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Meanings Of Some Common Dreams

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I always take dream interpretation articles with a grain of salt. The human personality is so complicated that to reduce the mystery of any dream to a few lines seems unwarranted. But I have had dreams about being late or unprepared for tests, and this piece covers that to some extent. So maybe there is something to it. Maybe there are some common dreams and a few general rules for their interpretation. I don’t know! — MC

Meanings Of Some Common Dreams

By Anne

Each of us has peculiar dreams appearing in our own sleep, and messages they convey to each of the individuals are unique. However, according to Association for the Study of Dream, there are still some common kinds of dream, which carry specific meanings. People have attempted to disclose meanings of such common dreams known as vague images we are aware when having slept for many years. Of course, not all of the interpretations are totally easy to understand. Let’s read to learn this issue of the spirituality more.

Meanings Of Dreams Related To Falling or Sinking

Most of us have ever experienced feelings of falling or sinking in our dreams because it is common. In this type of dream, we typically fall down the ground from the sky, and this frightens us. At times, sinking in water in our dreams also causes the same feelings. As for the meaning of this type of dream, it indicates that the dreamer feels insecure and lacks support in their life. If we meet problems which make us want to give up everything in the reality, this dream will occur. Let’s deal well with all of the troubles, and this type of dream will go away.

Missing Teeth

Dreams regarding missing teeth are quite common. In this sort of dream, when we open our mouths, our teeth suddenly fall out one by one. Many people think that the missing-teeth dream is premonition of illness or death. Nevertheless, another interpretation says that we can be afraid of being found unattractive or feel a fear of embarrassment or lose power in real life. Thus, don’t let this dream disturb you during the next day.

Failing A Test

 Dreams about failing a test often occurs to people who have gone out of school for a long time. In this kind of dream, they can not pass a test because of some reasons. Perhaps, they have not finished the test on time, missed equipment, or failed in finding the test room. The primary interpretation of this dream is that the dreamers have feelings of being tested in some ways or not preparing well for something to able to follow right ways to their targets in their real life.

Being Lost Or Trapped

Dreams related to being lost or trapped manifest themselves in people who have conflict between different decisions about how to tackle some problems in real life. The dreamers often try to escape from a forest, a large building, city streets or suchlike. Further, they can be also trapped, caught in a web and buried alive, but their legs are unable to move. This dream genre shows that they are meeting troubles which trapped them in the real life, and they have yet to find any possible solution.

Missing Public Transport

Perhaps, you have experienced feelings of missing some kinds of public transport such as a bus, boat, train, or plane in your dreams many times. The prospect in these dreams is often that you will try your best to catch the public transport, but miss it. The main feeling occurring to you is frustration; this signifies that you have let good opportunities slip out of your hand in real life.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/spirituality-articles/meanings-of-some-common-dreams-7016089.html

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Simple Ideas for Daily Happiness

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By Lee Neale

There is nothing particularly new or exciting about the following list. In fact, it’s little more than the mental laundry list that I stick on my refrigerator somewhere between the electricity bill and the pizza menus. Much of this is age-old wisdom, some reworked for the tech age. I’m sure most of it will be quite familiar. However, it’s always good to give ourselves a little reminder that happiness doesn’t just grow on trees; that it needs to be nourished with a little reflective day to day self-awareness.

1. Count your blessings daily. Focusing your energy on the good things in life brings more of them to you.

2. Learn to love yourself as you are. Perfection is an illusion. At every level of being we are in ceaseless flow and change. Embrace a lack of perfection and even revel in some occasional chaos. Crisis is Mother Nature’s way of saying hi!

3. Connect more deeply with your five senses. For example, when you are eating a meal forget everything and be right there with the meal: soak in the colours, savour the tastes, smells and textures. Feel the energy, warmth and nutrition as the food becomes one with your body. Thank the Earth for sharing this blessing.

4. Remember that true power lies within and not over others.

5. Compliment people on their positive qualities. Kindness shared is kindness received.

6. Happiness is a choice: seek out positive alternative opinions to balance out your worldview. There are an abundance of positively oriented news sites popping up all over the web.

7. Reflect critically on the true level of danger you are experiencing. Look out your window. Unless you’re living in a war zone, it’s likely you’ll see a pretty peaceful scene. That peace in the present moment is your reality: work with that, not the latest crime statistics.

8. The thoughts you go to sleep with have a big influence on your waking life. Visualising images of success, prosperity, happiness, generosity, love and kindness as you drift off into sleep, can have a profound effect on improving the quality of your day to day experience. Over an extended period, this practice can be a major life-changer.

9. Forgiveness: do you really want to keep carrying around the luggage of other people’s mistakes in your head? … NO, SO LET IT GO!

10. If you want to see more of something in the world, take responsibility for expressing it to others first. Want to see more tenderness then be kinder, more generosity then give more, more love then be loving. When you connect with these things within yourself, then you will naturally find them present in what is around you.

11. Make a habit of going out of your way for somebody. Even one small act of mindfulness can work wonders. The universe has an endearing habit of repaying you in unexpected and useful ways.

12. Time is the most precious gift you can ever give. Spend less time shopping for people and actually share that time with the person instead. Give them a laugh, a massage, a hug, an ear, cook with them or share one of their hobbies. No amount of luxury items can replace your presence in the eyes of a friend or loved one.

13. Praise and reward people for their effort and not for the success or failure of that effort. Especially children!

14. Social media is designed to enhance social life, not replace it. Balance social media time with real face to face interactions. Turn off the tech for a little while each day and be fully present with friends and family, especially at shared meal times.

15. Feng Shui your PC: shed psychological baggage by clearing your cyberspaces. How much mental clutter is lingering on your computer devices in the form of old emails, cached data, temporary downloads and unused files. Deep cleaning removes blockages from your online expression, which can stimulate more clarity, purpose and creativity in life.

16. Set aside time each day for just being instead of doing. Stop chasing the world. Sit still, relax, forgive, let it all go, be still and breathe deeply!

17. Spend time with animals, nature and children: they are treasure troves of wisdom on the art of being human.

18. Try to see life less as a problem to be solved, exploited or overcome and more of a mystery to be creatively enjoyed, explored and shared. In a word: PLAY!

19. Randomize aspects of your life to open up new energy and creativity. Do things that are out of character: take a different direction to or from work, explore different artistic tastes or food, try to consider different points of view.

20. If you can’t get to nature, bring it to you. Let more fresh air and sunshine into your living or working spaces. Bring in plants, play soothing music and spread delicious aromas.

21. Write a list of your very own happiness tips and stick them somewhere you can see them every day! Share them with your friends.

About the Author

Lee Neale is the founder of Shama Gaia. He’s an Australian-born sociologist, language teacher and Shamanic healer living in Japan.


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Interpreting dreams about a house: Contents, structure and surrounding elements as the basis for dream interpretation

Author: Alex B

Image by Alex Weimer via Flickr

Houses can appear in dreams as a  variety of scenarios and situations. A person can be dreaming about building or buying a house, a house can be subjected to destruction by natural disasters or wars, it can be taken over by strangers or inhabited by familiar people, such as friends or neighbors. Commonly, dreaming about a house means encountering or going through big changes in life, instability or indication of personal growth. In other sources, a house represent a womb and female essence, so after experiencing a dream about a house, you may ask yourself whether you are having your mind set on becoming pregnant, or maybe you and your partner have been considering a possibility of having a new addition to your family and may be harboring concerns about providing a nurturing and comfortable environment for the newborn. In parallel, you may also carefully examine the strength and commitment in your relationship with the partner, which would help in taking it to the next level. This could also be a good time to look at your own role in this relationship, which may lead to questioning whether you are a dependent or self-sufficient part of this relationship.

Dreams about a house refer to the state closely related to the individual’s own ‘self’, these visions can characterize the dreamer’s personality as being dominant or submissive with a set of behavioral traits describing individual lifestyle and personal outlook on life depending on surrounding conditions. In addition to important features for psychoanalytical interpretation of dreams about a house, such as parts of the house (i.e. roof, middle stories, cellar, rooms), house condition and external and internal characteristics (i.e old or new condition, architectural details, interior and exterior detailing) can result in meaningful and sensible decoding of the dream.

Great importance and interpretational value can be hidden inside scenarios or events observed or experienced during dreams about a house: try recalling a specific place or spot inside the house where you found yourself during the dream. For example, dreaming about being inside a bathroom or shower, with reference to the rest of the house, can be an indication of inane erotism, obsessive masturbation or traits related to aggressive nature, including negative way of thinking and destructive psychological tendencies as rudimentary features of initial development stages. Images and visions of a kitchen space in reference to the entire house are interpreted as signs of prominent pathological aggression toward others. Images of a bedroom or dining room inside a house are referred to as positive symbolic meanings. Some dream interpretation sources attribute images and visions of a house to various aspects of body and body function of an individual experiencing these types of dreams. They suggest possible interpretation of dreams about a house based on these descriptions, for example cellar or basement represents lower parts of human body, attic can be related to head or brain and windows can represent eyes.

