Category: 2015 A-Z blog challenge

Language of the Dream

Language of the Dream

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The language of the dream is foreign and hard to decipher. This is not surprising – learning any lesser known language takes time, frustration and much patience. 

But surprisingly, the dream is tailor made for you. It’s a candle in the dark as it lights the way through the labyrinth. One’s inner eye adjusts to the shadows cast, all the while as the unknown other in the dream becomes more familiar. That unknown other is you, the dreamer.

The language of the dream is the language of the arts i.e. metaphor, myth, symbols, images, allegory – all seems vague and strange to us in the beginning. Its language is often indirect but not always; at times it is obvious what it is portraying.

Landscapes are often part of the scene. Some may present as desert-like, dry, life-less with no horizon in sight. Others – green and peaceful.  Mountains climbed, rivers crossed, valleys descended. Some landscapes show bridges to be crossed, or a fork in the road, driving a car in the dark, no lights, or being a passenger. A colour may stand out. Or all is dark and dank, sometimes bright and light. Invariably they reflect the inner life of the dreamer and it is up to us to figure it out.

Because the dream may seem irrational, it is necessary to approach our dream in the light of day in a non-linear way. Lost in this landscape? Why lack of direction? What longing is being expressed? What loss? Why lavatory dreams? What are we needing to expel? What lie have we been telling ourselves? What love is being expressed?

We have limited awareness of ourselves, the ‘me’ the ‘I’, the ‘thou’. If we listen, we hear more of who we are.

Talmud: An unexamined dream is like an unopened letter.

The lotus emerges from the mud and awakens in its longing for the light.

lotusimagesThe dream is a candle light, leading you out of the labyrinth –

Thanks to google images for graphics.

Keys of the Dream

Keys of the Dream

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It’s one thing to reach for the key

key in lock

and, through trial and error finding the only one that fits.

It’s another thing to put that unique key into the lock –

– and yet another to turn the key –

– and then yet another, of opening the door –

and perhaps the most daring of the lot is to step inside, and enter.

Your dream is key to what’s going underneath –

Truly, like the original explorer who wants to know more, is reminded of the Oracle of Delphi – Know Thyself. These words are often attributed to Socrates who did in fact say them: “I am not yet able, as the Delphic Inscription has it, to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not know that, to investigate irrelevant things”. Socrates publicly acknowledged his lack of self-knowledge and thus made his audience aware of their own.

C.G. Jung: He who looks outside dreams, who looks inside, awakes.

Bhagavad Gita: Wake up! Be thyself!

Ramayana: Enquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge.

The keys to self-knowledge are in the dream. There will be knots to be untied – patiently, and not rushed – before the metaphorical kite can be extended and flown. But what a reward to see it take to the skies and clouds – reaching upwards, at long last – into the night sky and it’s depths – and to return it back to our hands.

kiteimages (2)

With thanks to google images for graphics.

Journey of the Dream

Journey of the Dream

dream imageWhere do we go when we close our eyes and shut out the external world? 

This journey into the self is often times into uncharted and unfamiliar land or waters. Yet, like the traveller who sets off on an expedition and who has maps, with the moon and stars to assist on his travels here, below, above, not knowing what awaits, so we too can set off with a map – a different kind, namely our own inner guide as map.

Entering into the dream and working on the unknown facets of ourselves (for all those characters and place in a dream are representative of ourselves in some way) is a hero’s journey for those who wish to be fully themselves, no longer presenting a fake face to themselves and the world.

Our lives are represented in the dream world when we are given cause for pause. We wonder whether to go this way, that way. There may necessary dangers when making that next step. It may show to not be too hasty, stay awhile at this crossroad before going anywhere, don’t make assumptions, reflect more, go further back, further forward, don’t rush, pay attention, have faith –

And hold with care until it unfolds. Keep a journal of your dreams. It’s a way of being present with yourself, jotting down whatever comes to mind, knowing that your writings, your journalling, has the potential to lead you to deeper levels of awareness.

It will take us out of our comfort zones when we heed the call knowing that there are always risks in undertaking journeys. We need to prepare in order to return ..

Who knows, maybe we’ll find jewels along the way, even if it takes forever to crack the shells surrounding it. Perhaps that diamond or pearl will slowly itself reveal as the layers are exposed. Joy maybe ..

 Thanks to google images for above graphic.

Image in the Dream

    Image in the Dream

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Einstein: Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere*

An image that presents itself in a dream to you may not have the same meaning that I would ascribe to it were I to have a similar image, e.g. dreaming of lilies. For you it may mean flowers on a coffin, or remembering fields of lilies, or loss or just your favourite flower. I’m reminded of the tears that fell from Eve’s eyes as she and Adam left the Garden of Eden and, where her tears fell, lilies sprang up – and of course Lilith, the serpent in disguise who returned from her exile in the depths of the Red Sea and offered Eve the apple.

