What Did You Dream Last Night?

Do You Dream

Tony Crisp

Chapter One

I was in a large, old house. It was pleasant, and interesting, being like an old “folly”. It had passages leading off all over the place that one could explore. I was being led up the stairs by a very wilful child. It wanted to explore the house, and was dragging me with it. As we went up the stairs, a man came out of a door and walked down past us. He looked at me as if to say, “Don’t go up”; or, “if you go up, be prepared.” He looked like a caretaker, but was very indistinct and shadowy.

The child led me on up however into what was like a loft where I had never been before. it was attached to, yet somehow distinct from the rest of the house. Also it was very light and filled with ancient books and objects. I looked at them and felt that there was something oriental and mysterious about them. Somehow they seemed like a treasure, all dusty, but full of wisdom about life.

Then the child went to a door that was split in two halves, a higher and lower. It could not get through the lower, but went out the top half.’

 Yes, of course, it is only an account of a dream. An experience in that strange inner world we travel in sleep. A wandering along what at first sight appears as a senseless footpath of thoughts and feelings. Some people are certain they never dream, but experiments on sleeping people prove that everyone dreams. Even if we do dream, however, what is the point? Again, painstaking research has come to our aid in answering that question. All dreaming is accompanied by eye movements. Having discovered this, researchers were able to wake those being tested each time they began to dream, The result was that within a few days, the non-dreamers showed signs of mental illness and breakdown, So, in some way, dreaming is necessary to maintain psychological and physical health; exactly how is not yet quite understood. But what of the dream itself? Can this tell us anything? Taking the dream already mentioned, although it is not as fantastic or wild an account as dreams go, it still appears senseless at face value, but let us look beyond its surface.

The person who told me the dream is a young married woman in her twenties. whom I will call Ann, Ann was a student teacher until events led to marriage. An early child took her from college to the new discipline of parenthood and homemaking. This she enjoyed a great deal, but she also missed her other, college life, with its promise of a career.

In the dream, Ann sees herself in an ‘old folly’. Could this be the ‘folly’ of her sudden marriage due to pregnancy, and the inner struggle it led to? However, the old house is not oppressive, it has many passages and rooms possible of exploration, which in itself is an excellent description pictorially of Ann herself. At college Ann found her interests running here and there, exploring this, tasting that, building odd bits of information in any old way as her interest led her. So behind the image of the house we find a shrewd summing up of Ann.

Coming to the next part of the dream, we see that Ann is being led, or pulled along by a ‘wilful child’. When we first spoke of this dream, neither Ann nor I could understand even a part of it. As we talked, however, first of all the house, then the meaning of the child ‘ became clear. Just prior the dream, Ann had become deeply immersed in an evening class dealing with the works of T. S. Eliot.

The study had taken such a hold on her, that for some weeks she could think of nothing else but exploring the meaning of his poetry. She had literally been dragged along by her interest, and through it had discovered a new world of understanding about life and one’s relationship to it. At the time she had rather wondered where it was all leading to, but the dream clearly and distinctly outlines its possibilities. Her interest in Eliot is shown as a child, youthful urges that had previously not satisfied themselves in her other interests. These urges show her a part of herself (the house) she had never seen before.

The books and objects clearly depict the mystery about life and religion she found in her understanding of Eliot. While the man is seen as the more down to earth part of her, worrying lest she is swept away by her interest in ‘higher’ things. But it was only in this way that the child, her impetuous desire to explore and so ‘discover’ herself, found release. It could not get out of a lower door through interests in household pursuits, only through the higher door of self understanding.

Of course, when it is all written down, with all the meanings neatly explained, it looks so easy. It becomes obvious in the wider knowledge of Ann, and her inner feelings, what the dream is all about. In fact, it would now be difficult not to understand the dream. Yet it took Ann and I a good hour of conversation to unravel it. Of such are the mysteries of dreams made.

