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Dream interpretation

Hi
– just wondering whether you can help me with this dream. I dreamt that I was in the garden in Africa where I grew up – but not the original house where I had spent my childhood. I was with one of our old African workers. A very bright yellow toad with big brown eyes (almost false, toy like in its appearance) was jumping around. Because of its colour I assumed it was one of those poisonous toads and I was really worried that it was going to get to the man who was near me and poison him- I thought he would not realise it was dangerous. It did land near him after jumping energetically all over the place. It landed near his hand and he was sitting on the floor and I thought ‘that’s it now.’ The man took something out of the toad’s mouth like a piece of false teeth or something like the toy teeth we used to get in lucky bags. It was covered in some sort of transparent film. I was worries that he had put his hand in the toad’s mouth therefore he would be poisoned. The dream ended. There is such a contrast between the toy element in the dream and the worry about poison. I would appreciate a few thoughts. Many thanks. Liz

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Re: Dream interpretation

Liz,
The opening of your dream seems to be pointing to childhood experiences/influences that you may have reduced to unconscious memory and not let you bother you as you have grown in your adult life. The experiences may have altered your personal grown as you have aged {not the original house where I had spent my childhood}. The original house would be your original self as a child. Not being 'that' house may suggest something that affected that original, true self. Your unconscious, through the dream, is trying to show you that true self which was affected by these experiences {a toad would symbolize your 'ugly' side, the yellow light the repressed unconscious memories}. The experiences would be poisonous to your conscious mind if you should give much thought to it. False teeth may represent an inability to express these repressed/forgotten unconscious experiences.

The man in your dream may be pointing to an actual experience. And/or a need for to utilize your own masculine qualities so to bring these past experiences to consciousness. The false teeth may also have literal applications, something possessed by a real person. The toy teeth could symbolize these past experiences 'toying' with you conscious mind. These experiences need to come out so the ugly parts, the toad, can be reconciled and a healing begun. The transparent film may suggest these long forgotten/repressed experiences are now becoming conscious {something that is common at mid-life}.

The waking thoughts are important. The worry about the 'toy' element may suggest the need to overcome the 'toying' element of the unconscious vs. the fear {it is playing n your mind} that would be realized if these 'poisonous' memories were remembered or thought about.

The only other application I can think of about the toy teeth {teeth probably symbolize an ability of expression} would be a 'false' impression or expression. Has there been any attempt to remember the past that involved suggestions of possible 'ugly' experiences that were not true? This would be a less likely possibility but perhaps one that needs consideration. Dreams attempt to reveal the truths about oneself that could involve recent experiences.
I would examine your childhood first and determine if there is something 'ugly' in that.

Jerry


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Re: Dream interpretation

Hi Jerry
Many thanks - really interesting and a few things particularly so. Over the years I have spent quite a bit of time going over ugly things in my childhood and yes, there were plenty of them in relation to family etc etc that have come more and more to consciousness. So you are pointing in the right direction there. Added to that and what struck me most in your reply and in my own wording was 'original house' i.e original self.
I am having a tremendous struggle at the moment in relation to letting go perhaps the 'ugly' bits of myself which may well have destroyed or poisoned the 'original' innocence, beauty, truth and somehow I am still holding on to them and I am aware that they continue to poison what is deep down, beautiful. letting go is incredibly difficult. I will spend time reflecting on the dream again and your thoughts - thank you for your time - much appreciated. Liz

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Re: Dream interpretation

Liz,
I appreciate the response to my interpretation. One thing I have discovered that seems to be a constant is when a childhood setting is a part of the opening of a dream it most always is addressing emotional issues from that period of life. Your dream seems to fit with this pattern. Words have specific applications in all dreams and forming the correct impressions from the dream dialog often open the dreamer to realizing/understanding true associations in a dream to actual waking life experiences. Your response does seem to confirm what I picked up from your dream about an 'ugly childhood'.

