The Dream ( It happened in 1981 in the fall as best I can date it) . I rarely dream and I have never had a dream like this one, previously or afterwards.
I'd been asleep for a while when quite suddenly I seemed to wake up, laying to the left of my husband who was asleep. A door on the other side of him was open enough to let a slender line of light into the room. I felt myself get up and walk around my sleeping husband towards the door then open it, somehow knowing I was asleep in my bed! The door opened onto a dark hallway but just across from where I was standing was another door, only slightly open. A brighter light was coming from the opening. I walked towards it and opened the door to a brightly lit room that I recognized immediately as the basement of one of our favorite local squaredance callers. Two men were in the room, one facing me, the other man had his back to me.
The man facing me saw me and his face showed that he recognized me silently in a familiar way. His face lit up as he lifted his head in a particular way he has. Nothing was said throughout the 'event' but I felt that he seemed very glad to see me.
I remember thinking in my dream as I lay in my bed: "He is so nice." My husband and I had been trying to learn advanced and challenge level squaredancing with him for a few years before going to the other man's club. This one was gracious always, and made everyone welcome always.
The other man whose back was towards me saw the reaction and he turned towards me. As soon as he saw me he immediately extended his right arm towards me. I walked towards him without hesitation, standing next to him so that his arm fell lightly, naturally across my shoulders.
I felt that arm, a real warm arm and a warm hand lightly placed on my shoulder!
Laying in my bed, knowing I was asleep I felt a real warm arm around my shoulders and felt a real warm hand rest lightly on my shoulder!
Laying in my bed, I experienced walking into this room then felt real human touch, yet I was aware of being asleep in my bed, feeling a warm arm, real flesh around me. There was no sexuality in how I felt about the man at that moment or the natural way I had responded to his outstretched arm. I just felt like I was at home; I felt like I was where I was supposed to be.
A thought came into my mind: "This is no dream. This is really happening."
As this thought emerged, I, laying in my bed asleep remembered that I'd read those exact words in a book, Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin.
This is important, don't slip over this detail: Knowing I was in my bed, asleep, I recognized that a thought had occurred into my mind that I remembered having read in a book. The words had been abstracted exactly as it had been written from a book I'd read many years ago. "This is no dream. This is really happening'. was Rosemary's thought while she was in a drugged state, being impregnated. . The book had fascinated me so much that I read it in one afternoon.
Sleeping, yet I was standing in a room with two men, one of whom had made me feel very strange in real life, because he seemed unapproachable. I had felt the beginning of a need to get to know him. This man had nothing of the easy friendliness of the other man, he had a reputation for being harsh, demanding which was the opposite of the other man. They were both teachers of advanced and challenge levels of square dancing, but the man who had made me welcome in the dream made it difficult to belong to his club because of his reputation for being 'mean' to his dancers. Advanced and challenge levels of square dancing
It's an important detail that the friendly man had brought advanced and challenge levels of square dancing to our area. He was not a caller himself but he was an accomplished dancer and was trying to develop a club so he and his wife would be able to dance at the level they loved. He used taped recordings of famous callers to teach his class and he put no barriers up to anyone that wanted to dance with his club. The other man was a caller, he and his wife were difficult to say the least, to belong to their club.
The man who had his arm across my shoulders and I turned as a unit to walk out of the room. As we left, he extended his left hand out with his fingers splayed apart in a way he had, in a gesture of farewell to the other man.
That was the dream. What I've written below the red line is contained in other places in the site, its background information that I didn't know about when I had the dream.
More than 15 years, event filled years passed after the dream. The stream of thought that began afterwards was always about the man who had put his arm around my shoulder, the live caller. The tape caller had another meaning and he never was involved in the stream of thought that began after the dream. The symbolism took a long time to become aware of but he 'represented' past authors, whose 'written records' were available and their ideas 'used', (Ouspensky, William Blake, Etc)
The important details were: A live caller and one that used 'recordings' of other callers to teach, they were both silent in the dream. There were no words or sounds from them. A thought occurred to me in the dream that I knew I'd read in a book. I had 'thought' while I was in bed, but I saw and felt as though I were standing in a room. .
