Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst
Gerald Gifford {at Forum #1}

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Since 2012

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The baby

Background: I had children at a young age and now they are grown and have left home. I have also recently retired from my career in investment banking (2 years ago) to pursue my passions of spirituality and writing. In this new phase of life, I am intensely focused on my spiritual development towards enlightenment/individuation.

The Dream - The Baby - Part 1

I was pregnant! Advanced stage and realised I was to have a baby soon. Very scared and reluctant to take on the responsibility but nothing I could do. My ex- husband was accepting it as his, although there was no way it could be. I was trying to remember who the father could be, who I had slept with 2 years ago (gestation period was 2 years apparently). All I could remember was that it was a tall dark man. I was conscious that I should inform the real father. And very concerned that everyone would think my ex-husband and I were back together because of the baby!

I was also very concerned at realising so late and knew I wasn't prepared. I desperately needed help but was reluctant to ask for it. I asked my sister to get all the baby clothes ready and asked my ex husband to arrange for a private nurse to help me for the first 2 months when the baby was born. I tried to make them understand I needed help, but they think I am very self sufficient. Some cousins from my childhood (male) were around and I told them that I never realised I was pregnant - they didn't believe me saying there are always signs when a woman is pregnant and I must have known. However there was no disapproval -it was acceptable to all that I was having this baby.

A few weeks later I had the following related dream...
The Baby - Part 2

I had given birth to a soul that had incarnated in the form a small delicate flower with tiny yellow blossoms. I was again very reluctant about taking on the responsibility for this soul. I put it in a glass jar to protect it and noticed that the blossoms opened up and almost embraced the glass it was enclosed in when anyone spoke to it lovingly.. I realized that the soul needed to be incarnated into an infant's body and I was responsible for making sure this happened. I was carefully holding the jar but I had many other things in my hands also and was moving quickly through large buildings and there were many people around. There was a blurred male figure accompanying me throughout the dream- his general disposition was helpful but I knew he couldn't do anything to help me. Suddenly there was a strong electricity surge and all the lights went out. When they came back, I realized i had lost the bottle. I was very upset, but started on the search to find it.

Thank you in advance for any insight into these dreams and guidance on how to move forward on my path..

Lulu

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 45-london/karachi (commuter)

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? No

Re: The baby

Lulu,
Welcome to the world of dreams, as applied by the 'Jungian' concepts used in the interpretation of dreams.

The pregnancy is no doubt is to do with your spiritual development. The advanced stage is likely to do with the need to better understand this 'inner world' and applying it to the waking life {what we at the Dream Forum refer to as the outer world}. The inner world would represent the higher self, which in a perfect world would be wholly spiritual {in the natural world as well as a religious one}. The reference to your ex-husband, other than his inability to accept who you are, would be related to masculine aspects that are now accepting other concepts of spiritually {involving more than just masculine possibilities}. The God of your pat is becoming less recognizable, as is the ex who is no longer a controlling agent in your life. You are at a place in your life, common at the mid-life stage, where you must make changes no matter the fears that are associated with those changes.

Note: In Jungian psyche dreams always have two applications. One has to do with the inner life and the other to do with the waking life. Often there is a focus on one more than the other but with the other having meaning also.

The tall dark man would be an unconscious masculine identity that is not in accord with accepted principles of your normal religious world. You have separated yourself from those outer accepted principles but they remain an influence in your life {as they should when you recognize how to properly apply them metaphorically instead of literally}. This new spiritual identity, the baby, is apart from the old world and self that once controlled your life {spiritually as well as physically in your relationship with your ex}.

There is a need for help in recognizing/accepting this new aspect. Although the inclusion of your sister in the dream may have outer applications the focus is probably one of inner needs. She would represent another 'related' aspect of yourself that is ready to help in your path to recognizing your true spiritual identity {as well as your outer persona which will change with time because of new knowledge you will gain}. Look at your ex-husband in terms of inner masculine aspects of the past {which are still a part of you although no longer in a controlling way}.

The self sufficient part is probably a reference to personality traits, and abilities {dreams often address personality traits}. The cousins would be inner related aspects {with a secondary reference to past experiences early in life, that could have to do with early life experiences to do with real pregnancies - do you have a son?}. Both are accepting concepts in your life, then/in the past experiences, and now/in your new experiences.
End of first dream.


The Second Dream

You are given birth, learning to accept this new aspect about yourself. You are a flower that is blossoming. And as with the sermon of the Buddha master, the flower is what we all are, products of natural law. In Jungian psyche that natural law {Jung of course was a scientist} includes the concept of the soul, a spiritual aspect that is real as the masculine/feminine and shadow aspects. The glass jar is an invisible barrier that when utilized will let the inner self blossom in the outer world. The inner self is the true self and that self is the soul. This concept of the soul, which we Jungians accepts as a truth, is psychological {psyche-psychology}. Making this an 'incarnate' part of the life is a responsibility when leaving the old self behind and accepting the true spiritual identity.

