Chicken Coop Thinking
By Al Bouchard
In my thirties, the recurring theme in my dreams was the
I was a STREAKER!
There were many variations
to these naked self dreams. In these dreams, I found myself
walking or running nude through a room or some other place.
There were always other people around fully clothed. I was
apprehensive about people seeing me naked. I hid behind doors,
in bushes, or hid anywhere before I had enough courage to walk
or run naked amongst other people. I wondered what they would
think of me. Sometimes I had to return the same way to get my
clothes. The apprehension of doing this was doubled. Afterwards,
my reaction was, 'Nobody even noticed. What was I so worried
At times an experience in daily life can trigger an
understanding of a dream. One such event in my life happened at
a private school where I taught. The school was in a rural area.
The school had an operating farm. An empty chicken house was
being used to store hay. One day the hay caught on fire. It
became a flaming inferno in the building within minutes.
Across a small dirt road about twelve feet from the blazing
building was another chicken house. The two buildings were
parallel to each other. The flames shot across the road. The
flames were licking at the side of the other chicken house.
Soon, this second chicken house, also, caught fire. Eight
hundred chickens were living in this house that caught fire.
This house had been their home for about a year since they were
hatched. Their whole life had been lived in this chicken house.
They never went outside of it.
When we saw the danger to the
chickens, a team of firefighters, students and teachers rushed
to the side of the chicken house away from the fire. This side
of the chicken house was one hundred feet long. The construction
was very simple. The outside pine boards were covered with tar
paper. These boards were nailed to two by four studs, two feet
apart from each other. Nothing was nailed inside the studs.
In minutes we had holes opened in the wall. The chickens could
escape from the heat, smoke and flames coming in from the other
side. Ten minutes later, the entire length of the building was
opened for the chickens to escape the flaming inferno.
one chicken stepped outside of the house. All eight hundred of
these chickens died. There was nothing we could do to save them.
Any chicken farmer knows why they died. The chickens lived their
whole life in this house. The house was their protection from
any danger. Outside the house was scary, dangerous. Inside was
The cultural chicken house I grew up in had very
restrictive ideas about dreams, people, sex, nudity, and
spiritual awareness of any kind outside of organized religions.
Genitals and women's breasts were to be covered. Dreams were
denied any real existence.
Logical reasoning was superior to
intuition. Men were superior to women, adults to children.
Whites were superior to blacks and other ethnic peoples.
Christians were superior to Jews and any other religious
beliefs. Straights were superior to gays. Humans were superior
to animals. Some occupations were superior to other occupations.
Normal was superior to abnormal.
Remembering the incident
with the chickens dying in their house gave me my first clues
about my streaker dreams. I was, at that time, questioning
beliefs in many areas of my life. Until then, I had accepted
most beliefs rather passively. After all, I got them from my
parents, relatives, friends, teachers, ministers. These were
people I trusted and had faith in.
I began to find flaws in
some of my beliefs. I began to strip off beliefs that didn't
hold true for me anymore. With these beliefs stripped away,
others could then see my true self. The fear, the apprehension,
the hesitation before going out in front of others stripped of
my cultural clothing was as real for me as the chicken's fear of
leaving the safety of their house was for them.
I have often
heard remarks like, "It's only a dream, it isn't real."; "It's
something you ate."; "You were just overtired." And so chicken
coop thinking begins about our dreams. It prevents us from
wanting to understand and involve ourselves consciously with our
I have learned to embrace a cooperative attitude
toward my dream experiences. My dreams help me strip myself of
the chicken coop thinking of superiority I may have over others.
This superiority over others prevents me from seeing others for
the truly unique persons they are.
About The Author
Like his vocational background, (Clinical Laboratory Technician
in the USN, teacher, administrator for a private, co-ed boarding
school, founder and operator a Halfway House,
developed/facilitated self-discovery workshops) Al has varied
metaphysical experiences and educations. He has designed,
facilitated workshops, written articles, assisted in starting
Light Centers, produced a series of cable TV programs - all
involved with meditation, dreams, spiritual healing, well-being,
and honoring our divine nature. " I'm a strong advocate for
responding to one's own guidance, free will, chemical free
evolvement, and honoring other's perspectives, no matter how
different from mine."