Do You Dream?

Recently I was at my monthly Library Club meeting. Before I carry on with the muse had to say, I want to clarify that this Library Club does not take place in an actual library but in a pub.

The Club members consist of six of my past EHS colleagues who get together to tell tales and share our latest projects. Mostly it’s a check-in to see how we are doing and if there is any support that is needed. It is part of a mastermind group and part of peer support.

At the recent meeting, I shared that I have some of the most vivid and crazies dreams and was very surprised to hear that half the group didn’t dream at all. At least they don’t remember them ever!

I can not imagine putting my head down on the pillow at night and just waking up the following morning. Usually, like what happened this morning (3:30am), I wake at some climactic/traumatic point.

This morning’s dream felt so different.

On Backdrop of Our Nights God with His Knowing Finger Traces a Multiform Implacable Nightmare (1890) by Odilon Redon. Original from the National Gallery of Art. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

The dreams over the past six months have been me as some an agent character, for some unknown organization or agency. During the dream sequence, I am being pursued to be killed off.

I don’t just observe these dreams, I interact with them. Like any great movie, there is a theme that develops, characters are introduced, a plot is revealed, and I interact out the scenes as they unfold.

When I woke this morning from my dream, my mind engaged. Rather than waste a good thought, I decided to get up and share what the muse was offering by writing this article.

The dream was set in medieval times, or at least that was the sense I got. It took place in a small town, no cars or any modern equipment was noticed as I walked around. In the village, people were milling about, doing random acts but mostly just walking.

I did have this feeling that two others were traveling with me. I could not see them but knew or sensed (lots of detecting in my dreams) that they were there, one on each side of me. I had no sense that they served a purpose or why they were with me at the moment. Just that they were there.

Every once in a while, someone from the town would look up and glance in my direction, I would make eye contact, and then we would both put our heads down again. My introversion in action.

Suddenly I became acutely aware that a dark cloud was over the town. I had not noticed it before or to the fact that it was rather obliqe, almost as if it was permanently early dusk. There was enough light just to see people and shapes of buildings. Again, my sense was telling me that I had become so used to that level of light that I didn’t know any better. Totally unaware before seeing the dark cloud, that it was this cloud that was making it so dim out.

It turned out, as I was soon to discover in this dream,  that the cloud was controlled by a mighty warrior, who at the moment of realization, was now standing in front of me. I can’t describe him. I sense that it is a male human-like creature, with the usual head, two arms, and two legs featured most commonly in humans. Here it is in front of me. Much bigger than I, very muscular and was holding a very long, sliver coloured (I do dream in colour at times) lance, just like the ones knights used in jousting. The creature had no facial features at all, just blur.

Chevalier Francais, XIVe Siecle, translated French Knight, 14th Century, by Paul Mercuri (1860), a a knight on horse back with full armor ready to joust. Digitally enhanced from our own original plate.

We don’t exchange any actual words, but it does communicate to me with a challenge.

It says in this very deep, powerful, Charlton Heston like voice, “I will remove the cloud that is covering this town if you beat me in this one challenge. All you have to do is hold on to this longer than me.”

Here, I am a bit confused. The object to hold on to appears to be a carpet, but when I touch it, it feels more like cotton fabric one would feel from bedsheets. (I am in bed after all.) It is wide enough for both my companions to join me in this quest, and they do. This is when I sense that one of my companions, the one on the right of me, is middle-aged. The other is very young, in the teenage years. At this same time, I sense that I am much older than the others; however, I have no real sense of how much older, just older.

The challenge is for us to hold on to this cloth, with our hands while this human-like creature pulls in the other direction. It is a tug of war game with the fabric replacing the traditional rope. I don’t sense that there is any danger in the challenge, and the only consequence, if we fail, is the town will continue to be under the rule of this creature, and the dark cloud would remain.

It is a tug of war game with the fabric replacing the traditional rope.

I do have this feeling that this will be a great battle as we each take hold of this cloth with our hands. I, along with my mates, start to roll the ends to help with the grip, and as we do, the material begins to be pulled away.

We hang on tight. I can feel the energy that it is taking to hold on. There are sounds of roaring wind and explosions in the distance as I keep my eyes focused on my hands, which are curled around this cloth that is starting to feel very heavy.

With each moment that goes by, it feels harder and harder to hold on. I glance at my mates, and they, too, are struggling.

“Pull! Pull!” I scream.

The cloth starts to tear into three strips, and both my companions have their pieces pulled away from them while I continue to hold on to what remains. There is no room for them to join back in the fight.

As I pull, I look up and notice that the clouds are moving with each pull and seeing that provides me with more energy to hang on and pull harder.

It one point, it felt like I was winning in spite of losing two teammates. I glanced up again, and the clouds were moving back in. I was not gaining any ground at all. At that moment, an idea came into my mind.

It’s unclear if that thought came to me internally or by something the creature had said. What I was hearing was that to beat this creature, I had to recite a phrase. A phrase that turned out not to be a phrase but a prayer, The Lords Prayer.

Our Father Who Art in Heaven, by Ehrgott & Forbriger, composition of devout texts and symbols of Christianity. Original from Library of Congress. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

I was brought up in the Christian Lutheran Faith. Among many things, we had to memorize the creed and of course, the Lord’s Prayer. At any time in my life, I would not have any difficulty in doing so. In this dream and at this moment, not so much. I was struggling trying to think of the words.

When I started to remember the words, I said them with the low, drawn out voice, that sounded more like an audiotape that was being played at half the normal speed.

With each word expressed, the battle became more furious than the moment before.

Image of a nebula taken using a NASA telescope –
Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Periodically I would glance above to see what the clouds were doing. They were starting to move away as each word was being spoken. I forced each word out, one by one, and as I did, the skies got brighter.

