General procedure for the dream analysis
Sleep takes a third part of our lives, but people often do not pay attention to them, unless a dream is a nightmare. Some people even claim that they do not see dreams at all; although the results of research clear up that they actually do not remember their dreams. This happens mainly due to misunderstanding of dreams, inability to navigate the night images and most of all because of the rejection of the truth about themselves. It is absolutely natural for our ego to protect itself from unknown and unpleasant information by playing "ostrich policy”.
This situation has not been the same at all times. Ages before and even now in many non-Western cultures dreams have had a major role in the life of the community and the individual. But only in the last century there was a breakthrough in this field in Western culture, thanks to Sigmund Freud and his psychoanalysis. Although nobody uses the Freudian psychoanalysis now, it still was a major breakthrough in the wall of hostility to people dreams and the unconscious. It was Freud who linked together these two concepts, he demonstrated that dreams are closely connected with the conscious life of the individual and carry a certain messages.
What is the connection between sleep and unconsciousness?
Sleeping for us is another mode of perception of information, different from our usual daily life. This mode is distinguished primarily by the weakening of the ego-complex and, as a result, it gives the unconscious a chance to show itself in a greater extent than in the daytime consciousness. In our usual live the unconscious usually occurs in the form of Freudian slips, curiosities, deeds that we do not understand how this could happened, or suddenly arisen thoughts, or intuition, although each arisen idea has its source in the unconscious.
The language of the unconscious
It is hard to understand the language of the unconscious and during the dream analysis not all aspects could be revealed and understood. When we are working with our unconscious, we can never say "it's just", we can only approach and say something indirectly, more or less close to the point.
So, what is important and what is not, in the dream analysis? The answer is everything, absolutely everything is important. Everything in our dreams is symbol by which the unconscious conveys the idea to our consciousness. The language of Dreams (or the language of symbols) very metaphorical and it should not be taken literally, otherwise our understanding will be limited by losing many aspects of the image in the dream and its meaning for the dreamer.
The images used in the unconscious, normally are taken from our day-to-day life. They form the message to consciousness and at the same time it is the key to the interpretation of a dream, because in our dreams we can see only familiar images, not something unknown. The design of these familiar elements is a unique mosaic which we see in our dreams. Usually, there are things that most obsessed our attention during the day or life. It may be a job and a hobby, or some important events; it could be everything that can "shake us up".
Complication of dreams
Many people complain that dreams are confusing and could not be interpreted easily; they do not obey the daily consciousness logic. But if you look closely, our daily thoughts and concepts with which we operate, not such clear and certain, as we would like to think. Every concept and every thought inevitably "sprouted" in the subconscious and painted individual content that is subjective and varies from person to person.
Of course, these are different shades of mental perception in different people. Each of us individually perceive abstract or general concepts, and, respectively, each of us has its own way to interpret and apply them. When I use in conversation, the terms "state", "money", "health" or "society", I assume that my interlocutors understand them more or less in the same way as I do. This "more or less" is the whole point. Every word has a little different meaning for different people, even if they have the same cultural level. This happens because the general concept, passing through the prism of personality, interpreted and applied by each person slightly differently. Differences in the interpretation, of course, increase when the social, political, religious or psychological experience varies considerably among interlocutors.
As long as the concept is described by its name, variations in its understanding hardly noticeable and have no practical value. However, as soon as it requires precise definition or a thorough explanation, the most improbable interpretations may appear, and not only in a purely intellectual understanding of the term, but particularly in its emotional coloring and method its application. As a rule, these differences are unconscious and remain so.
It would seem that such differences could be dismissed as unnecessary and transient nuances that have little to do with the humdrum needs. However, the mere fact of their existence shows that even the most mundane contents of consciousness has a shade approximate. Even the most carefully formulated philosophical or mathematical concepts, which in our opinion have no other content, than we think, in fact, are endowed with a broader meaning than we suppose. This is a psychic phenomenon, and as a result it is not fully understandable. Even the mere numbers used in the simple math represent a little more than we think. They have also the mythological meaning (and the Pythagoreans worshiped them), and we certainly do not think about it by adding or multiplying them.
Shortly speaking, every single thing that is available in our conscious thought has its associative matching in the psychic. Associations, which are corresponding to concepts, may be more or less bright (in accordance with the importance of this concept for our individuality, or in conjunction with other ideas and even our subconscious complexes) and can change the "usual" meaning of the concept. As a result, this meaning changes considerably from time to time.
In dreams we see these concepts in full, together with associations and their unconscious, which we may reject in the daily consciousness of rationalization. For consciousness convenience and successful (more or less) communication between people, we have to inevitably sacrifice many shades of used concepts. Naturally, this may be forgotten and not taken into account and the result of this is frequent misunderstanding, violations of human communication.
The influence of personality on the images in dreams
Some images are an expression of the archetypes of the inevitable personalization, which is converted to the needs of a particular person, the dreamer. It is therefore important to consider the meaning of the symbols for the individual.
