“The un-awakened mind tends to make war against the way things are.” - Jack Kornfield
You’ve probably heard some people say that dreams are random and mean nothing, yet is this really true? Edgar Cayce, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung, leading experts in the field of psychoanalysis, all believed that there is an unconscious message or meaning in all dreams.
Having being called a “twentieth century psychic and medical clairvoyant,” Cayce (1877-1945) claimed that dreams connect us to the universal consciousness where we can discover our life purpose, find answers to our own medical conditions, and even tap into future events.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), an Austrian neurologist, is considered the “father of psychoanalysis”. He believed that dreams are forms of "wish fulfillment" and are attempts by the unconscious to resolve a past or present conflict.
Carl Jung (1875-1961), a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, is famous for his studies on individuation (process by which an individual distinguishes themselves in the universe), and he believed that dreams are the vehicle by which the personal and collective unconsciousness is brought into consciousness. He also believed that artistic expression and images found in dreams could be helpful in recovering from trauma and emotional distress.
The two most popular systems of dream interpretation are those based on the theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Freud's opinion was that the dream was information that was unacceptable to the conscious mind and in order to bypass the ego, this information was disguised in the form of symbols. Jung’s view was much different than Freud's. Jung believed that dreams contained profound wisdom and insight coming from the unconscious mind into the conscious mind. He also believed that a certain amount of understanding was held in the unconscious mind and that it was not yet understood by the conscious mind, thus, explaining the symbols appearing in the dream.
If dreams do, in fact, contain an unconscious message in the form of symbols, how do we know what it means, and how can we learn to interpret our own dreams? A good place to start is by keeping a dream journal and a pen or pencil next to where you sleep.
Your dream journal entries should include:
- Date - the date of the dream; see if you notice a pattern in the numbers or repeat numbers
- Title - gives you an idea of how the dream affected you and a reference for later use
- Summary – include as much detail as possible; jot down any symbols or characters: all or most of these symbols can be of use in analyzing the meaning of your dream
In order to remember your dreams, try the following:
- Lay still for a few minutes after waking.
- Consciously ask yourself if you were dreaming and then start to recall the dream.
- Once you are sure of the dream, slowly get up to a seated position and start writing. You’ll be amazed at what you can recall as you continue writing.
- If problems persist, every night before going to sleep, repeat until you fall asleep: “I will remember my dreams; I will remember my dreams; I will remember my dreams.” ***
*** Disclaimer: SWIHA/SWINA/SOY, authors, & staff are not responsible for the successful or unsuccessful results from this suggestion. NOTE: Should you choose to try this method, you may frequently remember all your dreams, including ones that are upsetting, sad, or considered night terrors.
If you are not already doing so, start keeping a daily journal. This is so you can compare the notes of your daily journal to the notes of your dream journal and see if you recognize any correlation between the two. You can also add a spot in your dream journal to jot down the previous day’s events for easy reference.
Sometimes a dream won’t immediately make sense and interpretation may happen days, weeks, or months later. That’s why keeping both a daily journal and a dream journal are so important. You could be driving down the road in your car when you suddenly have that “ah-ha!” moment and the answer to your dream reveals itself. You may want to write down a note regarding your moment of clarity if you are not near your journals.
Dream interpretation can seem lengthy and time consuming, however, the reality is that it can be very healing and beneficial to our higher good. It can also provide many insights to our true-selves, answers to our questions, and bring back our sense of well-being. It can even transform what we perceive to be a nightmare into acceptance and understanding of our own inner conflicts.
There are many resources on dream interpretation, yet nothing is more powerful than your own intuition when analyzing your dreams.
A List of Resources
Books Enjoyed By Our Guest Blogger
DREAMS - Tonight’s Answers for Tomorrow’s Questions By - Mark Thurston
The Dream Book: Symbols for Self -Understanding By - Betty Bethards
The Hidden Power of Dreams: The Mysterious World of Dreams Revealed By - Denise Linn