Enclosed Enclosure

The defences we use, such as pride, beliefs, anger, to protect ourselves from deeply feeling the impact of the world, relationship, love, anxiety or pain. These are often presented in dreams as traps or restraints, even though they are parts of our own personality. For instance one may feel trapped by one’s own feelings of dependence upon family.

Example: ‘I am trapped in a bricked room with no way out and I shout for somebody to help me. Then either a big bird or a creature with long arms tries to catch me, and I scream.’ Karen S.

Karen had previously lost a baby, been divorced, had an unsatisfying relationship with a man. She feels trapped by the defences she has herself built ‘brick by brick’, but is frightened of the opportunity of change represented by the bird. What encloses or traps us in our dream gives a clue to what constrains us in waking.

Example: ‘As I go through a tunnel it either gets smaller so I can’t get through, or it goes on so far there is no end to it. I am trapped and terrified.’ Don M.

This sort of enclosed dream is typical of trauma relating to a difficult birth. In fact Don’s mother was in labour for four days, and never had another child because of the pain.

An enclosure can be the way we preserve our own identity from the influences of the world. Or if it is an enclosure with animals in, it might show how you keep your own natural life processes protected or separated from the social and commercial influences surrounding you. But if we search with enough courage, trust in our inner process, then we will find a way as in the following dream.

Example: One person, “looking for herself, came upon a tightly closed box. Tearing it open she found inside a lovely rose, and realised that she had been enclosed in a box of Puritanism, of self denial and physical shame. The outer petals of the rose, pink and mauve, seemed to whirl and dance; they sent her fancy spinning off like a ballerina into flowered landscapes of delicious femininity. The inner petals were shaded from the light, obscure and mysterious. Here the colours darkened to deep crimson and velvet purple. They reflected her deep animality. These she avoided, until she realised that it took both the light and the dark to make a lovely rose. She could not have one without the other. Gradually the rose became a nourishing symbol in her life and growth.”

Sometimes we can be trapped and made ill by the very things we felt would free us.

Example: I was like Atlas, supporting a world upon my shoulders and arms. It was so heavy I swayed and stumbled, and eventually was crushed – falling over – lying on my back, arms and legs wide. My hands went back and tried to lift up this world but failed. Then they went into a prayerful position, high up, and afterwards seemed to spin the world up above my chest, then take it upon my shoulders again and gradually rise. I seem to remember that flickers of strength or energy had gradually arisen from within me to enable me to lift the world. Now my right hand began to swing round and round, fast and faster. My left hand joined in and I understood that I was whirling this world faster and faster. Suddenly, and with a mighty effort, out rushing breath, and a sense of finality, I let go and the world swung into space – in orbit. It was here that I saw it as a creation drama, and felt from within that all such dramas have great inner meaning.

It took me months to realise the truth behind that wonderful experience I had in LifeStream. The world was what I had created by my religious, beliefs I had inherited and that I now saw caused me years of illness. Then I had stood before a wonderful light. But I still felt I had manacles and chains of my wrists, and said with great passion, “Please take these chains off me!” And the Light replied, “Tony, I love you. I would never put chains on you, you put them on yourself.”

Useful questions:

What type of enclosure is it – a trap, a fence, a wall, a prison – and how does that reflect my life?

If I am enclosed by people, in what way am I held?

What do I feel about the situation?

Am I trapping myself through my own attitudes or beliefs?

See Avoid Being VictimsHabitsTechniques for Exploring your Dreams

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