classroom

Dream Interpretation Classroom | Dream Meanings


So many dreams are set in the classroom or school that it may be one of the most frequent dream settings. The primary focus of such dreams is on your own level of competence and how it may be reflected in the eyes of others. The theme of fitting in is perhaps why so many anxiety dreams that reflect a sense of insecurity and failure are set in schools. See also SCHOOL AND WORK.

The Element Encyclopedia | Theresa Cheung

To dream that you are in a classroom, symbolizes that you may be learning an important life lesson.

If you are a student, this dream can also reflect feelings or anxieties about real life classes. Also see “Art Class”, “History / History Class” and “Math / Math Class”.

My Dream Interpretation | myjellybean

To dream that you are in a classroom indicates that you will experience a significant event or occurrance that will have a huge influence on your future decisions.

Dream Symbols and Analysis | DreamForth


Dreaming Of Classroom | Dream Interpretation

The keywords of this dream: Classroom

School

The learning process; what we leamt at school—not lessons but interrelationships, class structure, competitive­ness, authority, mortification, group preferences, etc.; habits of behaviour or feeling reactions developed during those years— puberty occurs at this time, and confronts us with many new feelings, choices and drives. Schoolfriend: your own attitudes developed in school, as you are meeting’ them in the present. School clothes: social attitudes or moral rules leamt at school.

Example: ‘1 am back at school on the first day of the new school year. At this point it can vary slightly, but I always feel out of place, usually because I am older than the other girls now or—most common—because my uniform is incorrect and it is time for assembly—I went to a very strict convent school. There is always some feeling of panic and quite often loneliness’ (PH). PH is still uncomfortable about who she is as a person.

The influence of the school years still nags at her, that she ought to be other than she is. Not having a nature that easily conformed, she was led to feel isolated and an alien.

Places in school: particular abilities we have. Library, our knowledge and learning ability; stored information. Gymna­sium: taking risks in learning something new; daring; physical health. Classroom: study, relationship with authority.

Example: ‘In the bathroom area, a school class was being held, so I had to wait for my bath, steam would be bad for the books. I didn’t have any soap with me but I was going to wash my hair and could use the shampoo’ (Leonie K). Leonie is getting rid of attitudes or a self image developed at school, shown as shampooing her hair.

The new attitudes of letting off steam would not have been acceptable at school.

Idioms: of the old school; tell tales out of school, old school tie; well schooled. See schoolteacher under roles. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

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A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

Word Analysis Of Dreams

Having written a dream down, by using highlighting pens to make all matching words the same colour, one can immediately see the main issues in some dreams.

Example: ‘We walk around, go upstairs, and I notice a staircase leading to a room or rooms. It goes up square, about eight steps in a flight, but round and round—spiral. I am scared by them, don’t want to go up, but am curious. We move in and nobody but myself has really taken any notice of the stairs. Nobody has been up . In one dream I try to go up but the children are scared for me. They plead, ‘Don’t go up Mum, just forget them”. Then I wake. In the next dream I wait till they are asleep. Half way up_ I am terrified but have to go on. Then I wake. Next dream I got up there. Then I woke’ (Ann H). Ann’s dream theme recurs, so is important to her. In marking just some of the words we see that the ‘up’ or go up’ is important. Childhood fears hold Ann back for a while, but she dares to climb.

If we look at the entries for climb and stairs, we see they depict taking steps towards ex­ploring the unknown, daring to explore one’s potential or opportunities.

By marking the words in this way we might also highlight certain statements otherwise hidden in the dream. Particularly watch out for the connections with the word T, such as I want, I do, I will, I have, I know, I cannot, etc. Example: ‘1 want to withdraw.’ I was full of sadness but was trying not to show it.’ ‘1 felt keyed up and ready to fight.’ Taking such statements out of context and looking for connections with everyday feelings oi situations often throws considerable light on the dream.

If what you realise is then considered in con­nection with the plot of the dream, the viewpoint your uncon­scious has on the situation might become evident.

For in­stance, the statement ‘I felt keyed up’ occurred within a classroom, and helped the dreamer understand the anger gen­erated at school. See amplification; plot of the dream; the comments on dream processing in the Introduction; dream processing; postures, movement, body language; settings; symbols and dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

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A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences

School

also see Education and Teacher

1- School is an important part of everyone’s life. In situations where we are learning new abilities or skills, the image of a school will often come up in dreams.

It is also the place where we experience associations which do not belong to the family, and can therefore suggest new ways of learning about relationships. School may also be the place where we learn about competitiveness and how to belong to groups.

2- When we are relearning how to deal with our own personalities, the school or classroom will often appear in dreams. They will often appear at times when we are attempting to get rid of old. outmoded ideas and concepts. Also, when we are learning different ways of dealing with authority and with feelings of inadequacy, our feelings about school will surface.

3- Spiritually it is often considered that life itself is a school. Life is an arena for learning and experiencing so that we can maximise our best potential.

It is believed that life is a testing-ground for the reality which comes afterwards.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary

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Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary

School

(see Blackboard, Professor)

The classroom of life itself. WTiat are you learning in this dream, and how can you apply it to your present situation?

Matters of education and training. What level of schooling is shown in the dream? Elemental-}’ school reflects the need to get back to basics, whereas college symbolizes preparation and learning as a key to success in our endeavors.

An unvoiced desire to return to school and achieve a specific personal goal, manifesting through the dream.

If this is the case, check with your local institutions and see if you can’t make this dream a realitv!... The Language of Dreams

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The Language of Dreams

Teaching

Being in front of a classroom in a dream may indicate your desire to teach others or to share what you know. Teaching in a dream may compensate for feelings that you are unable to influence others in the way you would like Standing in front of an empty classroom may signify feelings of frustration that no one seeks your knowledge or advice.... Ariadne's Book of Dream

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Ariadne's Book of Dream

School

Psychological / emotional perspective: The school or classroom will often appear in dreams when we are re­learning how to deal with our own personalities idiosyncrasies. Such images will often appear at times when we are attempting to get rid of old outmoded ideas and concepts. Also, when we are learning different ways of dealing with authority and with feelings of inadequacy, our feelings about school will surface.... Dream Meanings of Versatile

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Dream Meanings of Versatile

Boarding School

To dream about boarding school, represents the value you place on knowledge and education. You believe that you are always learning and not just in the classroom.

If you are currently a boarding school student, then this dream may just be a reflection of your current surroundings and emotions.... My Dream Interpretation

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My Dream Interpretation

Dormitory

To dream that you are in a dormitory (a dorm room) represents the value you place on knowledge and education. You believe that you are always learning and not just in the classroom.

If you are currently a college student who live in a dormitory, then dreams set in a dorm room may just be a reflection of your current surroundings and holds similar meaning as a bedroom (look up the word Bedroom for more details).... My Dream Interpretation

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My Dream Interpretation

Private School

To dream about private school, represents the value you place on knowledge and education. You believe that you are always learning and not just in the classroom.

If you are currently a private school student, then this dream may just be a reflection of your current surroundings and emotions.... My Dream Interpretation

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My Dream Interpretation

Students

To dream of seeing students in a classroom suggests that you may be learning an important life lesson.

If you are a student, this dream can also reflect feelings or anxieties about real life classes.

If you dream about your current classmates, they may represent aspects of your own personality. Look to the people you dreamed about for signals of personality traits they have that you desire in yourself, or that you wish to get rid of.

If you dream of former classmates (from years gone by), this suggests that you need to draw on your old associations with your former classmates to gain insight in some current relationship. You learned a lesson from your relationships with the person or people you were dreaming about, and that lesson can help you in some aspect of your life now. So look to the people you dreamed of, and the experiences you had with them, for clues to how to act in a current situation or relationship.... My Dream Interpretation

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My Dream Interpretation

School

Dreaming of school reflects your personal sense of competence and how you feel others perceive your abilities.

