The Blue Notebook
She then smiled in the way I knew meant that I should think more about it, and I asked: ‘If this figure is an elemental and creative force, for good as well as for evil, then why should I fear it so terribly?’ ‘Perhaps as you dream deeper you’ll feel the vitality as good as well as bad.’
‘It’s so dangerous to me that as soon as I feel the atmosphere of that figure, even before the figure has appeared, and I know the dream is beginning, I struggle and scream to wake up.’
‘It is dangerous to you as long as you fear it —’ This with the homely, emphatic, mother-nod, which always, in spite of everything, and no matter how deep I was embroiled in some hurt or problem, made me want to laugh. And I did laugh, often, helpless in my chair, while she sat smiling, for she had spoken as people do of animals or snakes: they won’t hurt you if you don’t fear them.
And I thought, as I often did, that she was having it both ways: for if this figure, or element, was so familiar to her in the dreams or fantasies of her patients that she instantly recognized it, then why was it my responsibility that the thing was totally evil? Only the word evil is too human a word for a principle felt to be, in spite of what part-human shapes it chose to assume, essentially inhuman.
In other words, it was up to me to force this thing to be good as well as bad? That was what she was saying?
Last night I dreamed the dream again, and this time it was more terrifying than anything I’ve experienced, because I felt the terror, the helplessness, in face of the uncontrolled force for destruction, when there was no object or thing or even a dwarf to hold it. I was in a dream with another person, whom I did not immediately recognize; and then I understood that this terrible malicious force was in that person who was a friend. And so I forced myself awake out of the dream, screaming, and when I awoke I put a name to the person in my dream, knowing that for the first time the principle was embodied in a human being. And when I knew who the person was, I was even more frightened. For it was safer to have that terrible frightening force held in a shape associated with the mythical or the magical, than loose, or as it were at large, in a person, and in a person who had the power to move me.
Once really awake, and looking back at the dream from the condition of being awake, I was frightened because if the element is now outside of myth, and inside another human being, then it can only mean it is loose in me also, or can only too easily be evoked.
I should now write down the experience to which the dream related.