Energy, Sex and Dreams

Dreams depict this in a variety of ways. It might be shown as electricity, as something flowing, like water, or as a house. But one of the frequently used symbols is the snake. In fact many ancient cultures used the snake or serpent and even the dragon in their religious symbols to illustrate how we relate to the huge process and energy of life, but a modern symbol of it is electricity.

So, instead of using the word energy, we could use the word potential, in its latent and expressed form. Personal potential, and the part your sexual feelings play in your life, becomes clearer in the way dreams use images of the snake, electricity and water.

A good example of this is the way electricity exists in a house. First, we have the supply of electricity into the house. The wires carrying the supply to the house are not in themselves the electricity. The current is invisible, but it has great potential for good or harm. So we usually deal with it carefully, and have means of controlling it via insulation, fuses and switches. When the electricity is wired into the house, its potential can be expressed in a huge variety of ways. It can manifest as heat, light, and power to move or do things, such as with a drill or vacuum cleaner. It can produce sound or images as with television, and can, via programs for the computer, manifest in almost magical ways, storing and retrieving huge amounts of information and manipulating it.

Limitless Potential

The usefulness of this image of the house with its electricity is that we can use it as an analogy of energy in your own life. Your potential can express as cellular activity, or physical movement. You can experience it as sexual drive and its pleasure and pain, as emotions, as sight, hearing, sensation, smell and taste. You can express it as thinking, and vocalising in speech or singing, or as the creation of a personal virtual reality, as you do in fantasy and dreams. Some psychic experiences even suggest that part of your potential is to extend your awareness over huge distances, or gain penetrating insight into another person’s state of mind or body. But all these are expressions of it, and are not IT. See Edgar Cayce; Dimensions of Your Experience

As with electricity, your potential is probably limitless, and depends upon the state of body and mind you use to approach and express it. In connection with this, something interesting happened the first time I slept in the same bed as my wife Hyone. She fell asleep quickly, and I noticed there was a great struggle with her breathing through her nose. My impression from listening was that as she started breathing in, a tension occurred in her nose, closing it in some way. This led to a gasping sound as air was forced into her closed mouth.

While she still slept I spoke to her quietly, suggesting that the muscles in her nose and face would relax. I repeated this a few times and Hyone’s breathing became easy and normal. Seeing that she responded so well, I decided to try something else. So I quietly suggested that her whole body would drop unnecessary tensions, and emotional and mental stress would melt away. I went on to say that this would open all the doors of her being, allowing cleansing and healing throughout.

There was no apparent response to this, so I lay quietly ready to sleep. But suddenly, about eight minutes later, Hyone woke, almost with a jerk, and said enthusiastically, “I just had the most amazing dream.” 

In the dream Hyone had been with her mother and sisters in a garden at the back of a house. Hyone was lying in the sun relaxing. As she relaxed she felt a wave of energy flow up her body to her head. Then, wave after wave moved up her body, giving her tremendous pleasure and feelings of well-being. But the waves got stronger and stronger, and she was frightened they would overwhelm her, and at that point she woke.

This is a very important dream because we know what prompted it, and therefore exactly what the symbols refer to. We can also see that Hyone’s energy potential, released as a healing influence, was felt as threatening when it became intense. Also, Hyone doesn’t symbolise her potential as electricity or a snake, but experiences it directly as waves of pleasure.

The Power of Life or Death

There is no suggestion in Hyone’s dream that the enormous energy flow she was experiencing would harm her. It was felt as healing and life enhancing. But we need to remember there is also a negative facet of our potential, and we need to avoid becoming a victim of it. In the following two dreams this is shown clearly. See Reaction to the unconscious

Example: I am in overalls working in a house. I am kneeling on the floor. The house is not familiar to me. In some way I had hold of, or was connected with, a large electric cable. The cable was live with electricity, and it touched my right shoulder. The effect was excruciating and shocking pain. The most intense memory is of struggling to pull the cable away from myself, fighting to stay conscious against the terrible current lashing through me. I screamed out for my mother, who I was sure was in the building somewhere, to switch off the electricity. I knew I only had a little time because I could not survive that current long. I have a vague sense that the current stopped, and then the current and struggle started again. Steve.

