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Flying – not in airplane

This has many levels of significance, depending on the dream. It can mean you are flying or fleeing, from something you find difficult to face. This is usually something in your life you try to get away from by using distractions like social life, media entertainments, becoming over idealistic, religious, or living in the clouds of fantasy. See airplane

When flying we do not have our feet on the ground and so it can suggest either that you have found a positive expression to your energy, or that you have lost a practical grasp on what is happening. The positive flying when you are not fleeing from something, often indicates independence and the ability to deal well with your emotions or fears.

Flying suggests the desire to rise above things, to attain greater heights, to break free of limiting viewpoints or cultural norms. Freud explained all flying dreams as expressive of sexual desires, intercourse, or life in the womb, which in some cases is true. But flying also represents ambition, abstract thought, and rising above your fears.

Flying, in a plane, or without it, can also symbolise attempts to gain a view of what lies ahead of you in the future, or your potential. From the air we can see ahead, and back. We quickly review where we are heading, and the possibilities of our possible directions.

There is a negative side to flying which depicts how we try to move away from internal trauma or fear by disassociating our feelings and mind from reality. We may do this by constantly reading books, watching television, or by internally deadening our feelings and body sensations. Thus some victims of sexual abuse dream of flying as an escape from their internal pain. Willa’s dream below expresses her own fear of her father who abused her, and shows how she attempted to escape this fear by ‘flying’.

The example below illustrates how much will, effort and learning can be involved in flying in dreams. This aspect of flying connects with the gaining of independence and the expression of one’s potential. Adler saw flying dreams suggestive of confidence and ability to solve present life problems. They portray the overcoming of obstacles and the people who have them are positively directing their life. The positive side of flying almost certainly depicts the ability to hold a steady state of mind against the difficulties of life. The negative side of flying shows a retreat from such difficulties.

There is a negative side to flying which depicts how we try to move away from internal trauma or fear by disassociating our feelings and mind from reality. We may do this by constantly reading books, watching television, or by internally deadening our feelings and body sensations. Thus some victims of sexual abuse dream of flying as an escape from their internal pain. Willa’s dream below expresses her own fear of her father who abused her, and shows how she attempted to escape this fear by ‘flying’.

 Example: I was held prisoner by an ‘evil scientist’ who appeared as an older white man, short, and wearing a white lab coat. We were in a room that looked like a laboratory high up in a tower. He seemed to want to conduct some kind of painful experiment on me. My fear was immense. I tried to escape by flying out of the only window in the room. I did fly out, but he came after me and pulled me back inside. Willa. Quoted from Sexual Dreams by Gayle Delaney published by Piatkus.

Example: ‘I was in a building with a group of people. I was being chased and suddenly fly up in the air to escape my pursuers.’ Michael O.

Example: I often dreamed I was being chased by boys or men. I would suddenly take off like a helicopter and fly away, sometimes narrowly escaping from my pursuer. M.C

Learning independence, and the ability to make decisions despite what others feel, may be done by ignoring our own feelings. This may be achieved by always keeping busy; never having quiet moments alone; filling empty periods with entertainment or company; smoking, drinking alcohol, taking sedatives or tranquillisers; rigid positive thinking. Then, as Michael does in his dream, we fly from issues we are pursued by instead of resolving them. This may lead us to the extremes of being either rigidly materialistic, or as rigidly ethereal. In either case we lose contact with everyday human issues, and may begin to have the ‘escape’ type flying dream, or out of body experiences. See Nothing Can Hurt You in Your Dreams

We are all born into a certain paradigm or ‘reality’. At one time, part of the ‘reality’ for most Britain’s was that anyone without a white skin was a heathen or savage. At other times the ‘reality’ has been that anything heavier than air could not fly. Meteors did not exist because theory discounted them – and so on. To break free of such paradigms and from the ‘gravity’ or hold our parental and social authority has on us, and to find a measure of emotional and intellectual freedom, takes the sort of will, effort and learning depicted in some flying dreams. See Archetype of the Paradigm

Example: ‘During childhood I learned to fly in a long sequence of dreams. Each linked very clearly to the last. I would go to the nearby churchyard and in the beginning I would run along as fast as I could then jump and just manage to extend the jump by a great effort of will. In subsequent practices I managed to gradually extend the jump for many yards; and eventually I could skim along indefinitely. The next stage though was to extend my height, and this took enormous effort of will and body. I made active swimming motions and climbed, but only held altitude with great and constant concentration. With further practice still, this clumsy mode of flying was left behind as I learned to use pure motivation or will to lift me into the air and carry me easily and gracefully wherever I wished. At this stage my flying was swift, mobile and without struggle.’ Jason V.

