Thursday, December 22, 2011
My topic for today was spurned on by what I experienced this morning; A nightmare. Not the most pleasant of things, but even then, I believe nightmares are learning experiences, perhaps challenges to overcome. I've often heard that nightmares are our inner demons, our fears, insecurities, and uncertainities from our subconscious coming to...haunt us? More like test us is what I believe.
I've also heard the belief that dreams are gateways to other realms, different planes of existance, perhaps even different planets. Do our dreams transport us to another time or place? Do they send us spiraling into the Weird? Maybe we are observing the lives of another? Watching millions of people in their own waking worlds, and experiencing their day to day life -no matter how odd.
Another belief is that dreams are memories from past lives. Little glimpses of what used to be before reencarnation. If that is the case, in one past life I was an evil conquering king, traveling to other planets and enslaving to my ways, able to travel through the past and foresee the future, so strong that I was able to pluck the moon from the sky and hold it within my palm before sending to back to the stars.
No matter what your beliefs are, today I'm going to be focusing on dream interpretation. Now there are countless books out there on this subject. This is a topic that there is no right or wrong answer. The best advice I received was to find a book you like and stick to it. The book I received as a gift was 1001 Dreams by Jack Altman. The book focuses on two different views: The Freudian view and The Jungian view.
In simple terms, here is each view:
The Freudian view - Established by Sigmund Freud, he believed that dreams were in a sense, wish-fulfilment. He believed that in dreams we acted out desires that were in our subconscious mind.
The Jungian view - Established by Carl Gustav Jung, he believed that most dreams shared collective similiarities, based on myth and culture to which he formed archetypes based on the figures that seemed to be reoccuring in some way, shape, or form in dreams. Such as "The Old Wise Man", "The Trickster", "The Great Mother", and so forth.
This book is exactly what it says, 1001 different symbols that are interpretated in both views. A bit of a different twist for today, I'm going to interpretate my nightmare from this morning using both views.
The nightmare was this: I was with my mate, we had moved back to the old state I lived in, to my sister's old home. My poor laptop which has been breaking for awhile finally decided it had had enough and was done for good. My mate and I were shopping for a computer which appeared to be in a shop in the house, to look into getting me a desktop computer. I noticed it was several years advanced in the future, virtual reality now existed, and we were expected to wear these clear head gear, it sealed around the face and the image was projected in the air in front of us. These were being used so that I would be able to see a 3-D complete model of my computer and the software as it was being made, it was for ultimate customation. I recall looking at the red computer screen and choosing it. Well as my mate and the sales man began to talk I noticed something alarming, I couldn't breath. There was no air getting in through my head gear. I began to panic so I tried to speak, I could get no words out, I didn't have enough air to do so. I ripped off the mask, and everything went haywire. Everyone was demanding I put the mask back on, but suddenly I noticed I couldn't even hear them. The silence was deafening and drove my terror higher. I noticed that without my mask, even though I could not see it, the room was filled with water. It looked like air was in the room, but with each breath, I was drowning. My mate had disappeared from the dream at this point. I was blind with panic at the loss of air and the loss of hearing. There was a door that lead to an alley way. I ripped it open only to see a man running for the door. For some reason that terrified me more. I slammed the door shut and had to force him out so he could not get in. It was then that the sense of sound returned. The man hit the door with an extremely loud thud and began to scream. The scream was so intense it sounded like some sort of monster was flaying the skin from his bones. I let go of the door and turned away, racing back to the other room, I could hear the door fly open behind me and the agonized screams of the man grew louder. As the screams came upon me, I lowered my gaze to my arms. I repeated to myself 'This is a dream. This is a dream. My mate is going to call me and wake me up. This is all a dream.' I then started pinching my arms, attempting to wake myself up. I could not feel the pinches. Frantic with fear, I started scratching my nails down my arms, no effect or feeling even though I saw my nails cut myself. I finally managed to turn my head, in my dream and real life apparently, and I opened my eyes to the pillows.
Quite eventful for a dream, but it was a bit tame to some of the ones I've had. Usually I have an issue figuring out if my dreams are actually reality, they seem to blend together in most cases. I find it rare and an accomplishment that I managed to recognize this as a dream and succeed in pulling myself out of it.
I did shed a few tears over this dream, mostly from the fear, but I figure as I intrepretate it, it will purge it from me, end my fear of it, and give me a greater understanding of what is behind this dream.
The dream book I have is split up into several catagories; Our Inner Lives, The Self and Others, Activities and States of Being, Transactions, Environments, and Imaginings.
There are dozens of subcatagories but I won't list all of those. What I am going to do is pull out key symbols from my dream, put them in a list, and look up the meanings of each one. By the end I should be able to piece together a greater meaning of my dream.
All these definitions are directly out of the book, 1001 Dreams by Jack Altman.
1. My mate
2. An old home I used to live in - A symbol of the self, the house oftens more specifically reprsents the body. An abandoned house in disrepair may indicate the dreamer's neglect of physical or emotional health. At a mental level, a house all shuttered up can suggest that we are blind to what is going on in the outside world.
3. The new red computer screen -The computer may have replaced the typewriter, but the keyboard remains a Freudian symbol of female sexuality, as do the slots for disks, CD-ROMs and DVDs. Jungians focus on the screen as projection of humankind's knowledge dispatched through cyberspace.
4. Wearing a mask(head gear) -Relates to the appearance we present not only to others but also to ourselves, we often cannot remove the mask or are forced by others to keep it on. this may be a warning that we are at risking of losing all contact with our true self.
5. Drowning -suggests floundering in the depths of the unconscious. As with dreams of pursuit, we may experience uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that we are not yet to bring to the surface. In extreme cases the feeling of being unable to get back to the surface may indicate the dreamer's fear of the onset of mental illness. At the very least the dream alerts us that some areas of our unconscious needs to be examined.
6. A doorway that shut but opens regardless of my attempt to close it - While Freud and Jung agreed that a house symbolized the body, they differed about the house's doors. For Freud, doors are dream images of a body's orifices. For Jung, doors express the dreamer's relationship to their inner and outer worlds. A door opening outwards, according to the Jungian view, suggests the dreamer's need to open up to others. Opening inward, the door could mean a wish to explore the inner self.
7. The monsterous force attacking the man -Not knowing who or what is out there the darkness is perhaps the most universal of all anixety dreams. It is experienced particularly frequently among people embarking on a course of psychoanalysis or any other therapy that will reveal hitherto unexamined areas of the self, Like conscious terror of the dark, such dreams may be rooted in anicent fears acquired when our primoridal ancestors were prey to large, nocturnal carnivores.
8. Being chased -Aspects of our personality which are repressed but demand to be dealt with.
9. Scratching self- seeing yourself as a victim of self-inflicted violence suggests guilt and self-blame, perhaps related to the death of a loved one or the break up of a relationship, which we feel -probably wrongly- may have been avoidable if only we had acted sooner. Such dream-violence may also express low self-esteem, even self-loathing, manifested in unconscious destructive urges that we should deal with before they erupt into our waking lives.
10. Blood -A symbol of life itself, but if it suddenly pours out or appears as a stain it may reprsent violent emotions or excessive self-sacrifice: are we exerting an effort, perhaps in a relationship, that is not truly appreciated? Blood draining away may represent the loss of life or consequent bereavements. appearing with a female figure, the blood may be that of menstruation and in male dreamers may point to a fear of women's physicality or even to feelings of sexual aggression.
Some of those intrepretations were really interesting to me. What I took this dream to be was nothing I expected. A few items I couldn't find, like the meaning of fear, or the loss of sensations, it seems a bit unclear what it could be, or even my mate. I will put my intrepretation with all those clues and with a twist of my own.
My mate is someone who I have always viewed as my protector, once he and I started living together most of my nightmares had vanished, so I will assume him as a protective symbol in this dream. The old home is a place where I grew up, a place I was harshly sheltered and am trying to escape from. The computer represents the fact that I have been so heavily delving into internet research, blogging, just connecting and trying to learn more about different beliefs. The mask or head gear in my dream I view as societies view of trying to get me to basically just conform to their rules and hide my true self. I see that the fact that I was able to remove the mask as my success in speaking on who I am and showing my inner beliefs. A lot of the notes in my dream are very true to my current situation, as I just recently moved to a new town, a new state, far away from my friends and family. I have been pouring a lot of my efforts into making this holiday season special for my mate's family and friends. The blood, my self-sacrifice and my efforts into pouring all my resources to consider everyone I possibly can. I'm a bit of a recluse, so I find it difficult to speak to others and open up, which protrays the doorway, fearing others will enter my inner self with their views (the monsterous force). The one thing I cannot place is the man trying to enter the door and the screaming. But a lot of this reflects on a more personal level about my fears of being in a new place, my self-esteem, and such. To me, this dream speaks very loudly to me.
I hope this interested you, if you would like, in the comments or my inbox please share a dream or nightmare you would like me to intrepretate for you I would be more than happy to. I like the chance to make something unclear or even terrifying make sense and maybe it will cause you to do a little soul searching of your own. I know I am.
It's been a pleasure as always.