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The apple and the talking snake : feminist dream readings and the subjunctive curriculum Gregor, Pearl E. 2008-12-31

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THE APPLE AND THE TALKiNG SNAKE:FEMINIST DREAM READINGSAND THE SUBJUNCTIVE CURRICULUMbyPEARL E. GREGORB.Ed., The University of Alberta, 1973M.Ed., The University of Alberta, 1984A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Curriculum Studies)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)October 2008© Pearl E. GregorABSTRACTIn this dissertation I develop a theoreticalframework for the practice of dreamreading as a form of literary engagement worthyof attention from educators. Dreamreading is a form of research in whichthe researcher takes responsibility for self-reflection and potential transformation of self throughthe construction of knowledgebased on “reading” literary fictive images as ifthey arosefrom night dreams. This studydevelops dream reading theory through an explorationof Carol Shields’ novel, Unless, asfit were a dream. It examines women’ssilence and the disposition of fear of knowingfrom multiple perspectives. The study uses my personaldream journals together with avariety of theoretical works in feminist, consciousnessand dream theories to informinterpretations of Norah, Reta, Lois,and Danielle. For as Donald (2001) says, “whenstories and ideas are juxtaposed, so that theirmeanings collide, they can shift our focus tonew semantic spaces [to] clarify theexperienced world” (p. 294). This workis a limitcase that investigates women’s silenceand fear of knowing as they emerge from mypersonal experience of resistance tothe chaos and uncertainty of disintegrating andrebuilding through midlife into crone.The study shows how dream reading aliterary text might gather together and rearrange lived experience and encourage thecreation and re-creation of life stories fromdifferent perspectives. Dream reading contributesto the study of the details of thephenomenology of inside/outside cognitiveworlds. Exploring literary fiction andpersonal dreams suggests that literaryfiction read as if it were a dream cancontribute tothe identification of shifting self-knowledgeand the creation of new myths subversivetothe patriarchal Symbolic Order.Narrating and re-creating reader-responseexperience11provides insight into self and the struggle for the transformation of theprinciples of linearrational thought.Finally, it is suggested that by accepting that lived reality mattersand bybeginning to imagine exceeding the demands of patriarchal consciousnessfor conformity,acquiescence and certainty, one can explore, perceiveand imagine teaching and learningin different ways, and thereby create opportunitiesfor critical reflection and insight in theteacher education curriculum.111TABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract.iiTable of Contents ivAcknowledgements ViDedication viiChapter 1: Dreams Along the Way 1Chapter 2: Ceaseless Seeking and Interpretation:Knowing and Unknowing 31Chapter 3: Blackened by MelancholicFrustration:’ A Theory of Norah 54Chapter 4: Unlearning the World: A Theory of Reta 87Chapter 5: The Square of Cardboard She Occupies: A Theory of Lois118Chapter 6: Creating the Space of Doubt: A Theory of Danielle 143Chapter 7: In Celebration of My Womb 167Chapter 8: Worlds Without End— 192Bibliography 213Appendix I 219Appendix II 224Appendix III 229Appendix IV 230Appendix V 231Appendix VI 232Appendix VII 2331Hiliman, 1975b,p.90ivAppendix VIII.234AppendixlX235AppendixX236Appendix XI240Appendix XII241Appendix XIII242Appendix XIV245Appendix XV248Appendix XVI249Appendix XVII252VACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThis dissertation has a gestation of 20 years. It is the result of the influence andwisdom of many people some who were dream figures and some who touchedmy life inways deeper than the reading, studying and writing of this work. I acknowledge them all.Dennis Sumara was my advisor and guide through four years of coursework,comprehensive examination, research proposal, and dissertation writing. Before Iwasaccepted as a provisional doctoral candidate, he allowed me to join his seminar midwaythrough. He made it possible to transfer my program from the University of Albertato theUniversity of British Columbia in a seamless and problem-free manner. Dennis encouragedme from the beginning and supported my deep inner need to incorporate dreamsand dreamwork into my scholarship.William Pinar, Anne Phelan and Carl Leggo provided feedback and comments froma deep place of generosity throughout the dissertation process.Verna Schmidt, my friend of many years listened, loved, laughed and cried withmethrough the contentious, deeply moving and healing years of the early 1990’s andcontinuesto journey with me through to the completion of this dissertation and beyond.Bernice Luce, my Crone model, shared both her passion for academic excellenceand her recent academic experiences. She generously read and re-read thiswork andprovided editing suggestions.viDEDICATIONTo the memory of my husband, William Arthur Gregor, whose love and support lifted meup through many difficult years and without whom I may never have continued the search.To the memory of my parents, Anthony Joseph Kramps and Caroline Hélène Miller, whotaught me endurance, love, faith, and that miracles do happen.To my adult children Jason Gregor, Cohn and Elise Gregor, Eric Stang and Rachel GregorStang who give me the joy of their constant love and support and who know that nightdreams offer fullness of life.To my grandchildren Liam, Noah and Ava Gregorand Ethan, Ian and Owen Stangwho just really want to know what grade Grandmother is in now.For the first time in history, enormous numbers of women are traveling through the gate ofmenopause and looking forward to a life span of some 30 more years. And we women havea certain hard-won wisdom, gleaned through consciously processing the experiences of ourlong and fruitful lives. What are we going to do with this wisdom? Play golf? Get our hairdone? We begin to glimpse the opportunity, and the responsibility.Ann Kreilkamp, Founder of Crone Chroniclesvii1.The Subjunctive Curriculum and Subjective KnowledgeHear the windFeel the moistureShriveled bleeding soul.Smell life return to the rivers andpastures turn green.Touch the wild marigold thatblooms brilliant yellowWaters of the storm, flooding, filling, destroying, building.I need a wild gardenNot clipped and even hedgeswith sharp angles and symmetrymanufactured by shearsA wild garden where nature shows herwild destructive face and grins herlaughing wrinkled smile in chaotic peace.Personal Journal 1993** *Thus towards the end of the eighteenth century a change came about which, if I wererewriting history, I should describe more fully and think of greater importance than theCrusades or the Wars of the Roses. The middle-class woman began to write.Virginia Woolf***I begin with fear. Stories. Promises.This dissertation is crone-written. Through multiple lenses of personal experience, Iwrite about feminist and consciousness theory. I look at dreams and dream work as alayperson, through Jungian analytical and archetypal psychology. As a reader, I look athow I encounter and interpret text and how these responses and imaginary identificationsinfluence consciousness and ordinary life interactions with others. In this study, I explorethe potential of literary engagement for the transformation of fear into personal and1professional action. I expand the definition of literary engagement to include a theory ofdream reading. I write about how literary expression provokes deeper understanding ofpersonal and professional identity. Finally I articulate the potential relevance of dreaminterpretation processes to the field of curriculum studies and pre-service teacher education.This study centers on the narration of a feminist understanding of women’s silenceand fear of knowing. I argue that feminist work is far from complete; the surface calm isnot indicative of peaceful fulfillment but, rather, deep despair. Women’s knowing isconstrained, muted and silenced by the identifications of her birthright within patriarchalstructures and discourses. I believe we must create a map out of the mostly hidden but welllearned territory of silence. Grumet (1988) joins Virginia Woolf and Kafka to ask teachersto “make a place for themselves where they can find the silence that will permit them todraw their experience and understanding into expression” (p. 88). This dissertation is onesuch place and one such silence.I believe that this is significant work for education. First, Donald (2001) suggeststhere is an ongoing need in the social sciences to move beyond the beginnings of aphenomenology of consciousness to a new field of study, a fresh science of consciousnessthat details the phenomenology of inner cognitive worlds(p.329). Second, Lodge statessuccinctly that “The novel is arguably man’s most successful effort to describe theexperience of individual human beings moving through space and time” (Lodge, 2002,p.10). The novelist provides vivid, detailed descriptions of imaginary subjective experiences.In “real” life, we do not have access to the detailed thoughts and emotions of those aroundus. “(L)iterature is a record of human consciousness, the richest and most comprehensivewe have” (Lodge, 2002, p. 10). We can deepen our understanding of human experience2through a dream reading of consciousness in the novel. Third, classroom educators andresearchers are interested in the relationships between literary experiences andconsciousness (Lodge, 2002; Kerby, 1991; Donald, 2001; Luce-Kapler, 2004; and Sumara,Luce-Kapler & Iftody, 2008). Finally, radical feminists (Christ & Plaskow, 1979; Daly,1973, 1978) are concerned with eradicating the root causes of the patriarchal system inWestern society. I cannot state too strongly that I consider the interpretive act of dreamreading a critical feminist project of re-mediating, re-situating, re-naming and remembering women’s experiences, history and identity.This study is one woman’s narrative. It writes my life world out of obscurity. Itconfronts patriarchy. It brings my experience to bear on the patriarchal descriptions thatconstitute our understanding of what it means to learn and to teach. It puts one morewoman into the theories that are constructed to deconstruct the institutions of education andits principles. Further, in order to understand how the educational institutions work onchildren and teachers, I must come to understand how it works on my self. What is theimpact of education on human subjectivity and agency? How is it that what one learns iswhat one becomes? This study points to the value of questioning received versions of truth.I submit that the question is the most powerful technology we have available. The truth,says Grumet (1988) “is tricky business.” For these reasons, this study of consciousnessthrough reader-response to a feminist poststructural novel read as ifit were a dream is asignificant site of research.One data archive for this study are my written responses to multiple readings ofCarol Shields’ novel, Unless. The main character in the novel is Reta Winters, mother,“wife,” and writer. She is the translator for French feminist writer Danielle Westerman, and3is “forty-three, forty-four in September” (Shields, 2002,p.2). Reta doesn’t write herautobiography, but we read it through her interior monologues and dialogues with hereditor Springer. Reta’s eldest daughter, Norah, was “a good, docile baby and then shebecame a good, obedient little girl.” Unless evolves as Reta writes the sequel to My ThymeIs Up and, with her partner Tom, searches for possible reasons, possible explanations, as toNorah’s abrupt departure from family, friends and university to take up a vigil on a Torontostreet corner with sign that says, GOODNESS.Unless is a deeply understated conflict about a seemingly safe, calm, ordered,measured, normal life in a comfortable house with a comfortable husband, children andmother-in-law. Reta’s life includes grocery shopping, trips to the library and lunch withgirlfriends. Why does Norah take up residence on Bloor Street by day and Promise Houseby night? Friends offer conflicting but superficial reasons and advice. Tom concludesthat Norah suffers from post-traumatic stress but can’t discover the trigger incident. Retaadopts a deeply private theory of female exclusion and alienation. Usually militantlycheerful, refusing all displays of anger, Reta begins to move beyond civility into angerand even rage as she teeters between the quotidian of her normal comfortable life and thetragedy of her daughter’s withdrawal. By the time we know the “reason” for Norah’ saction and she is safe in hospital, Reta has finally brought her rage into view. Shestruggles with the public unacceptability of woman rage and fears being labeledhysterical and emotional. But, rage can’t easily be stored away again. “How can [Norah]go on living her life knowing what she knows, that women are excluded from greatness,and most of the bloody time they choose to be excluded?” (Shields, 2002,p. 131).4Dreams and novels are important sources of cultural knowledge. The novel is anexcellent depiction of human consciousness and how it works. I learned from Reta’sconsciousness in Unless. Sometime during my first reading, I realized I was reading thenovel through the lens of my dreams and through Jungian dream theory. There are notesin the book margins beside words like library, attic, bathroom, egg, tomato, trilobite,scarf, baby shower, veil and clean my house that say dream symbol]. I began to realizethat I can gain more insight into Reta’s consciousness when I read the novel as ifeachliterary image, each person, place or thing were an image in my night dreams. Bystudying the novel as a cultural form we are engaging in a study of how subjectivity isconstructed. Carol Shields was able to depict female conscious subjectivity by writingnovels. As a reader, I can gather insight into female conscious subjectivity by reading themicroscopic details of Unless, which by revealing the ordinary, discloses something morethan the ordinary about female subjectivity. Reading the novel as fit were a dreamprovides me with multiple learning opportunities. Dream reading Unless helped me tounpack the deeply buried subtleties of the patriarchal code. Dream reading helped me tounderstand and change my subjectivity, that is, my relation to others and to the world.This dissertation uses autobiographical research methods to study the wayspatriarchal discourses and practices function to create silence and fear of knowing.Literary anthropological research methods are used to support the autobiographicalinvestigation into one woman’s journey of understanding.As every page became a reminder of my own biography, I found that my“consciousness is living through a synthesizing evocation from [Unless] which involvesmany—one is tempted to say all—levels of the organism” (Rosenblatt, 1978,p.173).5Unless holds personal meaning for me because of its similarities with my own journey;thus, it became an archive of data appropriate for Pinar’ s (1975) autobiographicalmethod of currere which makes it possible to learn from the integration of academicknowledge and life history (Miller, 2005,p.47). Reading the story of Norah, Lois andDanielle through the consciousness of midlife narrator, Reta Winters, evoked multipleimages and identifications.Another data archive is my written representations and responses to dreams I haverecorded since 1988. In order to represent the complexity of women’s silence and fear ofknowing, I “shift [my] privatized experiences into the public sphere”and risk becoming aspectacle (Sumara, Davis, Filax, & Walsh, 2006, p.3). The study of one biography, then,becomes a “limit case” from which social systems can be understood (Salvio, 2007).Freeman (2003) states that “the narrated life is the examined life”(p.127). Throughclose readings of fiction and dream reading as interpretive practices, women can discovertheir history, notice their gender blindness, see their connection to the past, to all humanendeavors, and then, inevitably, dramatically transform consciousness. The normalizingeffects of patriarchy are difficult to discern. Their effects are most often considered to bepersonal weaknesses of women. Dream reading the novel provides a way to examine mylife through a fuller and broader range of theory as well as feeling, thought, experienceand emotion than I might normally have available.In the process ofjuxtaposing documented dreams, literary text and theory, I beganto understand that within the nexus of multiple fecund ideas was the energy needed to“engage in the needed boundary crossing that creates possibilities for the revision ofpersonal narratives” (Sumara, 2002a, p.58). This textual nexus forces a space for6negotiation of possible new interpretations of old ideas and old personal narratives.According to Grumet (1988), this intertextual process provides for openness of meaningbut not collapse. Interpretation becomes tentative, vital, trembling and transformative of“the text, the world, and their interpreters as well”(p.146). When working with thismultiplicity of text, I am able to range far and wide seeking the recovery of the mysteryof creation. In this juxtaposition of multiple texts, I find no Coles Notes of Truth.This autobiographical study documents and analyzes the journey of one woman in-with-through-out of fears both implicit and explicit. This work has been 60 years in thebirthing. Sixty years. But most specifically the healing years between 1988 and 2004 andthe embracing years from 2004 to now. How can I embrace my fears of knowing? How canI formulate a conceptual understanding of the question of fear of knowing as a potential siteof transformation in person and in practice? I can begin with personal experience. I can say,with Magda Lewis (1993), in her writing of silence:As a pedagogical ‘problem,’ women’s silence has most often been articulated andframed within an ideology of deficiency—as a consciousness drugged into stuporby the opium of male power. Hence, the interventions envisioned are most oftendirected toward compensating for this presumed lack ... From my own experience Iknow that not all of what appears to be women’s silence is the absence of discourse.Infused with the context of my own lived realities, the text ... gives integrity andpolitical meaning to my own silences grown, as I know they are, not out ofinadequacy and deficiency, but of a deeply felt rage at those who live theirunexamined privilege as entitlement (p. 3).“(W)hen the culture conspires to ignore one’s presence, one loses one’s self (Doll, 2000,p.33). Telling stories and writing are ways to return my self to my self.As I write outside on the verandah this morning, I become aware of an emergingimage of my life seasons. The image of the Mugo pine appears like a watermark—evergreening, its Demeter-graced abundant green springtime candles becoming brown seed7cones, which now in late July begin to fall to earth in preparation for fall and winter. I havelived here in this place for 35 years. The tree has grown from a small shrub to a 20-foottree. Emerging from its roots are a dozen or more large trunks with dozens of branchesreminiscent of multiple identifications. Like the tree, I have multiple branches.I am a white, middle class educator, daughter, sister, widow, mother, grandmother,aunt and great aunt. I am the only daughter/sister among four living and two deceasedbrothers. This place is one of both privilege and problem. I grew up in rural, homesteadAlberta identified as “the only daughter” and “the only sister.” Like Norah in Unless, I wasa good, nice, docile, quiet baby, child, and teenager. There seemed not a shred of rebellionanywhere in me. Dad completed grade eight in Portland, Oregon leaving at 14 for RivièreQui Barré, Alberta and then for Crooked Creek, Alberta arriving in 1929 at the beginningof the Great Depression. We grew up with Dad’s many quiet stories of early life as trapper,hunter, trucker, and musician. Mom arrived in Crooked Creek from Champion, Alberta in1933 at 17. Her family lost their farm due to the Depression. Mom wanted to become ateacher; circumstances prevented that but it didn’t prevent her life-long advocacy foreducation. Trapping, hunting and farming grew to include trucking when I was born in1945 and branched further to the oilfield in the 1950’s and 1960’s.Always our family life included Sunday Mass, church weddings, birthdays,baptisms, and family celebrations. My parents and maternal grandparents wereinstrumental in building the local Holy Rosary Catholic Church. The statue of the BlessedMother, which stands on a side altar, was a gift to the Church in memory of my maternalgrandparents. Dad and one of his seven brothers worked to build the first school in thecommunity. As rural, pioneer, farm children, we learned early the value of hard work and8cooperation to enhance the prospects of thriving. Our parents are dead now, but we remaina large, close-knit family unit which today numbers about 75.There is a strong correlation between my background and the theoretical positionsthat influence what I attend to in Unless, to what ideas I select and the degree of attentionfocused on autobiographical detail. The story I tell today was a different story a minute agoand will be a different story tomorrow. For every personal story and every idea selectedfrom Unless, there are those that are left out. How can I know what’s real? Edelman(2004) explains that for generalizations to arise across various signal complexes to yield theproperties that the signals have in common, “the brain must map its own activities, asrepresented by several global mappings, to create a concept—that is, to make maps of itsperceptual maps” (p. 50). Memory is the capability to replicate or suppress a particularmental or physical act. Each event of memory is dynamic and context-sensitive, yielding arecurrence that is similar but not identical to preceding acts. The recurrence of memorydoes not duplicate an original experience even though there is often the false impressionthat one precisely remembers an event. How accurate, how real are my recollectedexperiences? How accurate are my dream reports? How deeply do I understand theoreticalconcepts gathered over 19 years? Kerby (1991) says that we must avoid the notion that“recollections are images that somehow duplicate original experiences. ... [T]his is theempiricist’s storehouse of past and faced perceptions” (p. 23).Problems of gender derive from the patriarchal positions embedded and oftenunconscious within a culture. Lewis (1993) believes that the answer to changing ourphallocentric culture lies in the feminist call for a practice which aims to “transform thevery ground of its existence”(p.143). I believe that sustainable change in women’s9experience can only emerge together with change to the underlying structures of society,that is, changes to the cultural and social system in which gendered identity is constructed.I will explore the political struggle over gendered meaning as I have experienced it as wellas my own complicity with patriarchal structures. “Feminist scholarship undertakes thedual task of deconstructing predominantly male cultural paradigms and reconstructing afemale perspective and experience in an effort to change the tradition that has silenced andmarginalized us” (Greene & Kahn, 1991,p.1). These authors look at anthropology, historyand literature and make the case that as a feminist I must be very aware of my ownassumptions and be careful not to recover the ideology I am repudiating. I believe that asmall change in the initial condition of my psyche created through imaginative work maybe the catalyst for a series of changes leading to transformation.In this dissertation I develop a theoretical framework for the practice of dreamreading as a possible form of literary engagement worth of attention in the lives ofeducators. Dream reading is a form of research in which the researcher takes responsibilityfor self-reflection and potential transformation of self through the construction ofknowledge based on “reading” the fictive images in the novel as fthey arose from nightdreams. According to Savary, Beme and Williams (1984), night dreamsare a spontaneous symbolic experience lived out in the inner world during sleep.(D)reams are composed of a series of images, actions, thoughts, words, and feelingsover which we seem to have little or no conscious control. The people, places, andthings of our dreams can sometimes be related to remembered life experiences orimages that remain in our memory, but often they seem to come from sources towhich we have little or no conscious access (p. 4).In thinking, pretending, acting as zf we enter into the world of possibility. Thissubjunctive mood designates a mood of uncertainty, speculation, doubt, wonderment,openness, and possibilities. For example, Reta Winters says, “I have no idea what will10happen in this book” (Shields, 2002,p.15) and “I am desperate to know how the storywill turn out” (Shields, 2002,p.16). Luce-Kapler (2004) suggests that it is thesubjunctive that “invites others into our writing.” The subjunctive is significant in that thewriter and the reader “write and read as fthe text can describe the reality of an event, animagining, or a feeling; as flanguage did not remove us a step from it”(p. 88).Novels are the subjunctive form. Fiction asks readers to participate in a game of“Let’s pretend.” The reader moves into the make believe world and pretends the “truth”of fictional lives. Unless provides us with access to the imagined detailed consciousnessof a fictional Reta Winters. Through her consciousness, we become privy to the mind ofAlicia, the fictional character Reta is creating in her novel, Thyme in Bloom. CarolShields begins each chapter with a subjunctive adverb suggesting throughout the novelwhat Luce-Kapler (2004) calls the “possibilities of possibilities.”By common cultural agreement, we read novels as fthe characters and eventswere real. We open the way to reinterpreting choices and changing the direction of ourlives. I want educators to experience the freedom of learning and knowing that a smallfluctuation, a perturbation in the system, can produce a different life pattern. For as RetaWinters said, “If the lung sacs of Norah’s body hadn’t filled with fluids, if a volunteerhadn’t reported a night of coughing ... and if...” (Shields, 2002,p.314). I wanteducators to have the opportunity to experience the subjunctive with its myriadpossibilities of different subjectivities, different subject positions and identifications. Thesubjunctive has the power to show us what we believe and point to what it is possible tobelieve. The subjunctive can help us to see how our beliefs affirm or deny our choices.We can “try out” the roads taken as well as those not taken. Dream reading is a way for11men and women to vicariously experience other possibilities and through the experienceto reshape their consciousness. Dream reading helps me to see the unfolding of my life asit has been and as it might become. When educators come to understand the power of thesubjunctive, their students also will know that power.My primary research methodology is literary anthropology (Sumara 2002), aprocess sufficiently incomplete to enable the space of the possible. It is open to theinclusion of a montage of ways of working—narrative inquiry, archetypal psychology,Jungian psychology, hermeneutics, personal reflection and autobiography. Feminismemphasizes multiple research methods and values inclusivity more than research tradition. Iuse dreams, myths, stories and imaginations juxtaposed with fictive dream readings ofUnless, my personal dream journals which date to 1988, and theoretical work fromfeminist, consciousness and dream theories. For as Donald (2001) says, “when stories andideas are juxtaposed, so that their meanings collide, they can shift our focus to newsemantic spaces [to] clariiy the experienced world(p.294). I pull from a variety oftheoretical works to create a theory of dream reading. It is in the intersection of these ideasthat I explore what it might mean to women to begin to understand their own fears ofknowing in relationship to their complicity in their own oppression. Like the crab appletree, I am not young anymore. I carry scars from pruning and branches that have withered,almost died but not fallen. There is a good deal of unexplored psychic space. “It is only byimagining the world otherwise that we are inspired to resist oppression and work for thedecolonisation of both our own and others social and psychic space” (Oliver, 2004,p.141). I believe that dreams and dream reading help make decolonization possible. I argue12that dream imagery contains the seeds of possibility to escape from the dominant logos, theword.This morning I write at the picnic table under the canopy of the old ornamental crabapple tree. From its root emerges one trunk becoming four plus a thick branch nearlyhorizontal for the first few feet before it too rises upward. Like the branches of the tree, ineach chapter I integrate the theoretical and autobiographical with fictive dream images.This integrative approach to a literature review supports the feminist notion of cyclicalrather than beginning, middle, and end.As a research methodology, literary anthropology (Sumara 2002), lends itself to theflexibility necessary for touching the spaces through which the conscious feminine mayemerge through disrupting patriarchal norms. As an aspect of literary anthropology, dreamreading may provide one more way to experience the process of evolving, of seeding theunconscious, and of understanding experiences as opportunities for reflexive practice.Dream reading is also a potential means to expose the underlying patriarchal structures ofcurriculum embedded beneath the structures of consciousness in our culture. Discoveringthe patriarchal structures of curriculum provides teachers a possible impetus to change theinstitutions in which we work by changing our responses to those institutions through thelanguage that we live. Reader-response and dream reading may show me how to perceivedifferently—to unlearn, so that I might reinterpret and reorganize my experiences. Donald(2001) writes of the “complex web of habits, customs, and beliefs that define humanculture ... now unconscious, of course; ... automatization is the other side of advancedconsciousness.” Further, he says we tend to disregard our inside and heed our “culturaluniverse rather than the natural world” (p. 300). Dream reading may help us recognize the13value of “the inside of us” and question more deeply how culture through language, thesymbolic order of patriarchy, organizes our thoughts and experience, carries and createsour cultural codes, and organizes meaning according to pre-established categories. It maybe a further way into teacher education programs to offer students opportunities toexperience literary fictions that challenge normative gender stereotypes. I wish to disruptthe unconscious web.I believe that dream reading has deep potential for investigating the continuouscreation of self-identity. Dreams bypass the ego and its protective gates as well as thesuperego of the colonizing patriarchal consciousness, thus opening deep and wide spacesfor investigation in, with and through our learning to live. There is no endpoint in dreaminterpretation. Each encounter with the dream contributes a perspective and contributes tothe shape of the dream possibility. Every interpretation contributes to changing the dreamerand the dream in an ever-evolving spiral of change leading to transformation. Within thisresearch are issues of gender identifications and subjectivities that derive from thepatriarchal positions embedded and often unconscious within a culture.Stories from the river or how I come to be writing this dissertationOctober 3, 1992The CenterIn my dream a gentle voice repeats. “Come home. Come home.” lam in a gentle yetfierce struggle tofindthe Center. Jam with many people. There are many trees, vegetables, corn and squash. It may be a harvestfestival. The earth is warm and moist. It is all very misty and hazy. I am unsure ofthe direction.14In May 1993, I am an Alberta Education delegate to the weekiong CanadianEducators’ Association Conference on Creating a Caring and Equitable Society. I spend allthe free hours reflecting, meditating, writing, drawing, walking, and soaking in the hotsprings. Massage. Reiki. Spaces open (Appendix I (a) to (e)).I notice that many women attempt to identify themselves as the “good,” the“nurturer,” the “ecologically onside.” For me, this is based on a false duality that theGoddess is the All Good Non-Violent Creatrix. Watching the river in early spring. Greattonnes of debris, dead animals, twisted tree branches, and silt to be left somewhere creatingsome great ground of becoming. All that death flowing into life, returning to the earth. Aseed pummeled by wind and rain and rushing water buried deep within some crevice onlyto spring forth as a tree on a distant shore. An elm tree sheds six million leaves everyseason to build a new earth. I can no longer accept “woman as nurturer” withoutrecognizing the birth, death, re-birth cycle. Nature kills just as surely as human kind.Gender-identified attitudes and attributes. The Goddess Creatrix without any destructiveside. This assumes that because I am a woman I have particular innate attributes such that itis “unnatural” for me to think analytically, hierarchically or with linearity. It furtherassumes that I am more nurturing and caring than a man. Do not limit me through gender.Listening to the story of the river, I can no longer accept the prevailing Adamic myth. Ineed to re-member, “We are honor bound to look at the dark side, which is as innate in thefeminine soul as it is in the masculine, if erstwhile victims are not to become tyrants”(Wolf, 1993,p.151). Wolf urges against collapsing feminism into “male vice-femalevirtue” scenarios.15The conference includes a moment in which we are asked to make an action planand to speak it publicly. Once found, staying upon the path with heart, especially when itrequires truth telling, takes courage and I am often a coward. Chambers quotes EduardoGaleano (1989/199 1), a journalist from Uruguay, saying,Fear dries the mouth, moistens the hands and mutilates. Fear of knowing condemnsus to ignorance; fear of doing reduces us to impotence. Military dictatorship, fear oflistening, fear of speaking make us deaf and dumb. Now democracy, with its fear ofremembering, infects us with amnesia, but you don’t have to be Sigmund Freud toknow that no carpet can hide the garbage of memory (2004,p.112).It is a gross exaggeration to link my small action of speaking publicly to the actionsof those who resist the bloody and murderous events of a dictatorship. The imaginationfueled by fear runs amok.2Rationally I know I am in no physical danger; the fear persists.I breathe. I stand. I am not a public person. Go to the microphone. “I will dodoctoral research in education using dream work, theories of women’s spirituality, feministtheory and psychotherapeutic processes to understand my work in education.”During this time, my doubts and questioning lead me to a crisis of spiritualityrooted in overthrowing the patriarchal tyrant within, what Oliver (2004) calls the superegoof the colonizer, patriarchal consciousness. I begin to notice things like the patriarchalwords in the Sunday Mass—rooted as it is in the Father God. Carol Christ, Merlin Stone,Rosemary Ruether, Nel Noddings, Mary Daly. The absence of the feminine in Catholicismcreeps into my consciousness; it becomes impossible to ignore. While at a Dream Intensivebased on the work of Roberto Assagioli in psychosynthesis at the Maryknoll Center in NewYork, 1991, I wrote page after page on the theme of becoming my own authority. Then, in1993 I wrote several imaginary conversations with family (Appendix II). For a while I am2Random House Webster’s College Dictionary says that this is a psychic disturbance characterized bydepression followed by a manic urge to murder.16able to console myself with works like Jung’s writing about the significance of theAssumption of Mary3 as the retention of the feminine in Catholicism. At least she was notexcluded like she is by those Protestants! Right. I read dozens of books by Catholicfeminists such as Woman: First Among the Faithful (Durka, 1989) and everything I couldfind about the mystics like Julian of Norwich, A.D. 1413. Durka (1989) wrote:Central to the revelations is the idea that God is infinitely more than a single imageof God as Father. God is also our Mother who comforts us and in whom we canhave absolute trust. Reflect on the image of God our Mother” (p. 25).The words of Julian of Norwich became my mantra. All shall be well, and all shall be welland all manner ofthings shall be well or the shorter version. Everything is perfectfor now.A debate in the Western Catholic Reporter4over the ordination of women threw thefacts of the absence of the feminine in my face. I wrote and even mailed a letter to theeditor (Appendix III). The next Sunday morning our parish priest leaned over to whisper,“I’m glad you wrote what I have long been thinking. I would have been excommunicated.”Apparently, mine is not the only fear. Eventually, the process of unraveling inner beliefsreached personal crisis point. As Schneiders (1990) explains:But once she has begun to see, begun the critical process of analysis, she willnecessarily gradually be overwhelmed by the extent, the depth, and the violence ofthe institutional church’s rejection and oppression of women. This precipitates theinward crisis which the feminist Catholic inevitably faces: a deep, abiding,emotionally draining anger that, depending on her personality, might run the gamutfrom towering rage to chronic depression. ... [It] should probably be calledexistential anger. It is not a temporary emotion but a state of being (p. 99).Overwhelmingly angry that I have been duped? Yes. And yes, it feels like a state of being.3The dogma that Mary was taken body and soul into heaven. Promulgated November 1, 1950 andcelebrated liturgically August 15 (McBrien, 1995).weekly newspaper published in Edmonton, Alberta with Canadian Catholic circulation. It reports onpolitical, social, economic and religious issues of interest to Catholics. It provides information and insightinto Catholic doctrine and dogma.17I realized that work with dream interpretation was creating within me great doubt. Iquestioned even more. I hadn’t yet read The Colonization ofPsychic Space in which Oliver(2004) says, “Questioning is a type of revolt against restrictive prohibitions and canreauthorize the subject. ... Questioning is essential to bring the negativity of drive force intosignification and transform it into creativity and meaning” (p. 91). I didn’t check out theetymology of heresy which I now know in the original Greek meant to “go one’s ownway.” It is doubt that authority fears. I began to question all authority but most particularlythat of religion which, whether we are conscious of it or not, grounds our political, socialand economic system in what Donald (2001) calls the “cultural distributive network.” Ibegan Leaving My Father’s House5 (Woodman, 1992). Dreams also brought me toquestion my pedagogy, the curriculum and the unconscious lies that I taught students as ateacher and teachers as a consultant. Reading cultural anthropologist and feminist RianeEisler (1987), and using her conception of dominator and partnership models of culture, Icreated an analytical tool which my provincial social studies consultant colleagues and Iused to analyze the Social Studies 30 curriculum. There was little if any disagreementamong us—the program taught over 95% dominator concepts. For me, this was yet anotherrevolutionary and shattering discovery—the social studies curriculum I had taught and wasnow consulting about — is hopelessly patriarchal. I was stunned. Ashamed. Feeling dupedand dumb. How is it possible to be so dense? How could it be that I taught and consulted ineducation for 20 years before I figured out that,As it stands, curriculum is the discursive representation of the dominant maleexperience as it is reflected back onto us not only in classroom experience andcontent, but in ways we encode representations of power and inequality concretelyIn Leaving My Father ‘s House, Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst, writes of her dreams and experienceswhile in the process of losing faith in the patriarchal structures of religion based on God the Father. Shedoes not lose her faith in the Godhead.18in our surrounding architecture, in the ways we establish and maintain familyforms, and in the ways we organize work and leisure activities. In this context,telling the stories of women’s experience in the academy, speaking the realities weknow, we have lived, whether we are students or teachers, requires that wetranscend the subtleties of taboo and the limits of discretion (Lewis, 1993,p.54).If the curriculum is “untrue,” then what else? Becoming aware of the impact of thepatriarchal curriculum on students might spur the teacher educator to “come to terms withher own versions of truth and the designations she reserves for those accounts thatcontradict the current wisdom” (Grumet, 1988,p.163).I examined the relationship of hierarchy and patriarchy. The Concise OxfordDictionaiy ofEnglish Etymology: hierarchy - hieros meaning sacred, holy + arkhesmeaning ruling, ruler. Hierarchy: division of angels, priestly or ecclesiastical rule. Theessence of the rule of man in hierarchical, patriarchal culture then, is rule divinely ordained.Divine right. Ruling in place of the god. Officially, divine right of kings ended centuriesago. Right. What is the relationship of the Adamic myth to mind-set in the Albertacurriculum? What.is the power of myth? Noddings (1989) insists that the myth is largelyunconscious but still the ruling ethos. She suggests that the Adamic myth of woman as theevil temptress leading men into sin and ultimately into hell should be subject to intensecritique by educators since the myth has played a major role in the subjugation of womenand yet continues to go largely unnoticed and unremarked. She asks,Would free and critical discussion of this damaging myth be a violation of ourconstitutional insistence on the separation of church and state? Consider what anaffirmative answer to this question means. If critical discussion of the myth inschools would constitute such a violation, then we must acknowledge that the“myth” is still an accepted religious doctrine. If our answer is no, then clearly wemust have other reasons for neglecting the topic ... (Noddings, 1989,p.52).How strong is the Adamic myth in Western cultural consciousness? School curricula?How deeply enculturated are we?19Women have learned, been encultured with, the conceptual system of the patriarchytogether with its codes of silence and not feeling (Oliver, 2004). To undermine thatsystem, we need a new approach to learning that includes deep questions and looking at thepersonal and collective unconscious. Dreams and dream reading may help to undermine theprivileged position of the intellect and the upperworld of ego and help us begin to attend tothe underworld, the world of soul. I have learned that intention can undermine patriarchalbeliefs.In October 1991, I participated in a weekend workshop with Kate Harling, aTranspersonal Psychologist from San Francisco. On the first evening of the workshop wewere asked to write down our intention. In naïveté, I wrote: I intend to deepen the spiritualjourney. Shortly after the workshop, I had a horrific and terrifying nightmare. Nine monthslater, I was again wandering the halls of the Sisters of Providence School for Girls inMidnapore, Alberta. At age 16, I attended grade twelve there briefly from September 9 -28, 1961. I spent the remainder of that year at home; I did not attend school. Thirty-oneyears later, I felt compelled by the nightmare/dream to return to the convent grounds andthe grotto of the Blessed Mother where I had prayed the rosary and experienced the only bitof felt sense of peace during my short stay. The building had been abandoned to homelessmen occupying dirty mattresses. I wandered through the grimy halls re-membering—smelling the fear and agony of being in that place. There framed on the wall, on a throne, aman with a long white beard—God the Father—stared out at me. The patriarchy is clearlytied to the hierarchy and the ruling, stern, bearded Father God. Over the next severalmonths I came to understand my conscious denial of the influence of early childhoodcultural beliefs about an angry, punishing white male god lodged in my personal20unconscious. I hesitatingly read parts of Mary Daly’s book, Beyond God the Father. It wasnot a pleasure. It raised far too many questions about Catholic theology and faith. Ittouched too deeply on my identity. I buried the book as best I could.My life has not followed the hero’s story. Instead my story weaves. As Doll (2000)found in her work with women and commitment, spontaneity, weaving back and forth,leaving a trail which lacks “marks in stone” is more akin to woman stories. There is no“logical progression toward winning (the military model), perfection (the developmentmodel), or health (the medical model)” (Doll, 2000,p.99). Steeped in patriarchal cultureas I am, I have surely attempted to live out each of these models at various times in my life.***Writing gave me a feeling of control over time and space,and a faith that I would recover (Laurel Richardson, 2001).November 11, 1993The FeminineIn the dream I am in an unknown, misty, far away, place. Someone speaks ofEleusinian mysteries. I reachbehind me to 4ft away three layers ofsomething like cardboard. A banker (?) tells mel cannotflfltheselayers away, but I do anyway. “You can’t stop me,” I say. I awakenfrom the dream speaking to myseif “I am,for the veryfirst time, pleased lam woman.” Ifeel connected, warm, filled with a deep peaceful energy.Somewhere there is a sense ofapples. I remember the apples the next morning when lam in StrathconaChristian Academy, in Connie Mycrofts office—there is a ceramic apple sitting on her desk. The dreamreturns with apples in it.Keeping a dream and personal response journal has been shaped by and shapes mywaking life and this dissertation. The dreams form a pattern of un-knowing, un-coveringand un-learning myself in continuous shape shifting. This dream has shaped my thinkingand the life ofmy daughter who was 14 when the dream came.I awaken from the dream and write. I look for the word “Eleusinian.” Does it exist?I try several spellings and many books. I feel a deep mysterious, numinous, feminineenergy in this word and in this dream. Why does the dream come after last night’s handwashing ritual in the dream workshop? Together our dream group labored to bring forth21many meanings of the word “darkness.” How is darkness related to cultural beliefs aboutwomen? I find a feminist analysis of the myth of Demeter and Persephone as a basis forreligious rites celebrated by women—the Eleusinian mysteries. Amazed. The dream is awonderfully powerful image that stays with me. Eisler (1987) explains that the culturalshift from female to male divinities was accompanied by a serious shift in religiousimagery from the life-giving, life-sustaining, and life-regenerating powers of the Goddessto crucifixion, martyrs, visions of hell, judgment, Salome dancing with John the Baptist’shead on a stick, and the justice of an avenging patriarchal God. The mother-daughter bondand the refusal to sacrifice the daughter are powerful stories for women.Qualls-Corbett (1988), writing in The Sacred Prostitute noted that a circle ofwomen celebrating some religious rite is reminiscent of the ancient cults of women whokept alive the mysteries of the feminine. The Eleusinian mysteries were probably the mostimportant religious ceremonies organized by women especially before the time when menbegan to take them over by means of the cult of Dionysus. I believe that the Eleusiniandream originated in the collective unconscious6and is therefore far less patriarchal thanmaterial from my personal unconscious.I continue to be deeply drawn to Jung’s notion of the archetypes in the collectiveunconscious. Hillman’s notions of pathology and death are rooted in Jung. Although hedoes not dismiss Freud, he does go far beyond repressed sexuality as the root cause ofpsychological issues. Freud’s theories are rooted in the personal unconscious and6Jung’s theory of the unconscious includes both the collective and the personal unconscious. The lattercontains both recognizable material, which we have forgotten or repressed, and creative material of whichwe may not be aware. The collective unconscious has been compared to the common anatomy of thehuman body in that the content of the human psyche is common to all humankind. Jung called the figuresand images emerging from the collective unconscious archetypes. He repeatedly explained that archetypesare not predetennined content. I reference these concepts in the various chapters of this dissertation as theyapply to dream readings of Reta, Norah, Lois and Danielle.22emphasize repression of once-conscious material—repressed sexuality, desire and drive.Freud did not accept Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious. Jung’s ideas emphasizeirrationality, mythology, alchemy and the inner world. Jung (1974) tells us thatWe have even forgotten that the psyche is by no means of our design, but is for themost part autonomous and unconscious. Consequently the unconscious induces apanic fear in civilized people, not least on account of the menacing analogy withinsanity ... to let the unconscious go its own way and to experience it as a reality issomething that exceeds the courage and capacity of the average European (pp. 125-126).Perhaps it is Jung’s notions of the collective unconscious that prevents manyeducators from accepting his theories. Education seems chained to rational, behaviorist,positivist, institutional thought control. I would like to think that more educators will beginto see the literalism of Freud who, for example, interpreted Oedipus dreams as literal ratherthan archetypal. Literalism kills the metaphorical and locks us into an anti-psyche, anti-soulspace of stunted learning (Berry, 1982; Hillman, 1979). We live in a culture that worshipsliteralism, objectivity and empiricism and has scant time or patience for mythologyconsidering it to be primitive, uncivilized or “just” a story.My Eleusinian dream is powerfully linked to Jung’s theory of archetype. Anarchetype is a pattern formed in the psyche; it is impersonal and elaborated through theprocesses of the imagination. Archetypes, as explained by Hiliman (1975b, 1979, 2004)govern our perspectives of the world including us as in the world. Archetypes are not to befound, as some might want, in the physiology of the brain, the structure of language, or theorganization of society. An archetypal perspective looks at the soul imaginatively andapproaches psychology by means of the archetype. According to Rupprecht (1999), Junginsisted that “archetype named a process, a perspective, and not a content, although thisflexibility was lost through thecodifring,nominalizing tendencies of his followers”(p.1).23She also tells us that feminist archetypal theory re-established Jung’s emphasis on the fluid,dynamic nature of the archetype and rejected fixed, ahistorical, essentialist, andtranscendentalist misinterpretations. Thus archetype could be viewed as the propensity toform and reform images in relation to certain kinds of repeated patterns of experiencewhich may vary in individual cultures, authors and readers (Aguiar, 2001; Noddings,1989).The principles of archetypal psychology are invaluable in creating a theory ofdream reading as a potential form of literary engagement. Archetypal theory is useful instudying imagination, gender and the construction of language. I am aware of how Jung’swritings are sometimes both misogynist and essentialist and of the distinction betweenmyth and archetype. Jung’s work includes blatant misogyny in collapsing anima intowoman using his own anima assumptions as evidence; he uses some blatant essentialistlanguage in his writings about Eros and Logos. On balance, however, Rowland (2002)concludes that “Jung’s underlying psychology remains coherent if such crude essentialismis discarded” (p. 41). That means I work on the assumptions that (a) gender is a fluidprocess, not a stable identity; (b) mind can never be a fixed gender; and (c) Logos denotesrationality, spirit, intellect; (d) Eros denotes connective qualities of feeling andrelationship; and, (e) each exists as an archetypal principle of mental functioning “within aperson of either bodily sex” (Rowland, 2002,pp.41-45).Archetypal theory is important to this interpretive work. Jung used myth to denotethe narrative expression of archetypes, “described as patterns of psychic energy originatingin the collective unconscious and finding their most common and most normalmanifestation in dreams” (Rupprecht, 1997,p.1). Rupprecht shows that James Hiliman24“formulate (d) archetypal theory as a multidisciplinary field,” and located the archetypalfirmly “in the processes of the imagination,” and “inextricably involved with rhetoric”(1997,p.2 emphasis in the original). Feminist archetypal theory centres on the activecharacter of the archetype, rejects “the transcendent archetype for the immanent image”(Rowland, 2002,p.85) and “explores the synthesis of the universal and the particular,seeks to define the parameters of social construction of gender, and attempts to constructtheories of language, of the imaginal, and of meaning that take gender into account”(Rupprecht, 1997,p.6). Feminist archetypal theory insists that the psychic image isimpacted by culture. There is no norm for woman, therefore no essential woman thusacknowledging “culturally contingent images” and producing differences of “race,sexuality, culture, history, health, age” (Rowland, 2002,p.85). No archetype can ever befully known; thus, there are no essential or ideal images.Archetypes are ineffable and inimitable and carry a bounty of ideas, images andparticularities of human kind. Archetypes exist everywhere and are unseeable through theusual five senses dimmed as they are by the loss of instinctive wildness (Estes, 1992).Hillman (1979) and Berry (1982) write about “seeing through” meaning. That is, we needto learn to see through an archetypal idea that is overvalued; we need to recognize that anidea may be overblown and put it into perspective. As Berry (1982) explains,For if we take one archetypal perspective exclusively, we are