Exploring the Sleeping Mind

Library of the Dead

The Dream: “I was driving when I realized I had forgotten to print out a paper at the student library, so I turned around. When I got to the library, I went to the computer room and began working. The room was buzzing with students. I got lost in my work when suddenly I looked up, realizing all the lights had lost power, and the library was completely empty and silent. Hanging from the ceiling on meat hooks all around me were the carcasses of dead dogs.”

The Background: the dreamer had recently been struggling with depression. She had decided to tackle her issues by self-improvement, especially the pursuit of knowledge. Her plan was that through learning she could rise above her issues and those who had hurt her. Despite still feeling occasionally empty and angry, she was determined in her plan.

The Analysis: in it’s most abstract form, driving is moving, progress. The detour represents the dreamer’s lack of progress through life as she hits a roadblock of emotional pain. Returning to the library, surrounded by books, she looks for her solution. This library is self-improvement, which is an effective distraction, signified by the fact that she gets lost in her computer work. The issue with self-improvement, however, is that when taken to the extreme, it can be isolating, represented by the disappearance of the students around her. Rather than dealing with her emotions, she has blocked them out, silencing her true self. This not only will make her feel isolated from friends but is eventually quite draining—her “light” will go out, just like the power in the library. The images of dogs are possibly her mind using an idiom to describe a pursuit that has lost all that was good—it has “gone to the dogs.” The dogs could also reflect how she feels about herself; dogs are similar to humans in many ways, but lack the full, complex human experience—a human experience that is meant to contain heartbreak and healing, which she has prematurely silenced through distractions.

This dream is more than just a nightmare to try to forget. Her sleeping mind, one step ahead of her conscious thought, is telling her a cautionary tale.



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