Dreams are a never ending source of entertainment and personal insight in our nightly world.
They offer experiences of fear, joy, running, flying and so on, which feel as real as our experiences in our waking lives.
C. G. Jung regarded them as offering a hidden doorway from our ego-consciousness mind into the secretive recesses of our psyche. The psyche, that broader and deeper area of our consciousness which predates the formation of our ego-mind.
Dreams have a highly symbolic format, which may need some thought and assistance to understand. What are they really trying to tell us?
Sometimes dreams seem to be derived from our cultural mysths and ledgends. At other times they may be our representation of archetypal energies; those patterns of being and behaving, and our perception and responses, through which we live out the drama of our lives.
In a therapeutic setting, our dreams may well give important insights into our unfolding lives. Here dreams may be created through several layers of our being; from our baser physical needs to our subtler spiritual yearnings.
Perhaps they are areas of our being that we have cut off from or repressed which are looking for an opportunity to find expression.
One way of working with our dreams and to reap the rewards of their messages, is to have a dream diary by our bedside. Then we can jot them down before we forget them.
Interpreting our dreams is very much a personal matter. Dream dictionaries may be a good way to get us started in their interpretation, but this is just a guide and is not definitive.
Another approach is to engage with our dreams in a conscious way. For instance by re-entering our dream and asking it what this or that means within it. This method can also be used to encourage dreams to develop further and reveal more. This skill may take some practice, and is one of the key abilities of a shaman’s repertoire.
1. Memories, Dreams & Reflections,
C. G. Jung,
1995, Fontana Press, London, UK.
2. The Transpersonal
2008, Routledge, London, UK.
© David R. Durham