caught by it. And theresult ofbeing caught by an archetype is that experience shrinks. We cannot seebeyond the archetype’s confines, and we begin to interpret more and more of ourexperience only in its terms. We get single-minded. An archetypal idea per se is anovervalued idea that must be ‘seen through’ and placed in perspective (p. 40).We know we are in the grip of an overdetermined archetype when we think we have foundthe Truth of the universe.25Julia Kristeva praised Jung’s contribution to “feminist discourse on the maternal:recognition that the Catholic church’s change of signification in the Assumption of theBlessed Virgin Mary to include her human body represents a major shift in attitude towardfemale corporality” (Rupprecht, 1999,p.6).In the 1990’s my fear of knowing and of losing my faith was lessened when Ilearned of Jung’s inclusion of the Assumption in his work on archetypes. Today, while Iwould agree that the change may represent a shift in attitude toward female corporality andit helps that Catholicism has retained some vestige of female divinity; the fact remains,however, that Mary sits on the side altar. The neurotic focus on virginity, taken with fullliterality, still prevails. This then is the final say in the complete dedication of female powerto the needs of a male divinity and its singularly male hierarchy. I have a deep reverencefor the Blessed Mother; I have also come to realize that the literalization of the mythologyand symbolism of virginity to physical virginity and purity is deeply problematic(Woodman, 1985). The Virgin Mary is also the Blessed Mother, that is, VirginlMotherdisembodied and desexualized. She is the good woman without the sin of sexuality whileEve and her female descendents remain the literalized evil woman who in wanting to knowtempts and leads men to their death through sin and evil.Why is this work titled, The Apple and the Talking Snake? This dissertation is anautobiographical, theoretical, literary anthropological excavation. It is also a personalspiritual exodus. Fundamental to its writing and to my life as a woman is the process ofgaining the inner authority to question the bedrock upon which my subjectivity rests. Foryears I have been trying to excavate the archaic remnants of my understanding of the Adam26and Eve myth. In my dream journal I lay claim to the world of aesthetic experience in aconversation with imaginary female Wisdom figure, Sophia, my Talking Snake who says,This thought form, this archetype of the Father—well—it near killed me. I havebeen rattling away in this dark, musty cave for over 35 millennia. Dig deeper,Pearl. I have shed my skin many times. I am transformative. I will help. I want tofully emerge into human consciousness (Personal Journal, Spring, 1998).I believe that much of the strength of the patriarchal code lies in its endorsementby a god. Authority over woman is vested in man by this god. This “advantage” isdifficult to overcome since fear of God inscribed in consciousness from birth will repressthe impulse to revolt (Beauvoir, 1953). The Second Sex was written when I was eightyears old. I read it in my twenties but it wasn’t until midlife that I came to question theauthority of the Church. Scripture read from the pulpit and studied in my BaltimoreCatechism did not provide for woman as the moral center. Prior to Vatican II in 1962scriptural interpretation was the province of the clergy and Catholic laity were“instructed” in Bible understanding. Even though our culture believes it is secular,patriarchal consciousness rests on religious beliefs in a God made in man’s own imageand woman as fatally flawed. The Judeo-Cbristian cosmology underlying the Westernliterary canon and Western civilization sees Eve as responsible for the downfall ofmankind—a flawed moral center. Just before she dropped out of University, Norah wasreading and discussing Flaubert’s Madame Bovary who was forced to surrender her placeas the moral center of the novel (Shields, 2002,p.217). Editor Springer tells Reta, “I amtalking about Roman being the moral center of this book” (Shields, 2002,p.285). This isthe mythology of Eve in the literary consciousness of the Western canon. I have come tobelieve that Eve’s “sin” was becoming conscious. The apple is symbolic of knowledge.Eve recognized her knowing. She was expelled from Paradise. Excommunicated priest,27Matthew Fox (1983) proposes that Eve’s consciousness of the wonders of creation is theOriginal Blessing.Fox (1983), Grumet (1988) and Noddings (1989) point out the birthright ofsilence imposed on women since that creation myth was literalized as the downfall ofmankind and the fatal flaw of original sin. Noddings (1989) referring to the work ofMary Daly (1973) asks how many myths, religions and legends capture authentic femaleexperience? How many of women’s ancient sacred images have been demoted to thestatus of evil? Thus woman is in a double bind, “no longer the complete image of anyrecognized god and powerless as the subject of one who finds her inferior” (Noddings,1989,p.64). Boler (1999) is succinct. “The view of emotions as symptoms of thefailings and moral evil of women remains a bedrock of Western Protestant cultures” (p.41). It is little wonder then that I no longer find solace or sustenance through masculinereligions. I have been accused of making my own religion. Of picking and choosing froma menu of spirituality. I agree. I am guilty. Further, I intend to continue to choose eventhough the choices sometimes bring deep fear of the outcomes. I recognize that makingthese choices is inherently “unfeminine” as defined in classical philosophy. This is theHobson’s choice that is no choice at all. To exercise choice, to be active, to be the causalagent in your own life is culturally conditioned as unfeminine. To think like a woman isto not think at all. This is my dilemma. I am working to become more and moreconscious of the garden of Eden and I hear a Talking Snake.I am always surprised when I see that my dream of November 1993 is 15 years old!Research into dream experiences claims that some numinous dreams, that is, dreams thatseem to be archetypal, primordial, universal and eternal, stay clearly etched in our body28mind for a lifetime (Chetwynd, 1986; Palmer, 1997). It was by groping through thelanguage of my dreams that I came to know and better understand my self and my possibleand potential woman place in the world. A beginning understanding of the world of dreamsas well as writing and facilitating workshops enabled me to begin to draw on feminineforms of narrative rather than relying fully on the language of the colonizer, the patriarchy,in which I live. For me, the language of dreams is a new symbolic language and Icontinually learn from many sources. Dreams are revolutionary; they do not portray theaccepted symbolic order of the patriarchal ego. Interpreting dreams has helped me to seerelationship and meaning-making through symbols. My experiences and interpretation ofdream symbols leads me to considering ideas in multiple ways. Language determines oursocial relationships, how we think, how we understand our identity and identifications.Dream interpretation through symbols shows clearly that meaning is not just in thestructure of language, not only in conversation or representation. We know and understandonly very limited meaning since much meaning is deferred, sublimated and hidden in thepersonal and collective unconscious. Dreams emerge from the unconscious arrivinguncensored by the super ego that jealously guards the acceptance of social convention. Wemust avoid censoring the dream in our writing and our working with it since we are notalways able to perceive what stories the images may be telling. Dreams call me to seek tounderstand and make meaning from seemingly disparate and unfamiliar images, words andsymbols. Dream work is not quick and easy; it may result in deep insight whichemerges from the hard work of interpreting one’s relations with people, to objectspeople have made (including narratives that describe and explain experience), andto the more-than-human world. Although conditions for the production of insightcan be created, deep insight is usually surprising, occurring unexpectedly, emergingfrom curious places” (Sumara, 2002a,p.5).29I believe that the women’s revolution will be won by the imagination. I argue thatthe disruption of patriarchy requires no less than the “return of the repressed feminineaspects of language” through the feminist discourses of dream reading, dreams, and“mysticism, magic, poetry and art” (Weedon, 1997,p.69). I believe dream reading asinterpretive practice is supported by Sumara’s premise that “it is possible to createconditions for the expansion of imaginative thought. ... literary interpretation practices cantransform imaginative occasions into productive insights” (2002a,p.5). In this dissertationI demonstrate that dream reading is one such “possible condition.”302.Ceaseless Seeking and Interpretation: Knowing and UnknowingIdeas spring from a source that is not contained within one man’s personal life.We do not create them; they create us.C. G. Jung (1933), Modern Man in Search of a SoulNovember 4, 1992Many dreams seemingly unconnected.Part II tell my director at Alberta Education that I have been offered ajob trade with ajurisdiction. He comes tosee me later askingfor details. I become very worried that thejurisdiction really won’t offer a certainjob andwish I hadn’t told him until all the details were arranged.Part IIJam at a large gathering ofpeople. Everyone is involved in various activities. Igo to the baseball diamond tojoin a group but none ofthe people I wanted tojoin are there. Jam disappointed and do notjoin in with theunknown group. I wonder where myfriends are.Part ifiI am with some people who are younger than I am, or so it seems. One male person agrees/asks to bechanged. I can’t quitefigure this all out, but we burn him up, and somehow we have a large amount ofstuff—like wet clay or mud — in ourfarmyard wheelbarrow. We wheel it across bare open ground at thefront ofourfarmhouse. There is no grass; it is an open area that we used to rototill in thefirst years we lived here.Weflfithe wheelbarrow up by the handlesfrom the back, and the wet mass ofclay-like material—the remainsofourfriend— slides out onto the ground. Someone suggests we need a marker. We build a sort ofmonument andplace it at one end ofthe mass ofmateriaL The marker seems flfe-like — like a person sittingon a high one-legged stool. The “thing” seemingly adjusts itselfand settles onto the stool — one legfirmly onthe ground I can see the muscles in the leg and buttocksfiring up — living muscle. I am now beginning towonder fthe cremation is legal. Acceptable? Moral? In accordance with Catholic principles? I wonder howwe will explain ourfriend cremation to his parents. Jam troubled by the dream.Each chapter in this dissertation begins with a dream taken directly from mydream journal. I hesitate to provide a dream reading in the belief that the power of thereader’s imagination is thwarted through my reading. However, I will say that for me thisis a transformative dream representing the goal of this dissertation: to show the power ofdream reading in the transformation of consciousness. The dream occurred several weeksafter I participated in a workshop on the power of the unconscious.Cremation was actually forbidden in the Catholic Church in the modern periodbecause of its association with so-called pagan practices (McBrien, 1995). Cremation31may symbolize the alchemicalputrefactio of my youthful beliefs and perceptions aboutCatholicism. Notice, I did not say that these beliefs are dead but rather transformed. Sincewe cremate a male person in the dream, perhaps these beliefs are related to themasculinized rules of the Church. Changes in belief are necessary for personaltransformation and new identifications. This dream is like a postcard from theunconscious. Its message is short and to the point. I am unsettled by the dream. I am veryafraid that changing my beliefs may result in loss of faith, loss of family and even loss ofheaven. I tell no one about the dream. I am silent. I write it down in my private journal.The psyche continues its transformative work. Sixteen years later, the dream still holdsdeep meaning for me.In this chapter I present the research design and methodology for this study. Howcan I as researcher best shift my understanding from the surface to the root of women’ssilence?7 What research design will best explore the creation of a consciousness of fear ofknowing? When I make a cut through the trunk of a living tree, whether at particular anglesor perhaps horizontally, I lay bare the growth rings emanating from the core. I can start toread beneath the bark into the life story of the tree through those rings. A researchmethodology also must provide ways to see beneath the bark, to uncover the rings of lifethat reside in the conscious memory as well as in the personal and collective unconscious.It will require a different approach to explore the roots from which the tree emerges. Thebeautiful labyrinthine foliage of the tree indicates the entanglement of various approaches.The principle research method I chose is literary anthropology, an organic methodologywith plenty of flexibility to explore my fear of knowing through a variety of perspectives.I say women, I am very aware that there is no universal, uniform, homogenous, typical woman. Iuse the plural, women, as a grammatical construction.32Why choose literary anthropology? When I was introduced to the process, Idiscovered a practice appreciably familiar although I had never heard the term. Havingexperienced momentous, major changes in my midlife years, and as a lone researcher, Iwas looking for a research method to explore my experiences within theoretical researchand literary engagement. I had been “doing” hermeneutics and informal literaryanthropology in my dream journals and texts since 1988. I read quite a lot abouthermeneutics while working to understand my midlife experiences with dichotomousinterpretations of biblical texts and Sunday morning Catholicism. I became aware ofbiblical hermeneutics. Often it seemed I was reading a different language, a differentscripture than those around me, and yet it was the very same Book. I discovered that in theearly Church, not only were there different translations of the Bible, there were also manyinterpretive decisions made about the acceptance of particular canonical works. Therefore,the relationship between hermeneutics and literary anthropology explained by Sumara(2002) felt right to me. I like the strong links between Jungian concepts, archetypalpsychology, dreams, dream interpretation, religion, and mythology. I consider the work ofanthropologist Riane Eisler (1987) to have been seminal in my deepening feministunderstanding. There is room for the incorporation of autobiography and biography intoliterary anthropology as well since life events contribute not only to my personal insightand transformation but to the contemporary, social and cultural world as well (Sumara,2002).My research was organized using a literary anthropological approach, as outlined inSumara (2002a) in which he explains the theoretical base of the method arising from thework of Rosenblatt (1938; 1978), Iser (1978), Dewey (1916), and Lewis (2000) among33others. This methodology is based on the premise that knowledge is both interpreted andproduced in the nexus of reader and text. According to reader-response theory, theseliterary engagements are sites of aesthetic pleasure, as well as both creative and criticalinsight. Reader-response is a series of nested relationships among cultural associations andbiological and ecological systems. The reader brings to the text a multiplicity of narrativeresponses to various situations within which there are potential similarities and differenceswith past, present and potential future experiences.In agreement with Daly (1974), Stone (1976), Reis (1995) and many others, Bolersuggests the need to understand the force of patriarchal interpretation of myth workingagainst feminism, and to challenge “people’s perceptions of the world through newdescriptions of reality” (1999,p.99). I found that exploring literary fiction and personaldreams is an avenue through which to identify shifting self-knowledge amid the cremationof old beliefs—creating new myths subversive to the Symbolic Order. Narrating and recreating the experience of reader-response to Unless provides insight into my self and thestruggle for change and transformation. This research takes a position against resistancethat is always changing in order to address the shifting conditions and situations that are itsground (Lather, 1991). Lather’s definition of resistance is totally different from its usualdefinition as an act of challenge against the dominator.. Rather, resistance here is linked tofear—fear of turning our entire world inside out. Silhol (1999) explains theory asresistance as placing a wall between my emotions and whatever I am reading. Such ascreen enables me to project my own unconscious onto the text thereby avoiding myemotional issues. Thus, Silhol (1999) concludes that if literature is the object of seriousresearch, psychoanalytic theory must form part of the research. Silhol (1999) explains that34text and language both carry and conceal unconscious fantasies. Both language andliterature have to rely on an illusion of reality. When we think about it, we know that theword is not the thing. In order to function, language must make us believe that the word isthe thing. Silhol (1999) calls this the realistic illusion. “When I read, I am close to a state ofhallucination” (jc. 4).Britzman (2000) following William James says, “Ponder your own obstacles tothought.” How do these obstacles structure my teaching and learning? How often do I failto see my own “external and insensible point of view”(p.6)? Britzman (2000) also refersto Anna Freud’s admonishment against “a certain blindness toward and defense againstexploring the vulnerabilities of interior life” (p. 6). My desire to investigate women’s fearof knowing emerges from personal experience with resistance to the chaos and fear of theabyss of uncertainty, disintegration, sorting, and rebuilding. It is my own relentless drive tounderstand and to have clarity that propels me to continue this work.This dissertation is a limit case. Following the description of limit case offered bySalvio (2007), it presents a useful way to raise “subtle questions about education that resisteasy classification”(p.6). A limit case provokes the unspoken and repressed. It tests thelimits of the space that religion, mythology, depression, healing, and personal night dreamstake up in education. Using the figure of Anne Sexton, addict, suicide, teacher, demon,artist, and mother, Salvio (2007) questions the normative standard of the “good teacher” aswell as the “fiction and fantasies that insidiously inform education, neither of which tell thewhole story about femininity” (p. 6). Through the use of autobiographical imagery and“intolerable images” such as The Burning Muslim Woman from Unless, I try to “redefinethe limited tastes that represent ‘rationality’ and emotional reliability in our classrooms”35(Salvio, 2007,P.49). Hiliman (1989) explains that capitalization personifies the image,which offers avenues of emotion and love and the movement from “nominalism toimagination, from head to heart”(p.46). Britzman (1998) writes of the crisis of continuityand becoming, the need to challenge the problem of thinkability, and “a fear of ideas, and afear of questioning knowledge” (p. 9). Consider the content of personal dreams. Have theyever included mud, shit, illicit sex, incest, grotesque figures, torturers, monsters, andmurderers? I want to move out of the space of dreams structured by educated rationality. Iwant to make the case for reading fiction as dream.I first read Unless in one sitting for a Consciousness, Curriculum and LiteraryExperience class with Dr. Dennis Sumara in the fall of 2004. I felt as though Reta Winterswere sometimes reading me. While writing a class paper about Unless, I engaged in self-dialogue asking, “What’s the real question here?” Playing with a host of words and phrasesgleaned from Megan Boler’s (1999) work, the research question emerged first as “What isReta afraid to know?” and then, “What am I most afraid to know?” The processes of self-writing and self-dialogue enable intuitive ideas to emerge; the key for me is to honor theseideas rather than to dismiss them as nonsense. I attempt to “catch” the ideas by trying towork with these vague, often formless insights which can lead to new connections and thusto new knowledge.Unless started to become a commonplace book, an archive of my responses,jottings, questions, wonderings, and relationships to dreams recorded in my journals overmany years. During that first reading I was immediately drawn to Reta and her midlifeponderings entangled with writing Thyme in Bloom, her emerging outward feministresistance, and her daughter Norah’ s strange behavior. As I read, I was swamped with36memories of depression and my own deepening feminist emergence. My identificationswith the main female characters in Unless—Reta, Danielle, Norah and Lois—became whatSumara calls “a potential site for the production of useful knowledge” (2002a,p.28). Ihave no clue where the idea came from that I should interpret Reta’ s world as if it were adream. I was required to create and read a five-page paper juxtaposing an idea from Unlesswith Merlin Donald’s writing on consciousness. I wrote, “The space of doubt: A feministdream reading of Reta Winters.” A theory started to emerge.In order to deeply engage in the research process, I began to consciously link Reta’sexperiences to my own midlife work. Following Sumara (2002), I began to read thetheoretical work in consciousness, feminism, teacher education and curriculum, spiritualityand more dream theory but now with Unless in mind. I returned to Unless many timesfilling the available white space with links to whatever life event or theoretical work thatcame to mind. I tried to be as open, sensitive, exploratory and reflective as possible in orderto allow the images in Unless to speak directly to me. As I worked I continually pulledideas and possibilities back and forth among my dream journals, Unless, and theoreticalreading. Also, book notes, class assignments, conversations with friends, were all filed intobinders for future reference. I made an annotated table of contents for each binder. Myjournals follow a similar procedure. Each dream is honored with a date and a title and isnumbered for tracking purposes. Typical of accepted dream writing practice, I record thedream in first person, present tense. Around each dream is usually some brief context ofhappenings in my life and ideas from books I am reading. The first dream I recorded isfound in Appendix IV.37Over time, like a commonplace book, I add context, new and differentinterpretations and linked ideas from books, films, movies and conversations. My dreamjournals have become a place of significant meaning and a living embodiment ofbecoming, a record of shifting identity. This writing is a healing process. The writingenables me to struggle through the crisis of creating new knowledge. The journals remindme where and who I was, where and who I might be now, and where I think I might begoing and becoming. All the dreams are housed electronically and I am able to search forsymbols, mythology, and possible links within the documents. I began this electronictracking process after a strange seemingly auditory experience in which a “voice” told meplainly and when I was hesitant, forcefully, “Write dreams along the way.” No. I am notcrazy. That became the title for the subsequent dream workshops I lead, workshops createdfrom within the text of my journals.Why choose fiction as data? Why do literary anthropology? Perhaps it is to bepresent to my self. In an interview with Richard van Oort, Iser explains that we know thatfiction is fantasy, make-believe; but we do not discard it as we might expect if we followthe Cartesian view (Oort, Fall 1997 / Winter 1998). We want to investigate humanbehavior. We are not satisfied with the experience of not-knowing and therefore wefictionalize traumas including events like birth and death, which we may experiencewithout knowing the experience. Iser makes clear that literature, having been around for2500 years, must surely satisf’ some human need. Literature brings experiences beyond theordinary, outside of our experience, into our lives (Lodge, 2002; Kerby, 1991; Donald,2001; Luce-Kapler, 2004; and Sumara, Luce-Kapler, & Iftody, 2008). We read as if...meaning that the fictional text overleaps reality and “insists on its as fstructure or fictional38separation from that reality. In the process it creates something new, that is, it has thestructure of an event. Humanity invents/discovers itself when it learns to represent itself’(Oort, Fall 1997 / Winter 1998,p.9). If we accept that fiction is humanity’s way ofinventing and discovering itself perhaps Unless can help me to uncover the creation andexperience of fear of knowing.I have now read Unless several times, each time unearthing deeper layers andexposing more growth rings. Subsequent response includes dream reading processes,together with journal response, free drawing, amplification, analogy, word association,meditation, active imagination, guided imagery, and centering prayer, as well as seekingmany sources of potential cultural, historical, mythological links to Unless. I documentedmy personal engagement with Unless.Sumara (2002) has identified the emerging relationship between anthropologicalinquiry and literary studies. Kerby (1991) contends that language is more than a humantool used to discover life, that is, truth, meaning and reality. Language is constitutive of anenduring relationship with the world. More than that, “for poststructuralist theory, thecommon factor in the analysis of social organization, social meanings, power andindividual consciousness is language” (Weedon, 1997,p.21 emphasis in the original).Through language we characterize and resist our actual and alternative forms of institutionsand their possible social and political impacts. The self is largely a linguistic constructproduced by the language world into which we are born. We give our lives meaningthrough emplotment, telling or having our stories told, very much like a literary character;therefore, it makes sense to use literary anthropology as a process to understand women’sfear of knowing.39The process of the triangular juxtaposition of insights from theoretical text, Unlessand autobiography led to new insights about my identity, my personal history andexperiences both remembered and imaginary. There are major links between this researchand my maiden and mother years. The research questions arise directly out of my ownexperience of fear even when I didn’t recognize the source of that fear. Like Reinharz(1992), I believe that personal experience is more than an asset to my research; it is anecessity ar1d a source of legitimacy. Reading back through the many journals I kept sinceone lone diary entry in 1986 and my desperate journaling beginning in 1988, I found mywork had a close proximity to literary anthropology. It seemed natural to choose literaryanthropology methodology to develop some understanding of the source of silence and fearin women’s lives.Literary anthropology, through personal reader-response, becomesautobiographical, since meaning resides in the experience of the reader of that textAutobiography enables me to use some of the major concepts of autobiographical theoryand practice including currere, portraits of self and experience, myth, dreams, and theimagination, as well as the middle passage (Pinar, Reynolds, Slattery, & Taubman, 2004,pp515 — 566). Feminist autobiography enables women to reclaim the self, to repudiate ourdeeply patriarchal culture and hopefully to support the transformation of the root structuresof patriarchy. Pinar et al (2004) provide a history, rationale, theory, and practice offeminist autobiography emerging from the work of researchers such as Mary Aswell Doll(1995; 2000) (dreams, myth and imagination), Madeleine Grumet (1988) (autobiographyand feminism), and Debra Britzman (2003) (autobiography and teacher education). These40researchers speak to the significance of understanding curriculum as autobiographical andbiographical text.According to Sumara (2002), the interpretative practices associated with reader/textrelations, named “literary anthropology” by Wolfgang Iser (1993), influence the reader’sidentity. Using Unless as research data, I find my identification with the ordinariness ofReta is a critique of patriarchal principles of distancing, neutrality and objectivity. Buriedin my conversations with Reta are women’s fears of knowing. There are drawbacks to thisidentification. Even as I wrote in early dream journals, I struggled with the inclusion ofpersonal data even though that inclusion is my own choice. I am aware of an audience, aspecter editor censoring wherever and whenever I allow him that right. If I allow myself toconjure a critical audience, I temper the textual, textile, textured to more controlled,rational, acceptable text. Fears of being thought opportunistic or exhibitionist, fear ofrevealing too much of my own private personal struggle, fear of ridicule, scorn. Just fear.Fear has often kept me silent. Human consciousness seemingly has “screens” in placewhich prevent a total collapse of the individual through merging with the whole. Theproblem is that we create exhaustively elaborate screens through enculturation in ourefforts to protect ourselves. Often I deliberately set certain people aside where they can’t“hear me” if they come into consciousness as I write. I am working on killing Woolf sAngel in the House. There is a vast amount of feminist literature such as Richardson(2001), Atwell-Vasey (1998), Belenky (1986), Boler (1999), and Salvio (1999, 2007)that supports my decision to include personal experiences as a valuable asset to research.As Atwell-Vasey (1998) argues, impersonality, objectivity, separation, the control of41emotion, of body, and of subjectivity is the hallmark of masculine identity and the exile ofthe maternal. I want to be part of the return of the feminine.The ideas emerging from the process of literary anthropology intertwine like vinesfrom many directions. The actual concrete process I used includes extensive reading andnote taking, annotations, re-reading, re-marking, and responding to the text as artifact thuscreating Unless as commonplace book. Further, I juxtaposed these ideas with memoriesand dreams recorded in my dream journals and notes from non-fiction works related to thespecific research concern (Sumara, 2002). The world we fmd in the commonplace book isthe world we create through what Grumet (1988) called Bodyreading. According toGrumet, the etymology of read, reid, links both the cow stomach and the human stomach.She uses the four stomachs of the cud-chewing, ruminating cow, and the occult reading ofentrails as metaphors for reading. In reading, we bring forth a world from within—a worldwhich emerges from our experiences, mediated through our six senses including gutreactions (Capra, 1996). The text points to myriad possibilities, while the reader brings“intentions, assumptions, and positions” and witnesses—friends, enemies, parents, andteachers (Grumet, 1988).I rely heavily on the work of Sumara (2001; 2000; 2002a), following the work ofW. Iser (1978; 1989; 1993). Sumara’s work is inspired by feminist studies, specificallypoststructural feminist theory, which includes the analysis of how we internalize patriarchalideologies (architecture/archaeology) and how we can see aspects of resistance tosubjectification (genealogy) (Boler, 1999). I examine women’s fear of knowing with theunderstanding that the emotion of fear is not individual, nor biological, nor privatelyexperienced. Fear is an aspect of consciousness and “reflect[s] linguistically-embedded42cultural values and rules, and is, thus, a site of power and resistance” (Boler, 1999,P.6). Inorder to begin to grasp an understanding of women’s fear of knowing, I read extensively inseveral theoretical areas.Much of the writing about consciousness and literary interpretation focuses on howengagement with cultural forms in their many iterations—novel, poetry, drama, art—servesto expand and deepen our conscious awareness and “broaden the contours of ourexperience” (Richardson, 2001,p.19). Stories, say Donald (2001), Lodge (2002) andKerby (1991), dominate our understanding of acceptable emotion, as well as ways ofthinking, acting and feeling. According to Bolton, our myths show us how to classify andorder our society. These authors also tell us that language is created with each re-telling,and the myth presents ways of coping with “the complexity of human relationships, andstrong and often scary psychological worlds” (Bolton, 2006,p.205). In addition, Donald(2001) argues that myth influences every aspect of societal life and that our myths continueto define us. C. G. Jung devoted much of his life and practice to the study of myth andalchemy. Hillman (2004) describes how reliance on mythic language “locates psychologyin the cultural imagination,” and archetypal psychology opens us to the “questions of life,”where we may “see our ordinary lives embedded in and ennobled by the dramatic andworld-creative life of mythical figures” (p. 31). Much of classical mythology has beenunearthed and written about through a patriarchal lens. However, feminist writers,anthropologists and archeologists have been studying, revisioning, and reinterpretingarchival data, historical digs, myths, stories and dreams that tell a different story of thedemise of the Goddess-based religions (Aguiar, 2001; Anderson & Zinsser, 1988a; Bolen,431984; Daly, 1973; Downing, 1992; Estes, 1992; Gimbuas, 1982). It is this mythology towhich I turn in dream work wherever possible.I believe that dream work may provide the ultimate literary engagement as a lifefiction. The disorderly and apparently random narrative of dreams offers insight into ourlife’s pre-story, that is, before we have created the story as a sequence of events. Kerbysuggests that disorderly, random narrative “offers a semblance of the texture of women’sordinary lives rather than heroic struggles of winners against man, himself or nature”(1991,p.35). The sensory image-based nature of dreams may provide a considerably widerpossibility than written discourse for the expression and construction of knowledge.Literary engagement enables the creation of “new subjects and new subjectivities,” and“other research in literary engagement has shown that readers are not able to separateneatly their identifications with literary characters from their other remembered and livedexperiences” (Sumara, Davis, & Iftody, 2006a, p.60). Lodge (2002), for example, showsthat the reader experiences the experiences of the character in the novel, thus opening thepossibility for changes in consciousness if the opportunity for deep learning is available.Sumara et al (2006) conclude that literary experiences can occasion cultural transformationif purposeful attention is focused on opportunities to represent and analyze literary fictionin an atmosphere of trust and intellectual safety.Many philosophers have argued that we can know the world only as a constructionof our consciousness (Donald, 2001; Lodge, 1991; Edelman 2004). We could assume thatdreams “offer something like a complementary definition of the world, one (among otherthings) that rescues the ‘real’ world from certain limitations of linear and spatialprobability” (States, 1993,p.46). According to Jung, dreams and inner sensations bring44material up from the unconscious to move us to individuation. Dream images belong to the“normal contents of the psyche and may be regarded as a resultant of unconsciousprocesses obtruding on consciousness” (Campbell, 1971,p.29). Jung focused on thepersonal and collective unconscious. He studied dreams, alchemy and mysticism andworked with images through active imagination and amplification. According to Hiliman(1979), Jungian dream interpretation most often relates to the needs of the ego as Jung’stheories are developed around the notion of individuation and constant growth towardwholeness. Hiliman acknowledges that his work is rooted in Jung but disagrees that thegoal of dreams is individuation. Hillman prefers aesthetics and imagination with a focus onletting the dream interpret us, thus giving imagination priority over egoic understandingsand applications which may tend to lean toward literalism. As others like Mary Aswell Doll(1995) have argued, perhaps dreams, fictive dream images, imagination, and myth canprovide an alternative to the constant push to rational literalization.It seems that myth is always present even though it never literally happened.Hermeneutic inquiry is connected to the mythical Greek god, Hermes, the bringer ofdreams to mortals. It is well known that Hermes is the translator and messenger from thegods to humans. He is an interpreter who bridges the boundaries with strangers andprovides us with the art of interpreting hidden meaning. Another aspect of Hermes istrickery and thievery, reminding me as researcher that individual response to text isimpossible to separate from the interpersonal, intertextual experience of reading, and thus Itry to engage in processes that enable deep space for investigation into the emerging ideas.I seek to remember that the easy and comfortable interpretation is no interpretation at allbut may rather be the trickery employed by my own superego to resist knowing. I try to be45mindful of any screens of theory I might be placing between my emotions and my readingof Unless. I sought to recognize how much of myself is flowing into the text and at thesame time is concealed by my unconscious desire to remain unaware (Silhol, 1999).Hermeneutics is the practice of drawing meaning from text through our bodies, thusbringing us home to our experiences (Grumet, 1988; Smith, 1991; Sumara, 2002). Irecognize that sometimes my writing falls into abstractions much akin to silencing. I mustthen reflect on my fear of knowing. What is it that I am refusing to think or to say? Ibelieve that through continual interpretation the abstract will give way to lived experience.Beginning with a close reading of Unless and using what I have chosen to calldream reading, I try to notice the links between individual dream experiences and how thenovel as a literary form, together with my imaginary identifications with the characters,produces experiences of personal identity. Dream reading is most surely subjective, anddream interpretation has been resisted as lacking in objectivity. Paradoxically,it is thisresistance that lures me toward using dream interpretation theory as a poststructuralistreading of personal and fictive characters’ experiences and stories in learning about andtransforming women’s fear of knowing.In the first iteration of a University paper in 1998, The Apple and the TalkingSnake, I chose the appellation Crone. Now, I find that radical feminism attempts to redeemfemaleness by subversion. That is, conventional language and rationality are turned upsidedown to “produce new meanings and new subject positions” (Weedon, 1997,p.128). BothWeedon (1997) and Ratcliffe (1996) outline the many ways in which Mary Daly (1973,1978) subversively reinvests images of femaleness in patriarchal culture. One of these waysis to reinvent abusive patriarchal language such as crone, hag, and spinster in positive46ways. I feel the privilege of using the title Crone (the third aspect of the ancient TripleGoddess: Maiden!Mother/Crone) and in choosing dream reading as methodology. What Imean by this is that I no longer feel the irresistible compulsion to conform to the patriarchalculture’s valuation of female subjectivity. I consciously refuse to accept the devaluation ofaging women. I recognize that for too many years I answered the call to objectivity, reason,and validity. I no longer seek to perform. I seek rather to disrupt. I seek to honor rather thandisparage the disruptive aspect of myself. For Britzman (2003) the narratives we ascribe toconfigure our reflections and practices. Therefore, I am taking up the narrative of theCrone.It is important to remember that in dream reading we are looking for possibilities,cracks, a way in and under the everyday ego. Dream reading is deconstruction in theDerridaen sense:The very meaning and mission of deconstruction is to show that things—texts,institutions, traditions, societies, beliefs, and practices of whatever size and sort youneed—do not have definable meanings and determinable missions, that they arealways more than any mission would impose, that they exceed the boundaries theycurrently occupy. What is really going on in things, what is really happening, isalways to come. Every time you try to stabilize the meaning of a thing, to fix it inits missionary position, the thing itself if there is anything at all to it, slips away(Wood & Bernasconi 1988,p.31).Dream reading asks questions: How is the image coupled to and uncoupledfromthe cultural, political, social, historical and archaic? What are the connotations, inflections,emotional and affective values attached, lurking behind or underneath the dream images?What were the conditions that gave rise to the word, image, or the dream itself? Dreamreading is hermeneutic interpretation and I work to adhere to hermeneutic principles asoutlined by Bulkeley (1994, pp. 111 - 118). He elucidates these principles as dreaminterpretation being like the experience of art, like play, like interpretation in human47sciences, and like dialogue. The ultimate purpose of dream reading is to open newunderstandings, new questions, and deeper awareness. Dream reading is a cognitiveprocess through which a dream reader continually brings forth new worlds, not the world.Through interpretive processes, the dream reader may become aware of new phenomenaand notice that perceptions are mostly habituated by the cultural context in which we aresocialized. As well, emotions play a major role in dream work. It is important to record theemotional tone in a dream. I try to notice how I feel upon awakening from a dream. Am Iangry, fearful, joyful or sad in the dream? What does the dream emotion tell me about thedream message? Emotions are a significant part of the dream just as “emotions are anintegral part of [the cognitive] domain. In fact, recent research strongly indicates that thereis an emotional coloring to every cognitive act” (Capra, 1996,p.270). He concludes, as dodream researchers, that, “Human decisions are never completely rational but are alwayscolored by emotions, and human thought is always embedded in the bodily sensations andprocesses that contribute to the full spectrum of cognition” (Capra, 1996,p.275). Dreamreading knows and understandsthat peptides are the biochemical manifestation of emotions. ... the limbic systemturns out to be highly enriched with peptides ... the entire intestine is lined withpeptide receptors. This is why we have “gut feelings.” We literally feel ouremotions in our gut (Capra, 1996,p.284).Dream reading enables interpretive knowing, phronesis. It could assist inunderstanding the linguistic hegemony enforcing core patriarchal values. Personal dreamwork has led me to know the existence of deep structures inside me—beliefs, experiencesand feelings that shape and have shaped my subjectivities. Like Grumet (1988), I am notpracticing psychoanalysis but rather using some psychoanalytic concepts including, forexample, the relations of knowledge, power, identity, gender, language, and patriarchy in48this work. In subsequent chapters of this dissertation, I “read” Unless as a dream togenerate complex conversation to evoke the unconscious. This reading also narrates theproblem of uncertainty in women’s experience. I believe the dream readings aresufficiently open, contain sufficient gaps and indeterminacies through which the readermay “become more explicitly involved in an interpretive collaboration with the author”(Sumara, 2002a,p.101).This narrative of Unless is not a book review nor an examination. Rather it is anarrative of interpretation; it shows the novelist as artist. Shields has “escaped over the wallto the borderlands and made it to where it is legitimate to reveal the ordinary as strange andin need of some explanation” (Grumet, 1988,pp.77 — 86). Unless is not the repressed, theuseful, the practical or the functional which serves agendas of patriarchalorder and control.Unless is the product of an aesthetic practice which takes readers to a different place, adifferent room and a different identity. Unless shows the “complex and complicit wayslanguage functions to both produce and interrupt normative conceptions of femalesubjectivity.... [and] raises difficult and important questions for educators: Where is‘home’ for women, and what is a ‘safe’ space? ... What is female subjectivity” (Sumara &Upitis, 2004 Spring, p. ix)?Unless requires “readers to engage in readerly identifications which, as RolandBarthes (1977) has suggested, requires a kind of cultural writing: Who does the text askthe reader to be?” Shields asks the reader to “bear witness” and to “engage in the ethicalpractice of interpreting what this knowing might mean to one’s thinking and acting”(Sumara and Upitis, Spring 2004,p.ix). A dream reading of Unless opens other spaces ofdoubt. The process of literary engagement must be self-questioning, tentative in all its49possibilities, open to the possibilities of other perspectives, and relentless in itsunderstanding of incompletion, that is, endless interpretation, or dialectical reflexivity.The writer of a reflexive text, ... acknowledges her/his role as the subjectivepresenter of a plural text, which is frankly constituted as a still non-unifiedassemblage of disparate realities. ‘The author’ is not so much ‘dead’ (cf. Barthes,1977) as ‘re-born’ in the more modest role of master of ceremonies, presidinguncertainly over a plurality of perspectives (Winter, 2002,p.151 emphasis in theoriginal).Literary anthropological research provides a multiplicity of narrative response tovarious situations within which the reader may see potential similarities with other past andpresent situations. For example, feminist research, by definition, must question patriarchalnorms and the invisible assumptions fixed in the bedrock of our culture. Feminist researchmust produce new, vaguely familiar yet unknown forms interrupting the accepted methodsof textual production. Through the process of literary anthropology I search for vestiges offeminine consciousness hidden within the personal and collective unconscious and eruptingas I read and re-read Unless. I attempt to tap into the historical and mythological vestiges ofarchaic myths. According to Donald (2001), as a result of the long evolutionary history ofhumankind, the mind is loaded with “footprints,”—vestigium, vestiges of the past—andthese narratives and deep images act as seed for the unconscious.Everything I write is “organized by unconscious desire” which cannot be observed.“What we have learned from Freud and a few others is that the search for truth must first bedivested of its own armor: I think I want to know while in fact all I desire is not to know”(Silhol, 1999,p.4). The good news is that this unconscious subject leaves traces when itspeaks or writes and it is these traces that may lead me to new knowledge. Donald (2001)speaks of vestigial traces. The desire for unawareness sets the trap for me to be misled intothinking that I know the meaning of a passage in a novel or a dream. Sumara (2002)50reports research in the science of perception that shows that “in order for humans to be ableto perceive, processes of discarding must be learned”(p.138). It’s like my stone serpent,Sophia, in my sunroom. Some people see her; others don’t. I have theorized that those whosee and ask about her, and then listen to my explanations, are open to new ideas. Thosewho don’t see may be those who have concretised fundamentalist thought positions. Wesee what we expect to see. Apparently, we learn to see and also not to see. If we “saw”everything in our environment, our sensory preceptors would be overwhelmed. Learningrequires that we interrupt, that we notice the strange, the unfamiliar, the weird, and thebizarre. I must seriously consider what the role of perception and the role of desire forunawareness or fear of knowing play in my interpretations.Hillman speaks to the notion of an active response to the dream images rather thanan interpretation of the image (1989,pp.74 - 76). He claims that the image “affords aplace to watch your soul, precisely what it is doing” (1989,p.75). Hiliman says that thepsyche is conscious; it is the reader/observer who is unconscious. Therefore, in response,we look to ask “Where am I in the image? Where’s my imagination?”This narrative inquiry into women’s fear of knowing is witness only to the fact ofmy responses. Those responses will arise together with my particular assumptions. As Iwrite I try to identify my assumptions and also to show clearly the ground on which I stand.That being said, interpretative response is a messy, unpredictable and ceaseless pondering.It is in the gaps and spaces that there is potential for deep engagement with the possibilitiesopened up by the text. My reader-response can never fully be reproduced nor represented;it always exceeds its representation. “Most of what we know, it seems, can’t be explained,isn’t even available to perception. And, even when what is experienced finds its way to51consciousness; it can’t always be represented, much less translated” (Sumara & Upitis,2004 Spring, p. x). We do not enter into a predetermined world but rather the enactment ofa world. Our mind is not preformed but created through the actions of the world, thelanguage of the world, in which we participate. Poststructuralist theories present languageas a growing system that is never able to fully represent either the reader or the writer’sexperience. I struggle to understand this when I try to write with accuracy, clarity, andprecision about a reading, a memory, an event, a dream, a conversation. I fight toappreciate the difficulty of excavating and analyzing underlying expectations andassumptions as I work with interpretive response to my research questions. As MaxineGreene suggests, “... I am never able to answer the questions. They remain ... ceaselessinterpretation. The as fthat is my interpretive vision, launched me then—and continues tolaunch me—on quests I hope will never cease” (Greene, 1995,p.92). My hope is to searchbeneath the bark to find the stories that will produce a labyrinthine feminist text integratingnew and old ideas in a way that adds something to understanding the complexity ofinternalized socially constructed roles and identities. As I write I try to see my own fear ofknowing and thus living in the liminal spaces and through the sometime traumatic result ofchanging beliefs as both knower and creator of knowledge.In this chapter, I have provided a brief overview of the methodology used in the researchtogether with an understanding of why I chose this method to further explore shiftingidentities and transformation. Literary anthropology methodology informed by feminist,consciousness and Jungian analytic theory allows for living in the text. Like theinterpretation of night dreams, reading literary dream images from fiction is ambiguous,uncertain, vague and confusing. I have written a text which provides space for52hermeneutic production, that is, the reader’s interpretation. Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6provide more details of the research process as it unfolds in concert with interpretationsof the literary dream images of four women characters in Unless. Chapter 7 links thedream reading process to curriculum studies and teacher education. Chapter 8 is asummary of the themes and principles I have learned through the process of thisdissertation.In chapter 3 using concepts from Jungian theory and archetypal psychology, Iprovide an exploratory dream reading of the richly organic image of Norah, TheDaughter Who Sits in the Street.533.Blackened by Melancholic Frustration8—ATheory of NorahIf I should pass the tomb of JonahI would stop there and sit for a while;Because I was swallowed one time deep in the darkAnd came out alive after all.Carl Sandburg, LosersAugust 5, 1990The StatueIn my dream, a statue ofthe Blessed Motherfellforwardfacefirstfrom a pedestal on a church altar. I wasthere in the sanctuary with two people but I cannot remember theirfaces. We picked up thestatue and lay iton the altar. It shattered in the middle. From within the statue arose a young, very beautful child oftwo orthree years. Three times I was told to do something but I cannot remember what. Three times, V appears andthen walks away angrily declaring her annoyance and disbelief “God does not deliver on His promises.”I come in from working in my Alberta-in-July garden. I have been distracted fromthe flowers while considering multiple ways to create this chapter. How can I narrate someaspects of women’s fear of knowing through a theory of Norah while arguing that dreamreading could become a focal practice of literary engagement creating the possibility fordeeper understanding and meaning-making in teaching?I begin with a dream from my journal which occurred almost two years after theinitiatory transformation dream in December, 1988. This dream continues the theme of themajor changes that were occurring in my deeply hidden belief system together with myburning anger at the betrayal of trust that I feel. In my journal I have written,I am enraged with anger that all the rules, regulations, rituals, commandments,beliefs that I followed rigidly as a child did not protect me. Even with years ofpraying, attending Mass, going to doctors, and doing all the socially acceptable“right” things, I still hurt. All those years I really believed. Damn. Damn. Damn.Damn. The statue represents hardened, rock encased beliefs blocking my inner8When the soul is stuck in its literal perspectives and identified with materiality, alchemical processes suchas pathologizing are required. Timer soul-making processes may occur such as burning, breaking down,skinning, flaying, dismembering, or cannibalizing thus freeing the psyche from the imprisonment ofnaturalism and transmuting the natural into the imaginal viewpoint (Hillman, 1 975b,p.90 —91).54child, the possibilities within me. The pedestal may represent the height at which Ihave placed the intellect (Personal Journal, August 15, 1990).Dreams often use the language of puns. Perhaps deeply held rational beliefs havefallen off the pedestal where I had put them. As Grumet (1988) points out, institutioncomes from the Latin verb instituere meaning “to set up.” Institution, statue and state sharethe root word—stare meaning “to stand.” In the dream, my institutional, rational, uprightbeliefs have fallen off the pedestal. The child stands for touch, newness, earth, sensuality,and woman’s work. Throughout the years I lived at home as a child and teenager, ourfamily prayed the rosary together nearly every evening. Today, I continue to have a deepreverence and respect for Mother Mary. Partly to honor the dream, Bill and I built a grottowhere I grow Mary flowers (marigold) and a statue of the Blessed Mother sits togetherwith a cow skull to represent the goddess. I work to separate institutional belief from sacredmyth.It has taken many years to create my garden. Some of the creation was accidental.Some plants have been gifts from friends now deceased. Others are memorials. There’s myhusband Bill’s larch tree, Grandma Gregor’s weeping birch, and my mother’s rose plantedby the grotto of the Blessed Mother. There are heritage flowers tended by the previousowners as early as 1946—the Maltese cross, the purple beilfiower, peonies, bleeding heart,and trollius buttercup still flourishing after 50 years. These gardens must be tended,fertilized, pruned and loved. So it is with dream reading.In this chapter I intend to dream read Reta through a theory of Norah, The DaughterWho Sits in the Street. I will develop a dream reading of a fictive dream image fromUnless, The Burning Muslim Woman, a fire metaphor of transmutation, transformation anddestruction which shapes the entire novel. I consider Norah through both a Jungian lens, as55the younger self, the maiden aspect of Reta and through the lens of Hillman’s archetypalpsychology, the psychopathology of soul. All the elements of Unless become descriptionsof the aspects of Reta Winters’ psyche. The unexpected encounter with the self-immolatingveiled Muslim woman begets a traumatic unease and denotes a creative disquiet with thestatus quo. Reta’ s consciousness is very much aware that things are not as they might be.Perhaps the veil is a “mobile site of resistance” changing shape with shifting powerrelations as Reta renegotiates both her physical and psychic space (Oliver, 2004).As interpretive practice, dream reading is supported by Sumara’ s premise that “it ispossible to create conditions for the expansion of imaginative thought. ... (L)iteraryinterpretation practices can transform imaginative occasions into productive insights”(Sumara, 2002a,p.98). A number of researchers including Greene (1995), Hiliman(1 975a) and Luce-Kapler (2005) agree that the use of the subjunctive can create conditionsfor the “production of deep insight [which] is usually surprising, occurring unexpectedly,emerging from curious places” (Sumara, 2002,p.5).In my dream work and in dream workshops, every interpretation necessarilyremains an as zf I often begin by asking one person to share a dream they are comfortablesharing by speaking it aloud in the present tense. Others are asked to consider the dreamand share their ideas beginning with “Ifthis were my dream ...“ This provides anopportunity to create links among group members, the collective mind, through spinningmemories, and both the present and possible futures. Imaginative questioning, according toKeats, quoted in Avens, is “a questioning that involves the questioner in the matter ofthought so deeply that he becomes, in a sense, one with it” (1984,p.2) meaning that beingand knowing are no longer separate.56The as ifis strongly supported by Jung’s work where the as fis in constant struggleagainst concretizing attitudes. Patricia Berry (1982) explains Freud’s naming of aconcretizing tendency as the Philistine, both a “psychological entity” and an “archetypalmode of perception” which often justifies things “in tenns of their being ‘only natural,’nothing-but, bread-and-butter, down-to-earth, factual, practical. The perceptible, thematerial, would be for this viewpoint the ‘real facts’ of life”(p.166). Jung objected to thismechanistic reductivism where one was totally unaware of using the concrete mode or itsconcretistic attitude through which “the animal, the body, the dark, the sensual, thefeminine lost psychic significance” (Berry, 1982,p.168). According to Berry (1982),Jung was determined that archetypes be seen as psychic possibilities, the as the subtleway of the metaphor. Dream reading as ifhas the potential for metaphoric and imaginativethought.In writing about dreams, both Jung and Hillman speak strongly to the potency of theimagination. Dream reading has the potential to free the imagination, that is, to see theworld as a source of never ending possibility; an imagination that has both the ability andthe freedom to think the unthinkable thus challenging the status quo. O Murchü, followingMarcuse, claims “that for an institution to be successful, it must make unthinkable thepossibility of alternatives” (Murchu, 1998,p.112). I want to make thinkable possiblealternatives to the patriarchal education system which has been wildly successful in makingalternatives unthinkable. Learning requires that I find ways to think thought experiments.As a feminist, I desire more than a remedy for exclusion which simply centres masculinityas the norm. This is the ethical obligation, the pedagogical project. Dream reading maycontain possibilities to “give expression to that which our culture has deemed unspeakable57or ungrievable—to engage that which we have cast beyond the pale of the curriculum sothat it can be properly remembered” (Salvio, 2007,p.13).To create thought alternatives, we must undergo a process of change and perhapstrauma. One of the more curious or strange places from which disruption of institutionalthought may be produced is a dream. Each night we encounter strange figures and weirdsymbols together with fear, aggression, grief, rage, confusion, guilt and failure, doubt,anxiety, and chaos. These are not the usual places where we might look for insight but it isquite possible that looking there yields changing knowledge.The reflectivity of the practice of literary anthropology broadened to include dreamreading may lead to a more deeply questioning inquiry into the realm and nature of psyche,to the appearance of ideas and to their significance as psychic events (Hiliman, 1 975b).Ideas give us eyes to see and know. The word idea comes from both “... Latin videre (tosee) and the German wissen (to know). Ideas enable our knowing, our envisioning, bymeans of seeing and by ‘insighting.’ Without ideas ... we cannot see ... even what wesense with the eyes in our heads, for our perceptions are shaped according to particularideas” (Hillman, 1975b,p.121).Dream reading is a potential way to consider the richness of the inner cognitiveworld. In particular, dream reading through a feminist writing of mythology, where it isavailable, may enable women to gain fresh perspectives about the realities we accept as realor truth in a patriarchal culture. Reis (1995) speaks of patriarchal imagination as“pornographic mind,” meaning the mind which dominates our culture through philosophy,literature, religious doctrine and art, film, advertisement, gestures, habits, history, andrandom acts of violence. Patriarchal imagination, its myth making, fantasy and interpretive58aspects, supports only patriarchal social structures and has created and interpreted most ofour existing mythologies. I need a feminist imagination to create a dream reading of Norah.A Theory of NorahI use the word theory to mean an open-ended expression of conjecture, opinion orspeculation. The word comes from Latin theoria and Greek meaning contemplation,speculation and spectator. Thea can mean “a view” plus horan could mean “to see.” Theorycould literally mean “looking at a show” (Random House Webster college dictionary,2001). This etymology is particularly appropriate given my theory that Norah makes aspectacle of her self as she becomes The Daughter Who Sits in the Street. Is this Norah’sresponse to the cultural imposition of silence? Reta, Tom and their community of friendsposit many theories about Norah’s self-imposed exile to the street. Perhaps she wasweighed down by her mother’s midlife fears and anxieties; perhaps she suffered post-traumatic shock from witnessing The Burning Muslim Woman. Maybe she needed toregister her existence on the planet. Maybe she was a rebellious teenager. Perhaps it is justa “developmental problem.” Reta saysMy own theory—before we knew of the horrifying event—was that Norah hadbecome aware of an accretion of discouragement, that she had awakened in hertwentieth year to her solitary state of non-belonging, understanding at last how littleshe would be allowed to say (Shields, 2002,p.309).Using literary anthropology, I have re-read Unless many times finding new insightsinto possible worlds. Its pages are now a commonplace, a collection of ripening ideaswhich I merged with my book notes and personal journals to develop a dream readingtheory of Norah. I have attempted to resist the obvious meaning structures that have cometo restrict the nature and ground of a phenomenon. I encourage the reader to participate inthis dream reading activity that has no conclusion.59Thinking about seeing the novel through its dream reading possibilities leads tothinking about all the characters as connected within-the-one. For the purposes of thishermeneutic, she who calls herself Reta Summers Winters, is the dreamer, and she hasentitled her dream series, Unless. For though we are told that there are individual separatecharacters in the novel, perhaps we would better understand the world and our place in itthrough recognizing that Reta, mother and author; Norah, daughter in crisis; Lois, invisiblybecoming Crone; Danielle, French feminist Crone; Tom, partner; Roman, character indevelopment; Alicia, character in development; Scribano, editor and benevolent then deadpatriarch; Springer, the despotic but learning patriarchal editor, and friends—all areconnected. All may be considered the multiple identifications of Reta Winters (AppendixIV). For is it not so that all our realities are shaped by the consciousness within which weparticipate? Reta just might re-title her dream series Woman in a Patriarchal Thyme if sherealized that her dreams are archetypal, mythological and about a midlife mother’srelationship with her self in a time of crisis as she is discovering the depth of the patriarchyembedded in her life and contemplating how to both resist her colonization and cope withthe resultant anxiety and fear of knowing about that colonization. Reta’ s dreams could helpher come to know her many selves.Jung believed that the purpose of dreams is individuation, that is, to promote the“developmental process of bringing consciousness and the unconscious into wholeness”(Bulkeley, 1994). This process includes deep changes at midlife as part of the journey.Hillman disagrees. He prefers to think that such resolution ofinner conflict is the hero’sjourney of monotheism. Instead, Hillman asks, “Which fantasy governs our view of soul60making and the process of individuation—the many or the one (Hillman, 1989,p.38)?Further, he says,Balance, integration, and wholeness, important values in a monotheisticpsychology, have no place in polytheism, which demands a stretching of the heartand imagination. The polytheistic soul is richly textured and texted. It has manyqualities of character and is the theater where many stories are enacted, manydreams mirrored (Hillman, 1989,p.38).Jean Houston says that polyphrenia, the orchestration and integration of our many selves,“may be the health [of the human condition]” (1987,p.30). According to Houston,children become what they see—a dog, kitten, horse, tree, bug—many and diverse selvesunderstanding the world through incarnation. However, soon this is deemed unreal andinappropriate and they learn to play the game and join their social group in Westerncultural beliefs about “growing up” and “developing maturity.” Early in childhood, thechildren learn to be limited by false realism like the rest of the culture and come to believein one, singular self. The diverse views of Jung and Hillman simply add richer and deeperpossibilities to dream reading. Hillman’ s notions of dreams as soul recovery areparticularly fruitful.Psyche comes from the Greek and means “soul.” “The logos ofthe soulpsychology, implies the act of traveling the soul’s labyrinth in which we can never go deepenough” and “There is no end to depth, and all things become soul” (Hillman, 1979,pp.25 - 27, emphasis in original). Hillman calls the process of soul-making, meaning-makingand psychologizing. Ideas are the source of soul-making. Considering Norah’ s actions, Ibegan to glimpse some understanding of Hillman’s particular view of soul. I recall my firstfeeble attempts in the late 1980’s to move my thinking and beliefs from dreams areirrelevant to dreams as symbols of transformation and soul as psyche (from Greek) and61anima (from Latin). Soul to me was a religious word. For Hiliman, soul is a perspective ora viewpoint toward things, not a substance or a thing itself as in the Christian “lost” to evilor going to “heaven” soul. In his initial writings about soul, Hillman suggested that soulrefers to “that unknown component which makes meaning possible, turns events intoexperiences, is communicated in love, and has a religious concern” (1975b, p. xvi). Later,he added,First, ‘soul’ refers to the deepening of events into experiences; second, thesignificance soul makes possible, whether in love or in religious concern, derivesfrom its special relation with death. And third, by ‘soul’ I mean the imaginativepossibility in our natures, the experiencing through reflective speculation, dream,image, andfantasy—that mode which recognizes all realities as primarily symbolicor metaphorical (Hiliman, 1 975b, p. xvi emphasis in the original).For Hillman working with dreams is working with soul recovery; that is, the rediscovery ofour ability to live experiences, to understand death as part of life, and to honor imaginationand fantasy as well as symbolic and metaphorical realities.Below are excerpts from Unless written as zfthey were night dreams. Jung believedthat every dream interpretation is a hypothesis, “an attempt to read an unknown text” and Iuse a numbered series of literary dream images because of Jung’s statement thatAn obscure dream, taken in isolation, can hardly ever be interpreted with anycertainty. For this reason I attach little importance to the interpretation of singledreams. ... (T)he basic ideas and themes can be recognized much better in adream-series, ... (1974, p. 98).Dream images are simultaneous, that is, there is no sense of linear time but rather asuperimposition of characters and events producing imaginary, metaphorical connectionsand relationships between the dreamer and the dream. I imagine that Norah, Reta’ s maidenself, appears in a series of her dreams.62Excerptsfrom Unless (Shields, 2002) considered as a series ofReta ‘s dreams9Dream #1It’s like [Norah is] hibernating. Everything about her is slowed down(p.161).Dream #2North seems lodged in a child’s last irresponsible days, stung by the tang of injustice, 19 years old, withsomething violent and needful beating in her brain. It’s like a soft tumour, but exceptionally aggressive. Itstentacles have entered all the quadrants of her consciousness. This invasion happened fast, when no one waslooking (p. 162).Dream #3We are all trying to figure out what’s wrong with Norah. She won’t work at a regular job. She’s dropped outof university, given up her scholarship. She sits on the curbside and begs. Once a lover of books, she hasresigned from the act of reading, and believes she is doing this in the name of goodness. She has no interest incults, not in cultish beliefs or in that particular patronizing cultish nature of belonging. She’s too busy withher project of self-extinction. It’s happening very slowly and with much grief, but I’m fmally beginning tounderstand the situation (p. 165).Dream #4Tom said, “They’re bums,” gesturing toward North’s hands and wrists. North has an oxygen tube connectedto her nose. She looks like Snow White in her glass case, and the girls and I are gathered around the bed likecurious dwarves. ... reddened, scarred hands lying exposed on the white cotton blanket(p.301).Dream #5I think, there’s a fair amount of scarring, and some of it might have been avoided if [North had] beenproperly cared for (p. 302).Dream #6Natalie reminded us, “She always has gloves on” ... “Even last summer when it was boiling hot, in themiddle of July even, she wears these old floppy gardening gloves.”... The garden gloves—she was wearingthem the first day we found her last April at Bathurst and Bloor (p. 302).Dream #7We read about it in the newspapers, though we didn’t read closely about it for some reason; it is recorded onvideotape, so that we have seen the tragedy replayed and understand how its force usurped the life of a youngwoman and threw her into an ellipsis of mourning (p. 309).Dream #8North walks over to Honest Ed’s to buy a plastic dish rack, which she holds in her hand. She is standing onthe corner when a young Muslim woman stepped forward on the Street, poured gasoline over her veil andgown, and set herself alight. North rushed forward to stifle the flames. The dish rack in its plastic shoppingbag became a second fire which bums into North’s flesh. She pulls back. Stop, she screams, or something tothat effect, and then her fmgers sink into the woman’s melting flesh—the woman is never identified—heranns, her lungs, and abdomen. These pieces give way. The smoke, the smell, is terrible. Two firemen pullNorth away, lifting her bodily in a single arc, then strap her into a restraining device and drive her toEmergency, where she was given first aid. A few minutes later, though, she disappears without giving hername(p.314—315).As I begin this dream reading, I remember that a daughter often represents theyounger maiden self of a female dream. Further, I consider Hiliman’s (1989) suggestionThese stylized imaginary dreams are ‘bits’ taken from the novel as indicated by page numbers.63that the etymology of words may prove fruitful in dream work. I also reflect on thecontext of Reta’s life when the dreams occur. Reta’s novel, My Thyme is Up has beenpublished. Thyme in Bloom is a work in progress and Autumn Thyme is bubbling at theback of her mind. The OED indicates that thyme is a mint plant. The word comes fromLatin, thymum, from Greek, thymon, possibly from thyein “bum as a sacrifice” whichcould indicate it was used as incense. Further, sacrifice comes from Latin,sacrUise,sacr/icium, from sacrficus, meaning “performing priestly functions or sacrifices,” fromsacra “sacred rites.” Sacrifice is etymologically linked to immolate, “to sacrifice, kill as avictim.” Reta has sacrificed her voice in fear of subtle reprisal, that is, loss of her alreadylimited acceptance into the publishing world. The fire is transformative indicating thatsuppression has reached the saturation point and spontaneously combusted bringing forththe possibility of freed intuition and creativity from the human ashes. Through herwriting, Reta breaks through an unconscious barrier. In her new novel, she writes thecharacter Alicia more boldly. In her epistolary writing, she uses a different pseudonymfor each of five unsent tentative and then increasingly scathing letters of feminist protestto various publishers. These letters may be a metaphor for the unconscious and Reta’sstruggle for agency, subjectivity and awareness. Eventually, she mails one letter, whichmay be a metaphor for emerging new consciousness. At a deep inner level, The BurningMuslim Woman is a psychic event thrusting Reta into the change process of a woman atmidlife. Ever so slowly she begins to birth possibilities, thinkable alternatives for her lifeincluding a more equitable distribution of power in the field of writing and publishing.The shattering process of psychic change may be lengthy in our culture whererationalistic materialism rejects anything paradoxical, ambiguous or obscure. When I am64uncertainty itself, I can’t just put the pieces back like gluing my grandmother’s old andwell-loved china teapot.Through dreams we may learn the nature ofpsychic reality—that it is not “I” but“we”—for consciousness is polytheistic. Our dreams tell us that we are a multitude ofpersonified images. “We can describe the psyche as a polycentric realm of nonverbal,nonspatial images” (Hiliman, 1975b, p. 33). For this reason, mythology with its multiplepersonalities, gods and goddesses, and imaginal space serves as a site for soul recovery.Mythically we might look for a god or goddess in the complex or disease. Thinking aboutthe image of The Burning Muslim Woman, we look for the god and consider Hades, thegod of the underworld receiving the burned dead woman. What is dying? Anxiety arisesfrom threats of the unconscious to come to the surface and be made conscious. The egoexperiences a shift in consciousness as death or severe trauma. As a personified archetype,The Burning Muslim Woman brings a style of consciousness or following Jung, “typicalmodes of apprehension” (Hillman, 1975b,p.35). Hillman explains such an image as apathologizing image. He suggests we return to the basic Greek meaning ofpathos assomething that happens, an experience, being moved or the capacity to be moved. “Themovements of the soul are pathe” (Hillman, 1975b,p.97). Such movements showpotential change or actual change already happening. Hillman asserts thatpathos and suffering can be distinguished; the soul can go through its changes,even pathologizing changes, without these alterations in its quality havingnecessarily to be identified with suffering ... without having to sustain andovervalue them by the suffering of the Way of the Cross” (1975b, p. 97).It is possible that we can learn from both Jung and Hiliman’s approach to the fictive dreamimagery of The Burning Muslim Woman.65Hiliman (1979) traces the history of dreams through Heraclitus, to Homer’s Iliadwhere Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (death) are twin brothers, to Hesiod’s Theogony, withthe sons of Night, to Homer’s Odyssey where Night resides in the underworld, to Virgil andOvid, and finally to Orphic mythology. He explains that dreams belong to the archetypalcluster of “the world of Night. Each dream is a child ofNight, affiliated closely with Sleepand Death, and with Forgetting (Lethe) all that the daily world remembers. Dreams haveno father call, no call upwards” (Hillman, 1979,p.33). Dreams belong to the underworldwhere the spirits are plural, dead persons are spoken of plurally, and “the endless variety offigures reflects the endlessness of the soul, and dreams restore to consciousness this senseof multiplicity” (Hillman, 1979,p.41). This perspective makes no claim to a unifiedconsciousness or to the individuation process of Jungian tradition. Hillman (1975b)explains that it is only by “falling apart,” that is, disintegrating into these multiple dreamfigures that we expand consciousness to hold the psychopathic potentials.Hillman suggests that names in dreams may hold meaning. According to ancientstories, the name Nora {Norah] may be likened to Norea, sister of Seth, daughter of Adamand Eve. So the story goes, a group of heretical Gnostics fabricated books, including abook called Norea. These Gnostic heretics wrote Norea as the wife of Noah and claimedthat when she was refused permission to enter the ark, she burned it down three times!Further, the heretics were supposedly planning to translate the name of the Pyrrha of Greekmythology into a pseudo-Semitic name, Nora. Pyrrha was the Greek flood heroine whosename translated to “fiery” or from Aramaic it became “fire.” As well, Norea was thevoluptuous, beautiful virgin who seduced the Archons. Supposedly the Archons were never66able to intercept her and were destroyed by their burning desire for her (Pearson, 2006,pp.87 - 95).For Hiliman (1975) etymology is an imaginative way to seek the mythicalperspective necessary for archetypal psychology. Thus the underlying essence of the dreamNorah may be fiery, virginal and heretical. I might link the notion of Gnostic heresy to thefears I experience when I claim that I am my own authority as I began to do in the summerof 1991 when I ventured forward on the rocks and shoals of my own uncertainty. I clung tothe chaos. Changing deeply held but unknown-until-dreamed, re-imagined, and re-claimedunthinkable ideas may create fear of accusations of heresy.The Burning Muslim Woman is a strange and curious image which appears at firstglance to be destructive in the negative sense. However, for Hillman, this image might belikened to a soul image, a pathological image within which lie the riches of Pluto. Thisdeath instinct or self-immolation is one aspect of the realm of myth which our culturechooses to attempt to control, repress, hide, or fight against as sinful and evil. It seems asthough there might be a rotting and blackening going on in the psyche, the soul. Aputrefactio. The dreadful burns and collapsing body of The Burning Muslim Woman couldbe likened unto a radical change in perspective from the material world of every day to theworld of soul. Yet another aspect of image is that “whatever appears wounded, sick, ordying may be understood as that content leading the dreamer into the House of Hades”(Hiliman, 1979,p.146). Norah’s hand goes “through” the image. This then may be likenedto a soul undergoing putrefactio occasioned by its fall into the chasm, similar to the fall ofPersephone to the underworld of Hades when the sacred chasm of Cyane opened up toreceive her into the underworld. We speak of image as though it were some thing yet an67“image is a complexity of relationships, an inherence of tensions, juxtapositions, andinterconnections. An image is neither pure meaning, nor pure relations, nor pureperception. ... Nor can one say that image is this literally and that metaphorically (Berry,1982,p.98). As I work with the image, I must remember that every image is polysemous.Doll (2000) speaks of the work of Niel Micklem (1979) when she writes on thehealing role of that which turns back reflection to the depths of psyche as critical to thework of imagination.(W)hen the psyche, or image-making function, is removed from the direct gaze ofliteral representation, when it is bent back or repelled, there is a turn toward a desertwasteland of hidden images. That which is hidden, that from which the “normal”gaze recoils, nevertheless contains its own vitality. The journey away from literalrepresentation, [Micklem] concludes, is a journey into an energy space thatactivates imagination (Doll, 2000,p.38).Dream Norah is the aspect of Reta that is plunged, thrust forcibly downward into soul-work, sacrificing her body to the underworld, to create a more equitable distribution ofpower between her underworld and upperworld. Dream Norah, The Daughter Who Sits inthe Street, experiences the loss, lethargy and aloneness of ego being in the realm of thedead. Hiliman (1979) points out that the baseness of the psyche is not to be consideredfrom an egoic moral perspective. Within the psyche there is no morality, no judgment, noreligious or societal norms, and no expectations. Dreams do not take or have an ethicalstance (Campbell, 1971).This necessitates a preparatory task before working with any dream: we must demoralize the soul from entrenched upperworid standards owing to its two-thousandyear solitary confinement in the cells of theological Christianism, where all itsintroverted imagination was morally appraised (Hillman, 1979,p.165).As humans, we experience the need for soul as pathology. Through myths, we are able tosee that which in psychology we call abnormal—the bizarre, absurd, sick and self68destructive. Pathology is inherent in the myth. For Hiliman, the abduction and rape ofPersephone must happen so that the ego, the “I,” is twisted and shocked out of itsnormative, literal, idealized, unimaginative, maidenly innocent identity. The ego, thepathologizing in the soul, is opened to falling apart disintegrating the centered, unifiedfeeling into multiple parts, disrupting its rigid control. The dream image of The BurningMuslim Woman performs these soul tasks for Reta so that she might crack out of innocentoblivion into new shapes for her life.Nowhere in his writing did I find Hillman make any gesture to feministunderstandings. He ignores any possibility of erroneous patriarchal interpretation ofmythology. He does not acknowledge that the abduction of Persephone is a comment onthe position of women in a patriarchal mythology. According to Bostock (2002), Hillmanis inconsistent and has a “radical, self-contradictory split” in his psychology. Bostockreports that Hiliman disputed the need to even discuss gender and claimed, “Gender is aclass concept, dividing the populace of the world into some three billion folks amassed oneither side of a barbed conceptual fence” (Bostock, 2002,p.4). Later, Hillman joinedRobert Bly, author ofIron John, in the creation of a Christian men’s movement whose goalis to “reclaim what it has supposedly lost to women—to feminism and the cult of themother” (Bostock, 2002,p.4). Like Bostock, I sometimes found Hiliman to becontradictory and patriarchal; however, I have learned a good deal from his notions ofarchetypal psychology, particularly that of a polytheistic self without the necessity to strivefor wholeness or perfection as in the individuation theory of Jung.For Hillman, until Persephone has been raped, until our natural consciousness hasbeen pathologized, our souls project us as literal realities. We believe that human life and69soul are naturally one. We have not awakened to death. So we “refuse the very firstmetaphor of human existence: that we are not real” (Hiliman, 1975b,p.209). Rather, werefuse to live through the psyche’s imaginings insisting that only our rational, positivistic,empiricist theoretical notions of life are real. We regard the world of the dreamer and poet,beauty and art as frivolous. Like Savonarola in 14th century Florence, we attempt to burnaway the masks and carnival disguises, the books of poets and artists’ renderings of beauty,together with playing cards, the lute or the harp. We try to destroy soul and its reminders ofdeath rooted in the imagination (Hiliman, 1975b). According to Hamilton (1942),In ancient mythology gods of light and gods of darkness were intertwined. With theonset of Christianity, the goal of human kind was deemed to be light and thedarkness became associated with evil. In this binary, the good/evil dichotomysuppresses the natural life cycle. Goddesses were demoted to fairy tales and thegods became One Supreme Father God. Other gods, such as Dionysus, for example,became the god of debauchery rather than the god of the vine at Demeter’ s side atEleusis(p.62).The dual nature of the mythical gods and goddesses of antiquity was sacrificed tothe binary of a new mythology intent on power and control. Myth is paradoxical, from theGreek meaning “against opinion,” that is, a paradox rubs against our accepted notions ofreality. The ultimate irony is using words like fanciful or passing fancy as putdowns whenparadoxically fantasy may show us the direction of new knowledge.The burned veil of The Burning Muslim Woman may be significant in askingquestions about the death of conscious and unconscious content. When I participate in thedance of the veils, I begin to unravel the meaning of life, paradoxically, to weave my life.When I stand still, the veil becomes the Great Illusion. Let the storms of fire, wind, rain orhail dance the veils in creative unmasking. If Reta is undergoing a psychic change, bothThe Burning Muslim Woman and Norah, The Daughter Who Sits in the Street, may70indicate patience with psychic movement. For psyche moves as it will. “From the soul’sviewpoint, there is little difference between patient and therapist. Both words in their rootrefer to an attentive devotion, waiting on and waiting for” (Hiliman, 1979,p.65).Death in a dream is not “real” but rather considered to be the ego’s literal point ofview and fear of change expressed as physical death. Soul is immortal and in archetypalpsychology such trauma as death by fire may be likened unto a great loss. Reta is workingthrough some “stuff” and in order to shift her consciousness from the day world to thenight world of meaning and soul, she must metaphorically experience the descent of thedream Norah to Hades, the mythological world of death and loss. “Death is the mostprofoundly radical way of expressing this shift in consciousness” (Hiliman, 1979,p.66emphasis in the original). Unless is shot through with losses.It happens that I am going through a period of great unhappiness and loss just now.All my life I’ve heard people speak of finding themselves in acute pain, bankrupt inspirit and body, but I’ve never understood what they seem to mean. To lose. Tohave lost. (Shields, 2002,p.1)There is no easy and simple way for Reta to make a midlife transition from maiden tomother to crone. Like Shiva, the destroyer, The Daughter Who Sits in the Street sits deathto old, upper world ways of thinking. For depression is a little death. Depression providesfor the emptying out of the psyche moving across the Acheron. As Berry (1982) pointsout, Demeter is above all a “depressive goddess.” Demeter’s delight at the return of herdaughter is brief. She searches for her daughter as the “underworld component whichbelongs by birth to her.” It is her tie to her daughter that gives her life a “significance of thesenses ... wholly life-giving because sensation reaches to and incorporates the underworld”(pp. 19-20). From the perspective of archetypal psychology, soul is created from depressiveand negative experiences; dreams are the soul doing its work. Within the image of The71Burning Muslim Woman is a perspective of initiating Reta into the underworld viewpoint.Old upperworid ideas burning, dying, collapsing. An intellectual death. A grieving of oldideas as the death of the ego.Using archetypal psychology, I cannot interpret The Burning Muslim Woman aspotential death. The blackness of burning could be Thanatos and the archetypal “violating”phenomenology of Hades. The Burning Muslim Woman might then be a subtle essence, aghostlike spectre. Hillman (1979) claims to provide a consistent psychological attitude todreams rather than the coherent metapsychology developed by Jung and Freud as the basisfor dream analysis. As well, he insists that rather than positive knowledge of the psyche,the science of dreams and of “knowing something about dreams,” he wants to have “anattitude of unknowing” (pp. 195, emphasis in the original). Freud and Jung put the dreamin the dreamer and his life. Hillman claims to put the dreamer in the dream with the imagesas the dreamer’s psychic context and reality. Hiliman does follow the Jungian exhortationthat the dreamer must “stick to the dream,” (Jung, 1974,p.97) that is, she must sit with thepsychic images. The dreamer and the dream worker must not be tempted to force the dreamto serve “ego development, integration, social interest, individuation” (Hiliman, 1979,p.196). For Hillman, the notion that there is a literal libido, Oedipus, Eros, Thanatos, hero,anima/animus pair, self or Self belongs to the era of medical empiricism. He considers thatFreud and Jung were unable to loosen the grip of their cultural epoch with its belief thatmyth can be systematic, objectively established and literal truth. We must learn to live withthe metaphor and understand that myth is never resolved but is a pattern involving bothagreeable and disagreeable aspects. Never are the archetypes replete with wholeness(Berry, 1982).72Through the Norah image we might consider that something archetypal is going on.One archetypal aspect of her life, The Burning Muslim Woman, governs Reta bypresenting moods, reactions, ethics, thought, and speech. Boundaries are shattered throughthe Norah image and her encounter with The Burning Muslim Woman.One summer day I sat having pizza with a friend and contemplating The BurningMuslim Woman. This particular image had brought me many questions with no answers.We had nothing else, so I wrote our conversation on the pizza box. We wondered whyShields used this image. It almost seems apropos of nothing. Where did it come from? Weconsidered that Freud based his theories on the word, Jung on images and Hillman on thebelief that we are the images, somewhat akin to a hologram. Words “pin” the image, like aspecimen, making ready for “rational” examination. Images are more experiential. We“see” the boundary and remember other experiences “like” that and think “knife.” We arein fact seeing the edges of the knife which remind us of other utensils. The likeness thenbecomes knife. Language shapes/bounds experience. Shattering of boundaries leads tothoughts of fractals as expanded states of consciousness, that is, which have no center butare a constant unfolding pattern. The Norah and The Burning Muslim Woman images arenuminous. Jung had periodic fantasy experiences/dreams like a bleed through boundaries.The imagery is akin to a psychotic episode if one is hooked on normalcy or a mysticalexperience if one is attuned to the universe pouring into the psyche. Does significantchange in one’s underlying belief system require shattering long-held beliefs to make roomfor the change? Could this be a “bleed” through the boundaries of the constructed self?What is a mystical experience other than an experience of “self-immolation?” For a briefmoment, the universe is boundless; it is both all and nothing. All is nowness. This is the73embrace of the unbearable, the ineffable world. This is the meditative experience thatweakens, changes or shatters the boundaries of the constructed self and provides space forthe possible. Disintegration and rebuilding themes run through these dream experiences(Appendix V).What if Norah’s many questions about goodness have thinned her boundaries andthe explosion of those boundaries of her belief traumatizes her? It’s as zfNorah is shockedby the “intolerable image” (Hillman, 1979) of the self-immolating woman; this is the eventand her consciousness explodes. She sits, metaphorically, on the street corner integratingthe event into an experience. Perhaps Norah needs to “sit with her new consciousness.”Self-immolation = destruction of the constructed self= shattering of boundaries = enablingnew experience/new consciousness. It may be an experience with no cultural boundary thatcauses trauma. The literary dream figure of Norah has no cultural boundary, or what Iser(1993) might call “culture-bound patternings” (p. 297) for the experience of actuallytouching, seeing, hearing, and smelling a burning woman. Word/thought makes the newboundary to enclose the new consciousness which I would call learning. What propels oneto a new consciousness? Are we always aware of new consciousness? Is new consciousnessreally as traumatic as the reality of a person burning and dying on the street? Unless treatsthe self-immolation of the Muslim woman on the street corner in a very low-key, almostafter-thought, densensitized manner. Close your eyes and imagine, the actual reality of aperson burning. The screaming, the smells, the disbelief, the horror. Hiliman (1979) claimsthat smells in dreams are rare and therefore to be considered as “something essential,pneumatic, esthetic, even ethereal” (pp. 185-188). He speaks to Heraclitus’ claim that “InHades, souls perceive by smelling.” Further he suggests that Plato claims that Persephone74etymologically means “seizing that which is in motion” and asks if the movement of soul isso deep that it is only perceived by that which is hidden, “a perception of intangibles byintangible means” which could be attributed to the gods and their recognition of sacrificial“burnt offerings.” Can Shields have recognized the powerful potency of the image or doesit arise unbidden from the unconscious?Both Jung and Hiliman tell us to pay particular attention to small details in thedream. Following that advice, the veil of The Burning Muslim Woman could be likened toa burning away, an opening, a look through the haze which has held Reta fromseeing/perceiving the difficulties she has repressed to her personal unconscious. Accordingto Jungian tradition, we spend the first half of life focused on growing self and career. Atmidlife, supposedly we no longer have the inner strength to keep our issues at bay. It is asthough Psyche rebirths Reta to “see” and to burn away her fears. She may be afraid toknow the scope and depth of the patriarchical control in her life. Perhaps at some level sheprefers to “stay dumb” as Patti Lather (1991) might say. Perhaps she has a fear of reprisal,of speaking her mind, of losing her friends, of being accused of being “sensitive,” or a hostof other less than subtle accusations, if she speaks out about her growing feminist musings(Carol Shields does not use the f-word anywhere in Unless). She writes a contemptuousletter to a male professor who has written a story wherein the male character is offended,assaulted, disgusted, and repulsed by the sight of a mastectomy bra in the window of amedical supply shop. But now the fear has receded. Perhaps something archetypal hastaken place. Reta says, “But now! don’t mind if you kill me” (Shields, 2002,p.309).Perhaps The Burning Muslim Woman is the thrust of the unconscious, the horrificimage of the hand thrusting through the burned body, through the veil, that energizes the75potential to move Reta out of her maidenly innocence, her both blissful and miserable stateof unknowing. “Looking back, I can scarcely believe in such innocence” (Shields, 2002,p.11). Perhaps this is the image of Reta’s initiatory rite of passage in which she meetsthe terrors of destruction and receives the phallic powers of regeneration — notfrom a male figure, but from the Great Goddess, who carries both male and femalewithin her own image. ... (F)or women, the creative process, when engaged at itsdeepest level, demands that we undergo this initiation for its own sake” (Reis,1995,pp.55-59).The Norah image is Persephone, seduced by Hades aided and abetted by Gaia, the earthGoddess who recognizes neither rape nor death as traumatic nor even significant (Berry,1982; Downing, 1992; Reis, 1995). From a Jungian developmental perspective, there is thepossibility that the image of Norah is an aspect of the maiden-mother-crone trilogy and thatthe trauma of witnessing and seemingly reaching right through The Burning MuslimWoman is an initiation into potential transformation.Dreams speak only to the imagination from the imagination since they are psychicphenomenon. Donald (2001) tells us that intuitions of truly creative and novel symbolicexpression come not from thought but from “somewhere else in the mind,” and a series of“fuzzy insights” tease and twist a nebulous intuitive symbol into thought. Language isnever the “inspiration, interpreter, or final judge” of thought. He summarizes his discussionof the inadequacy of language to fully express the thoughts of even the most skilled writerby saying that symbolic expressions are evaluated from “outside the symbol system, from aregion of mind that, in its principles of operation, is different from and much morepowerful than the reach of any consensual expressive system.” These consensual systemsare available to us to satisfy our “deeper semantic intuitions.” Even if we only vaguelysuspect that an idea is valuable, but elusive, we may pursue it “passionately for a lifetime”76(Donald, 2001,p.275). The only instrument we have for listening, for hearing, for seeingour dreams is the imagination. This is difficult for we have learned representationalthinking and we want to make dream images represent. But representational thinking iscalculative thinking. It is also confrontational thinking which is technical thinking thatlimits beings as objects. Reasoning and argumentative thinking have been consideredsuperior, more respectable, objective, rational and logical and thus more responsible thanthe imaginal work of the artist, poet, or fiction writer—and I might add, dream worker.Dream reading could involve us in more radical thinking, that is, “thinking that ispart and parcel of being” (Avens, 1984,p.40). Dreams are within, thus openness andreceptivity to dreams is a form of waiting upon, not waiting for, a form of what Avens calls“meditative” thinking, that is, thinking which pays attention, takes images to heart lettingthem be what they are. According to Hillman quoted in Avens “the heart’s work isimaginational thought” or “imaginational intelligence” (Avens, 1984,p.43). Thus, theheart is not the center of feeling as in our valentine world but is rather the center of sight,the center of imagining.The image of the burning hands and collapsing burning body is horrifying to theego. The image haunted me from first reading through to this writing. I gave myselfpermission to let the grotesque image lie there, inert. I knew it was there. It niggled at thestrangest time just at the edges of thought. I have forced myself in the past to read horrificstories with inhuman images—Middle Ages history, Roots (no fiction there), some parts ofthe Maleficus Malefactum found in women’s history, and Holocaust literature. Hillman’spathologizing the image changed the image. I began to “see” that the image points to the77realm of death, that is, the movement to a psychological perspective. This is the upsidedown world of Hades.Underworld is psyche. When we use the word underworld, we are referring to awholly psychic perspective, where one’s entire mode of being has beendesubstantialized, killed of natural life, and yet is in every shape and sense and sizethe exact replica of natural life (Hiliman, 1979,p.46).Grasping the notion of the underworld as the realm of soul, the psychic realm, requires thatwe address certain barriers which Hiliman identifies as materialism, oppositionalism andChristianism. In particular Christianism has created an ethos of denial of death and a focuson the victory, rising and resurrection. He claims there was a “... strong mission in earlyChristianism to wipe out a fundamental bastion of contemporary polytheism, the Halls ofHades” (Hiliman, 1979,p.86).I think about my childhood Sisters of Service correspondence catechism lessons—lessons my brothers and I completed at the kitchen table under the tutelage of our mother.We studied the Baltimore Catechism during summer lessons at the Sturgeon Lake MissionSchool. I still look automatically upward when I think of heaven and down with a mentionof hell. The strong focus on looking to the future, to the afterlife, to heaven, lookingupward and rising, moves the focus from soul to spirit. In Christian theology, it is the spiritwhich rises from the grave and as Hiliman says, we exchange psyche, soul, the underworldof the gods, for spirit, pneuma. And so the underworld, Hades, death, and Thanatos, weredemonized and death became equated with sin (Hiliman, 1979). “He descended to thedead,” says The Nicene Creed. The classical descent to the underworld became fraughtwith fears of evil, the devil, and damnation.Christianism and the underworld fell into opposition—material, functional, andlogical, and we are left in a condition where Christian consciousness and78psychological soul-making through attention to dreams have been forced intocontradiction” (Hillman, 1979,p.89).The very first dream in my journal, December 1988, is a descent to the underworld—something I surely did not recognize upon waking. I knew nothing of dreams or thearchetypal underworld although I had been plagued by nightmares since childhood. Arelative, thinking that my desperate healing search was taking me into the world of theoccult, sent me a large box filled with books on Catholicism and spirituality. I read Dreamsand Spiritual Growth: A Judeo-Christian Way ofDreamwork the first evening. It said thatI could ask for a dream. I asked. The dream came. I woke up feeling exhilarated, lighter inbody and spirit. In my enthusiasm I totally misinterpreted the dream from a literal and veryegoic perspective (Appendix VI). In much of my cultural milieu, Christ stands between theunderworld and us. Obviously, this has major connotations for those who are committed todreams as the via regis to the unconscious and thus to knowledge and understanding.As Hillman states, Jung was vexed by the problem of the victory of Christ over theunderworld. Jung’s solution was to “darken” the Christ figure with Hermes-Mercurius butnot Hades. Christ became, for Jung, the upperworld archetypal consciousness with HermesMercurius as the archetype of the unconscious. Hiliman notes that Jung retained Hermes as“the only recognized messenger to Hades,” as he is Bringer of Dreams (1979,p.89quoting from the Homeric Hymns translated by Charles Boer). I found that Jung wrote ofHermes as “...the god of revelation, who aspneuma and nous is associated with the wind.He would be the connecting link with the Christian pneuma and the miracle of Pentecost”(1954 [1988],p.20). I have read many Christian books on dreams wherein Hermes isreferenced as the Bringer of Dreams; however, the fundamental notion in Christian dreamwork is that dreams are messages of the spirit, the Christ consciousness (Clift & Clift,791985; Sanford, 1989; Savary, et al., 1984). For me, Huliman’s work clarifies a fundamentaldichotomy, a major contradiction within the Christian adaptation of Jungian theory, that isthe literalization of the underworld. I understand better now why dreams were condemnedby St. Jerome as soothsaying prior to the advent of psychology and the papering over of theomission of the underworld from Christian dream work. The unconscious is treated withlittle if any mention of the underworld except for cautions about the possibility ofpsychosis and encountering evil in dream work (Kelsey, 1976, 1980). As Jung (1954)said,Our mania for rational explanations obviously has its roots in our fear ofmetaphysics, for the two were always hostile brothers. Hence anything unexpectedthat approaches us from the dark realm is regarded either as coming from outsideand therefore as real, or else as an hallucination and therefore not true. The idea thatanything could be real or true which does not come from outside has hardly begunto dawn on contemporary man (p. 16).Christ, the underworld, Hades, evil, death—all must come from the outside thus leaving uswith the problem of dream reading and imagination as outside rather than inside forces.Morton Kelsey speaks to the development of imaginative capacities as beneficial toChristian growth. His chapter on imagination provides step-by-step instructions formeditatively experiencing fantasy images. The intended movement is downward, over theedge of the mountain cliff into the abyss with the purpose of changing our inner world andshaping our lives. He refers to the self as a committee represented by inner figures. Herecommends calling on the power of the inner Christ to forestall one inner figure fromtaking control for then “... my life is chaotic, becomes unconscious, and falls into patternswhich are evil” (Kelsey, 1980,p.220). My Journal May 12, 1989 speaks to my fear andanger around the never-ending warnings and connotations of evil. Demons behind everybush. It would be a long while before I would come to see the idiocy of my acceptance of80patriarchal control through fear of external, free floating demons and evil and to someunderstanding of my complete lack of knowledge of women’s history, mythology, earlygoddess based religions and how the goddess was murdered (Daly, 1978) and femalesymbols became evil.I am reminded of a dream which I recorded in April 1991, entitled “The Presence”(Appendix VII). Upon wakening I wrote, “This dream scared the hell out of me.” Byevening I was filled with fear of the presence in the dream. Somehow, I lost track of thefact that dreams come from inside, not outside. To be honest, I have never again had thecourage to enter into such a deep meditation prior to sleep. The fear remains. I have learnedwell the lessons of the patriarchy.Whether arising from outside or inside, a major shift in consciousness may surelybe experienced as death and/or loss. This surely was my own shift from a BaltimoreCatechism childhood belief in hell to a belief in the misinterpretation of the entire conceptof hell as a “place.” I hadn’t yet arrived at the underworld. Nor did I understand anythingabout Hiliman’s idea following Thomas Carlyle’s Biblical notion of Christ forcingThanatos to hide behind his own door. Christ was thus greater than the greatestof Man-Gods, Hercules, who might have driven Hades from his Throne but had not,like Christ, actually wiped out the entire kingdom, including death itself (1979,p.87).This process of un-making, this massive shift in beliefs beginning in spring andsummer of 1988 was accompanied by a week in hospital with diarrhea, suffering fromdehydration and bleeding from the bowel. After several months of intense prayer andmeditation, my structures were being torn apart by forces I knew nothing about. The rootsthat bound me to meaning in my life were being cut (Appendix VIII). In a desperateattempt to hold myself together and to fill this abyss of dark emptiness, I intensified my81prayer, meditation and reading. I started to write. Three years later, in New York in thesummer of 1991, at the Dream Intensive Workshop, I spoke with one of the workshopleaders, Sister S., a woman whom I intuitively trusted. She explained that this was “HolyShit,” an experience accompanying the release of repressed memories and of purging thetoxicity from the very cells of the body (Appendix IX). Now 16 years later, I understandthat may be an upper world, Jungian interpretation; however, I have come to believe thatboth theoretical perspectives are valuable to dream reading. There are definite connectionsbetween upperworid and underworld. For example, there are a number of other possibilitieslinked to the “Egyptian underworld imagination, [where] the dead walked upside down sothat the stuff of their bowels came out through their mouths” (Hiliman, 1979,p.183). Thisis the underworld, the mythology. This is not the literalization of Hercules cleaning theaccumulated shit of hundreds of years from the Augeian stables. I don’t remember thedetails of the task, but I recall reading about it years ago in the work of Jung. Hillmandetails the association of bowels and insanity, bowels as the seat of the soul, an interiorizedunderworld as it were. Shit in dreams is the great leveler of humanity. “Dreams of diarrhea[are] radical compelling movements into the underworld or as an underworld that has cometo sudden and irrepressible life with us, independent of who and where we are” (Hiliman,19’79,p. 184).The inclusion of shit dreams in this dissertation may seem perverse. Not so. I admitI struggled with my inner sensor/editor. He and I debated endlessly about their inclusion. Idecided these images are important to the notion of death and loss. These are intolerableimages linked to The Burning Muslim Woman. I know that dream workshop participantsalways shy away from discussing shit dreams or sexual dreams. Why? Possibly the82reluctance is linked to the Freudian ideas that abound in our culture regarding toilet trainingand anal retentiveness. It could be Western culture’s iron social control of the body and itsfunction. In the Jungian tradition, shit dreams are variously linked to creative expression,elimination of negativity or aichemical gold. Today, I consider an archetypal psychologyinterpretation wherein we bend to the underworld each day and which bends us torecognize its ongoing and everlasting presence. Hillman (1979) refers back to Plato,Aristophanes and Kerényi who described psychic substance as “paste, clay, dough, moltenmetal,” “mud,” “a swamp of everfiowing excrements,” and “the shit-filled stables ofAugeias” (p. 183). From a feminist perspective, heroism, living out the myth of Hercules,must shift. Shift happens. According to Hiliman (1979), diarrhea “signals the daylightorder at its “end.” The old king falls apart and shits like a baby—decomposition andcreation at once...”