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Dreams in which I'm dead / dying

I've not done this before so bear with me!

I've had two dreams recently less than a week apart where I'm dead or know I'm going to die. Because it seems like a theme (and because normally when this happens my brain continues the theme until I figure it out) I'd like some help interpreting them.

Dream one:

I'm a soldier in some sort of war. I'm in a shed with another woman, also a soldier, and we are trapped there with troops from the other side closing in. She has control over this great big machine gun (the sort which you have to put on a tripod) and my job is to keep threading bullets onto the ticker tape type stuff that feeds into the gun. The bullets are kept in a bowl outside the shed and I have to keep running in and out of the shed to get some. She's firing the gun out of the window of the shed. Other people are firing towards me every time I go out to grab more bullets and I'm dodging the fire.

We do this repetitively and I am shouting over the noise of the machine gun

"Why do we have to keep the bullets outside? Why can't we bring them in the shed?"

She doesn't speak but just dismisses the comment with her hand. I decide that this is ridiculous. I'm scared but I'm also pretty ****** off. This is clearly a stupid way to fight a war. I go outside and grab all the bullets and bring them into the shed.

As I come back in I dump the bowl on the floor and sit down by the gun and start threading bullets on as fast as I can. I spot some movement by the shed door. Someone is coming. It's a solider from the other side armed with a smaller machine gun.

I jump up and grab the nearest thing to me. It's a nailgun. It's not even loaded with nails. I realise how ridiculous it is that I'm a soldier in a war and I'm not armed in any way. They haven't given me a single weapon to defend myself. I wave the nailgun towards the soldier in a threatening way and he hesitates. Then he realises I'm bluffing when I don't shoot any nails at him and makes for the doorway.

I ram the door shut with the nailgun and I hold it shut with my arm outstretched. The soldier shoots through the door and I'm shot many,many times. I'm dead but I'm still there. And I feel really really angry. I am ranting at the female soldier (though she can't hear me, presumably I'm a ghost). I'm saying

"See how stupid that was? Why don't I have a gun? Why the hell can't we keep the bullets with the machine gun? Why the **** couldn't we have threaded all the bullets on last night when we were sitting around doing nothing?"

Then I wake up.



Dream two:

I dream I'm told a colleague of mine has died. I'll call her J for the sake of anonymity. It's really sad, she's young and I feel awful for her parents who I dream I know quite well (though I don't in real life). I'm discussing it with someone and then I go to sleep.

I wake up (still in the dream) and I feel really unwell. Something is not right, I have a real fever. I look at my body and it's covered in small blisters all over. I am sure it's something really serious. I remember that J died and am suddenly aware that no one told me how she died.

The phone rings and it's someone from work. (I'll call her P). P is upset because she can't get into the building and she needs to do some work. I tell her I'm not well and not coming in to work. I then ask her how J died. She says "J is dead?" and I apologise for her finding out this way.

I look at my feet. The blisters are getting worse, getting closer and closer together. They are yellowy and swollen and the skin between them is bright pink. I am standing there in my living room on the phone trying to comfort this person on the phone and the whole time I think "This is it. Whatever killed J is killing me too" and I absolutely know I'm going to die.

Then I wake up.

I think that they both clearly have roots in my work. I do feel frustrated at work often but I'm not sure what to do about it and was hoping the dream might be providing me with some clues. Thank you for any ideas you can give.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 33, Female. United Kingdom

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Re: Dreams in which I'm dead / dying

Caroline,
I will analyze your dreams in the morning. Until then you may want to read my page at Myths-Dreams-Symbols {below link}on the meaning of death/dying in a dream. It may help you recognize something valuable in understanding the theme {patterns actually}. This is one very important aspect I look for when analyzing dreams.
Death in a Dream
What Does It Mean?


Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 64 Cocoa, Fl

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Re: Dreams in which I'm dead / dying

Carolyn,
I will provide an analysis of your first dream since it has a more recognizable message {to my mind}. Having read the first dream there does seem to be a definite connection between the two addressing the same issues {emotional}. Here is my interpretation of the second dream.

Dream Two
Some aspect of yourself or your life has died which changed you. A younger part of you was affected which may involve parents {look to early life experiences/influences}. You are not consciously aware of the energies related to the experiences.
This means you are unconsciously driven by emotional energies that affect your personality and actions in later life.

Something is missing that is coming to consciousness and involves inner anger. Your conscious identity {may have to do with self image/personality issues} is affected by problems that are draining you emotionally. There is inner work that needs to be done. This is related to the dead parts within yourself. These dead parts would have associations from the early life experiences.

There is a message from the unconscious related to this needed inner work {dreams offer such messages}. You are unable to get to the source of your anger because you are not aware of what it is.

