This post is non-fiction. In my dream class that has now turned into a continuing dream group (on hiatus until September) we’ve talked about some misconceptions about dreams. One particular misconception is that you can observe or experience something through in vivo (you do the experience literally) or through multi-media observance (artwork, books, movies, music, etc.) and if you have dreams about any of those things, the belief is that the experience of it made you dream about it. In one sense that may be true, but there is another way to look at those experiences.
When you go to the “dream world” you are bypassing the filters of the ego and find yourself swimming in the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is all thoughts that have ever been thought, all flowing together. You can see how overwhelming it might be for the you in the dream state to link onto bits and pieces of it. How the collective unconscious is able to reach you, the dreamer, is to use signs, symbols, and your in vivo and observed experiences as a language that you, with some knowledge and patience, are able to decode.
For example, you could watch a movie with a certain plot and characters and then find yourself dreaming about them that night. But it doesn’t mean you only dreamt about it because you saw the movie; your dream world is using symbols it knows you will connect with.
I don’t remember any dreams from my youth and never journaled then so those dreams are gone forever. I do remember spending a lot of hours in the back yard of our house in the sand box, playing make believe with whatever was there. Sand tray therapy is used for children and adults who have suffered trauma. I believe the sand box in my back yard is one of the blessings, in retrospect that kept me sane as a child (Yes, children can be driven insane; I saw it too much in my work as a juvenile probation officer.) I think the sand box play served as a healthy outlet for the traumatized child that I was.
As an adult, I’ve had zillions of dreams, most not remembered. Also, to reassure anyone who is afraid they might be missing vital messages from the dream world, the messages will continue to be sent until you get them.
Recurring dreams can be regarded as urgent messages. I’ve never had a recurring dream; however I do have what I call a recurring motif that adapts to whatever waking circumstances my world is in at the time. The recurring motif is aquarium, and I thank Fandango for having it as the One-Word Challenge today or I wouldn’t be writing this. Over 20 years ago, I had a dream about the K’un fish in Chinese mythology. It was a giant red fish that had swum up to shore and was resting there. That was probably where the first aquarium dreams started, even though the K’un was not contained in one. From then on, over the years there have been dozens of variations on aquarium dreams. One of the most common themes is there are several of them in a room, like at a pet shop, and their care has been neglected so I’m rushing around trying to feed the fish who are still miraculously alive.
A dream I had last fall had me following where the aquariums led, which was to a path that ended on a giant sea on either side of the path. It was a wild and beautiful place.
One of the last aquarium dreams I had, the tank was gigantic, so big that the back of it couldn’t be seen. Not only that, but the back was open to another body of water. There were sea creatures riding on the backs of black lobsters who came in, then left.
Have I broken these dreams down yet? No. Should I? Yes.
I’d be very interested in hearing anything anyone has to say about dreams, dreaming, etc.