For a lover to dream that he has been accepted by his sweetheart, denotes that he will happily wed the object of his own and others’ admiration.
If this dream has been occasioned by overanxiety and weakness, the contrary may be expected.
The elementary influences often play pranks upon weak and credulous minds by lying, and deceptive utterances. Therefore the dreamer should live a pure life, fortified by a strong will, thus controlling his destiny by expelling from it involuntary intrusions. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
For a young woman to dream that she is spending borrowed money, foretells that she will be found out in her practice of deceit, and through this lose a prized friend. See Money.... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
To hear the lonely, mournful voice of a dove, portends sorrow and disappointment through the death of one to whom you looked for aid. Often it portends the death of a father.
To see a dead dove, is ominous of a separation of husband and wife, either through death or infidelity.
To see white doves, denotes bountiful harvests and the utmost confidence in the loyalty of friends.
To dream of seeing a flock of white doves, denotes peaceful, innocent pleasures, and fortunate developments in the future.
If one brings you a letter, tidings of a pleasant nature from absent friends is intimated, also a lovers’ reconciliation is denoted.
If the dove seems exhausted, a note of sadness will pervade the reconciliation, or a sad touch may be given the pleasant tidings by mention of an invalid friend; if of business, a slight drop may follow.
If the letter bears the message that you are doomed, it foretells that a desperate illness, either your own or of a relative, may cause you financial misfortune. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
If the lightning strikes some object near you, and you feel the shock, you will be damaged by the good fortune of a friend, or you may be worried by gossipers and scandalmongers.
To see livid lightning parting black clouds, sorrow and difficulties will follow close on to fortune.
If it strikes you, unexpected sorrows will overwhelm you in business or love.
To see the lightning above your head, heralds the advent of joy and gain.
To see lightning in the south, fortune will hide herself from you for awhile.
If in the southwest, luck will come your way. In the west, your prospects will be brighter than formally. In the north, obstacles will have to be removed before your prospects will brighten up.
If in the east, you will easily win favors and fortune. Lightning from dark and ominous-looking clouds, is always a forerunner of threats, of loss and of disappointments. Business men should stay close to business, and women near their husbands or mothers; children and the sick should be looked after closely. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
To see the tongue of another, foretells that scandal will villify you.
To dream that your tongue is affected in any way, denotes that your carelessness in talking will get you into trouble. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
To pay out wages, denotes that you will be confounded by dissatisfaction.
To have your wages reduced, warns you of unfriendly interest that is being taken against you.
An increase of wages, suggests unusual profit in any undertaking.... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
2. Emotions, especially those of others, should be looked at more seriously.
3. Financial losses possible.
4. Feelings of misfortune (as in “behind the eight ball”). ... New American Dream Dictionary
2. Reverse: ﬁnances may need looking after, or work is more involved, harder than initially thought.
3. Opportunities are in the ofﬁng (as in “making hay”).
4. Thoughts are turning to love-making (as in a “roll in the hay”).
5. Wordplay on “hey” in an effort to draw attention to something overlooked. ... New American Dream Dictionary
2. Manipulation, sometimes cruelty.
3. A feeling of being taken advantage of.
4. Tenacity. ... New American Dream Dictionary
2. Sexual intercourse.
3. Secondary relationships, casual social circle or coworkers, possibly neglected or overlooked. ... New American Dream Dictionary
If he is a poor person, then it means that he will meet his financial obligations with ease.
If he is under stress, it means that he will become free from such burdens.
If he is a craftsman, it means that he will master his craft or acquire authority equal in dominance to the beauty and perfection, size and details of such a dwelling he saw in the dream.lfhe is in sin, it means that he will repent.
The spaciousness or tightness of one’s dwellings in a dream represents his finances, knowledge, sharing, hospitality and generosity.lfone’s own dwellings looked renovated in a dream, it means regaining or developing one’s business for the better. Its fresh paint means fulfilling one’s religious commitments. Its tiles or marble floors represent his pleasures or wife. Dwellings of solid iron cast means longevity and authority.
If one enters an unknown house and finds departed souls dwelling therein in a dream, it means that he has entered the realms of the hereafter.
If such dwellings are built of mud or plaster, this will be a reflection on his adverse conditions.
If one enters such dwellings, then walks out of it in a dream, it means that he will become sick and nearly die of his illness before he recovers from it.
If one walks out of it angry in a dream, it means that he will be imprisoned.
If he sees someone entering his house in a dream, it means that someone will know his intimate life, or that an insolent person will become a close family friend, then betray his trust and have a secret affairs with one’s wife.
If one sees his dwellings crumbling or caving in on him in a dream, it means that he will receive an inheritance from the belongings of a deceased relative. Building a dwelling for oneself or for others in a dream means the death of a relative or of one’s child, or it could mean divorcing one’s wife. Dwellings in a dream also represent a transient station. Ifthe dwelling is built from an unsuitable construction material in the dream, it means that one’s source of income is unlawful. One’s dwellings in a dream also represent his physical form, carnal self and substance. Demolishing a new home in a dream means evil and adversities.
(Also see Cage; Glass house; House)... Islamic Dream Interpretation
If one’s eyelids have little skin, or if they are bleared, or if they develop sores in the dream, they represent difficulties, agony, anger, sickness or distress. Eyelids in a dream also represent one’s defenses and protection. They also represent one’s teacher, brothers, sisters, family, wife, children, coffer, veil, guards, confidant or trustees. Eyelids in a dream also mean something to be overlooked. Having bleared eyelids in a dream means being in love. Ifone’s eyes are interpreted to represent his wealth, then they mean protection, or paying alms tax.
If the outer edge of the eyelid turns white in a dream, it means an illness affecting one’s head, eyes or ears.
(Also see Body’)... Islamic Dream Interpretation
A person who is enviable_one looked upon with respect. He is also an honourable, wealthy and brave person who takes special care in guarding himself in all respects.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
If it involved a proposal of marriage and you accepted (or were accepted), it is a dream of contrary and you can expect a rocky road to romance. However, if you persevere, it may, in time, smooth out.
If the dream involved the acceptance of money or anything else of value, it portends success in pending business matters. Acceptance of anything which is fake or counterfeit suggests you may be too trusting, so reexamine your current relationships.
To accept an invitation is a forerunner to an inheritance or an unexpected gift. **Acceptance: Slow, laborious or delayed acceptance of a person, place or thing shows you have taken the right measures and allotted the right efforts and success is assured very soon. Quick acceptance shows you have been careless and too accepting in this matter and discrepancies are bound to crop up from it. Reevaluating is called for in this situation. Gypsy lore says that a young woman who dreams that she is proposed marriage to and accepts quickly is an indication that her wedding will meet with an unexpected (overlooked) and delaying situations.
To accept a business deal means future success, even if it does not appear to be so at the time.
To be accepted by a lover indicates happiness with that person. ... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
If these newborns are strangers to you, you can assume that they represent you. You are the baby and the dream is telling you something about your development in a particular area of your life. At times of great change and renewal, a baby may appear in a dream and represent your potential and a new beginning. Some of the meaning of the dream may be obtained by considering what the baby looked like and was doing. Generally, babies represent innocence and are symbols of the purest form of a human whose possibilities are endless. However, if the babies appearance is odd, and if your interactions with it are bizarre or unusual, you need to consider your own well-being (psychologically) and think about what personal experiences and psychological hang-ups have prevented you from growing.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The image of the father could also represent the “collective consciousness,” the traditional spirit, and the yang.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The interpretation of dreaming about milk can also be looked at from a very different viewpoint. Milk can be a safe representation of semen and you may have unconscious (or conscious) desires for sexual relations. However, in my opinion is is unlikely that milk in dreams represents sexuality. Finally, milk is a lunar symbol and as such it is feminine. It suggests a renewal in spirit and thought, just like springtime is the renewal in nature. ... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The man was sexually aroused and started attempting to penetrate her. She only put up a token resistance, mewing a bit, but not fighting him off. I rushed towards them and kicked him off’ (Andrew P). In this dream Andrew’s fear of his wife’s desire for another man is being expressed, but the dream really depicts Andrew’s feelings of sexual inadequacy. Adultery dreams may also express release of sexual feelings; desire for another partner, desire for one’s partner to have sex with someone else. See sex in dreams; last example in dark.
African This may refer to one’s own feelings about coloured people or racial prejudices; Africa may have been the birthplace for the human race. In dreams we still use primitive Africans or Australian aborigines to represent our own natural inner life. See aboriginal; black people; native. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘I have my own baby who is lying in a cot in a bedroom looking very weak and pathetic with eyes closed. I know that he or she is getting weaker and weaker through lack of food and care. In fact the baby seems to be dying.
The feelings of guilt are terrible because I know it is my responsibility to do something to make it well. I keep saying to myself I must go and feed that baby—but I don’t. I just keep worrying and feeling guilty’ (JC). Because of circumstances we may not have been able to satisfy all our babyhood needs—we may have been weaned earlier than we wanted, our need for attention may have been unsatisfied—and these are shown as a baby in our dreams, as with JC. Dreams such as the above show how we sense the need of this pan of us to be cared for and nourished.
If some of these earliest needs are not met in some way, the development of our enthusiasm, our pleasure and ability to be involved and self-giving, may be cunailed.
Example: ‘I am 48, have two children in their late teens and definitely DO NOT want another baby. Nevertheless I have a recurring dream in which I am always in labour, experiencing no pain, and although there are nursing staff I am in some sort of laboratory, although everything is very pleasant. I never actually give birth and when I wake I always have a vague feeling of disappointment’ (VI). This dreamer’s conscious decision to have no more children is in conflict with her biological urge for another baby.
Example: My mouth was full of what looked like liver. It was also coming out of my left ear. When I turned away from the mirror I saw medical people in caps and gowns who kept telling me to bear down. I then gave birth to a baby out of my mouth. I am an invalid and very sick at present’ (Mr MS). This man’s dream is about preparation for death.
The baby is the extraction of all that can live on after his present life is left behind in death. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The animal looked up at my face as I wanted to kiss it.
The lips had pink lipstick on. I kissed it, its paw came up around my arm, I could see the black claws. We were rolling around on the floor, it felt very sexual’ (Monica). Refined female sexuality, unless the cat is markedly a torn; can be our intuition, warning us through its sensitivity to moods or unseen dangers. Idioms: copy cat; bell the cat; cat and mouse; cat’s whiskers; cat out of the bag; cat and dog life; cat on hot bricks; something the cat brought in; a cat’s paw; cat among the pigeons; while the cat’s away. See example in kiss. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The baby fell out of the tree. We climbed down and took the baby to a room and lay it on a bed. It seemed to be asleep and didn’t wake up. Later we went back to the room to see the baby but it had gone. In its place was a bluebird. As we looked the bluebird (lew away’ (dream of a nine-year-old girl).
The example shows a common use of climb—to see what is there, beyond, above, out of sight.
The child is exploring growth, to see what maturity and death have in store. We also climb to avoid something; to get away, to climb out of some mess we are in, in which case it expressed effort on our pan, we climb to get something, to reach it, so this can be ambition or motivation. Climbing has risks though. Attaining new heights in work or a relationship we reach the new and face anxiety, so may have a fear of failing/falling. Climbing may also depict the first half of life, and going downhill middle or old age. Idioms: climb down; social climber. See hill; mountain. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
What lies beyond death is conjecture, but the archetype of death we are considering is not completely about physical death.
It is about our observation of it in others; our conceptions of it gained from our culture and our impressions; the feelings which generate around our experiences and thoughts; our attempts to deal with our own aging and approach to death, plus what material the deeper strata of our unconscious release regarding it.
It is about how our sense of conscious personal existence meets the prospect of its disintegration.
Unless we can come to terms with what is behind the haunting images of death we meet in our dreams, we fail to live fully and daringly, we are too haunted by death lurking in the shadows of injury and the unknown. Images of death and the associated emotions, carried within for years, can have a negative influence on our health. Coming to terms means the courage to feel the emotions of fear or chill and discover them for what they are—emotions. They are certainly not death, only our feelings about it.
