking about a pet rabbit of mine that had evidently escaped some time ago and hoped to find in the context of the dream as we were looking for something else.

1/26/16:

I drive this small toy tank, presumably by remote control, so that it goes right under my bed. When it never comes back out the other side as it should have, I look under the bed — look everywhere multiple times — yet never find it. In another scene, I apparently drive the same toy tank into a pond, where it continues to plow along under water, but when I await its arrival on the side, it never comes. Again I embark on a fruitless search. 
 
1/27/16:
 
It had been some time in the dream before I realized I wasn’t wearing my hat. My immediate fear, my instant sense of embarrassment arose from the realization that my bald spot had been exposed for a such great length of time — and all without my knowledge. I ran back to where I thought I had lost it. 
 
***
 
In general, dreams about getting lost, having lost something and searching for it are regarded as an expression of your sense of alienation or inadequacy. Losing a pet chameleon? Perhaps losing the ability to blend in to your surroundings. Losing a pet rabbit? I don’t know — perhaps losing softness, a sense of idealism. The toy tank having gone MIA not once, but twice in the same night in two different scenes? I’m clueless. Losing a hat? Maybe it suggests fears of losing your social role, social masque or persona — or having anxiety about what others might think regarding your hair loss…

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Sober Sleep and Dreams of Shameless Anger (5/2/15).

When I awoke from a long, sober sleep on Friday, I remembered an enduring dream that I failed to write down. As a consequence, I forgot most of the details but I remembered the essence of it, the message it seemed to contain. Speaking in the dream around parents, friends, at work, I remember that every other word seemed to be “fuck.” The general message of the dream seemed to be that I was angry and that my denial, hatred, frustration and shame at being angry only served to intensify it, perpetuate it, feed its destructive nature. This was not an effective way of dealing with it, I somehow realized — and subsequently embodied that realization. I felt angry during the dream, then, but remained unashamed, in control and I felt awake and alive in a way that felt like Spring in a way, like a blossoming, like an exhale, the relieving off this inner pressure that’s been building.

It makes sense to my waking mind. As in meditation, getting angry at your anger or being afraid of your anger are means of dissociating from it, suppressing it, burying it or pushing it away and this only leads to an amplified form of the very thing you are trying to eliminate. When you are focusing on your breath and a thought emerges and you latch onto it and eventually realize it, if you get angry at yourself and start scolding yourself in side for getting distracted you are only prolonging the distraction. Instead, what I should be doing is accepting it as it is and dealing with it, not pushing it away. Don’t respond to it with itself, or with anything it all. Be aware of it, note it, experience it. It’s only way out of me is through me.

Lost in Dreams.

On March 16, as I sit down in the front seat of my car to go to work, I receive a flash from what had to have been a dream. I remember driving at night, looking anxiously at the dashboard as its lights went out.

When I awoke the following day, I recalled looking into the backpack I still carry around despite being 36 years of age and out of school, looking to see how many packs of cigarettes I had left. It turned out I had more than I had anticipated, which amounts to perhaps four packs of Marlboro Blacks. What should have been, to me, the clear giveaway: I have never bought a pack of Marlboro Blacks. Nor would I carry around my notebooks and books by hand along with the box of dried mash potato mix I have in my kitchen cabinet, though that crisp and colorful image also came into my head.

This is how my dream recall has gone as of late. Tiny glimpses. Often memories crop up when I awaken and I can write them down type them out before they fade, but just as often it is something in the midst of the day that triggers a creeping memory of a dream. Typically its just a fragment divorced from whatever narrative it was originally a part of. When these memories last for even the shortest duration, though, I still find evidence of my omnipresent mindlessness. All were moments in which there was clear suggestion that it was a dream and yet I passively accepted it, unquestionably accepted the circumstances I was in despite their clear absurdity, mindlessly allowing myself to be seized and absorbed by my own illusions. I was still just sleeping through my dreams. Sleeping a third of my life away, so they say — though perhaps not so much given the consistent periods of insomnia.

There have been a few “dream teases,” as I prefer to call them. A lot like the Ohio weather: promises of waking life and warm weather destroyed by perpetual and unreasonable periods of frosty, frigid deathlike sleep.

In early April, I found that my car’s brake line was leaking, and given that I had no money until my paycheck at the end of the week, I turned to Elizabeth and Jacky, two friends of mine at work, for rides until I could get the damn thing fixed. They were generous enough to help me, but this required getting up early on some days because their shifts did not always synchronize with my own. One one particular afternoon, April 7th, I got permission from Jacky to hide in her car until my shift started, as I had hours to kill with empty pockets in a town I loathe. In there, I wrote on my iPhone, read a little, and eventually found that I was so sleep deprived that taking a nap was even possible. At some point during my nap I half-awoke to the sound of my boss’s voice nearby the car, hiding the bowl full of weed beside me under my arm, and eventually hiding it in the crack between the passenger seat and the door. Only when I fully awoke later did I realize that the boss was not here today and there was no way I would be smoking pot in Jacky’s car. However dazed I was during the experience, what I had had was a false awakening.

It had been some time since that had happened to me. However much it was frustrating that I only realized its nature in retrospect, I found the false awakening hopeful. For the last few weeks I had been focusing on reading and watching more videos online regarding lucid dreaming; perhaps this served as a sign that I might be waking up from the zombie slumber that has overtaken my dream life and often seems to invade enough of my waking hours as well.

This zombie state is what I felt was perhaps referenced my dream on April 13th. While talking with someone I turned to find what looked like Hal from the movie 2001, though in this case his robotic eye lens was on the face of R2D2 like some cyclops droid.

“Nice mobile unit,” I said to Hal, turning back to my conversation.

The robot theme is building in what little I have been remembering the last few months of my dreams, perhaps in reference to my typical autopilot somnambulism, the lifeless, zombie daze I operate in during my daily life — and Colin Wilson’s idea of “the robot function,” which I find myself identifying with.

