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Fact or Fiction?
By Cael O'Maolain
What are dreams? What are they made of? Are they only games that the mind plays in sleep or are they something more? Does everyone dream? Why can't I remember my dreams? What can I do with the ones I do remember? Sigmund Freud once called dreams "The Royal Road to the Unconscious." Although I don't ascribe to the ideas of Freudian Psychology I do agree that dreams are the ultimate view into the darkest recesses of our Identity Patterns. We all have multiple personalities (or Identities). These Identities can be observed uncloaked if we are brave enough to recognize all aspects of our own dreams as a portrayal of ourselves. The only exception being that occasionally one or two principle characters that we are in waking contact with on a daily bases will portray themselves (or our idea of them, which can be sometimes just as enlightening). Our Unconscious doesn't speak in language, it can only portray the ideas it wants to get across in visual symbolism. These symbols are born of everyday life experience, for the most part. They are used liberally to get across a point in the easiest, most efficient manner possible. The Unconscious isn't trying to hide anything from us by using outside characters to represent something about ourselves. On the contrary, it's usually throwing things up in your face screaming " TAKE A LOOK AT ME, WILL YOU!" And when we've experienced someone as being a particular way then there is no mistaking the "feel" or true nature of that Identity when it is used in a dream. If, for instance, two different people had dreams about their big sisters, whom they hadn't seen in a while, the context of the dreams might be very different. If the first person had experienced their sister as being the meanest, nastiest person on the planet the context to be used will probably be different than the other dreamer who loved and respected their sister dearly. The Identities at play in those dreamers would be treated in radically different ways. One broad overview of dreams is that usually the dream characters that we know from waking life are conscious identities where unknown participants are unconscious identities. The difference being that conscious identities are the ones that we drag out to use in public. Like when your Great Aunt Jane tells you, "you remind me so much of your Uncle George. You act just like him." but, the only time you act like that is when you're around Great Aunt Jane. Unconscious identities are the ones who perform random acts for some unknown reason. Have you ever done or said something and a few minutes later asked yourself, "why did I do that?" That's the action of an unconscious identity. Some people are completely ruled by their unconscious identities. We can uncover some pretty wild ideas about our spouses, children, co-workers or other close relations from a dream's content. Like, if you had a dream that you were in The Land Of Oz and your spouse showed up playing the part of the Wicked Witch of the West it might illuminate a pretty nasty projection. Or, at least let you know that you went to sleep pretty aggravated at your partner. On the other hand, if they showed up as Glenda, the Good Witch, or as the Wizard they are probably in pretty good graces. (Of course this all assumes that you don't have some fetish about green women with warts on their nose!) Dream characters, being another aspect of ourselves, are always at our command for conversation. If you want to know what a character represents get into a quiet place somewhere, call that identity up and ask it. Ask it anything; it's name, it's desires, it's purpose for being here, it's favorite pastime if you like. Remember, this is a separate identity, perhaps not run at all by the conscious mind, so give it free speech. Listen to what it has to say without using conscious reasoning to restrict it. You might be surprised at just what comes out of your own head! You can converse with any aspect of the dream; animate or inanimate. I've seen some of the most profound revelations come from cars, bodies of water, sharks,... well, you get what I mean. Don't summarily dismiss anything in a dream, if it caught your eye and memory it probably has details to be checked into. If you were to diagnose every aspect of a single dream as closely as possible you could probably write a book about it! Numbers, colors, geometrical shapes, arrangements and other noteworthy details each can add another dimension into the overall context of the dream. Even the Physical surroundings in a dream can be a another aspect of ourselves that the unconscious is symbolizing in the best way it knows how. A setting of a peaceful, green countryside would probably have significantly different meaning than a tumultuous, storm filled sky. Different types of vehicles generally have different meanings, houses, oceans, boats, everything has it's own meaning. And there may be a few broad interpreta- tions that are similar in most dreamers but for the most part only I can really interpret my dreams and only you can interpret yours. Finally, yes everyone does dream. Modern research suggests as much as four to five dreams every night! Dreams do not fire our long term memory responses so the dreams are forgotten soon after we awaken. We can train ourselves, however, to retain more and more details of a dream pretty much as a decision. Tell yourself , "I will remember my dreams upon waking," several times over just before falling asleep. Then, immediately record on tape or paper as many details as you can remember on waking. Or at least recant the dream to your partner. Or if you're by yourself, go over the details in your mind several times until you've committed them more permanently to long term memory. With practice even sketchy dreams can effectively be worked with. Many times the details will fill themselves in during the interpretation process. Even details or whole dreams that seem pretty trivial can hold valuable information. Just remember, no one can decipher your dreams for you. Sometimes a little assistance is desirable but only you can really know the meanings of your dreams. Dream dictionaries are great (but only for the people who write them). All you need to find the meaning of any dream is ask yourself. That quiet self that is begging to be heard. With a little practice and exploration you can discover parts of yourself that you might have never known existed. Dream well!
© 1994, Cael O'Maolain