DSCN1717 - Empress SunriseThis is a question that always makes me impatient. I’ve dealt with it before in my book The Shyness Guide and in previous posts, but I have to say more.

Some dreams are meaningful, some aren’t. Some hint at meanings, but refuse to reveal them.

Yet most people either want to find meaning in all of them, or they want to find meaning in none of them.

Suppose we had a record of 1,000 of your dreams, and through analysis we found that 33 of your dreams were meaningful according to some criteria, and 967 had no identifiable meaning.

The dream debunkers would point to the 967 number and declare it to be proof that dreams are meaningless and unimportant, discarding the 33 as insignificant because of the low number.

The dream enthusiasts would insist that the meaning in the 967 simply hasn’t been identified, that they probably all have meaning.

I take a practical approach. I don’t worry about meaning. I choose those dreams that feel importnat to me. If a dream generates fear, or strong curiousity about some mystery, or a beautiful image, I make sure I remember it by documenting it in my journal.

Don’t worry about ‘interpreting’ them. You have in you an instinctual understanding of the dream language, one that doesn’t have to be learned, except in people who have forgotten to listen to it. Most of us, unfortunately, need to learn to listen to it again.

That language is partly metaphor and symbol. Dreams are so steeped in metaphor that it is obvious, to me at least, that the language of metaphor is probably as old as humanity, maybe older. Metaphors and symbols may be at work in the minds of other animals.

In other words, at some level you already know the meaning of each dream.

So dreams are real psychic events not always open to analysis. I’m not alone in this view. The psychologist Havelock Ellis (1859-1939), acutely conscious of the enigmatic nature of dreams, once said:

Dreams are real while they last; can one say more of life?

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