“Day residue” dreams are mundane. You think, Oh! I dreamed of a fire because of the indigestion I had last night from eating that whole pepperoni pizza! Then we quickly forget the dream because we are sure we know why we had it and that it is not important. Integral Deep Listening (IDL) takes another approach. It makes such assumptions and then suspends them and asks one or more character in the dream for their perspective, their sense of why they are in the dream. In the following example of interviewing a dream character using the IDL dream interviewing protocol, we we shall do just that and look at the results.
What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?
Dietary moderation coming off my fast. Less sugar intake. Fewer second helpings.
Longer meditations; more sense of inner peace.
Generally an even more positive and confident mood.
Tell me a dream you remember. It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand.
I am looking at a circular object that is flat and that has three segments stretching out from the center. It is perhaps a foot across. A group of people were in danger because of it.
Why do you think that you had this dream?
Last night, June 29, 2017, the last night of my latest 84 hour fast, I wanted a distraction so I watched a Star Trek movie in which a villian named Krall had a similar looking device that he was using to destroy stuff. A good example for working with obvious day residue.
If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?
Circular weapon, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see…
I see the very few who would use me for the destructive purposes for which I was created.
Circular Weapon, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?
I am extremely powerful.
Circular Weapon, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?
I am too powerful to be used wisely; it is better if I did not exist.
Circular Weapon, what aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?
Grandiose fears that he is much more capable of destructiveness than he actually is. People are resilient; in fact, at his worst he hasn’t a great deal of potency, in the sense of a great deal of ability to hurt others.
Circular Weapon, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?
I would like to be a very common, practical and accessible power for great good in the world. Perhaps something like a real vajra, a lightning bolt of discrimination and wisdom, mixed with empathy and compassion. I would like to be used to cut through confusion and fear to get to clarity, truth and empathy.
(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)
Vajra, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why?
Confidence, 0-10. 10 Why? I am quite powerful; I symbolize both the indestructibility of a diamond and the irresistible force of a thunderbolt. I cannot die because I do not exist; I am imaginary. The worst that can happen to me is that I am not used.
Empathy, 0-10. 10 Why? I am clear and selfless; that means I do not filter information or get between what is said and the hearing.
Wisdom, 0-10. 10 Why? I can discriminate truth from falsity and confusion from clarity.
Acceptance, 0-10. 10 Why? It is not my job to make the world right or good but I am here to serve those who wish to make it so.
Inner Peace, 0-10 10 Why? I have no worries or fears.
Witnessing, 0-10. 10 I observe everything.
Vajra, how would Joseph’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?
He would be confident, clear, wise and compassionate.
Vajra, if you could live Joseph’s life for him, how would you live it differently?
I would take refuge in me, that is, identify with or become me regularly in order to build his identification with my qualities.
Vajra, if you could live Joseph’s waking life for him today, would you handle Joseph’s three life issues differently? If so, how?
Dietary moderation coming off my fast. Less sugar intake. Fewer second helpings. I would take refuge in my ability to discriminate.
Longer meditations; more sense of inner peace. Become me. It will get easier.
Generally an even more positive and confident mood. Become me. I am both.
Vajra, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Joseph’s life?
Doubt and confusion. I generate clarity.
Vajra, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for Joseph to imagine that he is you and act as you would?
Vajra, why do you think that you are in Joseph’s life?
I am the antithesis of this dream and the fantasy fears it reflects.
Vajra, why do you think Joseph had this dream?
In this dream he was contemplating his capacity for evil and destruction as a consequence of the portrayal of same in the movie he watched.
Vajra, why do you think (some dream event happened) or (some character) was in the dream?
The group of people reflect his fear of his ability to harm others.
Vajra, why should Joseph pay any attention to what you have said? Aren’t these just a projection of Joseph’s own wishes and desires?
I am more balanced, aware and clear than he is.
Thank you, character! And now a couple questions for Joseph:
What have you heard yourself say?
Becoming the vajra will strengthen these qualities in me.
If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?
Do not amplify fear or confusion but do not ignore them either. Instead, meet them with clarity, wisdom, discrimination and empathy.
Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made:
Become the vajra when I am afraid, worried or confused and when I meditate.
Comments: It is easy to write this off as wishful thinking but several factors work against that. First is the autonomy of the vajra. It doesn’t share my perspective. It is much more confident than I am. Secondly, its sense of authentic potentiality. Third, it feels like an authentic response to the reality of the circular weapon. There was no sense of a desire or need to turn the circular weapon into something else; it felt like that is what it wanted to do because it felt it was too powerful and too dangerous for any productive use. There is no denial that this dream was caused by or dealt with day residue. Indeed, the vajra itself said, “In this dream he was contemplating his capacity for evil and destruction as a consequence of the portrayal of same in the movie he watched.” Regarding the perfect scores, this is generally not a desirable pattern because it is so perfectionistic as to be unrealistic. However, this vajra does not care whether I think its scores are perfectionistic or unrealistic. It scores the way it wants to score.
My plan is to respect the vajra by listening to its recommendations and following them. I do have a vajra; I’ve had one for years. But I have mostly used it as ornamentation and not invested myself in it. Now I will. My intention is to practice becoming it when I feel fear, worry or confusion and when I meditate as an experiment. I will see if it is an effective means of amplifying within me the qualities it personifies.