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The Meaning of Dreams

Do you think that dreams are just an annoying part of the night which prevent you from sleeping well? Or do you wonder what your dreams mean? If they do have a meaning at all? And if there is a way to understand them? To understand all the images our unconscious does create while we sleep?

Dreams can paint fantastic beasts. They can take us on unbelievable journeys. They build worlds we would have never been able to imagine. They let us fly effortless across mountains and let us dive deep into the ocean. They make us laugh. They make us wonder. Sometimes, they scare us. And sometimes, we do have an aha-moment.

A dream can be like a movie, colorful and vivid. A dream can also consist of a single picture only or even just one sentence. A dream can also be filled with sentences – like a book – which allow us to literally “read” the dream.

At different times, in different cultural circles, there are different understandings of the nature and origin of dreams, and therefore of their meaning. A universal doctrine or formula does not exist. The oldest evidence of dreams was found in North Africa about 3100 B.C., called the Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh. Since that time dreams have been seen as a means of:

  • Receiving holy wisdom

  • Predictions of the future

  • Communicating with the ancestors and with god

  • Being prophetic dreams

  • Having therapeutic powers

  • An instruction in life

One thing is certain: dreams are never simple. Dreams are incredibly creative. And none of us remains untouched by them.

Even if we do not remember each and every dream, we actually do dream every night. Dreams are vital to our survival - for both the body and the psyche. Dreams belongs to mankind. About 1/3 our time is spent in sleep which means more than 20 years. There is nothing in nature which was created without reason. So, the question arises: What is the meaning of a dream? The meaning of this particular dream for me?

Dreams do come from our true inner self. They are messages from within:

  • Dreams give us important IMPULSES – for instance to take a different perspective

  • They can be cries for HELP – because we have forgotten to take care of ourselves

  • They do WARN us – if we live against our inner voice for too long

  • They can make us aware of old patterns and believes, of painful childhood experiences – which still BLOCK us

  • Sometimes, they can PREDICT an incident in the future

  • Sometimes, they give us the COURAGE, to follow our insights

  • And sometimes, they also CONGRATULATE us on a chosen path

The Talmud has a saying: “A dream which is not understood is like a letter which is not opened.”

In dreams, we process our experiences from the day before and by “experiences” I mean emotional experiences. This can range from a word which was said to us, a report we have seen on television, an incident with another person, a dispute in the office. Therefore, dreamwork is especially suited for short-time therapies as it reveals a present conflict and offers solutions.

Herewith, the dream is using every possible image from our life. The dream is using nature in order to teach us on how to live in harmony with ourselves and our environment. Dreams do provide a deeper meaning about our life and what life in general is all about.

The nature of dog in our western culture, for instance, is seen as being full of love and faithfulness towards its owner. Dreaming of a dog therefore means seeing the love and faithfulness to ourselves. If the dog is being injured, it mans that we are injuring ourselves. If the dog is being aggressive, it means that we have aggressions against ourselves. If we do marry a dog it means, we are marrying our own love and faithfulness.

In another dream, a newborn, a baby can be playing a prominent role. A baby illustrates a new beginning, something we are allowed to integrate into our life, a young power. A baby also still needs protection in order to grow. Having this in mind, we can ask the corresponding questions: What is about to grow in your life? What requires specific care and love? Maybe there are 2 babies in the dream: Are there new forces in your life which amplify each other or are there more ambivalent?

“Life and dreams are leaves of one of the same book.” Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher, auther and university teacher

Do you want to know more about dreams? Join my International Dream Group or book your individual Dream Counseling session here:


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