both mine and not mine

tooth baby - April 7, 2015d

When I suddenly remembered having seen my bright shiny teeth in the mirror…

I knew it must have been a dream.

Because I don’t have bright shiny teeth…

I have the teeth of someone who drinks three big mugs of coffee every day.

That’s all I recall of the dream—just my pearly whites in the mirror.  I’m still not exactly sure what they represent.  I guess I’m seeing what I present to the world…

Anyway, since the message is obviously a positive one, I probably won’t go any deeper into this dream…

As I see it, I should focus on dreams that present me with a problem.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

Posted in cartoon, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

devil or angel?

demon underneath - March 24, 2015d

“If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well.”

With those words, the great poet Rainer Maria Rilke rejected psychoanalysis.

That rejection has had a long echo. It gets repeated a lot these days. So I think it’s worth examining…

I agree with Rilke to a degree: our angels and devils are indeed connected. To me, they’re different sides of the same coin.

As my dreams have shown me, every negative aspect or energy has its positive side. And every positive aspect has its negative.

From my dreams I’ve also learned that those demons can’t be destroyed. So I must deal with them. I must find the angel twin of a demon and flip to that side.

And try to stay there.

And try to flip back when I fail…

…which is often.

Perhaps Rilke believed that, without his pain, without his suffering, he wouldn’t be driven to such heights of creativity…

To those who fear the same, I say: don’t worry, no matter how much you change, I think there’ll always be enough pain, enough conflict…

…if not within yourself, then out there, in the world: enough suffering, enough injustice, enough cruelty to drive you to respond.

As for myself, I know my dreams will likely show me devils ’til the day I die…

But by dealing with them, I’ll gain ever more peace for myself…

…and in that way, create just a little more peace in this world.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

Posted in cartoon, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

no kidding

his royal lowness - March 10, 2015d

Dreams often seem so obscure…

At least, at first glance.

At second glance, they may seem painfully obvious.

I’m thinking of a dream, from years ago…

In the dream…

It’s night.  I’m sitting behind the steering wheel of my car…

But the wheel is so big—I can barely see over it.  How can I drive without wrecking the car?

As I recall, I didn’t get this dream at first…

But I maybe I missed message because I couldn’t yet accept its truth…

It’s not that the steering wheel was any larger—I was smaller.  Child-size!

According to this dream…

…if I start thinking and acting in an immature way…

I won’t be able to guide myself.

I’ll be a hazard—not just to myself, but also to others.

So…

…whenever, I’m feeling confused about what to do…

…whenever my life feels out of control…

…the solution may be this simple: stop being such a baby.

(For more on immaturity, see the post for January 19, 2015.)

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: the book

Posted in dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

trying to teach an old dog new tricks

shiver girl lake - February 23, 2015d

As a wise man once said…

“The more things change, the more things remain the same.”

A recent dream places me in a new environment, with new people and new possibilities…

Unfortunately, I’m stuck with an old habit of mind.

In the dream…

I’m on a group vacation, but I don’t really know the other travelers.

We’re milling about a large convention hall.  A woman sets up a dinner buffet.

But I had the buffet last night.  I could go out drinking.  The idea isn’t very appealing.  So then, what can I do this evening?

I wander outside with some members of the group.  We watch a theater troupe rehearse a musical number in a culvert.*

At first glance, this dream didn’t seem to contain any serious problems.  I can’t decide what to do, but that’s not a major issue, right?

Well, maybe it is, because I faced the same problem in my “moving to Seattle” dreams (see last post)…

This latest scenario would appear to be very different from my Seattle dreams.  But like those earlier dreams, I’m still not interacting with the people around me…

…I’m still maintaining a distance.

And like the Seattle dreams, I might find the answer to the “what to do” question by trying to close that distance, by engaging with others.

Maybe I don’t really feel that I “click” with my associates in the vacation dream—this has often been the case in my waking life…

And yet, I’ve received so much from the people who’ve passed through my life, even when I didn’t feel a strong connection…

In any case, as long as I’m with these people, I should try to be with them.  Otherwise, I should just go off on my own.  Either choice will get me going…

(* So why didn’t I ask myself about the theater troupe?  I thought I had more important questions to answer.)

