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Knapsack

The resources and difficulties you carry in life; your past experience or karma; a burden – perhaps of nursed anger or other negative feelings – if we feel parenthood a heavy load you may see your child as a burden. Theses things that we carry in the knapsack/haversack are often unconscious traits or faults. Although we may also be carrying life skills or tools to use in special situations.

It can also depict resources and abilities to meet changing circumstances and needs. See Karma

 Example: I am in the courtyard of a castle full of people dressed in the Tudor fashion. I go down a staircase as if I were a ghost with no weight, able to do the most extraordinary gymnastic feats. My friend (a tall, well-made young man, rather like an American college man in Elizabethan dress) is with me. We want to get out of the castle. We make for a small gate which is closing and at the last minute slip through. As we go, my friend gives a sheathed dagger to one of the men at the gate, who receives it in a haversack. Outside my friend turns to me and says, “You see what that means, to get out of the castle you must give up the dagger.”

In this dream I had little difficulty in understanding what was meant. I am again in prison-this time the prison of two besetting faults-hyper-critical intellectualism on the one hand, sentimental romanticism on the other. In the romantic castle I can do the most marvellous things, but I have no substance, no weight. To be free I must “give up the dagger”. The “dagger” I understood to be my inveterate intellectualist habit of stabbing my friends, colleagues and fellow-technicians by the “faint praise and civil leer” method. “The other point was equally well-taken: an inveterate tendency to be infatuated and make a fool of myself over mere femininity, summer frocks, hats and clothes. Once out of the romantic castle I was enabled to see these for what they were. The haversack was what I carried unconsciously within – my critical stabbing intellectualism.

 Example: Dreamt I was walking past the churchyard in Old Amersham. This was on my left. I was aware of carrying my car toolbox on my back, arms through the handles like a haversack. When I reached the corner shop, the weight was so intolerable I fell over backwards. For some time I lay on my back held down by the toolbox, struggling to release my arms from the handles. Eventually I managed this and stood up, holding the toolbox in my left hand. I made some remark about, “I must be getting old.” This referred to falling under the weight.

Here there is direct mention of the tools or life skills we may be carrying. But it shows how heavy and difficult they are to bear. The dreamer says, “I was struggling at the times with so much intellectual baggage, conflicts within myself that had in fact floored me”.

 

Useful Questions and Hints:

Was it a heavy thing or a good thing I was carrying?

Did I feel it was useful or a burden?

What do I feel I carry with me on ‘my back’?

See Autonomous ComplexThe power of HabitsTechniques for Exploring your DreamsSumming Up

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