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Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst Gerald Gifford
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5000+ Posted Dreams with Interpretations follows 'Dreams - What They Are and Their Function'
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Dreams - What They Are and Their Function
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 attempt to reveal 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 at Power of Dreams

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    A message from gerard about dreams

    There is this thing that is becoming quite obvious with each dream I interpret. Jung got it right. Look back at the past 6 months and if you review the posted dreams and my interpretation{s} {at the MDS Dream Forum} you will see how right he was. You can witness how my skills at interpreting dreams have developed also, so much so, and how do I say this without espousing ego?, "I can rightfully say I sometimes surprise myself".

    In other words 'we' have discovered the language of dreams, and dreams can be interpreted to that extent the dreamer realizes the associations to the waking life. A good example to the recognition of the associations by the dreamer, and this was pretty much a dream that came simple for me to interpret, is today's dream Sinking Ship submitted by Sandy. It is on the surface pretty much a straightforward dream about the emotional stresses and conflicts in her life. But notice also the animus/masculine qualities the dream could also be addressing. If we look at her sons metaphorically they could represent her 'under-developed/unused masculine qualities'. In the dream it is the boys who are engaged in the actions. The dream would be wanting to inform her of possible possible animus qualities that needs to be strengthen.

    For the dream to do that is to recognize {by the dreamer} those qualities that are 'out of balance' {psychologically} and 'know' in the future what influences and motivates the dreamer's action.

    Jung believed most dreams did have more than one interpretation. My experience has verified that belief, based my discussions with those who post dreams and provide good feedback. In most dreams there is usually a focus on the more serious issue in the dreamer's life with the secondary issue seemingly less important. The stresses in Sandy's life are embodied in her dreams, her waking life conditions reflected as symbolic metaphors {with the exceptions for her sons} that illustrate the 'truths' of her waking condition. Ego is not 'the' influence in the dream world as it is in the waking life. That is why I often refer to 'the true self' in many of my responses. A person in waking life will project an image that is more often a mask, a disguise. The true person, which could be hidden to some extent, the emotions are what the dreams presents in actions and images that are much like action scenes in real time.

    But consider if the dreamer eliminated those negative unconscious influences, would not that person be better off psychologically? For me that demonstrates the psychological healing powers of dreams, and recent studies have shown that to be true. Jung realized it 70 years ago.

    Of course the first thing to do when interpreting Sandy's dream is to determine whether the people in her dream were real or symbolic. The action flow of a dream often will demonstrate which is primary and it did so for me as I read the dream. Other than the seal, alligator and the island, the symbols were descriptive waking life and flowed as if they were demonstrating something emotionally real in her conscious life. There is that 'feel' with most dreams that point in what direction to look.

    Noteworthy: I do receive intuitive impressions when I read most dreams. And as in normal conscious life, when using those intuitive abilities, they are always 'on target'. I've known about my intuitive abilities in person recognition for a long time but I believe I have enhanced those abilities through my dream work and utilize them, to an extent that most dreams 'speak' to me. That sounds a 'little out there' I know but
    if you consider that nature provided the human animal with sensory abilities, nothing magical or mysterious about it. I do believe anyone with 'above normal' intuitive abilities can learn to 'read' dreams with great accuracy. And of course with many years of serious study in Jungian psyche. It isn't as much scholarly as it is 'natural' understanding.

    I post this message in hopes it provides insights to how I 'interpret' dreams. I am fortunate that over the years I have created a 100+ pages at MDS that help illustrate what I want to say in my interpretations and discussions.

    I first began interpreting dreams in 1998. In 1992, at the age of 42, I began my 'Jungian' education with Joseph Campbell {Power of Myth}. If I can learn Jung, MOST anyone can. With good intuitive senses and an awareness beyond self, and an education in Jungian dream psychology.

    And, for those who are curious about my name, gerard. I use it as a nondescript signature so there is not a focus on me but my interpretation. Most who visit MDS know my real name is Jerry. For anyone of you who do not know who gerard really is, below is a brief sketch of my real person.

