We all dream, at least most of us do. I have met a few who claim that they don't dream, but I knew them well enough to know that if their dreams are as boring as they are, it would come as no surprise that they cannot recall them.
Are our dreams just to keep us entertained while we sleep? Or do they have a real meaning that can be translated into practical use in our daily life. Ever since Joseph gave an interpretation to Pharaoh about the seven cattle, searchers have sought to find the hidden meaning of dreams.
It has become big business. Many books have been written that claim to have the answer we seek inside their covers. One claims that if you dream of water, you will come into money. In short, they attempt to provide an answer, no matter how wrong it is.
One of my favorite articles on dreams was found in one of those newspapers you find at the checkout counter in the grocery store. "If you regularly dream of the opposite sex, chances are you are seeing your future mate." It doesn't seem to matter that you may already be married.
And don't forget the Astrologers. If you get a chance pick up the handy "Astrological Guide to Dreams." This guide points out that the same dream can have different meanings to different people depending on their birth sign.
For instance, if an Aries person dreams of being naked in public, it indicates that that person is feeling vulnerable, while for a Taurus it suggests that you are too attached to material possessions or that you overdress.
One curious thing about dreams that I have noticed is that they never seem to have a beginning or an end. All of a sudden you are in a situation. It's like walking into a movie theatre in the middle of a movie, watching for a while then getting up and leaving. Several years ago I had a most unusual dream that illustrates this.
I was running through a forest stark naked. Now in the dream, this did not seem to bother me. What concerned me was that I was being pursued by several women, clad only in bikinis and shooting at me with paintball guns.
Don't say it, I know, Sigmund Freud would have a field day with that dream. Of the few people I have related this to, none have offered a reasonable interpretation. Questions asked are, "Why are they shooting at you?" "Why are they using paint ball guns" "Are the paint balls all the same color?" A friend pondered for a moment after hearing the story then said "I bet I've got a question you can't answer, 'If you are being chased by girls in bikinis, why are you running?" He was right, I had no answer for that. Some dreams just don't make any sense.
Then too, it is not always a good idea to relate your dreams in casual conversation. As I related this story to some friends, one lady made a comment about offering a small target. See what I mean? Some days it's real hard to get any respect.
In college, I took a class on "Dream Interpretation." At the start of the semester the class was told that we would be required to write down two dreams and give an interpretation for each. The first dream is as follows:
I was in front of a class of school children.
I was going to give them an "honesty" test
I have two boxes, the bottom of each box had been marked into squares, and each square contained a half walnut shell containing two tiny beads, one blue the other white.
As I pass them out to the students, I began to mark down who got what shell.
I become confused as to who got what shells.
I realize that I do not have enough shells for all of the students.
Following the procedures taught in class, I presented the following analysis:
The class refers to my psychology class.
I am making a presentation to the class
The two beads representing the two dreams I am required to submit.
I am looking for the answer, as in a "nutshell", a brief response
I am confused at what the dreams mean, or of what I am being told.
I am not making the presentation to the entire class, but only to a small part of the class, the study group I am in.
Dreams are a metaphorical manifestation of our inner turmoil and unrest. They attempt to make us aware of repressed feelings and desires in an attempt to make us face reality.
An example of this is a woman who dreamed of being in a building, and running up and down hallways trying to find a door that would open. In the analysis, it was concluded that the woman subconsciously realized that she was in a dead end job. She saw that the only way for her to advance was to quit this job, and take a position where there was opportunity for advancement.
Some dreams are warnings. "If you dream that your child is injured while riding a bicycle, take it to heart. Talk to him about bicycle safety. His life could depend on it." If a dream strikes you as foretelling the future, trust your instincts and really think about it.
Dreams can be very revealing. Predicting the future, warning of possible health problems, and reflecting hidden anxieties. Here is one that kept me awake the rest of the night
I was sitting in the office of a restaurant, trying to find a path through a seemingly maze of paperwork when from somewhere deep in that pile, a telephone began ringing. Grateful for the interruption, I pushed aside a precariously piled of reports, and finding the phone, answered.
My caller was one of the girls that worked in the front. She was calling because a customer was interesting in making a purchase, and she could not locate a price for the item.
"There is a lady here that wants to buy one of the cookie jars"
"The cookie jars are not for sale. There is a sign on the shelf saying they are not for sale. Did you tell her that?" I began collecting cookie jars several years ago, and have acquired a large number of cookie jars. I had had a shelf put up on the wall in back of the counter so I could display my collection. I had put up signs stating that they were not for sale, but still, an occasional customer will inquire about purchasing one or more of them. And to add insult to injury, they want to pay flea market prices, and they become insulted when I scoff at their pitiful offerings.
"Yes, I told her, but she is interested in the Rabbit, and maybe the Pig. I looked on all of them, but I could not find a price tag anywhere."
"That's because they are not for sale. I collect them."
"So does she, that's why she wants to buy them. So what should I tell her?"
"Tell her $800 for the rabbit, and $1,000 for the pig."
"She wants to know why the pig costs more?"
"Tell her it's because the pig has three little babies."
"She said to tell you that she will have to think about it."
"Listen" I said, "When she comes back, tell her the cookie jars are not for sale."
"Then why did you put them out here?"
It seems that no matter how hard you try, you just can't get good help.
Anyone can learn to interpret their dreams. The first step is to write the dream down as completely and with as much detail as possible. Then consult one of the many books on dream interpretations. These will provide a step by step procedure to help outline the key points of the dream. My preferred book is "Dreaming insights" by Gillian Holloway, Ph.D. Available from "Practical Psychology Press PO Box 535, Portland, OR. 97207.
With that I want to wish you all pleasant dreams.
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