Home' Nova National : August 2010 Contents DREAMS
© NOVA AUGUST 2010
FOR THOSE WHO believe dreams are
meaningless, the idea of purposeful intent
behind our nightly figments is laughable.
Yet the most respected dream gurus agree
that dreams are created and delivered by
something greater than the conscious ego
Some simply call it the dream maker.
Others refer to it as the witnessing
consciousness. C G Jung, linking it directly
with his theory of the collective unconscious,
called it the objective psyche. Anthony
Stevens, an eminent authority on dreams
and dreaming, claims that this "other" part
of the mind speaks with the authority of the
species, while "the subjective psyche speaks
out of the authority of the ego". In other
words, the dream maker within can see
things in a far wider and deeper way than
we do in daily life. It corrects our illusions
and compensates for the foresight and
wisdom we lack, helping us to become more
Stevens vividly describes the dream maker
as "a symbolic kleptomaniac". He maintains
that, in creating the dream, the objective
psyche might be compared to an artist who
works in the medium of collage. Far from
randomly, indeed with great intent, it selects
symbolic images, events and characters from
our memory store, then puts them together.
The result is a dream -- an ephemeral,
sometimes hard to catch picture of an aspect,
or aspects, of our inner state of being.
Did I hear someone ask, "Why"? Why do
we humans have a mechanism within us for
making and delivering dreams? What can we
do with the often surreal or bizarre images
the dream maker delivers?
Dreams are psychic gifts. Only when we
remember them -- and the best way to do
this is write them down as soon after waking
as possible -- can we learn to "read" their
obscure pattern and translate their content
into useful advice. Dreamers who do this
regularly are convinced this is the best way
to recognise shadow parts of ourselves,
those parts we've repressed and neglected.
Sometimes our dreams show us how we
project the shadow onto others. Frequently,
we don't want to acknowledge this in daily
life because it carries guilt, but "owning" such
insights can bring a new sense of personal
responsibility and confidence that comes
with gains in self esteem.
T, a 60 year old man who faced the
prospect of having to overhaul his old car
himself, was unsure of his capabilities and
sceptical about the outcome of such a task.
Then he had this dream:
A mechanic, who looked a bit like me,
brought me his car and asked me to attend
to it. He insisted that I would be able to do
the work perfectly.
The dream reassured T he was capable
of carrying out the work. The mechanic
character, who seemed rather similar to T,
was symbolic of the part of himself that
Sometimes however, the message the
dream maker sends may not be so welcome.
It can be shocking and startling, alerting us
to aspects which don't correspond to our
sense of identity -- the picture we have of
ourselves in daily life. This is the dream of
H, a middle aged woman who consciously
thought of herself as respectable and honest:
I urinated in the corner of someone
else's room while they were asleep in bed. I
was extremely well groomed and carefully
dressed, so no one believed I did it.
Protesting that she could never do such
a thing, for this was not the image she had
of herself, H was eventually brave enough to
accept that the contents of the dream were
a symbolic reflection of her inner self. Not
without difficulty, she came to realise that
the dream maker was alerting her to her
ego's tendency to use situations of trust, such
as her employment, to "do her own thing".
Often this was to the detriment of others,
who had to "clean up the mess she left
behind". Further reflection on her dream
led H to the conclusion she would be better
off expressing her considerable individuality
and creativity "on her own ground". Once
H had changed her working life to become
self employed, she became a happier and
more responsible person.
The intention of the dream maker is to
show us our integrity. While retaining full
awareness of our situation and emotional
needs, it can point out our capacity or
failure in life terms. As with H's dream, the
message might be shocking, but working to
understand and integrate it can help the way
we relate to ourselves and others.
Many thanks to H and T for openly
sharing such personally revealing dreams! ●
Jenny Albertson (BA Hons MA IAJS) Jungian
practitioner, teacher and group leader for more than
20 years, has lived and worked in London,
New York, Fremantle and Sydney.
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