Dreams are proof of non-ordinary reality. They are a window into the subconscious mind. So, interpreting dreams can help us understand who we are.
What Are Dreams?
Dreams are the projection of non-ordinary reality. The content and scope come from a variety of sources, including our Ego and every event in our history. Some believe dreams are just messages from our subconscious mind.
Other people think they have a deeper connection to the spirit world as messages from our ancestors or the Universe. Dreams can be playful or nightmares where our deepest fears and insecurities manifest. Dreams can be a combination of all these elements at the same time. This makes dream interpretation both an art and science.
So, what are dreams? They are one of our three default states of consciousness, along with waking and sleeping. Our dreams take liberties with our memories and imagination. Sometimes dreams combine our imagination with metaphor. These can stretch the boundaries of our thinking.
Since dreams make up such a large part of our experience, it makes sense to understand what they are and what they mean. Finding the meaning of your dreams is an important aspect of learning who we are. Interpreting our dreams is key to the expansion of our awareness.
Some cultures believe that dreams are the exclusive domain of the Observer. The Observer is the person who is listening when you are talking to yourself. The Observer is pure consciousness. Consciousness is vibration, which is eternal. So, the real you eternal. It is not temporal like our personality or our body.
So, dreams are a way for our eternal consciousness to communicate empirical wisdom to our natural mind. We cannot get this level of wisdom from words or feelings alone. It takes a complete experience to learn the lesson. Dreams are full of metaphors, analogies, and word pictures that have personal meaning.
Therefore, dream interpretation requires knowledge of several levels. You need an understanding of how significant historical events show up in the symbols of your dreams. Then you need to understand the meaning of these symbols. Only then is interpreting dreams possible.
One of the major branches of early psychology finds its basis in dreams. Sigmund Freud is the creator of psychoanalysis. He theorized that dreams represent unconscious desires, thoughts, and motivations.
And so he believed dreams are repressed aggressive and sexual instincts. In other words, your dreams express unacceptable sexual instincts. This doesn’t seem like a rational basis for understanding the psyche of everyone. However, this is the belief that underlies this system of thought.
Finding Help For Dream Interpretation
In our modern society, we have very few people who can help with the meaning of our dreams. That is because our culture is a humongous blend of many traditions. And groupthink manipulation tactics taint our cultural narrative.
It is helpful to have a process that will help us account for the programming we get from the cultural narrative. Religion has a tremendous impact on our cultural narrative. Even if you are not a believer or follower of the dominant world religions, they affect the values of the cultures they control. This includes injecting their bias and prejudice.
Our society does not have one narrative, but many subcultures. This makes interpreting dreams more challenging. This is because the meaning of your dreams is likely different from anyone else. You have a unique cultural narrative which differs from everyone else. The symbolism of your dreams is unique.
For example, “fire” has a traditional meaning as a metaphor. However, your meaning of fire likely differs from this because of our modern cultural narrative. That doesn’t mean we should ignore historical references. However, we should not use the traditional meaning only. Use the tradition as a starting point for your research. The most probable meaning of any symbolism will come from your own experience.
What is a dream made of? It is a complex pattern of word pictures that comes from our unique experience of life. These word pictures express meaning or communicate some message from our subconscious mind. Dreams are a snapshot of our subconscious mind.
The Role of the Advisor or Shaman
In the past cultures would exist for eons with the same narrative. So, a Shaman would assist others in interpreting dreams. They would ask a lot of questions about our dreams. Then, use their knowledge of symbolism to interpret the meaning. Their advice would have a basis in the common cultural narrative.
However, we no longer have a cohesive cultural narrative on which to base symbolism. Therefore, we must use a method that accounts for the personal meaning of symbolism rather than traditional meaning. We can use a process to the Shaman but drill down further. We need to find the personal meaning of the symbols.
This means, interpreting dreams is still possible. We need to update the process to account for our meaning. This means you need to investigate the meaning of historical life events.
We need to record our memories of significant events. We need to pay special attention to those memories with lasting emotional impact. This is where you’ll find the meaning of the symbolism in your dreams.
Spend some time thinking about the personal meaning of events of your dreams. Ask yourself, what do these metaphors, analogies, and word pictures mean to me? What is my subconscious mind trying to tell me? This is the most accurate way to interpret word pictures, metaphors, and analogies.
