Author Topic: The Anima Work, VI: Letting Go and Looking Back  (Read 5684 times)

Matt Koeske

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The Anima Work, VI: Letting Go and Looking Back
« on: September 23, 2008, 12:06:46 PM »

Although the dream below demonstrates an essential component of the anima work cycle, it is regrettably very complex.  Still, it is the text I have to work with that deals with the complications of letting go of the anima after the Coniunctio and heroic sacrifice.  We should recall that although the heroic sacrifice might depotentiate the heroic ego (as part of the depotentiated syzygy), the ego and the heroic ego are not the same thing.  We (as the egos we identify with) are not archetypal heroes.  What the heroic attitude "recommends" is not usually what we do.  So where the hero can manage to let go of his maternalistic attachment to the anima, the ego fairs less well.

The process of letting go (even after the heroic ego has arrived at this decision) can take a very long time.  I refer again to the songs of Bob Dylan that demonstrate difficulties with letting go of the anima over a period of decades.  This difficulty with separation (notably a separation both from the anima and from the ego's "better half", the hero) makes for a great Blues theme, but otherwise, it can be torturous.

I should note that when I use the term "ego", I am referring to a conscious personality and identity center that is wired into the whole psyche.  That is, it is connected to all the other personality centers and can be influenced by all of them (even simultaneously).  From this "cognitive chatter" (or is it puppetry?), the "ego" narrativizes a kind of filtered coherence that results in the quality of conscious perception (or, perhaps more accurately, the filtered coherence is constructed by the brain for consciousness to perceive).  Therefor (to speak more metaphorically, again), the ego is "made up" of psychic power players like the Demon of the Complex (which has a superegoic quality), the hero, the Self and the archetypes, the personal shadow, etc.  So, never would the heroic ego be calling all the shots.  It must sit at the same negotiating table as the Demon, the shadow, and the Self and argue for its influence over consciousness and the personality in general.

When I differentiate ego from heroic ego or even contrast them, I mean that the ego proper is essentially run by committee, while the heroic ego is one specific attitude or voice in that committee.  The ego thus suffers from the "problems" of diversity and committee agreement.  It doesn't necessarily have the power to cast the deciding vote.  A more accurate metaphor would have the ego as the vote tallier.  The weight or power of each personality center in the psyche tends to determine choice, action, belief, conscious construction, etc.  The instinctual processes of ego reorganization (like the anima work and the Work in general) tend to reorganize the balance of power in the psyche.  If successful, the heroic ego and the Self will gain more say, while the Demon and personal shadow tend to have the most influence only when something breaks down the libido of the heroic ego or some new scenario allows it to stake a novel (or, more likely, "same old") claim.

To say that the ego is not getting along well with the instinctual Self is to say that the Demon of the Complex (and its lackey or prisoner, the personal shadow) has more power to determine conscious thought and action than the instinctual Self (with its champion, the heroic ego, acting as go-between).  These constructions of psyche are very complicated and often frustrating (as keeping strict differentiations between these "personality centers" often ranges from difficult to impossible).  And that's saying nothing about the arbitrariness of this construction, which is meant as a functional fiction, not as a neurological fact.

Another notable complexity is that the engagement with the anima work tends to radically reshuffle the organization of these inner characters or attitudes.  The heroic ego (and its other half, the anima) really don't make significant (or consciously recognized) appearances on the scene until the anima work begins . . . and the anima work transforms and fills out the hero and anima.  Before the anima work is engaged in, the hero and the anima are so indistinct that the Demon of the Complex can slip its "spin" into their perception in consciousness.  We see this a lot in conventional Jungian portrayals of the anima (and the puer).  Severe cases of hero impersonation by the Demon result in inflation.  Part of developing the genuine syzygy involves the increased ability to differentiate the faux hero from the real one.  This also means that the definition of the Demon of the Complex can only be done with the component development of the hero during the anima work.

As Donald Kalsched has noted, (what I call) the Demon is often noticeable in the dreams and fantasies of traumatized people.  But the understanding of the relationship of the Demon to the whole of the personality is not really developed (or that relationship depotentiated) until the heroic ego is developed (something that happens much to the chagrin of the Demon, who is quite used to being the boss of the personality in many trauma victims).


The dream to follow contains much more personalized symbolism than the previous anima dreams.  I will edit some of this out to help bring forward the more archetypal content, but much of the imagery will have to be explained or interpreted in order to highlight its archetypal dimensions.  This requires me to perform a partial analysis on the dream.  From the analyses, other comments on the nature of the anima work will be expanded.


Dream:

Quote
Scene 1:

A man I vaguely know who may be some kind of spy/secret agent goes into a dark restaurant to try to negotiate a deal with a Godfather crime lord figure.  The man I knew ended up leaving with a large sum of money.  He had somehow managed to con the Godfather (which seemed extremely unwise to me).  The Godfather surprisingly didn’t seem that upset.  The amount of money the conman got away with was something like $7,777,777.

Scene 2:

Standing around home plate on a baseball field with a team having a “pre-game talk” with the coach, who was either Jung or Socrates.  He was a playing coach (as was seen in the old days of baseball occasionally), and more like a team captain.  He might have been the pitcher.  The conversation was important and may have been of a philosophical or spiritual nature to some degree, but I don’t recall the details.

Scene 3:

I am riding in a car, going to a new school.  It seems like a fancy, private, prep school and looks like an Ivy League campus.  The grounds are very beautiful with rolling hills, big trees, grassy fields.  It feels like autumn.

It seems as though there are many people in the backseat of the car having a variety of conversations.  One of these conversations has to do with an urban legend that I dismiss as silly or fictional, but others take pretty seriously.  The story went that in this particular town or area, a secret cult would abduct some young people (virgins?) on a certain night, and these abductees would never be seen again.

We drove up a driveway onto the school grounds and got out.  As I walked toward the school, the first thing I saw was an immense swimming pool with two giant, towering diving platforms maybe 100 feet in the air (or some impossible height).  Many people were swimming in the pool and diving off the platform into the water.  It seemed they were all young women.


Scene 4:

Now I am inside the school waiting in a line to register for classes.  I feel like an outsider, both because I am new to the school and because I feel older than the other students.  A few attractive young women (late teens?) pass and look at me, and it is somehow conveyed that I am “not their type” or am somehow odd to them (in the way an older person might seem foreign to a high school student . . . and because I am “too intellectual”).

Later on, I strike up a conversation with a tall, thin blond woman who was one of the group who had “dismissed” me earlier.  We seemed to hit it off, and there was a feeling of intimacy and connection between us.  She tells me that she had made a poor decision in her initial “rejection” of me and that she now found me very interesting.  We walked through mostly deserted and somewhat dark hallways as we talked.

We passed through a double door and entered a stairwell where our conversation became more intimate and sexually energized.

She and I begin some kind of foreplay, and the stairwell now seems to be a dimly lit furnished basement.  Despite the passion, there seems to be something holding us back from having intercourse.  We are still clothed.  There is no consummation.  There is also some fear that someone will come down the stairs and interrupt us.  The whole scenario feels somehow remedial, like sneaking around to have some kind of sexual experience back in high school.

We are interrupted by the girl’s father starting to come down the stairs, and we make haste to cover ourselves and look innocent.  It turns out that the girl’s father is the Godfather from the first scene (who had been conned by the secret agent).  We were pretty worried about what he would do to us.  It is obvious to the Godfather what had been going on, but he seems to neither approve nor disapprove.  He says a few words, but realizes that he has interrupted us and goes back upstairs to give us our privacy.

I get up to use the bathroom and urinate in a small box-like room without fixtures.  Then I want to wash my hands, but keep getting distracted on the way to the sink (somewhere out in the basement, although it kept moving).

Meanwhile, people start coming and going, and it seems that the mafia organization run by the Godfather is springing into action for some reason.  The Godfather is organizing his people to combat some kind of dangerous force, which they are about to go out and confront.

On a counter top, next to the sink I had finally tracked down, is a computer-like device with a complicated keyboard and many buttons and levers.  It looks a little like a music studio mixing board or synthesizer.  But it isn’t working and no one knows how to fix it.  It was supposed to have some mystical and powerful ability.

Some of the people the Godfather is organizing to send on a mission are associated with me (and are new members of the gang).  One of these is my cousin, Art.  He starts fiddling around with the synthesizer machine, teaching himself how it worked, and eventually fixes it.  The Godfather is very pleased.


Scene 5:

We leave for our mission, and many of us are in a car together (it is night).  The Godfather is driving, his daughter (my lover) sits on his right, I am on her right, and my girlfriend of the time is on my right.  In the dream there is no conflict between the two women for some reason.  A collective of people are in the backseat.  The young blond woman on my left takes my hand and starts to stroke her breast with it, while I stroke my girlfriend’s breast with my right hand.  This somehow indicated an equitable transfer of passion/eros.

Then there is some kind of transition.  We are still in the car, but something mysterious, numinous, and frightening has happened.  My girlfriend’s younger brother (now in the backseat) has become the blond woman’s boyfriend, but the woman herself has vanished.  The mysterious abduction cult has somehow spirited her away.  I realize that the urban legend is actually true.

We are now parked in a huge vacant lot up on a hill.  My girlfriend’s brother (GB) was very upset that his lover has been stolen away.  He moans sadly.  I leave the car and walk up a steep curving hill following some kind of hunch.  Suddenly, a booming voice breaks out of the sky like the voice of God.  It says something to console (but also enlighten) GB, and I think to myself that I have to remember these profound, philosophical words (when I wake up), because they seem to make sense of some great mystery of life (but upon awakening, I had forgotten them).  I think that the voice explained what had “really happened” and what should be done about it (in order to accept it) . . . it might have had something to do with GB’s mother.


