In October 2009, I shared a “dream” with Richard that I had when I was 15. In the scenario I was being over-powered by someone I knew.
This “dream” haunted me for the later part of my teenage years and into my early adulthood because a counsellor I had told at the time thought it didn’t sound like a dream to her. She thought it sounded like it had really happened and that I had disassociated because of the trauma of the experience.
Richard’s interpretation which I share here really put things into perspective for me. Either it was a dream and could be taken metaphorically to be a message about oppression and powerlessness which I was truly living in, or it was real in which case I could still consider the metaphor of the experience and could investigate further.
By considering the metaphor, I could actually begin to detach from the fear for the first time since the experience and begin to develop a degree of peacefulness I had never known before.
Here is our dialogue about the topic.
On Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 8:09 AM, Rachel Pellegrini
For many years I have been a workshop facilitator for The Virtues Project
and have used the strategies of the virtues project in my classrooms, family, and in my personal healing. Funny that you say my dreams are saying I need peacefulness now because that was always my goal of course, but I first needed courage, determination,
forgiveness etc. etc. (qualities I have been practicing for a number of
years now) in order to get me to the place now where I can finally embrace peacefulness with my whole heart.
In the dream about the thief, when you
> wrote that I had achieved justice and that it was now a time for peace it
> really hit a cord with me and rang true. It seemed to me that I had
> achieved my aim and there is a great peace that accomplishes that.
> It feels wonderful to be here now at a place where I feel peacefulness in my
> life and am ready to do what needs to be done to maintain it.
> I am glad that I sent you that last dream for your consideration. Your
> analysis has been, and will continue to be helpful as I work through this
> stage of my personal growth.
> Warmest regards,
> On Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 12:11 AM, Richard Hastings
>> Dear Rachel,
>> It is really nice to see that you are dealing with some really
>> important issues in your life and that you are going at them in a
>> really great way. The first thing that I want to say is that it is
>> important always in the first phase of dream interpretation to deal
>> with things metaphorically rather than literally because there is more
>> to be learned on a metaphoric level than on a literal one.
>> In real life rape is forcing someone to have sexual intercourse
>> without their consent. In the dream world sexual intercourse, if it
>> is positive, is the coming together of two sets of spiritual qualities
>> so that they can work together to achieve something greater. When
>> you interact with someone else’s qualities, then you can learn them
>> and integrate them into your life so that they can produce something
>> new. Rape is being forced to have intercourse with the dark side or
>> ego side of someone. It causes fear and powerlessness and prevents
>> people from producing really positive things.
>> So the purpose of the dream is to actually do the opposite of what
>> the dream is giving you. Being raped by someone at 15 in
>> metaphorical terms means being forced to interact really closely with
>> his ego, which is all of his bad qualities. What is particularly
>> difficult is that 15 is the age at which you are no longer a child,
>> where you are taking your first steps into adulthood. So the
>> challenge you had at that age was that you were living with fear and
>> forced to be his partner as if you were his partner even though you weren’t.
The fear that the dream produces is having to live out that role
>> against your will. The consequence of rape is the feeling of
>> powerlessness and fear so I am sure that these are the feelings that
>> you have had to live with in relation to someone.
>> So what the dream is looking for is the opposite in positive
>> terms, but it is presenting you the rape because it is warning you of
>> the difficult times ahead with someone and his dysfunctions.
>> The quality that you needed when you were 15 from someone was the
>> quality of peacefulness so that you could be guided along your own
>> path. Instead you got him and his ego, a person barely surviving his
>> own life. This is not to be said for you to be angry with him. He
>> was probably doing the best he could. The fact is that what you
>> needed you didn’t get, so now you have the opportunity to give it to
>> yourself so that those who come after you as well as you own self can
>> benefit from it.
>> One of the ways you can tell about the real rape or imagined is
>> to analyze how this person used power. If he had power issues,
>> then you might investigate it further, but if he didn’t, then it is
>> more likely that it is a dream state and not a real one. One way
>> or the other, he wasn’t the positive person you needed when you were
>> making your own first steps toward adulthood and this is the critical
>> issue for you.
>> So one of the big questions you are going to have to ask yourself
>> is why peacefulness? Why not courage, determination, love, honesty,
>> or a host of other virtues? The virtue of peacefulness will allow
>> you to stay fully on your own own unique path, which is different
>> probably than almost everyone you know. The further your path is away
>> from the mainstream the more you need the quality of peacefulness. It
>> allows you to be free from distractions and trappings of the world.
>> You are likely already on that path, but now your poised to take some
>> major steps forward. That is why you are so keen to do the spiritual
>> Warmest greetings
On April 10, 2016 Richard added this post to his website about inner work and transformation after experiencing trauma. I find it relevant.