The differences shown in the two following examples illustrate the avoiding and the meeting. Example: 4So to get to the bedroom I had to jump across this gap. I tried to jump but missed and I fell and hit the bottom.
The next thing I remember was I was floating up. I looked down and saw myself lying face down with arms spread out and I suddenly realised I was dead. I was so frightened that I woke up. I had the feelings of fear of dying, but I felt no pain’ (Cath). Example: “Suddenly I was in a huge underground cavern. It was hundreds of feet high and as wide. It had two great statues in it, both to do with death.
The whole place overpowered me with a sense of decay and skeletal death, darkness, underground, earth, the end. I cried out in the dismal cave, “Death, where is your sting! Grave, where is your victory!” I immediately had the sense of being a bodiless awareness. I knew this was what occurred at death. Fear and the sense of decay left me’ (Andrew).
Summarising these and many other dreams, it is not only the accumulated images of death, but also bodilessness and loss of power and identity which bring so much fear. There are two antipodes of human experience. At the tip of one is focused self-determining self consciousness. At the tip of the other is unfocused void without identity. Strangely enough we experience both each day in some degree—the first while awake, the second when we sleep. Yet to face the second with consciousness feels like all the horrors of death and loss. Yet facing it is important, especially to the second half of life.
The symbols of rebirth are: the cave; an egg; spring; the tree; the cross; dawn; emerging out of the sea; the snake; the bird; a seed; arising from the earth or faeces; green shoot from a dead branch; phoenix; flame; a pearl; the womb. Rebirth is as difficult to face as death. It holds within it not just the memones of the struggles and difficulties of our own physical birth and growth, but also the challenge of becoming the unknown future, the dark possibility, the new.
The dream of Andrew in the underground cavern is an example of positive rebirth. After realising himself as bodiless awareness he emerges from the cave and finds himself near a tree. Example: ‘A tremendous jolt of power poured into me from the tree. I saw that we had arrived at a place where a line of trees, about a 100 yards in length, stood very close together in a slight semicircle on the top of a bank.
The trees had great spiritual power and the place was a holy temple. Two spiritual beings were there—an ancient Earth Being, and Christ’ (Andrew).
The next example is of a dream typical of meeting memories of physical birth. As can be seen, the experience is powerful enough to cause physical shaking. Example: All I can see of what I enter is a very narrow space with a light showing through. But immediately I enter I realise I have made a mistake for I am being forced swiftly through a dark, very narrow tunnel. I feel pain as I am dragged along and I hear loud banging noises which frighten me, but although they are loud they seem to come from inside my head. I feel terrified and breathless and very relieved when I wake before reaching the end of the tunnel. In fact as I write this account I am shivering” (female, anon). ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The person who actually lived in this part of the house was the owner’s mother. She treated me badly but no one knew as she was artful in her abuse. She pulled me along by my hair, locked me in a cupboard, and once locked me in the orchard—four high walls and a hidden door’ (Rita). Something below us: as in Rita’s dream, where there is fear, it can depict past trauma which is not being faced (literally run away from); something we have left behind or we feel ‘above*.
Descent, going down stairs or in a lift: getting more down to eanh or practical; a return to difficulties after living in our fantasies or escapism, depression; sexual restraint; a return from meta conception (see aura). Descending into cave, cellar, hole: awareness of unconscious content, experience of womb existence. Example: Then I was climbing down a steep hill. Arriving at the foot I found rippling sparkling water. I stopped and looked around and found everything incredibly beautiful—the green fields and the pebbles in the water, the soft fresh air, then I looked up and the sky was a glorious picture, the sun so warm and the clouds fluffy and soft and pretty. I felt at peace and so happy, and thanked God with all my heart for giving us so much beauty’ (Mrs RE). Going down a hill: can mean loss of status, ageing, failure or death, but is also, as shown in the example, a positive sense of life after death. Idioms: feel down; down and out, down in the dumps; down to earth. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The doctor might give us advice, for instance; anxiety about health; desire for intimacy or to be looked at. Idioms: doctor something, have an animal doctored; doctor the accounts. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If one succeeds in touching the feelings and memories usually connected with a dream image, this becomes apparent because of the depth of insight and experience which arises. Although ideally the Freudian analyst helps the client discover their own experience of their dream, it can occur that the analyst puts to the client readymade views of the dream. Out of this has occurred the idea of someone else ‘analysing or telling us about our dream.
Carl Jung used a different approach. He applied amplification (see entry), helped the client explore their associations, used active imagination (see entry) and stuck to the structure of the dream. Because amplification also put to the client the information and experience of the therapist, again the dreamwork can be largely verbal and intellectual, rather than experiential.
In the approach of Fritz Perls (gestalt therapy) and Moreno (psychodrama), dream analysis is almost entirely experiential.
The person exploring the dream acts out or verbalises each role or aspect of the dream.
If one dreamt of a house, in gestalt one might stan by saying I am a house’ and then go on to describe oneself just as one is as the particular house in the dream.
It is important, even if the house were one existing externally, not to attempt a description of the external house, but to stay with the house as it was in the dream. This is like amplification, except the client gives all the information. This can be a very dramatic and emotional experience because we begin consciously to touch the immense realms of experience usually hidden behind the image. When successful this leads to personal insights into behaviour and creativity. See dream processing; amplification; gestalt dream work.
dream as a meeting place Any two people, or group of people who share their dreams, particularly if they explore the associated feelings and thoughts connected with the dream images, achieve social intimacy quickly. Whether it is a family sharing their dreams, or two fnends, an environment can be created in which the most profound feelings, painful and wonderful, can be allowed. Such exposure of the usually private areas of one s feelings and fears often presents new information to the dreamer, and also allows ventilation of what may never have been consciously expressed before. In doing so a healing release is reached, but also greater self understanding and the opportunity to think over or reconsider what is discovered.
Herbert Reed, editor of the dream magazine Sundance, and resident in Virginia Beach, Va., initiated group dreaming experiments. It started because Reed noticed that in the dream groups he was running, when one of the group aired a problem, other members would subsequently dream about that person’s problem. He went on to suggest the group should attempt this purposely and the resulting dreams shared to see if they helped the person with the problem.
The reported dreams often formed a more detailed view of the person’s situation. In one instance the group experienced many dream images of water. It aided the woman who was seeking help to admit she had a phobia of water and to begin thinking about learning to swim. In another experiment, a woman presented the problem of indecision about what college to transfer to and what to study. Her group subsequently said they were confused because they had not dreamt about school. Several had dreams about illicit sex. though, which led the woman to admit she was having an affair with a married man. She went on to realise that it was the affair which was underlying her indecision. She chose to end the affair and further her career.
Whatever may be underlying the results of Reed’s expen- ments, it is noticeably helpful to use the basic principles he is working with. They can be used by two people equally as well as a group—by a parent and child, wife and husband, businessman and employee. One sets out to dream about each other through mutual agreement. Like any undertaking, the involvement, and therefore the results, are much more pronounced if there is an issue of reasonable importance behind the experiment. It helps if one imagines that during sleep you are going to meet each other to consider what is happening between you. Then sleep, and on waking take time to recall any dream. Note it down, even if it seems far removed from what you expected. Then explore its content using the techniques in dream processing.
Example: My wife and I decided to attempt to meet in our dreams. I dreamt I was in a room similar to the back bedroom of my previous marnage. My present wife was with me. She asked me to help her move the wardrobe. It reminded me of, but did not look like, the one which had been in that bedroom. I stood with my back to it, and reached my hands up to press on the top, inside. In this way I carried it to another wall. As I put it down the wood broke. I felt it ought to be thrown away’ (Thomas B). Thomas explored the dream and found he connected feelings about his first marriage with the wardrobe and bedroom. In fact the shabby wardrobe was Tom’s feelings of shabbiness at having divorced his first wife. In his first marriage, represented by the bedroom, he always felt he was married for life. In divorcing, he had done something he didn’t like and was carrying it about with him. He says ‘1 am carrying this feeling of shabbiness and second best into my present relationship, and I need to get rid of it.’
dream as a spiritual guide Dreams have always been connected with the spiritual side of human experience, even though today many spiritual leaders disagree with consideration of dreams. Because dreams put the dreamer in touch with the source of their own internal wisdom and certainty, some conflict has existed between authoritative priesthood and public dreaming.
A lay person finding their own approach to God in a dream might question the authority of the priests. No doubt people frequently made up dreams about God in order to be listened to. Nevertheless, despite opposition, Matthew still dreamt of an angel appearing to him, Joseph was still warned by God to move Jesus; Peter still dreamt his dream of the unclean animals.
The modern scientific approach has placed large question marks against the concept of the human spirit. Study of the brain’s functions and biochemical activities have led to a sense of human personality being wholly a series of biological and biochemical events.
The results of this in the relationship between doctor and patient, psychiatrist and client, sometimes results in the communication of human personality being of little consequence. It may not be put into words, but the intimation is that if one is depressed it is a biochemical problem or a brain malfunction.
If one is withdrawn or autistic, it is not that there is a vital centre of personality which has for some reason chosen to avoid contact, but that a biochemical or physiological problem is the cause—it’s nothing personal, take this pill (to change the biochemistry, because you are not really a person). Of course we have to accept that human personality must sometimes face the tragedy of biochemical malfunction, but we also need to accept that biochemical and physiological process can be changed by human will and courage.
In attempting to find what the human spirit is by looking at dreams, creativity stands out.
The spiritual nature may not be what we have traditionally considered it to be.
An overview of dreams and how dreamers relate to them suggests one amazing fact. Let us call it the ‘seashell effect’. When we hear sounds in a shell that we hold to our ear, the noises heard seem exterior to oneself, yet they are most likely amplification of sounds created in our own ear, perhaps by the passage of blood. Imagine an electronic arcade machine which the player could sit in and, when running, the player could be engulfed in images, sounds, smell and sensation. At first there is shimmering darkness, then a sound, and lights move. Is it a face seen, or a creature. Like Rorschach’s ink blots, the person creates figures and scenes out of the shapeless light and sound.
A devil appears which terrifies the player. People, demons, animals, God and angels appear and fade. Scenes are clearcut or a maelstrom of movement and ill-defined activity. Events arise showing every and any aspect of human experience. Nothing is impossible.
If, on stepping out, we told the player that what occurred was all their own creation due to unconscious feelings, fears, habits, thoughts and physiological processes occurring within them, like the seashell effect, they might say ‘Good God, is that all it was, and I thought it was real. What a waste of time.’
Whether we can accept it or not, as a species we have created out of our own longings, fears, pain and perhaps vision, God, with many different names—politics, money, devils, nationalism, angels, an, and so on and on. All of it has flowed out of us. Perhaps we even deny we are the authors of the Bible, wars, social environments. Responsibility is difficult.
It is easier to believe the source is outside oneself. And if we do take responsibility for our amazing creativity, we may feel ‘is that all it is—me?’ Yet out of such things, such fears, such drives, such unconscious patterns as we shape our dreams with, we shape our life and fonune, we shape our children, we shape the world and our future.
The shadow of fear we create in our dream, the situation of aloneness and anger, becomes a pattern of feelings, real in its world of mind. We create a monster, a Djinn, a devil, which then haunts and influences us. Or with feelings of hope, of purposiveness and love, create other forces in us and the world. But we are the creator. We are in no way separate from the forces which create our existence. We are those creative forces. In the deepest sense, not just as an ego, we create ourselves, and we go on creating ourselves. We are the God humanity has looked so long for.
The second aspect of the human spirit demonstrated by dreams is consciousness.