Scene 6:

I am now driving on the highway (going eastward) from the city back to the suburb where I live, and I am approaching a tunnel.  Others (mostly old friends from high school) are in the car arguing about what had happened (with the abductions).  The others think the blond woman was pulled out of the car by a “clansman” from the abduction cult, but I disagree.  I say this was impossible, because I was right next to her and would have felt it.  I think the abduction was magical, and that she had actually “vanished” instantaneously.  I then see a cat walking along the concrete divider of the highway.  We are driving on the left side of the barrier, but nothing was thought of this.  The traffic flow was reversed for everyone.

Then I see three stray dogs ahead on the side of the road.  A woman in the back speaks up to note their “cuteness” . . . but as we get closer and slow down, we see that the three strays are eating from the underbelly of a dead Dalmatian.  This took place right outside the tunnel we were approaching.  There is a toll to stop and pay before entering the tunnel.

A few men are managing the tolls, and as I stop and open my car door, they drop a heap of papers and stiff white cards on my lap.  One of them flips face up as it falls, and it is a giant Warren Spahn baseball card.  The toll men have something to do with baseball.  They suddenly recognize me as an ex-player, and feel slightly embarrassed that they had given me these cards (which were really only meant for fans/spectators, and not for players or those with special knowledge and experience of the game).  But, for some reason, I had fallen from repute as a ballplayer.  I was the type of person that others whispered about, sort of like Joe Jackson after the Black Sox scandal.  These men whispered and snickered a little as we drove off.

As we enter the tunnel, I notice my girlfriend (and some of the others) have disappeared (although there was no real focus on this in the dream).  My best friend from childhood (BF), is now driving, and he and I are the only ones left.  Those who had disappeared may have been abducted in the same magical way as the blond woman.

When we come out of the tunnel on the other side, we are now on the right (proper) side of the road.  BF and I argue about the abductions, but he is very frightened that he will also be abducted, and I start trying to console him.  I tell him no one will be able to come into the car and grab us.  Then I see, off the far left side of the road, a Big Wheel (plastic kid’s tricycle) with a large burlap sack sitting on top of it that seems to contain a person.

I tell BF that this is how the abduction cult is doing it, and that it seems to have been material (non-magical) after all.  A man walks over to the sack and takes it away, and I know he is going about collecting these abductees from various places.  I think (at some point) that I am not afraid of the abductions, and actually a bit curious.  I wouldn’t mind being abducted just to see what would happen, where the people were going.

As I comfort BF, he drives off onto the side of the road unconsciously and we were traveling over mud and bumps.  I tell him that if he doesn’t want to be abducted, he had better stay on the pavement, and he quickly pulls back onto the road.  It was just in time, because a large, yellow construction digger was parked/abandoned on the side of the road just ahead of us.  The side of the road was somehow associated with the abduction cult.  I awake.


Comments and Analysis:

Scene 1:
This con job symbolically depicts my fascination with spiritualistic, New Agey, and Eastern thinking that had exploded along with my confrontation with the unconscious (starting at age 15 or 16).  One of the philosophical systems I was obsessed with was a kind of personality typology system in which everything was based on the number seven.  Seven types, seven levels of attainment, etc.  After falling head over heals into the thought that such a thing was literally true (literalization and totemization are the cardinal signs of spiritualistic attitudes), my subsequent experience and reflection left me feeling deeply ashamed of my wild, spiritualistic beliefs.  The period during which I engaged in the anima work was a process of moving away from these spiritualistic, New Age, and Eastern roots, which I felt had led me into a dangerous inflation.  I was then finding Jungian thinking much more grounded and healthy than the Eastern philosophies I had indulged in previously, and I devoured Jungian literature ravenously, perhaps as a kind of antidote.

The con in the dream that resulted in the theft of the $7,777,777 was a symbol of my spiritualistic inflation.  What the symbol suggests is that I had since then significantly detached from that inflated spiritualism.  But what was most striking to me (in my original dream work on this dream and now) was the Godfather's reaction to being swindled so badly.  He did not seek revenge . . . and even seemed to allow the theft to take place right under his nose.  It was not so much that he was deceived.  He knew what the con man was up to (whose identity as a "spy" suggests that he is committing espionage and stealing secrets that don't actually belong to him).  And yet, he allowed the theft to take place.  I felt he was essentially saying, "I can see that the thrill and satisfaction you get from stealing this money from me please you very much, and although I know it won't get you what you are really after, I will allow you to take it.  This is the only way you will learn this lesson."

Even as a detached observer in this scene of the dream, I was astonished and perplexed at the Godfather's attitude.  Of course, after some maturation and more reflection, I saw a kind of "Christlike" wisdom and empathy in the Godfather's behavior.  What I think we can draw from this (as obviously the Godfather is a Self symbol) is that, however shameful the inflation might feel to the ego (after the ego realizes its error), the Self understands the inevitability of the inflation wound.  It was gestures from the Self like this that helped me work through the inflation and eventually recognize that Jung's perspective on inflation was dangerously Demonic and limiting.

As for the money itself, we could say (along with conventional dream work thinking) that it represents something like libido or psychic value.  The inflation (driven indirectly by the Demon) steals this libido value from the Self and tries to horde it for the sake of ego preservation and fortification.  To the degree that the anima work can be stalled or opposed, this is typically successful.  It takes the heroic ego's development to recognize the swindle and stand against it.  In the dream, even as an observer, the dream ego holds this heroic perspective.


Scene 2:

The relevance of this scene is reflected in the later baseball-related imagery at the toll gate.  In this scene, the Self figure is coaching the psychic team.  The entering into of the "game" is essentially equivalent to the beginning of the anima work.  The "disgraced ex-player" reputation I have later in the dream could therefore be seen as an indication that the dream is depicting a "retrospective", a narrative that reconstructs the entire preceding dream series as some kind of whole set or process.  I cannot speak to the universality of this retrospective kind of dream, but I have certainly had quite a few over the years.  The very concept of a dream as retrospective is fully consistent with the conventional neuroscientific thinking about dreams as "memory consolidations" or complex systemic organizations of memory.

We should therefore look for indications of a linear, temporal progression in this dream's symbolism.

A personal note, I played baseball through high school with significant success, but had a conflict with the coach that ended up leading to my premature resignation from the game (that I loved deeply).  I consistently have baseball dreams that focus on the conflict between getting to play (and being able to play well) and not getting to play.  These typically reference my level of instinctual (or "spiritual") engagement with what I'm doing in my life at the time.  The anima work is, of course, a time of great instinctual engagement . . . but it is also often accompanied by an inability to function fully in the outer world.

During the anima work, one may very well still feel "engaged" instinctually, but as the anima work ends, one is faced with the realization that the tremendous energy generated by the syzygy is depotentiated.  At the end of this work, the questions that most haunt us are, "What the hell just happened?  Was this real?  What did it mean?  Have I become a new person or merely ridden a wave of delusion that just crashed on the shore?"


Scene 3:

From the pre-game "inspirational speech" we now come to the opening pitch of the game itself.  The two main elements of this scene are the introduction of the abduction cult legend and the threshold image of the huge swimming pool and the young women diving from the high platforms.  The abduction legend is on one hand a reflection of the mystique of the anima work (and the confrontation with the unconscious in general), but it is also a foreshadowing of the "loss of youth" that the anima work is directed at.  The dream ego here (as a function of the heroic mode) is not afraid of the legend (in contrast to the other voices/personages).  This lack of fear (later reiterated as a curiosity and even willingness to be abducted) is the one essential quality required to do the anima work.  The ego must not be afraid to dissolve, to be taken apart, to be "abducted" by the unconscious, instinctual process of reorganization.  And yet, as the dream also shows later on, the core of the ego (guided by the heroic instinct) will not ultimately be abducted, even as all of the "immature" elements around him are.

As the dream ego comes to the new school of the anima work, he passes through the gateway of the diving women.  My attitude toward this in the dream was part fascination, but also part incredulity.  The young women seemed almost too nymphlike and beautiful and otherworldly.  The beautiful women diving into the pool revisit the scene in the previously discussed Coniunctio and Sacrifice dream where the beautiful princess who saved me from sacrificing myself to the sex change operation disrobed and dove into a huge swimming pool.  The incredibly high dives the young women in the present dream were doing seemed extremely dangerous to me, i.e., a recipe for disaster.  Not only is the diving into the water a symbol of submerging and dissolving into the unconscious (or becoming indistinct), it also foreshadows the anima death or depotentiation.

The women diving are very brave, but also somewhat naive.  They are another representation of the youthfulness that is sacrificed to the unconscious as part of the anima work.  Throughout this dream, what is youthful and naive is in great danger of disappearing (being abducted).  During the anima work, all that is youthful or uninitiated or regressive is a potential casualty.  The other dreams are less direct about this, but this dream makes the meaning of the anima work process much more clear by reconstructing it in retrospect.
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]

Matt Koeske

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Re: The Anima Work, VI: Letting Go and Looking Back
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008, 01:04:09 PM »

Scene 4:

Although, I think it is partially accurate to say that the experience in this new school is related to the experience of the anima work, the symbol is complex.  The dream ego's perspective on the anima work is now somewhat detached.  Now I see the remedial or youthful aspect of the anima work that I did not see during the bulk of the process.  This sense of being an outsider is that same quality that will preserve me from becoming an abduction victim.  At the same time the feeling I get from the three young women who find me not to be their type is that I am too "mature", too serious, and too "intellectual" for them.  In an early anima dream which I did not relate here, I had written an essay that the anima (a journal editor) criticized as being "Germanism" (a reflection of my struggles to read Kant at the time).  I saw she was right, and this allowed me to go with her into her back room where she showed me her witchcraft, making a cat disappear and appear.  The same best friend from childhood who shows up later in this dream was also there, and he was terrified and intimidated by the anima woman.  I, on the other hand, was fascinated.  Enchanted.  And not afraid at all.  I'll revisit this dream again as I discuss later scenes in the present dream.