The dream image is usually specific to the dreamer and their particular cultural and social circumstances, although the collective unconscious is ever present. There is no ‘one size fits all’ meaning of an image. If there were a simple formula this would fix the dream and would render it lifeless. It invites you to use your imagination! The impulse to making an immediate interpretation is to be resisted.

Nevertheless, there is some universality in dream images. Many of us dream of being unprepared for an exam, being naked in public, driving over a cliff, being in the sea facing a wave that is about to engulf us, being chased, an intruder, losing teeth or our identity documents and wallets, opening or closing a gate, a bridge, fishing. These sorts of images are helpful in that they speak to our inner lives.

Insight gained from working with the dream, no matter how irrational, helps develop an integration between our inner and outer lives. By accepting the invitation from our dreams and working with our interior world, we develop an intimacy with the unknown, and known, parts of the self and thus we are led towards our individuality.

The dream is on your side, waiting in the wings, wanting to intrude, wanting your individual expression of your inner other.

Einstein quote from brainy quotes; thumbnail google images

Home of the Dream

   Home of the Dream

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Does the dream have a home? Does it venture out, to return?

Its’ home is from the deepest layer of our being, the collective unconscious (distinct from the personal unconscious) which, if utilised in an authentic manner, can provide a corrective view to the dreamer – as for example, the blind spot mentioned in an earlier post –  but also more, much more. And, it sometimes seems as if Hermes the necessary trickster, is abroad, above and below.

The unconscious is not inactive. Like our conscious mind, governed largely by our ego, the unconscious, inter alia‘…is ceaselessly engaged in grouping and regrouping its contents’.* This indicates that there is purpose and aim in the workings of the unconscious.

These unconscious workings, brought to the fore in significant part by working on our dreams, is given light in the struggle. Being responsible towards our dreamwork – for work it is – adds life and depth, a broader more encompassing perspective, fullness, harmony and meaning to our lives. From its dwelling place, it offers, as a gift, a way of communication between our conscious, visible and physical lives, with that of our psyche – or soul, or spirit, or that invisible aspect of ourselves. From its’ dwelling place of the unconscious and collective unconscious, it needs to be held lovingly, carefully, tending to it, hearing its prompt to us to live in greater awareness, harmony and consciousness in our inner and outer homes. Like ourselves, the dream has many mansions that invite exploration.

And even if the dream is dreadful there is holiness in the hell  – and healing – somewhere – 

We’re sometimes at the helm in the dream, often times not, and sometimes we cannot see the horizon, but when we hold the dream with care, the hidden messages will reveal the heart of it – and guide us home –

*CG Jung Vol 7

The dream is your friend and guide, waiting in the wings,  – always searching for its home –

Gold in the Dream

Gold in the Dream

light
Becoming familiar with one’s dream world is akin to finding gold.  What could be finer than being one’s own authentic person, more in tune with our god given nature, able, stronger, to withstand what life throws at us, tossed and turned like flotsam on stormy seas. We can feel a sense of growth within, from the time and effort we put into it to become more conscious, adding a ray of light onto the darkness, gradual it may be.

The dream is a gift, following its evolutionary impulse towards growth. Like our gardens, the more we give them our care and attention, so will our garden yield its fruits, and the more the dream will yield its gems. Like mother’s milk, the more the infant feeds at the breast, the more milk is  produced. So too with our dreams, those night time visitors, looking for the gap in the garden to plant the seeds so we grow towards wholeness and psychological health.

I am always grateful when a dream presents itself even if I have no clue what it means, even if it is banal or grim and gross in the extreme. Even a nightmare is a gift –  through willing and conscious re-entry into that dream in the light of day to get to its genesis even if it takes forever, is a gift for the message it brings. It’s quite something to step in the gap between night and day and ask for the key …

Dreams offer us a glimpse of the ground of our being, of our unresolved conflicts not only with ourselves but collectively too. It points out, sometimes not so gently, the repair work that needs to be done. 

The dream is always on your side, in guise, as guide, waiting in the wings, wanting to yield its gems in the garden.

Fertility, Faith, in the Dream

Fertility, Faith in the Dream
JungMarie-Louise von Franz says in her book ‘The Way of the Dream’ that ‘…the unconscious part of our psyche is portrayed in our dreams, and by recalling our dreams, our conscious mind has the opportunity to view (the) contents of the unconscious mind’.

We can view the dream in the light of day and try to ascertain what the unconscious is saying to us that needs to be brought to consciousness, even if frustrating and fragmentaryAgain, at the risk of repetition, it is necessary to bring an attitude to it other than the one we usually use.