Between the 22nd and the 23rd I received two more dream flashes. In one, I was walking with a group of people along a sidewalk when I passed by TR, who was going the other way. He turned around to say hello, and I looked him in the face and returned the greeting. We shook hands and then parted ways. This was a guy I knew from high school and we had engaged in many circular religious debates. In another flash, there is a girl almost on top of me, as if she might be waking me up, and I think it is Sadie, a friend, lesbian and former workmate of mine, though she soon made it abundantly clear she was Sadie’s twin sister, Sally — a mistake that I have made more than once when actually bumping into them in public.

I made a similar mistake on the 24th, as I sat on the front lawn of my parent’s property during the warm, sunny day, sitting on the lush grass beneath the shade of trees. I was calmly looking at the house and noticing the tree right beside it, sitting to the right from my perspective. Long, narrow, it rose over the rooftop, perhaps over all the trees in thick forest surrounding the property — and high into the bright, blue sky. Shaking my head, I thought to myself that if this were a dream and I were lucid, I would want to fly and perch atop that area. It would be the perfect place to rest and observe, a natural throne from which I could, from a great height, observe things from over a great distance.

The lucid dreaming material I had been watching and listening to lately had suggested having a good idea of what you wanted to do once you became lucid in a dream. I knew I wanted to fly in outer space; I had decided that long ago. Now I was engaging in that line of thought a bit more, which I admit is good. What bothers me is this: not once, as I sat there thinking all of that over, did I consider that I was actually in a dream at that very moment.

I was lacking awareness. Mindfulness. Lucidity. All I had to do was to realize that I was dreaming while I was thinking about lucid dreaming. I just had to suspect it, seriously consider it for a moment and perform a reality check as all the countless things I had read and watched had suggested. I had all the material I needed, I only had to put it to use. Once awake within what I knew to be a dream I could engage in flight fueled by the belief that I could and perch up there in the sky as I had wished.

Needless to say, awakening to remember that dream scene was more than mildly frustrating.

Neglecting the Dog-Child.

Stoned and sleep deprived, I lay in bed and listen to Michael Sealy’s “Hypnosis for Past Life Regression” on YouTube through a pair of earbuds hooked to my iPhone. As I listen to his voice, my consciousness drifts and when awareness clicks back on like a light I hear nothing. Silence. I figure that the video must be over. As I climb towards wakefulness, however, I hear his voice again, and he is in the midst of talking. Though I hear the words, they have lost their meaning. He was no longer talking in monotone, either, but speaking in styles and tones that I knew damn well he would not be using for the audio. When fully awake, though not moving and with my eyes still closed, I found that not only was his voice the usual monotone but his words were also clear and perfectly comprehensible. 

I decide to remain still and continue listening; predictably, I fall back into sleep. I awaken some time later, countless other videos having been subliminally fed into my mind given the playlist that was still going. I took out the earbuds and went back to sleep.

Upon awakening the following afternoon, after having slept through nearly all of my alarms — none of which I remember hearing, let alone turning off — I catch flashes of a dream. It had no clear relevance to past lives, however.

I was climbing in and out of various windows, entering and exiting many different rooms, some of which were similar in layout. It was like a large apartment complex with various buildings with various floors; evidently, windows had more appeal for me than doorways. In any case, the only thing I remember is that within one of these rooms I was looking after a child. Though I remembered having given the baby a bottle now and then, it suddenly struck me that I had not done so in some time and that the child, in fact, may not feed off of fluid now but require baby food. Terror flooded me upon this realization. This child may be starving and unable to fend for itself or even enlighten me to the matter of its thirst and hunger through speaking.

Opening the fridge, I was unable to find anything that would even pass for baby food, and the lack of any milk or formula inside frightened me all the more, as it suggested that the child had not even gotten that in some time. I really was a negligent asshole. I was mortified.

It was about three in the afternoon, an hour before work, when I awoke. Though I recalled only that small portion of the dream, it carried a familiar theme, one that I have picked up on in the past and has finally, successfully nagged me into focusing in on it. Consistently I have had dreams of forgetting to give food and water to a child or animal in my care, often after suddenly remembering they exist after a long period of having forgotten them. If a child, they may be a boy, a girl, or ambiguous for all practical purposes, and while in the case of an animal it is typically a dog, it has occasionally been something else, most recently a cat, and that was just a few fucking days ago. This theme is sort of a subcategory, however; the child and dog theme carries beyond this recurring neglegence. In this broader category the animal in question has also sometimes been a snake or, in at least one instance, a goat. Even this grander theme reveals that the deepest associations are between the child and the dog, however.

In dream interpretation it is often believed that animals in general represent aspects of our psyche that are instinctual in nature. Domesticated ones such as cats and dogs would suggest that these aspects of ourselves are partially integrated or developed in our lives; what these aspects are is revealed in the specifical animal and our relationship with it.

Dogs share particular qualities with human beings. Both are social species, traveling in groups with a minority in power over the majority. Both are often considered neotenous species — dogs look like young wolves; humans look like young apes. When it comes to dogs and human children, both may represent mind as it was before language and social conditioning, perhaps accounting for their shameless desire to explore, experiment and play. Both are governed largely by instinct and driven by basic needs. While they are both granted liberties rare to the adult human, both are also helpless, vulnerable and dependent upon mature caretakers to have their needs met. If not provided with sufficient biological and psychological sustenance, they may become sick and their development may be stunted. In essence, then, it would appear that this relatively new application of the dog-child theme would suggest that there are largely undeveloped aspects of myself that I am neglecting to acknowledge, actualize and cultivate.

The reason my mind elected the child specifically in last night’s dream likely has to do with me attending my niece’s first birthday party the previous night. I had struggled finding a good gift for her, eventually settling on a cute plush dog and a card that amused me. I had been afraid of sleeping in, or a tire blowing out or something else going wrong and preventing me from attending the party; as a result, I got no sleep and left in the late morning for my parent’s house. From there we went to the residence of my youngest sister, Linda, and her husband, Joey.