Signs of worries, conditions leading to depression and anxiety can be related to, according to some sources, witnessing strange unfamiliar people or animals inhabiting or sheltered inside a house. After experiencing this dream, analyze your life conditions and position you take in life, this exercise may help uncover situations which make you feel upset or dissatisfied as suggested or implied by visions or symbols contained in the dream about a house. Dreams involving visions of building a house can be a reflection of changing life circumstances and prospective positive developments.

Environmental aspects (i.e. where the house is located or how it is situated in relation to other objects) and state or condition of the house also play significant role in what these dreams can mean and how they are interpreted. Contents and interior features of the house can add special and at times conflicting interpretations. Many dream interpretation sources also point out that scenes from the past taking place inside a particular house reveal origin and hidden desires of an individual to address issues, suppressed impulses or complexes retained since the time they had occurred. Dream meanings will vary to some degree when interpreted for males or females who experienced a dream containing visions of a house.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/interpreting-dreams-about-a-house-contents-structure-and-surrounding-elements-as-the-basis-for-dream-interpretation-6916461.html

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Looking for instant interpretation of your dreams? Try our Instant Dream Interpretation engine with thousands of descriptions of what your dreams may mean. Look up your dream instantly using our Instant Dream Look Up with extensive database of meticulously compiled descriptions based on trusted sources.


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Being naked in a dream as a symbol of vulnerability or fear of important responsibilities

Author: Alex B

Image by Laurence Simon via Flickr

A lot of dreams experienced during sleep and asked to be interpreted deal with being naked or getting naked. Some of these dreams involve scenarios when people suddenly realize they are naked in front of a group of people or while being present in places where they should not be nude (such as public places, open areas or in other similar situations). These visions are usually a reflection of vulnerability and fears related to hidden thoughts about this person’s concerns and worries in waking life.

Sometimes, when a feeling of shame and embarrassment accompanies these dreams, this could also mean unpreparedness and lack of confidence before embarking on a serious project or endeavor. Many dreamers experience sudden realization of being exposed to a large crowd of people, for example during a presentation, at church or public gathering, completely naked or wearing only underwear or small coverings instead of clothing. This, again, points to the fear of being talked about and criticised for the lack of expertise in and control over a situation or an important task to be handled. As a matter of fact, these dreams can become quite intimidating and frightening as deadlines are drawing closer and little time is left to catch up and take care of responsibilities in real life.

Another side of this vulnerability can manifest itself when dreaming about being undressed or stripped off clothes by other people or someone in power. These images are frequently interpreted as a fear of losing or letting go something important, in a more psychological respect, something a person holds private and unavailable for others to know about or even suspect. These dreams can be triggered by meeting someone for the first time and who left a lasting impression or impact on the person who later had this dream. The fear of being ‘read through’ or being figured out in intentions and actions is translated to visions of being stripped of clothes which, metaphorically speaking, conceals things considered private and undetectable by others. The obvious solution to overcome this fear or discomfort while dealing with this person or people, is to learn more about them by communicating and trying to resolve unfounded (or maybe justified) suspicions and distrust toward the person who tried to approach you in waking life.

Some dream interpretation sources refer to visions of being naked in a dream to excessive timidness, inability to make important decisions and reluctance to move forward in life because of some personal characteristics or psychological traits preventing a person from exposing too much to other people. Some of these traits can be brought about or inherited because of the way the person has been raised, some of them are imposed by the culture or society, including religious beliefs and traditions.

It is important to remember that when we do not expose or share our opinions and feelings with people around us, misunderstanding or lack of acceptance may lead to inability to fully express what we really want in life thus resulting in underachieving or being defenseless when important decisions are to be made. Therefore, dreams which involve being naked can serve as an indicator of psychological makeup and personal attitudes, which after realization and careful analysis can help develop better communication skills and pave the way to better interpersonal qualities which are so important in today’s world.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/psychology-articles/being-naked-in-a-dream-as-a-symbol-of-vulnerability-or-fear-of-important-responsibilities-6918880.html

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Looking for instant interpretation of your dreams? Try our Instant Dream Interpretation engine with thousands of descriptions of what your dreams may mean. Look up your dream instantly using our Instant Dream Look Up with extensive database of meticulously compiled descriptions based on trusted sources.


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Symbols of food in dream interpretation and possible meaning they can convey for those experiencing these dreams

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Author: Alex B

Food as a source of nutrition and the way it is consumed can represent important symbols while we dream. Food and eating food can be a background theme in a dream, but it can equally constitute the central element or process experienced through subconscious visions. In terms of dream interpretation, the composition and appearance of food you are dreaming about can be an important clue in finding a meaningful and clear dream meaning. As an example, dreaming about your favorite food or recipe prepared or shared by someone you are closely connected with in your life can be a significant aspect in discerning what your mind is telling you about this particular person or the nature of relationship you may have with this individual.

Dreaming about large amounts of food has always been treated by dream interpreters as a symbol of fertility, surpluses in food supplies and the resulting wealth and prosperity. It might be helpful to try to recall or find a reasonable explanation as to how so much food has ended up being in one place and how you or other people present in this dream regarded such an abundance of food. It may turn out that your perception of abundance and surplus can differ from what other people think of it. Commonly, more surplus and wealth can equally mean more headaches and responsibilities. So, if you saw yourself asking for more food in excess to what was already a copious amount, maybe you are looking for additional duties or concerned with too many responsibilities you may have.

Dreams about fresh or freshly prepared food have can be interpreted as a sign of renewal or striving for a change. Examples can include visions of dining out with someone you know while replacing a routine family gathering at a dinner table, trying or tasting fresh food during which you experience pleasant sensations, delight and satisfaction. Harvesting food while dreaming is commonly referred to as an indication of unity with nature and a symbol of pride and sense of accomplishment about work well-done.

Spoiled food tells the dreamer about senseless and excessive spending, relying more on material rather than spiritual aspects of life, greed and irrational motives. In many cases, these dreams generate feelings related to self-worthlessness, underestimating own abilities and losing hope.

Another important aspect of dreams related to food and its consumption is the impact of food or food ingredients on your health: have you ever experienced a dream when you had to deal with problems related to obesity, bulimia, lost appetite or other food-related disorders? Have you ever found yourself resisting to consume something you do not like or when you forced to eat something you would never touch or smell? All these visions have various interpretations and every little detail can change dream meanings about your personal life or your relationship with people around you.

The way food is consumed and the environment it was consumed in can also be a rich source of meanings and figuring out what they may convey: do you remember from your dream if you were eating food alone, with a large group of people, during festivities or as part of a celebration? Was it a memorable moment or a routine gathering you had convince yourself to attend?

The availability or, conversely, scarcity of food in your dreams can reveal your current concerns with trying to attain something that is very important, but requires a lot of effort, time and energy to be spent in the process. Interpretation of dreams about food and eating can be a very interesting and engaging subject to explore using dream interpretation resources available online.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/symbols-of-food-in-dream-interpretation-and-possible-meaning-they-can-convey-for-those-experiencing-these-dreams-6821745.html

About the Author

Looking for instant interpretation of your dreams? Try our Instant Dream Interpretation engine with thousands of descriptions of what your dreams may mean. Look up your dream instantly using our Instant Dream Look Up with extensive database of meticulously compiled descriptions based on trusted sources.


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Alien Abductions: Reality or Dreams?

Copyright © Anita Welsh 2013. All rights reserved.

If one had asked me 20 years ago if “we are alone”, my answer would have been definitely “yes.” Today, I am not sure. My research into the phenomena known as alien abductions began 13 years ago, in my home on a farm in Rockwood, between Guelph and Acton Ontario. At that time, my husband, myself and daughter (with her young son of 2 years old) all worked for the Ontario Government. Our ritual was to get up each morning before 6 a.m. and leave for work in downtown Toronto, dropping the infant off at the babysitters. This particular morning, we all slept in until 10 a.m.

