Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dreaming Jung

Thursday, May 3, 2012—Orange, CA

Sitting here in the library on campus. I should be working, finishing off the last bit of a lecture I have to give early next week. I can’t do it, though. I’m going on about four hours sleep and I just can’t force myself to focus on something right now I don’t really want to do. This means my already busy upcoming weekend will be even busier. That’s OK, though: I’d rather work harder when my mind is functioning properly than try to push something out when I’m so off my game.

Lately things have been a blur of work; there really isn’t much else going on in my life—physically. However, I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking in the moments when my brain isn’t pounding out some school-related crap. My mind has been going in all sorts of directions, but in the end I keep coming back to certain aspects about myself that seem ... offtrack. I’ve been really interested in my dreams lately, mainly because they appear to be revealing a certainly shallowness in my existence. I seem to have hit a place in my life where I keep doubling back on myself, keep ending up in places I’ve already explored and more or less understand. I’m sensing that I’m blocked, that there are parts of me where my answers lie that for some reason I have not been able to reach. As I’ve mentioned, for a long time now—since late 2009—I haven’t been able to write any poetry. I’ve been doing my best to ignore this issue; I’ve been explaining it to myself as some sort of natural fallow period. That of course answers nothing: why I have gone fallow is the question. I mentioned a while back that I’m finding that old saying that one has to be in love to write poetry to be true. Right now I simply cannot love. What I mean by this, I’m now beginning to see, is that I’m disconnected from certain basic parts of myself, which keep me disconnected from important aspects of the world outside myself. Not writing poetry is great flashing red light, an obvious symbol of my fundamental disconnection. Now back to the dreams …

It a cliché, but dreams are really the window into one’s deeper self—and lately my dreams feel very constricted. Basically, I generally can’t move past certain swirling recombinations of the least important aspects of my life; I’m mostly spinning around on the very top of my subconscious. Again, this is just a different manifestation of my general disconnection from certain important, and I would argue, very basics aspects of myself. What it often feels like is that my conscious is in a sense invading my subconscious and directing my dreams away from manifestations that might actually reveal something about where I’m at at the moment; it’s like I’m subverting myself, hiding from certain things. My dreams seem like there might be something going in them worth looking at, but when I do look at them they dissolve into lots almost meaningless movement and color. What I’m hiding from is something that must scare me (otherwise why else would I go to so much trouble to keep it hidden?). What is it that’s so freaking me out?

I want to break thru all this (finally!—like I said, in one sense or another this has been going on for a long time). I’m not sure how, though. I’ve started reading some Carl Jung, which is a very unusual place for me to be. I’ve always been deeply distrustful of psychiatrists/psychologists: I’ve had a hard time trusting their science. So much of it seems impossible to test empirically. This means that I keep getting the whiff of religion off of it, which to me is a place where one goes to hide from reality not to seek it. But I don’t know where else to go. I’m hoping that by just providing a framework for me to kick against, if nothing else, Jung might help me tap into what I’m hiding from; maybe it will expose the tricks I’m using to hide from myself and therefore make them untenable. I want to slip deep into my subconscious and see what’s there. I want to move deeply thru the world and see what’s there. These are essentially different aspects of the same thing, mutually arising phenomena. To do this I sense I have to make a leap beyond empiricism (while steering clear of religion at all costs). Jung’s a good enough starting point for this, I’d say. Even if I dismiss him I’ll have to be closer to understanding what I truly do need from myself. I guess it’s not surprising that I’d eventually come to Jung. This interest in folktales I’ve developed in recent years must go beyond ecology—there must be some longing to tap into a deeper cultural consciousness (Jung’s collective unconscious?—Oh man, that’s a dark misty road …).I mean, like everyone else I come out of a cultural matrix and going thru that matrix is essential, unavoidable if I want to get to these places in me where I sense the meaning I’m looking for must reside.

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