I’ve noticed a trend among readers of this blog. Whenever I examine a dream that is fun—like a dream of a butterfly landing on someone’s nose—my readership goes up. But if I look at a dream with a more uncomfortable theme, my readership drops. Unfortunately, dreams don’t always communicate with us in pleasant imagery. In fact, the majority of important dreams come to us in startling or even upsetting images. These dreams are not trying to be mean; they are only trying to make sure that they are not forgotten as we bring them, precariously, from our subconscious to our conscious awareness.
It is also true that I tend to have more people read this blog when I talk about traditional dreams—the ones we have during sleep. When I shift the focus to the “waking dream”—the dream-like experiences we have during our waking hours—some readers become uncomfortable and stop following the discussion. Yet the understanding that life brings us dream images not only while we sleep but also while we are going about the mundane business of our day, is one of the most important messages I offer. So from time to time I will remind my readers that dreaming is a 24-hour-a-day phenomenon, and that very often the most important messages come to us while we’re awake.
My most recent important waking dreamTo make certain that no one feels as if I am singling them out by highlighting an unpleasant experience they had to suffer through, I will now describe an incident *I* recently witnessed while I was awake, one that brought me an uncomfortable but important message. What follows is my waking dream:
I live in a comfortable suburban neighborhood where kids ride their bikes and play in the street, and where many people walk on a daily basis without feeling threatened or uneasy. My house is approaching 50-years-old, and in the last year it has needed work. At first I upgraded some of the systems inside—like the heating, the insulation and some of the electrical. Now I have been working on the outside, replacing the roof, redoing the siding and, finally, painting. While the carpenters were replacing the siding, they parked a large trailer out in front to store their tools and collect debris. The day before they finished, we were all stunned to come out and see that, during the night, someone had spray-painted a gang tag on the side of this trailer. This kind of graffiti never happens in our neighborhood. What’s more, this trailer was the only target. There are probably 50 or more houses on both sides along our quiet street, and ours was the only residence “hit.”
Initial reactionMy first reaction was emotional. I felt violated on behalf of my workers, and even embarrassed that it had happened on my street. It was only after my indignation subsided that I remembered that these experiences are dreams.
We’ll analyze this waking dream starting on Wednesday.
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