(Warning for a bit of creepy-crawly body horror.)
The amazing Do Mi Stauber recently mentioned a dream interpretation technique that was right up my street. When you have a dream that feels like it has some big psychological/spiritual meaning to it but you can’t work out what, try talking as one of the characters in your dream and see what they say.
Of course, being me, I decided to interpret this as ‘interview the characters in your dream’. I’ve tried this a few times and found it really revealing. The trouble is that it tends to be SO revealing as to be unbloggable even by my standards but today I managed to do an interview that was at least half bloggable.
The dream went like this: I was in my childhood bedroom and I saw some huge bloated green caterpillars and a big black rattlesnake. I remember thinking about snakes with empathy, like how everyone assumes they’re evil when they’re not, and everyone assumes they’re aggressive when they actually only attack humans if they’re scared and trying to defend themselves.
Later I dreamed I was looking for an ex of mine after an argument. I couldn’t find him but I did discover an amazing new method of flying. Then I felt a little pain in my stomach. I looked and I saw a HUGE maggot crawling out of my skin! Then some teenage girls and Billy Boyd showed up and told me I should really see a doctor about that.
After I woke up I decided to interview the huge maggot (there’s a sentence you’ve probably never heard before…) I discovered that it was a representation of emotional stuff from past relationships. The similar creepy-crawlies in my childhood bedroom were aspects of it from childhood – the caterpillars represented my relationships with people I had crushes on, and the snake was someone I was afraid of.
So then this happened:
Dream Maggot: I am huge because you fed me. Even after the relationships were over, you kept on feeding me. You kept on filling yourself with all this stuff that I could eat. And now you’re not, I’m leaving. That’s what maggots do.
Me: What was I feeding you?
Dream Maggot: Unsovereignty.
Me: Wow, I think there’s still a fair amount of THAT in me.
Dream Maggot: I didn’t say I HAVE LEFT. I said I AM LEAVING. As you stop feeding me with unsovereign thoughts, I will leave and you’ll be shocked by how much of me there was in you. Both the fierce black snake that you created with your fear of that person, and the bloated green larvae that you created with your slavish devotion to those other people, are in me.
Me: Oh, larvae because they were kids, we were kids!
Dream Maggot: Yes, and the relationships were undeveloped.
Me: So those don’t actually represent the actual people, but the things I created, like, the relationships and mental images I created with my thoughts and feelings towards them.
Dream Maggot: Sort of like thought-forms. You’ve had a giant worm in your guts eating, eating, eating and distorting everything and you made me and put me there. The people who were the objects of your unsovereign thoughts and feelings didn’t make me, you made me.
Me: Wow, I feel kind of guilty about that.
Dream Maggot: Well, it doesn’t matter to me, I’ll just go and find food somewhere else.
Me: I mean I feel guilty towards myself, I feel like I should say sorry to myself.
Dream Maggot: You didn’t know any better.
Me: Still… Sorry, me. (slightly weepy smile) That’s okay, me, I forgive you. (To Dream Maggot) Thank you. Why are you helping me, why are you teaching me? Why are you so wise and articulate instead of just a greedy angry bug?
Dream Maggot: I guess because you’re listening.