Why is it then that most of our dreams, or even all of them appear to be ridiculous or devoid of any meaning? Is it perhaps simply because we do not have the key to unlock the sense in them? Let me put it this way; if a political cartoonist draws a fat man sitting upon a tiny thin man; at first sight. if we are not following or knowledgeable upon world events at the time, it may be quite meaningless; but if we know that a very large country has, through its tariffs, immobilised the exports of another country, we easily see meaning in the cartoon. A dream is very much like a cartoon. If we do not follow the politics of our own hopes and fears, our own best interests, the dream will be meaningless. Once we understand the symbols, however, it is often difficult not to understand. Not that all dreams will become open books to us, because we are not usually that well up on the politics of our own inner world. But many dreams will become crystal clear when I approached correctly. In fact you will understand them as easily as you have understood my use of pictorial analogies in the above sentences, in the words, ‘open books’, ‘well up’, ‘crystal clear’.

Looking at what has been said about Ann’s dream, we can see that it has several important results, First of all the image of the house brought a clearer summing up of herself. So a dream can bring self understanding. In the child we see that the need to explore one’s own mental and emotional possibilities is often as urgent and compelling, and as important as one’s sexual life or career. This part of her had remained a child due to never having found release. So a dream clarifies our inner politics, what is going on within. The books and objects, which were only glanced at in the dream, show Ann the wealth of inner wisdom that awaits investigation. So a dream can give us new information, and confidence in ourselves.

In fact, depending upon our interests, dreams can open to us a wealth of new ideas, energies and information, It is well known, for instance, that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from the plot of a dream, but it is not usually realised that many of his stories also had their basis in dreams, Stevenson said, ‘What shall I say they are but my Brownies, God bless them! who do one half my work for me while I am fast asleep.’ ‘When the bank begins to send letters and the butcher to linger at the back gate, he (Stevenson) sets to belabouring his brain after a story, for that is his readiest money-winner; and behold! at once the little people begin to bestir themselves in the same quest, and labour all night long, and all night long set before him truncheons of tales upon their lighted theatre.’

Mary, the wife of Shelley, dreamt the plot of Frankenstein; while in the world of philosophy, Descartes had, as the basis of much that he wrote, a series of dreams, Dante and Bunyan alike claim a dream as the inspiration of their greatest works, More recently, John Oxenham, best known for his religious poetry in inspirational message on life after ‘Bees in Amber’, Wrote his most death through a dream experience.

At one time, in the Middle East great temples were set up as centres for dreams of healing, Thousands upon thousands visited these Temples of Aesculapius, and many were cured by a release of healing forces within a dream, Even science has not been left untouched by the world of dreams, Dr Otto Loewi, who discovered the chemical theory for the transmission of the nervous impulse in a body, claims that the crucial experiment to prove the theory came to him while asleep. Fredrich Kekule, who discovered the arrangement of atoms within a molecule of benzene, also arrived at the idea in sleep.

Such events are only touched on here, however, as this book is designed not to argue the validity of dreams, but to explain a method of using them, and discovering for oneself whether such validity exists. But let us return to the point – do apparently senseless dreams hold meanings for us? Let us look at a few more dreams to find out.

In his book Psychology In Service of the Soul Dr Leslie Weatherhead mentions one of his experiences in regard to dreams. A woman under severe emotional stress was sent to him by her medical doctor An accompanying letter said that the doctor could find nothing wrong with her physically, and could only prescribe sedatives and a holiday. These he felt would not really effect a cure.

Even during the interview with Dr Weatherhead, the woman was very disturbed, crying and shaking, making it difficult to arrive at the cause of her trouble, The difficulty was solved, however, when she told of a dream she had experienced. In the dream a great storm was raging. The woman was standing under the cover of her porch, but her brother was in the middle of the road getting drenched. Eventually the dreamer ran out to her brother, threw her coat over him, and took him into her house. Having made a study of dreams, Dr Weatherhead was able to read the fairly obvious symbolism of the dream, and asked the woman to make up her quarrel with her brother. She was amazed that be should know of such a quarrel, but agreed to write to her brother, inviting him to visit her. In doing so she was cured. Her problem being her feelings of guilt over her self-righteous attitude, that bad left her brother to face his problems alone.

