Title: Electric Dreams Volume 2 Number 4

File: Electric Dreams 2(4)


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listed individually.

For an index of Articles and dreams on Electric Dreams,

See the IIDCC Research Tools area.



Electric Dreams

Volume 2 Issue #4

10 March 1995


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-- Also available via America On Line:

Keyword: writers

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--For mailing list info, subscriptions, dreams and comments

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--Send questions about dreams & dreaming to Matthew:


--General comments, articles and ideas to Richard:




Editors' Notes & Day Residue

Core Group Invitation!

Questions and Answers - by Matthew

Discussion and Notes

Article: Playing With Fire: The Object-Cause of Desire at the

Heart of the Dream. by Richard Catlett Wilkerson

Commentary: on "This, That and Here Streets" by Bobc

Commentary: by Bobk on Jim's dreams, both:

"Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind" and This, That, and here"

Commentary: on "Cathy's Nightmare" by Jay

Commentary: on "Cathy's Nightmare" by Bobk

Commentary: on "Cathy's Nightmare" by Richard

Dream: "Unusual Marriage" by Kimberly

Commentary: on "Unusual Marriage" by Jay

Commentary: on "Unusual Marriage" by Richard

Dream: "the two chris's" by Jay

Commentary: on "the two chris's dream" by Richard

Dream: "Genii-Well Prison Cult" by Richard

Dream: "Hot Date" by Pricilla

Commentary: on "Hot Date" by Richard

Dream Resources




Welcome to Electric Dreams 2-4! From and essay about what we

most desire in dreams, (Playing with Fire) to nightmares about all

we most fear, we have quite a night of dreaming for you. Also we

are turning the mirror a little this issue and examining more closely

the comments as well the dreams.

Core Group Invitation!

While anyone who wishes may comment on dreams, we do

circulate the dreams before publication among a core group who

simply send their comments in to Cathy sometime before

publication. As we move deeper into this project of multiple

comments on dreams, the need for multiple comments becomes

more important. And so we are offering an invitation this month to

join our core group. Anyone interested may contact Cathy or me.

Re-posting Dreams

I've had a few requests now to repost dreams for more comments,

but before doing this I want to put this request issue out to the

community of subscribers. Send me a note about how you feel

about this, how often it seems appropriate, how many time it can be


Finally, a warm welcome to our new subscribers from ASD, from

_Dream Network Bulletin_ and other places on the net! Feel free to

join in our discussions, commentaries and dreams.





Question from Pricilla:

There are times when I dream of something and after a couple

of days I see in reality the things or places I dreamed about, sort of

like deja vu!

I believe in a sense that I am psychic. At times I say something and


it happens!

I wait for your answer.




======Further comments on Richard's "Vampire Conversion"

dream by Jay (See vol 2 #2) & reply======

Jay: As I wrote to Cathy in 'Further comments on her blue potion

dream', in reading your 'Reflections on comments on your vampire

dream', it strikes me that not only do both your vampire dream and

my dogs dream contain dogs, but you also seem to be saying that

your vampire dream may be about your suppressing certain of your

feelings and the anguish they/you suffer as a result, just as I felt my

dogs dream may be saying to me.


Yes, I'm experimenting with your interpretation and

finding it very productive. (Using the vampire dog image as one of

emotional confinement.) Unfortunately, I'm finding this confinement

goes beyond feeling and extends into behavior. Anyway, reading

the dream in this view, there is a struggle for expression of

"horrible" vampiric content and an even worse fate when the

material *is* expressed (the eternal confinement/repression). The

vampiric material or family of stuff can no longer use the dog as a

means of compromise. Its beginning to leak out all over the place. I

feel my task in this is to find a new container. One more in

alignment with the vampiric content and yet not so powerful as to

over contained and eternally imprison. In this sense this dream

becomes part of a prison series I've been following for a few years.

I'm including a representative sample, the "Genii Well Prison Cult",

(see below)

which among other things I take as the part of myself that looks

into self- prisons and try to expose what is going on, yet doesn't

act directly. (Will the Journalist's documentary make a good story,

or will it lead to exposing the repressive procedures being


Jay: (yet more on vampire conversions).

earlier i asked you what you thought the significance of the

philippines was. did you have any associations on that? looking

back, philippines made me think of philistines, the sort of people

who might be interested in buying new cars.

do you want to mention any of these many areas in your life where

monsters are imprisoned and leaking out in behavior? it sounds as

though your goal is to obtain a balance of sorts, neither totally

imprisoning the vampiric nor letting it totally loose.

are you aware that your genii well prison sounds very similar to the

underground kivas built by the pueblo Indian of the southwest u.s.?

they were used for religious and ceremonial meetings. the only

entrance was via a ladder through a hole in the center of the roof, i

believe. perhaps there was also a hole in the floor to allow the

spirits to come up from under the earth.

Richard: (3-10-95) I was quite amazed a couple days ago as I

watched myself again act out the "Vampire Conversion" dream. I

was really bouncing back and forth between being out of control

and over controlling. I kept finding myself teasing and picking on

people. I was quite monstrous. As soon as I realized I was going

too far, the Converters came in and totally dampened the situation,

just as in the dream. Yet within a few minutes, I would be out of

control again, another monster manifestation.

Jay, you asked me in a note what the repressed feelings carried

by the dogs might be, and I still think its more er, um, complex that

just emotion. But for simplicities sake, I would say the vampire dog

gets charged by repressed anger that is tied to feelings of unjust

treatment. In this sense, the Vampire family has been un-dead or

underground or in the semi-conscious for quite awhile. I'm still

working on the Philippines, how that functions as a symbol and

how it relates in some relevant way.

As I mentioned to you before, it was quite interesting that your

picked up on the Southwestern connection with my dream, which I

had just before going to Chaco Canyon, were the kiva of kiva's was


====== Comments on our interpretive styles - by Richard =====

Notes by Richard on Bobk's interpretations(Jim's This&That dream,

comments below).

