This sort of reads like a fever dream (even though it's not), but without the nightmarish aspect. I love fever dreams. Yes it sucks to be ill, and yes there are unsettling aspects to a feverish nightmare, but these dreams always live on as legend for me. Fever dreams seem to take elements from waking life and really amplify them. For example, when I was about 12 I had a fever dream where I was Link from The Legend of Zelda. It was fantastical and terrifying. I'll never forget the feeling from this dream. It did have nightmarish aspects, but how could I complain about being in my favorite video game? Even the underworlds were fascinating. The dream has stuck with me forever, and I recall being so intrigued with this dream that a fever - albeit unhealthy - seemed to also serve a constructive purpose from then on. This also happens to Robinson Crusoe in the eponymous book, but to a more severe (and religious) degree. I guess you could say that religion was Robinson Crusoe's Zelda.
One of the first dreams I can recall was a fever dream about my Pound Puppy, named Pow Wow, being taken by a band of nefarious monkeys. It was up one of Salt Lake City's many canyons in the winter - snow everywhere and my Pound Puppy locked in a cage by these evil creatures. I've never looked at Pow Wow the same since.
The gymnast, Roberto, was actually an acquaintance of mine (in real life). Like I've stated earlier - the only people whose identity is true to real life are Jessixa, my parents, and an occasional other friend. At some point I chose to make word bubbles black for the people that are unfamiliar to me, but this is inconsistent throughout the project. Anyway, Roberto (whom I know, but not very well) is dead by the end of the dream, which makes the impact more profound. I haven't spoken to this person in a while - so the events in this dream are really bizarre. I recall not having any waking compensation for why my unconscious would choose this person to pop up. It's natural to go over and over in your mind what possibly could have lead you to dream about this or that. I'll talk more about compensatory dreams later.
"At an early stage of his intellectual development man deems himself naturally immortal, and imagines that were it not for the baleful arts of sorcerers, who cut the vital thread prematurely short, he would live for ever. But in time the sad truth of human mortality was borne in upon our primitive philosopher with a force of demonstration which no prejudice could resist and no sophistry dissemble. Nevertheless, even if he reluctantly acknowledged the existence of beings at once superhuman and supernatural, he was as yet far from suspecting width and depth of the gulf which divided him from them. The gods with whom his imagination now peopled the darkness of the unknown were indeed admitted by him to be his superiors in knowledge and in power, and in the joyous splendour of their life and in the length of its duration. But, though he knew it not, these glorious and awful beings were merely, like the spectre of the Brocken, the reflections of his own diminutive personality exaggerated into gigantic proportions by distance and by the mists and cloud of ignorance upon which they were cast." Frazer, Sir James George. The New Golden Bough. Garden City: Anchor, 1959. Print. (Bold type mine)
More talking animals and more people with basic-shape-heads. The bonding with the Orca gives me a great feeling of resolve, as I think they are very majestic but extremely terrifying. Clearly this is still the case in the dream as I have to act as a liaison between the basic-shape-heads and the other Orcas. Trying to keep the delicate balance and be peaceful together. Dance!
This dream offers everything I love about dreaming. Rife with symbols, complicated and psychedelic in its pacing, and at the same time full of humor and emotion. And let's not overlook - water slides! I've found that the pedestrian "dream encyclopedia" often has an entry for water slides. I'm not a fan of dream dictionaries (especially online versions) but they are useful in gathering an idea of what people commonly dream about. Water slides happen to be one of those common themes. What the dream dictionaries will tell you about water slides can't offer you the personal connection that you have with water slides. The water slide presents a perfect opportunity to dissect a layered metaphor. We must look at the state of the water - flowing, in a tube, at a theme park, particularly for fun. This is general; my idea of water slides is that they are the greatest thing ever. I yearn to go to a water park every summer. The montage in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure where Napoleon visits the water park is, for me, gripping. Yet, Dreambible.com describes the appearance of a water slide as "Playing with uncertainty or feeling good ignoring the consequences of your actions. A waterslide is a sign that you may know that you are doing something wrong or risky and are enjoying it anyway. Having fun behaving bad." 'Water Slides.' Dream Bible. Copyright 2010-14. Web. 20, July, 2015. Another site, Dreammoods.com puts it more simply: "To dream that you are on or see a waterslide suggests that you are being carried away by your emotions. You are being engulfed by your subconscious. Alternatively, the dream indicates that you are going with the flow of things without any objection or resistance." 'Waterslides.' Dream Moods. Dream Moods, Inc. P., 28, March, 2015. Web. 20, July, 2015. I'd go with the Dream Moods entry, but it's so broad. It takes the idea that water serves as a symbol of the unconscious and emotions and vaguely pairs it with the actual concept of a water slide. Going with the flow of things could also be said about a river. We need a clearer distinction - a personal one.
Let's get to the juicy part of this dream: a dream within a dream. Freud asserts that dreams are disguised or "latent" versions of our innermost desires. Thus, he logically sees a dream-within-a-dream as a double negative where the the dream in the dream is actually the latent desires unveiled. This just sounds like the ravings of a megalomaniac to me. (It's easy to be a Freud-hater because most of his work, taken as psychology, is one massive extension of his ego and latent desires.) Jung didn't seem to think this at all. In fact, he hardly viewed the dream-within-a-dream as a significant dream event. Rather, as Hall sums up in Jungian Dream Interpretation, "...such shifts within a dream can be seen as movements of various ego-organizations, some of which claim for themselves the status of full waking consciousness, although the complicated dream structure reveals them to be only partial integrations. To some degree, the dream-within-a-dream is a more complicated form of the frequent shift from scene to scene withing a single dream" (90). Jung (via Hall) couldn't be more spot on concerning this dream. In my dream I am trying to tell several others about my dream (so technically this isn't a dream-within-a-dream, even) but everybody else keeps cutting me off. When I finally get to tell my dream it is clear that I am satisfying the need to tell a story. Much like this very project! The aspect of the dream-within-a-dream here is very ego based and naturally integrated into an already complicated dream. It's not as though (as Freud thinks) the mask is suddenly removed. It's still just a dream even though we want it to be more, even though the EGO wants it to be more.
After we went to Paris I returned home and dreamed about Paris consistently for over a month. It would pop into my dream every night. The trip was great, and the unconscious imprint was substantial. It was 21 nights of consecutively dreaming about Paris.
"...In every other great city the forgotten child becomes the deboshed man, and whereas nearly everywhere the child left to his own devices becomes rootless and immersed in open vice which destroys in him all conscience and sense of probity, the Paris urchin, we insist, however footloose and disreputable he may appear on the surface, remains in himself almost unspoiled. It is a magnificent phenomenon, splendidly manifest in the honesty of our popular revolutions, a kind of incorruptibility born of the instinct that resides in the air of Paris like salt in the waters of the ocean. To breathe Paris is to preserve one's soul." Hugo, Victor. Les Misérables. Paris: Folio Press, 1862.
I could have easily left the quote at "To breathe Paris is to preserve one's soul", but that would be like throwing sand in Hugo's eyes, and contrary to the spirit of Paris.
This passage has always felt like it pertains to celebrities:
"There are many people whose conscious attitude is defective not as regards adaptation to environment but as regards expression of their own character. These are people whose conscious attitude and adaptive performance exceed their capacities as individuals; that is to say, they appear to be better and more valuable than they really are. Their outward success is naturally never paid for out of their individual resources alone, but very largely out of the dynamic reserves generated by collective suggestion. Such people climb above their natural level thanks to the influence of a collective ideal or the lure of some social advantage, or the support offered by society. They have not grown inwardly to the level of their outward eminence, for which reason the unconscious in all these cases has a negatively compensating, or reductive, function." Jung, Carl. Dreams from The Collected Works or C.G. Jung, Volumes 4, 8, 12, 16. Princeton: Bollingen, 1974.
I've always struggled when it comes to separating a celebrity's craft from their opinions, politics, and behavior. In this case it's Dustin Hoffman whom I really like. So the fact that he went and fired missiles at my superhero friends and me was disappointing. In the end I resolved to shoot back at him anyway yet continue to love his acting. What part of myself do I feel this way about? Serious ego happening here. Me as a superhero, I can fly a plane, and I have permission to potentially fatally injure a person.
Confrontation of the shadow is different for everybody, and being closer to it - I realize how much work it is to deal with it. Looking back on these dreams (the dreams in Sleep Comics are from three years ago) I can see the shadow everywhere. Naturally so, since the shadow is just another part of the whole person. Jung: "To take a legitimate parallel from the psychology of the individual, namely the appearance of an impressive shadow figure antagonistically confronting a personal consciousness: this figure does not appear merely because it still exists in the individual, but because it rests on a dynamism whose existence can only be explained in terms of his actual situation, for instance because the shadow is so disagreeable to his ego-consciousness that it has to be repressed into the unconscious. This explanation does not quite meet the case here, because the trickster obviously represents a vanishing level of consciousness which increasingly lacks the power to take express and assert itself. Furthermore, repression would prevent it from vanishing, because repressed contents are the very ones that have the best chance of survival, as we know from the experience that nothing is corrected in the unconscious." Jung, Carl. The Four Archetypes from The Collected Works of C.G. Jung Volume 9, Part I. Princeton: Bollingen, 1959.
This is all so clear once you see how your Shadow plays into your daily life. My small progress has been to take a conscious look at my unconscious behavior and examine when my shadow tips its hat, and there have been specific dreams which help to highlight exactly when my shadow is tipping its hat.
I understand this dream doesn't quite deal with the shadow self, but it has themes that trigger the question of whether the shadow is at work here. My motives for paying the man to take care of a friend in need while I have a good time. Or, the friend who is too drunk and needs assistance could be the critic in me judging my behavior if I ever become too irresponsible, particularly by the shadow's doing.
The most common feeling I latch onto from all of my dreams is the overall sense of place. It is quiet and solitary and even the shortest dream can leave you with a full day of trying to capture and understand that feeling. It's not a feeling of the waking world. Not good or bad; not something that is asking to be analyzed, just a morsel to keep us coming back. Dreams like this are a welcome break from the standard unraveling of symbols and imagery we are acquainted with.
"Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to the other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or "culture," the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless - even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building and empire of renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his Minotaur.All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration." Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With a Thousand Faces. New York: Bollingen, 1949.
In this dream I let myself be victim to my own insecurities. What a petty quest it was to try and latch the door for those bimbos! My head is down and I am sad, but the sun is setting on lesser strife and the world is open for self-fulfillment that is not locked inside a pretentious warehouse.
It's difficult to not get stuck in self-defeat and mourn opportunities missed. External forces are easy to label as obstacles, but that's just lazy. There is a quest awaiting. Judgement and rejection have no place in the triumph. The world outside ourselves is a giant mirror. Everything we see is only ever seen through our eyes, therefore everything we know in this world is some version of ourselves.