Exploring the Sleeping Mind

The Basic Steps of Dream Analysis, Part 2

  1. Now that you have a full inventory of your dream as outlined in Part 1, look for connections between the details of the dream and the details of your waking life. In our brief and simple example, we have the following elements: childhood, melancholy, solemnity, a planted stance, gloomy weather, emptiness (in the room), familiarity. These elements are not appearing in your subconscious for no reason; your brain is an incredible tool, and it is processing these thoughts for a purpose. For some reason, your brain thinks it is important to practice dealing with feelings of gloominess, solemnity, etc., so that it can build those neural pathways for use later in its waking hours. It is likely that the dreamer in this example is experiencing some form of loneliness, as we see by the emptiness and melancholy. It is also likely the dreamer is processing a childhood issue or memory from the viewpoint of an adult, due to the physical stance of the dreamer, observing an object that brought about feelings of childhood. Perhaps the dreamer is still processing something that had made her feel sad and excluded as a child, decades before. She may feel that she has forgotten this event, after all it was so long ago, but her dreams are telling her otherwise.
  2. Now that you have drawn connections between the thoughts of your conscious and subconscious, don’t let them go to waste. The dreamer in our example may need to find encouragement in her own value and the support of those around her. She may need to forgive someone from her childhood. Many times, after processing these thoughts intentionally, their corresponding recurring dreams will fade. This is most welcome when the recurring dream is a nightmare.
  3. Keep a log of your dream and its interpretations. Sometimes, a dream you don’t understand will become clear a year later. Over time, you will see recurring elements—feelings, actions, people, objects. This can be examined to provide additional clarity. You will notice patterns over weeks, months, and years that mimic your emotional state and gradually change and grow with you.

When we take the time to inventory, interpret, and analyze them, we see that a dream is not some random, illogical film playing out in our mind each night, where we are some confused, excited, sometimes scared observer. Rather, our subconscious, our dreams, are part of an integrated whole that makes up who we are. This subconscious half of ourselves processes the world in a very different way than our conscious does, but with time and effort, we can use this unique, fascinating viewpoint from right within our own minds to bring clarity, fullness, and insight to our waking lives.

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