I am using a very simple and short dream segment--about seeing a giraffe--to discuss more thoroughly the five steps of the dream interpretation process. Here’s the dream:
I am sitting at home at my kitchen table eating my breakfast. I look up, and there is a giraffe staring me in the face.
This dream snippet is useful not only because of its brevity, but also because it makes use of a symbol—a giraffe—that is uncommon. We can’t rely on preconceived notions of dream symbol meanings. Instead, we have to use the interpretation techniques to unlock the dream’s message.
Review of Step 3
In my last post we had completed a review of step 3 of the interpretation technique. We had isolated the symbols and asked the dreamer to “tell me about” each one. You can scroll down to my last post to see his answers.
Step 4 is a reassembling of the dream. We try to stay faithful to the dream, but all symbols are removed. In their place, we insert the descriptions that the dreamer gave during step 3. For example, the dream begins, “I am sitting…” The word “sitting” is one of the symbols we isolated. In the “tell me about it” phase, the dreamer explained sitting as: “It’s when you want to rest.” When we reassemble the dream we will remove the word “sitting” and replace it with something about wanting to rest. We will also insert little phrases that remind the dreamer that every facet of the dream is a description of himself. So the first phrase of the dream (I am sitting) now becomes: “There is a part of me that wants to rest.” Here’s the whole dream, reassembled in this fashion:
There’s a part of me that wants to rest. I’m in my own base—the place inside of me where I live, eat, play and sleep. I’m in the part of me where I serve my meals that nourish and sustain me, and where I interact and problem solve with other parts of myself. I am nourishing myself for the start of a new day. But I am startled by something in me. My peace of mind is interrupted. I unexpectedly see a part of myself that reaches exceptionally high to find and consume the nutrients that sustain me. It is a part of me that seems to be methodical and slow and pensive. This part of me is literally staring me in the face. It is imminent and there is no way of getting around it.
This is a beautiful dream of awakening: At the start of a new phase of the dreamer’s life, he comes to an awareness of a “higher” part of himself—one that he didn’t even know about. The final step of the dream analysis process would be to spend time with this dreamer exploring how this new-found aspect of himself fits into his fledgling new life. Wonderful!
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