• It can also indicate your relationship to authority. Not being able to find the classroom is reflecting your concerns around social acceptability and acceptance by your peers.

• Dreaming of a first day at school may signify the same insecurities and fears of fitting in you felt back, then but triggered by a new job or new situation in your life now.... The Premier in Dream Dictionary

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The Premier in Dream Dictionary

Teacher

A teacher in a dream is part archetype and part character aspect.

The teacher is the one with the knowledge, and to dream of one is to be tapping into the part of you that knows.

If the teacher is someone known to you, add the element of that person’s personal qualities to your interpretation.

The less you know of the teacher in a dream, the more you may be experiencing wisdom at an archetypal level. No matter how the teacher appears, consider that there may be something for you to learn. Learning occurs by accumulating small amounts of data that build upon each other. Teachers know what piece of information needs to be added next in order for learning to take place.

A figure of authority, the teacher is the one person at school who knows what the lesson plan is. Teachers have both the questions and the answers. Not only do they control what happens in the classroom, but they also know why things are ordered in a particular way. Each of our teachers presents us with the specific information needed to master a particular level of our functioning. Any teacher in a dream represents the part of you that understands this concept of step-by-step mastery and provides the mental environment in which learning occurs, or is blocked. There is great patience built into this process, even though many of your teachers in life may have lacked this quality. When a teacher appears in your dream, examine the person as a character aspect of yourself.

The teacher’s behavior toward you in the dream and your resulting feelings will offer insight as to how well your inner guidance system is operating and to what degree you are showing yourself patience with the pace of your growth.

A kindly teacher will result in a very different interpretation from one who is abusive or frightening.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams

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Complete Dictionary of Dreams

Class

A dream of a school group in which one is a participant or the teacher may symbolize learning life’s lessons or being the authority in matters of life. In certain esoteric traditions, dreaming of being in a classroom is interpreted as meaning that the soul attends classes on the “inner planes” during sleep. Such a dream may also relate to one’s social, political, or economic status, or even to one’s uniqueness (e.g., “in a class of her own”). Divisions, often prejudicial, of race, color, or creed may also be indicated by such a dream (e.g., class consciousness, most significantly as practiced in India). (See also School, Seminar).... Dream Symbols in The Dream Encyclopedia

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Dream Symbols in The Dream Encyclopedia

School

As a place to learn, to “brush up” on subjects previously studied, or to further one’s education, a school in a dream may indicate inadequacy, especially if related to unpleasant early school experiences.

If the dreamer is a teacher, the dream may symbolize authority. In some esoteric groups it is said that during sleep the soul attends classes “on the inner planes” (in the spiritual realm), so that dreams about being in a classroom would be interpreted as reflecting this type of “spiritual learning” experience. (See also Class, Seminar).... Dream Symbols in The Dream Encyclopedia

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Dream Symbols in The Dream Encyclopedia

Seminar

In a seminar, the dreamer could be the leader dispersing knowledge or the participant receiving information. Does the dreamer feel a need to teach or learn? In some esoteric groups it is said that during sleep the soul attends classes “on the inner planes” (in the spiritual realm), so dreams about being in a classroom could be interpreted as reflecting this type of “spiritual learning” experience. (See also Class, School).... Dream Symbols in The Dream Encyclopedia

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Dream Symbols in The Dream Encyclopedia

Lessons And Learning

Dreams that focus on lessons and the business of learning are concerned with the acquisition of knowledge.

If a lesson is being taught by a school teacher, college lecturer or university tutor, your dream is turning the spotlight on the acquisition of knowledge or learning. The subject matter of the lesson will be of great significance here, as the implication may be that you can find fulfillment by stimulating your mind and exploring your creativity in this particular subject. On the other hand, the lesson may also be alerting you to the need to address a specific area of your life. For example, if you dreamed of learning a foreign language, your dreaming mind may not be encouraging you to learn a new language but to open your mind and try to understand the point of view of others.

Dreams of classrooms often indicate your relationship to authority.

If you are trying to avoid your teacher’s eye in your dream, you may be trying to avoid responsibility, whereas eagerly raising a hand suggests a desire for attention or to prove yourself. Your dreaming mind may also be urging you to think about what you really learned at school.

If you dreamed of being punished in class, such dreams may point to masochistic sexual pleasure but are more likely to suggest feelings of guilt about not meeting your responsibilities.... The Element Encyclopedia

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The Element Encyclopedia

School

You may have had a dream in which you were a child again and you felt lost and lonely at school. Perhaps it was your first day in a new school? Your unconscious often draws on past experiences to reflect current feelings, so perhaps you have recently started a new job or moved to a new area. Or are you just feeling insecure and uncertain about yourself? If your school dream was positive, you may just be feeling nostalgic about an exciting time in your life.

If your school dream was negative, however, and you hated school, then your dream may be suggesting that you have not resolved your feelings about this life experience. You need to reassess your school days from an adult perspective.

If the school was ruined or dilapidated in your dream, this can represent the collapse of youthful illusions; your dreaming mind is urging you not to dwell on the past but to move on. Another interpretation of dreams about being back at school is that you are feeling suffocated by rules, regulations and restrictions in your waking life that are preventing you from leading the life you want to live. It can sometimes refer to feelings of rejection, aloneness and stress on leaving your mother for the first time. Your dreaming mind may also be urging you to seek out knowledge or learn new skills in waking life. Specific places or rooms in the school represent attitudes learned at school. For example, the library is a place of knowledge and stored information; the gymnasium is associated with physical health and a place where you take risks. School clothes suggest the social image you developed at school and school friends, those of your attitudes that you developed at school.

In general, dream of high school or secondary school are not so much about the lessons you learned there, but about social concerns or the desire to fit in at all costs. Whether you couldn’t find a classroom or were unprepared for an exam, the primary concern of such dreams centers around your own abilities and what others think of you. Dreams set in high school reflect your insecurities and social fears.

If you dream of the school playground, this represents the importance of relaxation or recreation to balance the time you spend working.

Not wanting to join in with school games suggests an inability to switch off from work, whilst reluctance to leave the playground suggests a lack of discipline.

If you dream of bullying and are identifying with the victim, you may be expressing old memories of school experiences that were upsetting. Alternatively, the bully might represent a domineering figure in your current life or aspects of your own character that are domineering.... The Element Encyclopedia

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The Element Encyclopedia

Most Common Dream Images

One very important thing to keep in mind is to interpret symbols within the context of the dream they appear in, rather than piece by piece which would leave too much room for error. There are thousands of symbols, and it depends upon the context of one’s own personal dream as to what they all mean for him/her.

Look at it this way...a dream is like a puzzle, and although there are several pieces that are quickly pieced together because they are so obvious, the puzzle isn’t complete until all the pieces are placed together bit by bit. Then you have the complete picture...until then, you’ll only have disjointed images that don’t add up to anything coherent, and you’ll still be confused.

So please remember that and try not to piecemeal a dream...it needs to be fully interpreted or it will most likely be totally wrong.

Let’s look at some of the more common dream images and what they could mean.

Teeth Falling Out
This is probably the most prevalent dream image that people report. It is disturbing to them because it affects vanity and personal appearance – but only in the dream! a dream about one’s teeth falling out usually symbolizes that the dreamer is having a challenge getting their voice heard, or feelings acknowledged.

This may be referring to their conversations with a particular person such as their significant other, boss, or friend; or can be generalized for people who are shy, to include almost everyone they come in contact with.

The dreamer needs to brush up on conversational skills, believe in the value of their own opinion, and learn how to be less intimidated by aggressive people, and become more assertive and make their voice heard. Once they do that, this dream (which is a common recurring dream) should evolve & show improvement...or disappear altogether.

