Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Cellulose and the Subconscious


Enter these enchanted woods
You who dare.
Nothing harms beneath the leaves ...
Fair you fare.

Only at the dread of darkQuaver, 
and they quit their form;
A thousand eye-balls under hoods
Have you by the hair.
Enter these enchanted woods
You who dare.
George Meredith, the Woods of Westerman

Forests always beckon, both in reality and in stories. I think they must represent people's subconscious worlds, with the darkness and the plethora of hidden creatures. Sounds and smells are amplified by the moisture and the conductivity of the solid wood. The canopy of leaves offers protection and imagination takes flight. Fairies, elves, witches, wizards, leprechauns, and assorted sprites are known to reside there. Children find escape from tedious chores and tormenting parents, since they usually can wander freely, climbing trees, swimming streams, chasing wild animals, and bringing their fantasies to life. Great alliances have been made and broken in these hallowed green halls. The interior journey is promised, taking us further and further, seeking something specific, I think, although I can't imagine exactly what it is.

George Meredith makes a good point about day and night. Even by day, the place is dark, yet at night, it deepens even more and fears are magnified. What realm is this? Does the blackness take one closer to the hidden destination? Odd that getting "out of the woods" as they say, is safety, yet going into the woods is usually pure delight. Why would mundane trouble be associated with this magical place?

I think the psychological journey is a combination of peril and joy, and perhaps we are destined to live primarily in the light of open space and consciousness, wandering into the psyche as needed to retrieve information. Yet some people dwell in the woods. Others cut and clear, plant and mow, absorbing the full impact of the sun. These sun lovers can be suspicious of the woodsmen. Even the darkened homes on the streets are said to house odd inhabitants, sending shivers through the children as they pass by.
Oh well. Mystery has its up sides and down.


According to my astrological rulership book; wood, woods, and woodsmen, are ruled by Saturn and Capricorn. This does make sense, although I think the Moon and Cancer are also involved, with the womblike entrance and enclosure. Maybe the protective parental axis is symbolized. The Moon is imagination. Saturn the structure of cellulose. And he's also behind some of those funny forest beings. You know. The wily ones.

Top. Hindu Fakirs Practicing Their Superstitious Rites Under the Banyan Tree: drawn by Picart, engraved by Bell.
Photo and juxtaposition of engraving with poem: Thomas Pakenham.

36 Comments:

Anonymous chrispito said...

I love that first painting! I had a dream last night I was in my parents' backyard, except it was forested (like it was when I was very young) and there was a gorilla in a tree, eating a banana.

4/4/07 10:14 AM  
Blogger jm said...

I love that picture too.

That's incredible chrispito. Your dream right before this post.
How did you feel about the gorilla? Do you remember?

4/4/07 2:50 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Some jungle enthusiasts years ago came upon a band of gorillas in a wild green onion patch, and they'd never seen such ecstasy. Apparently it's their favorite food.

4/4/07 2:54 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Anthropologist Barbara J. King explains what our distant cousins can tell us about religion and why it's OK for scientists to believe in God.

Every human culture has believed in spirits, gods or some other divine being. That's why human beings have often been called Homo religioso. Some people take this long history of belief in the otherworldly as evidence for God; doesn't it explain why religion continues to be so pervasive? But many scientists are coming up with their own, decidedly secular, theories about the origins of faith. In fact, over the last few years, a small cottage industry made up of scientists and philosophers has devoted itself to demystifying the divine.

What kinds of behavior do you see in the great apes that show us how religion evolved?

I look at four different kinds of behavior -- meaning-making, imagination, empathy and following the rules. Together, I think they give us a sense of what religion might have started out to be. The apes have bits and pieces of all these four things, but not in a coherent pattern that adds up to religious behavior. To my mind, apes are conscious beings and they do these four things in incredibly fascinating ways.

Isn't the reigning explanation that our own ancestors somehow out-competed the Neanderthals and wiped them out?

