A Dream Journey interpreted

The dream is ranged left. My interpretation is indented.

I was walking along what seemed to be inside a huge blood artery, not knowing where to go nor why I was even there at the first place. The only thing I somehow knew was that if I stayed in one area too long, a horde of mutated flesh eating insects would crawl out of the little holes around the artery and eat me alive. Therefore, I kept walking forwards, hoping to find a miracle.

It wasn’t long until I went into a ‘Y’ intersection. One would get me out of this strange place and the other would lead me to my doom. It was at that time, a tall and skinny young man with short red hair and neatly trimmed mustache and beard appeared from behind me. He was wearing a business suit with a light blue shirt with a beige jacket, pants and dark brown leather shoes. Without saying a single word to me, he walked passed me and went right into the right tunnel. Even though I’ve never met that gentleman, somewhere in my gut feeling that this man could lead me out of the artery. Therefore, I had decided to follow him. After a short journey, I saw an onramp to my left which led us out of the artery. I followed him onto the onramp and exit the artery. 
As has been said, arteries carry life-blood. They are crucible in which oxygen is integrated and dispersed, and disease eradicated. As such they¹re not comfortable places to be. And so it is when we¹re in crisis - when, paradoxically, one of the things that most seems to attack us is the freedom of choice we have in those moment when ordinary rules are suspended. That seem to be where the dreamer starts ­ and can't wait to get out of it: to lock his world back down to its conventions and certainties.

Questioning and choice always involve fevered blood /anxiety. It's all too intense. So when he sees a businessman, emblem of normality and unquestioning venality, he's only too keen to escape. Well, we can all understand. Wasn¹t it St Augustine who prayed ŒO Lord save me, but not just yet¹? At one level we desire change, but at another we¹re terrified by actually doing it.

Insects to me are autonomous somatic reactions we feel yet are often apparently trivial and remain below our mental radar so that they BUG us, and make us irritable because we can't master and suppress (ie kill) them. Would they eat me alive? Or would they instead guide me to hidden correlations in my behaviour patterns or thought processes and certain consequences in the external world that my better self would wish to change?
Just as understanding how certain foods produce reactions we may not at first see as related. Also I see insects as being analogous to doubts that nag at my peace of mind.

But whatever is going on in this cauldron of blood is too much for the dreamer.

The scene here was absolutely beautiful. The sky was clear and the weather was perfectly warm with a cool summer breeze. I then found myself standing on flat ground on top of a cliff looking down at a perfect valley below with green trees on the side and a calm river in the center with another set of high cliffs on the other side. I kept following the gentleman along the clifftop until I arrived at the edge of the cliff, and he disappeared.
Just when I thought I was lost, I noticed a very attractive young lady sitting on a huge rock to my right side while looking towards the valley away from me. She was about 5’4” with long black hair down to her bra / mid-back level, was wearing a silk white v neck dress with front slit, and was barefoot. As I approached her, she turned around and smiled at me. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. Without thinking, I went on and introduced myself to her. Her name was Sabrina

Sabrina: Lovely, isn’t it?
Me: Indeed, but where are we?
Sabrina: Where do you want to go?
Me: I have no idea. In fact, I don’t even know how I got here. All I remember is that somehow I got out of this creepy place that looked like a blood artery, and I am here, looking at a beautiful scenery and a perfect angel in front of me.
Sabrina, blushing: Actually, I’m not what you think I am. I am a yaoguai (translated as spirit in Chinese mythology), a moth, to be exact.
Me: Then you must be a beautiful moth. I don’t think I’ll be afraid even if one day I see your true form.
Sabrina smiles and gets up: Anyways, you can’t stay here for too long. You need to get to the cliff across from here. If you just follow the trail on your left…
Me: If you’re a moth, you must be able to fly. Can you please help me? Besides, I would love to have you by my side from now on.