This process will be more accurate in dream interpretation. It’s the best way to interpret the messages of your dreams. And, it should also include what is going on in your life. This will reveal how dreams coincide with other “odd” or synchronistic events.
Much of what an experienced Shaman would do is exactly the process we would recommend. Except we would delve more into your life history. This would give the perspective to derive the meaning and messages in the dream.
In the past, a Shaman might use powerful psychotropic herbs to suspend the natural mind. This opens up vistas of experience as a means of either healing or completing lessons. But we would not recommend this approach until you exhaust the above approach.
The Meaning of Our Dreams
As mentioned above, interpreting dreams is the basis of one of the major branches of modern psychiatry. But his system reflects unhealthy sexual instinct, probably because this was his flaw. So, his system ignores the other two main instinctual types of self-preservation and social. The basis of Freudian psychoanalysis lacks practical knowledge of the Shaman who uses a more holistic approach.
So, absent the ability to consult a qualified Shaman, you will need to do some personal research. You need to gain the perspective to identify the elements at work in your dreams. Then find the personal meaning of the metaphors. This will provide your own dream analysis.
This is not as easy as having a qualified guide, but you can compensate for the interference of the natural mind through the use of several resources. In short, if you don’t have access to a qualified Shaman to guide you, then you need to become your own Shaman and unravel the meaning yourself. This DIY approach is becoming more common.
Another tool we recommend for interpreting dreams is the Enneagram of Personality Profile. This system will help you find the thought scripts that relate to your personality and instinct. These will provide key insight into how your Ego influences the content of your dreams. The Ego and its elements of personality and instinct are rich sources for the content of dreams. So, when you find these scripts in your dreams, it’s your mind telling you you have something that needs to deal with.
This is a best practice approach which anyone can use. It is not like taking an online quiz which will give you immediate answers. You will get the best results when you have a consistent process to record and analyze your dreams.
Recording your dreams takes discipline. Interpreting them takes persistence. It means you will need to do some inner work to identify elements of your Ego and the influences of your cultural narrative. The following is a list of the ingredients for dream interpretation. If you follow this recipe, it will produce accurate results.
- First, use a spiritual journal to record all of your dreams or fragments of dreams. Once you record dreams and fragments, they will open your memory. The act of writing is a way of accessing another level of your mind. This is key to interpreting dreams. Don’t overlook its importance.
- Record all your major life events. Putting them on paper will help determine the material for your dreams. Pay special attention to events that have a significant emotional impact.
- Use the Enneagram of Personality Profile to find the thinking patterns of your personality type.
- Don’t assign meaning to your dreams based on the “generalized” meaning of a metaphor. The meaning of the symbols and metaphors of our dreams is unique to us. Don’t confuse the general meaning of symbols found in a bestiary or dictionary with the meaning of the symbol or metaphor in your dreams.
- Be sure to note reoccurring themes, images, or scenarios in your life. If you are repeating bad experiences you need to investigate.
- Don’t give up if the meaning of a dream seems to be elusive. Your natural mind is attempting to grasp a message which is beyond words.
- See if you can spot similar themes and scenarios from your dreams in ‘normal’ waking consciousness. This is a synchronicity, which is reinforcing the message.
- We only perceive what we expect, and our natural mind will often miss or tune out things it’s not willing to recognize. So look for the unexpected when interpreting dreams.
- Often, the Universe will assist the Observer by sending you messages via the environment. This can take many forms of animals or birds repeatedly “showing up,” to strangers using particular and unusual phraseology. Anything that makes you pause and recognize something out of place.
These messages may come to you as mundane occurrences that catch your attention. They often suspend our internal chatter. Again, these are synchronistic events. These are cues that help us determine the meaning of the metaphors of our dreams.
What is a dream? Is it just the expression of a playful subconscious? Or do dreams have a deeper meaning? Interpreting dreams is an important element in learning who we are. It is also a good way to expand our awareness. We can do this by recording them and asking the right questions.
Lucid dreaming is one of the spiritual tools we teach and recommend as part of your spiritual practice. It proves that we not only can experience non-ordinary reality, we can also exert control over it.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
Does spiritual exploration interest you? If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes. This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
Here’s a tip. If you register on our site, you will get special offers. We offer discounts to registered user and we send notices of free online training. We comply with all GDPR guidelines. We never share or sell your contact data.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia