Xray of the Dream935459_10151624055057702_1867179231_n

“The more one becomes aware of the contents of the personal unconscious, the more is revealed of the rich layer of images and motifs that comprise the collective unconscious. This has the effect of enlarging the personality. Consciousness participates more feely in the wider world, in better relationship to the world, in communion with the world at large”. * ref below

Do our dreams portray an x-ray of our inner lives? Will our ongoing dreams reveal a pattern of our lives, so that we can be better prepared for whatever yet comes our way?

The dream is the voice of nature, natural, with energy and, using its strange metaphors and vistas shows, from the unconscious, where perhaps its energy can be directed so that we feel a little more balanced, less stressed, knowing that we are in dialogue with our inner selves, a guiding Self, a bulwark against the troubled times we find ourselves in, many times soul-destroying.

Again, we have to go beyond to know what our dreams ‘mean’ – they are meant to be held with love and curiosity, tenderness and care, allowing the image and the imagination to take time to unfold. It is so important to not make an immediate interpretation. Some dreams seem to be more significant than others; yet even the simplest image speaks. More work and attention is required, looking into those depths, for is not soul work depth work? The night is the perfect backdrop for us to re-think, re-feel, re-imagine, re-orient our attitudes to ourselves and the world. The psyche is always at work and our dream world lets us know it’s busy. We can take the x-ray of our dream into life, even though it does not show all or tell all. We may apply a certain meaning to it at a certain time; yet months later we sense a new meaning as it evolves over time, much as our lives do.

And, incidentally, Jung, when asked ‘what does my dream mean?’ always replied, I don’t know .. 

*C.G. Jung, Collected Works Vol 7. Two Essays on Analytical Psychology

with thanks to google images for graphic

49 Comments on X-Ray of the Dream

  1. I’m reminded of my teacher of many years, Jungian writer and soul transformer Marion Woodman. Marion’s response to a students sense that she completely understood a dream interpretation and meaning, “The Unconscious is REALLY unconscious.” In other words, the darkness is always there and we never completely crack the mystery.

    I love Jung’s response.

    • A great reminder of Marion Woodman’s response Elaine, thanks so much! I love Marion Woodman’s teachings.. she speaks to the soul of the matter. I’ve been wondering if she’s still alive …

  2. “the perfect backdrop for us to re-think, re-feel, re-imagine, re-orient our attitudes to ourselves and the world” – it’s almost like our dreams allow us to process all that’s going on in our minds and our lives, to help keep us balanced. I think without dreams we’d rapidly fall into chaos and confusion – even if we don’t remember or understand them, they seem to do so much for us.

    • Thank you Celine for coming by – yes you’re right our dreams have a function and purpose. Even more so the more we pay attention to them … 🙂

      • Skip, I have just been to your site but please may you correct it – I am not a Jungian Analyst. I hope tonight to get you the info you requested in an earlier message to me. I’ll get another message off to you via FB to ensure you get the need on my side to correct the information, and I will get off to you proper info. Thank you and sorry for the bother.

  3. Hi Susan, I read your post yesterday; but could not comment, as I was out with my daughter for a movie.. came late was tired and I did not touch the computer, but you have been on my mind, so today I re read your post. X-ray reveals what’s the actual problem and what has gone wrong… helping us to correct taking appropriate actions…dreams as I understand is leading us to get in touch with some aspects which probably we are unaware of… very interesting .. and thanks for sharing..

    • Thank you Genevive for coming by.. and your comment hits the mark so to speak .. yes we can examine the details as Susan in her comment above said earlier …

  4. The saddest thing about the challenge coming to an end is that we will no longer have your wonderful, dreamy dream posts to look forward to each day. That’s alright, though. You’ll post about other equally fascinating things, as you always do, and I’ll be able to go back and read your A to Z offerings at my leisure.:)

    The night can so often be a scary time, a time of loneliness, depression, despair. Your posts remind us that it is also “the perfect backdrop for us to re-think, re-feel, re-imagine, re-orient our attitudes to ourselves and the world.”

    • Thank you dear Kern, I too will miss this daily interaction with you and all these kind and gentle people – . I too have your posts to go back to once all is less busy … 🙂

    As the tempo of A to Z seemed to quicken, sounds in my head led me to the ending part of Beethoven’s 9th symphony, “Ode To Joy.”
    The first line of that poem which inspired Beethoven is:
    “Joy! Fair sparks of the gods, daughter of Elysium, we enter your sanctuary intoxicated with your fire! Your magic power unites us again those whose earthly customs have forcibly separated.

    Translation: Michael Austin and Monir Tayeb

    • What a lovely comment Joseph thank you! Joy is indeed the daughter who enters the Elysian Fields and her mysteries … such a rich myth of Demeter and Persephone and much else ..

  6. So many great lessons, Susan. Be wise, gentle, go beyond the immediate understanding to actually understand a dream, and that is probably true for everything else all around us. Look beyond the immediate, looks past the superficial and into the depth of things.
    Thank you. Coming in here is always such a pleasure.

  7. I’m glad it’s ‘important to not make an immediate interpretation of our dreams’. A stray thought in a dream last night left me thinking and worrying a little bit. I’ll let it gel and see if it was really important. Like your choice for X….worked for me too 🙂

  8. I am always seeking increased awareness, a better understanding and relationship with myself and humanity, Susan. I love the image, the photo, heading this post. I like to think with that. And, adding to Hilary’s comment re JLK, I also think with the same author, Richard Bach’s “Illusions.”