In dreams storms usually represent emotional turbulence, hatred, fears, etc., and in this dream we see that a way out of her ill-health is shown by the dream. From this, one can gain a little understanding of how health or healing could be regained in the Temples of Aesculapius.

Taking the dream of a young man, we can see how dreams can also show the possible outcome of a particular attitude of mind. In the dream the young man saw himself walking up a dimly lit cobbled street. The street was going up a hill, and on the left was a pub with two young men standing outside. They were holding pint jugs of bitter, As the dreamer drew near them, one turned to the other, looking at his bitter, and said, ‘Shall I let him have it?’ Being encouraged, he threw the bitter over the dreamer. Naturally he was very annoyed, and tried to brush it off his overcoat. He wanted to retaliate, but felt himself no match for these two, who walked back into the pub. Someone with the dreamer said that there was a policeman at the top of the bill, why not tell him. So climbing the test of the hill. and turning to the right, he found the policeman and told him. The policeman very officiously took out his notebook and asked whether there were any witnesses. There were, but the policeman maintained his air of doing only what he was forced to do by law, which upset the dreamer and he walked away.

Looking at the symbolism, this ‘young man’ begins to take shape before us, for we see him through his dream. To climb a hill in real life is not only to expend energy, to face a difficulty, but also, if successful. to benefit by seeing the view from the top. A hill, in fact, gives us a wider view of things. So to climb a hill is to face the energetic task of widening our opinions. rising above narrow limited views, growing up. In fact, the dreamer was going through a period of finding new ideas and outlooks. The pub and young men, on the left, are symbols for the pleasure loving, down to earth, rough and ready side of himself. Something on the left of us in a dream often means that it is unknown, or little used (i.e. the left band is usually the one we are least conscious of, and use the least).

The dream is saying these parts of him are not expressed much in life. This is quite true, as the man was a quiet, serious person, religious and somewhat introverted. The dream shows that his pleasure loving. outgoing side, due to their repression. are drinking the hitters of life, and in fact, this stifled side of his nature causes him to be bitter himself. He tries to ‘brush this bitterness off’, rather like one might say, ‘I feel depressed, but I’ll soon overcome it.’ Due to his retiring temperament, he does not feel he can face these other parts of himself. In a similar way, a person who inwardly wished to be noticed, might through shyness, not even he able to converse. Thus (two parts of oneself may war against each other.

The dream goes on to show the dreamer’s present. conscious efforts to deal with the conflict leading to bitterness. The policeman is on the right, representing his more conscious attitudes. The policeman usually represents our sense of right and wrong, conscience and law-giving. So the dreamer, in his efforts to deal with his attack of bitterness, tries to use his morals, his sense of right and wrong. But this side of himself is shown as unsympathetic. only really worried about the rules, and the dreamer realises he will not be helped by that attitude.

This particular dream only outlines the problem, and how one is trying to deal with it. It does not, as the previous dream, show a positive method of dealing with the situation. When we see how clearly such dreams explain and fit she dreamer’s everyday life, it is difficult to understand why dreams are not more generally understood. When one hears the parables of Jesus, such as that of the Talents, one immediately sees behind the story to its symbolical meaning. Aesop’s Fables have amused and educated children and adults for centuries. We can see ourselves in the frog who tried to gain respect by believing he was bigger and greater than he was. We can see that in a parable or fable, she outer story hides an inner truth, yet for hundreds of years in the West. dreams have been looked upon as nonsense.

Even with the coming of Freud, only a limited interpretation of these night-time parables was broached. Now, through the work of more liberal thinkers, the dream has at last come into its own again.

In the three dreams that follow, we can see, not only this parable making ability of one’s own mind, but also its concentration on particular problems, and its sense of continuity through several dreams. The dreams are all by one woman. whom we will call June. They were all dreamed within a period of three weeks, during a time of financial insecurity. June’s husband had been on social security, but was now working. He was not due to receive any wages until the work was complete however, So the problem was one of surviving for many weeks on next to no money.

