Chapter 10 Dream Invasion (complete)

CHAPTER 10 Dream Invasion (complete)

If you’ve been writing for a while and ever have been deeply involved in a story, you’ve encountered at least one of your characters in a dream. You may have even run across an antagonist or two, something that can be disconcerting and might have resulted in a nightmare. In short, you’ve suffered a dream invasion.

By “dream invasion” I mean both dreams invading your story, and your story invading your dreams. Both will happen automatically. I dreamed about my protagonist when I wrote The Escape of Bobby Ray Hammer, so much so that the memory of his fictional life in my own hometown became in many ways more powerful than the memory of my own. After one such dream, I became concerned he’d take over my psychic space including my memories. The exercise for the author is to accentuate the intuitive activity and assume a measure of control.

Let’s take a minute to see how creative writing might affect your dreams. First of all, you have a dream life that was well established before you started writing. Second, some of your dreams will have perturbations caused by this new story. Third, you’ll have dream perturbations caused by “becoming worthy.” Remember my dream of finding my own body lying in a gutter? Fourth, you’ll have dream perturbations related to your craft. An example of this is the dream I had concerning what I initially thought was a large bank vault but that I came to associate with the plot mandala/yantra, which became the Iris of Time.

It’s important to pay attention to your initial dream state and watch for changes caused by Active Imagination and other aspects of creative writing. I suggest documenting your more-important dreams. This will help you understand what is going on in your own psychic space. People change over time, and using Active Imagination for creative storytelling may very well accelerate the change.

Since creative writing affects dreams, we need to learn more about the process and how we might harness it. First, we should look at how Jung thought of dreams. Here are summaries of what Jung saw as four possible origins [Children’s Dreams, page 4/5]:

1. The dream is the unconscious reaction to a conscious situation.

2. The dream depicts a situation that originated in a conflict between consciousness and the unconscious.

3. The dream represents that tendency of the unconscious that aims at a change of the conscious attitude.

4. The dream depicts unconscious processes showing no relation to the conscious situation. … They are like an oracle…

The first three definitions deal directly with the relationship between Consciousness and the Unconscious and should be helpful. The fourth might be pertinent on some level, but we’ll set it aside for now.

The first might be useful because the author has setup a situation, albeit what he/she believes to be an artificial one in the form of a story, about which the Unconscious may wish to react. I prefer to look at this as a reasoned dream response rather than a mechanical necessity or a knee-jerk reaction from the Unconscious. Freewill exists in the Unconscious just as it does within Consciousness. An example of this would be when an author has an idea for a story but can’t quite visualize its overall arc. The Unconscious would provide a dream to reveal more of the plotline but perhaps dressed in different clothing.

The second definition involves an internal conflict that already exists, and as such, naturally feeds into our concept of story. If our story originated subconsciously from a conflict between Consciousness and the Unconscious, we’re really in luck because both are already engaged in this storytelling. We only have to get that existing conflict into the World of Dreams. This in all likelihood has already occurred but with a different adaptation that would obscure its origin.

The third definition borders on being conflict but is perhaps a precursor where the Unconscious first identifies something in Consciousness, makes a comment, and waits for a reaction. If Consciousness accepts the comment, we never experience conflict, and if so, it doesn’t provide help with our story. If Consciousness rejects the comment, the Unconscious may just walk away and nothing results, but if it refuses to give it up, then we have a conflict, and it reverts to the second definition.

It would seem then that definition two would be most beneficial. After all, the central conflict came from the Unconscious. If we take a conflict into a dream, something that has already resonated with Consciousness, we may be able to investigate it further in the World of Dreams. We’ve all had nightmares, so we’re definitely in the right place.

That said, one thing more. Dream invasion techniques are a work in progress, much more so than the rest of this book. I have done a certain amount of research involving dreams, enough to realize how difficult some of these techniques are and that it’s undoubtedly a huge subject of which I’ll never learn the full extent. But it does yield dividends. Experiment with the techniques I present in this chapter, which will include lucid dreaming. We have all experienced lucid dreaming, which is simply realizing that you’re dreaming while dreaming. It would seem a natural fit.

