Settings, Dream Interpretation


The environment in which the action of the dream takes place signifies the background of expenence which sup­ports the situation dealt with in the foreground.

Example: ‘I was in a crowd around a church’ (Efrosyni G).

If we looked at the rest of Efrosyni’s dream we might lose the impact of this very first ‘scene setting’ statement.

If we look up crowd, we find under. Talking to, leading, or part of crowd at a central event, ‘an impulse or idea which unifies many parts of one’s own nature’. So here is something which Efrosyni is deeply interested in. Many of her feelings are involved in it. Looking up church we find ‘religious feeling or beliefs, in- eluding moral code, or our feelings about organised religion*. So it is against Efrosyni’s religious beliefs that the rest of the dream drama unfolds.

Example: I was in a house with old clothes and was wash­ing up* (Mrs PR).

The entry on house says it is P’s everyday feeling state, her general image of herself.

The old clothes are a sense of being old or unattractive. Washing up suggests she feels there are things to clear up concerning what is happen­ing in her life. But it also suggests she sees herself as unexcit­ing. Having clarified that—she feels old and uninteresting, and this needs to be cleaned up or dealt with—the very next pan of the dream explodes into view with meaning. My daughter’s husband to be came in. I admired the way he dressed and he turned his back on me.’ At the end of her dream P feels ‘lost and rejected’. By clarifying the opening scene, it seems likely P looks at her daughter in her new romance (P being 50, a divorcee, and at the tail end of a whirlwind romance’) and feels jealous. Maybe she even hopes to attract her daughter’s man away from her, but he indicates there is no hope. Basically, after her romance, P feels unwanted and rejected.

The helpfulness of the dream, how­ever, is that the first scene shows P the son of feelings about herself that she is living with daily—feelings of being old and uninteresting. Shifting those feelings can change the way oth­ers react to her.



Settings | Dream Interpretation

Keywords of this dream: Settings

A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

An approach suggested by Carl Jung. In essence it is to honour what the dream states. In the dream quoted above under amnesia, David is sleeping on a mattress, but it could have been a bed or a hammock, or even a sleeping bag. So why a mattress and why in the garden, and why not alone? Having noted the specifics of our dream, we then amplify what we know about them. We ask ourself such questions as ‘What does sleeping on a mattress on the floor mean? Have I ever done it? When? Why? Where? In what circumstances? Does it represent some condition?’ In other words we bring out as much information as we can about each dream specific; this includes memories, associated ideas, anything relevant. In the case of David, he was sleeping on a mattress on the floor in his present relationship. But he had slipped back into attitudes which damaged this old relation­ship. P.W. Martin emphasises it is amplification not free as­sociation which is sought. Free association may lead to an interesting ‘interpretation’ which may not be connected to the dream specifics. See dream processing; postures, movement and body language; word analysis of dreams; settings. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

Christian Dream Symbols

Symbolic of acting poorly in social settings ... Christian Dream Symbols

The Bedside Dream Dictionary

In order to interpret the dream with a bus ride in it, the dreamer should make associations in regard to buses.

The dream has very specific meaning depending on the individual’s experiences on school buses, public transportation vehicles, special family trips, etc. At times the content of the dream may be more important than the actual setting.

If the setting is secondary, then examine the other details of the dream more closely. However, if the bus and/or the bus ride was a focal point of the dream consider the value that it holds for you. Does this dream say something about your ability to fit in and join a group effort, project, or trip? Do you function well in group settings? Are you a leader or a follower in such situations, and what is your comfort level? This dream could also reflect a part of your life (or the journey of your life) which involved many other people who seemed to be on a same path. It could be your family, friends, schoolmates or co-workers. See also: Car... The Bedside Dream Dictionary

The Language of Dreams

The loam of creation from which characteristics can be formed and molded. In Genesis, Adam was formed from clay in God’s image (see Earth). Similarly, the Mesopotamian Armaiti and Sumerian Nammu created humankind from clay.

Too much emphasis on trying to change yourself just for the sake of appearances and fitting in.

Flexibility.

