Morning of November 29, 1970. Sunday. (Last checked and clarified on Friday, 12 January 2018.)
In my dream, I had been wandering around in my backyard in Cubitis, seemingly around nine o’clock on a clear morning, becoming more and more lucid. I start to think about taking advantage of this state and enjoying physical interaction with Lisa (who is not present in my dream at any time). I marvel at the clarity of my dream’s environment, finding its realism stunning and wondrous.
I am eventually seated on the ground inside an area within the unfinished part of the large cinder block shed (which my father had built and added to over time), which does not have any roof or walls. I am seated near one of the cinder block columns that is to my right (west). As I am sitting here, facing south (looking in the opposite direction as the main part of the shed) and feeling happy and expectant in my anticipatory musings, I turn slightly to my right to look westerly towards the carport and notice an unfamiliar stray dog walking around and sniffing the ground. I believe it is possibly a black Labrador Retriever. The dog huffs upon noticing me, but does not bark.
I become extraordinarily frustrated. “You dogs are always ruining my dreams,” I bravely shout, with the tone of my frustration dominant and echoing throughout the dream space (though still with my young boy’s voice), expressing my irritation at the presence of a dream state distraction and potential virtual threat and as such, my attention drawn from my previously hopeful lucid intent of feminine contact (even though I spent a lot of time with Lisa in real life).
After a menacing deep growl, the dog teleports from just beyond the east end of our carport (a good distance away), to reappear right behind me. The dog jabs me in the small of my back with his hard nose, triggering the deep tickle spasm in my lower back, which causes me to spontaneously jolt awake. I was annoyed at having such a vivid and well-rendered dream truncated.
What does the aggressive unfamiliar dog in this dream symbolize? The dog is this dream’s RAS (Reticular Activating System) factor. RAS is that which is responsible for regulating wakefulness and sleep-wake transitions. (I had no fear or wariness of dogs in real life and no expectation of such an encounter.) On the one hand, the dog’s assumed lack of obedience symbolizes my dream self’s expectancy of my dream’s non-compliance with my conscious self identity’s desires and potential will. On the other hand, by exclaiming, “You dogs are always ruining my dreams”, I lucidly caused the dog to serve my negative expectation of this dream’s outcome so quickly, that the dog teleported and triggered the waking jolt in my lower back.
Why did you shout “You dogs are always ruining my dreams”? The reason for me negatively addressing the RAS factor was that I was already familiar with the nature of the dream state (and its many different levels) at this time – even as a child (though had not mastered it yet as I mostly have now, though it depends on the level of unconsciousness and the particular stage of the sleep cycle). RAS had already been rendered as dogs in a number of dreams by this time, again, symbolizing my dream state not submitting to my will, analogous to an untrained dog. This sort of aggressive RAS symbolism eventually diminished as I got older and learned more about dreams. (In fact, in a number of recent dreams, a passive German Shepherd had appeared, standing near a a thin vertical pole displaying a pennant at the top, symbolizing my dream’s obedient nature within certain levels of unconsciousness.) Still, RAS does get aggressive and dominating at times (though is often personified rather than being rendered as an animal), as waking is a biological necessity.