The night before Labor Day, (9-7-2009), I had the following dream, which I unfortunately misinterpreted:
I am slowly driving up a curvy mountain road at dusk. Then suddenly, I had a very vivid and jolting heart attack that completely disabled me. I laid slumped over the wheel and could not even lift my arms to try and move the car that had stopped in the middle of the narrow road. I worried that there might easily be an accident if another car came along. I noticed that the entire central control area of my dash was blown apart.
My initial reaction was a large amount of fear that the dream was referring to an actual heart attack. However, in sharing the dream later with a friend, I realized that in addition to myself, the dashboard damage indicated that the central controls of the vehicle were also disabled. This meant that both the driver and the controls had suffered major damage. The symbols of each of the car and driver often represent the conscious self, since a car drives one around in the outer world, as does the ego or conscious self which steers a course through daily life. I then knew that the dream was not a premonition of an actual heart attack, and I was positively elated. In my elation, or ego inflation, I then mistakenly equated this dream with one that I had a number of years earlier, where I looked into the mirror and saw that I looked white, sick and frail. This earlier dream indicated that my ego was getting smaller and smaller. It was a good dream for a spiritual practitioner, whose goal is to increasingly place the ego into the service of the larger unconscious Self. For several days, I felt elated by my misinterpretation, until I had a major conflict that involved my asserting myself until I had caused a major conflict in a small group. Only then was I able to see that in my haste to escape the fear of interpreting the dream as an actual heart attack, I failed to distinguish between ego diminishment and ego explosion. The dream was telling me that, as I was slowly climbing along the spiritual path, I would be completely disabled by my ego and its tendency to control, or to want to force its own solutions, rather than to let go to a Power greater than my ego. The central controls of the vehicle exploded, they did not become smaller and smaller until they disappeared.