“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.” Edgar Cayce
” I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” Vincent Van Gogh
Do you remember your dreams? What do you learn from them? How have they helped guide your life?
Years ago, I was working as an employment assistance counselor for an art school. There was an undercurrent of turbulence in the office, and although I felt it, I knew little about it. Then I had nightmares for two nights that included people from the office.
One night I awoke about 1:00 am from a dream in which people were struggling and flailing their arms. I was hit in the mouth and my teeth were broken and my mouth was bleeding. As I walked away, my teeth started crumbling and falling out as blood gushed from my mouth. It seemed so real that, as I rose to consciousness, I put my hand to my mouth and was shocked to find my teeth were still there. My breathing was fast and my heart raced. It took at least a half an hour for me to relax and go back to sleep.
Dreams May Warn Us Of The Future
The dream felt like a warning, but at the time, my manager seemed pleased with my work. That September I found jobs for the largest number of students that had ever been hired. My newly hired assistant had not been available when I most needed her and began breaking rules that my manager had insisted we follow. When I complained, he became angry with me. When he asked if I could work with her, I foolishly said, “No.”
He fired me. Her flirtation had won him over. It was then that I remembered the dream which seemed like a warning. Had I been arrogant to assume he would not fire me because I had performed so well? Perhaps I had just been foolish to underestimate how much he needed the attention he got from her. And for a moment before I answered his question, my intuition urged me to say “yes.”
Intuition May Guide Us On How To Act
So I had a dream that warned me of impending harm, and my intuition sent a warning, but I ignored them both. Not very wise.
The Archetypes In Dreams Take Us Deeper
In order to really understand our dreams, it is helpful to know something about archetypes. These are characters, symbols, settings, or themes that recur often enough to have universal significance. Their roots are in the collective unconscious. For example, most people have some fear of the dark. We can’t see what is there and it’s a mystery. It’s a place to hide when we don’t want to be discovered.
We find archetypes in dreams, literature, advertising, and other areas of life, and the obvious ones trigger an emotional or intellectual response that suggests something deeper. When I dreamed that someone bloodied my nose, it didn’t mean that would literally happen, but it did suggest that dramatic harm might come to me.
Dreams May Guide Us To Solve Problems
Dreams may also provide us with deep guidance to solve problems in life. One of the most meaningful dreams I ever had appeared during the year after my divorce in 1977. In it, there appeared a blond-haired woman in a red dress who had previously appeared in another dream. To make the situation even stranger (or synchronistic), I had recently worn a red dress when I danced in a modern dance choreographed by Liz Lerman. I played the role of a woman who rejected the limiting traditional roles of women.
In the dream, I stood in a huge plaza with a large pool in the middle. On the far side of the pool was a several-story building that was a home for older people. Near me was a green ladder that curved over the pool and merged into an upper story of the building.
When I arrived at the base of the arch, a blonde-haired girl and a young man stood there. We all broke the bread she had baked, taking part in a ritual of communion. The man left. I knew I had to go across the arch but was afraid. The girl represented some part of me so I had to follow her, but I had to make the crossing on my own. The beginning was straight like a ladder and easy to climb, but as the ladder curved into an arch, I became frightened and had to crawl across on all fours.
Dreams May Guide Our Spiritual Journey
It seemed to me that this blonde-haired woman in the red dress was my passion and that the dream was telling me to follow my passion, but move on. It suggested that if I followed the higher road, I would reach old age or a level of security that the building represented. Climbing the green ladder was a sacred act, part of my spiritual journey, a path through life leading me to a higher consciousness.
Because the arch led over the water, which symbolized emotion, it was also telling me to move beyond just reacting out of emotion, which I did all the time, and it created problems in my relationships. I believed the dream was a sign I was healing, and the message in the dream was exactly what I needed to know at that time. (Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness by Georganne Spruce, pp. 49-50)
Dreams Guide Us To Deeper Answers
With this dream I began a journey to understand my emotions and gain control of them so that I could let go of the reactive emotional responses I had developed in childhood. They no longer served me well. That became a central theme in my spiritual journey leading me to learn to meditate, release my fear, and use my mind to create more positive thoughts.
Our dreams are rich with answers to our deepest questions. Exploring our dreams is one way to begin to value and respect the wisdom that can be found in the dark. One of the best sources to learn about symbols which may appear in our dreams is Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols. May you dream well tonight.
© 2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5
Related Articles: Carl Jung- Man and His Symbols, Part I (video), Dream Interpretation: What Do Dreams Mean?