Dreams are impartial, spontaneous products of the unconscious psyche, outside the control of the will … pure nature; they show us the unvarnished truth … fitted …to give us back an attitude that accords with our basic nature when our consciousness has strayed too far …

Carl Jung, M.D.

+ + +

I had a dream recently.  The scene was familiar.  I was in an airplane with many passengers.  I was alone and as I walked to my seat in the rear of the plane I thought “I could be like these affluent people, been a wealthy, established lawyer” just like them; yet, instantly, I understood – “but I am more than that, and not them.”

Dreams, as Jung says, show us an “unvarnished truth” – give us “an attitude that accords with our basic nature.”

Yes, we are more than the symbols of others, the constructs of culture, the icons we are made to hold up high as the “right thing,” the pinnacle of existence.  Yes, we are reduced by these images.  We are meant for a greater “unvarnished truth” and our task is to live that truth – and to do so, to not let our conscious existence take us afar.

There is, I suspect, no genius in “straying too far;” rather there is, I also suspect, discord, disorder, illness and unhappiness in doing so.

Our life exceeds mere consciousness, so easily the prey of a conforming regime imposed on us by the culture’s forceful and seductive organs of compliance to which we unwittingly fall easy prey.

There is a recently published book about John Conway, a brilliant and utterly innovative mathematician at Princeton.  In the book, we see the foundation stones of his creative genius.

Mr. Conway is a “mischief-maker,” one who likes to have fun.  He is an associative, not deductive, thinker.  We see in him a man of many stories and how a simple question can trigger in him a number of “associative” ideas that seem to others to have little to do with the question posed.  Yes, his scope is broad and original – as our pure nature is and is meant to be.

We see him – an original thinker, one who lives his “pure nature.”

My suspicion: that living one’s true and pure nature is the key to creative genius. Likewise, when one is not living one’s true and pure nature – discontent and worse follows.  And this too emerges for me: our culture is full of, and manufactures, those who do not live their true and pure nature.

This was the truth of my dream – a self-correcting effort of my psyche to restore me to health, keep me on the path, my journey. An airplane was no random vehicle in the dream.  Yes, a dream to allow me to grasp what I am and may not claim in mere conscious existence.

Wish to tap into your creative genius, to know your truth, your pure nature?  Then honor, like Mr. Conway, your whole life, its natural instinct for joyful anarchy, whimsy, and licence for mirth, love and laughter.

Likewise, avoid the mundanities, rise above them and remember this from Conway and implied in Jung’s work: “all the great discoveries are simple.”

Simple?  Yes.  The trouble is in disgorging yourself from the things that keep you from your “pure nature.”  Ahem, enter faith?  Christ?  Buddha and company? Probably, yes.

Shalom.

Advertisements