This chapter focuses on just two dreams, both fairly lengthy, remarkably similar and yet diametrically opposed:
I’m backstage, and have infiltrated a President Trump rally. He’s giving his usual boisterous speech to an adoring crowd. I’m on his right, crouched down, and I can see him through the wings. He has pulled out his penis and is masturbating during the speech behind the podium. The audience can’t see this, but the people backstage can. There’s another man in the wings near me who is a New York Times reporter. There’s also some Trump secret service guards. Trump masturbates throughout the speech and at the end ejaculates onto the speech. I take photos and video of this and I’m determined to post them on Facebook and Youtube. I’m worried about getting caught filming by the guards and stopped. I think it’s crucial that this is revealed to the public. Outside, I ask the reporter if he’s going to take the story to the New York Times. He’s unsure and says “I don’t know.” This is frustrating to me. He then runs off down the street. I get the impression he is going to go ahead and do it. I upload the videos to social media. I’m thinking surely this must be the thing that takes him down.
I received the first dream, sent to me privately, by a dreamer whose therapist had heard of this dream project. The dreamer was interested in both the collective implications of the dream – and what it said about the dreamer’s own personal conflicts or “shadow” content. Viewed exclusively as a “personal” dream we might notice conflicted themes of exhibitionism, anxiety about exposure of “selfishness” and self-pleasure, ego-inflation, desire for dominance as well as internal moral sanction for “getting off” and basking in public adoration. Viewed as a collective dream it is significant that our national leader is the selected symbol of this masturbatory, exhibitionistic nation his message to the nation defiled as a mere prop for the discharge of his personal pleasure.
The second dream was posted on Twitter:
I had a wild dream last night… I was on my way somewhere when (a journalist) stopped me and handed me a printed booklet with an itinerary for the president’s visit, which he was covering, kind of undercover (not openly acting as himself, anyway) Inside was a hastily scribbled encouragement for me to join him; these events weren’t technically open to the public, but he said he’d vouch for me. When I got there, I understood why. You couldn’t see the shit that was going on without wanting someone to affirm what you saw. I forget most of what the president did; I mainly remember a lot of furtive whispering along the lines of “you just saw that too, right?” “yeah this is fuckin wild” while we sat across the room from him & his handlers. He refused to read anything; we watched him be handed a paper report that said the opposite of what he was being told aloud & nod as if everything was fine (which he would not have, if he’d read anything on the paper in front of him). We sat through one semi-public appearance in a hotel ballroom & watched him have a tantrum/leave because it wasn’t going exactly the way he wanted it to.
We were allowed into his “green room” where he was pacing back and forth, muttering about how people had no respect. He took off his suit jacket/dress shirt, fussing about the temperature. Underneath, he was wearing a t-shirt. At first I couldn’t make sense of the design on the shirt – a bottle? Then I realized it was an anti-masturbation shirt. He was wearing a shirt that had a cock and balls on it, but with a bow tied around in between the two, making the balls bulge out into what was stylized into looking like a mana potion bottle, captioned with something like “it keeps you strong!”
And I just started *losing my shit* that the president was wearing this fucking, dasharez0ne looking dick-and-balls as a mana potion anti-masturbation t-shirt, completely blowing my cover. The handlers rushed in to make him put on a shirt before someone could get a picture, and I was escorted out, but (the journalist) kept periodically texting me updates from inside, as the rules/restrictions for being present got increasingly unreasonable[i].
Here the dream author sees Donald Trump as courting dominance (it keeps you strong!) by retaining semen. Some athletes and performers refrain from masturbation with the belief, superstitious or not, that their powers and capacities will be diffused if their sexual energies are diminished before a big event. “Mana potion” as referred to in this dream is a highly caffeinated energy drink geared toward gamers, but the deeper archetypal notion of “mana” derives from Polynesisan and Pacific Island cultures – and refers to a kind of spiritual energy that is a source of personal power, authority and status.
But the mana-personality is a dominant of the collective unconscious, the well-known archetype of the mighty man in the form of hero, chief, magician, medicine-man, saint, the ruler of men and spirits, the friend of God. This masculine collective figure who now rises out of the dark background and takes possession of the conscious personality entails a psychic danger of a subtle nature for by inflating the conscious mind it can destroy everything that was gained… C. G. Jung, CW, Two Essay In Analytical Psychology, paragraph 377
Jung describes the psychological danger and dangerousness those who learn to exploit the primal “mana” energies of the unconscious without sufficient humility:
Possession by an archetype turns a man into a flat collective figure, a mask behind which he can no longer develop as a human being, but becomes increasingly stunted. One must therefore beware the danger of falling victim to the dominant of the mana-personality. The danger lies not only in becoming a father-mask, but in being overpowered by this mask when worn by another. ~ C. G. Jung, CW, Two Essay In Analytical Psychology, paragraph 390
In this dream Trump is not adored by the crowd but becomes enraged when an appearance does not unfold as he hoped. The dreamer describes it as an “anti-masturbation t-shirt” and it is unclear if this dream-Trump is secretly (underneath his suit) launching an anti-masturbation campaign – to actively disrupt and forbid the self-pleasure of others, or if this is merely the hidden source of his mana-authority
Both dreams take place “back stage” and behind the scenes. Both dreams involve exposure to secrets otherwise hidden from public view (behind a podium, under a suit), both dreams involve reporters with cameras who may potentially record and release secret, damning information. Both dreamers seek some confirmation and collaboration with members of the media. Both dreamers feel overwhelmed and frightened by the knowledge they have gained, and fearful of having their “cover blown” and being exposed. Both dreams involve necessary information “leaking” to the collective public through secondary sources- in one, the dreamer is the source of the leaked information to social media and you tube, in the other – the dreamer is the recipient of information messaged to the outside world. Both dreams paint a picture of an administration “run amok” and pathological, and power-mad.
The presence of cameras in these dreams serve as an “observing ego” that records without judging what it has witnessed. There is an expectation that the press should function as an extension of this function – and report on what it has witnessed without censoring or editing reality. In the first dream the member of the press pool says he doesn’t know if he will report this information, although the dreamer suspects that he will eventually. In the second dream – journalists’ functions are disrupted by the administration’s increasingly unreasonable rules and regulations on freedom of the press. Either way, in both of these dreams -the press as the collective “observing ego” is disabled and it is unclear if it will function properly – by reporting the information to the body politic who will then administer a moral judgment and “take him down” And like their dream-egos, both dreamers felt compelled to share the dreams themselves with the wider public, just as they felt compelled, within the dream, to report on what they had witnessed.
The larger questions in these similar and opposite dreams call on each of us to examine the aspects of our personalities which gather (and abuse) power for its own sake, or for self-pleasure rather than in the service of mutuality or for the sake of the greater good.