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How Dreams Analyze Dreams

Dreamed 1994/5/31 by Chris Wayan


I jolt awake from a vivid nightmare. I reach for paper to write it down. As I do, lying on my bed, early morning, notice there's a round mirror across the room reflecting an oval slice of me naked, isolated, from underneath. I see a scrotum, frustrum, and penis, all a strange gray-purple-rose color, wrinkled as a brain, the whole thing looking vaguely diamond-shaped and quite unlike genitalia, in fact quite unlike anything human at all. An alien growth of some sort... animal, plant? I think of books like MY BODY, MY SELF saying "examine yourself in the mirror!" next to photos of women looking in total shock at the unexpected intricacy of what had always been an undifferentiated "down there."

Well, looked at from underneath and isolated like this, male genitals are just as weird as women's--and kind of similar.

I get back to writing my dream. It was a long one, good recall for once. Rare lately. That's significant. For a long time I thought the length of my dreams was mainly a function of my interest, how many details I recorded. But I see now it's not so. Some puffing up or sketchiness of a dream-account can happen, but the variation is no more than 10-25%. I write what I recall, pretty fairly and concisely. So just counting the words IS a pretty fair estimate of how vivid and how complex the dream-events were. Short records mean my memories are being censored, since I don't stop dreaming of course. And there have been only two kinds of nights lately: thousand-word epics or nothing, very little in between.

This MEANS something!

Then I wake up again. That was a dream too.



Anyway--back to the nightmare I woke up from, that I tried to write down when the mirror distracted me. I bet you forgot all about that. Cocks and pussies are so much more fascinating. But I didn't forget. Of course I wrote the dream down, so I have an advantage...

So. The nightmare.

The protagonist was the composer Schumann... I heard he was a rather happy guy, and so he stayed a second-string composer. Not enough sturm und drang und angst... he wrote "The Unfinished Symphony." Does Schumann symbolize unfinished creativity? Wait--am I confusing him with Schubert?

Well whatever he symbolizes, I'm him--Schumann.

So, something goes wrong, and I, Schumann went to see what it was... and I was convinced up till the last moment that it was a VIRUS killing people. Just a health problem. We can fix it with herbs and vitamins. And then, below the villa, amid the vines and bricks and grapes and all, he/I reached the cliff into the void, and the monster leapt out of hiding. Not a virus at all! A huge, intelligent, malevolent being. With sharp teeth. The monster pounces...

and I woke in panic.


In the dream, I knew that the whole drama was written by Kate Wilhelm, it was a novel titled "Margaret and I." (A real novel, of course, but why did I connect it with THIS?)

Oh! hypnosis! In Kate Wilhelm's book, a man uses hypnosis to exploit Margaret, both sexually and professionally. And her unconscious LETS him, because it's curious and wants to try sex without responsibility. But even her unconscious feels trapped after a while, as if there's an unconscious under the unconscious. Yet... the secrets uncovered still lead Margaret to (relative) liberation. Not a simple situation! But then, minds aren't. At least Margaret's.

Clearly the dream must be comparing this to the hypnosis I'm trying. Yet my therapist isn't exploiting me this way! Is the dream saying the monster who makes me ill is essentially a second hypnotist, an internalized abuser? Or is the monster my memory of all the shitty shrinks and counselors I had earlier in life?

And I wake AGAIN.

All THAT analysis was a dream too!



The paper is blank. All of it was dreaming. I have to write all this out again... before I forget. If you found this one hard going, think how I feel!

Over and over... dreams in dreams about dreams.

LISTS AND LINKS: You Are Lunch - nightmares - nested dreams - mistakes - dreams about dreams - therapy - gender - body image - hypnosis - a 2nd dream provoked by Kate Wilhelm: Ai Zhong!

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