Examining Social Conditioning

Dream Series: Undated, sometime in early 2015

Dream 1

James and I are climbing all over stuff suspended from a hotel ceiling. There are old train cars, giant clocks, etc… It’s fun, but I decide to take a break. James says he wants to climb some more. Suddenly, the stuff starts turning like a giant machine, cogs in a wheel. I start screaming, yelling out to see if James is okay. A person drops from really high. I run over. It’s Elaine. She tries to get up but collapses. I tell her not to move and I yell out for the staff to get an ambulance. It takes forever. James is fine and rushes over, helping me with Elaine. She ends up with her head in my lap. I’m crying. She tells me she’s not going to make it. I tell her to hang on. She’s prepared to die. The ambulance finally comes. The paramedics are dressed in ebola suits. I tell them she has no family here and they let me go with her.

Dream 2

Sam comes to dinner with me and Mary Anne. He parks outside. We hear a crash and run outside. Some jerks are repeatedly bashing all the cars in the carpark as they drive past. His car is totaled. We find out it’s an activist group. I track them down and ask them to pay for the damage. They’re all black. I keep saying dude to sound cool. They won’t pay. I threaten to sue because you can’t just damage other people’s personal property. They say that’s exactly the idea that they’re against. I realize this group is very dangerous and I back out of the room.

Thoughts/Meaning

These are definitely dreams about social conditioning, but I’m not sure exactly what they mean. I think the first one references the idea that if I look too deeply into my conditioning there will be some kind of backlash [Elaine’s fall/death] because new ideas are contagious [her body was collected by people in hazmat suits] and the powers that be need to keep things as they are [cogs in wheel supporting a bigger machine]. The second one is about how my life is structured around a lot of these social beliefs [e.g. the idea of personal property]. I’m afraid that if these go away, chaos will break out [the gang bashes up all the cars]. That’s what I’ve always been taught, right? That without society and societal rules, mankind will degenerate into a chaotic, violent mess. Only, I think that’s just another a belief that keeps us invested in social structures. If we’re convinced we’re evil and need to be controlled, then we’ll let ourselves be oppressed. We might even help the oppressors because we think it’s necessary. It’s interesting how much this parallels religion. Society tries to keep us from knowing ourselves just as much as religion does. If we know ourselves, then we know we’re not actually evil. And if we’re not evil, then we don’t need protecting or controlling because we can trust ourselves. How different life on this planet would be if each of us completed trusted ourselves!

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