Yeah. We don't think of some kind of interspecies war in which Homo sapiens literally clubbed them to death. But rather, there was some slight competitive edge that our species, Homo sapiens, had. And I really think this must have had to do with some edge in language production, an extra way to interact with the world through ritual and symbols and through the social solidarity that comes when all of those processes are deeply engaged.

God and Gorillas

4/4/07 3:35 PM  
Anonymous chrispito said...

The gorilla was eating a banana, and I remember wondering why my mom was okay with it! Ha ha!

I dreamt the night before last that I was at a beach and people were building sand barriers, in the event of a tsunami hitting the coast. They were building them with their hands; they were on their hands and knees, building, building, piling, piling, knowing that it would take a long time to build up something safe. I woke up and heard there had been a tsunami in the Solomon Islands.

What strikes me as interesting is that both these dreams are about me questioning the changing of the naturally occuring order of the immediate environment.
We are entering a peroid of obvious change of the planet. Remember the other night and you spoke of the changing sense of time with the tsunami in South-East Asia in 2004?

A NN Taurus aspiring to 'not allow the encroaching elements to disturb..' (to quote another posting): well, what does one do? Is there anything in my chart you see as a 'key' to accepting this disturbance (my own) of the environment? I work outside, and still, it seems I am not in nature. I dream of green elements, I wish to adapt.

4/4/07 7:21 PM  
Anonymous chrispito said...

Neanderthal's have a bad reputation, but they were the first known humans to build elaborate burials; there wer some ornamental things (bones, fauna).

I wish I retained more of what I learn.

4/4/07 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

I have had vivid dreams myself these past 2 nights, and I don't sleep any too well lately.

The first was about my house. My partner had somehow coerced me into selling it and moving into a bigger house, and I was upset and angry with him. The bedrooms in the new house were tiny and oddly shaped, like closets, and portions of the house were unfinished. I remember taking refuge in one of the bedrooms, bitterly lamenting the change in residence. The neighborhood was like a schoolyard, with dozens and dozens of school-age kids running around making a tremendous racket.

The second took place in my house but I don't remember much anymore except various people I know in real life interacting with me. I seem to remember that a cat had been run over in the street, making a bloody mess, but people were obliviously getting into and out of their cars. I was staring out the window at the carnage and wondering why no one noticed. There's much more but it's fuzzy by this time.

4/4/07 7:34 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"I had a dream last night I was in my parents' backyard, except it was forested (like it was when I was very young) and there was a gorilla in a tree, eating a banana.
     "...The gorilla was eating a banana, and I remember wondering why my mom was okay with it! Ha ha!"


Well, those are very good dreams, it seems to me. :-) I can make a few limited comments based on my own reactions, if y'all like, but you're sure to be able to come up with more. Getting multiple perspectives helps.

It's interesting that one dream evokes a past setting, the other looks forward to the future.

The gorilla could be security, strength, vitality and abundance from childhood influences -- yet still present though it may seem surprising or come/return in an unfamiliar format. The interface between wild nature and human domestic life.

The animal nature is a foundation on which our human ways of life are built. There's a humorous perspective, maybe about our ideas about what is acceptable or sensible. Gorillas may signify new or changed friendships, according to folklore.

"I dreamt the night before last that I was at a beach and people were building sand barriers, in the event of a tsunami hitting the coast. They were building them with their hands; they were on their hands and knees, building, building, piling, piling, knowing that it would take a long time to build up something safe. I woke up and heard there had been a tsunami in the Solomon Islands."

Again, a sense of perspective on the relationship of human nature and the rest of nature. Resistance within a larger recognition or acceptance of the journey, the ongoing process. A constructive, communally-oriented outlook to natural challenges. Trust in the day-to-day efforts of ordinary people.

Farsight and foresight: an encouragement to begin now with what one wants to accomplish much further down the road. And letting the events of the outer world be as incitements and reminders of one's sense of purpose, as they naturally are when viewed through the intuitive lens. The method in the dream is not actually effective in the way that it was depicted, but it is symbolic of a real principle of small things building into bigger things, something slowly emerging out of the efforts of many. Could also be a recognition that things built on sand are not intended nor expected to endure too long, but hopefully long enough. Transitory steps to the unknown future.

