Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Dream of Two Eggs

     I dreamed that Crooked-Neck, my hen with a twisted cervical spine, being half the size of her age-mates, requiring special care and protection from the other hens, who is infertile, or at least so far has not produced a single egg in nine months, who may, in fact, not be a hen at all, instead a rooster--but because of the necessity of dragging her head across the ground to perambulate the free-range yard, has eroded all telltale remnants of rooster comb from her crown--laid two eggs, as I watched in amazement.
     That's the dream.  A chicken laid an egg, in the simplest retelling.  But the details are as important to a dream as flesh is to a skeleton, and so are the current affairs of my, the dreamer's, life.
     Here's the simple interpretation.  What I don't like about myself and my world, and what I regard as distorted, is exactly what will deliver to me twin gifts containing the potential for developing for myself a new life, which may be bipartite, of two natures.  Or, the crooked neck is a representation of a twisted connection between head and heart which, if it succeeds in maintaining that connection, will be my deliverance, yielding big possibilities for future life.   What the feds are doing to me, and how I am reacting to it, happen to be the laboratory where inner change, in the form of a new attitude or a new career, is taking place.  I didn't think this could happen, as I have been feeling null and infertile, but my unconscious tells me otherwise, because it's not one of my fertile chickens who lays the eggs, but the infertile, devalued, disregarded one, the one most chicken-owners would have slaughtered by now.
     Most readers of this blog know the salient conditions of my life, which are that I have been under subversive attack by the government, via FBI agents and federal and civil criminal prosecutors, for three an a half years, that my solo medical clinic was raided at gunpoint by a multitude of FBI agents two and a half years ago, that my bank accounts were frozen, and that there has come to light nothing of substance in the way of charges against me nor any evidence to buttress a case for criminality.  Other conditions include the exigency that one of my four grown sons, Carmine, lives at home and has autism of such a disabling nature that he will require special care and protection for the rest of his life, and that this responsibility has fallen entirely on me.  Also, I closed my medical clinic eleven months ago and have ceased caring for patients after twenty uneventful (except for the raid) and satisfying years, and would be living, if it weren't for mysterious reservoirs of spiritual sustenance I didn't know I had, in a state of panic and outrage against the government every moment of every day.
     There are eight elements to this seemingly simple dream:  1) the ego-observer;  2) the chicken;  3) the eggs;  4) the number two;  5) the peculiar neck problem of the chicken;  6) the chicken's presumed infertility;  7)  the process of eggs being laid;  8)  the process of watching eggs being laid.  Volumes could be written about each of these, but I'll try to keep the symbolism simple.
     1)  The ego observer is me, or more precisely, my consciousness.  It correlates with my waking self, at least when I'm not daydreaming or in a trance.  The dream indicates that the aspect of myself with which I most identify is being shown something that it needs to know, it's getting a glimpse at an unconscious process which may have correlates in the material world.
     2)  What is it about the chicken that sets it apart from other creatures?  This is important, because my unconscious chose a chicken, not another bird or animal, to deliver its message.  Chickens are birds that cannot fly;  they are truly "other," not like us at all, yet domesticated to such a degree that their wildness is not so apparent.  We regard them as commodities, like cars and factories;  they do things for us, laying eggs and becoming meat.  The word "chicken" is used to mean coward, because chickens have sensitive nervous systems and are skittish, running at the least disturbance.  Chickens have so infiltrated our world that our language is full of chicken associations:  nest egg, scratching out a living, putting all your eggs in one basket, feathering your nest, flying the coop, ruffling your feathers, getting egg on your face, being stuck in your craw, henpecked, a cute chick.  Animals in general stand for subhuman instincts;  the presence of an animal in a dream signifies incorporation of unconscious elements into waking life.
     3)  The egg is a beautiful and regenerative thing.  It contains a whole life in the embryonic phase.  It represents possibilities, including new beginnings, with all the sustenance required to bring those possibilities to fruition, at least as far as manifesting in the world, and it protects those possibilities from outside damage with a hard shell, so hard that it is said the egg can't be broken if you squeeze it at its poles, even if you have a muscle-amplified vice-grip.  In traditions throughout human history the egg has been a symbol for immortality, for resurrection, and is sometimes depicted as the sun everlastingly coming over the horizon.  It is also the womb, a place of quietude but, as well, a claustrophobic enclosure from which the hatchling seeks to break out.  The egg in alchemy is the seed of new life, the object of transmutation, and the symbol of fruitfulness.