I also want to reinforce the role my dreams and other “psychic events” played in the development of the Iris of Time, the Imaginarium, and the vampire novel I wrote during that same time period. I had dreams of a large circular mechanism in the wall of a home. I had a dream of a dragon. I had another dream of a dead body that turned out to be my own. I have had other dreams that also influenced but didn’t make it into this narrative, and still more yet that related to my vampire novel, and possibly a multitude that were pertinent but upon waking I didn’t remember at all.

Even though you’ll have my suggestions to help guide you through the initial stages of developing your own techniques, in many ways you’ll be hacking your own path into the wilderness. You should seriously consider keeping track of your learning process because it will be of benefit later on. Your process will mature, and if you don’t keep track of it, you’ll forget what you learned early on. You’re in this for the long haul, and that means years, so keep circling back to review what you learned earlier, something like that Ouroboros eating its own tail. Documenting it helps remember what you’ve learned and to trust your process. You are doing the legwork and might consider putting it out there for the benefit of the rest of the storytelling community. Creating a blog, as I did with the Iris of Time, will help for a sense of community and foster group development. We can all use the help.

So how do we go about using material from dreams when creating a story narrative? First of all, don’t force yourself to interpret a dream so that it fits what you’re writing. If the dream was impressive, keep it in mind, and it just might find the proper place later on. Try it on for size. If it fits, use it. If it’s a stretch, don’t. It’s that simple, and that complex. We don’t always immediately understand our internal processes and what the Unconscious is trying to tell us. It can take time, sometimes years.

Let’s return now to our discussion of the methods of using Active Imagination that we suspended in the previous chapter. We have four states left to discuss. Here, we dive deep into the dream process.

Level Four: Event Horizon. This level of Active Imagination occurs when you clear psychic space and enter the Iris of Time to create a visual and auditory state at the very edge of sleep. You are at the Event Horizon of the Black Hole. You always go into the state with a purpose, but still leave yourself open to whatever comes, within reason. You will see vivid images. These are essentially dream images, and you are very close to the dream state, but with practice, you can achieve a certain stability at the edge of the abyss. In time, you can learn to prolong this state until it becomes an extremely productive session.

You cannot actively record what is happening because it will pull you out of the state. You will either have to rely on your memory or, after experiencing the images and voices, you will have to interrupt the session to record it, essentially dropping back to the keyboard state (Level Three) of Active Imagination. Then you will record the images and voices and be actively adding to the experience because Active Imagination expands upon memory in the retelling. The more you try to remember, the more you are adding to and perhaps even changing what happened. This state may also be used casually to familiarize yourself with the setting of your novel. You can enter the fictional world, walk around, talk to people related and unrelated to your story and visit locations that you will never use as a setting.

Level Five: Entering the Black Hole. This level of Active Imagination occurs when you again clear away psychic space, enter the Iris of Time, and try to maintain your presence there as you fall asleep. Initially, you are at the Event Horizon of the Black Hole, but this time you allow yourself to slip inside. You always go into the state with a purpose, but instead of leaving yourself open to whatever comes, you try to define the world you enter and possibly drag one or more of your characters with you.

Practice this level anytime just before sleep. In this technique, you actively take your story, or an element of it, into the dream state with you. You can engage one or more of your characters using Active Imagination and then have them accompany you into your dream, constantly engaging them in conversation while allowing sleep to overtake you. This is an attempt to profoundly affect the nature of the dream. It may take on many forms.


Figure 10-1 Dream Invasion

Level Six: Lucid Dreaming. In this state, you are in the middle of an existing dream when you realize that you are dreaming. If you’ve prepared properly, you can then remember that you wanted to accomplish something concerning your story, and you locate and actively engage characters. This can take some practice, but a guide exists to help with this sort of activity. Stephen LaBerge, a Stanford University dream researcher, wrote two books on lucid dreaming. They are: Lucid Dreaming, the Power of Being Awake & Aware in Your Dreams, and Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (with Howard Rheingold). They should be immensely helpful.

Level Seven: Reentry. Returning to the dream state upon waking. Again, you must do your homework beforehand. When coming out of the dream state after a long sleep, you can try to transition the dream into one related to the story, adapting the material of the dream as a template to learn more about your story. You should try to remember to reenter as soon upon waking as possible. You gather your story resources and reenter the dream world through the Iris of Time but trying to slant the dream to the world of your story. You might wish to take your characters with you for a predetermined activity.

