Working with Dreams

In my book Your Genius Within, I describe a number of different kinds of dreams and ways of understanding and working with them.

I’ll briefly review some of that information here to get you started in your dream work or if you’re already working with dreams, to help you enrich your dream work experience.Some dreams are straightforward sources of information about the world around us. So the first question to ask about a dream is whether or not it’s telling you something about yourself or the people around you. For instance if you have a dream about falling down the stairs you might want to check and see if the carpeting is loose or notice whether you’ve been careless during your stairway descents lately. Your unconscious mind may have picked up important information and is sharing it with you in the form of a dream.

In the essay on this site entitled Dream Diagnosis you’ll read about people who have had dreams that tell them about an illness that neither they nor their physician have yet to detect. The unconscious mind can be extremely observant of such things.

In my book I share reports of people who have had the experience of dreams leading them to creative solutions to problems they are struggling with. There are also many historical accounts of artists, inventors or other people having breakthrough dreams with dramatic results.

If you have had any of the above kinds of dreams it would be great to hear from you. Your sharing can encourage others who may think that their own dream life experiences are too unusual or unbelievable to share.

If you’ve asked the question of whether your dream is about the world around you and you are drawing a blank, the next step is to think about how the dream might reflect your attitudes and desires in ways you hadn’t thought about before. For instance, if you dream that you’re enjoying running through a meadow with great energy and pleasure, you might consider the possibility that your life may be a little bit too sedentary right now. Such an insight is pretty straightforward but can provide a valuable clue to getting more out of life.

A third and often the most productive way of working with dreams is to get in the habit of thinking of them as picture language and as reflecting unconscious information.

Dreams speak to us using a picture language that puts into images ideas that we usually express in words. This is because dreams come from a deep place within us where language is not the primary way of thinking.

We could speculate that, among our animal friends, this picture language is the main, or maybe the only, way that thinking takes place. Imagine what kinds of thoughts go through the mind of your pet dog or cat. They don’t think in words, so their thinking must be of another kind. We could say that they live in a dreamlike world of pictures and images, sounds and feelings. In our dream life, language seems to fall away, leaving us in this same vivid world.

So, when looking to understand your dreams, check out possible picture language in the form of figures of speech that are vividly presented. The following are some examples of dreams from my dream classes and workshops that contain such pictures that express important ideas.

A student had a dream in which he was chasing after a bus that he had missed. Another dreamer was unable to climb a ladder. Another saw himself in bed with his sister nearby. The reason he was in bed was because he was sick and tired. Another dreamer was asleep at the wheel of a bus. Another dreamer had fallen off a wagon. I could go on, but you get the idea.

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