Sabrina nodded. She then approached me and told me to hold her tight. As we held each other, she spread her wings and we took off across the great valley. Even though the valley must have been very beautiful, I just couldn’t take my eyes off her. I felt like I was already in heaven and there was nowhere else I would like to be except with her.
After a long flight, we have finally arrived at the other side of the cliff. As soon as we landed, Sabrina told me that I should find a weapon to defend myself as this area was not as safe as the other one. I took her advice and started searching for one. This place was a little different from the previous one. While the other clifftop was a flat land with only one rock (the one Sabrina sat on), this place was like a pile up of large rocks. It wasn’t long before I found a cave to my right. We embraced passionately with a kiss, then I headed for the cave, promising that I’d be back and I’d take her with me wherever I go from now on.
Beauty, or rather, glamour, is often a great distraction, isn't it? Big business uses it as a way of selling us things that are not in our best interests, because our poor little brains can't disentangle the mental processes that lead us towards harmony, pattern and symmetry (simplicity) from the ways in which the clever manipulation of such symbols and our own biologic urges often entrap us into patterns of behaviour which are devilishly complex - be it debt, sex or addictions. This is the very raison d¹ĂȘtre of adland and the media corporations.
Here the dreamer is contemplating the world into which he must descend if he is to real-ise himself, and thinking I could really do with a soulmate I could share all this with. When lo & behold his wish creates the reality. But what reality is it? Does he create a real woman with needs and a mind of her own? No, its a fantasy woman - as is indicated by her name. Were you aware that Sabrina is the latin for breast? She is a masculine projection of the feminine whose only job is to gratify his wishes and stroke his ego. And what is her surname but (Cunni)ling(us)? She's a sex doll.

And now this seductive anima-projection offers him the ultimate fantasy of not needing to go down into the confusing valley of full incarnation where one cannot see the wood for the trees and the path of certainty peters out before it reaches the great river of destiny. Just like a super-salesperson leading the dreamer to fantasise that all his problems will be solved by buying the super-expensive gadget of his dreams, he is hooked. What are moths drawn to? So who is the moth here?

Unsurprisingly, by choosing not to descend to engage with his anger /aggression /confusion the dreamer finds it all there on the the next peak he reaches, and a ready way of expressing to hand. Why was it not as safe as the previous? Because every time we don¹t take an opportunity to deal with our stinky stuff it gestates and magnifies itself as we delude ourself that someonelse (someone who represents otherness in our life) is actively preventing us from reaching our goal/s.


The cave was wet and dark. After a few steps, I found a hunting rifle with some bullets beside it. I took it immediately and noticed something strange – a torch to my left lit up, revealing a huge brown moth creeping up from above me, and it seemed ready to attack. Because I noticed that Sabrina’s wings were white, that would not be her. Besides, Sabrina was outside waiting for me. So, I quickly loaded up the gun and blew its head clean off, then watch his body fell down onto a pile of rocks in front of me.

As I was about to head back, I noticed another small tunnel to my left. This one was covered with shining gold powder. Without hesitation, I went and scraped as much gold as possible and stuffed them into the pockets of my blue jeans. After having my pockets filled with gold, I headed back outside just to find a giant white moth standing with its back towards me. Without thinking, I fired 2 rounds at the right side of its body, mortally wounding it. As I approached it, I realized I have made a grave mistake – I just shot Sabrina! I immediately rushed to the dying moth, just as it morphed back to its human form (Sabrina), and held her tight in my arms, telling her how sorry I was. She gave me a heartbroken stare, then closed her eyes and died.
I was grief stricken, but somehow I was unable to cry. I fell to my knees, holding her lifeless body in my arms wondering why I was stupid enough not to recognize her wings. After a short while, Sabrina’s body disappeared. Without any other options, I had to move on.

Why did the dreamer need to enter the cave? Because the cave is the fertile womb, the unconscious where change /metamorphosis happens, a safe space where we can release one mindset and allow another to form. Was this what happened? No, it felt like the dreamer to a very unsafe space and accordingly he latched onto the classic male response. I think it was GB Shaw who said that the first thing a principle does is to shoot someone.

The thing about change is that it involves intense cognitive dissonance, and this can bring on or accompany exactly the kind of psychosis that makes men shoot others, either literally or metaphorically by pumping logic bullets into the soft flesh of those who think and respond differently in order to eliminate the perceived source of the cognitive dissonance.

And here we have to bear in mind one of Jung¹s greatest dicta: the unconscious always shows us the face we show it.

