When I first started the dreamwork, I had no understanding of this (my visceral understanding is still quite limited...). I was incapable of feeling this type of fear. For me, fear was really only about losing something I already had or not getting something that I wanted. I fueled these fears by playing movies in my head. Horror movies starring me as the victim (trauma fear) or epic fantasies in which I played the hero. This type of fear activated all manner of projections and reactions to people, places and things in the world, and provided a justification for it all.
Fear of the unknown, fear in the face of the awesome power of the Divine is something altogether different. As my therapist has said, why wouldn’t I be afraid of the Divine? I never allowed myself to feel this fear, thus I could have no sense of the wonder or mystery. There was only the running and conquering, the constant war of survival. I could never stand with this type of fear. I always ran from it.
From the dream:
I am in a huge library. Everything is mahogany and honey. I am at a table with Vanessa and we are drinking a glass of beer together. Then I remember that I don’t drink and I feel guilty. I see some guys at another table that I know don’t drink. I realize that they will see me drinking. But it is too late.
Then I am at a table with a notebook and a large book. I am bent over writing. I am completely absorbed in my writing. I look up and [a woman] is leaning against the table right next to me. It startles me. She says, “I’m in it!”, and jumps up quickly and darts away. I don’t know what this means, but I follow her back to the table where Vanessa and I were. Vanessa is gone but the two glasses of beer are still there and I realize that [the woman] will now see that I am drinking…
Then suddenly I am standing with my head and shoulders in a dark tunnel. I feel absolute terror and I jump back. I see [the woman] and she looks angry. I hear her saying that people will be hurt. Then she tells me she will give me $1,500.00. I feel like she is trying to force me to decide to dive into this tunnel, but I don’t want to do it. Everything feels confusing and noisy.
In the dream, nothing is wrong. But, I feel like something is wrong; I feel guilty. I worry what others will think of me. Then I am in my work, completely absorbed in my writing. In this place, there is no mind, no judgment. Then again, I am drawn out by pathology which reminds me that it’s still there: “I’m in it!” I forget about my work and follow it away. Then I am in the tunnel and I feel the absolute terror. When I jump away from the fear, I am again faced with my pathology who throws everything at me in a desperate attempt to shame me, bribe me, confuse me…anything to keep me from leaving it behind.
My homework: To lean into the tunnel which is taking me to another place. Lean into the dark unknown and feel the vastness and feel my fear. Notice when I get distracted by pathology, when I worry about what others think, whether I belong, etc.
The real fear is very hard to stay with. It is hard to feel. It is hard to have faith in the fear. It is hard to stay open and let the fear transform.
In the tunnel, all is quiet, but it is a terrifying place to be because, part of my body is not in the tunnel and part is. I feel that if I go in, I will be lost. It is dark and so I can’t see. What is beyond this worm hole? I do not know. My sense is of a vastness. Each time I go to this place, I feel a shift in my perspective, almost as if what is there is the same world I see now, only it looks different somehow. Awareness turned up a notch, perhaps. People look different somehow, as if I know them from somewhere. Sounds seem more singular and louder. I hear conversations and they seem meaningless, just waves of sound, the passage of time. Yet, there is some thread beneath it all, something bigger than you or me and it is swirling in chaotic fluidity, flowing past in a ceaseless murmur, mostly not noticed. If I have noticed, I have forgotten and will forget again.