“A dream is a small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul . . . ” – Carl Jung
Before we lost a part of ourselves along the path of civilization, women and men relied on their dreams for guidance. It was sometimes like the whether forecast or a map . Carl Jung writes about a wild clan at the outskirts of India. This indigenous people never had contact with others, thus they stayed as they were. Hunters of this clan would rely on their dreams during their hunting journeys into the jungle. I know this may sound rather ungraspable to the modern person. That is why we usually choose to ignore our dreams or they “make no sense” to us.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes says that dreams are letters from home. Yes a letter you receive from your own home, something more native to you than your self.
During the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep, the body stays paralyzed, only eyes move. This is when we dream. Our mind also sleeps. The unending annoying chatter, the calculater, organizer, translator, analyzer, achiever… sleeps. What a relief! This is why sleep is usually a very good cure for the mind, for feeling desperate. When the mind is silent, instinctive nature takes hold. When the mind is silent, you can hear the echoing whispers of the fountain of your inner wisdom. This place has sometimes been called as collective consciousness.
A dream is a very personal experience. Even though there are very common concepts and images as well as very common dream types, the meaning and interpretation of the dream always always belongs to the dreamer. Jung used to have the measure of “it clicked!” to find the right meaning for the dreams. I still doubt if this works for everyone, but I can say that it more or less works for me.
Dreams -unless they are clairvoyance dreams- are not literal. Let us assume you saw your cousin in a dream. This dream does not have to be about your cousin per se, but what this person, their name or image means, symbolizes and signifies for you, what this person invokes in you, would be the focus of the analyst.
Dreams are to be interpreted in the historical and social context of the dreamer. The dreamer’s daily life, daily challenges, issues or things that look totally normal also play their part in the interpretation process. A dream is not a movie sent us from an outer world, it is the knowledge we need to pursue our daily lives in the best possible way. The dream or fantasy cannot be evaluated separately from the daily, mundane, ordinary life. Dreams are not separate from the waking life with its ups and downs and external circumstances.
Nevertheless, the dream television has its own language! Everyone’s dreams have their very own, unique and peculiar ways of communication. A dream can even be funny to us, when the dream is a collage of irrelevant things or persons. These “silly dreams” are also important and mean something.