The second dream uses the image of the snake.

Example: I am quietly lying in bed, alone at night. I see a snake slithering toward me. It comes across the bed and bites me in the region of the heart. I manage to pull it off and suck out the poison. Jane.

Both the dreams portray a dangerous situation. We know that touching an uninsulated electrical supply wire can kill. We know that snakebite can be dangerous or fatal. But what are these dreams saying about human potential being so dangerous? But the electricity in the dream was found by the dreamer to be his own powerful energy turned inwards, short-circuited by what he felt to be the criticism, the rejection, non-understanding of his two last women partners. “I felt that I had tried and tried, while preserving my own integrity, to live in the way they wanted me to. But this felt as if it was an enormous self-denial at times. It was a self-denial that created this almost death dealing introversion of energy.”

But sex is not a universal impulse, but is determined by the energy we take in by foo and air. Experimental “starvation” was the physical condition in some other studies which made it clear the link between food and sexusl impulse.. In an investigation reported in 1919, the subjects were two groups of twelve young men. One group had their usual caloric content reduced by one-third or one-half for a period of four months, and the other group was maintained on an even lower caloric level for three weeks. Of the twenty-four men, twenty-two reported a decrease in sexual interest, sixteen claimed a decrease in nocturnal emissions, and none of them claimed recall of any sexual dreams. 43 In a 1948 study involving thirty-six male conscientious objectors, the subjects maintained a good diet for three months (about thirty-five hundred calories), a markedly reduced diet of less than sixteen hundred calories for six months, and then a rehabilitative diet for three months. The men lost about one-quarter of their body weight during the starvation period. Sex feelings and expression were virtually extinguished” in all but a few subjects. One subject declared, “I have no more sexual feeling than a sick oyster.” According to the investigators, nocturnal emissions were absent or greatly reduced and sex dreams also were greatly reduced in number and intensity.

Looking back to where the possibilities of human potential were listed, among the descriptions were thinking, fantasy, and emotions. The dangerous aspect of these is that if someone you sincerely believed was a doctor examined you and told you he or she had discovered signs of a terminal illness, you would experience all the anxieties and emotions connected with that information, even if the statement was not true. Such anxieties and emotions, even though based on a lie, could cause an illness through anxiety and stress. The point being made is that whatever negative idea you believe to be true, produces the accompanying negative emotions. Also, whatever negative emotions, such as resentment, guilt, anger or fear are generated, by whatever cause, they poison your system. Jane’s dream of the snake illustrates this. Jane had experienced feelings of resentment, anger and betrayal, in connection with her husband. Her emotional energy has the potential to be expressed in any form, but perhaps because of the betrayal, Jane was feeling anger and resentment, and the dream shows this poisoning her. However, at the time of the dream, Jane is making changes in her lifestyle and relationships that are not only stopping the poisonous emotions (she had actually experienced a breakdown and had been on antidepressants), she was also drawing out the poison from her heart. See Avoid Being VictimsEmotions_mood

Your Emotional and Physical Energy

The first dream of the electricity depicts this even more dramatically. The dreamer, Steve, feels he will die if he cannot stop the electricity. In exploring his dream, Steve felt the electricity illustrated how his enormous emotional and physical energy was being turned back on himself. Steve expressed a lot of his love through work, supporting and helping others. But in his relationship he had felt deeply criticised. And through this criticism had been holding back his flow of love. In other words his energy was being interiorised, turned back on itself. This is depicted as the electricity flowing into his body. Steve realised from the dream that he must not allow past or present criticisms to cause him to hold back his positive flow of life and love.

The damage such in-turned or negative emotions can do is enormous. Many years ago a woman who could hardly walk came to stay with my wife and I. She hobbled along using two sticks. Within a week, without any treatment, she could walk normally. She told us with great enthusiasm that she now knew what had caused her illness. Three years previously her son had married and had asked if he and his new wife could lodge in his parent’s house for a few weeks while they looked for a house of their own. His mother felt resentful that he and his wife had stayed for years and made no effort to move out. But being a Christian woman she kept her feelings to herself. She ended the story by saying, “Being on holiday away from the situation has allowed me to be free of the resentment, and this has healed my legs. So I know what I am going to do when I get home. I am going to tell my son and his wife to pack their things and move out.”