I grabbed my work hat before leaving my apartment that morning to conceal my balding, peach-fuzz scalp, advertising to everyone who cared to notice that I had my fast food shit job. In conversation, I referenced my hole-ridden shoes; my father commented on my jeans, torn at the bottom. This only amplified the typical feeling of being out of place.

One of my fathers friends asked what I had been doing, what was new. Still in the same job I’ve been in for over a decade, I told him. Reading, writing, doing artwork. He asked me if I had tried sending in my writing somewhere, if I had tried getting it published. Shamefully, I confessed I had not, but offered none of my usual excuses. He tells me I should give it a try. That you never know.

When it was time for Ella to open her gifts, I saw all the big presents all around her, expensive gifts, and felt bad about it. This is just like every Christmas. The guilt. When my gift got opened, though, she said, “dog,” grabbed a hold of it and put her mouth on its nose. It made me smile.

Also interesting: “dog” is her first word, as I learned that day, and she had been saying it quite often. A new reinforcement for the child-dog association if not constituting a synchronicity in and of itself.

As we were leaving, my sister Eve and I spoke a bit in the parking lot. She told me how she was on some online dating site, how she was talking to some guy now but was about to cut it off. She tells me how it would be nice to have kids someday, but the young boys at the party really made her want to have a girl. She asked me about myself, and I confessed that I felt torn between wanting a child and knowing I should not have one. I have no significant other, though, so the likelihood isn’t great.

Perhaps that helped inspire the specific dream I had when I arrived home. How the hell could I ever be a parent? Aside from a shot job, there is the way I live. My inner child needs me to be a responsible outer parent and evidently I have failed.

The Courier (1/22/15 dream).

Finally I decide I need to get out of bed. Its 4:30 in the evening on Thursday. My third shift starts at ten in the evening. My head aches, which is unusual, as I do not often get headaches. One of the pillows are on the floor. The notebooks I had on the side of the bed, the loose papers that had been wedged in them, all are strewn all across the floor. Evidently, it was a restless sleep. I smoke my cigarette and write down a bit of the dream before making a pot of coffee and then flesh it out with more details I can remember, hoping the aching in my head diminishes.

In the dream, I was living in the apartment I moved out of around August, the one I shared with Nick, who I haven’t heard much at all from since he moved out and have heard nothing from since I left. In the very least, it seemed modeled after that apartment. In any case, I was in my room when I thought I heard someone at the apartment door. I open my bedroom door quietly to find a robot, maybe at a height up to my knees, wheeling itself up and down the hall, and I thought I heard it say in its robotic voice, “Someone is at the door.”

I remain in my bedroom door frame, hoping whoever it is realizes that the noises coming from inside the apartment are that of a robot and not a living occupant and that they will leave. I simply do not want to answer that fucking door. Looking down the hallway and through the front room, the back and fourth path of the robot, I can see the slender area between the base of the door and the carpet. Two shadows break the light, which leads me to believe that whoever was at the door has, in fact, remained.

Though I go back in my room, trying to maintain my stealth mode, hoping that if I ignore the person and keep quiet they will go away, I keep peeking my head out for confirmation. Upon glancing out my bedroom door for perhaps the third time, I see him. He’s a black-clad gunman. He’s kneeling down on one leg, holding a gun with both hands and aiming it at the door. This guy does not seem to be Nick, not at all, yet his presence does not disturb me any more than the robot had. Though I never saw the guy’s face, he seems similar in all the important respects to myself, though dressed entirely in black.

Freeing one hand, he quickly unlocks the door and opens it, quickly returning to his former, aggressive stance, prepared to fire at a moment’s notice. As the door swings open, I see a familiar face standing a pace or two back from the door frame, in the hallway to our apartment complex. Short, face in the shape of a strawberry and typically approximating the color, with puffy white hair atop her head: it is one of my English teachers from high school, Mrs. D. I had her for Publications, the class that made the school newspaper, where I wrote articles. It was her that got me to write for that student section in an actual newspaper — I recall how excited she was that I got quite a few of them published, even got paid for it, as no student in her class had ever accomplished that before.

Upon recognizing her, as confused as I was at her presence, I run from my room and try to stop the gunman from taking his shot. She backs up and him and I follow her into the hallway, where I hold up my hands, look at her quizzically and say her name. She responds, either not surprised that I know who she was or too saturated with fear to give a flying fuck. I tell her my name, tell her I was one of her students back in the 90s, but she hardly seems to hear me at all. Skittish and defensive, she clearly wants to deliver what she came to deliver and get the hell out of there.

And that she does, though I awoke before I realized what it was that she had given me.

January Dreams.

11/8/15:

At some point in the dream, I suddenly remember that I have an additional email, recalling another dream in which I had been using it. It does feel as if this referenced dream was indeed a dream I had some time ago.

Next, I am walking down a boxy, stained-wood kind of tunnel that went either underground or through a hill, sloping downward and leading to a beach. As I came close to an exit-way, a doorway without a door, I notice an electrical outlet on the wall of the tunnel and find it strange. I think to myself how people might use it to charge their cell phones or how the homeless might take advantage of the free electricity. Looking out the doorway, I spy someone’s back as they hop along the large rocks on the shore and they are quickly out of sight. I wake up.

1/15/15 dream:

I suddenly realize, as I am in my apartment, that it has been some time since I gave my dog any food and water. Terrified that I might have neglected him, I try and keep him inside as I try and find bowls, food and water. My fear was that he might run away as I was gathering the supplies.

It is in the process of looking that I return to a former residence, where I open the cabinets to find them not vacant, as suspected, but full of items I had left there and somehow forgotten about.

