To dream of a tragedy foretells of disillusionment and frustrations in your waking life.
To dream of a tragedy, foretells misunderstandings and grievious disappointments.
To dream that you are implicated in a tragedy, portends that a calamity will plunge you into sorrow and peril.
To see your abdomen shriveled, foretells that you will be persecuted and defied by false friends.
To see it swollen, you will have tribulations, but you will overcome them and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
To see blood oozing from the abdomen, foretells an accident or tragedy in your family.
The abdomen of children in an unhealthy state, portends that contagion will pursue you. See Belly. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
Love scenes indicate that your sweetheart will be jealous of you.
Tragedy portends quarrels.
Comedy foretells a change in your financial condition, either for better or worse.
Cynicism points toward difficulties with one of the opposite sex.
Burlesque is an augury of illness.... The Complete Dream Book
A very negative symbol and should be meditated upon.
To dream of witnessing this event is symbolic of feelings of helplessness in the face of a great tragedy. In prohetic dreams this heralds a great change in the distant future (planes are associated with great distance). This change may not be negative.... Encyclopedia of Dreams
If they play a tragedy, evil will be disseminated through your happiness.
If there is an indistinctness or distorted images in the dream, you are likely to meet with quick and decided defeat in some enterprise apart from your regular business. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
To dream that you are eating apricots is an omen of future bad luck and perhaps tragedy.
To see others eating apricots in your dream implies that your life will be filled with misery and despair.... Dream Symbols and Analysis
For a woman to dream of making a bed, signifies a new lover and pleasant occupation.
To dream of being in bed, if in a strange room, unexpected friends will visit you.
If a sick person dreams of being in bed, new complications will arise, and, perhaps, death.
To dream that you are sleeping on a bed in the open air, foretells that you will have delightful experiences, and opportunity for improving your fortune.
For you to see negroes passing by your bed, denotes exasperating circumstances arising, which will interfere with your plans.
To see a friend looking very pale, lying in bed, signifies strange and woeful complications will oppress your friends, bringing discontent to yourself.
For a mother to dream that her child wets a bed, foretells she will have unusual anxiety, and persons sick, will not reach recovery as early as may be expected.
For persons to dream that they wet the bed, denotes sickness, or a tragedy will interfere with their daily routine of business. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
To laugh at yourself is a sign of enlightenment, not to mention a good sense of humor.... Strangest Dream Explanations
To dream that a dog fondles you, indicates great gain and constant friends.
To dream of owning a dog with fine qualities, denotes that you will be possessed of solid wealth.
To dream that a blood-hound is tracking you, you are likely to fall into some temptation, in which there is much danger of your downfall.
To dream of small dogs, indicates that your thoughts and chief pleasures are of a frivolous order.
To dream of dogs biting you, foretells for you a quarrelsome companion either in marriage or business. Lean, filthy dogs, indicate failure in business, also sickness among children.
To dream of a dog-show, is indicative of many and varied favors from fortune.
To hear the barking of dogs, foretells news of a depressing nature. Difficulties are more than likely to follow.
To see dogs on the chase of foxes, and other large game, denotes an unusual briskness in all affairs.
To see fancy pet dogs, signifies a love of show, and that the owner is selfish and narrow.
For a young woman, this dream foretells a fop for a sweetheart.
To feel much fright upon seeing a large mastiff, denotes that you will experience inconvenience because of efforts to rise above mediocrity.
If a woman dreams this, she will marry a wise and humane man.
To hear the growling and snarling of dogs, indicates that you are at the mercy of designing people, and you will be afflicted with unpleasant home surroundings.
To hear the lonely baying of a dog, foretells a death or a long separation from friends.
To hear dogs growling and fighting, portends that you will be overcome by your enemies, and your life will be filled with depression.
To see dogs and cats seemingly on friendly terms, and suddenly turning on each other, showing their teeth and a general fight ensuing, you will meet with disaster in love and worldly pursuits, unless you succeed in quelling the row.
If you dream of a friendly white dog approaching you, it portends for you a victorious engagement whether in business or love.