Here are the dreams. ‘I dreamt that I was sitting in my bedroom and Bill was with me (friend of husband). I had two children by him, and one by Man (husband). Suddenly Bill turned into Alan and had a parcel that Richard (next door neighbour) was expecting containing drugs. He opened it and started smoking “pot” (hashish). As he smoked he changed rapidly into a hard, depraved sort of man, careless of others. Sue (Bill’s wife) came into the room at this point, sorrowful at what had happened between myself and Bill. I told her that this wasn’t important. What was important were the changes taking place in Bill-Man. At that moment the police came and rounded up all those who were smoking pot. As I expected, they betrayed Alan to the police. and denial was useless because his entire state gave him away. They took him. and I didn’t know what would happen now. His picture was on the front page of the newspaper; it would finish off our business. Even as I thought this a customer came, and I thought that when she knew, she wouldn’t want to do business with us.’

2nd dream

‘I had a huge pile of coloured washing to do, hut the machine wasn’t working properly. I put the washing in anyway and stood back. A tall. unknown male figure was beside me all the time. He gave me the impression of being a priest or teacher of some kind, with arms folded into wide hanging sleeves of a long robe. As we stood back a small explosion occurred and I could see a small fire had started beneath the machine. As I looked there appeared to be a huge pit under the machine, filled with a great glowing fire. A person stood in the midst of the fire supporting the machine, and as the fire burned so the machine began to be powered. and the clothes were washed. Both figure and machine remained unharmed by the flames, and I was reminded of Daniel in the lion’s den.’

3rd dream

‘I was with a group of people who had found a very small tunnel in a hillside, I knew that we all had to go through it; although it was so small and dark that it seemed impossible. There was barely room to even wriggle through, and a woman declined to go.

Once we were in the tunnel I was surprised to find bow short it was in length. It was so short it could hardly be called a tunnel. One of the others then went back to fetch the woman who had stayed behind.’

At first sight. these dreams appear to have little or nothing in common with each other. Also, the size of the first one. and its complexity, make it difficult for a simple explanation. Starting with tins one but sticking to the main features, the theme soon begins to appear, however. so we find in June’s associations that Bill is an idealistic, youthful and impetuous person, who seeks to leave a mark on the world. This represents June’s own idealism and desire to leave something of herself in the world.

This part of her nature has given her two children – that is, has developed two traits in her. The Bill within her never really came to the fore until her marriage. and thus these parts of her are still growing. They are her interest in the mysteries of life and death, and her practice of self analysis. The self analysis was born of her desire to express in life, due to the fact that in trying to be herself, she found inner problems.

Her husband, Man, is like Bill in many ways. but more mature, more ready to accept things as they are. The dream child from this part of her represents her growing ability to face the difficulties of life, to face her own inner problems. However, due to her financial situation, or at least, the worries arising from it, Alan takes pot. which for June symbolises a fear of not having what it takes to meet the problems of life, or to face her own fears courageously. Pot is an avoidance, a running away from difficulties for her, This represents the breaking down of her strength to cope with her own inner fears and doubts concerning the outer situation. This gives rise to feelings of cutting off all sympathetic links with other people and the world. Such links of sympathy are painful to her diminished faith in life. Then June’s sense of rightness (police) comes along to make her realise the social, inner, danger of these attitudes of mind. In fact, such feelings of unsympathy, of giving up, fear of not meeting one’s problems, threaten to break down her ability to support herself in the workaday world symbolised by the business.

