This is about How we SEE the world and ourselves. Although eyes are not mentioned much in the collection of dreams used for data in this book, SAW, SEE, SEEING, LOOK and LOOKING, constitute the highest number of mentions. In a computer word count of 1000 dreams, these words were mentioned 1077 times. Feel, feeling, felt, came second with 855 hits. So dreams are predominantly a looking at and seeing activity, in the sense of insight and awareness.
Fundamentally eyes are about awareness – seeing and being seen. These aspects of relating to the world and others have enormous impact in our life. What we see, and how we are seen, leave great depths of feeling. Someone I know of saw his mother kill his father. That image will never ever leave him.
In many dreams the eyes represent our understanding, or how we ‘see’ the world, our view of things or other people. This is very personal. Also, they depict intelligence, our ability to give attention, and where we focus that attention, along with our boundaries of awareness.
Eyes are used in many ways in dreams. As these quotes from people’s dream descriptions show, eyes can represent the soul or psyche in its many moods – ‘dark deep eyes’; ‘desperation in its eyes’; ‘shining eyes’; ‘impersonal eyes’; ‘staring eyes’; ‘eye to eye’. So in most dreams the eyes display the inner feelings or situation of the person or yourself.
Here is another description of eyes that tells so much.
She looked at me quickly. Her eyes were very brown, but quite round. “I was very much in love with somebody, ” she said. Her eyes were wide open looking at me, and her mouth was trying to carry on speaking, but the weight of emotion behind what she wanted to say carried the words to her eyes, where they began to come out as tears.
Blindness: Not being aware, not wanting to see something – usually about oneself.
Loss of sight in right eye: Not seeing what is going on in the outside world.
Loss of sight in left eye: Not seeing what you are really thinking or feeling; not aware of self, motives, behaviour; no ‘in-sight’.
Lack of eye contact: Avoidance of intimacy; feeling ashamed or bowed.
Closed eyes: Introversion or avoidance of contact; not wanting to see.
Hair in eye: This suggests some sort of irritant or irritation connected with what you can see or have seen. If it is the right eye it means something interfering with what is going on in the outside world. If the left eye it is an interference with what you are really thinking or feeling; not aware of self, motives or behaviour; no ‘in-sight’.
The following example shows how eye contact can change a relationship, as if the eyes are in themselves a form of contact and touching.
Example: ‘ I saw a young soldier with a gun, but as our eyes met we were attracted to each other, and he put his arm round me.’ Pauline B.
Example: ‘I was dimly aware of a biggish black bird that came down close beside us on the step and pecked at the baby’s eye, then it flew off. The eye was gone completely.’ Heather C.
Heather’s dream shows the eye depicting the ‘I’ or identity. In fact her sense of self was damaged in infancy. Therefore ‘eye’ can often be a play on words meaning ‘I’.
Many eyes: This is usually about feeling watched or noticed, often by a god like awareness, either that or an audience or crowd looking at you.
Example: So I stood and watched the bubbles rise, and saw in each one of them an ‘I’, watching me like many eyes – a reflection of me looking back at me. All the lonely bubbles separated from each other, individual I’s, looking at me only because I was looking at them. They existed only because I existed, and knowing that I was their God, suddenly I loved them. Then suddenly, and with some shock I realised that I was a bubble, and only existed because a godlike awareness had caused my existence and was looking at me.
Example: The image was of a smart very confident and aggressive young woman. She was attractive and attracted but her approach was one of attack, so to have a relationship I needed to fight her. What I appear to be facing is that I have the sex drive, but what I am facing is a monster. In fact I had the image of a huge spider that could come out from hiding and drag you helpless into its lair, its many eyes shining.
Idioms: All eyes; an eye for an eye; apple of his eye; bat an eye; beauty in the eye of; believe my eyes; black eye; bright eyed; catch your eye; can’t you see; cry your eyes out; eyeball this; eagle eyed; evil eye; eye of the storm; eye opener; eyes glazed over; eyes peeled; evil eye; feast your eyes on; fresh pair of eyes; give her the eye; got my eye on; I see; I saw it with my own eyes; sheep eyes; keep an eye open; keep an eye out for; lay eyes on; one in the eye; meet eye to eye; more than meets the eye; out of the corner of my eye; turn a blind eye; keep your eyes open; easy on the eyes; right before my eyes; turn a blind eye; sight for sore eyes; wink of an eye; you must be blind; your mind’s eye.
Useful Questions and Hints:
What is it I am ‘seeing’ or understanding in my dream – can I define it?
In what way are eyes shown in this dream, and what idiom or life situation does that suggest?
What feelings or unspoken words are being expressed here?