Motifs and Images

Subconscious is cornering me to write.

The entire “Circuit Breaker” (lockdown period in SG) seems to be a blank in my memory of life / 2020. We have “restarted” the system, and it is slowly loading … probably the point when the screen is still a blank, but the hardware is starting to spin, and one can hear the low murmurs.

I am taking a short online course on Jungian archetypes right now. Every lesson comes with a quiz, and it is not easy. The one that got my mind stuck was trying to make the distinction between Intuition and Instincts. There are a few other psychologists/philosophers thrown into the mix, and they define / categorise these differently. It is really interesting, but it took me two days to finish the quiz because I was trying to understand the terms correctly in their usage by the different peeps. I will only know if I got them right after the assessments are marked!! Going to be an anxious two weeks.

Last night’s lesson was about archetypal motifs such as creation, floods and apocalypse. You know your brain’s caught up in concepts and thoughts when you even dream about them during the waking hours.

I dreamt of many many many coffins last night. The first reaction was, “Oh! So this is what an archetypal motif of a pandemic looks like!” Tsk, how stoic. But I think this strange reaction will probably help me identify my archetype at some point.

I was not at all sad, scared or worried. It has become a mere factual image, I guess this is what happens when we get inured to such scenes on the news over the last months. The scene took place in a basement, which I suppose could only be because the only images of manymanymany coffins registered in my personal unconscious have been those of crypts when I visited the cathedrals in Europe.

Suddenly, from the cold damp enclosure, I appeared to be floating down a river, holding onto a large surface of wooden planks. That momentous entry into this scene was marked by my bro floating away, holding onto his other large surface of wooden planks. Again, I was not quite scared or shocked. I was enjoying the coolness of the water. I was in the water, and holding on to one plank, while the rest of the planks float with me. 🙂 The water is not clear, neither was it dirty, it was just a usual river and it felt like I was in a mangrove (not swamp though). The sun sparkled at the surface of the water. I was a little worried because I do not know what lurks below, but I felt safe though. It did not feel dangerous, but I was just kind of insecure that I cannot see what is underneath, and probably a little annoyed about that.

All of a sudden, I was propelled into a building, and seated among a few others whom I do not know. But that seat gave me a good look into what is happening everywhere around. The seat felt humble and simple – the kind of concrete stadium steps with plastic seating, yet the position felt superior and very very clear. Funny how the building sprang out of nowhere in a mangrove. It felt like a really good surprise that Universe threw me, and comes with support – these people (about five or six of them?) whom I did not know, but they felt like they are very reliable and supportive.

Then I woke up. And .. I am compelled to write this down, because it feels like this is a sign of what is to come in the very near future? We shall see.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. MrsWayfarer says:

    Dreams are really interesting. Good that you remember the details and wrote it down. I remember waking up one time shaken by a dream and when it was time to write I just cant remember anything!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. leapingtoes says:

      I seem to be having frequent vivid dreams these few months! They feel soooo real, but I cannot remember details when I got up. Last night’s was very puzzling, and I managed to remember, which is partly why I think it’s something meant to be captured by my conscious mind and documented.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Flowing through chaos to find yourself in structure. I agree that there’s a sense of when a dream is supposed to be remembered. Have you read, “Moby Dick”? Ishmael sees the folly of fighting against a force-of-nature nature.

    Queequeg’s wooden coffin rises from the depths of the sea and becomes Ishmael’s raft after the Great White Whale sinks the ship and drowns its crew. “…and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.” The whale and the sharks that follow it still swim beneath, but Ishmael is left in peace to be rescued from the water the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. leapingtoes says:

      I only read “Moby Dick” when I was a child, so it was probably a children’s version. Have you read this article before? https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-true-life-horror-that-inspired-moby-dick-17576/

      I’ll try to read up on the scene you wrote about there!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read it in High School… I recall it being a very difficult read with a lot of help interpreting things from the instructor (and Cliff’s Notes). The underlying message of the story struck me as the folly of allowing passion to overwhelm reason in a battle against a force-of-nature. Nature will always prevail, so it’s sometimes necessary to accept things as they are and allow the current to carry you.

        Your dream… the coffins in a basement made me think of the harpooner’s coffin aboard the sunken ship, the floating wood reminded me of it floating to the surface as a life-raft for Ishmael, and your room made me think of Ishmael’s rescue by another ship in search of its own missing crew. Everything I mention is from the last chapter and epilogue.

        In the Qur’an’s version of the Old Testament, “Ishmael” is the son of Abraham who accepts his fate to be sacrificed to Allah, but who is saved at the last second. In Moby Dick, he is the objective observer, merely weighing others’ perceptions and their consequences from his own sort of “middle road”.

        I knew about the true story that inspired Melville’s work, though I’m not sure I’d ever read the details. Can’t imagine having been a 19th-century whaler.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. leapingtoes says:

        I found the chapters in Scribd! Your explanation helps a lot. In terms of imagery, it really helps to make sense of the change in scenes. ❤
        When I first woke up, the meaning/story I felt was about transformation (death/rebirth), going with the flow and dealing with the insecurity, and the propulsion into the structure was like knowing/reassurance that sometimes Universe takes us to a different platform by surprise, and we won't even know how we got there. Which in a way is also in line with the Ishmael story.

        Thank you!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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