The dream: I am in a school, the principal of the school is leaving for another job as a professor at a famous University, and Kurt Hein, my ex-colleague is arguing on my behalf to get me in as the new principal. Kurt is very emphatic about my skills, but the decision to hire someone else has already been made. I am left out. The principal seems apologetic, but Kurt is very unhappy with the way the decision is made. The next thing I know is that I am in an open square dancing with a huge amount of joy. It is so ecstatic.
The analysis: One of the most important aspects of analyzing a dream besides the obvious dissecting of the symbols is to look at the structure of the dream outside of its content. The structure of the dream gives you the entire emotional and behavioral pattern that you are facing. Structure is just as, if not more important, than content. In this dream the first section ends in a feeling of being excluded, but the entire dream ends in great joy. The sequence is first a negative and then a positive. I am excluded, then I am in great joy.
The transformation principle in dream work is simple. You remember and enhance positives so that they can be utilized in your life, and you change negatives so that they become positives. When you already have a positive in a dream, it means that the energy is available to you right now if you can just remember it in a way that will allow it to work. In this case the virtue I am called on to remember is that of joy represented in the dance. If there were no negatives in the dream, it would signify that the joy would be immediately available, but in this dream the negatives precede the positives. The negatives happen first and then the positives happen. The goal is to have both sides of the dream become positive so that I can dance my life away in great joy.
Kurt is one of the great colleagues of my career. We worked for 8 years together at the Maxwell International Baha’i School on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. We worked side by side. Kurt is trying to advocate for me in the dream to be the head of the elementary school, but it doesn’t work. The decision has already been made to hire someone else behind closed doors so I am left out.
Kurt, is a symbol of the part of me that advocates for myself. This is the part of me that recognizes my gifts and abilities and then puts them out there for others to see. I think that what the dream is saying is that the part that advocates for me is not the problem because the advocacy is very strong. The part of me that is like Kurt, that recognizes talents and then advocates to utilize them, is in tact. Despite having talents and being advocated for, I am still excluded because the decision making process is made behind closed doors. The feeling I am left with is that of being left out. This means that the work is the ability to deal with the feeling of being left out.
If the process of the decision making had been been fair and the result the same, then the issue for me would be to develop some new administrative qualities that I don’t have, but as the process was held behind closed doors in secrets, it means that the decision had nothing to do with my qualifications, but was tainted by impure motives of self interest. Yet I am left excluded.
Up until that time in my career with Kurt, where we were both fired together in a process that was largely secretive, I had always advanced through the hard work of acquiring new capacities. At the point of the origin of the dream energy I began to experience the much larger reality of how most of the world actually operates, that is, excluding through self interest. This was like a big shock to me, and a big eye opener, that fairness as a virtue is largely non-existent in the world. The experience of being fired and excluded behind closed doors awakened me to a reality for which I had a lot of naivety. Even great advocacy is not helpful when the process is ruled by self interest.
What then is the solution to exclusion based upon unfairness if advocacy does not work? Most of the world tries advocacy, but the leaders we have prove how ineffective it is. Clearly advocacy is not the solution because Kurt is already doing it and I am still being excluded. The decision making powers behind the closed doors do not act on the basis of fairness.
What is the solution? If I am being shut out by unfairness and left with exclusion, then the solution is to include myself where the door is wide open. The dream already tells me that I have great joy represented in the dance, so joy and energy are not things I have to work on. What I need to find is the open door and then include myself in it with great joy. This is the solution. Being an elementary principal is closed because the processes are secret and impure, but there is another door that is wide open. Obviously being excluded took away the joy that I had associated with work so the dream is reminding me to reopen it in the door that is open. The school administrative door is closed, but another door is open.