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

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Since 2012

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Baptism

When I was a kid I could recall a vivid memory (perhaps my first) of being baptized as a baby. It was in an Episcopalian church, and I could remember the face of the man who baptized me quite clearly-- an old, kind looking man with white hair, a white beard, and glasses. Since then the memory has become muddied, and of course I question how much my imagination fabricated since it's rare so have such early memories. I don't consider myself religious now-- my family and I stopped going to church when I was young. I haven't really decided what I believe exactly. I wouldn't say I'm completely un-spiritual-- maybe agnostic is the closest word.

Most of the details have faded now, but in my dream someone was revealing to me the fact that the water I was baptized with wasn't holy-- therefore the power or credibility of the baptism was null. The experience didn't mean whatever I had felt it meant (as an agnostic bordering on atheism, I don't really know what it means to me on a subconscious level. I like to think of it as special for some reason, though not because of its strictly Christian connotation.) Someone was then trying to explain to me how they could make it right-- how to specifically go back and do a "real" baptism, which seemed to require special circumstances. This was where my alarm went off, and other elements of the dream were lost to the daylight and morning routine. The rest of it has stuck with me however for a few days, as I've been trying to decide if there was any meaning to it. Thanks for reading- I would be happy to offer some background details about myself if that could help. I used to have a friend who liked interpreting my dreams, and did so well because she was not only intuitive but knew me better than anyone. We don't talk anymore, so I'm left without, these more than anything else, entertaining conversations we used to have.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 26/F/Minnesota

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Re: Baptism

Owlie,
All dreams address emotional issues in the present as well as the past {all dreams, all dream images/actions have at least two meanings/applications}. Dreams are about our emotions, especially those that are in conflict, emotional strong experiences possessing energies that are stored within the unconscious. Consciously there may be little notice of them but unconsciously the emotional energies remain in the psyche and because they have associations to something deeper with the dreamer {which often is the reason for the conflict} they are the source of our dreams. Dreams are nature's device to help resolve the issues even when we are not consciously aware they are there. Just as the immune system is to the body, dreams perform the same function for the psyche{ology}.

Having said that I sense your dream is focused on two issues/aspects in your emotional life. One has to do with your spiritual 'disbelief' and the other to do with your conscious life, the outer ego centered life. Because dreams have a language of symbol and metaphor it may be best if I address the images/actions as they related symbolically/metaphorically. Because you did provide additional information about your personal life {usually I only know the age and gender of the dreamer}, I can better understand some of the personal aspects of the dream. I'll post the dream as I read it {from your other comments} and then break down the images/actions.

Dream
in my dream someone was revealing to me the fact that the water I was baptized with wasn't holy-- therefore the power or credibility of the baptism was null. The experience didn't mean whatever I had felt it meant (as an agnostic bordering on atheism, I don't really know what it means to me on a subconscious level. I like to think of it as special for some reason, though not because of its strictly Christian connotation.) Someone was then trying to explain to me how they could make it right-- how to specifically go back and do a "real" baptism, which seemed to require special circumstances. This was where my alarm went off.....

The 'someone' is you, an inner communication with what we {Jungian psyche} term our true self {the ego self naturally is biased, not so the dream self, the true inner self}. What is being revealed is that true self as it has to do with emotional experiences that are conflicting and need resolution. These are the 'facts' as the inner self knows them and not always how the conscious ego self perceives them.
Note: The phrase 'going inward' is a psychological search, the inward/inner journey.

Seeing water in dreams points to unconscious aspects {the deeper the water-deep ocean or seas- the deeper into the unconscious}. Being baptized would have two applications, one associated with the literal experience when you were a child {I also remember being baptized, at the age of six}. Memories of such an experience is not unusual because we all possess a spiritual aspect within the psyche. Not necessarily to do with religion but more to do with cause and effect {Karma} , good actions resulting in positive results, bad actions in some manner coming back to bite you in the ass. It is what we cause to happen to ourselves and when we do good deeds {my concept of true spirituality}, good results unfold. This experience resides within your psyche because it is a natural aspect of who you are. It is in your dreams because there is conflict over the religious parts. I'll address that more later.

