See People Pleaser and Co-dependant.
The power of drives such as the urge to parenthood via sex might be shown as a horse which we are trying to control. More than anything else, though, our dream animal represents our powerful reactions to situations, reactions developed through centuries of human experience in frequently terrible situations. This aspect of ourself is rooted in the older portions of the brain.
The animal in our dreams has commonly been seen only as the sex drive.
A careful examination of animal dreams, though, shows this to be untrue.
The animal represents all our biological needs and responses, which include survival and hunger, reproduction; parental urges; need for exercise and rest; social drives, fear reactions, anger, urge to provide (for young and mate); home/nest building; territory protection, social hierarchy, etc.
If these aspects in an individual are damaged or traumatised, we see parents who have lost their natural bonding and caring for their child; individuals who have no sense of social status or responsibility, enabling them to be criminally violent; disturbed and misplaced sexuality. Dominating or attempting to kill out the animal in us can cause tension, depression and illness.
The common escape into dry intellectualism is a cause of internal conflict. Complete permissiveness is no answer either, our higher brain functions need expression too. So one of the challenges of maturing is how to meet and relate to our ‘animals’, and perhaps bring them into expression in a satisfying way. Such drives are fundamentally a push towards life.
It must be remembered that where sex or sexuality is mentioned, I am not simply referring to the sex act. I mean sexuality in its overall aspect, which includes the urge towards parenthood, and the love and caring connected with it. (Brain damage or certain drugs or chemicals can diminish the ‘human’ levels of function and only the animal and lizard levels are expressed.) Below are listed some common ways animals are used in our dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The dream suggests that you may experience feelings of powerlessness and can not see you way out of a difficult situation. Because a hostage is taken against his will, you may be feeling as though you have been trapped by another or by circumstances. Also, the hostage situation in your dream may represent a part of your personality that is not being expressed. It could be your creativity, intellect, or inner freedom.
The purpose of this dream may be to make you more aware of the limiting conditions in your life. Additionally, the dream may trigger your imagination and problem-solving abilities enabling you to see new possibilities.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
An idea of ‘reality’ in the sense of what is probable, and what would be dangerously out of norm, has been formed. We gather information in ways little recognised. How our parents relate to their environment and to other people is all recorded and leamt from, bringing about enormous ‘programming’ affecting how we act in similar circumstances.
As explained in the entry on the dream as spiritual guide, we have great ability in ‘reading’ symbols, ritual, an, music, body language, architecture, drama, and extracting ‘meaning’ from them. So we have immense stores of information from these sources. Work done with people exploring their dreams over a long period suggests that some of these information resources are never focused on enough to make conscious what we have actually learnt. Sometimes it is enough simply to ask oneself a question to begin to focus some of these resources. Such questions as what social attitude and response to authority did I learn at school? What feeling reaction do I get when I am in the presence of someone I know well? These may help to bring to awareness aspects of information gathered but remaining unconscious. These unfocused, or unconscious, areas of information can explain why we have apparently irrational feeling responses to some people or situations.
the body A lot of what we call the unconscious are basic physiological and psychological functions.
For instance in a modern house, when we flush the toilet, we do not have to bring a bucket of water and fill the cistern again.
A self regulating mechanism allows water to flow in and switches it off when full. This is a clever built-in function that had to be done manually at one time. Nowadays we have built into some dwellings fire sprinklers or burglar alarms. Through repeated actions over thousands or millions of years, many basic functions, or functions only switched on in emergencies, have been built into our being. We do not need to think about them, just as we do not have to give awareness to the fire sprinkling system or toilet each time we walk through a room or flush the toilet. They are therefore unconscious.
Research with animals in connection with rewards and conditioned reflexes has shown that by gradually leading an animal towards a certain performance by rewarding it each time it gets nearer to the goal, it can do the most amazing things. It can increase the circulation of blood to its ear, slow its heart, and in fact influence body functions which were thought to be completely involuntary. Where human beings have learnt to use some of these techniques—such as raising the temperature of an arm at will, or helping to increase the efficiency of the immune system—the actual processes still remain unconscious. In general, however, the body’s functions are thought to be outside our awareness, and so are one of the areas of the unconscious. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: 4I had backed my car into a big yard, a commercial area. My wife, two of my sons and I got out of the car. As we stood in the yard talking I realised there was a motorbike where my car should be. I said to everyone, “There was a car here a moment ago, now it’s a motorbike. Do you know what that means? It means we are dreaming.” Mark my son was now with us, and my ex-wife. I asked them if they realised they were dreaming. They got very vague and didn’t reply. I asked them again and felt very clearly awake’ (William V). William’s is a fairly typical lucid dream, but there are features which it does not illustrate. During the days or weeks prior to a lucid dream, many people experience an increase in (lying dreams.