The larger perspective this dream affords the dream ego is overly dismissive of the anima work in order to "make a point", we could say.  What this larger perspective shows is that even though the "intellectualism" I was inclined toward had to be dissolved away to some degree in order to do the anima work, the Logos-quality of the hero is essential to his heroic role in the psyche (i.e., essential to his facilitation of the Self).  As the somehow more mature outsider in this scene, the dream ego actually possesses a mind that has a complexity and fertility that the youthful feminine cannot comprehend.  This is the mark of initiation.  This retrospective dream takes an interesting twist on the anima work by posing the question, "What if you had to do it all over again?" in the context of the conventional dream in which the dream ego is forced to go back to school or to some remedial position where it is both too old and too unprepared (out of practice) to be a "good student" again.

What we see is something I will discuss in more detail in the next chapter.  Namely, the anima figure is no longer identified by its ability to teach or initiate the ego, but by its aptitude to be initiated by the ego . . . which has become (in this scenario) a kind of animus-ego.  In other words, the woman who is ready to do the animus work, who has felt the Call, is the one ready to unlock the fertility of the anima-initiated male ego.  His transference to her compliments her transference to him.  Instead of the early anima work, where the ego wants to and makes itself able to receive the anima's gifts, after the anima work, the instinctual relationality of the man is expressed more in the giving or the illuminating of roads where the Other might be able to actualize her (or his) potential.  This is part of the Other valuation the anima work develops.  In other words, the man who has done the anima work is typically more capable of allowing Others space to develop parts of themselves that are still budding and largely unconscious.

This doesn't have to be an explicit mentorship and is never only a "teaching or guidance".  It is the expression of valuation for another person's right to expand themselves and their conscious complexity.  It is not a matter of saying, "Here's the path you need to follow, the laws you need to learn, in order to become enlightened."  What I mean is an empathic tolerance that sees the Other as more than a strict set of definitions, a rigid or simple system of personality.  The Other is "allowed" and welcomed to be in a state of change, becoming, reorganization.  The valuation of the Other is not merely in what that Other is or seems to be or presents him or herself as at a specific point in time.  The valuation of the Other allows for their whole past and future (or futures, their potentials) to be included in the construction of who they are.

We tend to have a love/hate relationship with our potentials, with our Selves.  Generally we want other people to see us the way we want and think we should be seen.  More often than not, we still "know" more about ourselves than others perceive.  Sometimes we relish this mystique of self-knowledge and try to mystify ourselves to others.  This mystification of women is especially common, and it is the product of a pact between women who use it as a source of power and protection and men who project the mysterious anima onto the women who most manufacture and utilize this mystique.  We generally don't realize we are doing this.

I think it is important to point out that this dynamic has nothing to do with the animi work.  When women who are in the habit of manufacturing a mystique that catches men's anima projections are confronted with a potential animus figure who actually welcomes them to expand themselves rather than collaborates in imprisoning them within their own rigidly defined sense of mystique and persona, these women are typically terrified or infuriated at the animus figure (or whoever they project it onto).  This is one of the many ways that animus figures acquire very shadowy or "beastly" facades.  When we are subject to the Demon-driven ego, anything that illuminates our potentials (and therefore our refusal to pursue them) can seem "violating" to us.  Routine is comfortable, even when it is oppressive.  The animi are the harbingers of change and the greatest threats to the Demon of the Complex, which is the force of stasis behind ego formation.  The Demon likes to have all personality mechanized and formulaic.  It doesn't want to have to adapt to the new.  It wants to conform all new experience to the old set of routines and interpretations.

The anima work develops a valuation of Otherness that leads the ego to try to facilitate that Otherness rather than determine, control, or limit it.  It isn't always easy to differentiate the desire to determine from the desire to facilitate the Other.  Even if an individual can generally tell the difference, there is no guarantee that the Other will be able to . . . and if that Other isn't able, their Demon will potentially become conflated with the animi and projected upon whoever is interested in facilitating.

I mean to construct this digression in regard to the initial encounter with the three young women in the school.  The reason the dream ego is alien to them is that it is a heroic, animus-ego that is little more than an opaque window to the uninitiated.  To bring this into a more concrete, real world scenario, we could say that the man who has done his anima work is no longer drawn to women who he plasters with mysterious anima projections.  Because he is much less likely to project his anima (and almost completely unlikely to project a confining or determining anima-object onto women), he actually becomes something of an enigma to most women, who have learned to relate to men through the anima projections of those men.  When the man is not holding out this "letter of introduction", he can seem very foreign to women (and often, potentially dangerous or "untrustworthy" . . . where "untrustworthy" simply means unpredictable, as predictability is what any projection demands of the Other).

Of these three women, one turns out to be ready for the animus-ego, and she is in some sense like the Christ crucified between two thieves.  She is still an anima figure (and being the daughter of the Godfather eventually removes any doubt of this).  But she is a depotentiated anima figure.  This means (among other things) that she is no longer the only medium of relationship with the Self.  The ego transitions to a more direct relationship with the Self (through the gestating Logos).  We see this in the way that the dream ego joins the Self figure's team (where Cousin "Art" can then repair the synthesizer) and mission after the "introduction to the family" that the anima/daughter provides.  The depotentiated anima is more like a real person.  She doesn't necessarily possess any "mana", any special power or magical/divine ability . . . and commonly, she is attracted to the heroic ego because he does (in dreams, that is).  Therefor, she is a valuator and recognizer of the heroic ego's affiliation with the Self.

This stage can be dicey, because it is this state that the inflated ego seeks to impersonate.  This is what I think was confusing for Jung in his essay on the mana-personality where he tried to see the anima depotentiation as a transfer of mana to the ego and/or mana-personality.  The differentiation required is subtle but important.  The mana-personality is a state of inflation in which the ego tries to put on the mana of the Self.  It is not the anima, per se, that has this mana.  The anima merely stand in front of the Self at first, and this allows them to appear conflated to the ego.  The mana always and only belongs to the Self.  The anima is a way for the ego to relate to the Self (and its mana) that eventually becomes obsolete with the anima depotentiation and the beginning of the Logos construction.  This Logos, then, typically becomes the vehicle through which the individual relates to the Self and through which s/he relates from the Self to other people (to a broader sense of Otherness).

I recognize that some discussion of mana and attainment is needed here if there is to be any hope of bringing some clarity to this.  Mana is a transference phenomenon.  It is projected upon others (for various reasons).  But the mana-personality literalizes mana, believes he or she possesses mana . . . and often acts in a way meant to court mana projections.  The mana personality identifies with this mana as one might identify with any persona.  It is used to shield one's weaknesses from the outer world (and perhaps from one's own consciousness when possible).  There is no literal mana, though.  The presence of mana always takes two or more people.  Which means that the sense of mana is within all of us . . . but it generally lies in the unconscious realm and so is not recognized as belonging to the ego.  When we interact with someone who seems to resemble or makes a good canvas for the projection of these non-egoic, unconscious aspects of our psyche, we essentially invest this person with mana.  That is, we project onto them the degree and character of the valuation we feel for those unconscious contents (even though we may not consciously realize we "value" these contents).  More accurately, we do not value them with volition (I use the term "valuate" for that).  It is the psyche that values these things and generates value for them within us.  They are charged with value . . . and often this value is the same thing as numinousness.  What is valued by the psyche in general is the functional connection or flow between instinctual drives and conscious behavior.  People who catch our projections are often those that seem to evoke the valuation of these reconnections.

If the transference to such people is positive (i.e., we consciously desire such reconnection to some degree), then they will seem to take on the attributes of the animi or perhaps a parental Self figure or mentor.  If the transference is negative (i.e., we consciously resist and do not want the reconnection with instinctual or devalued parts of ourselves), then these people will seem to take on the attributes of the personal shadow (and sometimes aspects of the Shadow-Self, as well).  The more incapable we are of recognizing the quality of mana in the Self within, the more it will be projected onto others.  And the temptation to project mana is significant, because, in the positive transference, it seems to allow the animi or Self to be experienced immediately and in the flesh.  In the negative transference, it seems to allow for an Other to play legitimate scapegoat for shadow projections, providing a sense of absolution and vindication (powerful approvals of the way we want to be seen).  It's not uncommon for both positive and negative transferences to occur simultaneously, making for a confused but even more powerful sense of mana attributed to the Other.

So, when Jung asks where the mana goes after the anima is depotentiated (by the conquering ego!), we should realize that the mana stays right where it always was: with the Self (or the ego's perception of the Self).  It is the ego's perception of the Self that makes the Self seem numinous, filled with mana.  But this mana is non-transferable.  There is no conquering of the unconscious that imbues the ego with power.  That is merely the illusion the mana-personality clings to in order to protect itself from its feelings of impotency (and from the recognition that the facilitation and valuation of the Self requires an act of surrender to the instinctual process, not an act of power or fortification).  In our dreams (especially when engaged with the anima work and the Work proper), the dream ego is commonly portrayed as the heroic ego (or as a mostly heroic ego).  But even though the archetypal hero is a role the dream ego commonly puts on, this doesn't carry over into waking life.  In dreams, personality is fragmented into voices, attitudes, as many pieces as can be differentiated . . . and the dream ego is usually identified with one.  But when we are awake, we cannot attach only to this one (in this case, heroic) persona and perspective.  We must be an amalgam and average of the fragments or complexes of personality.  Also, any mana the heroic ego might seem to have in dreams is a construction of the dream narrative (the mana attributed to the dream ego is a matter of the valuation attributed its heroism by the instinctual psyche).  It belongs to the whole narrative, just as a theatrical character's personality, costume, props, history, dialog, etc. belong to the part written by the writer.  When the actor leaves the stage s/he is no longer the character s/he played.

