Campbell on Reading Dreams

Who was Joseph Campbell? What is a myth? What does "Follow Your Bliss" mean? If you are new to the work of Joseph Campbell, this forum is a good place to start.

Moderators: Clemsy, Martin_Weyers, Cindy B.

Locked
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

Post by Scarlett » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

What a lovely and beautiful dream Skia!

Not being an expert on anybody's inner thoughts...I will simply give you my first impression.

My impression stems from the story of SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON -- retold by Margaret Hodges (a children's book). Ever since I purchased this story several weeks ago, it has been a favorite bedtime story for my son!

I'm not sure if you are familar with the adventures of the Red Cross Knight, but in this particular version the Princess Una has sought the help of the Knight. A terrible dragon has come to her kingdom and her people need help. On Una's and the Knight's journey to her kingdom, the knight has a vision which reminded me of your vision of heaven.

The knight stops to rest in a good old hermit's house and during the night, they see a wonderful place rather like heaven.

Here is a quote from the story:
There against the evening sky they saw a mountaintop that touched the highest heavens. It was crowned with a glorious palace, sparkling like stars and circled with walls and towers of pearls and precious stones. Joyful angels were coming and going between heaven and the High City. Then the Red Cross Knight saw that a little path led up to the distant mountain to the city, and he said, "I thought that the fairest palace in the world was the crystal tower in the city of the Fairy Queen. Now I see a palace far more lovely. Una and I should go there at once."
But the hermit said, "The Fairy Oueen has sent you to do brave deeds in this world. That High City that you see is in another world. Before you climb the path to it and hang you shield on its wall, go down into the valley and fight the dragon that you were sent to fight.
Do you have any dragons to fight Skia :smile:

I find it interesting that your guide was your husband. I'm sure you are familiar with Carl Jung's ideas about archetypes in fairytales...particulary the wise old man who helps our dreamer out...like the hermit in the story above.

However, according to Jung, these "psychic manifestations of the spirit," can be seen in many forms while one is dreaming.
In both sexes the spirit can also take the form of a boy or a youth. In women he corresponds to the so called 'positive' animus who indicates the possibility of conscios spiritual effort.
The concept of the animus is very interesting to me. Do you remember the thread started about the Animus/Anima?

http://www.jcf.org/new/forum/viewtopic. ... orum=28&51

I wonder what role your dream husband played for you? Do you think it has to do with your animus?

Peace,
Scarlett


_________________


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Scarlett on 2003-11-16 22:12 ]</font>
SkiaOura
Associate
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden.

Post by SkiaOura » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Scarlett,

I joined the JCF too late to be able to participate in the anima/animus thread, and have not been able to get my head around those concepts properly. I think that it is largely due to Jungs a tad anachronistic view on the sexes, in my opinion. I just cannot identify "feminine" and "masculine" within me the way that I understand anima and animus. Or vice versa. :smile:

But, I do understand and relate to the concept of "conscious spiritual effort", and believe in the possibility that it was the principle of such effort that showed itself disguised as my husband. I think that the symbols are pretty clear: in my husbands arms, in his safety, I can go higher. But at some point I have to let go and continue by myself.
I think that your reference to Saint George and the Dragon is pinpoint. Actually, if you ever come to Stockholm, check out the "S:t Görand och Draken" - a statue of George defeating the dragon that is in a beautiful church from the 15th century. It made quite an impact on my when I saw it last, and I am happy to have had that experience now that I am pondering your words.

A friend said to me yesterday that she thought that I would have fallen and died if I had let go on that staircase, but that the death would have been on purpose, the real attainment as opposed to the rays in the sky that my friend felt to be somehow fake.

Julia.
Scarlett
Associate
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:00 am

Post by Scarlett » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Julia,

How interesting that you once had an experience with the very same George and Dragon I spoke about earlier!

Like I said before, it was a lovely dream -- certainly one to reflect apon.

Scarlett
For all men live by truth and stand in need of expression. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret. The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Cranky Scientist
Associate
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:00 am

Post by Cranky Scientist » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Julia,

First let me offer congratulations on your Swedish forum. That is a wonderful accomplishment and you'll do a wonderful job.