"Take for example a dream in which the number of "Thirteen" occurs. It is crucial to know believes of the person who saw the dream. Such a number may be an unfortunate sign in the dream for the person or it indicates other supporters of superstitions. The result of this dream interpretation will depend on the answer. In the first case it is necessary to take into account that the "curse" of "thirteen" still dominates the dreamer's personality (which means that he will be unhappy in a hotel room under that number, or in the company of thirteen persons). In the latter case, "thirteen" is no more than uncivil or even insulting references. Obviously, this number is deprived of its usual emotional coloring for a rational person.
It means that none symbol occurring in a dream cannot be separated from the person who saw it and none dream cannot be interpreted directly and unambiguously. Each person has a unique method of compensating and supplementing the impact on the subconscious mind and it should be taken into account during dream analysis. "
But there are numerous common themes as typical flight, the fall, the appearance in a public place in the nude, the pursuit of wild animals or wrestling with someone with useless weapon, but such dreams have to always to be seen in the full context, not giving them a certain meaning for ever. Frequently recurring dreams may indicate some consequences after trauma caused by prejudice against something or some significant turn in the fate of the future. Nightmares are also an indication of some important aspect, which appeared in the dreamer's life or to a specific problem, hindering the development of the individual.
The importance of dream analysis
For the stable functioning of the mind and mental health, subconscious mind and consciousness have to be inextricably linked and act in a coordinated manner. If this link breaks or "dissociated", there is a psychological disorder as a result. In this regard, the symbolism of dreams plays the role of a courier, conveyed a message from the instinctive to the rational part of the mind. Decoding these characters enriches the impoverished possibilities of consciousness and our consciousness learns to understand again forgotten language of the instincts.
Whatever dream is bad, good or strange, this is your dream. It is possible to love or not to love it, but it is part of your life. Avoiding thinking about dreams and trying to interpret them by ignoring them, we close our eyes to reality, a third part of our life, which is no less important than the conscious day-to-day life, which is itself subject to significant influence of the unconscious.
Dream analysis can be compared to digestion with vital lessons necessary for future life path. As if we were loaded in dreams by some messages or ideas, and analysing them we are feeding the mind and personality, assimilating new, important for us, content as well as strengthening this magical connection between the conscious and the unconscious, the link that is not enough for the integrity of the individual. The sign of a successful dream analysis is the state. The state of ease of locomotion, completeness and integrity. It is impossible to describe, but everyone who encountered this state, understand what it means.
A practical method for the dream analysis
Dream analysis should begin with a detailed description of a dream, without neglecting anything. Furnishing (right-left), color (or lack thereof), the characters, their clothes, inconsistencies and emotional reactions in a dream - everything is important. Details are the keys to understanding the language of dreams; otherwise we use a sledge-hammer to crack nuts. On the other hand, binding to detail or analysis of the image out of context does not allow us to see the big picture and understand the meaning of the message. Approach to each dream must be detached, as if this is not your dream but a stranger dream.You need to learn all about the symbols occurring in the dream, but when you begin analysis you should forget everything. Every dream should be a new blank sheet.
First of all, look at the dream and write down the general idea, if any. The process of writing down is also important and should be neglected, making analysis.
Look in more detail and write down the themes that emerged.
The following: absurdities, inconsistencies in each theme. Try to see them, comparable to daily life, ask yourself: is it happens in daily life? Write out these absurdities-pleonasms. Speak out loud, what exactly it is, where is jeer-meaning-hint. Often they are the "tricks of the trickster," a kind of unconscious humor, indicating a defect or interferes with the consciousness set (which prevents the development of the personality).
The following: the number of characters, their gender, their "national" identity, clothes, appearance. Separate the familiar from unfamiliar, look, what function they have in relation to the story.
You should formulate proposals as if you were talking to a little child.
Write out all the predicates in a row, apart from your dream. Predicates are your actions. Sometimes they reflect your daily life and the state. When you wrote out them all from your dream, check whether they have a counterpart in your daily life, whether they transformed in your dream.
Perhaps to interpret the dream meaning you will spend more than a day or two. This does not mean that you have to sit all day on the notebook and "think". No. Have the time specified for the work with dreams. Let it be half an hour a day at a certain time. And did it regularly, no matter how stupid and pointless this task may seem.
The main thing is to observe the conditions of the "state".When the experience is gained, insights about the dreams will start to come in different time, it may be another dream, or during lunch, or even during a conversation with a neighbor.
It is necessary from time to time to re-read your old dreams, to see their logic consistent or repeating, to see when unconscious in different ways trying to tell you something important by different images, different actions or different symbols and adjectives.
Reviewing your previous dreams also helps to understand some aspects that were missed in the analysis, as well as to build an approximate chain of developing events, and perhaps their predestination.
Dreams can be ruthless truths, philosophical maxims, illusions, wild fantasies, memories, plans, anticipation of events, even telepathic visions, irrational feelings and God knows what else. Do not forget that almost half of our life takes place in a more or less unconscious state.Specific manifestation of the unconscious is a dream. As the soul has the day side - consciousness, it has and the night side as well - unconscious mental life, which could be thought of as a dream fantasy.
It is in our power to take up our night "secret life" or continue to ignore it, through the "ostrich policy", naively believe that everything in life is under conscious control, and everything is limited by conscious.