Was the brown moth(er) attacking? Do moths attack? No, it¹s a human projection because we attribute the same motive to others as we ourselves hold. But it¹s OK to shoot a bad brown moth - surely? Just never shoot a white moth. But here we see the classic madonna-whore dichotomy. Some women /people /things are bad and deserve what¹s coming to them; others are above reproach, unique, too good to be true, immortal. Our dreamer thought it was OK to blow the head off the dark moth, but actually such were his compulsions that he couldn¹t help blowing the head off his true love.
Thereby demonstrating the truth of Oscar Wilde¹s stanza in the Ballad of Reading Gaol -
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Given what the dream is seeking to show the dreamer, is it surprising that he is so preoccupied by filling his pockets with gold that his shooting of the white moth appears to him an accident? This pursuit of outer goals, be it money /career /or legitimate ambition is often how men kill their relationships without even knowing that they're doing it ­ by not recognizing from their wings.who their partners actually are.


After another long walk, I came across the entrance of an abandoned amusement park. The entrance gates were all rusted and there were some blood stains on the windows of the security booths. I immediately went to a defending position with my rifle in front of me just as I saw a huge Siberian tiger jumped right out at the gate, growling and staring at me. However, before any of us could launch a first strike, a familiar male voice was heard from the back, “Buddy! No!”
The tiger sat down quietly as the man walked out of the gate and I was very surprised to see him – it was my cousin Edward. I went forward and gave him a brotherly hug.
Me: How the hell did you get here?
Edward: I don’t know man, I just know this place is fucked up, and I found this tiger stuck in some cage in that damn circus(?) (pointing to a large circus tent on the left), so I rescued him and now we are friends. Anyways, did you meet any unusual friends on the journey?
I was silent as I suddenly thought about Sabrina, how we spent our short time together, how I foolishly killed her without recognizing her wings. Edward patted me on the back as if he could read my mind.
Edward: Forget that I asked, now you got me and Buddy. Let’s go.
With that, we went through the gates and into the park.

The amusement park was one of the scariest places I’ve ever seen. It was like walking through a theme park in a horror game. The concrete floor was cracked with weed and fungus all over it. Right after the entrance, there was two ways through the park with a worn out wooden sign in the middle. The road to our left would lead us to a circuit and an aquarium while the right would lead us into the booths and rides. Edward told me that he just came from the left and it wasn’t pretty (which he didn’t explain why), we went through the right and quickly arrived at the booths section. The game booths were completely empty. The food stands were empty with spilled ketchup, mustard, and relishes all over the booths. Although this part looked scary, we didn’t find anything hostile in this area. After a few blocks, we entered the rides section of the park.

The rides section was even scarier than the first one. The Ferris wheel on our left was completely rusted and was slanted slightly towards us. There were only 12 dangling passenger cars left and the wheel was slowly turning in a clockwise motion, making an eerily squeaky sound as it turned. To our right was a large bumper cars ride. Like the rest of the park, it was abandoned. There were 6 cars scattered on the lot and the colors were as follows (starting from the one closest to us): RED, LIGHT BLUE, YELLOW, LIGHT GREEN, PURPLE and ORANGE. The cars were all rusted and the seats were destroyed (like they had been clawed by wild animals). What caught my eyes though, was a mysterious narrow doorway at the end of the lot. It was then I remember that I had seen this arena and the doorway before in my previous dreams. The doorway that led to an endless maze scattered with booby traps and flesh eating zombies. As we went passed the doorway, we started hearing moans and growls coming from the inside of the doorway. I quickly got myself in a defensive position with my hunting rifle while Buddy the tiger got himself on full alert. However, since 3 seconds have passed and nothing came out, we have decided to make a run for it.

The last section before exiting the park was a gigantic roller coaster. The tracks were huge, it was about 600 feet high and around 8,000 feet long. The tracks were of red steel and like the other rides, it was rusted all over. The train, however, was made of wood and was able to seat 18 people in rows of 2. It was dilapidated and there was mold all over the train seats. It was at this time a heavy fog suddenly descended onto the area. Sensing that something was terribly wrong, we had decided to make a run for the exit (Another rusted steel arch like the entrance).
There¹s another useful maxim here. The sharpness of our moral vision is a direct consequence of the karmic choices we have made in life. Have we shirked them, and remained pygmies, or shouldered them and grown in stature and clarity of perception?

It's pretty grim this so-called Amusement Park, isn't it? Nobody has been amused here for a long while.The idea of pure pleasure always contains the seeds of its own downfall, because pursued for itself it¹s ultimately pointless. When it¹s over, what has been gained? Just an emptiness waiting to be filled again by more pointless pleasure - like a drug, preventing one from awakening and taking control of one¹s life. There¹s another thing that strikes me, each of these rides is an image of reincarnation. What goes around comes around - until we can learn to step off the roller-coaster of pleasure-pain, excitement-despair and learn to walk calmly to the exit sign. The 12 dangling passengers also speak of this - 12 being the number of a completed cycle (an octave in music, a day or night by the clock) in the duodecimal system which was universally used in the ancient world.

Here in this derelict environment the dreamer encounters not merely his alter ego, but also his killer instinct, his truth. And between them all in these unpromising circumstances some spiritual traction occurs. Of course his fears manifest but at least here he finds the resource to confront them. (BTW I assume the word circus is meant where circuit is given). Then the dreamer sees a way out, not a final solution, but at least a way forward; and its significance is its insignificance. Not only does it remind of that
Œstrait (narrow) is the way, and narrow the gate that leads to wisdom; but Marie-Louise von Franz points out somewhere that all truly great moral revolutions start at the margins of society - Christ born in a hovel, etc ­ because Œshit is gold & gold is shit¹. It's only the outcasts who have the psychic energy & need to overcome the inertia of the insiders. We saw earlier in the dream what the pursuit of gold led to. Now we¹re seeing the dreamer fully immersed in a really shitty place.

What does stepping throu the door lead to? A maze. Are we amazed? No, because life only seems to be a maze as long as we cling to our illusions. Once we surrender these and allow ourselves to fall we realise that in the ultimate scheme of things there is no good or bad, up or down, or duality - there is only being in the present, and using our inner truth to navigate the apparent choices we face.


After we left the park, we continued on until we went through a long narrow wooden suspension bridge with 2 rows of steel towering over an endless fog. In fact, the weather was so foggy that we could hardly see anything in front of us. It would be another 15 minute walk (or so I guess) before we finally hit solid ground and the fog began to lift
Here we meet The Cloud of Unknowing. (Check out the book of this name by an  anonymous 15thC english mystic - it¹s one of the most beautiful and timeless books of all spiritual literature, and speaks to us even more vividly now, because we admire the author for not surrendering to the object-based religious perceptions of his age). He says this cloud (depression) is there for a purpose and that we have to beat against it with the darts of prayerful longing for a sight of God(dess)head. The wonderful thing about this Œbridge over troubled water¹ is not only that we are reassured that others have walked this way by sight of its soaring (cloud-capped) towers and majestic stability - but here we see how ridiculously short the time was which seemed an eternity when we were in it.

As the fog lifted and the sky became clear, I found myself back to the flat ground above the blood artery. We walked to a giant hole in front of us and I looked down and was dismayed to find out that it was the artery tunnel I came from.
ME: Shit! That was where I started. What now?
EDWARD: Well, we are going down there with or without you.
ME: I wouldn’t go down there. I don’t know what but something isn’t right there.
EDWARD (smirk): So what? Look, we can do whatever we like as long as we are man enough to take the consequences, right?

Before I could react, Edward and Buddy leapt down towards the hole and immediately, screams of fear and agony was heard from them. Then, all was silent. “Fucking idiots!” I thought to myself. Now, I am alone with the hunting rifle, so I continued walking straight until I saw the exit I came up from. There, I saw the same red headed gentleman emerge from the exit and kept walking straight, and so I followed him to the same edge of the cliff where he disappeared again. I then stood there dumbfounded, wondering where to go from there, staring at the same rock where Sabrina used to sit.

I warmly salute the dreamer for maturity that he has acquired on this journey. Because  when he returns to the point of departure, as we invariably do, for instance at a Saturn Return, he demonstrates that he has been transformed by completing a revolution of the spiral rather than just gone round on a funfair ride & ended up back where he started. Altho his conscious mind remains fearful of the intensity of the transformative journey (the anarchy of the wild blood) his wise inner self and his instinctual nature are both prepared to engage further with the evolutionary process.

I’ve just started to reread Marie-Louise von Franz’s Alchemical Active Nature. And in it she writes something relevant to the dreamer’s dilemmas. 
…people get caught in a trap. They enter a castle and the door shuts behind them, and that always means that now they are in the Self [transpersonal otherness or Soul]. Now they have reached that point in their psyche where they can no longer run away from themselves. Now they are in for it, and the ego, which always flirts with the idea of getting away from what it ought to do, knows that it is caught in the mousetrap and has to fulfil the requirements of the Self and will not be released before that it accomplished.