We all know what a fiend I am for context. Is it possible that this thrilling new adventure of moderating a forum in Swedish could have triggered any part of your dream? Just wondering.

Best Wishes and Congratulations,

Tree Hugger


Formerly Known as Tree Hugger
SkiaOura
Associate
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden.

Post by SkiaOura » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Thank you CS!

Certainly, it is possible. In fact, I don´t really know what else in my life could have triggered such a dream.

Julia.
carnelian
Associate
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 6:00 am
Location: United States

Post by carnelian » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Certainly context can be tricky!

One of my (9-year-old) students shared today a dream in which he was the protagonist in an Iroquois story, Keewahkwee. It's a story about a boy living in a cave with someone who says she's his older sister but really is a monster who is planning to eat him. Needless to say, it was a nightmare -- and the other kids were really interested.

That triggered my memory -- a dream I had last night. Because it was about my class, I told them about it.

It was in my classroom. The desks were oriented in a different direction -- otherwise the room was the same. We were close to the end of the day, and one student asked if they could go outside to play. There was one thing that needed to be done before they could go out, and as I started to explain, the phone rang. (In real life I hate those interruptions.)

It was a man, calling from Jerusalem, who wanted to know if I was making weapons of mass destruction. I was annoyed by his taking valuable time on this; I asked him if I could write my answers to him. He said yes, but it was hard to hear him on the phone, and I couldn't get the questions or his address.

Then his supervisor got on the phone. She said I had to answer now. Next thing I know, she walks into my classroom with platters full of candies and cookies. Suddenly all the administrators in the district are in my room, the kids are enjoying the goodies, and it's like a big party.

The work the kids had to do was forgotten; I don't know if I ever had to answer the questions. But I felt a great sense of relief. (And I'm not sure if I was making weapons of mass destruction or not!)

When I told the kids, they laughed. And they got very talkative and excited and it was difficult to calm them down. I was surprised by their reactions.

And because it was all so realistic, it's hard for me to get past the literal!

Any ideas???


&quot;Body without spirit is corpse; spirit without body is ghost&quot; -- Marion Woodman quoting Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
User avatar
JR
Associate
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 6:00 am
Location: transition to permanence
Contact:

Post by JR » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Sure! I have some ... First though some questions you can think about and then I'll move on to what I think.

1) What was different about the desks, which direction were they facing, and is there any significance in that to you?

2) Do you have any reservations about your social responsibility in these troubled times, i.e. do you think (even a little bit) that you may or may not be doing enough to help out?

and 3) What was the one thing that needed to be done before the children went out to play? Was it a daily or otherwise typical activity, or was there some other significance to that as well?

Now, if I haven't tainted your own possible interpretation of your dream enough with my leading questions, I'll proceed to projecting my thoughts onto your dream. :smile: In thinking about this dream I was especially intuitive, in other words I could be totally and utterly wrong. So…

I often find a dream set within a very routine or daily scenario is somehow much more communicative in respect to the sub(un)conscious (though as you say sometimes harder to read because of its reality). It is a ready and available symbology with all of its familiar objects, events and people, and the feeling (the very ones that seem so real) are quickly categorized and referenced by the gross mind.

However, significances in the communicae are much more subtle and can be derived from both differences in the landscape (ala the changed desks), or familiarities (the annoying interruption, or the timing of the dream just before playtime). In this case, being a teacher places the landscape firmly in the routine, and though you are dreaming about your daily environment, I don't think the dream is <i>about</i> your daily environment; at least not directly (insert pregnant pause)...

The key (at least to me) in determining the focus of this dream is in the phone call. Literally a call from your unconscious, asking you what your involvement is in the war against terror (I think there is more evidence in the positioning of the desks that indicates this, but I won't answer my own question). This is a theme for social involvement, as President Bush infamously said (there’s my projection again), "if you're not with us, you're against us", hence the inquiry towards your developing of WMD. Now I just use this to illustrate, I don't believe you actually have an issue with President Bush at all, but it does sound like there is a question in the back of your mind as to whether you're doing enough (socially that is). It's the kind of question you might be annoyed to answer should a real phone call come through asking you such a question.

You might think that perhaps you <I>could</I> do more, at least by writing a letter you voice your concerns.

This is where the woman on the phone, or as I like to call her "You", interrupts the conversation. Up until this point you might be feeling that your efforts to be involved either in support or protest (or even both) of you society’s actions are lacking, that your place and contribution is inadequate.

Wrong! The woman on the phone represents both your acceptance that it isn't your problem to deal with, and that you are already making the contribution you worry is lacking. She then materializes in your classroom as the bestower of gifts and the leader of your own small niche in society, i.e. the school as represented by the district officials.

Again she is you, the teacher; not the everyday-waiting-to-play-just-have-to-do-one-more-task teacher, but the vehement social contributor. The making-a-difference-in-an-unsung-daily-happy-sacrifice-teacher. Her presence says that your fears and self-judgments about your contribution are unfounded. You contribute in a most important way, providing everyone with tangible cookies and candies of knowledge, leadership, camaraderie, and an impact through the entire district. She is essentially Campbell’s "vital person".

So, to summarize:

I see the dream as the subconscious deliberating over the worry that you aren't making a difference by using the symbols of both the greater social responsibility of the country and the more immediate responsibility of the classroom, and arriving at the conclusion that you are indeed a vital person vitalizing.

Just a note: I mentioned that this type of familiar setting often can be very communicative, but I think in this case it is also representative of a minor or even totally unconscious issue. Not all dreams are the response to major or notable events. Sometimes the subconscious just goes wandering until it trips on something, and voila!

JR
carnelian
Associate
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 6:00 am
Location: United States

Post by carnelian » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Well, JR, I like your interpretation. I certainly haven't been able to come up with anything nearly as comprehensive -- or as empowering.

Actually, I do have major issues with President Bush -- but they belong on another thread.... And I agree that that wasn't what my dream was about.

I'm not sure about the orientation of the desks. Normally they face the wall with the door to the hallway; in the dream they were 90 degrees to the left, (another political reference?) -- the window wall on the students' left, the hallway wall on their right. I can't think of any particular reason to consider that significant...maybe something about having the school community on one side of them, the outside world on the other???

Of course -- I pretty much always feel I'm not doing enough. There's so much -- on so many levels, as you pointed out -- that needs to be done! Right now we're toting up the kids' collections for UNICEF. That's something. And it's all the somethings that add up; nobody can do it all. But that doesn't change how it feels!

I don't remember what the one thing they had to do was. I sort of remember it was not something that would get done very quickly, and it involved writing. That's atypical for the end of our school day, but again its significance eludes me.

I truly would like to believe that I am a "vital person vitalizing." That's certainly where I want to be. Maybe I should look at my dream as an affirmation of that goal, and encouragement that I'm on the right path. Thanks!!!!!


&quot;Body without spirit is corpse; spirit without body is ghost&quot; -- Marion Woodman quoting Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
aecleo
Associate
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 5:00 am

Post by aecleo » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Wow...interesting dream, Carnelian!

My instinct, when I read it, was that weapons of mass destruction are only weapons because of the people behind them. And you are training children who may someday become those people behind the weapons.

I agree with JR that you are both on the phone and the teacher. Perhaps this dialog within yourself shows how nervous you really are about what kind of people will come out of your classroom. But that's a complicated issue, with no answers, which could explain the inability to hear and communicate.

And as for the party, if you don't worry as much about the actual work as you do about the little souls, you will have something to celebrate later on! (Or maybe you already do, and you just don't know it!)

Good luck!
carnelian
Associate
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 6:00 am
Location: United States

Post by carnelian » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Thank you!

I'm going to have to give that bit about being both the teacher and the supervisor some more thought...

I attended a workshop with Marion Woodman, the Jungian analyst in my signature, this past weekend. She spoke passionately about the value of dreams. At this point, I'm totally convinced that dream work can help me know more about myself.

And in the daytime world -- This morning my class wanted to discuss the capture of Saddam Hussein. I happened to be seated in the same spot I occupied in my dream... I had a strange sense of deja vu -- and an equally strange sense of empowerment.

Thanks.




&quot;Body without spirit is corpse; spirit without body is ghost&quot; -- Marion Woodman quoting Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
SkiaOura
Associate
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:00 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden.

Post by SkiaOura » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Here´s something puzzling, to say the least.