Understanding this energy and the personal misery we can create with it if we do not understand how it works, is fundamental to a satisfying life. It is strange, considering this, that it is deemed more important in school to teach children how to write, how to add and subtract, perhaps to learn the religious beliefs of those around them, rather than how to deal with their own being. Using the analogy of a car to represent yourself, it is like learning the history and make of the car and motor vehicles; learning to calculate how many miles per gallon of fuel the car might do; learning the different types of motor vehicles – but developing no understanding at all of how the accelerator, the clutch, the brake are used to control your speed and direction. Even as adults few of us learn how to handle the vehicle of our body, mind and spirit with any great skill. It is not something that is well understood or practised in western culture.

Example: In observing and thinking about this as it happened, I thought it might be some childhood trait or habit I was dealing with, or even childhood obstinacy of some sort. But it gradually developed into the circling arm movements, accompanied by the, “Yes. No.” The yes and the no coincided with the direction of the energy flow upwards or downwards.

There was a part also where I was saying, “I am. I am my life.” This has been a theme that occurred occasionally for some time. I took it simply to be a very general statement.

I was still wondering what this was about and so asked the process to help me understand. Gradually it became clear that the yes and no was a switch. For instance, life energy can be expressed in any number of ways. It can be movement, sexuality, thought, emotion, writing, swimming, and so on. The direction, or the way we direct, our energy, comes about through the yes/no action. Perhaps we do it unconsciously, but we are always applying the switch of yes or no to direct each movement, each action, each thought even

Example: Then the throat pain became unbearable. I investigated it and I became aware of doom. If I didn’t fight it, doom would take over. I was weary of fighting it so I let doom take over and sank into the doom and it was then that I found myself at the foot of the great being and total acceptance of my life. Spontaneously, before I knew it I was offering everything as a sacrifice, including past mistakes and cock-ups, and that I had to do this.

And then there were the images again of clefts: the earth, female genitals, undersea-ocean crusts opening and something, as yet formless, emerging. This, I suspect, is my creativity in the world.

To be aware in more detail how a dream can portray, not simply the mishandling of this energy, but also the life effects it has on a person, the following dream and the dreamer’s comments are helpful. The dream and comments were written by a man in his late forties who, as a child, was placed in an orphanage, despite his parents still being alive.

 Example: Seeing an overall view of dreams has gradually led me from a goal oriented view of life and human beings, to one that can be called Repertoire. By this I mean that often we are led to believe that if we achieve a certain position or place we will find satisfaction – this is goal orientation which influences large numbers of people. Dreams suggest that there is no goal, but rather a fuller meeting with all the facets of oneself. One person may live largely in an experience of their genital drive; another in their emotions; someone else through their religious feelings; another in their anxieties, mind, etc. The discovery of these different aspects of oneself leads to enormous flexibility and satisfaction. Each time another ‘room’ of ones being is opened to access, your repertoire is increased, and another area of pleasure and creativity emerges.

The Pain of Being a Child

Example: Dreamt I was standing on a street somewhere in the city of London watching an old-fashioned phone box. It was a weekend and all was quiet. The door of the phone box is open and on the floor are a variety of bones. At first I think they are from an animal, but quickly see they are human. A man enters the box to make a call. Suddenly three or four savage dogs attack, ripping him to pieces.

I worked with this dream. To begin with I felt a knotted feeling in my stomach. In exploring this by focussing my attention inwards and allowing spontaneous imagery and emotions, I found a lump that I had kept deep within that no one could touch or ever has. I split the lump and two halves of a walnut appeared. There was a picture of my mother in one half and my father in the other, as they were when I was a child. As I looked, the two halves crumpled into dust.

