I am at some kind of retreat center and I am lying on my stomach on the ground with another woman. There is a boy sitting on a chair and Bill (Animus) is sitting on another chair. Some music starts and I think it is from a kid’s movie or show. The boy leaps up and starts to dance and lip synch to the song. He is very high energy and physical. Then it begins to feel sexual too. He is aggressive and suggestive in his movements. Then he takes off his shirt and pulls his pants down. He has on tighty-whiteys. Then Bill jumps up, he has his shirt off and starts dancing too. They both leap in the air and twist and land and then leap again really high. The boy lands in front of me and I reach out and touch his back, running my fingers down his skin. It is very soft. Then suddenly Bill falls on the woman next to me really hard. She struggles to get up. I see that it is B. D. (manipulative, controlling, aggressive). I ask her if she is hurt but I don’t see that she is. But then she reaches for her chest and back and says something inside her got hurt. She looks angry and upset. Bill picks her up and pulls her away from me.This an example of how the Divine can mitigate the pathology that is shown as separate from me. The not me. When he takes away the pathology, I am left to be the boy. When the boy is dancing with the Animus, there is the just the wild energy which carries the joy and the passion for life. This is how it can work. The thing that is the pathology doesn't actually die, but instead, I now know it for what it is which makes it easier for me to notice it in the moment and withdraw whatever projection I may have around it, resulting in less reactivity and greater access to my Divine connection.
In the willingness to look at all the ways I live from my ego place and not my soul, I have been noticing a hardness in the world, the hardness of my "stuff" and of everyone's “stuff” as it moves through the world. In seeing it in myself, I notice it more and in a different way in my partner and I see it in most of the people around me...a certain hardness, a defended place that is about survival.
In the dreamwork we call it the substrate. The substrate is a good word for it. It implies hard and impenetrable. It is terrifying because it all seems so impossibly set...like the geological strata of the earth. How can we ever truly change?
And, I feel how the Archetypes are "fracking" through this dense substrate to allow the me that is the true me to emerge. The Animus in the dream above is "killing" my demon of control, manipulation, aggression, distrust.
There is a saying: "I can't do it, He can, I think I’ll let Him." It's about turning over the pathological will. I can't beat the demon and this dream shows how He can and will, if I let Him. How do I let Him? In this case, by being the boy, just being the boy dancing with wild abandon. And every time I notice the anger and control, be the boy dancing with the Animus, feel His support. Here the anger can be danced out versus projected out into the world. Doing my dreamwork homework is bringing the sword to the brain (reference from Carl Jung's The Red Book) and this helps to frack the substrate which is blocking my soul.
In case you are wondering what I am dealing with:
I am in a city in a bad section of town. I am outside of a convenience store. Men keep approaching me and I feel unsafe. I have a knife that I keep brandishing. They avoid me and go into the store. There is a shopkeeper watching, but he is not doing anything. Then a good looking young Asian guy comes after me. He tries to take the knife from me, but it is a small handled, hooked blade which makes it easy to cut his hand or arm even if he grabs my wrist. I keep slashing at him. Then he hands me an empty quart sized glass beer bottle, I immediately take it and smash off the bottom on the side of the cement wall next to me and hold the jagged edge to his face and tell him I will cut him if he doesn’t leave me alone. He freezes. I feel the intensity and power of my anger. I feel how I am barely able to keep from pushing the glass into his face. I see a small spot of blood on his cheek and know that I have cut him. Then I see another guy approaching. He is a huge hulking guy with long hair and a long beard. He isn’t paying any attention to us and suddenly I wonder what if one of these guys is the Animus. Then I think he couldn’t possibly be the Animus. Then I feel confused and I don’t know why I am doing this. I feel like everything has just gone too far. I feel fear and grief at what is happening, but unable to back down.
The Animus is attempting to frack through my substrate of anger, distrust, self sufficiency, and pathological will to what is underneath which are the feelings, usually tied to trauma, which would lead me back to my soul. I think I know what is happening. Men are going to attack me! But this is simply not what is happening in the dream. The amazing thing in this dream is the moment where the confusion comes in, where something puts a crack in the reaction, a simple sudden moment of clarity that says, “Wait a minute! Something is off here. What if what I think is going on is not true?”
From this work, I experienced a profound sense of grief and a certain kind of anger, which we could call process anger (as opposed to my pathological rage evidenced in the dream), which is necessary for me to move through. This is the grief and anger for what has happened to me and how I believed I had to live in this impoverished way in order to survive it. How I still believe it. How it is so innate in my nature, a default position (grab the bottle, smash it, and fight!), my known existence, as if it is who I am instead of who I am not!
Only God can change this deeply encrusted substrate, this hard bark of my existence.
I see a woman driving in a car. Suddenly a man lunges forward from the back seat and wraps his arms around her. I think they are kidnapping her and are going to hurt her. There is another man and they take her and remove her arms. I feel scared. I see she has two prosthetic arms all the way to the shoulders and she doesn’t know how to use them. I hear one of them say, “Now this is your right arm and this is your left arm.” I think they have switched her arms so that her left is now her right and vice versa. I feel how confusing this would be and how she will have to learn everything new going against what her brain thinks.This dream is about alchemy. My projection onto the Animus is related to my substrate of deep distrust based on trauma fear. This is the “kidnap and harm” auto-response. The woman is, of course, me. The fact that she has to be restrained shows more of my pathological will, rebellion, and distrust (the girl with the knife and the broken bottle). The opportunity for alchemy to take place is in the removal of the arms and in the reversal of the arms, right with left and left with right, a real mind mender. A place of profound disorientation, but with the support of the two Animus'.
Of course the Divine wants to break the mind. The mind thinks it knows what is going on, the truth is I have no idea what is going on. I speak as if I do, but really I do not. Who could know the intention of the Creator? Who could know the mystery of the Divine? What hubris to assume that I do. What arrogance to think I know what is best for anyone or that I even have a clue about what their story or path is. It is an unfoldment and I don’t need to know. My need to know and pretending to know are simply a function of my ego’s attempt to survive and find balance in the world through control.
Here is another dream which shows how I think I know something when the truth is I have no idea what is happening.
I am with Vanessa in a house on the 2nd floor. I see someone in a plane fly over and down through an opening in the trees below. I tell Vanessa that the Animus will come after him. Then I see another man fly down through the trees. Sparks or some kind of light is coming from his plane. I say to Vanessa, “See?” Then we see three small triangular shaped planes fly over. They are only large enough for one person and I can see their helmeted heads. They zip off. Then we see many unmanned drones floating down from the sky and flying around like they are observing us. Then we start to think that maybe there is a war that has started and we don’t know about it. Vanessa says we should turn on the TV.When I told Vanessa about this dream, she said, “Yea, I know this about you. That’s how you are. You think you know and you are often right, but you don’t always know, but you can be very believable.”
This is tricky stuff. What about discernment? Where does discernment turn into hubris? As I step more deeply into this work, I realize how challenging this issue is for me. I will need to bring to bear all of my warrior instincts and skills to turn the sword upon myself. To bring it down on my own brain, to bring the right use of my will into alignment with His to frack into this black-edged substrate, to feel the profound confusion, the terror of the becoming of me.
I am at a very fancy old fashioned ball. Everyone is very dressed up in gowns and tuxedos. I am wearing very white buckskin clothing. It is male attire and feels like it is some kind of special ceremonial outfit. I feel like I come from the earth, from the land and even smell like the earth. Everything is swirling and everyone is moving around me and I feel very different from everyone else like I come from a different world and I will never fit into this world.