The ability to temporarily remold yourself to fit into different situations and settings.... The Language of Dreams

A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

One’s natural feelings; a relaxed state; the forces of ‘nature’ in us; our moods—a rainy countryside would be a more introverted mood than a lively sunny scene. Country lanes: meeting what is natural in us—this may dis­turb the dreamer, perhaps being in the form of a wolf or animal. See lane; landscapes; farmer under roles; settings. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

Below are described simple techniques which make it possible to gain information quickly from dreams. They have been put as a series of questions.

What is the background to the dream? The most imponant aspects of your everyday life may have influenced the dream or feature in it. Briefly consider any aspects of your life which connect with what appears in the dream. Example: ‘1 have a plane to catch. I get to the plane but the suitcase is never big enough for my clothing which I have left behind. I am always anxious about stuff left behind. I wake still with the feeling of anxiety’ (Jane). When asked, Jane said plane flights had been a big feature of her life. She had moved home often, travelling to different pans of the world, leaving friends and loved ones behind.

What is the main action in the dream? There is often an over­all activity such as walking, looking, worrying, building some­thing, or trying to escape. Define what it is and consider if it is expressive of something you are doing in waking life. Activi­ties such as walking or building a house need to be seen as generalisations; walking can simply represent taking a direc­tion in life. When you have defined the action, look for fur­ther information under the other headings in this book, such as swimming or sitting.

What is your role in the dream? Are you a friend, lover, sol­dier, dictator, watcher or participant in the dream? Consider this in relationship with your everyday life, especially in con­nection with how the dream presents it. Where possible, look for the entry on the role in this book. See dreamer.

Are you active or passive in the dream? By passive is meant not taking the leading role, being only an observer, being directed by other people and events, If you are passive, consider if you live in a similar attitude in your life. See active/passive.

What do you feel in the dream? Define what is felt emotionally and physically. In the physical sense are you tired, cold, re­laxed or hungry? In the emotional sense do you feel sad, angry, lost, tender or frightened anywhere in the dream? This helps clarify what feeling area the dream is dealing with. It is important also to define whether the feelings in the dream were satisfyingly expressed or whether held back.

If held back they need fuller expression. See emotions and mood.

Is there a because’ factor in the dream? In many dreams something happens, fails to happen, or appears . . . be­cause! For instance, trapped in a room you find a door to escape through. All is dark beyond and you do not go through the door ‘because’ you are frightened of the dark. In this case the ‘because’ factor is fear.

The dream also suggests you are trapped in an unsatisfying life through fear of opportunity or the unknown.

Am I meeting the things I fear in my dream? Because a dream is an entirely inward thing, we create it completely out of our own internal feelings, images, creativity, habits and insights. So even the monsters of our dream are a pan of ourself.

If we run from them it is only aspects of ourself we are avoiding. Through defining what feelings occur in the dream you may be able to clarify what it is you are avoiding. See nightmares; dream as spiritual guide.

What does the dream mean? We alone create the dream while asleep. Therefore, by looking at each symbol or aspect of the dream, we can discover from what feelings, thoughts or expe­rience, what drive or what insight we have created the drama of the dream. In a playful relaxed way, express whatever you think, feel, remember or fantasise when you hold each symbol in mind. Say or write it all, even the seemingly trivial or dan­gerous’ bits. It helps to act the pan of each thing if you can; for instance as a house you might describe yourself as ‘a bit old, but with open doors for family and friends to come in and out. I feel solid and dependable, but I sense there is something hidden in my cellar’. Such statements portray one­self graphically. Consider whatever information you gather as descriptive of your waking life. Try to summarise it, as this will aid the gaining of insight.

Try amplifying your dream You will need the help of one or two friends to use this method.

The basis is to take the role of each part of the dream, as described above. This may seem strange at first, but persist. Supposing your name is Julia and you dreamt you were carrying an umbrella, but failed to use it even though it was raining, you would talk in the first person present—I am an umbrella. Julia is carrying me but for some reason doesn’t use me.’ Having finished saying what you could about yourself, your friend(s) then ask you questions about yourself as the dream figure or object. These questions need to be simple and directly about the dream symbol. So they could ask Are you an old umbrella?’ Does Julia know she is canying you?’ ‘What is your function as an umbrella? ‘Are you big enough to shelter Julia and someone else?’ And so on.

