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FREE Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst Gerald Gifford
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How Dreams Function/Opening Statement in a Dream

Basics of Dream Analysis
Dreams open with a statement of place and a statement about the protagonist {leading character}. This phase of the dream is called the exposition. It indicates the scene of action, the people involved {some but not always all}, and the initial situation of the dream. This part of the dream is most important. Here is an example and an explanation.
I am in a place that is not completely recognizable but looks like my old neighborhood of the late 1950s, about the time when I was six or seven years old. I see my childhood house and I go inside. It feels comfortable and as I wonder throughout the house I come across one room I am reluctant to go into. I enter the room and the first impression is it is very dirty. In one corner is dark figure but I can not make out who it is. I quickly leave the room and shut the door.
Time & Place
Typically when a dream opens with a statement of a time and/or place associated with childhood then the dream is referencing a literal time/place in the dreamer's life. I have found in working with dreams this is a standard pattern and always fits with the dreamer's actual experiences during that time of life. Although dreams have a primary language of symbol and metaphor there are literal applications as well. The literal application is when the dreamer was 6 or 7 which is a statement of an actual experience during that time frame. {note: many dreams do not make a direct statement of age as in this dream, age 6 or 7. Instead the dream language is less explicit and may use only the old neighborhood of the late 1950s}. This beginning statement is most always the primary focus of the dream, an emotional experience that possessed strong emotional energies from childhood that remains unresolved {psychologically}.

The Neighborhood
The neighborhood is both literal and symbolic/metaphorical. Literally the language is pointing to the dreamer's actual neighborhood as a child. Symbolically it represents sense of nurturing during childhood years. It is the 'inner' neighborhood. This distinction is important because it is a statement of the dreamer's psychological condition related to the nurturing aspects in early life. It is always important to look at the symbolic representations because they always are descriptive of a psychological aspect.

The neighborhood is not completely recognizable which points to aspects of the experience the dreamer may not remember or may have repressed because of the emotional discomfort or pain associated with the experience. This is important because it likely points to unrecognized unconscious energies that could lend itself to the dreamer's personality and personal attitudes later in life. The foundations of life are formed in the earliest years and become substructure of who the person is as an adult. Example: an abused child will take on specific characteristics as a result of the abuse but may not/does not know the experience{s} have control over their conscious life.

The House
The house is also literal as well as symbolic {many dreams usually use a house as a symbolic image and less often as a literal application}. Literally it is the place the dreamer had the emotional experience{s} that the dream is attempting to communicate {to help the dreamer recognize the energies and resolve them}. Symbolically the house is the dreamer's emotional self and the related aspects/energies that affect if not control the dreamer's conscious life. If there were not a direct reference to an 'literal' time frame then the house would be symbolic and the analysis would use it in that context.

It is comfortable house. This would likely point to a childhood that was generally a normal one. The psyche of a child is very resilient and despite appalling experiences life is seen through shaded glasses where the positives overcome the negatives.

The comfortable house could also point to life as an adult. Traumatic emotional experiences sometimes are so horrific the person's psyche is traumatized to the extent a psychosis is formed and normally is never realized. More often a traumatic experience is either consciously pushed aside and/or unconsciously repressed so life can take on a 'normality'. But as long as the issue related to the experience{s] remain unresolved they continue to affect the conscious life of the dreamer. Unconsciously the emotional energies have some if not total control of the conscious life through personal attitudes/personality {with the foundations from early life being the 'concrete' form in adult life}.

The 'One' Room
This is perhaps the most important part of the opening statement in the dream. It is pointing the a direct aspect of the dreamer's psychic condition if not a literal place where the 'negative' experiences occurred. It is not so important if it is a literal place because the symbolic application is making a statement there is something in the dreamer's unconscious they are reluctant to confront or recognize {that actually happened}. Most dreams are negative so the impression would be of a negative experience in the dreamer's life. 'Coming across' the room this one room also points to a reluctance to give thought or time to the issue if not a repression of the experience{s}.

The first impression is the room is very dirty. This is most likely a symbolic reference. First impressions are a psyche event related to intuition which, when using the first impression intuitively, are always right. The 'right' thing is there is one aspect about the dreamer that is 'dirty'. Since a house in a dream is always a reference to the dreamer, one room of the house would be one aspect of the dreamer. Symbolically dirty points to something that is prohibited or disgusting. So there is one aspect, an experience{s} that was prohibited {not something that should be done} or disgusting that occurred. The childhood experience{s} related to this dirty aspect is an event that should not have happened in the normal childhood life. It points to something that happened that possessed strong emotional energies {even as a child, specifically as a child} and has reserved a permanent place in the dreamer's conscious.

There is another aspect of the 'dirty' room that is important, one I have found to be fairly constant when analyzing dreams {obtained from the responses from the dreamers at my Dream Forum}. As an adult, and because of the 'dirty' room in the childhood life, the personality of the dreamer is often one of low self esteem and/or feelings of being unworthy. There may also be aspects of guilt, consciously felt not sure why. The unconscious energies are motivators for such feelings and usually have a profound affect on the dreamer's conscious life.

Dark Figure
Dark figures are often shadows in the unconscious. Shadows represent aspects which have not acknowledged or recognized. An aspect that has being rejected or/and kept hidden. Because it is a 'figure' it has a good chance of being an actual person but related to the aspects I named. A person who likely was the 'villain' and responsible for the 'dirty' feelings/room. And because the experience{s} were traumatic/possessed strong emotional energies the dreamer has pushed it into a 'corner' of the psyche were it will not be notice {consciously}. But unconsciously it is a force that has controlling powers over the conscious life. So the dreamer 'shuts' the door to this negative aspect and leaves it in its unconscious room. It will remain there {and continue to have conscious repercussions} until it is brought out of the shadows, confronted, resolved, and put it a proper place so it no longer can influence the conscious life.


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