In anticipation of the 31st Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, to be held at the Doubletree Hotel at the Berkeley Marina, June 4-8, 2014, let’s take a look at some timeless insights into dream meaning by the Reverend Jeremy Taylor, Co-Founder and Past President of the IASD.
You most likely have known me to dissuade you from subscribing to any source of information about dreams that claims to know definitively that “if you dream ‘this’ it means ‘this.’”
Dreams are too personal and too complex to be reduced to such simplistic terms!
But, having said that, we can look to certain archetypal images that occur in dreams across the spectrum of dreamers. Even their implications for an individual dreamer cannot be summed up in a pat “definition;” but as former President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Reverend Jeremy Taylor says, their metaphorical message “turns out to be true so often, that it’s worth asking if it might be true” for the current dream you’re working on.
Keeping mindful of the already-stated caveat, Taylor goes on to discuss several dream images with which you are no doubt are familiar:
1. Vehicles, specifically automobiles: These will frequently provide analogies to the physical self. If something is wrong with your car in your dream, it is a good starting place to look for a corresponding physical symptom in your own body. Or, there may be a literal tie to your actual, waking-life automobile. Brakes fail in your dream; check your brakes in your waking life.
2. Death: In our dreams, is not to be feared. Death represents a dramatic change through emotional growth. You cannot grow up and become, let’s say, a more empathetic person until you experience the death of your self-centered, uncaring self. Even dreams of suicide speak to our deliberate choice to change our way of being in waking life. In effect, death is the necessary precursor to rebirth as a “new, improved” person!
3. Sex: Almost always, overt sex in our dreams will be addressing a longing in our waking life. Here it is important to spend time understanding our sex partner. If your dreaming self has you in an intimate embrace with a former professional colleague, for example, it will be helpful to think about the salient qualities that person has. Your dream suggests that you are longing to make them your own. According to Taylor, dreams of same sex love or attraction reflect your own deepening sense of self-acceptance.
There are, of course, more archetypal images that frequent our dreams. Beginning your exploration with such timeless approaches is a sure gateway to understanding your dreams. From there, dream work shifts naturally to the personal application that will change your thinking and change your life!
If you can attend the IASD Conference in Berkeley, by all means do! You will have a rich and worthwhile experience. In any case, please continue to Send Me Your Dreams!
Sweet Dreams to You!
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