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How to analyse dreams – keeping a dream diary for business

If you wake up remembering a dream jot down the basics before they disappear for ever then try this set of questions out.

I don’t recall where I got is from but suspect as I am introduced to her work as part of B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’ that it is Patricia Garfield (1976).

It is part of the ‘Technique Library’.

We are invited to ‘Keep a dream diary’.

Wouldn’t that be interesting, to have reporters outside Downing Street first thing in the morning being briefed on PM Dream Time?

I can see it being used in the creative department of an ad agency or TV production company, or for product development, though I can’t imagine a Financial Director or Legal Manager wanting to turn to their dreams or the dreams of colleagues to solve a business problem.

I offer this to help extract the essence of the dream

1: Who are you in the dream?

2: Who are you with in the dream?

3: What details stand out?

4: What do you feel about these details?

5: What are the various actions in the dream?

6: How are you acting and behaving in this dream?

7: What relation does this dream have to your personality?

8: What does the dream want from you?

9: What are the various feelings in this dream?

10: What relation does this dream have to what is happening right now in your life?

11: Why did you need this dream?

12: Why have you had this dream right now?

13: What relation does this dream have to something in your future?

14: What questions arise because of this dream work?

15: Who or what is the adversary in the dream?

16: What is being wounded in this dream?

17: What is being healed in this dream?

18: What or who is the helping or healing force in this dream?

19: Who or what is your companion in this dream?

20: Who are your helpers and guides in life as well as in your dreams?

21: What symbols in this dream are important to you?

22: What actions might this dream be suggesting you consider?

23: What can happen if you work actively with this dream?

24: What is being accepted in this dream?

25: What choices can you make because of having this dream?

26: What questions does this dream ask of you?

27: Why are you not dealing with this situation?

28: What do you want to ask your dream spirits?

REFERENCE

Garfield, P. (1976) Creative Dreaming, New York, Ballantine, Chapter 8, ‘How to keep your dream diary’.

On keeping a dream diary

KEEPING A DREAM DIARY

Creative Dreaming

Appearing as a King’s Guard Special in the Walt Disney Movie ‘King Arthur and the Spaceman’. Here with my sister, one of the casting assistants in the courtyard of Alnwick Castle.

I suspect I was introduced to the idea of keeping a dream diary by my older sister in 1976 or 1977, probably from an article in a magazine promoting the work of Patricia Garfield.

As I kept a diary and enjoy exploring what my mind came up with in my dreams I would often write the dreams down, got used to exploring even returning to the dream and have many already online.

Around 2002 I came across a set of 20+ questions to ask yourself when probing for meaning in a dream; I would quote the source if I knew it.

Rather than fill this diary I have generally kept a separate dream diary.

REFERENCE

McKim, R.H. (1980) Experiences in Visual Thinking, Belmont, CA, PWS ( Wadworth Inc.) pp 101-3

Garfield, P. (1976) Creative Dreaming, New York, Ballantine, Chapter 8, ‘How to keep your dream diary’.

Weird Quest Dream and Analysed

Thursday 4th January 2007

I’m in a Moorcock world (though I’ve never read one, I’ve seen the illustrations)

As Dracula in the Dracula Spectacula

I return to my old prep school to become re-engaged with creatures that exist in another dimension: vampire like freaks with whom I had become friends and amongst whom I had made a friend, a girl I had rescued and returned to them. Without my help they will die. I must go on a mission to find her again. In order to take on this task I must compromise my human form, taking on more of a type in which I become more like bone with a soul, than a flesh and blood creature … my skeleton is less human than I imagine, the bones a thick as those in Skate around the ribs for example.

You could say these were well hidden Aliens.

Death is always close. As a human I could be consumer/translated … sucked dry at ay moment by one of these fairy/nymphs. My guardian is the head prefect/head master or prince of this kingdom/state. The instructions for the tools I require to get to this other outlet for their existence is complex and bizarre, mixing woodland craft, feathers and sticks with hi-tech gadgetry … and for more entertainment, a few toys.

While I’m there a war breaks out.

Dressing up as confederate solider they fight a battle with a second tribe also in fancy dress – all very Terry Gilliam, even Labyrinth or Henson’s Creature Workshop this.

Death is common place.

I allow someone who could be an evil torture to commit me to the procedure of becoming more like them, this will make me better able to find ‘the missing one, but will also make me less human. The procedure resembles having an enema through the heart – though I continue to live it seems to dissolve, then suck out my vital organs. In moonlight I am nearly translucent.

Procrastinating before this dangerous journey I am surprised to see another set out before me – Selina Scott (representing my sister, or an alternate or another part human). The sacrifice I am taking is being taken by others too. I now feel there is a race on … only one of this can succeed at the task to which I am now committed.

I have a flying device, more like a jet ski with wings/a sail.

Like many of these creatures’ devices it works by being plugged into your own body, drawing energy from you. My speed is controlled, as it were, by my blood pressure (or mood). It is hard to tell which. I set off at dusk, into a moonlight sky, into the clouds, over the town where I come from settling into the space on my vehicle on a trip that will take me to the other side of the world – as far as New Zealand on a large microlight. A couple of servant like beings have been sent too (or come with the kit).

They wait on me.

05h35 I’ve been dwelling on this in semi-consciousness for half an hour. I run through it a few times, the simple stages of returning to my old prep school, finding these beings that I befriended while their, being drawn in to undertake a dangerous mission that will return me to my true love … and save them from extinction. I feel it has something of ‘The Watersprites’ about it … something of ‘The Girl in the Garden’ too. (Screenplays)

1: Who are you in the dream?

Me. Younger. If returning to Mowden I may be late teens/early twenties.

2: Who are you with in the dream?

A human boy.

3: What details stand out?

The creature world from the woods juxtaposed with the human world.

4: What do you feel about these details?

A fantasy land that mixes wood nymphs, vampires, devilish ghouls and other ‘woodland’ creatures with the modern … somehow. Beings that exist in another dimension, or so disguised that they are unknown to most people.

5: What are the various actions in the dream?

Meeting old friends, re-familiarising myself with a form of existence I had forgotten about, committing to a risky adventure, self-sacrifice by becoming more like them to undertake the challenge/journey.

6: How are you acting and behaving in this dream?

Curious, cautious, interested … on familiar ground, but seeing it from the point of view of an adult, so making me less weary, or better able to stand up to some of the creatures, especially the underlings, in this strange, dark, wood world that has been touched by human technology … and have developed an alternate technology of their own as a result.

7: What relation does this dream have to your personality?

Forever setting off on quests of the imagination, where I must sacrifice things, commit to things and do it for no better reason than the pleasure I get from taking the journey and the reward at the end … love, companionship, a soul mate.

8: What does the dream want from you?

To write it down, visualise it, then incorporate it into a story I have already written or devised and give it a film structure.

9: What are the various feelings in this dream?

Awe, disgust, fear, trepidation … wonder, participation, being up for it …

10: What relation does this dream have to what is happening right now in your life?

We’re selling the house and moving … but more significantly, after a break of several months, I am about to commit to working on a story for possible publication. Again. Even though I need some kind of regular employment too to support us at the same time.

11: Why did you need this dream?

Do I need it? Is it a distraction? Or is it showing me the way forward? I have far too many projects on the go simultaneously. Is this a new one, or a return rto an old one? Should I not be redrafting something I have written already?

12: Why have you had this dream right now?

It’s the beginning of the year. January is always the beginning of a set of difficult challenges for me: don’t drink, come of coffee, detox … get the accounts in order, find a job (or get some stories out) … make plans, hope that some of them will bear fruit during the year.

13: What relation does this dream have to something in your future?

I need to achieve something. I need to undertake and complete a lonely, bizarre mission of sorts. I need to enter my head, extract a story from it, and lay this out on paper in a way that others can share and enjoy.

14: What questions arise because of this dream work?

Whatever story I tackle, I must see it through to the end … the end being putting it into the hands of a publisher or an agent.

15: Who or what is the adversary in the dream?

Me. Being distracted … filling my time and my life with something else. Making excuses … TV, the internet.

16: What is being wounded in this dream?

The transformation is one way. There is pain involved.

17: What is being healed in this dream?

Having something to do . Being a part of something.

18: What or who is the helping or healing force in this dream?

That comes when I complete the mission.

19: Who or what is your companion in this dream?

Alone.

20: Who are your helpers and guides in life as well as in your dreams?

Alone. Though my wife, children and mother would deny this … there are even a few encouraging friends out there.

21: What symbols in this dream are important to you?

The weirdness of it, The otherworldliness of it.

22: What actions might this dream be suggesting you consider?

Get on and write it down.

23: What can happen if you work actively with this dream?

I’ll turn out a science-fantasy adventure story.

24: What is being accepted in this dream?

I need to set out on a quest.

25: What choices can you make because of having this dream?

Take on a quest … a writing journey most like (or a production).

26: What questions does this dream ask of you?

Ensconce yourself in the world of science-fantasy story telling.

27: Why are you not dealing with this situation?

Force of habit. Fear of rejection. Inertia. Distractions … any excuse!

28: What do you want to ask your dream spirits?

Keep coming back!

29: How helpful has this survey been?

An indulgence, always. TBT up. I crave coffee. I make a cup of hot lemon but fear I must have a coffee or retire to bed.

Result of my unwritten New Year’s resolution?

Detox Jan 1st: no caffeine, red meat, milk or bread.

Jan 2nd no coffee, milk, or caffeine … until I had a piece of chocolate cake.

Jan 3rd Took Paracetomol with caffeine, had three mouthfulls of coffee, had soup made with turkey stock and ate a couple of sausages with the kids instead of cooking the Tuna fish.

Jan 4th. Early days, but if the only way I can function having been up for two hours is to have a coffee then I will need to have a coffee! Pain in coccyx where I damaged it earlier this summer. I fear I cannot sit for long on any hard bench or chair … nor am I likely to sail dinghies as your arse tends to take a bashing! And there were a few more hours to the day:

Collecting TBT’s friend who came over to play.

Throwing out the Christmas tree and replacing the pile of pebbles we used to hold it in the pot. Making lunch. And this. I gave an hour at most to writing. I’m working on the story of a young woman who gets herself onto the Front Line during World War I for a couple of days and nights..

REFERENCE

McKim, R.H. (1980) Experiences in Visual Thinking, Belmont, CA, PWS (Wadworth Inc.) pp 101-3 Garfield, P. (1976) Creative Dreaming, New York, Ballantine, Chapter 8, ‘How to keep your dream diary’.

Dreaming of destroying the Doge’s Palace, Venice

Dreaming of malicious destruction

By Quinok – Quino Arnau (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sent to demolish the Doge’s Palace

I’m part of a demolition group in a sleek 50’s looking speedboat transporter that looks like an early Porsche sports car. It has a motor, despite it being 200 B.C (or something).

At first I am taking part in a documentary, then I am one of the Roman soldiers in this vessel that rams and gradually hacks at parts of what I am calling the Doge’s Palace. It looks like Venice.

I find myself first dislodging some crucial piece of masonry on a corner pole, then alone, trying to remove heaped up stuff around a gap either side of a natural stone feature that protects the inner courtyard from the sea. I am getting close when a very average contemporary bloke as if  returning from a lunch break and works in the yard, with machinery, come over; the driver of these carefully fork-lift truck placed  fruit boxes of rubble spots me.

I wake as I contemplate the consequences of him alerting the guard or of my finding a weapon to kill him before he gets help.

Who are You ?

A soldier, or demolition expert on a mission to destroy or damage the Doge’s Palace.

Who are you with ?

No one I recognise, or see. Aware of this ‘troop transporter’ vehicle motoring across the canal/lake towards the Palace (Actually just a quality Venice canal-side property rather than the palace itself even if I call it this). The only person I see is ‘Mr Average’ who comes across me dismantling the sea defence.

What details stand out ?

The fifties, aluminium and riveted Porsche cum Seaplane like covered motorboat transporter. The nature of the ‘cut’ or gap in a natural stone formation to protect the ‘palace’ from the sea. The ‘fruit boxes’ that seem to form the brickwork. Various holes and weaknesses in the defences that I am trying to expose to the sea.

What do you feel about them ?

Reminds me of an activity I might have done as a child, or that I do now with a child, playing in running water, say by a stream or by a river or at the seaside. Either making a dam of rocks and sand, or releasing a dam to let the water flow through.

What are the various actions in the dream ?

Destruction. Breaking apart. Making gaps. Letting the sea in. Destruction with a purpose. Being on ‘a side’. Working alone, though I meant to be part of a team.

How am I as Dream Ego acting/behaving in this dream ?

Fastidiously. with private pleasure. I am looking forward to watching the sea rushing in.

What relation does this dream have to my personality ?

An interest in doing something that has consequences then sitting back to see what happens. Getting flashbacks of a TV show, or a part of a dream, about a character who must learn that ‘actions have consequences’ that when you do something, something else results … and that this is a lesson that is important to learn. This (I realise as I write) was the storyline of Star Trek Voyager last night, a story called ‘Q2’ about a miscreant omnipotent God of some kind.

What does this dream want from me ?

To let go of, or destroy barriers that are protecting us or rather preventing change? To do so in a controlled way, but to do it ???

What are the various feelings in this dream ?

Getting on with a task because as told to do. The consequences are obvious, if I am successful, though I am not to blame. I am following orders.

