photo courtesy of edizon.net
A man in his 70s and no longer sexually active was upset about an erotic dream. However, far from describing a sleazy, semi-pornographic experience, when we analyzed his dream, he discovered that it was an exciting statement of some positive changes occurring within him. Through its symbolism, it described a bonding of the forces of masculine and feminine in his psyche. These represent his intuitive nature (feminine) and his ability to manifest his plans (masculine). When the two came together in his dream and “made love” it represented the unleashing of powerful creative energy.
I asked him what he thought this dream was about. What follows is part of our conversation.
Discussing the dream
David: I love the part of the dream about riding in an uncomfortable, impractical vehicle.
Dreamer: (laughs) This whole dream interpretation just throws me for a loop. I mean, I still can’t quite see how we got from scenes of sexual foreplay to exploring new horizons.
David: All we did was use your own words.
Dreamer: I know. That’s what’s so amazing.
David: So what do you think about the dream’s message? Does it relate to any issues for you?
Dreamer: Oh yeah. Especially the part about how the woman part of me is so much younger and isn’t “preparing for the end.”
David: Can you elaborate?
Dreamer: Well, I’m retired. I think a lot of what you do in retirement is face the fact that your clock is running out. The minute you put your attention on stuff like that you start living as if it’s true. The next thing you know, you’re acting like you have no future and you put yourself into this kind of waiting mode. You think, “Well, there’s really no point in getting involved with anything because it’s only going to be temporary.”
David: So, would you say that your intuitive, feminine self is telling you that your feeling of being resigned to the end is premature?
Dreamer: I think that’s really it. (Has tears in his eyes.) It’s like this huge relief. Maybe my life’s not over.
David: How about that! And what about the part of the dream that describes testing the degree of commitment? I mean the whole ending is about exploring uncharted and maybe even forbidden territory.
Dreamer: You know, I have always wanted to paint. My mom painted—really beautiful oil paintings. I was always drawn to that, but with work and family, I never acted on it; it wouldn’t put food on the table, so it wasn’t a high enough priority.
David: So that made it “forbidden territory?”
Dreamer: Yeah. I guess so.
David: Well, what now?
Dreamer: After I retired, I thought about it again, but I thought, what’s the point? I’m too old to get good at it.
David: Maybe your feminine self has a different view of it.
Dreamer: (Openly crying) I don’t believe this.
David: I know of a couple of senior centers that offer excellent classes in oil painting.
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