I’ve been analyzing a short dream about a woman who is burying “bad men” in the sand. What makes this dream interesting is that it has multiple possible interpretations, two of which seem equally plausible. Below is the dream as it was originally stated to me. That is followed immediately by the metaphoric interpretation the dreamer and I arrived at. (You can read how we arrived at this interpretation in my post, dated 3-2-16.)
In my dream I am sitting on a plank that I have placed so that it straddles a large hole I have dug in the sand. I am in the process of burying men in the sand. I know that they will probably die, but I don’t mind because they are bad men.
There’s a part of me that I’ve made into a kind of scaffolding to keep me from falling into a hole inside myself. I use this part of me to stay above the hole in me. I guess what I’ve done is to dig a grave inside myself. It’s in a part of me that’s lifeless; nothing will grow in it. This part of me is unstable and blows all over. There are other parts of me that I know are not good for me. I don’t really know what they’ve done to me, but I’m getting rid of them so they won’t bother me anymore. These parts of me are probably going to lose their lives. They’ll cease to exist. I’m untroubled by all this; I have no qualms.
The dream’s main theme
From the interpretation above it seems that the dream is commenting on the dreamer’s efforts to rid herself of some aspects of herself—perhaps habits or opinions—that are “not good for me.” Her dream is quite explicit in stating that she is burying these aspects of herself in a “part of me that is unstable and blows all over.” It is a part of her that is “lifeless; nothing will grow in it.”
Is this constructive or destructive?
What can we make of these symbols? If someone has negative qualities in themselves it is, of course, a wonderful thing to eliminate those traits. But depending on how it is done, it can be a constructive, growing experience, or it can simply be a case of pretending that those qualities don’t exist. One can pretend quite easily by “burying” a personal issue “in the sand.”
We need the dreamer’s input
This is why it is absolutely vital that the dreamer, herself, now be consulted. One cannot—must not(!)—casually consult a book of however-many-umpteen dream symbol meanings and expect to have a helpful understanding of the dream. Is the dreamer dealing with her issues in a positive way, or is she just hiding her problems so she can pretend they don’t exist?
Tomorrow, for my concluding post on this topic, we’ll invite the dreamer into the discussion and learn of her own insightful understanding of this dream. Stay tuned!
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