Are you someone who is interested in working with your dreams? While dreams are not often talked about in our modern culture, they have been topics of great interest for luminaries in the field of psychology. For example: Carl Jung, the great psychologist who gave us the concepts of introvert and extrovert thought dreams were bridges to the unconscious, a part of our psyche we could only access through them. I have worked with my dreams over the past few years and learnt many things from them. This time, I want to share some pointers that might help you relate to your own dreams better.
Dreams often provide a mirror for us to look in.
Recently, I had a dream where I was chewing gum that I seemed to have chewed for a long time. It had lost all its flavor, and was getting stuck on my gums. But still, I kept on chewing. In my day-to-day life, I had been thinking again and again about a topic, something I had been indignant about for a long time. It seemed as if the dream was saying that I was chewing on things way past what was good for me.
It’s important to not take dreams literally.
While there might sometimes be prophetic (or what feels prophetic) dreams, often dream images enact a symbolic truth. For example: Noted dream worker Jeremy Taylor talks about how sometimes, children, as they grow up, have dreams of their parents dying. This is a metaphorical death. The kind of parent that a child needed at one stage has to give way to make way for a different kind of parent at a new stage, for example, when a child starts school. This is an important psychological truth. The old way of being is dying. A new way is being born.
Dreams often compensate for something that is lacking in our conscious attitude.
Sometimes, we might be too identified with a certain point of view in our everyday life. Then, a dream arrives to compensate for this one-sided perspective. For example: A person who was working through the therapeutic process with Jung consciously thought of himself as a person with no moral problems. He was consciously identified with this viewpoint. But then, he had a dream in which he was “a drunken tramp wallowing in a ditch beside the road.” Obviously, this man is not a tramp. But the dream is compensating for a conscious attitude. It might be saying that just as that man is not a drunken tramp, so it is likely that he is not a person with zero moral problems. The pendulum is swinging to the other extreme in the dream. It is also pointing that the man probably does have things to work on.
These are just a few things that might be starting points for you to start relating to your dreams and inner world. If you are interested in learning about some books on dream work that you might enjoy, you might like this article I wrote for the Sensitive Evolution blog. In one section, I talk about books on dream work that have helped me personally.
What do you think? Do you feel a curiosity about your own dream world?
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