What attracted my attention specifically was the dream language about 'I was in the garden in Africa where I grew up' put in a context with the further language 'but not the original house where I had spent my childhood'. I took this to suggest the dream was addressing issues from your childhood. But because it was not the 'original house' it was pointing to emotional experiences from childhood that took away from the origins of a 'newer psyche/childhood' which would affect personal growth {garden} in later life. The first part of a dream usually sets the stage for what emotional issue the dream wishes to communicate to the dreamer. It was the toad symbol that suggested something ugly about the childhood {toads representing hiding something ugly, unable to be your true self}. Being poisonous also pointed to 'bad karma' from these childhood experiences. Such early life experiences do tend to poison adult behavior, most often in an unconscious way that is not realized consciously. Uncovering these unconscious 'MOTIVATIONS' is a part of the self discovery aspect one must under take to become whole. From your response it does seem you are in this mold of self discovery. In Jungian psyche such an undertaking is called Individuation, a self examination of one's life, one's own psychology.
Note: This is the process that guided me in my 'inner search' and helped me discover my inner demons. With these discoveries I was able to reconcile the emotional energies associated with my early life experiences that became unconscious controlling agents. Understanding these I was able to put them in a perspective where they no longer controlled. It exorcised those inner demons.

If you will continue on this path of self discovery you will likely discover deeper emotions, uncover their source and be able to reconcile the emotional energies they possess. Exorcising the demons is a matter of exorcising those unconscious controlling energies that began in early life, and continued to affect your personal growth in adulthood. The goal is to return to the 'garden' and in some way restore the lost innocence. Healing the inner child is a task most all adults need to undertake at some point in life. Mid-life is usually that time to do so.
Continue your inner journey with zest dear girl and see what great discoveries you will find. Not only from your past but into your future.

Jerry


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Re: Dream interpretation

Jerry
Once again - many thanks for the fascinating response - speaking volumes for me at this time. After your last reply I went off and did some free association with images and thoughts from the dream and the words both of us mentioned. And then with your recent response I saw that you used the word innocent. This came up for me yesterday when I was reflecting and images of me as a little girl - very innocent and open and beautiful - came up (very much a contrast to the poison now perhaps) and the image of the 'innocent' man sitting there who could be harmed - but actually wasn't. This then brought to mind good innocent open adults who have that inner child like beauty untainted by experience and a kind of jaded view of life. And yes the contrast is great between that inner innocence and openness and trust and what has covered it up for so long - so the original self becomes unrecognisable. yes I will continue to work on all this - certainly mid life has changed the focus from 'outer' to 'inner'.Thanks again for your time. Liz

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Re: Dream interpretation

Liz,
Once again I appreciate your great response. I can empathize with your images as a little girl. I still can vision myself as a young boy and remember the exact feelings associated with those images. It brings back so much about our innocence. And when that innocence is betrayed the whole life is betrayed. At least until those images are reconciled to the true self and the 'ugly' experiences that shadow the true self. It took me until I was in my mid 40s to reconcile my true self. Yet visualizing that young boy still tears to my eyes. What could have been, what should have been in my early adulthood was taken away because of a father who was so self absorbed in himself he never was there when I needed him. Some say such importance on ones life are meaningless, that you can only pick yourself up by the straps and go about life no matter the childhood. I know better and from my experiences with dreams I have seen these images come up so many times. Life can never be full, whole, harmonious as it should be until that 'inner child' is healed. I was fortunate to come across Campbell, Jung and to navigate my own Individuation. And now I spend a lot of my efforts passing on what I have learned, and how valuable Jungian psyche can be for others. If not Jung some form of an 'inner search' that reveals the underlying unconscious motivators that can be so controlling over the conscious life. An attention to the inner self is paramount to proper personal growth.

The first childhood all too often lacks the the proper required nourishment for full personal growth. The second childhood, the twilight years, can be as innocent if there is a sincere attempt for reconciliation of the first {I think of being able to sit beneath a tree under the bright sunshine, daydreaming without a worry in the world}. At the age of 61 I think of that tree often. And being able once again to possess the mindset of that child that is within my mind's eye. I believe it can happen, will happen.

It is quite apparent from your responses you are traveling a similar path in your personal growth. And doing a good job of navigation. If you will continue to explore that inner self I have no doubt you will discover so many great positives in your life that will be so beneficial in your later years. Good luck in your search and please feel free to visit when ever you wish. Sharing your dreams and experience is a lesson we all learn from. I think of sharing as a spiritual thing.

Jerry


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Re: Dream interpretation

Jerry - Just a little reply to your last post following the dream I had. I would just like to respond to a few points you made. Not sure whether I should be doing this in the dream forum area - but anyway here goes!! After 'digesting' some of your offerings I was suddenly struck by how much you have invested of yourself on this website and how much help you must have given to so many - because there is so much here for people to engage with - providing an alternative to what we are in the midst of day in and day out - how we can be so adversely affected by 'unworked with' unconscious life. You mentioned your own journey and this is so encouraging because at my own 'great age' I sometimes get overwhelmed by how little I have truly seen and how in a way I feel as though I am just beginning although I too have invested huge amounts of time and now really my whole being in this journey to discover this inner truth, the ground of being - whatever one may call this. Your journey has led you to Jung, Campbell, Lacan and others - they have been part of mine too and recently eastern ways of truth and being have only confirmed that the more we look and digest and let go - could it be that we are led to the same place - and is that same place within and without - not a place after all! In the meantime dreams are riches beyond measure - sharing and feedback is incredibly helpful - and through this we are only encouraged in our intuition that there is within us something very beautiful, although I so often feel its fragility and weakness within myself because I am so stubborn and easily reclaim the veil which I so easily throw over the beauty to stifle it , kill it because I hardly dare believe it/I could after all be allowed to live. Sitting under your tree is just that isn't it - allowing yourself that spaciousness to sit there in the sunshine means that you have allowed yourself to truly live otherwise you couldn't entertain the thought of that kind of freedom. Lovely image. Liz

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Re: Dream interpretation

Liz,
Thank you for the thoughtful response. You touch on so many aspects of the journey to wholeness with perhaps the most important not willing to 'let go'. In my early Christian education I was taught to let go and let God. But those instructions were directed outward, pointing to the dogmatic need to bring God in. After my serendipitous encounter with Joseph Campbell in 1992 {seeing his 'The Power of Myth' interviews with Bill Moyers on PBS} I began a new search for spiritual nourishment attending more liberal churches {Unitarian, Unity, Religious Science} and discovered the search was not just an outward need but more a 'turning inward', a psychological search. And when I realized that what was inside was more than a mythical resource I began to understand that language of 'let go Luke, us the Force' was directed at the inner world within me and the greater force in my life resided within my own psyche. And because the search is related to the mythical journey of the hero/heroine I have learned to follow that path faithfully {the word faith not something I use often}. Adhering to that philosophy it is required, and desired, that the hero/heroine share what was learned/experienced from the journey. I think of the Dream Forum and my website Myths-Dreams-Symbols as my tool for sharing what I have learned from my journey. In that framework the endeavor to share becomes a spiritual matter. Thus the philosophy of 'think psychologically live spiritually'. Living with this philosophy it becomes apparent the 'let go let God' phrase is indeed an inward journey, a psychological journey to the inner spaces of the individual soul. This is the philosophy I live by and attempt to share through the website and my discussions at the Dream Forum.

With that said I wish to share a thought I had the other day while listening to NPR radio where the subject was quantum physics and the possibility of a fourth dimension of time and space. The talk centered on black holes and dark matter, topics I have some understanding of and do not totally disagree with.
But while most scientists dismiss the possibility of a spiritual aspect {Jung, a scientist of the mind, believed it to be real} and any thought there is any connection of a fourth dimension to that aspect, my mind automatically drifted to the 'inner space' I spoke of above, those unknown and yet unexplored spaces within the individual psyche. And when associations with the 'collective' psyche are infused into the conversation I can see where the possibility of a fourth dimension could be that inner space. The collective mind is apart of the natural world and since science believes in objective observations as the only verification of a fact, the discovery of related symbolic and metaphorical references that fit not only in mythology and the dream, but also in quantum physics {in particular the quantum physics of Neils Bohr}, makes the fourth dimension of an 'inner space' a real and greater possibility. The language of myth, dreams and quantum physics have so many similarities it is hard to dismiss the possibility.

You spoke of the Eastern ways of truth as a way to learn to let go. When there is an inspection of Buddhism we find that it is more a psychology than it is a religion. A psychology of looking inward. Which goes back to the topics above, going inward to find the peace, harmony and balance we all seek from life.

You also used the term intuition to better understand the greater possibilities of the self and of the psyche. Knowing there is a force of power yet never forgetting our human frailties, this is true knowledge that most never understand or utilize. It is a knowledge that maybe best defined in the proverb, he who knows doesn't know. He who doesn't know knows'. From your thoughtful and kindness reply, the use of vocabulary in your expressions, I believe you know more than the ordinary soul. By 'not knowing' you leave open the possibilities. By not knowing you know more than perhaps you realize.

And lastly you speak of freedom. By exploring the inner world one attains the freedom to live the original life that was meant to be. Not being restricted by the outer world of material worth and relying more on the inner values of the true self, there is gained a freedom to blossom and grow personally and spiritually. I believe this is what is best meant when we learn 'to let go and let God'.

Jerry


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