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Introduction to Dream Interpretation

I am at a time of year when my obligation to social duty {the business that makes my living and which requires so much mental energy} where it is sometimes difficult to get in touch with that 'intuitive' self that is required for me to properly interpret dreams. That 'creative' part of me I use when working with dreams is diluted to such a degree I will not attempt to interpret a dream. But I still need to focus on the dream and related matters of the psyche help to get away from the 'thinking' about business. Being in that position alone is not condusive to a the 'higher self', so I will post this to help revitalize my 'intuitive' mind so by the morning my sense of the dream returns to its high pinnacle.

by Robert Winer, M.D..

I just happened across this article and I must say it properly and in many aspects 'precisely' reflects my thoughts of the dream world and how to interpret dreams. Properly because it is from a 'Jungian' perspective {which I believe is the most correct path to understanding dreams}, and precisely because it so near to how I view the unconscious world of dreams. Much of the language is so near my positions at times I thought I was reading something I may have written at the Dream Forum. Not to equate my 'intelligence' to Dr. Winer, that is a no brainer {with me having the lesser brain by miles}. I do believe it shows my approach to Jungian psyche is on the right/same track as the 'academia world' but my interest and 'knowing' is more intuitive {I consider myself an 'intuitive jungian' being self taught over the past 18 years}. Dr. Winer and academia are empirically motivated in their knowledge. And perhaps intuitive insights on Dr. Winer's part since we are so close to agreement about the dream and psyche.

Here are some exerpts from the article and my thoughts. These are some points I feel important about dreams and the deep psyche. There are several parts of the article I find lacking depth, some I even disagree with, but overall I see it as a good formula to use when working with dreams. I am touching on just a few of the positions in the article but in general the whole paper fits with my thoughts on the 'world of dreams' and how to approach dreams for interpretation.

The Purpose of Dreams
My comments/thoughts/emphasis will appear in the color blue
Article: Dreams are revealers of inner thoughts, feelings, sensations, intuitions, and creative contents -- both those known and unknown to the dreamer

Add the term 'emotions' as the key word and you have what I believe the dream to be the true purposes of our dreams.

These are the key elements
  • the conflict, split, or merger between the position of the unconscious and one's conscious situation, attitude, drives, motivations, and desires.

  • areas where we are non-adapted, out of balance, immature, or in need of growth

  • important information that we are issued during the day {emotional conflicts we experience during our waking hours}, clarifying feelings and emotions, or even provide a different viewpoint of our situation {the objectivity of dreams}.

  • plus some possible consequences if we continue on in our current direction.

  • as in, recurrent dreams or nightmares, unresolved areas which we are ignoring. The fear usually means too great a distance between the conscious attitude and the content. The recurrence {emotional energy attached to the experience} generally means that the content is of sufficient importance to us that its manifestation in dreams continues until we grasp its meaning {or resolve the conflict}.

    Understanding the Conscious and Subconscious (Unconscious)

    Article:The unconscious is continuous and vast; it is the original state of humankind as can clearly be seen from the study of child development.

    Consciousness is not the natural state of human beings; it is tiring and requires the expenditure of huge amounts of energy.

    we came from no thing {God is unnameable} and return to that same place. We were unconscious first, then we became conscious....and human

    People in Our Dreams

    People are a common occurrence in dreams. Generally, people in dreams reflect the inner life, sometimes showing the various parts of the dreamer's personality. Those unfamiliar with dream interpretation, usually assume that when they "see" another person in their dreams that the dream was meant for that person. Then there is an eagerness to tell the other person about it. Before you consider doing that, understand that when you do this, that the majority of people seen in dreams are a subjective representative rather than an literal one.

    Ask the Key Questions
    Whenever you encounter another person in dream, ask yourself these two questions:

    What is a single word that describes my current opinion of the person?
    and then apply that description to aspects that fit you

    What is the person doing in the dream that I am doing in real-life?
    what that person is doing is what you are doing, or should be doing

    The person is chosen in the dream for their symbolic representation. We all come to associate certain people with certain actions or characteristics. If they are known to you, consider what the dream is saying about that person as a reflection of a part of you. There also may be emotional considerations that come through the dream's choice of a particular person.

