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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

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