There are times when dreams are urgently trying to communicate a message to the dreamer. It often happens that, when the dream imagery is gentle, we don’t pay attention. So dreams resort to extreme imagery.
This was the case with a dreamer who came to see me. He was distressed by a dream he had remembered from a few nights earlier. He said he woke up from the experience in a sweat.
A dream about being cut by broken glass.
In my dream I was running away from something—literally running. I didn’t even know what it was from, but I just remember that I was afraid, and that it was vital that I escape. I came to a wall—maybe 7 or 8 feet high. In my haste I jumped up in my effort to climb over it. I managed to get my right hand and forearm on top of the wall. That’s when I felt a sharp pain and realized that the entire wall was embedded with broken glass. Presumably I was still hanging from the wall, but in my dream I was somehow able to lift my right hand and forearm and have a look. The underside of my forearm was completely ripped open. I could see tendons and bones. I usually dream in a sort of grey scale with occasional muted color. But in this dream my blood was a vivid red. I was horrified, and that’s when I woke up.
Our initial discussion
There were two things about this dream that I wanted to explain to the dreamer right away. The first was that he needed to set aside any fears about the events of this dream literally coming true. I pointed out that dreams do, occasionally, repeat themselves, verbatim, in “real life.” But when it happens, it is a rare exception to the usual chain of events. Dreams tend to repeat themselves mostly because the message is ignored the first time. When they do, the second version can happen while the dreamer is awake. However, the fact that he was going to examine this dream right away meant that it was almost guaranteed that he would no longer experience the symbols either in the sleeping or the waking state.
The second thing I wanted mention to him was the way in which he related his dream to me. I drew his attention to two asides he made in the course of telling me his dream. The first was, “Presumably I was still hanging from the wall.” The second was, “I usually dream in a sort of grey scale with occasional muted color.”
These sentences were both commentaries and weren’t actually part of the dream, proper. Nevertheless, the fact that he felt compelled to make those remarks while relating the dream, meant that the statements were important, and we would treat them as if they were dream symbols.
He and I will continue our analysis of this upsetting dream on this coming Wednesday. Stay tuned!
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