Another theory is that dreams about your teeth reflect your anxiety about your appearance and how others perceive you. Sadly, we live in a world where good looks are valued highly and your teeth play an important role in conveying that image. Teeth are used in the game of flirtations, whether it is a dazzling and gleaming smile or affectionate necking. These dreams may stem from a fear of your sexual impotence or the consequences of getting old. Teeth are an important feature of our attractiveness and presentation to others. Everybody worries about how they appear to others. Caring about our appearance is natural and healthy.

There are cultural interpretations of this type of dream as well. A scriptural interpretation for bad or falling teeth indicate that you are putting your faith, trust, and beliefs in what man thinks rather than in the word of God. The bible says that God speaks once, yea twice in a dream or a vision in order to hide pride from us, to keep us back from the pit, to open our ears (spiritually) and to instruct and correct us.

In the Greek culture, when you dream about loose, rotten, or missing teeth, it indicates that a family member or close friend is very sick or even near death.

According to the Chinese, there is a saying that your teeth will fall out if you are telling lies.

It has also been said that if you dream of your teeth falling out, then it symbolizes money. This is based on the old tooth fairy story. If you lose a tooth and leave it under the pillow, a tooth fairy would bring you money.

Flying
Dreams about flying usually represent freedom from the physical body, as we experience in sleep while dreaming where we don’t use our physical bodies but instead use our mental & spiritual bodies to experience our dreams. It’s one of the first things people attempt to do when they gain control of their dreams and start lucid dreaming.

Everybody seems to have a natural inclination to want to fly, unless that is changed by a fear of flying due to a frightening incident in their waking lives. Flying = freedom; either a desire for freedom, an “escape” from restraints in your physical life (like a mini-vacation for the mind) or any number of possibilities.

Tie it in with the context of your dream...what were you doing in your dream besides flying? How did it make you feel? Also, the type of flying here is the person flying on their own without an airplane or any aircraft at all. That would be a different symbol dealing with spiritual awareness, among other things.

Flying dreams fall under a category of dreams where you become aware that you are dreaming, known as lucid dreaming. Many dreamers have described the ability to fly in their dreams as an exhilarating, joyful, and liberating experience.

If you are flying with ease and enjoying the scene and landscape below, then it suggests that you are on top of a situation. You have risen above something. It may also mean that you have gained a different perspective on things. Flying dreams and the ability to control your flight is representative of your own personal sense of power.

Having difficulties staying in flight indicates a lack of power in controlling your own circumstances. You may be struggling to stay aloft and stay on course. Things like power lines, trees, or mountains may further obstruct your flight. These barriers represent a particular obstacle or person who is standing in your way in your waking life. You need to identify who or what is hindering you from moving forward.

If you are feeling fear when you are flying or that you feel that you are flying too high then it suggests that you are afraid of challenges and of success.

In reality, we do not have the ability to fly. Thus such dreams may represent that which is beyond our physical limitations. In your mind, you can be anybody and do anything. Another way of interpreting flying dreams is that these dreams symbolize your strong mind and will. You feel undefeatable and nobody can tell you what you cannot do and accomplish. Undoubtedly these dreams leave you a great sense of freedom.

Being Caught In A Tornado
This symbol points to emotional turmoil, as in a “whirlwind of emotions”; and/or rapid or sudden changes in your life. It is a sign to “get a grip” on what is possibly spinning out of control & deal more effectively with your emotions. Meditation and finding some private “think time” for yourself would be a good idea.

Being Naked
Dreaming that you are completely or partially naked is very common. Nudity symbolizes a variety of things depending on your real life situation.

Becoming mortified at the realization that you are walking around naked in public is often a reflection of your vulnerability or shamefulness. You may be hiding something and are afraid that others can nevertheless see right through you. Metaphorically clothes are a means of concealment. With clothes, you can hide your identity or be someone else. But without them, everything is hanging out for all to see. You are left without any defenses.

The dream may telling you that you are trying to be something that you really are not. Or that you are fearful of being ridiculed and disgraced. If you are in a new relationship, you may have some fears or apprehension in revealing your true feelings.

Nudity also symbolizes being caught off guard.

Finding yourself naked at work or in a classroom, suggests that you are unprepared for a project at work or school. You may be uninformed in making a well-formed decision. With all eyes on you, you have this fear of having some deed brought to public attention. You fear that people will see through your true self and you will be exposed as a fraud or a phony.

Many times, when you realize that you are naked in your dream, no one else seems to notice. Everyone else in the dream is going about their business without giving a second look at your nakedness. This implies that your fears are unfounded; no one will notice except you. You may be magnifying the situation and making an issue of nothing. On the other hand, such dreams may mean your desire (or failure) to get noticed.

For a small percentage of you, dreaming that you are proud of your nakedness and show no embarrassment or shame, then it symbolizes your unrestricted freedom. You have nothing to hide and are proud of who you are. The dream is about a new sense of honesty, openness, and a carefree nature.

Being Chased
Chase dreams often stem from feelings of anxiety in your walking life. The way we respond to anxiety and pressure in real life is typically manifested as a chase dream. Running is an instinctive response to physical threats in our environment.

Often in these dream scenarios, you are being pursued by some attacker, who wants to hurt or possibly kill you. You are running away, hiding, or trying to outwit your pursuer.

Chase dreams may represent your way of coping with fears, stress or various situations in your waking life. Instead of confronting the situation, you are running away and avoiding it. Ask yourself who is the one chasing you and you may gain some understanding and insight on the source of your fears and pressure.

The pursuer or attacker who is chasing you in your dream may also represent a part of yourself. Your own feelings of anger, jealousy, fear, and possibly love, can assume the appearance of threatening figure. You may be projecting these feelings onto the unknown chaser.

Next time you have a chase dream, turn around and confront your pursuer. Ask them why they are chasin you.

One may be consumed by their own anger, jealousy, love, or self-destructive behavior. For example, you may be drinking too much or exhibiting open hostility toward others around you. You may subconsciously be threatened by these actions which have been jeopardizing your relationships and/or career. Your dreams are a way of calling attention to these self-destructive actions.

A more direct analysis of chase dreams is the fear of being attacked. Such dreams are more common among women than men, who may feel physically vulnerable in the urban environment. These dreams are inspired by fears of violence and sexual assault in which we are so over-exposed from the media. The violence that the media portrays magnifies our fears and how at risk we all are.

Falling
Falling dreams are another theme that is quite common in the world of dreams. As we said earlier, contrary to a popular myth, you will not actually die if you do not wake up before your hit the ground during a fall.

As with most common dream themes, falling is an indication of insecurities, instabilities, and anxieties. You are feeling overwhelmed and out of control in some situation in your waking life.

This may reflect the way you feel in your relationship or in your work environment. You have lost your foothold and can not hang on or keep up with the hustle and bustle of daily life. When you fall, there is nothing that you can hold on to. You more or less are forced toward this downward motion without any control. This loss of control may parallel a waking situation in your life.

Falling dreams also often reflect a sense of failure or inferiority in some circumstance or situation. It may be the fear of failing in your job/school, loss of status, or failure in love. You feel shameful and lack a sense of pride. You are unable to keep up with the status quo or that you don’t measure up.

According to Freudian theory, dreams of falling indicate that you are contemplating giving into a sexual urge or impulse. You may be lacking indiscretion.

Falling dreams typically occur during the first stage of sleep. Dreams in this stage are often accompanied by muscle spasms of the arms, legs, and the whole body. These sudden contractions, also known as myclonic jerks. Sometimes when we have these falling dreams, we feel our whole body jerk or twitch and we awaken from this jerk. It is thought that this jerking action is part of an arousal mechanism that allows the sleeper to awaken and become quickly alert and responsive to possible threats in the environment.