  9. Your post reminded me of a prophetic dream I had many years ago. I felt the importance of this dream immediately. For weeks and months things would occur that I believed were the dream becoming life. There were people the same age and important to me that died and both were what the dream identified to me. But I was wrong. Four months following that dream, the person who passed in the dream had passed. 21 years old, the subject of my dream was killed, as a police officer, in the line of duty. The dream I had. The family gathering was full of scenes from my dream. I had let it go twice for it to become an amazing reality.

    Do I often have these dreams? Rarely! Do I awake often translating the? I did. Yet now I ask myself, does this seem realistic? Then I stop and ask myself, do I find okay, even good about the dream? I can only wait. The above mentioned dream is a rarity. I’ve had dreams that are true before and since. None so heart breaking.

    I will discontinue attempting to spend my time working at being a physic dreamer. Life happens! Thanks for reminding me of being a humble human being Dear Susan. I cannot stop what another spirit has chosen for his/her life or demise.

    • Thank you Marsha for sharing your heart breaking and powerful dreams with us. It happens as e.g. dreams some had prior to 9/11. Jung dreamed of rivers of blood prior to WW2. There are many examples in the literature. On another level, some do not take the flight they were due to take the next morning on account of their troubling dream the night before. Their plane may not have crashed yet something else happened the next day that made it clear that it was more important to have been on home territory.

      I sometimes have that sense of deja vu in real life and wonder – and many times I connect it to a dream. As to another’s demise in the dream – part of us dies as well I reckon when the death comes to pass. – It must unfold as it will … call it Fate …

  10. That’s a great answer Jung gave. I think this is also a great analogy. X-rays to an untrained eye can seem rather barren, confusing, or inconsequential, to name a few. But, like a doctor, perhaps we can learn to interpret and understand our dreams, which will then lead to a deeper understanding of what’s going on within us.

    • That’s a perceptive way of seeing it. I would not normally think of x-rays in dream analysis. I think overall, Susan’s point with this series is that dreams are meaningful, and they provide insights into our lives and our purpose if we can take the time to study them, and that one can’t rely on someone else to shed light on one’s dream.
      Maui Jungalow

      • Thank you Courtney – it helps to have another to talk to about the dream as often they can point out our blind spots or help us to look at it another way. But many times this is not possible and the work is ours alone.

    • Thank you Sara, the analogy with the doctor’s x-rays and our understanding of them as rather barren and/or confusing to our untrained eye is a good one. But, by exercising that inner muscle we too can become more familiar with our dreams ..

  11. I love that Jung answered, I don’t know…full of multiple meanings and reasons. To be famous and willing to say, I don’t know. To recognize that it’s the dreamer who must figure it out, and so on…

  12. Now, I’m chuckling… we both wrote about x-rays… but of different types. I like yours better! 😉 This is a wonderful post. Delving deep into the unconscious to find the real meaning of a dream… looking at our lives and how we react to see what our unconscious tells us. The messages I receive sometimes are quite interesting. Thank you… and hugs! Gwynn

  13. Fabulous series Susan – and you – we – have come to the end of it……… you – and your contributors – have given me great pause to think more about my dreams………..and to ask them to come to me. Thank you

  14. Hi,
    I dreamed last night, but because I was so tired, I didn’t reach out and record it on my iPad. This morning after getting dressed and going downstairs to make coffee, I was looking out at my cherry tree and the same dream appeared again. I immediately recorded what I had dream.
    I have no idea what it means but what I do know is that my unconscious thought it important to bring it before the eyes of my mind again.
    It was like looking at an x-ray; my dream was right before my eyes.
    Thank you for this informative article on the x-ray of the dream.

    • Thank you Pat. How wonderful that it came back to you! I remember the time I didn’t record an important dream and I was so mad with myself for forgetting it. But it did come back a day so later to my great relief and that dreamed stayed with me for a number of years until something else happened that brought its meaning to consciousness.
      Shalom to you, Susan

  15. I dream and when I’m in it it is true. My tears are wet, my heart races, I believe what I see and hear and feel. I awaken and it was ‘just’ a dream. I walk out in the world and believe what I see and hear and feel. Why?

    • The dream is true – as I was constructing my Y post for tomorrow (falling a bit behind here) your comment came up Jan at the exact time I was quoting Hillman which will be in tomorrow’s post but here it is: ‘… to encourage an attitude that can live with the defeat of our desire to know’.

  16. Dear Susan, I have had the rare great fortune having been in the presence of all your friends who came to contribute, and I have received immense enjoyment due to your beautiful presentations and your sustained creativity. Many thanks to you, indeed!


  17. Hi Susan … an X-ray of looking at things, including dreams … make sense. Jonathan Livingston Seagull comes to my mind quite often .. when I’m trying to rise above and work out the whole – I’m not good at sticking with … but ‘assuming’ that in due time all will be revealed, when necessary.

    Interesting … and I hope you’re having a good break and your day-dream will come to fruition .. cheers Hilary

    • Hi Hilary, thank you .. getting a bird’s eye view of whatever is presenting is always excellent. And, the seagull’s name was Nelson ..

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