Blessing by a Shrink

I am in the study in my current house. Belinda is here and we are both working at our computers.  I don’t know what she is doing but I am working on the James Hollis transcript when David Van Nuys arrives. There are other people in the house as well and someone has let him in.

I am very surprised and delighted to see him and happy that Belinda is here so she too can meet him.  He has come to Australia in regard to doing some work in Brisbane and thought he would pop in to meet me.  I wonder how he managed to just drop in to Adelaide and marvel that he somehow got through the security gates into the village and then found his way to my unit.

We chat very amicably as though we are old friends meeting up again after a long period even though it is the first time we have met in person.  There is much hugging and laughter and shaking of hands as I introduce him to the other people around but he is on a tight schedule and can’t stay long.  Belinda and I go with him to escort him out of the village but as we do we learn that he has to meet up with some people he is to go to Queensland with but he doesn’t have transport.

Belinda offers to drive him to his rendezvous but when I see her car, I think mine would be more comfortable.  Her car is like the cabin of a ute except it has a regular trailer attached at the back rather than a fixed tray top. There is a tarpaulin over the trailer. We discuss it and Belinda reassures me that it will be fine in her car and so we head off.  We sit in the front and David sits behind and between us, somewhat squashed in as there is minimal space in the back.

It is evening by now and getting dark when we get to where David is to meet the others. They seem to be part of a spiritual organisation and treat Belinda and I like outsiders. The whole thing is rather clandestine and somewhat tense as though they are on a tight schedule and they are obviously eager to be rid of us as soon as possible so they can bundle David off to his true destination. I gather his detour to visit me has not met with wholesale approval.

Belinda and I are somewhat bemused by the whole thing. All the intrigue seems somehow unnecessary and a bit contrived although they are deadly serious.  My guess is that David is going to do a workshop of some kind, perhaps a dream workshop but I am at a loss as to why it’s so secretive.

A little background: Belinda is my dream buddy from the days of the dream forum mentioned on the Home Page, whose work includes website design. David Van Nuys is a retired American psychologist who has a long running and very popular podcast Shrink Rap Radio in which he interviews a wide range of guests in the field of psychology and related areas. I had been doing transcripts on a volunteer basis since the beginning of the year and the one I am working on in the dream is one I had been doing in reality for the SRR website the night before the dream. James Hollis is a Jungian analyst and the interview I was transcribing was about his latest book Hauntings: Dispelling the Ghosts That Run Our Lives. I had in fact done a teleseminar with James a couple of months prior, the theme of which was finding meaning in the mature stages of life. A question he had suggested participants ask themselves was ‘what does my soul want to birth through me?’ I had pondered that question from time to time but no definitive answer had been forthcoming, so I let it slide. The interview I was working on also broached that same topic, with the ‘ghosts’ being the fears that block us.

So what did the dream mean? At the time I was at a loss, although overall it did have a good feeling about it so I assumed it was something positive and didn’t feel inclined to try and work it out. The only thing that struck me initially was that there seemed to be a theme of work throughout the dream – David coming to Australia to do some work, albeit of an unknown nature, Belinda and I working at our computers – and then there was James Hollis. He had said in the beginning of the interview that he felt much resistance to writing another book as he was getting on in years, had written a lot of books and felt it was time to kick back and relax. It was his dreams that had kept prodding him to write Hauntings and a particular dream that made him finally surrender to the prompts. The clues were there for me but I couldn’t see them until events that led to embarking on this website unfolded over the next several days. I had been thinking for years of writing a book and was always writing and rewriting chapters, but I could never sustain the enthusiasm and motivation to put it all together. It would never have occurred to me to do a website and even if it did, I didn’t have the technical know how.

A couple of days after the dream I was talking to Belinda via Skype and somehow or other the idea of me doing a blog came up. When she asked me what it would be about I didn’t know but as we brainstormed the kinds of things I’m interested in – psychology in general and Jungian psychology in particular, spirituality, dreams, states of consciousness and various other related topics – it became apparent that dreams were the thread woven through all the others. So with that the decision was made and Belinda got to work setting up the website and giving me the necessary tuition in navigating my way around WordPress.

It was only after the wheels had been set in motion that I realised this dream had been giving me a nudge and a blessing. In dream interpretation, the way we relate to the various players in the dream, the attitude and opinions we have about them and their roles in life are important clues to what is in our own unconscious. Although there was an obvious theme of work, on reflection it was more about their work as an expression of purpose and meaning in life. Belinda, David and James are all deeply engaged in the kind of work in which they have a passionate commitment and dedication to what they are doing and in that they are showing me the way. Although I have been very passionate about the areas of study I have been involved in over the past several years there was a sense of wanting to do something with it and not knowing what to do.

In any good dream story as in all drama, there has to be a point of conflict and in this dream the conflict was represented by the unknown aspect of David’s business and the attitudes of the group of people he was working with. Dreams show us our unconscious limiting beliefs, i.e. fears and once I twigged that this dream was a forerunner to me taking the step of going public with my interest in the world of dreams and especially the very personal stories I would be using as a vehicle, it didn’t take long to realise what those fears were about. The fear of exposure and of not being good enough are demons that most people can relate to. I took heart from this dream in the fact that Belinda and I were not unduly fazed by the way the ‘in group’ marginalised us.

The reason I singled David out as the one giving me the blessing is that he has read my comments about his interviews out on his podcast from time to time – as he often does with other correspondents – and after one particularly heartfelt outpouring from me, he said that he appreciated my comments and the way I articulated myself. I was rather shocked at the time because I have always felt somewhat tentative about my ability to express myself but I was also deeply touched by his words and it made me realise that what was important in what I had expressed to him was the intention behind the communication and the sincerity with which it was offered rather than any artistic merit of composition. The other aspect of the David character in the dream was that he had gone to considerable trouble to come and see me, there had to be more to it than just saying hello.

One of the most important aspects of working with dreams is what we do with the information contained within it but that naturally entails having some understanding of what the dream is about. This was one of those rare dreams that didn’t require any effort on my part, it just struck me as a feel-good dream and events unfolded organically and almost effortlessly. I have a hunch that that is the result of honouring the process of taking dreams seriously.