02:30 am. It impresses me that when we see something that we’ve created in the real world or is supposed to exist in the real world, and we view it as a metaphor that says something about life, it actually says even more about the psychic world. It’s not just that we can learn more about ourselves by viewing the psychic world, but we can learn more about the psychic world also by studying the real world and that metaphorical relationship. We say that the real world is but a metaphor of the psychic world, so that the two share a relationship, and it’s not one sided.
I just woke from a dream where I was traveling along a road. Seems I might have been on foot. Yes, I believe I was. I might have also been with my older brother, but whomever I was with was only a faint presence. I was looking for a coffee shop or some other building, perhaps a place where we’d once lived. The place meant a great deal to us because we’d had some wonderful times there. I thought I saw it across the street, but the street was a major thoroughfare, and we had to cross several lanes of traffic and a median with all sorts of fences and electrical cables to get there.
I’d had a dream the night before concerning my older brother. All I can remember of it was that we were arguing, and I was telling him that if he kept doing something to me, I was going to fight him, and that I might not be able to whip him and might lose but I’d keep fighting, and I would break his nose. He seemed quite putout with me.
But in tonight’s dream he was a minimal presence, and I was trying to get across the street to this place where I’d been before. We’d had so much fun there. I turned right to walk along the sidewalk to find a place to cross, but then the street was full of construction, and the construction was not normal. Not only had they torn up the street, but the construction had also taken down part of the buildings that lined the street, although I believed that the building I was looking for was still there. As I walked, the construction got heavier, the entire street was torn up, and everything was piles of dirt and dirt roadways. I came upon a big chasm, and some men who were also walking in the area had fallen into it. Very deep and dark. I crawled to the edge to peer inside and almost knocked off some rocked onto them. Some people were trying to get them out. I walked around to the end of the chasm, and my brother was talking to someone inside the hole. He was standing right at the edge, looking down into the darkness. Quite suddenly, he took a step forward and dropped into the hole, intentionally. My brother was an amazing athlete and could do just about anything. But I was very afraid that he would hurt himself. The drop wasn’t just very deep but perhaps a thousand feet. When he hit the bottom, he did get hurt, and he started screaming, and I wondered if he had broken his legs or perhaps killed himself. The other men climbed out of the chasm by an old rickety ladder on its side, and in a little bit, so did my brother, hurt but seemingly not really injured.
And then I woke.
Upon waking, I thought about the dream, and the thought that immediately came to me (I was still a good bit asleep) was that my subconscious was trying to tell me something about itself, that the dream wasn’t about my brother at all, but that the content from the unconscious was being wrapped in that subject because that was the only way it could come across into consciousness. Or perhaps a better way of saying it was that he was the material immediately available as wrapping for the subject matter to be sent across. Perhaps all the dreams about my brother I’ve had lately, and I’m not sure I’ve had many but what few they were, were all about something else.
I’m not certain that it is crucial to understand these dreams. They do seem to be relatively easy to remember, and I believe that is the thing that is important. I just need to process the content regardless if I understand it or what it represents. I just need to experience it. I’m not even sure that remembering it is important. These dreams seem to be processes, a part of a process, and understanding them and interpreting them isn’t necessarily important or necessary for what needs to occur. We mustn’t think we always have to know, understand, and realize everything about the dream to facilitate the process. Sometimes the process is working just fine, and we only get a glimpse of it by chance. Being conscious of a process and understanding a process isn’t always necessary or even at times desirable. We shouldn’t always beat up our dreams by forcefully remembering them. Dreams can be delicate things. Sometimes they are like butterfly wings, and we could keep our hands and our memories off them.
I live with my son and daughter-in-law, and recently I’ve noticed that I’ve been overly sensitive about some issues and getting my feelings hurt. I’ve wondered if it isn’t caused by what my main character is dealing with in the novel I’m writing. As a vampire, she’s been abandoned by her friends and lovers, and has been abused by the authorities, the church, and even entities from the divine world. She’s gone off to live with a vampire colony for protection. There she’ll find security, but she’ll have to deal with great evil. When she first encounters this evil, it will scare her terribly and freeze her soul, if she does still have a soul.
My own descent into these feelings of abuse don’t seem to mirror my characters completely, but then the feelings are wrapped in different packages. Authors are known for taking on the emotional problems of their characters, and this could well be what is happening to me. Of course, that’s the way we write characters. We give them what we find within ourselves. Sometimes I feel that I pull material from veins that I’m not sure sure should be mined. I don’t believe everything we come into contact with in our psyche should be explored. This can go beyond being personally abusive and become down right dangerous. I’m not sure all the psychic monsters we encounter deserve a voice in the real world. Not everything that’s eager to be heard should be allowed to speak. We do need to maintain control of our fictional writings as well as our lives. As Murray Stein has said, sometimes we live a myth, or more accurately it can live us. Everything we explore when writing fiction, we in some way cultivate within ourselves. Sometimes the cultivation becomes more a part of the process than does the exploration. Some things we should cultivate, or I guess I should say that some things are beneficial when cultivated, but others can be destructive to both ourselves and the world in which we live. This is where we must make a moral judgement, and sometimes it is only a preference, but the point is that we must navigate the psychic realm with caution. I’m still not sure that we should accept everything we encounter in an Active Imagination session, as Jung tells us we should. I’m not sure that everything we encounter within our own psyche has our best interest at heart, nor can we withstand its evil intent.
My main character in my vampire novel encounters great evil in the chapters I’m currently writing. She will be initiated into the ways of evil. But she is a special being, having been turned by a divine vampire herself. She has to give over a part of herself to this evil so she can understand, make her way in the world, and become more fully who she is. I’m struggling with these concepts along with her. And now I realize that I am experiencing the same danger as she. I have to be willing to undergo that initiation just the same as does she. I hadn’t realized that until now. My concern for my character is my concern for myself. Not something I intended. I’ve bogged down in a couple of chapters over this, and now I can see more clearly why. The other part of it is that once I made the decision to have her initiated into the mysteries of evil, I became much more pleased with the story. The fact that she had to let evil in seemed to make the story work and to add a depth of meaning I hadn’t imagined.
And this brings to the surface the question of what we do with great evil when we find it within ourselves? Is it necessary to let it become a part of ourselves to understand how to deal with it? If we don’t, do we then project evil out into the world? Is letting it into ourselves the only way to not work evil on the world? Must we become part evil to protect the world from it? From ourselves?
It’s times like these that I realize that these are not academic questions, and that I’m not just writing fiction. I must have had an inkling of this, or I would not have been interested in writing a vampire story in the first place. Seems that this is the central question raised by this vampire novel: How do we deal with our own evil nature? But then I keep coming back to this question of not just evil but great evil. And now I guess that I will define great evil as that evil which is beyond human capacity to control. It seems that Jung thought we could always control it because he says to accept it but be cautious of what we bring of it into the real world. What we encounter with in our psyche has no moral judgment. We have to make that moral judgement ourselves. I’m just questioning if we should even speak psychically with great evil.