Sleep Comics #20

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.

Sleep Comics #16

The fellow in my dreams who appears in the glasses and striped shirt is Martin. He is modeled after Waldo from Where's Waldo by Martin Hanford. The Waldo books were my favorite as a child. Martin is a catchall for male friends in my life. So when he appears he is one of any of my friends. There are only a handful of people I represent in their actual appearance - my wife, my mom, my dad, and a few others.  

Sleep Comics #15

Thinking in dreams: 

The more I listen to my dreams, the more I notice my thoughts within the dream and how much of the content they occupy. (I'm going to pre-apologize for the confusing grammar here:) Because dreams are so often weighed by their symbolic content it presents a problem with analysis. How much importance should I place on my in-dream thought process? No psychoanalyst I've ever seen has seemed to show much interest in this. Are we to interpret the thoughts in the dream as thought by our unconscious selves? Or is it just a neurotic addition to an already confusing subject? When I talk about in-dream thoughts here, I'm not referring to "that lady looks weird" - I'm referring to critical analysis of situations. For instance, some event will happen that will provoke me to go into a long-winded breakdown of the situation. In conflict, I will go over and over the motives of another person, and analysis of my actions, until I finally either say or do something in the dream (or not!). In this waking analysis I suppose it's easy to say that it's not what I am thinking, but the fact that I am thinking so much, and how does that reflect back onto me? Is all this out-of-dream analysis affecting my in-dream activity and visa-versa? Maybe an analyst hasn't shown interest because I haven't brought it up in this way.

Sleep Comics #12

In the following passage Jung addresses the idea of dreams being a collection of the days events. Generally we fail to give the unconscious credit for using what we feed it. Often we say, "Oh, I must've dreamt about horses because I watched the Kentucky Derby", dismissing the dream as our sleeping self simply processing something we witnessed that day. What Jung posits is the unconscious use of this content is equal to or greater than the thing which our waking self has seen (i.e. the unconscious's use of a horse in the dream is more proficient than the conscious/waking viewing of the Kentucky Derby). After making this realization, my frustration began to increase when I would hear others downplay a dream due to a direct link to something in their every day life. I began to examine more closely my relationship to these generally ignorable subjects and analyze my relationship with them when they would pop up in dreams. How do I really feel about horses? What have they ever meant to me? Culturally, horse meat is morally wrong to me, but why? What does this imply about my decision to not buy the horses?

"...Not only should the function of the unconscious be regarded as compensatory and relative to the content of the consciousness, but the content of consciousness would have to be regarded as relative to the momentarily constellated unconscious content. In this case active orientation towards goals and purposes would not be the privilege of consciousness alone but would also be true of the unconscious, so that it too would be just as capable of taking a finally oriented lead. The dream, accordingly, would then have the value of a positive, guiding idea or of an aim whose vital meaning would be greatly superior to that of the momentarily constellated conscious content." Jung, Carl. Dreams from the Collected Works of C. G. Jung VOLUMES 4,8.12,16. Princeton University Presss.

Sleep Comics #11

"...Let us come back to the Paracelsan process of transforming the Iliaster. Paracelsus calls this proccess a retoria disillatio. The purpose of distillation in alchemy was to extract the volatile substance, or spirit, from the impure body. This process was a psychic as well as a physical experience. The retoria distillatio is not a known technical term, but presumably it meant a distillation that was in some way turned back upon itself. It might have taken place in the vessel called the Pelican where the distillate runs back into the belly of the retort. This was the "circulatory distillation," much favoured by the alchemists. By means of the "thousandfold distillation" they hoped to achieve a particularly "refined" result. It is not unlikely that Paracelsus had something like this in mind, for his aim was to purify the human body to such a degree that it would finally unite with the maior homo, the inner spiritual man, and partake of his longevity. As we have remarked, this was not an ordinary chemical operation, it was essentially a psychological procedure. The fire to be used was a symbolical fire, and the distillation had to start "from the midst of the centre" (ex medio centri). Jung, Carl. Alchemical Studies, Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 19. Princeton University Press, 1967. Print.

Ex Medio Centri: Another alchemical example of dreaming. Here I come home to find my house burned down. A house of many rooms existing alone on a knoll. The basement is still in tact and I know that I will have to live in it for a while. This is a clear metaphor for having to live in the unconscious while my ego and consciousness are remade. This dream absolutely coincided with a personal breakthrough I had at the time. Albeit a scary one, the results ended up being very fulfilling. 

Sleep Comics #10

"A total description of the personality is, even in theory, absolutely impossible, because the unconscious portion of it cannot be grasped cognitively. This unconscious portion, as experience has abundantly shown, is by no means unimportant. On the contrary, the most decisive qualities in a person are often unconscious and can be perceived only by others, or have to be laboriously discovered with outside help." Jung, Carl. Aion (from The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Volume 9, Part II). Princeton University Press.

To help understand the unconscious, think of it like this: Picture a ransom note where the message is comprised of different words taken from magazines with various fonts and type. The note uses words from many sources to convey a statement. Now substitute the words in this ransom note for images - it now tells a story with a collage of images. Finally, imagine those images to be a collection of memories and emotions from your own life. That is your unconscious communicating to you in your dreams. It can only use what you make available to it. So it's speaking to you, through you (because it is you). Sorta like how Bumblebee in the Transformers movie uses a collection of snippets from radio station broadcasts to communicate with the humans.

Sleep Comics #8

A lot of ascent in this dream. A lot of confusing distractions. And finally, when I reach what appears to be the top level I sit in some prima materia. This is typical of my dreams when I first started to see progress in an alchemical sense. I'm an amateur in matters of alchemy, but I know that prima materia concerns matters of the soul (in it's imperfect state) so it would make sense I would need to ascend to a higher place in order to find it.

Sleep Comics #7

"Folklore: rivers often demand regular human sacrifices in exchange for the fertility they give; river-spirits are often mermaids who demand salt thrown into the water, sacrifices, incantations, etc. to counteract the human sacrifice; this knowledge often cause the refusal to help a drowning person" De Vries, Arthur. Elsevier's Dictionary of Symbols and Imagery. Bingley: Emerald, 2009. Print.

I must have dreamt this three years ago; it surprises me that I didn't find this interpretation sooner. Chilling how spot on the imagery and the folklore explanation is. It's common for me to relate to the folklore entries in the Elsevier's book. Not sure if it's personal preference or my unconscious is tapped into that particular collective well. Whatever the case, I always find something profound in this book. Highly recommended for the serious dreamer.

Sleep Comics #6

This is why I can't stand Freud: "The dreams of little children are often simple fulfillments of wishes, and for this reason are, as compared with the dreams of adults, by no means interesting."

I remember many dreams from my childhood. Feelings and emotions were sometimes first experienced in my dreams when I was younger. This was (and still is) a magical and scary realm that is yearning to be listened to. Wish fulfillment? Pfft.

Sleep Comics #3

"No sixth sense is needed to understand dreams. But more is required than routine recipes such as are found in vulgar little dream-books, or which invariably develop under the influence of preconceived notions. Stereotyped interpretation of dream-motifs is to be avoided; the only interpretations are those reached through a painstaking examination of the context." Jung, Carl. Dreams from the Collected Works of C. G. Jung VOLUMES 4,8.12,16. Princeton University Presss.

There came a time several years ago when being naked in my dreams stopped being embarrassing and I was comfortable just being nude. It was quite an achievement because it solved one of my dream problems - showing up to school naked and having to sneak away to go find clothes - and all dreams of the like. Nothing like feeling at home in your birthday suit.

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