Flying expresses also the dealing with other internal influences which hold us down, such as self doubt, anxiety, depression.

Example: ‘I was flying. I felt nervous at first that I would fall down, but not afraid. I soon became confident and felt very happy and wanted the sensation to continue. I was flying over a building, could have been a small church, crematorium or graveyard but did not feel afraid or upset. When I woke I lay in bed and tried very hard to keep the feelings with me and, for reasons unknown, I do not wish to forget it.’ Mrs S. M.

In flying, Mrs S. M. is finding a way to look at death – the graveyard – which gives her a different viewpoint, a different feeling reaction to it, and she doesn’t want to lose that precious newly learned view. In their maturing process, some people learn to see their thoughts and emotions as things they experience rather than what they are. For instance I might feel a failure and thus believe I am indeed a failure. Or I might recognise the feeling of failure as simply an emotion I sometimes have which I can choose a reaction to. This brings the sort of new viewpoint and freedom seen in the above example. See Avoid Being Victims

Flying alone occurs most frequently, showing the independent aspect of flying. But because it often involves our positive feelings of pleasure, flying may depict our sexuality as below, especially aspects of it expressing freedom from social norms and restraints.

Example: ‘I knew I could fly. I picked up one of the young women I felt love for and flew with her. Laughingly I felt like superman, and flew easily.’ Simon W.

Example: I miss my flights. I miss the feel of the wind. Soaring to the closeness of the earth and in full lightless speed into the high sky. Soaring down to touch the brim of the water below and seeing the flights reflections. I miss looking to my left and seeing my flight partner, a beautiful Hawk with beautiful yellow eyes. Never did the Hawk fly ahead nor behind or above nor below. I learned to see far below from high above. And when the flight was over I felt complete. I miss soaring!

Example: Particularly I miss coming alive for the first time – really alive and with a knowing and awareness that was like quicksilver and penetrating. I was flying – out of the heavy almost blind body still lying on the bed, and below me I cold see great radiations coming from places on the surface of the earth. Was it prayers reaching out?

Transcendence is also depicted by flying. The tree is Margareta’s personal life. She is at the growing tip, transcending, leaving behind her past. Being high in flight, or on a hill or mountain also represents the action of seeing our life as a whole, having a sense of our overall direction and destiny, our essential self. This frequently gives rise to the drive to give of one’s best to others, as Margareta does in leaving behind a sign – the spire of colour.

Example: ‘I was floating atop a tree near houses and a rising walkway. I was saying to people around the tree that I had found something wonderful. Reaching out my hand I told them they could join me if they accepted this possibility in themselves. Some thought it was a publicity campaign, but were enjoying the spectacle. A few reached out and were immediately with me, until there were about six of us, men and women. We joined hands, experiencing a most amazing sense of well being. Then we slowly and effortlessly flew to a great height, leaving a trail of coloured smoke which could be seen for miles. It was to demonstrate the triumph of the human spirit. We then descended and were going somewhere else to show others.’ Margareta H.

Some researchers believe flying dreams often precede lucid dreams. See: lucid dreams; out of body experience. See also: hill; mountain.

Example: As this occurred I had a wonderful sense of being a lovely bird that has been in some way ill all its life. This meant it never flew when the flock took flight. Instead, to deal with its own difficulty it felt feelings of not wanting to fly like the others, of not wanting to be like them and do the meaningless things they do. But with the healing came the realisation I could fly, and I took wing and joined the flock. Now I am a creature of spirit, which I have always been, and I asked the Light to help me learn the ways of ‘flying’ in the spirit.

Another view of flying is that it is a way of exploring one’s own awareness and possibilities.