For a woman, this is an omen of an early marriage.
To dream of a many-headed dog, you are trying to maintain too many branches of business at one time. Success always comes with concentration of energies.
A man who wishes to succeed in anything should be warned by this dream.
To dream of a mad dog, your most strenuous efforts will not bring desired results, and fatal disease may be clutching at your vitals.
If a mad dog succeeds in biting you, it is a sign that you or some loved one is on the verge of insanity, and a deplorable tragedy may occur.
To dream of traveling alone, with a dog following you, foretells stanch friends and successful undertakings.
To dream of dogs swimming, indicates for you an easy stretch to happiness and fortune.
To dream that a dog kills a cat in your presence, is significant of profitable dealings and some unexpected pleasure.
For a dog to kill a snake in your presence, is an omen of good luck ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
If one succeeds in touching the feelings and memories usually connected with a dream image, this becomes apparent because of the depth of insight and experience which arises. Although ideally the Freudian analyst helps the client discover their own experience of their dream, it can occur that the analyst puts to the client readymade views of the dream. Out of this has occurred the idea of someone else ‘analysing or telling us about our dream.
Carl Jung used a different approach. He applied amplification (see entry), helped the client explore their associations, used active imagination (see entry) and stuck to the structure of the dream. Because amplification also put to the client the information and experience of the therapist, again the dreamwork can be largely verbal and intellectual, rather than experiential.
In the approach of Fritz Perls (gestalt therapy) and Moreno (psychodrama), dream analysis is almost entirely experiential.
The person exploring the dream acts out or verbalises each role or aspect of the dream.
If one dreamt of a house, in gestalt one might stan by saying I am a house’ and then go on to describe oneself just as one is as the particular house in the dream. It is important, even if the house were one existing externally, not to attempt a description of the external house, but to stay with the house as it was in the dream. This is like amplification, except the client gives all the information. This can be a very dramatic and emotional experience because we begin consciously to touch the immense realms of experience usually hidden behind the image. When successful this leads to personal insights into behaviour and creativity. See dream processing; amplification; gestalt dream work.
dream as a meeting place Any two people, or group of people who share their dreams, particularly if they explore the associated feelings and thoughts connected with the dream images, achieve social intimacy quickly. Whether it is a family sharing their dreams, or two fnends, an environment can be created in which the most profound feelings, painful and wonderful, can be allowed. Such exposure of the usually private areas of one s feelings and fears often presents new information to the dreamer, and also allows ventilation of what may never have been consciously expressed before. In doing so a healing release is reached, but also greater self understanding and the opportunity to think over or reconsider what is discovered.
Herbert Reed, editor of the dream magazine Sundance, and resident in Virginia Beach, Va., initiated group dreaming experiments. It started because Reed noticed that in the dream groups he was running, when one of the group aired a problem, other members would subsequently dream about that person’s problem. He went on to suggest the group should attempt this purposely and the resulting dreams shared to see if they helped the person with the problem.
The reported dreams often formed a more detailed view of the person’s situation. In one instance the group experienced many dream images of water. It aided the woman who was seeking help to admit she had a phobia of water and to begin thinking about learning to swim. In another experiment, a woman presented the problem of indecision about what college to transfer to and what to study. Her group subsequently said they were confused because they had not dreamt about school. Several had dreams about illicit sex. though, which led the woman to admit she was having an affair with a married man. She went on to realise that it was the affair which was underlying her indecision. She chose to end the affair and further her career.
Whatever may be underlying the results of Reed’s expen- ments, it is noticeably helpful to use the basic principles he is working with. They can be used by two people equally as well as a group—by a parent and child, wife and husband, businessman and employee. One sets out to dream about each other through mutual agreement. Like any undertaking, the involvement, and therefore the results, are much more pronounced if there is an issue of reasonable importance behind the experiment. It helps if one imagines that during sleep you are going to meet each other to consider what is happening between you. Then sleep, and on waking take time to recall any dream. Note it down, even if it seems far removed from what you expected. Then explore its content using the techniques in dream processing.
