Fall has arrived, and with it the coming of the dark. For many, it's the beginning of this season rather than Jan.1st that marks the psychological start to a new Year. It's a good time to take inventory.
A few nights ago, I had a terrible dream. There had been a murder in an area I was vacationing, and when I came back from hiking to the home where I was staying, the door was ajar. The house was ok, but as I went to secure the back door, the murderer came in, and made clear his intent to harm me. At some point I remembered what I did for a living, and started talking him down, buying time. I'll spare you the long winded details, but what was interesting to me in the dream was that as we talked, and I listened to him with genuine curiosity and compassion, he grew smaller and smaller, and I realized I didn't need to fear him at all.
Jung says dreams come to us in service of of Psyche, as letters from the unconscious. My webmaster pal Hal might say some dreams come in reaction to the pastrami we had for dinner. This particular dream may have been symptomatic of too much CNN. But since I'd seen Don Quixote in Ashland the previous weekend-- well, I saw a different possibility. It seemed a representation of how our fears can become gigantic, hold us hostage. How they can cause us much more trouble than they are actually capable of inflicting, with our help. And about how when we face them, with curiosity and compassion, they shrink and lose their power. I had a very similar dream five years ago. As before, I'll take it as an invitation to look more closely at what fears might be holding me back in growth.
Resources: For an interesting article on Jung, check out this week's New York Times Sunday magazine. Find it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/magazine/20jung-t.html?emc=eta1
Update: This morning's GT had a sweet article about the local Waldorf school's Michaelmas celebration, echoing the theme of this entry. Second-grader slays his dragon!