You are holding this new aspect of self in your hands but there are those other aspects of life, the social being and responsibilities, that make demands on you also {what I call the social dragon}. This blurs the need/desire for the true identity, the old masculine concepts are no longer of help in this new brave world you have entered {at least in the literal concepts as learned throughout life}.
The power of social duty often is discouraging, even debilitating at times and you may feel you have lost touch with the inner self. This is common theme in the motif of the hero/heroine who is in search of the true self. It is something you will have to confront throughout your life, at least until you have reached that pinnacle of total Individuation.

Joseph Campbell described the concept of Nirvana, the Eastern concept of heaven, as a psychological condition where the individual is indifferent to fear, desire and social duty. Most can not get past the obedience to social duty let alone fear and desire.

So, this is how Jungians look at the dream. Metaphor and symbol. The emotional life of the dreamer with the dream being a therapeutic function of the psyche {the later being as much a concept I believe to be true perhaps more than Jung}. You probably have already come acroos some of the concepts I reference but in Jungian psyche it is the psychology of the individual that must be transformed when on a spiritual search. In doing that one will recognize new truths, about oneself as well as the world as a whole. My belief is the spiritual path is indeed a psychological journey. But that concept can be applied life itself, Especially the emotional life.

Your response will be appreciated. Further investigation of the 'Jungian soul' may be a path that will help you in your spiritual search.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 Murfreesboro, Tn.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: The baby

Hi Jerry,
Thank you for your warm welcome and the thought and time you have put into the interpretation of my dreams. Much of what you have said rings very true, and has given me a lot to think about.

A little more background on myself might be useful– brought up in the West but from a traditional Muslim family, always the rebel from a young age, rejected traditional religion in my teens, yet ended up marrying (twice!) Muslim men who, although very westernized or “liberal minded” and not religious like my family, they were old school patriarchal type marriages. One son and one daughter. My son was a very tough pregnancy and I was only 19.

Ideologically I am a sufi and live a life dedicated to my passions and have broken many rules! I have started studying Jung recently (which led me to your website) and interestingly dream interpretation is a key element of Sufism and very much based on the concepts I find in my study of Jung! The concept that the “psyche is to be transformed when on a spiritual journey” is very consistent with my beliefs and thank you for clarifying that for me! I appreciate your comments and quotes that helped me make sense of it in my own head ☺

First thought. “Separation from outer accepted principles’ has led to a rich and fulfilling inner journey and I have found much peace and fulfillment, but the “outer” is difficult for me to integrate in my life at this point. Two reasons – I find my outer society at complete odds with my belief systems and feel judged, and even though I really appreciate those who are accepting, its sometimes hard for me to connect. And yet there is a cultural affinity hence Sufism I suppose. Could you elaborate on your comment “to apply these influences metaphorically instead of physically”? Orthodoxy scares and repels me!

Also, on the electricity surge in dream 2. Could this be a cultural symbol, as in Karachi there is massive electricity problem with load shedding and frequent fluctuation and surges? Would this affect the meaning?

The second thought that came up was about your comments on the evolving nature of male aspects and how these may “no longer be of help”. In my outer world I have had a colorful history of relationships to say the least. I am not sure how this mirrors my inner aspects, and how to identify/integrate the masculine aspects that would be of help..(is this something that would further my journey?).

I don’t know if I’ve asked too many questions but am so fascinated to discover this avenue for further growth. I really would appreciate further guidance!

Lulu (means “pearl” in Arabic :))

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 45-london/karachi (commuter)

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? No

Re: The baby

Lulu,
We can see why your dream had images of patriarchal influence and also the images of the 'social dragon'. Even though you were brought up in the West escaping the dominance of patriarchy is difficult since all three great Western religions share the concept of masculine dominance. Very difficult on the 'feminine species' and the feminine psyche. But thanks to your strong will you are becoming your own master, not with the outer world but more importantly the inner. What flows from the inner self is reflected on the outer when the soul is given the power to rule.

Not many 'Westerners' are familiar with the Sufi religion. Much like the Christian mystical concepts of Gnosticism and Kabbalah of Judaism, Sufism has a focus on the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. But there remains that patriarchal rule even though the approach is on the inner self. Your religion with its focus on the inner self probably has a lot to do with your disengagement from the religious and social norms expected of women in the West. Just thinking different is breaking the golden rule of patriarchy.