(p.184).When I first wrote about dream reading in the winter of 2005, I was relying on thesymbolic approach of Jung. Now in summer 2008, I find that approaching the dream figureof The Burning Muslim Woman through archetypal psychology, rooted in Jungian theory,is very different and leads to whole different circles of meaning about woman anddepression. Through a theory of Norah, I believe I have glimpsed dimly a possible psychicchallenge to the patriarchal order. I also believe the psychic resistance may come throughdreams as I resist the change in the fear that knowing the reality of the suppression ofwomen in the patriarchal order and acting on that knowing will turn my entire world upsidedown and inside out. Having experienced the intense fear of losing faith, family and friendsif I act on my changing belief system, I also believe I understand why I may choose to tryhard to ignore the psychic demand for movement. Chaos, uncertainty and disintegration83bring fear of being considered insane, crazy and weird, not to mention that if the changerevolves around religious dogma, condemned to everlasting Hellfire. Dream work mayeducate the imagination and bring forth different worlds that deeply challenge the old. Inmy experience, dreams sometimes first create an incredible lightness of being—quicklyfollowed by old belief system editors settling over the soul like a shroud.We have much to learn if we pay attention to the imaginative possibilities of thedream that emerges from psyche that is for the most part autonomous and unconscious.Women can learn to trust that working as fthey were a dream with the images that emergehas far better possibility of undermining the patriarchy than images already available in ourhyperrational patriarchal pornographic imagination. I must continue to learn to trust myimagination, to understand that the psyche is not controlled by the patriarchy even though itmay be colonized by patriarchal images. I have learned that fictive dream images may beinterpreted through a wholly different lens than the patriarchal order invested as it is inmonotheism, its One Father God. The additional possibilities of archetypal psychologyprovide for a multiplicity of personalities in the dream, a “we” not an “I.” I may learn tolisten and trust the spontaneous image, the still small voice, the images manifest in mydreams. I must continue to listen to the voice saying, “Write Dreams Along the Way.”Dreams help me to face the fear of insanity and of being thought emotional, irrational andhypersensitive.As dream Norah sits on the brink, we might think of Reta as a dynamic system. TheBurning Muslim Woman dream image is an emotional shock, a trauma, a pathologizingimage in an alchemical psychic process. It is emerging mythical and archetypal energiesavailable or surging deeper and stronger than we usually allow through our linear screens84of consciousness. William James and Ilya Prigogine make essentially the same point. Acomplex structure, like a human being, must disperse significant energy to preserve itscomplexity. This surge of energy, or a perturbation, reaches critical point; the systemamplifies the energy thus driving it to a new state that is more ordered, more coherent,more connected. I would like to think that the same emergence of a deeper consciousnessof learning, a perturbation, an interruption, might be achieved through the generativeprocess of dream reading as literary engagement.To conclude this chapter, I ask myself how reading this series of literary dreamimages is different than reading Unless simply as a novel. To begin, I thought it passingstrange that Carol Shields used the detail of the unnamed Muslim woman to “serve” as theimage of suicidal, silenced woman in Toronto, Canada. Juxtaposing Hiliman’ s work withThe Burning Muslim Woman provided a deeper, richer, different imaginative experience.This chapter implies discontinuity and traces ways of thinking and imagining differentlyinstead of accepting and legitimating what are already the “truths” of our culture. Thisreading of a pathological literary dream image teaches that the reading the novel as fitwere a dream pushes me to be attentive to details that may have gone unnoticed andunremarked. In dream reading, it is critical to notice and to go beyond thinking about theirstrangeness. These maybe symbolic of ideas we have put out of bounds in our attempts toconform to certain cultural practices. My theory of Norah tells me that Reta has absorbedthe culturally specific demand that woman express her disapproval or unhappiness in silentways. Through this dream reading, I learn to travel the river of silence and find thepossibility to express my anger, to question authority and to resist those who have power(Boler, 1999). I must explore emotion since it is a deep site of social control. Boler (1999)85claims that the social control of emotion is mapped differently onto female bodies thanonto male bodies. Further, she says schools teach boys to control emotion to savethemselves from difficulties. Girls are taught that emotional control is necessary to preservetheir relationships with others. Boler (1999) says that “Pastoral power is a form ofgoverning populations by teaching individuals to police themselves [and it] manifeststhrough a combination of scientific and religious authority that governs emotionaldiscourses”(pp.32 - 33). In the context of this fictive dream series, the blackenedpathological Burning Muslim Woman portends the transformation of Reta’s beliefs.I want educators to question the legitimacy of authorized versions of truth. Readingnovels as ffrees the teacher’s imagination to begin to question how we use unexaminedversions of truth. For example, Boler likens the mental hygiene movement of the 1920swith the emotional intelligence and character education of today. How many educatorsconsider that character education is used to exert power over both students and teachers?In Chapter 4, I develop a hermeneutic reading of the literary dream images whicharise from the unconscious of Reta Winters and disrupt the “normal.” I examine thepossibilities for transformation of silence and fear into agency and changing subjectivity.864.Unlearning the World: A Theory of RetaBreathing inrenderspowerless the ego.Enables the energy of the first raw wounded thoughtto emergebirthed in gushing red across the page.Breathing outenablesfreshness to spiralcreating a lifeof webbed thoughts ina torrent of lettersconnected by emptiness.Personal Journal, 1993***There is no-thing except that consciousness makes it so.January 27, 1991Reiguere’°In my dream, apowerful, peaceful presence seeks to “show” me that man, mys4f is moving to anunderstanding ofconsciousness linked to all humankind. A sense of Catholicism moving through olddoctrines and beliefs to a new age ofthought whereby the unique individuality ofpersons expressed in manyways is everywhere linked to One Divine Source. “Someone” speaks, not clearly, but seemingly expressingintuitively the underlying invisible energy that brings each person mysteriously to sense a needfor newness inthought. New thoughts thatfocus on the god-like image imprinted on the psyche ofevery individual on planetearth. New thoughts which struggle to come to the surface ofconsciousness. Because these thoughts are stillinexpressible, Ifeel like lam surrounded by words that I cannot “see” or “hear” yet I both see and hearthem. Ifeel a contradictory sense ofstruggle and ofdeep peacefulness. I awake with a deep inner smile.In this chapter I dream read a theory of Reta and a fear of knowing through TheBaby Shower Invitation and related dream images such as Reta’ s sent and unsent letters. Ielaborate the impact of literary engagement in dream reading on the transformation of fearinto personal and professional action. I begin this chapter with the Religuere dream because“At the time of this dream, I recorded its etymology in my journal as to re-connect to the source from Latinreliguere. Religio and ligare to connect with prefix re (again). That is, to re-connect to the source. I did notcite the source of this idea then but I use the word with that connotation.87the almost inexpressible depth of the paradox of struggle (fear) and peace together with theseemingly explicit dream thoughts of change to my personal version of Catholic doctrine.The dream helped me to understand something of the deep struggle necessary to overcomemy fears and bring new beliefs to consciousness. Since the dream, I remind myself oftenthat all is connected. What does the literary dream image of The Baby Shower Invitationtell me about the transformation of Reta’ s consciousness?Reta and her family live in the house where the McGinn family lived before them.The McGinns are woven through Unless. While painting the bathroom, Reta retrieves a stillsealed envelope addressed to “Mrs. Lyle McGinn” from behind the radiator. Inside theancient envelope, is an invitation to a baby shower dated March 13, 1960. Reta isconsumed with questions and imaginary answers to the riddle of Mrs. McGinn. Significantto this dream reading, is the fact that Reta does not know Mrs. McGinn’ s first name and sheassumes that her mother-in-law, Lois, didn’t care much for Mrs. McGinn and did not knowher first name either. Both assumptions, we learn from Lois, are wrong. Lois is intriguedwith Crystal McGinn and her family. Lois had been invited to have coffee with CrystalMcGinn. Now, years later, she is still upset that Mrs. McGinn had overstepped andpresumed to ask her which University she had gone to. “Not ifshe’d gone to university, butwhere. Mrs. McGinn had gone to Queen’s and studied economics. ... They hadn’t seenmuch of each other after that, nothing more than an occasional wave” (Shields, 2002,p.297 emphasis in the original). Reta muses much about Mrs. McGinn, early feminism andthe girdles of the 1960’s. She skims aside her thoughts about feminism in her generation.What is Reta afraid to know? I believe that she is afraid to know the depth of thepatriarchy buried in her consciousness for if she “knows,” she must be accountable and88responsible to do something. To take some action. She is afraid to know that she isdifferent. That she is successful. That she can be both mother and author without damagingher children or their father. She is afraid to know that her need to be the perfect mother, tofit the pre-formed concrete mold of motherhood, arises from outside herself but also fromwithin. She is afraid to know the painful amputation of being different from family andfriends. She is afraid to know that she is afraid to know. She is afraid to know that she caninvite her soul back but that the invitation comes with some cost. “The retrieval [of hersoul] requires several ingredients: naked honesty, stamina, tenderness, sweetness,ventilation of rage, and humor. Combined, these make a song that calls the soul backhome” (Estes, 1992,pp.6-7).This writing feels difficult and anxious as thoughts slip-slide, seemingly unwillingto emerge from ... from where? I write for an imaginary reader thus engendering someself-censorship and some hope that the reader will not know me. I write for an imaginarywriter. My “well taught consciousness” (Grumet, 1988,p.59) resists the consciousness thatparticipates in the act of literary anthropology and in opening the door to potential changebecause of this reading and writing. As I write I am aware that the text stops and starts andstops again. This is not a text for the readerly “good” reader, that is, the reader who canpredict where the text might go (Sumara, 1994). Sometimes the text leaps here and there.Sometimes there may be contradictions. Sometimes the text may be receivable. I amindebted to Dr. Carl Leggo who provided ideas from Barthes (1977) who discusses thenotion of readerly and writerly texts and then adds “a third textual entity.”The receivable would be the unreaderly text which catches hold. ... This text,guided, armed by a notion of the unpublishable, would require the followingresponse: I can neither read nor write what you produce, but I receive it, like a fire,a drug, an enigmatic disorganization” (p. 118 emphasis in the original).89Dreams are a potential source of disruption to “normal.” Dreams compel me tothink again, to feel again, to seek the hidden structures of the cultural education of mychildhood with all its mimetic elements of gesture, imitation, mime and skill and its tacitknowledge that establishes my acceptance of conventional beliefs. Dreams have led me torecognize that I am an agent of the very patriarchy I despise rather than an agent of self.With each new reading of Unless as dream, I am struck by the possibilities dreams bringforth for the creation of a feminist consciousness.In this chapter, I write a theory of Reta unlearning the world through a series of as ifReta dreams and the hermeneutic principles of dream interpretation as suggested byBulkeley (1994). I write from within the world guided by what David G. Smith in a 2005doctoral seminar on wisdom literature called the hermeneutic imagination. Sumara (1994)says that “The hermeneutic imagination seeks to illuminate the conditions which makeparticular interpretations possible, and furthermore to imagine what conditions might alterour interpretations” (p. 74 emphasis in the original). Hermeneutic interpretation createsmeaning and emerges from “a dedicated mindfulness of the matter of interest” (Sumara,1994,p.75). Bulkeley elaborates six principles of hermeneutic dream interpretationemerging from the work of philosopher, Hans-Georg Gadamer. These principles are1. encountering the dream as text;2. having some awareness of my own personal and gendered cultural biases andtheir influence on the dream interpretations;3. understanding that I have no knowledge of what will emerge from theinterpretation and working to be open to startling, even radical and strangemeanings;4. playing with the dream and surrendering to its unfolding through a dialogue ofquestion, answer and question again;5. recognizing the criteria for internal validity, that is how well the interpretationharmonizes with the dream series or other aspects of the dream and externalvalidity as in coherence between the interpretation and my other knowledge;90and examining how well the interpretation “works” with my personal needs andinterests; and,6. opening new areas of meaning, raising new questions, widening and broadeningmy understanding while recognizing endless, ceaseless interpretativepossibilities (Gadamer, 1982,pp.111-118).Gadamer says that “The hermeneutical experience is the corrective by means ofwhich the thinking reason escapes the prison of language, and it is itself constitutedlinguistically” (1982,p.363). Dream reading The Baby Shower Invitation may evoke atiny crack into the tomb of the inexpressible. Kiages (1997) claims that in The Laugh ofthe Medusa, Hélêne Cixous tells us that “we must look for women’s writing in places, andusing instruments not traditionally associated with writing, because those traditions aredefined by male authors” (p. 3). Cixous coined the phrase “1 ‘ecriture feminine” and at thesame time claimed that novels are the “allies of representationalism” speaking a stablelanguage that is pointed, pinned, penned, and phallic. It is poetry, says Cixous, that setslanguage free since it is closer to the unconscious and thus closer to the repressed, thefemale body and female sexuality (Klages, 1997). I believe that dreams, like poetry, canplay a role in setting language free.I chose The Baby Shower Invitation from myriad possibilities because the imagehaunted me through many readings of Unless. My reading of Reta Winters lets me thinkthat not only do I want baby showers included in the Western literary canon but also I wishto include dreams as the doorway to myth which holds legitimate experience and legitimateknowledge. Dream reading The Baby Shower Invitation and related metaphors revealsseveral feminist issues and the emergence of feminist consciousness: subjectivity,sexuality, gender, the body, and political practice as absence from history and culture. It91also exposes struggles with feminist thought as being unpopular with many including someof my own many selves.This chapter further supports my commitment to personal transformation togetherwith some small assistance to the radical undermining of patriarchal consciousness. In thelate 1980’s and 1990’s, I learned that my work to change education must begin with mycommitment to personal and professional transformation. Without realizing it, I positionedmyself as a curriculum reconceptualist dedicated to “constant redefinition” (Pinar, et al.,2004). I began to take pride in rather than cry too long over being called a bitch as well asbalisy, determined and aggressive together with defiant, incorrigible, forward, rebellious,and a troublemaker. In February 1993, I found Women Who Run With the Wolves: Mythsand Stories ofthe Wild Woman Archetype. Among many other treasures in Estes’ book, Ifound La Loba who “sings from the knowing of los ovarios, a knowing from deep withinthe body, deep within the mind, deep within the soul” (1992,p.33). Also, I found the mythof The Handless Maiden (Estes, 1992,pp.387 - 455). My work with women and dreamsconfirms that to dream of various forms of bandaged, injured, cut off, and shrunken handshas profound transformative implications for the dreamer. When Reta dreams The BabyShower Invitation, she may be receiving a psychic invite to re-grow her hands thusbecoming her own all-one woman-person, a woman who “only wants to be human.”Reta translates for a feminist writer. She reads Derrida. She reads Virginia Woolf.Perhaps Reta reads at a distance. Perhaps she suffers from an abstract, disembodied,intellectual feminism. Perhaps this is an invitation to an embodied, lived experience of thedisintegration of the boundaries between inside/outside. Perhaps this is Reta’ s metaphoricalgut response invitation to re-grow her hands which have been cut off by the foolish ruling92benevolent Father, editor Scribano, who “dies” from a fall down the stairs thus becomingan abject relentless superego in the unconscious. Myth lives in the psyche. In ancientwomen’s religion, the Goddess wielded the ax that ritually cut off the maiden’s hands as aninitiation rite. Today feminist writers such as Belenky (1986), Boler (1986), DeSalvo(1999), and Doll (1995) might refer to this as finding her own voice, defining her ownsubjectivity or releasing her imagination in the postmodern equivalent of the myth of TheHandless Maiden. These stories in which women are taken down and cut apart to be usedin another way are the work of the underworld where helpful, integrative forces await.Transformative woman stories must be told as the initiation of the development ofa common ground between masculine and feminine resulting in women who are “stillfriendly, but beneath the skin ... most definitely no longer tame” (Estes, 1992,p.454).Perhaps Reta will grow her own garden, destroy the ideological boundaries separatingmasculine and feminine, reason and emotion. Perhaps she will let the wilderness arise inwhat has been a well-structured, clipped and cultivated garden.I deliberately chose not to focus a feminist theory of Reta through a Jungian lens.After much thought and reading several versions of the Demeter-Persephone myth, I chosenot to elaborate Reta as a Demeter figure although a case could be made for MotherDemeter aspects of Reta as provider of nutrition and balanced meals and a mother whopersists in seeking her daughter. Daly (1978) writes that Jung says of “Demeter (and thoseof her kind) that ‘she compels the gods by her stubborn persistence to grant her the right ofpossession over her daughter” (p. 254). Daly is incensed that Jung confuses righteouswrath with stubbornness, Demeter’ s right to a loving relationship with her daughter as theright of possession, and even more infuriating, that the gods grant her this right! Even93worse, Jung refers to the Divine Daughter, Persephone, as the wife of Zeus/Pluto, the wifeto whom the god must surrender each summer. Daly (1978) definitively discards “theillusion of equality projected through Jung’s androcratic animus-anima balancing act” (p.280). My experience with Christian dream workshops led by Christian women leads me toconcur with Daly when she explains that women are trained to be thankful for “tokeninclusion” and “complementarity.”Daly is even more scathing in her comments about Freud, “Tokenism is embeddedin the very fabric of Jung’s ideology, in contrast to the obvious misogynism of Freud’sfallacious phallocentrism” (1978,p.280). Thinking about the number of times Reta refersto Norah as good, nice, and docile, I am inclined to think that Reta’ s long, calm, slow, quietrise to anger suggests she is fighting against her inner voice which tells her that to be“normal” is to accept the lobotomized, tame behavior of “indoctrinated, artifactual, manmade femininity” (Daly, 1978,p.287). It is entirely possible that Jung would havedismissed Reta as animus ridden, the negative side of the archetypal bitch, when she finallycame to voice her disgust with the patriarchy (Aguiar, 2001,pp.6 - 9).Reta’ s is a well enculturated consciousness learned through experiences which havefashioned her orientations to the world. This implicit knowledge is shaped by herparticipation in a particular family, religion or not, as well as education, political andeconomic systems, in short, her culture. Reta lives through multiple uninterrogatedassumptions and the traditions, theories and authoritative discourses that have shaped herindependently of what she may or may not have chosen because they have not beensubjected to conscious thought. This is the struggle to bring forth a world which has “noinstitutional privilege because its practices are in opposition to socially sanctioned views94and normative meanings. It is the discourse of subversion” (Britzman, 2003,P.42).Perhaps dreams are the voice of struggle. Like in a theory of Norah, I now turn to considerexcerpts from Unless written as fthey were nocturnal dreams.Excerptsfrom Unless (Shields, 2002) considered as a series ofReta ‘s dreamsDream #1I am painting the room in our house where the McGinns lived before us. I find a baby shower invitation in asealed envelope behind a bathroom radiator, one of those old-fashioned, many ribbed hot water affairs withornamental spines. It is addressed to “Mrs. Lyle McGinn.” It is dated March 13, 1961. A woman sits off inthe shadows. She laughs a tiny, whispery laugh, and draws her hand up against her mouth. I am perplexed(Shields, p. 53).Dream #2I am at my desk writing. Around me are hazy voices in chorus repeating “How did you fmd the time? Howdid you fmd the time?”(p.4). The scene changes. I am sitting in an office with a small, chilly, stooped,round-headed man who is slow to smile. He is an unattractive man, almost entirely lipless beneath a bonydomineering nose. “Tell me Mrs. Winters, how are you able to balance your family and professional life?Wouldn’t you prefer to pursue your own writing rather than translate Dr. Westerman’s work? How did youand your husband meet? What does he think of your writing?” I stare back hard. A woman laughs. We are ina cappuccino bar in mid-Toronto. I am wearing a soft jade jacket of cashmere lined with silk. It has crystalbuttons and mandarin collar. My drab beige raincoat hangs over a chair. The interviewer ignores me as hestares across the room at Gore Vidal. Then I am reading a bold black headline that says, “Mrs. Winters lookedall of her forty-three years.” I shrink inside myself (pp. 30— 34).Dream #3A squirming trilobite stares out from the lake bottom where it is stuck in the thick mud (p. 112).Dream #4In the great, wide bed (in the writer’s suite), I have a disturbing but not unfamiliar dream — it is the dream Ialways have when I am away from Orangetown, away from the family. I am standing in the kitchen at home,producing a complicated meal for guests, but there is not enough food to work with. In the fridge sits a singleegg’1 and maybe a tomato. How am I going to feed all those hungry mouths (p. 83)?Dream #5Norah is attending a Saturday-morning story hour. She is about four. She sits cross-legged and absolutelystill, wearing only a nametag. She is listening to the adventures of Bluebeard and looks ready to shed tearsover the fate of the twelve dancing princesses (p. 38).Dream #6There is a pile of unsent letters beside a mastectomy bra. A very angry woman screams her outrage againstthe author of a story expressing disgust with the garment. I try to explain that I have written several protestletters in the past. I don’t say that I didn’t send the letters or sign my real name to them(p.309).Dream #7Tom and I have sex. I feel guilty. I think, “We have regular sex and we are able, mostly, to sleep. It’s almostnegligent of us, two heartbroken parents; yet to all appearances, we are able to carry on with our lives” (p.184).See Appendix 8 for research on the mythology of the cosmic egg95Dream #8I see My Thyme is Up, newly reviewed and found not simple, but subtle and subversive. On the cover ofThyme in Bloom the name Dr. Charles Casey appears in the same size type as Reta Winters. My mind flies upto the box-room skylight, from whence it looks down on me, mockingly (p. 318).I read the emerging feminist consciousness of Reta Winters through the above as ifdream series in the course of which the “I” of Reta is rebirthed in the writing of Unlesswhich begins in June of the new century and ends in February. Reta unfolds in everysentence as she comes to know and not know herself, and to know herself again differently.This is a time of ambiguity and difficulty, a liminal time. The online dictionary atwww.datasegment.com has an interesting definition of liminality.’2Our rational culturedoes not encourage bringing forth a new world. It looks for a life-text that enablesrationality, order, control, and predictability. Instead, through a dream reading, we mightmake the world strange. We cannot predict what the dream reading will bring forth.According to Richardson (1997),Cultures provide prefabricated narratives for hooking up the events of our lives.As cultural studies and discourse analysis demonstrate, those narratives aremultiple, contradictory, changing and differentially available. As agents in ourown construction, we choose among available cultural stories, apply them to ourown experiences ... [and] often operate within contradictory implied narratives,and sometimes seek stories that transgress the culturally condoned ones (p.181).Conscious minds, human societies and their institutions are mutually produced. RetaWinters is “an implied subject—implied, that is, from acts of expression—the self is asocial and linguistic construct, a nexus of meaning rather than an unchanging entity”(Kerby, 1991,p.34). Reta’s consciousness is “shot through with cultural influences ... [sheis] in the firm grip of the cultural web ... [and] prospers in proportion to the richness of[her] links with culture” (Donald, 2001,p.151). Reta like her author is white, middle12http://on1inedictionary.clatasegment.com defmes liminality as a “temporary state during a rite of passagewhen the participant lacks social status or rank, is required to follow specified forms of conduct, and isexpected to show obedience and humility.”96class, and has three daughters. She is well-educated, middle age, and lives with Tom towhom she is not married but is. As Reta writes she narrates Tom, her daughters Norah,Natalie and Christine, friends, mother-in-law, Lois, and Danielle Westerman. Two othercharacters are important to her emerging consciousness. Her first editor, Mr. Scribano, “satin his big father bear chair” when she met him in his office (Shields, 2002,P.176). He“dies” from a fall down the stairs just as Reta “awakens” and says “Suddenly it was clear tome,” that “the novel, if it is to survive, must be redrafted” (Shields, 2002,p.172). Hersecond editor, Mr. Springer, prods her into facing her growing knowledge of the casualdisregard for women. Thyme in Bloom might be a metaphor for the flowering of Reta.Reta writes these individuals as characters in her culture as she creates herself aspartner, mother, friend, writer, translator and daughter-in-law. Consciousness includes“conscious capacity [which] is ultimately the foundation of self-awareness” (Donald,2001,p.7). Reta continuously generates her sense of personal identity as she narrates herpast (Kerby, 1991). “I dabbled in writing. It was my macrame, my knitting. Not long after,however, I did start to get serious and joined a local writers’ workshop” (Shields, 2002,p.4). Macrame. Knitting. Reta becomes serious about her writing, butthe cognitive tools that we use to do much of our thinking seem to be dependent onour cultural institutions, and all our symbolic tools are imported from outside—thatis, from culture. This raises questions about the sources of human awareness, andthe role of consciousness in a being that is capable of such intense collectiveidentification (Donald, 2001,p.23).I would re-write Donald’s use of “all” to “many” or “most, because I believe that theunconscious, if we are noticing our dreams, brings us tools from the inside, that is thepsyche. I think that Reta must question the source of her awareness. It is her writing thatbrings her to question. To question is to live in ambiguity and ambiguity is a perturbation97of consciousness. Fleener (2002) and Capra (1996) explicate Ilya Prigogine’s theory ofdissipative structures. Capra (1996) writesMany of the key characteristics of dissipative structures—the sensitivity to smallchanges in the environment, the relevance of previous history at critical points ofchoice, the uncertainty and unpredictability of the future—are revolutionary newconcepts from the point of view of classical science but are an integral part ofhuman experience (p. 193).Culture, predominately the language of the patriarchy, constitutes the symbolic aswell as woman’s subject position; thus escape is difficult. Since life and cognition areinseparably connected, when Reta links writing to macrame and knitting, she conjures up aweb of writing herself through the unpredictability of her beliefs. The many nodes andbranches in the web include being mother to Norah and the “small changes” such asthoughts triggered about possible explanations for Norah’s behavior as Reta reads the dailypapers and magazines which come to her home. House/home in dreams may be a metaphorfor the inner world, the psyche with its many rooms. The papers and magazines may be thepotential for ideas both those Reta likes and those that perturb her inner belief system. TheBaby Shower Invitation may be linked with a shower of new ideas or perhaps a shower ofmoisture for the growth of the soul.The human mind generates and assimilates culture; it is a bio-cultural hybrid andthus cannot come into existence on its own. Donald points out that from our earliest birth asa species, humanity has relied upon collectively created “distributed” systems of thoughtand memory in which intellectual work is shared across many nervous systems (Donald,2001). Similar ideas are found in Houston (1987), Capra, (1997), Johnson (2001), andRussell (1983). When this distributive network is loaded with the intellectual work of themale of the species, such as in the great Western literary canon, and when cultural98achievements are the programming for the communication networks forming the collectivehuman mind, and when as very young children we assume our basic “tribal identity” and“social group” through mimesis, what then is the bio-cultural mind of woman? Whenmodels of thinking, feeling, perception, and sensation are built up from birth or before,reinforced by language, social institutions, and the behavior of those around us, changeentails struggle. In the Western cultural canon, seeing, experiencing, noticing, and feelingare subordinate to thinking, argument, analysis, and received knowledge. Change then isbounded by invisible underground chains forged as consciousness through learned biocultural frames of reference. How is it possible to shift patriarchal consciousness?Perhaps The Baby Shower Invitation leads Reta to rebirthing, to considering morecarefully her place in her world. My personal experience with changing belief at midlifeattests to the difficulty of change. This is very difficult work. The notion of individualism,that I can somehow “think for myself,” and that I am “self-made” is rendered absurd byDonald’s argument that “Culture distributes cognitive activity across many brains anddominates the minds of its members” (2001,p.150). Grumet (1988) argues that thedeceptive dream of individualism, independence is dead; it is just not buried. I understandthat in Western culture we deeply believe in individualism. However, I believe that ourthinking is greatly influenced by our participation in a particular culture. There is no doubtthat I am powerfully indebted to all those who are part of my becoming. For reasons madeobvious in this dissertation, I also believe it is possible to learn to think independently, toextricate oneself from patriarchal thought to attain varying degrees of autonomy. Writingabout perception, its shaping and our potential to be mislead by our past experiences,Rosenblatt (1978) asserts that we can learn new ways and make new interpretations. She99points out that “As important as the interdependence of the self and the world is thepotentiality of choice among alternatives, the capacity to revise and reshape our perceptionsand our actions” (p. 172). At the same time, Catherine Belsey says thatmeanings control us, inculcate obedience to the discipline inscribed in them. Andthis is by no means purely institutional or confined to the educational process. Ageneration ago campaigners for women’s rights recognized (not for the first time)the degree to which ‘woman’ meant domesticity, nurturing, dependence, and theways in which anti-feminist jokes, for instance, reproduced the stereotypes of thehelpless little girl or the aging harridan (2002,p.4).Belsey explains, for example, how freedom, equality and choice have become code wordsthat uphold the ideologies of capitalism, “... the inscription of a point of view does nothave to be conscious or deliberate” (Belsey, 2002,p.25). Supported by Oliver (2004),Belsey explains how it is possible for the oppressed to reaffirm the values of the repressiveapparatus even while remaining oppressed. Cultural inscription comes through “religion,the family, the political system, even unions, the media, sport, literature, [and] the arts[all] produce and reproduce the meanings and values which represent the relationship weimagine we have to our real conditions of existence” (2002,p.34). How then does onebreak the codes inscribed through culture? This difficult process is unfolding in theconsciousness of Reta Winters.The dream of The Baby Shower Invitation could be considered an initiatory dream,that is, a dream that signals the beginning of a process of change. “Dr. Jung assigned greatimportance to the first dream in an analysis [since] it often has anticipatory value” (Jung &Franz, 1964,p.329). Unless provides some psychological insight into the struggle of theunfolding woman consciousness of Reta Winters as she reveals her inner conversationswhile developing the sequel to My Thyme is Up, entitled Thyme in Bloom. She writes herconsiderations of the many possible explanations offered by her and to her for Norah’s100silent vigil on Bloor Street. She feeds her family, cleans the house, has lunch with herfriends, shops, meets and talks to her editors. She is an ordinary woman. She discussestranslation and the vagaries of life with Danielle Westerman. She feels guilty. She feelsguilty because she has sex with Tom. She is afraid of her desire. Perhaps she keeps busybecause “what is waiting for [her], in a suddenly idle moment, is the seep of rage” (Aguiar,2001, p. 78 quoting Toni Morrison in Jazz).As Reta carries on her normal life, her mind considers many possibilities. Shewatches her mind, hears her mind, sees her mind. The specter of her absent daughter hangssilently in every room of her consciousness. Still, she is an ordinary woman. She wondershow she copes with Norah’s absence. Kerby (1991), Donald (2002) and Lodge (2002)suggest that literature must form part of the database of consciousness studies. Donaldstates thatthe best writers have pushed the subjective exploration of the mind much furtherthan would be permissible in clinical or experimental psychology ... writers alwayshave an implicit psychology, which reflects the way the culture regards the humancondition, including the condition of the psyche itself, and of awareness. Novelistsin particular often explore our deepest assumptions about awareness. Theirportrayals of it constitute a vast, unsystematic collection of phenomena observedfrom the inside and are possibly the most authoritative descriptions we have (2001,p.78).Lodge (2002) reaches a similar conclusion to Donald and Kerby. He states that the contestbetween literary and scientific theories of consciousness is unnecessary. “Literatureconstitutes a kind of knowledge about consciousness which is complementary to scientificknowledge” (Lodge, 2002,p.5). Further, Lodge (2002) quotes Stuart Sutherland in theInternational Dictionary ofPsychology, “Consciousness is a fascinating but elusivephenomenon; it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved”(p.6).Lodge also cites physicist James Trefil who concedes that “no matter how my brain works,101no matter how much interplay there is between my brain and my body, one single factremains ... I am aware of a self that looks out at a world from somewhere inside my skull”(Lodge, 2002,P.8). As a dream, The Baby Shower Invitation tells us that something ishappening within the “I” that thinks, feels, perceives, has sensation, and calls itself RetaWinters.Reta is a very busy and unified consciousness “center.” One of her polyphrenic“yous” assesses multilayered situations in depth, simultaneously, and very deliberately. Shemonitors her mind and monitors her own monitoring:I think I was too busy thinking about the business of being a writer, about beingwriterly and fretting over whether Tom’s ego was threatened and being inDanielle’s shadow, never mind Derrida, and needing my own writing space andturning thirty-five and feeling older than I’ve ever felt since (Shields, 2002,p.7).As a character in Unless, Reta demonstrates metacognition, that is self-consciousness, thatis mostly “unspoken, yet potentially spoken” (Donald, 2001,p.84). A supportive birthmetaphor, an upcoming 44th birthday as well as Norah’s sitting shivah’3for Goodness on asquare of pavement on Bloor Street are both crisis and turning point. Kerby (1991) quotesRoland Barthes about the “reality” of narrative, both literary fiction and historicaldiscourse,The function of narrative is not to ‘represent,’ it is to constitute a spectacle.Narrative does not show, does not imitate. ... ‘What takes place’ in a narrative isfrom the referential (reality) point of view literally nothing; what happens islanguage alone, the adventure of language ... (p. 93 emphasis in the original).Unless constitutes a deeply understated spectacle. Reta keeps her fears for Norah dreadfullyprivate. Perhaps Reta is self-conscious about her emerging feminism, having notconsidered it necessary even though she translates for feminist, Danielle Westerman. Or13Shiva is “the Destroyer,” the third member of the Hindu Trimurti, along with Brahma and Vishnu.Shivah is a Jewish mourning period of seven days observed after the funeral of a close relative. Webster’sCollege Dictionary, Random House, New York: 2001.102perhaps she fears the phallologocentric’4compulsion to pin down, stabilize, order or penthe concept. Reta refuses to be a public “spectacle” by exhibiting anger, rage, sense of lossor deep fear. But Reta’syears of looking straight into a straight mirror have reflected back clearly only thespectacle and rule of the father. We know it well. But we also know our othernessby virtue of being in the dark and on the outside of those refractions: knowingourselves in the hidden and oblique spaces accessible through the curved specularmirror (Irigaray in Luke & Gore (Eds.), 1992,p.3).Reta has voiced her concerns with self-identity but only marginally—now Norah’sdefection from the school of the patriarchy to the school of the streets precipitates a crisis.The Invitation becomes urgent. She experiences more difficulty with “the endurance ofcultural myths with accounts of experience that contradict them” (Grumet, 1988,p.60).Reta begins to unlearn the world which has taught her that identity must remain intact andpredictable. Kerby statesQuestions of identity and self-understanding arise primarily in crisis situations andat certain turning points in our routine behavior. Such events often call for self-appraisal. That we have, at any moment, the beliefin a continuous and relativelyunchanging identity is itself often little more than one story we have learned to tellourselves (1991,p.7).Faced with her daughter’s crisis, Reta’s questions can no longer be denied.The Baby Shower Invitation may be an opening to the question of whether Reta canescape from the belief structuring imposed by language and its attendant ideologies(Greene, 1995; Lewis, 1993). Reta’s writing challenges the ruling ideology through theprocess of feminist emergence. She begins to look at things as though they could beotherwise. She taps into the flow of her imagination (Greene, 1995). Through writing andre-writing character’s lives in Thyme in Bloom and through her sent and unsent letters, she14Made up of penis, words, and centered. Used by feminist critics to indicate language driven by malereasoning and featuring misogynistic logic or argument.103births multiple perspectives. She reinterprets her early experiences and considers thepossibility that she can “carry out the possible rather than the necessary” (Greene, 1995,p.21). Through a combination of imaginative experiences and emergent thought, she beginsto work through her fear-imposed inertia. Reta is a translator. She must break up anddeconstruct a phallogocentric language and cultural system if she desires to unlearn herworld and conceive a new consciousness.(I)magining things being otherwise may be a first step toward acting on the beliefthat they can be changed. ... A space of freedom opens before the person moves tochoose in the light of possibility; she or he feels what it signifies to be an initiatorand an agent, existing among others but with the power to choose for herself orhimself (Greene, 1995,p.22).Reta is not concerned with “the process or unfolding of life events, but rather makes thewriting itself an aspect of the selthood ... [she] ... experiences and brings into being”(Luce-Kapler, 2004,p.4). Reta writes herself, enacting subjectivity and identity changes inmultiple and various ways. Her writing signifies “both continuity with an ongoing life anda community, and dissociation within that life—gaps, amputations, silences” (Perreault,1995,p.4). Through her language Reta transgresses the traditional woman’s roles andcontinually produces change and renewal in her self. Reta is a fluid experience.A number of questions are unspoken through Reta’s rebirthing: “Who will constructthe categories into which “I” and “we” fit ourselves? Whose words will we attend to?Whose texts will we honor?” Rather than being named by a male God as in Genesis or byman as historically constructed by man both writing and then reading Genesis, feministsdeclare their intention to name the “I” who writes. Reta Winters refuses to comply witheditor Springer’s condescending patriarchal, universalizing, assumed necessity to rename,reshape, and re-author herself, aka Thyme in Bloom. In the game of “1-den-ti-ty” politics104(Shields, 2002,P.275), woman silence and erasure, Springer attempts to speakfor, tospeak about and to speak as. Reta reveals Springer’s fear of being rivaled by a femalewriter with a female character at the story center. He wants Reta’ s submissive return to herproper sphere and the transfer of control of her writing, her body, herself:,to the discretionof a male editor. At first through flattery and then through demands, he suggests that Retamake afew editorial changes to her novel:1. recreate Roman, the trombonist, as a violinist;2. enlarge Roman’s role ... his interiority; at midlife he wants, yearns, for more;3. change the setting from Wychwood to New York or some other large urban city;4. change the title to Bloom, “it gestures toward the Bloom of Ulysses, LeopoldBloom, that great Everyman;5. change the author’s name, Reta Winters to R. R. Summers. Does it matter if itsounds like its male? “You’re dealing with universal themes. You’ve gone beyondthe gendered world;” and the fmal “tweak,”6. “I am talking about Roman being the moral center of this book, and Alicia, for allher charms, is not capable of that role, surely you can see that. She writes fashionarticles. She talks to her cat. She does yoga. She makes rice casseroles” (Shields,2002,p.285).“Because she’s a woman” (Shields, 2002,P.286). “So, who is this madwoman,constructing a tottering fantasy of female exclusion and pinning it on her daughter”(Shields, 2002,p.227)? Reta is “vulnerable to being named from the outside and thus,paradoxically, created for others’ purposes while being eliminated for [her] own”(Perreault, 1995,P.6). What if Reta succumbs to the Evil Trinity of supreme language,identity and power, to “Man is the self; woman is his Other” (Tong, 1989,P.224)?But Reta has been writing more than a novel. Norah comes home “safe.” Retadraws the line. Finally. She is outraged. Fueled by the depth of rage and anger revealed toher through the mastectomy bra dream image, she signs her own name to the sixth letterand sends it. This sent letter is prompted by a story in a magazine in which a Czech105philosophy professor, newly arrived in Los Angeles, is disgusted by, among other things,a MASTECTOMY BRA [emphasis in original]. Reta voices her shock and outrage.Get a grip, Mr. Sandor. . . . The Czech professor in your story wonders why hegags at the straight-in-the-eye sight of a mastectomy bra. I suggest the obvious:that he hates women, and his hatred of women extends to.... I am shockinglyoffended (Shields, 2002,p.308).Reta explains that she has written letters in the past,but I have never mailed any of them or even signed them. This is because Idon’t want to be killed, as your professor almost kills his wife, ... but now I don’tmind if you kill me. I have suffered a period of estrangement from my daughter -she is now at home, safe - ... (Shields, 2002,p.309).Reta signs her name, not truthfully, but as it appears in the telephone book. Finally,through the space of her daughter, Reta has “found spaces for questioning the culturallabels of women’s discourse (e.g., too personal, too emotional) and the cultural values(e.g., mundane), which emerge in commonsense logics as powerful first premises that areincreasingly hard to challenge” (Ratcliffe, 1996,p.24). Her questioning has spun herinto honesty. She publicly contests the dominant culture, “Contestation is that act whenthe powerless refuse to live by the definitions of the powerful” (Lewis, 1993,p.127).Metaphorically, Reta accepts the invitation. She authors herself. Reta wants. Reta desiresand “trouble [becomes] a scandal with the sudden intrusion, the unanticipated agency, ofa female ‘object’ who inexplicably returns the glance, reverses the gaze, and contests theplace and authority of the masculine position” (Butler, 1990,p.vii). Just at midlife, justwhen “female trouble” (Butler, 1990) becomes public, just when hot flashes send sweatpouring over the body in the middle of a meeting with Important People, Reta disruptsthe thinly veiled notion of masculine superiority, entitlement and normative privilegedplace as the moral center of the universe. Reta has transcended the “split betweenpersonal experience and social form” (Lewis, 1993,p.177).106In writing of women’s silence, Lewis (1993) concludes that acting counter to thedominant culture through feminist practices in fact “creates rather than ameliorates, afeeling of threat ...“ (p. 178 emphasis in the original). Threats. It’s the constant subtle andnot so subtle threats of abandonment by family and friends. It’s the never-ending uphillstruggle with unequal power relations. It’s the psychological/social/sexual as well aseconomic and political marginality. It’s the threat of violence. It’s the fear of being labeleddeviant if I don’t follow the prescribed rules. It’s the fear of knowing my own dark sidewhile pursuing the conventional feminine quest for Goodness. It’s the fear of being laughedat. It’s floating fears that I prefer not even to know (Lewis, 1993). I just want to be normal.Women’s writing through the “ordinariness” of their experience is a challenge tothe Herculean hero myth, a struggle for power.(I)n a set of social relations where women’s ideal discursive state withinphallocentric discourse has been defined as silence, a woman speaking is seen to bein and of itself a political act. Under these conditions the very act of speakingbecomes an intrusion and a potential basis for a violent reaction on the part of thosewho have decreed our silence (Lewis, 1993,p.128).Reta writes her question, speaks her question in five letters, only mailing the sixth one towhich she signs her “authentic” name. Using the patriarchy’s traditional technology, logos,the word, she reauthorizes and empowers her self. She re-names herself. Rita (Reta) alsoshifts her consciousness to a new place. She uncovers both her body (emotions) and herhead (intellect). She transgresses the Biblical injunction in 1 Corinthians 11 and Timothy2, 9-13 which says that a woman must cover her head while praying or prophesying. I seethis as the uncovering of feminist consciousness in Reta Winters. Who is Reta Wintersanyway?107Reading Reta as dream, I needed to explore why I was so frustrated with Reta’sslow-to-anger response to editor Springer and several disgusting magazine articles. I amstill not sure. Reta’ s inner voice lives in creative tension with her world voice which seemsto be never endingly agreeable and most always sunny, convivial and pleasant even whileher mind works endlessly on the Norah problem. Reta writes herselfbland; she wears abeige raincoat. She dusts the furniture. She modulates her outer voice. Her inner voiceshrieks and questions. I want her to stand up and scream. I want her to do something. Doanything. I am slow to recognize my own fear and its relationship to the fictional Reta. It’sthe patriarchal requirement for Goodness. Norah’ s sign points to the masculinizedfeminine. It’s that notion that woman is goodness, kindness, gentleness, intuitiveness butnever rage. It’s my own inability to express the anger. Where is the goddess of destructionwho has no fear of expressing devastation as a tornado or as winter expresses the need torenew the earth through the life, death, rebirth cycle? I need to recognize that “one of theprimary forces of domination is that the Western subject’s privilege is secured by forcingthose oppressed to carry their affective burden—guilt, shame, anger, depression (Oliver,2004,p.81). And to carry the burden in silence. I think about the conventions of mychildhood. Anger is a sin, bad manners, unladylike, and in my mother’s voice, “Only dogsget angry.” Normal.However, Reta’s anger and pain with the canon, her patriarchal editor, misogynistmagazine writers, and her daughter’s square of cardboard on Bloor Street may becomeresistance and her “subjectivity can be a product of conflict” (Oliver, 2004).Finally, through the space of her daughter, Reta has “found spaces for questioningthe cultural labels of women’s discourse (e.g., too personal, too emotional) and the cultural108value (e.g., mundane), which emerge in commonsense logics as powerful first premisesthat are increasingly hard to challenge” (Ratcliffe, 1996,p.24). Reta has accepted theinvitation and her questioning has spun her into honesty. Reta is a “self... clearly inprocess, and cohering [that] in no way suggests a necessary closure, or an absolutely fixedidentity, but rather a basis from which to interact with one’s contexts” (Perreault, 1995,p.17). Unless occurs within a transition space that, “[can be] ‘entered into’ or ‘used’ as thatzone or site in which a ‘knowing self’ is experienced as knower and (un) known,engendered and ambivalent, embodied and imagined” (Perreault, 1995,p.17). Accordingto Perreault,It is this “I” that works for the social, material, and personal transformations that weknow as feminism, seeking an alternative both to the suppression of difference thattotalization implies and to the dissociations suggested by a fragmented subjectivity(1995, p. 17).This gesture toward cohesion makes it possible to participate, to embrace “a process oftransformation as a revolutionary concept, and as a feminist principle” (Perreault, 1995,p.18). This position is consistent with Catherine Belsey’s observation that, “In the fact thatthe subject is a process lies the possibility of transformation (Constructing, 50)” (Belsey,2002, p. 18).I believe that a dream reading of Reta through The Baby Shower Invitation enablesa look at an aspect of the unconscious, images in a dream, but that we then useconsciousness as the “only feature that allows us to construct a credible scenario for ourown evolution” (Donald, 2001, p. 7). Donald (2001) concedes that we have no theory toexplain how awareness could have emerged from a material thing such as a brain and that itis very difficult to understand how that happens:109A mature theory of consciousness will have to describe not only the causal chainslinking the activity of the brain to the detailed properties of subjective awarenessbut also the transformative powers associated with conscious capacity and thefeeling tones that pervade conscious experience, including such things as emotions,moods, urges, and subtle feelings like doubt, envy, and ambivalence(p.8).Donald (2001) goes on to say that our cultures may “threaten our intellectual autonomy,”and “rob us of the freedom to think certain kinds of thoughts,” and that “few of our ideasand experiences can really be called our own, so thoroughly have they been washed andfiltered through the fine cloth of the culture itself’ (p. 9). I have argued that Reta isenmeshed in patriarchal culture and that extrication is difficult, almost impossible withouthelp from the dreams arising from the unconscious together with conscious effort. Further,I suggest that Donald’s (2001) “fine cloth” of Western culture has “washed and filtered”the power of the unconscious from everyday life since, for example, dreams do not fit wellwith Enlightenment cause and effect thinking. Dreams threaten the established order.Dreams remain the provenance of “primitive” cultures. Donald reveals his privileging ofrational, phallogocentric views in biological and cultural theories of consciousness anddreams when he says,There is a coherence, an interconnectedness, about conscious experiences thatmakes them very different from unconscious ones, where ideas and images cancoexist in a pell-mell, disorganized manner and no drive for continuity tries toimpose order [emphasis mine]. This can be seen in the strange, irrational chaos ofdreams, where there are seemingly no rules (2001,p.213).Since the conscious mind receives input “from any incoming channel that happens to beopened” (Donald, 2001,p.220), perhaps if education and curriculum were to validate theunconscious and the dream experience, that is, accept the unconscious as anotherpotentially open channel, dreams could provide new images to the conscious mind fromwhich to “construct a world”—perhaps a world very unlike our patriarchal culture.110Carl G. Jung rooted the collective unconscious in cultural archetypes and myths that are,according to Donald (2001),archaic cultural inventions that have hung around and may have sunk temporarilyfrom view. However, they originated in consciousness and can return to it atanytime. They are not permanently and by their very nature out of reach(pp.286 -287).Donald rejects the power of the unconscious. For Jung the collective unconscious is verypowerful and also feminine. Although feminists have rejected aspects of Jungian theory,there appears to be general agreement about the fact of the existence and power of theunconscious. I think Ratcliffe (1996) would agree with Weedon (1997) who says thatRadical-feminist discourse ... rej ect[sj patriarchal concepts of meaning, and theways in which they have defined women. Instead of arguing over the facts ofwomen’s nature, countering one set of scientific “truths” with another, radicalfeminists, such as American writers Mary Daly and Susan Griffin, attempt toredefine females by subverting accepted language and conventional rationality andproducing new meanings and new subject positions. Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology(1979) is a powerful example of this strategy (p. 128).Many feminists challenge the Symbolic Order even while recognizing that the wordsavailable to make the challenge are the words of the Order (Tong, 1989). I would arguethat dreams provide a possible avenue to subvert accepted language and conventionalrationality. Mary Daly used many strategies to undermine patriarchal discourse includingspinning a new language (Rupprecht, 1999,pp.99 - 135). Spinning feels a bit like thelanguage taught to me through dreams, a language which seems to undermine the discourseof the Father and the Symbolic Order.Weedon (1997) summarizes the theories of Freud and Lacan then concludes that,“The theory that women have no access to the symbolic order in their own right has ledfeminists to develop theories of women’s language as a constant repressed threat to thepatriarchal symbolic order”(p.53). She shows how Karen Homey, as early as 1917,111replaced the importance of the penis with the importance of female capacity formotherhood. Further she outlines the work of Nancy Chodorow, Luce Irigaray and HélèneCixous on, “the importance of the pre-Oedipal phase of psychosexual development—thattime before femininity or masculinity when the infant is in a symbiotic relationship withher mother” (Weedon, 1997,p.54). It is “Chodorow’s theorization of the psychicstructures of femininity and masculinity in terms of the practice of parenting [andschooling]” that partially informs Grumet in Bitter Milk (1988). According to Donovan(2006), Luce Irigaray offers methods such as mimesis, strategic essentialism, utopianideals, and employing novel language as some of the methods central to changingcontemporary culture thereby altering the situation of women in Western culture.Irigaray both seriously criticized and rejected the phallocentrism of Freudian andLacanian psychoanalysis and was ostracized by the Lacanian community. According toDonovan (2006), Irigaray contends that(T)he patriarchal definition of female sexuality caused women to lose touch withfemale-defined femininity which is located in the female body and its capacity formultiple and heterogeneous pleasure ... it is a theory of the ‘male’ rather than the‘feminine’ ... [and she] argues for an integral relationship between sexuality andlanguage” (p. 61)Woman language is “... nonlinear and incoherent, and incomprehensible to male languagewith its focus on the logic of reason” (Weedon, 1997,p.61). Dreams have long beendismissed as irrational. Could dreams be the repressed language of the feminine? “Womanjust barely separates from her-self some chatter, an exclamation, a half-secret, asentence left in suspense—when she returns to it, it is only to set out again from anotherpoint of pleasure or pain” (Irigaray, 103, in Weedon, 1997,p.62). As Reta says,Yes, I must get home. A long day, yes. Rain, rain. The weather forecast. Goodbye.My umbrella, good heavens, I almost forgot. Yes, busy, busy. Parked just outside.112Don’t really need. Still have the dog to walk. Yes, I will, of course I will. Thankyou again, thank you both. You must be glad to see the end of a long day (Shields,2002,P.47).Weedon focuses on the impossibility of defining a feminine practice of writing but shedoes link feminine writing within the patriarchy to women writers.Writing becomes a way of giving voice to repressed female sexuality and thefemale libido which it sustains [Weedon quoting Cixous]. By writing her self,woman will return to the body which has been more than confiscated from her.Write your self. Your body must be heard. Only then will the immense resources ofthe unconscious spring forth (Weedon, 1997,p.65).Reta writes her self. Perhaps she writes in response to The Baby Shower Invitation pressingReta to push, that is, to birth her self into more and deeper awareness of the unconsciousresources within.According to Weedon (1997), subjectivity is in process in the work of JulieKristeva who “argues that there are feminine forms of signification which cannot becontained by the rational, thetic structure of the Symbolic Order and which thereforethreaten its sovereignty” (p. 67). According to Weedon (1997), Kristeva terms femininemodes of signification semiotic. Symbolic and semiotic modes of signification are alignedwith feminine and masculine energies and all signification incorporates both modes but(T)he semiotic, which has its origins in the pre-symbolic, pre-Oedipal, is heavilyrepressed. The representation of the feminine by the phallocentric organization ofthe drives on the resolution of the Oedipus and castration complexes gives rise towhat Kristeva calls the unconscious semiotic chora. This is the site of negativity,from which constant challenges to the subject of the symbolic order and symbolicmeanings come(p.67 emphasis in the original).The semiotic chora is visible before repression in the pre-Oedipal infant and in non-rationaldiscourses—and I would add, dream images such as The Baby Shower Invitation. There area number of aspects of Kristeva’ s theory that I find useful in the study of dreams andconsciousness: the constantly in process, notfixed subject, composed in language and the113unconscious as the “most important contribution of psychoanalysis to subjectivity”(Weedon, 1997,p.68). The return of the repressed feminine from the pre-Oedipal as thematerial of the unconscious provides hope for radical transformation.I am pleased to find an authentic feminist home for my theories. For thepoststructuralist feminist, the unconscious is a necessary component of any consciousnesstheory. I believe dreams assist me to imagine new/old interpretations by bringing forthimages. Remnants of myth surface in dreams if I learn how to “read.”Social and biological theories of consciousness give little credence to theunconscious beyond the notion of personal unconscious. I consider this against Grumet’scontention in Bitter Milk that women teachers must reclaim the pre-Oedipal symbiosis ofmother and child and celebrate it, not accept its rejection as infantile, regressive, andmanipulative as written and lived through the patriarchal order. I read this against Donald’sclaim thatsymbols of all kinds are the playthings of a fantastically clever, irrational,manipulative, largely inarticulate beast that lives deep inside each of us, far belowthe polished cultural surface we have constructed (2001,p.285).The Baby Shower Invitation emerges from the depths, from a deep memory “we knew aschildren.” Grumet whose work emerges out of the work of Kristeva and Chodorow saysIf we bury our memories of this relation we knew as children and again as mothersunder language, under law, under politics, under curriculum, we are forevercomplicit in patriarchal projects to deny its adequacy, influence, and existence(1988,p.20).It is possible to interpret The Baby Shower Invitation as a desire to return to the bliss ofchildhood. Instead, I prefer to think that The Baby Shower Invitation invites Reta to birth,to touch, to link, to spin her life out of the infant pre-Oedipal experience of nurture, theImaginary, rather than the spearated order, law and code of the Symbolic Order.114But she is afraid. What is it that Reta is afraid to know? What am I afraid to know?What will we lose and gain from that knowing? Perhaps we will bring forth some newknowledge in the unconscious semiotic chora—from the irrational, chaos of theunconscious through our dreams.I consider again the introductory dream in this chapter, Religuere. Russell (1983)writing about the quest for unity and the perennial philosophy of Aldous Huxley, bringsreligious and mystical tradition together with poetry and the social sciences. He concludesthatTo someone who has not experienced such states, [of unity with all] this sense ofinterconnectedness might seem a bit farfetched. But the idea of a unifying elementwithin all forms of manifestation is not just a philosophic construct. Within the lastfifty years, this concept has been gaining increasing support from a seeminglyunrelated field—modem physics (Russell, 1983, p. 140).Citing Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity, the uncertainty principle ofHeinsenberg, and the notion of the implicate order explicated by David Bohm and RichardProsser, Russell suggests that “science seems to be discovering the perennial philosophyfor itself, reaffirming that at the deepest levels we are all one” (1983,pp.140 - 143). Therational intellect, for all its possibilities, cannot conduct women’s escape from the languageof the Symbolic Order. However, if physics together with complexity and bio-culturalconsciousness theories are correct in their premise, through the introduction of women’sexperience into language, into the cultural web, through a kind of perturbation,intertextuality and blurring of categories, we can create some increase in the potential for arevolutionary change in the nature of patriarchy.Throughout my life and particularly for this last 18 years, I have been drawn to thediscourse of the mystics such as Julian of Norwich, artist works such as the Theotokus115(Appendix X) and witches such as Starhawk and excommunicated priest, Mathew Fox. Iam Roman Catholic by birthright. I remain a Eucharistic Catholic because of the powerfulPresence I experience in the Eucharist and the call to self-knowledge in the mysticaltradition:In her Life ... Teresa advises her students: ‘This path of self knowledge must neverbe abandoned. ... Along this path of prayer, self knowledge ... is the bread withwhich all palates must be fed no matter how delicate they may be ... .‘ Catherine ofSiena too ‘... images self knowledge as a basic food for spiritual growth. In TheDialogue ... Catherine pictures God as saying, ‘So think of the soul as a tree madefor love and living only by love. ... The circle in which this tree’s root, the soul’slove, must grow is true knowledge of herself... (Wolski Conn, 1986,p.59).Weedon (1997) says that “the discourses of women mystics, poetesses, witches and artists[are the discourses] of women who have been historically suppressed or marginalized” (p.69). The way to defy the Symbolic Order and the law of the Father is through a “return ofthe repressed feminine aspects of language” (Weedon, 1997,p.69). As I re-read bits andpieces of Weedon, think about as fReta dreaming, and my dreams along the way, Iremember that in 382 AD, St. Jerome deliberately mistranslated the Hebrew word ananequating it with witchcraft, soothsaying, pagan superstition and evil (Van de Castle, 1994).I see dreams and dream reading as a powerful symbol of resistance to the Symbolic Orderof the Father.Eradicating the roots of patriarchal consciousness embedded through culture leadsto ambiguity, uncertainty and fear—fear of knowing, fear of being conscious, fear ofalienation, fear of being labeled the bitch, fear of being the conscious feminine. Thishermeneutic dream reading of Reta Winters leads to hope for transformation.To dream read literary images of Reta Winters is to be given a gift, which I canreceive if I am willing to notice and to bracket my conformity and fear. The bits and116pieces, the letters, that float up from the unconscious must be read. I must notice TheBaby Shower Invitation, open it, read it and act on this message from the unconscious.Dream work is an act of confidence that I have the power of vision and the power tochoose to read differently. Dream work allows me to identify lack, to identify openingsand possibilities. I want to unlearn the world. I want teacher educators to assume newperspectives about taken-for-granted ideas. I want teacher educators to notice and to feeltheir rage against injustice to animate unconventional and different ideas. I want teachereducators to see the source of injustice not as inevitable, not as “just the way things are.”I want teacher educators to understand clearly that human beings make culture andhuman beings can change it.In chapter five, using The Hallway Mirror, I look into dream reading as a mode ofescape from dominator language, the patriarchal discourse of the Western literary canon.1175.The Square of Cardboard She Occupies: A Theory of LoisIn order to continue life, one must each day suspend the fear.EmersonSeptember 16, 1990The Two Faces of EveThe dream seems hazy. I am in a large halI like a dance hail ofmy teenage years. I go to the ladies’ roomand as I stand in the doorway a young woman turnsfrom the mirror over the sink to leave the room. I see herboth in the mirror and turned toward me. Herface is arresting. Very stark white, costume drama makeupcovers herface to somewhere at chin level. The open neckline reveals normal skin coloring below the chin.She is wearing goldjewelleiy which appears very reaL Theface is a startling contrast to her black, veryfashionable dress. The dress is closefitting and made offilmy, bubble-like material. She sweeps past me,remote, haughty and cold. There is no emotion in her eyes; her eyes are blank. They do not make contact withme. I do not speak. Nor does she.This dream has stayed clearly in my mind for eighteen years. I could probablywrite it without ever reading my journal. Dream interpretive practices stronglyrecommend an aesthetic response to honor the dream. Although I did write a long andvery thorough interpretation of the dream in my journal, I have chosen to share the poemI wrote to honor the dream.PersonaDeceptive painted faceChinlessHaughty, alienremote, dead eyes.Walks throughreflected glassStains above black bubbles.Out of her andthrough invisible doors.Angry swirling flouncesintricate stepsin childhood patternslike wind in tall willowsencased in raging walls.Out of her andthrough invisible windows.118Plastered, broken shattered piecesthawing, growing life within.Prior to re-reading Unless in preparation for writing a theory of Lois, I had writtendrafts of the first four chapters. Immediately I wanted to call back those drafts and makemassive changes based on yet other possible theories of Reta and Norah or otherinterpretations such as the various roles of Hermes in hermeneutics, mythology anddreams. Many dream researchers say that it is important to remember that one can nevercome to the end of the possible meanings and multiple significances of any dream orconcomitant series of dreams (Hiliman, 1989; Jung, 1989, Sanford, 1989; Savary, Berne &Williams, 1984; Taylor, 1983). Dream reading expands the possibility of possibilities butrefuses to guarantee meanings. Dream reading then can be included as an important aspectof literary engagement. Recognizing the futility of another interpretation that would be“better” than the one already written, and vaguely embarrassed at not recognizing my needfor closure, I began writing what is now becoming The square of cardboard she occupies:A theory of Lois.Since I began keeping dream journals in 1988, I have found, like DorothyDinnerstein, author of The Mermaid and the Minotaur, that it is fundamentally impossibleto read in a systematic way. “I believe in reading unsystematically and taking ideaserratically” (Reinharz, 1992,p.232 citing Dinnerstein). I almost always read several booksat the same time, marveling at the links, the seams and connections between and among theideas. I have returned to my journals many times to replace the old with new ideas gleanedfrom conversations, novels, and theoretical work. Now keeping the journals as acommonplace book enables deeper insight and a record of changing ideas. I am learningnot to replace but rather to add ideas so that I can see the changes in my thinking.119Throughout this writing I have become increasingly aware of the slipperiness oflanguage and the near impossibility of coming to clarity. I am beginning to glimpse thelimitations that language imposes on understanding. Images however are different fromwords. Patricia Berry (1982) says that “by image we ‘... do not mean the psychicreflection of an external object, but a concept derived from poetic usage, namely, a figureof fancy orfantasy-image”(p.57 emphasis in the original). Perception has to do withwhat I see as “real,” therefore having external reality. Imagination or fantasy-image is notderived from external objects, and any question of objective reference is irrelevant (Berry,1982). Because they are not perception or “reality” based, fantasy-images enable us toimagine differently. Even though dream figures “frequently borrow the visage ofperceptual reality, they need not be derived from perception” (Berry, 1982,p.59). Anotheraspect of perception is discarding, described by Sumara, as that process by which we learnhow to “see” and also how to “not see.” Further, “learning to notice something new usuallymeans that it needs to be distinguished from the backdrop of what is usually ignored”(Sumara, 2002,p.138). I continue to work to learn to notice the details required for seeingdifferently.Reading Lois as ifshe were a dream figure in Reta’s psyche, I must remember thatimagination and perception are two different psychic aspects. Lois, as dream figure, may beseen as the psyche working awayfrom the perceptual world of close family or friends,toward the imaginal. Berry (1982) says that this dream image movement “may be regardedas the psyche’s opus contra naturam, a working away from the natural reality of theperceptual toward the psychic reality of the imaginal” (p. 58). To remain as true aspossible to the imaginal, we must be constantly aware that to write the dream is to120potentially pull it back into perception. Jung taught clearly that drawing, artistry, painting,sculpting, and modeling are more likely to help us remain “in touch with” the fantasy-image than are words (Berry, 1982; Campbell, 1971; Jung 1989). Dream imagery is thewomb of possible rebirth of the dormant seeds of the feminine.Myths, dreams and the imagination sit on the edges of consciousness waiting toemerge as a possible crack into the structure imposed by language. I concur with Lewis(1993) and Belsey (2002) who write about the structures imposed by language and theresulting limits on what it is possible to think. Feminists and non-feminists alike, saysLewis, must question these limits and intervene to alter meanings, the basis of the normsand values we take for granted in our culture every day. Novelists provide the crackthrough which new thoughts may slip through old structures.Whereas Richardson writes about the role of lyric poetry as ethnographic findings, Ibelieve that her comments are equally and perhaps even more applicable to dreams. Thedream “shows” the dreamer how it is to feel something. “Even if the mind resists, the bodyresponds. ... It isfelt” (Richardson, 1997,p.180). Reading Lois as dream invites thereader to experience the novel, to feel what Retafelt as she lived into the experience ofmidlife while living the experience of mother-of-lost-daughter together with her multipleordinary life moments. Reading Lois as dream might be thought of as a flash forward or asan insight into Reta’ s fear of aging and her potential life 20 years later when she too ismother-in-law, grandmother and viewed through the lens of patriarchal culture asuninteresting, older, invisible, and unproductive woman. As grandmother, Lois may be thefantasy-image imploring Reta to bring forth the image of the motherline. “A grandmotherlocates an individual in the life stream of the generations. She is the tie to the subterranean121world of the female ancestors” (Zweig, 1990,P.88). The fantasy-image may lead thedream reader to wonder if Reta is “identified with patriarchal attitudes that devalue ourmothers and grandmothers, that split us from our bodies and our past, leaving us wanderinglike motherless children in the too bright light of masculine consciousness”(p.87).Dreams take us deeply into the human psyche. Dreams ferret out the deeply buried,hidden aspects of ourselves. Dreams enable us to hear our own unbidden voices through theignored, discarded bits of identity we have thrown down in order to conform to the myriadstandards, regulations, rules, and policies of a society obsessed with conformedindividualism. As Jung found in his own inner journey, exploration of the unconscious isnot for the faint of heart (Jung, 1989). Morton T. Kelsey (1976) in The Other Side ofSilence warns against becoming lost in psychosis without a trusted partner in depth dreamwork. In dream reading the novel, I am most surely not arguing for a psychoanalyticjourney into the unconscious in grade school. Dream reading the novel is at least oneremove from the personal night dream, yet it may make us more aware of the role theunconscious plays in what we see, hear, think, feel, read, and write. Dream reading alsofeels dangerous. Our culture has sanitized us and taught us to believe that the outside is safewhile our inside as tainted. Culturally, empirical data from experts is true; our ownintuitions and feelings are mostly wrong and irrelevant. If we trust at all, we trust only theexperts with our dreams. We have learned to distrust our dreaming nocturnal selves whichaccounts for close to one-third of our lives.I believe that dream reading does have a role to play in literary engagement andtransformation through literary identification with the characters. Dream reading is a seriesof nested relationships among cultural, mythical, biological, and ecological systems. The122reader brings to the dream text a multiplicity ofnarrative responses to various situationswithin which there are potential similarities and differences with past, present, andpotential future experiences. Grumet (1988), Luce-Kapler (2004), Miller (2005), andSumara (2002a) point to the need to disrupt the familiar—to “see” otherwise. In dreamreading we bring forth an unfamiliar world from within, for that world may have even moredepth coming as dreams do from both the personal and collective unconscious. Reading asifit were a dream has the potential to bring the reader in touch with hitherto inexpressibleemotion and things which have gone astray as “small bits tend to do.” Atwell-Vasey(1998) argues that impersonality, objectivity, separation, and the control of emotion, ofbody, and of subjectivity are the hallmarks of masculine identity and the exile of thematernal. I believe that dream reading may play a part in the return of the maternal.I further elaborate a theory of dream reading through reading Lois as a dream imageof Reta. Thinking through many images of Lois in the novel, I leave behind severalconventional or “easy” interpretations as Reta’ s negative image of Crone—invisible,uninteresting, subservient, old-fashioned, and as outmoded as day-old bread pudding andPyrex baking dishes. Lewis (1993) discusses the concept of mindbinding through “theminutiae of the everyday [that] comprises a practice, language, and discourse so subtle andpiercing that they can barely be articulated even as they are cutting us to the core”(p.101).Lois is a girdled woman; she exhibits no excess. She is presented as flat like a cardboardcutout tree. What happens to trees when a sapsucker in search of grubs, eats through thebark completely circling the tree trunk? The tree bleeds. It dies or is severely stunted. I amstill nursing our Mountain Ash after a sapsucker attack plus drought in the summer of2004. I reject the easy interpretation of Lois as a dried up and unproductive old woman.123Reading through Reta’s dreams with Lois as dream figure reveals for me a dream imagesymbolically cut and bleeding to the core without recognizing the possibility of metaphoricdeath by a thousand cuts.Throughout the novel, it seems that Lois is generally ignored by her family. In fact,I had to re-read Unless in search of Lois. I had only a misty image ofher from the firstseveral readings and often wondered about her role in the novel. I wonder if! have erectedenculturated emotional screens against a woman my own age and the increasing number oftimes I am “looked through” like a Pyrex glass dish by midlife women such as Reta. Or, Iwonder about my newly arrived questions about how I might avoid being alone, lonely andignored. I think about some of the Lois scenes in Unless.“The problem with everyday life is that it is always the ground, rarely the figure”(Grumet, 1991,p.74). The unformed thought I have is to reflect on the link between thedream image Lois and the confusion surrounding the role of middle age women who arenot yet old enough to be seen as feisty, eccentric, or even productive as in a Crone whoexpresses her entitlement to life and dignity. Somewhere just beyond consciousness athought forms waiting to come to fruition. Lois is the ground and not the figure in theeveryday life of her family. Is that it? Lois is past being reproductive in the cult ofmotherhood. Yet she may be still too young to be heard as Crone. She lives in the twilightzone, on the threshold, the bridge between now and the small glimmer of light in the housewhen she arrives with bread pudding in a Pyrex dish and entertains Mr. Springer overdinner and conversation.Lois as dream image may represent a part of Reta that is afraid to know the Cronefor our cultural image of Crone is ugly, dried up and burdensome old woman. If she is124thought of at all, the Crone is generally imaged as useless, invisible, forgotten, boring, andmarginalized. Or, an old woman left mostly by herself living in her old home with her birdsor cats and her memories. There is little solidarity displayed between Reta and the Loisaspect of her Crone self. The everyday life of the Winters family includes the eveningfamily meal to which Lois always brings dessert. Lois keeps a revolving file of 100 dessertrecipes. She has overheard her granddaughters laughing about the file. She feels hurt, butwhen Reta draws the red curtain (think red as the color of blood, menstruation and life), tosignal dinnertime (Shields, 2002,p.170), Lois always appears with sweets. Reta must givethought to the sweetness of life lived when as Crone she will no longer feel the sociallyconditioned need to prevaricate in order to please others.As a reader I was irritated with Reta’ s inability to develop a relationship with Lois.Not once does she include Lois in her life as a friend, but also the space between themseems mutually acceptable. Reta does recognize that Lois erects “a wall of numb radar”against Reta’s books. “[It] has nothing to do with rejection and everything to do with mebeing the mother of her grandchildren and her son’s spouse. This arrangement cannot bechallenged by my hobbies, my pastimes, my professional life, my passion” (Shields, 2002,p.233). It seems as though patriarchal expectations separate the two women. I wonder ifmidlife women shun, ignore or avoid engaging with older women? If so, why? Is it thatmidlife women avoid walking into and standing in the space of possibility between midlifeand old age? Is it fear of knowing the invisibility of the older woman? Complicity with thepatriarchy? Or is it that there are no positive models of woman as Crone since the BurningTimes? Does the crazy, ugly Old Hag remain the dominant older woman image despite theefforts of feminists such as Daly (1978) and Cixous (1976) who argue that women must125invent, create, write our selves and reclaim the past when healing and the wise arts wereassociated with old women? Daly argues that the Crone has been defaced and erased andworse, women have been co-opted to participate in the erasure.The spookiness of this situation is intensified by the fact that women’s minds areconstantly being filled with debased images of Crones. ... ‘wicked stepmother’images injected through fairy tales and Halloween caricatures of witches to mother-in-law jokes ...“ (1978,p.350).Oliver (2004) states clearly that the reclamation of woman’s psychic space requires thesocial support necessary for agency and also the social space to recognize the value andcontributions of all women. Further, Oliver fully supports Kristeva’ s notion of celebratingthe genius of women. She urges that in addition to the need to overshadow the degradationof women, we must “acknowledge and idealize both extraordinary women, and moreimportant, the extraordinary in the lives of ordinary women” and thus inspire creativity aswell as “open psychic life to sublimation and idealization as an antidote to the depressioncaused by oppression” (Oliver, 2004,p.162). From where can Reta learn to celebrate olderwomen and thus help to ease her own fears and to develop her own Crone voice to speakplainly with no patience with patriarchal fools?Grumet (1991) theorizes that women repudiate their mothers, (and I would addmothers-in-law), “in the pursuit of erotic heterosexuality” (p. 77). She linksindustrialization with the “decisive schism between reproductive and productive worlds”wherein gender differences were grossly exaggerated as the changing economy sent menout to work in the world and women to stay home in charge of home and children. Thusarose the cult of motherhood, the feminization of teaching and the requirement for maleleaders to contain the supposed emotional excess of women. Women reject other women infavor of being on the safe side, the winning side, the male side. It’s easier. It’s safer. It’s126deadening. It’s ... I discard the easy interpretation in favor of The Hallway Mirror fantasyfor this is the image I really want to avoid with its perversion of possibilities. But it wantsto speak.Hiliman (1989) argues that “[A]rchetypal psychology holds that the true iconoclastis the image itself which explodes its allegorical meanings, releasing startling new insights”(p. 25). He advises treating images on the soul level, that is, befriending them. FollowingJung, he suggests again the importance of actively imagining the imagethrough word play which is also a way of talking with the image and letting it talk.We watch its behavior—how the image behaves within itself. And we watch itsecology—how it interconnects, by analogies, in the fields of my life (Hillman,1989,p.25).I interpret the literary dream figure of Lois based on “an archetypal consciousness, [a]notion of consciousness definitely not based upon ego” (Hiliman, 1989,pp.31 - 33). FromHiliman’s (1989) perspective, if we “shift our conception of the base of consciousnessfrom ego to anima archetype, from Ito soul,” we will realize that ego never has been thebasis of consciousness but that “consciousness refers to a process more to do with imagesthan will, with reflection rather than control, with reflective insight into, rather thanmanipulation of objective reality” (p. 32 emphasis in the original). Also, we mightrecognize the egoic myth of the hero, that self-inflating tale of conquest and destruction,and become aware of the heroic ego’s epic as other than consciousness. We would becomeconscious of fantasy-images as being everywhere and not consider them as unreal or not“reality.” Hillman (1989) says that we would then “realize what Jung so often insistedupon: the psyche is the subject of our perceptions, the perceiver through fantasy, ratherthan the object of our perceptions” (p. 33). We might therefore analyze by means offantasies rather than analyze fantasy into reality. This consciousness based on anima would127be described in “metaphors long familiar to the alchemy of analytical practice: fantasy,image, reflection, insight, and, also, mirroring, holding, cooking, digesting, echoing,gossiping, deepening” (Hillman, 1989,p.34). How does the image of Lois behave? Howdoes it talk? What are its intersections with Reta’ s life? Hillman (1989) suggests thatimages are “soul mines;” therefore, we must keep “an eye attuned to the dark” Q,. 26).Lois as dream aspect may be the subordinated aspect of Reta. Lois tells her story toMr. Springer, a total stranger, simply because he says “Tell me all about yourself.” Asdream image, Lois might bring to Reta’s attention the “political meaning of [her] personalreality: that subordinate groups live subordination and marginality through [their]subjectivity” (Lewis, 1993,p.101). Reta has ignored this aspect of herself telling herselfthat she chooses to care for her home, her partner, and her children. Perhaps Lois appears ina dream to help Reta recognize her fear of knowing that “It’s because she’s a woman” thatreviewers are not totally embarrassed to ask if her husband approves of her writing, to callher Mrs. rather than Reta, to talk about themselves rather than her work, or to indulge incasual disregard in a host of other insults. Reta will be constrained to act if she recognizesher fears. What is the alchemy of mirroring? The Hallway Mirror dream occurs afterSpringer attempts to reject Alicia as the central character of Reta’ s second book, Thyme inBloom. I now turn to consider several literary dream images from Unless written as ftheywere nocturnal dreams.128Excerpts from Unless (Shields, 2002) considered as a series of Reta’s dreams15Dream #1An older woman who looks like my mother-in-law, Lois, appears standing before the hallway mirror. She issucking in her stomach and saying musically: I am the wife of a physician (p. 298).Dream #2One lone leaf remains on a tree. Either it is exceptionally healthy and strong, or else it is somehow deformedor unable to engage the mechanism that allows it to fall to the earth where all the normal leaves lay buried insnow. The leaf is an anomaly; something ails it (p. 296).Dream #3I ask my mother-in-law, Lois, Why have you been so silent all these months? Why didn’t you tell us whatwas wrong? Because no one asked me, she said (p. 316).Dream #4My mother-in-law, Lois, had politely excused herself and returned to her house next door. I am thinking thatshe would never miss the ten-o’clock news; her watching of the ten-o’clock news helps the country of Canadato go forward (p. 19).Dream #5Lois appears with a dish of bread pudding in her hands, one of her rectangular Pyrex casseroles from fiftyyears ago (p. 290).Dream #6A woman appears. In her hands she holds a degree from Queen’s stamped with one word, “economics.” Loisstands beside her with another piece of paper, a diploma for secretarial college with MRS stamped on it (p.297).Dream #7There is a honey cake with the word “German” crossed out and replaced with “Swiss”(p.298).Dream #8Lois lies in bed. There are several empty bread pans in the corner of the room. A male figure repeats “MayoClinic.” Then the scene changes to the bathroom which is more hygienic than it has ever been. Lois is silentwhile toads stare at me from the foot of her bed(pp.298 —299).Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?Following Hiliman (1989), Jung (1989) and Savary, Berne, & Williams (1984)and because I was stuck in perception rather than fantasy-images of my imagination, I tooka blank piece of paper, closed my eyes and sketched the emerging, exploding image of TheHallway Mirror. At first I resisted the image, for there, looking into The Hallway Mirror, aminiature Lois stared at a monstrous man surrounded by misty darkness (Appendix XI).Days later I encountered two feminist references to women and mirrors. “Women,” writes15These stylized imaginary dreams are ‘bits’ taken from the novel as indicated by page numbers.129Virginia Woolf “have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magicand delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice his natural size” (Salvio, 2007,pp.36 quoting Felman and Laub, 1992). “The mirror is the ultimate image of enclosure;instead of looking outward through a window, a woman is driven inward, obsessivelystudying self-images as if seeking a viable self’ (Paludi & Steurernagel, 1990,p.94). Itseems that as far back as Petrarch’ s Laura, the mirror was seen as the image of theidealized woman, the pedestal woman who could never live up to the cultural idealization.When I read as ifthe literary image were a dream, I come to understand that Reta is guiltyof complicity in her unconscious deification of the masculine. In her fantasy image, she“sees” her belief in heroic man. Reta must wake up and accept her own feminine power.Possibly The Hallway Mirror invites Reta to stand behind Lois looking over hershoulder into an image that comes from the self, the inner world and the body and reflectsthe potential questioning of the patriarchal structure of the literary canon. The image maygesture toward the enormity of the patriarchal structures in Reta’ s inner world. In the midstof her struggle to overcome her reluctance to continue to challenge conventional structures,Reta dreams Lois and The Hallway Mirror. The triple-size image of the man in her fantasy-image could point to her own strong resistance to subverting “canonized practices,” towriting the ordinary experiences of women. The dream provides a subjunctive space whereReta can explore the “potentials of certain paths” (Luce-Kapler, 2004,p.94).Perhaps The Hallway Mirror invites Reta to reflect on her letter writing and tospeak aloud the fact that there are enormous contradictions between the rhetoric of liberaldemocracy and the reality of women’s experience. What is the hypocrisy of the culturalinvitation to freedom, equality and possibility? Lewis (1993) says that the political effect130of this hypocrisy is “the way in which it invites us to internalize our limitations as if theywere of our own making. In such a social system, critique and dialogue is closed out at thevery moment it is offered up as a possibility” (Lewis, 1993,p.113). The incidence ofdepression and melancholy in women is significantly higher than that of men. Too oftenthis is viewed as the result of woman’s inferiority and is treated with prescription drugs toensure that the molten lava of women’s rage does not spew forth and eradicate thepatriarchal discipline which subordinates them (Northrup, 1995; Oliver, 2004). Weedon(2004) emphasizes that “[the] prescription for depression and melancholy is ... intimate, orpsychic, revolt. Intimate revolt is a challenge to authority and tradition analogous topolitical revolt that takes place within an individual and is essential to psychicdevelopment” (p. 142 quoting Kristeva). Perhaps timidly, but spurred on by Norah’sGoodness crisis, I believe that Reta is writing revolt. She writes unsent letters to heal herself and to surface the patriarchy embedded within her own consciousness. She writes toidentify and then to eradicate the patriarchy from her psyche through the metaphors ofplanting, growing, blooming, and ripening thyme. She writes to redefine her subjectivityand subject position.It is possible that Lois’ image of The Hallway Mirror is a bridge between theoutmoded and the new. It may be a bridge to dawning consciousness of her innate femininepower. Lois has accepted her socially conditioned subject position as the wife of animportant man. I believe the literary dream image could be interpreted as a psychic push toutilize her own power rather than leave it projected onto her now deceased husband.As I developed this dream reading, I connected Reta’ s experiences with my ownand through my identifications with her I began to believe that Reta is a midlife liminal131woman, that is, her status is “socially and structurally ambiguous,” not to mention invisibleto those around her. She is upper middle class, educated, privileged and yet still subjectedto the patriarchy. She lives within “the realm of pure possibility whence novelconfigurations of ideas and relations may arise” (LaShure, 2005,pp.2 citing VictorTurner, 1967; Salvio, 2007). This is the world at the edge of her personal boundaries; this isthe world where she is working to escape the patriarchal social structure. Perhaps Loisrepresents a warning against being secured more deeply into that structure. Perhaps as aliminal midlife woman, Reta is dangerous, a pollutant, a threat to the establishment for sheis writing extraordinary possibilities for ordinary women. Reta metaphorically removes thepins and uses the authority of the pen—an authority that the patriarchy tries to protect as itsown. Perhaps Mr. Springer unconsciously recognizes the possibility of her escape fromsocially imposed structures and the danger she poses if other women should learn of herinsubordinate actions, for she mocks the patriarchy by making Alicia the central characterin Thyme in Bloom. In dream reading, curious knowledge and theory rub shoulders as ideasthat we may often find slightly ridiculous, but we bring them forth trying to see where theyare in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Reta’s reminds me of my own midlifeexperiences when my journal writing helped me to channel my own experiences into newbeliefs and identifications.In dream reading we read as if we were referring to a real person. The literarydream image of Lois lives in a state of constant surveillance by The Hallway Mirror. Thegaze of the image gazing back at her is not her self, but the gaze of the dominator. VanManen (2002) explains:Sartre (1957) ... writes about ‘The Look’ and how it somehow robs us of oursubjective selves. When we realize we are being observed we become aware of132ourselves as an object for the other. We cease to be ourselves or a subject andbecome instead a set of parts for someone else to evaluate (p. 21).For the dream reader, Lois is a set of parts to her constructed self. She is the object of thepatriarchy’s prohibitions against women’s knowing. She has felt the absent presence of notknowing and the fear of knowing. Lois is role identified and she has consoled herself withbeing “the physician’s wife.” But when her physician husband dies, what is she then? Whathappens when our cardboard identity is changed against our wishes? Doll says “The rolebecomes the identity until there is no true inner self, only a persona. All energy goes tofulfilling the expectations of the collective, which in the case of women define them asservile, puerile and dependent” (Doll, 2000,p.103).Like Lois, Reta is a physician’s wife. She closets the scope of sexuality out of herwriting to satisfy her fear of public knowing of desire even in fictive paper characters. “Ihave three daughters; naturally I shrink from the thought of embarrassing them with what Ipublish” (Shields, 2002,p.187). Reta conforms to her inner censor’s frame of socialconvention. She never says these words out loud but they are there in her head. I believethe image of the no self in The Hallway Mirror may render visible to Reta how role playinghas defined her life performance. It frames her within the socially constructed boundariesof her culture. Reta is woman acting like woman when woman is defined by socialconvention. She gives herself the patriarchal correct answers.Weedon (1997) writes of the “affects of oppression—depression, shame, anger,and alienation [as] pathologized as individual or group sickness or even evil”(p.87).Dream #8 gestures to the patriarchal medical narrative of melancholy. Lois takes to her bedfor two weeks. Her husband, with the patriarchal male authority of both doctor andhusband, is determined that he will “take” her to the Mayo Clinic. Lois refuses. But, rather133than examine and change beliefs and assumptions unconsciously inherited and internalizedfrom our culture, she succumbs to an acceptable level of normalcy—she gets out of her bedand sanitizes her bathroom like it has never been sanitized before. Metaphorically, sheeradicates earthiness and passion from her being. Northrup (1995) asserts that we havebeen conditioned to believe in the “myth of the medical gods ... that the expert holds thecure”(p.9). To satisfy the myth, the patriarchal medical structures demand that womensuccumb to being made “normal” even at the risk of losing ourselves. Reta uses thenarrative of the cure with Norah, “It may be you have some mineral or vitamin deficiency,something as simple as that” (Shields, 2002,p.131). In the margins of Unless, I havepenciled, “WOW! Still.”Memories of my own medical narrative flood back to me as I work with TheHallway Mirror image. The narrative includes a never-ending series of prescriptions foreverything from little red “rheumatism” pills beginning when I was six—the body doesn’tforget pain—and Phenobarbital at 16. I was quiet then. I still remember the constant achingpain. The pills didn’t help. Tonics. Iron tonics. Vitamin tonics. Later, Valium. Then,Tranxene. Over many years, dozens of prescriptions from doctors, therapists andpsychiatrists for different drugs including anti-depressants. Drugs whose names I don’tremember. I didn’t write everything down then. I also know well the affects of oppression,that is, despair as “sin” to be confessed to the priest (Appendix XII). Both the doctors andmy parish priest were angry when the medical cures didn’t work.Claiming that even the space to fully articulate these experiences is “denied inmainstream cultural and social institutions,” Weedon (1997) adds that the oppressed aredoubly disqualified by their exclusion from positions of power (p. 89). Women in fiction134such as Reta and Lois are also excluded from power. I think about reasons for what feels tome like the flat emotional landscape of Unless. As a reader, I find it difficult to think ofReta as oppressed. By conventional standards, she has a very good life. Yet she struggles toarticulate anger and claims that “it’s dehumanizing.” She struggles to have her literaryfiction considered serious and to have her fictional female characters deemed “suitable” asthe moral center of her writing. As Reta dreams The Hallway Mirror Lois image, perhapsthe dream is asking her to reflect on the multiple bits of dark shame, anger, depression, andalienation that occupy aspects of her psyche. Her psyche has been invaded by aliens,colonized by the negative self-images that alienate her as Other and from herself as anagent in her own life. Lois and The Hallway Mirror, in Jungian terms, may reflect theshadow side of Reta.Mythologies throughout cultures “are replete with archetypal images of the creativeand destructive Madwoman, showing the universality of her presence in the human psycheand of our experience of her forces (Leonard, 1994,p.8). In a psychotherapy art and danceclass, I learned to “dance” the Dark Goddess, Kali (Carison, 1989). This therapeuticart/dance process was designed to provide women with the energy and foresight to groundthemselves deeply before entering reluctantly into the devouring surveillance realm ofpatriarchal power such as the director’s office, or when making a presentation to an allmale audience in three piece pinstriped suits, or sharing an unwelcome truth with adomineering colleague—male or female. Traditionally Kali is the Hindu Goddess ofcreation and destruction. “Kali dances wildly on the corpses of the dead, surrounded bywailing female spirits. She also “gathers the seeds for creating new life” (Leonard, 1994,p.8). Kali represents many aspects of both creation and destruction. “For women to contact135Kali, they often have to become violent and terrible—traits not considered feminine norassociated with the ‘nice little girl’ idealization” (Starck & Stern, 1993,P.82).As an image in Reta’s dream, what is Lois telling me? As Lois sings into TheHallway Mirror, she sees not herself, but a man thrice-normal size! Is it possible that shehas gone mad? Leonard (1994) says thatTo be put under external, unnatural rules though values, duties, and structures thatare not his or her own can throw any person off balance. The person expected toconform to these restrictions and models of behavior will inevitably fall short andbe victimized by the authority figure’s negative judgments (p. 15).She is framed. Constructed by a frame. A woman constructed in the image of thepatriarchy. Lois is the image of Reta’ s inability to accept her own feminine powers. Asdream, the image might be telling Reta that she has become identified with the victim roleand gives the patriarchy more power than is truly necessary. Reta’ s dismissive commentsabout Lois’ desserts could be the image of outdated sweetness or sentimentalism, but it alsomight be the aichemical transformative image. The Pyrex dish could be seeing through tothe other side. Or the image might shout about feeling the lack of appreciation for theidealized pedestal role that women play in nurturing and supporting the family even whilethat same role is denigrated. The Madwoman archetype, in many forms, appears in dreamsto invite the dreamer to wake up and to look at the patriarchal structure together with hersuppressed fears and anger.Lois has spent her life in the service of family, of proper public image and as thewife of a physician. Rather than mirroring herself and providing self-affirmation, the imagespeaks to unacknowledged and buried fears which suppress her soul energy. She is silent.The mirror shows her the twisted, distorted forms of the feminine and the masculine andthe tragic imbalance that exists. The mirror has a fairy tale function. It induces narcissism136but with a twist. This female narcissism is Lois settling for patriarchal structures and dryinvisibility. She is prostituted, that is, “kept” by the false image. Fears not consciouslyfaced become the destructive aspect of the Madwoman archetype. Leonard (1994) outlinesthe lives of many women who have used the spirit of the Madwomen archetype to remaintrue to their vision and to the erotic and creative relationship to soul. Speaking of AnaïsNm, she writes, “Remaining true to her own vision, she created from her own center offeeling and intuition. She wrote many novels and brought the journal form into popularity”(Leonard, 1994,p.135). Further, she explores the process of “surrendering to the body’sprocess of aging,” a process Reta alludes to many times (Leonard, 1994,p.135). Womenstruggling to integrate the powerful energies of midlife often experience Madwomandreams.The Hallway Mirror may reflect Reta’ s non-reflectiveness. It may indicate herstruggle with the Madwoman and the Judge energies (Leonard, 1994). But Reta’ s creativemadness could be “madness of divine origin” as opposed to destructive madness which“isolates and impoverishes us” leaving us to believe that “social convention” and the“mundane world” are reality (Leonard, 1994,p.19). Lois and The Hallway Mirror fantasymay be telling Reta to pay attention to the archetypal Madwoman madness and to utilizethe energy for creative and positive action (Leonard, 1994). Notice that Reta is astonishedthat Mr. Springer has learned more about Lois in one conversation than Reta has in years ofliving next door. Lois’ response? “He asked.” Metaphorically, this might mean that Retamust befriend the Madwoman in her dreams, ask her what soul wisdom she brings and howto harness that energy.137Leonard (1994) speaks to the creation of the Madwoman projection as oftenlanding on widowed, older women who stay to themselves. We know only that Lois hasbeen widowed 12 years. She is not “old” as Danielle Westerman is old. “The presumptionthat solitary women are unhappy or pitiable is not only patronizing, it usually reflects thefear of loneliness with the [the personi making the projection” (Leonard, 1994,p.188).Lois is the “widowed, older woman.” She appears in Reta’s dreams. Reta writes letters.Reta writes Thyme in Bloom and plans for Autumn Thyme. The dream image encouragesher to continue her creative pursuits in the face of the Man in the Woman’s Self Mirror andto recognize her need to feel safe by succumbing to Mr. Springer’s power. Reta fears thepossibility of being eliminated from the world of publishing. She stands on the threshold.The Hallway Mirror may say that the Madwoman energies are considered dangerous tosociety for the woman imbued with Madwoman energy is prone to truth telling. Theunwelcome truth. Reta writes letters. Eventually, Reta integrates her good girl image, goespublic, and makes a small rebellious move. She mails the sixth and final letter. I write ashort poem in honor of the Madwoman.Stay SilentDespondent, burbling woman.Invisible flaw in a male universe.You complain that you are completely and casually shut out.Your anger is not humanizing.Speak gently. Whisper.No screaming. No whining. No hysteria. No stamping of foot.Look down the hallway past the series ofobstacles and aligned locked doors.Miniaturist of fiction.Casual disregard is making you crazy? You might be mad?Ah! But that’s all in your imagination.138Invitation into the ImaginationDream reading is accompanied by a writing practice. Writing The SubjunctiveCottage, Luce-Kapler (2004) quotes Carol Shields:A narrative isn’t something you pull along like a toy train, a perpetually thrustingindicative. It’s this little subjunctive cottage by the side of the road. All you have todo is open the door and walk in (p. 79).A narrative dream reading of The Hallway Mirror image invites us to imagine walking intoand through the mirror. Imagination invites us to walk into and through the largely invisiblemargins and contexts of our lives and to find potential hidden meanings. The HallwayMirror further invites us to make the margins of our lives visible to ourselves. Pulling fromSumara (1996), Greene (1995), and Pinar et al (1995), Luce-Kapler (2004) writes, “Onecan only imagine how the teaching-learning relation could be transformed if students andteachers could read cultural and literary texts differently, more actively” (p. 129). I believedream reading as literary engagement helps to school the literary imagination. In this dreamreading we simply have to open The Hallway Mirror and walk in. If this were my dreamIf this were my dream and I had unlimited pages and time, I would play with the image ofbread pudding as a sacred image of the Holy wafer. I would play with the image of toadscoming out of Lois’ mouth since toads were believed to be the witches’ familiar in theMiddle Ages and in the Burning Times. In pre-Christian times, toads were seen as theembodiment of dead souls. When Christianity took over, killing toads was considered anact of piety for which one was forgiven nine sins (Valk, 2001). If this were my dream, IAccording to Guiley (1998), Kelsey (1978) and Jung (1989), dreams exist beyondthe limits of time and space, incorporate past, present and future simultaneously and arepopulated with persons both familiar and unfamiliar. This is the world of Jung’s mundus139imaginalis. the imaginal world, the bridge between worlds. It is not the imaginary orfantastical but is rather a timeless reality continually arising from the material world. Interms of the so-called new physics, the mundus imaginalis emerges from David Bohm’simplicate order, that is, the enfolded order, the unbroken, and deep level of timeless reality.The explicate or unfolded order arises from the implicate and is known to us as the materialworld. Energy flows on the threshold between the worlds and gives rise to what Jungnamed synchronicity. The implicate order is the world of deep meditation, the mystics’world known through meditation and prayer. We sometimes gain access to this worldthrough our dreams. Our attempts to fit the world of dreams into behaviorist, positivist,rational models has resulted only in attempts to measure, quantify and replicate experienceswhich do not fit into modem Westem conceptual notions. Dreams cannot be evaluatedagainst the canons of science. The dream world is unacceptable to the patriarchy.In this chapter I have argued that dream reading characters in the novel makes itpossible to escape from the dominant thought forms embedded in the patriarchal discourseof power. Interpreting the reader’s identifications with the consciousness of characters in anovel is like interpreting a dream. With the literary novel, it is the novelist’s dream thatmore fully represents a depiction of consciousness beyond what we can see in “real” life. Iuse the subjunctive as zfto enter more deeply into this consciousness. The “dream” of TheHallway Mirror then becomes a metaphor for the structures of the conscious mind bothconscious and unconscious. The commonplace created by various readers’ writing andtheoretical practices can yield a personal / cultural world of insight beyond the ordinary. AsI read The Hallway Mirror dream, I enter into Reta’ s consciousness. I come to believe thatI have been too male-identified. Like the dream image in The Two Faces of Eve which140began this chapter, I was hard, cold, aloof and “manly.” Through the literary dream image Ican explore the cultural limitations imposed by socially conditioned gender roles. Writingmy dream journals enabled me to identify the role that institutional church and educationplayed in limiting my beliefs about women and the downfall of mankind. I identify withReta’s epistolary writing to misogynist magazine publishers and authors who “routinelyoverlooked half the world’s population” (Shields, 2002,p.220). I believe that her lettersare like my journal wherein I write my way to freedom by questioning, redefining andreshaping my beliefs. Like my dream journal, Reta’ s letters help her to bring toconsciousness her self-policing unconscious beliefs that she is wrong and will becondemned as hysterical, inational and overemotional. In every letter, Reta repeatsvariations of the same thought. “I am trying to put forward my objection gently. I’m notscreaming ... whining ... stamping my lady-size foot. ... Whispering is more like it.Anger is not humanizing” (Shields, 2002,p.220). As a child, I learned that anger isagainst the Ten Commandments and therefore a mortal sin.As a teacher educator, I believe exploring consciousness through literary dreamimages in the novel provides the opportunity to think otherwise, to explore the unfamiliarand discover the unwanted, hidden structures imposed by logos, the word. As a teachereducator, I need to explore the social control of freedom with my students. Boler (1999)identifies the power of self-policing taught through character education and the newmental-hygiene movement renamed as emotional intelligence. Grumet (1988) provides alist of what women were to learn according to Louisa May Alcott in Little Women. Ilearned everything on the list. I identify deeply with Reta’ s all too quiet silence and anger.As a teacher educator, I want to work with my students to understand the role of education141in the social control of emotion. I want my students to see clearly that without the historyof women’s lives including their intellectual contributions, a whole generation of daughtersis doomed to repeat the cycle, going over the same ground that our generation andcountless generations past have already uncovered. I conclude this dream reading of TheHallway Mirror, with a quote from Boler (1999):Women are conscripted as the agents of this power: required to enforce patriarchalvalues and laws, to instill virtues which are gendered. Not only do women assist instrategies of individualization, urging children to ‘self-control,’ they also participatein their own subjugation by reinforcing the control of emotions and gendered rulesof emotions(p.40).As educators, teachers need to understand this.In chapter six, I argue that through studying the consciousness of as fliterarydream characters, I can uncover aspects of my self that I have unconsciously hidden as Ibecome one of my tribe through the socialization process.1426.Creating the Space of Doubt: A Theory of DanielleThe open door to the soul liesthrough the scars of the wound.Leering scarred burned nightmare face—door to ancient wisdom.Personal Journal, June 6, 1993***Like a thief at the gates, the unconscious slips through the cracks of conscious control.Mary Aswell Doll, 1982,P.198.Dream reading the novel and its symbols is an interpretive activity creating a newlife pattern. It has the potential to provoke, to disrupt and to enrich both personal andprofessional identity. How is Reta’ s identity shifted and shaped as I read the fictive imagesof Danielle as ifshe were a dream?In this chapter I further explore how the reader identifies with and interprets an as ifdream image. Dream reading the novel loosens language; it unfixes the one-to-one meaningof words. In the Genesis creation myth, Adam names the animals—and also woman. Giventhat Eve was not consulted, indeed, the world is named from the male point of view. Aswomen begin to re-name the world, we are upsetting the “natural order” of things. Dreamreading may help to call humanity and the world into new being as we name women’sexperience in a transformation of culture and religion. Dream reading brings the literarytext closer to the unconscious or at least points to the power of both the personal and thecollective unconscious. I further interpret my fictional identifications with Reta through atheory of Danielle as The Wise Old Woman, the Crone. This continued dream reading143amplification highlights the built in gender analysis in Unless. As the dream reader, Iidentify with the fictive characters through imagining what the character is thinking, feelingand re-membering. I notice the continued attempts at the containment of women. Throughthe shadow as an aspect of psyche and the archetype of the Crone or The Old WiseWoman, I reflect on Danielle, interpretations of the dark side and translation. I brieflyconsider the trilobite and the egg as archaic, archetypal images.The Western literary canon has determined that dreams do not contribute toknowledge for “enlightened” people. The dream has been “othered” much the same way aswomen, Indigenous people, the poor, and races “other” than white. Written scholarship andliterature have been privileged as ways of knowing. However, I believe that the dreamplaces our inner world on a different plane. Despite the Canon, women can come to know,to understand and to identify more deeply with aspects of themselves learned through thepractice of dream reading. I recognize that I will never fully understand my own identity.All that “I” am is beyond my grasp, beyond the range of my understanding. Because I amnever fully able to comprehend my self or the world around me, I employ symbols to assistin conceptually creating the unrepresentable. Further, I “produce symbols unconsciouslyand spontaneously, in the form of dreams” (Jung & Franz, 1964.p.4). Some of thesesymbols and images I recognize and others I may not; therefore, interpretation becomes aceaseless work. Both natural and spontaneous symbols always stand for more than theirimmediate meaning. As well as individual symbols meaningful to each person, Jung spent alifetime excavating symbols arising out of his collective unconscious through dreams.Cultural anthropologists such as Riane Eisler (1987) and Jungian story tellers like Estes(1992) show us that the symbolic patterns of ancient ritual and myth still exist in our144culture as well as among tribes virtually unchanged over the centuries and living on theedges of supposed civilization. Feminist archeologists such as Gimbutas (1991) continueto uncover the ancient history of civilization through artifacts and remnants of survivingmyths and images. According to Jung,(T)he human mind has its own history and the psyche retains many traces left fromprevious stages of its development. More than this, the contents of the unconsciousexert a formative influence on the psyche. Consciously we may ignore them, butunconsciously we respond to them, and to the symbolic forms—including dreams—in which they express themselves (1964,p.98).According to Lodge, the novel can create dense representations of life asconsciously experienced, that is, “fictional models of what it is like to be a human being,moving through time and space” (2002,p.10). At the same time, dreams are a directexpression of both the personal and the collective unconscious. Thus dreams have thepotential to open us to greater consciousness. It is possible that the reader responds to thenovelist’s fictive images as ifthey were dream images arising from their own personalunconscious or the collective unconscious. Lodge (2002) argues that literature is a rich,far-ranging and inclusive record of human consciousness. If we read a novel as fit werea dream, we expand the possibility to understand more deeply the development of humanconsciousness. And if we expand our understanding of the development of humanconsciousness, perhaps we will expand our understanding of the roots of patriarchalconsciousness and our involvement in it. Jung (1964) thought that perhaps since weconsider that it is worth investigating the life of a louse, we might consider further anddeeper ongoing investigation of our dreams. If we assume that dreams are normal events,we are “bound to consider that they are either causal—i.e., that there is a rational causefor their existence—or in a certain way purposive, or both” (Jung & Franz,p.18). The145content of the unconscious is only temporarily obscured while it continues to influenceour consciousness.I approach this final dream reading in the manner of the critic of consciousnesswherein literature is “viewed as a genesis, a conscious effort on the part of an individualartist to understand his (sic) own experience by framing it in language. The reader whoencounters the work must recreate it in terms of his (sic) consciousness” (Greene, 1975,p.300 emphasis in the original). Citing Sartre, Greene (1975) maintains that a work ofliterature becomes meaningful only through continual reconstructions. Over time, thedream reader creates structures through her imagination which move her away from thewriter’s work while creating a structure or semantic mapping of her own meaning.Using my own peculiar meaning system, I elaborate the image of feminist DanielleWesterman as a manifestation of Reta’ s midlife experience as her understanding of croneconsciousness grows into expression. As the dream reader, my personal experience withthe growth of crone consciousness further develops through my readings of Unless. It isimportant to make sense of Danielle as ifshe were a crone in Reta’s dream life so that Imight more deeply understand how Reta’ s experiences continue in my life and in the livesof “older” academic women. I believe that, like many women living in bodies deeplyinscribed by patriarchy, I have been and continue to be compelled by my own midlifeexperiences to create change in my personal and professional identity. I identify deeplywith Reta and through her with the images surrounding Danielle.As I began to create this theory of Danielle, it is helpful to remember that a dreamalways points to the unknown, unconscious, and potentially emergent. Dreams do notreiterate situations that I already understand. Also, throughout the reading and writing of a146theory of Lois, I struggled to forge a meaningful link between the dream images ofDanielle and Lois. Now as I write a theory of Danielle, the two women begin to both mergeand emerge as twin shadow figures in Reta’s psyche.Excerptsfrom Unless (Shields, 2002) considered as a series ofReta ‘s dreams’6Dream #1I am sleeping in the great, wide bed [in the writer’s suite]. I have a disturbing but not unfamiliar dream—it isthe dream I always have when I am away from Orangetown, away from the family. I am standing in thekitchen at home, producing a complicated meal for guests, but there is not enough food to work with. In thefridge sits a single egg’7 and maybe a tomato. How am I going to feed all those hungry mouths (p. 83)?Dream #2Danielle Westerman appears again. She has thin shoulders, rather narrow, a blue wool knitted vest that shouldbe replaced. A silver bangle on a wrist that looks like it’s made of old wax, three silver rings, loose on herbony hands. She listens as I explain my bitter disappointment with the article about The Goodness Gap andthe letter I dashed off to its unreconstructed author.“Did you mail this letter?” she asks. I explain that I sometimes don’t believe what I write. I wonder who isthis self-pitying harridan who has put down such words, who is the person writing pitiful letters to strangers?So who is this madwoman, constructing a tottering fantasy of female exclusion and pinning it on herdaughter? I ask her how she bears the exclusion. All the words she’s written, all the years buried inside her.What does her shelf of books amount to, what force have these books on the world?She shrugs. For a split second I interpret this as a shrug of surrender. But no. To my surprise, she breakssuddenly into a bright smile, her false teeth gleaming like tiles. And then, slowly, making a graceful arc in theair, she salutes me with her glass of tea. The dream ends (p. 227 —228).Dream #3Danielle Westerman appears yet again. I “know” that she is working on the two identities she neverreconciled—daughter, writer—are coming together. Translation is keeping her mind sharp, she says, likedoing a crossword puzzle. A daily task to begin and complete. She’s just turned eighty-six(p.319).Dream #4I am not surprised when Danielle Westerman appears yet again. A voice reiterates that she is a woman withtwenty-seven honorary degrees and she’s given the world a shelf of books. She’s given her thoughts and herdiagram for a new, better, just world. A high school in Ontario is named after her, and in France, in the smallcity of Macon, there is a Danielle Westerman Square, a surprisingly beautiful public space with linden treesand cobbled paths ... (p. 223).The shadow archetype is an important concept in Jungian psychology. Jungpreferred the poeticism of the word shadow rather than a more scientific term. He believedthat the shadow shifted with the mood and the moment, being sometimes more andsometimes less aware (Berry, 1982). The shifting, slippery nature of the shadow is not thatof the binary. Rather it is like the nesting of spirals. The shadow refers to those aspects of‘These stylized imaginary dreams are ‘bits’ taken from the novel as indicated by page numbers.“See Appendix 8 for research on the mythology of the cosmic egg.147the personality that have been tucked away, repressed and ignored for the sake of the ego.If we want to “see” our shadow, we need only to look to the “other.”(T)he shadow cast by the conscious mind of the individual contains the hidden,repressed, and unfavorable (or nefarious) aspects of the personality. But thisdarkness is not just the simple converse of the conscious ego. Just as the egocontains unfavorable and destructive attitudes, so the shadow has good qualities—normal instincts and creative impulses. Ego and Shadow, indeed, although separate,are inextricably linked together ... (Jung & Franz, 1964,p.110).Leonard (1991), Starck and Stern (1993) as well as many other Jungians alert us to ourfear of the shadow and its role in midlife change. It is difficult to think about, but whatcomes to mind for me when I think about this fear, is the possibility of my own immensefear of knowing the power, vulnerability and chaos represented by the dark feminine.Aguiar (2001) supports Jung’s theory of the drive to wholeness or individuationand therefore the evolution of woman through life stages—child, maiden, mother andcrone. Danielle, The Old Wise Woman, acts akin to the Oracle at Delphi. Danielle evokesThe Wise Woman Crone archetype saying, “Don’t hide your dark side from yourself... it’swhat keeps us going forward, that pushing away from the blinding brilliance” (Shields,2002, p. 82). Danielle as a visitation dream image provokes internally persuasive discourseor “the discourse of becoming” and speaks of one’s own subjectivity including theobjective conditions around us. This is the discourse of the rebellious and is “denied allprivilege” (Britzman, 2003,p.42). This is renegade, subversive knowledge and has noinstitutional privilege, but it “is able to reveal ever newer ways to mean” (Britzman, 2003,p.42).Dreams provide internally persuasive discourse through presenting new images andnew metaphors which we can extend, discard or retain as part of our world. Dream contentis the starting point; the dreamer must develop her own insights into the dream.148Following Cixous, Aguiar (2001) is definitive in her claim thatWomen are taught to despise themselves, to distrust other women and to fear theparts of their selves that strive toward power. The myriad of bitch portrayals inmyth and literature serve to underscore that self-hatred, teaching women to rejecttheir own ‘dark’ sides. In essence ... [a] false model of femininity is rendered:compliance, self-abnegation, fidelity, and opposition to this model are then decriedas bitchiness, evil, malignancy (p. 114).This is a very powerful statement in relationship to social convention and the dark side aswell as mimetic role playing and group identification as social regulation and coordination.Donald (2001) explains how group interaction will quickly break down to become“unstable and quirky” when there is no agreement on the role that each person plays in thedyad or in the group.What is the mimetic role of Crone Danielle Westerman in the Western literarycanon? Donald (2001) claims that “Social structures depend heavily on mimetic consensusfor their smooth operation” (p. 266). When Reta behaves outside of her canon-defined rolein her conversation with Mr. Springer, both are uncomfortable. As a dream character inReta’ s psyche, when Danielle Westerman behaves, dresses, speaks out of canon cronecharacter, social consciousness is disrupted. Danielle is an 86-year-old woman and a highlypublished feminist writer. What mimetic role do old women play in Reta’ s life? Remember,in Unless we learn only that Reta’s mother painted china teacups. Reta must translateDanielle, as dream figure, into the mimetic structures of her consciousness. Mimesis is ahighly effective form of social control. According to Donald (2001) it is a “managementdevice [and] it evokes and enforces a pattern of consensual action [that] is controlledlargely by mimetic action, such as pointing, vocalizing, and eye movements”(p. 267).The essence of mimesis explains some of the extreme difficulty in recognizing andresponding to both the need and the desire to change female roles such as the canonical role149of the crone. A check of dictionary references shows that the crone is seen variously aswithered, witchlike, a hag, an ugly evil-looking old woman. Other descriptions in thevernacular include old biddy, crazy old bitch, crazy woman, dried up, unproductive, andcrazy old bag. Crone Reta is birthing even though the juices of physical reproduction areleaving her body as she enters into menopause. As the crone aspect of the Trinity, the croneappears ageless, timeless, exquisite and terrible, frightening and awesome. As Medusa theCrone, she is wise and aged. Her wild grey hair loops like snakes. She is. She is Life.Death. Rebirth. She is Death as the beginning not the end. She is the turning of the wheel;the Owl, bird of wisdom and the Vulture, bird of prey. She is both Creator and Destroyer.New juices inhabit her body—vision, power and creativity birth her wisdom into words andimages reflecting her likeness into the culture of the world.The crone must fill the modern cultural distributive network with crone-seed so thatthe authentic stories and images of the crone can be born back into the culture and so thatthe crone archetype will be endlessly activated. Danielle suggests that Reta explore thedark side. I have come to understand that it is in the darkness that healing is found.Patriarchal Christianity has reviled the Medusa as one of the three sister Gorgons who turnmen to stone, as the fearsome death dealing goddess. Danielle calls forth images of theMedusa. She is not the modern version of the pastel purple knitting granny. As Crone shecalls forth strength, wildness, and connection. She is unafraid and unapologetic. Danielle’ swriting isn’t in the canon but the public square, perhaps symbolic of the wholeness of thequaternity, will stand long after she is gone.Jungian analysts Abrams and Zweig (1991) and Sanford (1989) tell us that wemust meet the shadow and develop a relationship with it so that we may balance our150conscious and unconscious attitudes. Jung pointed out in much of his writing that theshadow becomes dangerous because we work far too hard to repress what we fear to knowabout ourselves. This explains the fervent need we may have to eradicate the “evil” inothers rather than acknowledge our own. It also may explain why I took an early negativeattitude to Lois and her invisibility. I fear my own. I was angry with Reta for virtuallyignoring Lois. As I age, the fear of being ignored and invisible heightens.Jungians often use the metaphor of the shadow as the “invisible long bag” we dragbehind us and which drains our energy. The theory is that whatever we put into the shadowbag regresses and over time degenerates into barbarism. We then project this regressionand barbarism onto the “other,” projecting onto them all those things we dislike and fear inourselves due to the prevailing social conventions of our culture (Abrams & Zweig, 1991;Jung & von Franz, 1964). But the fact is that much of our potential treasure lies dormant inthe shadow (Leonard, 1994; Sanford, 1989; Savary, et al., 1984; Starck & Stem, 1993).With each peer, parent, teacher or other authority’s negative comment, we put our anger,our creativity, our insightfulness, wildness, impulsiveness, intuitiveness, sexuality, andspontaneity into the metaphorical shadow bag and pull it tightly closed.The prevailing Jungian attitude is that we must recognize and integrate the shadowso that we are able to develop a coherent (not essential) and dynamic sense of self.However, “... some aspect of the shadow always appears negative—the shadow is tooassertive, too independent, too sexual—doesn’t act the way a nice girl should” (Stark &Stem, 1993a,pp.3 - 4). Jung and his followers have long advocated the transformation ofold beliefs and patterns of behavior. Danielle is too independent and outspoken to be a nicegirl. Lois on the other hand may have shoved her independence and her thoughts into the151unconscious in exchange for the rewards received for quiet and passive “feminine”behavior. Lois is the vapid, mousy, servant-like, and unassuming mother-in-law.Becoming aware of old patterns of behavior is the work of midlife. There seemslittle doubt that aging is an issue in Unless. We learn the exact ages of Norah (20), Reta(43 and 44), Lois (70) and Danielle (86). As dreams, these shadow figures may be thetendencies Reta has hidden from herself—the tendency to stay away from any controversy,to worry about Tom and the girls and to not let her writing be more important than her roleas wife and mother. These dream images may be telling Reta about her own desire not toknow and appreciate her gifts and talents. Reta has two possible dream models of aging—Danielle or Lois. Perhaps Reta is afraid she will emerge as strong, outspoken and assertivelike Danielle but still be excluded from the canon. Perhaps she is afraid she will become thealmost invisible and seldom noticed Lois. It seems that the dream reader may be able to payattention to the contradictions in the two figures. Lois and Danielle as aspects of theshadow may symbolically be the creative union of opposites.Dream reading as literary engagement is akin to experiencing a kaleidoscope. Themultitudinous glass bits and their endless interpretations define an approach of deep powerto the “pattern which connects” (Bateson, 1979,p.77). Humans are pattern seekers. Myriadideas, figures and images appear in our dreams and over time create a feeling, anenvironment, a pattern of connections. They become a narrative, a created, reconfigured,interpretive story of who we are and who we are becoming. As Kerby says,Our identity is that of a particular historical being, and this identity can persistonly through the continued integration of ongoing experience. Because we bringour history along with us ... new experiences will tend to flow into this story ofour lives, augmenting it and adapting themselves to it (1991,p.45).Dream reading Danielle creates many possible experiences of cronedom.152Jung (1964, 1989) considered our tendency to repression as the major issue withthe shadow aspect of our psyche. Rather than demonic or evil, he saw the shadow side asundeveloped, inferior, primitive, and unadapted. These qualities, if developed, wouldembellish and animate human living. Many cultures construct darkness as evil and havelittle understanding of the workings of the unconscious or the shadow side. “When wecome face-to-face with our darker side, we use metaphors to describe these shadowencounters: meeting our demons, wrestling with the devil, descent to the underworld, darknight of the soul, midlife crisis” (Abrams & Zweig, 1991,p.3). The collectiveunconscious contains numinous figures such as the archetype of The Old Wise Woman.The dark side or shadow holds deep treasure and whereas this has been culturallyconstructed as shadowed, dark, black in dreams, there is no essential evil in color. In dreamwork, black is recovered from the Inquisitors who assigned evil and darkness to women’ssexuality, procreativity and the healing arts. Black is referenced to The Song of Songs andto theblack Virgins in Spain and Southern France—we have a famous one at Liuch inMajorca—are black because the Saracen occupation during the Middle Ages taughtthe local Christians to equate black with wise—hence the Black Arts wereoriginally the Wise Arts” (Graves, 1973,p.15).Black might also be considered the color of mastery as in the black belt ofjudo. It is thedark phase of the moon which gives way to its next phase. Black is the aichemical color ofthe dissolution of the soul in its last stages of development. Black is the color of the witch,the hag, and the crone. No seed grows which does not thrust its shoots up from the warmnurturing darkness of the earth. Black is the Black Madonna (Mato, 1994). Black is Kali(Leonard, 1994).153The crone, hag or other derogatory word has been thrust down and hidden as part ofthe collective shadow. Part of that shadow is our fear of death. We will not become old.Through whatever possible miracles and machinations of diet, cosmetic surgery, makeupand physical fitness regime, we shall remain young. Perhaps Danielle is advising Reta toinvoke Hecate, the Dark Goddess of aging. According to Starck and Stem (1993), Hecatecomes from older mythology. She is linked with Persephone but usually seen as a separatefigure. Hecate is the hag or the crone, the dark aspect of the triple goddess. Women areadvised to evoke the shadow through ritual to celebrate the crone stage and its freedomfrom childbearing, childrearing, housewifery and the rules of the patriarchy and its Westerncanon. The crone, hag, old wise woman stage is the psychic opening to the inner questionsand life ambitions which have yet to be realized. The crone phase may be the one-third oflife that belongs to woman all-one (alone). But first, the woman must integrate aspects ofthe shadow such as rage. She must acknowledge her fear that unleashing her rage willdrown all those around her in molten lava, or that due to her rage she will be deemedpathological (Weedon, 1997). She must not relate literally to the dream images. She mustwork to accept dissolution and change. Perhaps when The Old Wise Woman advises Retato pay attention to the dark side, she is referring to rage. Perhaps she is also advising Retato use her rage as e-motion, that is, energy to move her toward assertiveness.As I read and re-read Unless, I am struck with Reta’ s muted response to thedisappearance of her daughter, to the comments of her editors, especially Springer, and tothe many articles she read that showed a total and “casual disregard” for over half thehuman race. Yet, for me she continued to project total equanimity. I find myself wonderingif Reta has confused the position of women as individuals with their position as a group.154There is no doubt that as an individual Reta has benefited from the privilege of White raceand middle class. However, as a member of the group, woman, she is automatically labeledinferior. She is expected to justify her success outside of the home while recognizing thatshe has selfishly put her own needs as a successful writer above her family. I suggest thatthe grossly unfair but continuous drip of the acid of inferiority and selfishness just mightproduce rage. Rage. “Rage is a quality that the Dark Goddess represents. She rages againsthumanity in her form as Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess, who, when the volcano overflows,destroys all that is in her path (Starck & Stem, 1993,p.6). I understand buried anger andrage. As I write this, I recall the many times I heard as a child that anger is a sin; anger isnot ladylike; anger is inappropriate; anger is something nice girls neither experience norexpress. This is the colonization of psychic space (Oliver, 2004), the creation of patriarchalculture that I continue to work to re-create. The generation and reproduction of patriarchalconsciousness is a key consideration for radical feminists devoted to changing thestructures of patriarchal society.Merlin Donald (2001) tells us that the human mind, being a hybrid product ofbiology and culture, cannot come into existence on its own; therefore, we must abandon thesolipsism. He further argues that the human mind both generates and assimilates cultureand that the experiences of the human mind are screened through culture. We areprogrammed by culture to respond in certain ways using the symbolic skills that we acquirebeginning with infancy or earlier. Donald (2001) maintains that human cultures are potentteachers since their members manage one another’s interests through a labyrinth of culturalpractices. Weedon claims that meaning is produced through language. Individual signs(signifiers) do not have intrinsic meaning, but acquire meaning through the language chain155and through their difference from other signs. Language exists in “historically specificdiscourses” (Weedon, 1997,p.23). Learning language embeds us in that discourse fromwhich escape is difficult. Thus, to break out of the meaning produced through writtenlanguage into the symbolic language of the dream creates internal dissonance. “(T)heindividual is always the site of conflicting forms of subjectivity. As we acquire language,we learn to give voice—meaning—to our experience and to understand it according toparticular ways of thinking, particular discourses, which pre-date our entry into language”(Weedon, 1997,p.32).It is important to recognize that the culturally produced maiden-mother aspects oflife are not forgotten, not less significant, not erased through our journey to the crone. Theyare re-created and integrated. Women must never deny the “adequacy, influence, andexistence” of the pre-Oedipal relation we knew as children (Grumet, 1988,p.20). Dreamsand therefore dream reading might be an endless becoming, a perpetual birthing of theworld of the feminine and pre-Oedipal language. Weedon (1997) is emphatic in herdeclaration of the phallocentrism of the symbolic order “structured according to the law ofthe Father”(p.69). In summarizing her rejection of Freud and Lacan and their focus on thephallic structuring of psycho-sexual development, Weedon speaks to women’s “rejection ofthe rationalist norms of the symbolic order” and points out that “the feminist discourses ofmysticism, magic, poetry and art” contest the patriarchy and attempt to restore thefeminine. She states, “There can be no escaping patriarchy except through a return of therepressed feminine aspects of language” (Weedon, 1997,p.69). I want to add dreamreading to this educated resistance. Perhaps it is the role of the crone, secure in her selfauthority, who can dream the return of the repressed feminine.156It is through integration that the enormous shadow power latent in the unconsciouscan be transformed into an energy force for joyful, productive aging. I identify deeply withthe literary dream image of Danielle. I want, I need, I desire to unleash the potent andcreative inner forces to become like Danielle as Reta sees her through volume three of hermemoirs.What is new is the suppleness and strength of her sentences. Always an artist ofconcision and selflessness, she has arrived in her old age at a gorgeous fluidity andexpansion of phrase. My translation doesn’t begin to express what she hasaccomplished (Shields, 2002,p.14).We have precious few positive images of The Old Wise Woman (Anderson &Zinsser, 1988; Lemer, 1993). The knowledge of the village midwife and wise woman as,“an elder acknowledged to have special skill with herbs and who knew rituals and prayersthat could cure” (Anderson & Zinsser, 1988,p.110) disappeared or was drivenunderground with the inquisition and witchcraft trials in the 14th through 17th centuries.As Danielle appears in Reta’s dreams, she is caring, feisty, self-assertive, strong,and independent. For centuries women such as Danielle have been left outside of historyand denied any acknowledgement of their role in building human society and culture.Lemer (1997) points out that for generations gifted women were ghost writers under the“protection of’ husband, brother or son where they “expressed the disappointment andfrustrations of their situation in their creative writing, the women characters they createdand with whom they identified”(p.210). Danielle appears in Reta’s dreams as thesuccessful 86-year-old white woman creating history—but not accepted into the greatWestern literary canon. As I read and reflect there is a continual drumming in my head. It’sMr. Springer’s response to Reta as they discuss his demands for changes to Thyme inBloom. The conversation between Springer and Reta haunts me. Springer suggests that the157Alicia as the main character makes Reta’ s novel popular rather than quality fiction.Dismissing Reta’ s suggestion that he admired Alicia for her goodness, he says, “Goodnessbut not greatness. Who said that?” Reta tells him it was Danielle Westerman, he says,“Really, I haven’t read the old girl.” With that line, Mr. Springer reduces DanielleWesterman to the “other,” the outsider. He dismisses her as one without identity other thanage and gender. He effectively silences Reta’ s life-world experience as a woman, as awriter and as a person. This then is the power of social definition, the power of the rulingelite to construct old women as a deviant group and to suggest to Reta that she is notimmune from definition by the powerful patriarchal publishing industry. It is in her bestinterest to rewrite her novel according to the prescription of the patriarchy and the Westernliterary canon. It only requires that she make afew shifts in perspective, move the noveltoward the universal, tweak the title and the author, and replace Alicia with Roman as themain character who needs his role enlarged together with his interiority. Roman must make“a pilgrimage to the land of his fathers.” Danielle exemplifies the assertiveness and self-authority that Reta must “translate” as her self.Translating for Danielle Westerman may be Reta’ s metaphorical dream attempt tothink, experience and become those feminist thoughts. Rupprecht (1999) identifiestranslation as a historical core metaphor in Euro-American dream theory. She states that,“virtually all of our knowledge about dreams has been mediated through language and thatall dream reporting is itself an act of intersemiotic translation ... and [there are] oftenuncanny affinities between language/translation studies and dream!interpretation studies.”She asks “What do people interested in the study of dreaming have to gain from attentionto the process of translation” (Rupprecht, 1999,p.1)? Her main interest lies in learning158how to “read” a dream report and what can be learned from “this linguistic construction.”Following Gadamer (1982), she argues that “Reading is already translation and translationis translation for the second time. The process comprises in its essence the whole secret ofhuman understanding and social communication”(p.2). How does a dream find its wayinto our remembered consciousness? Writing the dream, drawing, acting, and dancing thedream enable bringing the dream more fully into consciousness. No matter what the action,we will fall short of representing the dream even to ourselves. As Sumara and Upitis(2004) point out,Most of what we know, it seems, can’t be explained, isn’t even available toperception. And even [if] what is experienced fmds its way to consciousness, itcan’t always be represented, much less translated ... acts of translation are also actsof shifting identities” (p. ix).Unlike the language of the patriarchy, the dream reader, that is, the translator is notat liberty to fabricate the meaning of the dream but rather must attempt to move it from theimaginal and the symbolic into the linguistic world. The fictive image arising from thenovel or the image emerging from the dream must be expressed in a new way simplybecause the translator cannot possible reproduce or represent the image. Every dreamreading is, like every translation, an interpretation. There is no doubt that this is a recreation of the text that is guided by the way the dream reader understands what the imagesmight be saying. As Gadamer (1982) suggests, “No one can doubt that we are dealing herewith interpretation, and not simply with reproduction” (pp. 346 - 347). Dream readingattempts to bring to consciousness, to translate, some aspect of the reader’s experience withthe images in the novel. The dream reader, like Reta, can never reproduce nor represent theoriginal dream or the original work. Perhaps women writing and women dream reading arealways translating and attempting to change the symbolic order through infiltration.159When I reflect on Danielle, I think of her as feminine, old, self-sufficient,independent, assertive, caring, kind, and seemingly imperturbable. I reflect again on Reta’ swork as the translator of her Danielle dreams into her life-world. According to Jung &Franz (1964), if the dreamer has been struggling with animus or amma problems, we maydream in a new symbolic form representing the Self. In a woman this dream figure mayappear as a respected female historical figure or a esteemed woman known to the dreamer(pp. 207-208).Reta has been working as Danielle’s translator for many years. Reta must translatewisdom from her personal unconscious, that is, from the archetypal wise woman into herconsciousness. I believe that dream reading the novel has the potential to bring forward thewisdom which resides in the unconscious. Jung (1964) insists thatfor more than 70 years the unconscious has been a basic scientific concept that isindispensable to any serious psychological investigation. ... But we stillcomplacently assume that consciousness is sense and the unconscious is nonsense.In science such an assumption would be laughed out of court(p.92).Whereas Donald (2001) does not dismiss the collective unconscious as nonsense, he doespoint out the issue of representation when he comments thatRepression is, more often than not, a failure of apperceptive or representationalcapture in the public arena. Some psychoanalysts, notably Jung, rooted thecollective unconscious in cultural archetypes, but surely he meant only that theinfluence of such archetypes is usually implicit, rather than explicit. The deepcultural unconscious exists in a representational limbo that is temporarilyuncaptured (p. 287).I argue that one way to begin to make the implicit explicit is through dream reading. Wecan create new and different words, images and concepts through noticing and workingwith images from the unconscious.Elements often appear in a dream that cannot be attributed to personal experience.Freud called these completely unfamiliar images “archaic remnants,” and Jung explained160them as archetypal. Evolution is seen from a biological perspective. However, what aboutthe psyche? Over millennia, the psyche has evolved from primitive to ever increasingcomplexity and patterns of psychic behavior and social organization.Just as the human body represents a whole museum of organs, each with a longevolutionary history behind it, so we should expect to find that the mind isorganized in a similar way. ... By “history” ... I am referring to the biological,prehistoric, and unconscious development of the mind in archaic man, whosepsyche was still close to that of the animal (Jung & Franz, 1964,pp.56 — 57).In chapter two, I wrote about the controversy that surrounds Jung’s concept of thearchetype. I believe it is important to say more about this controversy as it relates to dreamimage Danielle. Rowland (2002) and Samuels (1985) discriminate between archetypes as“potential structures” and “substances” in an attempt to clarify the common misconceptionthat Jungian archetypes are inherited images. Jung himself knew that his concept ofarchetype was grossly misunderstood. He insisted that archetypes form representations of amotif but that the representations varied greatly without loss of their basic pattern.Archetypes are mythos not logos. Archetypes “are without known origin; and theyreproduce themselves in any time or in any part of the world—even where transmission bydirect descent or ‘cross fertilization’ through migration must be ruled out” (Jung & Franz,1964,p.58).From a feminist perspective there are also significant concerns (Daly, 1978;Noddings, 1989). How can we be sure that myth, religion and legend, rich though they maybe and well celebrated by Jungians, capture authentic female experience? Perhaps, instead,they are the result of male projections of female experience. Noddings (1989) points outthat Jung does recognize that the intellect is not supreme and that feeling is powerful; buthe did not recognize that the feminine relational mode invokes both and that feeling may161indeed be the ultimately rational mode of being(p. 71). As Noddings (1989) and Rowland(2002) suggest, Jung’s relationship with his mother and with female spiritualist mediumssurely colored his view of the animus/anima archetype. Even if we accept the positiveclusters of attributes—compassion, maternal caring, nurturance, receptivity,responsiveness, relatedness, patience—which have been named over and over again forcenturies as the positive “essence” of the feminine, we must remember that these have beendescribed, analyzed and written about largely by men, or, as Cixous makes clear in TheLaugh ofthe Medusa, by women whose writing in no way differs from that of men.Noddings (1989) argues that classical Jungian theory must be revised to free thedevelopment of consciousness from an “inner man” or a woman’s “helpful animus” tofocus on woman-self as causal agent. Like Aguiar (2001), I feel that the concept ofarchetype is useful even with its flaws.I like to imagine the trilobite as an archaic element, an archetypal gesture to theTriple Goddess and to the journey of evolutionary psychic change—the coming together ofmaiden (Norah), mother (Reta), crone (Lois and Danielle) within Reta Winters. Reta’ spartner, Tom, studies trilobites and “keeps his precious trilobite collection in a locked glasscage” (Shields, 2002,p.51). Further, “No one has ever seen a trilobite, since they existonly in a fossil record. ... (W)hen threatened, these creatures were able to curl up, eachsegment nesting into the next and protecting the soft animal under bodies (Shields, 2002,p.61). Often called the “Butterflies of the Sea,” no animal better captures the drama ofevolution and extinction. Beautiful and bizarre, trilobites lived in shallow seas some 350million years ago, long before the fish inhabited the seas and the dinosaurs roamed the162land. The simple trilobite represents the most successful of all animal life forms.’8Of thequadrillion life forms available to the author, why this one? What archaic, extinct yet livingthrough image, fossilized, triple-form am I reading? Not binary but three-lobed. There arevery many Trinitarian symbols: Father, Son and Shekhinah. Maiden-Mother-Crone.Norah-Reta-Danielle. Three-Goddesses-in-One. The Old Mother. The Triple Goddess—Hecate, Baba Yaga, Mother Holle. These myths strike some very deep chord, a sympatheticresonance. The myths reveal cyclical intertwining rather than the irreconcilable dualism ofthe patriarchy. Hillman made clear that the underworld and the unconscious are analogues.In the collective unconscious or in the underworld, the goddess nurtures not only physicallife but the life of the soul as well. “Myths do not tell us how, they simply give us theinvisible background which starts us imagining, questioning, going deeper” (Hillman,1975b,p.158). Perhaps Reta will recognize the trilobite as ifit were a call to look towhatever is below. Perhaps a call from the deep instinct, the deepest knowing from out ofthe primal mud. She may hear the metaphorical voice ofLa Loba, a call to hear the voice ofWild Woman and accept her timeless guidance.Downing (1992) provides some thoughts about the use of a goddess metaphor inwriting. “Like any primordial archetype, the Great Mother provokes profoundambivalence” (p. 12). The goddess has never disappeared; she simply went underground,back to the cave, back to the earth. The trilobite may be the anthropomorphized, longconsidered extinct, but evolving goddess appearing in Unless to portend the reawakening ofthe feminine spirit as Reta enters the mysterious transformational years from mother tocrone. The trilobite suggests that Reta may be ready to accept information from hiddensources and that she must plunge deep into Genesis’ primal mud beneath superficiality to18www.tri1obite.com163reconnect with her soul. Danielle as a dream figure opens the way to a metamorphosis, atransformed consciousness, a rebirth, not an aging toward physical death. For the goddessintertwines death and a new vision. “She is the source of vision—and lunacy, which isaltered vision” (Downing, 1992,p.13). Like the trilobite, the egg in the refrigerator evokesthe notion of feminine energy as transformative energy (Appendix XIII). In myimagination, I can see food representative of transformed substance.Through cultivation and cooking, grass becomes bread. Women perform thistransformation and incarnate this transformative power in their capacity to makemilk out of blood and to give birth out of their own bodies (Downing, 1992, p. 11).In Reta’ s dream, the big bed in the writer’s suite may be the place of creativity,pregnancy and the birth of new ideas. Midlife women often dream of pregnancy and birth.This is not the patriarchal dream of the empty nest. It is the dream of the birth of new ideas,creativity, lunacy, and productivity. The dream re-occurs whenever Reta is away fromhome, that is, outside of her daily routine. Reta is stuck in the familiar. She needs to moveoutside of familiar ways. The lone egg sits in the refrigerator as if in an ice cave where cooltemperatures keep it from birthing or transforming. This is the cosmic egg. The egg of theuniverse. It may symbolize new growth in consciousness. It is a motif for emerging newlife. Reta’ s refrigerator dream, she says, occurs often on her book tours. The dream episodedoes not mesh well with her identity and so she simply makes it “fit” her patriarchalconsciousness by relating it to her “responsibility” to provide food for her nearly grownfamily. As Jung said, “if the meaning we find in the dream happens to coincide with ourexpectations, that is a reason for suspicion” (Campbell, 1971,p.327).164Reta must warm up to the notion of living in a new universe. “Simply waking up inan alien surrounding (e.g., while on holiday) can momentarily unsettle the part-wholegestalt” (Kerby, 1991,p.46). Or, as Winterson (1995) explains:We mostly understand ourselves through an endless series of stories told toourselves by ourselves and others. It is necessary to have a story, an alibi [persona]to get us through the day, but what happens when the story becomes a scripture?