World of Dreams

November 1, 2016 in Dreams





(The Inner Child, 15 January, 2018)


Dreams are the children of an idle mind, said William Shakespeare – and I beg to differ with the Bard. As I have discovered in my exploration of the subject, dreams are the manifestation of a very active mind – and life. The meaning of actual children in dreams differs in accordance with the circumstances of the dreamer, as do dreams of actual childhood.

I had a very happy childhood and often in dreams, I am a child again, reliving a Christmas past, or a day at the beach, or a ballet class, whatever. Dreams like this have very little meaning, except to offer an opportunity to vicariously experience a time that is long gone. The downside is that I do wake up feeling rather sad. However, since the dream experiences of people who have had forgettable childhoods are bound to be different, I know that this sadness for times past is a price worth paying.

The meaning of a dream involving other children will be slanted according to whether you know the child – or not. In one dream, a good friend of mine took me to task for gratuitous mall shopping, among other things, and then proceeded to feed her little girl. On analysis, the dream was a warning about being careful with money. Mastery of handling finances paves the way to mastery of more responsible activity, i.e., feeding a child.

In another dream, I saw a group of sleeping children when I was on my way to a job interview. The dream was calling upon me to develop the hidden (sleeping) and undeveloped (young children) areas of my life to prepare for greater success (the job interview). I have also had dreams about very funny and very scary little ‘uns. I will return to this theme in a later post.

(Time-hopping in Dreams, September 29, 2017)

Just imagine being able to travel through time, to gain insights into history and to take a peek into the future, especially your own – imagine the world of power and wisdom at your fingertips. To travel through time has ever been a sci-fi fantasy, inspiring HG Wells to write the Time Machine, and Hollywood to make the Back to the Future movies. However, it is the one invention that has always evaded the ingenuity of real scientists. In spite of all of the technological marvels of the modern world, we still cannot scupper time. The conundrum is that we are bound to Earth’s gravity and gravity is a distortion of time, keeping us on the 24/7 roller coaster. What do we do about this?

Oddly, we do scupper time; we do it every time we walk from one side of our living rooms to the other – and most journeys are generally longer than that. Essentially, all travel is time travel; gravity is a weak force and we cast aside its barriers with every walk in the park. The physics are too complex to spin out here, but at every point on the globe it is a different time, at every moment of the day. Think, then, the power of getting onto an aeroplane and emerging on another continent and time zone, three hours later– but sod Ryanair; there is another way to travel through time.

Like the majority of sleepers, I have experienced time travel in dreams. I have met and spoke with dead relatives. I have sat at the desks of the various schools and colleges that I have wandered through in my learning endeavours. I have dwelt in stone-age villages, medieval castles and in awe-inspiring futuristic environments. More than once, I have had that heady experience of being everywhere and in every time, all at once. Like Puck, I have felt like shouting “I’ll put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes” on awakening. Maybe it was a dream like this that inspired the Bard to write the line?

When analysing a dream that has taken you outside of the present, look at all of its symbols carefully. First, listen to what your dead relatives are saying. According to your own databank of archetypes, are the symbols “good” or are they “bad”? Is the dream telling you to look to past experience for guidance or to seek a solution elsewhere? What can you learn from stone age/medieval/Renaissance society? In earlier columns I wrote about everyday inventions and creations whose origins lay in the dream of their creators – maybe that odd item or system you dreamed of is the key to your own future?

(Pursuit, 7 September, 2017)

Fewer things are more terrifying than the feeling that is dream-time pursuit. You are in some place, usually dark, when you feel that someone – or some thing – is following you and that intends you harm, begins. Sometimes, you can see the subject and sometimes not; whatever, you know that you have just got to get away. You try to run but for whatever reason, you are rooted to the spot with legs that just will not work. Or when you attempt to move, the ground turns all soft and wobbly, lacking the tension that would allow your feet to move freely and quickly. Or you are actually running but whatever is in pursuit is gaining upon you, however quickly you move.

You will do anything, go anywhere, to get away from it. You will jump from a cliff or out of a 5-storey window, just to escape whatever horror. Luckily, you are only in a dream. And that is what you have to tell yourself when you wake up – that it is only a dream. For the majority of people, pursuit phantasmagorias are one-off events. For a smaller number of people, the pursuit dreams recur, often with the same sequence of events. If this is your experience, then explore your life a little. It could be that someone at work is bothering you. Or an unwelcome suitor is foisting their attentions upon you. Your dream may even be about the person that is causing you pain. If this is so, then practical intervention, no matter how unpleasant, is the likeliest manoeuvre to solve a problem like this. Try confronting the pursuing subject in your imagination before doing so in actuality.

Remember, a decent night’s sleep is a birthright, not a luxury, and your waking hours will be happier, too. Whatever happens, do not mention to the pursuing subject that they are entering your dreams. You will likely come across as silly and hysterical, and give the subject an oeuvre for even more unwanted attention. I have explained before and do so again that dream analysis is a tool to help you in your waking hours, and not an entertainment spectacle for anyone else. If your pursuit dreams have no apparent cause but continue to recur, then you may require medical help. Fortunately, treatment for sleep disturbance is very efective.

(Mary Phelan, 2017)