Example: My wife and I decided to attempt to meet in our dreams. I dreamt I was in a room similar to the back bedroom of my previous marnage. My present wife was with me. She asked me to help her move the wardrobe. It reminded me of, but did not look like, the one which had been in that bedroom. I stood with my back to it, and reached my hands up to press on the top, inside. In this way I carried it to another wall. As I put it down the wood broke. I felt it ought to be thrown away’ (Thomas B). Thomas explored the dream and found he connected feelings about his first marriage with the wardrobe and bedroom. In fact the shabby wardrobe was Tom’s feelings of shabbiness at having divorced his first wife. In his first marriage, represented by the bedroom, he always felt he was married for life. In divorcing, he had done something he didn’t like and was carrying it about with him. He says ‘1 am carrying this feeling of shabbiness and second best into my present relationship, and I need to get rid of it.’
dream as a spiritual guide Dreams have always been connected with the spiritual side of human experience, even though today many spiritual leaders disagree with consideration of dreams. Because dreams put the dreamer in touch with the source of their own internal wisdom and certainty, some conflict has existed between authoritative priesthood and public dreaming.
A lay person finding their own approach to God in a dream might question the authority of the priests. No doubt people frequently made up dreams about God in order to be listened to. Nevertheless, despite opposition, Matthew still dreamt of an angel appearing to him, Joseph was still warned by God to move Jesus; Peter still dreamt his dream of the unclean animals.
The modern scientific approach has placed large question marks against the concept of the human spirit. Study of the brain’s functions and biochemical activities have led to a sense of human personality being wholly a series of biological and biochemical events.
The results of this in the relationship between doctor and patient, psychiatrist and client, sometimes results in the communication of human personality being of little consequence. It may not be put into words, but the intimation is that if one is depressed it is a biochemical problem or a brain malfunction.
If one is withdrawn or autistic, it is not that there is a vital centre of personality which has for some reason chosen to avoid contact, but that a biochemical or physiological problem is the cause—it’s nothing personal, take this pill (to change the biochemistry, because you are not really a person). Of course we have to accept that human personality must sometimes face the tragedy of biochemical malfunction, but we also need to accept that biochemical and physiological process can be changed by human will and courage.
In attempting to find what the human spirit is by looking at dreams, creativity stands out.
The spiritual nature may not be what we have traditionally considered it to be.
An overview of dreams and how dreamers relate to them suggests one amazing fact. Let us call it the ‘seashell effect’. When we hear sounds in a shell that we hold to our ear, the noises heard seem exterior to oneself, yet they are most likely amplification of sounds created in our own ear, perhaps by the passage of blood. Imagine an electronic arcade machine which the player could sit in and, when running, the player could be engulfed in images, sounds, smell and sensation. At first there is shimmering darkness, then a sound, and lights move. Is it a face seen, or a creature. Like Rorschach’s ink blots, the person creates figures and scenes out of the shapeless light and sound.
A devil appears which terrifies the player. People, demons, animals, God and angels appear and fade. Scenes are clearcut or a maelstrom of movement and ill-defined activity. Events arise showing every and any aspect of human experience. Nothing is impossible.
If, on stepping out, we told the player that what occurred was all their own creation due to unconscious feelings, fears, habits, thoughts and physiological processes occurring within them, like the seashell effect, they might say ‘Good God, is that all it was, and I thought it was real. What a waste of time.’
Whether we can accept it or not, as a species we have created out of our own longings, fears, pain and perhaps vision, God, with many different names—politics, money, devils, nationalism, angels, an, and so on and on. All of it has flowed out of us. Perhaps we even deny we are the authors of the Bible, wars, social environments. Responsibility is difficult. It is easier to believe the source is outside oneself. And if we do take responsibility for our amazing creativity, we may feel ‘is that all it is—me?’ Yet out of such things, such fears, such drives, such unconscious patterns as we shape our dreams with, we shape our life and fonune, we shape our children, we shape the world and our future.
