Dreams may be seen as a conversation between consciousness and the unconscious, between an ego perspective and multiple other viewpoints alive in us. Donald Broadribb states that …”the inner dialogue of a man with his heart is not a mere metaphor but a living reality, … we will find this a consistent pattern, that the dream examines and, so to speak, contains a dialogue between the emotions and the waking day mind”. (2). The ‘felt’ sense of a dream and engaging with the images is central, rather than reaching for a symbol or dream dictionary.
Each dream is a portal or a doorway to our inner world. A world that is mythological and has been part of human experience since the dawn of time. According to Stephen Aizenstat (3) dreams are living presences originating from the deeper intelligence of the psyche, not from our waking consciousness. We need to befriend all aspects of the dream and develop a relationship with the living image - the dream as a whole, rather than reductively interpret aspects of the dream as if they stand separately from the dreamer and dream story.
According to Jung, dreams may be the Unconscious compensating for our conscious attitude to life, speaking up for that which is not allowed expression in our daytime reality, and may reflect the unlived life of an individual. James Hillman cautions that dreams are not oracles telling us what to do. They provide another perspective or a personal parable.
Engaging with dreams opens our imagination. The golden rule in dream interpretation is that only the dreamer knows what the dream means… even if s/he doesn’t! Therefore the dreamer’s own associations are pivotal before amplification is found in myths, fairytales and symbols of humanity.
Written for @jungsouthernafrica
- Jung, CW Volume 10, para 320
- Donald Broadribb (1990). The Dream Story, Toronto, Canada : Inner City Books p.17
- Stephen Aizenstat (2021). Jung Platform, Dream Summit
Image credit: Vladimir Kush - Doors of the Night
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