According to biblical interpretations, dreams about falling have a negative overtone and suggest that man is acting and walking according to his own way of thinking and not those of the Lord.

Taking An Exam or Test
To dream that you are taking an exam indicates that you are being put to the test or being scrutinized in some way. Such dreams highlight your feelings of being anxious and agitated. You may find that you cannot answer any of the questions on the test or that the test is in some foreign language.

Is time running out and you find that you can not complete the exam in the allowed time? Or are you late to the exam? Does your pencil keep breaking during the exam? Such factors contribute to you failing this test.

These dreams usually have to do with your self- esteem and confidence or your lack of. You are worried that you are not making the grade and measuring up to other people’s expectations of you. You may also experience the fear of not being accepted, not being prepared, or not being good enough. You feel nervous, insecure and tend to believe the worst about yourself.

These dreams also suggest that you may feel unprepared for a challenge. Rarely, are these dreams about the content of the test, but rather the process and how you are feeling during the exam taking process. Generally, you feel distressed and frustrated. These feelings may parallel how you are feeling in a particular challenge or situation in your waking like.

Dreams of this nature are also an indication that you are being judged and this dream is a signal for you to examine an aspect of yourself that you may have been neglecting and need to pay attention to. You may harbor some guilt because of your neglect in preparation for a school exam, meeting, business project, or some challenge. Most of the time people who have such dreams are unlikely to fail a test in real life. This dream goes back to their fear and own anxiety that they may not meet other’s standards of them. They are afraid to let others down.

Now let’s look at some specific symbols that appear in dreams and what they might mean.... Common Dreams

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Common Dreams

Disturbing Dreams

Disturbing dreams aren’t quite nightmares. They may cause you to wonder what exactly your sub-conscious is trying to tell you. First, the dreams could be unconscious advice. Maybe in some way you are betraying yourself, forgetting something, or not fulfilling a potential. For example, persons on the edge of a midlife career change may have dreams about being in school and searching for a missing classroom, or they may find themselves in a class about to take a final exam while realizing that they completely forgot to attend the class all year. Thus the feeling of panic in the dream points to the real feeling of panic in their current life about the failure of their present career. Second, the dreams could be an admonition, based in guilt. Imagine, for example, that you are embezzling the bank for which you work. Then you start having dreams about burglars breaking into your home. Well, the dreams are simply a depiction of something happening to you that is similar to the hurt or moral injury you are inflicting on someone else. This same dynamic often occurs in children’s nightmares: in waking life, children often experience angry feelings toward their parents and yet lack the cognitive capacity to express these feelings openly; so, in unconscious guilt, the anger becomes turned against themselves as threatening nightmare images. Third, the dreams could be hints of a repressed trauma. As I say above, nightmares often accompany the emotional pain of a traumatic event experienced in adulthood. But if a trauma in childhood is repressed, dreams reflecting the emotional intensity of the trauma can persist throughout life—as a repetition compulsion—until the trauma is eventually brought to conscious awareness and healed. Finally, the dreams could be psychic premonitions. This is a rare phenomenon, but it does happen to some persons. The best advice we’ve found about disturbing dreams is to just ignore them. You can try to analyze the images you find, but that is most likely not going to give you the answers you need.... Dreampedia

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Dreampedia

Working With Dreams

How to Remember a Dream
Everyone of us can learn to remember dreams. This, of course, is a prerequisite to working with dream symbols. After you are reliably recalling dreams, you can begin to program them for problem solving.

The most effective way to work with dreams is to keep a dream journal. Date each entry as you go along, for you will begin to see patterns and recurring themes as the weeks go by. If you do not understand an important dream message, you will be given more dreams trying to get the same point across. So do not worry about losing a big lesson; you will be given the message again and again until you finally get the idea. The most important thing in learning to remember a dream is your intent to do so.

Before going to sleep sit on the side of your bed (if you lie down you may fall asleep before you finish the process), take several deep breaths and relax. Then say to yourself, “Tonight I want to remember a dream and I will remember a dream. As soon as I awaken I will write it down.” Then go to sleep with a pad and pencil beside your bed, expecting to remember and write down a dream as soon as you open your eyes. If you prefer, record your dream on a cassette tape recorder.

When you awaken, whether at 3:00 a.m. or right before getting up the next morning, immediately record any impressions, images, or feelings about the dream. If you do not usually remember dreams, you may have only a vague sense about it: a feeling of frustration, uplift, concern, peace. Just write down whatever you sense in the waking moment. If you have good recall of most of the dream images, put down everything in as much detail as possible: people, vehicles, scenery, objects, colors, shapes, numbers and so on.

If you do not immediately write down the dream, you will lose it. Do not think that you can go back to sleep and remember it later. You are in an altered state of consciousness, that half-awake half-asleep state when you first open your eyes. Until you learn to build bridges between levels of consciousness, you will not be able to recall your dream once you are fully awake. That is why you tell yourself you will remember and write down the dream.

By continuing to practice this technique of writing down material, bringing it back from superconscious to conscious mind, you are learning to bridge the gap between levels of consciousness.

You dream all during the night, but often your best teaching dreams occur between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. or right upon awakening. Of course, if you are working the night shift and sleep during the day, your dream schedule will be adjusted to your biological rhythms. But dreams can come at any time whether during a nap in the afternoon or a catnap after dinner.

Using Dreams for Problem Solving
Even if you do not consciously use dreams for problem solving, you no doubt have had the experience of waking up in the morning with a clear and simple answer to a problem. You may not even remember a dream, but you know what to do in the situation at hand. This technique has been used for centuries to get insight. The conscious mind can struggle and wrestle with a problem, but when it is released to the superconscious mind, the greater infinite resources of consciousness, the answer effortlessly appears.

Deliberately programming your dreams for answers to problems, however, is taking even more control of the dream state and letting it work for you.

To use dreams for problem solving, again sit on the side of your bed before going to sleep. Take several deep breaths, relax, and bring the problem to mind. Whether it concerns relationships, career, health, inspiration for a creative project, or whatever, go over in your mind all the different parts of the problem that seem relevant. You have already thought about it, reflected upon it, but you are not sure which is the best direction, or the most positive solution. Feel into the problem as well as mentally reviewing it. Now mentally repeat, “Tonight I will have and remember a dream containing information for the solution to this problem. The problem concerns . . . (and briefly describe it as objectively as possible). I will now have this dream, and will recall, understand, and record it upon awakening. I open myself to the highest possible insight and guidance.” Then go to sleep, completely releasing the situation from your mind, resting in the expectation that you will receive the answer.

As soon as you awaken write down everything you can remember. Write down any general sense of the dream, feelings, impressions, as well as images. You may awaken with a clear recall of a dream which, upon analysis, gives a very definite answer. You may awaken with a strong sense of just knowing what to do. Or, sometime during the day, something in waking reality may trigger an image or impression from the dream, and you have your answer.

You may recall a dream that you cannot seem to figure out. Just record it, and continue the process the following night.

Avoid telling yourself that the process is not working, however. It is working; you just do not yet understand it. So if you do not have the answer you want upon awakening, do another little relaxation before starting your day. Suggest to yourself: “I have completely released this problem or situation to a higher wisdom within me. This answer is now presenting itself to me. I am open and receptive.” Then dismiss the concern from your mind. Holding on to it or worrying about it will block your insight. If you do not get the answer during the day, repeat the programming pro-cedure again before going to sleep. You should have the answer to any problem within a three day period.

Some people have said to me: “But I have tried to program dreams and it just did not work.” There may be a variety of reasons. First, anything that affects the chemistry of the body significantly—alcohol, drugs, barbiturates, Valium, sleeping pills—may completely botch dream recall. Your dreams will not be clear if you are able to remember them at all. A full meal right before going to sleep also affects dream life in a negative way.

