Tuesday, 28 October 2014

My house ― part three (conclusion)

A house is the commonest image found in dreams. It represents the self.  So why did I have many dreams about the same mansion starting long after I had left it? You might think that any dream about a mansion had to be about material wealth. That's the problem with trying to interpret signs and symbols in isolation. Once other details are taken into consideration you would discover that the mansion, of course, had many rooms and that gives us the reason: There are many aspects of myself, and many different interests. I was told that the mansion had fifty two rooms. Another estimate of the same house gave a few less. I don't know which, if either, was right, but there are fifty two weeks in a year and thinking about that can direct the unconscious mind to myths about the cycle of the year; to cycles in general. All of the dreams about the inside of the house started in the kitchen, a room that is strongly associated with starting our day. We make our morning coffee in the kitchen; we might have breakfast in the kitchen; everybody in the house congregates in the kitchen each morning. In my dreams, only the general shape and the idea of it being that kitchen is revealed. There was nothing specific to the actual kitchen ― the dreams did not reveal any of the real furniture, only the idea of a kitchen table and chairs etc. In the dreams, all of the other rooms had no counterpart in reality. They were created for the dream. No person appeared in the dream version of the house, either, save for the idea in one or two of the dreams that people were present (when needed for the symbology). There is no importance to the order of the dreams, either, which is just as well as I cannot remember the order apart from the last dream ― where all is finally revealed. I placed the other dreams in their "proper" order, in the way we build a story, not randomly as they might have been as clues.

I have arranged the dreams in what I now consider the best order. The dream images are written in bolded brown and the commentary in black.

I leave the kitchen and walk down along hallway with doors to other rooms. Some of the rooms are simply furnished as one might find in a furnished suite, but no one lives in them. In one room, I open a closet and find several drawers, all are empty save for the bottom one where I find a number of 16th to 18th century European silver coins: thalers, half thalers and the like. They are all of different countries, unfamiliar to me, and so heavily worn  as to be likely worth only the price of the silver. I feel lucky and am amused and somewhat puzzled by their variety.

When I was at school, I collected coins. For about a year, these were all English with a few Roman. Later, I became interested in Greek only, but I did have a few common Celtic coins among them (numismatically, Celtic coins are part of the larger Greek series). Had I not started collecting coins as a child, I would have had no later interest in many different subjects that now occupy my life. After the dream I purchased a very worn Charles II crown and always kept it in my pocket as a "lucky coin". I bought it as scrap silver. The morning that my wife died,  I was, of course, devastated, but many things had to be done. The palliative care nurse had woken me about half an hour after Carrie's death. After I had  pulled myself together a little, I woke my daughter. After I escorted her body to the funeral director's vehicle, I arranged for the hospital bed and other medical equipment to be picked up. We wanted to be away from the house for a while and my daughter also wanted to buy a nice chest  for some of her mother's things that she wanted to keep. Her boyfriend arranged for us to attend a Shakespeare play he was starring in that evening to prevent us just sitting alone at home. I was pleased by this. After we had left the house to find a chest, I realized that my lucky coin was not in my pocket. I  found it late that night: it had fallen on the closet floor of my bedroom when I had undressed for bed the night before my wife died.

I leave the kitchen by the same route as in the last dream and walk up some stairs to a floor in the mansion I had never seen before. It leads to a room about the size of a department store floor. There are various couches, chairs and coffee tabled dotted here and there in groups. They all look like cheap Ikea furniture or cast-off's. They are all mismatched. As I move much deeper into the room I see a few people resting in chairs or walking in my direction. There are various unmarked doors including the one that led to the stairs. The end of the room opens out into a shopping mall which progressively has more shops, offices and people. I realize, that although my door is unlocked, very few people would enter my house. There is no need for locks. Those few that did enter would be welcome.

There is no real barrier between myself and the world, but most people do not find me. Those that do are welcomed.

I leave the kitchen in the opposite direction, there are some people following behind me as I open a door to see a staircase leading down to a large tunnel carved out of solid rock. The floor is only slightly rough, as are the walls and the flat ceiling. The tunnel is illuminated by a hidden light at its entrance but it gets darker ahead and vanishes into blackness in the distance. There are sounds in the distance but I cannot identify them. A feeling of greater and greater dread fills us as we walk down the tunnel. We turn back and leave that place.

The tunnel is inspired by the Dolese Mansion legend of a tunnel leading to the house behind the mansion. In the dream, it represents the unconscious, exploration, and  knowledge but also mystery and death.

 I want to show some people the tunnel and explore it deeper, but its entrance is half way up a mountain. It is late and the snow is too deep. Some other time, perhaps. The mansion was nowhere.

Sometimes, things can get too difficult, or the timing is just bad. There's always another day.

I'm in a hilly part of a town. Lots of trees, nice houses. I see the mansion behind a few trees,  and remember it from long ago. I wonder what is happening there now, but the tunnel beckons and its just around the bend.

Time passes. other things become more important. I change.

Someone wants me to bring them something from the end of the tunnel. I have done that many times and I know the way. I never even bother to open my eyes, the route is so familiar and I know exactly where the object is just by feel alone. This time, though, I decide to open my eyes just out of curiosity to see what else is in that room at the end of the tunnel. I see the room change rapidly, the walls are painted, then have wallpaper, then there is paint again. the furniture gets old and is replaced with new furniture and it too gets old and is replaced. Things are constantly being rearranged. It is all very rapid.

I know what this dream means, but it is up to you to interpret it  ― or not.

I visit the room at the end of the tunnel again, but I keep my eyes open for the whole journey. Nothing changes when I arrive, but I do see that there is a short passage that goes around a corner. There is a sort of veranda there, of stone. On the veranda is a horse trough also made of the same stone which is the stone of the tunnel, itself. There is water in it and a fish is lying in the water. I see its gills moving slowly. I look out over the low wall of the veranda to see a very ordinary landscape just before dawn. There are trees, a river, some buildings. There is nothing unusual about it. It could be anywhere.

This was the last dream, and it puzzled me for many years. Now I understand it and it enters the mythic world. A trough or manger can be for water or fodder, when you swaddle a baby, it is too prevent the baby from thrashing around. This is done so that the baby might feel more secure. It is believed that such babies grow up to be better adjusted and confident. We swaddled our own daughter as a baby. It seems to have worked. That, in the Christian Nativity, the manger is considered to have been for food "breaks" the mythic continuum. Life emerged from water. In the "cradle of civilization" long ago, this water was called "The deep".

Finally, here's a favourite song from my favourite group that I feel expresses some of what lies behind this dream cycle:

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