1/19/15:

I am standing in some rendition of the downstairs of my parents house. We had been talking and things had been going on when there was suddenly an abrupt change: water began violently rushing into the house through the vents, windows and doors so quickly it was horrifying. Bolting up the stairs, I find it strange that the water never makes it to the second floor. I even have a sense that since my ascension the flood had gone away.

* * *

My dream recall has diminished for some time, and its nice to see it return — and I must wonder if it has anything to do with meditating as of late. Without doing my usual and digging in deep as hell in the effort to interpret these dreams, a few things do stick out to me.

In the dream of the wooden walkway/tunnel to the beach, did this represent a pathway to the unconscious? The electrical socket I focused on — might it indicate that I can recharge or have access to more energy taking this path?

Then there was the dream of a pet dog that I do not actually have. In the past, the symbols of a dog, a child, a goat and a snake seem bound up with one another, possibly representing some dissociated aspects of my personality. Do my efforts in the dream symbolize that I had forgotten to nurture connection with inner self?

Why the amnesiac theme that runs through these dreams? There is the matter of the forgotten email in one dream, the old residence I had left things I had forgotten I had owned in — and, again, forgetting to nurture the dog.

The dream with the flood that I escaped by ascending to the second floor — does this represent my efforts in cultivating mindfulness?

Of Grudge and Fear (Dream: 3/9/02).

In the dream I had on March 9, 2002, my family and I were living in a house surrounded by thick woods. Though we had not seen them in some fourteen years, Jimmy and his parents were paying us a visit.

For awhile I only watch through the windows as my parents walk alongside them in the front yard. I do not want to see them, not at all, but at the same time within me I know that I must. When they are in the living room, I walk in and sit between Jimmy and his youngest brother. I note both that Jimmy looks exactly the same, adding on the years, and that despite the fact that I am next to him he shows absolutely no signs of being so much as casually aware of my existence.

My suspicion is that he is angry or wary of me due to the calls and emails I sent him (in teal life) in May of 1999, to which he never responded.

His older and younger brother I don’t see anywhere. I sense that his mother is there, but do not recall seeing her specifically. The case was even more extreme with respect to Jimmy’s young sister, Jane, who I kept thinking I was seeing out of the corner of my eye. I avoided looking to confirm, however, as if afraid to see her.

Suddenly, he steps into view: the father, Danny, the man I needed to confront ever since my memories of that household burst to the surface; ever since I remembered him beating all the kids right in front of me, evidently more often than the single episode I had consciously recalled. He stands before me abnormally tall with blonde hair. Looking down, he asks, “Do you remember me?”

“Uh, yeah,” I say to him in a tone I felt confident conveyed both a sense of sarcasm and a less-than-subtle threat.

Strangely, despite his size I find I have no fear of him, only hate for him — only a wish to utterly destroy him despite my clear physical limitations. Later on, I watch him chatting with friends of his outside, all as monstrously tall as himself.

As evening fell and everyone appeared to be inside and asleep or otherwise preoccupied, I went out on the back porch to have a cigarette. Danny suddenly walks by the open door to the porch with a guilty look on his face. I glare at him. He had been heading out of one of the children’s bedrooms, I felt sure of it, and who knew what he had been doing in there.

With an eon’s worth of hatred swelling in my soul I look dead at him, flick him off and say in a barking tone, “I’ll never forgive you for what you did.”

He keeps walking passed me, and does so in the style of the Sasquatch from the popular alleged film of the creature.

My good friend Channing is suddenly there with me, and we’re walking and talking off to the side of the house as I continue smoking my cigarette. As we are talking, a girl I know walks by — a girl that is convenient to vent my sexual aggressions on rather than a girl I truly want. Kissing her, I then proceed to explain that I had just saw someone horrible that I had not seen in a long time. All I really want to do is go to the bar with Channing, have some drinks and try to talk all of this out.

She leaves, and suddenly Channing is gone as well. A van pulls up to the side of the house and I see another girl I know, and she is a girl I truly do want. Her hair is back to its natural dark brown, no longer the bleach-blonde she had had last time I had seen her. Surprised at her arrival, I walk up to her and greet her. Desperately I want physical contact, in the very least to hug her, but I am far too afraid it would be out of line and make her feel uncomfortable.

As I’m close to her she closes her eyes, and in a smooth, sweet voice she says, “It’s okay.” The words make me feel comfortable, secure, happy. I feel as if I can just let go. Kissing her feels wonderful, and she had been waiting for me to do so all along.

Upon awakening and writing down the dream, a memory surfaces regarding Ellie. She leans down to look at me and I tell her why I do not want to come over here ever again.

“You know we would never hurt you like that,” she said. “Is that what you’re afraid of?”

She just did not get it, did not understand that this wasn’t just about me. She failed to comprehend how by watching something like that, feeling all those hellish emotions, could do such violent things to your soul.

I sense someone walking away from my bed as I’m writing. My immediate sense is that this entity had given me the dream somehow, and I openly gave thanks. I also felt, however, that the entity was disappointed that I had missed the message that was meant to be conveyed.

I did not want to come back over as I did not wish to feel my friend and his siblings feel that pain. My fear of intimacy partly stems from my terror of making anyone feel violated.

In real life, Danny was tall, but certainly not the monstrous form he was in the dream. It may suggest my perception of him being a powerful man who looks down upon me; in addition, there was the Sasquatch walk, which seems to convey the sense that he is some elusive monster. Despite all this, he actually seemed quite mundane and his behavior, throughout the dream, was entirely nonthreatening. This exaggerated mismatch been how he seemed and how I reacted to him would seem to imply projection on my part.

Interpretations (Dream: 5/16/01)

In the dream I had on May 16, 2001, I had finally escaped by friends and began venturing towards a beach, where I wanted to see something or look into something and where I knew I could be alone.

I’m walking down a short row of steps and end up in the back of a cafe on the beach. It is a nice porch with tables and benches. One waitress is there. This long-haired tough guy in a leather jacket comes out to the back door, points to a nearby motorcycle and says to either the waitress or myself, “Watch that bike.”

Then I am suddenly him — suddenly the tough guy in the leather jacket. With me is Aliza, a beautiful, slender black girl I worked with at a previous job, as well as perhaps two other people. We walk into a dimly-lit room and before me is something that looks akin to a fire place only I have the sense that it goes downward. From the chimney are hung a whole bunch of stones that are various arrangements of triangles and they stood for letters that spelled out words and sentences. The first word looks like “ASK.”

Nearby is a contraption in the style of Rube Goldberg, which is to say a creative contraption of intentionally needless complexity that performs an incredibly simple task. It has pulleys and levers and pedals and so on. You pull one lever, lets say, and the machine will lead you to a pedal to push. I start doing this when Aliza asks me, “Why try to figure it out? Why not just go with your own interpretation?”

“It’s leading me on the path to the answer,” I tell her. “I’ve just got to ride along.”

As I go on to pull the next lever on the contraption, two items drop to the floor. One is a small sack, the other is a small stuffed animal — a dog, I think. Inside both the sack and the stuffed animal I found a single item, though I cannot recall which came from which. In one, I found a pen. In the other, a small, blank notebook. Then I woke up.

So what did the dream mean?

I escaped from friends to be alone at the beach — where the land meets the water, where the conscious ego and unconscious interact. I go to a cafe as I always do in real life, in order to write. Writing is indeed where the ego and unconscious interact, at least in my own experience, so perhaps that is what the beach represents, and why the cafe is located there.

Then I become the tough biker in a leather jacket that wanted me to watch his bike while he was inside. Perhaps the switch was meant to distinguish the persona-me on the outside and the ego-me within.

Inside, I am using that unnecessarily complex machine that does something simple. Given the previous image of the descending chimney and my commentary to Aliza, the machine is leading me towards the answer to the question that I “ask.” That my question was unspecified suggests this is generalized: this would seem to be in reference to the means by which I attempt to acquire truth in general.

I suspect the notebook was in this tiny carry-along sack. During the time of this dream and for many years when I was not working I would spend my time moving from restaurant to restaurant, drinking coffee and chain-smoking, carefully people-watching as I wrote in my notebook. I always kept it along with pens and books in the backpack that never left my side.

The dog suggests partnership and loyalty to me, as well as playfulness — doubly so due to it being a stuffed dog reminiscent of the stuffed animal I clung to when I was young. If the pen was indeed the item within the stuffed dog, this would seem to make sense as well, as I was loyal to writing and played with ideas and words as a child might with toys.

In the end, I get the sack and stuffed dog, in them a pen and a notebook. The notebook was blank, a pen was provided, and this was supposedly the “answer” the needlessly complex machine led me to.

The message of the dream would appear to be the following:

When you have a question (the ASK stones), go peer down within yourself (the chimney of descent) and with loyalty and in playfulness (the stuffed dog) take to your responsibility of writing and speculating (pen and notebook) and ultimately — “go with your own interpretation” — just as Aliza had suggested.

Her and I shared the passion for writing and creativity in general, so that she would be the one to suggest that I “go with my own interpretation” makes perfect sense. In tandem, she may symbolize my unconscious or “opposite” inner force — represented by our superficial differences in the areas of skin color and gender. Consider, too, the exaggerated masculine traits of a leather-jacket biker-guy and the contrast with Aliza.

It would have certainly saved me time if I would have just listened to Aliza and what she had reasoned out on her own rather than play with the needlessly complex machine that essentially suggested the same thing, and that would appear to be the point. My unconscious was telling me to stop wasting time playing games with needless complexities and to just trust myself and my own interpretations.

Still. Considering the source and all, I cannot help find this suggestion a little bias.

Then there was my little post-dream experiment. After awakening from the dream and writing it down in a nearby notebook, I decided to “ASK” my unconscious mind something, thinking perhaps that was the suggestion of the dream.

“What are the abductions all about?” I asked inside my mind as I closed my mind, and tacked on, “And how do I change my life to better align with my spiritual needs?”

In response, I receive a dream scene.

From an angle and at a distance I saw our house and yard. Diamonds and triangles were scattered across the sky. Near the driveway and in front of the house a big black pyramid materialized and an ring of electricity shot quickly from its center outward, like a swiftly-expanding neon-blue halo. I then saw a black triangle with a hypnotic-style spiral running from its edges to its center. A voice then said:

“In the center lies the answer.”

Then I slip out of it and open my eyes.

Dark Corner.

On November 6, 2010, I documented what I felt to be an interesting dream. 
 
Walking into a dimly-lit bar, I look to the ceiling to find a steam of holographic visuals extending from the area above the door across the opposite end of the building, which I did not see but understood to be a long building. The holograms constitute a “museum” of some kind, serving as a comprehensive record of history.
 
Closest to the doors seem to be images that represent either the dawn of the universe or the most fundamental aspects of the cosmos. It is shown to be one force that splits into two, reminiscent of the Tao, which then comes to be expressed as the Yin and the Yang. 
Further up were holographic representations of a spectrum: from television and radio stations to atoms and stars, it seemed to document development from microcosm to macrocosm. 
 
I tried taking pictures of it with my camera phone so I could take this back with me, but I couldn’t get the camera to operate appropriately. It was around that time that I noticed that to the left coming in the front doors of the building, off in a dark corner, was another three-dimensional holographic image: it was some strange writing, some bizarre-looking script that struck me as alien.

Waking up from the dream, I found it rich, dark, alluring, as if it contained important secrets — but a strange anxiety arose in me, forcing me to write it down, push it aside, and leave it for later.

 
This was during a period when I was making plans with Nick to room with me in an apartment in the college town we had once lived in together with his sister — years ago, long before his marriage and then-recent divorce. Though monetary reasons were mainly to blame for wanting to leave the efficiency apartment I had lived happily alone in for the previous four years, there was also the strange incidents intensifying in my life at the time that drive me towards moving away and not living alone. 
 
