August 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
This morning I awoke from a dream where I was trying to open the front door but it was being held shut from the other side. I considered turning on the porch light to see who was holding the door but it was clear if I did so the intruder would scamper away. At the same time in the dream there was nothing on the other side of the door. Literally nothing. But as dreams follow a different kind of reasoning from waking logic, there was also an intelligence or force of some kind that lay behind the door. It was not a beneficent force but seemed indifferently judgmental.
This dream has a strong after effect. Even now, several hours latter, when I walk past the front door I seem to sense that whatever’s behind it can’t be comprehended by the mind. It is not conceptual.
Now when it comes to dream interpretation the best book I ever read is Ann Faraday’s, “The Dream Game”. In it she writes that unlocking the hidden meaning of your dreams first involves ascertaining the theme of the dream, then associating it to some event within the past 24 to 48 hours of your life. The theme in my dream is trying to discover the nature of an intruder but being blocked by an unseen force. In Ann Faraday’s thinking this is a “saboteur dream” because my effort to uncover something is being sabotaged.
Faraday writes that saboteurs can be either a psychological topdog or underdog, terms coined by the late Fritz Perls of Gestalt therapy fame. The topdog is an internalized authority figure trying to impose its will on the rest of the personality that then becomes the underdog trying to outwardly please the topdog while still trying to get its own needs met. At first glance this might seem similar to Freud’s notions of the superego and the id, however, Faraday points out that while the topdog usually equates to superego functions it does not always do so. Sometimes elements of the id may become a topdog authority figure that tries to impose its will on the superego that then becomes the underdog.
Returning to my dream, as I mentioned the force behind the door was “indifferently judgmental” I suspect a judgmental topdog aspect of my personality is being projected onto the non-conceptual (i.e., “indifferent”) Self. As that Self is also seen as an intruder this suggests I see the Self in some way as a threat, not surprising considering the Self is a threat to the ego’s position of authority in the personality.
As to the event in the past 24 to 48 hours the dream is commenting upon, it’s likely this is last night’s meditation wherein I continued to seek to do nothing: a reference to the Tao Te Ching where it says, “If nothing is done, then all will be well.” This is similar to Gangaji’s admonishment to “stop” seeking the Self. This would seem to be confirmed by the reference in the dream that if I turned on the porch light the intruder would scamper away. This is a clear reference to how attempting to conceptualize the Self, i.e., turn on the porch light, separates one from the Self.
Putting this together, last night’s dream is telling me that my fear of being judged and my tendency to judge is sabotaging my efforts to know Self. But more importantly, the dream is presenting an image that I can use when conceptualizing that which is beyond concepts. That image is of the Self as “nothing on the other side of the door”.
One final note, in Patricia Garfield’s “Creative Dreaming” she writes that the Malaysian tribe known as the Senoi encourage dreamers to “achieve a positive outcome”. To me, this image of Self as “nothing on the other side of the door” is one of the most positive outcomes I can think of to end this interpretation of the dream.