The shadow of fear we create in our dream, the situation of aloneness and anger, becomes a pattern of feelings, real in its world of mind. We create a monster, a Djinn, a devil, which then haunts and influences us. Or with feelings of hope, of purposiveness and love, create other forces in us and the world. But we are the creator. We are in no way separate from the forces which create our existence. We are those creative forces. In the deepest sense, not just as an ego, we create ourselves, and we go on creating ourselves. We are the God humanity has looked so long for.
The second aspect of the human spirit demonstrated by dreams is consciousness.
The unconscious mind, if its function is not clogged with a backlog of undealt with painful childhood experience and nonfunctional premises, has a propensity to form gestalts. It takes pieces of experience and fits them together to form a whole. This is illustrated by how we form gestalts when viewing newsprint photographs, which are made up of many small dots. Our mind fits them together and sees them as a whole, giving meaning where there are only dots. When the human mind is working well, when the individual can face a wide range of emotions, from fear and pain to ecstasy, this process of forming gestalts can operate very creatively. This is because it needs conscious involvement, and if the personality is frightened of deep feeling, the uniting of deeply infantile and often disturbing cxpcrience is cut out. Yet these areas are very rich mines of information, containing our most fundamental learning.
If the process is working well, then one’s expenence is gradually transformed into insights which transcend and thereby transform one s personal life.
For instance, we have witnessed our own binh in some manner, we also see many others appeanng as babies. We see people ageing, dying. We see millions of events in our life and in others.
The unconscious, deeply versed in imagery, ritual and body language, out of which it creates its dreams, picks up information from music, architecture, traditional rituals, people walking in the street, the unspoken world of parental influence.
The sources are massive, unbelievable. And out of it all our mind creates meaning. Like a process of placing face over face over face until a composite face is formed, a synthesis of all the faces; so the unconscious scans all this information and creates a world view, a concept of life and death.
The archetypes Jung talks of are perhaps the resulting synthesis of our own expenence, reaching points others have met also.
If so, then Chnst might be our impression of humanity as a whole.
If we dare to touch such a synthesis of experience it may be seanng, breathtaking.
It breaks the boundaries of our present personality and concepts because it transcends. It shatters us to let the new vision emerge. It reaches, it soars, like an eagle flying above the single events of life. Perhaps because of this the great hawk of ancient Egypt represented the human spirit.
Lastly, humans have always been faced by the impossible.
To a baby, walking and not wetting its pants is impossible, but with many a fall and accident it does the impossible. It is a god in its achievement.
To talk, to fly heavier-than-air planes, to walk on the Moon, were all impossible. Humans challenge the impossible every day. Over and over they fall, back into defeat. Many lie there broken. Yet with the next moment along come youngsters with no more sense than grasshoppers, and because they don’t know what the difference is between right and left, do the impossible. Out of the infinite potential, the great unknown, they draw something new. With hope, with folly, with a wisdom they gain from who knows where, they demand more. And it’s a common everyday son of miracle. Mothers do it constantly for their children—transcending themselves. Lovers go through hell and heaven for each other and flower beyond who they were. You and I grow old on it as our daily bread, yet fail to see how holy it is. And if we turn away from it, it is because it offers no certainties, gives no authority, claims no reward. It is the spiritual life of people on the street. And our dreams remember, even if we fail.
For this is the body and blood of the human spirit.
dream as a therapist and healer There is a long tradition of using dreams as a base for both physical and psychological healing. One of the earliest recorded incidents of such healing is when Pharaoh’s ‘spirit was troubled, and he sent for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men; and Pharaoh told them his dream, but there was none who could interpret it’. Then Joseph revealed the meaning of the dream and so the healing of Pharaoh’s troubled mind took place (Genesis 41).
The Greek Temples of Asclepius were devoted to using dreams as a base for healing of body and mind (see dreams and ancient Greece).
The Iroquois Amerindians used a social form of dream therapy also (see Iroquoian dream cult).
The dream process was used much more widely throughout history in such practices as Pentecostal Christianity, shaktipat yoga in India, and Anton Mesmer’s groups (see sleep movements).