"What strikes me as interesting is that both these dreams are about me questioning the changing of the naturally occurring order of the immediate environment.
We are entering a peroid of obvious change of the planet."


The dreams do seem to reflect broad trends, in how people view themselves and each other, and therefore in how they operate within the larger systems of society and nature. It is when the old order breaks down that fresh developments can enter. Wonderful dreams. :-)

5/4/07 9:17 PM  
Blogger jm said...

The expert has arrived! No one comes close in dream analysis. I don't even try.
Wonderful of you kadimiros.

5/4/07 9:28 PM  
Blogger jm said...

The interface between wild nature and human domestic life.

remember wondering why my mom was okay with it! Ha ha!


I think this is saying something about approval of somewhat wild behavior. The feeling of the mother being OK with it is very encouraging.

I'd like to know what the banana is.

5/4/07 9:33 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Could also be a recognition that things built on sand are not intended nor expected to endure too long, but hopefully long enough. Transitory steps to the unknown future.

Dream:I dreamt the night before last that I was at a beach and people were building sand barriers

Maybe the barriers are coming down between chrispito and others. Temporary, not meant to last. Tsunami...water...shared emotions. Maybe overwhelming at first.

they were on their hands and knees, building, building, piling, piling, knowing that it would take a long time to build up something safe
Humility, hard work, and time in getting comfortable with the new way of relating.

Stunning about the timing and the real tsunami.

5/4/07 9:39 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"The first was about my house. My partner had somehow coerced me into selling it and moving into a bigger house, and I was upset and angry with him. The bedrooms in the new house were tiny and oddly shaped, like closets, and portions of the house were unfinished. I remember taking refuge in one of the bedrooms, bitterly lamenting the change in residence. The neighborhood was like a schoolyard, with dozens and dozens of school-age kids running around making a tremendous racket."

A sense of distraction, chaos and loss of order while moving (or anticipating possibly moving) into new conditions in one's life. Comfort zone may be exceeded by recent events or issues. A dream in which things which once assumed were secure or stable have shifted, or there is somehow broken continuity, or unfinished business. Also, confined spaces -- although the new house is bigger than the old house, somehow the closet-like bedrooms are situations or conditions that cramp one's style, so to speak.

So, regret, questioning of steps taken, and looking ahead and wondering. Perhaps a questioning of where things are heading. If this was a fictionalized story, this would be the presenting problem or complaint. The resolution may be in a later chapter, as dreams thematically work out alternative scenarios.

Figures in dreams often represent portions of the self, even if they also represent other people. The kids could represent divergent aims, conflicting demands on attention, or competing commitments. Also, another reflection of concern where the quality of the surrounding environment and foundational conditions are very important to personal comfort and to the ability to function well, and these needs are wanting to be seen to, and reassured, before making big moves or major commitments. Perhaps a concern with structural or organizational changes.

"The second took place in my house but I don't remember much anymore except various people I know in real life interacting with me. I seem to remember that a cat had been run over in the street, making a bloody mess, but people were obliviously getting into and out of their cars. I was staring out the window at the carnage and wondering why no one noticed. There's much more but it's fuzzy by this time."

This dream begins to move into a new angle. Like the previous dream, could be the memory of something upsetting, perhaps personally, coming up again in disguised form. But though some things may change and end messily, it can be seen that life goes on, and there are continuing relationships or commitments. Could also be a hint of isolation in one's feelings or perceptions. Maybe a suggestion that current relationships or peers are oblivious to things that strike one strongly as important or significant, and that perhaps deserve more attention. Or, since other people in dreams are also oneself, that there are things that one thinks one should be noticing more or be affected by more, or some variation on that. On a broader level, could also reflect feelings about how the world goes, and how one is trying to deal with that.