In all fairy tales and mythological patterns one is always [ultimately] released […] but only after one has done the heroic deed. Trying to run away is no good, for you cannot escape [until you complete the task and are thereby released from it].
Origins of Alchemy p24

It's noteworthy that the dreamer cannot release the idea of ego protection, the gun. Observe how the truly powerful people of the world, such as the Dalai Lama, require no protection – their spirituality is confidence enough for them. In this context it’s clear that the dreamer is at risk of losing the integration that the dream exhibits if he doesn’t stay true to /follow his higher self and instincts. It is only within a further encounter with(in) the crucible of his own blood that he is likely to encounter to encounter his true inner feminine, and thereby be ready to manifest such a person in reality.

I close with another quote from Von Franz. This time from The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, which contains this lapidary paragraph.

There again loyalty to the reality of the psyche gives the only possible solution, and generally the anima tends to maneuver a man into a situation which is meant to be without issue. Jung said that to be in a situation where there is no way out or to be in a conflict where there is no solution is the classical beginning of the process of individuation. It is meant to be a situation without solution: the unconscious wants the hopeless conflict in order to put ego consciousness up against the wall, so that the man has to realize that whatever he does is wrong, whichever way he decides will be wrong. This is meant to knock out the superiority of the ego, which always acts from the illusion that it has the responsibility of decision.

Naturally, if a man says, “Oh well, then I shall just let everything go and make no decision, but just protract and wriggle out everywhere,” the whole thing is equally wrong, for then naturally nothing happens. But if he is ethical enough to suffer to the core of his personality, then generally, because of the insolubility of the conscious situation, the Self manifests. In religious language you could say that the situation without issue is meant to force the man to rely on an act of God. In psychological language the situation without issue, which the anima arranges with great skill in a man’s life, is meant to drive him into a condition in which he is capable of experiencing the Self, in which he will be inwardly open to an interference by the tertium quod non datur (the third way, which is not given, that is, the unknown thing).

In this way, as Jung said, the anima is the guide toward the realization of the Self, but sometimes in a very painful manner. When thinking of the anima as the soul guide, we are apt to think of Beatrice leading Dante up to Paradise, but we should not forget that he experienced that only after he had gone through Hell. Normally, the anima does not take a man by the hand and lead him right up to Paradise; she puts him first in to a hot cauldron where he is nicely roasted for a while.


Is there a 'Posh Ceiling'?

There was a series of article in Guardian G2 about this on 16/6/15. This letter is a response.
I went to a public school but ran away when I was 15 and chose not to go to university, yet have somehow survived the vicissitudes of 50 years as a freelance in a largely graduate environment. People take me to be an upper-middle-class graduate, which I’m not. As a result I see both sides of the ‘posh’ argument, simply finding both as useful guises for achieving certain objectives.

The distinction between governors and the governed comes down to one phrase: awareness of choice. Those whose education has involved any time at an independent school become aware of how they have choices—regardless of their parents wealth or status—by the simple fact that they have escaped the ‘one size fits all’ mental sausage-production-line that is modern state education. They also escape the constant movement of goalposts, beloved of all Gove-rnments, which so harm coherent teaching; and thus learn with more depth and continuity.

From this pupils with any wits assimilate the basic lessons of thinking outside the box - which is what makes them exceptionally employable at an executive level. That is the open secret of private education … and poshness. The British class system is far more permeable and nuanced than the articles allowed; and the key to it is a kind of mental flexibility which is almost impossible to learn within the rigid framework of the National Curriculum. Successive Education Ministers believe that ‘standards can be driven up’ by diktat and testing. In reality this covers up a sophisticated mechanism for manufacturing conformity and consent among those destined to be governed. Independence of thought is a cultural transmission that can only be taught by those who have themselves been raised within its liberal traditions. And my regretful conclusion after a lifetime of commitment to egalitarian ideals is that scholarship, public service and cultural continuity are better served by those educated within what is thought of as a posh environment, where traditions of cultural awareness and free-thinking are preserved, than one driven by targets, educational fashion – and cuts.  

Put another way: we could have a society where everyone is encouraged to achieve personal excellence, be it academic or technical, but this would involve levels of state resourcing comparable to that private education commands. (The ILEA came closest to this, and that made it top of Mrs Thatcher’s hit list.) It would end the myth of poshness in a generation, but time and again the British public is mesmerised by the chimera of lower taxes—which serve mainly the rich—to vote against its own longterm interest.