This spectacular dream came my way through Facebook:
“I’m driving…notice a man walking high above me on a platform above a train on a mountain peak. I think what a wonderful vantage point he must have. Then he begins running, full clip, briefcase in hand, he propels himself off the end of the platform falling stories to his death. I must find him and begin driving toward the peak. But my vision is blurred, tears?”
We know by the first line of the dream description that we’re looking at this dreamer’s sense of movement through her life (see Driving post below). The very next line tells us something else about this dream that is very significant; it is an Animus dream.
The Jungian concept of Anima/Animus is perhaps one of the most significant in dreaming. It is based on the idea that inside every woman is a masculine archetype (Animus) and inside every man is a feminine archetype (Anima). This inner aspect of the opposite sex is a crucial part of any individual’s journey of integration. Jung used to say that the Anima/Animus stands at the doorway of your soul, beckoning to you, “come this way for your sense of wholeness.” In a very simplistic fashion, every man must learn to be more receptive and creative and every woman must learn to be more assertive and productive. When this balance is achieved, a stronger sense of wholeness comes with it.
In the case of this dreamer, her Animus is above her and indeed has a higher vantage point; meaning that this part of her inner self is the part of her that can see much further into consciousness than her pedestrian, waking sense of self. So what we know here is that this mysterious part of her own soul (her Animus) is making himself very known to her and she is responding in a very positive way. She is, in fact, very excited about what this vantage point might offer her, which we know by her language describing the view he must have as “wonderful.”
He runs off, taking his briefcase with him. We don’t necessarily know where he is running, but it is the Animus’ job to get our attention. Now that he has it, he beckons her to the next step in her journey by running down the platform. And since a briefcase represent information that we carry with his, we also know that this character aspect has something interesting for the dreamer to learn and he has it with him in a form that could be easily handed to her (the briefcase), whenever she manages to catch up with him.
What happens next is fascinating – the Animus jumps off the platform and the dreamer assumes it is a jump to his death. However, she feels compelled to find him. If he’s dead, then why would she bother? Of course, this is because the man is not in fact dead, because death is simply a symbol of rebirth. Some element of this dreamer’s psyche is being sacrificed so that she can move on to the next level of her own development. And the journey to that destination is the heroine’s journey she as compelled to take – in this dream it is described as the need to find him.
The hero/heroine journey is the same for all of us. We are forced to take a journey to find some important thing. Sometimes we know what it is, sometimes not. In any case, we must leave home to search and attempt to return successful. Think Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
So, our dreamer begins this journey by driving toward the peak. So the dream starts with driving and end with driving. Only the content of the dream has irrevocably changed her direction toward the highest point available to her at this point in her life, represented by the mountain peak. She is absolutely headed in the right direction, even though her exact course may be hindered by the emotions evoked by loss and fear of change that this new direction is creating.