I liked the way you vision the streets as opportunities to explore the

unknown, and the unknown as the forest, or areas not being used.

Though, as Jay pointed out, you also show care and concern for the

dreamer's daylife and relate the dream well to daytime concerns. I

especially like the idea of concern with "place" being seen as place-

in-life. I also felt that the metaphor of parking relevant to

acceptance in Jim's dream. Your style of functional generalization

(brick = durable) and then relating the generalization to daytime

concerns, forms the dream into a self reflective tool that points to

relevant possibilities without trapping or forcing the dreamer into a

strict examination of particular issues you might be withholding.

Very interesting.

Notes on Jay's interpretation (Cathy's Nightmare, 2(3). See below

for Jay's comments). You seem to be taking a symbolic

exploration route, suggesting various connections and then leaving

an interesting gap in the associations, leaving room for the dreamer

to fill in his/her own material. Mother, sister, small girls = past.

Bugs & crabs = figures that need representative connectors. What

are the conditions that you would try to find those representations?

Or is this more like an imaginal exercise you are suggesting to the


I like the body metaphors, the feet/foundation the left

breast/heart the head-at-chest/nurturance. This is a very body dream

and, if it were my dream, the body metaphors would further a kind

of body attention awareness it seems to call for. I also like the

reversal (attacker at chest also means possibility for nurturance), as

this opens up some options. Lastly I wanted to mention the

completion exercise. This is especially an important and useful

option with nightmares or any imagery that is traumatic. Ann

Wiseman, in her work with children and dreams, has some great

examples I like that can be applied to adults as well as children.

Basically she has the child *draw* the nightmare and then has the

child find a magical or other kind of solution, including force fields,

jails, making friends. She tries to offer options to shooting and

killing, though this is now one of the first options some children

come up with. I think the way this works is that we can work and

play with things only to the degree that we can represent them.

Trauma breaks down or breaks through our normal modes of

representation. Unrepresented fear is horrible and traumatic.

However, don't you feel that it takes a little irritation to create a

pearl? Neurosis is often described in terms of an over represented

and controlled world.(I'm not necessarily referring to Cathy's

neurosis here, just the general tendency of mankind to get crusty

over time) I think that's one of the reasons I liked your nurture the

enemy possibility. This is especially curious in this dream where the

monster *was* originally a helper. By completing the dream,

especially trying various endings or continuations, play and

representation is returned to the situation.

However, we don't know whether the dreamer really wants to

return to stability or wants something quite different. Hmmm. This

brings up that other level of play. Can we move into trauma and

fear and challenges with play without regressing or normalizing?

(Do all our dream comments soften the energy of the dream or

draw it our?) With music, art and some kinds of sex and other

activities its possible for interpretation to keep a similar dynamic

energy, but what about dream imagery and feeling? I've been

exploring the uses of dream drama in this regard, but here I want to

bring up the *textual* skills we might have in keeping and

maintaining and rendering the dream's intensity.

To have some boundaries and keep things contained, I'll say here

that dream intensity is one element of a dream we can explore with

dream commentary. And the question to begin the examination of

this might be something like: What do we do in commenting on

dreams to modulate the intensity of the dream image?


Article: Playing with Fire: The Object-Cause of Desire at the Heart

of the Dream. by Richard Catlett Wilkerson



I was recently reading an article by Kelly Bulkeley reviving

the idea of dreaming as play. (see bib) While he spoke about the

necessary paradigm shift needed regarding dream theory so that it

fits with new developments in science, anthropology and

psychology, it is his second challenge to develop new roles for

dreams along the line of play that I want to follow up on here.

There is a level of play that is... well, playful. Bulkeley

relays how this functions in terms of exploration, experimentation

and improvisation. Here the person is surrounded by a relative

sense of security and safety and play is autotelic, play for play's

sake. But if we are reviving the metaphor of play in the adult world

or dreams and dream groups, we are entering the area of playing

with really odd things, boundaries, playing with desire, playing with

fire. As dangerous as this may sound, I want encourage and support

work along these edges and see this as kind of sacred play, play that

enters into the world of self exploration, meaning, value and

creation for its own sake. But rather than tackle the enormousness

of this task, I'd rather just play with a small part of this mystery, the

play of desire at the heart of dreaming.

Playing with Fire:

Though many dream interpreters have been unhappy with

Freud's view of libido as childish sexuality, I wonder if the

alternatives don't sometimes distract us from the issue of desire

itself. A hard view of Freud would be that dreams are a disguised

expression of repressed childlike sexual wishes. Softer views begin

to allow for a wider variety of repressions, including worries,

anxieties, anticipations and a host of other left over daytime

concerns that might disturb our sleep. Jung expands the idea of

wish into the realm of desire for wholeness and contact with the

Self. But whether the focus is on the repression, the revelation, or

the obtaining of the object of desire there is a confusion or collapse

of the object and of desire itself.

What I would like to do is introduce a notion by the French

psychotherapist Jacques Lacan, that while biological appetites

might be satisfied, desire cannot.

The first part of this involves seeing dreams and fantasy as a

*staging* of desire rather than a fulfillment or even a disguised

compromised fulfillment. Neither fulfillment nor complete

repression, they are a circulating and playing out of desire. It might

be said that the tensions that desire creates are the necessary poles

or boundaries in which the fantasy or image take place. In this view

the image or dream is held together and produced by absence - by

what is desired and not obtained. The Lacanians usually say that

fantasy is all about the drive just circulating around and around the

object -cause of its desire, not the actual *getting* of that object.

The second part is that the desire isn't given in advance but

must seem to be found or discovered. We don't consciously create

our own desires. Neither do we create our own messages from

heaven or the universe. These must all appear to us as found or

presented by some Other. However, to continue to explore desire,

we can't confuse this gift with an object we create, but must

remember the first notion that fantasy is the staging of desire, not

the obtaining of the object.

An example. When I was a cigarette smoker, there was an

illusion of pleasure that circulated around the act and lasted for the

duration of the cigarette. I still can't fully articulate the separation

of the drug from the habit as they were intricately entwined, but

while quitting I became painfully aware of how the cigarette/habit

was holding my desire and allowing me to pleasurably circulate.

Having used the cigarette/habit for so long, I found it a long and

arduous path to relearning how to circulate, to play, without it. I

had to find new ways of holding the desire without reaching for the

object itself, new ways of holding tension that where once mediated

by the smoking/habit. (By the way, I still scan my dreams as an

early warning system. When I have dreams that I'm smoking, I see

it as an indication that my methods of holding desire are slipping

into the illusion that I _can_ really *get* it.)

Now we can look at a few examples from two Lacanians,

Jean-Claude Milner and Slavoj Zizek, and compare these examples

to common dream imagery. They reveal the fantasy aspect of desire

through the paradoxes given by the ancient Greek philosopher,

Zeno, and Eleatic school student of Parmenides. The school

maintained that reality was one, unchanging and motionless,

apprehended properly by the mind rather than the senses. Milner

used Zeno's paradoxes *not* as statements of philosophical or

empirical truth but as literary devices exemplifying the staging of

desire in/as fantasy.

In the first scene, the Paradox of Continuous Approach, the

object can never be obtained but always seems to be getting closer.

Through clever philosophical argument, Zeno shows that Achilles

can never catch Hector, but neither can Hector escape Achilles.

(see Collinson, 1987 in bibliography for example) This is often

experienced in dreams, either not ever being able to clearly catch

someone or something, and not being able to clearly get away from

some pursuer. Lacan points out that the issue here is the circulation,

and that no matter what we do to obtain the object-cause, it always

eludes us.

The second scene, the Paradox of Cheated Movement, tries to

show that no matter how much we act to change, we are always in

the same place. Hercules fires arrow after arrow but Zeno proves

that its impossible and they go nowhere. Note the stories of

Tantalus in Hades and the curse of Midas. Tantalus, after trying to

steal the food of the gods (which might be seen as the object which

would eternally feed us, with life as well as other hungers) is

condemned to eternal need in Hades. "There he stood up to his chin

in water, but whenever he bent to slake his burning thirst, the pool

dried up. Boughs of fruit hung over his head, but when he raised his

arms to pluck them, the wind blew them out of his reach. A stone,

moreover, was suspended over him and threatened at any moment

to fall and crush him" (Tripp, 1970, pg. 543). And for the famous

Midas, everything he desired and touched turned to gold and

became useless to him. Zizek points out that when we demand an

object that the object goes through a magical transubstantiation.

The object takes on fantasy and produces desire. Mother's milk

becomes a token of her love and produces excess fantasy rather

than just satisfying hunger.

We can begin to explore this switch of use-value to

exchange value in our dreams that have similar predicaments and

then use the unobtainable object as an index of our intersubjective

relations. For example, that others comply or don't comply with

our demands shows how they confirm various attitudes towards

us. And again, all this requires that we let go (at least momentarily)

of the idea that the dream is *revealing* our secret obtainable

object, but rather the reverse - that the withheld object is creating

or revealing our style of desire. The point in reference to dream

work being the shift from finding ways to get the hidden object to

ways of helping it display and play itself out.

In the Paradox of Increasing Diminishment we can never get

where we want to go because of an infinite amount of half distances

we would have to cross to get there. Here the drive is revelling in

its circulation again, in the path itself, in play. Lacan says in Four

Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis, " When you entrust

someone with a mission, the *aim* is not what he brings back, but

the itinerary he must take, The *aim* is the way taken... If the drive

may be satisfied without attaining what, from the point-of-view of a

biological totalization of function, would be the satisfaction of its

end of reproduction, it is because it is a partial drive, and its aim is

simply this return into circuit." (p. 179). The real purpose of a

drive is simply to reproduce itself. Half is double. And thus our

horror when we diet and try to diminish our desire simply to find it

has increased. Note the common dream theme of the desire to get

somewhere and always having a million diversions, sub-plots,

mazes and distractions along the way. In dreams, we often take the

long road home.

These literary paradoxes give us a way to approach the dream

imagery which allows for a new relationship with and to desire.

Regardless of the technique or style we use to approach dream

imagery, there emerges now an option to note the element which,

from the viewpoint of desire, is producing the image. And an

opportunity to come into a relationship with dream imagery in a

way that speaks to the circulation, or with the desire.

Since the Lacanians deal with structure more than content and see

the object of desire as only visible indirectly (like the clue qua

missing-clue found by a detective at the scene of a crime: "Did you

here those dogs Watson." "I hear no dogs Holmes." "Exactly!") I'm

going to shift for a moment back into a Jungian paradigm to build a

quick model that can be used with manifest dream content.

Jung spoke of how important it is to hold the irreconcilable

opposites of the psyche in consciousness. If held long enough, a

reconciling symbol will emerge. The opposites spoken of here are

incompatibles in one's life - like desires and needs for mutually

exclusive things. Jung felt it was always a disaster to try and force

these things together (identification with the Self) or allow oneself

to be tossed back and forth between them. Rather he suggested that

we differentiate them as far as humanly possible, that we hold the

tension between them until a symbol or image is produced that can

carry both the conscious and unconscious elements and allow us to

reconcile the incompatibles.

The question is always what kind of containers do we have to hold

and examine these incompatibles. I want to live forever with I'm

going to die. I want to be monogamous with I want to mate with

everyone in sight. I want to be thin, after I finish this bag of potato

chips. One approach is to see the dream itself as the container or

holder of that which cannot yet be expressed in consciousness any

other way. To see our dreams as an already mapped out playing

and continuing of our unreconcilable desire means that every dream

is already a furthering of desire's project and is its own reconciling

symbol. The degree to which we want to come into relationship

with this process as co-creators will have more to do with our

ability to stay in the play of desire rather than our ability to "get"

the objects we seem to want in our dreams. This shifts the dream

from just being a working out of frustrations to an imaginary

theater that uses frustration to produce works of art and pleasure.

