In her dream, she is with a number of people who are deceased. She is surprised, at one point, to see her mother (who is still alive) in the company of her father, who died several years before. Among the crowd, she notices a former acquaintance, long dead. He leers at her, then starts acting crazy.
She runs away from him, but he is faster, despite his scarecrow legs. He catches up to her at a bridge. She smells his stench, of rot and old cigarette stubs. He gets an arm lock around her neck and jabs something into her head. She feels excruciating pain.
“You’re chipped,” he crows. “You’ll never get away from me now because I’ve got you chipped.”
She woke feeling desperate and afraid.
I asked her to give her dream a title, as we always do in our Lightning Dreamwork process. She did not hesitate. “Chipped.”
I had a double association with the word. It suggests something that is cracked or damaged. In the context of the dream assault, it also suggests the insertion of a microchip, a program that may be intended to control the dreamer.
I asked the dreamer if she knew her dream pursuer?
After a moment’s thought, she responded, “We are both smokers.” She added that while she would call herself a moderate cigarette smoker, the dead man “smoked like crazy”, at least three packs a day.
I asked whether it was possible that the dead smoker was in some way trying to program her, so that she would smoke for him as well as herself? She shivered at this idea, but acknowledged that it was possible. She had noticed, since the dream, that she was smoking more than before. I told her about people I have worked with who were heavy smokers until they realized that they had grown their habit to satisfy dead smokers who were attached to them.
“I don’t mind what people do as long as they are making their own choices and not hurting others,” I was quick to add. “If you are smoking for yourself, that’s one thing. It’s your choice, and you take the risks on your own. It’s another thing if you are smoking for some dead guy who’s tried to program you so you can feed his habit.”
She soon agreed to an action plan. She wouldn’t give up cigarette smoking, but she would ration herself to the number of cigarettes she was smoking before the dream.
Anything we do will attract or repel different energies. Our dreams are one of the ways of monitoring how this works in the world beyond the veil of our self-justifications and consensual hallucinations.