Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dreaming of Obama

Since Barack Obama is a dreamer and embodies a tremendous change in American and world history, it is not surprising that dreamers everywhere are dreaming of him. I have received many hundreds of dream reports invoving Obama, from early in the primary season onward. They come from participants in my workshops, members of my online courses, and the constant stream of email that flows in.

In a significant number of these dreams, Obama is receiving a blessing from an ancestral figure or an elder statesman who has passed on. In one of my own dreams the weekend after the election, for example, I saw Obama held like a (very capable) child in the arms of a giant seated figure of Lincoln - like the statue of the Lincoln Memorial but alive and alert. In another of my dreams, three weeks after the election, Mahatma Gandhi spoke delivered a eulogy of Obama as a peacemaker for the world at a huge rally, possibly the inauguration. I was moved to tears by Gandhi's account of what Obama means for world peace, and in the context of the black experience in America; he used the word "negritude" repeatedly.

Especially in the runup to the U.S election on November 4th, there was an "educational" quality of many of the dreams - in the sense either that the dreamers are learning about Obama, or that they are learning about what needs to be done under his administration. Thus a Midwest mother living in a quite conservative environment (who initially had some sympathy for Sarah Palin as a "working mother" and even dreamed of helping Palin manage her household) dreamed she was set three essay questions involving Obama, and when she completed the assignment, she felt very positive towards him. Another dreamer, raised Ctaholic, dreamed that a beautiful young black boy led her by the hand inside Obama's church, where she was able to observe Barack with his family and was deeply moved by the strong sense of family that pervaded the church. In the wake of the Jeremiah Wright affair, the message that came through was, "There's no problem with Obama's church."


Some of the Obama dreams seem to be prospecting what the new administration will or might do to fix the immense challenges it is inheriting. A woman married to a small business owner asked for dream guidance on how Obama could fix the economy. She dreamed she was traveling all over the map - in planes, convertibles and stretch limos - with a friend who is notorious for practicing "retail therapy", wildly shopping, buying anything they felt like. "Retail therapy" may be just what the country needs!

Other dreams seem to foreshadow the effects of printing money. The $5 had replaced the $1 in another woman's dream, and had an odd shape - the dreamer didn't mind because the bill looked "fabulous".


Two weeks after the election, Caroline dreamed she saw two political cartoons of Obama. The first cartoon, from early in his administration, showed a very small, tightly drawn Obama. The second, later cartoon depicted him as a much bigger person, and the feeling of the drawing was more expansive and loose.Obama wasn't in the second dream but its themes of sharing power and trust seem relevant. In a second dream, drawing on Obama's example, Caroline was bringing a new approach to teamwork into her workplace: "I told my boss and co-workers that the concept of management is outdated and we should work as a team and share power. "Each of us can take turns answering questions from the public for a week at a time. Everyone is shocked; it seems my suggestion is treasonous. My boss says my plan won't work because people who call want to talk to a person with power. I say we can explain that we all share the power equally. Callers who are unhappy with the arrangement are welcome to phone back the following week - the caller will get a different person but she'll still have the same power as everyone else. "

The day after the election, Christine, a clothing designer, dreamed that Michelle Obama had gone into her business, presenting a new line of clothing. "It had balanced colors, baby pinks, baby blues and a floral print of both colors. It was very pretty." The dreamer was examining the line, as a buyer, and was troubled to find a stained and damaged garment at the bottom, and was troubled - as she woke - with the thought that there was a "stain" that wouldn't come out.


Obama's Dream: The graphic is a drawing by Valerie McCarney inspired by Obama's dream of encountering a giant in the African forest. This is one of two big dreams Obama included in his memoir Dreams from My Father. The seond is a dream in which Barack met his father in a jail cell a year after his father's death. There was love and reconciliation between the son and the father who had been absent from most of his life, but when Barack offered to get his father out of jail, his dad wasn't ready to be released. The dream is an important reminder that healing of family wounds is possible across the apparent barrier of death, and it is encouraging to know that the new President of the United States is not afraid to talk openly about his personal experiences in this area.

12 comments:

Nancy said...

Hi Robert. Coincidentally, I just received this month's copy of Ms. magazine which has Barack on the cover, ripping open his shirt like a super-hero to reveal a T-shirt which says "This is what a feminist looks like". A large part of his appeal to me is his sense of inclusiveness, male & female, black & white & brown, American & "foreigner".
You may remember that at the workshop where Val drew that iconic picture, I dreamed of Obama swimming in hot water or soup with many others, & wanting to have everyone else saved before himself. I've also felt he has a connection to Lincoln, with whom I have a strong dream relationship.
How cool it will be to have a real dreamer in the White Houae!
Nancy

Robin O'Neal said...

Hi Robert~
Midwest mama surrounded by conservatives is wondering if there were any interesting dream reports with regard to the other candidates (- ummm... what's his name? seriously, my mind suddenly went blank, ha ha ha) John McCain? and how bout those Clintons?
I love that you're mining for important dream themes and helping us to contemplate collective consciousness. I hope you & he meet one day.

diane said...

To see a black man, a dreamer, a man with an international orientation, an eloquent intellectual who seems to be in touch with and care about the people,inclusion and his roots take office as president is a day I will cherish. I'm still wonder-struck that he was elected -even by a number of traditionally conservative states. I agree with Nancy - he seems to bridge many divisions and seems to have a sense of sacred mission guiding him. What a mess he has to handle. May we all dream well for him!

