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Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst Gerald Gifford
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Dreams are a succession of images, actions and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind primarily during the REM stage of sleep. Dreams are unbiased, spontaneous products of the unconscious, outside the control of conscious will. The act of dreaming is physical but the contents of dreams is psychological. They are NATURAL expressions of the dreamer's emotional/personal life illustrating experiences that possess strong emotional energies. Although there are literal applications in dreams the primarily language is symbolic, metaphorical of the dreamer's emotional energies.
  • 1. Dreams are about the emotions, emotional energies of the person who is dreaming. They offer advice and a deeper understanding of our waking life as well as the foundations for the emotional energies of the dreamer.

  • 2. The language of dreams is symbolic, but also with literal applications {literal waking experinces}. The symbolic images and actions are metaphors for the patterns or motifs for the dreamer's emotional/psychological/physical life. Every character in a dream is a different aspect of an unacknowledged aspect of the dreamer and/or a prevalent situation in the person's life involving actual persons/experiences {dreams will address both aspects}.

  • 3. The purpose and function of dreams is to guide the conscious self to achieve wholeness and offer a solution to the problems in waking life. Solutions to problems and conflicts from everyday life, as well as the deeper underlying issues, 'emotional injuries' that stem from the foundations of the dreamer {early life experiences and trama experiences in life}.
    ---Dreams reveal vital information that expose the authentic emotions and feelings that are often concealed from the conscious mind.
    ---Dreams compensate for conscious attitudes and personality traits that are out of balance.

  • 4. Dreams are intentional. Nature provides us with dreams to understand and help heal emotional conflicts/issues. Just as the body has the immune system to heal and protect, the psych{ology} has the dream.

  • 5. Dreams possess 'Archteypal' representations. Archetypes are universal, original patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct. An archetype is an inherited tendency of the human mind to form representations of mythological motifs-representations of the symbolic images/actions without losing their basic emotional pattern. Dreams and mythology share the same archetypal images, myths as illustrations of the universal patterns and dreams as illustrations of personal patterns.

  • 6. All dreams have at least two meanings or applications. One is the symbolic representation metaphorical of the emotional energies and the second being a literal application where a person, place or experience is addressing a real life experience. More about this in the Basics of Dream Analysis section

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    difficulty with interpreting a recurrent dream

    I am here with the difficulty I sometimes have when I dream with my boyfriend:How do you know if the dream talks about your inner masculine side or your emotions towards the real person? Also, how do you know that your dreams just don't sugest egotistical behaviour?
    For instance,I often dream that my boyfriend doesn't pay me enough attention(I have that feeling in real life and feel that he doesn't really commit even if he loves me, he just needs a lot of space).The dream exagerates the situations and I wake up with a lot of grief ,often crying...feeling neglected and abandonned. In real life,he says I am wrong and just being touchy.He loves me but needs his independence(we have been going out for four years but don't live together).
    So the question is:is it possible that my egotistical feelings of possessiveness advise me in my dream, is it possible that the dream leads me in a wrong direction augmenting an egotistical behaviour?I would like to open up to wholeness and not go on an ego trip.So when I see in a dream,(it is recurrent)that my boyfriend is not really there when I need him.And I feel angry at him or anguished what does that really mean?I often feel so in real life, but think it is because of my own issues not so much because his behaviour is wrong.Sometimes I also think he is egotistical...And then I get confused and don't know how to deal with practical situation if to stand up for my needs or work on my needy tendencies...Would appreciate any suggestions .margit

    Re: difficulty with interpreting a recurrent dream

    My thoughts about whether a person in a dream should be treated as a literal or a metaphorical representation depends on how the dream content plays out and if it actually fits with your waking life. If there are unknown people in your dream then they most likely would be symbolic of aspects of yourself. A known loved one is often representative of them self. In either case what the dream is doing is providing insights to your true emotions. That would include intuitive aspects as well, sensing something that may not be clearly evident. Always rely on those intuitive feelings.