The next example shows another common feature.
Example: In many of my dreams I become aware that I am dreaming. Also, if anything unpleasant threatens me in the dream I get away from it by waking myself (Alan). Lucidity often has this feature of enabling the dreamer to avoid unpleasant elements of the dream.
The decision to avoid any unpleasant internal emotions is a common feature of a person’s conscious life, so this aspect of lucidity is simply a way of taking such a decision into the dream. Some writers even suggest it as a way of dealing with frightening dreams. Avoidance does not solve the problem, it simply pushes the emotion deeper into the unconscious where it can do damage more surreptitiously. Recent findings regarding suppressed gnef and stress, which connects them with a higher incidence of cancer, suggests that suppression is not a healthy way of dealing with feelings.
Another approach to lucidity is that it can be a son of playground where one can walk through walls, jump from high buildings and fly, change the sofa into an attractive lover, and so on. True, the realisation that our dream life is a different world and that it does have completely different principles at work than our waking world is imponant. Often people introven into their dream life the morals and fears which are only relevant to being awake in physical life.
To avoid a charging bull is cenainly imponant in waking life. In our dream life, though, to meet its charge is to integrate the enormous energy which the bull represents, an energy which is our own but which we may have been avoiding or running away’ from previously. Realising such simple differences revolutionises the way we relate to our own internal events and possibilities.
To treat lucid dreams as if they offered no other attainable expenence than to manipulate the dream environment, or avoid an encounter, is to miss an amazing feature of human potential.
Example: ‘In my dream I was watching a fern grow. It was small but opened out very rapidly. As I watched I became aware that the fern was simply an image representing a process occurring within myself which I grew increasingly aware of as I watched. Then I was fully awake in my dream and realised that my dream, perhaps any dream, was an expression of actual and real events occurring in my body and mind. I felt enormous excitement, as if I were witnessing something of great importance’ (Francis P). It is now acceptable, through the work of Freud, Jung and many others, to consider that within images of the dream lie valuable information about what is occurring within the dreamer, perhaps unconsciously. Strangely, though, it is almost never considered that one can have direct perception into this level of internal ‘events’ without the dream. What Francis describes is an experience of being on the cusp of symbols and direct perception. Considering the enormous advantage of such direct information gathering, it is surprising it is seldom mentioned except in the writings of Corriere and Han, The Dream Makers.
Example: After defining why I had not woken in sleep recently, i.e. loss of belief, I had the following experience. I awoke in my sleep and began to see, without any symbols, that my attitudes and sleep movements expressed a feeling of restrained antagonism or irritation to my wife. I could also observe the feelings were arising from my discipline of sexuality. Realising I did not want those feelings I altered them and woke enough to turn towards her’ (Francis P). After the first of his direct perception dreams, Francis attempted to use this function again, resulting in the above, and other, such dreams. Just as classic dream interpretation says that the dream symbols represent psychobiological logical processes which might be uncovered by dream processing, what we see in Francis’ lucidity is a direct route to self insight, and through it a rapid personal growth to improved life experience. Such dreams provide not only psychological insight, but very frequently a direct perception of processes occurring in the body, as the following example illustrates.
Example: ‘Although deeply asleep I was wide awake without any shape or form. I had direct experience, without any pictures, of the action of the energies in my body. I had no awareness of body shape, only of the flow of activities in the organs. I checked over what I could observe, and noticed a tension in my neck was interfering with the flow and exchange of energies between the head and trunk. It was also obvious from what I could see that the tension was due to an attitude I had to authority, and if the tension remained it could lead to physical ill health’ (Tony C).
