Jungian Dreamwork

[^otter^]I want to welcome all of you to this discussion on one of
my very favorite topics, Jungian dreamwork!
My qualifications to share this work are simple...
I have been a dreamwork student for ten years, and teach the work
locally at the Friends of Jung Center twice a year
as I have for the past 3 years...
It is a central part of my spiritual practice and hope you will find
what we share here tonight to be of value in your own quest!

Feel free to interrupt by raising your hand with a !, if you have a question!
^otter^ bows to all for the honor of being asked to do this.

...Dreams have provided inspiration for artists, musicians, poets,
scientists inventors...
and are the door to the expansive inner world...
dreamwork not only unlocks creativity...
but also gives us profound insight into the inner workings of our minds,
our own mythology as it were.
In addition, by working with dreams..
we can connect to the collective unconscious that links us all
throughout the history of humankind.

To those not familiar with Carl Gustav Jung,
he is known as the father of modern symbolism, and coined the phrase
"collective unconscious".
He pioneered work in symbolic theory and believed that the language
of the unconscious spoke to us through the symbols revealed in our
Jung was convinced that dreams offer practical insight
sent from the unconscious to the conscious self,
and felt that self understanding would lead to a full and rich life.
Many native peoples including the Huron, Chippewa and Navajo
believe that their dreams are rich and prophetic vision, full of advice,
and teaching. Nostradamus prophecies all were seen in dream state
which he then verified astrologically to set proper time frame to them.

So how do we tap into this rich, vibrant world? any ideas?
[phase] otter: you cut off the sensory input from your Eyes (visual)
and relax your mind and allow it to wander into the non-physical realms
where dreams occur, and we perceive them
[^otter^] the keys are desire, dedication and a willingness to practice
some very simple tools on a daily basis!
yes phase, that is indeed part of it, but there is more to unraveling
the meaning and wisdom.
[ACTION] phase has found writing them down to be most helpful;,
and elementary in dreamwork......
[^otter^] forget dream dictionaries that carte blanche give your dream
[phase] otter: I've always been suspicious of those....and felt they were
"Pop Unconscious Psychology';
[^otter^] you are your own best interpreter, and I will share some tools
to help you create and examine your own personal myth of symbolic
Phase said something very important..
the dream journal is the most important tool for this work
outside of your dreams themselves...
For this you will need a large loose leaf binder...
alphabetical dividers....and a heap of paper<g>

[ACTION] Star22 finds it helpful to keep a log of dreams...
so that I can see what my personal symbols really are...
sometimes they differ from standard interpretations
[^otter^] yes star22!!
Every night you want to meditate and talk to your unconscious,
asking it to open the right brain world to you during the night...
Ask your right brain to make the dreams clear to you when you awaken....
When you awake write down as much of the dream as possible,
in chronological order..in addition date the dream,
this will be important as the dreamwork progresses..
also, give the dream a title...as though it were a story (which in fact it is).
Do the same thing with any dreams that you have.
soon you will find that you may remember several from one night..

[Faye] otter: Wow, is that dangerous sometimes?
[^otter^] faye, dangerous?
[ACTION] ^otter^ does not feel that dreamwork is dangerous
on any level. Some dreams are fearful,
but those fears are the unconscious way of working through
issues and problems and present a great source of healing.
[Faye] Yeah, opening yourself up to the unknown
[^otter^] I believe just the opposite, that it is a great healer.
[Faye] K. Thanks =)
[^otter^] now to continue with the journalizing..
after you have written out the dream <s>
write on a sheet your feelings about the dream,
anything that stands out, colors, objects, people..
anything that elicits a response/recognition of anything however odd it
may seem.
later as you progress, you will be looking for repetitive images/symbols..
these over time will become your symbols.
They will be added alphabetically to your divider section.
The meanings will come to you as you write about the feeling responses
you have to the dream symbols, and gradually the meanings
will become very clear..does everybody understand how
to set up a journal and use it?
[Faye] Yup
[maya] yes otter :)
[Star22] were with ya otter : )

[^otter^] OK!
There is one group of symbols that will follow some standard
these are known as archetypes..
[^otter^] Can anyone explain what an archetype is?