The second application would have to do with your current personal life. Personal aspects are seldom 'readable' when analyzing a dream because they are personal experiences and not describable beyond being a part of the foundations to the psyche {as are the 'natural' spiritual aspects}. Unless the dream analyst has personal information about the dreamer there can only be an outline of the 'foundations' {which include personality and reasons for attitudes/traits and actions in adult life}. Providing the basic foundations {as I did with the spiritual aspects} the dreamer is usually able to recognize associations to aspects/experiences in their current conscious life. Any personal experiences would be related to the foundations {why a person acted or reacted to a particular experience-usually related to personality traits/attitudes} since many experiences in life are determined by how we feel and act to the experiences. This is because the developing psyche is most impressionable in childhood {as with your baptism} and the early life experiences/influences become the primary foundations for the rest of the life {like son/daughter, like parents}.

Whereas the first application is related to the spiritual self, one that is not 'holy' related to the christian religion you grew up with {welcome to the club}, the second application would be addressing something about your personal life that is 'unholy', or possibly not whole. A baptism symbolically represents a renewal to something new from something old. There is something in your personal life that is either unholy, related to an experience{s} that was not right, or/and something that has prevented you from being whole as a person {affecting your personal/psychological growth}. Those experiences are in conflict, and need to be recognized and resolved so there can be a psychological renewal where you can have proper personal growth.

The power of religion has more or less been addressed in your personal life. But there are still conflicts to your spiritual self. The religious part is null but the spiritual part is 'naturally' important. Like you I was pretty much agnostic until the age of 42 {when I discovered Jungian psyche}. But the call to my true spiritual identity remained {within the unconscious} and when I began my inner journey I began to learn what that spiritual truth is {part Buddhism, part Gnosticism, part Native American spirituality, wholly in accord with nature and the environment}. The spiritual aspect is in conflict and you are seeking resolution to that, the reason it is a part of your dream.
Note: As I stated my religious experiences were much like yours. Beyond the study of all the religions of the world and realizing all religions are myths {exaggerated truths} and a product of man's power structure, I attended alternative churches {Unitarian/Universalist, Unity and Religious Science} and found myself among like minded people. But in the end I do not need a church to be spiritual. I merely find it in nature, a waterfalls, the beach and the setting/rising sun {I now live in Cocoa, Fl} or hiking in the woods.

The personal aspect is what is unknown {to me as an analyst and likely you on a conscious level}. This may be as important as the spiritual aspect depending on the experience{s} the dream is attempting to communicate. What little that is provided in teh dream doesn't offer much insights to what those might be. But the additional information you gave may. It would involve an experience that wasn't 'holy' and has affected the renewal of proper personal growth as an adult {baptism}. The dream is attempting to reveal this aspect {along with the spiritual}. There are unconscious associations to this personal aspect/experience that need to come to an end so you can experience a renewal of proper personal growth {baptism-death and resurrection of the soul}. The dream states {although as a recognition of thought if not spoken} 'the experience didn't mean whatever I had felt it meant'. On the surface what is thought it is being directed is your spiritual self. You unconsciously know it is 'special' because it is something other than just spiritual. The someone {again} trying to explain how to make it right is the unconscious dream {this is what dreams naturally attempt to do}. You need to go back and do a 'real baptism', a real search on your psyche to determine what the experiences are {from your past} that require special circumstances to resolve. What emotional issues from your past possess strong emotional energies that need to be recognized so you can resolve them. Unconsciously {if not consciously} they are preventing you from being the person you are capable of being. Spiritually and psychologically.

Summary
I had little doubt the issues to do with our spiritual identity is one reason for the dream. But I also sense there are other issues beyond the spiritual that are the intended message of the dream. Often when a person provides added personal information that includes descriptions of persons, places, things or experiences, those descriptions are related to the unconscious emotional experiences that are in conflict. The description 'of the man who baptized me quite clearly-- an old, kind looking man with white hair, a white beard, and glasses' may be relevant to the personal experience that needs to be recognized. That image has become 'muddied' with the basic word mud possible being relevant also {a dirty situation where an internal cleansing is needed}. The part about the white haired man may or may not be applicable but often added thoughts to a dream {even the name of a dream can be relevant} may be important. Are there any experiences from your past that would fit with a 'dirty' situation that has not been resolved? The real baptism {renewal} would come when you recognize what that is and begin the process of healing. The alarm that went off could be addressing something deeper than the spiritual aspects.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 65 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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