John: In yesterday’s dream, I found I was able to empathically relate to the pain of another person, by taking it in me. However, it was an ability I couldn’t quite handle, which caused things to go awry (see Feeling in the Heart).
Just at the end of the dream, as I’m about to be attacked, I wake up. I try to remember the dream, but I wasn’t totally awake – I was still lucid dreaming, although I’d come back almost to consciousness. In this in-between state, I’m trying to write the images in my notebook, but I imagine that you are talking on and on, interrupting my thoughts.
I feel I need to concentrate or I’ll lose the energetic memory, so I tell you to shut up as I try to pull out the energetic…
Jeane: That’s awful.
John: Yes, I got about as rude as I could possibly get because I was so frustrated. My reaction was harsh because I couldn’t seem to get “her” to stop talking. Yet even this semi-conscious imagery is in keeping with the overall theme.
In other words, all of this imagery is dealing with a depth inside me that can do something in an absorptive way, which can make an atmosphere feel fine – it can take the pain away. However, I need to be careful how I do that because, if it’s visible, and if an ego aspect in me needs the recognition of being seen, it can trigger a sense of freedom in another person before they’re ready to experience it.
This effect can cause a reaction in others – their defense mechanisms get activated and they try to slam the door shut. It’s what we automatically do inside – we try to close off the incursion, the sense of invasion, really quickly. So this is what’s so interesting: the dreams are portraying a pattern of something attempting to wake up in me, even though it isn’t quite ready to wake up.
The dream shows me how this process can work in its early stages, yet it also indicates that what I’m doing is triggering things that aren’t good, that aren’t quite right. Because I’m triggering those things – because there is collateral damage – it means I’m overstepping my boundaries.
At the same time, I’m fighting to catch up with this opening space, which is a middle point before I’m fully ready. Thus, I’m in a more dense level and can snap (at the talking) more easily. I’m caught in this dichotomy where on one level I’m experiencing it, but on another it’s veiled from me by my reactions, which “beat me up,” or shut off the heartfulness I was feeling.
In other words, I’m meant to relate to the talking I hear, as a form of closeness, but I shut it off or push it away instead. But I’m getting closer to being able to empathize naturally with another person’s demeanor, to actually hear them, to actually relate to them, to actually be with them in a whole different way even if that involves having to carry or take on something that in the denser part of me would be unacceptable or a burden.
It’s a process whereby I’m able to take another’s energy into my body like food – the limitations, the denseness, the tenseness – just like a tree absorbs water. That’s how I saw myself at the beginning of the dream, able to do that (in an over the top way, of course!)
Because I hadn’t noticed this about myself before, I didn’t know my limitations. I took on so much of a person’s outer, and painful, persona that I touched off their defense mechanisms. This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gotten so close. I touched the depths of the person’s essence to such a degree that what happened next was their beauty side, or tender side, was violated.
This other person used his defense mechanisms to keep himself from experiencing it too directly (seen as the attack on me). What I absorbed left him too free and what came out as a reaction was too much. See, you’ve got to be gracious with everything in the outer, otherwise you end up by tearing yourself up, too.
These are the repercussions in the masculine aspect. From the feminine, I got the same message, as seen in your sleep talking at me loudly and thus creating an inability to remember.
In both cases there is an abruptness that I must deal with in terms of being able to accept the initial closeness. That’s how defense mechanisms operate in terms of closeness: you can go into one in which you are in a flow within yourself, and another in which the flow is coming at you – which is the feminine nature providing space and offering something in a particular way.
This whole dream came back as I opened my eyes and reached for the notebook to write this up. When I was reacting to you I was still in a state of the dream where I thought I already had the notebook and was trying to write it up, and it seemed you were preventing that.