April A-Z : D – Dreams

These are very short extracts from Susan E. Schwartz’s and my book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. SES is Susan Schwartz, SS is me, Susan Scott. My writings are italicised. Page numbers are given. This is from Chapter: ‘Dreams, Death & Depth’.

SES: The denial of aging and death can come through dreams, sometimes pointing out depression and despair. Over time, disregard of self brings disregard to and from others and damage all round. And then there is a slow but deliberate death to the psyche as the death-dealing blows arise from within. The dreams help us to break into the complex holding us hostage when we think there is no escape. pg 37.

SS: The dream reveals our own metaphor, our own myth, as a gift to one’s self. It carries great responsibility and opportunity. The rich and honest soil of the dream, unconscious and wanting some light thrown on it, requires attentive watering for its fertility to bear fruit.  pg 39. 

‘Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action.They must be woven together’.

Anais Nin


32 Comments on Dreams April A-Z Blogging Challenge

  1. I love your understanding of dreams as a gift to one’s self. I like to think of them as being in the secret language of our own soul that we are invited to master this language.

  2. Thanks for the inspiration! I usually dream when well rested, which hasn’t been the case of late, so was surprised the other night by one that might have frightened me before–but didn’t. If dreams reveal our own myth, mine appears to e changing.

    “Female Scientists Before Our Time”

    • Strange and surprisingly pleasing to receive such a message in your dream Sharon … we change all the time – one of the few constants – and this is true of our own myth as well. Thank you for coming by.

  3. In my current stage of life I find myself dreaming a lot. In my dreams I’m usually my younger self and either still working or in school. Maybe I should record my dreams like I used to when I was in high school and college as they are often very interesting with a suggestion of important messages that I might be missing.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • You’re lucky to have a stream of dreams Arlee. Do record them – a pattern will emerge and the fact that you’re younger and in learning environments is striking though I couldn’t begin to offer any ideas about this 🙂

    • Many of don’t remember our dreams Michelle – but we do of course have them and if we do remember them and write them down when they wake us, they are an excellent resource.

  4. Hi Susan, last week I was speaking to a student in a counseling session and she was telling me that, she is afraid to sleep because of “bad dreams” when further explored she said that she dreams of being killed, someone trying to suffocate her and pressing her throat etc…. and as we progressed I found that she has been bullied by her classmates….so she stopped going to school….I could help her see the link between what she is going through and her dream.. I encouraged, motivated and counselled her., also spoke to her parents to take this issue with the management to prevent such happenings in school. I told her to record the dreams daily in a note book. After 3 – 4 sessions of counselling, she had dreams of getting back to her class and meeting her teacher…she is back to school now…dreams have helped me to understand myself too; specially the dreams I used to have after my sons death….it stopped once I have accepted the reality that my son is no more and he is in a better place …

    • Hi Genevive, my heart was in my mouth as I was reading your comment, but soon changed to my heart being where it belongs, in my heart. So heartwarming G, and that is so lovely that your student feels better equipped, from recording her dreams and especially your wise counsel. And dear David – does he visit you sometimes in your dreams? Bless him, and you – thank you for coming by.

  5. I love the idea that dreams are our own myth. Such an eloquent and profound way of describing dreams. Thank you, Susan.

  6. You have such fascinating words about dreams and dreaming. I think a dream can say so much about what is taking place in our life or it works to help us decipher a problem. I used to dream quite a bit and now I rarely do. I wonder what that means?

    • Deciphering – and decoding – see Jacqui’s comment below. Decipher is also a good word Gwynn thank you for saying so, and for coming by. By going to sleep with the intention of honouring the dream should it come, and being prepared – ie notebook, pen and torch (hopefully not to awaken anyone else, though I often wake my sleeping husband), can go some way to recall of the dream – even if only a snippet or an image.

  7. I love that decoding of dreams. They often seem like just a jumble of stuff, but that can’t be true. Your explanation brings order to the chaos.

    • That’s spot on Jacqui re: decoding which is precisely what we have to do … and it isn’t easy. Seldom do we get it straight off but with practice we can connect the dots and something emerges. Thank you ..

  8. Point of clarification: When you say dreams are you referring to that which happens naturally during sleep OR are you referring to the idea of conscious goals/hopes? I can analyze your words from both perspectives– and gain meaning and insight. So I suppose it doesn’t matter which way you or I define the word. Never mind… figured it out on my own… cue Aerosmith’s “Dream On”…

    • Mmmm, well both ways Ally Bean I guess but specifically I’m referring to those night time visitors to me, to you and everyone. That inner voice with its message, tailor made for you 🙂 Collectively, yes we have dreams – for peace for example. We have only to listen to inspiring people like MLK, Mandela, poets and artists of women and men … I now have an ear worm in my head, but I can’t remember the singer – Cliff Richard maybe?

  9. Hi Susan, Thank you for sharing more wise words from your wonderful book, “Aging & Becoming.” Jung’s wonderful quote, which I included on the cover of my own book springs to mind, “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” … one of my favourite CGJ quotes. Since joining my women’s (Jungian) dream group back in 2009, I have been recording my dreams for the past eight years, and the depth of archetypes, symbolism and soul that emerges is beyond this world’s riches … although in many ways I still feel like a beginner. Dreams, “A gift to oneself” I like that a lot! I hope the day finds you well. Blessings always, Deborah.

    • Hi Deborah and thank you for your compliment re the book! I love that quote of Jung’s too – ‘Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes’. When you say your book with the cover of the quote on it, do you mean your dream journals or do you have a published book? Please let me know 🙂 I agree about dreams, rich treasures awaiting being mined for their gold .. a gift indeed! I too have dozens and dozens of journals of my dreams. Right hand side the dream, lhs whatever is happening in my life .. blessings to you too, Susan x

      • I self-published my poems a couple of years ago with Blurb. My book is called, “A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World.” Poems written from my teenage years from 15 until I turned 50. Details can be found, plus reviews on my “About” page on my website… there a link to Blurb, bit pricey with postage I have say… not sure if you can buy an e-book? I also wrote a post about it all … should be a link on the same page too … thanks for asking Susan. x

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