Aggressive feelings are one of the main ex­pressions of our energy, along with sex, ambition and survival. Generally speaking, it is not wise to hold them back even though they are in an awful and destructive phase. Wherever possible it helps to seek a more satisfy­ing and constructive expression for them – beating a pillow with a rolled up newspaper for instance, while allowing your feelings to vent.

Many aggressive or hostile feelings arise from childhood experiences, and are, at their origin, directed toward one or both of our parents. But unfortunately in adult life they tend to fire toward someone we have an emotional link with, such as our partner or even ones child.

It often happens that held back sexual impulses turn to aggressive actions or intentions.

Perhaps you live in an environment where violence is a part of life, if so please read Dream Yoga.

It is fascinating to see how our cultural background stimulates or diminishes aggression. In his book The Dreaming Mind Robert van de Castle says, “During my eight visits among the Cunas, I never saw a child hit or heard one severely scolded. Nor did I ever see a young child on the ground, because the child was always being held on someone’s hip or sitting in someone’s lap. Such indulgence produced a secure and confident child who felt extremely accepted by every member of the tribe. As a consequence, there was an almost total absence of competition, rivalry, or Cuna-to-Cuna aggression in the dreams of Cuna adolescents. The aggressors in Cuna dreams consisted of the Panamanian National Guard, evil spirits, animals, and foreigners. By way of contrast, almost half of all American adolescent dreams involve aggression and it is generally with other Americans. (Kuna or Cuna is the name of an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia.)

We might displace our aggression in our dreams by dreaming that instead of killing our boss, we might dream that our employer’s automobile is crushed by a runaway garbage truck.

If you are aggressive in a dream it is most likely showing you your own aggressiveness, and will point out where it stems from. Is it from being ignored, given wrong goods and wrong price, being treated like a nobody or a fool, being lied to?

If you are the victim of aggression in your dreams ask yourself whether there is a part of your own nature which as directed anger inwardly instead of expressing it. Also look to see if there is a situation in your family, or in work that is threatening you – is so take steps to alter it.

Example: Lenox Lewis the boxer plus another man also a famous boxer were having a competition as to who was the strongest. Yet they were not fighting just moving boxes with pictures or building blocks around. You could see that they were very frustrated by the way they were lifting these boxes, attempting to utilise their strength. The feeling was that some do-gooder was trying to show that men who used aggression could turn this energy to something more constructive, such as, what set of blocks compliment each other or what large piece of jigsaw puzzle fits in what place. I could see the intention that the creator of this idea was trying to achieve. This was a way of turning raw energy and aggression into an intellectual and creative skills, still with a competitive spirit. Yet the whole concept was spoilt by such a childish approach. The mind that had dreamt the idea up had very little if any sense of his or her animal nature.

An interesting dream because it tries to solve the problem about the dreamer’s aggression, but it doesn’t take into account his animal tendencies. See Reptile and Mammal Brain in Humans.

Example: I was attending an adult class with about 20 or 30 people, mostly men. The teacher came in. He said something and a man asked a question or spoke back. The teacher got really angry and hit him with a walking stick. Someone else in the class remarked on the beating and was attacked also. A man sitting next to me on my left said that if the teacher hit him he wouldn’t sit and take it.

But as the second man was hit, my companion said something like – Bloody hell. The teacher landed two mighty blows on his arse, but he didn’t move. I said in horror “Good God!” whereupon the teacher moved to hit me. I stood up and said, “If you hit me with that thing I’ll whack you in the fucking ear.” I felt keyed up and ready to fight. He backed off and threatened to get the headmaster on me. I told him to try it. He said if I could do better try it. So I took over the class and it went really well. Then I seemed to be witnessing a young man making love with a girl in a room. A teacher burst into the room and got angry at the couple. The young man was not at all cowed. He said, “You burst into a private room without knocking. We happen to be adults. I want an apology.” The teacher was silent for a time then apologised. The young man said, “Thank you sir. I am proud to acknowledge you as my teacher.”

The dreamer was a man in his forties, and the dream, when he explored it was about the sort of violence he witnessed at school. It shows how he felt and what he wanted to do, to stand up for himself for taking such heavy blows – but at the time lived in the belief that it was normal. But he was now seeing it from a different viewpoint, and handled it very well. As you can see, you do not have to cower to aggressors in your dreams. See Dream Yoga.

Here is part of an interview with Stanislav Grof that is very interesting.

Jerry Snider: What about our current cultural period? The social climate today has a feeling of hopelessness, of being trapped. People have lost faith in most of our institutions, especially our political institutions. In our urban populations, the rampant crime keeps people feeling trapped. Are we in any single classic stage?

Stanislav Grof: Yes. Many people who have these inner experiences, take a larger look and see that we have now enacted in our world a lot of the elements you would encounter internally when you are in a transformation process. For example, you would encounter tremendous unleashing of aggression. You would confront destructive and self-destructive tendencies within yourself if you have an inner experience. There is also a liberation of repressed sexuality. This has been happening for years. Just about every aspect of sexual behaviour has been openly presented in the media. There are all kinds of very unusual sexual experiments such as S&M parlours, sexual slave markets, fist fucking – all these things have sprung up. So the sexual impulse is sort of being released and acted out, and also the aggressive. There is an increase not only in criminality but in terrorism as well, all over the world. Then you have satanic elements emerging from the collective unconscious. The deep levels of the psyche are now being ventilated.”

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is the anger in the dream directed toward me or someone else?

If it’s toward me, am I dealing here with anger in myself I am not recognising, or am I sensing the anger in someone I know?

Am I frightened of expressing anger or hostility?

Can I allow a safer expression of my anger?

It may  be useful to use Carry the Dream Forward and us Processing Dreams. See: hostility.

It can help to deal with anger and aggression by using The Cushion Technique.

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