Once you’ve been inside the dream for a while, you may wish to transition to the Event Horizon and continue the session. Once you have obtained some content, you can pick up your notebook/keyboard and drop back to level three, typing out what you remember and augmenting it with whatever your imagination provides to supplement your memory.

After I had been using this technique for a few weeks, I noticed that I could relive both my dreams and Active Imagination sessions. This was more than just mulling the experience over in my mind. I relived the experience, such as it was. It’s as if time does not exist within the Iris of Time. Time exists on this side of the Iris, but on the other, a primordial landscape rules, and events within it, are still there, still exist, and I only have to step again into the event to relive it. In doing so, I can retrieve more of the experience. I realize other aspects that I didn’t notice the first time I lived it. The point I’m trying to get across is that I wasn’t remembering the first experience. I was living the experience again, only in succeeding times I was more fully alive and in the moment. To me, this indicated that my Consciousness was more firmly imbedded in the Collective Unconscious.

The other thing that seems to be true is that time only exists in the Collective Unconscious relative to a narrative. The flow of time does not exist unless it is within a story. It’s as if each story has a location within psychic space. Getting to these locations is only a matter of directing the imagination to a particular spot. Time is not involved in getting to a new location.


I had another dream that illustrates the connection between the author and his/her psychic drama. Initially, I had no idea what my Unconscious was trying to tell me, but a few months later, I realized that it had told how to become involved in the unfolding drama and yet retain my autonomy as well as permitting that of other psychic entities. As I came out of the dream, I transitioned to Active Imagination to keep expanding on and interpreting the ideas inherent in the dream. Here is the dream in its entirety along with my thoughts during the Active Imagination session, which I wrote down immediately afterward:

January 28, 2012, 04:30 am.

I just woke from another bizarre dream. I was in a room with five other men. Three of us were there as spectators, and the other three were actors in a play or some strange reality show. I am not sure that a large audience was viewing this. At least, they were not a part of my awareness while this was happening, although I quickly wondered about an audience soon after I woke.

The three men who were actors in this drama, and it was as close to real life as you can get, were arguing over something that had happened concerning their business that had gone wrong. One man had been in charge of some project that had gone wrong, but he was rather unconcerned about the outcome. His boss was not as flippant about it, and as far as I can remember, fired the man on the spot.

The other two members of the audience and I were sitting on a sofa in the same room with the actors, and the play was being put on for us. We could participate in the dialogue to a certain extent but could not interfere with the action. Seems that we could only comment or ask a question now and then. After his boss fired him, the man who made the mistake left the stage. And that’s another thing. We were not actually on a stage. We were in a home. The entire play was being staged in a normal home that had been setup for this play.

After the man left, a woman entered, and I remember being concerned for her physical wellbeing. But it seems that they never performed that part of the play, or if they did, I’ve forgotten what happened. I believe it was a rape scene, and I remember being worried about the emotional impact it was going to have on me, me being in the same room with such violence toward a woman. But the next thing I remember is that the woman was gone, and another man entered. He was a large man, muscular, and in a T-shirt. He came in and sat down in an easy chair on the other side of the room from the three of us who were spectators. He started talking about two friends, or possibly business associates of his who got into a fight. He said that these were big men, and that, although they were businessmen, they were good at fighting, really good. The implication being that both men got hurt really bad.

One of the spectators I was with asked the actor a question about what happened, and the actor interacted with him to answer the question, but then went back to scripted dialogue. The question seemed an intrusion, but that this type of questioning from the audience, the three of us, was expected and a part of how this play was presented.

I then woke, and I immediately, but impulsively, began fantasizing to extend the action of the play, envisioning the action of the fight, and the two fighters going to the hospital emergency room to get stitched up. But I also then realized what a bizarre dream I had just had, and wondered what my Collective Unconscious was trying to tell me. This dream seemed to be a take on the characteristics of visiting another family and being witnesses to their family arguments, except that this was business people, or possibly criminals, the mob or possibly drug dealers.