    Will the dream lead you in the wrong direction. No. But it can use 'opposite' language in an attempt to 'advise' you. And the one symbolic motif or symbol an address two different aspects of your life {Jung:: dreams always have at least two meanings}. If your boyfriend does in fact not provide the attention that he should then the dream is addressing that aspect. But it could also be addressing your own shortcomings.

    How to figure it out. Does the dream content fit with your life? If both of the above fit then take both as fact. If it does not fit, and there are not unconscious barriers that prevent you from realizing that one or the other does not fit, then take the dream message as metaphor and look to the symbolic meaning{s}.

    Interpreting dreams requires more than merely interpreting symbols. I look at a dream and seek a 'flow' of emotional energy that betrays the underlying dream message {motif}. That also requires an intuitive approach {hail! to the power of the feminine}. And many years of practice.

    Hope this helps


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    Re: difficulty with interpreting a recurrent dream

    Hi Margit

    In dreams I have come to know that there of at least two truths to understanding the dream, and each one of these truths focus themselves at a differnt level of understanding both of them being correct.

    To know if the dream is about about an inner aspect of yourself or your feelings towards the real person can be looked at from both points of view and I believe these views represents both truths to understanding your dream.

    Buddhism offers us the view that everything arises from within, to see the hills in the distance is for us to give the hills a lable that comes first and foremost from within, from the hills point of view they are not hills they just are, part of the flow of our energy/matrix universe the Maya in which we exist is of our own creation wherby the mind differentiates all experiences, this again is but one level of truth.

    The same level of understanding can be applied to the dreaming mind, that every symbol that arises first arises from within we contain the energy blueprint if you like of that symbol with in our own energy matrix.
    For example to dream of ones boyfriend who does not pay one enough attention in their daily life, would suggest that the Boyfriend would represent a Particular thought pattern or set of attitudes that are reflective first and formost of the dreamer, so that To understand the dream one would look at how one is not giving their own day to day feeling selves any attention or commitment on a symbolic level, that is to say where in your life are you not paying any attention to your own day to day feeling self, needs and expectations. How do you disregard the way you feel? Where arnt you meeting your day to day needs in some way, what arnt you giving yourself? by listening and attuning to your own mental voice that in someway shares the same mental voice of your boyfriend you will begin to identify with where and how you are in 'relationship' to yourself.

    I hope that makes a little sense it can be difficult to grasp, I know in vipassna one gets to hear all of their inner mental voices, and for many that hurdle alone is enough to send people bolting back into denial of their own inner paradigm. When not able to hear ourselves clearly in this way we tend to then attract into our lives similar situations that will show us and reflect back to us these same inner truths, weather we choose to listen is our choice. In my own training we were given once a tibetan based exercise of dream yoga whereby one spends a portion of time each day of treating ones waking life like a dream to just walk around and notice everything as if your awake in a dream, a very powerful exercise that will make a person very present, it also deflects how we would usually respond to a situation, ie noticing our partners misgivings in a different light with out karmic reaction if you like.
    For if we are present in our own hearts we would only respond out of love for one would see the truth inherent in your boyfriends response that is possibly his inability to give attention or show commitment or to project his love due to his own inner dynamics at play and his inability to connect with his heart space at times. One will only react if it triggers something in oneself some similar pattern, for if this pattern did not exist within you then you would possibly see only his innewounded child acting out instead and the voice and behaviour of a boy or young man that has been wounded at some point.

    To come form the heart is to come from a place of no judgement and in service a human lesson that we are all currently moving through.
    The christ energy that came into the world two thousand years ago set these wheels of growth into motion and we are now only really beginning to learn and intergrate the painful lessons that will ultimately lead us to our own hearts, Relationships are our biggest catalyst for learning about the conflicts of the heart, and is becoming more intense for many people as we move through these lessons.
    To own the dream as first and foremost about oneself is very empowering then we can see why we continue to create the same pattrens and situations in our lives, only my making inner changes will our outer world change. Just my perspective and sense of things.
    Many blessings to you Marce.