The aim of the questions is to draw out information about the symbol being explored.

If it is a known person or object you are in the role of—your father for instance—the replies to the questions need to be answered from the point of view of what happened in the dream, rather than as in real life. Listen to what you are saying about yourself as the dream symbol, and when your questioneKs) has finished, review your statements to see if you can see how they refer to your life and yourself.

If you are asking the questions, even if you have ideas regarding the dream, do not attempt to interpret. Put your ideas into simple questions the dreamer can respond to. Maintain a sense of curiosity and attempt to understand, to make the dream plain in an everyday language sense. Lead the dreamer towards seeing what the dream means through the questions. When you have exhausted your questions ask the dreamer to summarise what they have gathered from their replies. See postures, movements and body language for an example of how to work with body movement to explore a dream meaning.

Can / alter the dream to find greater satisfaction? Imagine yourself in the dream and continue it as a fantasy or day­dream. Alter the dream in any way that satisfies. Experiment with it, play with it, until you find a fuller sense of self expres­sion. It is very imponant to note whether any anger or hostil­ity is in the dream but not fully expressed.

If so, let yourself imagine a full expression of the anger. It may be that as this is practised more anger is openly expressed in subsequent dreams. This is healthy, allowing such feelings to be vented and redirected into satisfying ways, individually and socially. In doing this do not ignore any feelings of resistance, pleasure or anxiety. Satisfaction occurs only as we leam to acknowl­edge and integrate resistances and anxieties into what we ex­press. This is a very important step. It gradually changes those of our habits which trap us in lack of satisfaction, poor cre­ativity or inability to resolve problems.

Summary To summarise effectively gather the essence of what you have said about each symbol and the dream as a whole and express it in everyday language. Imagine you are explaining to someone who knows nothing about yourself or the dream. Bnng the dream out of its symbols into everyday comments about yourself.

A man dreamt about a grey, dull office. When he looked at what he said about the office he realised he was talking about the grey, unimaginative world he grew up in after the Second World War, and how it shaped him.

Further information on using these techniques can be found in Tony Crisp s work The Instant Dream Book, published by C.W. Daniel. See amplification; plot of dream; adventure of the dream world; dreamer; postures, movement and body language; settings; symbols and dreaming; word analysis of dreams; wordplay and puns. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

The Language of Dreams

(see Clothes, Costmnes)

Facades. Tilings not being what they seem. Or, the image you present to the world being only a partial truth.

Adapting to difficult circumstances: Ancient people wore masks to help them commune with specific energies. Today, we don figurative masks and temporary per-sonas when faced with new, unfamiliar, or demanding situations. This results in stressing particular characteristics that help us cope in these new settings.

The element of surprise and mystery, like at a costumed dance where you wonder what’s behind the mask.

Emotions or ideas that abide in your subconscious may manifest through a dream mask’s color, shape, or depiction.

For example, a red mask that looks angry can reveal your own outrage that was either subdued or silenced.

Jungian: The dreamer’s connection to the archetypes in the Collective Unconscious, mediating therein between two distinct factions, such as the mundane and the supernatural aspects of self.... The Language of Dreams

New American Dream Dictionary

1. Peaceful, tranquil life and settings.

2. Need for physical and emotional nourishment. ... New American Dream Dictionary

Ariadne's Book of Dream

Natural regions and settings in a dream whether they are mountain ranges, valleys, or deserts, are dream- scapes that bnng out the landscape of the soul for conscious understanding Mountain ranges represent the masculine, valleys the feminine, and desert the soul.... Ariadne's Book of Dream

New American Dream Dictionary

1. A need for a little more formality, seriousness regarding personal goals, possibly in social settings.

2. Ability to commu­nicate and be understood or heard.

3. Business matters must be completed. ... New American Dream Dictionary

A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

In attempting to understand our dreams, it is imponant to honour their drama or plot. Dreams appear to be very specific in the way they use the characters, objects and environs occurring in them.

Example: I was walking up a steep hill on a sunny day when my husband came running down the hill with blood pouring from his right arm. He couldn’t stop running. As he passed me he called to me for help. I was happy and peaceful and ignored him. I calmly watched him running fast down the hill, then continued on my way’ (Joyce C). Out of the infinite number of situations Joyce could have dreamt about, this was the one produced. Why? There are many factors which appear to determine what we dream. How events of the day influ­enced us; what stage of personal growth we are meeting—we might be in the stage of struggling for independence; prob­lems being met; relationships, past business such as child­hood traumas still to be integrated. And so on.

If Joyce had dreamt she and her husband were walking up the hill the whole message of the dream would have been different.

If we can accept that dream images are, as Freud stated, a form of thinking, then the change in imagery would be a changed concept.

If the language of dreams is expressed in its images, then the meaning stated is specific to the imagery used.

In processing our dreams, it is therefore profitable to look at the plot to see what it suggests. It can be helpful to change the situation, as we have done with Joyce s. Imagining Joyce walking up the hill on a sunny day, arm in arm with her husband, suggests a happy relationship. This emphasises the situation of independence and lack of support for her hus­band which appears in the real dream. Seeing our dreams as if they were snatches from a film or play, and asking ourself what feelings and human situations they depict, can aid us to clarify them. As a piece of drama, Joyce’s dream says she sees, but does not respond to, her husband’s plight.

Our internal ‘dream producer’ has an amazing sense of the subtle meanings of movement, positioning, and relationship between the elements used. And some of these are subtle.

A way of becoming more aware of what information our dream contains is to use visualisation. Sit comfonably and imagine yourself back in the dream. Replay it just as it was. Remember the whole thing slowly, going through it again while awake. As you do so, be aware of what it feels like in each scene or event. What do the interactions suggest? What does it feel like in the other roles? We can even practise this with other peo­ple’s dreams.

If we imagine ourself in Joyce’s dream, and replay it just as she describes it, we may arrive at a feeling of detachment from the husband.

If we stand in the husband’s role we may feel a great need which is not responded to as we go down hill fast*. In this way we gather a great deal of unspoken’ information from dreams.

Looking at our own dreams in this way can be more diffi­cult, simply because we do not always want to see what is being said about ourself. See amplification; dream process­ing; postures, movement, body language; word analysis of dreams; settings. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

New American Dream Dictionary

1. Feelings of pleasure in social settings with friends.

2. Business and opportunities for wealth (note condition of water and the boat). ... New American Dream Dictionary

A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

Having written a dream down, by using highlighting pens to make all matching words the same colour, one can immediately see the main issues in some dreams.

Example: ‘We walk around, go upstairs, and I notice a staircase leading to a room or rooms. It goes up square, about eight steps in a flight, but round and round—spiral. I am scared by them, don’t want to go up, but am curious. We move in and nobody but myself has really taken any notice of the stairs. Nobody has been up . In one dream I try to go up but the children are scared for me. They plead, ‘Don’t go up Mum, just forget them”. Then I wake. In the next dream I wait till they are asleep. Half way up_ I am terrified but have to go on. Then I wake. Next dream I got up there. Then I woke’ (Ann H). Ann’s dream theme recurs, so is important to her. In marking just some of the words we see that the ‘up’ or go up’ is important. Childhood fears hold Ann back for a while, but she dares to climb.

If we look at the entries for climb and stairs, we see they depict taking steps towards ex­ploring the unknown, daring to explore one’s potential or opportunities.

By marking the words in this way we might also highlight certain statements otherwise hidden in the dream. Particularly watch out for the connections with the word T, such as I want, I do, I will, I have, I know, I cannot, etc. Example: ‘1 want to withdraw.’ I was full of sadness but was trying not to show it.’ ‘1 felt keyed up and ready to fight.’ Taking such statements out of context and looking for connections with everyday feelings oi situations often throws considerable light on the dream.

If what you realise is then considered in con­nection with the plot of the dream, the viewpoint your uncon­scious has on the situation might become evident.

For in­stance, the statement ‘I felt keyed up’ occurred within a classroom, and helped the dreamer understand the anger gen­erated at school. See amplification; plot of the dream; the comments on dream processing in the Introduction; dream processing; postures, movement, body language; settings; symbols and dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

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