The dream seemed to bring together the anxieties I was hoping to run away from, the plaguing questions I was trying to answer and the fragments of memory I desperately wanted to understand.
 
Immediately in the dream are two references to the spiritual or unconscious. Alongside the fact that it is a bar, where they sell alcohol — “spirits” — there is also the fact, gleaned from both observation and personal experience, that booze tends to release  what we consciously hold back, often to the point that drinking becomes the means of switching from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.
 
I was drinking a lot around the period of this dream, too, mainly as a form of sleep aide. Some nights I kept bolting awake because despite having my face down into the pillow, I kept getting lifelike feelings of being down on my back as the faces of the Gray beings stared at me real close to the face, and it seemed as if there was a swarm of them. Sometimes I’d drift off to sleep and start seeing hypnagogic still imagery and suddenly they would emerge from or step into the scenery, jolting me awake.
 
Regardless, the appearance of a bar in the dream probably has much to do with the fact that it was relatively warmed up in the associative network of my mind at the time and served as a convenient symbol for use.
 
There is also the presence of the holograms on the ceiling, and with the ceiling above our heads, it serves as a reference to the sky, often associated with the spiritual. 
Given the spiritual or unconscious reference of the bar and ceiling coupled with it serving as a historical museum, this would seem to imply it represents a comprehensive museum of my personal spiritual history — and given the length of the building, it would appear to have a long timeline. 

The history is depicted visually, seamlessly, sequentially in the form of a hologram. Given their transparency, they looked like apparitions, and so perhaps served as yet another reference to “spirits.” With the three-dimensional quality of the holograms there is the suggestion of a need to look at this history from all sides, through and through, so as to see the bigger picture to truly gain understanding. 

 
This notion is reinforced by my failed attempts to take photos of it with my nonfunctional camera phone, which again references issues with seeing “the whole picture.” 
 
Meeting with failure in attempts to capture something with a camera phone has become a recurring dream symbol for me over the last few years, however, nearly always associated with another recurring dream theme: sighting UFOs in the sky, usually with my parents’ front yard serving as the setting.
 
The impulse behind this is so that I can capture details for my own study and understanding, that I can document it so as to circumvent any induced amnesia, and that I will have evidence to prove it really exists to others as well as myself. It is perhaps a reference to the micro-cassette recorder that I kept with me during my high school insomnia, as I could not trust my capacity to recall.
As for what I recall was depicted in the hologram, there was the beginning or fundamental aspect of the cosmos, which was one force that went on to split into two polarized forces. This reminded me of the Tao dividing into its yin-yang polarities. Often I have thought if the self or soul as manifesting as the conscious and unconscious polarities, and to become oneself that duality must be reconciled, so perhaps that is where it comes from. 

How the yin-yang relates the the microcosmic and macrocosmic depiction of the spectrum is unclear, but it seems to resonate with what research and contemplation since the time of the dream had given birth to in my mind: that awareness traverses states of consciousness that constitute a continuum or spectrum, just as is the case with the EM spectrum. Since high school I have been fascinated by the idea that everything comes down to being solely distinguished by particular frequencies of energy. 

 
The suggestion that I am not seeing or remembering the whole picture, all sides and the full scope of my personal spiritual history is given further reinforcement in the last portion of the dream. This is when I noticed what was pushed to the side, in a dark corner to the far left when you walked in the doors — and so more or less just across from the holographic representation of the Tao beginning and basis of my personal history.
Here might be expressed the idioms “cast aside,” “cornered,” or it may suggest hidden, compartmentalized parts of my personal spiritual history of which I lack conscious awareness. Specifically, given the parallel correspondence to the central history depicted, the corner would perhaps represent hidden spiritual origins.

Elaboration, then, should be found in examination of what was pushed into that dark, forgotten corner I only noted at the very dusk of the dream. Rather than holographic visual representations, however, this ceiling-bound holographic display depicted script that struck me as both ancient and alien. 

Mysterious languages are often thought to represent things so foreign to consciousness that we have yet to decode them, articulate them in conscious thought, verbal expression or, apparently, even visual representations so as to consciously acknowledge and explore them. In this case, it seems to be aspects of my personal spiritual history that I am pushing into the corner, keeping in the dark, failing to translate, explore, and integrate. 

 
In its entirety, the dream seems to suggest that exploring what this area represents may be the key to seeing the bigger picture and gaining a far greater, comprehensive understanding of my personal, spiritual history.
 
Around the time of the dream I had also written about my confession to Abbey, a friend of mine, just before a fight between us on unrelated matters drove a stake into the tie between us. I felt shameful, embarrassed, and feared she thought me insane over what I told her: that I had, as my oldest “past life memory,” a recollection of living on a dying, desert world, which seemed to resonate with the suggestions throughout my youth that those creatures made to me that I was “one if them.” 
 
I felt like I had exposed my darkest secret to her, the most insane of my fears, having trusted her, and now that trust was gone and my feline was out of the tote, so to speak, all because I had been dumb enough to be honest. I can be just a wee bit over-sensitive at times, I suppose.
 
The notion still scared me, and it felt as if I was physically pushing out the words as I told it to her. This seemed to give my act of turning a blind eye to the matter the kind of positive reinforcement that was finally beginning to slack a bit. She had asked me to open up, and I did. She told me to stop “intellectualizing my humanity” and I tried to just welcome instinct. I was honest and then she turned her back on me. Her girlfriend, who’s friendship I also cherished at a very special level, verbally slaughtered me over text, immune to rational discussion. 
 
Abbey’s girlfriend, Eva, seemed to have a brain like mine, a vibe like mine. She felt like home in a way. I could finally bond with someone in a way I couldn’t with others. Now that was gone, too. I couldn’t be honest and every deep bond I try to forge ends up inevitably fucking doomed. That was the message. Do your best to avoid self-exposure. Ignore the weirdest within.
 