Our first instinct on waking so late, as if we all had hangovers,’ was of a power cut causing the alarms to not go off. But what most caught our attention was a two-year-old telling us that he had met “God” during the night. His description of “God,” and of being taken up through his bedroom window in a blue light to a space ship, certainly woke us quickly. Of course, our natural instinct was to put it down to a dream. I remember asking my daughter what on Earth he’d been watching on television. Remarkably, the two-year-old turned to me and said “they said you would not believe me Nanna.” Not wishing to call the child a liar, I instinctively said “of course I believe you.” His next words sent a chill down my spine. “They told me to tell you to find the book that grandpa Lennie gave you in England, and read the last two lines on page..” (I cannot remember the page number now). I had to think what book he was talking about; then I remembered that on my last visit a few months earlier to England, my father had given me a book to read on the plane back to Canada. Because it dealt with a form of spiritualism, which I could not understand, I didn’t bother to read it. On my return, it had been thrown in the junk drawer. My daughter and I turned the house upside-down searching for this book. On turning to the page indicated by my grandson, I read out loud the two lines he told me to read “there are more things in heaven and earth than what any of us understand”..

What is so extraordinary about this, is that my two-year-old grandson, who could not possibly read, or have known about this book, was able to tell me about two unusual lines contained in it.. This started me wondering about what he was telling us, and if it could have some truth to it. He also told us, quite in detail, about the ‘children on the space ship’ who were children but not really children–in fact adults; also, about animals in cages that had been taken from other planets, which were nothing like animals on earth. He then told us about a lady and another little boy who looked after him while he was on board this ship. His description of “God” was as one would want to think of him, yet he described the children as having large heads and big eyes. It was not until later that I discovered, through researching aliens, that there have been various descriptions as to what aliens look like. In one description, they were depicted as tall, with golden hair and beautiful. Could these aliens have been the ones that my grandson had met?

The years went by, and we would tease my grandson..”if the aliens come again, wake us up this time and take us with you”…but my grandson always remarked that they had said they would come back for him when he was older – which was very chilling to hear, so we stopped asking.

One morning, I woke feeling groggy and told my husband that I wasn’t going to work that day (my daughter had moved out with her son to a distant town). For some reason, I went back into a deep sleep, only to wake up very suddenly during the morning. I got out of bed, went into the living room, and turned on the television. It was a show called “Bob McLean and Friends.” He was interviewing a lady called Betty Stewart, who claimed to have been abducted on quite a few occasions. As I listened to her, I knew immediately, how I do not know, that this was the woman whom my grandson had said looked after him on the spaceship. Without hesitation, I contacted the television station and was immediately given the producer, who happened to be Bob McLean’s wife. She arranged for me to speak with Betty. During the conversation with Mrs. McLean, however, I discovered that this show, which normally went out live, was a recording which had been put on at the last minute, due to technical problems.

Betty Stewart phoned me back. We discussed my grandson, and I was amazed how she described him in detail, and knew immediately what I was talking about. She also told me about the other little boy with him. While on the phone, I heard my front door open, and to my utter surprise, my daughter and grandson were standing there. They were just as shocked to see me, as I normally would have been at work. For some reason, my daughter had decided to make a surprise visit. Betty asked me to ask my grandson if he had been fed on the spaceship. I thought it a strange request, but found the reply even stranger. My grandson said they had given him a milk-like substance to drink; but it wasn’t milk. Betty confirmed this. She then asked me to ask if the aliens had eaten with him. My grandson became annoyed, “no grandma they do not eat like us, they absorbed the food through their skin…” Betty also confirmed this. The conversation lasted quite some time, and questions were thrown back and forward. Betty then told me that her abductions had been profiled on the CBC television show “Man Alive” and that she would send the video tape to me. She then asked me to show it to my grandson and ask him if he recognized anyone on the show. When watching the tape, my grandson on seeing Betty cried out, “that is the lady on the space ship.. but her hair is funny.” I phoned Betty and told her this. She laughed, “I was wearing a wig on the show. When I was abducted with your grandson, it was night and I obviously was not wearing a wig, so he saw me as I really look.”

Betty had asked me to return the tape, but somehow, I never got around to it. Then another strange thing happened. It was Christmas, and as such, we who did not have small children worked to give those with kids a chance to spend more time with them. Because of my position with the Government, I received phone calls after they’d been screened by reception. A man on the phone told me that he was a friend of Betty’s, and that she had died. He also said that it was Betty’s wish for me to carry on her work. I had to tell him that, because of my position with the government, I could not possibly do this; it could jeopardize my work. We discussed the funeral plans and he hung up. I went up to the receptionist, as we were the only ones in, and told her about the call which she had just transferred to my office. She then told me that she had not put through any calls to me..

On arriving home, I immediately phoned Betty’s home to speak to her. A woman answered the phone, and I explained about the man who, calling that morning, had told me of Betty’s death. The woman was very abrupt. There was no way I could have known–Betty had only just died, and there were no men there. In fact, they were still trying to get hold of her son to notify him. I hung up the phone, not sure what to make of the whole thing. I never heard from Betty’s family or about attending the funeral, so decided to try and forget.

As the years passed, strange things would happen that were hard to explain. However, in 1997, my home was destroyed by fire. All my tapes except one, the “Man Alive” tape with Betty on it, were lost to the flames. I can remember laughing when the insurance adjuster, going through the rescued items, handed it to me. Again not thinking, it was thrown into a box. Recently my grandson, now nearly 17, came to live with me. He found the tape, and asked if he could look at it. Suddenly he yelled, “Nan come here!” and rushing into the room, was pointing at one of the people investigating Betty. It was Terrence Dickenson, the Canadian Astronomer. What made this so remarkable, is that when my grandson was 10 years old, he had an urge to contact Mr. Dickenson after reading his books on space and astronomy. He and Mr. Dickenson hit it off, and it was arranged for my grandson to go to McMaster University in Hamilton to attend meetings with some of the students and persons interested in astro-physics. Unfortunately, a few months after going to McMaster, my daughter and her new husband took my grandson to live in British Columbia, and the contact between him and Mr. Dickenson ceased. Mr. Dickenson, however, had phoned me about my grandson, and remarked how at his age of 10 he knew so much about space, and that most of the people who read and understood his books were university students.

So another part of the puzzle was unfolding. I decided that it was time for me to take up Betty’s work. I had retired from the government, and had free time. So I started researching into alien abductions. Among other things, I wanted to contact Mr. McLean who had originally interviewed Betty, over 10 years prior. I was able to track him down, and spoke once again with his wife. She remembered the show, and told me that she had received another call from a Guelph couple, who like me, had been drawn to watch the show because their son, like my grandson, had told the same story. They didn’t want any publicity, but it seemed that after the “abduction” their child began to have terrible nose bleeds. A medical operation revealed that something, metal like, had been inserted in the nose. It was removed, and although examined, no-one could say just what substance it was. My grandson has also had terrible nose bleeds since this incident, which raises the question, “did he receive some kind of implant, the same as this other child?”

Betty, in one of our conversations, had told me that the children had been implanted with some kind of “tracking device.” Still not sure, we wondered if the whole thing was an imagination problem which should be ignored. Now, we still are not sure…

There have been so many coincidences that I have not written about all of them, or of my research into alien abductions. I am now working on a seminar about these phenomena, and look forward to talking with people about it over the next few months. Anyone wanting to book me for an after-dinner/corporate event, or just for an unusual talk/seminar, can contact me at: afwelsh@yahoo.com


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Dreams about sex and sexual activities and how to interpret their meaning

Image by kedai-lelaki via Flickr

By Alex B

Dreams containing sex with all its elements and exciting details may seem as a fun and enjoyable story telling when you try to find the meaning of sex dreams. Many dream interpretation sites offer descriptions and interpretations which are promises of finding a sex partner, having flirtatious and uncomplicated sex life and your popularity when it comes to sex and pleasure seeking. The important difference with our approach to your sexual dreams is finding keywords for circumstances surrounding your particular sex dream visions and experiences.

A long-established approach in interpretation of dreams containing sexual activities has been in uncovering the sexual underpinnings and hidden meanings in what a sex dream was about. This has been practiced extensively by such famous psychologists as Sigmund Freud, Loff and Miller. However, when applied to finding an answer to what your specific dream containing sex may mean to you, can at times become a tedious and complicated search. There are apparent differences in how males and females dream (and react to dreams) based on psychological research and dream interpretation theory.

According to surveys, 12of male and 4of female dreams are related to sexual activities and experiences. This finding correlates with real-life tendencies among the two genders, men are more often preoccupied with sex-related behavioral patterns than women. According to the famous psychologist William Domhoff, (‘Finding Meaning in Dreams’), males exhibit 93response rate in engaging in sexual activities and 7of watching other perform sexual act, while women tend to have 68and 32of the corresponding response trends.

This finding proves that women, while sex-dreaming, tend to alienate themselves from participating in sexual activities, while men most definitely want to see themselves actively participating in this experience. This can also be explained by the fact, that men experience orgasmic relief during their sleep (especially younger males) than women. It can also point to the common taboo placed on women overall regarding their expression of sexual desires by society.