Second, it is important to be relaxed when programming or asking for a dream. Do deep breathing and relax your body. Still the conscious mind enough to focus on the programming technique. Feel the desire to problem solve or get insight from your dreams. Don’t just mouth the words. You want the feeling of the heart center but the detachment and clarity of the third eye, so you are not reacting emotionally. Love yourself for creating the situation. It is a valuable teacher. Love yourself for now desiring to resolve and move beyond it. Love all persons involved for helping you learn and get to know yourself. When you approach problem solving through love, the answers are more readily available to you.

Third, ask yourself, “Do I really want to know what is best? Or am I trying to dictate the answer? Am I really open to the best and highest solution, or am I blocking my receptivity through fear?” Sometimes we ask for things that we really do not want to know. Particularly if the problem involves a decision over a major transition—leaving a relationship, changing jobs, taking self-responsibility—we may not really want to hear it. Ask, and you shall receive. But the asking must be an honest, open asking.

Finally, you may not be asking the right question. Questions should always have to do with insight into self, not how to change or manipulate others. If you are asking how to get your spouse to stop drinking, you are starting in the wrong place. Instead, realize that it is his or her responsibility to change, and all the love and support in the world may not be enough to help. The question should be: why have I created this situation for myself? What in myself needs to be changed to enable me to have a love-filled, joyous life? Through a need to be needed, a martyr syndrome, poor self- image or a number of other things, you may feel stuck in a situation. You can be assured of only one thing: with genuine self-insight the situation will change. You may have to leave it, you may not. But above all you must desire wisdom, not limiting ideas about self and others.

Remember the greatest thing we can do for another is to honor his or her inner power to make decisions and choose the kind of life he or she wants to live. We are all free to make our own mistakes. That is the only way we learn. When you are too concerned with shaping up someone else’s life, you can be sure you are copping out on your own lessons. If you are saying to yourself, “If so and so would just change, then I would be fine,” that is handwriting on the wall that you are avoiding self-responsibility.

So, ask for insight into self. Release others to learn their own lessons. You certainly can pray for others and send them love. But do so in the way that you are honoring their higher self, giving them the energy and freedom to make their own decisions, to determine their best life path, whether or not it may include you and your expectations and desires.

Kinds of Dreams
There are six basic kinds of dreams, and often you will remember snatches from several of them. As you begin to work with dreams more and more, you will recognize the differences and determine the value each is offering you. I call these different dreams clearing house or clutter, teaching, problem solving, precognitive, prophetic or visionary, and outside interference.

Clearing house
These dreams clean out the input from the day, sorting through mental and emotional clutter, rerunning experiences. Often the mind is still running a mile a minute when you first try to go to sleep. You are worried, anxious, stressful. These dreams begin the process of releasing useless concerns and integrating helpful ones. They help body and mind begin to relax.

If you meditate before going to sleep, stilling and focusing the mind, the clutter dreams are usually unnecessary. If you practice briefly rerunning the day in your mind, blessing, releasing and forgiving self and others, you are ready for a higher level of awareness in the dream state. Also, your energy will be higher and your dreams will be clearer.

Teaching
You usually have one important teaching dream a night. This gives you information on problems you are facing, or shows you higher teachings from advanced levels. You are prepared for what is going to happen during the next 24 hours. Often a dejâ vu experience is remembering what the superconscious mind stored in the subconscious memory back during the dream state. You already knew you were going to say something in a certain way, or that a particular person was going to do or say something. Most dreams are concerned with what you are presently going through and how best to deal with situations and relationships.

You may find yourself sitting in a classroom, giving or hearing a lecture, or walking with a teacher in some beautiful surroundings. You may be hearing information you never knew before and have good recall of it upon awakening. Many discoveries and inspirations have come from higher levels of these teaching dreams.

Problem solving
These are dreams you have programmed or asked for. You may be seeking insight on understanding a difficult relationship, solving a scientific mystery, or asking for the plot of a new novel. All knowledge and information are available to you when you learn how to tap it. Learning how to program dreams and understand their messages is one of your most valuable inner resources.

Precognitive
This dream gives you a glimpse of something in the future. It is different from the cieja vu experience, because precognition is usually concerning someone other than yourself. Precognition means foreknowing. There is a special sense or feeling to the precognitive dream. As you learn to recognize it, you will know which images are symbolic and which may happen to be literal precognitive events. It is a psychic level phenomenon.

Most precognitive dreams are given to awaken people to expanded dimensions of the mind. Often non-meditators will have them, for then they are forced to ask how they know such and such about a particular person. The mind, of course, is not bound by time. Hopefully these dreams direct your attention inward so that you become more interested in developing and learning about the inner self.

Prophetic or visionary
This dream comes from the highest level of the soul. It is a message from God or the God-self and concerns spiritual growth. It comes from the mystical level of awareness. It may have a personal message or may contain a universal truth. The vision is on a much larger scale than you commonly associate with dreaming. It has a totally different quality of awareness about it. You know you are awake, aware, yet also realize you are in the dream state. Prophesies of old and mystical teachings have come through the visionary level of consciousness. A vision has many qualities within it: insight, understanding, expansion, realization of the oneness of all life, power and love. I may have only one vision a year, but it is always worth waiting for.

Outside Interference
This dream is produced when something in your physical environment is causing enough disruption to get incorporated in your dream story. For example, you dream you are very hot and awaken to find too many covers piled on top of you. Ringing phones, barking dogs, cold feet on your back—anything can be a part of the dream, with no real message from the superconscious or higher self.

Also, if you fall asleep watching television or listening to the radio, any or all of that information can affect your dreams. It is always best to sleep in a quiet, restful environment. There is enough blaring into the subconscious throughout the day without adding more to it during your sleep time.

Indigestion or a full bladder also affects dream images. Just be aware when interpreting dreams that you may be picking up such outside interferences.

Anatomy of a Dream
Dreams often present themselves in three steps. First they give the time reference for the problem, situation or program you are running. For example, if you are shown a house you lived in when you were a child, the house represents an old program or awareness of self that started way back then.

Second, they will show you how the problem is manifesting itself now in your life and present awareness—what is surrounding it.

Third, they will present the solution to the situation, or how to learn from and move beyond the program or problem that is limiting you.

Most teaching dreams will follow this format. If you remember seeing a car, house, school or person of your past, that is usually part of the first phase of the dream.

Understanding Dream Symbols
The most curious thing about dreams, perhaps, is they speak to us in symbols. These may seem strange, but once we understand the meaning they are much clearer than our usual way of attempting to communicate with ourselves and others.

Why, you may ask, do I have to go through all the symbology in dreams? Wouldn’t it be easier just to get the straight message? Communication among people is difficult at best. So many things are open to misinterpretation because of blocks and perceptual filters.

My guidance has said that dreams are given symbolically because once you know your own symbols you cannot mistake the message. You will know instantly what is being given to you and you will understand it totally. Actually symbols are like shorthand and are much easier to interpret than verbal conversation.

Working with dream symbols might be compared to playing the piano. When you first begin you are certain that this has to be the most awkward and complicated thing you have ever undertaken. But after a routine of regular practice, your new skill becomes a natural, flowing easy part of your life. Or, take the computer industry. If you do not understand computer language, it all seems foreign and difficult. If you hear someone speaking a language different from your own, it is the old ‘it’s all Greek to me” feeling. If you speak, read and write Greek, however, it is another story.

So think of working with dream symbols as just learning another language. They are a higher, more accurate, more integrative level, that enables you to become aware of self as an interdimensional being.

