Last night I dreamt that I met my Inner Guide, or the Wise Old Man archetype. It was somewhat unexpected–I didn’t realize it at the time–but when I woke up it immediately dawned on me that I’d met him. Before I describe the dream, here’s a brief explanation of what meeting this archetype means.
From the Wikipedia article:
In the individuation process, the archetype of the Wise Old Man was late to emerge, and seen as an indication of the Self. ‘If an individual has wrestled seriously enough and long enough with the anima (or animus) problem…the unconscious again changes its dominant character and appears in a new symbolic form…as a masculine initiator and guardian (an Indian guru), a wise old man, a spirit of nature, and so forth’.
In my dream, I was browsing around a bookstore or library, which is one of my favorite things to do. I had the sense that I was looking for something. Out of the corner of my eye I could see someone who looked like a Buddhist monk, but on his robes were Taoist symbols.
I kept walking around–unconsciously avoiding him–but eventually we ran into each other, and he said, “I wondered when you would finally ask me to be your teacher!”
I felt somewhat apologetic, because I knew I’d been avoiding him for some reason. He had a big smile and was nice about the whole thing. I felt a bit nervous, like I was meeting someone very wise, and I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. He had a helper with him–a woman who seemed like a nun–who I think represents my anima.
I started making small talk and said, “I used to watch these kung-fu movies with my dad, and the Shaolin monks would fight the Taoist swordsmen, so it’s interesting that you have Taoist symbols on your robes.”
He laughed at this, then asked me if I spoke Laotian. I told him I did, but that I hadn’t spoken it in a while. We started conversing in Laotian, which was something I usually don’t do in my dreams. I thought about the Laotian word for master, which is achan, and said, “I guess I can call you Achan.”
Then I referred to the woman using the Laotian word for sister. They seemed please about that. I wanted to ask a lot more questions, but I woke up soon after.
It was right before dawn, and as I sat up, I smiled and said, “I just met my Inner Guide!”
image credit: Buddha , Yin and Yang