After that dream a band of 'non-stop thinking' began to move through my mind. The stream of thought was about the dream and this one man 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without stopping so that I could not sleep normally. The dream created so much thought content that I was astonished that a short dream, even as vivid as it had been, could generate so much thought. Obviously the stream of thought had primary attention but I was unawares there IS primary and secondary attention in 1981.
I had also noticed an almost unbearable noise in my head that did not seem to come from my ears. When I noticed it the first time I wept and sobbed: "Oh, no! No one could ever get used to that!" The noise was a combination of sounds, I have never been able to describe it, tuning fork vibrations, whistle, steam emissions, I had no silence in my 'head' afterwards. The dream and the noise occurred at somewhat the same time as best I remember now.
For at least 4 years after 1982 the stream of 'non-stop thinking' moved relentlessly through my mind and the content was always about the man in the dream, there wasn't anything sexual or romantic in the thought. .
I could not have grasped that a shift had taken place: this content was what I was looking at primarily, and that what was going on in the exterior world where my 'normal activities had always had my attention, receded into 'secondary perception'. Deeply buried behind this stream of thought, yet I could 'see' and be curious about the change in my habits, how my body felt, and the thought about the dream.
The content of this stream of thought remained on this one man, and it was concerned with certain circumstances in his life that I had begun to notice until after 1985 or thereabouts. New content drifted into my thought that I could see was 'using' information I read in books that I'd begun to read, feeling compelled to read them. They were non-fictional books,and because it hurt my head to read I was puzzled by feeling compelled to read them whether I understood them or not. Perhaps the 'force of habit' is real.
His relationship to his wife had become somewhat puzzling to me although there was often 'gossip' about them so others noticed something unusual also in their relationship. That was the original source of my increasing attention towards him after we began to go to their house for lessons after we moved to the same city they lived in. His wife had been coming to my house every week for a year to try to learn to sew by the time I had the dream. She'd mentioned something about him one day telling me that he loved her so much he could not bear to be away from her for even one night.
After a time what she'd said seemed to be true, but strangely true. She had also told me she wanted to have the kind of marriage her parents had, that they had lived as one person. Later when I met her parents and remembered some things she'd told me, this began to seem true of her marriage also, but strangely tragically true. He seemed devoted to her, attentive and I knew that he did many things males do not usually do because she had told me she disliked cooking, shopping, etc. In this situation, something about her idea which she'd told me was her hearts desire, of two people living as one person seemed oddly literal. The feeling that in a literal sense this 'wish' was being achieved begun to haunt me strangely, vaguely without words.
I wondered vaguely why she would want to have the same kind of marriage her parents had because something she'd told me lurked around my mind: I'd asked her about her thick glasses one day during a sewing session, if she'd always had such thick glasses. She told me that when she was in the second grade her teacher had told her parents she seemed to need glasses, so she'd been given glasses. But, she told me, the first pair made her very angry because they didn't change anything. Then her parents found out they were only thick window glass! So the second pair had made it possible for her to see . The sense of wondering to myself, why her own parents would not realize their child could not see emerged, but I said nothing to her about this.
What was going on in my mind in 1981 had begun with the simple seeming situation of trying to learn to do advanced and challenge level square dancing, then finding that as a couple my husband and I had walked into a situation of 'opposites', without knowing anything about opposites. The two men in the dream were the same in one idea: they were passionate about squaredancing but about how to teach it, they differed. The one man was accommodating and basically welcomed everyone that wanted to belong to the club but the other man had imposed strict standards on joining their club. It was the first and only club I've known about in which the husband and wife worked together the way this couple did, to write the figures he called. She and he worked as a pair in writing his figures, which were entrancing and fascinating when we could accomplish them. They were often asked which of them had devised the difficult, challenging movements we'd found so thrilling but they would not say who wrote what. This was often the topic of conversation, wondering just how much of 'his' calling was 'her' work.
All of these things and circumstances I'd noticed in their club triggered in me a thought one night, about this caller who was so agreeable to his wife, so helpful and attentive to her in contrast to what seemed a certain ruthless attitude to the few people who remained with him year after year. The thought occurred into my mind as I listened to him initiate that evening's lesson.' I believe this happened after the dream but I'm not certain.
