Hi Hoping,

Thank you very much for:

Quote Originally Posted by HopingSince88 View Post
Maarten,

I used to have what I would call a very active dream-life. My dreams were sometimes realistic, sometimes comedic, sometimes nonsensical. I noticed that when I do dream I wake up a little more refreshed mentally (although not physically…due to lack of Stage 3&4 sleep). So part of my sadness in missing dreams was this association that I would wake up feeling at least a little bit alert.

What I mostly missed (I did not dream from 1988 to 2007) were dreams that are rich in symbolism. I also missed dreams that morphed from one weird landscape into the next. You just don’t experience these morphings in the waking world. It is an interesting experience.

I recall a dream I had in which I was a baby elephant. A large herd of grown female elephants went on a rampage and were stampeding towards me. One in particular seemed bent on mowing me down. I tried to hide behind/under a large piece of plywood. But that did not save me. The big female trampled me right down and squashed me flat. In the meantime, my ‘experience/awareness’ in my dream changed from 1st person (I was the baby elephant that was experiencing the terror) to a 3rd person, viewing the goings-on from a distance. So at the very last moment my ‘dream conciousness’ escaped from the baby elephant and morphed over to an observer and I watched that big female kill the baby. Of course I awoke with a very big pounding heart. It was all quite frightening.

When I took time to try to understand the dream I could see different layers of meaning. This does not mean that I sat down and analyzed the dream, but what happens to me is that over a period of a day or so after a vivid dream little thoughts filter up when I am doing other stuff, and these thoughts can sometimes be eye-opening to me. So in the above example some of the thoughts that came to me:

1) I was the baby elephant (naivete and innocence. I was a very shy child and perhaps overly protected).
2) My mother-in-law (who did not like me) was the big female elephant; and in real life she frequently attempted to squash many of my plans and aspirations by meddling in my marriage by manipulating my husband. There were times when she was quite vicious.

Or could it have been I was both the baby and the large female in the dream (a gestalt approach to trying to read the symbolism):

1) I was trampling on myself in some way
2) Or I was suffocating myself (not speaking up enough and advocating for myself)

Or maybe

1) The baby elephant represented new ideas that were young and undeveloped.
2) The big female was myself…the part of me that felt fear and anxiety of change…willing to kill a a newly emerging part of myself and squashing new ideas.

There is no right or wrong to the interpretation. But sometimes one gets an ‘ah-ha’ feeling, like a light bulb going on. And suddenly you realize something new, or see a real-life situation in a new light.

You are right…you can “make anything from anything” – but the “anything” that I make from my dreams is relevant to me and can touch me deeply, and can often help me to understand and get over the rough spots in the waking part of the day.

So, I am not so sure I answered your question. But I sure did write a long post in the process.

Hoping…

It is a very fine reply that also really answers my question. I just reply fast and briefly now, but think about it a little (very "fatigued" on the moment, although not yet quite braindead) and write "a long post" in reply later.

You were very clear and evocative, and I can clearly see why and how your dreams may help you and teach you things.

More later.

Best wishes,

Maarten (who now hopes that getting back to dreaming is a move towards your getting better).