In other words, I do not mean to suggest that mana is entirely an illusion.  Rather, it is a misappropriation (when attributed to the mana-personality).  Facilitation of the Self is instinctually and unconsciously (autonomously) valuated in the psyche and perceived as numinousness by the ego.  The mana-personality tries to steal this value-libido and use it as a mask and defense for the stagnant ego-position.  We must then (out of fairness) ask whether there is anything to mana aside from a rather illusory feeling.  I would say (with significant trepidation and qualification) that there is a kind of substance to psychic reorganization (the anima work).  Something new and valuable is genuinely being forged.  But this new creation or development of personality is not and should not be confused with a kind of "spiritual attainment" (as it most often is).  What I think is actually happening during and with the completion of the anima work is that the movement toward the reorganization of the personality that better facilitates the drive of the instinctual Self is charged with psychic valuation.  This valuation is not created by the ego but is the response of the Self (the psychic system) to the increase in its functionality and adaptability.  This autonomous valuation that is perceived by the ego is equivalent to the removal of some egoic or Demonic bottlenecks in the system.  The "psychic pipes" that once got too little or too much flow or current are now getting just the right amount.  Pressure is more efficiently distributed.  And the whole system begins to operate with greater homeostatic efficiency.  This can be perceived by the ego as a decrease in anxiety.

But we must note that even with this decrease in anxiety, the anima work creates new problems which can become bottlenecks themselves.  That is, the movement into the Nigredo stage solves some of the old problems of the personality, but opens the door to new ones.  There are two specific new problems that the completion of the anima work brings.  The first is that the new organization of the psychic system is fragile and will need to be used and continuously revised, repaired, reworked, etc. in order for it to become truly functional and adaptive/efficient (the corresponding stage in the alchemical opus is the Uroboric sublimation of liquid into gas followed by condensation of the gas in the vessel and its return as liquid back to solution).  The second is that this reorganization tends to make the initiate appear alien in some ways to anyone who is still subject to the "adolescent" psychology that the anima work process aims to reorganize.  This "alienness" is a matter of what amounts to no longer worshiping the same totemic "gods" of the tribal mindset unconsciously and unquestioningly.  The movement through the anima work and into the Nigredo is a movement toward a brand of "atheism".

That is, we identify and relate to others based on what they affiliate themselves with and identify as.  If we are trying to relate to someone who doesn't have the same belief or affiliation with a specific totem, that person seems alien to us.  They have not met our expectation of solidarity (tribal membership).  It is very easy to observe this when we interact with someone from another culture or who holds a radically different religious attitude than us.  As a (religious) atheist, I experience this all the time.  If I were to make a simple statement to a religious person (a "true-believer") regarding my perception of something religious, it would be received as entirely alien by that person.  And I mean "alien".  Not necessarily wrong, but different, incomprehensible (perhaps in the same way many religious people can't comprehend that morality can exist without belief in God . . . or the way many positivistic atheists believe that spiritual interests in others are a sign of intellectual flabbiness).  But we are composed of innumerable little affiliations and beliefs that are much more subtle than our religions or classes or races.  Whenever we interact with someone who does not accord with our expectation of affiliation, we are confronted with Otherness and alienness.  The completion of the anima work is typically accompanied by an "individuation".  Not necessarily a "complete individuation", but a significant repealing of unconscious affiliations of all kinds.  The valuation of these rigid and unconscious affiliations is depotentiated as part of the systemic reorganization.  This means that we do not receive any "endowment" from these tribal affiliations any longer, no protection, support, or infusion of energy.  This loss is usually experienced as a descent into a new state of deep loneliness and possibly even helplessness.  But, because of the anima work, the loneliness is valuated enough for it to seem (just about) worth the sacrifice.  The loneliness is hard to bear, but it is recognized as being in Good Faith.

If we fail to recognize the cost and the value of the Coniunctio, if we sense the true cost and fail to understand the value, we will abort the anima work.  It will not seem worth it.  But only as we start to sniff out the real Coniunctio will we be faced with the choice of sacrifice or abortion.  To complete the anima work and enter into the loneliness of the Nigredo is the bear the mark of Cain.  This feeling is evoked by the 22nd Psalm, "My Lord, My Lord, why have You forsaken me?".  The following passage is an excellent poetic (and alchemical) description of the feeling of the Nigredo (the Putrefactio stage, specifically):

Quote
   I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
   My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue clings to my jaws;
You have brought me to the dust of death.


To be marked in such a way is to be released (it may even seem an excommunication) from the tribe, from participation mystique, the Eros that binds the tribe together unconsciously.  To the degree that tribe members recognize this in the person marked, it is very likely to be perceived as an offense or heresy.  The attribution of shadowy mana to such heretics is common.  I like to call this "stranger mana".  Those who have done the anima work will not only seem strange to others (who have not), they may also seem strange to themselves in certain ways.  The valuation of Otherness within always has this result.  Far from being perceived (projected, that is) by others as spiritual attainment or a connection to the gods, this stranger mana will typically seem three parts "suspicious" to one part "dangerous".  In many tribal cultures the attribution of stranger mana is part of what defines the shaman or medicine person.  Often the shaman is a partly tabooed individual who must live outside the tribe.  That is, part of her or his mana is composed of shadow projection.

The New Age guru figure, by contrast, is often whitewashed of stranger mana and the shadow projections are then aimed elsewhere (perhaps at an ideological enemy).  We can actually see this even with Carl Jung.  Many who have read his writings have been polarized.  His supporters tend to see him as a kindly wise old man figure, while his detractors attribute all kinds of atrocities to him, from Nazism to womanizing to outrageous arrogance to dangerous callousness.  There are numerous literary and cinematic dramatizations of stranger mana (an excellent example is Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name" westerns) in our culture.  In fact, we seem to have a problem with idealizing and romanticizing this empowered (strong and silent) stranger figure as an attractive aspect of the Masculine.  But most of these portrayals have an adolescent bent to them.  That is, they demonstrate youthful or impotent aspirations to be seen as powerful but without much comprehension that such "mana" comes with enormous responsibility.  The illusion we like to entertain is that this power can be cultivated only with extreme self-interest and impenetrability . . . which suggests that the Demon is pulling the strings here.

Regardless of the complexities and subtleties of mana transference, we must admit that the anima work is indeed likely to attract to the individual who has done it a higher degree of mana projections.  These may not come out in interactions with others until one's real alienness is observed (and since most people tend to assume that anyone who isn't an enemy is more or less a tribe member, much of the time, the anima initiate's alienness is only spotted in more intimate relationships or relationships in which beliefs and attitudes are seriously discussed or debated).  We would assume in this case that some recognizable and substantial change to the personality has occurred as a result of the anima work.  I do think a legitimate change occurs, but it can be very difficult to describe and explain this change (any more specifically than I already have).  In addition to an increase in the valuation of Otherness and a freeing up of Demonic bottlenecks in the personalities system, one quality that does seem to be newly acquired (or activated) with the anima work is an increased plasticity.  This plasticity is partially born out of humility and surrender to the anima work process.  It is learned from the dissolution of ego that the anima work begins with.  The ego is never built back into a fully solid and indissoluble system.  It acquires a new model based on dissolution.

Recall that dissolution (think alchemical Solutio/Coniunctio) is about blending differentiated parts into one substance.  In systems speak, we could consider this an increase in interrelationality of parts or quanta.  This dissolution state is vitalizing to a system, because (like a spider's web) a touch on one part of the system resonates through the whole system.  Feelings and thoughts bleed together.  What we experience in the dissolution is this heightened interrelation of pieces of the personality . . . and the anima is the emblem of value for this dissolution/interrelation.  The anima is the attractive factor of the interrelationality of psychic parts.  Therefor, men who are "anima-resistant" or afraid/suspicious of their animas are reacting to the threat of dissolution.  They do not want to resonate within like a spider's web.  They would rather have their various parts nicely compartmentalized.  Compartmentalization allows for certain pains and fears and desires to be channeled off into "dumping grounds" in the psyche.  Complexity is limited as much as possible.  Response to stimulus is more automated.

And when such a compartmentalized man is pulled down into depression and perhaps glimpses the anima, he sees her as a devourer, a demon who would pull him under the water or pull him limb from limb (like Pentheus was by the Bacchae).  We can see in Jung's own equivocal attitude toward the anima a very 19th century male attitude that greatly resembles this compartmentalized anima-fearing one.  And yet, to Jung's credit, he seems to have almost grudgingly followed his anima into dissolution.  But as an observer of and writer on the anima, Jung very much rode the fence.  He was even noticeably critical of "anima-possessed" men who exhibited the somewhat dissolved interrelationality that the anima's valuation in the psyche denotes.