This was the secret I have carried since childhood, that unlike the other children in the orphanage I had parents. Yet I too was left. The emotions came to the surface and I really cried. After this wave passed I was left in a very passive state. I then saw myself go into the telephone box and try to make the call to reconnect with my parents. Again another shock. There was nobody to connect with. So once again the realisation came that I am an orphan. This brought another great wave of emotion that tore me apart.

I then turned toward the dogs as they came at me. I began to feel the sickness that I have always experienced in sessions, but I just shrugged and let the feeling wash over me. It felt like I have always ended up in hell by that route, and I realised afterwards that hell is hell and will never be anything else. I felt there was something deeper, so I kept to a centre line, trying to reach it. Again there was no feeling, so I turned toward the God dream that I had when my friend Rob was with me. The look of total love for me in God’s eyes gave me the strength to trust my own process. I then experienced God holding my hand and telling me to surrender and allow myself to die.

Then the crisis broke through, and there I was in the kid’s home as my father was leaving. I saw myself, or I should say my being, go out to him. I felt that if I loved him he wouldn’t leave my sister and me. Then he left, and I felt split in half between him and my mother, creating a schism in which I was left with a personality on either side. Schizophrenia is the word that covers this state. I felt what I would call the primal scream emerge from my being. Then I was through. I saw the dogs as my anxieties that have taken up two thirds of my energy through my life, constantly tearing me apart. I also saw that as a kid I didn’t have enough information to redirect the energy elsewhere. Kevin K.

Kevin graphically describes to us a shock and pain that split his developing personality as a child. That split and its accompanying pain directed Kevin’s potential energy into almost constant anxiety, and into feelings that he was not loved and was not lovable. In his dream the telephone depicted his attempt to reconnect the split halves of himself and to attempt to find the love he so wanted from his parents. And the dogs are his own energy turned against himself through anxiety. The dogs, his emotional energy, could have been caring and supportive. This is true of Jane’s dream of the snake also. The snake is simply potential energy. It can be poisonous or protective depending upon how we unconsciously direct it. If there are difficulties in learning how to transform the poisonous into the supportive, they lie in making conscious the unconscious factors that direct the energy. In exploring his dream, Kevin was doing exactly that. He became aware of the split in his personality. He saw how the pain created fear of abandonment, and how that fear in turn created continual anxiety. Kevin describes something of feelings that he continually lived with in the following.

Example: I have been observing that I become very upset if I am left alone for more than five minutes. Either I return to my head and experience images of me killing someone, or else I breakdown in tears. I have very little energy to really converse with people, and when quiet I choke down my feelings. I am currently feeling sorry for myself, not self-pity, just sad that a child has had to endure such pain and suffering, worse in some ways that it is myself. I have also realised that although I have stepped out of the telephone box, I am still standing alone in an empty street. It does not surprise me why I have always needed to keep a connection with several women; this feeling of isolation, and anxiety has ruled my life. I also feel that I have destroyed a lot of my relationships through these problems. 

What Fear Can Do

In the early years of being a parent, my wife and I lived in a two-bedroom house. Our three young children slept in one bedroom, my wife and I in the other. At that time I was also running a part time book business. Because it was quite a small house with little cupboard space, I used a cupboard in the children’s bedroom to store new books. Much of the work I did with the books was done in the evenings when the children were in bed. Unfortunately this meant entering the children’s bedroom while they were asleep, and with a small torch searching for books I needed. Quite quickly it became apparent that one of my children showed signs of terror each time I entered the room. From his point of view all that was visible was a small light accompanied by shuffling sounds. I realised that he believed I was some sort of strange or ghostly creature coming into his bedroom. Of course, with this belief, he was terrified.

As soon as I understood this, I waited for darkness and entered the room with my torch. I could hear my small son’s sharp intake of breath and feel his sense his terror. Then I gently spoke, explaining that I was in the room looking for a book, and I switched the light on so he could assure himself of this truth. The terror never reappeared.

