Wednesday 3 February 2016

Do We Dream While Awake? Post #2

Dreaming While Awake
On Monday I posted the first discussion about how dreaming continues while we’re awake—an experience I call a “waking dream.” I described an incident in which a woman, who was experiencing conflict at her job, had a car accident on her way to work. She hit black ice, her car slid off the road, down a shallow embankment, hit a tree on the passenger side, and then was wedged between two trees. She couldn’t drive her car away even in dry conditions. The passenger side of her car was badly dented, but there was no damage to the driver side, so she opened her car door and stepped out. She was shaken and upset, but she was  uninjured.

Was This Experience a Dream?
Let’s try an experiment: Even though this was an upsetting experience that happened during “real life” while this woman was awake, let’s pretend it was a dream. We’ll analyze the dream symbols—the way we have in past dreams that I have discussed—and then we’ll see if the analyzed “dream” has any relevance in this woman’s life.

Analyzing the “Dream” Symbols
This is the part of the process where I ask the dreamer to “Tell me about” each of the symbols. What follows were her answers:

Tell me about…
A car:  It’s how I get around from one place to another.
Going to work:  I used to love my job, but it’s recently turned into a kind of nightmare.
Black Ice:  It’s a danger that you can’t see. It can be deadly.
Skidding sideways:  Out of control, really scary!
Hitting a tree:  It damaged my car so I couldn’t use it anymore, and it was a really shocking experience.
Being wedged between two trees: I was stuck; I couldn’t move.
The driver’s side undamaged:  It was really kind of surprising. I just got out and walked away.

Reassemble the “Dream”
Now, using the techniques I’ve discussed before, we’ll restate her dream, replacing her symbols with her comments about the symbols. We’ll also add phrases like “There is a part of me” that will remind her that all the symbols are aspects of herself. Here goes:

There is a part of me that helps me get around from one place inside myself to another. I used to love the work I was doing on myself, but it’s turned into a kind of nightmare. There is a danger in me that I didn’t see which could be deadly for me. I’m out of control and it’s really scary! I’ve damaged the part of me that gets me around inside myself. I can’t use it anymore and it’s a really shocking experience. I’m stuck and can’t move. But I’m kind of surprised that I can just get out of this mess and walk away.

More to Come
It’s pretty amazing when you restate her experience in this fashion. If you have thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. Otherwise, stay tuned!

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