Thursday 15 February 2018

Natural Gas In A Plastic Pipe: Concluding Post

 photo courtesy of

We’re looking at a contractor’s dream about a dangerous situation he discovered in the basement of a house. He found a plastic pipe leaking natural gas. He was alarmed by the dream, both during sleep and after waking.

When we analyzed the dream symbols and retold the dream in its new metaphoric version, one image repeatedly came to the fore. There was the description of a plastic pipe which was carrying a substance that it was not designed for, and which could be dangerous.

One of the tenets of dream interpretation is that every image in the dream represents a facet of the dreamer. So when we thought about a “pipe” carrying the wrong substance inside the dreamer, there was some concern.

My own experience with dreams is that they are mostly commentaries about attitudes and approaches to life that need adjustment (or conversely, the dream is congratulating the dreamer for doing something correctly). I told this dreamer that he and I would work on his dream from that perspective. However, I also insisted that he get a thorough physical checkup, just in case this dream was expressing something about his physical body. Or perhaps his physical body was, itself, acting as a waking dream, offering its own dream symbols in the form of health issues that needed addressing. The dreamer agreed, and that left us free to explore the dream from still another level.

The dream spoke of observing activity in the place inside the dreamer where he would “eat my meals, relax, think, have my own space.” And within this space, there was something wrong. There was a “volatile” substance that was being transported through a “pipe” that was not designed for that purpose. I asked the dreamer what he thought that might be about. Did he have a volatile substance that was out of place inside of him? He needed no further prompting.

The dreamer tells his story
Ho boy! Do I ever! I have anger management issues. I won’t tell you the whole nasty story, but the short version is that I had an old man who slapped me around a fair amount. By the time I was a teenager and a young adult, I’d been in trouble a few times with the law—nothing really serious, but getting arrested was a heads-up, and it sobered me up some. I spent a couple of nights in jail and was looking around at all the losers in there. I made up my mind right then that I didn’t want to be like them.

So ever since, I’ve been working on myself. It’s been really hard. I’ve had little moments of improvement, and then I’ve had even bigger times of relapse. Still, over the years I can see that I’ve gotten better. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and don’t have as much energy to be pissed off any more. [He laughs.] Naw. I think it’s better than that.

So yeah. I have this dream letting me know that, even if I’m behaving myself, I still carry this “volatile” stuff around inside me. Well, I guess there’s still more for me to do. So I’ll just keep pluggin’ away.


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