An effective way to develop lucidity is frequently to consider the events of waking life as if they were a dream. Try to see events as one might see dream symbols. What do they mean in terms of one’s motivations, fears, personal growth? What do they suggest about oneself? For instance a person who works in a photographic darkroom developing films and prints might see they were trying to bnng to consciousness the latent—unconscious—side of themselves.
A banker might feel they were working at how best to deal with their sexual and personal resources. In this way one might actually apply what is said in this dream dictionary to one’s outer circumstances.
The second instruction is, on waking, at a convenient moment, imagine oneself standing within one’s recent dream. As you get a sense of this dream environment, realise that you are taking waking awareness into the dream. From the standpoint of being fully aware of the dream action and events, what will you now do in and with the dream? Re-dream it with consciousness.
For example the things you run from in your normal dreaming you could now face. See dream processing for fun her suggestions. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If detailed observations were made of the habits of ten people, one could predict fairly accurately what they would be doing for the next week, perhaps even pinpointing the time and place.
For instance some would never visit a pub, while others would be frequently there.
Because the unconscious is the storehouse of millions of bits of observed information, and because it has a well-developed function enabling us to scan information and predict from it, some dreams forecast the future. Such predictions may occur more frequently in a dream rather than as waking insight, because few people can put aside their likes and dislikes, prejudices and hopes sufficiently to allow such information into the consciousness. While asleep some of these barriers drop and allow information to be presented.
Ed Butler’s dream is about his work scene. Each detail was real and horrifying. Shonly afterwards, Rita was burnt just as in the dream. Example: ‘I was stanled by the muffled but unmistakable sound of a nearby explosion. While unexpected, it wasn’t entirely unusual—the high energy propel- lants and oxidisers being synthesised and tested in the chemistry wing were hazardously unstable. When I heard the screams I froze for an instant, recognising that they could only be coming from Rita, the one woman chemist in the all male department. I rushed to the doorway of her laboratory. Peering through the smoke and fumes I saw a foot sticking out of the surrounding flames. I was only in my shirt sleeves, unprotected, not even wearing my lab coat, but I had to go into the flames. I grabbed Rita by the foot and noticed with horror that her stockings were melting from the heat. I pulled her back into the doorway and tugged at a chain which released gallons of water on her flaming body. When satisfied the fire was quenched, even though my own clothes still smouldered, I ran for the emergency phone’ (from Dream Network Bulletin, June 1985).
Some precognitive dreams appear to go beyond this ability to predict from information already held. So far there is no theory which is commonly accepted which explains this.
A not too bizarre one, however, is thai our unconscious has access to a collective mind. With so much more information available, it can transcend the usual limitations when predicting from personal information.
The next examples are all from Shirley G. Because of space, only three of the dreams are quoted. Nevertheless, they are typical of dreams which do not seem to fall into the category of precognitive dreams arising from unconscious scanning or information already known. Example: ‘1 set out to dream the winner of a horse race each day for a week. I was driving down a country road and suddenly saw a glimpse of Emmerdale Farm down a side road. Following day: chosen horse Emmerdale Farm came in first. 2 Was working in a room when a man popped his head around the door and shouted excitedly “John, John, your uncle’s here” and disappeared. I carried on working. Chosen horse: Uncle John. Came in first. 3 Was walking down a road, called into a house by a friend to have a chat. On the way out she opened the door and I saw a completely empty room except for a huge black fireplace. Door closed and I left the house. Chosen horse Black Fire—which I insisted would only be placed due to a fireplace. Came in 2nd.* See ESP in dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
2- A procession is often a way of marking a special occasion with pageantry and dignity. In dreams such an image can often represent the dreamer’s need to have his own successes and abilities recognised.
To be taking part in a procession is acknowledging our need to belong to a like-minded group.
To be watching a procession is to appreciate other people’s single-mindedness.
3- Spiritually, a procession is indicative of a group of like-minded people but also of people who have great knowledge. In dreams we are recognising the importance of whatever svstcm of belief or religion we belong to. We recognise rcspect must be paid.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
2- The crystallisation process was seen by the Ancients as the trapping of light, and therefore power and, on a subliminal level, this is still recognised by many dreamers.
To dream of quartz, therefore, signifies a recognition of developing power.
3- The quartz is recognised as both receiving and transmitting Spiritual energy.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary