Sleep Comics #30

Holy crap. The tree. There's just too much. This dream means business. First of all, in Norse myth the ash tree, Yggdrasil, is where the gods hold court each day. Yggdrasil's branches and roots extend all over the world. But most interestingly is the well of Mimir where wisdom and intelligence are contained. One cannot acquire this wisdom without giving up your eye in exchange, which is why Odin has only one eye. Odin's horse has eight legs, so I guess that makes up for it. It's only natural to make the connection in this dream of the well (or roots of the tree) to the rooms below the tree on the hill. After all "the entire tree is an amazing resource".

"Trees, like fishes in the water, represent the living contents of the unconscious. Among these contents one of special significance is characterized as an "oak." Trees have individuality. A tree, therefore, is often a symbol of personality...  It is a prototype of the self, a symbol of the source and goal of the individuation process... The secret hidden roots is a spirit sealed inside a bottle. Naturally it was not hidden away among the roots to start with, but was first confined in a bottle, which was then hidden." Jung, Carl. Alchemical Studies, The Collected Works of CG Jung, Volume 13. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967. Print.

I recall that the tree in my dream was neither ash nor oak. But this makes little difference. It was something like the Joshua Tree which fits a mythical description and one appropriate as the metaphor for the self. It's very fascinating how blind I was to the symbolism of these dreams when I originally sketched and inked them. Looking back just two years later so many pieces are fitting together. The dream ending in darkness seems very scary. Fitting since the process of individuation is the scariest thing a person can do. All heroes' journeys are missions of self discovery, and we are all heroes if we attempt this undertaking. One of the most defining moments of my life was in high school humanities class when studying Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The class was bored and apathetic and as the teacher was helping us to analyze the story I became very interested. All of the symbolism and subtext was suddenly interesting. This was a rare moment for me as I was usually day dreaming or drawing. The teacher was saying something about Sir Gawain returning to the court and how the other knights didn't understand what he had gained. Then she asked the class what he had gained and I poked my hand up. "Wisdom" I answered. The way I remember it was that the teacher had a dumbfounded look on her face, but I'm certain I am just projecting my own feelings onto her. This was pivotal in how I started to see the world. Suddenly everything became a quest for wisdom. The hero's journey suddenly made sense. It was a perfect introduction to how solitary self discovery can be, because nobody else in the class seemed to care what was happening, just like nobody in King Arthur's Court seemed to get it.


Sleep Comics #18

"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.