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Family gatherings or relaxation and intimacy. Intimacy means that this can be a place of love, of meeting and mating with and important dream character or real person.
It can also signify a state of mind in which you are open to intuitions and emotions; the state of mind which is open to pre-verbal experiences, such as life in the womb, but links with waking consciousness and everyday life.
A beach is also a boundary, or threshold, between your individual self and effort, and your potential in the universal processes of life and death. Therefore a barrier or threshold such as fear or lack of confidence can create. To deal with such a barrier – crossing the ocean – we have to exhibit new skills or courage. To go further we would have to swim or take a boat – so a change may be needed, new qualities must be developed.
What we do on the beach may also depict how we deal with changing from one environment – school, work – to another such as parenthood or retirement. The beach might be the place where aspects of the previously unknown meet us – out of the sea. It thus illustrates how we draw on, or avoid our own potential, our own long past.
It is also a place where we are both seen by and see, other people. So may relate to socialising and meeting people.
The awe we feel when confronted by natural forces may also be depicted by the beach, therefore our relationship with life, the simplicity of life and standing between the forces of primal life and the social human world, both of which we exist in.
If there are anxious feelings in connection with the beach: This may show a feeling of being exposed to other people’s scrutiny, or to the powerful forces we face in experiencing our own emotions, sexual drive and social pressures. See: sea.
Example: My dreams have the recurring image of water, which for me usually means the ultimate spiritual place. Around the time of my divorce, I tried my hardest to get to the ocean, but in a series of dreams that went on for months, all my efforts were thwarted: in one, a storm came up, and we had to turn back; in another, I got lost; in still another, I made it to the ocean but I was with my mother and didn’t have a suit. In still another, all the beaches were private property. In the last dream I had before I quit drinking, I dreamed I was at the beach with a lot of strangers, and there was this lifeguard on the beach. But he was patrolling the people on the beach and not the people in the water. To get onto this particular beach, you had to leave everything behind and go down to the water’s edge with nothing–not your towels or radios or coolers or even your suit. Once in the water, you could swim just as far as you wanted and you were completely unmonitored. ‘A’.
In A’s dreams the beach and sea appear to depict the barriers to returning to, or achieving a meeting with her own simplicity – herself without all the clothing and trappings of social life and anxieties. It is a coming home to our source.
This aspect of the beach, awareness of the essence of human life, is shown in the following example and the dreamer’s comments on his exploration of the dream.
I am standing on a steep hillside that slopes into the sea. I look across the sea, and the air is so clear I can see the far coast twenty miles away with amazing clarity. In fact it is so clear it seems to me I can see every detail of a rocky cove across the water. The clarity amazes me and it seems the cove is only a few hundred yards away. It stands out with all its many colours. I find it so impressive I want to run back to get my camera. I hesitate from doing this though because I wonder if the scene will disappear.
I explored this dream many times but I could not get a clear insight into what the beach arose from in my experience. Then, with the help of a friend, I reached it. When I came to exploring the beach again, at first it seemed as subtle and unreachable as ever. Then I began to define what I was as the beach – a meeting place for water, earth, air and sun – earth, air, fire and water. But the beach is not any one of them. It changes with the seasons and with the action of storms, of erosion and temperature. It isn’t the air, or the sea or the earth. It changes yet stays the same – the beach. Suddenly I felt this in myself, saying, “I am not anything. I change yet am unchanged. I am all things but nothing.” This gave me a very powerful sense of my own eternal spirit underlying all the changes of my body and personality. Robert.
The beach can therefore also depict the spirit that underlies all things. This is because if you were to say what a beach is, you could not say the sea was the beach, or the sky, or the land. None of them separately is the beach. The beach is the indefinable amalgam of them all. In just that way the spirit is the indefinable everything that underlies the particulars of life.
Useful Questions and Hints:
What am I doing on the beach, and what does this suggest about my relationship with my own simplicity or connection with my core self?
What is the weather like, and is that indicative of my feelings about what life is presenting me with?
What relationships are indicated and how successful are they?