Models for dream-work then shift to models of dream-play. The

skills needed shift from abstracting and pulling back to embodying

and drawing in. Examination fantasies gives way to images of

exploration and experimentation. The tensions, rather than being

worked out, are sought after like the tensions of a stringed

instrument. Structure shifts from predetermined rules to trust and

support found in the interplay. The older structures, views and rules

are not thrown away, but become revisioned as imaginary

platforms, each with their own desires and styles of presentation. In

this way we not only get to see the desire of which the fantasy is a

play, but also begin to participate and find enjoyment.

And so these dream paradoxes, the home we never get to, the

lover who eludes us, the crime for which we are eternally punished,

the monsters we can never escape, become imaginary,

improvisational platforms, theaters of our desire. And it is in this

sense that they are gifts that allow us to remain in that place where

possibility and desire blow kisses to each other across the gap that

holds them together.

Bibliography and notes:

Bulkeley, Kelly (1993). Dreaming is play. _Psychoanalytic

Psychology_, 10:(4), 501-515.

Collinson, Diane (1987). _Fifty Major Philosophers_. New York:

Croom Helm.

(Achilles and the tortoise: "Suppose a race run over 100 meters in

which the tortoise is given a 50-metre start on Achilles, It is

impossible for Achilles to overtake the tortoise; for by the time

Achilles reaches the tortoise's starting point, S, the tortoise has

moved on to S1, and by the time Achilles arrives at S1, the tortoise

has advanced to S2, and so on. thus Achilles never catches up with

the Tortoise. The distance between them will diminish _ad

infinitum_ as they move from point to point but it will never

disappear." Collinson, pg. 14).

Freud, Sigmund (1924-50). _Collected Papers_. London: Hogarth


Jung, C. G. (1953). _Collected Works_ . (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.)

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Lacan, Jacques (1977). _The Four Fundamental Concepts of

Psycho-Analysis_. London: Hogarth Press.

Tripp, Edward (1970). _The Meridian Handbook of Classical

Mythology_ New York, NY: New American Library.

Zizek, Slavoj (1993). _Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques

Lacan through Popular Culture_. Cambridge, MA: The

MIT Press.




======Commentary on Jim's "This, That and Here Streets" by


The dreamer is "at a place" (in his life?) where

there are new streets or possibilities to explore and where

he can move further into new areas not being used (i.e.;

the woods). His work environment is secure but "old" and

restricting (constricted old brick buildings and alleys).

This and That Streets could be symbols for what he

presently has in the career area (This) and what he could

gain (That). "It was getting harder to park in this area"

could be a reference to the fact that the dreamer is

finding it harder to remain in a static work situation.

The dreamer is assigned to "helping build more

streets" both in "the alleys and even parts of This and

That street." This could indicate that the dreamer feels

he is building his own future--whether he stays where he is

(placing bricks in the narrow alleys) or moves ahead

(placing bricks in That Street). In either event, brick is

very durable so the dreamer may be concerned that he will

have to live with his decision for a long time whether he

remains where he is or moves on to the new.

The dreamer visits the new street across the river

and sees its possibilities. It's a "higher road"

(literally), but much work remains to be done before it can

be used ("The scene there was a typical construction


The dreamer goes back home and wants to straddle

the fence. He wants to park in "That Place," but his dream

mind places him at an intersection with Main Street. The

dreamer apparently would like to try something new but

doesn't want to be too far away from the security of the

mainstream. He winds up going back to "This Street" but

without a sense of having made a final decision. He still

can't park.

If the dreamer disagrees with the above interpretation then

it is wrong. Only the dreamer knows.

==== Commentary by Bobk :(I'd like to add some comments on


KIND" and "THIS, THAT, AND HERE" dreams, the first

apparently from 1991

DECEMBER 28 and the second from 1995 FEBRUARY 12.)

I think that both of these dreams are related to transition issues

from someone who is in the Military life, and is faced with a waking

reality transformation of our military establishment that has been

underway for several years and is rapidly accelerating or military

retirement. Both dreams have military type jargon in them and

indicate some intimacy with military type terms. Having worked in

a DOD agency from 1987 through 1994 as a civilian, I can identify

with this transformation and the great uncertainty is causing/has

caused those who thought they were signing up for a lifetime career

when they joined the service, only to find out now that lifetime

means how long they need you.

The first dream I see as a "preview" of the bright lights attraction of

the approaching alien life of "civilian life." It came at the end of a

year when one traditionally gives thought to where we have been

and where we are going. Christmas lights are common through the

season. A special "star" guided the wise men to Bethlehem when

the promised savior was to be born. The previous dream of endless

office rooms with cluttered areas and files seems to connect this

one to work related issues.

The second dream grapples with the issue much more specifically.

The time for change is imminent, the bridge must be crossed and

the area is under construction (not yet clearly defined). Parking at

the usual spot is getting more crowded and difficult.

The dream and title remind me of a dream answer I got to an

incubated dream a year ago. My question was "How do I get from

here to there?" My dream answer was "Add a T". Putting a "T" in

front of "here" makes "There." Smart alec response and very

thought stimulating. Anyway, the "THERE" is missing from the

title and it is possibly where the dreamer needs to focus attention on

rather than on the THIS, THAT and HERE. This is an example of

how dreams sometimes can be better explained by what is missing

rather than what is stated!

