Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Of Monkeys and Men

Two Robins have made a nest close to our house's front door. We mostly use the garage door to get in and out of the house. Things were peaceful between us, until a couple of days ago that I took a picture of their chicks for Sima, and one of the bigger chicks flew out of the nest. The parent Robins have become very aggressive since and a couple of times attacked me to keep me away from their chick(s). Last night, I got angry at them. But in reality, I was sick of myself being afraid of the little birds and even thought of destroying their nest and killing their chicks. Sima responded in horror to these thoughts; understandably :)

Done brushing my teeth, and deep in thought about my career choices and future, I looked up in the mirror. I saw something different in my eyes; someone new. I have been amused by the expression in/around my eyes recently. When I am sad, they are ugly, and as soon as I feel happy, they start shining and become beautiful. I want to get rid of my glasses, because I love my face when I'm smiling :) But last night I saw some intensity and power in my eyes that I had never seen before. There is a powerful person inside me who is waiting to get out, lol

I had a strange and interesting dream last night. I remember three scenes. The third scene is the most fascinating and has a strangely deep wisdom in it.

Scene 1. I am in a retreat, or a work-related picnic, with my students or co-workers, country-side, somewhere in Iran. There is another group of people who stay in a better place than us. As I pass by their group, I realize that they have a mosque there and a public restroom/washroom in their area. I hear people talking about washing hands and face (VOZOU) and getting ready for prayers. They say things about the washroom and my impression is that it is a dirty. disgusting place like most public washrooms that I remember from Iran. As I get closer to our station, I begin skating at higher and higher speed and I become frightened because I am not sure how I can stop.
Interpretation. The first scene captures my outermost fears that are related to my career and job situation. I have always felt that I'm in the second-tier in my job and secretly envied and hated people in the first tier. The dream echos the same feelings. The mosque and washroom associations are rather strange. My unconscious gives me some reasons for why I am not in the first tier. The high speed skating scene also shows that I have some reservations about excelling in my job: the fear of speeding too much and getting out of control?

Scene 2. I am having sexual intercourse in public, some place that reminds me of narrow alleys of Tehran-Pars. It's evening/night and nobody is around. I feel a bit nervous. The location changes to inside our old house in Tehran-Pars, in the big dining/formal room on the first floor. I realize that my mom is in the main hall and feel ashamed and nervous (of her hearing our voice) and ask Sima to be quiet. She suddenly turns away from me and turns on a TV. I feel abandoned and hurt and extremely angry. I go to the yard screaming and shouting in anger.
Interpretation. I am one step closer to the inner layers/roots of my fears. What is sexual intercourse? It is the interaction between two entities that creates pleasure. The difference between intercourse and masturbation [HELLO PRIMATES!!!] is the tension between two person engaging in sexual intercourse which is not present in masturbation. Intercourse symbolizes tensions inside us that create pleasure. The first fear is the public evaluation/judgement that is the extension from the first scene. The deeper fear is from being seen and judged by the parts of my psyche that identify with my parents, especially my mother (mom next door). The deepest fear is the fear of rejection, and abandonment by the part in me that I love and value (Sima turning away to TV).

Scene 3.We are sleeping outside on a traditional Iranian bed-table. The neighbor's small dog keeps climbing the bed and wants to sleep on the bed with us. I do not like this and want to get rid of it. I start petting the dog's belly and it gradually turns into a small monkey. I keep petting and touching the monkey until he starts talking (in English) and tells me that he likes me and as a gift he will leave his wealth for me after he dies so that I will feel safe.
Interpretation. Interesting to link the monkey here to those in my previous dream [HELLO PRIMATES!!!]. Therefore, I think of monkey as the symbol of my internal audience or my innermost source of judgement. The transformation of "dog" to "monkey" offers a deep wisdom. What is the source of our inner critic? Dog is the symbol of protection. Our inner critic starts by being our protector from things that may hurt us in the future, such as the critical judgements of others. Therefore, in order to avoid harsh judgements, we internalize them and the monkey is born from the dog! When the monkey dies (that is, if we are able to silence the judgmental voice of our inner critic) then we are left with a gift. What remains is a protector and not a harsh critic that would drive us into hopelessness and depression!

In the morning, I was completely puzzled by the dog-monkey transformation and the talking monkey. As I was thinking and developing the interpretation, looking back at the events of the last night and bird's attack, I also remembered two memories from my early childhood in our first house in Tehran (located close to Foozieh-Emam Hosein square). The first was my dad chasing and killing a mouse and in the other he was spraying and killing hundreds of cockroaches that one night came out of the (outside) toilet. In both memories, my dad did not show any fear, but for some reason I sensed that he was not comfortable, as if he was hiding his fear.  More importantly, I vaguely remember my mom criticizing and belittling him because of his fears (not of animals, but of his brothers and other people, more in the context of social interactions). When you put the two pieces together, you see a father who is afraid of admitting to his fears and a mother who criticizes him constantly. I have internalized both of them. Anytime that I see a shortcoming in myself (fear, anger, ...), I get mad at myself for being weak.

The only way to escape this cycle of fear and condemnation is to have both sides present and start a conversation between them.

Of Monsters and Men: Little Talk
They played at SNL last Saturday and I liked them very much ... plus the band name :)

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