Friday, March 3, 2017

The Subconscious Enemy

I don't know a lot about dream interpretation. I'm no Joseph (and I don't often wear loud colors, which is entirely beside the point).

I do, however, sometimes have dreams that stick with me and I puzzle over them. I tend to agree with the notion that everyone and everything in a dream is an aspect of me. This one dream has had me turning it around and around for a couple of weeks now.

In this dream, I've been recruited (called?) to join the White House staff as a special assistant to Steve Bannon. I don't remember it being stated explicitly, but the implication was that I was there to be a good influence on him. So there I am in the Oval Office and I'm meeting Steve Bannon and at one point I touch his forearm (he has his sleeves rolled up) and my touch burns him. He doesn't react very much and I don't feel any pain myself, but there are burn marks on his forearm where my fingertips touched him.

That's all I remember of the dream.

I sometimes post about my dreams on Facebook for the amusement of my friends. The morning I work up from this one, I found it funny and posted and in the thread that followed, I wrote this: "In the dream theory where everyone in your dream is some aspect of yourself, I regret to report that I have an inner Bannon. But then there's the hope in the sign that my inner Bannon is vulnerable to some better aspects of me. My inner White House seems to think my inner Bannon could use some influence from my inner, well, me."

Well, that's a lot going on there. 

I've tried sitting in meditation with this dream image---but I'm a dilettante at meditation at best and the best I came away with in that was that I think I felt sorry for burning him. As that notion became extrapolated, I realized that a lot of what I wanted to say to this administration was full of snark. In the jargon of insult humor, I wanted to "burn" this White House. 

I find myself drifting away from that desire. The stakes are too high and, besides, the professionals at Saturday Night Live have that front covered pretty well. 

It's not as if I'm ever going to have access to Steve Bannon in my waking life. That's not what this dream is about and I'm not even sure the dream is about anything beyond my general political anxiety of this moment.

But the ancients found dreams important and they get mentioned plenty of times throughout scripture, from Joseph, the savior of his father, Israel to Joseph, the (step-) father of Jesus Christ. Most of my dreams dissipate quickly after waking. This one has followed me around for about three weeks now.

I'll come back to it, I imagine, as I write through lent. It is partially at the bottom of my desire to blog through the season. Loving the enemy---and I find it difficult to frame the real Steve Bannon as other than that---has to begin somewhere.

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