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Basic Dream Interpretation

Dreams can tell us something about ourselves. They are not necessarily coherent at first as they tend to resemble a jig saw puzzle that needs to be fitted together before it makes any sense.

The eminent Psychiatrists Doctors Freud and Jung believed in universal symbols inherent in humankind, which present themselves in dreams. Dr. Freud postulated that much of our dream world revolves around repressed sexuality and conflicts with the Id and Superego. His student Dr. Jung, believed the subconscious not only contains information about ourselves, but gives us the tools for healing ourselves as well. Both psychiatrists were fundamental in the introduction of dream work as a psychological tool.

Some dreams are indeed universal, or at least very common. Many of us have experienced flying dreams as children yet not many adults still do. Flying dreams in children tend to be a pleasing experience because flying is an expression of freedom.

Except for unusual situations, children commonly are well cared for. They have no bills to pay, no job to worry about and are provided with free meals and a place to sleep. As children grow, more and more responsibility is thrust upon them. Homework, chores and after school activities start putting a damper on freedom, thus flying dreams diminish as we begin to morph into adulthood.

Dreams represent our deepest emotions and our responses to them. In waking life, we are inundated with a massive amount of information our brains cannot process immediately. We unconsciously prioritize information reserving the rest for consideration at a later time, or they can be previewed through our nightly theater.

Dreams help us understand what it is we are truly feeling, uncensored and non-judgmental. We all hold our tongues from time to time for decorum sake and everyone has felt the urge to strangle someone we felt desperately needed it. We repress our anger and attempt to censure our thoughts. We our slaves to our conscience, our sense of morality and societal laws. Dreams allow us to let off steam and allow us a peek underneath the mask we show to the public at large. A protection mechanism built up over the years as we gain experience with betrayals, disappointments, trauma and other incidents that causes pain. In other words, life.

Emotions felt in the distant past could be triggered by a seemingly trivial incident in waking life, which can be revisited in our dreams. A gentle reminder that the issue is still there and still needs to be resolved. Like it our not, we are emotional creatures and we are governed by our emotions more often than our logic. Our emotional responses do not just disappear, no matter how well hidden. They germinate and simmer and if not effectively addressed, boil over into depression, ulcers, headaches and phobias.

An affective way of experimenting with your own dream interpretation is to start paying attention to them. Try this for a month or so. Because dreams fade upon waking, it is a good idea to keep a dream journal. Keep a notepad or tape recorder at your bedside.

When you awaken from a dream, immediately write it down or record it. Write or record in the first person and in the present tense. Instead of “I was walking down a lane,” use “I am walking down a lane.” This will get you into the habit of remembering that your dream is about you. Do not try to interpret your dreams as you write, you could lose a few possibly important details. The most important aspect of any dream is how you felt so make sure this is recorded as well. Note if the dream is in color or black & white, if you were a participant, observer or both, and any smells you may have noticed. Bear in mind that many dreams reflect waking incidents and are usually straight forward with no abstractions or symbolism. The difference is that straight forward dreams are easily recognized as such. Don’t make yourself crazy searching for symbols that are not there.

Dreams can also form patterns. Often times after writing a few dreams down, you may very well see a certain pattern or theme coming into play. Recurring dreams have certain patterns, and details are often added to recurring dreams each time it’s dreamt. A pattern of frustration for example, is if you find yourself constantly looking for something and never finding it or trying to get somewhere and are always prevented somehow. What you need to find out is what is causing your frustration and how to stop it. These, at least in my experience, are the easiest to interpret because you probably already know what you are frustrated or anxious about. The trick is to find out how to overcome it.

I would suggest you purchase or borrow a dictionary of dream symbols. Use this as a guide only, it may strike a mental chord within you. Dictionaries, like news paper horoscopes are designed for common symbolism. As individuals, symbols are unique to your specific experience and one cannot apply common dictionary symbols to every individual. Use it as a guide to help you understand symbols generally.

Dreams can be an important to self understanding and is an important aspect of your life since we spend over a third of our lives asleep. Get acquainted with yourself by becoming attentive to your dreams.

By Naturesprite
nevis@fsinter.net

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