Interpreting Your Dreamssam
Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
Re-Creating Your Self takes many forms. Within you are many tools for personal change. In recent columns, we’ve focused upon sleep and dreams as two of the mental tools at your disposal for helping you to become the person you want to be, living the life you desire.
Last time, I related a true story from my personal life about how I trained myself to create a specific dream that revealed how I had used a false belief I accepted in early childhood to create a health challenge I didn’t want in young adulthood.
After I’d discovered in my dream the Principal Belief that caused me to create a low blood sugar malady I didn’t want, in meditation, another superb tool for change, I learned of supporting beliefs that had contributed to the creation of my health challenge. I used this information, along with what I had learned from my dream, to re-create my self as a healthy young adult. For the next year, I celebrated my healthy re-creation with rich, sugary treats. The 20-pounds I gained looked terrific on what had been my too thin 140-pound, six-foot frame.
Interpreting Your Dreams
Frequently the meaning of a dream is abundantly clear. An example: the significance of my “sweet” dream could hardly have been more obvious. Other times the meaning may not be immediately clear, but after careful examination, and with the use of some imagination, and self-awareness, the significance is revealed.
Then there are those times when a dream seems to be nothing more than a chaotic, nonsensical fantasy. The principal reason for this is that we try to interpret dreams in the same manner that we interpret waking life. This doesn’t always work. Unfettered by the laws of the physical world, dreams are an unrestricted form of creative expression, not limited like our waking lives. In a dream we can easily age from infancy to old age in seconds; we can travel from the Earth to the moon simply by desiring to do so. A horse may morph into a sports car; a tenement in Harlem may instantly become a castle in Spain.
You can’t hope to successfully translate the words of a French-speaking waiter using an English/Chinese dictionary, and you can’t reasonably expect to interpret a seemingly meaningless dream according to the symbols and organization of your waking life.
Some people attempt to solve this dilemma by purchasing a book that allegedly defines the meaning of dream symbols. These dream dictionaries, many of them relying heavily upon convoluted psychological generalizations, are basically useless. Each of us creates our own personal dream symbols. A banana in my dream may have an entirely different meaning than it does in a dream created by the author of one of these books. (I recently thumbed through two different dream dictionaries. One of them claimed that a banana always held phallic significance; the other said that a banana in a dream meant that the dreamer had a potassium deficiency.)
The main point I want to make about dream interpretation is that the very best way to interpret the dreams that you have is to learn the personal language and structure that you use to create them.
Yes, you have your own unique dream language. Learn it.
Where do you begin?
Start by identifying those dream symbols that correspond to the symbols that appear in your waking life. Compare the organization of your dream experiences, or the seeming lack of it, to the organization of your waking events.
Examine a confusing dream during meditation or at another time when you’re relaxed. Question your self: “Did this dream provide me with a wanted experience that I’ve denied myself in waking life? Was my dream merely a mental creation of a fear, or a favorite fantasy? Was this a role reversal dream? Did my dream self change places with a co-worker, relative or friend to learn what it’s like to walk a mile or so in his or her shoes? What did I express or learn in this dream?
No dream is devoid of meaning, including those that initially appear to be absurd. With practice, you can become fluent in your personal dream language. Once you understand the meaning of your dream experiences, you can use them to re-create your self.
A Re-Creating Your Self Thought: Most of us spend almost one-third of our lives sleeping. It would be an unconscionable waste not to put this time to our best use. Dreams and the sleep state can do much more than refresh and renew our physical bodies.
Coming May 15: A Dream Adventure
Please send your Re-Creating Your Self comments, observations and questions to me at [email protected].
Copyright 2010 by Christopher Stone