The unconscious mind, if its function is not clogged with a backlog of undealt with painful childhood experience and nonfunctional premises, has a propensity to form gestalts. It takes pieces of experience and fits them together to form a whole. This is illustrated by how we form gestalts when viewing newsprint photographs, which are made up of many small dots. Our mind fits them together and sees them as a whole, giving meaning where there are only dots. When the human mind is working well, when the individual can face a wide range of emotions, from fear and pain to ecstasy, this process of forming gestalts can operate very creatively. This is because it needs conscious involvement, and if the personality is frightened of deep feeling, the uniting of deeply infantile and often disturbing cxpcrience is cut out. Yet these areas are very rich mines of information, containing our most fundamental learning.
If the process is working well, then one’s expenence is gradually transformed into insights which transcend and thereby transform one s personal life.
For instance, we have witnessed our own binh in some manner, we also see many others appeanng as babies. We see people ageing, dying. We see millions of events in our life and in others.
The unconscious, deeply versed in imagery, ritual and body language, out of which it creates its dreams, picks up information from music, architecture, traditional rituals, people walking in the street, the unspoken world of parental influence.
The sources are massive, unbelievable. And out of it all our mind creates meaning. Like a process of placing face over face over face until a composite face is formed, a synthesis of all the faces; so the unconscious scans all this information and creates a world view, a concept of life and death.
The archetypes Jung talks of are perhaps the resulting synthesis of our own expenence, reaching points others have met also.
If so, then Chnst might be our impression of humanity as a whole.
If we dare to touch such a synthesis of experience it may be seanng, breathtaking.
It breaks the boundaries of our present personality and concepts because it transcends. It shatters us to let the new vision emerge. It reaches, it soars, like an eagle flying above the single events of life. Perhaps because of this the great hawk of ancient Egypt represented the human spirit.
Lastly, humans have always been faced by the impossible.
To a baby, walking and not wetting its pants is impossible, but with many a fall and accident it does the impossible.
It is a god in its achievement.
To talk, to fly heavier-than-air planes, to walk on the Moon, were all impossible. Humans challenge the impossible every day. Over and over they fall, back into defeat. Many lie there broken. Yet with the next moment along come youngsters with no more sense than grasshoppers, and because they don’t know what the difference is between right and left, do the impossible. Out of the infinite potential, the great unknown, they draw something new. With hope, with folly, with a wisdom they gain from who knows where, they demand more. And it’s a common everyday son of miracle. Mothers do it constantly for their children—transcending themselves. Lovers go through hell and heaven for each other and flower beyond who they were. You and I grow old on it as our daily bread, yet fail to see how holy it is. And if we turn away from it, it is because it offers no certainties, gives no authority, claims no reward.
It is the spiritual life of people on the street. And our dreams remember, even if we fail.
For this is the body and blood of the human spirit.
dream as a therapist and healer There is a long tradition of using dreams as a base for both physical and psychological healing. One of the earliest recorded incidents of such healing is when Pharaoh’s ‘spirit was troubled, and he sent for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men; and Pharaoh told them his dream, but there was none who could interpret it’. Then Joseph revealed the meaning of the dream and so the healing of Pharaoh’s troubled mind took place (Genesis 41).
The Greek Temples of Asclepius were devoted to using dreams as a base for healing of body and mind (see dreams and ancient Greece).
The Iroquois Amerindians used a social form of dream therapy also (see Iroquoian dream cult).
The dream process was used much more widely throughout history in such practices as Pentecostal Christianity, shaktipat yoga in India, and Anton Mesmer’s groups (see sleep movements).
Sigmund Freud pioneered the modern approach to the use of dreams in therapy, but many different approaches have developed since his work. Examples of the therapeutic action of gaining insight into dreams are to be found in the entnes on abreaction, recurring dreams, reptiles.
The entry on dream processing gives information about using a dream to gain insight and healing. See also dream as meeting place.
A feature which people who use their dreams as a therapeutic tool mention again and again is how dreams empower them. Many of us have an unconscious feeling that any important healing work regarding our body and mind can only be undertaken and directed by an expert, the expert might be a doctor, a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or osteopath. Witnessing the result of their own dream process, even if helped by an expert, people feel in touch with a wonderful internal process which is working actively for their own good. One woman, who had worked on her dream with the help of a fnend (non expert), said It gave me great confidence in my own internal process. I realised there was something powerful in myself working for my own good. It was a feeling of cooperating with life.’ One is frequently amazed by one’s own resources of wisdom, penetrating insight and sense of connection with life, as met in dreamwork. This is how dreams play a pan in helping one towards wholeness and balance.
The growing awareness of one’s central view of things, which is so wide, piercing and often humorous, brings developing self respect as the saga of one’s dreams unfolds.
There may be no hint of this, however, if a person simply records their dreams without attempting to find a deeply felt contact with their contents.
It is in the searching for associated feelings and ideas that the work of integrating the many strands of one’s life begins. Gradually one weaves, through a co-operative action with the dream process, a greater unification of the dark and the light, the painful and transcendent in one’s nature.
The result is an extraordinary process of education. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
What is the background to the dream? The most imponant aspects of your everyday life may have influenced the dream or feature in it. Briefly consider any aspects of your life which connect with what appears in the dream. Example: ‘1 have a plane to catch. I get to the plane but the suitcase is never big enough for my clothing which I have left behind. I am always anxious about stuff left behind. I wake still with the feeling of anxiety’ (Jane). When asked, Jane said plane flights had been a big feature of her life. She had moved home often, travelling to different pans of the world, leaving friends and loved ones behind.
What is the main action in the dream? There is often an overall activity such as walking, looking, worrying, building something, or trying to escape. Define what it is and consider if it is expressive of something you are doing in waking life. Activities such as walking or building a house need to be seen as generalisations; walking can simply represent taking a direction in life. When you have defined the action, look for further information under the other headings in this book, such as swimming or sitting.
What is your role in the dream? Are you a friend, lover, soldier, dictator, watcher or participant in the dream? Consider this in relationship with your everyday life, especially in connection with how the dream presents it. Where possible, look for the entry on the role in this book. See dreamer.
Are you active or passive in the dream? By passive is meant not taking the leading role, being only an observer, being directed by other people and events, If you are passive, consider if you live in a similar attitude in your life. See active/passive.
What do you feel in the dream? Define what is felt emotionally and physically. In the physical sense are you tired, cold, relaxed or hungry? In the emotional sense do you feel sad, angry, lost, tender or frightened anywhere in the dream? This helps clarify what feeling area the dream is dealing with.
It is important also to define whether the feelings in the dream were satisfyingly expressed or whether held back.
If held back they need fuller expression. See emotions and mood.
Is there a because’ factor in the dream? In many dreams something happens, fails to happen, or appears . . . because! For instance, trapped in a room you find a door to escape through. All is dark beyond and you do not go through the door ‘because’ you are frightened of the dark. In this case the ‘because’ factor is fear.
The dream also suggests you are trapped in an unsatisfying life through fear of opportunity or the unknown.
Am I meeting the things I fear in my dream? Because a dream is an entirely inward thing, we create it completely out of our own internal feelings, images, creativity, habits and insights. So even the monsters of our dream are a pan of ourself.
If we run from them it is only aspects of ourself we are avoiding. Through defining what feelings occur in the dream you may be able to clarify what it is you are avoiding. See nightmares; dream as spiritual guide.
What does the dream mean? We alone create the dream while asleep. Therefore, by looking at each symbol or aspect of the dream, we can discover from what feelings, thoughts or experience, what drive or what insight we have created the drama of the dream. In a playful relaxed way, express whatever you think, feel, remember or fantasise when you hold each symbol in mind. Say or write it all, even the seemingly trivial or dangerous’ bits. It helps to act the pan of each thing if you can; for instance as a house you might describe yourself as ‘a bit old, but with open doors for family and friends to come in and out. I feel solid and dependable, but I sense there is something hidden in my cellar’. Such statements portray oneself graphically. Consider whatever information you gather as descriptive of your waking life. Try to summarise it, as this will aid the gaining of insight.
Try amplifying your dream You will need the help of one or two friends to use this method.
The basis is to take the role of each part of the dream, as described above. This may seem strange at first, but persist. Supposing your name is Julia and you dreamt you were carrying an umbrella, but failed to use it even though it was raining, you would talk in the first person present—I am an umbrella. Julia is carrying me but for some reason doesn’t use me.’ Having finished saying what you could about yourself, your friend(s) then ask you questions about yourself as the dream figure or object. These questions need to be simple and directly about the dream symbol. So they could ask Are you an old umbrella?’ Does Julia know she is canying you?’ ‘What is your function as an umbrella? ‘Are you big enough to shelter Julia and someone else?’ And so on.
The aim of the questions is to draw out information about the symbol being explored.
If it is a known person or object you are in the role of—your father for instance—the replies to the questions need to be answered from the point of view of what happened in the dream, rather than as in real life. Listen to what you are saying about yourself as the dream symbol, and when your questioneKs) has finished, review your statements to see if you can see how they refer to your life and yourself.
If you are asking the questions, even if you have ideas regarding the dream, do not attempt to interpret. Put your ideas into simple questions the dreamer can respond to. Maintain a sense of curiosity and attempt to understand, to make the dream plain in an everyday language sense. Lead the dreamer towards seeing what the dream means through the questions. When you have exhausted your questions ask the dreamer to summarise what they have gathered from their replies. See postures, movements and body language for an example of how to work with body movement to explore a dream meaning.
Can / alter the dream to find greater satisfaction? Imagine yourself in the dream and continue it as a fantasy or daydream. Alter the dream in any way that satisfies. Experiment with it, play with it, until you find a fuller sense of self expression.
It is very imponant to note whether any anger or hostility is in the dream but not fully expressed.
If so, let yourself imagine a full expression of the anger. It may be that as this is practised more anger is openly expressed in subsequent dreams. This is healthy, allowing such feelings to be vented and redirected into satisfying ways, individually and socially. In doing this do not ignore any feelings of resistance, pleasure or anxiety. Satisfaction occurs only as we leam to acknowledge and integrate resistances and anxieties into what we express. This is a very important step. It gradually changes those of our habits which trap us in lack of satisfaction, poor creativity or inability to resolve problems.
Summary To summarise effectively gather the essence of what you have said about each symbol and the dream as a whole and express it in everyday language. Imagine you are explaining to someone who knows nothing about yourself or the dream. Bnng the dream out of its symbols into everyday comments about yourself.
A man dreamt about a grey, dull office. When he looked at what he said about the office he realised he was talking about the grey, unimaginative world he grew up in after the Second World War, and how it shaped him.
Further information on using these techniques can be found in Tony Crisp s work The Instant Dream Book, published by C.W. Daniel. See amplification; plot of dream; adventure of the dream world; dreamer; postures, movement and body language; settings; symbols and dreaming; word analysis of dreams; wordplay and puns. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The Poseidia Institute of Virginia Beach, Va., have run a number of group ‘mutual dreaming’ experiments. Although the Institute suggests very positive results, a critical survey of the dreams and reports reveals a lack of hard evidence. Like other areas of ESP dreaming, it can seldom ever be willed. But the dreams did show themes related to problems regarding intimate meeting. Also, some of the dreams were directly about the goal of dream meeting, as in the following example.
Example: ‘I find the group of people I am looking for. There were maybe six or more people. They were asleep on mattresses except for two or three. These were awake and waiting for me, and wearing small pointed hats such as Tibetan Lamas wear. In the dream I realised this meant they had achieved sufficient inner growth to remain awake in sleep. We started to communicate and were going to wake the others’ (Tom C). See dream as a meeting place.
the dream as extended perception Even everyday mental functions such as thought and memory occur largely unconsciously. During sleep, perhaps because we surrender our volition, what is left of self awareness enters the realm where the nine-tenths of the iceberg of our mind is active. In this realm faculties can function which on waking seem unobtainable.
1- Extending awareness to a point distant from the body, to witness events confirmed by other people. This is often called out of body experience (OBE), but some of these experiences suggest the nature of consciousness and time may not be dualistic (having to be either here or there). See out of body experience.
2-Being aware of the death or danger of a member of family. Kinship and love seem to be major factors in the way the unconscious functions. See dead people dreams.