Very creative dreams, actually, as the psyche works out issues and tries out different patterns. :-)

5/4/07 9:52 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

No one comes close in dream analysis. I don't even try."

Oh, com'on. I just try to translate and articulate a bit. Not so hard. More heads are better than one.
:-)

5/4/07 9:58 PM  
Blogger jm said...

My partner had somehow coerced me into selling it and moving into a bigger house, and I was upset and angry with him.

The neighborhood was like a schoolyard, with dozens and dozens of school-age kids running around making a tremendous racket.


Moving away from he childish demanding South Node in Cancer to a more mature emotional self. The cramped rooms could be fear of restricting this old behavioral pattern.

The unfinished parts? Wait till Pluto gets there..:)

The partner in the dream? Voice of authority.

5/4/07 10:01 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"Maybe the barriers are coming down between chrispito and others. Temporary, not meant to last. Tsunami...water...shared emotions. Maybe overwhelming at first."

See, that's a good angle on the imagery. Confronted by large emotions and changes, but we press on.

5/4/07 10:02 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I just try to translate and articulate a bit. Not so hard. More heads are better than one.

Two headed monsters are especially effective.

5/4/07 10:02 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I find it interesting that she equates sand with safety. So the safety actually would be in the shifting and movement. The dissolving of barriers.

It makes me wonder how sand and ocean are connected symbolically.

5/4/07 10:05 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"Two headed monsters are especially effective."

Monsters are the exception, therefore exceptional. :-) At what they are effective, I leave to the imagination.

5/4/07 10:15 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I was staring out the window at the carnage and wondering why no one noticed.

Has to do with the seeming insensitivity to others' tragedy, I think.

Kad:But though some things may change and end messily, it can be seen that life goes on, and there are continuing relationships or commitments.

I think this is the crux. People might not be ignoring others' pain. They just have other things to focus on. Not everyone is called to do that job. The question here might be should he be the one to offer sympathy or not? Right or wrong issues.

It's an important one in general. Not everyone should feel others' pain all the time, and run to the rescue. Some are learning to stop the pattern, while others are learning to develop empathy, so they should come to the call. In the end, they'll be the most help.

5/4/07 10:22 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"It makes me wonder how sand and ocean are connected symbolically."

Sand is shifting, suggests time passing, and can symbolize changes of attitude, feeling or perspective.

Immersion in water is more common than immersion in sand. Though beach sand is shifting, it can support weight; one doesn't usually risk drowning in it. One can take more time to examine sand.

Sand has a calmer, more disidentified quality to it. It is after all, distintegrated rock or coral, ground down through time.

5/4/07 10:24 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Monsters with multiple heads?

1.They guard the gates
2.They see omnidirectionally.
3.They offer tasks for the unitiated to gain mastery
4.They bring big box office returns

5/4/07 10:26 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Being immersed in sand is a commonly pleasurable sensation.
It's interesting how it supports weight and still sinks somewhat.

Maybe it's the intermediary bewteen the overwhelming emotional waters and secure land, before it gets to more solid rock.

So rock stands firm in the mountains and gradually pulverizes as it gets to the sea.

So are sand and sea more timeless?

5/4/07 10:31 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"So are sand and sea more timeless?"

Perhaps not, but they can certainly faciliate one, as in Blake's poem,

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.


and serve to return us to ourselves.

5/4/07 10:42 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Typoed "facilitate". :-)

I feel that the sand symbolically offers perspective.

5/4/07 10:45 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Return to the "self" or the "selves".

5/4/07 10:47 PM  
Blogger jm said...

A TYPO!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think so. Perspective.

The mountains are to be climbed. Surmounted. Conquered. Sand and sea absorb. Take you in and enfold. Surround.

5/4/07 10:48 PM  
Blogger jm said...

sand is the breaking down of individuality and immersion in the whole, although the individuality remains, but is miniscule. Much like the sea. It also molds to the body, which is why I think we love to play in it. cushioning.