<Ariannasr> archetype: an aspect of the personality that exhibits a
certain trait
for example, Demeter, a mother/ nurturing aspect
[^otter^] yes, arianna that's it!
An archetype is a universal symbol,
that due to it's nature has a same or similar meaning for us all!
Some common archetypes might include, father, mother,
child the elements (water, fire etc.) The shadow, the anima/animus
as well as certain actions like falling, running flying...
The best source for research on these would be from Jung's master work
"man and his symbols"
[^otter^] wow I can't believe I am running out of time,
didn't think I'd have enough and now I find I have too much!!
So I'll try to move swiftly through the rest of the basics
and then open it up to discussion, OK?
[Star22] go for it otter : )

Many dreams will contain conflict..
Keep in mind that conflict in a dream provides many answers
to practical problems..to confront the conflict presented in the dream
ask yourself the following:

1. do the contextual notes I made in my journal provide a clue?
2. what sensations does the conflict elicit?
3. what events and thoughts of the previous day may have
precipitated the dream?
4. what immediate events am I anticipating that may be relevant?

Of course we want to remember to look for patterns, a series of symbols..
Always keep that in mind and refer to your personal dream dictionary for
Keep in mind that dreams speak in a sort of logical illogic as well,
don't throw out a word for example that seems silly..

In one of my own dreams the word "Sears" came up,
like Sears and Roebuck, when looked at contextually to the rest
of the dream it became apparent that the actual message from my
unconscious was "see-ers"...

[^otter^] That is the foundation for beginning dreamwork,
as you practice it will become easier and more will be expressed to you..
Real briefly before I open this up to discussion I'll touch on lucidity..
Lucid dreams are extremely valuable...
that is when you are dreaming, but consciously aware that you are
to test if a dream is lucid it is valuable to say your name in the dream...
This serves as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious minds..
In a lucid dream you have the power to interact in the mythology
and create much like a filmmaker does a movie..
[maya] !
[^otter^] yes maya
[maya] I would like to ask about dreams that seem to be a carry over
from the days activities....for example *blush* since I use computer
before bed...I am very often dreaming of surfing..or chatting (he he)..
does this also offer guidance..it certainly seems trivial most of the time
[^otter^] maya many times that is trivial..
To find if it is you must look at the overall scope of the dream,
the context in which you are surfing..
With practice you will be able to determine if it is significant or not.

Quickly, back to lucidity...
The lucid dream can help you problem solve by interaction
with your unconscious. In addition, all dreams can help to better show
you what your real needs are, and also necessary actions in your life.
Well dears that is about all I prepared for here.

<Ariannasr> !
[^otter^] this is very brief, and strictly an overview
yes arianna?
<Ariannasr> you said in the beginning that it was an important part
of your spiritual life... do you have anything profound that happened
in a dream, or as a result of one?

[Viveka] otter-do you believe that lucid dreams take place
in an objective inner dimension or is it all imaginary in your head?
-Some people report having "shared" dreams-they are together in
the dream and after they wake up they can "fill each other in".
[^otter^] viveka I do believe due to the nature of the collective unconscious
that we can indeed "share" dreams/dreamstates
Arianna yes I do, also for me, I believe that they were parts
of remembered past lives. In one very vivid dream I was a scribe
in ancient Egypt, a young male, in the dream I died quite young.
[Faye] viveka: A friend and I did have a "share" dream of a past life
we had together in another galaxy. We both filled each other in. =)
[^otter^] yes faye, it happens.
I would like to open up to general discussion,so that I might be able to
if I feel I can add something of value I'll just jump on in!!
<Ariannasr> I started out in a dream, saying " all spirit is one"
to a potentially dangerous person, and that was a spring board into
another dimension that was NOT a dream,,,
It is a FEELING place of love... intensely pleasurable.....
High vibrations....wind chime -like music,,,
I do not feel that was a dream any more...It was real
[^otter^] wow arianna!!!
<Ariannasr> I would love to go back,...it was a faith builder
[Faye] Wow. What happened arianna?
when you entered the other dimension?
[^otter^] arianna, the Senoi tribe believes that the dreamworld
is indeed another dimension
<Ariannasr> I went to a place like heaven....
I came back when I got scared that I had died... :)
[^otter^] arianna ask before you go to sleep to go there again,
with practice it will happen!

[Viveka] Well, for those who are quite adept at it,
it seems they can function in a kind of "subtle body" and access many
different planes and levels, talk to people who are dead,
and use it overall to develop their inner faculties and consciousness.

[Star22] A soul travel kind of thing arianna?
<Ariannasr> I had a sense when I was there, that it was like dejavous.
... it is our home....Starr22: a shift into another place
without having to travel laterally in this dimension...

[Faye] viveka: It all starts with remembering your dreams every night
[^otter^] yeppers faye that's the key!!

[Viveka] It is even possible to view scenes in the physical world
and report on things happening at a distance in this way-it seems
that lucid dreams can start when one can "experience" dreams
as if one was there, even though at this stage one does not necessarily
know one is dreaming.
Those who are adept at this seem to be able to move into different
inner sheaths or bodies as they move upward through the different levels
by putting successively each of the lower ones in sleep or "trance"

[^otter^] locust had a question!!!
<Ariannasr> Hey locust? something to add?
[Locust_] huh? (I've been gone)
[ACTION] oldsoul is enjoying the dialogue and am contemplative :)
[Locust_] Hey while questions are up
what does it mean if your entire dream is staring at say a bowl?
For hours, and hours, thinking nothing, just staring at a bowl.
[^otter^] locust sounds like meditation to me..
[Locust_] No a dream!
[^otter^] what did you think it was?
That is what counts..
[Locust_] I thought it was pointless, finally when I could think that,
I woke up.
[^otter^] Locust, how do you feel about it?
What did it seem to be to you?
<Ariannasr> what kind of bowl?
[Locust_] it felt like nothing, no emotions, it seemed to be a big bowl.
[^otter^] the symbols could be broken down as well...
[Locust_] Maybe a bowl to put popcorn in.
[^otter^] what is a bowl?
[Locust_] (like the thing you put cereal in? otter?)
[^otter^] free association can help with that..
[Locust_] So any ideas?
[^otter^] locust if it was my dream I would tell you its meaning..
<Ariannasr> bowl: maybe you should be thinking about what you
should fill it with!
[^otter^] but it is your symbol so you must define it..
[Locust_] that is my point, I *cannot* define a bowl!
[^otter^] then you must look at it some more locust<G>
it is a rich symbol
good point arianna!
[^otter^] so locust, what is nothing?
[Locust_] nothing, it only had the shadow of its brim in it,
and that was only a shadow.
[^otter^] locust these are leading questions hon,
I am not trying to be flippant...
[Locust_] I just thought it might mean something,
like you ate too much, or something...
<Ariannasr> sounds as if your spirit wants to prod you into filling
your bowl already!!!...look at that metaphorically...
like is there an emptiness in your
life that should be filled?
[^otter^] Arianna, that would be my interpretation as well
<Ariannasr> :) well. I have to tuck my daughter in bed now!
Have fun folks! good night! {{{{hugs}}}
Thank you Otter for leading this meeting!!

[^otter^] thank you dears for your patience and love!
Thank you all for being here, and thank you Arianna
for your gracious invitation, I hope you learn and grow with the help
of this work, practice and have fun getting to know yourselves
that much better!
[ACTION] oldsoul bows deeply to ^otter^ in appreciation
of her knowledge and the physical exertions it required to type for so long
[ACTION] Star22 thanks otter for her knowledge
and effort it took to type it all out
[Faye] Thanks otter =)
[maya] Love and Light Otter..thank you...