Recently I woke up three times during the night and each time I had a short but incredibly clear dream. When I woke up the memory was as vivid as when I had the dream. As I explored the relationship between the dreams I knew there was a journey but had no idea what could link them.
In the first dream I was with my first wife who had told ne she was leaving me and I was extremely angry. I asked how she could do this to me and her response was kind, loving but firm. I asked her when she stopped loving me and she paused and then responded, “I think when I lost the baby.”
The second dream was even shorter. I am in church with my dear friend Maryann. She is listening to the sermon; I seem to be watching her. Suddenly she exclaims, “WTF does Jesus have to do with my Christmas genesis?”
The third dream I am standing at a bus stop with my friend Reg. A double decker bus arrives, we get on and I stop to deposit coins in the ticket machine. Suddenly it begins to spit coins out – more and more coins begin to cover the floor of the bus. I join Reg on the upper deck. The bus driver announces he is going to pull over to clear up the coins. All the snowboarders decide to alight.
During the past two weeks I worked with these dreams both with my dream partner, some select friends and on my own. As often occurs pieces of a puzzle emerge:
– The first dream is purely metaphysical and bore no resemblance to my real life. My wife did not leave me, she never lost a baby. Therefore the message is symbolic.
– Therefore my first wife did not represent herself but some aspect of me. I deduce that she represents the unconscious feeling state.
– I lost touch with my feelings at the age of eleven when I got sent away to boarding school. During the next five years of my life I suffered enormous losses in terms of self-esteem, courage, initiative and ambition, and developing a fear of failure to the point I would no longer attempt anything risky or challenging. This is what the baby represents in the dream.
The second dream is much more difficult to interpret. I have had a checkered relationship to Christianity during my life. I abandoned it at the age of 13; returned for a brief period in my fifties when I joined and studied at the Unity Church; I went so far as to attend theological college where I made peace with the tradition realizing that what I had been taught as a child was history is actually mostly myth. I have great respect for the essential teachings of Jesus but like many I have learned to discern those which are likely genuine from those which are likely added later. (Stephen Mitchell’s Book “The Gospel According to Jesus” has been a great support.
Reflecting on the dream it occurred to me that the reason so many Christians could not follow the teachings of the man whose name their faith bears is that they have never explored their own psychology and unconscious fears around love and forgiveness which comprise so much of Jesus’s message.
I am still waiting for the powerful theme “Christmas Genesis” to be revealed to me. Literally it would mean “a beginning through a new divine birth.
The final dream is about closure. My friend Reg has just been diagnosed with cancer so he represents the aspect of me entering the last chapter of my life. The snowboarders are an interesting symbol. They have traditionally represented counter-culture, so they likely represents in me letting go of some more dissident aspects of my personality. The machine spitting out money suggests perhaps that on this last part of my journey I do not need to be concerned about basic needs.
One of my ongoing commitments is to continue to “refine my heart”. I suspect this dream is a signpost for me to follow. I am “following the bread crumbs” as best I can and have begun reading Stephen Mitchells book once again for clues as well as paying close attention to dreams signs and symbols. Eminent author and Jungian Analyst James Hollis suggests the enquiry, “Why did my unconscious bring me this dream now – a worthy question that as yet still needs an answer.