3-Seeing into the workings of the body and diagnosing an illness before it becomes apparent to waking observation. Dr Vasali Kasatkin and Professor Medard Boss have specialised in the study of such dreams. In a recent dream told to me, a man looked back into a bedroom and saw a piece of the wall fall away. Waves of water gushed from a main pipe.
The dreamer struggled to hold back the piece of broken pipe. Within two weeks his colon burst and he had to have a major operation. See meditation.
4-Access to a computer-like ability to son through a massive store of information and experience to solve problems. These dreams are often confused with precognitive ability. Prediction does occur from these dreams, but it arises, as with weather prediction, from a massive gathering of information, most of which we have forgotten consciously. Monon Schatzman, in a New Scientist anicle, showed how subjects can produce answers to complex mathematical problems in their dreams. See dream process as computer; creativity and problem solving in dreams.
5-Tapping a collective mind which stores all experience, and is sensed as godlike or holy. See dream as spiritual guide.
It seems likely that before the development of speech the human animal communicated largely through body language. Some dreams suggest we still have this ability to read a person’s health, sexual situation, intentions and even their past, through body shape, posture and tiny movements. See postures, movement and body language.
See Cayce, Edgar; collective unconscious; wife under family. See also hallucinations. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The others were way ahead of me jumping the fences. I couldn’t catch up, and one fence I came to grew to a huge height and was like a steel barrier. I couldn’t get over it and felt a failure’ (Ron S). Ron had not done well at school, had not taken any particular training, had no steady relationship or children. In his late 20s, Ron looked at his friends, married with families and steady jobs, and felt a failure. From the dream he realised he was viewing life as a competitive race to succeed. This was stopping him from following his real interest, psychotherapy, which his family viewed as playing games. He could ride his horse into the fields and explore. He did, by going to Amenca, training, raising a family.
In general, failure indicates comparison; competitiveness; it sometimes depicts alternatives—failure is the alternative to success. So the failure might be ‘because’. See Is there a because factor in the dream? in dream processing; falling. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The words find, finds, finding, found occur 297 times. And the words connected with looking and seeing occur 1,077 times.
During our development or growth we ‘fall’ from our mother’s womb when ripe; being dropped by a parent must be our earliest sense of insecurity; we fall many times as we learn to stand and walk; as we explore our boundaries in running, climbing, jumping and riding, falling is a big danger, at times it could mean death. Out of this we create the ways falling is used in dreams.
Example: ‘I am sitting in a high window box facing outwards, with my son and a friend of his on my left. I feel very scared of falling and ask my son and his friend to climb back into the building. I feel too scared to move until they shift’ (Trevor N). At the time of the dream Trevor was working, for the first time in his life, as a full-time freelance journalist. His wife was out of work and his frequency of sales low enough to cause them to be running out of money.
The building behind him in the dream felt like a place he had worked nine to five —security. Falling was failure, getting in debt, dropping into the feelings of self doubt and being incapable.
In general, then, falling represents loss of confidence; threat to usual sources of security such as relationship, source of money, social image, beliefs; tension. Sometimes it is loss of social grace; losing face, moral failure—falling into temptation; coming down to earth from a too lofty attitude, sexual surrender.
Example: ‘I was on a road which led up to the hospital I was put in at three. I felt a sense of an awful past as I looked at the road. Then I was standing on the edge of a precipice or cliff. My wife was about four yards away near the road. I stepped in an area of soft earth. It gave beneath my weight and I sank up to my waist. I realised the cliff edge was unstable and the whole area would fall. I was sinking and shouting to my wife to help me. She was gaily walking about and made light of my call for help. I cried out again. Still she ignored me. I shouted again for her help. She took no notice and I sank deeper, the ground gave way and I fell to my death’ (Barry 1). Through being put in a hospital at three without his mother, Barry had a deep seated fear that any woman he loved could desen him. His fall is the loss of any sense of bonding between him and his wife out of this fear. His death is the dying of his feeling of love and relationship, and the pain it causes. Understanding these fears, Barry was able to leave them behind in later dreams and in life.
By learning to meet our insecurities (perhaps by using the last question in dream processing) we can dare more in life. This is in essence the same as meeting the fear of falling off our bike as we learn to ride.
If we never master the fear we cannot ride. Therefore some dreams take falling into realms beyond fear.
The following examples illustrate this.
Example: ‘Near where I stood in the school gymnasium was a diving board, about 20 ft off the ground. Girls were learning to dive off the board and land flat on their back on the floor.
If they landed flat they didn’t hurt themselves—like falling backwards standing up’ (Barry I).
The school is where we learn. Once we learn to fall ‘flat on our back’, i.e. fail, without being devastated or ‘hurt’ by it, we can be more creative. Going fast to an edge and falling: could mean overwork and danger of breakdown of health.
Example: ‘As I prayed I realised I could fly. I lifted off the ground about 3 feet and found I could completely relax while going higher or falling back down. So it was like free fall. I went into a wonderful surrendered relaxation. My whole body sagging, floating in space. It was a very deep meditative experience (Sarah D). Sarah has found an attitude which enables her to soar/dare or fall/fail without being so afraid of being hurt or dying emotionally. This gives a form of freedom many people never experience. This does not arise from denying or suppressing fears.
Seeing things fall: sense of danger or change in regard to what is represented. Person falling: wish to be rid of them, or anxiety in regard to what they represent; end of a relationship. Child, son falling: see baby; son and daughter under family. House falling down, personal stress; illness; personal change and growth due to letting old habits and attitudes crumble. Example: ‘I was standing outside my mother’s house to the right.
The ground in front had fallen away.
The house was about to cave in. I felt no fear or horror. Instead I was thinking about new beginnings and the possibility of a new house’ (Helen B). Helen is here becoming more independent and leaving behind attitudes and dependency. See house; abyss; chasm. See also flying. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If our mother is unable to develop a feeling contact with us, we may lack the confidence to meet our emotions.
Our maturation as a man or woman calls us in some way to meet and integrate our childhood desire, which includes sexual desire for our parent of the opposite sex, and rivalry with, mingled with dependence on, the parent of the same sex. Even a missing parent, the mother or father who died or left, is a potent figure internally.
An absence of a father’s or mother’s love or presence can be as traumatic as any powerfully injuring event. Our parents in our dreams are the image (full of power and feeling) of the formative forces and experiences of our identity. They are the ground, the soil, the bloody carnage, out of which our sense of self emerged. But our identity cannot gain any real independence while still dominated by these internal forces of our creation. Heraclitus said we cannot swim in the same river twice; attempting to repeat or compete with the vinues of a parent is a misapprehension of the true nature of our own personality. Sec individuation.
Family group: The whole background of experience which makes up our values and views. This background is made up of thousands of different obvious and subtle things such as social status; amount of books in the home; how parents feel about themselves; how they relate to life outside the family; whether dominant roles are encouraged; what nationality parents are; what unconscious social attitudes surround the family (i.e. the master and servant, or dominating employer and subservient employee, roles which typified England at the turn of the century still colour many attitudes in the UK). Simply put, it is our internal ‘family’ of urges and values; the overall feeling tone of our family life—security, domination, whatever it was, the unconscious coping patterns of the family.
Parents together in dream: our general wisdom, background of information and experience from which we make important decisions or gain intuitive insights. Parents also depict the rules and often irrational disciplinary codes we learnt as a child which still speak to us from within, and perhaps pass on to our own children without reassessment. These include everything from ‘Don’t speak with your mouth full’ to the unspoken Masturbation is unholy/
Dead parent in dream: the beginning of independence from parent; repression of the emotions they engendered in us, our emotions regarding our parent’s death; feelings about death. See dead people dreams.
Example: ‘My father was giving me and another woman some medicine. Something was being forced on us. I started to hit and punch him in the genitals and, when he was facing the other way, in the backside. I seemed to be just the right height to do this and I had a very angry feeling that I wanted to hurt him as he had hurt me’ (Audrey V). Hurting, burying , killing parent: in the example Audrey’s height shows her as a child. She is releasing anger about the attitudes and situations her father forced down her throat’.
To be free of the introverted restraints and ready made values gathered from our parents, at some time in our growth we may kill or bury them. Although some people arc shocked by such dreams, they are healthy signs of emerging independence. Old myths of killing the chief so the tribe can have a new leader depict this process. When father or mother are dead’ in our dream, we can inherit all the power gained from whatever was positive in the relationship. Seeing parent drunk, incapable, foolish: another means of gaining independence from internalised values or stultifying drives to ‘honour’ or admire father or mother.
Generally positive: authority; ability in the external world; family or social conventions, how we relate to the ‘doer’ in us; physical strength and protectiveness; the will to be. Generally negative: introvened aggression; dominance by fear of other people’s authority, uncaring sexual drive; feelings of not being loved. See father under archetypes; man.
Generally positive: feelings; ability in relationships; uniting spirit of family; how we relate to feelings in a relationship; strength to give of self and nunure; intuition. Generally negative: will based on irrational likes and dislikes; opinion generated by anxiety or jealousy; domination by emotions; lack of bonding. See Great Mother under archetypes; woman.
siblings and children
Whether brother, sister, daughter or son (see below in this entry), the most general use in our dreams is to depict an aspect of ourself. However it is almost universal to believe with great conviction that our dream is about the person in our dream.
A mother seeing a son die in her dream often goes through great anxiety because there lurks in her a sense of it being a precognitive dream. Vinually everyone at some time dreams about members of their close family dying or being killed—lots of mothers dream this, and their children live till 80. But occasionally children do die. Is the dream then precognitive, or is it coincidental?
Example: ‘I was walking along a rather dusty track carrying my younger son who would be around 10 months old and I was feeling rather tired. Suddenly I met a man who stopped to talk to me and commented I looked rather weary carrying the baby. He said, come with me and look over this wall and you will see such a sight that will gladden your hean. By standing on tiptoe I could just see over the wall and the sight I beheld took my breath away, it was so beautiful’ (Johan E). Here Johan’s son depicts the weight of responsibility she feels.
The beauty is her own resources of strength in motherhood.
Example: ‘I have just given binh to twins and they lay on the floor. We started to care for them. My mother took them to the doctor for his advice while I went to see my married sister who has two children. I met them there with the twins so that my sister could give her opinion on the babies. She had recent experience of childbirth and could tell us if the babies were good specimens’ (Miss E). Miss E has no children of her own, so she is uncertain of her own capacity to have and raise them.
The mother depicts her own mothering abilities, which seek confidence from an authority figure. Her sister is her own nearest experience of childbirth. So out of what she has leamt from observing her sister, she is assessing her own qualities.
Most often the family member depicts the qualities in ourself which we feel are part of the character of the person dreamt of. So the passionate one in the family would depict our passions; the intellectual one our own mind, the anxious one our hesitations. Use the questions in dream processing to define this. Having done this, can you observe what the dream depicts? For Miss E it would be questions regarding motherhood.
Example: ‘My daughter told me the only positive part of my work in a helping profession was with a woman who had turned from it to religion. There followed a long and powerful interchange in which I said she had as yet no mind of her own. She was dominated by her mother’s anxiety, and the medical rationalism of her training. When she had dared to step beyond her own anxieties to integrate the lessons of her own life, then I would listen again’ (Desmond S). Desmond was divorced and struggling with his own pain and guilt about leaving his daughter while still a teenager. His daughter depicts this conflict between his feelings and his rational self.
Oneself, or the denied pan of self, meeting whatever is met in the dream; feelings of kinship; sense of rivalry, feelings about a brother. Woman’s dream, younger brother: outgoing but vulnerable self; rivalry. Woman’s dream, older brother, authority, one’s capable outgoing self. Man’s dream, younger brother: vulnerable feelings; oneself at that age. Man’s dream, older brother: experience; authority, feelings of persecution. See boy; man. Idioms: big brother, brothers in arms; blood brother.
