It’s difficult to explain the connection between self-knowledge and creativity without psychological jargon getting in the way. Maybe I should start by sharing a dream.
Dream #4287 : The Check Casher
A quiet man is sitting on the curb at a roadside rest stop. I hand him a check I want him to cash for me and he gives me the requested amount plus a stack of checks I have written to him over a long period of time. He never cashed them, and all that money is still in my bank account. He did this because he wants to help me. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. He has given me twice what I asked for with no strings attached! I have been doubly blessed and am touched almost beyond words. I take his face in my hand, look him in the eyes, and sincerely say, “Thank you.”
The first thing I usually do when I work on a dream is reword it in terms of what its symbols mean to me. So I’ll begin with the roadside rest stop. Apparently I’m on a journey. For me this suggests the journey to wholeness and enlightenment.
The mysterious check casher gives and gives, full measure, pressed down and running over, with no expectation of return. I associate this quality with the Ground of our Being, the sacred benevolent Force that never stops giving and sustaining life. So I see the check casher as a symbol of the masculine side of the Self, my Spirit Warrior who shows up every day and does the work that needs doing. My work is to acquire self-knowledge and write about what I’ve learned. My Spirit Warrior helps me do that.
The money I’ve been withdrawing from my bank account by way of the check casher represents the energy, effort, motivation, determination, self-discipline and perseverance we’ve both been willing to expend on my soul’s passion. And the fact that he returned it double-fold feels like a reward for my efforts and shows me how much value he places on our work together.
I know what the reward is. Four days before I had this dream I learned that Healing the Sacred Divide, a book I’d worked on for many years, had been accepted for publication! This dream is a picture of all the help I’ve requested from the Self, all the energy I’ve put into my inner and outer work, and all the treasures of creativity and renewed energy that are the return on my investment.
My ego didn’t write this dream; I’m not that creative. Anyway, egos don’t create dreams. The Self, the source of all my energy and life and creativity does. But I, by which I mean my ego, can persist in diving into my dreams, reflecting on their meaning and writing about what I find there. Intention and persistence pay off. My regular descents into the unconscious ocean beneath my ego’s awareness over a period of many years have created what Jung called an “ego-Self axis.” Through this connection I have met many ocean denizens and grown familiar with the terrain. It was inevitable that I would eventually discover and benefit from some of my sunken treasures.
This dream touched me almost beyond words. To the Self I can only say with all the gratitude and sincerity in me, “Thank you for being my partner on this amazing journey.” And to you who follow this blog, thank you, too, for being part of it.