That first dream outlined her problem, which is quite complex. as it shows various parts of her implicated and threatened by her fears. The next dream deals with how to find a way through these difficulties. The huge pile of coloured washing is the pile of feelings and emotions that need cleaning. But the machine, which in real life is an automatic washing machine, is not working properly. In other words, usually she simply thinks to herself. ‘Things will take care of themselves. Just be patient and my worries will disperse.’ This attitude of mind, that usually automatically clears her worries. Is now not working. Meanwhile. in her dream there is the figure standing slightly to one side and behind her. This represents her innermost feelings. Her deepest intuitions. In the dream she feels the man is encouraging her to put the washing in the machine despite the fact it does not seem to be working. Previous to this particular period of financial difficulty. June used her attitude of carrying on despite troubles automatically. But this time she had begun to wonder whether such an attitude was right. Was she hiding behind it just to let things slide from bad to worse? Was her faith really an excuse to avoid life? (We see even clearer here the inferences of taking pot in the first dream.) It is because of this doubt that the automatic washing machine is not working. The dream, through the figure of the teacher, points out very clearly that she is not wrong here, but to use the machine again. In doing so, which is a direct act of faith in her deepest feelings (in other words, through deciding to let events and the financial situation work itself out), an explosion occurs. new energy is released, and she sees her faith as a male, creative figure, engulfed in flames, yet not hurt. Faith is a state of mind constantly threatened, yet not destroyed; but through the very flames, gaining energy to drive the machine that cleanses us of unnecessary worries and fears.

The third dream confirms this, and suggests that the ‘tight squeeze through the darkness of her own fears and difficulties, will not be nearly as long as she expected. The symbolism, with its tunnel also suggests a birth into a different type of experience altogether. Even her fearful part. is eventually brought through the darkness. In the above review of a few dreams. the possibility of finding an understanding of them becomes evident. Although what has been said so far may raise a host of sympathetic, information seeking, or critical questions; as already explained, this book does not attempt to justify the methods used in any detail. But there are a host of other books that will occupy the critical mind. Meanwhile, our quick look at dreams has revealed but a fraction of their possibilities. So, let’s hasten on!

We work at home, so we usually lock the doors to stop friends and neighbours getting a puzzling impression of us. if they found us lying inert on the bed I don’t think they’d believe us if we said we were usefully employed.

Lying about, dramatising, is part of our work researching and interpreting dreams. For instance, a woman wrote to us about a dream in which she is with relatives and friends at a party in a restaurant. She becomes petrified with fear because a big wild cat, a lion perhaps, or a puma, sniffs round her, rubs against her and stares at her. She says of herself, “I am 34 and although happily married I have difficulty with relationships. This dream has recurred for ten years. Can you explain it?”

We walk into your dreams

To respond helpfully to her question, we imagined ourselves inside her dream, as if we were dreaming it ourselves. With this particular dream, we felt the woman was anxious about her own uninhibited and unpredictable sexuality. The cat was untamed, and capable of expressing its natural feelings unpredictably. The dream showed the “cat” side of the woman’s nature doing no harm to herself or others. It suggested she could relax and allow herself more freedom of expression. The dream recurred because she was stuck amid unnecessary fear and tension over her natural feelings.

Dreams provide a safe area of experiment and growth: if the dreamer in this case recognises the absence of danger, she can relax the tension/fear, and allow herself to develop an easier relationship with the cat in future dreams. It will help even more if, while she is awake, she imagines herself making friends with the cat. In so doing she will become less afraid of what is, after all, part of herself, and will develop greater confidence in meeting other people. She will also relate more creatively to other women.

But, you ask, how do we know that is what the dream means? Aren’t we just making an interesting guess?

That might be true. But it is an educated guess. Between us we have 27 years’ experience of working with dreams. During those years we have worked with many groups and individuals as therapists, teaching ways of using dreams to help people achieve satisfying life-changes, greater creativity and to solve problems. In that role, in which we are still involved, we are not interpreters. We help people learn techniques which enable them to experience the emotions, memories and processes of growth within themselves.

For instance, one man we worked with dreamt he was in the dim entrance passageway of a house. It was not a welcoming place. When he let himself experience the feelings involved in the dream, he realised the corridor described how he had unconsciously felt about himself. He had held back from sharing himself with other people because he felt dull and uninteresting – like the passage. The positive side of the dream was that although he had not developed a fascinating exterior life, he/the corridor had great depth. This encouraged him to take the risk of allowing more people into his life. The passageway, leading as it did from the front door to the house interior, was an excellent symbol of the part of his own character which connected his own inner feelings and qualities with the people he met.

