Wednesday 14 February 2018

Natural Gas In A Plastic Pipe: Post #3

 image 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.

The dreamer decided which of the words he used in the original telling of his dream were important, and as such, were symbols. We redefined those words in a way that suggested a definition beyond a literal meaning. It was a meaning that had more of a metaphoric sense.

Now we have reassembled the dream, but we’ve taken all the original symbols out of it. In their places, we have substituted the metaphoric descriptions the dreamer gave about each one. In addition, I have added short phrases like, “There is a part inside of me” to remind the dreamer that all the symbols in his dream represent facets of himself. What follows is the retold dream.

The dream retold as metaphor
There is a part inside of me where I live life, where I eat my meals, relax, think, have my own space. This part of me has its own skeleton, what holds it together, including individual “bones” of the skeleton. In this part of me there is also a plastic pipe designed to carry non-volatile fluids in me that aren’t dangerous or explosive. The pipe seems totally normal. It has a part that is also typical. It’s there to stop the flow if I need it stopped for repairs or just because I want no liquid going through it. This part would stop the liquid completely. But I’m hearing something that, with a snake, would be a warning signal. In this case, it was a clue that something wasn’t right. The pipe wasn’t being used for its normal purpose. What’s going through it is not a liquid, and it’s extremely volatile. When it’s used properly, it’s really helpful. But if there’s something wrong—like here—it can kill me. That’s alarming. That can be deadly. I wanted to see if there was a simple correction, but there wasn’t. It seemed like a systemic and highly dangerous problem. This situation in me, in general, is illegal, and for really good reasons. It’s asking for trouble. The pipe should be made of a substance that can’t melt as easily or be punctured. That would be safer and stronger. As it is, the material could deteriorate under extreme conditions and potentially blow this place inside of me to bits.

Some initial observations
If you read through the metaphoric version of the dream, above, two themes are central throughout. The first is a sense of alarm at something not being right. The second is repeated reference to a “pipe” that is dangerously carrying fluid that it was not designed for.

Normally, I would say that this pipe image, too, is a metaphor, and is mostly referring to a non-physical issue. However, dreams can be expressions of all sorts of things, including health issues, and the pipe reference is prominent enough that this health-related possibility needs to be brought to the dreamer’s attention. I will do that in the final post in this series.

We'll finish our discussion of this dream soon! 

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