Sigmund Freud pioneered the modern approach to the use of dreams in therapy, but many different approaches have developed since his work. Examples of the therapeutic action of gaining insight into dreams are to be found in the entnes on abreaction, recurring dreams, reptiles.
The entry on dream processing gives information about using a dream to gain insight and healing. See also dream as meeting place.
A feature which people who use their dreams as a therapeutic tool mention again and again is how dreams empower them. Many of us have an unconscious feeling that any important healing work regarding our body and mind can only be undertaken and directed by an expert, the expert might be a doctor, a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or osteopath. Witnessing the result of their own dream process, even if helped by an expert, people feel in touch with a wonderful internal process which is working actively for their own good. One woman, who had worked on her dream with the help of a fnend (non expert), said It gave me great confidence in my own internal process. I realised there was something powerful in myself working for my own good. It was a feeling of cooperating with life.’ One is frequently amazed by one’s own resources of wisdom, penetrating insight and sense of connection with life, as met in dreamwork. This is how dreams play a pan in helping one towards wholeness and balance.
The growing awareness of one’s central view of things, which is so wide, piercing and often humorous, brings developing self respect as the saga of one’s dreams unfolds.
There may be no hint of this, however, if a person simply records their dreams without attempting to find a deeply felt contact with their contents. It is in the searching for associated feelings and ideas that the work of integrating the many strands of one’s life begins. Gradually one weaves, through a co-operative action with the dream process, a greater unification of the dark and the light, the painful and transcendent in one’s nature.
The result is an extraordinary process of education. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
We find it told over and over symbolically in all the ‘holy’ books as the binh of the holy child; the journey of the hero/ ine; the creation of the world—our consciousness, the journeys of Moses. All penain to the difficulties and means we use to be; to the an of keeping balance amidst the multitude of forces acting on our human psyche.
The hero/ine is the one who dares, even though they feel afraid and in pain.
The avoidance of fear and pain in our society, where chemical anodynes or tranquillisers are sought to remove any tiny discomfort, is a great tragedy. Not that we need to become mas- ochists, but we miss our own wholeness through fear of our own power of experiencing. In other cultures the ability to meet pain and fear were considered spiritual strengths. They still are.
The following example shows one dreamer meeting his own fear and uncertainty. Example: 4I was in an ancient room. It had the feeling of being an old church. Then my wife and I were in bed in the room.
A middle aged woman was in the room. She was a ghost. I felt afraid of her, but to meet the fear I tried to confront her. I reached out my hand to her. I was crying out in my sleep from fear. As she took my hand I was amazed and shocked to feel it was physically real’ (see Christ within this entry, above). ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
To dream that you kiss your mother, you will be very successful in your enterprises, and be honored and beloved by your friends.
To kiss a brother or sister, denotes much pleasure and good in your association.
To kiss your sweetheart in the dark, denotes dangers and immoral engagements.
To kiss her in the light, signifies honorable intentions occupy your mind always in connection with women.
To kiss a strange woman, denotes loose morals and perverted integrity.
To dream of kissing illicitly, denotes dangerous past-times.
The indulgence of a low passion may bring a tragedy into well-thought-of homes.
To see your rival kiss your sweetheart, you are in danger of losing her esteem.
For married people to kiss each other, denotes that harmony is prized in the home life.
To dream of kissing a person on the neck, denotes passionate inclinations and weak mastery of self.
If you dream of kissing an enemy, you will make advance towards reconciliation with an angry friend.
For a young woman to dream that some person sees her kiss her lover, indicates that spiteful envy is entertained for her by a false friend.
For her to see her lover kiss another, she will be disappointed in her hopes of marriage. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
To be watching a movie is to yearn for glamour in your life. You have been living too sheltered an existence and need to let down your hair a little more. Sometimes the type of movie you are watching can be pertinent:
Comedy: Don’t take life too seriously. When you get uptight, examine the situation and try to find a humorous side to it.
Musical: Don’t let your love of the music of life cause you to ignore your responsibilities.
Mystery: Something is not as it should be. Don’t get complacent, but be always on the alert. Simple, seemingly innocent words and actions can be signs of coming intrigue and complications.