"Oh, no! Oh God NO! NOT HIM!! Oh, God not HIM!!"" . The thought: ""Oh, no! Oh God NO! NOT HIM!! Oh, God not HIM!!" opened up a flood of tears and a body that was literally twisted, the way a drenched towel is twisted to expel the water. The feeling of grief in my body after that thought emerged initiated a period of terrible weeping. I cannot describe how it felt or how long it went on.
The situation in my own home had changed very much when the weeping began. We'd had an uninsured fire and it generated a flow of argument because this building was at that point suitable to tear down and build something nicer. My husband began to repair it himself, in addition to working full time, I had begun to 'decorate' a duplex our son owned so I felt committed to finish it even though I was in such distress myself as I had begun to feel in my body and in my mind
Tears rained out of my eyes in such quantity that I could not understand how my body could produce them. I was drenched with them. I was puzzled that they felt like they were being wrung out of my body; it was such painful weeping. I began to think and made reference to myself then as a 'towel person'. The source of the term 'towel person' was in having observed an exhibit in which three baby monkeys were 'mothered' by objects from the moment their eyes were opened. One mother was a board, the other was a soft towel and one had a real mother. Only the baby that had a real mother had vitality and brightness. Knowing the source of the term I used came from having seen this exhibit, corresponds to the way I remembered having read the words "This is no dream. This is really happening." in the book, Rosemary's Baby.
The 'recognition of the source of the term 'towel person' formed in my mind without any volition or will of my own, I didn't realize this was a new kind of perception, I was 'watching' into my mind. . The body condition was wretched in contrast to the nearly 5 decades of never having that kind of misery. I'd had wounds on my body but there was no way to explain the heaviness, the terrible trembly feelings in my legs that would not let me lay still, sit still or rest. I began to do many things that I'd not done before, noticing that this was 'opposite to normal for me to do', that was new and it marked those changes.
When I read a phrase much later about 'archetypal weeping' and about Ramah, whose tears could not be stopped I felt the term 'archetypal weeping' might explain the body wrenching flood of tears that I wept every day for nearly 7 years. I remember the first day that I did not weep.
I remember going to bed on night, thinking: "I didn't weep today." because by that point in time I realized the man and his wife had been the object of my attention for a definite reason, there was a similarity in our lives that I'd not suspected and could not have understood with the ordinary 'sense', and I didn't have enough knowledge then. There was a situation in their life in it's psychologically described reality, that they did not know about, nor suspect themselves. By 1989 I realized we lived basically identical lives at that point.
I began therapy in 1983 and began to read William Glassers' Reality Therapy after noticing it in the psychiatrist's office. I asked what it was about then he offered me the book which I struggled through . When I returned it he offered me another book by Glasser, Mental Health or Mental Illness. I struggled through it too, noticing one sentence in it with more attention: "All behavior aberrations are the result of an inability or an evasion of responsibility to satisfy the needs of the organism."
Then one day after reading that book I was in the local library when I noticed the white spine of Stations of The Mind by the same William Glasser. Just name familiarity caused me to check it out and read it. This book had information that was as new to me as the discovery of America was to the European world, about mechanisms of mind that restrict and filter what enters consciousness. These mechanisms 'control for comfort'. I was astonished but interested at that point. Soon after that I chanced to notice a book, The Doors of Perception by Aldus Huxley that introduced the information that there are times when the mind opens up so to speak and admits more 'reality'.
If you consider the titles of the books I've just mentioned, there is a connection between them and what was literally happening in my mind, in my life. It's easy to recognize now, a 'theme' is in the literal words of the titles, linking them together. Its nearly impossible to describe how many events had to happen before I began, just began, to make that association myself. I'd had a 'whack on my head' in an automobile accident in 1981, I'd driven off a wrongly marked DEAD END street, and I was not aware life sends 'messages' to the individual through such real world activities.