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

Posted in dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sleeping in Seattle

now what fish border - February 5, 2015d

Why do I keep moving to Seattle?

In one dream…

…I’ve just arrived in Seattle on a train.  I’m wondering what I might do here, how I might live.

In another dream…

…having just arrived, I’m walking through a downtown building.  I look at this and that, thinking of what I might do here, how I might live.

So then, to these dreams indicate a move to the Pacific Northwest?

I don’t think so.  “Seattle” is a symbol…

But of what?  Why am I dreaming of Seattle and not Miami or San Francisco?

Well, Seattle is close to Canada.  “Canada” is another recurrent dream symbol.  To me, it represents the higher self—and also, the unknown mysterious North of myth and legend.

Okay, but right now, I certainly don’t feel so close to my higher self.  More often, I feel as if I’ve gone South…

In any case, this much is certain: these dreams speak of change.  Exciting, scary, wonderful change.

They also show I’m not well-prepared.

But how do you prepare for the unknown?  I’ve learned that, no matter how much I try to prepare, I don’t really know what’ll happen until the time comes.

So then, these dreams wouldn’t seem to be of much help…

However, there’s another important aspect within all my Seattle dreams…

…so obvious that I’ve overlooked it until now:

In each scenario, I’m thinking, feeling, looking about…

…but not directly engaging with my environment.

Yes, it’s wise to take in the lay of the land upon arrival…

…but perhaps I could find some answers to my questions by interacting a little more with the world around me…

It’s worth a try.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

Posted in cartoon, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

oh, baby

baby boss - January 19, 2015d

No—not the baby sock again!

The baby sock first appeared in a dream several years ago…

In a more recent dream…

I see a light-brown baby sock.

Yes, that’s the whole dream…but that one image says plenty.

As with the prior dream, the little sock tells me I’m being a baby in regards to a particular situation.

I also understood, immediately, what the color “brown” meant…

My unconscious will use that symbol when I choose to ignore what I know in my heart—when I’m turning a blind eye to the obvious.

Why does “brown” equal “obvious”?  It relates to how a New Orleans comedy troupe got its name.  If you want the full story, you can click this link.

So, according to the dream, I’m being a baby by fretting about something, when I know, quite well, that the situation will work out.

Okay, but what’s the meaning of “sock”?  Why didn’t my dream use a shoe to relay this information?  Or a diaper?

I don’t know.  No matter—I got the main message.

So then, have I changed my behavior, based on this dream?

Yeah, kind of….

But of course, change is always a work in progress.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
mythsteps: the blog

Posted in cartoon, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , | Leave a comment

waking up in my sleep

computer dream 2 - January 5, 2015d

How do I know when I’m awake?

According to a recent dream, I can’t be too sure.

In the dream…

I discover my computer missing…

A few moments later, I wake up.  I return to my small computer room and find the computer tower in place…

…but the monitor is still gone.

Well, the loss isn’t quite so bad, I think.

Then I wake again.  Again, I check the room.

Now, the computer system is completely intact.  What a relief!

At that point, I wake up once more.  But this time, it’s for real—I actually open my eyes…At least, I hope it’s for real.

This dream tells me there are various levels of waking—metaphorically speaking…

Lately, I’ve been looking back and seeing how asleep I was in the past…

But what about the present?  I’m aware of how I was asleep, but not so aware of how I’m still asleep.

In the dream, each time I wake, I recover more of the computer…

Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I remember the sequence correctly—the computer might be intact in the second scene, and the monitor gone in the third…

So my progress on this dream is stymied…

Even so, what I’ve gained from is important: I must keep fighting to wake up….

…and not just to the past, but also to the present—to what I’m doing now.

It’s a difficult job: how can I see what I can’t see?  Fortunately, dreams, such as this one, can help open my eyes.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

Posted in cartoon, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment