Group Eyes

Jen pointed out my use of the word humiliating again last night and she said she couldn’t agree more. There isn’t really a better word to describe almost all situations I’ve been in recently and even I was surprised at the depth of a word I typically only apply to shallow situations.

It has been increasingly more difficult to ignore the authenticity draining from a place like Austin, especially since the election when it became painfully obvious that even these hip liberal people have not been spending much time in the company of those who don't look like them or come from their background. The culture of Austin has been struggling with this for a long time, failing to get together an infrastructure that supports the artists that is says it cares so much about.

I feel the same way about the healers that live in this city, the people who are in tune with the death work I am trying to do and who work as a resource for me when I am unsatisfied with the limits of this world. At one time, this was embarrassing to admit but right now I do not trust anyone else with my questions.

One of the true gifts of sticking it out in a city like Austin for a decade is getting invited to join a dream group that has been meeting on Monday nights for the last 20 years. The other blessing is that they are not in any way bullshit, can read your ass in five minutes from a dream you described in two. I’ve been working on dream analysis all year, mostly from a book by Robert Johnson called “Inner Work” and this group introduced me to two more methodologies that are similar in the belief that our subconscious uses archetypal imagery and the people that appear are shadows of ourselves.

I told them I was getting rained on, denied a ride by a cool acquaintance to location from my childhood, carrying all my belongings, in a hotel, scaling the edge of a pool even though I knew perfectly well how to swim, in fact I’m very good.

I was told there was no way I was going to give myself a lift to a place I didn’t even want to go anyway. All my things I could share, but for some reason I choose to keep  carrying them on me. They said I hold myself back when in the company of others.

It was quick and it was humiliating.

There were other dreams shared, all of which dealt with overcoming conventional obstacles and limiting imaginations. They were quick, revealing, dead on. I asked others questions about their dreams, which was harder than I thought it would be. If felt like asking a stranger to be as vulnerable as possible so I could draw some conclusion about their life. It felt too powerful.

We sat in the car for a few minutes after the group processing the evening. I said I was in awe of the longevity of the group. That they have held out for two decades, kept dreaming, kept probing each other to go deeper. They always find that they’ve been dreaming collectively about a certain subject that gets revealed as the night goes on. It’s embarrassing to think of how unseen we are to ourselves until you sit in a group like that. As our host said at the beginning of the night, some truths are revealed so that only others can see them. It takes humility to ask for help looking.