    Or is it?

    gerard's profile


    gerard

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 58 Murfreesboro, Tn

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    Does anyone wish to contribute feedback to my post? You can disagree if you wish but please use specifics so I can address those issues.

    gerard

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 58 Murfreesboro, Tn

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    I am a young man who has been studying Jung for less than a year, and studying my dreams (thanks to Girard) for just over a month now. And I must agree, Jung is definitely onto something in regards to the concept of the collective unconscious and dream symbology. Already in my dreams I am starting to see issues and aspects of myself, and in so doing I am beginning to confront such things rather than letting them drift idly by as I have done in my life up until now. And I am just a rookie at dream interpretation.

    Girard is seen to frequently come to an understanding of the issues in the person’s life from the symbols of the dream, and with a little feedback, manage to hit the nail on the head.

    This is a fantastic website in this regard, and I feel may be a pivotal bend in the road of my own life. Where at first I figured it would be fun to see what would be made of an interesting dream I had a while ago, the real result of my coming across this website is that I have begun looking at my own dreams myself, and analysing what they are saying utilising the provided dream dictionaries.

    The result has been astounding, and what has happened because of this is I have opened up conversation with an entity of me that until now I was completely unaware even existed. It is a path of self-improvement, and I am beginning to perceive the unconscious contents that I do not want to face, the monsters that I shall have to slay.

    This really is a case of the old saying “give a man a fish and you can feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you can feed him for a lifetime.” Where I came with the interest of getting a free fish, I in fact learnt to fish myself, which I find of far greater value.

    And this is basically what the website user can come out with. There is the opportunity to have dreams analysed, but there is also the tools to begin to develop the ability to undertake this analysis yourself.

    On the issue of self-analysis I would like to put my own two cents in, that I can not stress how important it is to put the dream down on paper, get some feel of what the setting is, what the symbols are, what they represent, and how they relate to each other. I have thought I understood what a dream was saying when I have done all this in my head, but when I have written it down, dissected the contents, and completed my analysis I have come across a completely different conclusion that has opened my awareness about myself and helped me confront aspects that are already improving my lifestyle.

    In addition to this I feel it is also important to get another’s input into the interpretation of the dream. As Girard states, there are multiple interpretations of a dream, all on different levels of understanding. As a professional cartographer I deal with creating symbols all the time, and I know that different symbols can be interpreted in different ways, and have multiple meanings. I use these facts to my advantage on a regular basis. At university I learnt ‘how to lie with maps’ which basically involves using different symbols to highlight a map’s specific meaning. The unconscious does this in our dreams (if you are a believer).

    Going back to the reasons to get another’s input is your own focus-bias. If you are really examining a particular aspect of yourself consciously, such as spiritual growth for instance, you may completely overlook that your dream is saying that you are neglecting your physical health and miss a crucial ‘piece’ of self-analysis.

    For this reason, there will always be a place for using the dream forum as a barometer on your own interpretations.

    Something I think that is underutilised on the MDS website, that could be a unique and powerful tool, as well as generate something of a stronger community around this website, is the use of the discussion forum. I think it would be a most handy tool for the opening of communication between emerging dream analysts such as myself, along with the input of our veteran analysts such Girard. It could be an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and expanding of mind. A collective conscious.

    I will take up my own prerogative and go and introduce a topic there now.

    Come join me.

    Timmi

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 26 - Perth, Western Australia

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    Timmi,
    Thanks for the wonderful response. I will provide a more detailed response later today. I do want to comment on your suggestion about the Discussion Forum. I hope to expand that discussion soon. Time is the biggest obstacle but I sense that is about to change. I will definitely keep an eye on this forum and try to keep it up to date. i noticed you have a couple of recent posts which I will address later also.

