2-8-00 21:55:11 -0400 (EDT)
As a child I had an ambivalent feeling about dreams. They seemed to have access to me in a way that my parents and friends didn't and they all seemed to downplay the importance. But they felt important to me and so I had to deal with them on my own, mostly by telling and retelling them to myself like stories. Sometimes I would act them out in my sandbox. A natural Jungian!
I recall very early, maybe 5 or 6, that I had forgotten one of my dreams that I used to tell myself and was upset by this loss. I re-doubled my efforts to re-tell myself the dreams more often.
While my friends and parents could not address the secret emotional / imaginal power dreams had over me, I don't recall any direct suppression and my mom even encouraged me to tell them. I always knew she didn't believe me, like I was making up a story, but it was like a game, and she would say "Oh, and then what happened?"
Later in life I asked her about this and she confessed that she thought I was just making up stories and calling them dreams, like Dante!
As an adult, I liked dreams and continued the habit of re-telling them to myself. In early adolescence I learned how to have lucid dreams by doubting the dream context.
Later, when I was a counselor for the county and worked with teenagers, I became interested in the role of imagination. This combined with my interests in imagination and spirituality and I started seeing a Jungian analyst, who taught me to work with the dreams. Later I worked with other psychotherapists who practiced dreamwork and became very interested in giving voice to these deep connections and developing the relationship I had begun naturally as a child.
Initially dreams were more like traumas for me. Like the boogie men in the closet that the parent says not to worry about, but one does anyway. They *felt* so strong and profound, how could they be what I was told, "Just a dream"?
So as a child I began seeing them as a mysterious realm of being. These ideas fit well for me when I encountered Jungian psychology and imaginal based psychologies. The Freudian realm seemed to be there, but only one castle in this mysterious realm and so I was more seduced by archetypal theory than others, where each archetype could be its own world, realm, pantheon and set of theories.
Dreams have become a companion for me and sometimes I feel like we are married. I think about them much in the same way as a long term relationship. I concern myself with how much time we spend together, what our relationship means, where its going. I worry about not being faithful and being negligent, about using dreams for my pleasures, about being used by them as a vehicle for their needs. We plan together and have many projects together. We know each other intimately. Sometimes we get bored with each other, but more often we surprise one another with unexpected actions.
In general, we experience life together and often share these experiences with one another.
Thanks for the questions!
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