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    Re: difficulty with interpreting a recurrent dream

    Thanks Gerard and Marce,both of you are really helpful.
    Firstly,Gerard: Yes ,both the interpretations fit.In the sense that in some situations ,he really IS not being considerate enough.I can see that if I reflect on the situation later on or if I reflect on former situation of his old tendencies in the beginning of our relationship when it was more pronounced.However ,I can also see how in certain situations the pain I feel is more than maybe another woman without that wound in the father relationship would feel. So maybe i have to take the dream on both levels at the same time.Being true to my own feeling of hurt and anger and acknowledge it as something that also must be respected and embraced(I don't want to fall into negating it) and at the same time maybe seeing how it becomes intensified because it gets mixed up with that old childhood feeling that"Daddy doesn't really love me".That is what you mean with Jung's quote, I suppose.That two realities(inner and outer) coexist.Coexist for us who make that separation at least, as according to some enlightened beings inner and outer is just a conceptual division of an unique reality.
    "Interpreting dreams requires more than merely interpreting symbols. I look at a dream and seek a 'flow' of emotional energy that betrays the underlying dream message {motif}."What do you exactly mean by the flow of energy that betrays the underlying message?Ok;I continue in another reply just below

    Re: difficulty with interpreting a recurrent dream

    ok continue here:
    Marce, yes I know that technique of considering everything as a dream during daytime.On one hand it helps to become lucid in dreams(I don't work with lucidity) and on the other it helps no to take everything as so fixed and solid and get so hooked on the reality of our own interpretation of the situations.Generally speaking these tibetan techniques have been and are very helpful for many situations or conflicts etc for me.Apart from my painful feelings, and hurt in intimate relationships.There i am just knocked out .

    One very interesting point you make is the meaning of the dream of how I am in relationship to my own feelings.I am discovering that I have a difficulty in just staying with the raw feeling of the pain/hurt in a situation without reacting.Giving it some space.Minor feelings of irritations,Thoughts etc is no problem but this burning knot/pain at the core of being is a problem.The curious thing is that I was always telling my boyfriend that he is afraid of feeling and now I ask myself o I really FEEL? a whole Mystery, suddenly I see the whole dimension of feeling where you can silently abide and where there is communication without words and just being.This is alien for me I am a communicator/thinker.You can see that sometimes in films about "primitive"people, or people in the countryside a century ago.I am rommantic, yes ,the tormented type,thinking I was feeling alot.Yes,but not pausing,being ,feeling(difficult to explain,I don't know if that makes some sense to you).
    So I suppose I have no real relationship to my feelings,maybe I don't commit and honour them and analyse and explain them away?
    "by listening and attuning to your own mental voice that in someway shares the same mental voice of your boyfriend you will begin to identify with where and how you are in 'relationship' to yourself."
    Can you give a practical example of what you exactly mean by that?
    I agree with what you say about relationship as a catalyst.I see my relationship as a helper in my process and my boyfriend also sees it like that.Unfortunately, I cannot see the inner hurt child in him in the conflicting moment because my own pain gets in the way and I lack emotional maturity and the inner love in that moment of hurt is obstaculized and blocked.The rage and resentment takes over and fear as well.What i try to do as a technique I have invented but maybe exists is trying to see him as the manifestation of my own masculine side with a certain curiosity.If I see him as"MR.Shrek the monster" becuase he is grumpy I try to take a step back and look at him as the manifestation of my inner man. if he is sulking,I look at him:how is my inner man sulking or hurt?It is an experiment....
    Thanks alot to both of you for sharing your ideas.Margit
    That is quite interesting,I will se how it goes.