You need to look at your foundations {feet}, early life experiences/influences. The unconscious energies, inner anger, that drive you are getting worse. The issues are threatening to affect your whole personality which will change your whole outer world.

Summary
My impression from this dream and from my short inspection of the first dream is there are strong inner emotional issues {likely to do with early life} that carry over to conscious life. There may be inner anger that is demonstrated in your conscious life. The inner anger may have become outer anger. If so you are unaware of the reasons for it because they are unconsciously driven and related to early life experiences.

Now that I have analyzed the first dream the second dream projects a distinct pattern and is a bit easier to understand. It goes hand in hand with the second dream. Here is my analysis.

First Dream

The war is an inner war that carries over into your conscious life. The other woman is you {if she is a known person then she probably shares qualities you identify with}. You are trapped by inner issues {shed} that may cause aggressive attitudes that either a part in your conscious life or threaten to be. You may feel you are being attacked by others and have to fire back in order to feel secure about yourself. This is a constant in your life, inner aggressive attitudes that flow out to your conscious life. You are unable to hold these aggression/anger in.
This opening statement sets the primary plot for the rest of the dream.

You are not aware of these inner unconscious motivators {usual for most people}. There may be issues to do with self worth/self esteem and you have developed conscious defensive mechanisms in order to maintain stability. The inner issues are very strong and continuously controlling your actions. It may be you take the aggression on yourself, holding much of your anger inside yourself.

The defensive mechanisms are not adequate to defend yourself from these inner issues. This may lead to feelings of inadequacy in your conscious life. You may be deceiving yourself about your ability to feel stable and secure and must put up a front in your waking life so not to let others know of feelings of inadequacy.

This only leads to pushing the issues deeper into the unconscious where you have been emotionally wounded many times over. These wounds changed your attitudes and personality {leading to a lack of proper personal growth}. You are dead inside and have a lot of built up anger. These inner issues have caused a lack of needed masculine qualities {see animus qualities which leaves you without proper tools in your waking life. This probably has affected your personality, may cause issues with self worth/self esteem.

Summary
The dreams do seem to point to inner issues of anger that affect and may spill over into your conscious life. A good chance these issues go back to childhood where there were negative experiences/influences so strong that have become motivators in your adult life. What issues are there that would fit with this? I put an emphasis on strong which suggest at times {or perhaps all the time} you display behavior that stems from the inner issues/conflicts. As long as these unconscious issues remain unresolved they will have control over your waking life {and will be a constant in your dreams}.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 64 Cocoa, Fl

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Re: Dreams in which I'm dead / dying

Wow! Thank you for your detailed response. So much to take in. It is late here in the UK and I want to write an indepth reply so I'm going to postpone it till tomorrow. Thank you very much for taking the time over this.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 33, Female. United Kingdom

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} no

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Re: Dreams in which I'm dead / dying

Caroline,
I look forward to your response. The object of dream analysis is to get the dreamer to give thought to the inner self. We all live life motivated by unconscious energies and most often these energies possess negative forces that cause emotional conflicts that could be avoided if the unconscious energies were known. There may be a conscious knowledge of the experiences that underlie the negative forces but many aspects of the experiences are either forgotten, repressed or not realized to be unconscious motivators. Dreams show the true condition of the psyche, not letting the selfish ego taint that truth {the ego wants what pleases the body/mind giving little concern to the consequences}. But dreams speak in a language of symbol and metaphor {early man used symbols as a way of communication- Example would be the Egyptian Hieroglyphs} and the symbols have to be 'decoded' to reveal what emotional conflicts the symbols represent {metaphor}. Dreams are about the emotions and much like the immune system protects the body, dreams preform the same function for the psych{ology}. Both are nature's devices to regulate the human condition.

Your detailed response may provide insights to your deeper psyche. It will also help in better understanding the use of symbols in dreams. All dreams are educational and because every person is different the symbols may/will often have a different meaning/application in the individual's life {corresponding to the true psyche and emotional experiences}. Many symbols are universal, others are more personalized. The actions in a dream reveal a pattern of behavior that also corresponds with the dreamer's true self. By interpreting the symbols {images/actions} a trained dream analyst can peer into the dreamer's unconscious and see the true self. Instead of spending hours trying to get the person to open up about the true self {much which is not known, thought of, realized} the dream is a direct link to the unconscious. When analyzing a patient Carl Jung instructed his patients to 'get to the dream' as his tool of delving into the unconscious.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 64 Cocoa, Fl

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Re: Dreams in which I'm dead / dying

I'll try to go through it bit by bit so I don't miss anything:

First Dream

>"The war is an inner war that carries over into your conscious life. The other woman is you {if she is a known person then she probably shares qualities you identify with}. You are trapped by inner issues {shed} that may cause aggressive attitudes that either a part in your conscious life or threaten to be. You may feel you are being attacked by others and have to fire back in order to feel secure about yourself. This is a constant in your life, inner aggressive attitudes that flow out to your conscious life. You are unable to hold these aggression/anger in.
This opening statement sets the primary plot for the rest of the dream."