Romance: This could be a good time for romance. Keep your ears and eyes open.
Tragedy: Be aware of tragedies and of impending drama, but always look for the silver lining that will be there somewhere.
War Movie: You are building up to a battle within yourself. Bring your problems out into the open and examine them. Face up to problems and work out solutions.... Gypsy Dream Dictionary
The content of the play may give us clues as to what our course of action should be in everyday life.
If people we know are in the play we should be aware of the ‘drama’ we arc playing out with them.
2- In dreams, the play that takes placc is a distillation of our experiences, knowledge and abilities.
The creator in us directs the performance to enable us to get the best benefit of the information it contains. Images arc put together to have the greatest impact and to make the interpretation as easy as possible. Sometimes, however, the unexpected occurs which means that we have to seek explanation elsewhere.
3- From a spiritual perspective, the life that we have creates a play which gives us the best opportunity to learn lessons through experience.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
The content of the play may give us clues as to what our course of action should be in everyday life.... Dream Meanings of Versatile
At its most fundamental, the human religious sense emerges out of several factors. One is the awareness of existing amidst external and internal forces of nature which cause us to feel vulnerable and perhaps powerless. Such natural processes as illness, death, growth and decay, earthquakes, the seasons, confront us with things which are often beyond our ability to control. Considenng the information and resources of the times, one of religion’s main functions in the past was the attempted control of the ‘uncertain’ factors in human life, and help towards psychological adjustment to valine rability. Religions were the first social programmes aiding the human need for help and support towards emotional, mental, physical and social health and maturity. Even if primitive, such programmes helped groups of people to gain a common identity and live in reasonable harmony together. Like a computer program which is specific to a particular business, such programmes were specific to a particular group, and so are outdated in today’s need for greater integration with other races. Religions also offered some sort of concept of and connection with the roots of being.
Example: ‘For two nights running I have dreamt the same nightmare. I am in a chapel walking down the first flight of several flights of steps when I hear loud noises behind me. I am told to run, being warned of the soldiers who ride the cavalry horses nght down the steps, and who run you over if you are in their way.
The horses are fierce and they absolutely race down the steps at the same time every day, and you literally have to lock yourself away in a nearby room which is a long way down the chapel. I ran into the room hearing the pounding of the horses’ hooves. It was a terrible pandemonium in that chapel. In the room were school children the same age as me and some perhaps younger’ (Maria H). Maria, who is 16, in describing her dream says she had recently been confronted with whether to have a sexual relationship with her boyfriend. Religion, represented by the chapel, is Maria’s way of locking out her powerful sexual urges. Many dreams show that religion, as a set of beliefs, is used as a way of avoiding anxiety in the face of life’s uncertainties.
For many people, the rigid belief system helps them to avoid uncertainty in making decisions.
Dreams also portray and define the aspect of human experience in which we sense a kinship with all life forms. This is the side of spiritual expenence through which we find a connection with the roots of our being. While awake we might see the birth of a colt and feel the wonder of emergence and newness; the struggle to stand up and survive, the miracle of physical and sexual power which can be accepted or feared. In looking in the faces of fellow men and women we see something of what they have done in this strange and painful wonder we call life. We see whether they have been crushed by the forces confronting them; whether they have become ngid; or whether, through some common miracle, they have been able to carry into their mature years the laughter, the crying, the joy, the ability to feel pain, that are the very signs of life within the human soul. These things are sensed by us all, but seldom organised into a comprehensive view of life, and an extraction of meaning. Often it is only in our dreams, through the ability the unconscious has to draw out the significance of such widely divergent expenences, that we glimpse the unity behind phenomena which is an essential of spiritual life, i.e. we all have a life, we breathe, we have come from a mother, so share a universal experience.
Example: To quote J.B. Priestley from his book Rain Upon Godshill: ‘Just before I went to Amenca, dunng the exhausting weeks when I was busy with my Time Plays, I had such a dream, and I think it left a greater impression on my mind than any experience I had ever known before, awake or in dreams, and said more to me about this life than any book I have ever read.
