I recently had a dream in which my late husband was explaining himself for not attending a Jung Society meeting with me. His manner was a mixture of guilt and defiance. In the dream, his reasons were not clear but I intuitively understood that he was afraid of what it might stir up in him.
I told him I understood but that I thought he would have found the talk interesting, as I found it less confronting than I had anticipated and had got quite a lot out of it myself. I went on to explain that what I found so compelling was the fact that our mother complexes get confused with the mother archetype and that is how we learn to fear the Great Mother, or Divine Mother.
Whew, what a dream, so simple but so much in it.
I immediately recognised it was addressing the issues of my relationships with my husband and with my own mother and mother-in-law, as well as my husband’s relationship with his mother. It is a complex web, which has taken much energy to unravel enough to gain the insight and perspective necessary to let go of the hurt both given and received and to learn to fully appreciate the gift we all were to each other. It’s still a work in progress.
One way I interpret dialogue in a dream when I am one of the communicants, is to assume that the ‘me’ in the dream represents a more conscious belief, concept or attitude and the other person represents something that is perhaps deeper in the unconscious. That is the perspective I took with this dream.
A dream can be triggered by waking life events in the day or two before it occurs and though I had actually attended the Jung meeting mentioned in the dream, it had been 3 months previously. Then I remembered recently watching a You Tube video of the 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana conducted by Martin Bashir. I had retained a strong memory from when the program first aired of Diana saying it was crowded in her marriage with Charles because there was a third party, referring of course to Camilla Parker-Bowles. At the time, I remember thinking I knew exactly what she meant because there was another woman in our marriage – my mother-in-law.
I had also recently done a teleconference with Jungian analyst James Hollis on his book called Hauntings: Dispelling the Ghosts that Run Our Lives. Much of it was about the parent-child relationship dynamics and how profoundly they affect us because they operate at a deep unconscious level until and unless we become conscious of the entrenched patterns and work to change them.
In the several weeks before the dream I had been feeling that I have moved past seeing my psychological issues as being essentially personal and feeling increasingly comfortable with the whole concept of the archetypal level of experience being the primary influence. The Jung Society meeting, entitled Holy the Sign in Mother’s Eyes, referred to in the dream, had been both informative and transformative. The particular idea that I had mentioned in the dream, that of the issues with the personal mother becoming entangled with the archetypal mother, had struck a deep chord with me.
I had felt since the talk that a quantum shift had taken place whereby I could at last see all the players in my life drama as acting out roles that were driven by deep unconscious forces beyond the personal and could count myself lucky that I have had the opportunity to be able to work on and make satisfactory progress with my own issues. The era of my mother and mother-in-law did not afford them the luxury of being able to delve into the deep recesses of their psyche and my husband, for reasons I can only guess at, was unable to take advantage of the opportunity to do such depth psychological work. I suspect that the dream was addressing this issue and letting me know that it was time to let go of the sadness I have been hanging onto because he hadn’t mended the bridges with his mother at the time of his death. As for me, I have been pushed into doing the healing work by circumstances of pain and suffering and feel deeply grateful that the way of dreams was opened up in me as a reliable and trustworthy inner guidance system, albeit supplemented by some exceptional outer teachers.
The following night I had another dream in which Roger was cheerfully ironing a tablecloth for his mother and it was set in my current home. I feel that it indicated that some healing had taken place. Perhaps it was only in my own inner attitude but I do feel strongly that the healing we do within ourselves, whether it is conveyed to others in the outer world or not, or even whether the parties are still alive or not, reverberates throughout the psychic field beyond our own private consciousness.
The fact that it was my husband and his mother and not me and my mother is an interesting aspect of the dream. I have my suspicions that I am cautiously approaching the full healing of my own personal mother complex, a theme which has been a constant for many years. Beyond that is the spiritual healing of the Great Mother complex, which I feel this dream is just hinting at, being as it is a more psychologically oriented dream.