Through the dream, we venture down into the depths to consciously reclaim some of the fertile ground of the unconscious, that enormous and abundant well waiting to be mined. The knots and fear that have kept us bound are already being loosened, more so as we travel upwards again, into consciousness.

Faith in the dream is not easily come by. This is hardly surprising, since having faith in one’s dreams means having faith in one’s self – and trusting that process. Faith is hard won, and for me, it is always a struggle and sometimes seems hopeless. Becoming true to one’s own fragile self is a hard task, or ask –

Whether or not we believe we dream or remember them, we have them. They are as essential as fresh air, a healthy diet, sleep and exercise. They’re also an excellent indicator of our psychological health or otherwise and give us the opportunity of paying attention to what  it is trying to impart – for our psychological health.

 Many of us have fertile dreams where slumbering ideas are brought forth and flower in the light of day. We can make that foray into the unconscious and its fertility.

The dream is on your side, faithfully waiting in the wings, sensing the fear of going down, though fair at all times –

Exploration of the Dream

                                                Exploration of the Dream

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A dream seldom tells us what we already know. It is there to point us in a direction that is  unknown, that is helpful to us. It indicates to us what we need to know.

The dream often stirs up emotions, overwhelming and distressing, which are not to be dismissed.  This provides vital clues to the meaning of the dream and it is important to note these when writing down the dream or committing it to memory. This makes it more concrete, and brings it up, so to speak. In the writing or sketching or contemplating, other bits and pieces are recalled and retrieved. No matter how exotic or elusive or enigmatic it seems, other elements emerge.

 Does the emotional content of the dream relate to our everyday life, perhaps a portrayal of an unresolved conflict albeit in disguised form? Have we lost our keys in the dream? What loss are we experiencing in real-life?

Dreams are meant to shake us up and the content of them invites us to explore them. With effort, the enduring essence of ourselves can be found even if it feels ephemeral and unreal. The echo is somehow there. I’ve been shot at in a dream; perhaps some part of me needed to die. Many times my dreams are double-dutch to me for days and weeks, months and years – really I’m not exaggerating. I look back on dreams from 10, 20 years ago and I see something not seen before. But, with patience and trust and exercising that inner muscle, I start to trace a thread, and a pattern emerges. The more I exercise it, the more energy is found.

The dream is your friend, not your enemy. It waits in the wings, wanting expression of your inner being  –

Thanks to google images for above graphic

Dialogue with the Dream

Dialogue with the Dream

earth wind fire water

‘The two fundamental points in dealing with dreams are these: first, the dream should be treated as fact, about which one must make no previous assumption except that it somehow makes sense; and second, the dream is a specific expression of the unconscious’. C.G. Jung (Man and his Symbols).

 To approach the depth of the dream requires dialogue with it in order to discover its underlying dynamic. Dialogue would be done in the light of day but by putting aside one’s egoic way of looking at things. It means having a conversation with one’s self and any images presented. Questioning what appears to be a dissonance between how one perceives one’s self in real life and the data in the dream is not straightforward. It requires a descent towards its depths, bringing an attitude of unknowing towards it, quite different to our usual linear and logical one.

 Often, we’re in a dilemma in the dream and our defences are down. The dream is of course a direct expression of the unconscious. One can ponder, what is this dream saying to me? In what way can I relate my present situation to it? If I were to give this dream a title, what would I call it? Who are those others in the dream and in what way are they representative of me, in both their positive and negative qualities? Why this unknown landscape?

Yes, we can feel hugely disadvantaged when looking at the dream in the light of day because of the difficulty of decoding it. We play detective to try to decipher. Like a diver into the depths of the sea discovering the unknown all around, so too can we descend into deep waters.

The dream as daimon, sometimes daemon, as guide, waiting in the wings, wanting your dialogue –

 Thanks to google image for graphic above

Challenge of the Dream

CHALLENGE of the Dreamdreamimages (12)

In conversation with my sister a while back, long distance, she related a dream she’d had that morning which had left her weepy. We agreed it was a challenging dream, cryptic in its characterisation, yet the connections to her psyche were clear.

 Curiosity towards the dream is good as long as it not idle intellectual curiosity. Curiosity implies a creative attitude, allowing an opening where things previously looked choked or blocked. This challenging dream requires a commitment from her to apply herself to it, in order for the connections between her conscious and unconscious life to become clearer.

If the dream gives cause for pause it is assuredly portraying something. Again, we have to be careful of our blind spots, that we do not bark up the wrong tree or down a depleted river. It needs to be held, nurtured, even though it may be weeks and months before its meaning becomes clearer. It’s our cross to bear that we become conscious of the conflict.

C.G. Jung:The dream shows the inner truth and reality of the patient as it really is, not as I conjecture it to be, and not as he would like it to be, but as it is’

 Even if the dream seems barely worth any consideration, make a note. Don’t be certain of its meaning. Let it cook in the psyche, allowing it its alchemy. Let it change, dissolve, transmute, while it simmers and steams and be conscious of the changes of its complexities. Each clue is like a crystal and has value even though it be darkly hinted at. We have the capacity –

Can we uncover that which has been covered? And be compassionate towards whatever is revealed?

The dream is your friend, waiting in the wings, wanting to be made conscious –

And a Blessed Pesach and Easter to all.

 Thanks to Google image for above image

Blind Spots in the Dream

        Blind Spots in the Dream

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Like driving on the roads and no matter how careful we are and alert to other drivers, sometimes that driver or pedestrian sneaks up on our left or right hand side or behind. This always gives me a start when it happens to me. A blind side –

We have blind spots with regard to an interpretation of our dream. We want to put a positive spin on that strange, sometimes bloody dream. 

This also happens in trying to tease the out the meaning of a dream. I heard of a woman who couldn’t figure out why, for a long while, she kept on dreaming of trying on different coloured jerseys – in a changing room. Her relationship was cause for concern but she chose to ignore warning signals as she was very invested in making the relationship work. But, she had a blind spot with regard to it. When it was pointed out to her that the wool was being pulled over her eyes in her dream, the penny dropped. 

And since the dreamer didn’t get the message first time round, it kept on re-occurring. The dream couldn’t have been clearer obscure though it seemed. She awakened to the message with regard to her relationship.

So, we have our blind spots in interpreting our dreams. Also, especially when faced with a blockage in our lives, we are not that keen to face it, preferring blindness.

The dream helps to bring about a corrective attitude to our conscious attitude and behaviour. It serves as a balance to our lives bringing to our attention an unvarnished truth.

The dream is your friend, not foe – it waits in the wings, wanting your attention to bring about balance –

 thank you to Google images for the image

Attention to the Dream

Attention to the Dream

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What we give our attention to is what gets things moving. Thanks to the pioneering work of e.g. Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and many others before and since, we are more aware of the mysterious workings of the inner psychology of mankind. Many are awakening to the abundance of the unconscious from where the dream comes, and are giving it their attention as a psychologically sound and healthy way to access their own precious psychological authenticity and we’re animated in the process.

Attention to the dream, those night time visitors, will yield rewards. We pay attention to what is important to us – our careers, relationships, health, finances, inter alia – why not to that other reality? We are after all, the author of the dream, no-one else. Dreaming is an instance over which we have no control. They are spontaneous and come from the deepest reaches of our being.

Attention also means intention to take the dream seriously, to try to figure out what it is saying. We know that it speaks in a language different to the one we are familiar with, and this makes it difficult. It is best to bring an attitude of unknowing to the dream.

Analysis of the dream requires careful and patient attention to detail e.g. the arena in which it occurs, any action that is expressed in the dream and awareness, worn like a protective cloak, as we actively work in deciphering the clues.

By the time we reach the age of 60 we’ve spent about 15 years of this time asleep and a significant portion of that time dreaming. Let’s attempt to access our dream world.

The dream is your friend, not foe. It is your guide wanting to bring you to greater awareness and consciousness.

thanks to Google image for above image

A-Z Blog Challenge Theme Reveal

   April A-Z Blog Challenge -Theme Reveal! 

atoz-theme-reveal-2015

I’m sure for many of us the excitement is mounting! I hope for all of you it is going well! Thank you to all our hosts, co-hosts, minions, encouragers, helpers, gnomes, fairies, those seen and unseen – it makes a huge difference! 

OK, onto theme reveal. It took me ages to decide on a theme. Once I started I nearly gave up and changed direction because the task was too big to do it justice. I even thought of quitting! 

I’ll be posting on Dreams as I believe the gift of them is much unrecognised and undervalued. As above, so below. Those dreams we have come from our own inner being. They are a direct expression of the unconscious, of the psyche, and therefore my approach will be a psychological one that explores the treasure house of dreams, capable of revealing its jewels if we pay attention and persevere.

I’m keeping them short (under MAXIMUM 300 words). Most are around the 250 word mark.  I won’t be analysing my or any other dreams per se but will hopefully provide pointers and an incentive to you to take your dreams a little more seriously. Like an explorer setting out with trepidation on a journey to unknown lands and places, the dream world offers just as exciting a journey, inwards –

I hope you’ll join me ..

The dream is always on your side, as guide, even it appears otherwise.

There is time to join the April A-Z Blog Challenge: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2015.html

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