This seems to fit. I do have anger issues but they are only expressed when I am protecting other people. Never myself. I can't stand injustice but can't seem to use the power to defend myself. (That seems to fit with the dream too). I don't consciously feel like other people are attacking me so I wonder if the soldier who comes to kill me is part of me too rather than a projection of the outside world? I've been going to counselling for a year and I feel like I'm getting much better at expressing my anger to my counselor at least.

>"You are not aware of these inner unconscious motivators {usual for most people}. There may be issues to do with self worth/self esteem and you have developed conscious defensive mechanisms in order to maintain stability. The inner issues are very strong and continuously controlling your actions. It may be you take the aggression on yourself, holding much of your anger inside yourself."

I have always felt like an outsider since I went to school. My mum is from a different country to the one I grew up in. I feel like I've learnt to embrace that. Whether those are conscious defense mechanisms I'm not sure. Could be. For years I used to stop my creativity. I felt it was silly. The past few years though, I've been giving myself permission to be creative with no further goal in mind. Before, I used to think creativity was only good if it was useful or profitable.

>"The defensive mechanisms are not adequate to defend yourself from these inner issues. This may lead to feelings of inadequacy in your conscious life. You may be deceiving yourself about your ability to feel stable and secure and must put up a front in your waking life so not to let others know of feelings of inadequacy."

So, does this mean everything I just said is a front? I'm not sure. I do worry that I'm not very good at my craft sometimes but I know that what I'm doing now in practicing, is much better than what I used to do when I was being so self critical I wouldn't risk doing anything. I also feel that my work love on one hand that I'm creative but they wish I would be creative in a more methodical way. That often makes me feel frustrated.

>"This only leads to pushing the issues deeper into the unconscious where you have been emotionally wounded many times over. These wounds changed your attitudes and personality {leading to a lack of proper personal growth}. You are dead inside and have a lot of built up anger. These inner issues have caused a lack of needed masculine qualities {see animus qualities which leaves you without proper tools in your waking life. This probably has affected your personality, may cause issues with self worth/self esteem."

I don't feel dead inside. I feel more hopeful and growing this year than I have ever done. If you'd said that to me two years ago, I would have agreed with you. But not now. I feel like I'm in a much better place, which is why this dream surprised me. I would like to leave my job and find something less stressful but apart from that life isn't perfect, but it's better than it's been in a long while.

Dream Two
>"Some aspect of yourself or your life has died which changed you. A younger part of you was affected which may involve parents {look to early life experiences/influences}. You are not consciously aware of the energies related to the experiences.
This means you are unconsciously driven by emotional energies that affect your personality and actions in later life. "

This is the same issue I have in counselling. I can't deny that I am unconsciously motivated because it's like saying you can't see something that is invisible. But I don't feel angry at my parents. Angry about school, yes, but that came later and I am consciously aware of that.

>"Something is missing that is coming to consciousness and involves inner anger. Your conscious identity {may have to do with self image/personality issues} is affected by problems that are draining you emotionally. There is inner work that needs to be done. This is related to the dead parts within yourself. These dead parts would have associations from the early life experiences."

I think the stuff at work where they don't understand me and how I work is very like how teachers and peers didn't understood me at school. I was always 'odd' and there is only so long before you feel like a failure for not fitting in. Could the "something missing" be fulfillment and acceptance in my work?

>"There is a message from the unconscious related to this needed inner work {dreams offer such messages}. You are unable to get to the source of your anger because you are not aware of what it is."

I am happy to concede this but I laugh as I do it. Again, I can't see the thing that is invisible.


>"You need to look at your foundations {feet}, early life experiences/influences. The unconscious energies, inner anger, that drive you are getting worse. The issues are threatening to affect your whole personality which will change your whole outer world.