The Starting Point
There are primary dream symbols which usually have the same meanings. A good place to begin is to realize that everything in the dream is you. You are the producer, writer, actor and director. People in the dream usually represent qualities within yourself you have projected on to them. Male and female figures represent your own masculine and feminine energies. A child represents your child part, an aged person an old part of self, either one that is wise or a part that is dying because you have outgrown it. Animals represent feelings you have about specific animals or the characteristics associated with them; for example, a wolf is danger, like the wolf in sheep’s clothing; a fox is cunning and craftiness.

A house, building, store or other structure is you. If it is large, it indicates great potential and awareness of opportunities and/or inner resources. If the rooms are cluttered, you obviously are not keeping your house in order. If some of the rooms are dark, they are parts of the self you do not know or understand. The attic or upstairs represents the spiritual self, the ground floor the physical or everyday self, and the basement the sexual or subconscious self. The various rooms and how they are decorated and arranged indicate that particular aspect of your life; bathroom—cleansing, eliminating, releasing; dining room—nurturing, fellowship, and so on.

Any vehicle—a car, plane, spacecraft, boat—also represents the self. It is your mode of traveling or being in the world. A car is your physical vehicle and indicates how you are traveling in everyday life. Going backwards, downhill, the wrong way? Got a flat tire? Are you speeding ahead in perfect control? A boat or ship is your emotional vehicle and lets you know what is going on in your emotional life. Are you being tossed upon the seas of life, going up and down? Are you in dry dock? Are you at the helm? Do you have an anchor?

An airplane or any airborne vessel is your spiritual vehicle, and if you are on your way to the airport, you know you are preparing to take off to new spiritual understanding.

A motorcycle or bicycle means you need balance in your life.

Water represents the emotions, fire is purification, air is the spiritual self and earth is the physical self (or degree of grounding).

Once you begin to recognize a few basic symbols, then you begin to look for colors (you do not dream in black and white), clothes, people, scenery, objects, sizes, shapes, numbers, words, letters and so on. Everything has its own significance. Fences or road blocks indicate that creative thinking is needed to get beyond a particular problem that is now facing you. The kind of road on which you find yourself traveling represents how smooth or rough your journey is at present. If you are on a freeway it is easy going. If a bumpy road you are getting there but it is a little rough at present. If you are paving a road you are making your way easier for the future.

Any symbols given to you—whether in fantasy, meditation or guided imagery—are all the same. They are coded messages from self to self. When you “get the picture,” you understand the situation.

You Are The Final Word
Remember that you are always your own best interpreter. You are the final word on the meaning of a symbol for you.

Do not be so gullible that you eagerly accept another’s interpretation. This is giving away power and neglecting the refinement and trust of your own inner resources. If the symbol in the dream dictionary does not feel right, look it up in an unabridged dictionary. Often meanings are there you have never considered before, and a little bell will ring in your head when you read one of them. The definitions offered in this book are generalized and if they do not apply to a specific situation, you need to keep looking, reflecting, and meditating upon a symbol until it reveals its true meaning to you. And by working them out, they become so simple that you know you are always being guided by your own higher self or the God within you.

Common Types of Dreams
Nothing is off limits in the dream state. We are open to experiencing all levels of self, all fears, frustrations, suppressed images, unknown territory, visionary insights. We will become more comfortable with all dream images when we learn to welcome them, whatever they are, as symbolic messengers of self.

There is no such thing as a bad dream symbol. The most grotesque or frightening dreams have the most positive insights once they are worked out. Remember, dream images are just trying to get your attention, so do not resist them. Seek to recognize the insight so you can move on to more joyous awareness. Many people have the following common types of dreams:

Nightmares
A dream known to most all of us is the nightmare. It is one of our most valuable teaching dreams because it shows us a fear that has been blown way out of proportion or something we have suppressed that is affecting us negatively. Often we do not remember the happy dreams. But the frightening ones will make more of an impression and we will be more inclined to work them out.

For example, a man had a recurring nightmare that a large rat was eating away at his neck. He would awaken screaming and clawing at his neck to remove the rat. Upon analysis, he discovered that the neck represented the throat chakra. He was not verbalizing his needs, and the suppression was gnawing away and resulting in self-destructive behaviors. The rat was an insecure part of self that was betraying him. We must always nurture the inner self, taking care to verbalize and express what it is that we want and need. After he began to take assertive steps to resolve these problems both at work and in his personal relationships, the rat dream no longer continued.

Disaster Dreams
Whether earthquakes, flood, fire or tidal wave, a disaster indicates a sudden change in some area of your life. A flood means an emotional upheaval and an earthquake means a big rearrangement in your affairs. They usually indicate turning points or opportunities to take advantage of a new direction. See specific disasters in Part II.

Sexual Dreams
Sex is a big part of many dreams, and usually has little to do with the literal meaning of intercourse. Usually it indicates learning to balance the male and female polarities of our being. Remember that each one of us is both male and female, manifesting itself in a particular body.

To have sexual intercourse in a dream represents a merger of energies. If having intercourse with a man, it is a merger of masculine energies within the self; with a woman it is a merger of feminine energies. If you are a female (or male) and dream of making love with another female (or male) you actually know, it represents taking within the self qualities you associate with the particular individual. Making love with a member of the same sex usually has nothing to do with homosexuality.

Also, having intercourse in a dream with members of your family does not indicate a desire for incest. If making love with your father or mother, it represents a merger of wiser, nurturing qualities of the masculine or feminine self; with a son or daughter, an integration of the more childlike or youthful qualities of self. Remember all persons in the dream are an aspect of you.

A sexual dream accompanied by an orgasm may indicate a need to release and balance physical energy, and this is a way the body has of restoring equilibrium. We must remember that we are physical, sexual beings and this part of the self needs to be honored.

Costume Dreams
If you find yourself in a costume, it usually represents a past life. It may be that a problem you are facing now was the same one you were dealing with in another time and place. Remembering and understanding the dynamics of the costume dream will help you gain a perspective on whatever is presently confronting you.

Direction Dreams
The direction in which you are traveling indicates whether you are on the right track. If you are going up in a dream—up a mountain, up a road, ladder, staircase, elevator, whatever, you are going in the right direction. If you are going down, it is the wrong way. If you are going both up and down, your energy is scattered and you need to get centered. Going around in circles speaks for itself. If you are going to the right, you are following the path of intuition and guidance. To the left is the intellect and reason.

One man asked if he should participate in a conference and got a dream showing him riding on a down escalator, so steep that he had to heave his briefcase in front of him in order to hold on. Wrong direction, not in support of his study and projects at hand. Another example: a woman was considering the purchase of a certain automobile. She was shown the car sitting down at the bottom of a hill, and she had to walk down crowded streets to get there. She did not buy the car, and a much better offer came up within a few days.

Flying
Flying dreams are great fun, and usually mean you are consciously out of the body. If you can gain control of a flying dream you are free to go anywhere you like. You may think yourself in different places in time/space and instantly be there, or you may transcend dimensions. If you are flying around and then start losing altitude or think you are going to crash, it simply suggests that you have a fear of exploring higher dimensions and breaking out of limits. Try again the next night.

Falling
If you dream you are falling, you are probably having a bad landing coming back into the body. We all leave the body at night. If you jerk as you are dozing off, it is a bad exit. If you wake up and cannot move or talk, it means you are half in and half out of the body. We cannot move until we are totally in. Think yourself down to your feet. This will ground you.

We leave the body at night, or transcend physical awareness, to be taught and trained. The physical or third dimension is illusion; the dream state is reality. Through meditation and working with dreams you will never fear death as you will experience the fourth dimension and be as comfortable there as you are in the third dimension here.

Obscene Dreams
Nothing in a dream is obscene once you understand the meaning. Nothing is meant to insult you or offend you, but to get you to look at a level of self or limitation that you have avoided. Work it out and usually you will find a great deal of humor behind it.