It is also a lot like the way I’ve been writing fiction. I have created my vampire novel by first creating a narrator who I go see to get her to tell me the story. I envision that I enter the Iris of Time and go see her, and we lie down together, hold hands, and she tells me the story there in the dark. We both imagine the story. I then ask her questions about her story, but we do not question our characters. Perhaps we should.

I’m reminded of Shakespeare’s “Epilogue” at the end of The Tempest. This is one of the most talked about passages in all Shakespeare. Prospero talks directly to the audience and speaks as though he is both Prospero and Shakespeare. He asks the audience for its approval, by their applause of course. But it is also as if the audience has been a participant all along, sort of a god overseeing the action.

The thing I remember about the play of my dream is being both a part of the play and at the same time, not a part of the play. We were sort of a Greek chorus. We could participate in the play by asking questions and making comments, but our part in the play wasn’t scripted, and we had no impact on the action. We were both in the play and outside of it. I remember that the emotional impact was quite profound. We were not in reality threatened, but we were so close to the action, and in some ways a part of it, yet not a part of it, that we could be overcome with emotion.

I thought about a Broadway play where before it began, the producers would come out on stage and select three members of the audience at random to go up on stage with the actors and experience the play from there. They could comment and ask questions, and the actors would address them, but the script would be followed to the word with these intrusions. When the play was over the three audience members who had seen the play from onstage with the actors would then debrief the audience on what the experience was like being a part, but not an actual part, of the play. The audience would be watching them watch the play.

I could also envision a large home being the stage for such a play where the audience and cast intermixed, and the members of the audience didn’t know who the actors were, until of course the play began and was acted out from within the audience. The play would occur in different rooms perhaps even at the same time, and audience members that didn’t see one part could explain to the others what happened at several planned breaks. Even the actors could then take part in the conversation about what had happened, as if it really had happened. Then the play would resume quite without warning, and the audience would stand around and watch the action proceed without interfering.

Of course, it would also be possible to have members of the audience become participants in the play, where an actor would request the help of a specific audience member to, say, help him kill a man. In that way, an audience member would understand or get to experience the feeling of being an actor. Perhaps, less dramatically, a member of the audience would only be asked to give the actor, say a woman, a hug. At least in some small way, at least a portion of the audience could participate in the play. I would also imagine some security people being present on the periphery to extract any members of the audience who became unruly and/or overly participatory in the action.

I can imagine this being a really powerful theatre experience. I know the limited experience in my dream was. But as with all things theatre, this has probably already been tried.

All this from a dream.

I’m sure that I even now do not fully understand this powerful and complex dream. I present it to you for your interpretation. You, with your more objective perspective, might be able to decode more of it than I’ve been able to.

Participating with your characters as I did in this dream is another way to get closer to the action of the story you’re telling. This is a way to practice Active Imagination around a story element. Even though it seemed to have something to do with my vampire novel, I was puzzled that night and in the days and months that followed. But when reading Jung, I realized the connection with the author’s stance relative to his/her Active Imagination drama. I quoted the full passage back in Chapter 5, but it bears repeating:

What is enacted [in an Active Imagination session] on the stage still remains a background process; it does not move the observer in any way, and the less it moves him the smaller will be the cathartic effect of this private theatre. The piece that is being played does not want merely to be watched impartially, it wants to compel his participation. If the observer understands that his own drama is being performed on this inner stage, he cannot remain indifferent to the plot and its denouement. He will notice, as the actors appear one by one and the plot thickens, that they all have some purposeful relationship to his conscious situation, that he is being addressed by the unconscious, and that it causes these fantasy-images to appear before him. He therefore feels compelled, or is encouraged by his analyst, to take part in the play and, instead of just sitting in a theatre, really have it out with his alter ego. For nothing in us ever remains quite uncontradicted, and consciousness can take up no position which will not call up, somewhere in the dark corners of the psyche, a negation or a compensatory effect, approval or resentment. [Mysterium Coniunctionis, paragraph 706]

The author has to be simultaneously a member of the audience, an actor in a play, and the character. It’s a divine trinity. If we envision this all happening within our story dodecahedron, it seems to satisfy all of Jung’s requirements.

