'Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.' Carl Jung
Dreams and dreaming is a concept that is often spoken about, but generally informed by what we hope for or imagine our future paths to be: ambitions and desires. However, for me, the more interesting understanding of dreams and dreaming is what happens at night when I sleep. The time when my mind creates a world of personal myths and unchartered waters. The dream world is exciting, informative and opens up new paths to self-discovery.
I love my dreams. The good, the bad and the terrifying. I cannot censor my dreams. They access the very centre of my being and if I am open to interpreting them in terms of my own experiences, then I am provided with new understanding regarding that which I want to present and that which I would prefer to leave hidden. It is in looking at the hidden that I am able to learn more about who I am and where I need to be challenged.
I can remember dreams from my early childhood and understand now that some of them were my way of trying to work though personal challenges that were beyond my control. To accept.
One of my earliest dreams was a recurring one in which my mother was in a Nazi concentration camp and was about to be executed (yes I am old: must be if I am Trev's mother!). In the dream I had to save my mother. The walls of the camp were fortress high and had no access. I always woke up in a panic and would try to figure out how I would save her: consciously I would create a plan but in my dream I always failed.
In hindsight I can make sense of the dream. My mother was very ill and I desperately wanted to save her, but could not. I stopped dreaming this dream when she died.
Did the dream alter the course of my life? Not at all, but it was one of the earliest dreams that challenged me to look at the part of myself that wants to be a 'super hero' and save the world. It has taken me years to understand that I can't save anyone - I can only listen and be present. To this day I still catch myself falling into the old trap but my dreams give me a nudge when I do so.
Some of my dreams have been awesome. Once I dreamt that I was with a close friend and he called me out to look at the sky. In my dream state I saw a heaven filled with dazzling light and a choir singing the theme song from 'Jesus Christ Super Star'.
If you examine this dream from your personal perspective and try to give meaning to what I dreamt without knowing me or my context at the time, you are likely to be wrong. My dream is my dream and the symbols can only be interpreted by me, often in conversation with a trusted friend who can help me unpack the meaning. My dream did however give me a moment of ecstacy (totally unrelated to the drug!)
Some dreams have taught me to look at my dark side. They are the more challenging and at times scary in that they often highlight what I don't want to see or look at. However, when I take the time to stop and examine them I am truly humbled by the uniqueness of our minds to provide us with very powerful metaphors and personal myths that can be life changing.
If you wake from a dream that lingers and leave you feeling unsettled then listen to your soul and explore the meaning of the personal story you have been given.
Storytelling, myths and legends as well as dreams have an ancient history. Dreams are recorded in all texts of great religions. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and many other ancient cultures valued dreams. Throughout history, and to this day, the value of dreams has been recognised.
'A dream which is not interpreted is like a letter which is not read' Carl Jung
'What a pity!' Swartdonkey's Mother