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Dream Interpretation Introduction

Part 1c

If we want to understand the meaning of dreams then we must first realise that the exact meaning of dreams is unique to the person dreaming. There are many interpretations of virtually any object, place or person encountered in a dream, but to believe each will mean the same thing in each case will be to ignore the fact that each of us has a different life history. To believe that dreams can be understood simply by looking up a dream dictionary would be to make the same mistake people make when they believe Sun Signs are all there is to astrology!

Before we can start interpreting dreams and learning what they have to teach us, it is important to remember our dreams.  It is estimated that as much as 50% of a dream's content is lost within five minutes of waking, and as much as 90% of the content can be lost after only ten minutes!  

This short window of recall is one reason why many people insist they rarely or never dream, even though sleep scientists have proven that every human being dreams from between four and seven times each and every night.

One great way to remember your dreams, and to begin to analyze and interpret them, is to keep a dream journal.  Have some paper and pen by your bed and tell yourself before you go to sleep that you want to remember your dreams. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to get your unconscious to start working with you

Try to get into the habit of writing down what you remember of your dream every morning immediately upon waking.  It is important to do this as soon as you are awake, since the majority of the dream can be lost in just a few minutes.  If you cannot remember the entire dream, just jot down a few words, or even your impressions of the dream.

Many people begin to see patterns emerging after they have kept a sleep journal for a number of nights.  For instance, even if your dreams are different each night, there may be similar themes or locations.  These themes and locations can be a big help later on when you begin attempting to interpret your dreams.

Freud said dreams are "The Royal Road to the Unconscious" and although it certainly is possible to remember dreams for nothing more than curiosity value - and who knows if your dreams are interesting enough there could even be a book there! - here we are looking more at allowing our unconscious access to our conscious mind so that we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our daily life.

While keeping in mind that each dream's meaning belongs to the uniqueness of the person who dreams it, here are a few examples of how we can use our dreams towork through problems.

  • If we dream constantly about falling, it could indicate that we feel our life is out of control and unstable.  If we can examine our life and take control of it, it can result in not only a cessation of those bad dreams but in a better and more fulfilling life as well.
  • If we are suffering from fear and anxiety, sometimes being quite unaware of the cause, and sometimes not even consciously being aware we are afraid at all, we may dream of being chased, or pursued by an attacker.  If you have a dream such as this note that there may well be something going on which you are not yet aware of.  You can look at your life, see if there is something troubling you and if there is work out a way to resolve it. Once these challenges have been faced, the chasing dreams usually go away.

Of course not all dream issues are so easily solved.  If your dream journal reveals frequent nightmares or similar disturbing dreams, it could be related to a past trauma that you may feel you would like professional help to work through.  For instance, soldiers returning from war zones, and rescue workers returning from floods, fires and other natural disasters, report a higher level of nightmares than does the general public.

If you're dreams are troubling you so that you think you may need counselling or dream therapy dealing with them, then remember to choose a person who has a philosophy you feel comfortable with and if possible meet them for an introductory session.

 Dream Interpretation Part 2 Theories Freud's Theories on Dreams



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