Exploring the Sleeping Mind

Same People New World

I’m going to analyze two dreams in this post, because I find a lot of similarities between them in how our minds sometimes use simple, concrete representations during dreams to express abstract feelings we have about personal relationships.

Dream 1: “I had a job in a small room of an office and was working with a couple of other people around. A coworker of mine walked through to grab something. (In real life we used to be coworkers until recently when I left the company). He said he had to go to another meeting room and asked if I wanted to walk with him, and I happily agreed because he is good company. We walked out of the office into a much larger room, like a convention center, busy with employees going about their business. A lot of the people knew him and stopped to greet him as we walked through, so we weren’t able to keep a steady conversation.”

Analysis of Dream 1: This dreamer recently left a job, where she worked with a coworker that she’s continued to keep in contact with even though they no longer see each other at work. The initial setting of the dream is a small office—this represents her initial work friendship with the coworker, which was casual and defined by their coincidental, workplace crossing of paths. Stepping into the larger convention center together with more people, more space, and more distractions, represents the change in their relationship as they move purposefully into something that is less defined, has more opportunities, and will also need to be more intentional in order to continue forward and not drift apart.

Dream 2: “My dad was giving me a list of rules that were complete nonsense. I had no idea how to follow them and was growing really frustrated.”

Analysis of Dream 2: The dreamer was 27 years old at the time and about to move back in with her father to save money to go back to school. As an adult who had lived on her own for years, her mind was working through what it would be like as she moved back into a situation that came with a very different balance of rules and expectations. A lot of the rules wouldn’t make sense anymore, like a curfew for example, but her mind is used to having that rule enforced by her father as an authority figure. In this new setting, suddenly those rules are arcane—which ones would still be in place? What expectations would still need to be met? This is expressed by confusion and frustration in her dreams.

In both the above dreams, the dreamers are going through changes in their interpersonal relationships. These changes bring up questions about how the relationships will have to adjust. They both had vague feelings about the changes that they probably did not consciously step through, but their sleeping minds did. Through dreams, their minds created realistic situations that put structure behind the subconscious processes going through their minds. I love these examples of how sometimes our minds break down how we are feeling, and expresses those feelings in such simple, easily understood terms—so simple we might overlook them at first as being too commonplace.



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