What relation does this dream have to what is happening now in my life ?

A time of change, a time of letting go of, or altering how I perceived things. Perhaps I must let go of the idea of being (for now) the ‘bread winner’ … let it be washed away and try to be a good ‘mother’ instead. Not just taking the kids to school, occupying them in the pool, both the playground and on trips, not just shopping, preparing meals and tidying the food things away, but also doing ‘housework’ – tidying up after the kids, making beds, doing the laundry and cleaning. Maybe.

Why did I need this dream ?

I need reassurance that the struggle is worthwhile, that I will find a way out of this turmoil … that I will reach dry land/destroy or undo the past.

Why have I had this dream now ?

Because circumstances are dragging me along, because certain ‘structures’ that now exist need breaking down, washed away, cleansed …

What relation does this dream have to something in my future ?

Maybe it expressed my only skill … destroying things.

What new questions arise as a result of this dream work ?

Am I brave enough to ‘break down’ what already exists? Ought I be doing it alone? No. What do i put in its place? Darlingest lights up when she imagines us living in a cottage on the cliff edge at Cuckmere, or renting the lighthouse at Beachy Head. I favour a cottage in the country, but not remote from a good supermarket, state school and modern swimming pool. A detached house with a garden close to the sea. Padstow or Rock, Bridport perhaps, somewhere on the North or South coast of Cornwall.

Who or what is the adversary in the dream ?

The man who finds me sneaking about at a vulnerable spot in the earthworks, the destruction of which will let the sea in and destroy the Doge’s palace. He works there, possibly as a contractor, nothing else, into a guard or soldier. But I see his the concern on his face and imagine he goes off having taken a quick look at what I am doing to raise the alarm.

What is being wounded in this dream ?

My efforts. The idea that I can do something by sneaking about unseen.

What would I like to avoid in this dream ?

Being stopped. I wake before the sea walls are breached, but I am looking forward to the satisfaction of seeing a task achieved in such a dramatic way. A bit like a dam buster. Very much the same childish thrill of build and destroying dams of sand on the beach.

What is being healed in this dream ?

Permission to behave like this?

What or who is the helping or healing force/agent in this dream ?

There isn’t one, outside the clarity of the goal.

Who or what is my companion in this dream ?

There is no one.

Who are my helpers and guides in life and in my dreams ?

I’m alone.

What symbols in this dream are important to me ?

Making a breach in a defence in order to wash something away as a task set by my nation … it feels like a war effort.

What actions might this dream be suggesting I consider ?

Seeking support for my actions.

What can happen if I work actively with this dream ?

I might help Darlingest understand how i feel about our circumstances, that if anything I am seeking to let go of much of the substance of how we live … the house for a start. But it goes deeper than that. I don’t feel able to go back to the kind of freelance work I once did either, my spirit is not in reviving my ‘freelance’ career.

What is being accepted in this dream ?

That things must change, but I don’t know what to.

What choices can I, and will I, make as a result of having this dream ?

Talk to Darlingest. See how we can recover and move on.

What questions does this dream ask of me ?

How am I going to do it and get away with it?

Why am I not dealing with this situation ?

It feels as if there are few options, it is complex, there are major financial burdens/problems. My happiness may have to be compromised for that of he family.

What do you want to ask us your dream spirits ?

Make this kind of dream a recurrent dream and I will use the experience to deal with the issues in my daily life.

Krakow Flying – a dream analysed

 

Christopher Walker

My wife and I are on a journey; we’ve been married just over a month.

During a stop over in an East European like city (Prague/Kracow or some such) I go on a look round using an invisible flying machine. I’m able to fly by breathing in or breathing out, steepping off roof tops, flying over rivers, above canal banks, down ravines and over the edges of dams. I’m a little apprehensive about loosing it while in mid air, but never do, though I sometimes become under powered and sink almost to ground level. I wonder sometimes if I step of a cathedral or fly over the wall of a dam that the sense of vertigo might result in my loosing my concentration and I’ll fall.

What happened ?

A group, a family group, which might include my father-in-law (Polish) and my wife, are on a flight. We stop to transfer to a smaller aeroplane. While walking around a cathedral (catholic) I mount some back steps and take off across the roof tops to see more of the town. No one sees me airborne. Though I land, against my will, in the middle of a cross country bubble-car race and consequently cause the winning bubble car to loose time and possible loose the race. I’m unable to get airborne again so walk off in the direction of the airport. I assume I miss the flight. OR did I return ? I may have said to my father-in-law that there was nothing to worry about because I had learnt to fly. I was going to take a plane up to fly us wherever we were going.

