February 01, 2008
A good dream can help you get out of--or into--the woods.
The theme at Goat Rope this week has been dreams. If this is your first visit, please click on the earlier posts. There's also stuff on current events.
To wrap up, I'm going to lay out El Cabrero's theory of dreams. Here goes...
First, I have no idea what dreams really are or even whether they are things we experience in sleep or construct when we wake up. However, I do think they provide a viewpoint from another part of ourselves. Our minds and brains are bigger, wiser and weirder than we often think they are. They work even when we're not aware of it. Sometimes a dream teach you a lot about what's doing on inside or even outside.
Second, not all dreams are created equal. Some just seem to be random static. Others evaporate like dew. Some are obvious examples of wishes, like dreaming you've already gotten up so you can sleep a little longer. But some dreams are strong and may be worth attention.
When I have a strong dream, I try hard to remember it before it disappears. Sometimes I write them down. Then I ponder the story. As Freud and others suggested, sometimes it's good to break them down into component parts and see what thoughts or feelings are associated with them to try to find the latent dream thoughts.
Some of the best advice I've ever got came to me in dreams. Here are some examples.
*At a low point in my life, I had a real sense of being treated unjustly. In a dream, I dug up an old casket full of bones that proved my point. I carried the casket with me wherever I went. At some point in the dream, it occured to me that I had lots of things to do and places to go in life and I couldn't do it carrying around a box of dead bones. Message: let go!
I'm not saying God speaks in dreams, but if that were the case, it might just be a message like that.
*At another stressful point in life, I dreamed that Cheng Man-ch'ing, a legendary master of the martial art of tai chi chuan, came to the town I was living in and was giving lessons. In real life, he had been dead for more than 20 years. I woke up determined to learn tai chi, which has a lot of health and stress benefits. It helped get me over the hump and I've practiced it most days for the last 10 years.
*Another time, I dreamed that an older person I was close to had died. I felt really bad that I had not been very attentive to this person lately while they lived. I woke up determined to be more attentive to this person while I could.
So here's my advice: dream on--and pay attention! You just might learn something.
TURNING THE WHEEL. Buddhism is growing in popularity among China's middle class.
RECESSING. Business Week asks about how real the prosperity bubble was. Some may ask "What prosperity bubble?" Also from Business Week, here's an item on fixes for the economy which suggests infrastructure investments and questions the wisdom of a corporate tax break as a stimulus measure.
NEW NOTES. Here's the latest version of Jim Lewis' Notes from Under the Fig Tree, complete with crosses, Civil War talk, color, and hanging chads.
ALL THINGS IN MODERATION--including happiness, according to new research.
JUDGE MASSEY BLANKENSHIP BENJAMIN made the Wall Street Journal's law blog.
MAN BITES DOG. The notoriously anti-union NLRB is petitioning a federal judge to issue an injunction which would make Benjamin--I mean Massey Energy rehire union workers and recognized the UMWA as bargaining agent. Will wonders never cease?
HOW PHILANTHROPIC. Big bank BB&T has been giving away millions to promote the "philosophy" of Ayn Rand. Marshall is the latest mark.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED