Journeying Toward Wholeness

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What Does the Meaning of My Dreams Have to Do with My LIfe? #2

September 21st, 2015 · No Comments · meaning my dreams

As we began to discuss in the last post, how can I learn “the meaning of my dreams”, in a way that makes a concrete difference in my life?

meaning my dreams

We can’t control our dreams’ content, but there are things we can do, to be open to what the unconscious may be telling us in our dreams.

Write Those Dreams Down!

meaning my dreamsI may sound like a broken record, but this is very important — if you want your dreams to make any pragmatic difference in your life.

Research shows that we tend to forget our dreams immediately upon starting to move around, as when we get up and start their morning.  Also, memory isn’t always perfectly reliable. If a dream isn’t comfortable to the ego, our memory can often be unconsciously changed around to fit the ego’s comfort level.  Impossible, you say?  Ask a traffic policeman about the reliability of peoples’ actual memories of road accidents.

Accept That Dream “Language” is Unique

meaning my dreams
The ship… a common dream symbol

Very often I’ve sat with therapy clients, who show me a dream, with some embarrassment.  They apologize for the dream, saying “this is really silly”, or, “this doesn’t make any sense”.  Of course, from the perspective of waking consciousness, they’re absolutely right.

Dreams simply don’t “make sense” the way that everyday reality “makes sense”.   They don’t tell stories logically, viewed from the perspective of the waking mind, because the levels of the brain where dreams originate don’t process things logically, but rather imagistically, or symbolically.

To understand the dream, we must get inside its language, its way of telling a story.  We have to understand the symbols and images, and the way that the dream puts them together.

Get Beyond Preconceptions about the Meaning of My Dreams

Our preconceptions or theories about our dreaming can be a big roadblock.  The ego often has plenty of ideas and theories about what we should be dreaming about, but, they may not match the concerns of the unconscious mind.

Recently I posted the photo and quote below on Twitter, which is very relevant to our current topic.

meaning my dreams

C.G. Jung was remarkable in his ability to keep an open mind about the meaning of dreams.  Where most of us cling tightly to our prize theories, Jung sat loosely to his.

He was often able to suspend a lot of assumptions about the meaning of images, and really focus on what that particular symbol might mean for that particular individual.  He didn’t believe that the same symbol means the same thing all the time.  As Prof. Mary Ann Mattoon put it, “he looked for a meaning that exceeded the obvious and immediate appearance of the image and accorded with the dreamer’s experience.

We’ll better understand our own dreams, if we can keep a truly open mind about their meaning.

Finding the Meaning of My Dreams on My Own is Difficult, If Not Impossible

Our ego has a strong need to create control and order.  It doesn’t easily accept that it has blind spots, or a partial view of reality.  Yet, even geniuses can’t fully comprehend reality.  Nicola Tesla, engineering genius par excellance, was for his whole life consumed by an irrational fear of women’s pearls.  Likely we have similar loopholes.  It’s extremely difficult to accept that we simply can’t  comprehensively understand most dreams.  Yet we must accept it, and we’re greatly benefitted by the perspective of someone who has a sound knowledge of the ways of dreams.

The dream may be trying to tell us something that is difficult for us to hear.  Yet, if someone else can help us to take it in, it may be the source of real transformation in our lives

The Ultimate Test of a Dream Interpretation

The ultimate test of a dream interpretation: the dream rings true to the dreamer.  This is often accompanied by a sense of insight, or “aha!”, and a feeling that our view of ourselves is somehow more whole or more complete.

That “felt sense” awareness of an expanding sense of self is at the very heart of the experience of depth psychotherapy .

Brian Collinson, Registered Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst

PHOTOS:  Attribution Share Alike  ©  Mark Strobl ; waferboard ;  ; John Fowler ;
© 2015 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

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