From the overall experience of working with many people in that way, seeing the meaning of dreams through the insight of the dreamer, we have come to understand enough of the language of dreams to give a shrewd interpretation of them – especially when the dreamer tells us something about her or his life, circumstances, age, and feelings associated with the dream.

A common question too is how did we get involved ~n this field? Tony often tells the story of how as a child of three living in London just before the last war, he sat in his pedal car fascinatedly watching a drain cleaner. In those days the man carried various rods and ladles to clean the street drains. As Tony watched him probing the damp mud and bringing up money and other objects washed there by the rain, an enormous feeling of revelation came over him. He was going to be a drain cleaner when he grew up. Tony feels the drain symbolised his desire to probe into the unknown area of the mind for what treasures might be found.

Self Help

As a teenager, Tony took courses in hypnosis and relaxation, taught by a Dr Ousby, and also in journalism. The first led him, in his 2O’s, to teach relaxation classes. He was trying at the time to discover practical self-help methods to enable people to deal with problems non-clinically. For a while he worked as relaxation instructor at Tyringham Naturopathic Clinic in Buckinghamshire. He considered existing relaxation techniques inadequate to help people to the degree he wished and began thinking about the possibilities of working with dreams. He wrote Do You Dream?, which was published in 1972 by Neville Spearman. With a small research group, he investigated the healing and creative potential of dreaming, and how it might be more fully exploited. He discovered that many people, if shown, could “dream” while they were fully awake.

One of the first women to whom he taught the technique was referred by her doctor because she was in danger of suffering a breakdown. Through “waking-dreaming” she relived an abortion she had had four years before. Her body went on to complete the movements and sounds of giving birth to that baby. Her dream allowed her to “complete” the process she was anxious about having cut short, and to feel whole again.

Teaching this technique in this country and Japan for the last ten years, Tony became recognised as a therapist, and some of his methods have been adopted by other psychotherapists. Summarising the experience of this period he has recently written The Instant Dream Book, to be published by Spearman within the next few months.

A dream gave me my name

My own involvement with dreams began before my birth. Until a few days before I was born, my mother was sure I was going to be a boy. I was to be named Alexander, and she said a prayer to the effect that if God or the powers that be had made me a girl, then they had better come up with a name too.

The next morning my grandmother came down to breakfast with a puzzling dream. In it she had seen letters, and heard someone saying what appeared to be a name, “Hyone”. My grandmother had no knowledge of my mother’s ponderings, so the dream was taken as a sign that I was a girl and Hyone should be my name.

When my first marriage was breaking up, I joined a group which met weekly to use the techniques Tony taught. I had always been a passive wife, hardly daring to hold personal opinions. What happened to me through the release of the’ dream process, which we now call “coex”, was that I began to unfold as a person, discovered my own opinions and the strength to express them. I decided to end my marriage, and I began to lead seminars with Tony. What I enjoy about the work is the satisfaction of helping people, as I was helped, to deal practically with some of their problems in their life – whether it’s a back-ache caused by repressed sexuality or creativity, or lack of initiative brought about by a negative self-image.

A new facet of our work began in 1982 when the Daily Mail asked us to write a regular dream interpretation feature in Femail, which we did for 14 months. Receiving dreams from hundreds of women, men and children all over the country was like switching viewpoints from the first floor window of a flat to a helicopter. The inner life of Britain unveiled itself to us. What did men feel about women having babies, for instance? What happened to a woman emotionally when she stopped having children? What did women feel about their new-found sexual freedom? How did you leave or lose a lover and stay in one piece? These were all issues which began to shout for attention; they were the common themes in the dreams we examined.

For example, men often dream of giving birth.

Sometimes this shows a new part of their potential emerging, but in some dreams it arises out of a sense of awe at women’s ability to bring forth life. We suspect from these dreams that men have a carefully guarded sense of envy. Biologically, a man realises that nothing he can do, from building a skyscraper to walking on the moon, is quite as wonderful. Men’s involvement in politics, work, war, art, and other ‘important” issues, may arise in part out of this envy.

