Dreamages: A Primer by Timothy Tate
6. What Rough Beast

The dream feeds on the imagination. To mature, dreams must be re-called. Without them, you are stuck in the land of literal reality.

Each night we greet the dream; we shake hands with its images, be they terrifying, sanguine, mysterious, or brilliant. Here's the catch. We are apprehensive about our own imaginative powers. We avoid that knock in the middle of the night.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born? -- W.B. Yeats

The dream insists on being treated like a guest. You must pay attention to this Guest, or he becomes more demanding, until finally he is a bloodthirsty demon ripping down your door. LET ME IN.

Sitting bolt upright in the dark bed we thank god it was only a dream and exchange it for the reality of waking life. We think we are safe... if we could only forget. It's not that easy.

Imagine a four act play unfolding over your lifetime. The drama is about you (fact is, you play most of the parts); each dream a new scene. Storytelling is an ancient art, a primitive language which defies interpretation. A good tale should at least be listened to, whether we understand it or not. If we don't have the courage to host these stories, where will our Self find a place to eat, to sleep, to rest unharmed?


The dream is halfway between the poem and the paramecium. Like the paramecium it is a product of nature, not created by man's will. But like the poem, it is a product of art, dependent upon man's imagination. -- James Hillman
... Shame On You (7)

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