After July 31, 1984 the dream and the content of that scrolling band of 'non-stop thinking' began to find a match in the exterior world, although I was not able to notice it until about the middle of 1987. A few events happened that made it impossible NOT to notice the complete convergence of 'content' in my thought with books I chanced to find in a variety of places, as well as with events that happened involving at first the people in the two squaredance clubs. Then the content of the band of thought moved quite slowly away from where it had begun, and where it has remained 'stuck' for more than five years, veering into an area I could not have suspected or expected it to move: into the content of books I had begun to read that were very unusual for me to choose. Paul Davies book, Other Worlds was the first book about quantum phsyics that I read that had content in it that really startled me, the words seeming to 'jolt' me literally because they linked up with certain memories of myself from a very young age: "The importance of an observer." I had not read the words anywhere yet but they were already in my mind, they had been in my mind in a kind of conscious place after one night in 1982. They had emerged faintly, so faintly it is impossible to describe how they 'wafted' into my mind one night as I looked around the room.
That was the night I had the first stage of a 'mindquake' that finished 7 years later in the fall of 1989. As I looked around the room, noticing something quite new to me, wondering to myself " I don't believe another person but me would understand this. How on Earth will I ever explain this? Who on Earth will ever believe me?" a long string of memories emerged into my mind that I remembered afterwards. Incidents that had happened when I was much younger only once, came into my mind as though the memory had been stored safely away and the location was accessed, the contents of certain moments in my past were displayed in a flash of time, as easily as we now retrieve and display information on a computer.
At that time I was trying to type on an old manual typewriter and finding I could not type even one line without many errors. Because every error had to be 'whited out' or erased, it became agonizing to try to type. The misery I felt then, trying to type a letter to someone that I knew very well that had become impossible to talk to, cannot be described. The situation was extremely complicated then, when the dream and the effects of it had 'bothered' me from late in 1981 to the summer of 1984.
The fact that the man in the dream and the club he ran with his wife in such a particular 'united' way had many hidden factors and relationships to my own personal situation than I could have imagined.
Later I met someone else that was affected by the club in virtually the same way at about the same time.
He was passionately devoted to the ideals of the harsh, seemingly cruel live caller but he left for almost a year. When he returned he was gaunt, nearly skeletal (so was I) hollow eyed and not the same somewhat cheerful person he had been. He and I talked at times, only briefly but he made some comments in those talks that I believe now were very important to me. His passion for squaredancing was equal to mine but we never danced as partners, even when I had no partner. I puzzled to myself about why he never had asked me to be his partner because he had no partner himself quite often. Between 1980 and 1988 he had a variety of dance partners but until about that time he never asked me to be his partner for even one tip. Then one night he came over to me, pulled me up without asking and initiated an openness between us that had been quite distinctly absent until he 'opened up'. I was astonished at how easy he was to talk to now, as opposed to how difficult, nearly impossible it had been prior to then to talk to him.
At that point I asked him why he had left the club for so long. He said: "It was the grief. I could not bear the grief."
He could not or would not elaborate beyond that. I had noticed a lack of liveliness in this club which contrasted with the light hearted atmosphere in the other club. The difference didn't 'dawn' on me immediately, but it became obvious that something was 'dampening' the one club that did not operate at all in the other club. The 'ease' in one club and the 'dis-ease' in the other became evident physically and I related this to the terrible weeping.
What did the dream mean?
There was a distinct literalness in the dream, a re-presentation of certain actual details in my real life was made evident by it that I had to discover. I had never had a dream in which I felt human touch, nor had I felt myself to be in two places, nor had I recognized my mind generating of it's own volition, thought that had been abstracted from books I'd read. This became quite common after the dream, but in spite of being visible to me, it's significance and meaning didn't become evident until about the middle of 1987. I will relate that later.
The live caller and the tape caller in the dream had a certain relationship to 'history' and the present time (when the dream happened) that became apparent to me only with the passage of time. I became aware that in history there have been eras, periods that were experienced quite differently overall, by the human race than I'd known about. The 'dark ages' and the 'age of enlightenment' for example had been mere words I'd read in school. I'd read Emanuel Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell by 1988 and I'd begun to attend a bi-monthly service the small group held in their home. This group did not advertise themselves nor did they promote Emanuel Swedenborg, they quietly presented sermons comparing his ideas with ideas in the Bible. One prevailing idea was that there has been a flow of 'churches/eras/systems of things'' on Earth from the Most Ancient Church to the Ancient Church, and then the Church of Adam. There had been direct communication between man and heaven in the Most Ancient Church, it came less directly in The Ancient Church but in the Church of Adam there was no direct communication between man and heaven. The 'literal sense' had emerged about 6,000+ years ago, replacing a kind of 'symbolic' sense that everyone had gradually become unable to grasp. At one point my own son was active in a church that insisted the Earth was only 6,000 years old. It occurred to me eventually that some thing 6,000 years old was in that churches perception/understanding but it as not the Earth. The 'literal sense itself' in the dream was that there were two 'veins' of experience, one related to 'taped material of other well known authors' and the other was literally a 'live caller' who was activating even the 'taped material' abstracted out from highly regarded authors (William Blake; R. Maurice Bucke; Boehme) such as have written about some attribute of their encounter with 'irrational' itself. The manner in which the dream literally represented what was happening in my actual life did not emerge suddenly.