======Commentary by Jay on Cathy's "Nightmare" dream====

Warning: Body mutilation is mentioned in this commentary

if this were my dream, i would consider whether

this has to do with some sort of conflict with a masculine

aspect of myself. i would look to see whether i felt like

the threat was to something from my childhood (represented

by my mother and sister and the small girls). i would try

to figure what the bugs and crab represent for me.

i would feel like, given the man with his head at my chest,

nursing or nurturing the man is also a possibility. i would consider

that, since "i couldn't really believe he was evil," perhaps in fact, he

isn't really the evil threat that i think him to be after all,

perhaps he could be a force for good.

then the battle begins in earnest. he pierces my left nipple

(which is over my heart), and i go for his heart. then he goes for

my feet: my very foundation. this is a painful life and death

struggle. it is not resolved.

how would i want to complete this dream if i could?

i hope this is helpful to the dreamer.

====Commentary by Bobk on Cathy's "Nightmare" dream ====

This is a pretty neat dream in spite of its gruesome appearance. It

illustrates the dream language principle that INTENSITY of

experience is stated in INTENSE images. In this case, a concern

on the dreamers mind is translated into horror movie type imagery.

Time has come to face the issue and the imagery won't let one look


Withdrawing, moving back from the details to the essence of the

story, the following story emerges:

A woman is separated from her feminine or family related values.

She is forced to come out of her enclosed "shell" underground

environment due to the evolution of an outsized menacing "crab"

within, the last of an evolution of pest creatures from bugs through

smaller bottom dwelling underwater sea/ocean scavengers. In a

search for reunion with the missing/lost parts, resources mainly

younger and female are sent (scattered) in pairs to search through a

huge compound. The dreamer is left "boxed" in a one on one

relationship with an adult male. Though the dreamer can not

believe that this person is responsible for the disruption, it turns out

he is certainly dangerous to her. Though she tries to "break his

heart," perhaps in vengeance, he plays with her by abusively

misusing her breasts (piercing her nipple, a potential source of

baby's nutrition located right above her heart), and crippling her

(severing her feet). An intense pain surrounds the dreamer and as

she drags out the process of carving her way to his heart (instead of

stabbing him), she thinks that she will die before she can put the

knife into his heart; and she can't get her "feet on the ground" any

more since they are now missing!

If it were my dream, I would call it STRATEGIES. I see this

dream as an evolution of strategies to deal with relationship

processes. Fear moves the dreamer away from the site of

"underwear, innerwear, and outerwear" cleaning (Laundry Room in

basement) where she dwelled with her Mom and Sis. Intense

searching is going on to reunite missing elements scattered though

the efforts may be. This has left the dreamer face to face, on her

own, with a "men-acing" element. Though she can use the kitchen

carving knife with such precision that she can cut tufts of hair from

the man's mustache without cutting or hurting him in his mouth, she

can't use (or bring herself to use) the resource properly to eliminate

the dangerous element. Instead of jumping away (retreating) or

stabbing in critical areas (attacking), she clings to the danger and

watches herself be destroyed {(I will never look at sharp wires the

same way as I did again)} while seemingly heading for his heart.

I think the dreamer is suffering from a broken heart due to a

relationship or lack thereof with an adult male. What is this guys

age, condition, appearance? What specifics can the dreamer

remember to help pinpoint this assholes characteristics? It might be

a traditional "broken heart" type of affair among peers, but I think

the dream indicates otherwise. In confronting the male, the dreamer

is at a different level, she is above him (by using a chair or stool)

with her chest level with his head. It is more likely with some

relationship symbolic of adult male values or of some adult male (or

composite male since the figure is an apparent stranger) from the

dreamers past. The fact that this male appears to be the only

human male presence in this dream is significant. The absence of a

father figure in the beginning stages of this dream is also significant

unless the "huge crab" is some kind of menacing father figure

wreaking havoc - be it by active presence or passive absence..

The dreamer has a dilemma of dealing with reuniting the lost parts

and confronting a source of the problems origins. She cannot

believe this male is guilty - and he may not be guilty of the original

dilemma - but he certainly manages to make a terrific impact on the

dreamer now.

Since the dream takes place in an inner environment, starting with a

very linked-to-the-subconscious "basement" and moving onto the

"huge compound" of our adult environments and concerns, it is

apparent that the impact on the dreamer is significant. As with all

nightmares and ominous repetitive dreams, the question is why the

intense impact? Only the dreamer can answer that question.

Something is going on within that this imagery is simply a reflection


The dream calls out for action of some sort. Get help, realize the

danger, step away are some solutions that come to mind. In real

life many of us live through quasi-nightmares. Some things we can

change or avoid physically. Others we are trapped into closeness

with for a period of time. If nothing else, we can always change

our attitudes and hopefully our perspectives to better understand

the lesson of the experience.

As a Baltimore area resident, I became exposed to crabs as a local

delicacy. I've heard of "extra-large", but this dream crab could feed

an army of hungry people.

The dreamer experienced intense pain and I don't think it will

disappear just like that. However, working with the images of the

dream a great deal of "healing" is possible, in spite of all the

"wounding" that transpired. One dream exercise is to talk with

dream elements to understand them better. Another dreamwork

strategy is to re-script the dream to a different ending or take it in a

different direction from the same origins. I would test these

methods out.

And ... <g> if I was attracted to someone with a mustache like the

male villain of "Sleeping With The Enemy" (the Julia Roberts film),

I would think twice about proceeding with the relationship.

Problem is you can never tell with relationships. Ones that appear

to have no faults are sometimes disastrous over time, while others

that seem wrong mismatches end up as answers to everyone's


May this nightmare dreamers dreams be pleasant and painless, for a

while at least. This one filled some kind of quota!

Bob K.

======Commentary by Richard on Cathy's "Nightmare"


If this were my dream I would be tempted to see it as a self

recovery dream that was trying to expand my life into new areas ,

while at the same time keeping contact with my unconscious, both

personal and collective.

