attention to the dream

D : DREAMS

– An unexamined dream is like an unopened letter –

The Talmud

Ah, that night time activity! That wakes me at 4.43, or at 3.11 a.m. or at some other ungodly hour. I switch on my cell phone for light, pick up my journal and pen so that I can record my dream swiftly – and go back to sleep.

When I look at my dream scratchings when awake, I can make no sense of it at all. How very strange, odd. What on earth has this to do with me I wonder. I can make no connection to it at all. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with my waking life –

I take my dreams seriously because I know that my unconscious is trying to say something to me – for that is from where the dream comes. I am the author of my own dream afterall. No-one else. The dream comes from me alone. Who ARE those unknown people in my dream? Why am I in an unfamiliar place? Just lately, I have been in extremely unusual places in my dream world. Hotel rooms, bed and breakfast places, lecture halls inter alia. I haven’t been anywhere for a while – but ahh – does this have anything to do with our imminent move from our old house to new abode? Transition?

Maybe, maybe not.

If I know anything, it is that is important NOT to come to any immediate conclusion or interpretation of the dream. That would be too easy. I would be selling the dream short if I were to do that.

I know that the dream does not tell me what I already ‘know’. It indicates what I need to know.

And of course it is not easy to decipher. I find I have to adopt the stance of ‘detective’ to see if I can pick up on an obscure clue; or ‘archeologist’ on the scent of something – I have to dig ever deeper and pay attention to my inner world, and bring an attitude of ‘unknowing’ when I consider it.

And to make it even more tricky and difficult, the dream does not speak in the language we are most familiar with – that of logic and reason. O no – it speaks in a foreign language, that of image, symbol, myth, metaphor. Its language is far from linear and is always unpredictable. Learning a new language – that of dreams – is a life long process, and it means going into uncharted waters.

Why do I pay attention to my dreams you may ask?

I perceive alchemy at work in my dreams. I know that my dreams are there to guide me, to explore as yet unknown parts of myself in my soul’s search for wholeness. I value that my dreams come from that deep well of unconsciousness and that I may be retrieving a tiny part of it when I give them the attention that they deserve. I am willing to learn.

Carl Jung: ‘Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes’.

24 Comments on D – DREAMS

  1. A person could devote a lifetime studying and analyzing dreams. I don’t know much about them, I just know I have them. As a student of art history, I also know there is a long tradition of artists expressing their dreams as subject matter for their paintings. I’m definitely a realist but I have a lot of respect for those who have a wonderful imagination.

    • thanks for stopping by Dan! Yes there are many, many examples of artists, scientists, writers, musicians (even Niklaus who improved his golf swing after dreaming of a new way of holding his golf club!) using dreams for their inspiration – too many to mention in this brief reply to you.

  2. Hello fellow dreamer, literally. Great quotes especially this one “I know that the dream does not tell me what I already ‘know’. It indicates what I need to know.” Happy A-Z

  3. Dear Susan;
    Your d for dreams brings up the comments from others and yourself about remembering or re-membering the dreams themselves. They are like us and want attention and care. Just doing that brings them forth. Anything worthwhile like your writing takes focus and remembrance. Thank you for your valuable insights.

    • Thank you so much Susan! Yes, like we want and need attention and care, so too do our dreams. That is an important point – our dreams are us. Like we do, they want and need recognition. They provide an opportunity to get to know ourselves and as the Oracle at Delphi says: Know Thyself. How can we ‘know’ another when we do not know our own selves?
      I so hope that a few more people come by and read your comment. I learn so much from them and I know others will too.
      Thank you again.

  4. As always, I enjoy your illuminating thoughts on “dreaming.” I rarely dream. Typically, in the past, I’m fighting someone or standing outside in a public location with no clothes on… HOW embarassing! But sometimes I have intriguing dreams where I am actively attempting to go inside of myself to my soul. Those dreams I pretty much remember. Sometimes I dream and then the situation takes place in the real world. I doooooooooooo wonder what is going though my mind!

    Yes, your posting is thought provoking and I LOVE THEM! Thanks!

    • Gwynn, thank you for commenting! No clothes on? Naked as the day you were born? A not uncommon theme .. standing au naturel with no ‘mask’ … and who do you think you are fighting? Something in yourself maybe?
      How lovely that you recall the dreams where you are going to your soul – for this is exactly where your dream wants and intends you to go – unclothed, no masks, YOU as YOU are. May they continue!

  5. Great post. You’ve helped me to place more importance on getting back into the habit of recording my dreams. I was doing this for a while and found that it had gotten easier over time to remember more of them. Been out of practice for a while though and hardly remember my dreams again. Thanks for writing about this today!

  6. Hi,

    I love this one because it speaks so clearly to my own heart. At the moment, I sleep with my iPad beside my bed. My life has much turbulence, and I am looking for understanding that usually comes to me when I am relaxed and slip into my dream world.

    This is an extremely valuable piece of knowledge.
    Thank you.

    Ciao,
    Patricia

    • Thank you Patricia! As always I appreciate your comments. iPad? I would wake my husband – so no go there – just cell phone light – barely there!

    • Hi TaMAra and thanks for stopping by! Pregnant in your dream? What a wonderful symbol! It does not have to refer to being pregnant as such; but if you look at it symbolically maybe something in you is waiting to be birthed .. your writing perhaps? Or some other something that wants to be born? Relationship? Something that’s inside and wants expression? – when the time is right?

      I should have emphasised the importance of looking at any dream SYMBOLICALLY – I may do a post on symbols when we get to ‘S’.

      • Hi TaMAra and thanks for stopping by! Pregnant in your dream? What a wonderful symbol! It does not have to refer to being pregnant as such; but if you look at it symbolically maybe something in you is waiting to be birthed .. your writing perhaps? Or some other something that wants to be born? Relationship? Something that’s inside and wants expression? – when the time is right?

        I should have emphasised the importance of looking at any dream SYMBOLICALLY – I may do a post on symbols when we get to ‘S’.

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  8. I love your thoughts on this and the quotes are so relevant. If only I could grasp my dreams. They slip away as soon as I wake. I know they’re interesting and that’s about all I grasp. Must try harder.

    • Thank you for stopping by Francene!

      Your dreams are interesting … no matter how banal or odd they may seem. Perhaps with more intention and attention on remembering your dream before slipping into sleep with note book at hand – and prior to all that, asking your unconscious to reveal its treasures –

      Good luck – I know you’ll be on an adventure!

      • Thank you for stopping by Francene!

        Your dreams are interesting … no matter how banal or odd they may seem. Perhaps with more intention and attention on remembering your dream before slipping into sleep with note book at hand – and prior to all that, asking your unconscious to reveal its treasures –

        Good luck – I know you’ll be on an adventure!

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