5/4/07 10:51 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Sand isn't timelessness, really. It marks time.
The sands of time.
The hourglass.

5/4/07 10:57 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"The hourglass."

The glass itself is made from sand. :-)

5/4/07 11:05 PM  
Blogger jm said...

But, of course.

Sand dunes actually look like water.

5/4/07 11:27 PM  
Anonymous chrispito said...

Wow, you two are amazing! I must admit I have had a plethora of water dreams as of late, and two very significant dreams of knowing a large thunderous wave was to arrive (not including the one that I described).
In those to I warned the person I was with to come up to higher ground and hang on to another rock for dear life.

I do think that they are part of the common collective, these dreams. Hanging on to those you love. Maintaining a sense of hope. Yes, the sand dunes will not last, unless they become an entity on their own, and the landscape changes maintain a sense of purpose (their own purpose). A pile of sand can be flattened, and still maintain its properties.

6/4/07 12:27 AM  
Blogger jm said...

I do think that they are part of the common collective, these dreams. Hanging on to those you love. Maintaining a sense of hope

There HAS been a lot of that going round.

A pile of sand can be flattened, and still maintain its properties.

I like that.

I still want to know what the banana is about.

If you want to do an experiment, here it is.
An analyst I saw has a technique whereby she acts as if she's an alien and asks the dreamer what the object is as if she never saw one. So the first question would be:

"What is a forest?"..or
"What is a gorilla?"

In the answer the puzzle of the dream is usually revealed. I saw it happen in a demonstration and it was amazing.

So. What is a banana?

6/4/07 1:04 AM  
Blogger jm said...

The first thing that came to my mind is that a banana is yellow. It's shaped like a crescent moon. You peel the covering and the cream-colored fruit is mushy.

But in reality, it isn't mushy. There's some gluey substance in there. The one I don't like.

6/4/07 3:09 PM  
Anonymous chrispito said...

I just discovered that bananas produce a lot of mucus in a human.

I am not sure what the banana is. When I was a child we had an enormous garden. The back were rows of raspberry bushes so thick there was a path through them. The middle rectangular bit was full of the vegetables we ate (my Mom canned a lot) and the half-circle that faced the house was full of amazing flowers. My Mom (Aries Sun, Aquarius Moon) is a master gardener.

We were not allowed to eat outside mealtime. We weren't even allowed to open the fridge. But we were free to dig up carrots from the garden and eat them after washing them with the hose.

I am living somewhere for the first time in donkey's years that has a garden someone tends with love. I am in a very small apartment building that was built in the 1910s. The man who owns the building (he's about 50) has lived here his entire life.

I currently live in his mother's old suite. She has a lovely spirit. All around us new city development is popping up, but I can still see the mountains from our living room. I feel very safe and very stable here, more so than I have in decades.

7/4/07 10:19 AM  
Anonymous chrispito said...

Kadimiros,

I believe your interpretation is sound!

My mother, who is highly intuitive, told me recently that she gave up 'intuiting' because, in her words, 'There is a very fine line between being psychic and being paranoid.' She was speaking of herself.

I do struggle with intuition and feeling isolated. I also struggle with the scale of change in the world. I know you can never go back, but I mourn this.

7/4/07 10:24 AM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"I do struggle with intuition and feeling isolated. I also struggle with the scale of change in the world. I know you can never go back, but I mourn this."

It helps to have people to talk to. :-)

Intuition can be a survival-oriented trait. It also flowers as inspiration and creativity. It tends to go where the attention goes.

I see the world as the unfolding of everyone's psyches in time.

I think that the art school can support you in exploring the expanses of your psyche, and validate feelings.

Though relationships and conditions that have served their purposes come to an end, I feel that the essence of what's important is not lost, though we can lose sight of it for a time. The vitality of the child lives on in the adult and, if forgotten, can be rediscovered -- happily eating, perhaps, a sweet, incongruous banana.

8/4/07 3:34 PM  

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