I might take the basement as a kind of semi-conscious level where

my connection to early family lives as well as connections to deeper

material. Here I'm stuck on the idea of equating the idea of water as

something like the unconscious and the things we do with water as

recognizable elements in this kind of unconsciousness. Hence the

wonderful image of washing dirty clothes, which I could envision as

working out the stuff with my family in a mechanical (washing

machine) but functional way.

But this basement level, constructed by the family for our use, is

connected to and surrounded by something much more profound

and alive. In this dream there is an opening between these worlds

through which that deeper unconscious( or strange sea creatures)

may now enter. At first it just looks like things that bug me, that

almost fit in with washing clothes in the basement. But soon it is a

deluge, a flood of sorts that is not containable at this level. At a

higher or later level of development I encounter a gender

opposition, a guy who can help me find what gets lost in the deluge.

If this were my dream I would be interested in this double take on

the guy as both guide and culprit, as it fits the Jungian idea of

animus/anima as guide and connector to the collective unconscious.

This guy both brings about disaster and the resolution of disaster. It

seems the struggle takes place in some kind of physical way and it

may go to the bone. I would be interested in how to modulate the

intensity of this dream. How could I maintain enough of it so that I

stay aware of the struggle without getting overwhelmed by the fear

and pain? Since the dream attacker seems somehow "tied" to the

dreamer already, I might try tying a string around my leg or arm

and attaching to it something that reminded me of the attacker, then

watching for a day or two for what comes up.

As to actual physical indicators, I was recently at a lecture by

Patricia Garfield who said that it might be prudent to look at

dreams concerning bodily issues more literally *if* the pain is, as

she said "really painful". When its not really painful pain, she feels

the likelihood of the dream indicating the need for somatic attention

to be low.

======Kimberly's "Unusual Marriage" dream======

A male friend of mine, whom I have been very close

to, and I were getting married. It was an arranged

marriage and one that neither of us appeared sure about. I

was very scared because I knew that I loved him (90% of

this love has nothing to do with romance), and I was afraid

that he would be unhappy. Yet, we were both resigned to

the marriage, as if there was no alternative, or as if the

alternative was much more unpleasant than the marriage

could be. It wasn't in a church, I don't know where it

was, I couldn't see it, even in my dream (unusual for me).

I had on a white veil with some real flowers

crowning it. I couldn't see what he was wearing, but I

know that neither of us were dressed truly formally and

most definitely not in our normal clothes. The whole

ceremony had a feel that it was rushed--as if the marriage

had to take place quickly or something terrible would

happen. Right before the ceremony was to start, he came up

to me and stood very close. He whispered "I love you."

His voice was shaky, and I knew that it was because it was

true and that he hadn't known how to deal with it. I

barely managed to return the sentiment. Then, he kissed me

ever-so-gently. I could feel it throughout my body though,

and I still can if I think about it.

That's all I remember. I have not told my friend about

this because he would probably think it nothing more than

"wish fulfillment," but I can't get away from the feeling

that there's another level to it. I don't normally dream

about marrying someone I care for, and I rarely am effected

that strongly. I was perfectly coherent in my dream. All

in all it seems like a distant memory more than a dream.

For background, I would not mind something happening

between him and I, but he has told me (and I respect it)

that he is not ready for anything like this. I guess I

would like to know if anyone has any ideas as to why I

might have dreamt that it was a necessary marriage.

======Commentary by jay on Kimberly's "Unusual Marriage"


one reason that occurs to me for rushed marriages

for the purpose of avoiding something unpleasant and

terrible is pregnancy, and since there seems to be a lot of

ambivalence about this marriage, i would be patient and

careful if this were my dream.

Marriage is a close or intimate union. It would

appear that the dreamer values the emotional/mental

intimacy ("90% of this love had nothing to do with

romance"), but fears it may dissolve without romantic ties.

The problem is of course, that it is just such ties that

her friend has stated he does not want.

The marriage does not take place in a church.

Possibly the meaning of the symbolism of a secular wedding

may be that a coerced or "arranged" wedding lacks a

spiritual component, or perhaps that the dreamer cannot

find such a marriage a "sanctuary." The alternative

however, is that the emotional intimacy which the dreamer

shares with her friend may not last if both of them are

free to enjoy a relationship of equal emotional intimacy

with others.

Perhaps at the wedding the dreamer and her friend

are not in their normal clothes because clothing connotes

protective covering, and in the dream she feels vulnerable

because you do not know what is going to happen in your

relationship; i.e.,the clothing covers her but does not

protect her. This factor (not seeing clearly the future of

the relationship) could be the stimulus that created the


As always, if the dreamer disagrees with the above

interpretation it is wrong. Only the dreamer knows.

======Commentary by Richard on Kimberly's"Unusual Marriage"


If this were my dream I would especially interested in the arranged

marriage dynamic. In a sense this dynamic is hidden in that it is not

directly known who is arranging nor and why its being arranged. Its

as if there is an kind of fated automatic process, the wheel of which

the couple must be run over by. The couple is still able to express

human feeling and caring within the process, but its like the love

expressed between two condemned prisoners. Since the dreamer

has indicated that a literal marriage is not likely in the near future, I

might take this dream concubine as a metaphor of a marriage to an

inner other, to that part of myself that would complete my gender

wholeness. I would want to know what kinds of qualities the outer

real person represented to me and then try to apply those to my

own vision for self development. What would happen if I

symbolically married (friend = creative type) my creative side, what

would be different for me? What would happen if I married (friend

= companion type) my own companion, how would I relate to

myself differently?

