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Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst Gerald Gifford
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Read the following. Posted Dreams follows.

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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    The Function of Myth-They teach you that you can turn inward

    In the story of my journey I have often told of the time of my first encounter will Joseph Campbell and how that first experience changed my life.

    The story goes: Turning on the TV to PBS one Sunday afternoon in 1992 I saw Campbell being interviewed by Bill Moyers in what turned out to be one hour of the six hour program 'The Power of Myth. The moment the program ended I knew something had changed. The myths had caught me.

    Why would the subject of myth so enthrall me that it could change a life that knew nothing about the subject prior to its introduction by Campbell? To be honest it has taken many years to completely figure this out. Perhaps the strangest thing is the answer was there in my first encounter. An exert from Campbell's and Moyer's discussion of the power of myth.

    Bill Moyers: Myths are clues?

    Joseph Campbell: Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.

    Bill Moyers: What we are capable of knowing and experiencing within?

    Joseph Campbell: Yes.

    Bill Moyers: You changed the definition of a myth from the search for meaning to the experience of meaning.

    Joseph Campbell: Experience of life. The mind has to do with meaning. What's the meaning of a flower. There's the Zen story about a sermon of the Buddha in which he simply lifeted a flower. There was only one man who gave him a sign with his eyes that he understood what was said. Now, the Buddha himself is called "the one thus come". There's no meaning. What's the meaning of the universe? What's the meaning of a flea? It's just there. We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it's all about.

    There is no meaning. Its just there. But when I engaged in seeking those inner values I discovered not only my meaning in life but the whole meaning of life itself.

    'The mind has to do with meaning'. And the mind can go off on tangents that have only to do with the emotions. The real meaning is 'we are just here', human animals existing in the 'meantime' of history destined to extinction. That sounds like a negative approach indeed. But if we continue with the Campbell/Moyer's discussion we begin to understand.

    Campbell: Mythology teaches you what's behind the literature and the arts, it teaches you about your own life. It's a great, exciting, life-nourishing subject. Mythology has a great deal to do with the stages of life, the initiation ceremonies as you move from childhood to adult responsibilities, from the unmarried state into the married state. All of those rituals are mythological rites. They have to do with your recognition of the new role that you're in, the process of throwing off the old one and coming out in the new, and entering into a responsible profession.

    Understanding ones role in life. When did you first begin to understand your role in life? I was past 42, after my first encounter with Campbell. Yours may have been sooner but my experience in life shows most of us never really discover that role. We stagger through life not knowing whether we were coming or going, playing it by ear only to realize at mid-life what a waste it all has been. And realizing then the potential that was there that could have been.

    Mythology serves many purposes

    1} Myths grant continuity and stability to a culture. They foster a shared set of perspectives, values, history -- and literature, in the stories themselves. Through these communal tales, we are connected to one another, to our ancestors, to the natural world surrounding us, and to society; and, in the myths which have universal (i.e., archetypal) themes, we are connected to other cultures.

    2} Myths present guidelines for living. When myths tell about the activities and attitudes of deities, the moral tone implies society's expectations for our own behaviors and standards. In myths, we see archetypal situations and some of the options which can be selected in those situations; we also perceive the rewards and other consequences which resulted from those selections.

    3} Myths justify a culture's activities. Through their authoritativeness and the respected characters within them, myths establish a culture's customs, rituals, religious tenets, laws, social structures, power hierarchies, territorial claims, arts and crafts, holidays and other recurring events, and technical tips for hunting, warfare, and other endeavors.

    4} Myths give meaning to life. We transcend our common life into a world in which deities interact with humans, and we can believe that our daily actions are part of the deities' grand schemes. In our difficulties, the pain is more bearable because we believe that the trials have meaning; we are suffering for a bigger cause rather than being battered randomly. And when we read that a particular deity experienced something which we are now enduring -- perhaps a struggle against "evil forces" -- we can feel that our own struggle might have a similar cosmic or archetypal significance, though on a smaller scale.