Feeling self, or the lesser expressed pan of self; rival; feelings about a sister. Man s dream, younger sister: vulnerable emotions; rival for love of parents. Man’s dream, older sister: capable feeling self; feelings of persecution. Woman’s dream , younger sister: one’s experiences at that age; vulnerable feelings, rival for parents’ love. Woman’s dream, older sister: capable feeling self. See girl; woman. Idioms: sisters under the skin.
One’s relationship with the daughter, the daughter, or son, can represent what happens in a marnage between husband and wife.
The child is what has arisen from the bonding, however momentary, of two people. In dreams the child therefore is sometimes used to depict how the relationship is faring. So a sick daughter might show the feelings in the relationship being ‘ill’.
In a mother’s dream: often feelings of suppon or companionship; feelings of not being alone in the area of emotional bonds; or one’s feeling area; responsibility; the ties of parenthood; oneself at that age; one’s own urges, difficulties, hurts, which may still be operative. Also a comparison; the mother might see the daughter’s youth, opportunity, and have feelings about that. So the daughter may represent her sense of lost opportunity and youth—even envy, competition in getting the desire of a man.
In a father’s dream: one’s feeling self, the feelings or difficulties about the relationship with daughter; the struggles one’s own feeling self goes through to mature, how the sexual feelings are dealt with in a family—occurs especially when she starts courting; sister, parental responsibility; one’s wife when younger. Someone else’s daughter: feelings about one’s own daughter, feelings about younger women.
Example: 1 am standing outside a supermarket with heavy bags wearing my mac, though the sun is warm. My daughter and two friends are playing music and everyone stops to listen. I start to wnte a song for them, but they pack up and go on a bus whilst I am still writing. I am left alone at the bus stop with my heavy burden of shopping, feeling incredibly unwanted’ (Mrs F). Such dreams of the daughter becoming independent can occur as soon as the child starts school, persisting until the mother finds a new attitude. See child; woman.
Extroverted self; desires connected with self expression; feelings connected with son; parental responsibility. Mother’s dream: one’s ambitions; potential, hopes; your marriage—see example.
Example: ‘My wife and I were walking out in the countryside. I looked around suddenly and saw my four-year-old son near a hole. He fell in and I raced back.
The hole was narrow but very deep. I could see water at the bottom but no sign of my son. I didn’t know whether I could leap down and save him or whether it was too narrow. Then somehow he was out. His heart was just beating’ (Richard H). Richard had argued with his wife in such a way he feared the stability of their marriage.
The son represents what they had created together —a child, a marriage.
The marriage survived, as his dream self-assessed it would. Death of son: a mother often kills off her son in her dreams as she sees him make moves towards independence. This can happen from the first day of school on. Example: T am on a very high bridge over an extremely wide and deep river with steep banks. My son does a double somersault over the railing, falls into the water. I think he is showing off. I am unable to save him. My son is 18 and has staned a structural engineering course at university’ (Joyce H).
The showing-off suggests Joyce feels her son is doing daring things with his life, and the relationship in its old form dies.
Father’s dream: yourself at that age; what qualities you see in your son; your own possibilities, envy of youth and opportunities; nvalry. Someone else’s son: feelings about one’s own son; feelings about younger men. Dead son: see dead people dreams. Sec boy. See also man; first example in falling.
Depicts how you see the relationship with your wife; your relationship with your sexuality; sexual and emotional desire and pleasure; how you relate to intimacy in body, mind and spirit; your feeling, intuitive nature; habits of relationship developed with one’s mother. Example: ‘My wife was trying to get me out of her life, and out of the house. It was as if she were attempting to push me into a feeling of tension and rejection which would make me leave’ (David P). Out of childhood experience, in which his mother repeatedly threatened to give him away, David was finding it difficult to commit himself emotionally to his wife. In the dream his wife represents these feelings, so he sees her—his anxiety and pain —pushing him to break up the marriage.
Example: I was standing with my wife at the end of the garden of the house I lived in as a child. We were looking over the fence to the rising meadow beyond. She said, “Look at that bird in the tree there.” On our right, in a small ash tree, an enormous owl perched. It was at least 4 feet high, the biggest bird I have ever seen. I recognised it in the dream as a greater hooded owl, which was not native to our country. I was so excited I ran into the house to telephone someone— zoo, police, newspapers?—to tell them about the bird. I cannot remember contacting anyone, but felt the bird was there in some way to meet me. Also it was hungry and looking at next door’s bantams. So I wondered what I could give it to eat’ (David P). This shows the positive side of David’s relationship with his wife.
The garden is the boundanes which arose from his childhood. But he is growing—the garden— and looking beyond them in connection with his marnage.
The amazing bird is the deep feelings he touches because he has a mate, like any other natural creature. Out of his mating he becomes aware of drives to build a home—nest—and give himself to his mate. These are natural and are a pan of his unconscious or spiritual nature.
The bird is a hooded owl which can see in the dark—the unconscious—because David is realising things he had never seen’ before.
The bird is masked, meaning putting the ego aside, which is a necessity for touching the wider dimension of life or the unconscious.
The hunger of the bird shows an intimate detail of what David has learnt from his wife. She had been working as a waitress and bringing home pieces of chicken for him, saved from her own meal.
The spiritual side of David wants to develop this quality of selfgiving, which his wife’s love had helped him see.
Example: ‘1 have been a widower since January 1979, having married in October 1941. I continually dream I am in London where my business was. I am walking the streets with my wife and suddenly I see her ahead of me in a yellow raincoat and hat. I call her and try to catch up, but suddenly she vanishes. In spite of calling and searching I cannot find her’ (Douglas G). This is a common theme dreamt by widowers or widows, disappearance of spouse. Douglas has ‘lost’ his wife. His dream shows the paradox of love after death of panner. His love is still there, years after her death. He is possibly still trying to love his wife as an externally real person. so his feelings can make no connection.
To meet what actually remains of his wife, within himself, he would need to face his own internal grieving, emotions, and all the feelings, memories, angers and beauty which make up the living remains of his wife within him. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Face: self image; concerns about how others see you; expression of or hiding of inner feelings and attitudes. Idioms: above one’s head; over one’s head; enter one’s head; get something into one’s head, go off one’s head, swollen or big head; head above water, head in sand, face the facts; face the music; face value; flat on one’s face; facelift; long face, poker face; blue in the face.
Ears: subtle information, rumours. Idioms: an ear for, all ears; reach one’s ears; flea in the ear, gain the ear of; ears burning; long ears; lend an ear, hear from; will not hear of, hearing things.
Eyes: how we see the world and ourself. Although eyes are not mentioned much in the collection of dreams used for data in this book, saw, see. seeing, look and looking, constitute the highest number of mentions. In a computer word count of 1,000 dreams, these words were mentioned 1,077 times. Feel, feeling, felt, came second, with 855 hits. So dreams are predominantly a looking at and seeing activity, in the sense of insight and awareness.
Eyes are used in many ways in dreams. As these quotes show, eyes can represent the soul or psyche in its many moods-—dark deep eyes; desperation in its eyes; shining eyes; impersonal eyes; staring eyes; eye to eye. Example: 4I saw a young soldier with a gun, but as our eyes met we were attracted to each other, and he put his arm round me’ (Pauline B). As the example shows, eyes can represent the state of a relationship. Lack of eye contact: avoidance of intimacy. Closed eyes: introversion or avoidance of contact; not wanting to see. Example: I was dimly aware of a biggish black bird that came down close beside us on the step and pecked at the baby’s eye, then it flew olf.
The eye was gone completely’ (Heather C). Heather’s dream shows the eye depicting the T or identity. In fact her sense of self was damaged in infancy.
In many dreams the eyes represent our understanding, or how we ‘see’ the world, our view of things or other people; also intelligence; our attention; our boundaries of awareness. Blindness: not being aware, not wanting to see something— usually about oneself. Loss of sight in right eye : not seeing what is going on in the outside world. Loss of sight in left eye: not seeing what you are really thinking or feeling; not aware of self, motives, behaviour, no ‘in-sight’. Idioms: I see; can’t you see; you must be blind; I saw it with my own eyes; all eyes, eye opener, evil eye; sheep eyes; one in the eye; turn a blind eye.
Mouth: pleasure area; our hungers, sexual pleasure. Also, because we speak with our mouth and tongue, they can represent what we say; a dream of our mouth being buttoned— button your lip—or sewed up could suggest that inwardly we regret having said cenain things and need to hold our tongue. Chewing: considering; mulling over something. Idioms: all mouth; a big mouth, nasty taste in the mouth; mouthwatering.
Nose: curiosity; intuition, as with ‘smell a rat’; penis. Idioms: have a nose for, nose out of joint; rub nose in it; up one’s nose.
Teeth: the ageing process as it relates to maturity. This is because we lose our first teeth as we leave childhood behind, and lose our adult teeth as we leave youthfulness behind. Also aggression; ability to ‘chew things over’. Bad tooth: a painful or rotten part of one’s feelings, life or relationships, angry or regretful words. Teeth falling out: example: ‘1 felt a tooth was loose and staned pushing it with my tongue. Then I took hold of it between thumb and forefinger and pulled it out. I felt okay about this, but then another tooth was loose, and another, and I pulled them out. Running to the bathroom I looked into the mirror, horrified and frightened. All my teeth were coming out. Not knowing how to deal with this I ran to my mother, showing her my mouth, empty now except for two teeth. My mother appeared not to see my lack of teeth, or notice my fear’ (Eve). Eve was 18 at the time of the dream. She explored it and found a fear of ageing and death. Also apprehension about maturing and facing independence and responsibility, loss of attractiveness. 1m Tofeeq, a Palestinian woman, told me that among the Arabs it is believed that if you dream of losing teeth it means your brother or son is in trouble. She had a dream in which three of her teeth fell out.
The next day she received a call from America to say her son had been shot in the head three times by a gunman.
A woman swallowing teeth: the throat and Eustachian tubes are like the uterus and Fallopian tubes, so can depict conception or fear of it. False teeth: lies told; false face; not keeping spoken promises. Idioms: show one’s teeth, get one’s teeth into; gnash one’s teeth; grit one’s teeth; teething troubles.
Tongue: speech, expression of what we feel; saying what is deep inside us, perhaps unknown to ourself; penis. Idioms: find one’s tongue; tongue in cheek; lose one’s tongue; sharp tongue; hold one’s tongue; forked tongue. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The example illustrates how we may use one emotion or situation to hide what is really important.
Hiding from feeling; avoiding awareness of something we don’t want to see; being protective—hiding how we really feel about someone, or our sexual feelings about someone; not knowing. Hiding from something dangerous, dangerous thing hidden: feeling threatened either by unconscious contents or exterior situation. Hiding a body, object: not facing difficult feelings connected with the body or thing. See dead people dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The dream she subsequently reported was ‘1 sit in a small dirty cafe holding a tremendous French newspaper ...
A woman with a strong Yiddish accent—L is Jewish—asks me twice, “Don’t you need anything?” I don’t answer . . . she comes a third time . . . I recognise her as my acquaintance. She holds a threadbare suitcase with a sticker on it that reads “For ladies only!” I leave the cafe with her . . . she hangs onto me which I find unpleasant but suffer it . . . Before her house she pulls out an enormous bunch of keys and gives one to me. “1 trust only you with it; it is the key to this case. You might like to use it. Just watch that my husband doesn’t get hold of it.” ‘ The dream contains several of the classical Freudian symbols of sex, such as the suitcase, the key and the phrase For ladies only’. Miss E had not, according to Schroetter, heard or read of Freud’s ideas.
Roffenstein, suspecting Miss E may have known something of Freudian ideas, chose ‘a 28-year-old, totally uneducated nursemaid of lower than average intelligence, who grew up and still lives in an uneducated milieu’. He suggested she dream of intercourse with her father. She reported: ‘I dreamt about my father, as if he had presented me with a great bag and with it he gave me a large key. It was a very large key. It looked like the key to a house. I had a sad feeling. I opened the bag. I snake jumped out against my mouth; I shrieked aloud.