Another important factor related to analyzing sex-related dreams is in significance of images and symbols appearing in our sex-containing dreams. We intentionally hide our sexual desires and behavioral tendencies, especially when at a younger age, and our subconscious tries to make these feelings and emotions more visible and apparent to us. This is exactly what Freudian theory about has been tirelessly trying to propagate as applied to personality characteristics.

Sexual symbolism in Freud’s theory is a predominant component to explain motivations and desires that may be an outcome of a particular dream that a person had and wants to know what it could mean relative to their life. Dreams containing sex symbols are not necessarily the way to experience or be involved in physical sexual activities on subconscious level. These dreams can also be a reflection of how you treat other people around you and how others perceive you when you communicate with them. To find a perfect dream interpretation answer for your sex dreams is to identify the details and specifics hidden inside you sex-related dream.

Some sex-containing dreams are plainly romantic in nature. The scenarios for these kinds of dreams can vary, but the most common features are a very attractive sexual partner, mostly fantasy-based individuals, close to you or those unattainable kinds, but still the affection and desire to be with this person fully manifest themselves.

Other dreams containing sex are not as romantic and pleasant. These can include visions which the dreamer becomes very uncomfortable with, hurt by or worried about: rape, incest, loss of virginity and so on. These kinds of dreams need more detailed approach and usually require a survey answered by the person to isolate cause of this dream and analyze dream symbols in more detail, this feature will become available on our site shortly.

When you are trying to analyze you sex-related dream on your own, try to determine the true cause of discomfort or unpleasantness; who is the person you are engaged in a sexual contact with? Is it a friend, a colleague or some fictional personality? Is the act of having sex forced on you, is it consensual? Where did it take place? Was it a public place or in your own bed? Maybe the sexual partner in your dream reminds you of some of your friends or people you know?

Many sex-related dreams are manifestation of our ambiguous nature and indecisiveness when we long for things we cannot have in real life and by dreaming about these things we subconsciously express our dissatisfaction about our current situation. Dreams about sex an also tell us about the way we treat people around us, depending on circumstances we face in our everyday life.

Sex-related dreams can represent the beginning of self-discovery and uncovering hidden aspects of your psychological profile and pave the way to a better understanding of you traits and behavior you may exhibit without even knowing it.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/dreams-about-sex-and-sexual-activities-and-how-to-interpret-their-meaning-6669599.html

About the Author

Looking for instant interpretation of your dreams? Try our Instant Dream Interpretation engine with thousands of descriptions of what your dreams may mean. Look up your dream instantly using our Instant Dream Look Up with extensive database of meticulously compiled descriptions based on trusted sources.


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Snakes in a dream: a good chance for self-assessment and finding what it means

Snake 4

Snake 4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author: Alex B

From a dream interpretation point of view, interpreting dreams containing snake visions is somewhat difficult to deal with because different cultures treat encountering snake with a variety of meanings and explanations. Dream interpretation therefore is represented by a broad spectrum of deciphering this dream vision: from terrifying promises of immediate threat to the symbols of wisdom and intellectual superiority of the dreamer. Dream meanings most commonly follow the history of folklore and storytelling nuances of particular cultures, as well as based on personal experiences recorded in dream interpretation literature sources.

Most people are afraid of snakes, so any symbol or vision related to snakes contains very powerful and self-destructive fear, pathological in a sense that even a simple image or notion of a snake in a conversation becomes threatening and negative to a great extent. For this group of individuals, dreams containing snakes represent ominous and ill-fated negatively charged premonitions. Dreaming about holding a snake can easily constitute the ultimate in frightening dreaming experiences, although other culture can have this dream interpreted as a sign of wisdom and ordered personal outlook on life and inherent ability to understand and accept the world around them.

For traditional cultures of North America and Asia, snakes most commonly represent wisdom and deep gratification with the world, which is probably based on observations of snakes’ ability to shed their skin, which is subconsciously coded into dreams as the dreamer’s potential for renewal, resolution of life-related problems and issues as well as striving for order and consistency towards things or events present in their life.

Le serpent de la tentation…

Le serpent de la tentation… (Photo credit: couscouschocolat)

For Judaic and Christian cultures, dreaming about a snake is a symbol of temptation and spiritual resistance in the process of achieving personal goals and aspirations. This notion is stemming from biblical stories and description when The Serpent (the snake), a representation of evil power leads to temptation of first human couple, Adam and Eve in the Eden garden. The symbol of snake in a dream in this context is an indication of a person or persons in the life of the dreamer whom they built unstable or far-from-ideal relationships with.

The Freudian theory also contains symbols of snakes, which are most commonly used by the classical psychotherapists and psychiatrists. In this theory, a snake is a phallic symbol, in many instances, this vision containing a snake represents fear and revolting feeling toward sexual acts of any kind.

Cultural disparities lead to a variety of dream interpretation outcomes and the resulting difficulty to provide a meaningful and reliable dream meaning answers to dreamers across the world. The obvious solution for a person who have had a snake dream is to look deeper into what his or her dream contained. What is your personal attitude towards snakes in real life? Do you feel frightened, intimidated or indifferent? What emotions do snake evoke in you when you see a snake: fright, astonishment or perhaps interest in learning more about them? Have you d a dream encountering a snake together with your friends, parents, strangers? What were surroundings in your dream when you had an encounter with a snake in your dream? Using these answers you will become able to isolate the precise dream keyword from the drop-down list in our database to find correct and meaningful interpretation for your snake dream.

tiger and snake, mosaic - size 40×90 cm

tiger and snake, mosaic – size 40×90 cm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people automatically connect the poisonous nature of snakes with the vision of a snake they experienced in their dream, so they tend to interpret such dream as death or illness portending event after they wake up and recall this dream. Other people associate snake dreams with deception or conspiracy because the common image of a snake is usually described as a hiding and virtually unnoticeable creature.

Archetypal meanings and dream interpretation variations provide a broad range of interpretation options available across cultural and national expanses. The ability of a dreamer to separate and generalize individual feelings and emotions toward snakes can mean success in finding the correct meaning of a dream which includes or is related to these unconscious symbolic visions.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/snakes-in-a-dream-a-good-chance-for-self-assessment-and-finding-what-it-means-6669575.html

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Ego, Archetype and Self: C. G. Jung and Modernity

The Temple of the Prim and a tribute to Carl Jung, who surely would have loved Second Life

The Temple of the Prim and a tribute to Carl Jung, who surely would have loved Second Life by Bettina Tizzy (aka Beverly Millson) via Flickr

This was written as a grad student at the University of Ottawa in 1993. Things have changed a lot since then. I tend to write simpler sentences and my beliefs have evolved. So I post this partly out of nostalgia, and partly for its sound presentation of Jung’s ideas.

When citing this essay please use one of the standard citation styles for online sources.

—MC

Elsewhere I have indicated that the work of C. G. Jung reveals his bent for constructing elaborate psychological theory on the basis of selective data. This charge was mingled with a somewhat reluctant admiration for the creation of a fictional system that seemed to surpass the usual, and I would add, artificial dictates of scientific rationalism. Like a political leader who after safely retiring exposes party corruption, Jung retrospectively concedes to being a myth maker in what was then, modern times.(1)

To continue from previous work, I will examine Jung’s concepts of ego, archetype and self to determine if the above charge of selectivity – not to preclude other potential difficulties – applies to these seminal components of his analytical model of the psyche.(2)

* * *

Jung speaks of ego as a highly continuous “complex of ideas which constitutes the centre of [one's] field of consciousness”(3) Ego is also referred to as the “point of reference”(4) of the psyche; its partly biological inheritance is offset by unconsciously acquired material.(5) Ego is not the entire psyche, but, according to Jung, it has a monumental role in the regulation and maintenance of psychic balance.(6) To illustrate precisely what is balanced by the ego, we must examine Jung’s constructs of archetype and self.

Archetype. It sounds impressive: definite, timeless, metaphysical; Jung made an astute choice by modifying this essentially Platonic idea, providing a certain scholarly credibility to work that was quite avant-garde for the medical science of the time. While Jung had not fully developed a definition of archetype for entry into Psychological Types (where we find most of his terms described), a survey of various statements he makes about archetypes renders their character fairly clear.

Jung’s mature thought demarcates the archetypal image from the archetype proper. As a sort of crystal-lattice structure inherent in all nature,(7) and thus a bio-culturally transmitted content of humanity’s collective unconscious,(8 ) the essence of the archetype is not amenable to representation.(9) Of the numerous archetypal structures, their diversity is represented by so many archetypal images and ideas,(10) and is individually experienced with the evocation of corresponding feeling values, these sometimes taking the form of ‘magical’ heightened awareness.

This ‘luminous,’ ‘spiritual’ aspect of archetypal experience may be either healing or destructive for the overall psyche, depending on its relation to the ego.(11) When made conscious by the ego, the archetypal image is positive; if not encapsulated by ego consciousness, it may be regressive.(12) Yet we have seen that Jung stresses the archetype, itself, to not be accessible to representation. Elsewhere he says that it cannot reach ego consciousness.(13) Granted Jung introduces the archetypal images and ideas, we must still ask: if the extra feeling value of the archetypal image or idea originates from the archetype, how is ego unaware of that archetypal source which it ‘feels’?

An additional function of the archetype is to organize images and ideas.

Archetypes, so far as we can observe and experience them at all, manifest themselves only through their ability to organize images and ideas, and this will always be an unconscious process which cannot be detected until afterward.(14)

From this it seems that the archetypal images and ideas are productions of the hidden, secret aspect of the archetypes. Now according to Jung, the self – our final concept to be illustrated – is itself an archetype.(15) And here Jung seems to say that the self can be anything. If an archetype, then it has an unmanifest, invisible aspect that cannot be grasped. That is, part of our own self must be inaccessible to ourselves. But that is not all. The self is alternately described as the “sum total of conscious and unconscious contents,”(16) a “complexio oppositorium,”(17) and as the “psychic totality of the individual.”(18 ) I do not object to Jung describing the self as illimitable, I do object, however, to his use of the term individual. Individuals cannot all be infinite. There must be some mark of difference among them. And Jung seems to agree with me: he himself says that the unconscious part of the self “cannot be distinguished from that of another individual.”(19)

Lets untangle this mess, and in so doing, try to be fair to Jung. It seems the problem lies in his notion of self as a “psychic totality.” For Jung really offers a two-tiered model of the psyche. The conscious part is individual, the unconscious collective aspect is impersonal. Jung would have done better to dismiss the “totality” component of his definition of self. As he did not, however, “self” is ambiguous and indistinct from a strictly theoretical standpoint. Why call it self if indeed it is everyone?

As I am not one to admire muddled, confused systems, Jung’s primary mentor Freud might suggest that unduly punitive washroom socialization resulted in my fixation at the latter’s ‘anal stage’ of psychosexual development.(20) Such a psychoanalytic interpretation may not have been entirely dismissed by Jung. Part of his self includes the personal unconscious, yet for Jung and quite unlike Freud, the personal unconscious is “more or less superficial;”(21) and Jung would not necessarily have given a psychosexual etiology(22) to an obsession with order. In fact, Jung would most likely view the above paragraph as a temporary intrusion of the “trickster” archetype – a mildly evil, sometimes positive archetype – into my ego consciousness. Recall that as mediator that strives for psychic integrity (see top to endnote 12), ego must balance good and evil,(23) these polarities producing a tension that for Jung is a universal law.(24) So we see two differing analyses – Freudian and Jungian – which perhaps points more to the role of investigation and interpretation of a situation than to the supremacy of either model.(25) But perhaps not. It is possible that one system explains events better than another. And if in our uncertainty we choose to define theory as an approach to an ever-changing, relative ‘reality,’ as do anti-theorists Paul Feyerabend(26) and Jean Baudrillard,(see endnote 25) we cannot escape the fact that even anti-theory is a type of theory.

Jung calls all this intellectual diaphaneity ‘rationalistic twaddle’ and claims, as do his adherents, that the value of his system lies in its practical application. While academic analysis implicity and expressly states one should not dispense with critical reflection, Jung also does not advocate the abandonment of critique. As Naomi Goldenberg points out:

According to Jungian lore, Carl Jung once said he was glad to be Jung and not a “Jungian.” As Jung he could be a thinker who tested ideas and modified theories to fit maturing insights and experiences. As a Jungian he would be pressured into defending dogma and clutching to ideas which had outlived their utility.(27)

* * *

With the basic explication of ego, archetype and self complete, I will now offer a more intensive appraisal, recalling that to be critical is to assess the positive and negative aspects of a given truth-claim. For the last half of the paper I will reverse the order and first look at self, then archetype, and lastly, ego.

Jung says the self as archetype is represented by the mandala, a sanskrit term meaning ‘circle.'(28 ) Part of the self, as noted, cannot be represented. This “psychoid” aspect is “identical in all individuals.”(29) The act of representing the self, such as in the visual mandala, brings order to chaos(30) as the tension of opposites is, if not permanently, at least to some degree reconciled.(31) Because the mandala (self) may imprison or protect the individual (ego),(32) it is like the archetypal mother–it absorbs or nurtures. Thus the mandala is also said to parallel the mother archetype.(33)

But Jung takes the mandala out of context. For mandala is an eastern construct specifically designed to both represent and aid in the abolition of the ego. Mandala refers to that beyond ego; it does not include ego as suggested by Jung. For instance, Lama Anagarika Govinda notes that the Tibetan ‘Mandala of Highest Bliss’ is “a vehicle of an all-embracing, imperishable wholeness, in which the limits of individual egohood do not exist any more.”(34) Likewise, W. Y. Evans-Wentz says the ‘Mandala of Liberation’ entails a “gradual dispersion of the psychic or mental atoms of the…thought body.”(35) Prior to Buddhism, the Hindu mandala refers to each of the ten books of the Rig Veda, which collectively are designed to return one to an undifferentiated original state that apparently existed prior to such dualisms as life/death, real/unreal, good/evil and, I should add, self/ego.(36) As a symbol of self and its relation to ego, Jung could have equated mandala with the absorbing, yet not the nurturing aspect of his mother archetype. This self-mother-mandala triad provides an excellent example of unwarranted and selective cross-referencing within the exposition of Jung’s theory.

Previously I have argued that Jung confuses the asian atman with his definition of libido.(37) To complicate matters, Jung seems to equate atman with his concept of self.(38 ) Thus perhaps not in the way Jung constructs quaternities, we may draw from his work our own analogical foursome: self-mother-mandala-libido. What else will he add to the list?

Archetypes, as I have noted, have two faces. One face is forever turned away, essentially supramundane and inaccessible to women and men; the other expresses various healing and destructive images and ideas into mundane psychological reality. But archetypes need not take a human or animal form. For cohesiveness, we will look at Jung’s views on Ufos, specifically on flying saucers, for in their circular shape they may be likened to the mandala symbol. In this connection we should note that for Jung flying saucers were the quintessential Ufos(39) and something of a pop phenomenon in the 1950’s: the pre-Star Wars/Star Trek era of modernity in which Jung’s writings on the subject are located.(40)

In flying saucers, then, we have an archetype that Jung says, by virtue of its shape, is analogous to the mandala,(41) and by implication, the self.(42) Belief in, or dreams of the saucers, like any archetypal formation, represents a double-edged desire for individuation(43) in combination with a fear for personal destruction: Alien inhabitants of the saucer could be benevolent, benign or malicious. Likewise, the journey to mandalic totality (to use Jung’s selective interpretation) has potential danger in that immense and equally tumultuous psychic forces may be unleashed from the collective unconscious, which if not successfully integrated by consciousness, could lead to psychic ruin–recall the absorbing, also referred to as the ‘devouring’ mother archetype as the negative instance of the self.

If one, however, believed or dreamed of extraterrestrials as being neither helpful nor harmful, this for Jung would indicate a state of psychic stagnation–no loss nor advancement within the individuation process. And a belief or dream of pleasant aliens would suggest that one’s ‘yonder shore’ of the collective unconscious is about to guide the ego toward a new, more comprehensive ontology. I noted above that critique should be balanced, and here indeed we find a good example of Jung’s impressive ability to adapt his theoretical structures to the symbols and social imagination of his time. Not to imply that Jung is merely vying for popularity and personal recognition. His work is too thorough, thoughtful, and serious to be so summarily dismissed. But as suggested elsewhere, he also knew the professional legitimacy of his writing necessitated scrupulous selectivity; he thus displays great acumen for creating schematic ‘meaning’ out of a massive and diverse body of data, even if that data is liberally corralled into his analytic theory.(44)

This leads us to the problem of agency, identity and ego. Ego is said to emerge from the self; its relation to self is one of “moved to the mover.”(45) Although it may be subsumed by the archetypes, as in inflation, ego is also the real limit of the person.(46) Ego is not to be confused with the self; although Jung claims ‘ordinary’ persons, in ignorance, take ego as the entire psychological being. Not so for Jung. When ego is unaware of, or attempts to deny the self’s existence, the ‘sleeping giant’ of the unconscious(47) self may grumble mightily at any time. The result: psychic catastrophe.(48 ) That is, ego becomes assimilated by the self–a situation praised in eastern religious and cultural ideals, but not endorsed within the scientific materialism of western modernity.