The dream screamed the opposite. Now, years later, I decide I must begin exploring that area, the weirdest within, and so perhaps the dream did its job after all. 

Forget Me Not (Senex II).

Grasping for an explanation in the beginning, the concept of repression was there for the taking. These events in my life were simply too bizarre, I had thought, and my puny human mind couldn’t take it in. The trauma was too great, and so I buried them in the catacomb beneath my consciousness, built a wall of fear between this horror and I. This wall had held for nearly a decade until it began to crack, bleeding out fragments of memory from the other side, finally flooding my consciousness. However shattered, scattered, and frustratingly incomplete they were, these memories were only delivered in this fashion out of my own unconscious mercy. My conscious inner strength, once built to a sufficient level, will render me capable of conjuring up the remaining memories for integration and I will finally bring my true, inner self to bathe in the eager light of my conscious awareness. I will finally know the truth and be whole again.

Alas, ’twas all fly-infested bullshit. This frightening fact I came to face early on in my journey through utter confusion, once the deeper message underlying the events of February first, 1995, struck me like a ton of shit-bricks from the heavens.

Hyped up that night, as so many nights, on caffeine so I would not be caught vulnerable in sleep, I eagerly read in my room until roughly four in the morning. Having grown increasingly restless, I decided to put my books away and do something else, and in the process submitted to the urge to just pace about my room to burn off some tension in an aimless daze. In so doing, and without realizing it, I went to push in the chair at my art desk. Whether it was due to my hyperconscious state or something else, I do not know, but I stopped myself just as I put my hands on the chair and just examined this urge that was rising up from within me. It seemed strangely extreme and desperate. I then closed my eyes not to examine it so much as become receptive to it, let it overtake me and reveal its motive in the process. Marinating my mind in awareness of the emotion, I slithered by way back to its roots.

Despite its brevity, it burst before my mind’s eye as a vivid, single-frame recollection saturated with emotional intensity. For a moment I saw myself again, in that damned loft bed I had when I was younger, looking down into the darkness of my room. I was filled with this tremendous, paralyzing fear. As I felt it surge through me, dominate me, I realized my younger eyes were fixated downward, down upon the chair pushed out from my desk. As with the desk, the chair was made out of stained wood. It had a cushion of black, brown and white yarn. I stared down at it with those horrific emotions swelling in me, strangling me as I tried to burn that image into my mind, brand it in my brain for use as a psychological bookmark, a beacon calling for conscious recollection. Determined not to forget what had just happened, I repeated to myself over and over the mantra, “You will remember, you will remember, you will remember…”

As I contemplated the strange memory, my mind suddenly brought back a strange behavior I’d enacted for years. Everywhere I went I had the compulsion to push in chairs. Whenever I had gone to bed I found it absolutely necessary to push in all chairs in the room before I even attempted to go to sleep. If I for some reason forgot, I would notice upon laying down and have to get up out of bed to push it in. Oftentimes I’d go as far as placing a chair outside in the hallway and closing my bedroom door, just so I didn’t have to look at it. I remember that my parents had questioned me about it and I never really had any good excuses to offer. In retrospect, it bothered and amazed me that I had never even thought twice about it.

Clearly it stemmed from this memory, but all I had to work with was a single-frame snapshot. Try as I might, I could not recall what it was that I had burned with such passion to remember, only that I had wanted so desperately to remember it. A bookmark I had made myself, sticking out of a locked diary that rightfully belonged to me. My frustration with trying to determine, much later on, what the focus on that chair was meant to suggest led me to wonder if my unconscious, for some unknown reason, was teasing me with no intention of ever providing the entire package.

It was not until I saw the connection with a dream I had only a little over a month later, on March 13th, that I was provided with some suggestion as to what the incident regarding the chair may have actually entailed. After I awoke, I wrote in my dream diary that my family and I had gone to the church that we had gone to when my Uncle Milton had died. As we were walking down some stone sidewalk outside the church, a strange woman approached me and offered me tortillas and bean dip. Then, evidently after taking her up on her offer, I remembered an incident in a hotel room that had the same loft bed and chair I used to have in my childhood room. While in this hotel room, I had seen or heard something that I was not meant to, and all I could recall regarding it is that it had something to do with the Doctor.

The first peculiar thing that struck me about the dream was that despite his old age, my great Uncle Milton was alive and well, living in Pennsylvania at the time of the dream, and would not pass away until years later. Such a church could not, then, exist. The objective inaccuracy of my dream-context memories does not end with my uncle and the church, either; no such hotel room existed, of course, bearing the furniture from my childhood room. Presuming for the moment that there is indeed meaning behind dreams: why did my unconscious elect the church and hotel settings for the false memories?

In dreams, a default setting might be provided by a generic room in an unknown house or building, but in some cases, particularly when a dream emphasizes a specific locale, it appears to me to have symbolic significance. When the room or building draws attention to itself or suggests a definite location, especially when that location was otherwise unnecessary information given the narrative, these might serve as red flags calling fourth a closely-scrutinizing inner eye.

Houses function as symbols of the conscious personality, at least in my case, and basements and secret passageways or rooms often denote the unconscious aspects of the conscious personality. Churches are, of course, generally associated with worship and faith, and despite the early state of semi-atheism I was in at the time and my negative view of churches, the church in the dream did seem to convey a sense of solemn spirituality — solemn no doubt due to the associations with it and my uncle’s death. If we are to presume that the church functions in a sense related to houses, which are symbols of the conscious personality, perhaps the church references the true, inner self or soul, or the Self, as Jung would have called it. It may represent our spirituality or our genetic, social and psychological roots.

As for the strange woman, motherly in the sense that she was providing nourishment for me outside of a church, she would be seen through the Jungian eye as a manifestation of the more divine qualities of my anima, the feminine aspect of the male personality, which typically acts as a guide to the unconscious. In this particular dream, she evidently did so by means of offering up food, reminiscent of the Alice in Wonderland “eat me” scene. Why the tortillas and bean dip specifically, however? My immediate reactions show associations with celebration, such as a party of some sort. Though I have always had a certain fondness for Mexican food for as long as I can remember, I recall no memorable incident involving this food specifically.

