In my last post, a dreamer related a funny dream about throwing pancake batter on the ceiling. I asked him to discuss each of his symbols by giving him the neutral prompt: “Tell me about it!” (Scroll down to see my last posts.)
Reassembling the dream
The next step in the interpretation process is to reassemble the dream. However, when the dream is put back together, there will be two changes. First, wherever there was a symbol—such as “living room”—that will be replaced by the dreamer’s description when I asked him to “Tell me about…” that symbol. He replied, “It’s the common gathering place in our house. When we want to be together, that’s where we go.”
Second, I will insert occasional phrases like, “within myself” to remind the dreamer that all symbols in a dream represent aspects of his own psyche. What follows is the dream restated in this fashion.
I am sitting in the place within myself that is the common gathering place in the house within me. When I want all the parts of me together, this is where we go. I am concerned. Something is weighing heavily on my mind. It is about the lack of my own inner life-sustaining water. It is an alarming threat to living. What I inwardly eat to stay strong, healthy and alive is in danger. I am afraid that I may have to control and restrict water use, so that I only get the bare minimum of what I need; I’ll have to make due. I will have to perform a tribal ceremony within myself to bring the needed water. Parts of me think this will work, other parts not. I prepare the ingredients for a breakfast food for all of my inner family. This is a sign that we are all getting together on a Sunday morning. I have no clue what the purpose of my next action is. I guess I take it seriously as some sort of ritual to bring this much-needed water into myself.
First glance at this dream
Two things become apparent when we restate the dream in this fashion. First, notice that the dream is no longer funny. Suddenly it takes on the quality of so many of the dreams appearing in this blog. We have used the dreamer’s own words almost exclusively, and it now appears that he is telling himself a coherent story about a conflict within himself. In the case of this dream, the imagery began as amusing and absurd: throwing pancake batter on the ceiling. In other dreams, the imagery is frightening. But in either case, the images serve the same purpose: They are exaggerated impressions designed to grab the dreamer’s attention.
Second, the dream is no longer incoherent; its message has come beautifully into focus. We still need to ask what the words “water,” “Sunday morning” and “house” symbolize. These metaphors will help unlock the dream’s message even more specifically.
We’ll ask the dreamer tomorrow.
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