Others, like Jung, who remain suspicious of interrelationality and favor compartmentalization will often see men in the grip of the dissolution as "overly sensitive" and annoyingly reactive.  This is a product of interrelationality during the dissolution . . . and even after the reorganized ego has begun to build resilience (as the Nigredo turns into the Albedo and beyond), a man who has done the anima work will always be "sensitized", will always have a strong sense of interrelationality between various subsystems and parts of the personality.  What is painstakingly sorted out during the Nigredo-Albedo cycle is the functionality of the reorganized system of personality.  Obviously, the extreme interrelationality of the psyche increases the threat of chain reaction events that destabilize the whole system.  Ideally, a healthy system has the sensitivity of extreme interrelationality while also possessing the resilience and robustness to depotentiate dangerous chain reactions.  If the interrelationality is functional enough, it can work as a grounding device for powerful charges to the system, dissipating and depotentiating  the intensity of dangerous feelings, thoughts, and reactions.

But the period of dissolution through the Coniunctio is one in which the interrelationality of the psychic system is overwhelming, disorienting, and consuming.  It takes very careful "bean-sorting" or Kitchen Work to beef up the reorganized system into something that can handle major rattling without falling back into a dissolution-like feeling of being devoured and dismembered.  But as the anima work is completed, even with the depotentiation of the syzygy, the seed of resilience is observed and implemented in a way that generally prevents slipping back into utter dissolution.  The "mark of Cain" I mentioned earlier can be seen as this strange (to those who haven't done the anima work) marriage of resilience and "sensitivity".  The observer is likely to sense the sensitivity or hyper-interrelationality of the anima initiate and look down upon this trait or at least suspect it as a fatal flaw, a weak link, a pathology.  Yet, at the same time, this observer senses the contradictory presence of a strength (resilience) that cannot be understood or reconciled.  "Why doesn't this person crumble into mush?" they might wonder.  And the fact that the anima initiate does exhibit some unusual resilience provokes the projection of stranger mana onto them.  It is not uncommon, in fact, that the observer trying to reconstruct the personality and motives of the anima initiate comes to see the initiate's "mana" resilience as a demonic aggression or evil that wells up out of their otherwise "overly sensitive" mentality.  This is the projection of the Demon of the Complex, which is the force of personality most opposed to dissolution and plasticity.  That is, the intuition of the anima initiate's resilience tends to provoke the Demon in the observer to show its true colors . . . but of course, those true colors are attributed to the initiate.

It is along these lines that we could say stranger mana is legitimate or substantial, because there is almost no avoiding some version of the transference exchange I described above.  Sometimes Jungians talk about phenomena like this as a "holding together of the Opposites".  But this is itself a projection.  The anima initiate is not actually holding Opposites together; the uninitiated observer is simply incapable of seeing the resiliently plastic system of the initiate as anything but a paradox.  But of course, such complex systems are readily observable all throughout nature.  It is the compartmentalized ego that is the real oddity from the more universal and material perspective.


In the dream text, we can see the shadow (ashamed) version of the new organization alongside the heroic resilience dramatized in the final scene where my childhood friend who was afraid of the anima in a previous dream is now driving the car through the tunnel while the dream ego (as heroic ego) tries to console and reassure him that he will not be abducted.  We could imagine the symbolic abduction at this point to be like a crumbling back into the dissolution state (and the personal shadow fears that this is bound to happen).  How does one cultivate the heroic ego without the powerful, instinctual enticement of the anima?  Such cultivation is done through the gradual construction of the Logos, and this means patience and diligence are required.  Extensive shadow work is required.  But we'll get to that later in the dream.

The scene where the three young women dismiss the dream ego and the one anima figure later changes her mind is a kind of encapsulated version of the relational problem facing the anima initiate.  Of course, three is a symbolic number and is used here to indicate the rare diamond in the rough found between the book ends of the norm (where three represents "all").  The actual fraction of those who can relate intimately to people doing the animi work without projecting shadow is nowhere near 1/3.  Of course, the need to relate intimately (or from our instinctual drives) is relatively limited in the modern world where so much is invested in variously artificial personas.  Modern relationality is instinct- and intimacy-impaired.  That is a justifiable criticism of the modern, but it also seems inevitable to me.  Only in a genuine tribal society can we easily bring adaptive instinctuality into sociality.  In the modern world we often have to live in Bad Faith to some degree even if we don't want to.  And not surprisingly, we tend to be sick, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, and dehumanized.

When the anima work is coming to its conclusion (and after it concludes) the animus-ego becomes a more significant relational center.  What this essentially means is that the deepest intimacy with others requires that these others be willing to relate to, tolerate, or ideally, love the reorganized ego with its dissolution plasticity and its strange, heroic resilience.  It isn't that the anima initiate can no longer relate to those who don't meet these requirements.  It's that those who don't can't relate to him.  He is then bound to be faced with the issue of either not relating intimately to others who would not be able or willing to relate to him, or to relate to these others through the projection of stranger mana or shadow that they would confine the relationship to.  The latter option is obviously far from ideal or desirable.  Of those people who are able and willing to relate to his strangely resilient plasticity, they tend to be either people who have been initiated into a similar plasticity or they are people with "initiation hunger", people who have heard the Call.  Of these two groups, the latter is much larger than the former.  And the hungry for initiation present an entirely new kind of problem and projection.  Namely, they tend to project either the animus or the mentor onto the anima initiate.

The animus/mentor projection can lead to a very fulfilling relationship, but the relationship is by no means easy or safe.  With such transference, the receiver must be very careful and precise, because tremendous mana is projected onto him . . . the power to wound the projector (even unintentionally).  As all transference demands countertransference, the anima initiate must stay extremely vigilant about the nature of this countertransference.  For instance, there are many temptations for inflation (blind identification with the mana projection).  But equally, the initiate must be leery of devaluing the transference he receives (and thereby countertransfering a kind of wise but shaming parental figure).  This is especially important for analysts, in my opinion.  Even though Jungians tend to be more open to the value of countertransference than Freudians (for instance), I'm not sure (judging from some of the Jungian literature addressing countertransference) that the Jungian method is as functional as it could be.  It is already common for patients to be ashamed of their transference, so special sensitivity to this shame is required.  Numerous balls will have to be juggled simultaneously by the analyst.  Since the transference is required if the patient is to work through his or her problems (or move toward the kind of ego reorganization that the animi work is directed at), the analyst must help the patient value the transference.  Yet, at the same time, it is potentially dangerous (not to mention deceptive) to encourage literal belief in the fantasies of the transference.  The literalization of the transference will stall the animi work . . . and potentially any healing or increased coping/adaptation as well.  Literalization tends to lead to totemization, and symbols or fantasies that are totemized are always kept beyond reach.  They never become transformable stuff . . . which is what the alchemical process of inner work requires.  Such work always requires a present (easily accessible) and well-sealed vessel into which the individual "under reconstruction" can dirty his or her hands extensively.

While struggling to manage this, the analyst must also, of course, put some effort into the preservation of his or her own humanness.  But it's all too easy to get caught up in a conflict between the advocacy of one's humanness and the need of the patient for the analyst to carry the projections.  I've cast this dynamic as a patient/analyst scenario (where it is most common), but some variation of this relationship is not uncommon outside of therapy, and I resist the notion that it should be pathologized.  It is a common part of human interaction.  What is important to note is that the man who has done the anima work will encounter this dynamic eventually, and part of being an initiate (of any kind) it the responsibility of being an initiator or initiation advocate for others.  The idea that the anima work or some other "spiritual discipline" is done entirely for oneself and must then become esoteric knowledge preciously guarded is absolutely ridiculous.  This is one of the many flaws with the notion that individuation is a personal "attainment".  The entire process of the anima work is Other-directed and -oriented.  Yes, it is a matter of adaptation and survival (and usually, healing), but the adaptation is one that does not transcend biological humanity.  And humans are an extremely social (Other-oriented) species.

Another complexity of the animus/mentor relationship that will face anima initiates is the knowledge (at times burdensome) of the dynamics of the animi work process.  This knowledge is, of course, not shared by the person with initiation hunger, and although I have gone to lengths to describe the anima work process here, I can only assure the reader that I did not expect many of these developments at first and only came to understand them (to the degree I do) in retrospect.  This means that the animi work initiate is going to run up against a number of unexpected developments as they pursue the work.  The initiation advocate becomes responsible for providing clarity and reason to the chaos confronting the person engaged in the work.  Many things look black and terrifying that eventually come into some semblance of order.  The advocate may be able to help the animi worker recognize some of this order.

But in many cases, the person engaged in the work will stall or regress.  Most animi work processes seem to fail.  The work begins for many people, but very few complete it.  I personally suspect that this is partly due to a lack of initiation advocates in our culture . . . and the fact that those who can serve in this role functionally are invested with alienness and stranger mana by most people, and therefore, collectively (this is, again, a decidedly, perhaps compulsively, adolescent culture, after all).  There is a very fine line (perhaps impossibly fine) between the encouragement of the initiate by the advocate and the "shoving".  The advocate might do his or her best to advocate what the initiate needs (i.e., what the unconscious is calling for), but there is nothing that can be done in the event that the initiate reneges.  The anima work and the Work in general are very, very difficult.  It is a wonderful blessing to find an advocate to help one "stay heroic" during this work (I for instance, had none, and therefor know all too well how difficult and punishing the work can be alone).  But due to the extreme oddity of this dynamic, any animi work advocate must eventually learn to accept that not only will many (perhaps most) initiates fail to go through with the work, it is quite likely that they will blame this failure (and the difficulties they face) on the advocate.