You will not be able to associate everything you experience in any of these dream levels with your story. The psyche has a mind of its own, and sometimes its issues and intent will supersede yours. Do not fight this or even be disappointed. After all, the conflict in your story isn’t the only one your Unconscious is experiencing. The objective is to entice your Unconscious to help with your writing, not to beat it into a slave of your process. Your Unconscious is adaptable, and you should work with it, always being cognizant of its wishes, nature, and limitations. This is a partnership, one built on trust and goodwill, and you should not abuse your Unconscious with demands incompatible with its nature.

After several months of Active Imagination, I finally started making progress working with my narrator and characters. I discussed plot problems with my narrator. She helped with them. She developed into more of an autonomous person. I also learned how to work with characters in the Active Imagination context. I discussed situations with them and learned what they were experiencing. They told me their problems and how they were trying to solve them. They helped develop the story. They contended with the actual situation. I was just hearing about their problems and solutions.

While working on the third volume of The Mysteries, I tried to enter a dream with my characters. At the risk of boring you to death, I’ll provide a little information on what I accomplished in these session. If you haven’t read the first two volumes of The Mysteries, you’ll undoubtedly be confused about the details, but you should still be able to get the gist of how my dream invasion experience worked. To help prime you for what I say below, I’ll provide a link to the first six chapters of this new work: Here are the results of my Active Imagination:

I first entered the Iris of Time to contact my characters. I wanted to take Theonoë, one of my two protagonists, and her friend Keladeine inside with me. I also took Palaemon, a blacksmith and father to Theonoë, and his two workmen, Alkmon and Damnamenus.

I managed to be aware of their presence right after I woke early the next morning. I immediately tried to take my characters with me into a dream. I didn’t actually go to sleep, and I didn’t stay in one psychic location, but I started receiving amazing flashes of my characters talking to me. I saw flashes of Eleusis in ruins, which had burned in Volume 2. It was a dark place with wild animals, mice, rats, and abject poverty. I saw Agido, a childhood friend of Theonoë’s mother. She was tough, protective of her children, and alert for danger. I saw Anaktoria, yet another of her mother’s friends. She was mean and hateful, also married but with only two kids. She was cynical and depressed. Then I saw Myrrhine, Theonoë’s grandmother, in Thebes. Thebes was also still in ruins. It was a foul, cruel city, a center of robbery, murder, and debauchery. Myrrhine was a wild woman, copulating with deamons. She was filled with hatred, depressed and without morals. She had lost her humanity. And then I saw Athens. It was a place of dark political intrigue. It thrived but had become despotic toward its neighbors. It was hated in the islands. Theonoë learned this first when they arrived on Delos. They heard that Athens had forgotten the gods and not rebuilt the temples. “This is a Zeus civilization,” an outraged Theonoë told them.

All in all, it was an extremely productive night using Active Imagination and dreams to explore my characters and storyline.

One more dream, and this one illustrates that what may seem a peripheral issue may in fact be a pivotal one. Here’s the dream and what I wrote about it the next morning:

January 3, 2012

Last night I dreamed that I was walking somewhere among a group of students who were talking in a lounge, and one male student was telling a girl student about a text he had for one of his classes. I believe it was a novel, but the one thing that I remember most clearly is that the title of the text was Alph. In my dream, the student had the paperback book in his hands, and the cover was plain, consisting of only large areas of different shades of dark green. The title ALPH was written in Arial font in all caps across the top of the cover. In the dream, I remembered having Alph as a text the previous semester, although I hadn’t actually read it, or possibly read all of it. And either I remembered what it was about or the student was telling the girl about it. Alph had something to do with either a person inside a person or a social group within a social group, or a land within a land. It’s really difficult for me to remember that much detail concerning the subject of the book.

When I woke this morning, I decided to see if such a book exists, so I went on the Internet and searched for the title, but only came across TinTin and Alph-Art. Alph in this title actually applies to a shortening of the word alphabet, so this didn’t seem to be a connection. Then I went on Wikipedia and searched for Alph.

