Unpacking a Dream of Conveyance
The dream I’m elucidating here is so rich with meaning for me that it is difficult to know where to begin. The straight, uninterrupted dream narrative is in my previous post, “Incubated Dream of the Giant’s Return.” In this current dream evaluation post, I take the dream, line-by-line, commenting after each. The dream narrative lines are in boldface.
This dream was incubated with questions I wrote out in response to two of my friends’ telling me within 48 hours of each other to be careful of “wind shearing” caused in me by psychic attacks from a hidden enemy. I felt under no threat, but the repetition of the warning gave me pause, so I decided to take it to dreamwork. Little did I expect to receive the dream so quickly. Little did I expect the mired dream giant to reappear, this time able to speak and act.
I am in what seems to be the Tobacco Warehouse district of Durham, North Carolina, during an earlier era when the warehouses did in fact store tobacco and industrial machinery. T
he storehouses in this dream are my Storehouse Conscious-ness, the repository or record of all karmic traces from all my past lives, or my ancestors’ lives. The last event before Buddhahood is release of all karmic traces. Each comes up and is self-liberated. The person about whom the questions were incubated is someone with whom I have an intense karmic connection.
I’m a girl and running from warehouse to warehouse, hiding under a table, then running again, then hiding behind a shelf, and so on. It is a game. I’m playing hide-and-seek.
My husband, though an atheist, is fond of saying that all the particulars of the universe, including us, are God’s playing hide-and-seek with himself. Just so, according to Buddhist doctrine, from lifetime to lifetime we move, reconnecting with the same other mindstreams in new forms, just so we can dance the dance again and again and again. We do so, I believe, until we learn enough to resolve certain patterns of interpersonal suffering and evolve.
I keep looking behind me to see if my friend is following me, looking for me, but I don’t see him. I feel he is there, though, somewhere in the district, perhaps on a sniper’s perch of a high window, secretly staring down at me. I feel his presence even though he remains invisible and silent as I look up and scan all the windows for a sign of him.
The giant from a previous dream, just two weeks ago, “Dream of the Mired Giant,” was stuck in a moon-shaped pool with me at night. Both of us were immobile and silent in kind of a timeless cosmic situation. Perhaps we were incubating this new dream.
This part of the new dream is simply about how this friend and I no longer speak and see each other only online. One of my friends at work was warning me yesterday about psychic storms at a distance when online “doors” or “windows” are left open to those with psychic propensities and ill intent. The second friend also used the metaphor of a door for whether certain relationships are really over or in a stasis without resolution. Both friends were warning me about the same situation and asking me whether I ought not to close all doors.
The feeling tone of the dream at this point was loneliness and longing. I was a little girl in a complex industrial rust sculpture. The windows on the tobacco buildings glimmered, reflecting the sun. I could be seen by the other, but I couldn’t see him. I was vulnerable, exposed.
Those windows are computer screens.
Because I can’t see whether he is following me, I grow tired of hiding and curious. I the turn tables, so to speak, and start looking for him. I make him “it.” So I’m the seeker, and now he is the hider.
This passage marks an exchange of roles in a karmic contract spanning multiple lives, as explained above.
In dreamwork, one of the tasks is to look at the dream ego – her choices, how she is moving through the dream. Doing so can provide clues about how the ego is obscured from awareness during the day. Here, out of loneliness and lack of reciprocity, I change the game. I’m not being sought, so I begin wondering more deeply where he is. I’m trying to see into that, feel into that. Even though I’m exposed and vulnerable, I have stopped hiding. I stand out in the open. He can spy on me or attack me from wherever he is. I do not care. I’ve lost regard for my safety, absorbed in my own psychic game now. There is a sense here now that this is no longer a lighthearted child’s game, but a standoff that is about who is more open, more honest, more more willing to be vulnerable. I’m going to “win” this game. I’m going to model how openness is done.
However, nothing has actually changed: I’m still alone, so far as I know. All that has changed is the role-reversal in my own head. The changing rules of the game are a geography of my own mind, as is this dream.
Or is it?
I pause from playing the game, leave behind all the rust-covered machinery, and drift into a diner. My husband Kurt is there, about 27 years old, eating cherry pie. I sit beside him on a counter stool.
The grown-up stool here reminds me of the three-legged child’s stool from the hypnagogic dream that preceded this dream, but more of that when I address that first dream. Kurt is here the age he was when I first dated him. I was only 19. Cherries are a symbol of friendship but also of sexual desire.
A third person sits down beside me on the other side.
This was a very vivid detail in the dream. I could not see who was seated on the other side of me. He wore a hooded cloak. The third person reminds me of yet another past dream in which I’m walking between Kurt and my beloved teacher John. That post of May 5, 2016, is titled “Dream of Magical Traveling Companions.”
The invisible John walking beside me instantly reminded me upon awakening of the Biblical story of the resurrected Christ walking beside Simon Peter and another disciple on the road to Emmaus, giving them teachings (Luke 24:13-32).
And my favorite part of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land uses this story:
“Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
– But who is that on the other side of you?”
In the current dream, is the cloaked person my teacher, or is it my friend in hiding?