A close friend, Peter, was spending the night at my house. Close to morning, I think, I dreamt that I was in a green forest place that somehow "felt" different from regular dream places. It was enough of a strange feeling to make me slightly lucid, and I wondered whether or not I was on the astral plane. Suddenly, a big white pig runs through a path by which I am standing. I see Pete running after the pig, and I point in the direction that the pig went. He gives me a look like "Gee, that really helps, not" and runs after the pig. I follow him, and see the pig change into a white unicorn. The dream changes into fleeting images, and I wake up.

This dream had such an impact on me that I asked Pete if he had dreamt of a white pig. He was surprised at the question, and said that indeed he had dreamt of chasing a white pig through a green leafy area. I had appeared near the path, and pointed the way. "Why did you point? You should have joined the chase." he said. Pete had no recollection of feeling like he was in a "strange" place, and his dream was different also because his pig turned into a small white snake while mine turned into a white unicorn. Nevertheless, I am stunned at the similarities, and boggled by the symbols.

Julia.
aecleo
Associate
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 5:00 am

Post by aecleo » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

I've heard of that before! Some people believe that we often have out-of-body experiences while we sleep, and that we can meet other people and actually even learn during that time! And, we often experience it as a dream.

You should check out <a href="http://www.monroe-inst.com/">The Monroe Institute</a>. The Hemi-Sync section is particularly cool! I would recommend it!
User avatar
JR
Associate
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 6:00 am
Location: transition to permanence
Contact:

Post by JR » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Wow, I can't believe I missed this post. Julia that is an amazing story, and the suggestion to look into the Monroe istitute is perfect. I suggest you get one of Bob Monroe's books, they describe many out of body experiments with exactly the same results and often with even more exciting stuff going on. You should try one of the experiments with your friend and see if you can't reproduce the results. At the very least it will open your perspective further than it already is.
JR
aecleo
Associate
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 5:00 am

Post by aecleo » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

A recent dream:

I murdered somebody! It felt like an accident in the mountains, maybe a car accident, but I felt guilty, so I hid the body. Afterwards, I felt so guilty about the whole thing - about not being able to be open about it. (I am a VERY open person!) I eventually felt so bad that I told a friend. But after telling her, I felt guilty about making her keep such a secret.

The overriding issue was guilt. However, I didn't feel guilty about taking a life. I felt guilty about the cover-up of it. I had strong feelings when I woke up. It was a very unusual experience. And so, I'm at a loss of what to make of it.
kjb
Associate
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2003 8:27 pm
Location: UK

Post by kjb » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

I would like to share a dream, which (to me) was very significant and relevant to this topic because it is how I came across the JCF.

I dreamt that I was at the start of a path that led off into the countryside. I was anxious to start walking but the companions with me were stood chatting and I wanted to wait for them. After a short time,slightly annoyed and realising that they were not going to start the walk, I set off alone, observing the trees and grass etc that I was passing. Having walked some distance, I stopped to look back at the path I had travelled and suddenly realised that it had led me in a semi-circle and had I walked across in a straight line I would have reached the current postion in half the time. As I contemplated this, I looked at the area encircled by the path more closely and realised that it was sacred ground and that the purpose of my trip was to reveal this to me. Stepping inside, I suddenly became aware that there were other people present and that I had unwittingly been disrespectful. They started gasping with shock at how I was desecrating their spiritual place. Very embarrassed I tried to leave as quickly as possible, but a man appeared and in a gentle voice told me to ignore them as I had not done any harm. As I looked at him I saw that he was bare chested and his torso was covered in tattoo type markings similar to Maori artwork. He held up his hand and on the palm was a drawing of an eye enclosed in a triangle. On his abdomen, underneath some of the tattoos were three initials - jcf. I then awoke from the dream.

Later that day, for no real reason, whilst surfing the net I put the initials into a search engine and the JCF website came up. I had not heard of Joseph Campbell before, but increasingly over the last year I have been thinking more about spiritual and philosophical matters but was feeling directionless and trying to discover resources to help me in my journey.

Is it pure coincidence or am I following my bliss? I don't know but obviously am very grateful that I acted upon the dream!

Any insights gratefully accepted.

Kirsten
Locked