Dream Deconstruction

I’m calling on all the cranks, weirdos, lapsed Gnostics and associated crypto-Jungians who come upon this to try and make some larger sense of the whole thing. Last night I had a dream…

I was entered into a photography contest, where each photographer was given a list of “things” to take pictures of. My words were almost exclusively luxury items — jewelery, perfume, etc…I found myself wandering around in a heated haze, enraged at the task I had been given. Everywhere I looked I was immersed in a fun house Benjamin-esque world — an arcades. Effectively a marketplace of endless baubles — multi-colored perfume bottles and exquisite earings — Objet d’art surrounding me like a cocoon. So many images and colors and shapes — all somehow representative of lifeless bounty. For some time it seemed nothing I looked at had any aesthetic meaning. It was all just a bunch of pretty stuff.

Then, finally, light started to play with the objects around me. The sun hung low in the sky. Angles and meaning formed — the beautiful things became truly beautiful. In their imperfection. I felt as if I was making images beyond the human limit — light catching every speck of dust and little nick and ding in these suddenly real and humble things. No longer was it just bejeweled and flawless — rather these multi-faceted objects became encrusted universes of complexity, each shaped in unique and timeless fashion.

When I awoke a sense of sadness came over me and I was very confused about the meaning of what I remembered. I felt out of time. And I still asked myself, moreover; “Why is it this among all possible worlds that I experienced at this point?”

So I turn it over to more objective sources outside myself…And ask, again, why?

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27 Responses to “Dream Deconstruction”

  1. flaneur Says:

    Perhaps you miss critical theory – that’s what it sounds like to me. Staring and staring at things that should be meaningful but aren’t, until suddenly… Reading Bourdieu or Zizek, or other unnecessarily dense and wordy folks sometimes had that effect on me. Or maybe I’m projecting my own longing for a writing breakthrough :)

  2. The Necromancer Says:

    Funny you should say I miss it — Feeling immersed in it while currently teaching a history of communications course. Maybe my subconscious is soaked in all that, and also in thinking about the ramifications of ideas in the modern marketplace; Like flawed little gems, becoming easily scattered by the hustle and bustle.

    I dunno. There’s another layer there, beyond the patently obvious bookishness. And I feel as if it’s more than just the next page…

  3. monica Says:

    Maybe you should read Dante’s Paradiso.

  4. The Necromancer Says:

    Why, in particular? I’m sorta familiar with it. Subconsciously. ;)

  5. anon Says:

    The stuff we’re given to deal with – like difficult and painful life experiences – can become precious and transcendental when looked at in a different light. The sadness is at growing up enough to realize that.

  6. The Necromancer Says:

    Sometimes the pressure is even strong and steady enough to turn coal into diamonds. Or, failing that, crush the life out of you…

  7. monica Says:

    Because the empyrian heaven (perfection) is animated by light and moved by love. It is precisely that which is beyond human comprehension (Dante uses the fantastic verb “transumanar” to describe what he will be doing). All the angels and souls appear as flames or jewels or precious things. In your dream, it feels like a neoplatonic desire to use the beauty of the world to reach meaning (or God, as you please). In Dante, light represents both love and reason.

    Maybe you were just missing love. Or reason. Or I have been reading too much Dante. I shouldn’t encourage you.

  8. The Necromancer Says:

    I should have known mentioning Dante was setting me up for a (The?) fall. An exercise in postmodern scholasticism reconciling love and reason. All has something to do with faith, I think…

  9. monica Says:

    Felix culpa. It’s the ultimate exercise in faith.

  10. unslaked Says:


    Maybe you just need to go easy on the meatloaf before beddy-bye?


  11. The Necromancer Says:

    Meatloaf: The ultimate exercise in faith…

  12. monica Says:

    Well, you’re the one with the perpetual crisis, not me. I thought it was Meatloaf: Bat out of Hell.

  13. The Necromancer Says:

    Sure, that works too.

  14. LaBelleProvince Says:

    No matter how long you stare at Meatloaf, he’s not going to turn into a radiant gem.

    But anyway, what a great dream. This is what resonated with me: Shine light on things – whether that be the light of faith, reason, optimism or learning – and their astonishing facets will be revealed.

  15. The Necromancer Says:

    “No matter how long you stare at Meatloaf, he’s not going to turn into a radiant gem” — Beautiful.

  16. The Death of Love « The Necromancer Says:

    […] Alas, there’s the rub. This is more of a question of perception, something hinted at in my dream, […]

  17. speedbird Says:

    Reminds me of Robert Pirsig when he describes a student of his who couldn’t write about her home town. ‘Narrow your focus,’ says Pirsig. ‘Write about just the main street. No, even better, just the front of the Opera House. Start with the top-left-most brick…’ and the student is astonished to find herself unblocked.

  18. The Necromancer Says:


  19. anon Says:

    Anybody got a good recipe for meatloaf?

  20. The Necromancer Says:

    Shape “meat” into “loaf”.


    Presto! Meatloaf. ;)

  21. Shefaly Says:

    Long to-do list, not enough time, perhaps? Just the daily grind grinding you down?

  22. The Brooke Says:

    I didn’t read through all the comments, so if this was already mentioned, well, maybe you need to hear it twice? ;) And I guess I’m a little late, too, but ah well. I’m getting something…

    Trying to keep it simple, my immediate sense (what might be one facet of the meaning) is that it’s the light you cast on the things (people, events, whatever) that makes them beautiful or hideous, meaningful or meaningless. The sun represents your eye (your perspective) – the light in which you are looking at everything. Also, weather in dreams generally seems to symbolize mood/emotions. So another way of saying it is your mood colors the world around you, sometimes dramatically.

    Nothing groundbreaking there in terms of insight, but maybe you needed to be reminded of that particular insight at the time.

  23. The Necromancer Says:

    I need to be reminded of it daily.

  24. Dreamworld « The Necromancer Says:

    […] I remember symbols and sigils from ages beyond memory. Language from the root of the cerebellum. It’s all so complex. Like following a trail leading you back to the beginning of the maze. You think you have awoken, when in fact you are still dreaming. […]

  25. Bidz Says:

    Wow. 60 months later, I crawl into this cave art and randomly find the kind of dream deconstruction service I was thinking of constructing myself. Well, I come from a temporal stretch so I’ll get to the Jungian crux (this is not like the kind of time travel service you expected, was it?): I think your dream was a manifestation of everything you inherently had the potential to see but couldn’t see in 2007. Your unconscious and subconscious wanted to give your conscious mind a reminder about the presence of inexplicability in your life. You needed to be more confused so your constition could keep you measured and together (as in, put back into equillibrium). Anyway, you probably have a grip on other things now. Peace from Melbourne, VIC, Former Koori Territory, Australia.

  26. The Necromancer Says:

    @Bidz: Thanks for your thoughtful, time-dilated response. I think you are right on about the symbolic relevance of the dream, particularly as it spoke to a relationship between conscious and unconscious. I have indeed moved on to other things, but Jungian synchronicities (if that is the crux of this response) are never linear and I note with some chagrin that I have just completed and will present a paper on Saturday which deals to a significant degree with the elusive relationship between conscious and unconscious states. Go figure…

  27. Recurring Dream « The Necromancer Says:

    […] Hoping that my blog readers (such that they are) can help me with some dream deconstruction: […]

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