More recent expenments are reponed by Woods and Greenhouse in New Wbrld of Dreams.
The suggestion was made to one subject that as a child she had wet the bed and her mother scolded her. That night she dreamt she fell into a pond in winter and her mother was angry.
An interesting aspect of these experiments is that another subject under hypnosis was told the dream and asked what it meant. Without hesitation she said. Oh, that girl must have wet the bed.’ This and other experiments suggest humans have an inherent, although perhaps unconscious, ability to understand the language of dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The area of our being we refer to when we say T, ‘me’ or ‘myself’ is our conscious self awareness, our sense of self, which Jung calls the ego.
The autobiography of Helen Keller has helped in understanding what may be the difference between an animal and a human being with self awareness. Helen, made blind and deaf through illness before learning to speak, lived in a dark unconscious world lacking any self awareness until the age of seven, when she was taught the deaf and dumb language. At first her teacher’s fingers touching hers were simply a tactile but meaningless experience. Then, perhaps because she had leamt one word prior to her illness, meaning flooded her darkness. She tells us that ‘nothingness was blotted out’. Through language she became a person and developed a sense of self, whereas before there had been nothing.
The journey of individuation is not only that of becoming a person, but also expanding the boundaries of what we can allow ourselves to experience as an ego. As we can see from an observation of our dreams, but mostly from an extensive exploration of their feeling content, our ego is conscious of only a small area of experience.
The fundamental life processes in one’s being may be barely felt. In many contemporary women the reproductive drive is talked about as something which has few connections with their personality. Few people have a living, feeling contact with their early childhood, in fact many people doubt that such can exist. Because of these factors the ego can be said to exist as an encapsulated small area of consciousness, surrounded by huge areas of experience it is unaware of.
In a different degree, there exists in each of us a drive towards the growth of our personal awareness, towards greater power, greater inclusion of the areas of our being which remain unconscious.
A paradox exists here, because the urge is towards integration, yet individuation is also the process of a greater self differentiation. This is a spontaneous process, just as is the growth of a tree from a seed (the tree in dreams often represents this process of self becoming), but our personal responsibility for our process of growth is necessary at a certain point, to make conscious what is unconscious.
Because dreams are constantly expressing aspects of individuation it is wonh knowing the main areas of the process. Without sticking rigidly to Jungian concepts—which see individuation as occurring from mid-life onwards in a few individuals—aspects of some of the main stages are as follows. Early babyhood—the emergence of self consciousness through the deeply biological, sensual and gestural levels of experience, all deeply felt; the felt responses to emerging from a non-changing world in the womb to the need to reach out for food and make other needs known. Learning how to deal with a changing environment, and otherness in terms of relationship.
Childhood—learning the basics of motor, verbal and social skills, the very basics of physical and emotional independence. One faces here the finding of strength to escape the domination of mother—difficult, because one is dependent upon the parent in a very real way—and develop in the psyche a satisfying sexual connection. In dream imagery this means, for the male, an easy sexual relationship with female dream figures, and a means of dealing with male figures in competition (father); see sex in dreams.
The dream of the mystic beautiful woman precedes this, a female figure one blends with in an idealistic sense, but who is never sexual.
The conflict with father—really the internal struggle with one’s image of father as more potent than self—when resolved becomes an acceptance of the power of one’s own manhood. Women face a slightly different situation.
The woman’s first deeply sensual and sexual love object—in a bonded parent-child relationship—was her mother. So beneath any love she may develop for a man lies the love for a woman. Whereas a man, in sexual love which takes him deeply into his psyche, may realise he is making love to his mother, a woman in the same situation may find her father or her mother as the love object. In the unconscious motivations which lead one to choose a mate, a man is influenced by the relationship he developed with his mother, a woman is influenced by both mother and father in her choice. Example: ‘I went across the road to where my mother’s sister lived. I wanted to cuddle her and touch her bare breasts, but we never seemed to manage this. There were always interruptions or blocks.’ (Sid L).
At these deep levels of fantasy and desire, one has to recognise that the first sexual experience is—hopefully—at the mother’s breast. This can be transformed into later fantasies/ dreams/desires of penis in the mouth, or penis in the vagina, or penis as breast, mouth as vagina.
For most of us, however, growth towards maturity does not present itself in such primitively sexual ways, simply because we are largely unconscious of such factors. In general we face the task of building a self image out of the influences, rich or traumatic, of our experience. We leam to stand, as well as we may, amidst the welter of impressions, ideas, influences and urges, which constitute our life and body. What we inherit, what we experience, and what we do with these creates who we are.
One of the major themes of individuation is the journey from attachment and dependence towards independence and involved detachment. This is an overall theme we mature in all our life. In its widest sense, it pertains to the fact that the origins of our consciousness lie in a non-differentiated state of being in which no sense of T exists. Out of this womb condition we gradually develop an ego and personal choice. In fact we may swing to an extreme of egotism and materialistic feelings of independence from others and nature.
The observable beginnings of this move to independence are seen as our attempt to become independent of mother and father. But dependence has many faces: we may have a dependent relationship with husband or wife; we may depend upon our work or social status for our self confidence; our youth and good looks may be the things we depend upon for our sense of who we are, our self image. With the approach of middle and old age we will then face a crisis in which an independence from these factors is necessary for our psychological equilibnum.
The Hindu practice of becoming a sanyassin, leaving behind family, name, social standing, possessions, is one way of meeting the need for inner independence from these in order to meet old age and death in a positive manner. Most people face it in a quieter, less demonstrative way. Indeed, death might be thought of as the greatest challenge to our identification with body, family, worldly status and the external world as a means to identity. We leave this world naked except for the quality of our own being.
Meeting oneself, and self responsibility, are further themes of individuation.
The fact that our waking self is a small spotlight of awareness amidst a huge ocean of unconscious life processes creates a situation of tension, certainly a threshold or ‘iron curtain’, between the known and unknown.
If one imagines the spotlighted area of self as a place one is standing in, then individuation is the process of extending the boundary of awareness, or even turning the spotlight occasionally into the surrounding gloom. In this way one places together impressions of what the light had revealed of the landscape in which we stand, clues to how we got to be where we are, and how we relate to these. But one may remain, or choose to remain, largely unconscious of self.
The iron curtain may be defended with our desire not to know what really motivates us, what past hurts and angers we hide. It may be easier for us to live with an exterior God or authority than to recognise the ultimate need for self responsibility and self cultivation.
To hide from this, humanity has developed innumerable escape routes—extenonsed religious practice, making scapegoats of other minority groups or individuals, rigid belief in a political system or philosophy, search for samadhi or God as a final solution, suicide. This aspect of our matunng process shows itself as a paradox (common to maturity) of becoming more sceptical, and yet finding a deeper sense of self in its connections with the cosmos. We lose God and the beliefs of humanity’s childhood, yet realise we are the God we searched for. This meeting with self, in all its deep feeling of connection, its uncertainty, its vulnerable power, is not without pain and joy. Example: ‘On the railway platform milled hundreds of people, all men I think. They were all ragged, thin, dirty and unshaven. I knew I was among them. I looked up at the mountainside and there was a guard watching us. He was cruel looking, oriental, in green fatigues. On his peaked cap was a red star. He carried a machine gun. Then I looked at the men around me and I realised they were all me. Each one had my face. I was looking at myself. Then I felt fear and terror’ (Anon).
The last of the great themes of individuation is summed up in William Blake’s words ‘1 must Create a System, or be en- slav’d by another Man’s; I will not Reason and Compare: my business is to Create.’ A function observable in dreams is that of scanning our massive life experience (even a child’s life experience has millions of bits of information) to see what it says of life and survival. Out of this we unconsciously create a working philosophy of what life means to us.
It is made up not only of what we have experienced and learnt in the general sense, but also from the hidden information in the cultural riches we have inherited from literature, music, art, theatre and architecture.
The word hidden” is used because the unconscious ‘reads’ the symbolised information in these sources. It is, after all, the master of imagery in dreams. But unless we expand the boundaries of our awareness we may not know this inner philosopher.
If we do get to know it through dreams, we will be amazed by the beauty of its insight into everyday human life.
In connection with this there is an urge to be, and perhaps to procreate oneself in the world. Sometimes this is experienced as a sense of frustration—that there is more of us than we have been able to express, or to make real. While physical procreation can be seen as a physical survival urge, this drive to create in other spheres may be an urge to survive death as an identity. Dreams frequently present the idea that our survival of death only comes about from what we have given of ourself to others. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The animal looked up at my face as I wanted to kiss it.
The lips had pink lipstick on. I kissed it. Its paw came up around my arm, I could see the black claws. We were rolling around on the floor, it felt very sexual’ (Pat A). Acceptance of what is being kissed—Pat accepts or allows her sexuality, depicted by the cat; sexual agreement; tenderness; movement towards unity. Idioms: kiss of life, kiss of death; kiss something/somebody goodbye. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The fact that Karen goes ‘downstairs’, suggesting the lower part of her body, and the shape of the kettle, which is a round container, make it likely this dream is about pregnancy. See Christ under archetypes; religion and dreams, sea. Idioms: big fish, big fish in a small pond; cold fish; fishing for compliments; fish out of water, queer fish; smell something fishy. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘1 am at the wedding of my best friend.
The groom doesn’t turn up and she decides to marry the first person who comes along. I wonder whether this is a good thing to do’ (Mary T).
Dreaming of wedding if single: Mary could equally as well have dreamt she was the bride, but being in her 30s and unmarned it is easier for her to consider or experiment with the idea of marriage using the image of her friend. Should she marry whoever offers? When single one often dreams of marnage as a way of clarifying. What would it be like? Could one succeed in it? Is the present panner OK? How will one achieve it?
Example: ‘When I was engaged to my present husband I dreamt we were married and I looked down at my wedding ring. It was twisted and bent. In fact I now see it as a warning because we have not made a good marriage’ (SW). ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The house only had two bedrooms, and the children’s room was directly opposite ours. Both of us had had the same thought—”Oh no, it’s the children again.” Much to our annoyance they had been waking in the middle of the night claiming it was morning and time to play. We had tried to suppress it, but here it was again.
As these thoughts went through our minds we heard the sound of feet clomping down the stairs. This was strange as the children usually stayed in their room. Brenda got up, determined to get whoever it was back into bed. I heard her switch the light on, go down the stairs, switch the sitting room light on, and I followed her via the sounds of her movement as she looked in the kitchen and even toilet—we didn’t have a bathroom. Then up she came again and opened the children’s door—strange because we had assumed it had been opened. When she came back into our room she looked puzzled and a little scared. “They’re all asleep and in bed ‘ she said. ‘We talked over the mystery for some time, trying to understand just how we had heard the door handle rattle then footsteps going down the stairs, yet the door wasn’t open. Also, the door handles on our doors were too high for the children to reach without standing on a chair. There was a stool in the children’s bedroom they used for that, yet it wasn’t even near the door when Brenda opened it.
Having no answer to the puzzle we stopped talking and settled to wait for sleep again. Suddenly a noise came from the children’s bedroom. It sounded like the stool being dragged and then the door handle turning again but the door not opening. “You go this time” Brenda said, obviously disturbed.
‘I opened our door quickly just in time to see the opposite door handle turn again. Still the door didn’t open. I reached across, turned the handle and slowly opened the door. It stopped as something was blocking it. Just then my daughter Helen’s small face peered around the door—high because she was standing on the stool. Puzzled by what had happened, I was careful what I said to her. “What do you want love?” I asked.
‘Unperturbed she replied, “I want to go to the toilet.” The toilet was downstairs, through the sitting room, and through the kitchen.
‘Now I had a clue so asked, “Did you go downstairs before?”
“Yes,” she said, “but Mummy sent me back to bed.” * (Tony C).