Where ?

A town. Lots of old buildings, like Oxford, or Krakow. With a periphery main road (like York or Canterbury).

Who are You ?

A traveller. And while I wonder the town a tourist.

Who are you with ?

The others are still at the cathedral or went back to the airport without me.

How am I as DREAM EGO acting/behaving in this dream ?

The tourist looking around. Testing my skills at flying myself around town, between tall walls, off roof tops, over traffic. It’s a feeling, not mechanical. It’s a matter of self-control. Enjoying the surroundings Away from people I can fly, but when I’m being watched (have to perform) or if my dropping to earth is going to cause problems for others then I lose concentration and float to ground.

What relation does this dream have to my personality ?

I fly when I’m doing my thing, away from others. When people watch to see if I’ll fall I come down to ground. Not crash, just on their level.

What does this dream want from me ?

I’d prefer to fly than walk. That tells me to ignore their views. nor to seek their pleasure, but to get on with my thing.

What are the various feelings in this dream ?

Flying like this is no longer a surprise. I’ve always wanted to do it. I’d like to fly higher and faster and be more sure of controlling it. It’s a sense of private satisfaction, curiosity satisfied, private and pleasurable. Flying over dams or stepping of buildings is a test of my powers. Am I sure of myself ? I don’t fall. In such situations as a teenager I would have crashed to the ground ! I’m frustrated when I touch down on the way back to the airport not only disrupting some local contest, but also being left to walk back and miss or delay the flight.

What relation does this dream have to what is happening now in my life ?

It’s fine to fly, but it’s private. IF I want to succeed at doing something I enjoy I must be able to face up to criticism and the views of others, without loosing the ability to fly. Working from home is the flying feeling, especially when its more creatively orientated. Coming literally down to earth is the bread and butter work I do, though I should be able to take it with me into the air !

Why did I need this dream ?

I wonder where my life is going. AM I in control ?

Why have I had this dream now ?

I’m having to get the right balance between flying and walking, things I do for myself and things which earn me a living. One day they will be one and the same thing. I’m also concerned that if I’m too preoccupied with my own thing the “Family” might fly on without me.

What relation does this dream have to something in my future ?

The quest for work which brings me the same satisfaction and uniqueness of flying.

What new questions arise as a result of this dreamwork ?

How can I keep control of the flying ? I need a fuel gauge or more fuel !

Who or what is the adversary in the dream ?

My father-in-law … at arms length. No one. They let me get on and do my thing.

What is being wounded in this dream ?

Still unable to keep up the momentum when I need it … over the last hurdle.

What would I like to avoid in this dream ?

Never being able to fly again. Engines cutting out resulting in a precipitous fall. My flying taking me away from Darlingest or causing her hurt.

What is being healed in this dream ?

Wanderlust

What or who is the helping or healing force/agent in this dream ?

The flying is a relief, an escape, a chance to get way from the communal, down to earth pleasures of tourism. (everyday life).

Who or what is my companion in this dream ?

No one.

Who are my helpers and guides in life and in my dreams ?

Wanda at home. I could do with a partner, a mentor, someone to share my ambitions with.

What symbols in this dream are important to me ?

The catholic cathedral. Was I thinking of converting to Catholicism, IS there something I believe in which atheists don’t ?

What actions might this dream be suggesting I consider ?

Learn ways to stay airborne for longer and take Wanda along with me !

What can happen if I work actively with this dream ?

I’ll go up and stay up and come down when I want to !

What symbols in this dream are important to me ?

Flying.

What is being accepted in this dream ?

That I like going off on my own. That I like to fly above others. That I like taking risks whilst remaining in control. That sometimes I’m brought down to earth against my will. So I need more fuel and need to know better how to operate my flying machine.

What choices can I, and will I, make as a result of having this dream ?

Get the right balance of activities which will keep me airborne and teach me how to operate the controls.

What questions does this dream ask of me ?

Where was my wife ? Or is the dream only related to work ?

Why am I not dealing with this situation ?

To easily distracted. Must know when I am pursuing a subject because it may advance my career and when I am pursuing a subject as a hobby.

What choices can I, and will I make, as a result of having this dream ?

Reduce my activities to bread and butter and career movers and try and keep the right mix of flight and landing !

What actions might this dream be suggesting I consider ?

Make sure I take off with enough fuel to get me back and in full knowledge of how to control it.

What do you want to ask us your dream spirits ?

Take me further !

Why are you sometimes afraid of us, your dream spirits ?

I’m not.

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