I explain this because Kevin’s fears, locked in the darkness of his unconscious childhood experiences, were acting upon him like my son’s terror of a ghostly presence. Kevin had no insight into where his enormous anxieties were arising from. Therefore he could not dismiss them or deal with them. However, in understanding their source, when they arose he could remind himself that they come from childhood pain, and being a grown man he can now care for himself.

Recently, while in a waiting room, I read an article in Eve Magazine about women who work as psychologists in prisons with men with violent behaviour. A statement in the feature remained with me. The psychologist being interviewed said that without exception each of the prisoners had a history of being abused or treated with violence as children. We may have escaped such a horrific upbringing, but each of us have lesser degrees of violence in our history in some way. It is these that twist our energy into self-destruction, violent behaviour, or inner pain.

This is deeply important. Often the redirection of our emotional energy cannot take place until we are assured of certain things about what causes our energy to become an attacking force. This shift in the way one relates to one’s own potential energy is illustrated in the following two dreams. They occurred several years apart to Trevor, a man who through most of his life struggled with low self-esteem and anxiety.

The Deadly and the Healing Snake

Example: I dreamt I was walking over the hills near where I live. There were worms about that were snakes in the grass. They became poisonous snakes, only visible by their rapid movements. I had to keep a penetrating look out in case one attempted to bite and poison me. Several times I stamped on them until I broke them in half to kill them. Then my dog, who was also trying to protect me, got bitten. I thought he would die, but he slowly turned into a wildcat. I knew I had to get well away from him before the transformation was completed or else he would attack me, but if I was well away, there was no danger. Trevor.

The dream gives a very clear picture of the situation we meet when feelings pull us down into depression, or we feel threatened by them. Fear, aggression, a sense of danger, are all exhibited in the dream. It is obvious too, especially at the end of the dream that Trevor feels he must distance himself from his emotions because they might attack him. In the next dream Trevor moves towards a completely different relationship with the snakes, and therefore with himself.

Example: Last night I dreamt I was outdoors walking through open ground, like gardens. I was with others and we frequently came across large snakes that we reacted to us as if they were venomous. Then I came across a lot of them in long grass and they swarmed onto me. I froze, terrified that if I made a move I would be fatally bitten. But they just swarmed over my body and got under my clothes without harming me. Gradually I relaxed and slowly began to move about with the snakes still on me. They started to feel like a built-in defence system that would attack anyone who was aggressive to me. At one point several large and aggressive dogs walked past me. They turned as if thinking about attacking, then appeared to sense the snakes and ran off cowed. As time passed the snakes became part of my body. Trevor.

What was a drain on Trevor’s ability to deal with the world, and something he had to protect himself against, is shown in the dream as a new found strength. Knowing Trevor, I can see these changes have actually become observable in his daily life.

In such features as peer dream group; Techniques for Exploring your Dreams; A Master Class in Dreams; and Life’s Little Secrets, I have explained in detail how to explore your dreams and move toward personal transformation. Therefore I will not repeat those instructions here. Instead, I will move on to explore something of what dreams reveal about love and sexuality.

For this study I am using a collection of seven thousand dreams. Unfortunately this collection does not include any appreciable number of dreams from young children and teenagers, nor from homosexuals. Therefore I am not able to explore what dreams say about those areas of sexuality.

Nevertheless, the subject is enormous, and looking at a few dreams will help to begin the definition of this. The first dream is from a man in his 40s.

Example: I was sitting with a group of young people mostly girls. There was one in particular about 14 with long dark hair. I noticed that she kept looking over at me. When I returned the look I could see she wanted to be near me. I felt all right about this but realised that it would involve sex in a way that society could not handle, and so I sat calmly and let the feeling pass over me. Dan.

Dan’s dream illustrates a number of issues that relate to or influence how we deal with sexual urges. The basic theme of the dream is that Dan would like to have sex with a young girl. In his waking life there was opportunity for this, but Dan never followed through in that direction. In his dream Dan is saying that society could not deal with him having sex with a 14 year-old girl. But in our dreams we can do what we wish without harm, without social repercussions. We all know this, and yet we inject our waking difficulties, morals, and rules into our dream life. So Dan is struggling not with what society could handle, but with what he could handle in dealing with other people.

