Stepping Off

John: Jeane has described two dreams from the same night and one had a feeling of delicacy, prettiness, and flow (see Getting Smaller and Smaller), and one was closer to a nightmare with kidnapping, and forced surgery, and genetic engineering (see The Factory).

Dreams during a single night are often related. In the first dream, you had an inner flow going with the envelopes getting smaller, but you stepped off that flow and found yourself at the university campus – back in reality – because of a name or a word that sent you off on a detour.

At first blush, that detour from the envelopes might have looked like something interesting, but as you went into it you began to realize that what existed there was not as interesting as what was happening in the flow of the envelopes. At the university, an aspect of you is tied up in that identity.

In the second dream, which was much more bizarre in its imagery, the real connective clue came at the very end where you indicate your frustration with the person justifying the treatment in the factory as a shortcut. They had rationalized that it was okay to gain something in such a way – it’s another kind of detour that’s also associated with identity.

You sneak into the factory, and you have binoculars, and you are observing what is going on there – at some danger to yourself because you might be caught. Every time we deviate from the flow of things, which we do by identifying ourselves too closely with something in the outer, we discover that what we think will be there isn’t really there. Whatever those people in the factory were gaining, or staying ignorant of, was not worth the experience.

Usually you don’t get such a grotesque image of what it’s like to go off on a detour. But the object of the process is to continually travel as far as possible, staying with the quality inside. We always have the choice to step off and take a time out, but the effect is to lose the flow and the access to the greater quality.

When you’re going deeper and deeper inside yourself, at some particular point in that depth of traveling, it can become too much. You could blink, you could have a fever, or feel it’s just too much light. The detour, or deviation, is an act of grasping onto something more tangible and more familiar.

It shows you still feel the need to identify yourself with something outward, something external, as you delve deeper into the internal. And that need is what creates the moment of stepping off. Once there, it may look fascinating and you might appreciate it, but ultimately you realize that the flow is so much better and you begin to say “No,” it’s not worth it.

That’s when a person comes to the knowing that the process of the journey is what it’s all about. I’ve heard it said that the right attitude for the student is to recognize and accept the journey itself, and not worry, or have expectations, about where it is going. Whatever comes up, comes up, where you are free of the identity that seals you in and cuts you off from the flow.

So your reaction to the depth that you are experiencing is to step off, landing at the university at Chapel Hill. That reaction is a defense mechanism that is still coming up. It’s like an underlying reaction, so it’s on a very subtle level.

It’s an attitude too. It’s almost like you really don’t have anything that you need to claim or hold onto, yet you grasp the detour just the same. That shows an aspect of immaturity in terms of the growth process of a person.

So the consideration here is the degree to which you have to step off the path and out of the flow. In your particular case perhaps you’re deviating because you feel compelled because you’re not up to the challenge, or because your nature is to jump into things like that as if you’d been dared.

At the end, you feel angry and frustrated. The university seemed interesting to start, but then it degenerated. As you probed it further it became more and more bizarre. The way you portrayed all of that bizarreness has to do with a kind of vibration inside of you that’s a little miffed that you went for the detour again and came up empty again.

So these two dreams show a really interesting sword battle going on inside of you.

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