06:00. I just woke from a night of unpleasant dreams that went on interminably. The actual night seems to have passed quickly with me not waking even once fully. But the dreams seemed to drag on, two dreams.
In the first dream, I was on an island that had been hit by disaster, a tsunami or perhaps a hurricane. I’d come with coworkers to help the homeless and dislocated. I had left some instructions on how to do something, and tried to phrase them so that the inhabitants of the island could understand them. But when I returned, sometime later, it seems that the inhabitants hadn’t been able to understand, and I tried again to reinterpret my meaning, but it all started getting garbled, and the dream dissipated in a fog of disappointment. My words seemed to have gradually devolved into arithmetic. Difficult, dissatisfying dream.
In the second dream, I was on the road again. I was with a friend that I remember from my college days while at Arizona State. In the real world we’d started out good friends living in adjoining apartments. We studied together, and our wives liked each other and also spent a lot of time together. But the two of them became imposing, showed up on our doorstep at awkward times, and after a year or so of that, my wife and I moved to another part of the city, but we still kept in touch with them and were good friends for a long time afterword. Haven’t heard from him in years though.
In my dream, we were on the road together, just he and I. We were stopped somewhere at the side of the road preparing our evening meal on the ground over a cook fire. We had all our ingredients spread out on the ground on tarps or sheets, and while he was gone to do something, I continued fixing dinner. I sliced up a lot of tofu, and combined it with other ingredients and made this huge pile off to the side. It was all ready to cook when he returned. But he didn’t like what I had done. He started questioning me about it, asked me if I’d reversed the flower (whatever that meant) before including it. I told him that I hadn’t, and he was displeased with me. I told him that I was a pretty good cook, that I’d been doing for myself for years, and that I liked my own cooking. I didn’t need him to tell me how to do it. He said nothing.
At this point, I believe I started to wake up. It seems that I had a foot in both worlds and my waking self started having an impact on what I was dreaming. I believe I got my stuff together and left to go on on my own, but whatever the case, the dream ended. A dissatisfying dream, argumentative but not violent as so many of my negative dreams become.
The day before, I had taken a nap in the afternoon. I’ve noticed for sometime now, years really, that I have negative dreams following napping like that. Plus, I seem to not dream as deeply as when I haven’t had a nap during the day before. These dreams seem to come more from my shadow and are taken from memories of past occurrences, or at least involve people from my past. The first dream seemed not to involve memories, but the second did, at least involved this person from my past. I would say that these dreams are more about my ego psychology and my Shadow, do not contain material from my Collective Unconscious, and are therefore less interesting for what I’m doing now. Time will tell if these dreams are significant for the purposes of Active Imagination. Of course, ego dreams, and particularly material from my Shadow, are some of the most valuable for use in writing fiction, since they are laden with conflict, and they seem to be less concerned with symbolism.