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Monday, November 5, 2012

Recurring Dreams.

This post is not so much about church planting, imagine/Northampton, the missional life . . . or is it? I don't know. But these dreams have caught my attention.

For the last 6 months or so, I've been having these recurring dreams, sometimes more than once per night. After, I'll often wake up feeling as if I was just there. They're occasionally disturbing, but not downright frightening. The dreams are not pleasant for the most part, however.

Just so you know, I know dreams reflect subconsciously experienced meaning. Ergo, I'm trying to work out something I'm immersed in, am struggling with, or cannot make sense of. My brain is working diligently by searching all manner of stored connections in it's looking for understanding about something important or irksome to me. Brains are great symbolizers.

So here's what happens.

These nocturnal intruders tend to unfold in two ways: one is a sort of wandering scenario, the other has with it an impending, but diffuse sense of danger. Sometimes the source of the danger is unclear; other times, it's because of unknown people who might be trying to do me harm for some reason unclear to me as well.

Here are some patterns:

1. The scene is always dark and somber because it's perpetual night (as in the house setting), or because I am in a cavernous, very dimly lit (being illuminated by emergency lights) building such as a warehouse or a theater (especially backstage). Because my dream occurs often, I'm familiar with each setting, but they're buildings I don't know I've actually been in.

2. In both settings, there are people around, but I don't know them, and they don't seem to know me, yet we're somehow connected to the same space. In the house setting, I get the sense they live there. It has the feel of a student's crash pad with mattresses on the floor, etc. There's a general atmosphere of clutter. On the second floor, there seem to be people who don't like me very much; they appear annoyed, and downright unfriendly with our brief and random encounters. None of us talk to each other. In the warehouse or theater setting, a few people are around, but disconnected and silent. I don't know if they know where they are or why they're in the building.

3. In both dreams, I feel lost and displaced, like I don't belong. However, there is no sense I'm trying to get to where I do belong, or even if I know where that is.

In the wandering scenario, I am trying to get out of the warehouse or the theater. I'm inside after hours. I don't know why I'm there, but i know I really shouldn't be. There are many large rooms full of stuff. I go through them repeatedly, but can never find a way out of the building, in general. I'm not being chased. I just want to leave. I don't feel afraid, just confused and frustrated.

In the house scenario, I'm wandering in the sense because I can't figure out why I'm there. I don't fit. I don't know the people who seem to live in the house, and they don't know me, but there appears no solution. We're just there together time and time again - perpetual strangers, even the people upstairs who don't like me.

The diffuse, impending danger scenario occurs when I'm in the house. When it feels dangerous, there appear to be people outside the building trying to get in and not peacefully. They feel evil and potentially violent. I can't see them, but I sense they're moving around looking for a way to get in. In one scenario, I'm able to make a dash for my car, but just ahead of the faceless ones even though I can't locate them.

The dreams just kind of play out with little resolve, They just are and there I am.

I'm making mention of them, because I don't tend to remember my dreams, and these recur with regularity, so my subconscious is obviously wrestling with something I'm experiencing physically, spiritually, emotionally or relationally, or all of the above. I have some ideas of what they may mean, but I'd like to hear yours.

Any thoughts the Freud's and Jung's out there?
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