It seems likely from other dreams that the original religion was closely linked with worship of the woman giving birth. The mystery of creativity made it a woman centred world – signs of this can still be seen in the adoration of the Madonna. Gradually the realisation dawned of the part the penis played in creation, and cultures moved to a veneration of, and dominance by, male power. Perhaps now we are learning a sense of balance.

The new experience of childbearing

Women who have had children and have decided to have no more often dream that they are in never-ending labour. This points to a problem which is new to women, and must be very widespread. In the past, there were few – if any – effective birth controls. Women continued to bear children until they were incapable and, in general, their biological drives urged them to do so. But when the conscious personality dares to stop, and can implement the decision with contraceptives, what happens to the biological drive? The dreams suggest that the drive to reproduce goes on functioning unconsciously, and unless satisfied in some way, may be felt as a sense of dissatisfaction or even psychosomatic illness.

Human experience is changing at an alarming pace, outstripping what we are instinctively prepared for. Birth control is readily available, and so are abortions. When children grow up, they are these days more likely to move to another town, city or country than to a couple of streets away. The list of changes goes on and on.

Women must learn to deal with these problems wisely if they are to remain physically and psychologically healthy. How many childless women, for instance, breed cats or dogs, perhaps in an unconscious attempt to solve an emotional problem? This morning while waiting in our local post office, I heard a woman saying that when her 17-year-old dog had been put down, she could hardly talk to anyone for a week, and that much of her hair had fallen out. There is a huge reservoir of creative/destructive energy to be found in women who choose not to have children, and in men whose paternal role is disappearing. How we deal with this may be the making or breaking of our society.

You dream about every aspect of yourself

Dreams deal with every facet of experience. We dream about the health and needs of our body, about intimate details of our sex life, about death. We dream useful new ideas. We dream humorously and – of course – we dream nightmares. Even while we are awake, our subconscious is constantly filing, cross-referencing, predicting, and controlling our functions. While we sleep it has time to work and play in its own way, taking over our being and wills to express itself through dreams. In a recent article in New Scientist, Morton Schatzman posed a difficult problem, partly mathematical, entirely difficult. Readers were asked to send in their dream response. The large numbers of people who dreamt the correct solution showed that not only can we dream an answer to a problem, but that we can consciously seek such a dream.

Tony and I want to carry on encouraging people to start using their dream resources. We want to share our enthusiasm with people who wish to improve the quality of their life by learning from their dreams.

Meanwhile, we hope to continue our research. We have gained our insights only because countless people have shared themselves and their dreams with us. Every time we receive a batch of dreams, we cannot help but feel warmth for the senders. Neither can we help wanting to reflect back, even if indirectly, what we see and learn.

Link To Chapters – Link to Chapter Two


-Tania 2017-03-14 7:34:08

Today, I have a strange 2 dream in the same time… I was walking around with someone i know but i don’t remember who was that person i was with but i remember we was walking and i saw the children playing in the dirty water that look like a Sewer from the outside. And then we continue walking to the street and there was another strange in the same street we was walking thru there was a 2 cats on the top of the Power Lane and one cat was walking on it with the power lane but other cat wasn’t walking on it but floating on the power lane like she was connection to the power lane with it 2 cats conection together? what does this mean? and another dream the other few day ago.. I was outside the Luxury houses with the Huge pool and the houses look like an Apartment with 2 or 3 Story floor and the pool look like a circle around the house and it has 2 sides of Luxury house with the middle of the pool with shiny blue clear water.. Anyway, i was with my one friend and telling me to get in the pool so i did and feeling so nice & smooth and also with the smooth waves and then i put my head all the way in and then i open my eyes but i saw something strange coming toward in front of me so i got out quickly even my friend yelling me to get out… but it was 2 female an mermaids?? what does this dream mean?