     4)  The number two represents duality.  When the wholeness of one is divided, there is separation, difference, opposition, balance or conflict,  God divided the first wholeness into earth and sky, and out of those developed, through further division, the entire world.  But two can also signify emphasis--it happened not once, but twice, as in twice as significant, twice as important.  Don't ignore this, my unconscious says, it wasn't a coincidence, or it wouldn't have happened twice.  This second way of looking at the number two in a dream is more likely to be correct in my dream, since the two eggs weren't different.  If one had been dark and one light, or one had been big and the other small, or if the two eggs had in any other way been opposites, then the dual nature of two would apply.  Instead, one egg came after another, like two raps on the door, or a series of exclamations, "Yes, yes," or two fish leaping out of the ocean one after another, to emphasize that the first one wasn't imaginary.
     5)  The chicken isn't normal;  it's different, disabled.  Its disability is a twisted neck, allowing it to see behind itself, and to see things differently.  There is a degree of suffering that goes along with this, especially heckling by other chickens and getting dirt in its face and eye.
     6)  The chicken's neurologic problem is rare and thought to be associated with infertility--but this chicken is not infertile, after all.  Infertility is a version of death, at least of the gene line.  Fertility is a symbol of regeneration, like the egg.
     7)  Like most beautiful processes, laying an egg looks easy but requires a lot of internal work.  It takes 1/3 to 1/2 cup of dry grains and beans, and one or more cups of water to produce a single egg.  The conversion of these inert-appearing raw materials into an egg is the miracle of birth.  Egg-laying is about bringing something new and nutritive into the world.
     8)  Watching an egg being laid is being given a window into a deep process of transformation.  It confers the same sense of wonder as catching sight on one's evening stroll of a wild animal, or seeing a falling star, or the ocean, or the human heart beating in a man's wide-open chest.
     So do I make of this dream?
     An unconscious aspect of me, best represented by a chicken--thought to be crippled and sterile but with an unusual, "twisted" perspective on the world--delivers to my conscious self, information of a dual nature which is in its incipient phase, having yet to be either hatched into life or taken assimilated as nutrition, the egg.  There is something about the dualism of my battle with the feds which contains a possibility for new life.  This possibility is a kind of "resurrection,"emerging not from qualities valued by the world (Crooked-Neck would have ended up in most people's stewpot) but precisely from what is devalued.
     I am in a devalued position, currently.  My reputation as a physician has been slandered, my means of earning a living, crippled.  Like Crooked-Neck I have been made to see the world in a backwards way, with dirt messing up my vision and considerable vulnerability to attacks by other "chickens"--i.e., other doctors, who either assume I am a criminal or are too chicken to come forth.  In a parallel way, and less consciously, I have perhaps been allied with my attackers, the feds, in that Stockholm Syndrome way, assuming that because the ones with the most power determine whether I live or die, at least as a doctor, they must be good and right.
     Out of this altered, devalued, disabled way of being, which characterizes my life at this time, comes two eggs, new perceptions, new life, perhaps twins--a duality, a resurrection--but more likely an emphatic declaration of something new being brought into my world.  It was a basic tenet of the alchemists, whose work influenced Jung, that from that-which-is-devalued comes that-which-will-save a person, or the world.  Christ is one of many such symbols, as is the sun, emerging out of darkness, and the dung-beetle, which lays its egg in a ball of dung.  The twin eggs remind might suggest yin and yang, heaven and earth, positive and negative poles, darkness and light, a capacity for discernment, but more likely were laid by the hen to reinforce a message I might not get the first time.  What I am being made to know is not in the spirit realm (chickens can't fly) but of an earthy nature, and so is what will make things right for me, at least in my inner world.  The eggs, to mature and hatch, need to be nurtured, sat on, kept warm.  Therefore, I will keep this dream in my memory-bank and visit it every day, finding ways to nurture whatever new perceptions I have about my impossible-looking situation with the feds.  It seemed impossible that a genetically impaired crooked-necked chicken could lay an egg, and it is similarly incredible that a real, live chicken should emerge from an ordinary egg,
     Sometimes we can't do much about our outer worlds.  At such times change has to take place in our inner ones.  The psyche, when it sends dreams, seems not to care much about the outer circumstances of our lives, but psychoanalysts regard all dreams as mirrors of inner, unconscious processes.  If I can change my attitude toward myself, assuming, because of this dream, that regeneration within my personality and in my life is taking place, either the circumstances surrounding this federal investigation and the fear it is trying to ignite will change, or it simply won't matter any more because I will have hatched something new.        


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