Alph turns out to be the name of the sacred river in Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan. Some commentary concerning the poem considers the Alph to be a fictional river, but I would characterize it as mythological, which is a completely different perception when one uses an educated opinion of what mythology really is. Here is the complete poem [added afterward] as written in 1798:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Although I do remember reading the poem for freshman English in 1960 and several times since, I haven’t read the poem in decades and never had a conscious recollection of a river being in the poem, and certainly didn’t remember Alph. I mostly remembered the pleasure dome. I wondered why this word “Alph” should now appear in my dream? And of course, my vampire novel came to mind.

The past couple of weeks or so, I’ve been working on a chapter where my little female vampire protagonist has had, for safety’s sake, to join a colony of vampires in a vast network of caverns deep within the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. Just yesterday I was editing passages where she is to be initiated into the race of vampires. First she, along with other female and male vampires, bathes in a pond fed by an underground stream within the cavern to prepare for her initiation. Here is the text of two sentences as I left them yesterday: “A continuous stream of fresh water feeds the pool. It’s simply an intermediate stop for water on its way to the lower chambers.” Could it be that this was the impetus for my dream’s reference to Coleridge’s sacred river, Alph? Coleridge saw the poem in an opium-induced dream. It came to him as a finished work, although he only wrote down a portion of it before being interrupted and losing the rest. Could it be that I tapped into something within the Collective Unconscious related to this poem? Probably not. But what is even more interesting is what my Unconscious was trying to tell me and why it wrapped the subject matter within that fleeting reference to the Alph.

After considering this awhile, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is an answer to a problem I’ve been having trying to determine the location of my character’s initiation. The Alph is a sacred river, so perhaps I should name my stream the Alph and have my little vampire initiated there in the stream or the pool created by it. Since it’s sacred, the pond would be the place for the initiation, which would be similar to a baptism. I’ve also imagined music, and the Coleridge reference to a “damsel with a dulcimer” may be something further I can use. But I’ve noticed so many references in Kubla Khan that I relate to my vampire story that it is truly remarkable. I’ve already envisioned something I’ve called the “Vampire Wars” and here is Coleridge’s reference to “Ancestral voices prophesying war!” But perhaps even the most remarkable connection is that of the “stately pleasure-dome.” My vampires are always in pursuit of carnal experiences, and referencing orgies and characterizing this cavern or a portion of it as a palace of pleasure will do much to secure its identity. Also, the antagonist of my story, and ruler over the race of vampires, is the original vampire who has lived for millennia and who was at one time a king or tribal warlord, somewhat of a Kubla Khan character.

I can scan this poem further for common elements and the way they are portrayed in Kubla Khan, so that I might be able to breathe more life into the situations I’ve already envisioned for my vampire novel.

The consequences of that dream and Coleridge’s poem rippled through my novel. I might also add that in my dream the girl student who was being told about the book Alph was Lumi Laura, my narrator. She and I spent a lot of time incorporating images from the poem into the novel in the weeks and months following the dream.

Of course, my Unconscious by putting the word “Alph” on the cover of that book in my dream undoubtedly intended something additional. I used it for what first came to mind. I must remember that what comes from the Unconscious is intended as something compensatory for Consciousness being addressed not just at the novel but also toward me. I’ve not uncovered it yet, but tomorrow or years from now, I might find that additional meaning in that one simple fact from a dream. Evidently, it’s an entire book on the Alph that was directed at me.

Now that I think about it, the dream also led me to the concept of the Aleph, which I discussed toward the end of Chapter 6. All in all, a really productive dream.

One of the benefits of obtaining story material this way is that, since the material comes from the Unconscious, Consciousness has a connection, like Ariadne’s thread, across the Transcendent Function to the location of the original material, and all of it may not have been mined in the dream. When this occurs, the process of editing the material can become extremely creative. Use your dreams as bridges to more story material in the Unconscious that may well be available during normal daytime editing.


Dream work is the most difficult to remember of all the techniques we’ve discussed. The story material uncovered is buried the most deeply within the Unconscious. The editing process helps to embed it in memory; however, writing a good story demands that we remember what has come before. How might we improve the situation? We have a bridge, the Transcendent Function, that helps, but we need much, much more than that. We need an entire psychic structure.

We need a memory palace.

Chapter 11 The Memory Palace (complete)

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