I finally said AMEN (‘so be it.’), and the creature let go. There was immense light everywhere.

There was also a calmness in the area. It didn’t feel or sense like there was real peace. In fact, the creature was still there, holding the silver lance, although now it appeared bent.

He handed it to me, and it broke in my hands into two. Being made of silver, I gave it to the townspeople as I felt that they needed it more than I.

One of the townfolk took the lance from my hands and asked me, “What now?”

I told him I was not finished. That 20 other towns needed to have the clouds removed.

Starting off on the dirt trail that suddenly came to be, my two companions rejoined me.

I woke up and lay in my comfortable bed, reflecting on this strange dream. There was this sense of victory, accomplishment, and change. I say sense because, in reality, I can’t describe it. I did decide that even though all my dreams are weird and entertaining, this one needed to be shared.

It is now 4:45am.

One cannot deny the symbolism in my dream. Many psychoanalysts have studied dreams and tried to put meaning to the symbolism.

Jeffrey Sumber wrote that dreams with a death theme indicated a symbolic ending of something. It could be a phase, a career, or even a relationship. He also suggested that death could also be an attempt for the mind to resolve anxiety or anger toward the self.

Battles in dreams could mean that there are aspects of yourself that are in dispute.

Bombs or explosions could mean you are losing control over your life.

All these I could relate to.

Freud and Carl Jung were big on dream interpretations. Jung believed that dreams and visions were essential communications from another realm. They revealed more than what they concealed and that it was a natural expression of our imagination.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
― C.G. Jung

Dreams play an important role in speeding up Jung’s process of individuation, the mind’s need for wholeness. As described here, “that quality of applied wisdom that separates elders from grumpy old men.”

We are meaning-making machines. We love to add meaning to everything that happens to us. It is how we make sense of the chaos and randomness of the world. Dreams are no exception.

When I reflect on the unconscious dumping that happened in my dreams, the Lord’s Prayer was a recent addition that was brought back into my consciousness from the last blog I posted. It is also something that was very much part of my life and in many ways, still is. It made sense that it was placed there.

I have been in personal development for many years. I took a big leap in knowledge and experience in 1982, taking a training workshop at the time called est (today Landmark Forum). It opens up the idea that my world is a context to which life could happen for me, as opposed to me.

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
― Carl Jung

From that point, it was an insatiable appetite to learn and experience more through reading and numerous courses and workshops. What I was noticing was this awakening and emergence of many great thought leaders during those years, all with similar sharing ideas that I had. Living life with curiosity, intention, and integrity.

When you understand that you always get what you intend, you become responsible for the results. After all, that is what you intended.

“Such a simple concept, yet so true: that which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.”

― Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

With that mindset, when a door of opportunity opens, I am apt to walk in and explorer the offerings. One of those open doors was becoming a paramedic. I stayed with the service for 30 years and retired 3 years ago.

Abraham Maslow introduced a theory called self-actualization, which in the 1960s influenced the “Human Potential Movement.” The term human potential is not used much today. Phrases like self-improvement and personal development are more widely used.

The notion back then, as stated by George Leonard from his research, which consisted of interviewing several psychiatrists, found that “Not one of them said we were using more than 10% of our capacity.”

There is potential in each of us.

Back to my dream and how I interrupt it.

We have an untapped capacity within ourselves. It has always been there, waiting for the right opportunity to express itself. At times, the needing for help from others can be a crutch. Collaboration is a strength of mine, and an overused muscle can become weak. Letting go of that need is freeing, allowing you to explore other unused traits and gifts.

I have been working extremely hard on re-wiring over the past 3 years. I am not the retiring type and took many lessons in the past from Buckminster Fuller,( an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist), who embarked on “an experiment, to find what a single individual could contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.” I feel that this dream is that symbolic journey into a new phase that is filled with new possibilities.

“From now on, you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to the Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.” Buckminster Fuller

One is never done until the eventual end here on “spaceship earth.”

My dream had me traveling to 20 more towns. Could this represent the 20 spots in my workshop?

The workshop has been announced for people to enroll in for a couple of weeks. It has been developed over the last year, taking all that I have learned and experienced in “human potential” and development in the previous 37 years.

Who will these 20 be?

One of you, perhaps?

There are no downsides unless you think the small cash and time investment is.

The workshop offers you a chance to lift some of those dark clouds, revealing your potential.

It’s a door I am opening for you.

 Join me in 2020. Click here to learn more and to register.

Are dreams predictions of the future?

Do they provide us a communication channel to the unconscious?

Are they communications from another realm that Jung believed they were?

Love to get your feedback and comments on the subject. Be sure to click like and share the article if you find it of value.

Library Club Books

Memories, Dreams, Reflections by C. G. Jung
This edition of Memories, Dreams, Reflections includes Jung’s VII Sermones ad Mortuos. It is a fully corrected edition.

The Undiscovered Self: With Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams
by C.G. Jung – Only individual awareness of both the conscious and unconscious aspects of the human psyche, Jung tells us, will allow the great work of human culture to continue and thrive.

Dreams: A Study of the Dreams of Jung, Descartes, Socrates, and Other Historical Figures by Marie-Louise von Franz
These collected essays by the distinguished psychoanalyst Marie-Louise von Franz offer fascinating insights into the study of dreams, not only psychologically, but also from historical, religious, and philosophical points of view.


RICK RUPPENTHAL is a professional Personal and Leadership Transformational Coach and a Certified Change Practitioner. As a retired paramedic of 30 years, Rick has held positions in leadership, education, as a coach and a mentor. Through those experiences , understanding and adaptability, Rick has dedicated his life to a continual journey of self-discovery, adventure and guiding others on their own journey of being their best self.

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