    Re: difficulty with interpreting a recurrent dream

    Hi Margit
    Thanks for sharing yourself in such an honest manner, it really strikes a chord with me, you wrote -

    "The curious thing is that I was always telling my boyfriend that he is afraid of feeling and now I ask myself o I really FEEL? a whole Mystery, suddenly I see the whole dimension of feeling where you can silently abide and where there is communication without words and just being.This is alien for me I am a communicator/thinker.You can see that sometimes in films about "primitive"people, or people in the countryside a century ago.I am rommantic, yes ,the tormented type,thinking I was feeling alot.Yes,but not pausing,being ,feeling(difficult to explain,I don't know if that makes some sense to you)"

    Yes, yes :) it makes perfect sense this is how we heal our pain, by connecting to it, feeling it letting it charge through our systems, without Judgement without analysis without the thinking mind to regulate it, but to feel it for what it is to let it 'flow' like water coursing through a reservoir. When we interact with it at the level of the mind we only serve to block it, skirt around it, we can talk about it, analyse it understand it even, but no real healing takes place.

    Body orientated therapies serve to help us release these feelings at a somatic level, by bringing us fully into the present for it is through our bodys that we are able to let go. For many the body is an alien place through which we cut ourselves of from, usually as a conseqence of some trauma, Or long held emotional charge that at the time overwhelmed or was to unpleasant for the individual to acknowledge or understand, This is when we split of from what is real for us from our essence. We mould our thoughts attitudes and behaviour in such a way that they, then serve as our first line of defence. This layer serves to protect our most vulnerable centres. When we come from the layers of the mind no real sense of contentment can truly exist for the individual. Getting into ones body and out of the head is key for any healing to take place.

    Our Bodys hold all of our emotional blockages and when held in place for extended periods of time they will begin to create imbalances at the physical level, the body is a great map for showing us what it is we need to look at, and vicaversa it is through our bodys that we can work with the emotional imbalances that are held or locked into a pattern. It is afterall our energy matrix, That is our inner energies/dynamics that make up the physical body,
    All that exists in our lives has it's fuel or blueprint, in our own energies within. When I use the word "energies", I'm referring to all the energy that makes up who we are, and is evident in our thoughts, feelings, beliefs attitudes, and actions, and includes any buried emotions and masked ideas that govern our thinking and beliefs that even we may be unaware of consciously.

    Dreams then of men relate to the masculine energy - which is the thinking, believing and action taking energy within the dreamer. It is "coupled" with the dreamer's feminine - which is the full lower and higher emotional/feeling/heart of the dreamer.

    I just want to share this example with you as it is a way I have heard it articulated before and it helped me immensly to understand the dreaming self and the interactions of the masculine and feminine energies within, in relating to different types of men, In addition to ones partners that can be found in a dream, therfore I take no credit and am still learning much myself in relation to these inner relationships.

    To give an example - a dreamer who has an unresolved emotional issue of having been abandoned, but has let go and cleared all other deeply held emotional experiences within, the mind of that dreamer then will have thought patterns, beliefs, attitudes and take actions that perfectly fit the feminine profile within that person, i.e., mostly healthy thoughts and actions in life except for when the person sets themselves up within a situation that triggers the potential of abandonment to occur.

    The mind (masculine) of the dreamer will think, and that person will do, and act in ways that are mostly healthy but will have a distorted view during any situation that the dreamer percieves will lead to abandonment. The mind here then may "think" in ways that automatically prevents and protects one from the feelings of abandoment without realizing it, one reponse may be to create abandonment situations wherby the person themselves abandons first thus maintaing controll over the painful fears inside that threaten to overwhelm the individual.

    But the point is that the mind and doing aspect of the person is ruled by, or gets it's motivation for thoughts, beliefs and actions from, the feminine energetic within - the feelings and emotions. This particular person's feminine still possesses the fear of abandonment within, so the mind, then, is still imprisioned by the fear. In other words the masculine is tied to a debilitated feminine.

    Therefore, the dreams this person has where a male appears and there is attempts at coupling or not (or being chased, killed, tricked, etc.), is a display of what's occurring as the dreamer works to resolve the emotional difficulties that bind the dreamer to repetitive circumstances in life around the unresolved issue of having been abandoned.