This is not to say that the advocate is never to blame.  But it should be understood that the advocates job is nearly impossible.  It is a heroic or superhuman job . . . and none of us are superhuman or 100% heroic.  Mentors and animi-surrogates are often not forgiven for "being there at the wrong time".  At best, we can hope to learn from experience and refrain from making whatever mistakes we made with previous initiates.  But even if we manage to play our roles perfectly, we can still function outside of the expectations of the initiate, and the drive that the instinctual Self applies to the reorganization can be attributed to the advocate in Demonic fashion.  This is such a significant danger, that one's best bet (as either advocate or initiate) is to concentrate a great deal of attention and energy on the sturdiness of the transference/countertransference vessel.  If the vessel can't contain the powerful energies of the shadow, the Self, the Demon, and the hero, it will shatter.  Although an advocate can never conduct the transference or construct the narrative the initiate does the work within, s/he can put enormous effort into the valuation and preservation of the vessel.


Back in the dream, the heroic ego is recognized as an animus-ego figure by the young blond women.  The dream ego is not truly finished with the anima work, though.  It is caught between the residual desire for the anima and the responsibility as an animus-ego or animus work advocate.  The rest of the dream seeks to sort out this conflict.

For now, the possibility of the anima (as an attractor toward completion, a kind of Holy Grail) is still a temptation, but the dream shows that the attempt to have sex with her is somehow illicit, prevented, and cast in a remedial light.  This attempt leads to the surprisingly delicate and empathetic intervention of the Godfather, who is not interested in punishing us, but in enlisting the heroic ego (or animus-ego) in the "Cause".  We might imagine this very vaguely defined cause to be the battle against the Demon on behalf of the new reorganization of personality.  But we have to add to this the likelihood that the Godfather and company (the instinctual Self) were inspired to fly into action because the heroic ego was still trying to shag his daughter . . . and was therefore in danger of losing its heroism and becoming selfish (i.e., the ego would be seduced over to the Demonic influence somewhat).  The impulse to maintain the erotically charged encounters with the anima is an impulse to find stasis, to preserve the perfect moment in a snapshot or feedback loop . . . to seek an eternal Breast.

This momentary slip seemed to necessitate a relief of waste and a desire to wash my hands/cleanse myself of my transgression.  I don't mean to imply that the pursuit of the young blond woman was "bad".  It was not portrayed as such in the dream.  I believe the whole foreplay and aborted consummation scene was meant to encapsulate the period of the anima work where the anima seems especially erotic up to the Coniunctio, which ends up not being a transcendent consummation of perfect love, but an unexpected need to make a major sacrifice.  Part of the sacrifice is the relinquishing of the hope or lust for transcendent union, and part is the impressment into service with the Godfather.  Heroism means duty to the Self, not getting the perfect lay.

But this is an extremely hard lesson to learn, to accept.  There's nothing wrong with a great lay, of course.  But this particular great lay is symbolic.  We should not imagine (as it is all to easy to do, especially among puritanical Americans) that part of being heroic is abstaining from pleasure or that the instinctual Self would advocate such an absurd (by instinctual terms) and stunted cultural ideal.  This psychic dynamic surrounding the Coniunctio is entirely about self-interest vs. Other-interest, especially where self-interest is about cementing a mock-heroic persona for oneself.

But in addition to the washing of the hands, this flawed path of self-interest or interest in reward and self-satisfaction is also treated with another symbolic development: the arrival of my cousin Art and his repair of the synthesizer-like machine.  This is very much a dream pun.  Although I do have a cousin Art whose visage the dream character bore, the real meaning is entirely in his name.  As Art, he represents both my artistic mind as a writer and The Art, or the Work of alchemy (and individuation).  The apparatus that Art repaired in the dream became mythologized for me during this period of my life as "The Huge Machine".  It showed up in a number of my creative writings at the time and occupied my imagination.  Part of this mythology held the Huge Machine to be an expression of the mind of Lucifer, who (also in this personal mythology) was the "true lover of God" willing to forsake both his own welfare and the demand that he worship humanity in order to stay devoted to God above all else.  The Huge Machine was how this Lucifer figure expressed his story of complexity, longing, grief, and ingenuity.  It was the massive instrument on which he constructed and played his Holy Blues.

I had little understanding of what this all might mean at the time.  It was just the obsession of my imagination.  But looking back on this now, I very much understand the significance of this creative fantasy.  The Huge Machine is an exact parallel of what I now call the Logos.  Lucifer is the ideal figure to correspond to the heroic ego, because of his brush with inflation, his unwillingness to abide by the human (the Demon-driven ego), and his absolute devotion to God (the Self).  The fantasy of The Huge Machine I developed at the time included an immeasurable complexity even though I knew nothing about natural and adaptive complex systems then.  Also, as a vehicle of expression, The Huge Machine is essentially a language.

The symbolism of this dream even points toward the synthetic process of dialectic ("union of the Opposites") in its portrayal of the Logos machine as a mixer or synthesizer.  This Logos is (as the prima materia) inherited from the instinctual Self, but in a dead or non-functional form.  It requires the Art to resuscitate and develop the Logos.  And this resuscitation greatly pleases the Self, since it is what facilitates the Self's libido adaptively.  The dream merely flags the very beginning of the Logos, the Work, but the Logos increasingly becomes the object of the Work, the symbol of the Goal, the stuff of resurrection (the "birth" of the instinctual Self's libido into the material environment).  Here, the repair of the machine allows the mission of the Self to go forward.
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]

Matt Koeske

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Re: The Anima Work, VI: Letting Go and Looking Back
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 01:04:37 PM »

Scene 5:

A common dream theme regarding driving a car is depicted in this dream.  At various times I am the driver, my friend from high school is the driver, unknown others are driving, or (as in this scene) the driving is being done by the Godfather.  Driving in dreams can often correspond to motivation, libido, "drive", and the array of personages in the car can relate to the way the negotiating table of the psyche is stacked.  Since we see the Self figure behind the wheel in this scene, we can guess that the "mission" we are on is an instinctual, adaptive, and reorganizational mission.  Although the mission is never explained in the dream, for the purpose of understanding the dream symbols and narrative, the best conclusion to draw is that the mission is very simply what happens.  In other words, the mission is the sacrifice of the anima and the confrontation with what that means and why it has to be.

The order of passengers in the front seat (from left to right) is also relevant to the dream's comprehension.  We could say that the instinctual drive comes from the Self, whose "daughter" and personalization of this drive is the anima.  The anima then transmits this drive to the heroic ego in what is a somewhat autoerotic way.  She stimulates him to stimulate her.  Or, if we look back at the inaugural anima dream previously discussed, we could say that she woos the hero in order to demonstrate to him that he needs to direct his heroism at her healing or redemption (and eventually, at the facilitation and maintenance of the instinctual Self).

The presence of my real world girlfriend of the time on the far right requires further explanation.  This image confused me at the time I had the dream, because I realized that the instinctual drive I was learning how to channel from the anima work only frightened and upset my girlfriend.  I originally assumed that the dream image of the "drive" transference suggested a potential of bringing the healthy drive into my material relationship with her.  But since that time, I have come to a deeper and more accurate understanding of this image.  I now believe that the image of my girlfriend was not meant to indicate her person at all, but what she essentially represented to me (among other things, of course).  Namely, she was my connection to the real world.  She was a person who was very distinctly oriented to society, tribal affiliation, and authority.  What was "right" for her was (at the time, and of course we were both still very young) what society told her was right.  This, no doubt, made pursuing a love relationship with me very difficult for her, as I was always going against social pressure and expectation, sometimes in an unconscious and even self-destructive fashion.

My social network of friends had largely dissolved when I went to college.  Part of this was due to distance, but most of it was a matter of the strange and powerful changes I was going through.  This process of transformation had numerous externalities, once of which was alienating myself from my old friends (who had far less comprehension of what I was going through than I did . . . and I had almost no idea myself).  I also withdrew from most of my interaction with others, because I recognized that the transformation of my dissolution and anima work had marked me with the mark of Cain.  I felt alien and had no idea how to connect what I was becoming (and feeling inside myself) to other people in a functional way.  This predicament, which I would like to clarify to anyone else who might be reading this as they go through the same process is absolutely real and deserving of respect and valuation . . . only increased my inflation.  Repressed (or in my case, largely conscious) shame at what is "newly born" or newly gestating in us from the anima work is capitalized on by the Demon of the Complex to construct an inflation defense.  The oscillating pride and shame only serve to radically polarize and accentuate one another.

My girlfriend was a kind of lifeline for me.  Not necessarily an effective one, but the only one I had.  Without that lifeline, I would have probably lived entirely within myself.  She also served as a Goal I sought to pursue.  Namely, I had hoped to functionally actualize in my relationship with her what was going on inside me.  I didn't realize at the time that she was thus serving as my emblem of the world in general.

So the transmission of drive along a line from the instinctual Self to my girlfriend in the dream represented an extraversion of instinctual libido into material life, into the environment.  This is probably inevitable when the instinctual Self is behind the wheel.  Some energy will flow into the world, even if the ego is in no way ready to understand or help facilitate this.  At the same time, we could say that trying to run this electric current through a system that is not yet fully functional will inevitably lead to a short circuit and power outage.  And this is precisely what happens in the dream with the sudden and mysterious vanishing of the anima figure.

