Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dreaming is social, and PJ is getting married

I'm at a conference of dream researchers, running a bit late for dinner. I hurry through a large restaurant lounge area, looking for the friends I said I would meet. Off to my left, outside on a sunny terrace, I see women I know and like and go over to greet them.
    I kiss a woman with long dark hair on the back of a head and she turns to smile up into my eyes. She calls herself PJ, and she is getting married. I had forgotten this, or the information had never registered. She introduces me to her fiance, a tall, stocky blond man who seems suspicious of me, maybe jealous. When I recognize that his last name is Lithuanian, I try to open him up by talking about my deep connection with Lithuania. I sprinkle a few Lithuanian words into my spiel, and mention that I am thinking of writing a whole book about my adventures in the country of ┼Żemyna and Perkunas.

I have no strong feelings on waking from this dream into morning sunlight a few hours ago. This small and very social dream feels just-so: went there, did that, talked to those people.
    Yes, I could play the "What part of me?" game and ask whether PJ is a feminine aspect of myself and whether the big Lithuanian is a strong but sometimes surly part of me, and so on. But my feelings tell me this would be a wholly misdirected exercise.
    I could play word games with the name "PJ." For many of us "PJs" are pajamas. Were these initials a prompt to me to wake up to the fact that I was dreaming, and enter a state of dream lucidity? (I did not become lucid in this dream.) Well, maybe. But then I don't wear PJs, so an allusion to "pajamas" is not the prompt for me that it might be for someone with a different dress code for bed.
    I know a woman who calls herself PJ in regular life. I don't think I know the woman in my dream, though I can see her quite distinctly - slim, deeply tanned, possibly Asian-American.
    I do sometimes go to conferences with dream researchers, and some of the other people in the dream are friends who belong to the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) where I have spoken several times. So I'll file this dream in two categories. It may be a rehearsal for a possible future event. It could be an experience in a parallel reality. Either way, I feel sure it involved transpersonal interaction with other people on a plane of reality close to the physical.
    Dreams are not only personal and subjective; they are transpersonal and may be experiences of an objective reality, in many possible times and dimensions. When we dream, we get out there. Some of us are actually much more social in dreams than in ordinary life. This is certainly true for me, in those periods in my life when I am off the road and down in my creative cave, writing and researching.

Graphic: Yes, they are wearing pajamas! The old photos show handlers of the Sultan of Oudh's hunting cheetahs. The origin of the word "pajama" is Persian; its original meaning is "leg garment."


frontiersofconsciousness said...

Hi Robert,

I attended the I.A.S.D. gathering summer of 2010 in Asheville, NC. Don't know if you spoke at this particular one; if so, I regret not having heard you. I like how, in this post, you resist the temptation to force-fit your dream into any kind of packaged symbology, but just allow it its life and space to breathe.

Robert Moss said...

Nope, I was not at IASD in Asheville, though I led a depth 2-day workshop of my own there earlier that year. I first introduced my Active Dreaming techniques - a synthesis of dreamwork and shamanism - to an international audience as the invited workshop leader at the conference of ASD (as it then was) at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 1994, and got invited to do that because I was literally on the wrong bus; this is explained in my book "Dreamways of the Iroquois." I feel zero temptation to try to fit any dream experience into a "packaged symbology". Thank you for your elegant comment on that score.

Unknown said...

It is very refreshing to read your alternative, transpersonal interpretation of your dream. Not that there is anything wrong in using traditional symbolism or Jungian identification to try to understand a dream.All are relevant and helpful. I definitely believe that I have travelled to the past in dreams because it was the only explanation that explained me knowing things I never would have learned in any other way. don't wear PJ's? :)