    If the emotional issue has been cleared through facing and understanding, with compassion, all that pertains to the crippling fear-based emotion, then the mind of the dreamer literally changes. It's gained new knowledge, actually, by learning from the old fear.

    We are literally "enlightened" (not in the buddhist sense though) when we learn from facing our debilitating emotions. That enlightenment (knowledge) literally changes us by allowing new thoughts, beliefs, ideas AND actions to occur in our daily lives. We've literally been freed of the crippling agent, and this allows us to expand mentally/intellectually, as well as open our lives to new experiences because we're free to "do" in new

    This fundamental change in our inner energies will be reflected by dreams of a new male that the dreamer kisses, hugs or merges with via the symbol of sexual relations. Any of these symbols of communion are indicative of varying degrees of taking on a new masculine energy in the dreamer. Specifically because the dreamer has become free to do so by clearing the feminine energy that kept it tied to the old masculine energy.

    As an outcome to releasing such a deeply held emotional pattern the outer world of the dreamer, a reflection of the inner energies present in the dreamer,will change, so if a fundamental change occurs within, the outer world CAN reflect that by presenting the person with a new relationship weather current or in the meeting of a new man.

    This portrys a snippet of the different ways that men will reflect themselves in dreams and the symbology that they contain.

    Coming back to your question in a previous post of how to intergrate the masculine/male energy or work with it, im unsure now of the exact wording, but this may give you some insight of how when we clear what is happening at the emotional level the corresponding patterns of thoughts, behaviour and actions how we respond, will clear as well, our thoughts and behaviour will reflect more the new sense of how we feel in the world when confronted with situations that would of previously pressed our buttons, it will clear and change how we are in 'relationship' to ourselves, our feeling selves. When acknowledging our feelings and giving them space to just be without judgement, but attending our feelings with all the love and care that we would hold for a newborn baby then our relationship with ourself will have changed and be relfected by again a new man in ones dreams, and if female, even cheating with a new man may be dreamnt of.

    The key is to work then with the underlying emotional patterns that govern our actions in the world, and it sounds that you really connected with this on some level in your reply, that is, what it means to clear the emotional pain and the psyhic steps necessary, to reorientate yourself to connect at the level of your body awareness and to really 'FEEL' what is happening for you. Working at this level one can achieve great shifts in themselves. A method for working in this manner in which has helped me shift some of my emotional patterns is called focusing and a book has been written by a lady called The Power of Focusing: Finding Your Inner Voice (Paperback)
    by Ann Weier Cornell (Author)
    A very simple book, The best way to explore it is with a second person experientially, as the second person acts as a guide and anchor for you.

    A good Zen shiatsu therapist can also assist one to release such long held emotional patterns, along with Bowen therapists and practitioners who work with an understanding of core energetics.

    All the best to you


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    Re: difficulty with interpreting a recurrent dream

    Hi just to add,

    That the releasing of any feelings goes hand in hand with the breath and the way we breathe. We can through activating and moving with the rythem of our own breathing release feelings that are stuck or blocked. There is a whole modality geared towards working with the breath 'breathwork' a person who is trained in this will guide you into your self gently encouraging you to release the feelings as you experience them, a profound modality, where it is not uncommon for participants to release, long held birth traumas which can be the origins of many of the patterns one experiences in life.

    Learning to breathe when experiencing intense emotions can be a key step in releasing them. At the deepest root of our beings usually it is some fear of sorts that creates the initial tension, which governs the way we react, Ie become enraged or resentful, catching oneself in the initial way of experiencing the fear is the point of contact at which we are more readily able to release that fear, staying with it breathing letting it move through us without judgement, And finding only love and acceptance for our feeling state is very healing for our mind body and spirits.

    Best to you Marce

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    Re: difficulty with interpreting a recurrent dream

    thanks Marce for taking all that time to answer.I have ordered the book on focusing.I find your ideas very helpful and will take all that into my mind for reflection.All the best Margit

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