The Reader of Mind?
Have you ever had a row in a dream? Or an open argument? I did, the other night, and I have been pondering it ever since. It was a lucid dream and pregnant with significance. The hostility came out of the blue and bit me like a serpent- a wise serpent.
I was attending a grand conference, in a country Manor. A relaxed Manor, grand in proportions, informal in atmosphere, a lot of light, comfortable sofas, a sense of Edwardian leisure. I was late and wandered through empty rooms in search of other people. There were original paintings, mostly modern, one by Barbara Hepworth, but all hung too high to see clearly. I saw a bustling middle aged man in a dog collar unpacking in a bedroom with the door ajar, and introduced myself. ‘Must rush he said ‘It’s Burns night, and I am sooo excited!’ (That puts it on January 25th but it did not feel like winter). He was not openly unfriendly but wrapped up in intentions of his own. I found my way into a dining room where the assembled delegates were having tea in china cups and scones with lashings of cream. Clearly a scene of money and privilege, and familiar self assurance. This was an assembly of intimate familiars.
I sat next to a elderly woman of a refined demeanour, perfect coiffure, expensive jewellery, and tried to ask how I might achieve a cup of tea (since I had not yet ‘registered’) and I admitted I had arrived late. She launched into an attack ‘Yes we all noticed how you sat at the side and never joined in. You must join in and do what we all do if you expect tea. I’m certainly not going to help you. You chose to be on your own. Stay that way, Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to enjoy my tea…’ She took great pleasure from her hostility, and from expressing it. She felt she was speaking for everyone present. She was. Her hostility took my breath away. It was intended to.
I woke up and pulled the tail of this dream into the light of rational evaluation.
I would welcome those of you into Jungian ideas ( or mythology of any kind) to suggest what this might mean to you. I have some ideas of my own, and like a negative in a photographic tank the meaning has been developing ever since. Before I express the portrait I am painting from its colours I would welcome your suggestions? I now realise how ‘telling’ and economical this signal to me was. Time to rethink.
Feel free to opine not merely on the dream, but also on its message to me. Those of you who know what I have written may find it easier. I intend to develop the lesson I have taken from it next post, because I think it could have philosophic value beyond its wagging finger.
9 thoughts on “The Market of the Mind in Common.”
I’d suggest, amongst other plausible methods of interpretation, that you consider each element of the dream—house, rooms, people, paintings, tea, conversations—as aspects of your Self…
Thank you Alexander. This is a good and understood starting point for most dreams but I feel with lucid dreams that the ‘narrative element’ is conveying a message about the intersection between the individual and the consensus. I certainly felt that during the course of the dream itself. Thanks for posting. I intend to follow this up in the next post because the incubation still continues.
No Jungian expertise in my resume, and no mythos. But surely the individual with a mind and ideas of her own will be shunned by the herd, especially the well-heeled sheep, for acting without respect to sheep-like community. Especially if she seems happy without them and content to be her own. Hence the hostility from those who have worked very hard to do exactly as told, and expect their tea as just reward.
Lots of people who have not joined the herd come to mind, starting with St. Francis.
Good to see you here. I felt it illuminated much about my experiences trying to ‘break in’ to the herd but too conspicuously different to be made welcome. I saw it as needing some radical new ability to ‘go slimly’ which I have never been much good at, not for reasons of being a sore thumb, but being insufficiently aware! The warning told!
Great, to have a dream with such succinct narrative. Just some thoughts …
From the atmosphere you evoke the place feels like a privileged nursery where children are trying to emulate grown-ups. Paintings are hang so high they can’t be properly seen. (There’s actually a painting by B Hepworth of two girls with teacups). She didn’t belong to this scene, she was a scholarship girl who achieved fame. Then the fulsome passion for a national poet-hero (born to tennant farmers,) and then you’re being called to order by a Goody two-shoes for flaunting the rules of her status group 🙂
You didn’t talk back.
I did talk back but only to say ‘I was only asking about tea’ nothing else. It was a brilliant narrative, and the paintings hung too high was registered even within the dream ( I calculated the height of the ladder required to hang them!) I wondered whether it signified that I was aspiring to be hung high (in both senses!) It was odd about knowing it was Hepworth even though I couldn’t see it…Your suggestion clarifies perhaps why. I knew this was a good one to throw open, and thanks.
Wow – I miss your articles – This blog is so powerful and excellent points!
Come again and I will share what I made of it. I just wanted to offer it to others first!
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