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Author Topic: Exploring a Dream  (Read 1177 times)

Tony Crisp

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Exploring a Dream
« on: August 13, 2018, 10:27:53 AM »
Mostly we hear about analysing dreams, as if they are something we could penetrate by thinking about, or being analytical about a dream. In writing about this elsewhere I have said this is rather like thinking that you understand what the experience of swimming is like simply by thinking about it, but never having being in the water. Being in the water is a very powerful physical sensation, it is an emotional experience and it requires the learning of a skill to move around in that element and survive. Dreams are very much like that. If you enter the emotional and sensory aspects of dreams rather than simply think about them, it is often a very deeply felt experience. There are certain skills you need to learn to be able to do that, to move around in dreams, and learn from them.

Although the process of dreams might not be a direct attempt to present MEANING, a dream may nevertheless have a great deal of INFORMATION in it. This becomes clearer if we remember that not many years ago it would have appeared highly superstitious or suspect to claim to be able to tell a person details of their health and parentage from a sample of their urine or blood. Today it is common practice. We accept that a growing amount of information can be gained from these unlikely sources. Blood doesn’t contain meaning, but we can gain information from it. In a similar way a sample of our dreams can also tell us an enormous amount. Sometimes this data is obvious, sometimes it needs processing to uncover, as with urine and blood.

But dream exploration needs to be learned and practised. Many people say they cannot get any results from using the techniques. It is like any skill like riding a bike or driving a car – at first you will fail until with practise it becomes second nature.  You need to learn new skills and habits.  When they are learned they are life enhancing like learning to drive a car.

Tony Crisp

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Re: Exploring a Dream
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 11:59:42 AM »
Below is a quote from Tiziana Stupia’s book Meeting Shiva (https://www.amazon.com/Meeting-Shiva-Falling-Rising-Himalayas/dp/178099916X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1534152723&sr=1-1&keywords=Meeting+Shiva)

MeetingShiva
   
Tony taught me a process in which a dream could be interpreted and understood by assuming that everything, people and objects alike, in a dream represented aspects of the Self. Sitting cross-legged on the squishy, old-fashioned sofa in the living room of my sadhu’s cave opposite Tony, I’d close my eyes and mentally return to a dream I had the previous night. He would ask me questions about the dream, which I’d answer in the first person.

So if I dreamt about a tree, I would ‘become’ the tree, assume its personality and respond from its viewpoint. He’d ask ‘So what kind of tree are you? Are you big or small, old or young? What do you look like? Where are you growing? Why are you in Tiziana’s dream?’

This sounded like a silly exercise at first, but I was soon enough convinced of its validity. It was fascinating to discover a wealth of insight and emotion emerging from my responses, and understand how they related to my current situation. They also pinpointed exactly where I was in my growth process. Sometimes, the dreams would uncover unconscious fears and intuitions. Often, they also held important clues and offered solutions to my problems. It was like doing detective’s work – arduous at times, but rewarding beyond belief.

Tony Crisp

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Re: Exploring a Dream
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 12:04:21 PM »
People often look at the main word in their dream, look it up, and leave it at that. But usually a dream has a main theme and several other images, people, animals or things are mentioned.

I will give an example to show how to arrive at a dream’s meaning from use of the Dream Dictionary entries. It is important to first write the dream down as fully as possible. Don’t stint on the use of words. Be descriptive. Then take the very opening scene of the dream and look it up in the appropriate entry.

Example: I was standing in the back garden of a house – one of a row of terraced houses. Each garden was fenced and ran down to a large drainage ditch. It seemed to be raining and water was filling the drainage ditch. The water was backing up into the gardens because something was blocking the ditch. It started rising up my legs. It was quite hot. I realised this was because hot water was running out of the baths and sinks in the houses. I felt I must get out of the gardens. Not only because of the water, but because of how people might feel if they saw me in their garden. I managed to find a way into a farm yard where I felt relaxed.’ Ted F.

The first scene here is Garden. On a piece of paper separate to the dream, write Garden, with space for notes to be put beside it. The entry on Garden in the Dictionary says – ‘Your garden dream often reveals what you are doing with your latent possibilities. It is pointing out whether you have cultivated your abilities, or buried them. A garden is sometimes a place of love in a dream. In which case it can denote what is growing or dying in your relationship. Another garden theme is connected with activities we do in the garden, like pets we keep, or work done.’

The words Houses – Raining – Hot water – Fences – Farmyard need to be looked up and relevant comments written down next to each word. It is important to realise that the dream and its images are a story, not in words but in images with which we have personal associations with. So wrtite down by each word the basic meaning that appeals to you – i.e. makes sense to you.