    Our Shadow Parts

    When in a dream you encounter another person whose identity is unknown to you, perhaps they represent the parts of your personality that are under-developed, not wanted, or areas that you are not consciously aware of. These may represent your "shadow" or "hidden" parts. I find that this is different from when you see yourself in a dream, as this often represents those parts of yourself that are known.

    most often the shadow is of the same gender as the dreamer.

    Sometimes, the faces of people or the dreamer is not seen in a dream. This may be how the shadow is represented. Also the person's visual image being blurred, unrecognized, or absent. Jung and others suggest that the shadow is typically the same sex as the dreamer and generally the shadow's attributes are not consciously known.

    our shadow parts are often the exact opposite of what we think they are.

    There are parts of yourself that you do not consciously recognize and understanding these parts is an important step toward becoming whole.

    When an emotional conflict is not dealt with it will come into our dreams. The intent is to help the dreamer work through the conflict and resolve it. This is the therapeutic aspect of dreams

    In our dreams we may try to "kill" these areas of our live that we are conflicted about.

    symbolic images of being killed, or the killing of someone, these are those aspects about ourselves we are wanting to kill, eliminate, or change

    Gender in Dreams

    Jung and his followers identified an unconscious gender-specific side of people which he called the animus (male) / anima (female). Jungian theory asserts that males have an unconscious female side and females have an unconscious male side.

    This anima/animus aspect is an inclusion of almost all dreams. When I interpret a dream I want to know the gender, as well as age, of the dreamer since the sex of a person in a dream determines what the aspect the symbol is representing. A female {especially an unknown or unnamed female} in a man's dream would represent feminine aspects of the male dreamer {he may possess compassionate qualities, is an intuitive person, traits that are generally thought of as being possessed by women}. The same goes for a man in a woman's dream.

    People in your dreams may also represent a side of your personality that you regard as having the opposite gender characteristics of your self. There is a definite cultural and generational aspect to this area of dream symbolism. There are many characteristics that we associate with a particular gender, such as empathy being female. It is normal and natural for this to be manifested in the dream as a woman talking to you, but it is inaccurate to describe empathy as your female side or anima. Another example is strength. Are you a person who regards strength as a male characteristic? What about gentleness, is that female? Here's what I suggest: if you are woman, ask yourself if there are characteristics that you associate with maleness. Do the same if you're male.

    Animals in Our Dream

    Generally, animals in our dreams represent one of the following:

  • Our emotions, such as fear, hatred, jealousy, lust, pride, ambition, or anger.

  • A personality or character trait, such as a lion representing bravery or a fox representing slyness, or serpent or snake representing craftiness.

  • A particular animal that has some special meaning to us, such as a family dog.

  • It's important to observe what the animal is doing in the dream. Being chased by an animal is quite common and should prompt the question, "Is there anything or emotion I'm afraid of right now?" This should be followed by the consideration of whether the dream is suggesting that you accept this particular emotion. Some have found that fear-provoking, charging animals become friendly when we accept their message about our inside state. Facing our fears can be done by confronting the animal of our dreams upon awakening and asking, "Who are you?"

    These are some great points, simply put, that will help those interested in dreams. The ifficulty with Jung is his often 'difficult' language and his often times turning focus on another subject while explaining the first subject, then a reversal back to the original topic, and so on, often several times in teh general discussion of the original topic matter. What is so great about Joseph Campbell was his ability to 'articulate' Jungian thought/philosophy so the average mind {like myself} is able to understand. When a person taps into these deeper aspects of the psyche they are often captivated with what they find. My belief is there are things 'hidden', beyond the personal aspects, that can awaken the soul of an individual to a higher consciousness. And with that a better opportunity to live a truly balanced and harmoneous life, centered on the creative, living the bliss that fits the soul. And as objective as one might required to be in living life, it is those mysteries that carry us beyond the norm and invoke a sense of worth, finding true meaning in the individual life.


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Re: Introduction to Dream Interpretation

Get the rest that you my dear so rightfully deserve. The things in life, and the visions in dreams can weigh us down, or simply put; burn us out. Before being an awesome interpretor, you are human, and like every living creature that God has created, we need to be nourished, watered (replinished), and given sun light (see the brighter side of things).

As much as I can read, I know I will never understand how exhausted you've become from interpreting thousands over a thousand times someone's nightmare, or pleasant dream. Get some rest. Put the D.N.D sign (Do Not DREAM...LOL) on the door.

Take care of you...Latoya

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