Nature of the Dreamdream images (1)

‘Dreams are impartial, spontaneous products of the unconscious psyche, outside the control of the will. They are pure nature; they show us the unvarnished, natural truth, and are therefore fitted, as nothing else is, to give us back an attitude that accords with our basic human nature when our consciousness has strayed too far from its foundations and run into an impasse’. see ref below.

Now, I feel I have taken on far too huge a task to bring across the value of the dream in approximately 300-350 words for each letter of the alphabet. Honestly, if I’ve said anything at all, it would represent the tip of my fingernail to my whole body. I can only encourage you to pay attention to your dreams, a very real and natural expression of your unconscious and the collective unconscious, that strata common to us all.

Dreams are hard nuts to crack. Those that give us cause for pause and or wake us up in the middle of the night because of the strangeness of it, are the ones to be attended to. Each dream and its associations are unique to the dreamer and in this are nuggets to be found. It shows possibilities, potentials, both negative and positive, and it is not necessary to find an answer. 

Don’t neglect your dreams. Not for nothing do we dream. Each dream or series of dreams offers a new point of view, a compensation for our usual conscious way of looking at things. It is not surprising that it is alien. Each offers a way of self-reflection. Each problem personified in a dream can be outgrown.

Sometimes it seems we are going nowhere in the dream. Our deepest self does know, but of this we often have no notion

 CG Jung “On the Nature of Dreams” CW 8 The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. pg.532

60 Comments on Nature of the Dream

  1. Interesting comments. N for Nous or the Intelligible Realm in Platonic philosophy.

    I first consider Nature in my dreamscape, the environment and setting. Where is that vast beach in me, or what about the Olympic swimming pool with no water? Where is that full moon rising and where do I experience the steep hill where my car is stuck. I don’t have to understand to be transformed by a dream. Sometimes it’s best to let the images do their work without getting in the way.

    • This is very lovely Elaine thank you so much. I say about the theatre of the dream coming up in the T post. It is still to be tweaked and I will remember your words as I re-fashion it. Painting an image is such a powerful thing to do … let the images speak of their own accord. Thank you.

  2. “Those that give us cause for pause and or wake us up”…..for me these are often the dreams with family members, and I do pay attention. Sometimes they feel like a warning of some sort, or the best ones….’I got your back’ kind of feeling (have had this with people who have died–strange, huh).
    As to Ashen’s question….I have never seen text in a dream, but do find this fascinating. I wish I could!!
    Inventions by Women A-Z

    • Sorry I’m late in commenting back Sharon. I too dream of dead people – my parents eg. often at a table with food laid upon it. I wonder sometimes if there is still something I have to know or need to know about them, what is nourishing (food) … in what way this would be useful to me, something along those lines.

  3. I find I enjoy reading the comments in your posts almost as much as the posts themselves. So many different insights and points of view. It’s both lovely and fascinating. Thanks for making it happen, Susan.

  4. Jacqui, I will be lonesome for this N blog, as we move further along.

    Linguistics, are, in general fascinating pursuits. You are pausing to reflect upon ‘the unvarnished natural truth, ‘ that Carl Jung wrote about. I very recently paused to reflect upon TRUTH as dis-covering, also un-covering, in order to reveal TRUTH. In some additional ways, Ancient Greece used the term, Aletheia, removing the darknessand therefore seeing light —the prefix A-letheia.

    In chemistry, or home-improvement, we often look for “varnish-remover.”

    The more words and concepts we value when we describe dreams, might we not be further along our goals of KNOWING THE UNDISCOVERED SELF, title of one of Jung’s books?

  5. Love Jung’s quote–the ‘unvarnished natural truth’. If only we could understand them. They’re like a foreign language.

  6. Stephen, I feel compelled to connect here with you you are one experienced member of the A to Z hosting team. I think you are entirely correct in your observation that a mad dash to the finish line is what the person who takes up the challenge will experience. I think it is a madly exciting event for us spectators to be dazzled by Susan Scott’s brilliance and expertise, and also marvel at the wisdom of commentators to ALL of the A to Z bloggers as well My personal supportive advice to Susan, and to all contestants is not to go mad about the whole thing. Not to go crazy about being first.

    I think each contestant will be a First Class Winner, because the total experience and new self-development by each contestant WILL INWARDLY BE A FIRST! Hats off go the A to Z team, bringing this event off year after year!

    • Joseph, you’re right, Stephen is one of the A-Z hosts always encouraging us as do the other hosts. Such an essential part of this April madness. I agree, hats off to all the hosts, all the bloggers, all the commentators!

  7. There truly is no end to the wonder of dreams. I look forward, each day, to the next installation of your dream journal. That is how I look at it. So many dreams, so much information!! My dreams both give me information and entertainment. You have given me so many useful ideas to think about.

  8. It’s officially the second half of A to Z. Time to catch that second wind, rest up on Sunday, then it’s that mad dash toward the finish line!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    N is for Numerology

  9. Interesting choice of topic, Susan, but I could see how it would be a struggle to maintain. Then again, this A to Z challenge is always…well, a challenge, to say the least.

    We’re over halfway home!

  10. N as my final response to today’s blog” The Noetic word has several derivatives from Greek language – – -noein – – – to ‘perceive’ To perceive, recall, and benefit from are the things we all need to do with our dreams.

  11. NOETIC SCIENCE: I am not surprised you and your blog responders are familiar with this area that in general (dictionary) relates to mental intellect. The Institute of Noetic Sciences ( Consciousness), at, is dedicated to expanding science beyond conventional paradigms – – -studies the mind and its diverse—
    DREAMS certainly are a vital manifestation of diverse – – and your response to Deborah Weber gives me further impetus to learn while “I am attending your classroom.”

    • Thank you Deborah and what a lovely N word re the comments – that’s how i feel about them too – very much so. Your posts are noetic and nourishing.

  12. Even in these few words of each post you give a lot of knowledge, Susan. Your writing is very dense (I mean this in a good way – 🙂 )

    Dreams, as Susan Schwartz commented in a previous post and you say here, need not be overanalyzed at the moment for reasoning or understanding — that is a good point. Some dreams, I believe, simply show us that we are releasing something — some old emotions, attachments or habitual thinking.

    Other dreams, though, yes, those that pull us out of our sleep, they are good to be viewed over and over; and, like a favorite movie, each time we view it, we see a new perspective.

    (I have left comments, also, on your K and M posts, in case you missed them — power down and all.)

    Thanks for this wonderful tour through the dream realm.

    • Thanks for commenting and elaborating Samantha. Yes, an important point to bear in mind, not to overanalyse and search for immediate meaning.

      I love the analogy of dreams to re-viewing a movie, or re-reading a book, with new eyes and new perspective, twice, thrice, four times even! And a dream, many more times!

      I do have to be dense in these posts! I know you mean it in the way you mean it! 🙂

  13. I like your format and find your content for this theme keeps me thinking. I know dreams are extremely deep wells but the way you’re presenting their various aspects, getting our feet wet and making us ask ourselves more through deep introspection, is a valuable and very valid approach that I respond to.

    • Thank you Stephanie. I like your saying about wetting the feet, dipping the toes in! Your response is lovely and I’m glad that you find it a valuable and valid approach thank you.

  14. I love your wise words. Deciphering a dream and learning from it is an interesting process. A few times my husband kicks and hits out while dreaming so that I have had to awaken him. He has no concept of what he is dreaming that makes him do this. So I AM curious about the nature of his dreams and what he is processing.

    Thanks for your post.

    • Thank you Gwynn. Yes, I’d be curious about my husband’s dreams if he kicks and hits out but obviously only he would know. I’d be more curious about my own dreams though …

  15. The word “alien” really grabbed my attention. It’s curious, how dreams – so much an integral part of who and what we are, a nightly reality throughout our lives, couldn’t be closer or more common – are also so very, very alien in nature. (At least to me, they are!) Paradox.

    • It is a paradox Pam. So much a part of us, and yet so seemingly apart. I think I make a mention of that in one of my posts, maybe still upcoming.

      Thank you for coming by!

    • Thank you Genevive, I so enjoy yours too – your life in India.
      Be addicted to your dreams rather. If the posts help to prompt and nudge you then this is good 🙂

  16. I can’t help but remark that recently I read the passage of St Peter’s miraculous escape from imprisonment, when King Herod the Tetrarch certainly intended to execute him for public pleasure Acts 12: 10 “Peter was kept in prison…The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance…suddnly a light shone in the cell.’ The narrative continues to relate that an angel touched Peter and the chains fell off, the angel guided him out of the prison and into the street, and all the time Peter thought he was only dreaming; at a safe distance the angel vanished and Peter realised it was no dream. He went to the Christian house, but the servant girl Rhoda answered his knock, she was so surprised that she didn’t open the door but rushed to tell the others, who thought she was delirious, but finally answered the door to the persistent knocking and there was Saint Peter! Peter escaped but the next morning Herod was so furious he executed all the Roman guards.

    Some decades back there was a terrible mining accident in Johannesburg, the wole country held its breath and prayers were offered-up, the trapped miners underground related seeing angels, who led them to to a safe shaft where air came through and they were rescued alive. There are some remarkable lost events, when dreams have seemed like reality and reality was not a dream.

    Thank you Susan. Just Looked-up your August Plettenberg Bay Blog, very beautiful, so much left to love and appreciate.


    • Thank you Gillian. Two extraordinary stories and your connecting the two events. And yes, dreams do seem like reality and reality is just that.

      I’m curious, I’ll have to go see my Plettenberg Bay post!

  17. Dear Susan, the replies to Dreams are most entertaining! I love Celine’s T REX that jumped out iof the jungle and swallowed the people. And she wished to run faster and wanted her personal trainer! If it’s anything like my experience with gymns and personal trainers in JHB perhaps she needs to change either the one or the other in that mad Jungle Johannesburg!

    Thank you for the effort you put into explaining our dreams, all dreams are different according to personal psyche.

    Best Wishes


    • Thank you Gillian, yes her dream is extremely vivid. Johannesburg and surrounds in fact all over South Africa is volatile at the moment.

      I’m not explaining anyone’s dreams, hopefully just saying a bit of what they’re all about. I so enjoy the comments and learn a little bit more each time.

      Best to you,


  18. I have such weird dreams, I never really can make sense of them. For example I dreamt that I was staying in a hotel and in the pool was an enormous prehistoric fish that took up the entire pool. As I took photos of it, a T Rex burst out of the jungle, the fish leapt out of the pool and devoured the people on the deck chairs, and my reaction was to hunt around for my trainers so I could run faster to get away from the T-Rex.
    It was so vivid I remember it very clearly even though it was about a year ago, but I just cannot make any sense from it. I keep thinking that if it’s so vivid it must be because there’s something at its core of value but I really can’t see it!

    • Thanks for coming by Celine. Yours is a very vivid dream indeed. The symbols are there – archetypal in their ancientness.

      The following link is by Jean Raffa which may be of help to you. If you get onto it, go to rhs and see her Jan 2015 post: The Six-Step Method for Working with Dreams. If you want to make sense of your dream her method may help …

      Good luck and carry on …

  19. Susan, This AM, when I awoke, I remembered two dreams that I vowed to include in my comments here. However, it’s now two hours later and, guess what? I have no clue what they were! That’s the Nature of dreams!

    • You’ll have to do some begging and bowing Beth! The Nature of dreams are forgotten by the person who does the forgetting! Try writing it down next time?

  20. I have a question to you and your audience, Susan. When natural objects appear in my dreams, I read them as symbols. Maybe due to spending more time writing and surfing the internet, I occasionally get the lucid image of a screen-shot and find I’m reading its text in my dream.
    If I remember, and later google a theme or word from the screen image, it tends to be relevant to what had occupied my mind. I wonder if others see written pages in their dreams?

    • Thanks Ashen – I hope others respond to this.

      My response is that some wonderful synchronicity was taking place when you experienced correspondence between the inner and outer. If/when this happens to me I feel especially grateful. It feels to me that something is in the air, some connection made … collectively and with myself.

      Natural objects in my dream I see very much as symbols.

  21. Hi,
    This is excellent advice that I can only agree with. Recording your dreams is precious time that invests in guidance for your chosen purpose and accomplishments in life.

    • Thank you Pat. You’re right, it is an investment of much. Time, patience, intent, hard work and much more- Marie Louis von Franz said and I’m paraphrasing that it’s is an Herculean task. The labours of it all –

  22. Hi Susan – it’s deciding when it’s time .. to take time and remember dreams, to realise now is that time .. when they come to the fore. It’s not really been a subject that resonates with me – except I can see certain relevancies – but at some stage .. I’ll want to know more and then I’ll need to remember the Nature of the Dream .. cheers Hilary

    • Hi Hilary, thank you for your reflections, I much appreciate your coming by.

      ‘… deciding when it’s time …’ – you will know when you want to. Timing is All.


  23. The other night I dreamed that my brother had come to the town I was living in (a dream town not my real one) and hadn’t told me he was coming. I just happened to see him. Then my sister and my father (who has been dead four years) also showed up. I was happy to see them but mystified as to why they were there without me knowing. (my sister is about 2,500 kilometers away, my brother is flying from Australia to his home in Yellow Knife (thousands of klics away and my dad?). The interesting thing for me is how clearly I could see them all. I felt this strange mixture of sorrow that they’d made these arrangements without me and the thrill of seeing them. When I awoke I wondered why my mother wasn’t with them….
    Besides an entry into my subconscious dreams are a great source of creativity for me.

    • Thank you sharing this with us Jan. They sure showed up in your dreams. And the mixture or paradox of sorrow and thrill is pertinent. May the mystery continue …

      The personal unconscious (distinct from the sub) and the collective unconscious is fertile soil and, for all of us, writers alike, ”… a great source of creativity…”.

  24. My first awakening during my habitual cycle of sleep was close to 4 A.M. when I had been dreaming that I needed to tap on the top of my computer lid and think the word, “Branch Mail.” My analytical reaction was simply that I had some tasks to complete with my unreliable email. Nothing requiring deep concerns, or requiring therapy.

    As I am writing this comment, I see that I might be the “First Responder” for the N-Day of this A to Z Challenge.

    Now that you are at the second half of the alphabet of your A to Z, Susan, I thought that it might down-hill travel with ease. I know from your book, that you walked your way up Africa’s tallest mountain, that all of your attention was mobilized, downhill as uphill.

    Best of luck to you as you move toward the Finish Line! The A to Z will be the lesser challenge for you!

    I am confident that completing the A to Z will be the lesser challenge.

    Good luck to you as you are moving towards the finish line!

    • Thank you Joseph! Glad to have you as ‘first responder’. This downhill as you put it will, I fear, be harder. But thank you for your confidence in my downwards of the A-Z to the finish line!

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