Houses – Other people. Raining – emotions, release of feelings. Hot Water – Strong emotions or facing difficult situations, such as social criticism. fence or wall also suggests social barriers, the attitudes and feelings people express to keep others at a distance, to keep a separation between those of different social, religious or economic class. Framyard – This usually has to do with your relationship with your natural urges, the basic drives, such as sex, survival, social hierarchy, parenthood, the down to earth side of yourself.

If we put them together into a story form, we have: I was in an environment with other people and was in hot water facing a difficult situation such as social criticism. I was also in other people’s space and felt that their fences, their attitudes and social difference were there to keep me out. But in returning to my natural feelings I felt at ease again

Making a story of it is an important step, and through you will probably even see what the message of your dream is. But in doing this with his dream, Ted took it further by adding his own associations and ended up with the following. But it is important for you to see what your feelings are and whether any of what is said applies to you. It doesn’t matter if the entry on garden doesn’t contain what is said in your dream. Instead you can say, ‘None of those things apply, but the entry has made me remember my dream garden is a place of pain where a terrible incident happened to me.’ See Working with associations

Ted arrive at and wrote:

Garden – The growth and changes occurring in my life at present.

Row of Houses – Other people.

Raining – Depressed feelings or difficulties; emotions which take away enthusiasm and act as a barrier to action; tears and emotional release – an outpouring; other peoples emotions ‘raining’ on me.

Hot Water – Emotions. In the Idioms is ‘hot water’ suggesting I have got myself in trouble.

Fences – Social boundaries.

Farmyard – Where my natural drives such as sexuality, parenthood, love or fellowship, are cared for or expressed.

When Ted added his own associations to this the dream became fully understandable to him and read like this:

I am going through a lot of changes at the moment – the garden. These are to do with allowing myself to have a warm but non sexual relationship with women. I have always been too dragged along by my sexuality in the past. Just a few days before the dream I was in a ‘growth’ group. I had made friends with a woman there, Susan, who I was warm feelings with, but not sexually. The group work required some close physical contact, and I and another man worked with Susan.

It seemed to me to go without complications. But a while afterwards a woman in the group came to me and with evident emotion, said I had made love publicly to my lover, meaning Susan. I had certainly been physically close to her and had felt at ease, but the viewpoint and feelings of the woman’s accusations, coupled with her threat to expose me to the authority figure in the group, bowled me over.

This is the hot water in the dream. The fences are the boundaries people erect between their personal life and what is socially acceptable. For some days, up until understanding the dream, I felt really blocked up emotionally – the blocked drainage ditch. I cut off any friendship toward Susan. When I realised that in the Farmyard – the acceptance of natural feelings without neat little boundaries – I could feel at peace, I was able to allow my natural warmth again. I also realised the the woman who attempted to damage my reputation had probably never had been loved that was not directly sexual. Or the amount of venom she released to me may have been her own hurts.

After writing the comments next to each dream image or setting, add any personal memories, feelings or associations, as Ted has. Put down anything which amplifies what has been dreamt. For instance, a car is said to be one’s drive and motivation in the entry on car. But it is helpful to add what personal feelings one has about one’s car. Try imagining what the absence in one’s life of the car, or house, or symbol etc., would mean.

Tony Crisp

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Re: Exploring a Dream
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 12:07:13 PM »
This is a technique I have used myself and with groups of people. People arrive at understanding very quickly. But for some people this takes a little practice because instead of – if we dream of a dog – saying, “The dog is only a puppy and is adorable” you need to talk as if you are the dog, person or place. So say “I am a little puppy and the person thinks I am adorable”. So do not say “This little dog” for that does not connect with your feelings, but distances you from the dream image. See Dream Exploration

The idea is to really describe in detail what it is you are dealing with, and also what you are feeling as the dream object. The more you use this the richer the experience gets and you allow yourself to really be the dream object or person – and do not make the mistake if it is a person you know by describing them as an outside person. Stick with them exactly as they are in the dream. But do not think it out but allow your feelings to show you9 what to say, and of course your imaginations. Thoughts are usually ready made explanations, so start by relaxing and allowing your feelings to dictate to you.

Here is an example: I dreamt I arrived at a railway station, but instead of a platform it was at the top of an old castle keep. I had to walk down through the castle and then out to a street.

So I said: “I am a Castle. In the past I defended myself so strongly against all manner of attacks and people. This caused all manner of conflicts in my life. But now I am a station. People come and go in my life. I do not stop the train of events. I have been redecorated, altered inside, not beautiful, but hard wearing and enduring. I am stairs, giving passage for people going down or up.” As soon as I said that I could see what it meant. I had suffered a lot of shyness and was defended not allowing people near me. I had built impregnable emotional walls to keep people away. Now I was finding it easier to let people come and go.

Here is another example: I dreamt I entered my living room and things had been thrown everywhere. It was a mess. I realised that it was my wife who had done it. Also it was not our living space but a dream one.

This is a tricky one because the wife was not in the dream, so if one sticks with the dream and not his actual wife here is what was said. “I am an invisible presence in my husband life, a presence he feels tears his living space to bits. Yet I am invisible and so could not have done this. But I am a feeling in his life that assures him that I am an awful intrusion. You see, I am just a feeling he has, and that makes him irritated with me.” The dreamer admitted that it wasn’t his wife that was messing up his ‘living space’ but his own feelings about her.

Here is another example: I dreamt I entered my living room and things had been thrown everywhere. It was a mess. I realised that it was my wife who had done it. Also it was not our living space but a dream one.

This is a tricky one because the wife was not in the dream, so if one sticks with the dream and not his actual wife here is what was said. “I am an invisible presence in my husband life, a presence he feels tears his living space to bits. Yet I am invisible and so could not have done this. But I am a feeling in his life that assures him that I am an awful intrusion. You see, I am just a feeling he has, and that makes him irritated with me.” The dreamer admitted that it wasn’t his wife that was messing up his ‘living space’ but his own feelings about her.

So try it and see what you find. But take time with yourself and ask the person, castle wall, dog, or object questions to clear things up. If you say whatever comes to mind you will be amazed how well it works. And remember – in choosing an image to work with, such as a person, a tree, cat, place, or an environment like the street in the example dream above, it must again be treated as it appears in the dream, not as it may appear in real life. One can take any image from the dream to work with. So describe yourself as the image in the dream. Remember what was said – So say “I am a little puppy and the person thinks I am adorable”. So do not say “This little dog” for that does not connect with your feelings, but distances you from the dream image.

Here is an example of a woman exploring her dream. She had already worked with a group and chose this method.

Example: I was wearing a wedding dress, there was a helper in the background, the dress was white lace as I looked down at myself in the dress I noticed red roses on the neckline, I was surprised at this, then looking down my laced arm there was a tarantula spider. I was not frightened but wanted it off my hand, it was really weighing my hand down, I took control not fearfully but knowing I had to deal with it, I went to put it under a running hot water.

I offered this dream to work on in the group. Collette used word association asking what the bride represented, Libby offered some figures of a bride to use to connect with the symbol,
I was asked what came to mind when thinking about the bride what it might represent young innocent romantic, but what I felt in my body was resistance to the symbol  which was a clue to what was trying to get through (the resistance),the spider I thought might be about the homework as that was what came to mind as I began, again it was from the mind. I felt grateful but did not get  ah ah that I get when it fits and when the knowing sense is felt.

So I went to visit Tony Crisp with whom I have worked for many years on working with dreams, using active imagination, LifeStream, a willingness to be moved from within, a surrendering of self, and being the person or thing, a method where you step into each symbol and speak from and as that symbol.

I am a spider as a spider…… the important part of using these tools is to take time in letting the client sink into the symbol, not to rush with questions as it is a slow process moving from the known self to the symbol, the not so known self, (the symbol coming from the unconscious).

As I identified with being a spider I noticed I was covered in fine hairs with red eyes that were on little stems. My hairs were like little sensors feeling vibrations listening and feeling intensely fully focused. I realised that it was a part of my defences, having kept me safe as a child in a family with secrets, hidden sexual abuse to my sister but unknown to me. Due to that abuse I was verbally and emotionally abused by my elder sister not knowing why. I did not find out that this abuse was happening when I was a child. (In fact it was through working on a dream with Tony Crisp when I was 24yrs old. Following that information I discovered what had happened).

So the spider dream brought to my awareness that I felt that I always needed to be aware of everyone else’s needs and to respond to them to keep me safe. I really understood the relevance of the spider being in my dream how it had kept me safe, but it took up so much of my energy that as an adult I could respond to my needs in a different way.

This sound very logical but this information has come from my unconscious, I can see and have spoken in my journal about noticing how I respond to others needs before my own. While still working with my symbols I thanked the spider and invited the spider to go live somewhere else. This was also stopping me from being free in my movement of my right hand, which does not know what it wants to do, but now feels freedom to explore my wants and needs. BB