• Rodney Whitehouse

Dreams: Not just for kids any more!

I had a dream last night. It was interesting, because of its content and message, and exciting because it had a special guest appearance!

I’ve been dreaming a lot lately, not every night, but often. I get bursts and dry spells, but the latest round started when I was reading The Nature of the Psyche, which talks a lot about dreams. It took me months to get through that book, because I could only digest small portions at a time. Now I’ve moved on to The Tao of Psychology, and it also talks about dreams! I had no idea, I’ve just been working my way down my “to do” stack of books.

I spend time on my dreams, looking for meaning. It can be easy, as in when the dream is an obvious reference to events of the day or things that are on my mind. But other times they can be more obscure, as when the unconscious lets some higher wisdom leak through. This dream has both. On the surface it’s a typical anxiety dream, but underneath there’s much more. Let’s dive in!

The dream takes place in a typical, San Francisco Bay Area suburb, hilly, with wide, twisty, roads, packed with houses, but with enough greenery and variety to avoid the ticky-tacky blandness of suburban sprawl at its worst. The day was typical for a bay area summer, dawning crisp, clear and cool, with the promise 80 degrees, or more, by noon. (That’s something I truly miss here in Portland! Even on my worst days, when I dreaded going to work, I would take a minute to appreciate the morning. I commuted by bicycle most of my working life, so I was very in touch with the weather, it’s moods and nuances, in ways you don’t get sitting in a car.)

It was my third day (Don’t know why that’s important…) at a small Silicon Valley tech company. Anyone who’s worked for one of these will be familiar with the crowded spaces with mismatched furniture and ad hoc, improvised, layouts. The air is full of intent busyness, with an atmosphere of barely controlled chaos. I was in the midst of this, feeling very competent, but also completely lost.

At first, I realize that I had forgotten my briefcase, my badge and my phone, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do! (I worked a lot of temporary jobs during my years in collage, so I’m quite used to hanging out in some unfamiliar office space, waiting for someone to find me and tell me what to do. This was kinda the same thing, except here, I thought I should know…) Interestingly, the people I was with, didn’t seem worried, they seemed like real people, relaxed and understanding.

After this, I spiraled into panic and despair mode. I was trying to get back to my car, to get my stuff, but I’d parked on a residential street, and I couldn’t remember where. And then I realized I’d been running around residential streets for a while and was completely lost, without my phone!

I wandered around for a while, kicking myself about all the things I should have done, then, without a break, I found myself back at the company. I was in conversation with someone who seemed to be either a boss, or the boss. She seemed large, powerful, comforting and very wise. At that point, I got the feeling that I’d begun to get it, I understood, and, instead of feeling lost, I began to see my purpose. My purpose was to translate the knowledge of these wise beings for everyone. It was similar to the feeling I would get when studying some new technology or technique: First it just seems confusing and arbitrary, then it clicks, and then it all makes perfect sense! This was the same thing: I knew what was what, and I had purpose and focus, and was part of the team.

Next, I found myself in a company meeting. It was in a place that was relatively small, and seemed like a meeting area in a library. It was really crowded, people sitting right next to each other on the floor, not an inch to spare. I was standing on the outside of the group, when I felt a touch on my elbow! (A touch in my dreams is very, very rare!) I looked around and there was a pretty woman, sitting cross-legged on the floor. She had long, curly blonde hair and a friendly smile. She asked me if I remembered her. I kinda had a vague memory of her, from some theater production or suchlike? A long time ago? But that was all.

That was the end of that dream. But there’s a lot more to talk about. The whole time I was somewhat aware I was dreaming, and I had had this dream before. Not exactly the same, though, for this time it was turning out better than the last time. Also, the main characters in this dream seemed to have much more weight, presence and agency than my dreams usually have. They actually seemed to have personalities and act with understanding and compassion, like real people.

The woman at the end was very special. She seemed completely out of place, having nothing to do with the rest of the plot. It was after I woke up that I realized that she is a dear friend, from another incarnation, dropping in to say hello! She looked quite different from the last time I saw her, but her spirit is unmistakable.

What this dream is telling me is that all the things I worry about are not important. (How many times have you heard that message? I guess it bears repeating because we humans tend to get caught up in the material) But there is something to be said, a message to be translated and delivered, through action, word and intent. The last part is the most important, intent. Here, the medium is the message! The whole point is to be open and receive. That the messages themselves have many layers of meaning, much more than be captured in words. Each individual needs to open to the intent, the hope, the possibility and the promise. This feels hopelessly intimidating to me, to say the least, but my “coworkers” are helpful, patient, and endlessly understanding, so I might as well try.

I can’t say I really know what I’m doing, but images like this dream, give me inspiration to keep writing and that, with all the other changes in my life right now, accomplish what I need to accomplish in this lifetime.

Take care!

As always, comments and respectful discussions are welcome.

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