Note: It has always been
difficult for me to the opposite 'personalities of Jesus and God in the Christian myth. Whereas God, in all Western religions, is a masculine figure prone to temper tantrums, vengeance and old fashion punishment, Jesus is the direct opposite, living from the feminine psyche of love, compassion, giving of himself without boundaries. Gnosticism helped me reconcile these differences. I now WWJD and do not worry myself about God. And for reference WWJD is the equivalent of WWBD, what would the Buddha do. When on lives a life as Jesus would live life, WWJD, they have achieved Buddha consciousness, that higher level of consciousness that is centered in the feminine psyche.

I digress. As to your question “to apply these influences metaphorically instead of physically”? My frequent response to that question is Jesus on the cross, his death and resurrection. When this is taken literally there is much confusion as whether such a thing could happen/did happen. But metaphorically when applied to the individual life it has meaning. It is what must happen to the person in their spiritual life, death to the ego centered/material worth life and a resurrection to a life that is centered on the spiritual. This concept can be applied in many aspects of the life. At mid-life there is a 'death and resurrection' of sorts. You leave a world of looking forward; family, career, thinking about what tomorrow will bring. You enter that stage of mid-life where the focus is on the past, reflection, contemplating what could have been/ what should have been {this is why I request the age of the dreamer because such knowledge let's me know the focus of the dreamer due to the stage of life they are at}.

As for the cultural influence of the 'electrical surge' in your second dream that may reflect massive electricity problem in Karachi. Yes, every dream has a focus on two aspects of the life, the inner and the outer. The dream uses the same symbols to address the 'conflicts' in the dreamer's life. Having to deal with such outages presents an emotional conflict and whether the conflict is from the outer world or the inner the dream is trying to help the dreamer resolve the emotional 'surge' that is in conflict. The primary task is to discern which is most of a conflict. {we in the US go bananas when we lose power just for a few hours. Talk about being spoiled}.

As to your 'colorful history of relationships', that is something that most likely has its foundations in childhood. {like you I also had a 'colorful history in relationships', to say the least, and the foundations for what was a non-relationship with a father who was never there. I have been married three times to three wonderful women yet could not fill the void, I ran away when the going got tough. That has been remedied through my own 'Individuation'}. There is a tendency to look for 'replacements' in later life for what was not provided in childhood. Looking for love in all the wrong places is a common theme for such foundations. Jungian psychology can provide a path to understanding the reasons for who we are and the actions we take in later life. Dreams are one tool for doing this. Being a stronger person in your endeavor to find your true spiritual self, that would require a stronger masculine self, especially in a world where the masculine is the unquestioned authority.

You stated in your response the Sufi religion uses dreams as a part of its spiritual concepts. This will help you understand Jungian psyche {which you noted as something you have already begun to study}. Dreams are fascinating and with Jung providing a road map to understanding the language of dreams, symbol and metaphor, we can understand what the dream is trying to convey to the dreamer as well what is within the unconscious. The dream is a direct link to the unconscious and no matter how 'deep' the contents they will be revealed at some time in the dreamer's life. Mid-life is often when these contents begin to 'resurface'.

Let's not forget the message in your second dream. The flower has 'tiny' blossoms. That is followed by the statement 'about being reluctant'. Finding ways to overcome that reluctance, in the inner self as well as the outer world, is the path you must take. This is the heroine deed you must perform to find wholeness. The flower is delicate and you must appreciate who you are, your strengths and your weaknesses. Learning to live with the society but with the intent to live the spiritual life that fits who you are, that is the task, the dragon, that has to be overcome. I think you are up to the task.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 Murfreesboro, Tn. USA

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: The baby

Jerry,
Thank you. i look forward to learning more and the next interesting discussion with you.
Lulu

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 45-london/karachi (commuter)

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? No

Re: The baby

Lulu,
I too look forward to future discussions. Your spiritual path is something different from the norm I experience at the Dream Forum, as well as in life in general. I am very familiar with the 'mystical' religions since it was a subject Joseph Campbell often mentioned in his books and lectures. I like to tell people I knew of Islam before Islam became so 'popular' {and controversial}. The same hold true for Sufism. Not that I am an expert, far from it. But to understand the other possibilities, that is enlightenment in my assessment. Most people are either afraid to or unable to delve into the mystical aspects of religion since they are antithetical to religious dogma/doctrine. Like you I have move past even the mystical doctrines, having discovered what I am looking for is within my own psyche. Who needs a preacher/priest/rabbi/imam when there is a recognition that 'God is within' and needs only to be 'let out'. Not me!

Note: Notice I didn't include 'shamans' in my list. A true shaman is teacher who seeks nothing more but for the student/patient to discover and understand their own 'inner' shaman. A guru can or can not be shaman. Many gurus are shams {the Beatles eventually recognized this as fact}. A true shaman is merely a teacher with no interest in personal gain.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 61 Murfreesboro, Tn. USA

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

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