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Church Chapel Temple

This indicates your religious feelings or beliefs, including the moral code you live by, or your feelings, negative or positive, about organised religion. So the church can represent the attitudes and morals you hide behind in living your life. In other words you may hold back your own longings and need by using ideas of right or wrong, and imposed rules and concepts such as sin. On the other hand you may rebel against social norms in morality and so accept a way of life demonstrated by other rebels. Either way, this may not be who you are within yourself.

Example: Dreamt I was taking my dog Merlin for a walk. He was pulling like hell, and I was going to hit him to make him walk more calmly, but the lead broke. He ran off and played with an Alsatian dog belonging to the man who works at a nearby garage. We were all in the churchyard near my old school – St Marylebone.

Just then a woman “broke from cover”. She had been hiding by the church. She ran as if she had done something wrong, and the dogs chased and stopped her. I went to her. She explained something about me having drunk wine with her, and this had caused this reaction, as if she were on a hallucinogenic drug. We became very emotionally close then. Steve.

Steve says about this dream, “Merlin is my feelings of joyous energy and love trying to get away from the hold/leash I had always kept myself on through my moral restraints. The break is made. The man is myself working in a job beneath my capabilities as I am doing at the moment. The woman is my love, sexuality, which I felt so guilty about most of my life and hide under the cover of church/morality. This has been a life long struggle. The alcohol depicts the attitudes I use to hold back or deaden my love. But I have started releasing – and this has produced a rather confusing condition in my life after restraining myself for so many years.”

Each of us have a sense of our relationship with the forces of life within us and the world around us. A church may depict this sense and what we do with it. This is our awareness of what is holy or fundamental to all life, and therefore eternal, such as the urge to exist; the cycles of life and growth; reproduction and interdependence. So the church, or entering the church might indicate how you let this wider awareness and impulse flow into you, how you relate to it. Or it might show you opening to its influence.

The church may also represent what spiritual qualities or functions you have developed or built in your personality. By spiritual is meant those things that transcend the limitations of your body senses and identity. For instance when you care for another person you are going beyond your own personal needs and desires. This giving of yourself, or receiving from another, transcends your own limitations or boundaries. In this way the church can depict the indwelling wonder of life in each of us that we so often forget or work against.

The physical structure of the church particularly represents these inbuilt qualities.

Example: I was with several other people searching the rubble of what had been a great church. The building, recently ruined by some disaster such as an earthquake, or perhaps internal weakness, was now no more than a heap of stones. I and others searched amongst the rubble for anything that might be salvaged. Suddenly, among the stones that at one time made up a wall near the door, I found a most wonderful chalice. Its wonder was not because of any precious metal it was made of, or from artistry. It was because the stemmed cup shone with its own light, a light that never diminished. Just seeing it, being near it, produced an experience of awe and wonder.

As we took up the cup we understood that it was the emanation of this light around which the church had been built. Yet out of some fear, the chalice had been hidden in the wall of the church, and stranger yet, completely forgotten. With feelings moved by this tragedy we realised that for perhaps hundreds of years people had continued to attend the church, performing empty rituals, singing hymns, going through all the motions of worship without any direct relationship with the wonderful manifestation the divine cup gave. But now we could once more place the chalice in a place where anyone could stand in its light. For it shone on all without exception, and each of us, as we were permeated by that divine light, were transformed in some way by it.

This exceptional dream shows the dreamer looking at the ruin of organised religion that completely misses the point. Then he finds it, the light that never falters and is not caused by anything else – the eternal Spirit that we can bathe in.

See: archetype of the christ; Life’s Little Secrets; compensation theory; religion and dreams.

Walking past the church: Not entering into contact with the best in us – or our rejection of dogma or what religion means to you.

What was my actual response to the abbey, and what part does that response play in my life?

Example: It was like an English Church with several great spires. The whole building seemed to be built in a white and gold design. The gold parts shimmered in the sun. I gazed at this wonderful sight for some time and felt such a wonderful feeling of upliftment, my tiredness gone. Johan E.

Example: The priest was going to question and assault my friend in connection with some opinion he had offended the church with. I went to stand near him to give him moral support, and physical help if necessary. I hated seeing anybody degraded. The priest saw my move and sent three thug type men to shoulder me out. They surrounded me to knock me down. I went berserk and knocked them all over the place with kicks and punches. John P.

In the example John sees the dogmas of the church as an assault and degradation of human qualities of love and moral support. See: prayer

If you have negative feelings about religion, then your dream may be expressing something to do with these conflicts.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What are the feelings in this dream and where do I meet them in my daily life?

What is my relationship with the church in the dream, and what does that suggest about the way I feel about religion or life?

Did I experience any sense of holiness or the divine in the dream, and if so what has it left me with?

Try using Easy Dream UnderstandingBeing the Person or Thing

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