09 January 2006

Dream Interpretation 101

I posted a weird dream a couple of days ago, but have since had a couple of days to work out what my residual feelings about it are.

Often, once you get over a dream, it leaves an aftertaste - in other words the most powerful emotion associated with it is the last one to remain, so it is best to look over what you experienced and let it ride for a while, returning to it to see what effect it still has. There is nothing gnawing at me, no sense of guilt or concern, so I'm fine.

Someone, however, very kindly offered to send me an interpretation privately and warned me it was a 'bad news' dream, so that's what I want to address here, the concept of bad news dreams, which I don't believe exist. All those dream interpretation books that terrify people with statements such as 'dreaming of losing a tooth means a member of your family will die' - they are all so much damaging hooey.

Dream or vision?

To start we have to distinguish between a regular dream and what we would call a vision, ie between your own head working stuff out and the possibility of someone or something else flying in to tell you stuff you didn't know. In a nutshell it's the WTF factor.

Visions are generally called that because the viewer feels disassociated from the creation of the scene - all the action is experienced in a 'where did that come from?' kind of way, so you end up feeling totally convinced that there was no way you could have made it up yourself.

That's not to say that all visions are visions - look at schizophrenia, where the mind conjures up voices that say things so apparently at odds with the sufferer's own outlook, that they end up convinced they are being instructed by an alternate power.

Clairaudience differs, in that, apparently, all schizophrenic 'voices' are male. Scientists now believe that the brain stores male voices in one place and female voices somewhere else, near or in the area associated with music. That is such a handy excuse for men to treat women's speech as background noise (like lift musack) that I hesitate to mention it, but then again, if you do 'hear' disembodied female voices then you probably don't have a classically defined mental illness; which is nice for you.

Life Jigsaws

Dreams, however upsetting, that do not leave you with an unsettling sensation of third party involvement, are simply dreams, and by that I mean communication of the subconscious, not the astral body, or some guide or guardian angel, or God. Just you.

Its like getting a front seat to watch your subconscious string things together; this goes with this and that goes with that and action A will or won't have consequence B.

Some of the stuff your head dredges up to associate with recent learning can be absolutely years old. I guess you could say its like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle when there's no picture and no edge pieces. Your head might suddenly realise that a piece of the picture that it laid down when you were six actually fits perfectly with a piece you just attained and that the two together begin to make sense, if you place them somewhere else in the grand scheme. Its all shuffle and reshuffle, test joins and accept or discard them.

Physical Influences.

Its been long said that if you drip water on someone's face while they sleep, they will dream of something like drowning. If you leave the boiler on overnight, or wrap up too tight and overheat, you can dream of being trapped, or chased, or anything that incorporates building up an uncomfortable heat.

Once these things happen and reach your subconscious, they throw a curve ball in - a sudden change of circumstance, and the dream will try to stay real whilst incorporating that, so everything after that point is useless. Its all just built around a jigsaw piece that doesn't fit and however stressed you are when you wake, that piece will be discarded once you are aware that it had a physical root rather than an emotional one.


This leaves interpretation of a straightforward dream, without physical influences, and that really is a doddle.

Every item and every person is you, because each one, good or bad, represents a thought or emotion of yours.

Sometimes your dream labels real people.
I had a dream once that I woke up outside my own front door, wearing a clown suit. I had to knock to be let in. My (ex) husband let me in and I found a woman we both knew, in my kitchen and making the tea like she owned the place. That was just my subconscious trying to tell me to get my head out of my own butt and realise the suspicion that she was trying her luck and interested in my partner, that she was making a fool of me. It was a dream about what I knew about her, deep down, so 'she' was still the sum of my knowledge of the real one. A representation of a clump of facts as well as emotions, but still a part of me.
In a subsequent dream I stamped on 'her' repeatedly until all the air came out of her like a blow up doll , folded her up tiny, sealed her in a bag and dropped her down the drain never to return. That time 'she' represented the nagging frustration that I was taunting myself with, that I had let a slapper get that close in the first place. It wasn't about her so much as about exorcising the anger I had left over.

Your house is your situation.

The people and monsters are all elements of your emotions. They either cluster into imaginary people, bodies to hold 'one way of looking at things' or into recognisable faces if they relate specifically to that 'real' person.

Scary corridors mean elements of your psyche you have previously avoided investigating.

Battling a monster means you are scared of something, running from it means you are trying not to face up to something.

All the people who tell you things are just ifs and buts and maybes.

'I can do this' means that, on an emotional/spiritual level at least, you can do this; flying, shape shifting, walking under water.

Water is a place where you are not supposed to be able to breathe. You are not supposed to be able to switch between that and the air. That's fact. To experience it in your dreams is to work out that you are perfectly capable of doing something that your rational, waking mind, says you shouldn't be able to do. Its great, its an undoing of social taboos (which explains why Freud, in a day when women were either wives or prostitutes and had no public lavatories because officially they didn't have legs or genitalia, put pretty much everything down to sex.) 98% of what was socially taboo was sex related.

Going up high means getting a better view, whether that's improving yourself or taking a look at things from outside the box. Going down means investigating deeper into the foundations of what makes you you.

If you summarise the situation, you can always, always diagnose it. I felt I changed, I felt inadequate, I felt like I didn't know what I was doing, I felt elated.

If you are always King in your dreams, then watch real life - you may have a bit of a superiority complex. If you dream of being shamed or derided then you secretly feel a little inadequate, like you are having to bluff your way through when awake.

If you often talk to dead people (dreams, guys, not visions) then you could be either:
having a revelation (which would feel like accessing secrets), or
reviewing semi redundant character traits or reactions that you had filed away as an old way of thinking ('dead' elements of yourself reanimated), or,
you could just be feeling special, that you have a natural gift for something that you had viewed as impossible.

If the others in your dream are shocked, surprised or dismissive of any dream-skill, then, remembering they are all you, then you are comparing what you would have thought or expected(the crowd of you) with what might actually be the case (the experience.) Whenever anyone, waking or sleeping decides 'People will think X', what they mean is, 'If I were an outsider watching this, I would think X'.


There are no dreams that interpret the future; those are visions and if you have one you can tell it apart.

All dreams are investigations of what's going on in your head right now and sometimes the possible consequences.

Accept that, learn to do logic puzzles or mental jigsaws, and you've got it sorted.


Milt Bogs said...

Good morning Cheryl. I'm just waiting for real life to catch up with my visionary world.

Carol said...

Fascinating, Cheryl. Thanks for taking the time to type all that out. It was very interesting. I'm considering posting a recurring dream that I have had all my life, but hesitate - perhaps I don't really want to know what it means.

Have you decided what your dream meant?

doris said...

Great read. Very interesting. Thanks!

bart said...

great summary here cheryl, but i beg to differ on several points... some of the dreams i have are a combination of both because they definately contain premonitions which i remember and recognise when the moment happens, or afterwards so that everything falls back into place...

secondly, you don't need to sleep to dream... i occasionally go into a kind of half sleepy wakefulness in which everything and everybody is disjointed and surreal, whilst knowing and feeling things that are going on that I should have absolutely no idea of...

it frightens me silly sometimes...

Cheryl said...

Right Mr Bart, I am going to put my bossy old mare hat on for you, because I think I said before (on your blog) that I think you are psychic.

If the alternative to that feels nmore rational to you there is still only one way to be sure - get yourself some training ( there are good chatrooms online, or Spititualist groups if you want to be face to face).

You need to learn focus, as in meditation, to separate the overlay from reality and to be more aware of which state you are in, and most of all you need to learn closure, as in shutting off to the astral world.

Closure will work if this is psychic and won't if it isn't, so its the clearest indicator and the best thing you can aim for first.

I think you are getting dreams and visions mixed up (or visions half way through your dreams!)

(Nagging mode off xx)

Host of Spirits said...

For Bart,

I read your reply and it does sound similar to my experience when I meditate so maybe your are unconsciously meditating.

Spiritual Emergency said...

That's not to say that all visions are visions - look at schizophrenia, where the mind conjures up voices that say things so apparently at odds with the sufferer's own outlook, that they end up convinced they are being instructed by an alternate power.

I was reading the account of a young woman not too long ago who had been hospitalized for a "psychotic break". One of the interns explained to her that a symptom of schizophrenia was the belief that one had been chosen as a messenger of God. "What?" she replied, "You don't believe God sends messengers anymore?" lol. Her lippiness didn't take her far and she soon learned that the best way to get out of the hospital was to shut up and take the drugs.

zilla said...

So what does it mean if you dream of a seemingly inconsequential event, and then that seemingly inconsequential event takes place?

Example: I took in a border during my divorce, to help out with finances. He was rather, overweight, but a good 100 pounds.

I dreamt he sat on one of my four birch patio chairs, and the chair splintered and broke. I was angry and cursed at him.

Soon after, my border sat in one of my birch patio chairs and it splintered and broke, just like in the dream. I said, "Never mind the stupid chair, are you okay?"

What does THAT mean?

Cheryl said...

LOL Zilla!
Can't say what it 'was' (which would tell you bigger implications) but if it was just a dream then you drew the info from your own subconscious - that those chairs were unlikely to hold his/her weight.
Either way you were able to play act the situation like children do with wendy houses, so 98% of the anger and disappointment was faced ahead of time.
I suspect you were waiting for it to happen, on some level, and prepped yourself.

Carol - I decided the dream would have meant something if I hadnt lain funny and squashed my ribs. Once that discomfort seeped in, the dream changed to explain it, so from there it meant nothing.

Spiritual Emergency - pleased to meet you! Love the way you state fact that gets me thinking without actually expressing opinion on who was right - very even handed :-) Respect to you.