‘Our paths may differ, but there is something, a critical point we have in common. If we follow them, we will be glad we are alive’.
Dreams are a form of the Soul’s symbolic communication with the conscious mind. They are the way in which the unconscious part of us tries through the use of symbols (the other way is fantasy) to communicate with the conscious part of us. Dreams show how we perceive and how we function as psychological beings that receive messages from the Inner Self that is our essential core. If we think the conscious mind as the tip of the iceberg that rises above the surface of water, the unconscious is the rest 95% that lies beneath it. The unconscious is like those dark and mysterious waters that because they are not seen- they can become dangerous if they emerge on the surface abruptly.
It is worth noticing that -even though many people almost swear that they don’t dream- every night during the R.E.M. phase of sleep each one of us sees 4-5 dreams, which the majority of us rarely do remember the next morning. It is also very important to mention that the dream symbols are absolutely personal for each one of us, they have in other words very personal meaning; that is why the search in dream dictionaries in order to interpret our dreams doesn’t have any result. Some dreams, such as seeing that we are flying or being chased to and not being able to run or that we want to speak but no voice comes out are common in all people, because they are connected to the Collective Unconscious, where some archetypes that exist in the collective consciousness repeat themselves on an individual level.
People -familiar or not- that appear in our dreams usually symbolize parts of our self. It may sound hard to believe, since most of us think that when we see a familiar face in our dream this has to do with the person itself and if it happens to meet him we say ‘Oh I didn’t tell you , I saw you in my dream yesterday’ not knowing that in reality we are talking about ourselves! People in dreams are something like the forms our inner voice takes when we engage in a dialogue with it, in other words they are related to the multiple personalities that we all hide within us and they mostly represent an inner state in which we find ourselves. Symbols of place show us under which influence we are while animal symbols have to do with our instinctual self and deeper instincts.
Dreams are never easy and fast in their decoding. They are also transitory in nature, because if they are not recorded the very moment we wake up -even if this is in the middle of the night- it is almost impossible to recall them any other time and despite being sure that we will remember them ‘later on’.
Still, what is the importance of inner work with dreams and how can it helps us? Is there a way to work with them? As I have mentioned above dreams are they way the Soul speaks to us. In order for us to decode the messages of the Soul we could start by trying to narrate our dream as if it is happening now, at Present, after having recorded it of course. In this way the dream acquires more vividness and live energy. Then with automatic writing -writing without thinking and as immediately as possible- we could analyze each and every symbol of our dream and then tie the interpretation into a meaningful whole. We should bear in mind that there isn’t a perfect interpretation and this must be accepted.
In present times the inner world -as the Souls’ realm- seems to interest us far less than the outer material world with its desires and aspirations that push us towards a constant pursuit of happiness. Nevertheless, the inner world is a reality that we bring with us, wherever we go and whatever we do and only when we do realize that these two worlds are inextricably linked can we move forward as more whole human beings. We need some form of courage to face the dark waters of the unconscious, but when there occurs a dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious mind we understand that the physical world and the world of dreams are not so far apart from each other. On the contrary they reflect each other; As the physical world influences our inner reality, the same way inner work can be reflected in the outer circumstances and helps us live in greater harmony with the Paradox, which is part of human nature and with which we are destined to live.