You are frantically running away from an unseen pursuer or perhaps a crowd of people. Yet you always wake up before you are caught.
An unknown pursuer often represents an inner force that you are reluctant to acknowledge but which is determined to become a part of your life. The more you try to run from it the more threatening it feels. You therefore need to turn and confront it. When you do you may find that something you assumed was hostile is in fact an ally. The pursuer may symbolize unused abilities or unresolved emotional issues.
Whatever is chasing you could be an unfriendly figure that embodies a situation you feel threatened by in waking life, like an illness, problems at work or difficulties in a relationship. It could also signify a negative aspect of your nature, usually a harsh inner critic that stops you from feeling at peace with yourself.
Being chased by someone you know may mean you are harbouring hostile feelings towards this person that you need to resolve.
Crowds of people who are pursuing you often symbolize the demands you make on yourself in an effort to please others.
Questions to ask yourself - and what to do when the answer is ‘yes’
What am I so desperate to avoid?
Imagine confronting and holding a conversation with your pursuer. What do they want from you? What does your situation look like from their point of view? Could they represent an aspect of yourself you need to develop? This could introduce a new dimension into your life.
Is an aspect of my own nature undermining me?
By running from this inner tyrant you are allowing it to have power over you. It can only do so, though, for as long as you believe that you cannot, or dare not, resist it. Standing up to it will bolster your confidence and enable you to take a bolder approach to challenges in your waking life.
Do / tend to put myself out too much for others?
The dream is encouraging you to be more discriminating in the way you use your time. It’s good to help others, but unwise to identify so completely with their needs that you underestimate your own.
(1) If the pursuer is an animal, the meaning may be that some (‘animal’?) part of you made you anxious in the past and you therefore repressed it, but it is now threatening to overcome you. Identify the repressed emotion or instinctive impulse and enter into dialogue with it, with a view to giving it a proper place in your conscious life.
(2) If a policeman, father or other authority figure is chasing you, you may have an over-developed super-ego. See also Punishment, section (3).
(3) Otherwise, the pursuer(s) may represent something which or someone who constitutes a threat in your domestic or work life.... A Dictionary of Dream Symbols