-sandkruti 2015-09-19 1:25:49

Last night I dreamt of a beautiful house.. I was on first floor and one of my guy friends was on ground gloor… I was telling him to leave because my father had come

-hazel 2012-02-22 16:55:59

wonderful and satisfying explanations and
interpretations – thanks Beautifully presented too!
Makes extremely interesting reading

    -Tony Crisp 2012-02-23 10:31:07

    Hazel – Thank you. It was the first dream book I wrote, published in 1972. The whole book is on the site and also as a Kindle version.

    Also I often go back to read again what you mentioned, and found in one place a mix up of text, which I have now corrected. So thanks again!


-Debra (Trinidad & Tobago) 2011-06-06 11:55:41

Hi. For a very long time now I haven’t been able to remember my dreams but last night’s dream, I remembered vividly.

I was somewhere close to where I live, at the end of the street, and I saw what looked like someone’s kitchen garden. They were using aquaculture because everything was planted in water instead of dirt.
Then the person caught a fresh fish (about 8-10inches long)and gave it to me. I held the fish in my hand and could feel its wet hard scales.
What does this mean?
Jun 6, 2011

    -Tony Crisp 2011-06-13 7:58:05

    Debra – It seems you have been cultivating this for some time. Maybe you have been meditating or hoping or even praying with hope. Something has been working on your inner life for some time, and as the dream suggests, it is not natural, but cultivated, and that is good.

    What you have brought about is an inner life that is nourishing you, or it can do. It is a very live thing, so much so you can feel it – the fish in your hands. So now you need to partake of it so it can become a part of your body.

    The fish can represent, to, quote from The New Dream Dictionary, “The attitudes and urges we have in common with humanity – the collective unconscious – and the impulses or insights arising therefrom – can therefore represent the Self; sexual drive in connection with reproduction, the fish may be the wisdom we have not yet brought to consciousness, regarding our personal journey in time and eternity.”


-Shelia 2010-11-28 14:36:54

I dreamed that the cat was attacking me and I had to kill it. What does that mean?

    -Tony Crisp 2010-12-06 13:11:59

    Sheila – There is probably some secret you are hiding form yourself, something you have done to upset the cat – i.e. your hostile catty feelings. It means that you have tried to kill a natural and probably sexual feelings. But as with dreams, nothing dies, so it may come again in a different form.

    I wonder what stimulated the attack in the first place.


-Sarah 2010-07-03 17:47:30

I dreamed that I was holding a doll. It felt like a real baby at first then i realised it was a doll, it looked plastic and stiff. I had it wrapped up in a blanket and behaved like it was a real child. My mother and sister entered the room and i continued to act like i was minding a real baby. They seemed oblivious to this.
My friend recently had a baby and i think this is what triggered the dream
The night before i had a dream that my boyfriend suddenly turned into a child.
Are these dreams linked?
would love to hear your opinion on this

    -Tony Crisp 2010-07-08 11:26:53

    Difficult to tell if the dreams are linked, but it sounds very likely. In fact the dream of you and the doll suggests you are not ready for full motherhood yet, but still in holding the doll phase of your growth. In which case it sounds as if you see your boyfriend in aimilar condition. Too emotoinally young.


-Lorena 2010-07-01 17:34:43

I was running away from someone, male I think, and then a young male was helping me escape. He lead me to a dark empty room were there was a double (twin) set of stairs. There was a jaguar slowly coming down the stairs and he or she jumped on me. I was scared. The animal embraced me and I knew that it meant no harm. I could feel the animal’s claws on my skin, on my arm, hard enough to still remember the feeling but not hard enough to hurt. What does this mean?

    -Tony Crisp 2010-07-02 12:18:41

    Gosh Lorena – This is so much like a dream I had. A powerful puma jumped on me.

    What I feel it means is that you have powerful feelings, passionate feelings, cat like feelings that you are slightly scared of, but not enough to run away from. That was the reason the lead into the dream and the stairs was about the young male.

    Tricky to explain. You were running away from a – male your passionate feelings – but gradually, although still in a dark room, you then allowed in your dream this enormous and wild passoinate feeling. So I think you are on your way to becoming in command of your full passions as a woman. But I think you need to spend more time imagining the jaguar. Make friends with it until you feel safe.


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