One day while I read something in Swedenborg's writings I remember a thought that occurred into my mind, that all of the 'churches/eras/systems of things' were 'history/his story' literally, since nothing has been written by the actual real world female on that scale of authorship. I had by then read quite a lot and had learned about many ideas, particularly related to psychiatry as well as a kind of book I'd often seen advertised in full page ads when I was young but never read: "Science of the Mind" by Holmes is an example.
History and it's authorship by a purely masculine mind had a beginning point that I had not suspected even in 1984 when I was thrust into the 'world of man', a purely mental world, which I believe now, man relates to somehow without knowing it's there! My 'stream of thought' about the dream began to merge quietly with other ideas not connected to the two 'callers',
Many experiences that seemed impossibly precisely timed to merge with the 'thought' on that non-stop stream of thought created a kind of 'new event', which I did not name as coincidences, I still don't think of them that way.
By the time the movie Sleepless In Seattle came out, I was still watching the stream of thought, without noticing that quite subtly and slowly the content had veered away from where it began. That a single stream of thought was moving along through my mind, like a 'tape' playing continually would not have occurred to me. Later it began to become apparent that a kind of 'coincidence' was happening, that whatever content was on the tape was meeting it's exact match in some place in the exterior world. Books that I was reading seemed 'familiar' to me, but at times a particular incident of perfect timing made it obvious that the 'tape material' was meeting it's match. I will have to write about some of those incidents.
This made it easy to recognize the 'coincidence' which was in other cases only experienced as a sense of familiarity. In 2003, it is often described as 'resonance', but that word means: re-sounding.
By 1987 the content was no longer about the man or the dream, it was beginning quite gradually to contain material that I could see was being generated from books I'd read. This gradual 'veering away' from where it had begun was one of the most critical details about the dream. It established a long point of reference by being only about the one man whose unusual way of relating to people in his club had put him at the center of a local controversy about the newly emerging All Position Dancing requirement. The circumstances between the two clubs and between my husband and our personal relationship began to fit within a single line of experience, but it was a new experience, a completely new line of thought having been established by this ongoing thought content about the dream.
I need to write something about the man whose arm felt real, warm and alive at this point to set a context for his 'meaning' in this dream: His reputation for being 'difficult' had kept us away from his club until we'd moved near to where he called. His reputation was based on (as I had to find out) his uncompromising viewpoint about his club and how to learn challenge level instruction. He insisted everyone begin again with him, because he taught the lessons on a very rigorous way, based strictly on the rules of All Position Dancing. He seemed not to have heard about the main rule that would insure a callers popularity: Let the dancers win, don't call a higher level than the floor can handle comfortable. He pushed his dancers to meet his standards, and as a result his own dancers could not easily dance with him. Yet a few dancers, we were among them adored him and remained steadfast when each years class drifted away.
When I had this dream I didn't know that dreams have meaning or that the beginning of psychiatry in Freud's time was when he wrote a book about dreams. This is important to keep in mind, that I knew nothing about psychiatric ideas when I had the dream. The dream happened one night in the fall of 1981 and afterwards I was plagued by a stream of thought about it, that I could not understand nor could it prevent it from moving relentlessly through my mind.