(W)here whatever conflicts with our world-view is dismissed or diluted until itceases to be a bother(p.60)?Reta’ s mother and wife stories have become her life scripture. She tells herself the story ofwoman duty and the irrelevance of dreams rather than the dream story that questions herlife script and permits new learning to emerge.Dream reading has the potential to render more explicit the role of dreams ascultural experiences deemed appropriate for wide formal distribution through the culturalnetwork thus creating expanded consciousness. The personal and the. collectiveunconscious might enlarge our imaginative capacity and give us the imagery to recognizethe inner psychic life that is so often at odds with our external self-imagery. The as fitwere a dream image of Danielle asks Reta, “How can you pretend that what happens inpublic policy and public spaces is now inclusive of women just because more women arephysically present in those spaces?”Language is a means by which consciousness is changed. Dream reading in literaryengagement takes the reader vertically into the text where questions are more appropriatethan answers. Dream reading maybe added to the many ways of women’s knowing and tothe possible ways in which women can unravel the patriarchy. Wise women crones haveknown dream reading for millennia. I suggest that through dream reading the fear of165knowing the crone might be diminished. Reading Danielleas the crone aspect of the TripleGoddess, women might re-appropriate identifications that have always been theirs.In this chapter, I argued that the interpretive act of dream reading can highlightour unknowing and transform repressed and hidden images intoa shift in consciousness.Women have been contained in a world named and structured by the dominant maleviewpoint since at least the writing of the myth of the Garden of Eden and the fallfromparadise. Language can change consciousness. We must bringup the repressed femininethrough a new imagery language from the unconscious. Shadow images in dreamsprovoke internal dissonance, questions about social convention, social controlofemotions and patterns of consensual action that have gone generally unquestionedinhomes, religious institutions and school classrooms. I believe that through newlanguagecan be developed and old language can be brought into consciousness throughdreamreading. Dream reading must be included in the Western literary canon.This dreamreading creates a space of doubt. It shows that through interpreting fictive dreamimageslike feminist Danielle Westerman as an aspect of the Crone, Wise Woman Archetypeoran archaic image such as the trilobite, we generate new knowledge. If educatorscan bringstrange and weird literary dream images into consciousness through the arts,we canchange the symbolic order through infiltration. If teacher educators can usethegenerative act of dream reading to produce new knowledge and new meaning, we canbegin to create new subject positions and identifications and re-appropriate old andhonorable ones for women in the cultural distributive network.In the next chapter, I outline the potential significance of dreams and dreamreading in curriculum studies and teacher education.1667.In Celebration of My WombIf we are interested in arresting cycles of violence to produce less violent outcomes, it isno doubt important to ask what, politically, might be made of grief besides a cry for war.Judith Butler, 2004***November 17, 1992Healing Light of MotherPart II am in Calgary. Many women are chanting, singing. “Ifall the women in the world shou4 Freedom’.”Part IIThen I am travelling in the countryside. Seven brothers are on a farm or in some kind of pastoralshepherding business. There are seven vacuums. I am sitting on the floor in a room. There are severalpails. I remember three. One has beets. One has milk. I cannot recall the content of the third pail. I alsohave on skates and am walking around carefully on the floor. The room is ancient. It reminds meofAuntAnnes log house in the] 950’.c.Part IIIA woman, very old, white hair, and wrinkles is lying on a bed. I think it is my mother. There is a strong,very beautful white light. The Crone explains that the Light has healed her appendix by simply removing it.It was a little black blob and it hasflown out the window.November 26, 2004Shadow BitesJam in EDSE50319and I talk about a newspaper article about George Bush and his “use” ofChristsymbolism to gain the vote ofthe poor.I am telling the group that the words “moral values” appear to be code wordsfor anti-gay legislation andopposition to abortion, the latter an issue that Bush has never moved on. V. a young woman in our classfrom Ghana and a s4/’proclaimed born again Christian is very angry with me because ofmy comments.She is so angry that she rushes across the room and bites me on my littlefinger! Jam hurt and appalled.Then Jam even more hurt when everyone in the group rushes to protect herfrom me! The bite breaks theskin on thefinger ofmy right hand.I dream these two dreams twelve years apart. I include the first dream because ofthe image of women chanting, the sacred number seven, the pastoral imagery and theancient healing mother / woman reminiscent of goddess imagery. I think the dream pointsto hope that the communal voices of women could well compel changes that tip the balance‘A Curriculum Foundations course in my doctoral program at the University of Alberta. Each studentchose a presentation topic from a predetermined list. I chose last. My topic was feminist pedagogy and Ihad a focus conversation plan developed because I thought there was less possibility for open conflict. Iwas wrong.167toward equilibrium in the symbolic order. I include the second dream because it brings myfears of religious fundamentalism into direct focus. The dream prompts me to ask questionslike, “What would happen to me if certain elements of my culture knew my real beliefs?”The dream points to my fear of anger, disapproval, intimidation, and possible violence. Itpoints out my need for approval as well as the dichotomy of learning / not learning in theuniversity classroom. The nocturnal dream is a different version of an actual event althoughthe daylight verbal attacker was male. There were no defenders during the attack althoughthere were many after the class. As Mary Daly (1973) points out in the OriginalReintroduction (1985) of Beyond God the Father, the level of violence against women hasescalated andwomen have experienced in agonizing detail the mazes constructed by thepatriarchal backlashers whose intent is to obstruct this movement of integrity andtransformation, tracking women into repetitive circles...(p. xiv).I understand that such fears might be considered hysterical, exaggerated or emotional. Ithink that hundreds of ordinary women every day clamp their mouths shut and silentlyswallow their anger. I know that I often fear reprisal in whatever form that might take. Iwant to recognize my fear and silence. I hope that my experiences might support othereducators in the transformation of both personal and professional work.In this chapter I articulate my position on the relevance of dreams and dreamreading to the field of curriculum studies and teacher education. I have come to understandthat who I am is how I teach. Further, I have come to believe that the inclusion of dreamreading in the curriculum field and teacher education would focus on the alchemicalimagination which can turn lead into gold through “alien encounters” and propel the reader168into the “uncommon territory of the unexplored psyche” (Doll, 2000,p.6). Dream readingis the journey away from literalism into the space of doubt where imagination thrives.In 1984 — 85, I completed a masters degree in education and began to glimpse thepossibilities that there was more to curriculum than the prescribed government documents.Although I was enrolled in an educational administration degree program, I was drawn totaking a curriculum course with Ted Aoki and Kenneth Jacknicke. In that class, I read ToHave or To Be? (Fromm, 1976) and used language analysis to evaluate the language of thegrade nine Alberta social studies program. I don’t have a copy of that paper, but as I recall,I was fairly naïve about the depth of power over that existed in that curriculum. Power overis thought to be the power of the dominator rather than the notion of power with,partnership power, as some feminists describe it. As I noted in the introduction to thisdissertation, beginning in 1988 I faced a deepening personal crisis which ended many yearsof clinical depression and led to deep and vast personal changes. In 1992-1993 mycolleagues and I completed an analysis of Social Studies 30 based on the dominator-partnership model elaborated in Riane Eisler’s (1987) book, The Chalice and The Blade:Our history, ourfuture. The confluence of these events fueled my deep rejection of theteclmical-rational modes of teaching and learning.Legitimate power, that is the legal power of authority, such as that exercised byAlberta Education is very effective in allowing government and institutions to exercise“power over” without even being aware of its effects. Within the curriculum areunexamined values of competition (natural to humans or biological rather thanideological), individualism (as the only form of political, economic, and social freedom)and unexamined history (written by experts). Teachers become unwitting participants in169promoting hegemonic perspectives, and in this way the curriculum abuses teachers as wellas students (Grumet, 1988). Tupper (2004) explainsI have also been disappointed by the absence of women’s lives and experiencesfrom curriculum documents and textbooks, struggling to make sense of my ownrelationship to curriculum as a result. Further disappointment has emerged throughmy involvement in the curriculum development process with Alberta Learning.When asked to rank order a list of topics for inclusion in the curriculum, teachersthroughout the province selected women’s history as one of the least importantareas of study for students (Alberta Learning, 2002). Often the only woman at thecurriculum writing table, I fought for the inclusion of gender in the curriculum withvery limited success(p.64).Tupper’ s statements also beg the question of female complicity. It is interesting that evenwhen asked, women teachers remained silent about women in history and curriculum. Is itthat I desire not to know because in knowing, I have to act, be accountable, and recognizemy own complicity?I have come to see curriculum as living in the middle of my life. The wordcurriculum derives from currere, meaning to run a course. Pinar (1975) recollected theetymological roots of curriculum to refocus on the need to reconceptualize curriculumstudies. Pinar challenged educators to shift focus from an institutional fixation on designand development to consider more deeply what intention is served by curriculum.Curriculum inquiry and curriculum theory were added to the field.What about the course of a life? Beginning with Pinar’s provocation, the curriculumfield opened to broader questions in many areas including psychology, history, philosophy,culture, religion, feminism and the course of identity. Thinking about curriculum as currererequires an exploration of individual histories and experiences. Today the field brims witha multiplicity of discourses that are expanding the horizons of curriculum and the questionof which knowledge is of most worth (Pinar, et al., 2004). These openings in the170curriculum field have enabled me to write this dissertation about the course of my life andmy relationship to feminism, consciousness, dreams, dream reading, curriculum, teaching,and learning.Educators continue to experience great difficulty in moving away from curriculumas an arranged subject, “a structure of socially prescribed knowledge” (Greene, 1971) tocurriculum as a life-world. Greene explains:Rarely does [curriculum] signify possibility for him as an existing person, mainlyconcerned with making sense of his own life-world. Rarely does it promiseoccasions for ordering the materials of that world, for imposing “configurations”(Ponty, 1964) by means of experiences and perspectives made available forpersonally conducted cognitive action (1971,p.1).As curriculum is reconceputalized, hundreds of education researchers, philosophers andwriters have advocated on behalf of a curriculum that occasions, initiates, facilitates, andinvites the learner into experiences that help to create and make sense of her life-world.Dream reading is one more aspect of a curriculum of possibility in making sense of ourown life-world.What provokes change in teacher beliefs? Teachers must be acting subjects in theirown transformative possibilities. Teachers must “become” the change. How does a teachercome to see herself as teacher and living the life of teacher that is different from thereceived role? Theories of consciousness illustrate that teachers have been “deeply formedby their personal and national histories” (Carson, 2005,p.3) and they are surely containedwithin the cultural distributive network elaborated by Donald (2001).Britzman (2003) theorized about how teacher identity is constructed while learningto teach. She identified a set of cultural myths that deeply impact the development ofteacher identity and repress teacher subjectivity. These myths of the teacher as the expert,171the teacher as self made and experience as the way to learn to teach structure the studentteacher’s views of “power, authority, knowledge, and identity” (Britzman, 2003,p.30).These myths serve to create conflicting realities in learning to teach. According toBritzman (2003), over familiarity with the teacher’s role, the “normalcy” of schoolstructures and the power of one’s institutional biography invite and accept the suggestionsthese cultural myths offer about the work and identity of teacher learners. These culturalmyths identified by Britzman (2003) “partly structure the individual’s taken-for-grantedviews of power, authority, knowledge, and identity. They work to cloak the morevulnerable condition of learning to teach and the myriad negotiations it requires” (p. 30).In the traditional model, teachers stand at the edge of the teaching space becausethat is how culture conceptualizes teaching. Students are pushed to the outside of their lifespace (the classroom is not the “real” world). The “real” world is “out there.” Britzman(2003) states emphatically there are no simple maps showing how to teach or how to learnto teach. But if, as she says, learning to teach is “the process of becoming: a time offormation and transformation, of scrutiny into what one is doing, and who one canbecome” (p. 31), then I believe dream reading could assist in that process. Fundamentally,dream reading is a tool for finding our own centrality as teachers within our lives asteachers.According to Britzman (2003) and Davis (2004) poststructuralist discourseconsiders how personal identities are shaped through language, identity and power andthe hidden structures that mold and form a way of life that supports imbalance,oppression and aggression as normal. Evolving knowledge questions entrenchedcommonsense notions that are rooted in conventional beliefs and assumptions thus172disrupting long established patterns. Poststructuralist thought works to dismantleprevailing, mostly invisible, language by creating new words and reinventing orresurfacing old ones. Dream reading provides ways to make hidden structures visible.Identity is formed through mastery of the “normal”—that is the embodiment ofculturally privileged habits of interpretation of the world. The degree to which theindividual is molded by the language determines the degree of their inclusion ormarginalization. As cunently conceived, the system consists of experiences that allow thehidden structures to remain hidden and to be disguised by what masquerades as newknowledge. Critical and liberatory discourses are oriented to the social and culturalconsequences of identity formed through myriad acts of ignorance that discard multiplepossibilities to accept particular “normal” ideologies or social groups. Schooling consistsof learning despite the rigorously hidden structures which enable the maintenance of thestatus quo. Dream reading provides one possible way to reclaim what has been discarded,that is, to reinterpret the life-world through different experiences.Working with literature as dream, perhaps teachers can come to see that selves area priority, and perhaps they might come to ask, “What self surfaces in my own dreams?”“What self surfaces in my teaching?” Dream reading may be disconcerting just asinterpreting and working with dreams is disconcerting. Dreams are the “other.” Dreams,like the feminine, like woman, have been designated inational, unreasonable andemotional. The not-so-hidden curriculum agenda is the appropriate normativesocialization of both teacher and child. Dream reading presents the disconcertingpossibility of questioning the status quo. Dream reading enables a “pedagogy ofdiscomfort” (Boler, 1999; Phelan & Luu, 2004).173What preparation do teachers have for teaching that includes difference? Whatteacher education programs in Alberta routinely encourage deep consideration of feministperspectives in the life-world of becoming teachers? Boler (1999), Lewis (1993), Doll(2000), Grumet (1988), and Britzman (2003) identify resistance to acknowledgingdifference in teacher education discourses. They also acknowledge that status, power,knowledge, and control are often submerged in the student teacher’s need to be “nice” andto not upset their classmates. Often as a teacher I am my own blind censor.Dream reading creates a site for negotiation in the student teacher’s constantstruggle for meaning. Tupper (2004) writes of resistance to and refusal to listen to,impatience with and outright denial of the possibility of sexism in both the Albertacurriculum and the Alberta classroom. Feminist literature is rife with accounts of silence,resistance, refusal, impatience, and denial from both men and women (Boler, 1999;Britzman, 2003; Grumet 1988; Lewis, 1993). Phelan & Luu (2004) give a teacher educatorand student teacher account of the difficulties faced in educating for difference in anincreasingly diversified school population where the population in “teacher educationprograms continues to be predominantly White” (p. 176). I read the theoretical positioningof gender issues as based on cultural codes deeply embedded within consciousness. Whatcan dream reading add to the conversation about how to undermine, problematize andsubvert the reproduction of hegemonic text in curriculum and preservice teacher education?Can dream reading help educators to get past the superficial meanings already imposed?By raising the unspoken and the repressed, I open the gaps and indeterminancies incurriculum into which we might infill intolerable images that subvert the boundaries of“good taste,” that is, the rationality and reality of the “normal.” I argue that my dream work174and dream reading have resulted in significant personal and professional identity shiftingand shaping. I also argue that the juxtaposition of life experience and the sharply differentviews in my night dreams has resulted in the production of significant new knowledge. Mynew knowledge and shifting identities have changed how I teach and what I thinkcurriculum is.I am happy to tell my classroom of becoming teachers, “You will dream strangethings, and your dreams will tell you, if you notice, what you are struggling with. If you areexperiencing struggle with what you are learning, your dreams will have ideas for you.Notice. Pay attention. Watch your dreams. Dreams come from the personal unconsciousand from the collective unconscious. You may well have the ‘nude teacher dream’ whenyou are first required to teach an actual classroom of students on your own.” I tell them thatself-reflection is imperative.We work to figure out what self-reflection means as opposed to keeping a diary. Wework with different readings of text from various perspectives. We read The True Story ofthe Three Little Pigsfrom the Wof Perspective (Scieszka, 1996). We close our eyes andimagine that we are a 1 7C Aborigine woman inspected by an early anthropologist inAustralia (Clendinnan,1999)20We close our eyes and fantasize first school days and firstclasses. We draw images of daydreams in our construction of what our first classrooms willlook and feel like, what our students will be doing. I tell stories of how I have come to seethe social studies curriculum as the reproductive agent of the patriarchy. We talk aboutlearner and learning as the center rather than student-centered or teacher-centered. I ask thestudents difficult questions about gender, race, class, and sexuality. When silence descends,20on a Beach. I read this story of a scientific expedition and anthropologist’s encounter with anAborigine woman. I teach fantasy as a teaching strategy in social studies. The question is, “How do othersexperience what we do with and to them?175I wait. I talk about wait time and engaging students. I wait again. And, I ask, what are youthinking? What are you feeling right now? What personal stories come to mind when wediscuss this topic?I re-write social studies program definitions of thinking to include emotion. I askthem who decided emotion was irrational and unacceptable. Who decided what knowledgeshould be constructed in their classrooms with their students? I show them and model forthem and have them practice using Focused ConversationMethodTM2’wherein objective,reflective, interpretive, and decisional questions are structured to help students “to see”relationships between the curriculum questions in the classroom and the stories of theirlives (Nelson, 2001). I tell them that without struggle, without crisis, without anger andresistance, all we are learning is reproduction, not knowledge and not living.And, if they are angry with me, as they sometimes are, I don’t like it, but I amtrying to learn to live with it. For as I say every semester, “It isn’t my job to make youhappy. It is my job to make you unsettled enough to question, irritated enough to thinkabout and to try to show me that what I am saying has no substance. I am a Crone. I want,but I don’t need, this job.” I make a wall poster that says, “If you and I always agree, one ofus isn’t necessary.” What can anyone do to me that is more harmful than what I can do tomyself by going back to unconsciously and unwittingly living outside my own life spaceand teaching my students to reproduce the patriarchy? Why should dream reading enterinto the curriculum and into the classroom of preservice teachers?21Focused conversation is a whole-system process with four stages using the body’s resources to come toterms with an object or experience. It is the conversation of encounter with the world as a bundle ofrelationships. As a method of facilitation, it is intended to interrupt, surprise, initiate, and to notice possiblecracks in the conversation where new ideas can come through. It lives with the question and growingambiguity.176Dream Reading and Darkness -Dream reading involves some understanding of the shadow aspect of theunconscious and creates a better understanding of images of darkness. In teacher educationand curriculum, we edit out the “darkness” to align with cultural role prescriptions of theinnocence of women and children.(T)hose who would throttle the voice of darkness may not understand its urgentneed to be heard. In an effort to protect the young, the censors rewrite Little RedRiding Hood so that she is no longer eaten by the wolf and, in the end, the youngare left unprepared to meet the evil they encounter (Abrams & Zweig, 1991,p.xxi).Through dream reading Unless and through my personal dream interpretation work as wellas dream workshops, I have learned something of the aspect of the shadow as the buriedqualities that don’t fit my self image as well as about those feelings and capacities rejectedby the ego. As explained in Chapter 6, the shadow is formed through interactions withfamily, school, church, and community in the socialization process in any particularculture. Thus, the personal and collective role of teacher has evolved with a shadow siderelevant to each becoming teacher. When that student teacher encounters experiencesaligned with her incorporated shadow, she rejects the experience and projects her negativityonto the “other.”There is no direct approach to the shadow except as seen through everyday life injokes, feelings about others, negative feedback from our “mirrors,” “oops” behaviors,feelings of shame and humiliation, and exaggerated rage or love with others. Depression, Ihave learned, is a paralyzing confrontation with the dark side. It is the fruit of failure toknow about or give in to the inner demand for a descent into the underworld.177Some arts and entertainment media safely reveal the dark side, the collectiveshadow, of human nature which may explain our fascination with monsters, science fictionand horror movies. Other cultures such as the Soviets or Iraq become the containers of ourWestern culturally repressed evil with its fixation on duality, rationality, goodness, andpurity (Abrams & Zweig, 1991). Thinking through Grumet (1988) and recognizing myown fear of controversy, particularly ridicule, I ask, “How can I teach teachers to workwith difficult knowledge (Britzman, 2003) and controversial issues in the social studiesclassroom without asking them to work with their own controversial, unclaimed, andhidden inner knowledge, and without working with mine? How do I own my own shadow?I need to unearth my own history and reconstruct, negotiate and integrate those repressedaspects of my own self. How can I work within a curriculum that has its own shadow; itshidden, buried past, replete with the suppression of women’s history, Japanese internmentcamps, reservation schools, the eugenics movement, the horrific atrocities againstimmigrants, and homosexuals not to mention the excess of dominator motifs and language?Britzman (1998) asks,How is it possible for education as a discourse and as a practice, as an institutionand as an experience, to listen to its own exclusions, repressions, and silences?What could education be like if its interest began with Winnicott’ s notion of‘making elbow room for the experience of concern’ (p. 59).Dream reading could make elbow room possible.Dream Reading and the Body (ies) LanguageDream reading provides for the possibility of alterity, that is, exchanging one’s ownperspective for that of the “other”—a form of what Donald calls mindreading. Donald(2001) writes:178(T)he capacity to understand that other minds know things and that this knowledgepredicts behavior. ... Cues that can help us understand another’s mind ordinarilycome from vision or hearing, but they may also originate in other modalities(p.143).If we work with the image of Danielle as Crone, we may experience the possible influenceof the mother, the maternal, through the experience of dream reading as it brings forthdesire, emotion, feeling, and bodily response through the symbol. Fantasy, activeimagination and playfulness enable us to reconnect body-mind-spirit—the poetic languageof the novel as read through a dream. Dream reading enables engagement with curriculumto bring forth feelings. Dream reading could provide teachers and students withopportunities to bring their multiples selves including body, attachments and feelings to thereading of text rather than blindly reproducing “my father’s business.” Dream reading asks,who is my version of myself? Will I recognize the bare room that is not empty? For asGrumet argues, “(T)here are no empty houses, only those houses our mother left us” and“the phantoms can’t be so easily routed, for they travel within us. The difference thatWoolf resolves to understand is not the difference between but the difference within”(Grumet, 1988,p.187). If I recognize the multiple inner versions of my self, will I be ableto see, to recognize and to accept the “other”? I believe that dreams, and therefore dreamreading, can show us that a room of our own needs to be furnished, decorated and shared.Dream reading with its overtones of intimacy is to be greatly feared by the order,law, rights, power, control, and social obligations of canonical thought. I contend thatdream reading, like art, has the potential to disturb the accepted order of things in thepatriarchy—the potential to open us to be inconsolable and to think the intolerable, the notthought and the unthinkable. Dream reading could help bring the recognition and the return179of the repressed. It could aid in propelling teacher educators to heed Grumet’ s (1988) callto “escape over the wall.”Dreams are of the body. I prefer to think that curriculum needs to help students tapinto their desires, inclinations and predispositions by invoking the “rich maternal semioticsof body subjectivity, imagination, recognition, and potential space, and by using thepaternal figure in a function that supports this kind of maternal love” (Atwell-Vasey, 1998,p.49). Dreams are attached to the body. Dreams come through the body bringing thesights, sounds, fluids, and history of body subjectivity through into the language of thedream reader. Dreams are part of the memories, intuitions, promptings, sounds, sights, andsmells that create a life-world. There is no need to control, escape, separate, or repress thefeminine as the canon espouses. Maturation does not require that we move out of theoceanic and illusory fusion of the maternal into the light of the rational reasoning father.We are born from a body into a body. We live in a body. The body dreams. Perhaps that iswhy dreams and bodies have been so seriously discounted for centuries.Dream Reading and a Pedagogy of DiscomfortMegan Boler (1999), author of a critical study of emotions and education, asksteachers to engage with students “in critical inquiry regarding values and cherished beliefs,and to examine ... how one has learned to perceive others”(p.176). Boler issues a call fornot only inquiry but also action in a pedagogy of discomfort. Achieving this requiresteachers to question cherished beliefs and assumptions. Dream reading, like good teaching,interrupts, questions, shocks, horrifies, and ultimately grieves the death of old beliefs.Dream reading is the curriculum of encounter. It is a psychic22 event. I can attest to the22Psychic space is not just an inner drama or psychological interior. Conceiving of the psyche as an opensystem brings social history into psychoanalysis. The psyche is a space of interaction and mobility between180“defensive anger, fear of change, and fears of losing our personal and cultural identities”that arise in the process. I can further attest to the discomfort and continuous work requiredto “willingly inhabit a more ambiguous and flexible sense of self’ (Boler, 1999,p.176).She insists that I must go beyond self-reflection, passive empathy, solipsistic self-critique,or confession. I must engage in collective witnessing in its relation to others and topersonal and cultural histories and conditions. I must go beyond myself to a genealogy ofmy experience and my willingness to undergo and accept the transformation of my ownself-identity in relation to others and to history (Boler, 1999).I must ask myself, “What do I stand to gain from discomfort?” Boler outlines theanswers given by Pratt (1984) in an essay about being born into privilege. Following Pratt,I stand to gain in emotion, ethics and epistemology. That is, I have learned to look at theworld as far more nuanced, complex and multi-dimensional. I have learned that my fearsare in proportion to my perceptions, that is, what my culture has taught me to “see” haslimited my knowing. Self-transformation opens the eyes and ears and in the new hearingand in the new seeing lies the fear. I stand to gain in moving beyond fear. Learning that Iam my own authority has provided a freedom to know, to feel, to stand at the edge of thecliff and to look down into the underworld knowing that if I must go, I know how to returnwith more knowing, seeing, hearing, and feeling. I have learned the so-called “under”worldmay simply be the “other” world. The most astonishing thing I have gained is the collapseof the pain, loneliness, despair, and depression distance between my world and the world ofothers. This crashing collapse creates the energy, the e-motion, to feel the fear and feed thecreative forge. There is much to be gained and only fear to be lost.one’s body and one’s culture and language. ... Interpretation—imagining, fmding, or creating meaning—requires an open space full of free-flowing drive energy interacting with language (Oliver, 2004, p. 217).181Dream Reading and the ImaginationDream reading invites imagination back into the work of education. Imaginationwas lost or at least misplaced when Descartes banished the psyche together with images,myths, totems, idols, devils, and saints in order to create a vision of reasoned, rationalreality. Britzman (1998) explores the promise of imaginative possibilities throughrecursive response to stories such as Anne Frank and the murder of Matthew Shepherd inan attempt to uncover what we think we know and what we might know. By contentioushistory is meant to “unsettle the idea that the past—whether it goes under the name ofdevelopment or history—can be laid to rest through a grasping of the proper order ofevents” (Britzman, 1998,p.114). Imagination can infill the gaps of contentious historyand be host to the difficult conversations rather than the safe discourse of the alreadyknown. Salvio (1999), Doll (1995, 2000), Sumara (2002a), and Greene (1995) promoteliterature, both writing and reading, as the art of cultivating, planting, greening, andreleasing the imagination.Delese Wear (2006) speaks to the importance of story reading as a means tocollapsing the distance between the disparate worlds of doctor and patient. For Wear,shrinking the distance or collapsing worlds requires being able to imaginatively enter intothe world of the “other.” She says, “Collapsing worlds is my challenge as a teacher.” Wearmakes a case for the novel, poetry, and other literary forms that alter “seeing andexperiencing and knowing” (Doll, Wear, & Whitaker, 2006,pp.71 — 72). I would like toaccept her case with the addition of dream reading. Wear states that through stories182(D)octors [would be able to] develop a profuse, complex, evolving bank of imagesto draw upon as they care for patients, a compendium of stories of sickness,recovery, coping, fear, uncertainty, and joy that increases empathy andunderstanding with each entry, bringing them closer to their patients” (Doll, Wear,& Whitaker, 2006,pp.72 — 73).Dream reading the novel could provide story images that would enable beginning teachersto live within their own lives and draw them closer to their students. As a teacher educator,can I read the novel as dream and learn to draw upon images that assist in knowing myselfand by extension my students? What literary images can we dream read in novels that willinform teacher images? Rather than stories that frame success and accomplishment, that is,“white” and “light” images, can teachers find images of students becoming? Of childrentraveling into the underworld, the “other” world? Will we find images of the middle roadwhere darkness and light weave together in the waiting time? We need images of inquiry aspuzzlement together with the validation of not knowing. We need images of the teacherwho is forever becoming so that teachers can give themselves permission not to know.These images are counter to the received role of the teacher.Learning new story images is consistent with dream reading which is an exercise in“I don’t know” together with an image of “knowing” that I can play with the dream imageof the bite on my right little finger or The Baby Shower Invitation for a very long time andlater, many years later, I may come to deeper understanding. We need images of potential.Permission to play. Permission not to know. Permission to continually revisit and tointerpret. Permission to create through my lived experience. Wear quotes Nussbaum(1997) saying that we need stories to help us see the insides of people because they are notavailable for view. I contend that reading the novel as fit were a dream could add imagesof the inside, that is, in coming to dream reading I can gather inside images of Norah, Reta,183Lois, and Danielle, their feelings, emotions and thoughts of the sort that I attribute to myself. Reading the novel as a dream enables the reader to create a deep relationship with thecharacters—to identif’ with the characters through memory and imagination. It alsoprovides for the possibility of deeply questioning to enable the creation of radical change.Dream reading enables us to playfully create possibilities of meaning through interpretationand imagination. Dream reading provides for imaginary identification with characters andthe examination of potentialities produced through the reading. “Conjuring up those imageshas the potential to reduce the distance between that doctor and his patient, invoking whatNussbaum calls ‘the habits of wonder” (Doll, et al., 2006,pp.73 — 74). I am enthralledwith the words Wear uses when she writes of collapsing the distance. Spacious. Deep.Open heart. Open mind. Wonder. Compassion. Artistic form.Dream reading adds to stories and images of learning and becoming for it requiresthe study of mythology that may bring more luster, depth, spirit, and lust for meaning intoliterary engagement. Throughout our lives, stories flow in, with, and through us telling usabout who we are and about our family of origin, our community, and our world. Storiestell us acceptable ways of thinking, acting, feeling or not, as well as emotion, our place infamily and culture. Stories can also tell us what we have tucked away outside of theaccepted norms and beliefs of our experience. These “stories” are not written or spoken inthe ordinary daily language but in symbolism that is open for interpretation. Dreamreading, the study of fantasy-images, is part of the lifelong process of becoming conscious.Dream reading could help bring awareness of the fantasy that the ego defmes as “reality.”“Becoming conscious would now mean becoming aware of fantasies and the recognition ofthem everywhere and not merely in a fantasy world separate from reality” (Hillman, 1989,184p. 33 emphasis inthe original). Hillman also says that” (T)he polytheistic soul is richlytextured and texted. It has many qualities of character and is the theater where many storiesare enacted, many dreams mirrored” (1989,p.38). How deeply do teacher educatorsabsorb the images and values of poetry, novels and other literary works? How deeply dowe absorb the images and values coming forth in dreams? How deeply do we valueimagination? How intensely do we value soul and imagination?Dream Reading and MythologyA hermeneutic, mythological and archetypal approach to dream reading focuses onthe inner spirit of the image, its vitality and integrative force arising from the depths of theindividual and the collective psyche. This approach privileges the significance of image,leaving words and philosophical concepts as secondary. Imagination and the unconsciouscombine toamplifrdream motifs both through personal and collective associations. In aculture of the people, dreams are to the individual what myths are to society. Dreams withmythological and archetypal images definitely make our world appear strange. It is thisstrangeness that we must encounter with our students.Metaphorically birth marks a beginning, a time where new potential is brought intobeing. In chapter three, I explored The Baby Shower Invitation as metaphor for the gift ofnew potential, new thoughts and ideas, the collective sharing of the joy of new birth. I linkthis invitation to that long ago collection of women whose first priority in the evolution oflanguage was “to bond as a group, to learn to share attention and set up the social patternsthat would sustain such sharing and bonding in the species” (Donald, 2001, p. 253).Although Donald (2001) makes no mention of women per Se, speaking rather of primates,I deeply desire that The Baby Shower metaphorically illustrate the collective and the idea185that new knowledge among women is a shared responsibility. Knowledge is the creation ofthe collective. Dream reading, anchored as it is in mythology and symbol, centres dreamsas a social project resting on the knowledge created by the collective of women over time.Dream Reading as Cultural FormJohnson (2005) points out that print culture rooted in the great literary canonevaluates game, video and internet culture using old expectations based on print culture.Can this argument apply to dreams and the resistance to acknowledging that dreams havevalue? According to Kress, “ (L)anguage alone cannot give us access to the meaning of themultimodally constituted message; language and literacy now have to be seen as partialbearers of meaning only” (2003, p. 35). I am fairly certain Kress didn’t have the study ofdreams or dream reading in mind when he wrote about the power of the image. Dreamimages are powerfully evocative, for they harbor many meanings. Dream images may holdtheir power to themselves for many days, months, and years before the dream reader comesacross another image, a word, sound, sight, smell, or intuitive knowing which deepens anduncovers lingering assumptions and yet unarticulated insights at the borderlands ofconsciousness. The lingering dream image provokes, evokes, calls forth anew both the seenand the unseen into new creations as these images are re-created through the work of theimagination. According to Kress, the elements of image are “already filled with meaning.”Our engagement with image entails receiving the spatial rather than the temporal logic oflanguage. “The world narrated is a different world to the world depicted and displayed”(2003, p. 2 emphasis in the original). The depiction and display of dream images is thework of the artist over centuries of time. These powerful evocative images live in teachernight dreams awaiting their re-creation in the day life-world.186Dream Reading in the Secondary Classroom“What is more self-empowering than knowing oneself, one’s inner life, one’sdreams, one’s potential?” (White-Lewis, 1993,P.2). White-Lewis echoes the question Ihave asked myself ever since I was asked to introduce dream work to a French 20 class aspart of their Lifelong Learning Conference in the mid-1990’s. The students were intenselyinterested, not a bit shy about sharing their dream stories. They asked questions on thehistory of dreams as well as many other dream-related topics. White-Lewis (1993) pointsout that humans love stories—listening to, telling and writing stories. Richardson (2001)writes about stories and healing while Estes (1993) calls stories our medicine. Our dialogicimagination and psyche love stories. But we leave all this wonderful humanness out of ourclassrooms or we include a bit of dream trivia in a textbook sidebar. Why? Poincaré,French mathematician. Kekulé, chemist. Descartes, French philosopher. Robert LouisStevenson, author. George Washington and decisions about the American Revolution frominner visions and dreams. Industrialization and dreams. Howe, sewing machine. Einsteinand the sunbeam daydreams. Aboriginal women’s visions in the moon lodge duringmenstruation informed decision making for the men of the tribe. All these are “revelations”from the unconscious. According to Jung, new thoughts, creative ideas, ancient history,psychic ideas may all be expressed through dreams—if we pay attention to and learn tointerpret their sometimes archaic images and symbols. Lewis-White (1993), a Jungiananalyst and psychotherapist working with inner city youth, describes four benefits to theirpersonal dream study:+ learning from imaginal expressions and dream as metaphor enables thedevelopment of abstract, symbolic thinking;+ linking literature and creative expression to their own inner characters andinner stories;187•• learning to know themselves better through understanding that aspects of thedream are aspects of the dreamer; and,+ increasing self-awareness.Dream reading is different from personal dream interpretation; however, I think it ispossible that the student and teacher benefits might be similar.Dream Reading and the SelfI believe that dream reading theory challenges the nature and privileged status ofthe prevailing view of the rational, reasoning subject in the Western literary canon.Dream reading strongly supports the idea that the reasoning subject is not a unified,rational consciousness but rather a consciousness struggling to cohere. The dream readingsubject goes beyond conscious reason to embrace both the unconscious and subconsciousdimensions of the self and understands that there are continual contradictions. Dreamreading theory opens up many new possibilities for the construction of self as the dreamreader creates imaginary identifications with the literary characters. Meaning is alwayspolitical. It is located in the social networks of power/knowledge relations which givesociety its current form.[There is] widespread appeal in seeing ‘great’ literature as the receptacle of fixeduniversal meanings which enable us to understand the ‘truth’ of human naturewhich is itself fixed. ... It is part of the hegemony of liberal-humanist discoursesof subjectivity, language and culture (Weedon, 1997, p. 135).Dream reading is resistance to the notion of fixed truth. In using dream reading as literaryengagement, I offer the absolute certainty of uncertainty and ceaseless interpretationtogether with curriculum that imagines “something more’ than staying put in the logic ofofficial knowledge” (Britzman, 1998,p.49). Dream reading involves initiation into themultiple perspectives needed for meaning-making.188Dream Reading and Knowledge PrQductionWeedon (1997) argues that we need to transform both “the social relations ofknowledge production and the type of knowledge produced”(p. 7). We must ask theessential questions of how, where, by whom, and what counts as knowledge. Dreamwork, even while generally discounted, assists in bringing internalized symbolicperformances to conscious awareness. Dream reading as a strategy of literary engagementhas the potential to contribute to knowledge production; however, it must be legitimizedbefore it can be recognized as a knowledge source.Dream Reading as Open TextThe dream is an open text offering gaps in meaning and space where the dreamcan engage with the dreamer. “The gaps in the text create what Iser (1978) called an‘element of indeterminancy’ that initiates a performance of meaning rather thanformulating meaning itself [and] reveals human possibilities rather than settledcertainties” (Luce-Kapler, 2004, p. 88). I believe that in feminist dream reading there is a“self... clearly in process, and cohering [that] in no way suggests a necessary closure, oran absolutely fixed identity, but rather a basis from which to interact with one’s contexts”(Perreault, 1995, p. 17). Dream reading occurs within a liminal space that “can be‘entered into’ or ‘used’ as that zone or site in which a ‘knowing self is experienced asknower and (un)known, engendered and ambivalent, embodied and imagined”(Perreault, 1995, p. 17). Dream writing is a form of autography through which dreamreading invites the reader to “reconsider the imbrications of subjectivity, textuality, andcommunity” (Perreault, 1995, p. 2). Dream reading could be like great works ofimagination that could help us in our present trapped situation as women in a patriarchal189culture. Dream reading could provide the link between the open spaces in literary fictionand the closed ones where we live.It is through dream work and dream reading that I learned the language to explorethe “gap between the conceptual and the experiential” and found a discourse communityadequate to explore my experience and feelings thus reframing from “feelings ofcraziness” to “political and open to feminist practice and analysis.” I found a newlanguage that saved me and let me walk into a different world of self-authority. In writingabout subjectivity, representation and identity politics, Perrault states:The issues, problems, and possibilities that arise ... invite speculation about theintersection of experiences and discourses within the person. She who is feelingcrazy is certainly (whatever else) feeling dislocated from her world. The discoursecommunities of which she is a part are inadequate to her “feeling” or “experience.”It is this gap between the conceptual and the experiential that feminist self-writers(and theorists) explore as the zone most available for modification (1995,p.6).Dream reading great works of fiction forces us to question what we took for granted. Itquestions traditions and expectations. Dream reading is a work of the imagination thatcould make one feel like a stranger in one’s own home and invite us to explore with neweyes.In order for dream reading to become a significant process in the field of curriculumand teacher education, one must temper ones beliefs in the rational, linear, logical world ofthe Western literary canon with its right answers. There are no literary “Truth Notes,” norecipe files, no structured precise answers from the authorities in school, church orprovince. I believe we must risk. As educators, we must invite the imagination and fantasyimages back into education. Educators must learn a pedagogy of discomfort as it works toshift and transform consciousness. Educators must become aware of themselves, seek tounderstand their shadow and learn the freedom of emotional expression and body intimacy.190Imaginary identifications with story characters in novels presents the possibility ofimaginary identifications with students and curriculum. I believe that dream readingenables me to create a deep relationship with my self and through this creation, a deeperrelationship with curriculum and student teachers.In chapter 8, I share what I have learned on this dissertation journey.1918.Worlds Without End—The reader who encounters this work must recreate it in terms of his (sic) consciousness.(Greene, 1971, p. 254 emphasis in the original)The women kept silent, for they were afraid.The Gospel of Mark 16: 8In a period of human history when all available energy is spent in the investigation ofnature, very little attention is paid to the essence of man, which is his psyche, althoughmany researches are made into its conscious functions. But the really complex andunfamiliar part of the mind, from which symbols are produced, is still virtually unexplored.It seems almost incredible that though we receive signals from it every night, decipheringthese communications seems too tedious for any but a very few people to be bothered withit. Man’s greatest instrument, his psyche, is little thought of and it is often directlymistrusted and despised.