While we don't know much about the friend, we do learn in the

dream that 1. He may be strong, but is just as vulnerable to the

automatic arranging process (love? family expectations?) as the

dreamer. 2. He is at least as unsure and hesitant about the union as

the dreamer 3. Is very lucky to be in relationship with someone who

is taking his happiness into account . If this were my dream and I

knew my companion was not ready for marriage, I would be

curious about what conditions *would* constitute readiness. Is it

a feeling or something more concrete? Since the dreamer respects

this limit of the real friend, the internal union or joining of inner

forces hence not wedded seems a more productive, though external

exploration of what marriage means might provide useful inner

insights. As I do this in my own mind, I keep coming back to the

union metaphor as one of mutual commitment. I think for me, to

not be frightened by this idea, I have to be clear about what the

commitment is about. Does marriage to my inner artist mean I have

to be sloppy and paint pictures all the time instead of what I really

want to do, or does it mean trying to bring into each project I take

on a little more artistry? Great dream, already quite productive for


======Jay's "the two chris's" dream======


the weekend of february 25, i took a trip to

norfolk, virginia. i drove down from washington dc on

friday with my mom and visited a male cousin of mine on

saturday, who is a little older than i am and whom neither

of us had seen since i was growing up. it was really

interesting to connect with him again.

then on sunday, i and my mom went over to virginia

beach and checked out a.r.e., an organization founded to

carry on studies on topics such as spirituality,

parapsychology, psychology, dream work, reincarnation, etc.

it was started around the collection of over 14,000

transcripts of "readings" by a man, Edgar Cayce, who would

answer questions while in a "trance" state.

sunday morning, after having visited my cousin, and

looking forward to visiting a.r.e., i woke up remembering

the following dream fragments.

"the two chris's"

1) i am in a cab discussing with my wife about having come

in on a conversation earlier between her and our son,

chris, in which chris was talking with her about somebody

sexually abusing someone multiple times. he is upset. i

ask my wife if he was talking about something that happened

or was described by someone at his high school or if he was

talking about something within our family. she responds by

asking me if i have talked with him about sex stuff, as

though he has perhaps misinterpreted something.(then i woke


earlier fragments (in more or less reverse order, that is

the order i tend to remember and record my dreams):

2)chris(who is in college now) comes into a room and tells

me about a lucky number that he plans to win on someday.

or at least that is how i understand it, but when i try to

ask him about it, he goes off disappointed, as though i

don't understand. there is also in the room behind him

another more "sensible, balanced, together" older brother

chris. (that is, both the people look like chris.)

earlier part of 2) just before chris comes into the room

about the lucky number, i reach for something on a

cluttered bar. the thing i am holding in my left hand

starts to knock over something else, and i am awkwardly

trying to move my hand so as not to knock anything over.

in the end, i fail, and one wine glass falls on the floor

but lands upright and doesn't break.

3)there are painter's ladders and stuff around the outside

of our house, which looks like the house i grew up in, as i

go inside, where i meet my wife to talk with her about

chris. (i'm confused about this fragment because it seems

like this is where i talk with my wife. so was it here or

in the cab?)

4)i drive a long distance to a place where there is a house

with no one upstairs (the place where they live) because

it's daytime. Downstairs is, like, a kindergarten school.

i am sort of killing time making this trip; it's not

necessary, but i have little to do. a cousin of my wife's

has also come from her hometown to do something here. i

make my way around all of the kids and teachers. the

cousin is selling boxes of chocolates. she has also

installed a reversing sign that moves slowly in the stair


more of 4) when i go outside of the house/school to go

home, there are some young workmen removing the pipe

railing going down a long steep set of stairs from the

house to the street. facing the street from the house, the

steps go down the right side of the front yard, and the

street is sloping down hill to the right. i make it down.

it is wet. for the last part down, i am barefoot and have

to climb down some hand holds/foot holds.

when i get to the street one of the guys is in a

truck/car/van with a trailer, like for hauling lawn mowers.

it is parked in front pointing up hill, but it is so

slippery that he starts to slide backwards down the street.

the trailer almost hits a car on the opposite side of the

street but just misses it.

then i am feeling tired/discouraged. i am lying in

the street looking at my little red calendar book that i

carry in my pocket. then i am just cradling my head on my

hand holding the book, only now it's more like a bible or

book of psalms.

5) before any of these fragments, i am at a big party. it

might be the school/home place. lots of people milling

around scarfing up lots of fancy food. i get some of it

before it runs out.

====Commentary by Richard on Jay's "the two chris's dream====

If this were my dream, I would use the last image of the big party

with lots to eat metaphor presented at the end but alluded to being

at the beginning. Lets see what there is to eat here:

1). The sexual abuse conversation. This image allows me to see

things in terms of family roles involving semi-taboo subject matter.

If it were my dream I might first check out with my family if these

issues are "up" for anyone, perhaps even in a neural way by sharing

the dream and allowing the family to snicker and tease me. It would

still let them know I was there for them. If this image brought up

feelings that are odd or too uncomfortable, I might check with a

therapist. These issues aside, the image provides me a way to get in

a conversation with these dream images about sexuality and my

inner family's way of handling and exploring what it means to us.

The child might be my concern, the new issue or my son, the

product of my imagination and experience ( as well as having a life

of his own, even in the imagination). That part of me might be able

to communicate with my wife, my nurturing side (or whatever the

wife is playing out here) but the issue needs more attention than

this. Its the wife's view that the attention is a kind of training or

fathering that can clarify, perhaps in positive opposition to her not

needing clarification, but just accepting as is - a sort of love as is

and love by actualizing. The cab I might take to mean that this is a

transitional issue that is coming up or comes up when going from

one place to another in a rented vehicle. Maybe it doesn't come up

in my own car/vehicle.