The abduction of the young blond woman leads to a rearrangement of the personage dynamic (the negotiators at the table).  We could say that the ego is generally of two minds about this.  The heroic ego is perhaps surprised, but ultimately accepting and relatively stoic . . . but the non-heroic elements of the ego (we could call them the personal shadow) are practically destroyed by this sudden cutting of the umbilical cord.  This is portrayed in the reaction of my girlfriend's younger brother (now the boyfriend of the anima woman) in the backseat.  In other words, the real pain and grief of the anima loss hits the personal shadow, that residual part of the ego that hoped to be completed and saved and ultimately redeemed by the anima's maternal love.  As the distraught brother is related to my girlfriend (the symbol of connection with the world), it is also fair to say that he represents the part of my personality that is exposed to the world that cannot cope or adapt.  He is the depressive, the weak link that fears he is going mad, that the world will reject or persecute him, that he is entirely impotent.  The anima was his only chance at experiencing potency.  This impotent personal shadow during the anima work is the loophole the Demon uses to exercise the inflation that tries to ossify and fortify the personality.  Also, as a "naive youth", he is one of the elements of the personality that is in danger of being depotentiated by the anima work.

The "Voice from the Heavens" that rings out its wisdom and explanation of what had just happened seems to have marked the brother's wound as Mother-related.  All I was able to recall from this voice was that it made explicit the need to let go of the anima and the inevitability (and even progressiveness) of this loss.  Even as the specific details of this advice escaped me upon waking, I remembered clearly that the message was, "Let go.  It's OK.  This is how it has to be.  It's time to move on."  There was some indication that, even as the Voice spoke to the brother, I had gone ahead (and up a winding hill) by myself to better hear or perhaps even proposition this Voice on behalf of the brother.  Therefore there is a small allusion to Moses going up Mt. Sinai to receive the Commandments from God.  And even though the consolation was directed at the younger brother, the "Commandments" themselves were meant exclusively for the heroic ego . . . who must understand and accept this event thoroughly in order to properly serve the instinctual Self.


Scene 6:

Now, I am driving back from the city toward my home, and this is essentially (to follow the allusion in the last scene) the trip back down Sinai to the world.  The movement out of the city and through the tunnel is a movement out of the dissolution and into a state of more conscious clarity.  In fact, it is a movement toward sanity (which I will address more specifically in just a minute).  Before the tunnel, the traffic flow is reversed or backwards, but on the far side of the tunnel, the traffic flow is "righted".  Something of the mystique of psychic dissolution and introversion is lost, but with this powerful, numinous influence depotentiated, the sense of being able to finally stand on solid ground is welcomed.

The conversation in the car is once again concerned with "what actually happened".  Now, I am something of an authority on this . . . as I was the key eye-witness to the mission of the Godfather, the abduction of the anima (who was, of course, also my lover), and the advice or Commandment of the Voice in the Heavens.  Although, even by the end of the dream, my understanding of the event would change, this sense of "authority" regarding the anima work is what is even now driving this project.  This authority is not unique, of course.  It is the authority of any anima initiate . . . and it is entirely archetypal at its core.  Although it is mostly beyond the scope of the current project, coming to terms with such initiation authority is not usually easy.  A great deal of wrestling with the Demon and the temptation of inflation must still be done as we puzzle out what this transformation of personality actually means and how tangible (if at all) it really is.

What we know at this point is that something about the initiation experience was real . . . and some element of genuine transformation or reorganization has legitimately occurred.  But we also recognize that we do not yet have a language in which to make sense of this or adequately implement it in the world.  The slow decay of old and Demon-driven constructions of ego and the purification and revitalization of these constructions in order to make them functional for the libido of the reanimated syzygy is what the remainder of the First Opus (as depicted in the Rosarium Philosophorum) is about.  The repetitious and cyclical Nigredo-Albedo sequence, a kind of sublimation and condensation.

As this first true experience with the Work belongs to a period distinctly after the anima work (even as it deals with the residue of that work), I won't discuss it in any detail here.  I merely wish to state that the notion Jung perpetuated that the shadow work is done before the anima work is ultimately untrue.  The shadow work never ends . . . and in fact, after the depotentiation of the anima, it becomes all the more intense and necessary.  I wish to be clear about this and to at least propose it, because I fear that Jungians tend to have a universal inflation problem regarding the anima.  As soon as they see it and start to valuate it, they imagine they have "arrived" at senexy wisdom and "rebirth".  In my experience, this is radically far from the truth, and I suggest that we do everything we can to examine and critique the construct that Jung has left us . . . hopefully recognizing that it is illogical and smacks of spiritualistic enlightenment posturing.  The Nigredo, the time after the anima work, is a period of intense and devoted shadow processing.  It corresponds with fairytales and myths where the hero or heroine must perform tedious and painstaking tasks for some greater master in order to do penance and pursue some higher quest.  Cinderella sorting beans spilled on the floor by her stepsisters or Psyche doing much the same for Aphrodite.  Robert Bly (in his book, Iron John) coined my personal favorite word for this kind of task humbly engaged with: the Kitchen Work (as in the Grimm's fairytale, "Iron Hans", the boy with the golden hair spends some time working as a kitchen boy in the king's castle, all the while concealing his "golden nature").

In animus fairytales with the animal bridegroom theme, we commonly see a flawed or uncomprehending confrontation between the heroine and the true nature of the enchanted bridegroom resulting in the exile or loss of the bridegroom/animus altogether.  This is followed by a penitent's humble pilgrimage in search and redemption of the lost animus . . . during which the heroine must swallow her pride and recognize the real value of the enchanted animus.

These redemption quests to redeem the Self are always taken on with full consciousness, whereas the anima work process is very much driven by instinctual urges and numinous symbols and feelings.  Such redemption quests can all too often be off the charts as far as Jungian literature on individuation goes (as the conventional Jungian misunderstandings of and prejudices against the anima prevent this post-anima-work stage from being properly realized).  But the literature of myth and fairytale has always recognized this theme . . . meaning that the confusion about the progression in this process is a Jungian interjection.  I therefore feel it must be extracted and repaired with an equally Jungian effort . . . which I am currently attempting to contribute to.

The redemption quest indicated in this dream is what will happen on the other side of the tunnel where the heroic ego must step aside and allow the wounded and frightened personal shadow to have some wheel time.  This personal shadow brother or friend is not something to be conquered.  It must actually be cherished and nurtured by the heroic ego.  To know and accept one's inevitable weaknesses is part of the heroic code of honor.  To strike out against all one's weaknesses in the lust for perfection and self-fortification is Demonic.  Therefor, as the heroic ego comes to the final confrontation and battle with the Demon, he must ultimately succumb rather than destroy the Demon (or its access to the personality through the personal shadow).  The hero can die and be reborn.  But any attempt to destroy the Demon or the personal shadow will result in essentially becoming the Demon or giving ego control over largely to the Demon.  If there is any viable competition to be pursued in regard to the Demon it would take the form of who (the Demon or the Self-facilitating heroic ego) was better able to nurture the personal shadow.

That is perhaps an endless war, because the personal shadow is always going to be "weak" and will always be tempted by the power of the Demon (which can empower the personal shadow like a bully empowers a toady . . . or else terrorize it into compliance).  Meanwhile, the heroic ego can only succeed by finding a way to accept and love this weakness and fatal flaw in the personal shadow and by demonstrating that these coordinated shadow/Demon assaults on the heroic ego are not enough to capsize the hero or drive him into rage at the shadow.  This almost parenting or mentoring love and tolerance of the personal shadow becomes one of the main focuses of the love and facilitation of the instinctual Self.  We can see that in the behavior of the Godfather in the dream toward those who has potentially offended him is very tolerant and accepting.  This is the attitude the heroic ego is asked to uphold in his attempt to facilitate the Self.


To return to the dream's narrative, we should note that the brief appearance of a cat on the highway's concrete barrier is an allusion back to the previous mentioned anima dream in which the anima-as-sorceress made a cat disappear and reappear.  We could say that the allusion evokes the presence of the abduction cult and the ongoing abduction or vanishing of the car's passengers.  The cat's appearance also evokes the fear of my childhood friend and passenger who was also my fearful companion in the earlier anima dream.  In that dream, I was less interested in his apprehension and paranoia.  If he "disappeared", so be it.  But in the present dream, I am doing everything I can to reassure him and perhaps even to protect him.

Even at the time I had this dream, I recognized that the next image (the Dalmatian being eaten by three wild dogs) as an alchemical symbol.  It evoked a specific emblem I had seen in one of Jung's alchemy books.  This is emblem 24 from Michael Maier's Atalanta Fugiens:



Although, I think there was subtle influence from other alchemical emblems, for instance, emblem 17 from the Rosarium Philosophorum:



To simplify, we could say that the wolf eating from the side of the Old King in the Atalanta sequence could be seen as corresponding to the instinctual devouring process of the Nigredo, a putrefaction or decay.  In the background, the New King is reborn and the wolf is burned in the flame the King emerges from.  Sometimes the wolf was associated with antimony in alchemy, but (although warranted) that would require a more technical and academic discussion of alchemy than I wish to undertake here.

Quote
The Hunger and Voracity of a wolf is remarkably knowne to be very great, insomuch that when his prey is wanting he will feed even upon the Earth; with which he is likewise said to fill his belly when he is about to set upon large herds of Cattle, that so being made heavier by that burden he may resist more strongly and not easily be shaken off from his hold. When he enters a fold he doth not only kill enough to satisfye his hunger but through greedinesse destroys the whole flock. He is Sacred to Apollo and Latona because he stood by her when she was in Labour, for Latona could not have delivered young unlesse he had been present. Hence likewise the wolf is thought acceptable to Apollo because he celebrated his birthday, as also because his Eyes shine and cast forth light in the midst of the night. Therefore the breathlesse body of the King is thrown to the wolf when he is ravenously hungry, not to the end that the wolf should wholly consume and annihilate the King, but that by his own death the wolf should restore strength and life to him. For there is a certain amatorious Virtue in the Tayle of the Wolf which is infused into the half dead King which makes him very desirable to all men upon the recovery of His former Health and Beauty.

[Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens (boldface mine)]

The dream's image of a dead Dalmatian instead of the alchemical Old King is a clear prima materia symbol (as is the Old King), suggesting the union of Opposites, black and white.  The comment of the woman in the backseat suggests that what seemed desirable (perhaps a positive encounter with instinct as "man's best friend") from a distance, is revealed up close to be rather hideous.  From this we can recognize the parallel that, during the bulk of the anima work, the impending Coniunctio appears to promise rebirth and transcendence, but in the final act, we realize that the product of this Coniunctio is actually the Nigredo, the death of the syzygy.  Also, the putrefaction process of the Nigredo exposes a great deal of shadow, shame, and weakness and must be faced with great humility (again, the Kitchen Work) if it is to be comprehended and processed over time.

In the 17th emblem of the Rosarium sequence, the mound of earth the risen Rebis is standing upon is composed of the three-headed Mercurial serpent devouring itself.  I would interpret this (loosely and for the purposes of the present discussion) as reflecting the comment highlighted in Maier above: "when his prey is wanting he will feed even upon the Earth".  The wolf and the three-headed serpent are representations of the same appetite.  The reason the Rebis of the Second Opus stands upon this instinctual devouring principle is that the entire Work rests upon the foundation of the Coniunctio-Nigredo, upon the decay into one substance, the creation of the true prima materia.  This prima materia, the product of the instinctual Self's reorganizational appetite, is the embryonic Stone of the Philosophers.  The Uroboric devouring and regenerating earth (Mercurius) is a parallel of the ever fluctuating adaptive complex system of the psyche after the anima work has freed it up to pursue this material (earthly) principle of self-organization.  Such self-organization is life itself.

It should not be underestimated how gruesome (and to some extent, unwelcome) the onset of the Nigredo feels, especially coming off of the high of ecstatic union that the Coniunctio seems to promise.  The loss of the heroic mode that had characterized the ego engaged in the anima work is developed more in the next image of the toll gate, which represents the recognition of the death of the hero/syzygy.

The sport of baseball was always associated with my personal Fall.  I had convinced myself that the stress of dealing with a vindictive or prejudiced coach wasn't worth it.  I had begun writing poetry and fiction, and writing was supposed to replace baseball for me.  But I'm not sure it every really did, and this was the case for two main reasons.  1.) baseball was my connection to my body and the physical, and 2.) baseball was my connection to participation with a group, to bonding with and functioning within a team.  Writing has not provided me with either of these things, although for many years I felt like it was supposed to.  Of course, it's unlikely that I would have been able to pursue baseball professionally.  Or if I had been able to do so, I would have most likely found the pursuit not entirely fulfilling.  Whatever the case, baseball came to serve as my symbol of lost youth, dreams, and talents.  It was the symbolic sacrifice I made (or had forced upon me) in order to move in a different direction with my life.  And as I moved in that new direction, I began with nothing as a kind of exile from the self I thought I knew, cut off from what I had loved and what made my existence meaningful.

In this sense, the loss of baseball in my life makes an excellent parallel for the end of the anima work and the final sacrifice and depotentiation of the hero.  And when I am faced with the baseball related toll papers in the dream, there is an indication that these papers relate to the anima work.  The fact that I was given these papers in error, and that they were intended only for "non-players" marks another instance of the association of the anima work with something remedial.  But there is also an indication that my player status has been marked with some kind of shame.  It is made clear in this scene that, although I am, have been, and could still be/am still capable of being a baseball player, for reasons beyond my control, I am not playing.  The heroic ego has been depotentiated . . . and this is also why, after I receive the toll papers, my childhood friend and personal shadow figure is driving the car.

The "toll I have to pay" in order to go onward is the loss of my heroic drive, the loss of any hope that by serving the Self, I will be transformed into some kind of demigod or win some kind of transcendent and esoteric knowledge.  We could equally phrase this as follows: the reorganized system of personality that has just experienced a state change is in a fragile condition and cannot support the full extent of the libido the instinctual Self is capable of.  There's a new version of the software released, but the new bugs that come with it have not been resolved yet.  It's a beta version.

Among the toll papers is a Warren Spahn card.  There are various levels of meaning to this.  On one hand, my father grew up in Milwaukee, WI when the Braves were led by the famous lefty Hall of Famer . . . so there is some connection to my genetic roots implied.  Also, in my dreams, it is very common for a Self figure to be portrayed by my father.  But the one element of this symbol I immediately thought of (and which I feel is the most important aspect of the the symbol) is the association of Warren Spahn with a famous saying Milwaukee fans had at the time.  Milwaukee had two great pitchers in 1948: Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain.  A sportswriter wrote a poem in the newspaper that coined the saying: "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

I have to give the unconscious credit for its multi-layered puns that are both surreal and wonderfully appropriate.  The name Warren Spahn is composed of two words that evoke other meanings.  A warren is a series of holes and tunnels where rabbits live under the ground.  And Spahn sounds like spawn, to give birth to (rabbits are also classic spring/rebirth symbols).  In the dissolution phase, a great deal is born out of the underground, the unconscious.  Sain is, of course, a pun on "sane".  What I felt at this time of my life was that, even as the anima work was exciting and felt numinous and meaningful, I associated the powerful emotions and wild, inflated thoughts of the time with insanity.  As the anima work concluded, I felt that something tremendously numinous and potent had been lost, but with that numen depotentiated, I felt significantly more sane and grounded.  So the Nigredo brought death and decay on one hand, but it brought sanity and a new balance on the other hand.

As for the "pray for rain" part of the saying, I knew from my fascination with the Rosarium emblems that the Nigredo was to eventually lead to a purification and whitening (which is depicted in the 8th emblem as a rain or dew falling on the corpse of the Rebis from a cloud above it).  This purification leads to the return of the soul . . . and for years after I recognized the arrival of the Nigredo I did very much hope and pray for this sign that things were turning back toward life and the promise of rebirth.  During the Nigredo I found it almost impossible to write, so the feeling of impotence and depotentiation was very real and tangible for me.

I would like to think that I am perhaps the only person alive who has made such complicated alchemical use out of the old "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain" saying in a dream.

Although I have already mentioned the return to the proper side of the road (the "sanity" of the Nigredo) and the replacement of the heroic ego in the driver seat with my old friend, the personal shadow figure, the other side of the tunnel provides two more images.  The first one is the Big Wheel with the sack on it.  We could maybe make some meaning out of the name of this tricycle or its three wheeled significance, but there is one personal association that is far more meaningful.  Among my group of childhood friends, I was the last to learn how to ride a bike.  For a year of so after my friends had learned to ride their bikes, I still had my Big Wheel, which I was starting to outgrow.  One day, they were all going to go for a ride, and although I had a new bike, I had not yet learned to ride it.  Still, I wanted to go along with my friends, so I tried to take my Big Wheel . . . for which I was teased and felt embarrassed.  This was one of the major catalysts behind my then quickly teaching myself to ride a two wheeled bike.

So we have another remedial or lost youth symbol.  Teaching myself to ride a bike was probably the first dedicated autodidactic act of my life . . . and therefor makes a viable symbol for the Work.  On the "clear" side of the tunnel, I also had a very different perception of the abduction cult.  What seemed entirely magical or spiritual to me back in the dissolution state of the anima work, now seemed human and explainable.  The sack with a child in it that sat on top of the Big Wheel was an allusion to a favorite book from childhood in which a Goblin is said to carry a sack with it to take children off to the Goblin lands (evoking Changeling fairytales).

One is also reminded in this scene of the poem by Yeats, "The Stolen Child":
Quote
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

My interest in being abducted in the dream was something like this fairy-enchanted child's.  After I awoke from this dream (and on subsequent occasions while falling to sleep), I tried to go back into a dream or active imagination state to see where these abductees were being taken and if I could join them.  I eventually started to get a picture of some underground cultic place where a woman came to meet me and told me very matter of factly that I would not be able to join nor would I be able to see anyone who was taken every again.  I was eventually convinced that this was the case, even though it disheartened me.

The last image of the dream is of my friend drifting off the road and almost running into an abandoned construction digger.  The digger was an allusion to a short play by E. E. Cummings I had read at the time called Anthropos, or The Future of Art in which a similar steam shovel is showcased.  I no longer recall anything else about the play, but the potential collision with the digger is reflected in a more recent dream that takes place in this very same setting and alludes significantly to this old dream.  In the recent dream, I have managed to repair my old BMW (which in yet another dream had been used as a symbol of Jungian psychology), which had broken down on the side of the road.  After I got it started again, I pulled farther off the highway and saw an entirely new road connected to it that had never been there before.  In an unpaved lot beside this new road, I came face to face with a massive Hummer RV.  I saw this as an indication of the inflation confrontation that is facing the Jungians as soon as they manage to get their vehicle of theory running again (and facing me as a writer who is trying to write sensibly about this for a Jungian audience . . . without falling into inflation myself).  So it is possible that the digger in the present dream represents an inflation threat relating to the fear felt by the personal shadow that it was not strong enough to survive.  The heroic ego must help keep the personal shadow valuated and "on track" or else a collision with inflation could still occur.

This collision would result in a kind of abduction, as part of the ego would be dragged back into the insanity of the dissolution, where the important differentiations made in the Nigredo-Albedo are fumbled.

Of course, the title of the Cummings play is significant in itself.  The Anthropos is another name for what is being created and "The Future of Art" suggests The Art, the Work of the alchemists (not to mention the future of the intelligence represented earlier in the dream as my cousin Art who fixes the Huge Machine and begins the construction of the Logos).
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]