Recurring Dreams
Like a movie rerun, there is a message you are not seeing. Recurring nightmares mean that you have not dealt with a particular fear. Recurring fence or barricade dreams mean there is a limit you imposed upon yourself that you have not yet recognized and removed. These are most important to write down and work out. Once you get the message they will stop.

Snake Dreams
Snakes frequently appear in dreams, and are power symbols. They represent the kundalini energy, or life force. One woman dreamed that a snake entered her lower body and moved up through the body trunk to the throat. The snake stuck in her throat, and she started choking. She awakened horrified. At first glance this does seem a bit unnerving, but actually it was a perfect explanation of what was happening in her life. The kundalini power is housed at the base of the spine. So the snake enters her body and begins to move upward. As we awaken energy it moves up through the various chakras. Her energy was flowing well until it reached the throat center, and there it stopped, causing choking. She was blocking energy in that center, and not verbalizing her needs and feelings. She was choking off communication because of fear and a poor self-image. This dream explained that her inner power was alive and well, and through releasing the blocks in the throat center by verbalizing and not suppressing she would get past present limitations in relationships with others.

Money Dreams
When you dream of coins or dollar bills, it represents changes coming into your life. Small coins, small change. Lots of bills, big changes.

Toilet Dreams
These dreams concern how well we are taking care of our inner garbage. Are we letting go of unneeded thoughts and experiences? Are we releasing the past so that we are able to live fully in the present? Difficulty in elimination or constipation indicates suppression. Diarrhea suggests forced elimination whether ready or not, and we are out of control in the process. A stopped up toilet means you are not releasing, flushing out negativity and wastes.

I had a dream with three stopped up toilets sitting out in the open. This was letting me know that I had to clean up my act mentally, physically and emotionally. I was now aware of things to do, priorities to establish, because the toilets were totally exposed for all to see.

Blood and Guts Dreams
Blood in a dream means loss of energy. If you are being stabbed, note the area of the body and check the corresponding chakra to see how you are losing energy. If you are being murdered or are murdering someone else, you are killing off a part of the self. This may be an aspect no longer needed, or a part that you are failing to nurture that is still valuable to self-growth.

Death Dreams:
A death means the ending of the old and making way for the new. A death seldom means a literal death. Rather it suggests the dying of a part of self necessary in the process of growth and regeneration. It may also mean you are dead inside and need to awaken feelings and sensitivity. So check carefully the symbols in the dream to get the message.

Chase Dreams. If you are being chased, or trying to run away from something, you are avoiding looking at a problem. If you cannot get your legs to move or are moving in slow motion, you will soon have to confront the fear you have been avoiding. When you are being chased, you are putting yourself through unnecessary anguish and pain. Remember to turn around and confront whatever aspect of self is chasing you, make peace with it, and the drama will end.... Dreampedia

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Dreampedia

Interpretation Of Dreams

“All dreams are given for the benefit of the individual, would he but interpret them correctly.”
EDGAR CAYCE

Most dreams are full of images: of people dead and alive, known and unknown, animals both domestic and wild, landscapes and buildings familiar and strange, or any number of other symbolic images such as jewelry, household things, clothing, and so on. A dream usually has some kind of a story line. You may find yourself on an adventure of some kind. You may dream of celebrities or other famous people either from the present or the past.

I once had a fascinating dream of visiting the president Woodrow Wilson, who had been in office during the time of World War I, long before I was even born. During my dream visit to the president, we talked of many things of a psychic and occult nature. I wondered what it meant. When I discussed this dream with my dreamwork partner, who was a good bit older than I and very knowledgeable about matters concerning the occult, he told me that Woodrow Wilson had held seances in the White House! At the time, I was just beginning my own studies of the occult and having psychic experiences on a regular basis.

Food is another symbol that often appears in dreams. The kind of food and how it is presented and eaten (if eating occurs) are matters for the dreamer to understand. Food dreams may relate to what you had for supper—or what you wanted to have and didn’t get. Or you may have food concerns, such as being on a diet to lose weight or trying to gain weight.

The number of symbols that the dream-mind can produce is practically endless, and most of these symbols are up for individual interpretation. Some, however, have universal meaning. We’ll discuss mostly the first kind in this chapter.

PERSONAL DREAM SYMBOLS

One of the best ways to get at the meaning of the symbols in your dreams is by free association. This is the method made popular by the psychologist Sigmund Freud. In this method, you simply go with the first thing that pops into your mind when the trigger word is given. Do the exercises presented on pages 48–50 in order to begin to get familiar with your own word associations.

AMPLIFICATION OF SYMBOLIC MEANINGS

Once you have identified a symbol in a dream, you can use the free association process to get at its meaning. If you don’t immediately get an associative thought about the dream symbol, work backward through your feelings and experiences with the symbol until you hit something that fits or makes sense. Suppose, for example, that you see a tiger in a dream. Do you like tigers or are they an object of fear? Maybe you saw a nature film recently about tigers and are concerned about their survival as a species. The important thing is to discover what a tiger means to you in the present, for the meanings of your symbols can change over time.

As you begin to work with your dreams on a regular basis and gain a high level of ability to recall your dreams (which we’ll discuss in chapter 5), you will become familiar with your own personal symbolic style. Most of us are influenced symbolically by the objects we are familiar with—such as religious symbols like crosses and pictures of saints or holy people—and also by our everyday life experiences. For example, if you have a pet of any kind, you are likely to dream about that animal. Of course, you may dream about animals even if you don’t keep a pet, and you may dream about wild animals. But if you dream of your own pet, it will have personal significance to you alone.

Sometimes you have a dream that seems to complete some unfinished business of the day—say you had a math problem you couldn’t solve and you dreamed yourself in a classroom with the solution written on the blackboard. Freud believed that dreams were “wish fulfillment” vehicles, and it is true that we can dream of things or experiences that we want (such as getting a date with a particular person) but dreams are much, much more than simple wish fulfillment. They are complex and multileveled, as you will realize by working steadily with your dreams.

“Then your I is no longer your mundane little self but the I of the Big Dreamer who is dreaming the whole universe.”
Fred A. Wolf, Physicist

Most dream symbols are not to be taken literally. You often need to do a bit of sleuthing to get at what the message of the dream symbol, or story, is for you. An example I read in one dream book was a dream of Bob Hope hopping on a pogo stick. At first, this seems nonsensical, but the dreamer was depressed and the dream was interpreted as “Hope springs eternal.” Here’s an example of a recent series of dreams of my own, concerning food.

  • I was preparing to go on an eating program that required the elimination of all sugar, and as soon as I had set a date to begin I started having dreams of all kinds of luscious desserts—beautifully iced and decorated cakes, pies piled high with whipped cream, the most enticing confections of chocolate from cakes to cookies and everything in between, pastries stuffed with sweet cheese and iced with thick sugar, fancy French fruit tarts of every description.
  • At first, I took this to be simple resistance of my unconscious to changing my eating habits, but I actually don’t eat a lot of sweets, and when I do have dessert I favor simple, homey things like custard, stewed fruit, or fruit cobbler. I’ve never had a taste for heavily iced cakes, plus I am one of the few people on the planet who doesn’t like chocolate! So why was I dreaming of all these fancy sweet foods that I wouldn’t even want to eat?
  • My first take on the dreams—of which there were several during a week or so—was that I was feeling deprived in advance and that my imagination was plying me with these luscious images of sweets to weaken my decision to eliminate sweets. But this didn’t make a lot of sense, as the fancy confections weren’t what I’d want to eat anyway. So I looked deeper.
  • What was food as a symbol to me, especially this kind of elaborately prepared party food? Well, party food means a party—or at least company for dinner. I’d been going through a period of relative isolation, partly because I was busy writing and partly because I hadn’t been feeling up to par. My social life had dropped to almost zero. The dreams were actually telling me that I was feeling deprived of—not the coming lack of sweets—but what special food, especially desserts, represents socially. Food of course represents nourishment; however, my dreams were not about nutrition! My first interpretation of deprivation was definitely a clue to the true meaning of the dreams. Yet they were a message that I needed, not sweets, but some sweet occasions and to take the time to be with people more. Can you think of a get-together that doesn’t involve food? Usually fancy food, and always, desserts.
  • Using this as an example, think of what dreams of fancy desserts might mean to you. And if you’ve ever dreamed of food, try to remember what kind of food and under what circumstances you dreamed of it. Then think of what those various foods might symbolize for you.

Here’s another example along the same lines, but with a different twist—that of a lemon peel!

  • A friend had been struggling with his weight, and he had decided to quit drinking his nightly martini in order to cut out some calories. He had decided to switch to a single glass of wine with dinner instead. He did this and found himself enjoying his new way of dining. But then he started having dreams about martinis. For about a week, he told me, he had nothing but dreams featuring martinis, with a twist of lemon peel. He had always put olives in his martinis, not lemon peel, so this puzzled him. When he told me about the dreams, I flashed on the standard language of a bartender, who when taking an order for a martini will say, “Do you want a twist?” After some discussion of what the word twist meant to him, he revealed that he had recently twisted his ankle and it had been quite painful, but he hadn’t bothered to see a doctor about the problem. His dream was showing him that a “twist” was in need of his attention. It didn’t relate to his martini drinking at all, except that this was a familiar picture and dreams always speak in our own language, even if they do twist it around a bit!

It is interesting to note that some types of dreams that we know to be quite common have never been reported from sleep labs (as least not as far as I have found in my research). One of these is the nightmare. It seems that people don’t want to tell their deepest fears to a sleep lab researcher. Another common type is the wet dream, so named for when a male ejaculates semen while dreaming (though females also have this type of sexual dream). It is interesting to note that most of the subjects in sleep labs are young male college students, whom one might presume to often have wet dreams. But these are, apparently, considered too private to dream when under observation.

Most dreams are not to be taken literally; just because you dream of someone dying does not mean the person will die. In fact, the literal interpretation of dreams can be dangerous and cause fear and anxiety. Also, dream books are not to be trusted. It’s worth repeating that you have your own set of inner symbolic meanings. What a cat means to me—an avid cat lover—and what a cat means to someone who hates or fears cats would be something quite different. Always remember that your inner symbol-producing mechanism is yours alone, unique. That being emphasized, there are a few symbols that can be considered universal, such as the ocean or water representing the unconscious processes.

The best way for you to learn to interpret your own personal symbol system is by continually paying attention to your dreams, writing them down, and doing your own interpretations. Dream interpretation is an art, not a science, and no scientific sleep lab can read the content or measure the meaning of dreams. Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess queen, was believed to say “No mortal has lifted my veil,” and this can well apply to the scientific efforts to penetrate the mysteries of dream in sleep labs.

If you are just beginning to pay attention to your dreams, begin the process of interpretation by recording the symbols that appear most frequently. This applies especially to any recurring dreams or motifs you may experience. For example, I know that when my cat Fuzz (who’s dead now) appears in a dream, it means my heart center is the subject of the dream. Depending on the story line of the dream and what Fuzz is doing or how we are interacting, I can figure out what the dream message about my heart is.

“There are a lot of people on the planet right now who don’t think that dreams are important. Perhaps it is that attitude which contributes to the ill health of the planet as a whole. If so, it depends more and more on you, the Spiritual Warriors of your generation, to weave the dreams that can heal the planet.”

Dr. Laurel Ann Reinhardt, “Dream Weaving,” in The Thundering Years by Julie Johnson

  • Recently, I dreamed that Fuzz had been hit by a car, but I knew instinctively that he was still alive. My brother was waiting outside in a car and I asked him to take me to find Fuzz and get an emergency vet. He did and Fuzz was saved. The dream came on the heels of a severe disappointment (one might say I was heartbroken), but I was being told that everything would come out all right in the end, which it did.
  • What is interesting about this dream is that even though I did not see the cat get hit by the car, I knew he was still alive. This told me that although I had been hurt emotionally, I would get over it. It also showed me that help was at hand—my brother was waiting in the car, and a vet was readily available. I had friends I could turn to who would help me to heal from a hurtful experience. In this way, our dreams spill over into everyday life.
  • The world of dream and intuition is really not divorced from our everyday reality, not a thing apart. Most people today think their dreams have nothing to do with real life, but they are wrong. We are all multifaceted beings with complexities of which often we are hardly aware. Too many people operate solely on linear thinking (the standard modern-day mode that is taught to young people in schools) and aren’t aware that there are other ways to think and to obtain information. As Seth, the “spirit guide” that Jane Roberts “channeled” in a series of books “by” Seth, says, “You must change your ideas about dreaming, alter your concepts about it, before you can begin to explore it. Otherwise, your own waking prejudice will close the door.”

    All of the many facets of our personalities are operating all the time, even when we aren’t conscious of them, just like our body chemistry goes on about its business when we are totally unaware of its functioning. Dreams can speak to parts of ourselves that we are ignoring, but we can’t get the benefit from them unless we pay attention and approach their symbolic messages with an open mind and trusting heart.

    While the symbolism in dreams may require interpretation, when we have difficulty with it we must realize that its purpose isn’t to mystify us. As Dr. Jung says in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections:

    • I was never able to agree with Freud that the dream is a “façade” behind which its meaning lies hidden—a meaning already known but maliciously, so to speak, withheld from consciousness. To me dreams are a part of nature, which harbors no intentions to deceive but expresses something as best it can just as a plant grows or an animal seeks its food as best it can.

    In working with your own personal dream symbols and motifs to decipher the meaning of your dreams, you may need to come at them from all angles. The following mind-mapping technique is especially helpful for those who function better using pictures and images, colors and drawings, than using a strictly verbal or writing mode.

    As you practice interpreting your dreams and get more deeply into the process, it will become an enjoyable habit and you’ll soon feel like an old pro at the game. You will get better and better, and your confidence will start to soar. Even if you have only a scrap of a dream to go on, it can lead to fruitful ideas. Here’s an example from my personal files:

    • The Dream: A blond man speaks to me at a hotel of some sort. He breaks into French as his English fails him, and though I don’t know French well I understand what he is saying. He gives me a key, which looks like the key to the security lock on my front door in real life. I ask what it is for and he replies that I will find out. When I go back to my room at the hotel I find that the key fits into a TV set, tuning it to a higher octave or a channel, like UHF, but much higher than that. I watch something on this “TV” but don’t really understand it.
    • My interpretation of this brief fragment (for there was more I didn’t remember) is that I am being given the “key” to a higher channel of myself. I don’t yet know how to use this channel, and I can’t understand what is being shown on this new type of TV. In other words, I am receiving communications in a language I don’t fully understand. This dream had great meaning for me, as I was at that time in the process of becoming “psychic,” but didn’t really know what it meant or where it would lead. Later on, I experienced the “opening of the psychic door” on a trip to Germany, became a Tarot card reader, a professional astrologer, and a psychotherapist. This dream seemed to forecast these developments. That the man was blond suggests the Sun, or Higher Mind. His speaking in French might be a reference to my own French ancestors, all of whom spoke French as their native language, yet it was not taught to me so I grew up speaking English from day one. This hinted that I already “knew” the “foreign” language from hearing it spoken as a child.

    With a little skill, you’ll be able to start integrating your dreams into everyday life. We’ll get into this in the next chapter, where we discuss how you can use dreams for specific purposes. However, please approach the entire subject of your dreams, their interpretations, and how you can use them with an open mind and in a relaxed state. Getting tense over interpretation is counterproductive and will block your efforts to make connections.... Dreampedia

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