    5} Myths explain the unexplainable. They reveal our fate after death, and the reasons for crises or miracles, and other puzzles -- and yet they retain and even encourage an aura of mystery. Myths also satisfy our need to understand the natural world; for example, they might state that a drought is caused by an angry deity. This purpose of mythology was especially important before the advent of modern science, which offered the Big Bang theory to replace creation myths, and it gave us the theory of evolution to supplant myths regarding the genesis of humanity. And yet, science creates its own mythology, even as its occasional secular barrenness threatens to strip us of the healthful awe which other types of mythology engender.

    6} Myths offer role models. In particular, children pattern themselves after heroes; comic books and Saturday-morning cartoons depict many archetypal characters, such as Superman and Wonder Woman. Adults, too, can find role models, in the stories of deities' strength, persistence, and courage.

    Myth and Dreams

    Bill Moyers: Why is a myth different from a dream?

    Joseph Campbell: Oh, because a dream is a personal experience of that deep, dark ground that is the support of our conscious lives, and a myth is the society's dream. The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn't, you've got an adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.

    What about the deeper sense of dreams, the archetypal occurrences when dreams conjure up images that have nothing to do with the personal life?

    Bill Moyers: I think of a dream as something very private, while a myth is something public.

    Joseph Campbell: On some levels a private dream runs into truly mythic themes and can't be interpreted except by an analogy with a myth. Jung speaks of two orders of dream, the personal dream and the archetpal dream, or the dream of the mythic dimension. You can interpret a personal dream by association, figuring out what it is talking about in your own life, or in relationship to your own personal problem. But every now and then a dream comes up that is pure myth, that carries a mythic theme, or that is said, for example, to come from the Christ within.

    Bill Moyers: From the archetypal person within us, the archetypal self we are.

    Joseph Campbell: That's right. Now there is another, deeper meaning of dreamtime - which is of a time that is no time, just an enduring state of being. There is an important myth from Indonesia that tells of this mythological age and its termination. In the beginning, according to this story {myth}, the ancestors were not distinguished as to sex. There were no births, there were no deaths. Then a great public dance was celebrated, and in the course of the dance one of the participants was trampled to death and torn to pieces, and the pieces were buried. At the moment of that killing the sexes became separated, so that death was balanced by begetting, begetting by death, while from the buried parts of the dismembered body food plants grew. Time had come into being, death, birth, and the killing and eating of other living beings, for the perservation of life. The timeless time of the beginning had terminated by a communal crime, a deliberate murder or sacrifice.
    Now, one of the problems of mythology is reconciling the mind to this brutal percondition of all life, which lives by the killing and eating of lives. You don't kid yourself by eating only vegetables, either, for they, too, are alive. So the essence of life is this eating of itself! Life lives on life, and the reconciliation of the human mind and sensibilities to that fundamental fact is one of the functions of some of those very brutal rites in which the ritual consists chiefly of killing - in imitation, as it were, of that first, primordial crime, out of which arose this temporal world, in which we all participate. The reconciliation of mind to the conditions of life is fundamental to all creation stories {myths}. They're very like each other in this aspect.

    Bill Moyers: So the one great story is our search to find our place in the drama?

    Joseph Campbell: To be in accord with the grand symphony that the world is, to put the harmony of our own body in accord with that harmony.

    Bill Moyers: When I read these stories, no matter the culture or origin, I feel a sense of wonder at the spectacle of the human imagination groping to try to understand this existence, to invest in their small journey these transcendent possibilities. Has that ever happened to you?

    Joseph Campbell: I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.

    This brings about such clarity. It often takes greater minds to discovery the truths that lead to proper personal and spiritual development. For me the above are truths, not just because they fit with my outer ego world that strives to maintain balance. The ultimate message is to 'look inward' for the answers. Not only in my personal life but in all that the world is. And what I take away from all they say is simple. Life is a psychological journey and the ultimate path is spiritual. Think psychologically, live spiritually and you put yourself in 'accord' with the myths and the world, and life blossoms to its greatest potential.


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