2) If this were my dream I would be very happy about this lucky

number image. Here is an opportunity to get at something really

unusual. The dream sets up a conundrum that states that the son

has a lucky number which inquired about in the usual manner brings

about a disappointed son that feels misunderstood. In my fantasy,

this is like a fairy tale where, (for fun)

Once upon a time a father was

locked in a room by his son and couldn't leave until he answered

the son's question. Each day the son arrives and says to the father,

"Father, I have found my lucky number and some day I'm going to

win!" The father says something, but it disappoints the son who

leaves for another day. This happens over and over for a year until

one day the son comes in and says "Father, I have found my lucky

number and someday I will win!" Suddenly the father realizes that

there is another son, older, more sensible, balanced and together in

a room nearby and (put in here your own version, mine is "Holds

out his hand.) and the father is then released and lived happily ever

after. (The earlier wine glass incident further indicates that a

misdirection of attention is at play here)

3) Again, the wife and husband are able to discuss the concern,

played by Chris. If this were my dream I would use the condensing

of house images as an indicator of where/what this is. Someplace

like the old family house, someplace like now house. What is the

house? I might take it like an astrological metaphor "In the house

of..." and note that its getting some surface (persona?) attention, or

preparation. Has the painting started? Either way, its a chance to

connect whatever is going on back to this particular image.

4) What is a reversing sign? Sounds interesting. If this were my

dream I might feel that I had lost my desire or was out of contact

with it. The only way to contact something relevant is to go

looking for it, and this must be done without shoes, making me feel

both in contact and vulnerable to the elements. Yet this doesn't

seem to concern the dreamer who not only continues without shoes

but can go down embankments and sleep in the road. Almost like

I'm now a child without shoes myself.

It is quite fascinating to me that the dreamer would sleep on books

right before going to the A.R.E. institute. I believe Edgar Cayce

often slept on books and either read them this way (hard to believe)

or was inspired to great heights (I find more likely). Anyway, if this

were my dream I would take the image of sleeping on a calendar

book that turns into a book of psalms as having "a date with

spiritual destiny" and try to make more appointments or time for

things that had to do with meaning and value. I would also watch

my feelings of tiredness and discouragement and seek professional

help if this tilted towards depression.

5) This is a lot to digest and I might wonder if I would be mixing

beer with wine to try and put it all in one metaphor (other than a

big party during sleep). We could force some metaphors on the

fragments, such as family concerns or a big journey or missing

desires. But rather what happens when we see this series as a

group of tools through which other issues can be processed. For an

example, let me take an issue of er, um, a friend of mine who has a

puer-senex problem of superficially going from one thing to another

without commitment while secretly fixating on self destructive

habits and people.

Using the dream as a tool, we could say that when my friend

(Pete) goes for the potato chips, instead of indulging or

reprimanding himself, he might notice first who's driving the car,

where that part of him that is concerned is, and where both getting

love for being and love as guidance might be.

This fatherly guidance might have to come in an unexpected

form. Father and son are imprisoned together until this form is

worked out. Perhaps it is Pete's splitting of the son's that causes the

problem, and perhaps its the split that allows for enough vision for

there to be a prodigal return.

The desire for potato chips, the frustrations, and feelings might

be connected back to the family house. Perhaps at first to childhood

stuff, but maybe later to a house that is something like the

childhood house and something like the place he lives at now.

This allows Pete an opportunity for re-birth, to become like a

child again and enter back into a state of grace. Rather than

connecting with appetites he can now connect a little more with

something that is really satisfying.

Hey, sounds like a good time to party to me. We can digest it all


====Richard's "Genii-Well Prison Cult" Dream====

A small group of journalists are shown a special prison in an

adobe underground village. I'm somewhat identified with the

journalists, but no particular one. The prisoners have a special cult

system and there are many rituals. The journalist are allowed to

observe some feeding rituals in a dusty room area. Its dangerous

and more is going on here than meets the eye. The journalists leave

up a ladder via a kind of large well, up and out into an open temple

of some kind. As the last guy climbs out a numinos deity thing

creates a moving energy ring around the well. The journalist notices

the genii-demon reflects back to him the edge of his thoughts. It is

very dangerous and is displaying its power. Soon it sinks into the

ground and the journalists leave.

====Pricilla's "Hot Date" Dream====

Introduction by Pricilla, Executive Office Assistant.

My dream was weird, I'm involved in a 6 year relationship, and we

have 2 precious kids, ages 3 and 5. (boy: A. and girl: B.) We have

our ups and downs, like any relationship does. But recently its been

to the point that I no longer wish to be involved with him, because

of his selfishness and lack of respect for my education. I came to

school to fulfill my goals, while he wishes to continue his current

employment that is leading him to nowhere, no raise, no promotion,



Well, last night I had a weird dream about this guy name S., I met

him at school and I think he is so hot. In the dream we are holding

hands, and it was somewhat romantic, my feelings were pure

fantasizing! The dream went on like on a first date. I woke up and

this feeling has not gone away. I saw S. at school the next day and

this feeling of infatuation came over me and I wanted to go over

and kiss this guy!

Well, interpret this wild dream.

==== Comments by Richard on "Hot Date" =====

If this were my dream and I was just back in school, loving it and

felt my primary relationship was a dead end, I would take the dream

on a couple levels. I would feel the dream was offering me not only

a safe opportunity to explore my desires that weren't being

addressed in my primary relationship, but also offering me a model

for my future development on a symbolic level. I might feel that

being attracted to another student was a way of validating my

desire to be in school. That is, Dream Student Attraction is

attraction to being in relationship with a part of myself that loves

school, education, personal growth and development. A date with

the real S. would be hot, but a mating with the inner S. would be





Phil-Lit digest, issues (7 March - 8 March) and (8 March -9


mailing list has an interesting group discussion going on now

around Freud, dreams and science. To subscribe via email:

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In body put:


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Thanks to Dr. Alan Siegel for getting the word out to _ASD

Newsletter_ subscribers about _ Electric Dreams_.

To contact ASD for information about the conference :

The twelfth annual conference of the Association for the

Study of Dreams will be held in New York City June 20-2,

1995. For information write to: Jane White Lewis at 29

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Biological Sciences Bldg., Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9,


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In a continuing joint effort, we are cross posting with

_Dream Network, a Quarterly Journal Exploring Dreams &

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internationally. Each issue contains a section on The Art

of Dreamsharing & Dream Education, the Mythic Dimension

and articles which respond to Questions posed in the

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research projects and to form or participate in existing

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