Dreams don’t only seem to draw off of personal events in one’s life, however, but subtler things that consciousness might be apt to overlook — such as the associations spawned by our idioms, popular phrases, expressions, figures of speech and so on. This angle seems to make the most sense, given the results: corn makes me think of the ear, given the whole “ear of corn” phrasing, and beans make me think of “spilling ones beans,” or telling a secret. After eating the tortillas and bean dip, I recalled an incident where I heard (“ear” of corn) something I was not supposed to hear, or saw something I was not supposed to see. In either case, what I had overheard was evidently a secret: the act of someone spilling their beans. It may be a stretch, perhaps into left field, but those are the only associations out of the few I can consciously conjure that seem to make any sense.

After my snack, I evidently imploded into a memory regarding an incident that occurred in a hotel room that, strangely, had the loft bed and chair from my childhood bedroom. The setting of a hotel room does not suggest furniture from my old bedroom, nor does my furniture conjure from default anything remotely resembling a hotel room. This leads me to believe that these specific elements were conjoined in the dream for a specific reason, perhaps one that can only be discerned by analyzing the conjoined elements separately and then trying to find some relation between them at their roots, despite the seeming absurdity of their mutual presence on the surface.

As a temporary residence (or “ego”), the hotel room might represent a transitory state, thus echoing the theme of death associated with the church: as a last rite of one’s life, it would be, along with birth, one of the two most major states of transition during life. When the hotel room in a dream serves as the meeting place for two or more parties, however, it would seem to instead (or additionally) represent a neutral location where neither party is on the other’s turf. The hotel room, if you believe popular culture, serves this purpose for exclusively illicit activities, such as covert meet-ups between criminals, where deals between paid killers and their employers take place. The hotel room is where cheating asshole husbands meet up with the women they’re using as their secret side project or rented product to exhaust their junk’s spunk for seed-spraying. It’s where people hold people for ransom, where people hide when they’re on the run. More than just some ordinary room made out of wood and serving as a pit-stop for the traveler, it serves as the all-purpose, wooden segue of the underground. Whenever I read the dream again, my mind’s eye receives a flash of the dark and shadowy hotel room from the dream, and it seems to reflect these associations of hotel rooms as secret meeting places for covert activities. To me, it almost seemed like a scene out of a mobster movie, or when secret government agents are threatening a witness.

This only serves to reflect what I had recalled going on within the room between the Doctor and I: namely, that I had seen or heard things that I was not meant to. This was the same impression I had gotten in my first flashback experience in both the portion involving the presumably real memory and the end, which seemed to serve as a screen memory: he was trying to distract me from things going on behind him. This dream, however, offers no clear answer as to what might have been heard or seen in that hotel room. Strangely, however, the dream did specify that the room had the old loft bed from my youth, as well as the chair that had surfaced in a flashback the previous month. Why those specific items, as opposed to generic ones? Out of all possible choices, why did the dark of my mind elect to weave these elements together into a dream?

I had looked down at the chair from my loft bed in the chair flashback, which could indicate the dream was referencing that incident. With respect to me having seen or heard something involving the Doctor that I was not supposed to, however, the dream seems to be at the same time referencing the incident depicted in the Doctor flashback. The dream could be suggesting that both flashbacks were of the same incident: they had found me under the bed, taken me away, and then placed me back in my bedroom, paralyzed as I struggled to remember it all by chanting affirmations to myself.

Shortly after the chair flashback, I thought that perhaps I could trigger the rest of the memory. My youngest sister had inherited that chair from me and within days I examined it, but seeing it, smelling it, even running my fingers across the wood and fabric brought back nothing to me. All I could recall was laying in bed, swelling with fear and staring down at that chair pushed out from that desk on the opposite wall of my old room as I chanted to myself that I would remember.

Now I made a conscious effort to leave chairs pushed out. It was amazing how difficult it was. Whatever had happened to me that night on my bunk bed had followed me around ever since. I’d stared so intensely at that chair and chanted over and over to myself to remember, and had been so fearful at the time, that I came to associate the intense, negative emotions with the event (whatever it was) with the image of the chair pushed out from the desk. The level of effort I put fourth in burning the image of that chair into my mind, the sense of effort that the image of the chair permitted me to recall, the overwhelming degree of fear I felt coursing through my body and which came to embody that image of the chair as a consequence — it was nothing less than a real event of an incredibly horrible and highly unusual quality, I felt certain of it. Still, I accepted the fact that for all I knew the chair may have just been a convenient prop which had little to nothing to do with what it was I wished to remember, however. It may have just been an attempt at making a familiar object stand out like a sore thumb, acting as a trigger which would later make the memory of the object and the projections of that fear act as a signpost readily accessible to consciousness.

The real question behind my act of staring at that chair and repeating my mantra, “you will remember, you will remember,” over and over is, of course, just why on earth I felt so certain that I would forget whatever it was I wanted to remember in the first place — a certainty that burned so strong in me at the time that I felt the desperate need to create a visual, emotionally-laden bookmark for the memory in a desperate, determined effort to circumvent the amnesia. In other words, this didn’t sound like dissociation or repression at all, at least not as a natural, psychological mechanism. What suddenly became clear to me was that these memories had instead been locked up inside of me by some external force and, as the incident with the chair strongly implied, evidently against my wishes to the contrary. It was not that my unconscious was teasing me with the briefest previews of truths it was hiding from me, like some cat torturing a mouse. Instead, my unconscious seemed to be trying to wear down the boundaries between us to deliver these memories, doing all it could to bridge the chasm by pushing them through a post-hypnotic wall placed between us ten years before by what I could only conceive as a malicious external force.