(Jung & Franz, 1964,p.93)November 9, 1992Layers of consciousnessIn my dream, my colleagues and I are monitoring in a school. I meet with three people one of whom is apriest wearing a clerical black suit and Roman collar. I am going through the sections of the monitoringbinder. The priest seemsfaintly amused. lam confused. I can’t seem to find the real question lam searchingfor. The priest gives me the name of the school—Sainté Lucia. A consultant colleague is there. He iscomforting me with jokes and laughing. The place or room where I meet with them is unfamiliar. The priestsits across from me at the square table. I watch. Then, I am hung upside down. The layers of my head arestripped away piece by piece. I am dimly aware of what is happening I think to myseif “Perhaps this is thereal test. I wonder fI must encounter the true blackness of evil and test my resistance.” I am aware in thedream ofhaving read/heard that part ofthejourney is encountering death.There is seemingly no emotion in the dream. I awake feeling “normal”ifI ever was such a thing I am at aloss to explain the dream.Death. This dream has an overwhelming number of possible meanings. Sixteenyears after the dream, I am no longer at a loss to explain it. I think about the Hang Man inthe tarot cards. I think about the many new religious interpretations I have generatedthrough dreams. I know that dream images of physical death or injury are seldom, if ever,prophetic. I know that the superego sees change as death. Though the image may be192grotesque, I feel sure that I am changing consciousness. Old layers of fear of surveillanceby the Roman clerical authorities are stripped away.This is a non-concluding conclusion for as Carol Shields said, endings “are justthere for the shape of the book” (Ellen, 2002). Akin to the cycle of birth, life, death, andre-birth. Akin to the generations of women upon whom I stand. Akin to the familial,generative relation of women birthing new consciousness through the mythological appleof consciousness, the knowledge bite. This chapter marks the end of this dissertation.I come in from a walk through the cattle yards where the first spring calves liesleeping in the straw. The yard is half and half. Brown and white. The seasons arechanging. Winter officially ends tomorrow. There is no writing on my life calendar toindicate so definitively where the autumn of my life turns into winter or back to spring.Learning isn’t ever definitive but I must say something of what I have learned in theprocess of this dissertation. I have learned quite a few things.I am learning more about myselfby studying the fictional character Reta as ifshewere a dream image. The autobiographical work included in this dissertation enables meto study my consciousness experiences by studying those that emerge from my personaland the collective unconscious as my dreams. In effect I have learned that together withthe women in Unless, I too am a fictive selfReta with Norah, Danielle, Lois, The Baby Shower Invitation, The BurningMuslim Woman, and all the other images are one and the same originating out of thepsychic space of the polyphrenic “yous” of Reta Summers Winters as she enters into theembrace of Crone Space. Reta flows into this embrace carried on the words she writes asshe writes her selves. As she flows through spring thyme, summer thyme, autumn thyme,193and into winter thyme, she continues to transform through her shared stories and sharedwriting. Reta knows the power of the subjunctive. She writes as if She moves into herfears of knowing. She is afraid to know the betrayal of the world, her feelings ofabandonment, rejection, discrimination and subtle intimidation. She emerges out of thegirdled 50’s into the outspoken Crone Thyme of her own life.I have learned that dream reading, like dream interpretation, remains open.Literary anthropology with its inclusion of hermeneutic interpretation allows, if notdemands, the genuine question and juxtaposition of fiction and theory. We need thedream and dream text to indicatethe risk of knowing.Like Eve, I now know that I have been expelled from the paradise ofunconsciousness, of not knowing. I understand that I am birthed with free will. Thatawareness of freedom and the power to choose is affirming because it excites the sense ofpossibility and potential. Such awareness is also terrifring. Suddenly I am fullyresponsible, that is, fully able-to-respond. I can no longer explain my situation as a relicneither of the past nor as an object of the present. I have finally fully realized that I am alsoinextricably bound into the lives of my ancestors, most particularly my female lineage timewithout end. There is no boundary between us. There is no separate constructed “I.” As itwas in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.The reliance on the subjunctive as ifthroughout this dissertation is both a bridgeand a challenge to how I see the world in curriculum and teacher education. The personaldreams I have used throughout this dissertation stand as mute but deliberate questions.They are an affront to the rational logic of the Western literary canon. The four fictivewomen characters in Unless are one. They serve as metaphors for the integration of the194seasons of a woman’s life resulting in the winter-spring birth of the crone. These Retaselves are not separate approaches to curriculum or separate ways of seeing curriculum, butrather they form an holistic image of a new way of being in the world. The dream storiescreated from the life of each character in the novel form the data for creating an approachto literary engagement through dream reading as ifthe novel’s fictive images were dreams.The imaginary dreams serve as windows into the consciousness as well as the personal andcollective unconscious of Reta Winters. Britzman (1998) points out that Shoshana Felman(1991) identified reading as a tool of revolutions and liberation. Further, reading is a“rather risky business whose outcome and full consequences can never be known inadvance. Does not reading involve one risk that, precisely, cannot be resisted: that offinding in the text something one does not expect” (Britzman, 1998,p.54)? Literaryanthropology with its discursive iterations seeks unending possibilities and interpretations.Through literary anthropology, I learned that Unless is a timorous beginning to newconsciousness. Dream reading Unless helped me to unpack deeply buried subtleties of thepatriarchal code. One reading yielded only a brief glimpse, a feeling about the fourgenerations of women whose unrest simmers just below consciousness finally pushing uplike a Canada thistle through Reta’ s composed calm surface. The character Lois was prettymuch invisible to me on first reading. I didn’t notice, or if I did, didn’t remember the appledessert in the Pyrex baking dish. After a few more readings, I recognized Reta’ s somewhatdismissive attitude toward Lois, but I still discounted it. It was probably the fifth or sixthreading before I noticed that Reta remained unaware that Lois knew the first name of Mrs.Lyle McGinn, the recipient of The Baby Shower Invitation. It was several more readingsbefore I saw that the quatemity of female characters included Danielle as the soul’s195movement through disintegration and dissolution back to integration. Changing one’sscripted consciousness requires many readings. As a culturally conditioned creature, that isa “nonnalized” subject, it is very difficult to see the structures of my creation.The space between my first feminist dream reading paper and the end of thiswriting has deeply impacted the way I read and respond to reading. Re-reading and reresponding no longer feel like punishment for not getting the “right interpretation” the firsttime. Every reading is filled with dream symbols and a search for underlying possibilities.It is possible I will never again be able to read without considering both the structure of thenarration and what it is that structures its “modes of intelligibility.” It is possible I willforever be asking what “interpretive glance” I am guilty of (Britzman, 2003,p.243).Questions about to what degree I am an “invention of the educational apparatus” or “aproblem population” will continue to haunt me (Britzman, 2003).I have been fascinated with reading since I learned how. In the fall of 1951, thesuperintendent of schools visited our small log school in the community of ClarksonValley, Alberta. I was the only student in grade one. In my memory, he plunks a bookdown on my desk and says, “Read.” It’s a green book, All Sails Set. It’s the grade sixreader. I read. The teacher smiles and that night a note goes home with my oldest brother tomy parents. The next day I join a cousin and another boy in grade two. Many years later,my mother gives me the note.Reading. Stories. Literature. When I asked my mother how I learned to read beforegoing to school, she looked puzzled. “I don’t know. I certainly didn’t teach you. Your threeyounger brothers were in diapers!” It really doesn’t matter how I learned to read. Yearslater, I found that through reading and writing I could heal a life. I learned that reading196theory and stories forms, informs, and reforms a life. Studies can open doors tounderstanding and infinite questions and interpretations about the lives of women and fearsof knowing, consciousness, dreams, feminism, and literary anthropology. Three imagesappear in my imagination.Jam ten and in grade six when I nail togetherfour wooden apple boxes to makebookshelves. I envisioned these shelvesfilled with many books. Igot a subscrztion to achildren ‘s book club for my birthday. It ‘sjust the beginning.Jam in grade ten. I am fourteen. I make a deskfor my bedroom out ofMom ‘s old sewingmachine cabinet. Years and years later, I have a real desk1am 44. Bill makes “a writing desk” tofit over the arms ofthe big chair in the living roomwhere I reaci write, and meditate hour after hour every evening and every other chance Iget. I buy literally hundreds ofdollars worth ofbooks thatfill every bookshefin the house.These images tell their own story of the centrality of stories, studying, reading, and writing.They are evoked within, beyond or beneath the rational. Now, I sit in the silence writingthis dissertation surrounded by images of grandchildren. I read and write outside in summerand on warm days. I read and write at the kitchen table, in my office, or at the “writingdesk” that sits on the big armchair in the sunroom.I have learned that “Terrible vulnerability accompanies aesthetic practice”(Grumet, 1988,p.93). I have a whole house of my own and although I pursue doctoralstudies as a way to reinvent my self as a widowed woman learning to be not-wife, I findthe vulnerability is deepened. I have learned that more years of study do not quell the fearof ridicule. I am simply more adept at ignoring the fear. Behar (1996) expresses soclearly the wonderful, terrible, torturous journey of writing. My advisor says, “Teach.You have much to teach us. Teach. I have seen you teach. Teach.” I want to scream. Hegives me another copy of Behar (1996) and when I am home in my study, I find my owncopy with the following words underlined and dated June 2007. The margin notation197says, “This surely explains why I want to quit. Whatever made me think I could do thisdoctorate?”Loss, mourning, the longing for memory, the desire to enter into the world aroundyou and having no idea how to do it, the fear of observing too coldly or toodistractedly or too raggedly, the rage of cowardice, the insight that is alwaysarriving late, as defiant hindsight, a sense of the utter uselessness of writinganything and yet the burning desire to write something, are the stopping placesalong the way (Behar, 1996,p.3).Where and how can I find the courage to be vulnerable? I have learned somethingof the art of teaching as an aesthetic experience. I have participated in the examination ofthat which falls inside/outside the boundary that draws the line between teaching and lifeand the allegiances and manners of those who identify with the territory inside/outside. Ihave asked, “How can I be an artist in a concrete box?”I have become an embodied, radical feminist since the patriarchal aspect ofreceived-self was a discourse no longer adequate to the task of living. Akin to Norah inUnless, I have found that “received models of self are too narrow and too uniform.” I havelearned that “self-invention”[isian imperative (Perreault, 1995, p. 7). I have learned tochallenge ditto sheets, textbook design, history as written, discipline codes, and thepatriarchal control of teaching. I have learned that Lois and Danielle may also represent myown midlife psyche and my struggle to balance Eros (feelings and relationship) with Logos(laws and principles). I learned with Reta that it is better if I do not project my ownmasculine attributes outside myself thus giving men like her editors or magazine publishersthe authority and value of gods. With Reta, I am going to Crone School and learning to livewith my own soul. Through my identifications with Reta, I have learned. Our relationshipcontinues to be a productive learning space.198Throughout this dissertation I have lived with the specter of continuing as an agentof patriarchy. How will I know when I am living out the hypocrisy of socially constructedexpectations of woman, transferring those expectations into my role as mother, teacher,grandmother, farmer? And when I do recognize these behaviors, will I be able to strugglethrough the fear and “the strident cadence that sometimes accompanies utterance” (Miller,2005,p.61)? Grumet explains the alienation of teachers through hypocrisy. We celebratethe maternal gifts of the teacher (subjectivity) while we require the denial of maternalnurturance in the schools (objectivity). As Grumet (1988) says,We have burdened the teaching profession with contradictions and betrayals thathave alienated teachers from our own experience, from our bodies, our memories,our dreams, from each other, from children, and from our sisters who are mothers tothose children(p.57).I have learned the importance of bodies, memories, dreams, and relationships amongstudents, teacher and learning. I refuse to die in the vise grip of rationalist logiccharacterized by domination.Through the years between 1988 and 2008 I have come to see the world andeverything in it as “alive, dynamic, interdependent, interacting, and infused with movingenergies: a living being, a weaving dance” (Starhawk, 1988,p.9). The world is filledwith potentials and possibilities arising from each season of living. Coming to understandfictive characters as fthey were a dream deeply shifts my thought. Through dreamreading, the impact of interconnectedness and context becomes a fundamentally differentway of seeing and approaching curriculum and teacher education. Everything is nested.Through dream reading, curriculum and teaching become focused on seeing, noticing,feeling, experiencing. I have learned to question taken-for-granted roles. I have learnedthat reflexivity is potentially “politically and socially disruptive” (Bolton, 2006,p. 204).199In 1998, when I wrote my first paper using the title, The Apple and the TalkingSnake, I was trying to understand my years of gender blindness. “That at the time I askedno questions about this situation should not be a particular surprise. ... (T)he questionswe ask are both limited by and in turn limit the situations we live out” (Lewis, 1993,p.119). Naomi Wolf puts it differently: “The right to ask questions is the chiefjewel in thetreasury of rights assumed by men and withheld from women” (Wolf, 1993,p.118). Ibelieve I have learned to ask subversive questions, to see differently, to wonder and todig beneath in the darkness. I read Unless We Ask Questions (Shields, 2002,p.316).Conversation is meant to be a starting point for opening up insight and for theconsideration of many ideas. Reinharz (1992) suggests that a conversation formatdemonstrates how “knowledge is socially constructed, tentative, and emergent”(p.229quoting Raven and Iskin). She gives the example of how philosopher Jane Martin shapeda conversation to present ideas from the time frame of Plato, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft,Beecher, Perkins, Gilman, and herself about the education of women. The followingconversation is meant to shape further thinking about dreams, women’s fears of knowing,and recognition of the feminine as contained in and containing the masculine.I first used conversation method as a presentation for a graduate class in actionresearch. I searched for an authentic feminine way to share the ideas I was working withand came to a conversation between Sophia and myself. Sophia came to class with me.Her presence was inspiring. The conversation with Sophia represents the vitality of the“living aspect” of literary anthropology. These depths are layered with centuries ofpatriarchy enabling only brief whispered learnings from the mostly unacknowledged OldTestament figure of Sophia representing the feminine aspect of the divine and found in200the Book of Wisdom. I dream of a time when the mythology of the ancient mysteries ofthe goddess becomes a familiar part of education. As Richardson notes, we “get stuck ina particularly strong metanarrative, often operate within contradictory implied narratives,and sometimes seek stories that transgress the culturally condoned ones (Richardson,2001,p.171). As a teacher educator, I believe that I might safely say that conversationwith the goddess of wisdom transgresses culturally condoned conversation. You mighteven call this a conversation with a blind trilobite for I have learned that the feminine isalive even if temporarily buried in the primeval mud.A conversation with SophiaPearl: Sophia, would you say a few things as an introduction to those readers who maynot know you very well?Sophia: Remember, I am not literal! I am mythological! There are arresting differencesamong mythological stories of the serpent. Snake symbolism has a close link toDionysos and the “other,” that is, the unknown which presents a threat to thecustomary cultural mind-set. Certainly my version of this story is not culturallycondoned! “Indeed, the part the serpent plays in humanity’s dramatic exit from theGarden of Eden only begins to make sense in the context of the earlier reality, areality in which the serpent was one of the main symbols of the Goddess” (Eisler,1987,p.86). There are the “many killings of serpents. ... Zeus slays the serpentSyphon; Apollo kills the serpent Python; and Hercules kills the serpent Ladon,guardian of the sacred fruit tree of the Goddess Hera, said to have been given her bythe Goddess Gaia at the time ofher marriage to Zeus” (Eisler, 1987,p.87).Remember, in Hebrew, I represent knowledge. So, Adam and Eve and the Gardenof Eden attest to the potential development of the understanding of humanconsciousness through reading fiction as dream.If I showed up in a novel as fI were in your dream, I might be interpreted asrepresentative of low thought, that is, thought that slithers in the dirt. Others mightinterpret me as representative of wisdom, and yet others might understand me as anaspect of the Hippocratic Oath which is a healing vow to the gods and goddessessuch as Apollo, Asklepios, Hygeia and Panacea. Those supposedly rational Greekscarried on with the Oath of Hippocrates. Asklepios carried a serpent-entwined staffalthough it was really the caduceus of Hermes. A serpent might meantransformation, healing, and change depending on the circumstances of your lifeand the configuration of the novel (Moss, 1999). Need I go on?201You will find yet another interpretation of serpent in the Indian yogic spiritualdevelopment associated with raising the kundalini energy through the chakras fromthe root to the head (Clift & Clift, 1985). You are familiar with the kundalinienergy through your yoga practice.Pearl: Sophia, writing this dissertation has been very solitary work. I am definitelychanged and changing. What can I do that might actually make a difference beyondmyself?Sophia: You must continue to stand firmly on the ground of political resistance, ready tooffer your understanding of the ancient ways of seeing and theorizing, of makingculture, of moving toward that revolutionary effort which seeks to create spacewhere there is unlimited access to the pleasure and power of knowing and wheretransformation is possible. You can offer your ideas to your student teachers. Youcan offer your ideas in workshops. You could create a course outline and offer toteach dream reading in the Faculty of Education. Like Crone Danielle, you can holdup images of old womanhood and offer rebuttals to patriarchal consciousness. Youhave shown how Reta dreamed images that she could use to grow through hermidlife years becoming more and more the resilience and strength of the crone.Remember, crone energy includes the Destroyer of illusions.Pearl: Sophia, other cultures have known that there are many layers of consciousness. Ihave tried to construct and reconstruct my experiences and I think this writingincludes vestiges of”an archive of resistance” (Sumara, et al., 2006). I need to tellyou, though, that although I may be a crone, I still have a good deal of resistance tomaking public some of the thoughts that are written here. You asked me in 1992and you continued asking that I go public and share my thoughts with others. Worsestill, others at a university. I still think it’s too hard. I think that talking aboutmythology, patriarchy, and radical feminism, not to mention all this personal “stuff’will just get me all kinds of trouble. My heart pounded hard enough when aparticipant in a Dream Workshop at Grant McEwan College asked if I was worriedthat the Minister would learn about my activities. “You do work for theDepartment, don’t you?” she asked. Then there are the comments from a colleagueat the Red Deer Teacher’s Convention where I was doing a Weilness and Dreamssession. “I thought there had to be another Pearl Gregor. What will the DeputyMinister say about this?”Sophia: Pearl, the problem for education is changing what Foucault called regimes of theproduction of truth. You face strong resistance. Even your dictionaries define mythas primitive, story, fictitious, imaginary while defining theology as doctrine, thestudy of religion, and religious truth. It was just last week that one of your EDSEstudents took deep exception to even the mention of the goddess, claiming that youhad caused her “deep discomfort.” How often have your students told you that theybelieve that religion MUST be kept separate from the state and that religion is toopersonal, too subjective, to be discussed in public education? Yet as you havefound, the education system rests on the bedrock of patriarchal religious beliefs.202The Alberta social studies program proclaims that it will work with controversialissues, but as you found, student teachers are uncomfortable with conflict. You areintellectually aware of the pedagogy of discomfort. You are simply experiencing it!Pearl: Sophia, how can I teach student teachers that feminism is about both women andmen?Sophia: Student teachers must experience their own inner energies. Dream reading anddream work support that. You will find the contradictory narratives and those thattransgress the culturally condoned ones through dream reading. Despite Jung’smisunderstanding, you will find there is no polarity between male and female asthere is in culturally conditioned images. While male and female representdifference, they are not different but rather the “same force flowing in opposite, butnot opposed, directions. ... Neither is “active” or “passive,” dark or light, dry ormoist—instead, each partakes of all those qualities. The Female is seen as the life-giving force, the power of manifestation, of energy flowing into the world tobecome form. The Male is seen as the death force in a positive not a negative sense:the force of limitation that is the necessary balance to unbridled creation, the forceof dissolution, of return to formlessness. Each principle contains the other: Lifebreeds death, feeds on death; death sustains life, makes possible evolution and newcreation. They are part of the cycle, each dependent on the other” (Starhawk, 1988,p.41).Pearl: Sophia, you know that Starhawk has been condemned by the Pope as a witch! I amreally not that comfortable quoting Starhawk! I recognize the privilege of age andfinancial security. I feel the privilege of independence. Yet, I am still afraid. I tellmyself wyrrd is Old English for wise-woman, for crone. I tell myself thatcolleagues at the University of Alberta won’t read this dissertation anyway. I tellmyself I should be used to discomfiting truths. Still, I am not comfortable. I tellmyself that if I am afraid to know, I am perpetuating the issue of domination.But never mind. Tell me, Sophia, would you agree that literature constitutes a depthof wisdom about consciousness (Lodge, 2002)?Sophia: Most definitely. Remember what you read in Jung’s Answer to Job where heinterprets the violence, agony, and vengeance of Revelations as a signal that I,Sophia, the feminine deity-companion, must rejoin the male Trinity (I never left!)returning wisdom, compassion, and completion (Noddings, 1989,pp.25 — 26). Itwould seem that education really could learn something from Jung. It is time forwomen to revisit and rework Jung’s notion of feminine consciousness. You aredoing that through dream reading. You are doing that through revisiting the oldmythologies. It is also time for the creation of a new myth. Dreams are mythrnakers.Consciousness can be studied through the dream imagery of literature. Come now,you are aware that newness emerges from the fluctuations or perturbations ofconsciousness created through the insertion of even the tiniest seed of newinformation arising from the collective unconscious. That is learning!203Pearl: Sophia, would you speak further about this problem of women, how they aredismissed and excluded from the most primary of entitlements (Shields, p. 99)! Thepatriarchy is very limiting to both men and women. Linear, sequential solutions, rocklogic, simplistic rational cause and effect. These must all give way to fluid logic andthe polytheistic gestalt. How can we come to see constellations of ideas, multipleselves rather than the monotonous monogamy of literal, discrete and limiting facts?Sophia: Think about dream reading. You found that even in the midst of massiveconfusion and resistance from within, your dreams still emerge with deep complexityand always speak to your life! Your dreams are never “outside” your life! Teachdream reading. Insert dream reading into the Western theory of knowledge. Insertdream reading into education as a way that generates new knowledge and coming toknow that what emerges from within is real! It is time to bring feminine wisdom toconsciousness. Literary engagement with dream reading and interpretation can dothat.Pearl: Sophia, let’s be real. One person. One dissertation. I can’t imagine much change!Sophia: Remember, we are all connected. You have only to do your small part.***Through this dissertation, I have found a place for my inner experiences. I amgrateful to Doll (2000) and Sumara (1996) for reminding me of Jung’s focus onalchemy, the affirmation of Mary as the Bride united with the Son, and Sophia (Wisdom)united with the Godhead. As well, Jung’s (1989) memoirs explain his search for anhistorical basis for his inner experiences (pp. 200 - 222). This search led him tounderstand Freud’s focus on the primal myth of Yahweh and the father who created aworld of “disappointments, illusions, and suffering” while ignoring theother essential aspect of Gnosticism: the primordial image of the spirit as another,higher god who gave to mankind the krater (mixing vessel), the vessel ofspiritual transformation. The krater is a feminine principle which could fmd noplace in Freud’s patriarchal world (Jung, 1989,p.201).Those seeking higher consciousness might be baptized in the krater, a kind of uterus ofspiritual renewal and rebirth corresponding to the aichemical vas where the transformation204of substances took place. Both Doll and Sumara follow Jung’s notion of renewal andrebirth of consciousness through unskinning or unpeeling. The snake sheds its skinperpetuating a new beginning. The apple metaphor speaks to the Tree of Knowledge ofGood and Evil and the need to become consciously aware of the Self. The peeling,shedding, cyclical changes of the snake speak to the uncanny forces of change inconsciousness.What are further transformation possibifities?Reproductive thought is death to human consciousness which thrives onimaginative thought. In the search for beauty and justice, education has failed to provide aspace for its children—a soul space more profound, more necessary, more human than themundane practicality of learning how to be a worker in the economic cogs of Westernrational society. The soul yearns for the creativity of both the imagination and theImaginary—the release of soul capacity for Goodness.Literary engagement, like dream reading, “participates in the ongoingdevelopment of the reader’s self identity” (Sumara, 2002a,p.29). Change in personalidentity is a personal and ultimately internal process which for me has led to changes inpedagogical choice. These personal changes impact content selection and the amount oftime and emphasis placed on what knowledge is taught in my classroom. It changes theplanning, instruction, and evaluation of learning. It changes how I deal with classroomcontroversy as well as with ethics. I have come to better understand how to bring toconscious awareness prior values and beliefs about teaching and curriculum. I have alsocome to recognize that it is critical that I recognize and reflect on the extent of external205influences such as government policy, administrative practices, and community values onmy classroom decisions.Working with dream reading a novel has opened me up to barriers, obstacles andvulnerabilities. Dreams offer us an opportunity to notice our own blindness in particularpoints of view. Many people dismiss dreams, as Reta Winters did, as meaningless.However, for those who have lived in close touch with their dreams for many years, theyoffer truth far beyond the facts. Dream reading has brought new perspectives and newunderstandings to my past and present experiences. Dream reading, like dreams, is alearning laboratory within me. Dream reading using literary anthropology method helpsme and the world to evolve. Dream reading” (I)mplicate[s] oneself in one’s ownnarratives of learning and teaching [and this] means turning habituated knowledge backon itself, and examining its most unflattering—for many, its most devastating—features.It also means exploring how even this most unflattering moment may offer insight intomaking significance.” (Britzman, 2000,p.7).At the end of this dissertation, I make no pretense of truth or answers. What istrue? Salvio makes clear that writing is “always vulnerable to being unfaithful.” Salviomight call the personal dreams included in this dissertation “writing as detour,” that is,articulating areas of my life that our culture wishes to keep private through “images thatcast indirect rays of light on the barely audible but deeply felt emotions” (Salvio, 2007,p.5). Prior to this writing, I certainly never thought to ask, as Salvio (2007) does,What pedagogic possibilities are made available when the teacher ... falls intodepression. . . . What possibilities are made available by the disequilibrium that isbrought about by such losses of mastery, particularly when these sensations createthe change of scenes that Freud attributes to the uncanny, changes that createconfusion about who students and teachers are to one another (p. 7)?206What would I teach differently now if I were again faced with the suggestion givento me by one grade nine class during one of my worst bouts of depression that I was “sickand should probably go home” (Appendix XIV)? Upon my return to the classroom, Iwould be much more open, perhaps finding fictional representations of depression andworking through using literary anthropology so that students gain deeper understanding oflife.Dreams ask us to pay attention. Dreams create possibilities for the dreamer tobecome involved with the ongoing project of learning about her inner world andunderworld. The dream does its work well and invites the dreamer to take the time, tomake the space for wondering, and to make a relationship with the dreams. In this way,dreams could be likened to excellent literary text which also invites us into its world, itscharacters and to see anew the possibilities for deepening our learning. Reading, rereading, contemplating, and thinking with Reta in Unless creates a commonplace, anarchive of feeling which can be subjected to critical interpretation. This commonplaceinvited me to revisit the details of my life through dreams during midlife. I have visitedmy dream journal often and like a good friend or spouse, it challenges me to re-think, tore-create, and to spend time attending to and learning about its many details and to seemy relationship to fiction as intimate parts of my life. This deep practice of literaryengagement has thrust alien ideas from many fields into juxtaposition with the indigenousstructures of my psyche.I have re-discovered the world of the archetype of the Great Mother, the TripleGoddess and discovered that my soul is not and never was empty. I too live thearchetypes—many and one and I realize that the students I teach are likewise living an207archetypal constellation that must be seen through and disrupted to avoid single-mindedliterality. I am still learning to consider and examine my ideas in terms of archetypes,finding the cages in which I sit and the concrete boxes that protect me against theinvasion of alien ideas, the world of the gods and goddesses. I see, for instance, thatSpringer might be considered as Apollonic, that is, through the eyes of rational masculineconsciousness, he sees inferiority when he sees the female character of a novel makingrice casseroles and doing yoga.Dream reading insists that we must make space in curriculum for stories because asDonald (2001) says, “On a cultural level, language is not about inventing words. It is abouttelling stories in groups” (p. 294). Literary anthropological research methods enable thejuxtaposition of stories and ideas, “so that their meanings collide, [and] shift focus to newsemantic spaces” (Donald, 2001,p.294). Dream reading helps open the space of thepossible.What happens when you “know”? Or, how has Eve made out since offering Adamthat apple? Is it possible that teachers, given the sacred responsibility and trust to preservethe status quo, and thus the illusion of truth, have a tendency to assert their authorityagainst the search for intolerable truths? And is it also possible that in resisting children’spotential to shatter illusions of truth, teachers resist it for themselves? What myths havebeen shattered in my own search—reading Campbell (1973), Black Elk, Woodman,Houston, Starhawk, Fox, Berry and Eisler to name a few—and of course, dreams. Idiscovered that the Aztec beliefs are similar to the Christian Bible; that legends of virginsgiving birth and heroes who die and are resurrected are found in several other cultures.Given this experience and the monumentally difficult task of creating my own sustainable208life-giving illusion, why would I invite others to join me in risking the dissolution of theirillusions? As Campbell (1976) says, “... there is no Chosen People of God in this multiracial world, no Found Truth to which we all must bow, no One and Only True Church.” Itbecomes my task “... to identify, analyze and interpret the symbolized ‘facts of the mind,’[and] “... to evolve techniques for retaining these in health and, as the old traditions of thefading past dissolve,” [develop] “... a knowledge and appreciation of [my] own inwardorders of fact” (p. 11).Concluding thoughts while—recoiling as we all do from what we know, discoveringand then repudiating ... (Shields, 2002,p.310).The space of the possible. Dream reading. Jungian theory and archetypal psychology.Feminist theory. Autobiography. Dreams. Transformation. Consciousness. Curriculum.Teacher education. Our lives are loaded with multiple interpretations and grounded incultural complexity. Through writing our dreams, playing with dreams, interpreting fictionas dream, I believe women can “dig up the dandelions” (Chambers, 1998) and re-name theworld into a different place—a human place. Women can come to understand better howthey shape and are shaped by culture and how we are living with multiple uninterrogatedassumptions around traditions, theories, and authoritative discourses.These transformative practices require breaking the code of the Symbolic Order.Dream work and dream reading provide us with new symbolic tools from the inside, toolswith which to crack, break, and fragment the patriarchal codes inscribed through culture.Women must create many more new stories to add their cultural consciousness to thedistributive networks through which collective human mind is created. Seeing,experiencing, noticing and feeling must become equal to thinking, argument, analysis, andreceived knowledge.209Why unsettle my life? I have concluded that the 2006 Alberta social studiesprogram remains relentlessly patriarchal. Thus, teaching the program, which I am legallymandated as teacher educator to do, I must move the curriculum as taught from the inquiryof truth finding and received knowledge to the inquiry of meaning-making,interconnectedness and relationship. This encounter produces fear. My concern for atransformative shift in curriculum leads to my personal involvement in curriculum inquiryand theory to attempt to uncover and transform the logic of domination. That is myintention. Therefore, it is my responsibility to do whatever I can to continue to transformand to re-construct my self and the curriculum I teach.I don ‘t know where lam going, but I sure am ‘t lost23 suggests the breaking up ofthe embedded prefabricated narratives of patriarchal culture through opening the space ofdoubt. I believe that dream reading has the potential to open the space of doubt into whichteachers may move. What if teachers became interpreters of curriculum in the sense ofdream reading and literary engagement? What if curriculum meaning were revealedthrough multiple interpretations? What if we found or created new stories that transgressthose culturally condoned in the Western Canon? And, so I ask myself, what would happenif women teachers rebirthed the pre-oedipal symbolic order and brought forth a world thataccepts women as human? What if we lived+ As ifwe are willing to make a spectacle of ourselves in order to shiftconsciousness.+ As fthe novel is the most authoritative description we have ofconsciousness.•:• As fdream reading transformed consciousness.+ As ifchanging consciousness, subjectivity and shifting identities enabled reinterpreting curriculum.+ As ifre-interpreting curriculum leads to transformative practices of teachingand leading.23(Lair, 1975)210+ As fwe uncover, recognize and re-interpret fear of knowing and thusbecome aware we are complicit in our own colonization through patriarchalcultural structures.+ As fevery thought and action contributes to the distributive culturalnetwork resulting in shifts in consciousness in, with and through culture.In this dissertation, I have traveled back and forth between the lives of the womenin Unless as dream and autobiographical episodes. Woven into this travel are theories offeminism, consciousness and archetypal psychology. Finally, I have linked these ideas toissues of contemporary education. I have put forward ideas for how we might create anethos of curriculum and teaching that is dedicated to bringing forth, transforming andbecoming. It is my hope that this work may impact at least one teacher to reclaim her selfand her teaching from fundamentalist notions of the past inculcated into students in thename of Truth. This work offers an introduction to dream reading theory. There is far morework to be done to flesh out specific practical approaches and illustrations of dreamreading. I have offered my own dreams and my dream reading of Unless.I am not a poet. Yet, I find that words sometimes arrive in different forms churningto be spat upon the page.CronmgIn this winter season, birth the old woman in me.Come out and dance our hag danceWithered fresh.Ancient ageless crone.Iridescent green, new mould from oldThe immaculate soul of womanLove containerBurst forth our childrenTaught by goddess to rejoice.Constrained within this fleshWounds of children, healWounds of children, burnWounds of children, scarredand cracked, burnt in fires, leapforth from the valley of old bones.211Soot and ashes.You will teach the worldShimmer into goldPierce the hardened walls.Refined by fire.Spring up and dance.212BibliographyAbrams, J., & Zweig, C. (Eds.). (1991). Meeting the shadow: The hidden power ofthedark side ofhuman nature. Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.Aguiar, S. A. (2001). The bitch is back: Wicked women in literature. Carbondale:Southern Illinois University Press.Anderson, B. S., & Zinsser, J. P. (1988). 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On a transpersonal level, this suggests that the Death Goddess sometimesfunctions as that aspect of the Self that aggressively stands against inauthentic living andwill actively destroy what the ego has falsely taken on as its way of being in the world”(Carison, 1989,p.83 and 109).Merlin Stone in When God was a Woman explains both the Vulture and Owl as goddesssymbols. In Goddess mythology, the Owl is linked with Lilith. “(A)rchaelogists havefound accounts of the sacred women in the earliest records of Surner. ... The Queen ofHeaven was most reverently esteemed by the sacred women, who in turn were especiallyprotected by Her. ... One interesting fragment recorded the name of Lilith, describedas ayoung maiden, as the ‘hand of manna.’ We read on this sacred tablet that Lilith was sentby manna to gather men from the street, to bring them to the temple. ... Lilith laterappeared in Hebrew mythology as the first wife of Adam, who refused to be sexuallysubmissive ... later as the name of the demon who hovered about, waiting to find spilledsperm, of which to make her illegitimate demon children” (Stone, 1984,p.158).• I.L•J4j•rI-S’.F__4--- /..-•%‘.220Appendix I (c)I-. -. - --———..—%%‘.... \.•c\ - ‘ -•_w. .‘-‘.,— 3; .-. .‘‘1Ix II% *ltzzE%IReiki image. The black represents the imaginary “goup” that poured from my bodyduring the reiki treatment.221*I ,Appendix I (d)(aImages during reiki treatment. The red represents the energy that flowed while the blackrepresents the negative energy, blood, that poured out of my body into the bucket at myfeet.222Appendix 1 (e)This is the final image that appeared during the reiki treatment. For me, itrepresents Sophia, the mythical Goddess of wisdom.223/I‘4’ttI’‘V.Jq>Appendix IIJournal ExcerptsFebruary 1990I am my own authority. Maybe.Emancipatory research increases awareness of the contradictions distorted or hidden by everyday understandings, and in doing so it directs attention to the possibilities for socialtransformation inherent in the present configuration of social processes (Lather, 1991). Doesfive years of personal dream work, meditation, inner healing, bibliotherapy of over 150 titles,leading dream workshops in my “spare” time, and finally, culminating in psychotherapy and thefirst hot flash of midlife count as “emancipatory research”? Today I asked Dr. Chamberlain whycritical theory researchers stick to Freudian psychoanalysis rather than moving on to the work ofJung. He says it has to do with a psychologic focus on the individual while critical theory focuseson collective action. At first, I thought this was an explanation. As I re-read some of my notesand reflect on my experiences, I’m not so sure. My individual emancipation ripples out in circlesand touches my daughter, my sons, my husband, birth family, friends and those who come to thedream workshops and journey with me. I have a file folder full of notes, letters and commentsfrom women who have written to me from Innisfail, Alberta to San Diego, California afterreading an article I had written on healing. I have a choice to leave my experience at theindividual level or to share it with others. To tell them my story and listen to theirs and throughthe telling and the listening we will free each other. Well, this ends with more questions again.Are there other reasons, more reasons, for ignoring Jung?****I am constantly thinking about possible research designs as I take this independent readingcourse with Dr. Chamberlain.(1) submission of the preliminary description of the data to the scrutiny of theresearched (I hate this clinical word) for further dialogue. Moral dialogue?Noddings refers to moral dialogue as an authentic attempt to listen to eachother, to see from within the other’s experience.(2) life histories of the researched, if relevant. In dream work, life history and life issuescontextualizing is critical. This may enable their inner transition to understand andchange their own repressive or oppressive realities. School superintendents appearedoften in my early dreams (1989-90). Representing my intellect and how it was thatthe intellect kept putting up obstacles to change. The intellect or probably superego,in my experience, often plays games by bringing up all the negative reasons for notchanging the inner belief system. I wonder if teachers generally have figures ofsuperintendents appearing in their dreams. How would it be possible for the lifeexperience of anyone to be “not relevant”?224****Father John Rich [Psychosynthesis workshop, New York, 1991] said, “Becomingspiritually mature means becoming your own authority.” Scared the ... out of me. I wrotepages and pages on that in the summer of 1991. I repeated, “I am my own authority,” likea mantra for months and more months just to keep the fear down.I am 45 years old. This process, perhaps too late, has enabled me to re-define my ideals and seethat I am my own authority. It has necessitated a declaration of my right to self-determination inthe face of challenges of family and social expectations. Not without pain. I am continuallyworking to accept the awakening understanding of my connection to earth and nature; otherwomen (I didn’t used to associate much with women except my Mom, and two very closefriends, rejecting the cookie baking routine at 15); and the most difficult—acceptance of myphysical body as part of me. I am one of the majority of humanity—not another minority. MyGod is not an anthropomorphic God but pure uncreated energy manifest in All. I have redefinedthe leadership problem as problematic male leadership. This seems appropriate to me sinceChrist reportedly claimed “The first shall be last,” thereby turning the hierarchical model upsidedown. Not that anyone listened. “Not servants but friends,” pushes the patriarchal nonsenseradically aside and makes a mockery of the fundamentalism so rampant in Alberta.“What does this sentence or statement reveal about the experience being described?”(Van Manen,p.21 — 22), the example about hope. What would I say about midlife? Tobe immersed in midlife is to come to know. And the knowing is deeper. It is a coming toSacred Know. In early life, one sees expectation and feels expected to do certain things.To join this or that, to bake for the children’s school, to clean the Church. At midlife, onecomes to say NO clearly and firmly and to say YES equally clearly and firmly. Onecomes to a deeper Knowing of one’s own power to be in the world as do-er for others oras be-er of Self. And, one begins to say a clear NO without defensive explanation. “No, Iam not going to do that. It sounds interesting. Have a good time.” Or, “Yes. I want tocommit to that.”Re-collecting - Linguistic Transformations and the Language of MidlifeI know that, Saying Yes; Saying No, develops a sense of being in control of my ownwants and desires. The, “I am my own authority,” notion of earlier writing and beingcomfortable in that knowing of self-authority. Or, when I learned I was cooking becauseof my upbringing—women bake and cook and clean and—not because I needed to orwanted to or that my children needed me to. This knowing came clearly in the pain ofChristmas 1989 through yet another episode with the deep dark despair of depression.****225August 23, 1993Self-reflection on the experience of the Myers-Briggs Certification WorkshopListening for Wholeness: Dialogue with an Introvert.Dear N. (workshop leader):The first major insight emerged once I was out on the open highway. I am having an imaginaryconversation with Mom.“Mom, I need to explain something. You just pretend I’m a priest or bishop or someone way UPthere and then maybe you’ll be able to hear me. Not long ago you asked, “Why do you have toquestion everything about faith and religion? I just have faith. That’s how it is.” I didn’t giveyou much of an answer then, but now a year later, here is my answer. That’s how it is withintroverts like me. It sometimes takes a long time to formulate an answer that gets at the depth ofthe idea. So, here it is. When I meet God face-to-face, which I doubt, since I don’t believe Godexists in personal form, I imagine S/he will ask, “Why didn’t you use the mind and body andsoul I gave you? I am pretty certain S/he won’t ask, “Why did you use the mind, body and soul Igave you!” Now, you see, as Bishop, I get to be a real thinker in the service of humanity. As aBishop I would be male. I would get to ask the tough questions which may blow open old rigidrules and structures. Institutions must serve humanity. I suppose I would be excommunicatedlike Teilhard de Chardin (they let him back in when they actually figured out what he wastalking about), or Matthew Fox. They probably won’t let him back in ever because he consorts,are you ready for this? With witches! Yes, witches right here and now! Tsk. Sorry, that’s a bitsarcastic. But have you read Fox’s work? You might want to.The people must use institutions. Institutions and systems are ministers to and with and for thepeople. Not vice versa. I know that now. Christ served humanity. He did not come, build aninflexible institution, an idol, and command the people to follow the idol! So, Mom, the Bishophas spoken her truth. That’s why I have to question. It’s real simple. I have to use the gifts givenas best I know how.****And, now back to Mom. This is the Bishop again. I was born quiet, introverted, verymuch joyous, gentle little soul. For 11 months my world revolved around an adoringMother and Dad; a proud mother who desperately wanted a daughter after three sons; andan adoring, quiet, reserved, musician, trucker father, who rocked the cradle with one footand tapped the other in time with his banjo. Three brothers. 5, 6, 7. And aging, belovedgrandparents. Securely nestled on grandmother’s breast as she rocked me in the twilightof her life. I just had Grandma’s ring made new, Mom. Then, the death of mygrandmother. And a year later, assault by an unseen neighbor, and another year later thedeath of my grandfather. “Will Grandpa get up and play?” “No, Grandpa won’t get up,Elaine. He’s gone to be with God.” That’s Auntie Anne speaking. (I was Elaine until Iwas 10. It’s a teacher story. I became Pearl. Auntie Anne never changed like mostothers).Yuck! God? Who is this guy God? First, he takes my grandmother, then let’s me beassaulted and then he takes my grandfather. I don’t like him; he’s mean and awful. What226did I ever do to him? Well, Mom, I suppose I did what any self-preserving kid would do.I conformed over the years to the structure and confines of family, church and school. Iturned my feeling self inside out, stomped down hard with both feet and to prove myright to exist, I pleased everyone. God, I was good. And, about the time I learned to read,I read about Saint Maria Goretti and I conformed even more to increasingly rigid innerstandards and, I’ll bet you didn’t know this, I fantasized for days the spring I had mumpsabout doing penance on beds of nails and even imagined how to make a belt of nails towear under my blue jeans. You see, Mom, in those days I was confessing to the sin ofimpurity. Yup. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old and certain I was bound for hell because often onnights I had nightmares, I awoke in the morning with blood on my hands and under myfinger nails. I had scratched and dug at my vagina until it was bleeding and raw. I knownow why. I surely didnt then. A good doctor would search for reasons such as childmolestation. I didn’t tell you about the nightmares or the bleeding. I was surely a privatechild. I thought I could atone for all my sins by suffering. You know, like Fatima? And,so, I existed. And now, you know the story from my first journal about the inner healing.I want out of the institutional rigidity and that’s where I am headed. I am my ownauthority. Father John Rich told me that the true sign of wisdom and maturity was to beable to live in accordance with one’s own inner life.****So, N., by now you’re wondering, “What the hell has this all got to do with Type andOrganizational (read institutional) Transition? Let me explain. When Dorothy, INFJ, and I, thereluctant INTJ, were doing the exercise on endings and neutral zones, I mentioned, quietly, that Ifelt betrayed and that institutional transition opens old wounds. And, as I drove, I knew what Ireally wanted to say to the group. I am an F. The T wants to say F... U... but the feelingintrovert says nothing. Wouldn’t want to hurt anyone. Wouldn’t want to make trouble. And Iknow why the El SN TF JP exercise at the Myers Briggs workshop irritated me. I am NOT oneletter. I am a whole, real, authentic, feeling, connected being. I am a bit of stained glass in thecathedral of the Universe. Don’t label, categorize, analyze or reduce me to a letter even if it is acapital.****And now, N., imagine this. Another image. This time from a dream in Calgary this pastweek. The world is shifting on its axis. In my dream, a weird child, a childhoodacquaintance with a weird mother, is explaining. “I am glad that bizarre person came tolive with us because that shifted my mother’s attention off me!” And the next night’sdream, the wise native family, strong feminine leading wise mother, wise Chief father,and guiding son. And a weird, white-eyed child who “focuses” her weird “I” on me. Andthey feed the community from a large, solid, oaken, decorative, beautiful woodencupboard. Nourishing, nurturing, wisdom, native to my being. Midlife. My world shiftingon its axis. Feed yourself and serve the community.I imagine going home to Bill. He’s in the kitchen. I am drained. I have written this alldown. And I’m scared as hell. Bill. Listen. Remember once, five years ago, February 7,1989, I asked you to listen. Not move. Not speak. Not ask any questions until I finished?Can you do it again?227Let’s go out on the swing after I shower and change my clothes. So, showered anddressed in a light blue butterfly dressing gown, we go out to the swing. And I read myJournal to him. Acting out all the parts. I call it, “Dialogue with an Introvert,” because itreminds me of the monologue I did in grade seven. Attired as an aging gray-haired lady,which I am now, I sat in my rocking chair on stage and delivered a monologue in theChristmas play in the Crooked Creek hall with Darryl Trottier. And now, when I finish,Bill, true to his word, says nothing and gently hugs me. We go quietly into the house. Thekids are gone. Later, we go out to the garden to plant the Virginia Creeper that I broughthome from the grotto at the Midnapore school. We decide to build a grotto in the backyard so the creeper can cover it like the Grotto of my sixteenth year. I put a cow’s skullbeside the statue of Mary, the white cow, symbol of the Goddess. I am my own authority.228Appendix IIIJournal Excerpt—Sent LetterJanuary 13, 1999Letter actually sent and published in The Western Catholic ReporterI too have read the letters to the editor and the commentary directed toward those of us,Roman Catholic by birth and as adults by choice, who support the ordination of women(Benoiton letter January 11, 1999).“Who in hell do they think that they are?” Well, let me explain. Who do you think that Iam? I am woman. Somewhat in excess of half the human beings on the planet. I amcreated in the image and likeness of God. I am among those who went to the tomb on thatlong ago Easter morning and those who proclaimed, ‘the Lord has been raised’ eventhough the men present did not believe them. I am among those who walked with Christto his Crucifixion. I am a radical feminist following in the best way I know in thefootsteps of The Christ, who was first among radical feminists. I am following The Christwho healed Peter’s mother-in-law, healed the woman with the hemorrhage, raised thedaughter of Jairus and conversed with the Syrophoenician woman. Against all the Jewishlaws of the day, he touched the woman, allowed himself to be served by the woman. Hewent against the righteous who were filled with their own self-importance. As a radicalfeminist, I seek to eradicate the root of patriarchal society.I am questioning the traditions of the Church to ordain only men. And to those who claimthat I am not entitled to my own thoughts, I simply have a smile. I will take fullresponsibility for my own thoughts and words and deeds having been created by TheCreator who is far more than male or female. I fear sometimes for the anthropomorphicnature of the argument. To reduce God, Mother or Father, to the attributes of humans istruly amazing. To reduce the decision to refuse to nurture the vocation of woman to thepriesthood to one of tradition is also amazing. How can tradition be the source whenwomen have been excluded from creating the tradition? And when that ‘tradition’ isbased on scripture written during a time when Paul, so often quoted in a most superficialmanner, admonished the Galatian community: “As many of you as were baptized intoChrist have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free,neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ, Jesus. My question is simple:When do we take up the model which Christ left us and live it out in all its fullness?So, I say to the gentleman, I am neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, but one inChrist Jesus, together with many other Christian men and women. And so, I will speakout even in the face of the anger of those who seek power over rather than power withand through.Pearl GregorNew Sarepta229Dream theoty says that overaperiod of time, tracking all the persons, places arid things in your dreamswill create a “picture” through which “you,” the dream ego, may learn to identify attitudes, choices andchallenges, and be able to read the conditions, needs, and strengths of your personality. story of yourlife unfolding. You wilibe able to identify symbols which repeat in dreams, thus drawing attention tothe significance of particular symbols. Savazy, Berne and Williams (1984) provide thirty-sevendreamwork techniques intheirbook. I would argue that each of these techniques could also be appliedto fictive images from literature.230Appendix VJournal ExcerptsMay 12, 1989Dream #3 The Inner RoomIn the dream I come home to find that the living room has been renovated and is filledwith beautiful new furniture. The color scheme revolves around rich shades of blue.Royal Blue and lighter shades of pastel blue. I am surprised and very peaceful. Thedream ends.March 15, 1991Dream #56 RenovationsAct II am in the living room of Mom and Dad’s house on the farm where I grew up. It is quitea mess. My cousin, K., walks by the picture window, smiles, waves and comes in thefront door to the right of me. It is summer outside but the Christmas tree is still in thecorner where it holds the place of honor at Christmas time. I am horrified that companywould come and see the tree still up in summer. K. comes through the door which pushesthe tree behind it. The tree is bedraggled, brownish and dead looking. She picks up anornament from the top of a shelf or television, looks at it, smiles, puts it back. I ammortified—the dust and grime are clearly visible on the ornament. Kathy is here visitingfrom Vancouver. B., her husband, stands behind her, says nothing at all.Act IIThe scene changes. I am still in the house but now the gyproc is hanging loose from thewalls. It is too big for the walls and hangs about a foot too long. The edges are crackedseveral inches up. I am in another room of the house on the left side. I have a hacksaw. Ipull the gyproc out toward me and cut off the broken edges. The gyproc is attached at thetop but not on the edges or bottom. I cut off at least a foot. Around the window, which isalso covered with gyproc, I can see a crack of light. I trim the left side by the wall. I donot cut the gyproc out of the window but I am pleased to see the crack of light.Act IIIThe scene shifts once again. Two brothers, B. and J. are hauling hay, I think. As we headaround the corner by the driveway B. says, “The big guy isn’t gonna make it this time.He’s going too fast.” The tractor and trailer swerve as we fly around the corner. J., B. andI fly off the trailer bed into a huge ditch filled with w