Jessica said...

I have had many dreams of politicians over the years- some of them quite memorable: On a train with George HW Bush (just b/f he lost re-election to Clinton) when he suffers a heart attack. And though my distaste for this man was visceral, I am the only one who comes to his aid, holding his head as he lays on the floor of the train.

I had a dream that Bill Clinton made a pass at me (!)

I dreamed that George W. Bush is giving a speech- and is so charming and likable that I awoke with great concern that he was going to "win" the election (2000)

In this past election season, I dreamed that John McCain is driving to the White House but can't seem to get beyond the great fountain out front that he just drives around and around. I wake up feeling that this old man is dottering and can't find his way into the White House!

More recently, I dreamed that I am driving Obama home. He tells me I can hike on his land, and that the water-way on his property is called "Cross Creek".

But I do have many questions about these political dreams, and hope Robert that you might perhaps dedicate a workshop to exploration of such dreams, and dreams that are seemingly related to political times. Maybe this can be the theme for one of our dream school meetings?

Anywho- exciting times, these are!!! G-d bless America (and the global community) : )

staying warm,
Yiskah

Robert Moss said...

Hi Yiskah: Thanks for your rich inventory of dreams of the presidents, and for your workshop suggestion. I've found tremendous interest among the groups to which I've been speaking recently in learning and working our techniques for community or collective dreaming - visioning with clear focus on matters of common concern - and your idea may well form part of the weave of a new program I am crafting, as well as exploration within the established groups.

Janine said...

Robert,
After I read your blog about Barack Obama, I wondered why I have never dreamt of him and I did last night.
Obama is Reachable
I dreamt I was walking home and saw Barack Obama walking with his daughters. I had just read his letter to them in Parade and wanted to know if he really wrote it or if he had help. He got behind us adn so I spoke to his daughters and asked what they thought of the letter. I was amazed that they hadn't read it so I told them I would get them a copy. I walked them home to a small apartment above the YMCA and realized we lived next door to them. They wanted to live simply.

I walked into their apartment and there were different generations fo their families eating together at a small table. Michele Obama was at the table practicing her signature. I introduced myself and told her which signature I liked when she asked. It was the one that connected her first and last name. Then she asked the correct spelling of my name. I told her. She had checks laid out in front of her and one was to my Fight to be Healed Fund for my son, Nick. Barack came home and everyone got up excited to see him and then left with him. I was getting ready to leave, but a string on my apron got caught on a cabinet knob and I couldn't get it loose. I kept looking at the security cameras around the room and hoped they didn't think I was doing something wrong. The door opened and it was my husband and son. I felt Nick around us. Then we went downstairs to work out at the YMCA.

I felt that they were very approachable and will work for the betterment of all people.

Naomi said...

I had a dream of the Obama family last night.

I was sitting at a table off to the right of a viewing screen. They were watching something, while I was working at a table that had several objects on it.

I heard Obama's voice "good job"....Malia, the youngest came over to me and put her hand on my shoulder, the warmth in her touch was really amazing. She shook my shoulder, like a playful teasing child and said "good job"....

I will have to re enter the dream tonight to find out what the objects were.

Last night, was very active. I saw many people, whose names came readily to me. Great family stories and histories, that I'm going to write down.....

One in particular was"Rachel Bonner"

Naomi said...

Robert, I think dreamers here would be very interested in "working with Obama" in non ordinary reality. There will be such resistence to many of his programs. Many mean spirited people out there it seems.

But, there are many kind spirited people who are interested in preserving the planet and working toward peace instead of violence and religious, hateful dogma.

We could be spiritual warriors for Justice, peace and standing in the breach against violence against environment, poor people, voiceless people.....

Jessica said...

Hi Janine,

Wow! What a wonderful dream!! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Interesting- last night I too dreamed about the Obama girls. I am visiting with the family. Eveyone is there: Barack, Michelle, even Jill Biden. It occurs to me that I wish I had brought gifts for the girls, so I go back to my car. The two passenger-side doors are ajar (both front and back) and it is raining (or snowing). I find two pretty beaded necklaces in my car and give one each to Sasha and Malia. I also find crystals (including garnet from Garnet Hill) and let the girls choose which one they want.

Its amazing to me how fluidly this family has slipped into our collective dreams! Robert- do you have thoughts about this?

-Yiskah

Robert Moss said...

Hi Janine, Naomi and Yiskah: Many of us have been moved by Barack's evident love of his family and his beautiful daughters, and by the even deeper sense of family - of our connection with the ancestors, and our debt to them - of which he spoke so eloquently in his inauguration speech. It seems that for many of us our dreams are confirming how true and how deep this goes.

Naomi said...

When I first saw the pictures of Obama in the Oval Office sitting behind the Presidential desk speaking on the phone with his jacket off, tears sprang to my eyes and I felt like Martin Luther's words were meant for me ....FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTLY, I'M (THE COUNTRY) IS FREE AT LAST.

Meredith said...

Hi Robert! My dream about Obama was a couple months ago. My mom and I had to pick him up and take him to the airport. He was sitting in the backseat with me, and I put my head on his shoulder to sleep. I felt like I'd known him and he was part of our family, and that we were willing to do anything to help him get to where he needed to go. There was a sense of urgency, that he was late, but remained completely calm throughout the ride.