A young woman dreamed that she “killed an enemy” during a Star Wars-style battle. Later, she was shocked to learn that the enemy was herself. Last time, we went through the symbols to reveal their metaphoric meanings. (Scroll down to my last post.) Today, we’ll reassemble the dream to learn its metaphoric message.
Reassembling the dream
To reassemble the dream, we take the statements that the dreamer made about her own dream symbols, and we put the dream back together using them. In addition, we insert short remarks to remind the dreamer that every symbol in the dream is a facet of her own internal, psychological makeup. Here’s the reworked dream. The message it delivers is clear and startling:
There’s a part of me that is in the totality of my own physical existence. I am the one who is in charge of traveling through this existence. I’m in my own vehicle which is designed for war—for searching and destroying. It’s all about my own future, but it has all the same problems I have today. My mission is to defeat the enemy within me. I’m going after the main adversary. I’m not restricted to any zones within myself; I’m covering vast distances, and I’m attempting to destroy. I’m going too fast to react thoughtfully or with foresight. I hit the target within myself and render it useless. It’s rubble. I’m examining the results of my actions. The rubble is useless, worthless pieces of nothing. The enemy within me is now without life. It is no longer protected. Then I’m shocked. In some weird way I have killed myself. I don’t know what to think.
What a powerful dream! This young woman is at war with herself and is succeeding in destroying elements of her own psyche. Certainly, we all have conflicts from time to time. These are played out in our lives and expressed in our dreams. But the majority of such conflicts are localized. Perhaps we are doing battle with an aspect of our personality that we dislike. Perhaps it’s our stubborn nature, or a penchant for reneging on promises, or excessive shyness. In each of these cases, a dream would express the quality through a particular symbol. For example, stubbornness might be symbolized by a mule.
But with the Star Wars dream, this young woman is at war with her whole self. And in her efforts to eliminate what she finds offensive, she is—almost literally—killing herself. Such a struggle, especially when it is waged with the zealous energy that her dream is describing, will probably not end constructively. Her dream even points out that she is acting so quickly that she neglects to give herself time to “react thoughtfully or with foresight.” How can that be helpful? And more to the point, how could she be dealing with her conflict more advantageously? Is it better to fight what you don’t like within yourself, or is it better to, counter-intuitively, embrace it?
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