Example: That night I dreamt I was on the hill behind my old “home” in Amersham. A strong wind was blowing, but it was warm, sunny, and peaceful. Spreading my arms I caught the wind in my short coat and rose up like a kite. Higher and higher I went, and I experimented with diving and gliding. Sometimes I lost the airlift and tumbled over and over, but at no point did I feel fear. I twisted and found the lift again. At one point I rose to an enormous height and saw the earth distant below me.

Then I glided down and approached the field to land. It was near where Piggots Orchard council houses backed right onto the open hillside above the two old elm trees. A young girl of about six was playing in the field. As I came in to land she saw me and ran away very frightened. I was gliding in the same direction she was running and called out to her not be frightened. She stopped and I landed. In amazement she looked at me and said, “How did you get to be up there?”

Flying in the clouds: This can either be about a sense of yourself free from the usual limitations of body, of concepts learned in a materialistic culture – or losing touch with your everyday life and escaping into imagination and longings. If it is the first it usually involves recognising that your essential self is not the body or the thoughts and emotions.

Idioms: Fly by night; flying high; send flying.

Useful questions and hints:

If I climbed above the clouds by flying, what sense of myself and the world did I arrive at?

Did I fly to escape from something or someone?

Are there difficulties in flying or is it easy?

Where did I fly to and what did I find?

See More than you Presently KnowTechniques for Exploring your DreamsProcessing Dreams - Archetype of the Paradigm

 

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Comments

-andrea 2013-10-02 17:30:10

Tony I have the same type of dreams, runinning from something or someone then you run so fast you begin to fly. I have realized in when I start having these dreams again something is not going right in my life or I’m very stressed. It took me a very long time to understand this. Maybe this is the same for you?

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-susan 2013-11-24 23:13:35

had beautiful and happy dream that i learned how to fly. started out flying and then had to learn how to master it. i was hovering over outdoor market place in manhattan, then to a beautiful under ground place with treasures so vivid and beautiful all i felt was euphoria and love surrounding me. then i saw a dog and new it was a wise dog and held him on my back and continued to fly home with him, it was difficult but i did it and i knew i would be ok and that we would get home safe.

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-adidev 2014-06-10 12:38:02

I always dream about flying.. and end up saving ppl somehow.. but 1 thing I’ve noted is i always struggle to fly. I get these kind of dreams twice atleast every week. What does this mean?

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-Charlie 2014-06-17 17:29:44

I had several dreams about flying. It showed me graveyards everywhere. I was flying with three different creatures that I can’t even tell if they are humans but were good to me. We dived in to check everything alive on the land but all it showed me were graveyards and dead people. Few moments more we took time to see the horizon from as we stopped flying. It felt really scary. A big wave of water from the ocean was heading to the graveyard land.

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-jaime 2014-09-21 21:59:57

i was flying in my dream.there is a girl on stage and her graduation day.i greeted her while i was flying.i was happy when flying .what does it mean?

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-Kailey 2014-11-09 0:44:04

I had a dream that I was in a black wheeled chaired but I was high in the sky. I was falling (I could literally feel the wind) but nothing was getting closer. Then the chair fell out from under me and disappeared. There was someone a few meters from me but I don’t know who they were or what they were doing. In reality, I could feel my bedsheets and I knew I was dreaming. I knew that if I opened my eyes, it would disappear, so I didn’t. I was calm and peaceful while I was ‘floating’. About the ‘floating’: I was falling and I knew I was but nothing was getting closer or farther. I could feel the wind (not like in reality it goes horizontally) going vertically. I loved this experience and feeling. In the dream, I was horizontal (on my back, which is quaint because I could see the ground far below me) with my arms spread out. I felt free, calm and just amazed at the sight.

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-Susan Peck 2015-08-07 16:16:32

I’ve been having so many flying dreams lately where I soar so high that I’m in outer space and come back down when I start to have trouble breathing but then I fly high above the earth and feel such joy that I actually begin to sing and do tricks flying upside down, doing loops, etc. I always wake up feeling great, I love these dreams.

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-Sue Cosgrove 2015-12-04 3:00:22

During my dreams I have often thought to myself, I must remember to tell mum or my partner about this. I’m sure this must be lucid dreaming?

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-Abbey 2016-01-03 5:35:09

As a child, somewhere around the years of primary school and early high school, I used to have these really fabulous vivid dreams of flying around my home, neighbourhood, schools (both). The dreams were incredibly realistic, so much so that I actually questioned being able to fly for real, and tried, off my porch lol. I loved my dreams, I was so incredibly contented in them, gliding along the garden, along home & rooftop, court yards, corridors, the sports fields & grandstands where others milled around or sat & chatted during break times. If I slowed enough I could actually hear snippets of their convos & possibly chat with them ( memory a bit rusty there, but I think so, fuzzy recollection of bringing someone along once or twice). But I was more interested in the joy of flying, and could easily fly up higher into the sky & enjoy the peace & beautiful views. I loved how I felt while flying. Most, if not all of the time, it seemed it was only me who could fly solo – tho that wasn’t the main focal point of most dreams. And I think I didn’t really have repeating dreams, they seemed a continuation of sorts. Going back roughly 20-25ish yrs ago that I had them. How I felt in them – joy, contented ness, freedom, positivity, agility, connection with nature, the breeze, warmth, sunshine, the feeling of the wind/gravity forces as I turned, & went up/down, and coming down to land. I miss them & wish I could dream like that again. Info on the dreams would be much appreciated.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-01-10 11:07:55

    Dear Abbey – The way I see these dreams – and please explore them yourself as well http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/dream-yoga/ and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson – is that while you are sleeping you are exploring a state of mind in which you experience the uplifting thoughts and feelings you describe and you practice how to bring these down; how to integrate these in the life of what you call “the real time me” and express them in your waking life.
    I wonder if you did integrate (and express) these thoughts and feelings – made them a part of your waking life too – and if you are aware of this, because then there would not be a need to “dream (about) them” anymore.
    If you feel that you have not integrated (all of) these thoughts and feelings – or are not aware that you did – then a feeling of missing them could arise; or a sense of “wanting to go Home even”; allowing to be moved again by Life/God; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/authentic-self/
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/the-lifestream/
    You do not mention what your waking life was like at this period. Did you fall in love? Did you express yourself in ways that “gave you wings”; did you have creative plans you felt like realising etc.?
    Did you perceive your waking life as very difficult?
    One of the many functions of dreams is that they can be a means of compensating for failure or deprivation in everyday life, and as a means of expressing the otherwise unacknowledged aspects of oneself. Such dreams are a move toward wholeness.
    If you can remember what that period of your waking life was like, you might be able to understand how and why you have created those dreams, what thoughts and feelings that were part of your waking life enabled you to fly.
    Because some researchers believe that flying dreams precede lucid dreams; you might like to read http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/lucid-dreaming/
    My daughter is a lucid dreamer and sometimes she decides in her dreams – when she feels it is appropriate to interfere with the dream – to ride her horse very fast across the plains.
    So that might be a possibility for you too to “get your dreams back.”
    Anna :-)

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-Abbey 2016-01-03 5:41:21

Oh and i just had a recollection that the odd time, I could look down from above & see myself below on the ground, and just watch what I was doing, as if I were a bird watching what the real time me was doing. This was strangely comforting too. Explanation for this would be great too pls.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-01-10 11:01:57

    Dear Abbey – In dreams, our sense of self – our ego, our personality or identity – is depicted by our own body, or sometimes simply by the sense of our own existence as an observer. In most dreams our ‘I’ goes through a series of experiences just as we do in waking life, seeing things through our physical eyes, touching with our hands, and so on. But occasionally we watch our own body and other people as if from a detached point of bodiless awareness. If we accept that dreams portray in images our conception of self, then dreams suggest that our identity largely depends upon having a body, its gender, health, quality, skin colour, the social position we are born into, and our relationship with others.
    What could have been comforting to you too, is that you start to become aware of “the observer”.
    This can be comforting for the “real time me” that is going through a series of experiences, because when observed from a somewhat detached point of view, it helps to not (overly) identify with the thoughts and feelings that are part of the experience; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/self-observation/
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/life-beyond-change-and-pain/
    and so the bird-eye view will give you a clearer sense of what is going on.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/intuition-in-dreams/
    Let me know if you have any questions Abbey.
    Anna :-)

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