The other obvious factor in the dream is that Dan is exploring sexual feelings that he might not easily admit to himself while awake. The next example shows another side to this.


Your Dreams Are a Safe Place in Which to Love

Example: A young girl kept coming up to me and placing my hand upon her breast. She was just developing her breasts, and they felt so very beautiful. Les.

In this dream Les is not holding back from being involved with the young girl. The dream, any dream, is a full surround experience of virtual reality. While in the dream it usually seems totally real to us. So as far as Les is concerned, while he is dreaming, he is actually experiencing what it would be like if a young girl came up to him and put his hands on her developing breasts. This means that dreams are a wonderful gymnasium of the soul, a place where we can play, experiment, try new things, in fact allow ourselves areas of experience that we or others might forbid in waking life. The next dream shows this even more vividly. At the time of her dream Heather’s husband was frequently avoiding any sexual relationship with her. However Heather does not have any reservations about allowing herself the pleasure of her own feelings.

Example: I was with a dark, curly haired man. He was very brown, could have been a native, but he didn’t feel strange to me. We were making love, I was very aware of the pleasure in my lower body. It was very slippy-slidy and wet. There was enjoyment for both of us. Very intense body feelings with a childlike quality, not passion – but pleasure and joy in my vagina. Heather.

Although this is not yet obvious, the recognition that your dreams are a safe area in which to allow any experience, ties indirectly with what has been said above about the negative and positive aspects of personal energy. The next dream, experienced by Heather’s husband, shows this very clearly.

Example: I was in a farmyard watching a bull loose in the yard. There were cows in the field beyond a wooden fence. The bull saw the cows and smashed through the fence. It then charged the first cow to mount it, but so terrible was its energy and emotion that it could not expressed as sex. It smashed the cow aside as it had done the fence. Then it rushed the next and tossed it over its head, charging and smashing the next. Meanwhile I climbed into somebody’s garden trying to get out of the district. Peter.

Peter had grown up in a Christian culture that, at the time, looked upon sex as something not to be spoken about. Underlying that attitude was that restraining sex was somehow a spiritual discipline. Also, while in his early teens, Peter’s mother had pushed a strong fear into him that sex could kill you. She probably did this because tuberculosis was a killer disease at the time, a strong sex drive was one of the signs of the illness, and she was scared that Peter had caught TB. Consequently Peter avoided sex until overwhelmed by his own desires. In fact it took most of his adult life to find normal loving and sexual feelings.

Sex Can Also be a Pain in the Arse

Peter’s dream suggests that his restrained sexuality transforms into destructive anger. It also shows him running away from, or trying to avoid, this side of himself. Peter often experienced sexual fantasies, and desires for women other than his wife – and that because fantasy sex never became real – so he could both avoid it and experience it at the same time. But there is no sign of this in his dream, so the dream is not a wish fulfilment. It is not a way that he can fulfil his desires without actually having sex. The dream points out to Peter what he doesn’t want to see. Namely, that he is damaging himself, and those around him are suffering from his irritability and anger. Importantly, the dream reminds us of something seen in many dreams, that repressed sexual energy can transform into anger, or even murderous rage.

So, our dreams can be an area where we can freely explore any manner of experience. They can be a way of looking at and trying to resolve a conflict, such as Dan is doing in his dream of the young girl, where his desire for her conflicts with his feelings about what society permits. Our dreams can also be a mirror showing us the problems, the sickness or the beauty we hold within us. Heather’s dream shows her as a healthy passionate woman who is at ease with her own feelings and desires. Peter’s dream depicts him as avoiding the enormous conflict and destruction taking place within himself and in his own life. Yet, innate in Peter’s dream is the possibility of healing. By showing the harm that is being done, Peter’s dream is also pointing out how such harm could be avoided.

Through working with his dreams, Peter did in fact transform his relationship with the bull, and therefore with his sexuality. This is clearly seen in the following two dreams. The first one still shows his battle with himself.

Example: I climbed up a wire fence, like those around tennis courts. The bull came and reared up after me. Having a thick piece of oak in my hand, I brought it down full on the bull’s nose, knocking it down. Peter.

In the next dream, the aspects of Peters conflicts are shown together – his mother, the bull and the cow. The dream occurred some years after the two quoted above, and after much personal work with his dreams.

Example: I and two other people, a man and woman, are entering a field. It is a field in which I used to play as a child. We enter through a gate that borders a wide verge near a road, and the field rises in a fairly steep hill. The woman, who it seems now to be my mother, is leading a magnificent bull by a halter. We are going to introduce it to the cows already in the fields. Once we are through the gate, which is left open, my mother halts because she thinks the bull is resisting her and it will be difficult to lead uphill. I point out that it is not resisting her it is just walking slowly. So she walks on and the bull follows willingly. She then drops the halter to give the bull freedom. I am now above the bull slightly further up the hill. Looking down I see how beautiful the bull is. It is young, not too bulky, but obviously powerful and streamlined. I realise it has unusual features in the shape of its head, and think this will pass on genetically. As I watch, the bull lowers its head to the grass, which is lush and green, and pushes its nose deep to smell. I feel it is absorbing this new territory and becoming at one with its surroundings. It is beautiful and moving to watch. I sense I am watching a wild and live creature being moved by deeply wise and instinctive urges.

The bull then turns to the left, where a cow is visible. The halter is still hanging from its neck, so to prevent it being hindered I approach it to remove the halter. I am careful because its horns are long and splendid. I notice that the very tips of the horns are delicately carved in a simple curved design. I manage to pull the halter off and the bull sees the cow. It responds, its whole body indicating a change. I particularly notice or see its tail. This appears to be stretched out on the ground as if the bull is lying down with tail pointing backwards. As I watch I see ripples of movement in the tail, surging and pulsing. I have the impression of deep impulses of life surging in the body of the bull. The cow at first does not want the bull. There is some memory of the cow running for the open gate, but it doesn’t go out. It is unnecessary anxiety.

This is a wonderful dream and shows an enormous deepening of Peter’s personality. Instead of his conflict with his own sexuality, he now sees it as “deep impulses of life surging” through his own being. He also describes his sexuality as “deeply wise and instinctive”. The dream is so rich a very long commentary could be written about it.

Because the subject of dreams and sexuality is so huge, we can only deal with some aspects of it in this feature. But something that is fundamental and important is that of gender as dealt with in dreams. The following dream is very direct in its presentation of this. I was sent this dream while working for UK Teletext.

Example: I have several recurring dreams, but all have a common theme. I am always a young woman of about thirty years of age, and always doing mundane things such as shopping or picking up the kids from school. I know what this female ‘me’ looks like. I see her reflection in shop windows. Why am I always changing sex when I dream? Bernard – a concerned Chap! 

I Don’t Know if I’m a Man or a Woman!

Unfortunately some of our cultural values lead us to believe that if we are male and have feelings of being female it must mean we are gay. Also, that if we are female and have feelings of being male it must suggest we are butch or a lesbian. Dreams suggest something quite different, and can meaningfully explain some of the situations we find ourselves in as a human being. The next dream clarifies this point.

Example: I was giving an exercise class in a small field. It was sunny and everybody was spread out, seated on blankets, some stripped to the waist. I was only wearing my brief underpants. Somehow, in one of the exercises my pants came right off. Nobody noticed, not even myself, until I was seated with knee up, heal in groin. Then looking down I noticed my legs were very smooth skinned and I had female sex organs. There was no pubic hair at all. Making a joke of the situation I told the class to look the other way while I put my pants on. As I was putting them on a couple of the women did not look away and I noticed I now had male sex organs again. After this the class had lost its centre of interest. I had found a pair of my class trousers washed and sun dried on a wall, and put them on. I did this because I had put on an old pair of my swimming trunks over my pants, but they were split. A man in the class said that he felt bad because he had few clothes on. There was an atmosphere of shame because of sex or the body, so I told him to put his shirt on. Bob.

The message of this dream is that Bob has the characteristics of both genders. It suggests that psychologically Bob is basically male, especially in a relationship with a woman (a couple of the women did not look away and I noticed I now had male sex organs again). This is not something that Bob at first finds easy to look at about himself. This is shown by Bob trying to cover himself up again, and where the man in the class says he feels bad because he has few clothes on. As the dreaming Bob says, “There was an atmosphere of shame because of sex or the body.” But this is a cultural view Bob had taken in, and is not innate. Later dreams in this series show Bob accepting and loving his female characteristics. The following dream is an example of this.

Example: I am in love with a woman who is not from this planet. The love is so complete we literally swap minds or souls. So now I have all that she is inside me, and she has all of what I am inside her. This, I feel, will gradually merge into the rest of me and will extend all that I am capable of. Bob.

If we look back to what was said about energy, and remember that at base our psychobiological energy is pure potential, this ties in with what is emerging about how our dreams see our gender. Our energy can express as anything, creative or destructive. Also, within ourselves, we can be anything, any gender, any age, and any disposition.

This may at first seem to be an exaggeration. But if you have kept a record of your dreams over a period of years you will see the extraordinary number of people, of creatures, of places and situations you create while you sleep. For instance, Bob actually felt what it was like to be totally loved by a woman, and to have his being merged with hers in his dream. We could argue with this and say, yes but that is just a dream, and has nothing to do with reality, with waking life. But if you have that viewpoint, it is just an assumption you make based on what you have experienced so far. From those assumptions would you think that the following dream and its events were real? See Archetype of the Animus and Archetype of the Anima


You Are More Than You Dare to Believe

Example: I was in what looked like huge white ribs. In the ribs was a big heart beating. Beyond that was my homeopath. I could hardly breath, struggling to live. I could hear the heart beating, but as I listened I could also hear another heart beating. It seemed to me it was my sister’s heart connected to my own invisibly. The homeopath came forward and stretching open the ribs, reached into them, took hold of the invisible heart – it was like a shadow behind the other heart – and pulled it out. Immediately I could breath again and felt I was whole.

In everyday life my sister and I have been incredibly linked, even to the point of having cramps at night on the same nights, though living in different parts of the world. I had become ill recently out of this connection, but as soon as I had this dream I was well again, but my sister became ill. She has just been diagnosed as HIV positive and is dying.

Many other such dreams could be quoted, but would that convince you? It is enough if the idea has been planted so there is the possibility of future experience proving or disproving this to you.

The point being stressed is not that you can physically become anything or anybody – although that is not beyond the realms of possibility. However, within yourself you are formless, and can take on an unimaginable number of forms. You are in fact doing this each night in your dreams when you create a whole new surrounding environment, new characters, and new experiences. If you can grasp this, if you can recognise that your fundamental energy is simply potential, perhaps infinite potential, and that the personality you take to be so formed, and so immutably you, then you can shift and change and roam through babyhood, through gender, through all manner of experience. You will begin to drop away your limitations and explore a strange new limitless world. You will in fact have touched your spirit.

Whatever name you give to that enormous potential underlying your existence, whether you call it Life, Chaos, God, The Mystery, it is the source of your physical existence. We struggle with words, with concepts, when we approach that Mystery. Even the words used here, such as energy and potential, are simply attempts to define something that in the end is more than the words we use to describe it. We struggle to understand how we can to be. With great passion and one pointedness we have learned some of the secrets, as in recognition of DNA and the genetic code. But if you have followed what has been said above, dreams lead us beyond forms, beyond definitions. They cut suggest that the flow of energy that you call your sexual drive and your urge to parenthood, does not in the end belong to you. Yes, you can restrain it, deny it, completely give yourself over to it, or even attempt to wash your hands of it. You can add quality or brutality to the way it is expressed. But in the end it is like a river that flows on, and passes through you.

And isn’t love like that too? Do you ever possess it? Dreams suggest that the painful love so many of our cultural love songs mention arises out of our attempts to control or possess this natural flow, this wonder that is not ours to possess. We relate to it so personally.

See Ages of LoveDimensions of Human Experience – Near death experience  UnconsciousInner WorldLearning to Love


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