I’ve been thinking a bit about the four dreams I mentioned in the last post on synchronicity and I want to take a little time with each of them on their own terms. I want to go at this old school, taking this from the “if this were my dream” approach. There is a value in the dreaming, even when it derives from a nameless source because there is no absolutely firm line between one person’s dreaming and another person’s; they aren’t the same thing for different people, but they join us. Friction oracles, again.
Here is the first dream again.
In the garden there was a large sandpit in which layers of rubbish had been deposited. In one of these layers she discovered thin, slaty plates of green serpentine. One of them had black squares on it, arranged concentrically. The black was not painted on, but was ingrained in the stone, like the markings in agate. Similar marks were found on two or three other plates, which Mr. A (a slight acquaintance) then took away from her.
—reported by C. G. Jung, Psyche and Symbol, 295
If this were my dream, then.
If this were my dream, I would be standing in the midst of Eden and the sandpit marks the place where the tree once stood. I’ve had dreams that mark the tree’s absence before, measuring the width and length of its plot. Where there is trash, there are layers of forgetting, heaped on memories obscuring events past. Digging through that, I would be digging through the sediments used to forget and the plates are clearly what I have forgotten.
If this were my dreams, these serpentine plates would be the shed scales of the serpent. Rubbish heaps are found in human habitation, and the serpent born of the garden is not a creature of the village or town. This is the garden not as that from which we are exiled, but the garden as that which we have buried beneath layers of human habitation.
There used to be another world here, one in which the tree and the serpent coexisted with us. Mr. A…if this were my dream, Mr. A evokes Adam, both in terms of his common initial and that initial’s place as the first letter in sympathy with the first man.
Oh, yes, the scales contain a sign that is not a letter, a square within a square. Mr. A who is Adam takes them away and in so doing recreates the cutting down of the tree and the exile of the serpent. The tree that rises toward heaven, the serpent that rises from the earth, and the letter of man that conceals and steals the memory of them from us.
But it is right there in our own rubbish…in the trash heap that makes clear that the letter cannot stand on its own, that it rests on the orderliness of the serpent that it attempts to usurp and is subject to the decline and disintegration of all material things.