    Again, thanks for your input to this post.

    gerard

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 58 Murfreesboro, Tn

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    Hello Gerard and Timmi,

    Regarding Gerard’s post, I do feel all dreams are meant to lead the soul to wholeness of body, mind and spirit.

    Timmi wrote:

    “This really is a case of the old saying “give a man a fish and you can feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you can feed him for a lifetime.” Where I came with the interest of getting a free fish, I in fact learnt to fish myself, which I find of far greater value.

    And this is basically what the website user can come out with. There is the opportunity to have dreams analysed, but there is also the tools to begin to develop the ability to undertake this analysis yourself.

    Going back to the reasons to get another’s input is your own focus-bias. If you are really examining a particular aspect of yourself consciously, such as spiritual growth for instance, you may completely overlook that your dream is saying that you are neglecting your physical health and miss a crucial ‘piece’ of self-analysis.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What you write is a perfect journey towards self-development. A great teacher guides and presents possibilities whereas you mark your own path.

    Dreams certainly have multiple levels of meaning. I have been rereading Jeremy Taylor’s book WHERE PEOPLE FLY AND WATER RUNS UPHILL: USING DREAMS TO TAP THE WISDOM OF THE UNCONSCIOUS, and he feels strongly that EVERY dream in some way also presents the PHYSICAL state/condition of the dreamer. While this is hardly ever on my mind when I look at my dreams, it has caused me to experiment with and reconsider past dreams to see if any symbol(s) are presenting my physical state at that time, and especially if there is any reference to a particular body part.

    I am also currently reading Clyde Ford’s book WHERE HEALING WATERS MEET: TOUCHING MIND AND EMOTION THROUGH THE BODY. In my opinion, it is an excellent resource to understand how our physical body holds all memories/emotions etc. and how through simple touch (by others or by oneself) we can release stored up physical pain/past trauma etc. This author also wrote COMPASSIONATE TOUCH. I am very much a true believer in self-healing. In line with what Gerard and Timmi wrote, with the right tools and right intention, you can accomplish anything .

    Susanna

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 47 in Florida

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    Susanna,
    There are many good teachers/guides to the dream world and personal growth. I have found those who are the best either have realized elements of Jungian psyche on their own or have studied Jung. Of course even Jung's conclusions were predicated on the oldest teaching guides in history, and continued with the modern teachers many of us will recognize {from Aristotle and Socrates to Kant, Spinoza and Schopenhauer}. It depends on the individual psyche to which guide 'catches' the imagination. And in many cases {as with my own} Serendipity chance that leads the individual down a path of true realizations. Discovery of a guide is usually the easier aspect of the journey. Enduring the tasks in life's journey is the hard part.

    gerard

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 58 Murfreesboro, Tn

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    Susanna, an interesting title of the book 'WHERE WATER RUNS UPHILL'. In my studies we found that it is rare, but possible for water to run uphill... Of course that is just technical definitions, it is complicated but makes sense scientifically speaking.

    I most certainly am on a journey of self-development. It has been an eye opening journey all the way along, from its humble beginnings. It is interesting to note the guides that have marked the path, and even though not everything I have looked at has sat properly with me, it usually has led to a sign post that has directed me onwards in my search.

    Where I will go from here is not crystal clear to me yet, but I think the answer I will find in my dreams.

    Speaking of dreams and answers, the dream is a bridge between conscious and unconscious, but there is another bridge, meditation. This is something I have experimented with, with interesting results.

    I suppose to me it is the mirror of dreams. Where dreams are the projection of symbols from the unconscious into the conscious, I see meditation as the projection of symbols from the conscious into the unconscious.

    The biggest issue I face is not so much deciphering what the answers are, but rather what question should I ask?

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 26 - Perth, Western Australia

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    Timmi,
    "The biggest issue I face is not so much deciphering what the answers are, but rather what question should I ask?"

    There is a quote from Joseph Campbell about mythology that provides much of the questions, as well as the possible answers.

    Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world....

    By exploring the myths and discovering the metaphors they present, and represent, you are able to realize the patterns of human behavior and how to reconcile those behaviors. Identifying with a myth or myths can lead you through the maze of life, guiding posts that provide clues to your won existence, and the clues to the mysteries of the universe.

    And the same can be said of our dreams. Both myth and dreams use the same metaphors from the universal realm and these metaphors can also apply to the personal psyche. For instance. One myth that applies to my psyche, personality and mode of thinking is the 'Trickster' archetype. This pattern of behavior fits me perfectly and understanding the patterns for which my psyche best identifies with provides insights to my personality. There are other archetypes that fit but this one seems as if it were written specifically for me. "for the heroes of all time have gone before us", they have experienced the same experiences as I and thus provide experience of what I can expect.

    Give that some thought and see if there is that mythological pattern that fits you. It may help.

    There is one thing that should be understood about dreams, myths, archetypes and the quest for balance and harmony in life. It takes all of the above to get a sense of which direction to take, what path to travel in life. I do not use dreams exclusively as to how to live my life. I don't analyze all my dreams and even if I did if I wouldn't have the resources to understand the underlying message of the archetypes, unless I have studied the other related information that supports the unconscious psyche. Dreams are one aspect of te inner journey. It is the understanding of self from dreams that provide clues to what the true Self is about. Important yes, but not taken alone.

    You may want to read more about Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth. It was this series of programs that awakened me to that other person within.

    gerard

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 58 Murfreesboro, Tn

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    I am a late bloomer, so to speak, in reading Jung. I read DREAMS... and thoroughly enjoyed the journey which evolved. I love to read dreams and one’s interpretations of them. I feel sharing dreams is important since our own perspective is not necessarily THE perspective. I began having dreams reflecting Jung’s concepts as I was reading the book and discovered for myself that certain concepts he relayed spoke of truth. Having your own experience says so much. I find Jung’s writing easy to read although some concepts may initially sound difficult because they are foreign in relation to what one is currently thinking.

    I don’t accept everything I read and that includes Jung. I do not like the Personality Types he presents and that is due to my own dislike of “labels” and anything which might smack of being put into a “box” but that is my own personal concern. There are many people who like to identify being this or that personality type, etc.

    I think Jungian concepts are a great basis for studying dreams. I also experiment with other angles/perspectives that other writers offer in doing dreamwork. Everyone has pieces of the puzzle but that puzzle may take on different forms in the process and not be what one first thought due to one’s ever evolving consciousness. One journeys where one desires to wander or stays where one wishes to set up camp. It’s all personal choice. The questions come when you desire to explore.

    Susanna

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 47 in Florida

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

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    Susanna,
    For me, and you, Jung comes naturally. That is the intuitive aspect of the psyche and Jung tapped into that with his philosophies on dreams and the collective unconscious. Like you I am not big on the personality types but most of those are not from Jung himself {Meyers-Briggs used his concepts of the psyche to formulate the 'types'}. For those who participate in the Individuation Process, 'stereotyping' of the personality is left behind. The goal is to incorporate and develop those traits that are less effective in the psyche. That sort of throws the whole concept of personality types on its head.

    As for accepting other's concepts merely on faith alone. Well faith isn't something I subscribe to {Campbell's words, "I don't need faith, I have experience"}. But I have found that most reasonable concepts of the psyche by 'enlightened' teachers fall within the realms of what Jung proposed. That is because he did recognize the 'universal' aspects of the psyche and truth to be told is within that realm of knowledge. Most who I find to be the best 'tutors' of wisdom are females, ie Marion Woodman, Elaine Pagels, Jean Houston and so on. Of course there are many good male teachers also but it seems the feminine aspect, what I believe to be superior to the masculine, are better communicated by women authors and writers. But that is me. And i don't presume to be anyone special.

    gerard

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    Re: A message from gerard about dreams

    *Follows the signposts, clicking heels, singing, and dancing*

    The muddy waters are clearing.

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 26 - Perth, Western Australia

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