This is an unusual example of an out of body experience (OBE). Mostly they are described from the point of view of the person projecting, and are therefore difficult to corroborate. Here, three people experience the OBE in their own way. From Tony and Brenda’s point of view what happened caused sensory stimuli, but only auditory. Helen’s statement says that she was sure she had physically walked down the stairs and been sent back to bed by her mother. Tony and Brenda felt there was a direct connection between what they were thinking and feeling—get the children back to bed—and what Helen experienced as an objective reality.
OBEs have been reported in thousands in every culture and in every period of history.
A more general experience of OBE than the above might include a feeling of rushing along a tunnel or release from a tight place prior to the awareness of independence from the body. In this first stage some people experience a sense of physical paralysis which may be frightening (see paralysis). Their awareness then seems to become an observing point outside the body, as well as the sense of paralysis. Then there is usually an intense awareness of oneself and surroundings, unlike dreaming or even lucidity. Some projectors feel they are even more vitally aware and rational than during the waking state. Looking back on one’s body may occur here. Once the awareness is independent of the body, the boundaries of time and space as they are known in the body do not exist. One can easily pass through walls, fly, travel to or immediately be in a far distant place, witnessing what may be, or appears to be, physically real there.
Sir Auckland Geddes, an eminent British anatomist, describes his own OBE, which contains many of these features. Example: Becoming suddenly and violently ill with gastroenteritis he quickly became unable to move or phone for help. As this was occurring he noticed he had an A and a B consciousness.
The A was his normal awareness, and the B was external to his body, watching. From the B self he could see not only his body, but also the house, garden and surrounds. He need only think of a friend or place and immediately he was there and was later able to find confirmation for his observations. In looking at his body, he noticed that the brain was only an end organ, like a condensing plate, upon which memory and awareness played.
The mind, he said, was not in the brain, the brain was in the mind, like a radio in the play of signals. He then observed his daughter come in and discover his condition, saw her telephone a doctor friend, and saw him also at the same time.
Many cases of OBE occur near death, where a person has died* of a hean attack for instance, and is later revived. Because of this there are attempts to consider the possibility of survival of death through study of these cases. In fact many people experiencing an OBE have a very different view of death than prior to their experience.
Early attempts to explain OBEs suggested a subtle or astral body, which is a double of our physical and mental self, but able to pass through walls. It was said to be connected to the physical body during an OBE by a silver cord—a son of lifeline which kept the physical body alive. This is like the concept that the people we dream about are not creations of our own psyche, but real in their own right. Whatever one may believe an OBE to be, it can be observed that many people in this condition have no silver cord, and have no body at all, but are simply a bodiless observer, or are an animal, a geometric shape, a colour or sound (see identity and dreams).
The person’s own unconscious concepts of self seem to be the factor which shapes the form of the OBE. If, therefore, one feels sure one must travel to a distant point, then in the OBE one travels.
If one believes one is immediately there by the power of thought, one is there.
If one cannot conceive of existing without a body, then one has a body, and so on.
This approach explains many aspects of the OBE, but there is still not a clear concept of what the relationship with the physical world is.
The many cases of OBE which occur during a near-death experience also suggest it may be connected with a survival response to death; not necessarily as a way of trying to transcend death, but perhaps as a primeval form of warning relatives of death.
If there is survival of death, then the OBE may be an anticipatory form, or a preparatory condition leading to the new form. See hallucinations, hallucinogens. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The positive aspect of the penis/masculinity is for him to demand his woman meets his maleness, his canng aggression, his sexual desire, with her own fiery energy and strength. In general, direct reference to sexual feelings, fears, or problems. As these can be quite complex several examples are given below.
Example: ‘So for the third time I held the woman and made love.
The woman’s vagina was like a flower, I don’t mean to look at, but in physical sensation. My penis felt like it was penetrating petals of flesh and touching with great pleasure a central receptive area I was left with the feeling of being able to make love again and again without any negative effects. It was a very positive and healthy feeling’ (John T). John is feeling confident about his sexual drive. Although a powerful drive, subtle feelings and fears have an intense influence not only on the pleasure of sex, but also the response of the physical organs.
The relationship with the penis and sex act in one s dream shows what fears, hurts or attitudes are influencing the sexual flow. See castration.
In a woman’s dream, one’s relationship with, desire for, a mate; relationship with one’s own male self—ambition, work capability, aggression, intellect; depicts the relationship with, genital sexuality with, one’s panner. As with Sally in the next example, the events in the dream define the problem or relationship. Example: ‘My lover Terry, myself and another woman are all on our bed.
The other woman seemed very sure of herself and kissed Terry in a very intimate way, he doing the same to her as I lay very near to both of them. Then Terry stuck his bottom in the air and staned to lick my chest and breast. I found myself licking around the penis, felt I was under some kind of pressure from both the other two to do so but didn’t feel too shattered as I did it with love for Terry, but I had a bitter taste in my mouth’ (Sally P). In talking about this dream Sally said she often struggled with what she wanted and what her panner wanted in sex. She might go along with his needs, but not find it palatable. Even if she did do it with some love, it might have a bad taste in her mouth*.
Example: T felt as if I were as one with Terry and I realised he was trying to make a journey into his mother s vagina, as his penis. Her vagina looked like a long dark tunnel and was threatening to him. I said, “You haven’t given your mother satisfaction and you say you will not.” Then he was really smashed up in body. Withdrawing into a garden with a high green hedge. I took a leaf from the hedge and began to pull it apan with my hands. Terry said, “Look what you are doing, teasing me.” I felt withdrawal wasn’t the way and staned to follow him, walking alongside the hedge. I said, “It feels like you are strangling me, so why don’t you do it and kill me?” (We have been going through a lot of sexual withdrawal, Terry saying his sexuality was his to do with as he wanted.)’ (Sally P). This second dream of Sally’s is a shrewd summing up of Terry’s sexual fears. In fact Terry suffered a great deal of anxiety about sex, and later uncovered the son of fear and desire to avoid giving his mother satisfaction in becoming a full blooded man shown in the dream. Our unconscious is a very capable psychologist, and while Terry in Sally’s dream represents her insights regarding him—and must not be seen as a statement of fact about Terry—such insights are often enormously useful in dealing with relationship difficulties.
Example: ‘Was in a house with my wife. Outside the door was something which wanted to come into her—an invisible being. We were frightened and it said “Do not be afraid, I want you to put your penis in your wife and wait for me to activate you. In that way you will form a body for me.” I woke and realised the dream was moving me to parenthood. Already having three children I realised this would mean another 20 years of responsibility. Nevertheless my wife and I made love. Two weeks later I dreamt my wife was pregnant with a son. In fact nine months later she bore a son’ (Nigel I). In this interesting dream sequence the penis is Nigel’s drive to be a father. See castrate; bed; knob; pole; reptiles; sausage; examples in flower and tunnel. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘I was outdoors with a group of people acting as leader. We were in the middle of a war situation with bullets playing around us. Maybe aeroplanes were also attacking. I was leading the group from cover to cover, avoiding the bullets’ (Paul W). Despite feeling attacked, either by external events, or from inner conflicts, Paul is using leadership skills to deal with his own fears and tendencies.
If a friend told us he had just had an argument with his wife and was going to leave her, we might sit down and counsel them by listening and helping them to son out the hun feelings from their long- term wishes. We might point out they had felt this way before, but it passed—in other words give feedback they had missed. In a similar way, our various emotions and drives often need this son of skill employed by ourself. This unifies us, leading to coping skills as in Paul’s dream.
Example: Walking alone through a small town. I was heading for a place that a group of people, in a street parallel to mine, were also heading for.
A person from the group tried to persuade me that the right way to get to the place was along the street the group was walking. I knew the street did not matter, only the general direction.
The person was quite disturbed by my independence. It made him or her feel uncenain co have their leader apparently questioned. I felt uncenain too for a moment’ (Ivor S).
A group of people, as in Ivor’s dream, can also depict how one meets the pressure of social norms. As social relationship is one of the most imponant factors outside personal survival—and survival depends upon it— such dreams help us to clarify our individual contact with society. Human beings have an unconscious but highly developed sense of the psychological social environment. Ivor’s dream shows something we are all involved in—how we are relating to humans collectively. Are we in conflict with group behaviour and direction? Do we conform, but perhaps have conflict with our individual drives? Do we find a way between the opposites? Much of our response is laid down in childhood and remains unconscious unless we review it.
In some dreams, a group of people represent what is meant by the word God. This may sound unlikely, but the unconscious, because it is highly capable of synthesis, often looks at humanity as a whole. Collectively humanity has vast creative and destructive powers which intimately affect us as individuals. Collectively it has performed miracles which, looked at as an individual, appear impossible. How could a little human being build the Great Pyramid, or a space shuttle? The Bible echoes this concept in such phrases as Whatever you do to the least of one of these, you do to me. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A cenain theme may have begun in childhood and continued throughout our life—either without change, or as a gradually changing series of dreams. It might be that the feature which recurs is a setting, perhaps a house we visit again and again, but the details differ. Sometimes a senes of such dreams begin after or dunng a particular event or phase of our life, such as puberty or marriage.
Example: ‘This dream has recurred over 30 years. There is a railway station, remote in a rural area, a central waiting room with platform going round all sides. On the platform mill hundreds of people, all men I think. They are all ragged, thin, dirty and unshaven. I know I am among them. I looked up at the mountainside and there is a guard watching us. He is cruel looking, oriental, in green fatigues. On his peaked cap is a red star. He carries a machine gun. Then I looked at the men around me and I realise they are all me. Each one has my face. I am looking at myself. Then I feel fear and terror (Anon.).
The theme of the dream can incorporate anxious emotions, such as the above example, or any aspect of experience. One woman, an epileptic, reports a dream which is the same in every detail and occurs every night. In general such dreams recur because there are ways the dreamer habitually responds to their internal or external world. Because their attitude or response is unchanging, the dream which reflects it remains the same.
It is noticeable in those who explore their dreams using such techniques as described under dream processing that recurring themes disappear or change because the attitudes or habitual anxieties which gave rise to them have been met or transformed.
A recurring environment in a dream where the other factors change is not the same. We use the same words over and over in speech, yet each sentence may be different.
The environment or character represents a particular aspect of oneself, but the different events which surround it show it in the changing process of our psychological growth. Where there is no such change, as in the examples above, it suggests an area of our mental emotional self is stuck in a habitual feeling state or response.
Some recurring dreams can be ‘stopped’ by simply receiving information about them. One woman dreamt the same dream from childhood. She was walking past railings in the town she lived in as a child. She always woke in dread and perspiration from this dream. At 40 she told her sister about it.
The response was ‘Oh, that’s simple. Don’t you remember that when you were about four we were walking past those railings and we were set on by a bunch of boys. Then I said to them, ‘Don’t hurt us, our mother’s dead!” They left us alone, but you should have seen the look on your face.’ After realising the dread was connected with the loss of her mother, the dream never recurred. Another woman who repeatedly dreamt of being in a tight and frightening place, found the dream never returned after she had connected it to being in the womb.
Recurring dreams, such as that of the railings, suggest that pan of the process underlying dreams is a self regulatory (homocostatic) one.
The dream process tries to present troublesome emotions or situations to the conscious mind of the dreamer to resolve the trauma or difficulty underlying the dream.
An obvious example of this is seen in the recurring nightmare of a young woman who felt a piece of cloth touch her face, and repeatedly woke her family with her screams. Her brother, tiring of this, one night woke her from her screams and made her talk about her feelings. His persistence gradually revealed that she associated the cloth with the burial shroud of her grandmother. This brought to the surface grief and feelings about death she had never allowed herself to feel before.
The nightmare never returned. See nightmares; dream processing. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
At its most fundamental, the human religious sense emerges out of several factors. One is the awareness of existing amidst external and internal forces of nature which cause us to feel vulnerable and perhaps powerless. Such natural processes as illness, death, growth and decay, earthquakes, the seasons, confront us with things which are often beyond our ability to control. Considenng the information and resources of the times, one of religion’s main functions in the past was the attempted control of the ‘uncertain’ factors in human life, and help towards psychological adjustment to valine rability. Religions were the first social programmes aiding the human need for help and support towards emotional, mental, physical and social health and maturity. Even if primitive, such programmes helped groups of people to gain a common identity and live in reasonable harmony together. Like a computer program which is specific to a particular business, such programmes were specific to a particular group, and so are outdated in today’s need for greater integration with other races. Religions also offered some sort of concept of and connection with the roots of being.
Example: ‘For two nights running I have dreamt the same nightmare. I am in a chapel walking down the first flight of several flights of steps when I hear loud noises behind me. I am told to run, being warned of the soldiers who ride the cavalry horses nght down the steps, and who run you over if you are in their way.
The horses are fierce and they absolutely race down the steps at the same time every day, and you literally have to lock yourself away in a nearby room which is a long way down the chapel. I ran into the room hearing the pounding of the horses’ hooves. It was a terrible pandemonium in that chapel. In the room were school children the same age as me and some perhaps younger’ (Maria H). Maria, who is 16, in describing her dream says she had recently been confronted with whether to have a sexual relationship with her boyfriend. Religion, represented by the chapel, is Maria’s way of locking out her powerful sexual urges. Many dreams show that religion, as a set of beliefs, is used as a way of avoiding anxiety in the face of life’s uncertainties.
For many people, the rigid belief system helps them to avoid uncertainty in making decisions.
Dreams also portray and define the aspect of human experience in which we sense a kinship with all life forms. This is the side of spiritual expenence through which we find a connection with the roots of our being. While awake we might see the birth of a colt and feel the wonder of emergence and newness; the struggle to stand up and survive, the miracle of physical and sexual power which can be accepted or feared. In looking in the faces of fellow men and women we see something of what they have done in this strange and painful wonder we call life. We see whether they have been crushed by the forces confronting them; whether they have become ngid; or whether, through some common miracle, they have been able to carry into their mature years the laughter, the crying, the joy, the ability to feel pain, that are the very signs of life within the human soul. These things are sensed by us all, but seldom organised into a comprehensive view of life, and an extraction of meaning. Often it is only in our dreams, through the ability the unconscious has to draw out the significance of such widely divergent expenences, that we glimpse the unity behind phenomena which is an essential of spiritual life, i.e. we all have a life, we breathe, we have come from a mother, so share a universal experience.
Example: To quote J.B. Priestley from his book Rain Upon Godshill: ‘Just before I went to Amenca, dunng the exhausting weeks when I was busy with my Time Plays, I had such a dream, and I think it left a greater impression on my mind than any experience I had ever known before, awake or in dreams, and said more to me about this life than any book I have ever read.
The setting of the dream was quite simple, and owed something to the fact that not long before my wife had visiied the lighthouse here at St Catherine’s to do some bird ringing. I dreamt I was standing at the top of a very high tower, alone, looking down upon myriads of birds all flying in one direction; every kind of bird was there, all the birds in the world. It was a noble sight, this vast aerial river of birds. But now in some mysterious fashion the gear was changed, and time speeded up, so that I saw generations of birds, watched them break their shells, flutter into life, mate, weaken, falter and die. Wings grew only to crumble; bodies were sleek, and then, in a flash bled and shrivelled; and death struck everywhere at every second. What was the use of all this blind struggle towards life, this eager trying of wings, this hurried mating, this flight and surge, all this gigantic meaningless effort? As I stared down, seeming to see every creature’s ignoble little history almost at a glance, I felt sick at heart. It would be better if not one of them, if not one of us, had been bom, if the struggle ceased for ever. I stood on my tower, still alone, desperately unhappy. But now the gear was changed again, and the time went faster still, and it was rushing by at such a rate, that the birds could not show any movement, but were like an enormous plain sown with feathers. But along this plain, flickering through the bodies themselves, there now passed a sort of white flame, trembling, dancing, then hurrying on; and as soon as I saw it I knew that this white flame was life itself, the very quintessence of being; and then it came to me, in a rocket burst of ecstasy, that nothing mattered, nothing could ever matter, because nothing else was real but this quivering and hurrying lambency of being. Birds, men and creatures not yet shaped and coloured, all were of no account except so far as this flame of life travelled through them. It left nothing to mourn over behind it, what I had thought was tragedy was mere emptiness or a shadow show; for now all real feeling was caught and purified and danced on ecstatically with the white flame of life. I had never before felt such deep happiness as I knew at the end of my dream of the tower and the birds.’
Some Nonh American Indians developed the totem out of similar processes. In one generation a person might learn to plant a seed and eat the results. Later someone might see that through fertilisation more food was produced. Still later someone found that by irrigating, still more improvement was made. No one individual was responsible for such vital cultural information, and the collective information is bigger than any one person, yet individuals can partake of it and add to it.
The totem represented such subtle realities, as it might in a modem dream; as Christ might in today’s unconscious. That older cultures venerated their collective information, and that modem humans seem largely apathetic to it, shows how our ‘religion’ has degenerated. Yet utilising the power of the unconscious to portray the subtle influences which impinge upon us, and building the information gained into our response to life, is deeply important.
With the growth of authoritarian structures in western religion, and the dominance of the rational mind over feeling values, dreams have been pushed into the background. With this change has developed the sense that visionary dreams were something which ‘superstitious* cultural groups had in the past. Yet thoroughly modem men and women still meet Christ powerfully in dreams and visions. Christ still appears to them as a living being.
The transcendental, the collective or universal enters their life just as frequently as ever before. Sometimes it enters with insistence and power, because a too rational mind has led to an unbalance in the psyche—a balance in which the waking and rational individuality is one pole, and the feeling, connective awareness of the unconscious is the other.
Although it is tempting to think of the transcendent as ethereal or unreal, the religious in dreams is nearly always a symbol for the major processes of maturing in human life. We are the hero/ine who meets the dangers of life outside the womb, who faces growth, ageing and death.
The awe and deep emotions we unconsciously feel about such heroic deeds are depicted by religious emotion.
See angel; Christ, rebirth and Devil under archetypes; church; evil; fish, sea creatures; example in whale under fish, sea creatures; heaven, hell; sweets under food; dream as spiritual guide. See also hero/ine; mass; masturbation; old; paralysis; colours; sheep under animals. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
This suggests that dreams are almost entirely about giving attention to, being aware of, being confronted by, considering or realising some aspect of the enormously wide range of experience which human consciousness meets. Therefore, whatever appears in the dream shows we are giving some thought to, feeling or confronting what is depicted. During each day we meet, in sensory impressions, in memory, in emotion, in thought, a huge variety of things.
It is therefore of great interest what comparatively few subjects our spontaneous dream response chooses to give attention to out of all the range. It seems likely these chosen areas are important to us.
Looking at something implies our attitudes or response to what is seen. Being looked at by someone else in the dream suggests seeing oneself from a viewpoint which is not our norm. By actually attempting to stand in the role of the other person, as described in dream processing, we can become conscious of this different viewpoint. By standing in our own role in the dream, and actually taking time to consider what it is we are ‘seeing, and the impressions involved, we can ‘see’ or become aware of what the dream is getting us to look at regarding ourself. Idioms: from the look of things; look after, look askance at; look at; look before you leap; look blue, look down on; look for, look forward to; look into; look out, look over something; look small; look the other way; look up to; look for a fight; not like the look of; as far as I can see; as I see it; do you see what I mean; I’ll see about that; I see, see over something; overseer; see eye to eye; see life; see red; see which way the wind blows; catch sight of; get out of my sight, in sight of; lose sight of; out of sight, out of mind, second sight; at first sight. See searching. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘I was in a crowd around a church’ (Efrosyni G).
If we looked at the rest of Efrosyni’s dream we might lose the impact of this very first ‘scene setting’ statement.
If we look up crowd, we find under. Talking to, leading, or part of crowd at a central event, ‘an impulse or idea which unifies many parts of one’s own nature’. So here is something which Efrosyni is deeply interested in. Many of her feelings are involved in it. Looking up church we find ‘religious feeling or beliefs, in- eluding moral code, or our feelings about organised religion*. So it is against Efrosyni’s religious beliefs that the rest of the dream drama unfolds.
Example: I was in a house with old clothes and was washing up* (Mrs PR).
The entry on house says it is P’s everyday feeling state, her general image of herself.
The old clothes are a sense of being old or unattractive. Washing up suggests she feels there are things to clear up concerning what is happening in her life. But it also suggests she sees herself as unexciting. Having clarified that—she feels old and uninteresting, and this needs to be cleaned up or dealt with—the very next pan of the dream explodes into view with meaning. My daughter’s husband to be came in. I admired the way he dressed and he turned his back on me.’ At the end of her dream P feels ‘lost and rejected’. By clarifying the opening scene, it seems likely P looks at her daughter in her new romance (P being 50, a divorcee, and at the tail end of a whirlwind romance’) and feels jealous. Maybe she even hopes to attract her daughter’s man away from her, but he indicates there is no hope. Basically, after her romance, P feels unwanted and rejected.
The helpfulness of the dream, however, is that the first scene shows P the son of feelings about herself that she is living with daily—feelings of being old and uninteresting. Shifting those feelings can change the way others react to her. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: My lover was standing behind me, and John, my husband, was standing in front of me. I was asking John to have sex with me and at the same time thinking, “Oh, hell, if he does he will think we have something going between us.” I felt no flow towards John but felt somehow I was trying to tell my lover that I was desirable’ (Sally A). Sally’s dream needs no interpretation. Such clear dreams show that Sally is ready to be directly aware of what she is doing in her relationships.
If the sex in the dream is deeply symbolised, it suggests the dreamer is less willing to be aware of their motivations or connected painful feelings. Even though Sally’s dream was clear, it was still dealing with an area of her sexuality she was not clearly conscious of.
If she had been aware, it is doubtful whether she would have dreamt it.
Example: ‘I was in a farmyard.
A small boy climbed all over the bull. It became terribly angry. It had been chained without attention too long. Now it tore away and sought the cows.
The gates were closed, but the bull smashed through the enclosing fence. I rushed to the fence and sat astride it, but on seeing that the bull smashed it like match wood, I looked around for some safe place.
The bull charged the first cow to mount it, but so terrible was its energy and emotion that it could not express as sex. It smashed the cow aside as it had done the fence. Then it rushed the next and tossed it over its head, charging and smashing the next. I climbed into somebody’s garden, trying to get out of the district’ (Arthur J). Although this dream depicts Arthur’s chained’ sexual drive using the bull, it is still fairly obvious.
If we consider the setting and plot of the dream, as suggested above, we see that Arthur is desperately trying to avoid responsibility for, or trying to escape, his own sexual drive—figuratively ‘sitting on the fence’.
Example: ‘My husband and I were walking down a road. We were going in the same direction together. I started to sing with a very happy feeling but then felt I should stop because he would say the happiness was because I had had sex. I sensed he knew what I was thinking as I walked along. He then quietly began to sing and the dream ended with me smiling to myself. We had sexual cut off for four weeks but had made love that afternoon’ (Joan W). In talking about this dream Joan said she felt it slightly embarrassing to admit that sex gave her feelings of happiness. She liked to believe she was perfectly happy without it.
It is probably out of the slight conflict between her conscious attitude and her feeling of well-being after sex that the dream was produced. See animals; adolescent; affair; devil, Christ, Shadow under archetypes; bag; banana; bed; example in bite; black person; breasts and penis under body; bud; candle; cane; castration; ceremony, ritual; clothes; compensatory theory; cuckoo; cup; dam; dance; third example in danger; defence mechanisms; dragon; drum; emotions, mood; ejaculation; second example under evil; founh example under husband in family; feelings; homosexuality; horns; hostility; example in door under house, buildings; hypnosis and dreams; insects; jungle; kiss, left, right; lift; second example under light; man; masturbation; mirror; murder; nest; oval; pole; prostitute; purse; rape; refrigerate; religion and dreams; first example under reptiles; sadism; sex while asleep; wordplay, puns. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences