Memory and Dreams

I want to make it clear how dreams use parts of ones impressive memory to illustrate a feeling state. This dreamer obviously feels anxiety a lot of the time and so uses previous and imagined scenes to illustrate this.

 Example: In my dreams I’m often doing something I can’t do in ordinary life.  I am often climbing.  I am climbing over a bridge, over water.  It is always very high, higher than you can climb over, and it’s always tatty with sides that you can fall off.  On one occasion I had my young daughter, she was about seven or eight years old, (Actually she’s 27 now) and she was going near the edge and making me panic.

Memories or associations are the real way to understand the language of dreams. Everything we see during the day we form memories/associations with – even the association of disinterest. The dreamer links her past fears about her daughters safety with her present situation. She is, according to her dream, going through a big change in her life which makes her feel anxious.

When I was working on the new site design, the designer said to me, “What’s the point of dreams – they don’t mean anything do they”. I noticed he had a T-shirt on that looked as if had been used quite a lot. So I said to him, “What about that T-shirt? If you dreamt of it what would you think it meant?”

He said it wouldn’t mean anything. So then I asked him where he had got it and what memories were attached to it. He said he had got it in America, but when pressed to explain his memories he refused to answer, looking embarrassed. So if he had dreamt about his T-shirt it would have represented something he would feel embarrassed about if mentioned publicly.

Dreams images are like icons on a computer screen – you have to ‘click’ on your dream images to make them come alive. Thinking about them doesn’t work. You need to open yourself to the magic of them. To make them into the wonderful gateways they are you may have to learn certain skills. A static can turn into something alive that you can interact with, a crystal ball showing you the wonderful potential you have.

No computer, however amazing, can yet do what your mind does in creating a dream. It produces a living being such as a dream character that can have a conversation with you, and in doing so draw spontaneously from huge areas of your experience or memories. Behind the image lies enormous data, emotional response and created patterns of behaviour. So the main thing to remember at this level is that you are in a full surround databank of fantastic information. You can tap this information just as you would with any person, by asking questions and prodding for a response. But, even the trees and animals in your dreams are also enormous reservoirs of information, linking back perhaps infinitely with your potential and experience.

Your body remembers

Most of us have heard of Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is a condition where memories that are now old are still influencing one to cause emotional upset. They are deeply buried memories that are stored in our body. These do not release and heal by simply talking about them. Again you have to ‘click on’ them to really interact with them. See Habits; Healing Experience

Such memories are frequently revealed by dreams. But they are often prevented to be able to express their passionate content, because most of us are scared of passions. Sure people say they are passionate, especially sexually, but how many are able to feel the amazing and deep passions of our child or baby self? Mostly they block it by alcohol, fear, or drugs. Strangely many of the people who use drugs that can be used for psychotherapy never ever get near to such passions, but float about in a cloud of ‘good or strange feelings’. See autobiography-of-a-premature-baby

As long ago as 1817, De Quincey experimenting with opium, said he started to feel ‘deep-seated anxiety and funereal melancholy.’ At times he might recall the ‘minute’ incidents of childhood, or forgotten scenes of later years, were often revived.’ ‘I could not be said to recollect them; for, if I had been told of them waking, I should not have been able to acknowledge them as parts of my past experience.’ In his visionary state however, he says ‘I recognised them instantaneously . . . I feel assured that there is no such thing as an ultimate forgetting.’

De Quincey’s opium aided fantasies, or the visions of Christian mystics such as the temptations of St. Antony, art and religion, has an indication of being a symbolic way of meeting a neurosis. It is only when we reach through the symbol into what it depicts about us personally, that we move beyond this historical symbolic form of healing and representation.

Memories of what you have

Memories are involved in some way with every thing you wear, every object you own or even have seen, every person you have had a relationship with, every animal you have ever watched or owned, every action you have performed, and especially with who you feel you are. Memories are a huge woven and changing web of influence and learning within us. But because we usually only allow a few memories we cannot appreciate how we use these and the images attached to them to form dreams. It is all the memories/associations that are the real materials dreams use to create the wonder or dreams. A dream and it exploration may make it clear.

 Example: We were in an area like a bar enclosure for serving drinks. The whole place was dimly lit. I touched my wife then ran my hands under her clothes. She responded tremendously and we fell to the floor. She was really emotional, and kept crying.

Then some people slowly walked into the hall from another room. Apparently they were a group interested in spiritualism, and I believe I was supposed to give them a talk. I said to my wife to “hold it” because of the people, but she was so deep into her desires she just went right on demanding I stay and have it with her. I fought to break free. It was quite difficult. I walked out of the bar and confronted a youngish man. We walked into another room where we talked – presumably about my talk.

The mans exploration – When I began to work on this dream I found it very difficult and couldn’t get any insight. I began to stop any effort and my thoughts wandered. I thought of my RAF service at Eastbourne, the bar behind which I “served”, also the bar in which the sergeant used to have it away with numerous women. That was where I met Helena my girlfriend. I took her out on the Sussex Downs and we just lay in the dark looking at stars. She always looked so unhappy. No wonder, she was so frustrated. She wanted to be seduced even then. Poor girl tried her hardest without actually losing her femininity and doing it for me.

The pattern of the dream slowly began to make sense. In those years I had split off from sexual expression to women – broken away – and turned to men, such as Dave, for company and spiritualism. As this arose I began to experience strong feelings in my abdomen. These are difficult to describe except to call them a sort of warmth or sexual longing. I had a powerful urge to masturbate. I feel easy about conscious masturbation now, as my penis really feels my own. I began to masturbate but there was a sudden switch to wanting to give it to my wife, and not simply enjoy it all alone. But my wife was out at work. Tremendous yearnings in my abdomen and chest developed. I wrote some letters and it went off for a while, but was back straight afterwards. I had to go next door to see how my son was, and just seeing my next door neighbour set off the tremendous yearning. I had to keep using cut off images to prevent myself going to her sexually. When my wife came home we had a very full sexual experience that lasted a long time and was satisfying for both of us.

But you have levels in your memory

One way of saying this is to say we all have an upstairs and a downstairs. The upstairs is what we remember through experiencing things through our body and our thoughts. Those things are recorded by the brain and are just about the physical world and our experiences in it. So if the brain is injured we may lose some of our ability to remember things.

The downstairs is about things remembered by soul searching. Another world opens for you and you see or know things about the other side of you. It is the world we can discover by exploring dreams for an extended period. See Inner WorldYou are a dual being

 Another way if describing it is by thinking about what you are conscious of and what you remain unconscious of. In general a helpful way of thinking about the unconscious is to realise its function in memory and skills. For instance a mass of your experience is presently not in your conscious awareness. It is therefore unconscious. But if I pose the question – What is your present home address? – what was unconscious a moment ago becomes known and communicable. Millions of bits of other information lies unconscious in you at any one moment, along with skills not being accessed, and other functions not used. So in this sense your conscious self is a tiny part of your total potential.

If we realise that Life existed quite capably for millions of years before the self-aware human personality came on the scene. In all that time the ancestors of the modern human being survived without having a rational mind to reason with, or self consciousness to ask such questions as ‘What do I do about this?’ Nevertheless survival strategies were still developed in their unconscious intelligence. Dreams express this unconscious wisdom that was developed in humans and animals through millennia. We still have such a vast unconscious wisdom. In fact it is part of our new brain, for we each have a reptilian and a mammalian brain. See Brain Levels and Dreams

We are like islands in a sea of consciousness, and the shoreline is the limited range of our senses. But our awareness spreads like an ocean in which we are like islands, and beyond the shoreline we are all connected.  Life’s age old unconscious processes are still the major part of our being, yet we seldom consciously meet them – except in dreams. Our memory can be extended to include a great deal that is for many unconscious.


-marlen 2014-12-27 8:01:26

I tend to remember all my dreams and most of them are really strange. I had a dream that i was going through a tunnel and it had paintings of a tucan and more rainforest animals.
Couple years ago i went to mexico with my mom and sister and we were trying to get to my aunt’s new apartment i felt like i had been there before. I ask my mom if she had brought us there when we were little she said no. Then i was telling my sister my dream and i was describing everything that was going to happen next i ask her to walk before me. Before entering the tunnel i asked her to go in before me and not to say a word of what was around her. I then began to describe the inside of the tunnel and she got really scared because i had describe it exactly the same

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