The setting of the dream was quite simple, and owed something to the fact that not long before my wife had visiied the lighthouse here at St Catherine’s to do some bird ringing. I dreamt I was standing at the top of a very high tower, alone, looking down upon myriads of birds all flying in one direction; every kind of bird was there, all the birds in the world. It was a noble sight, this vast aerial river of birds. But now in some mysterious fashion the gear was changed, and time speeded up, so that I saw generations of birds, watched them break their shells, flutter into life, mate, weaken, falter and die. Wings grew only to crumble; bodies were sleek, and then, in a flash bled and shrivelled; and death struck everywhere at every second. What was the use of all this blind struggle towards life, this eager trying of wings, this hurried mating, this flight and surge, all this gigantic meaningless effort? As I stared down, seeming to see every creature’s ignoble little history almost at a glance, I felt sick at heart. It would be better if not one of them, if not one of us, had been bom, if the struggle ceased for ever. I stood on my tower, still alone, desperately unhappy. But now the gear was changed again, and the time went faster still, and it was rushing by at such a rate, that the birds could not show any movement, but were like an enormous plain sown with feathers. But along this plain, flickering through the bodies themselves, there now passed a sort of white flame, trembling, dancing, then hurrying on; and as soon as I saw it I knew that this white flame was life itself, the very quintessence of being; and then it came to me, in a rocket burst of ecstasy, that nothing mattered, nothing could ever matter, because nothing else was real but this quivering and hurrying lambency of being. Birds, men and creatures not yet shaped and coloured, all were of no account except so far as this flame of life travelled through them. It left nothing to mourn over behind it, what I had thought was tragedy was mere emptiness or a shadow show; for now all real feeling was caught and purified and danced on ecstatically with the white flame of life. I had never before felt such deep happiness as I knew at the end of my dream of the tower and the birds.’
Some Nonh American Indians developed the totem out of similar processes. In one generation a person might learn to plant a seed and eat the results. Later someone might see that through fertilisation more food was produced. Still later someone found that by irrigating, still more improvement was made. No one individual was responsible for such vital cultural information, and the collective information is bigger than any one person, yet individuals can partake of it and add to it.
The totem represented such subtle realities, as it might in a modem dream; as Christ might in today’s unconscious. That older cultures venerated their collective information, and that modem humans seem largely apathetic to it, shows how our ‘religion’ has degenerated. Yet utilising the power of the unconscious to portray the subtle influences which impinge upon us, and building the information gained into our response to life, is deeply important.
With the growth of authoritarian structures in western religion, and the dominance of the rational mind over feeling values, dreams have been pushed into the background. With this change has developed the sense that visionary dreams were something which ‘superstitious* cultural groups had in the past. Yet thoroughly modem men and women still meet Christ powerfully in dreams and visions. Christ still appears to them as a living being.
The transcendental, the collective or universal enters their life just as frequently as ever before. Sometimes it enters with insistence and power, because a too rational mind has led to an unbalance in the psyche—a balance in which the waking and rational individuality is one pole, and the feeling, connective awareness of the unconscious is the other.
Although it is tempting to think of the transcendent as ethereal or unreal, the religious in dreams is nearly always a symbol for the major processes of maturing in human life. We are the hero/ine who meets the dangers of life outside the womb, who faces growth, ageing and death.
The awe and deep emotions we unconsciously feel about such heroic deeds are depicted by religious emotion.
See angel; Christ, rebirth and Devil under archetypes; church; evil; fish, sea creatures; example in whale under fish, sea creatures; heaven, hell; sweets under food; dream as spiritual guide. See also hero/ine; mass; masturbation; old; paralysis; colours; sheep under animals. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
To paraphrase Shakespeare, life is a stage and we are merely trying to make the best of it. Maybe in your dreams you are acting out some of your personal issues and concerns. Think about the details of your dream and what is going on in the theater. Is it a comedy or a tragedy? Are you having fun, or are you very uncomfortable or bored? All of these will give you clues in regard to the meaning of based theater dreams.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary