The Japanese people are a mixture of great practicality and also the spirit of the East. Apart from being very creative they are also people who have an understanding of the hidden side of life.
The difference can be seen in things like Eastern and Western beliefs. A case reports are presented in which Ss (a 40-yr-old Christian woman and a 55-yr-old multiple faith man) shifted faith and had families with multiple faiths. Ss’ dreams were characterized by concomitant multiple religious images existing without conflict. Japanese people seem to hold and embrace simultaneous polytheistic beliefs, while Westerners have difficulty believing in more than one religion. The japanese people often have difficulty in being able to directly express opinions. Otherwise we all have very similar dream themes.
A project was undertaken in the United States by Dr. Richard Griffith, and also by two Japanese scientists. Dr. Griffith studied the dreams of 250 college students in Kentucky and the Japanese gave a similar questionnaire to 223 in Tokyo; over 7000 dreams were thus collected. All the themes were very similar. There were 34 such themes, ranging from sexual experience to being nude, from being buried alive to swimming, missing a train, falling, flying, or seeing strange animals. The differences in dream content were often more marked between American men and American women, or Japanese men and women, than between American and Japanese men. Variations in dream patterns, it appeared, might depend more on distinctions of sex than cultural factors, even when the societies were basically as different as those of America and Japan.
But a Japanese man or woman in you dream may represent a more inner world feeling, cultural impulse from your inner self. Can even represent your own inner wisdom. But first see Associations Working With
Example: a dream from last night or early this morning. I had got hold of a book of photographs of Japan. It was printed in the thirties or earlier and was externally worn and dog-eared. I opened the book to look at the pictures. They were all black and white. The first one was spread over the two open pages. It was of a beach, taken from a hillside. The day was cloudy but bright. One could almost feel or see the breeze blowing because there was a sense of movement. The beach was slightly curved, bay like, with the hill rising from near the edge of the sea. Here and there trees growing, not big. On the beach the rollers were breaking, quite big surf. A large rocky shelf ran into the sea from the beach, and this caused the breakers to roll up and around at one point, turning back toward the sea again. In the middle of this, quite small in the photo was the figure of a man sitting in the lotus position facing the land. Waves were breaking around and slightly over him, but he sat at peace, undistracted, in Zen meditation. It was so simple, so beautiful. I realised I had read somewhere of the man who sat amidst the waves.
I explored my Japan photographic book dream with a friend. It was very rewarding and I felt the emotion involved in the dream. I started as the man meditating on the beach. As him I felt I was in a state of ‘being’ in which I accepted the energy and movement of the waves. I realised that the ‘meditation’ could easily have been a conflict with the waves – a resistance or fight, perhaps struggle. I saw this as related to the way I meet life experience, or the way I am learning to meet it. By this I mean both internal experience of emotion and thought, but also exterior events and their impact on me.
I had my back to the waves because in this position I was not meeting the waves head on, but letting them move me. This relates to what is said above about meeting experience. I also sense this as to do with the ‘way’. It is learning to see the way of things inside oneself and outside. Learning to see how things live and function, and working with the process instead of trying to force things. The sea and waves I experienced as Life itself, not just the experiences but the process of life, as it flowed through me, and I was not turning my back on the land – everyday life. J asked me a question of how long I would stay there, and how long I had been there. My immediate feeling response was that I was still connected to everyday life and duties in a positive way. This meant that although I was bathing in the waves of the ocean of life, I had not lost my connection with everyday life and practical activities. I came and sat with the waves when I could, to bathe again in the ocean of life, to know the joy of ‘being’. There was no need to seek this joy or struggle toward it. It always exists, but is sometimes covered by the activities of the mind, the emotions or the attempt to reach goals.
Example: I was by a bed in a ward, in which a young Japanese girl lay. Her father and brother were there. Screens were around the bed. The girl would not eat. I spoke to her, feeling love for her. It seemed she wouldn’t eat because only unacceptable food was given her. All she wanted was bananas. I believe this was going to be done. She would be okay.
The Japanese girl represents my soul, my personality, the softer side of me. The problem here is that my soul must be fed with the right things. The problem was I tried to direct to myself too much, and I lost the power of letting things happen. The strength I gained in this direction was necessary. I dream of bananas because presently I will live on the bananas. The bananas represent gods love.
Example: A Japanese girl. I seemed to be working with her in a beach house connected with civil service activities. The girl was slim, and cultured as far as being trained in social life. She said, “Do you want a jump?” Meaning did I want to fuck her. I didn’t feel any need to in the dream, but felt very endeared to her because of her frankness. I knew such a question in her case did not arise out of sexual forwardness, sexual problems, or any attempt to be liberated. It was a simple straightforward question, and asked in exactly the way one might say, “Do you want anything to eat?” Or, “Have you got somewhere to sleep tonight?”
Useful Questions and Hints:
What did you experience of feel in the dream?
Was there any feelings of finding inner wisdom?