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another devouring mother dream from childhood

Hi Jerry,
I was fascinated to read the dream that Warren posted since I have always remembered a dream about my mother that I had at about age 4 or 5. In the dream I walk into the living room and there are two identical mothers sitting there talking to each other. I know that one is my real mother and the other is someone to fear. I sit on the couch by the mother I think is my real mother and for a moment I feel safe and think I have picked the right one. I snuggle close to her and she leans towards me with a nice smile but to my horror the smile widens and her teeth change to fangs and her face changes into the face of the big, bad wolf from the red riding hood story. I scream and wake up. No television or scary movies at that age but I am sure that someone had read the story to me.

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Re: another devouring mother dream from childhood

Pat,
It is interesting in the dream about the two mothers. I am more often looking to archetypal associations when such images are present in dreams. But for a 4-5 year old it is more difficult to navigate the associations {I feel there are some}. The influence of waking experiences in a young child can distort the meaning of the images. In an older person I would look at the 'two mothers' as a pattern of real emotional conflict. The fact someone had read to you a story that may have influenced your young psyche is different from an influence later in life when you are an adult. Both are images based on waking experiences but the distortion of a young mind would deviate from the symbolic meaning. In the adult the images would be symbolic but in a child the distortion would/could change the meaning. That is if the mothers are opposite. In a child if both mothers possess the same attitude I tend would look for actual experiences in that child's life as I would with an adult. Even in a young child the unconscious stores experiences away for future reference {many which can become controlling agents later in life}. Because your mother and Warren's mother were in fact good mothers {opposite the dream images} then I look to a child's undeveloped psyche as a reason for the 'opposites'. A fear has been planted and if it is not an experience with the real mother then it must have come from something else. What is it that influences a young child's mind? Whimsical stories they learn about when awake.

One other possibility, one I mentioned in Warren's analysis, is the dream is addressing personal characteristics/traits of the child that will develop. The fear you sense in the dream of the bad mother may in fact be about inner qualities that are in conflict. The bad mother aspect would be a part of you {and Warren}. Exactly what that is must be determined {if actually applicable in your child dream}. Are there feminine tendencies in a child that will develop later in life that should be feared or will cause a conflict later in life? Could the dreams actually be addressing such matters so early in life. I tend to think it is very possible but can not say from any learning experiences it is true.

For instance, look at your dream. The images are of the teeth {developing} change to fangs. Could that be taken as metaphorical of the developing child's psyche? The rest of the dream could in fact be metaphorical also, addressing a particular pattern of behavior. What would be the 'underlying' meaning of the Little Red Riding Hood story? Here are some possible interpretations. Here is a possibility that makes sense, one if is an attitude possessed by the mother {yours and/or Warren's} may fit.

The girl refers to" virgin girls"
"Red " refers to passion and love
The wolf refers to "men"

And then there is this application of the fairy-tale, one that probably applies more than men would like to admit Dances with Wolves
Little Red Riding Hood's Long Walk in the Woods


Does the mother possess such an attitude, one that the child picks up on? As for a developing attitude or personality trait, like mother like child.

This is what makes dreams so fascinating. Not only the analysis and interpreting but also realizing new possibilities of how they function. One thing we now know is the mind/psyche of a child is capable to so many things we never thought possible. What was once thought of as coming into this world with a blank slate {the child} is now known to be already aware of its existence and things around them. And then we must consider Jung's archetypes, those preset instructions that must be met for a person to live a genuine balanced and harmonious life. So few of us have that.

All myths/fables/fairy-tales are universal expressions of collective patterns of behavior. Dreams and myth share the same images/symbolic references. The question is does the images in the dreams of a 4 year old apply as they do in an adult? I think minds are changing but the evidence is still to be delivered.

Jerry

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Re: another devouring mother dream from childhood

Jerry,
There is so much to "digest" in your response to the devouring mother dreams. Of particular interest to me is the idea that the dream is addressing personal characteristics/traits of the child that will develop. I wonder what was going on in my childhood at that time-----I know it was always import to be "good" and perhaps if I hadn't been good or listened to what my mother instructed my guilt took the form of this nightmare. There is always the idea that children begin to learn that the parent sometimes has "two faces", the kind one and the one when they are angry. Thank you for you very thorough and interesting interpretation----I will continue to think about this.

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Re: another devouring mother dream from childhood

Pat,
Very early life experiences/influences {experiences not consciously noted by unconsciously taken note of} are so important to a person's whole life. I believe we will eventually realize this fact and be able to apply this knowledge in understanding the unconscious. Unconscious motivations are at the center of every life, the early life foundations being the driver of many of our actions during a life time. I personally applied this concept to my life and saw how they fit like a glove. By realizing what these factors are a person can focus on the underlying issues and bring about resolution to them. My issue was trying to substitute the love and acceptance I never received from my father. I was repeating much of what he did {but never was the SOB he was towards his responsibilities as a father}. It had direct connections to three failed marriages to three wonderful women {running away instead of staying and working it out}. Once I realized this I was able to reconcile the issue and remove the motivating factor that was placed within my psyche as a child. I find this application of Jungian concepts to be a primary focus in most dreams and will point to them with the hope the dreamer will take a closer look. It is only when the issues are realized can there be a chance of resolution.

By the way. The unconscious motivations concerning my father is the classic mythological motif of the son seeking the father. Perhaps the best known example in our era is Star Wars where Luke sought out his father {who turned out to be a shadow aspect also}. This motif is also a classic tale in Native American mythology. Once there is a realization of a 'pattern' of behavior we can look to mythology {which uses the same archetypal images/symbols} for better understanding of the underlying issues.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate....Carl Jung

Jerry

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