Not a word was spoken in the dream and although I was the observer I didn't see myself, it was a scene I looked at and only two men were in it. They were both local challenge level squaredance callers, but they were exactly opposite at that time, to each other in many ways. The names of their clubs were the Tapeworms because that caller used taped recordings to teach his classes and the Hard'n Easys had an actual live caller. These names had a particular significance when I understood the dream nearly 15 years later. There was a literalness of detail in the fact that a 'tape caller' and a 'live caller' were in the dream and I had to discover this factual level, which was not symbolic at all. Dreams are usually not interpreted 'literally'.
I'd begun to notice that I could not do many things easily that I'd always done without thinking about the 'details' when I had the dream. I went to a seminar about 12 years ago by Steven Rosen who said that every detail in a dream is always about the dreamer. Nothing is about anyone except the dreamer, so keep that in mind. I am using the names of people but now I realize their characteristics and even some circumstances in their lives at this point in Time, really were significant to what was already a detail about my own life. Names mean 'attributes' and 'circumstances' that I was not aware of when I had the dream. It was 17 years after the dream that I really understood the literal sense and the literal meaning of this dream.
Every year he had a nice class to begin with but except for a few 'diehards' they got angry and discouraged because he seemed to knowingly embarrass them, denigrate and disparage them. This did not seem to be a fact to me, for some reason that I had not begun to think about yet. I felt embarrassed myself quite often because of how he conducted his classes, I really felt that I was always the person that had caused the set to collapse because I couldn't do a movement he called. It was painful to belong to his club because other clubs laughed at us for not being 'competent dancers' to our own caller. There were times when most of the sets on the floor at one of his dances was standing around, not dancing. If one set could keep going, he called until that set could no longer keep going. However for some reason his fascinating rhythms kept us coming, because when we could do them, the flow was wondrously enchanting. Somehow the 8 people were bonded into a unit and it felt exquisite to be able to experience this 'bond'.
.He was not known for being friendly, welcoming or even 'agreeable' in any way as the other man seemed always friendly, non-judgmental as far as letting anyone that wanted to 'join the club' take square dance lessons. There were people who simply could not learn but he never made them feel unwelcome. The were complete opposites, these two men in every way except they were united in their deep passion for challenge level squaredancing.
I knew nothing about the 'interaction of opposites' in 1981 also. By watching these two clubs and in being part of them, actually moving and doing what they 'were' I began to experience a terrible 'twisted' feeling, which could not be explained until I read about the 'double bind'. One of these callers wanted to achieve a definite goal and I began to feel in my body the strange situation that arose when it began to become apparent to me that he and his wife were was actually 'short sheeting' their own stated objectives. He wanted to become nationally well known and this objective seemed within his grasp except for one thing: He could not keep enough dancers in his club to develop all levels of challenge level dancers.
It was a setting loaded with potentials that I could not have imagined then, because I knew so little about history, all of it, which includes....every thing that has been written down, in all times. There are distinct concepts that link ideas of quantum physics, the I Ching, the chess game and certain ideas about projection in psychiatry that I knew nothing about until I began to experience all the information in my body . There's an idea in psychiatry that I knew nothing about, and this one idea began to emerge through the 'drama' that was entering into my actual life at that point in time, late in 1981.
The dream made no sense to me for more than a decade and even then I couldn't relate to the actual literal sense of it: There were two callers in it:
One was a caller that used other people's lessons to teach his class., the Tapeworms, a revolting name that made us somewhat of a joke to other clubs. He could not call himself and there were no advanced and challenge level clubs in the area. In order to have a place to dance he had to teach enough people and keep them interested, so he chose to use recordings of nationally well known squaredance callers.
One of the callers used only his own methods, giving no quarter to how people felt about him or his methods to teach his students. He gave no evidence that he needed the admiration or respect of anyone else, when it required of him that he adapt to their standards. His apparent disregard for the main idea that would make a caller popular made him acquire a formidable reputation, which kept us away until we moved into his area. Later I began to notice that his reputation for being 'mean', and 'thoughtless' did not seem to apply to him.
This is where the confusion began to emerge: when I noticed how kind he was to his wife, how often he gave every evidence of being very kind to her, then kind beyond anything normal to his wife. I remember thinking one day: "How could a kind and gentle man like him, beat a dog?"
The 'mixed signals' that I was looking at in this setting began to emerge in my body.
If there are mixed signals, there are signals. The signal may be invisible until it gets visibility in some way, but this is how it began, with a simple dream.