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A Healing Dream

The following report was published in WomanSpirit magazine, Summer Solstice 1978, Volume Four, Number Sixteen, Box 263, Wolf Creek, Oregon, 97497. It is entitled "A Healing Dream", by Caroling, Monte Rio, California. It begins with a dream, continues with introspective journaled dreamwork (in Jungian, Fritz Perls mode), and finishes with interaction in dream class.


A husky-looking man and I are out on a hill. It's like a hill in the area (Sonoma County, California), wild and wooded. We're concerned with the whole hill. We've been seeing to it that many water systems are installed on all the springs. These might just be in the form of plugs. At this moment the water pressure is turned on (we turn it on) and I'm wondering if the unplugged springs might be spouting water like crazy. Then the husky man (standing up above me and slightly to the right) leans over toward me saying, "Well, Caroling, I'm afraid it's time for you to go." I think he means it in a polite social way, but he puts out his hands to strangle me. They are big, strong hands. I wake up with my hands raised to resist his as they close in. I'm quite warm.


(I have learned in my dream class with Azima Lila Forest to be different parts of my dream. So I write on.)

The man: (I'm pretending I'm the man in this dream.)

I hate Caroling. I'll stop her for good. Look at her. We turn the water on and there she is alert, eyes darting around, trying to sense where the springs are. She wants them for herself. She's only interested in them for herself. I want them for me. She doesn't care about me a bit. She always sees things for herself. Why should I bother with her? I'm bigger and stronger than she and I'm above her on the hill. I'm sure I can kill her with my bare hands. In fact it will be a pleasure. I'll bury her, feet down. lying on this hill and she can be one with nature. She's always talking about it, causing trouble, holding up work, just wanting to enjoy things, dreaming, being happy, whereas I'm the one who does all the work. I get things done. So she can just lie down here peacefully and not get in my way anymore.

Q (for Questioner): But don't you love her and won't you miss her happiness? Couldn't you cherish and protect her and be together with her? Doesn't she really work all the time too? You'll probably kill yourself if you kill her. Stop before it's too late. Tell her how you feel.

Man: OK. Caroling, I feel like killing you. You know I always keep you in line but you're always fighting me. I'm tired. What's the use of anything.

Caroling: Caroling has tears in her eyes. She wants to wake up, but can there be any hope here? Time and time again she's looked up to this man with the springy feeling that they could be happy together. And every time her heart is broken. How can one heart be so continually broken? He's too rough for her. He won't stop to listen when she says, "Hush, what's that delicate sound? I would like to hear it." He claims she's a time waster, always chasing after dreams and wisps of fantasies. He sees her as a butterfly chaser. He has no use for butterflies. He doesn't hear faint tantalizing sounds. He makes her cooped up in her own private world. How many times has she hoped that they could climb the hill together, doing the work, but talking about the beauty of the place and sharing the love of what it's like to be her now. But every time he feels he has to do all the work. He has no man to help him and he feels I'm not good enough. So he shuts me out and says I'm no good. He makes me feel like a worthless child. All we have to do here is work with the water. And I'm just as good at it as he is. He's all wound up with his self image. He sees himself as so big and muscled. He's never satisfied with himself, always wanting to carry bigger rocks. To get more done in a day. To make a movie of his magnificent self, so everyone in the world can see what a great creature he is. He craves admiration. All he thinks of is himself. And yet he sees himself from the outside, from what he thinks people think and want of him. He doesn't know how happy he could be. He knows so little of his true nature. If only he'd stop his mad work and just be together with me. I know he'll kill me. He always keeps me down, just like he's got barriers to all my tendencies in himself.

Q: What are you doing with the water?

Man: I am going to make a lot of money off this water. With a water system on every spring (and there are too many springs as a matter of fact), I can subdivide this hill. People need beautiful property like this. I can become rich instead of being this poor woodsman. Then maybe I can really give poor Caroling some security. That's why I hate her so intensely because she doesn't know how it might get cold in the winter here or the spring might dry up or someone might chase us out. We're insecure, we have no money. We have to make something of ourselves. She's always warring against me. Why doesn't she just realize that I know the best way and just help me and shut up. If she wasn't always fighting against me I might be able to make us survive.

Q: But when she was listening for the springs that hadn't been tapped or capped, wasn't that an intuition that could have helped you?

Man: Well, it could have been, I suppose. But she doesn't want me to sell and control all the water. She wants to have it freely gushing. She thinks it should have a will of its own. she really thinks it's got a consciousness and a spirit and an important life. She thinks we could have a whole creative magic new way of life where we don't cover up all the springs and put them in pipes. She's into water worship. I bet she'll love the water god and sell me to him. She wants to be a creative pioneer in love with the springs. She really thinks if we just go hand-in-hand to the water and bless it and bathe in it, that the world will transform, and I won't have to build water systems and sell the land to survive. Sometimes I feel the longing myself. Secret rituals I love. I've often snuck out and done it alone. But nothing ever really happens concrete. The creek never feeds me, it never keeps me warm and dry. The whole idea of love is a trap. It's a web of promises that never comes true. There's only one way I'm sure to make money and that's to cap and divide and sell.

Q: But you've been living here all these years and never have sold anything. What's the magic of your survival? I wouldn't know how to live here.

