If you escaped in the dream, then you know of some way to emerge from the restrictions of fears, attitudes, ignorance or beliefs, that have been holding you back in some way. There is a negative aspect of this however, as sometimes we escape from something to run from difficulties or avoid growing.

Fear is a natural instinct to warn us of actual danger or of old memories of past fears. Some people say you should either trample ones fear underfoot, or face them. But in doing either you are dealing with you own mind and feelings, trampling them does not get rid of something that is a part of you, it simply pushes them into your own dark self ready to haunt in other ways. Facing them can work but in doing so you need to be able to meet your own fearful emotions.

Have you got hold of your fear – or has it got you? Firstly, we cannot let go of something and offer it to our action if it has hold of us. Nearly all of us are addicts, addictions we cannot let go of. But addictions are not just for drugs or alcohol, we have addictions to sex, to eating, to fighting, to loneliness, to depression – yes, we are trapped by many things. I was addicted to depression. Such addictions are like having a hungry tiger running around your house, and if you had such a beast in your home you would avoid it at all costs; unless you had a way of immediately being in control of it. Being in control is a huge step to being at ease with the many urges and emotions we all face. So it is with your own fears and pains. Unless you can stop their attack, you avoid them, run from them, and in fact let them unconsciously control your decisions and actions.

Fear is fundamental to life, but for humans, because of our ability to think and hold images of things we are not actually meeting at the moment, fear can become a constant threat. Therefore the facing of fear, the meeting and dealing with the many images of fear we meet, is extraordinarily transformative. The Ox Herding Pictures describes a way of gaining strength to meet yourself.

Finding a way of moving beyond restrictions, perhaps caused by anxiety or past pain. We often use ‘escape’, as in the example below ‘to avoid difficult feelings’. This is like reading an exciting novel because it distracts our attention. The problems remain.

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

Example: ‘I dreamt I was a prisoner with many others. Myself and other men were outside the prison working. Then a tremendous explosion blew a hole in the prison wall. I knew prisoners were trying to escape. I saw some wardens and shouted or signalled to the prisoners to be careful.’ Terry D.

Terry worked as a therapist without scholastic qualification. He represents his attitudes to authority as the prison, because he had felt second rate due to his lack of scholarship. The escapees are his potential that had been trapped by those attitudes.

The images and fears we experience in our dreams are projection upon the vast screen of our mind. They are all projections from you. Running from them is like trying to escape from yourself. But such dreams are like a computer game with full surround virtual reality. In such games you can be killed a thousand times and yet you survive to deal with the monsters again. That is unless you learn a way through and go on through the levels. But unlike those games there is a wonderful intelligence behind the dreams we have, and if you listen and learn from it you will find a real mastership – not a false one of deny any fear or repressing anything that threatens you. See Martial Art of the Mind

Example; A young man dreamed that he was about five or six years old and was faced by a river he must cross. He looked for a bridge but found none. He thought of swimming but then realized he could not swim. (In the waking state he actually could swim). He then sees a tall, dark man who indicates he will carry him across the river in his arms. He is greatly relieved and allows the stranger to pick him up and begin. But then he is seized with panic. He suddenly realizes that if he does not escape from this man he will die!

They are already in the river, he in the man’s arms, but he gathers his courage and makes a desperate leap into the river. He is sure he will drown but suddenly finds that he can swim and soon reaches the other side. The frightening man disappears.

Crossing the river is seen as the need, and the difficulty, of moving from childhood toward adult independence. The young man was an only child, who had been cosseted by overprotective parents, and was finding it difficult to face life without their support.The man is all the support he gets from parents and other people such as teachers and friends – excellent while he was a child, but something he must learn to do without if he is to develop his own innate strengths. If he doesn’t escape from their support then he will die – i.e. not carry on growing in an alive way. When the dreamer takes the risk of daring the river, he finds he has the ability to survive.

Something escaping from us: A realisation, emotion or opportunity eluding awareness. See: enclosed.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What am I escaping from or to in the dream?

Are the details of the dream informative about the ways I try to escape?

What is it that escapes from me and what does that suggest?

See Facing Fear – Secrets of Power Dreaming – Associations Working With




-Jenny M. 2016-09-13 7:35:03

I have had various dreams of escaping (or trying to), but in my most recent one, I dreamed I and another girl that I knew in the dream (not waking life) were in some college ‘dormitory’ at a school. All the other girls there were evil and had wanted us to join some sort of satanic cult, but we didn’t want to. They were getting suspicious about me and my ‘friend’ found out they were planning on murdering me, so we were going to just escape. For some reason I had to kill one of them because she was going to rat on me to the others, I strangled her (she was screaming, and in dream I wondered why the others weren’t coming to see about the screaming), and then dismembered her body. I got rid of most of her body but still had one part left (a limb?), I had to put it in a bathroom stall to conceal it. Then the others were in the area I was trying to get out of, so I ducked into a dark, empty classroom and was trying the windows to find an open one. Outside the windows I could see some servants (chauffeurs?) doing stuff with the cars of the students. I finally found a window to get out and I dropped to the ground. I landed outside and I met up with the girl, I noticed she didn’t even have shoes on. In dream we were walking and either I had the dismembered body part with me and I thought that I had forgotten it, or I had forgotten it and I left it back in the bathroom. For whatever reason in dream I didn’t know which was the case. Song in my head when I woke up was the lyrics, “you’re the one that I really miss, you’re the one that I’m dreaming of baby you’re the one that I love”.

    -Tony Crisp 2016-09-13 9:34:17

    Jenny – As the stage manager of our inner theatre – dreams – we have the most abundant props, costumes and backdrops imaginable. Yet, because a dream is our own creation, no part of it, no emotion contained in it, no flight of fancy portrayed, is other than yourself. Even when we dream vividly of another person, such as the man in our life, the dream personality is made up of our own impressions, hopes and feelings. Most people are often totally unaware of the experience they take in and how it interacts with them when we live with someone. In other words, the memories and experience we gather unconsciously change us and are not lost. It is part of you and is symbolised in dreams as a person or event.

    So, Jenny, you are not only running away from your own emotions probably started during a rough time dealing with other people, but also you murdered an aspect of yourself – though your till carry evidence of it with you – the limb.

    The unknown dream aid represents a part of you also. A modern view of the personality says that our mind is made up of many modules which are quite distinct. These modules, such as the sexual drive and the ability to speak, usually function in a way which is reasonably integrated. But many areas of dissimilarity are evident if we closely observe the workings of our own responses to life. Because we each hold certain ideas about ourselves – our self-image – things we do which do not express this self-image may shock or even frighten us. Actions arising from a module of oneself which does not express our accepted self-image, may give rise not only to fear, but also a sense of evil, or being possessed by evil.

    You must be realised that our dreams are a perfectly safe area in which to experiment, explore, express ourselves any way and find pleasure in any way too. But this exploring can be a grand route to learning about life.

    To help you meet yourself more realistically or the change element of it read and use and


      -Jenny M. 2017-01-10 10:17:13

      Dear Tony,
      Just wanted to pop in again and express my deep gratitude for all your help! I’m still trying to grasp the profundity of your analysis as well as how to interpret dreams, but I wanted to just thank you for all your efforts. You really do help make a big difference and wanted to acknowledge that. I know we all need a bit of encouragement from time to time. Thanks again!

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved