• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Sep 2014

      The Dream With The Native American Man

      Hello everyone!

      I've rarely ever remembered my dreams, but I've remembered this one for almost twenty years! Around age four or five I had a dream where I woke up in my house, which looked as normal as ever, walked down the hall to the living room and looked out the bay window into my backyard. There, sitting on three swings I saw my father, my grandfather, and an unknown Native American man - not young, but not elderly either. Then, I calmly walked outside and stood in front of them. There was nothing particularly strange about the men. I'd always had good relationships with my father and grandfather, but I remember being terrified, though I don't know why. I only remember standing and staring at the three of them before I woke up - no speaking or other movement. That was it! It was a simple dream, but it stuck with me all this time! For years I was so afraid of the even the memory of it, though I could never explain why.

      The only thing happening in my life at that point was my parents' divorce and it was about as amicable as a divorce could be. In relation to the Native American man, I have no idea why he was there. I was never interested in that history until I was much older. The only things I can connect him to are the land our house was on, which once been home to the Miami; my grandfather, who was distantly of Cherokee descent; and the Native American spirit of a man we often saw around our house - though I was never afraid of him like I was of the man in the dream and I did not recognize him as that spirit. When I was older, I also lost a chunk of time (about fifteen minutes) while in the wood about a quarter of a mile away and while I don't remember what I saw in that time, I immediately connected it to that dream from years earlier.

      I know this all sounds odd, but if anyone has an opinion, I'd love to hear it! Please let me know if I can clarify anything further!
      Last edited by BraveheartB; 09-18-2014 at 04:15 AM.

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Apr 2013
      It is not uncommon that the first dream we remember is from that exact age, and I'm not only saying that because that is my experience too.

      After returning to my own childhood dream now and again as time passed by I've recently found to my astonishment how well it follows an archetypal pattern of initiation (Eliade). An initiation, or rite of passage, is a ritual aiming at transforming a person, psychologically to move from one conscious state to another (Edinger); for instance from being a boy to being an adult.

      In modern society we don't have these rituals anymore, but as an archetypal pattern, it is an image or a pattern of behaviour that may get activated spontaneously in our unconscious (Jung). In certain stages in life the imagery appears in dreams, for instance (Campbell).

      Fact is, though, that even in times when these traditions were important, initation by dreams were accepted; for instance, if you had a certain type of initiation dream, you were regarded as a shaman, even though you didn't do the proper rituals (Eliade).

      Dreams with this type of content obviously appear at a certain age for the first time, at the age you were when you had yours. - What type of "passage" would the unconscious provoce, or reflect? To keep it short: From being an unconscious person identified with the family as a group, to an conscious person aware of one's own individuality.

      It that is so, then one perhaps would like to ask oneself, why at that particular time? It might very well be because of the divorce. Hypothetically speaking, you as a three year old was (psychologically) an omnipotent, unconscious child in the family's bosom, where the family is psychologically speaking an extension of oneself. Then there was a divorce, and that outer experience triggered the archetypal pattern of a rite of passage, from identification with the family, to the realization of being an individual (because the family was broken, but you are still here).

      In my case, it wasn't a divorce, but another experience that provoced that realization which in turn, or as a result of (it's a little bit of the chicken and the egg), made the unconscious display a dream which follows the pattern of a rite of passage.

      So in my mind your first dream may very well be a reflection of the archetypal pattern of a rite of passage, that take the child from one state of conscious to another; that of being a collective, "unconcious" person, to an individual, aware of oneself and one's limitations. So it is an important, private event.

      In what way would your dream display an initiation? First and foremost: The Fathers. The central image in this dream is the fathers. It is always the actual father or the tribal fathers that initiate the boy (Eliade).

      There are three fathers in the dream; the number three is a masculine number in itself (Jung), it is a dynamic number (von Franz), and it is an archetypal number for the dynamics of the masculine (the three gods in Norse mythology; the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in Christian mythology, etc). Also, it is numerically the number for time - past, present, future (von Franz); that hints that that which you see here is not something that only is something present at this particular time, but this is something which has history, and it is something that has a future too.

      The fact that they sit on swings underlines that the psychological content you see here, is not something that sits still, but it is a living dynamic, i moves within you.

      So there is your Father, and your Grandfather, the "expected" ones for this ritual, but there is also "the unknown" - the Native American. The reason he is there, is that this which is happening here is not "known" to you (or your ego consciousness), it is a mystery in the true sense of the word. The actual fathers are known to you, but the archetypal dynamic as such is not known, so there's an unknown factor in this pattern, and that is appropriately (because indians were generally speaking, and compared to Europeans at the time, very spiritual and had a living religious culture with important rites of passages and so forth) an Indian. He is the unknows third that actually makes this happen through the known fathers.

      Another important content is that you wake up. The dreams begins with you waking up. There is perhaps no better image for consciousness. You have been asleep (unconscious of yourself as an individual), but you wake up in this dream, in a way because of this dream/ritual, and you are from this point on conscious of your self as an individual being.

      And the last symbol in the dream is your fear. In rites of passages the fathers would often frighten the child, and then show him (I say him because these rituals were almost if not entirely exclusively for boys) that see, no need to worry, you are now part of our community. - But psychologically, the fear is a natural reaction of the ego consciousness when facing the Unknown. It is not possible for the child's ego to face the great mystery (the Native American) without fear, because it is truly ”the other” (the unconscious). So that is why the dream ego is frightened.

      So to summarize: This dream seems to reflect an rite of passage, from being unconscious to being conscious, an archetypal pattern that was activated by the divorce.

      If you remember the next dream you had after this one, it may be one, two or three years later, you may find that that dream is a continuation of this pattern, and if so, I would expect that it has the female content that is lacking in this dream.

      To show you that I'm not just pulling stuff out of my hat, I have made some references in the text. There's no need for footnotes in a internet forum, I agree, but I wanted to show you that these matters have been researched by men and women quite thoroughly over the years, and that you may study the subject further if you would like to. -- If so, I would especially like to recommend Children's Dreams by Jung, for a general theory about the nature of dreams, and several interpretation of children's dreams as remembered by adults.

      Campbell, Joseph, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Novato 2008
      Edinger, Edward, Ego and Archetype, Boston 1972.
      Eliade, Mircea, Shamanism – Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, Princeton 1964.
      von Franz, Marie-Louise, On Dreams and Death, Boston 1987.
      Jung, C. G., Children’s Dreams: Notes from the seminar given in 1936-1940, Princeton 2008.

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