Man (very surprised): Well, I never thought much of it. I'm just thinking about the future.

Q: But there has been a future ahead of each new day and you have been here the next day. Somehow you get along fine. If you sell the hill, where will you live?

Man: I'll go buy another hill. I'm getting very dubious about my ambitions. I only know hill living. I can't imagine living in a city. I would never so that. And yet I see that that's what the money is for. So we don't have to work out here on the hill. The money is to take care of us so we don't have to take care of ourselves. You know it's not so much for myself. It's that I worry about Caroling. I want to be sure that she's taken care of, well and happy.

Q: But if you kill her to make sure the water is capped so you can make her happy ... That doesn't make sense.

Man: I hate your Questioner too. I'm going to kill you both. You are making me see how mixed up I am and that makes me very very very angry. I couldn't imagine what to do with this anger if I didn't kill. I carry it around with me here all the time. It's killing me. I'm so incredibly angry.

Q: Is Caroling angry too? Is that why she leaves you out when she listens for the springs? Caroling, are you angry?

Caroling: No, I'm full of despair alternated with hope. I suppose I'm angry, yes I am angry. That's why I'm so crabby.

Q: Could either of you try being the hill?

Hill: I am the hill. I like being the hill. The hill has an identity that is sure. I am one. I don't have to worry about complexity. I am simple. They don't ever talk to me, and for that I am lonesome. They are only interested in the holes in me where the water flows. I guess to them I'm just something to be walked on and pushed around, when they can get up pieces of me. They even think of selling me. How silly. I have seen these owners come and go. They think they own me. But they don't even own themselves. They don't know much. Still I love them and I'm happy they are here. The strange fact is their attitude towards the water. The water is most of me. There is much more water than they think. The water is inexhaustible. What am I saying? I could say they can turn the water on or off, but it depends on their love how much there is. If they kill and become hateful, the water could die down to nothing. And even if they don't, they are dependent on the water and the water is an unknown mystery. There is a great plenty of water here now but we don't know that always will be. Best for them to be creative, think of all the loving ways with which to adore their water and also look around and see if they can discover the secret between the water and the rock. The water and the rock. That is my secret. The secret of the hill. That is what they should both do together. As a hill what else can I say?

Q: Is there anything else that might speak?

Hill: The hands of the man.

Hands of the man: We are the man-ipulate-hers. We "ipulate" hers all the time, ceaselessly. We see ourselves as very grand, almost detached from the man. We are the most important thing here. Every time something is to be done, we do it. And that's all they can think of to do--is to do things with me. That's why I have grown so large. Actually I could use a rest. I feel overworked. I certainly don't want to kill Caroling.

Q: Does Caroling have hands?

Hands: That's confusing. Yes, she has hands. They are naturally small but she does a lot of work. She loves her hands but she would do well to love other parts of her being equally.

Q: Could the water speak?

Water: I am the water. Although I am humble and don't care for honors, I delight in my loveliness, I give joy to everyone and everything, with my inexhaustible presence. Yet I see I too have an ego. I may know my own nature. I have no worries. Yet to them I'm a great problem. When to cap me, pipe me, keep me off them, get me when I don't come in their spring. They spend a great deal of work and grief manipulating me.

Q: How do you feel that the man wants to kill Caroling?

Water: Well, to me I am most of the man and Caroling. They are made of me. They can play with me and call it killing, but that does nothing to alter my basic nature. I flow, I delineate, I wear down, I find ways through, I am used in building many things, I sparkle in the light, I dance, I make sounds. I connect all the hills in the world. And this planet is my special home.

Q: How do you feel about the way people all over the world are treating you?

Water: Well we all know that I am a mirror. I mirror their own pollution. That won't alter me. However it may definitely alter the other life form spirits that should be part of the love of the people. And this is bound to reflect hurt, isolation and bad feelings to the people.

Q: Can you see any way that they could reverse this bad cycle they have gotten into?

Water: Obviously they could stop "using" the water thoughtlessly. Much of their refuse is material they have borrowed from earth and it will return to earth. If they would feel better into the ways of working with the earth and returning materials more directly, that would free much of the water life.

Q: Tell me again, is there anyone who could help Caroling and the man?

Water: I don't know. I don't care. They are silly.

Q: I know there are many interrelated problems here. But the one pressing problem is the killing. Caroling do you want to be killed?

Caroling: Yes and no. I know no other way. We always do this. There is no way out.

Q: Man, do you want to kill Caroling?

Man: Yes, I want to but I'm not going to. We'll go on living here the same.

Q: Can you two give each other a hug?

They: We will try.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Dream class

When I read this dream and "afterwork" in class, Lila said I had done an immense amount of work. The anima and animus are now out in the open. It's clear and states a common problem. She said if the anima could stand above him on the hill, retain her power and make a statement to him, then I would be on the way towards resolving the conflict.

So we work on it with fantasy and gestalt. I choose Ann to be the animus. I choose to stand on a chair, representing how much higher I want to be on the hill. I say that I don't know what to do or say. Animus says, "You never do." I say I don't like to be killed or used. Animus says, "You always act like you want to be used, so I do it." We tussle about equality. At last I say, "You do as I say," in an authoritative way. Animus says, "OK." We hug. I feel shaky, but very good.

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