Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I awoke with a start...
Disturbing images from the night before were still vivid in my mind and they troubled me. After all, I'm not one to take such matters lightly.
In a dream years ago, I recalled falling back against a wall. As I slumped to the cold pavement, I glanced upward, and spied a man firing a pistol straight at me.
When I was riveted back into consciousness, there was a nagging impression in my mind that someone famous was going to be murdered in the street; unfortunately, I was unable to catch a glimpse of their face in the dream sequence.
A couple of days later, John Lennon was shot!
In one segment of the surreal montage the other night, a chauffeur was driving me to the airport where I was expected to catch a plane to journey on to Washington to receive an Honor at the White House.
The driver, an Afro-American male, turned and smiled through the open glass partition.
Then, for some inexplicable reason, he handed me a brand new copy of Bill Clinton's book on "Giving"...
I glanced down at the white cover; suddenly, the outside flap turned pitch black!
The two of us reacted in shock...
The livery service employee quickly noted that there was a bookstore down the street. At this point in the surreal dream, he scrambled out of the vehicle purring at the curb, and dashed up the bustling city street to pick up a fresh copy of the book so the Clinton's wouldn't be upset.
As soon as he departed, I glanced down in wonder at the publication resting in my shaking hands. At that precise moment, the outer jacket transformed back into its original shade of pristine white. Then, I woke up, perplexed.
The next night, I was savoring an invigorating shower. Suddenly - as the steaming-hot jet of crystal-clear water shot forth from the nozzle all over my naked flesh - a dark, muddy pool of liquid began to flow into the basin at my feet.
A voice in my mind said, "Don't drink it. It's contaminated!"
As I wrestled myself from the deep, hypnotic state, I bolted upright in my bed trying to fathom the symbols.
In my estimation, both nightmares were prophetic dreams.
First, it should be noted that dreams never speak to you in a language that you do not understand.
If you're afraid of swimming, for instance, then such an image in a dream sequence may be a warning - a message to pay heed to. If a snake represents evil, the appearance of one is in reference to that.
Both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung - two leading dream analysts - identified dreams as a dramatic interaction between the unconscious and the conscious minds.
Basically, there are three types of dreams...
First, there is the purely prophetic kind, which essentially peer into the future.
In Biblical times, Joseph was inclined to have profound dreams, which often foretold of cataclysmic events.
In one, he noted to his brothers...
"...behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo [behold], my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf."
In another, the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed to him.
God often used him as an instrument to forewarn about events on the horizon to pay heed to. Forebodings such as these are not easy to interpret.
The idea of "prophetic dreaming" becomes compelling when déjà vu is experienced.
After all, déjà vu generally conjures up a feeling of having previously seen or experienced something which may be attributed to having been dreamt about in a similar situation or place, and forgetting about it, until one seems to be mysteriously reminded of the situation or place while awake...
The second kind of dreams arise and spring from daily tension and anxiety.
During waking hours, sentient beings are prone to toil at work, watch television, and listen to the radio...so, cries from the subconscious are often blocked out.
At night, the lower levels of the psyche try to communicate what is amiss, or offer up clues as to what may be irking us, with the ultimate aim of calming our fears and attaining peace of mind.
Some argue that dreams cleanse unhealthy thoughts from the mind during sleep.
On occasion, such a process may be interrupted due to "dream incorporation". This occurrence takes place when an external stimulus - usually an auditory one - becomes a part of a dream, eventually awakening the dreamer.
"Dream Incorporation" is used in research to examining the degree to which preceding daytime events become elements of dreams. Studies have determined that events the day preceding and those about a week before have the most influence.
The third dream state pertains to the individual on a deeply personal level and is connected to personality traits, changes in the offing, and unique aspects of the person's life - not inconsequential, at all.
According to Carl Jung, there is a collective unconscious which a person taps into, at a basic level of the mind, which is common to all races and cultures.
Jung theorized archetypal symbols reside in the universal, myth-making part of the mind, and that myths and dreams stem from the same profound imaginings.
This argument supports the idea that individuals across the "board" are capable of having relatively similar dreams, especially in respect to universal truths. This may account for the ability of a handful to experience prophetic glimpses into the future and discern events that may affect all mankind.
Call it a kind-of primal instinct in the lower reaches of the mind.
The celebrated psychologist doubted that the images were solely related to the subject's personal experience.
To Jung, a fairly insightful, open-minded doctor - symbols of dreams were an efficient language, comparable to poetry, uniquely capable of revealing hidden, underlying personality traits.
Fritz Perls, who coined the phrase "Gestalt Therapy", expanded upon this point of view to say that even inanimate objects represented aspects of the dreamer. For this reason, a subject was often asked to imagine an object in the dream and describe it in order to bring an awareness of the characteristics that corresponded to the dreamer's personality.
Houses, on the other hand, usually refer to the "house" or temple of the individual, or their soul. If the structure is white, then the person may be experiencing a period of cleansing, since white represents purity.
Meanwhile, Sigmund Freud - a leading analyst in the field - conjectured that all human experience was subject to cause and effect.
In his opinion, dreams sprung forth as an aspect of the unconscious mind.
Through a technique known as free association, he surmised he could interpret dreams.
For instance, in a therapy session, subjects were asked to articulate sequences of spontaneous and random connections, using dreams as their starting points.
In his book, "Interpreting Dreams", he further theorized the mind operated on two levels - the primary and the secondary.
The id consisted of the primordial, inherited instincts; while the EGO, was focused on morality, rationality, and logic.
In the dreaming mind (primary process) unconcious desire and fears were turned into symbols; in the waking mind (secondary process) impulses and symbols were repressed through the operation of reason and conscience.
Id acted as a wish-fulfillment, couching them in symbolic form, so that they did not become urgent yearnings; hence, the symbolic musings did not disturb the dreamer.
Dream symbolism was facilitated by the complex mind to permit sleep, he theorized, by allowing the id to express the animalistic desires of the individual without forcing them into consciousness.
He further asserted that dreams functioned on two levels - consisting of manifest content (what dreams seem to mean) and latent content (what they actually mean).
The manifest content disguised the latent by dream sequences such as condensation (multiple dream meanings condensed into one symbol) and displacement (visual metaphor).
Using free association, he felt he was able to make connections that patients made between the symbols, to reveal a dream's content and arrive at a true interpretation
Freud formulated many theories about sexual urges and the id, but others who followed in his footsteps, challenged those ideas vigorously.
Some concluded that far from manifesting the power of some inner demon, dreams were a continuation of and a response to, waking states and events - as I noted earlier.
Not to be left behind, Freud proceeded to make a distinction, too, between those dreams prompted by id and those arising from day-to-day mundane matters.
In contrast, Jung felt dream work was an essential tool for psychoanalysis because dream symbols represented common humanity.
In this capacity, Jung noted they had a religious function; each one led to a path of self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment.
In view of the foregoing, the dream images of the limousine driver and the book transformations, conjure up many intriguing clues - but no cigar, yet!
Maybe there is a "black" scandal on the horizon for Clinton pertaining to issues of "giving", as suggested by the book imagery.
But what of the Afro-American limo driver?
The water sequence drew a blank until this past week when it was announced that Bush vetoed the Water Bill(s).
Ah, the water!
Something about the water.
Don't drink it!