I say to Kurt, “I think someone is following me, and I know who it is but he won’t show himself.” Kurt says, “Yep – same old same old.” I say, “I’m not sure whether I’m safe.” Kurt says, “He can’t do anything to you.”
Here Kurt seems to have expected me and remarks that my sudden fear that I’m in danger because I’ve opened myself to attack is a repeated pattern, nothing new. He assures me, as the giant does later, that no harm can come to me. It is all a game, a karmic pattern played out many times. This is a point in the dream at which I could have become lucid. Even my own alarm felt feigned at this point. I wasn’t really so much afraid as curious. I was enhancing the drama because bored and lonely.
Suddenly, I’m in a vehicle, stopped before a storehouse door that won’t open. Kurt and our son are in the car too. Out of the left corner of my eye, I see a runaway train barreling toward me. Kurt and Kerry bolt and scream at me to do likewise. But I stand my ground, trying to bust down the storehouse door with my car.
Since October, the most common symbol in my dreams has been the vehicle and traveling. Here I’m stuck, immobile again, like I was in the moon-shaped pool with the giant of the other dream. I cannot move forward and completely awaken until I take out this boundary between my dream ego and the Storehouse Consciousness. Meanwhile, someone who is derailed is trying to take me out before I can take down this last boundary.
Now my family is afraid and I am not. I defy the train to take me out as I bang my car repeatedly into the huge door, trying to access the karmic traces, the knowledge of this pattern as an old and optional pattern.
The train is about to collide with my car, surely killing me, when suddenly the Giant from my other dream appears, towering over me. He picks up my car like it is a toy, saving me from being hit by the train. He slams his fist through the storehouse door, revealing a conveyor belt moving more deeply into the building, away from the door.
The giant is my protectors, my ancestors, my father. When I meditate, I call in my retinue of protectors and my ancestors. I ask their support as I support them. Moreover, when John explains exemplar tantra he explains that if one were a baby held by a father, then the father would be a giant to our adult size. The giant is definitely the ancestors.
And here is how the hypnagogic pre-dream fits in:
I see a corner of a room in a home. In the corner I see a small child’s stool, a three-legged stool. Above the stool is a window. It is open. Sun is shining in, and some curtains are gently swelling out and in from a light breeze. It is like the breath in meditation. The stool is familiar. It is identical to one that a family photographer had me sit on when I was a child. He had me in sit in profile, looking down into a baby-doll’s glass eyes. I was made to sit in profile on that stool because I was born with crossed eyes, something I suffered cruelty, rejection, and shame for throughout childhood. No parents want a portrait of a flawed daughter. No schoolmate will befriend a child wearing an eye-patch. The stool looks inviting. I begin walking toward it, intending to sit on it and gaze at the light outside the window. When I’m almost at the stool, suddenly a man’s translucent ghost-white hand and forearm bursts through the seat, grabbing at the air and light. It is a portal of some kind, with someone trying to literally reach me.
My dream ego (drego) is much more clever than my waking ego! What a strange image! And it has several resonances. First, the hand and arm are thick, like my father’s. They are of a ghost trying to reach me, literally, from the other side. He is trying to feel for me but cannot see me, just as I couldn’t see my friend in the game.
The round stool seat, the portal, reminds me of the round earth pool that the giant and I were stuck in throughout the giant dream of two weeks ago. The pool setting was “timeless,” and here the circle is a door in space-time. The ancient father busts through the door, just as the giant busts through the storehouse barrier.
When I was 12, my friend Terri took me to a psychic. The psychic touched my hands and jumped back as if burned by electricity. I looked quizzically at her, and she said, “Your emotions are so intense that they can burn.” That psychic told me that my mother’s father (who died soon before I was born) was my guardian protector. I asked her about my own father. She said, “He is in the shadows, the dark, hiding because he is too ashamed to face you yet.”
Is he now trying to reach me with his own electric touch?
He slams his fist through the storehouse door, revealing a conveyor belt moving more deeply into the building, away from the door.
I just looked up “conveyor belt” in a dream dictionary: “To dream of a conveyor belt represents a situation that keeps repeating itself.” So again with the theme of karma. The primitive-looking giant has broken down the barrier to the storehouse consciousness, but I’m being sent back up the line for repairs, to return later, to repeat the hide-and-seek next life:
I’m out of the car now, and the giant is trying to pick me up.
I’m screaming, “No! Don’t leave my friend behind! Save him too!”
Then I wonder whether the giant won’t save my friend because the friend is the one who is driving the train, trying to destroy me. So I ask the giant, “Am I in danger from my friend?”
The giant says, “No. No matter what you do or don’t do, nothing can harm you. You can play this game as much as you want, for eons if you want – or not.”
Then the giant places me on the conveyor where I’m conveyed away to darkness and safety, still screaming, “Save him! Save him too! Don’t leave him behind, please, or I’ll have to come back and start all over again!”
The giant says, “Not this time, sweetheart; maybe next time.”
The message of this dream is that I’m in no real danger, merely a repeating pattern with the hidden friend, a repeating simulation. I will indeed have to come back and save him. We will both have to evolve to a higher state of lucidity to break through this pattern and cancel the karmic contract.