Summary
My impression from this dream and from my short inspection of the first dream is there are strong inner emotional issues {likely to do with early life} that carry over to conscious life. There may be inner anger that is demonstrated in your conscious life. The inner anger may have become outer anger. If so you are unaware of the reasons for it because they are unconsciously driven and related to early life experiences. "

Thank you for your analysis. I will work on this further with my counselor.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 33, Female. United Kingdom

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Re: Dreams in which I'm dead / dying

Carolyn,
I so appreciate the detailed response. Not only does it provide further clues to what the dreams are about but also demonstrates there are recognizable patterns that can be discerned from dreams using Jungian psyche. There are limitations on what an analyst can read from a dream, exact personal experiences are almost impossible to name. But when a symbol is interpreted properly the dreamer usually can match it with their life experiences. The best any good dream analyst can do is read the along the perimeters of a dream and not always name the exact experience/emotional issue. I see that in your response which in itself provides additional clues. I'll provide a more detailed response Sunday addressing the points you gave. Again I thank you for the response because it does help in understanding how dreams and dream images work. Every dream is a learning experience but it is the responses that provide the most knowledge.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 64 Cocoa, Fl

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Re: Dreams in which I'm dead / dying

Carolyn,
In dreams the rule of thumb that almost always fits is any 'generic' person within a dream represents an aspect of the dreamer. So yes, the soldier would be a part of yourself. A known person {even if not named} would also represent an aspect of the dreamer with that person possessing qualities/experiences that the dreamer identifies/shares with or opposites aspects that affect the dreamer. The known person would then also represent the dreamer in those related aspects. The primary issue I took from the dream language was the inner anger {again, a trained analyst can discern the outlines of the emotional conflict but not often the specifics}. The war is an inner war/conflict and the other woman could be the aspect related to your anger which is displayed by the injustices of other people. But the other woman would also be focusing on the reasons for this inner anger, that 'other' person within who has the anger. Those are the central issues that need to be understood so you can work to resolve what causes them. Have you determined what the issues are in your counseling sessions?

The unconscious motivators are just that, unconscious. These energies usually come from past experiences/influences and are often rooted in childhood. Very often dreams will address these rooted aspects, using symbolic language {the language of dreams}. The soldier in your dream is not only symbolic but is a metaphor for an 'active' emotional energy within you. These inner aspects are often projected onto others. In your case it could be people you are angry with {even if justified}. The anger is not only at them but also yourself.

"The defensive mechanisms are not adequate to defend yourself from these inner issues." You ask if this means everything is a front. Not a front but a disguise cast onto others. The disguise are the inner emotional conflicts.

What may be dead inside is not your whole self but some aspect of yourself. You speak of difficulties with creativity {creativity is the ultimate expression of the true self}. It may be related to those energies that block you from being your true self {personals as well as creative}. Two years ago this would have been definitely a truth. Perhaps it still is and you are unaware/unconscious of it. Therapy will eventually reveal this if true.
Note: Carl Jung used dream therapy to delve into the unconscious. Whereas the old standard method of analyzing a patient {I say old because more therapists are using dreams as a tool to discover what is within the unconscious} took much more time to get to, dreams are a direct link to the unconscious. Instead of using free association, Jung always wanted the patient to return to the dream to open the doors to the unconscious contents.

Dream Two
Parents aren't always the reason for inner anger {but usually there are links associated with parenting that can be result in later anger}. There could be neurological reasons but usually there are unconscious motivators as well. Why was there anger about school? Determining those causes will lead to te source of the anger and discovering the source will allow you to resolve the issues.

The odd way you feel about yourself could be what is missing, at least the causes for these feelings. It always gets back to the causes. Few things just happen by chance {cause and effect}. The fulfillment may not only have to do with work but to do with the underlying reasons. The 'natural' function of dreams is to help the dreamer understand what the underlying energies/causes are so the person can consciously be aware of them and, with work and time, resolve them.

Joseph Campbell, my spiritual mentor who introduced me to Jungian psyche in 1992} made the statement, " there is an invisible plane supporting the visible one." The unconscious is the invisible plane that underlies the conscious. We often do things we are not conscious of and on reason is the unconscious energies that motivate us to do so. Campbell was not only speaking to the inner aspects of the human psyche but energies within nature also. What many consider mysteries or even super natural are really natural phenomenon we do not understand or have yet to discover. Within the human psyche it is discovering the energies within the unconscious that make us do the mysterious things we do.

We have covered a lot in our conversation. The fact you are in counseling and seeking to discover the sources for your inner conflicts is a positive step in finding wholeness and happiness in life. Your posting your dreams for interpretation is also a positive step because it demonstrates an openness to seek all the tools possible to find that wholeness. I am not a psychologist/therapist, do not have any formal training {I am what is considered an 'intuitive Jungian'}. Let me make a point for consideration for future therapy.
You posted two dreams for me to analyze and all I knew about you was your age and gender. Yet I was able to point out many truths about your psychology from these two dreams. Just think if I had known what your therapist knows about you and used dreams as a tool in your therapy. From one post I pointed to truths that usually takes a therapist many hours of analyzing to get to. Consider the value of Jungian therapy and if it is possible to find a therapist who uses Jungian dream work. You may want to inquire to those possibilities. Consider the power of dreams.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 64 Cocoa, Fl

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

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