Thus as mentioned at the outset, ego plays a tremendous role in Jung’s vision of the psyche. By balancing inner and outer realities, it serves to regulate both collective unconscious and collective conscious forces(49) (and implicitly, moral opposites of good and evil residing in the psyche and expressed in the sentiments and acts of external reality). Ego is, therefore, busy. So busy that Jung sees it as the high achievement of western humanity. Unlike the so-called ‘primitives,’ the egos of modern individuals are more differentiated and less luminous than those of their, as Jung would have it, cruder ancestors.(50)

Concerning luminosity and ego, two points should be made. First, Jung says even modern persons have egos surrounded by a “multitude of little luminosities.”(51) Their unconscious provides various shades and textures to ego consciousness. And considering everyone is variously configured as such, each possessing different ‘lights’ from the unconscious, we must ask how Jung is able to make sweeping statements regarding the ‘normal’ ego constitution of western women and men. To propose for the sake of argument two stereotypes, does an artist necessarily see and experience in the same manner as an astrophysicist? Jung would say no, of course.(52) While he humbly acknowledges being a lay-person and doctor who happens to be very well read, at times his lack of academic training (and rigour) shows. By analogy, Albert Einstein admits to being poor at math, and Jung’s achievement was perhaps made possible by the fact that he was not confined by corridors of acceptable thought. But in spite of this, certain unacceptable margins of vagueness and redundancy may be discerned in his writing.

Another issue to be raised concerning luminosity and ego is in their application to Jung’s so-called ‘primitives.’ Jung visited Africa and India, so unlike ethnocentrics such as Emile Durkheim – who never travelled to places written about – we would suspect him to be in a better position to understand the inhabitants of foreign societies. But right from the outset Jung envisions such ‘native cultures’ as possessing the stereotypical attributes of ‘primitive man,’ and while he shows some appreciation for indigenous cosmologies,(53) and even made some attempts to learn local languages prior to departures, he nevertheless seems to wear, as it were, his safari hat throughout his adventures into lands exotica. I mean to say, he never let his European side slip–perhaps because he truly showed tendencies towards racism.(54) Possibly Jung’s comments on the luminous primitive ego reflect in part his own fantasy world: a projection of Jung’s psychic contents to others.(55)

* * *

To conclude, in reviewing ego, archetype and self, it seems my suspicions have been further confirmed. Jung’s analogic method displays an almost artistic collage of seemingly related concepts; upon close and careful examination, however, we have seen that mandala is not taken in situ, but rather as Jung – consciously or unconsciously – chooses to portray it. Regarding Ufos, Jung provides a detailed psychological exposition after professing ignorance as to their actuality.(56) While he mentions (in passing) that exclusively psychological relationships to Ufos as archetypal images would not dismiss the possibility of genuine Ufos,(57) he nonetheless proceeds to systematically squelch any tinge of ambiguity as to the latter’s authenticity with an apparent certainty that makes us wonder: is Jung the open-minded investigator he claims to be, searching for knowledge on the basis of empirically demonstrable facts, or is he one of the truly great doctrinaires of modernity, holding fast to new dogma of his own design?

In all likelihood, he is probably both; and that, in Jung’s own fashion, would be consistent with the ‘unity of opposites’ motif postulated within his system. Whether such theoretical coherence arrived with or without ethical consequence remains open to various avenues of debate.(58 )

Endnotes

1) See my unpublished paper for the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, “Plumbing the Depths: Carl Jung, Freud and Hinduism.”

2) Until the entirety of Jung’s work is studied, forwarded conclusions must be tentative. This critique is based mostly on C. G. Jung, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vols. 1-11.

3) C. G. Jung, Psychological Types in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 6, 425.

4) C. G. Jung, Mandala Symbolism from The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 9/1 par. 717.

5) C. G. Jung, “Analytical Psychology and Education,” The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Vol. 17, par. 169, cited in Daryl Sharp, Jung Lexicon: A Primer of Terms and Concepts (Toronto: Inner City Books, 1991: 49).

6) Jung, Mandala Symbolism, par. 563.

7) C. G. Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 8, 210.

8 ) C. G. Jung, Psychology and Religion in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 11, 50.

9) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 8, 214. Jung seems to overlook the fact that the words he writes are a type of representation.

10) Ibid, 214.

11) Ibid, 205.

12) C. G. Jung, Civilization in Transition in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 10, 237.

13) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 8, 213.

14) Ibid, 231.

15) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 156.

16) Ibid, 82.

17) Here Jung refers to dialectical opposites of, for instance, good and evil, masculine and feminine, hatred and love. Ibid, 443.

18 ) Ibid, 156.

19) Ibid, 277.

20) As in my previous paper, “Plumbing the Depths,” time restraints necessitate reference to Freud via secondary sources. In this case: Lectures on Psychoanalysis for undergraduate course conducted by Dr. Donald Carveth, 1981-1982, York University, Toronto.

21) C. G. Jung, Four Archetypes from The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 9/1 par. 3; Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 8, 291.

22) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 349-350.

23) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 8, 219.

24) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 197.

25) As an extreme anti-theorist, Jean Baudrillard comments that good theory should lose its own meaning when “pushed to its conclusion” at the “limits of the text.” Jean Baudrillard, Forget Foucault/Forget Baudrillard (New York: Semiotext( ), 1987: 38 ).

26) See, for example, Paul Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (London: Humanities Press, 1975).

27) Naomi R. Goldenberg, “Reply to Barbara Chesser’s Comment on ‘A Feminist Critique of Jung,'” Signs (Spring 1978): 724.

28 ) Jung, Mandala Symbolism, par. 713.

29) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 8, 436.

30) Jung, Mandala Symbolism, par. 645.

31) Ibid, par. 637.

32) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 95-96.

33) Jung, Four Archetypes, par. 156.

34) Lama Anagarika Govinda, Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism (New Delhi: B.I. Publications PVT Ltd., 1960: 166-171).

35) W. Y. Evans-Wentz ed., The Tibetan Book of the Dead, trans. Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960: 126, footnotes 1-3).

36) Troy Wilson Organ, Hinduism: Its Historical Development (London: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1974: 59, 76-77, 80).

37) Clark, “Plumbing the Depths,” 10.

38 ) C. G. Jung, Aion in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 9/2, 144, 194, 222.

39) Jung briefly notes that he cannot determine the falsity or truthfulness of numerous Ufo accounts. See Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 10, 309.

40) Star Wars and Star Trek introduced variously shaped interstellar crafts to the popular imagination.

41) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 10, 325.

42) William McGuire & R. F. C. Hull eds., C. G. Jung Speaking, Bollingen Series XCVII (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1977: 414).

43) Jung’s concept that refers to the goal of psychic totality, differentiation and socio-environmental confluence. See Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 258-259.

44) See Clark, “Plumbing the Depths,” 8-10.

45) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 259.

46) Ibid, 470.

47) Which is nonetheless conscious of itself.

48 ) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 9, 24.

49) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 8, 217-218.

50) Ibid, 189.

51) Ibid, 190.

52) In later work I will elaborate on Jung’s 4 by 2 model of the psyche, consisting of thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition, as well as introversion and extroversion.

53) Especially with the Pueblo Indians. See Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 10, 211; and C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, revised, ed. Aniela Jaffé, trans. Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Vintage Books, 1961: 250).

54) For example, he believes individuals of all the colonies of England are “slightly inferior,” and that “there are facts to support this view” (in America, this being the psychological influence of the “lax, “childlike” and “inferior” blacks). Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 10, 46-47, 121, 507-509).

55) We are indebted to Freud for the mechanism of projection; Jung also recognizes the primacy of projection and notes that archetypes are usually expressed through this process. Dr. Donald Carveth, Lectures on Psychoanalysis, 1981-1982, York University, Toronto; See also, C. G. Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 7, 95.

56) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 10, 309.

57) He utilizes the concept of ‘synchronicity’ to account for this. Ibid, 313. Unfortunately it is beyond the scope of this paper to do justice to this pivotal component of Jung’s schema.

58 ) Jung’s theoretical extrapolations reveal not only racist, but strong sexist tendencies. While apparently progressive, saying women should be regarded on the basis of “merit not gender,” Jung also exemplifies the expected ‘men are men, women are “girls”‘ mentality of his day. Jung, The Collected Works, Vol.7, 25; and Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 8, 286. Concerning his sexist views on rape, and for other examples of extreme sex-role stereotyping, see Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 9/2, 15-17; and Jung, The Collected Works Vol. 10, 117-119. On marriage, he claims i) all women desire children and ii) are attracted only to one man while married men are naturally attracted to many women; at the same time, however, iii) women aim to “loosen” the marriage structure. Ibid, 101 (i), 42 (ii), 132 (iii). Jung also assumes all lesbians are interested and/or active in gender/political issues by categorizing lesbian love as a stimulus for women to organize for increased social empowerment. Ibid, 99. Lastly, Jung’s professional practice entailed having sex with at least two of his female clients. Naomi Goldenberg, “Looking at Jung Looking at Himself,” Soundings, 73/2-3 (Summer/Fall 1990): 395.

Copyright © Michael W. Clark, Ph.D. All rights reserved.


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Deciphering dreams – different perspectives

Dreaming Girls Head by Elfleda via Flickr

No one really knows exactly what dreams are or where they come from. People who see our world through a materialistic lens usually say that dreams are a random product of memory, based on the brain’s acquisition and interpretation of sensory input. Others say that dreams help to release physio-logical, sensory and psychological data that we pick up through waking and sleeping hours.

Followers of Sigmund Freud, who was an atheist for much of his life, try to decipher the meaning of dreams according to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. For Freudians, understanding is all about deciphering the dreamer’s real and imagined world through the often baffling language of dreams.

Carl Jung, who was once Freud’s brightest student, arguably takes a more comprehensive approach. Jungians try to decode dreams by looking at the biological, psychological, cultural, transpersonal, and spiritual aspects of the self, also taking into account the dreamer’s total life situation.

A Quick Look at Dream Theory

Human beings have interpreted dreams for centuries. The ancient Greeks practiced so-called dream incubation to try to cure illnesses often associated with a deity’s displeasure. The afflicted would enter a sacred chamber, allowing visionary or incubated dreams to guide them towards health. This ancient practice was based on the belief that angry deities made people unwell but divine mercy could heal them.

Joseph of the Bible’s Old Testament became a powerful figure in Egypt because he was a gifted dream interpreter. But dream interpretation was by no means unique to the ancient Israelites. Most ancient cultures studied dreams to prophesize, predict, assist and inspire.

The early Christian Tertullian (155-230 CE) believed that dreams came from God, Satan, or were produced by the individual soul in connection with nature. And the early Roman writer Macrobius (395-423 CE) was one of the first dream theorists to look seriously at nightmares.

In medieval times the cruel and paranoid side of humanity was, perhaps, most prevalent with the Christian Inquisitions, irrational witch hunts and the burning of heretics. And dream theory within the Church reflected that disturbing paranoia.

By the 16th and 17th centuries Father Gracian, St. Theresa’s confessor, wrote that “it is a sin to believe in dreams.”¹ Gracian and other notables of the day placed much emphasis on Satan, linking the devil to the sexual content of dreams.

A few centuries later, Freud said that dream analysis is the “royal road” to the unconscious, making a distinction between the manifest and latent content of dreams. The manifest content is the dream remembered by the conscious mind, usually a condensed, displaced or symbolic version of the latent content. The latent content consists of the dreamer’s unconscious feelings, perceptions and desires, to be deciphered through psychoanalysis.

Freud believed that upsetting and sleep-disturbing latent content is psychologically censored, just as a newspaper editor censors articles that would be too disruptive if published. Freud also felt that environmental stimuli, such as traffic sounds outside the dreamer’s window, could influence the manifest content.

Alfred Adler once belonged to Freud’s inner circle but eventually broke with Freud over professional differences. Adler argued that Freud placed too much emphasis on sex. Adler also regarded conscious intent as equally, if not more, important than unconscious impulses.

Adler believed that dreams help to identify and overcome daytime problems. Life wasn’t about accepting “normal human unhappiness,” as Freud once put it. Alder saw life as an opportunity to overcome unrealistic feelings of inferiority and superiority. Through a process of self-improvement individuals gain an increased sense of mastery and, so it follows, happiness.

Like Adler, Freud’s prodigy Jung once followed but ultimately spoke out against Freudian theory. When Jung couldn’t toe the line any longer, he openly questioned Freud’s ideas, suggesting they were reductive and unscientific. This caused a permanent rift in their once very close relationship.

Jung went on to outline two main types of dreams, unpretentiously called big dreams and little dreams. Big dreams contain archetypal material originating from the collective unconscious. They may be visionary, involve grand themes (such as the mythic journey of the hero) and usually compel the dreamer to make significant life changes. Little dreams are more of the Freudian sort. They involve the personal unconscious and upper layers of the collective unconscious (such as the archetype of the shadow), and point to the need for smaller psychological adjustments instead of dramatic life changes.

The Gestalt theorist Fritz Perls believed that every aspect of the dream points toward some unconscious aspect of the dreamer’s total personality.

Contemporary parapsychologists take things a step further by saying that dreams may be predictive and involve the spirit world.

Jung also believed in the paranormal aspects of dreams but was careful to integrate the physiological, psychological and spiritual dimensions as he understood them.

How Can Dreams Help?

Upstairs at BMV Books, Toronto by MC

Dogmatic materialists and skeptics aside, most people agree that the primary purpose of dreams is to integrate unconscious and conscious attitudes, this hopefully leading to a better, more realistic approach to life.

The following builds on several leading perspectives and includes some original ideas of my own.² These categories aren’t watertight nor exhaustive. But hopefully they’ll illustrate some of the value and complexity of dream interpretation.

Compensation

Compensation is when the (unconscious) dreaming self attempts to restore or achieve balance within the (conscious) daytime attitude. A daytime racist, for instance, might dream of an enchanted encounter with someone of another color. Or a daytime bully who victimizes gays and lesbians might dream about an enjoyable same sex liaison.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the dreamer should act out their dream content in daily life. Rather, the dream merely opens doors to new possibilities, encouraging a more comprehensive, less judgmental worldview.

Wish-fulfillment

An example of wish-fulfillment would be when someone wants a romantic getaway vacation to the Barbados but can’t afford the time or perhaps money to get there. If the desire and need for this kind of diversion are strong enough, chances are they’ll dream about it.

The same applies to lonely people in search of a soul mate. They may never find them during the day. But their dreams can be rich and satisfying to the point where it’s upsetting to awake. On this, the Japanese poet Ohtomo Yakamochi wrote:

[These] meetings in dreams,
How sad they are!
When, waking up startled
One gropes about,–
And there is no contact to the hand.

—From the Manyo Shu, compiled 760 CE

Purging

In a purging dream, one gets rid of their negative feelings for another person or situation. Typically, someone will dream of screaming and shouting (maybe even cursing) at someone else whom they consciously or unconsciously resent during the daytime. On waking they feel better.

Residual

Residual dreams illustrate leftover conscious or unconscious feelings from daytime. They can involve the purging of negative emotions (as above) but also celebrating positive feelings.

Getting in touch | Seeing where it hurts

Here we dream about people or situations that have or still do upset us in daytime reality. We don’t wake up feeling better. In fact, we usually wake up feeling hurt. But this helps us to learn about and feel our hidden pain in order to better deal with it.

This type of dream differs from purging and residual dreams because on waking we may still be upset, even shaken. But this can be therapeutic. For to not know ourselves is usually a recipe for disaster. In psychoanalytic terms, this is a kind of abreaction.

Abreaction is a release and re-experiencing of painful or traumatic events or emotions. In many dreams it is obvious that the process underlying dreams is attempting to trigger an abreaction.³

Feeling Tone

The content of feeling tone dreams are generally forgotten but on waking the dream instills an emotional climate appropriate for the day.† The waking self is emotionally prepared to “get up and go.” An example would be a traveler who wakes up in a foreign country, eager to explore various architectural landmarks.

Feeling tone dreams can also be more subtle. A typically grouchy person, for example, might wake up feeling more favorably disposed toward his or her family and friends.

Problem Solving

Problem solving dreams provide solutions to vexing issues and practical problems encountered by the waking self. The answer may be cloaked in symbolism but usually some kind of direct statement is given in the dream.

A lost ring, for instance, might be located through a dream in which a voice simply says, “look under the mat.” This might seem trite but it points to the idea that, in many instances, the dreaming self is more knowledgeable than the waking.

Transformational

These are similar to wish-fulfillment (see above), but transformational dreams signify general motifs or trends as opposed to specific objects of desire. For instance, we dream of flying around the neighborhood or to distant countries. The weightlessness is sheer joy. This could symbolize “taking off” in life, socially or professionally.

Creative and Inspirational

Creative and Inspirational dreams contain specific content that a person may apply to their daytime work. Music composers, for instance, sometimes dream about melodies and arrangements. And history records not a few inventors who dreamed of devices and innovations before manufacturing them.

Nightmares

Nightmares are generally viewed as warning dreams. The nightmare is trying to jolt us into recognizing and readjusting an inappropriate conscious attitude or situation. A recurring nightmare points toward something in ourselves (or in life) that urgently needs change.

Visionary

Here we have wonderful or perhaps horrific dreams of things to come—that is, the future of humanity. It seems that visionary dreams and their interpretation are almost always colored by personal and cultural filters. Some visionaries recognize this, while others tend to habitually mistake their vague predictions for precise ones. If left unchecked, the misguided visionary might go insane in some rare instances. But usually they just go on fooling themselves and anyone gullible enough to follow their half-baked predictions.

Precognitive

Precognitive dreams are similar to visionary dreams but not as momentous. Here one simply dreams of something which, in fact, occurs later in waking reality. These could come about by (a) God letting the person know what will happen (b) the person sensing things through time (which as we now know, is a relative construct) or (c) a combination of (a) and (b), that is, God allowing a person to sort of psychologically “time travel,” as it were.† This latter view upsets some traditional theologians who just can’t get their head around the idea that space-time is not linear.

Controlled

Also called conscious or lucid dreaming, controlled dreaming is a controversial technique based on shamanic traditions where one actively creates or has a conscious effect on the dream content. Some control their dreams for pleasure. Others strive to improve conditions in the everyday world, this based on the belief (and perhaps observation) that dreaming and waking realities are intimately (if mysteriously) connected.

Empathetic

Here the dreamer experiences another person’s problems, concerns or situation. During the empathetic dream the dreamer fully believes that he or she is confronted with issues that, in actuality, pertain to somebody else.† An extreme example would be a law abiding person dreaming they are a desperate criminal, always worried that he or she will get caught by the authorities.

The value of this type of dream is that the dreamer, upon waking, gains insight and can be sympathetic to the plight of others without actually doing the bad thing.† Of course, a similar effect can come through the arts (Elton John’s “Have Mercy on the Criminal” song comes to mind). But the impact of an empathetic dream is more powerful and immediate, making the innocent dreamer feel he or she really understands what it’s like to be a desperate crook.

Although empathetic dreams differ from intercession dreams (below), the empathetic dream can be an explanatory companion to intercession dreams—i.e. the dreamer better understands why they must spend time in contemplative or vocal prayer for another person.†

No surprise then, that the empathetic dream is especially valuable for contemplative saints (or saints in the making) who apparently take the sins (or karma) for others less able to understand and, therefore, appreciate the subtler points of religious experience.†

Intercession

Intercession is a theological term. It points to the idea that souls mediate God’s graces to one another. In the context of dreaming, intercession may or may not take place in real time. That is, one may dream of and intercede for a bad situation that could take place in the future. In the dream state the dreamer mediates graces to another soul so as to engender healing or to encourage that person to avoid making a bad choice.†

This kind of dreaming exhibits aspects of precognitive and controlled dreaming. But it differs in the sense that, within the context of the dream, one prays in a contemplative way for another person.† As with daytime intercessory prayers, the ultimate source of healing and positive redirection is God, not the dreamer.

It’s conceivable that intercession dreams are effective in real time and, given the relativity of space-time, also with past events. Here, dreamers would intercede in a positive way, for example, for victims of past wars and other atrocities.†

Intercession dreams may also be related to Empathetic Dreams (see above).†

Paranormal

The terms paranormal and normal seem somewhat arbitrary. They’re perhaps more reflections of the status quo than absolute categories, so they’re used here mostly for convenience.

With paranormal dreams, believers claim the psyche accesses information normally restricted by conscious and unconscious attitudes and also by the selective attention that is required for daytime activities. These dreams range from contacting the dead, traveling through time, and taking astral journeys to faraway countries, distant galaxies, exotic realms and other alleged dimensions. They can also involve communing with aliens and perceiving other people’s thoughts, emotions and inclinations.

While some report seeing or, perhaps, contacting themselves in past lives (i.e. reincarnation) during a dream, it’s important to realize that this is not necessarily fact. As a rule of thumb, paranormal dreams must be carefully interpreted and assessed. To take paranormal dreams at face value without informed analysis seems unwise because there’s no guarantee that the dream information is trustworthy or interpreted correctly.†

Hellish

Hellish dreams are different from usual nightmares. On waking the dreamer feels as if they have had an actual glimpse or personally experienced an actual hell. The experience is far more profound than a mere frightening series of events, characteristic of most nightmares. Hellish dreams arguably aren’t just imaginal representations but, rather, ontological encounters occurring during the sleep state. This is about the very real feeling of being damned and tormented for all time.

Due to the immediacy and intensity of the hellish experience, on waking the dreamer usually feels they’ve received a dire warning to change some attitude or behavior for the better.

Heavenly and Blissful

Many spiritually minded folk don’t like to differentiate the heavenly from astral realms (along with their respective numinous qualities). But one could reply that these people, for whatever reasons, just haven’t matured enough in their spiritual formation to understand and appreciate the difference.† By way of analogy, try telling a 3 year-old the difference between pi, infinity, and the speed of light—or, for that matter, between whiskey, vodka and wine. In both cases, the child just isn’t there yet to get it. And so it may be with many adults, who for all intents and purposes, seem more like kids (or maybe teens) when it comes to understanding matters spiritual.†

By way of contrast, many say on the basis of personal experience that heaven is of an entirely different order and beauty than the astral realms or the energy of the cosmos.

At any rate, in this kind of dream one experiences heavenly realms and all the contentment, love, grace and profound peace that accompany them. And heavenly bliss is often distinguished from the following “lesser” paths of natural and aesthetic beauty, vital pleasures (e.g. sex and eating), endorphin and adrenaline rushes, alcoholic merriment, drug-induced altered states, and forms of intuitive or extroverted pseudo-spirituality characterized by immaturity, egoism and an absence of genuine love.

To what degree heavenly bliss might coexist with other, lesser pleasures remains a matter open to debate. But even if heavenly graces did coexist with lesser pleasures, we can still discern the different components of a given experience.† By way of analogy, water may be combined with coffee, sugar and cream but these various elements remain different.

This notion of a hierarchy of pleasures, from vulgar to heavenly, isn’t terribly new. The idea appears in ancient Indian and Greek philosophies. As noted above, Tertullian wrote that some dreams are an ecstatic, purely spiritual experience, in contrast to those generated by the soul and nature.

More recently, the Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo had much to say about different levels of spiritual experience. Aurobindo also warned against the deceptive influences of astral realms. However, Aurobindo didn’t have too much to say about dreams per se because for him, sleep was something to be overcome. Aurobindo claims he eventually overcame “The Sleep,” as he put it, replacing sleep and dreaming with the preferable state of meditation.

Final Word

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of dreams is their tendency to synthesize a great deal of information. Assuming that one has a feel for dream interpretation, it seems that past, present and future possibilities as well as feelings, attitudes and suggestions for improvement are combined in a brief production often reminiscent of an Oscar winning movie. Because most “dream movies” exhibit such a high degree of intellectual and artistic excellence, it seems improbable that the dreamer is the sole creator and director. Indeed, most of us could never hope to write a novel or screenplay containing the wisdom and brilliance of dreams.

This synthetic aspect of dreams suggests that some unknown agency beyond the body, brain and soul is at least partly responsible for dream production. And all we have to do is sleep!


¹Father Gracian cited in Robert L. Van de Castle, Our Dreaming Mind. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994, p. 83.

² My own ideas are indicated with the † symbol.

³ Tony Crisp http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/abreaction/

Further Reading

Castaneda, Carlos. The Art of Dreaming. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. Nobody knows whether Castaneda was writing fiction, fact or some combination of the two. But he does a good job illustrating a shamanistic perspective through his account of Don Juan.

Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Penguin Freud Library Volume 4. Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1976.

Hall, James A. Jungian Dream Interpretation: A Handbook of Theory and Practice. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1983.

Jung, C. G. Dreams, trans. R. F. C. Hull. Princeton, New Jersey: Bollingen Series XX Princeton University Press, 1954. This is a good collection of Jung’s work on dreams from different sources.

Lewis, James, R. The Dream Encyclopedia. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1995. This isn’t just another “10,000 Dreams Interpreted” type book. It contains referenced and insightful comments throughout.

Pliskin, Marcia. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams. New York: Alpha Books, 1999. Don’t be biased against the fact that this is an Idiots Guide. It’s a good introduction.

Telesco, Patricia. The Language of Dreams. Freedom, California: The Crossing Press, 1997. I found Part One of this book, ‘A Time to Dream,’ most useful.

Van de Castle, Robert L. Our Dreaming Mind. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994. An excellent survey and resource book for further study by Dr. Van de Castle.

Some Interesting Dream Quotes » http://www.quotegarden.com/dreams.html

Disclaimer: This article does not possess any kind of medical, legal or religious authority. Those with physical, mental or spiritual health issues are advised to consult an appropriate and licensed professional.

“Deciphering dreams – different perspectives” © Michael W. Clark, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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