Pharmakon, the ancient Greek word for drug, can mean both “remedy” and “poison.” There is a close connection between poison and cure. Poison is stealthy, and takes us by surprise, whether through an unseen snake’s venomous bite or a ripe apple’s alluring disguise. Psychological poison glides past our defenses, pervades our being, and wounds us where we are most vulnerable. We participate in our poisoning through our own unknowing, from toxic cognitions and rigid fixations to self-doubt and self-sabotage. Poison can transform us by stinging us into building the immunity of increased consciousness and insight. Reason and objectivity can act as antidotes, allowing old attitudes to dissolve and new awareness to arise. Whether a poison is injected or ingested, we can use it for cure.
Here’s The Dream We Analyze:
“I am “cooking up” a batch of Xenomorphs (from the movie Alien) for a “client” in an underground lab. I’m mixing chemicals in a vat, and realize I missed a step…I call the client and am reassured it will still work, it will just take some extra time. The chemicals coagulate into a pink goo. The next day, I return to the lab and see swimming in a pool of water four adolescent xenomorphs. A male lab assistant tells me “This shouldn’t have worked. They mutated and can only breath flesh.” I see the adolescent aliens all have a caul of pink ectoplasm over their faces. The next day, I return to the lab and there is only one xenomorph, an adult, chained as if crucified to the back wall of a cell, wreathed in shadow. I peer at it from across the cell, and a white dove appears and flies across it. The alien’s claw shoots out and snatches the dove from the air and crams it into its mouth. There is a great sucking sound, and I realize the alien is breathing the dove’s flesh. My vision zooms in to the alien’s face. It regurgitates the dove’s carcass, which inverts into a black cage of bone, and the alien screams. I am shocked awake.”
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