Dreams are an important part of a Depth Therapy experience. Dreams present us with an interesting paradox: Our nighttime dreams can awaken us from our daytime “waking dreams,” from the unconscious patterns and programs that run and often ruin our lives.
SELF-KNOWLEDGE AND SELF-UNDERSTANDING
If you want self-knowledge and self-understanding, you must discover and come to terms with the forces at play in your psychology. Dreams can help. They can be a powerful means of unveiling these forces. Dreams can empower us to become aware of what drives what we think, feel and do.
Working with dreams in Depth Therapy can help us to become more aware of what’s needed for our personal growth and a more satisfying inner life
Dream consciousness is unedited. Not so in our waking life. Our waking self-image-based identity edits most of our thoughts and feelings. It screens and filters what doesn’t agree with its view of reality. And it avoids what it doesn’t want to know about itself.
If, for example, we learned that anger was “bad” as a child, then our self-image or surface identity will develop a pattern to edit anger out of our awareness. But where does the anger go? It doesn’t go away; it becomes part of our “unconscious mind.”
When our mind filters and screens our anger, to stay with our example, then the anger goes underground. And, then, there is a discrepancy between what’s going on in our body and in our mind. Our body experiences the anger. Our mind does not.
THE PRICE WE PAY FOR BEING UNAWARE
We pay a great price for protecting ourselves this way. Most costly is the wear and tear on our body and our separation from who we deeply are. As our surface identity presents its edited versions of reality to our consciousness, our sense of who we are can become stuck in a small and limited identity. Depth Therapy aims to break us free from a surface identity and connect us to our innermost core—to our “Soul.”
Dreams are images. Our imagination transforms emotional experiences into images and image-based storylines. They communicate our unconscious life to our conscious life.
Before we can make use of these image-based communications, however, we must learn the special language of dreams. We have to know how to decode them. Dreams are not what, at first glance, they appear to be.
THE DREAM MAKER IS A POET WHO SENDS US IMAGES
The “Dream Maker” is a poet, not an attorney. In dreams, symbolic images are more important than literal story lines. Each image has importance as it corresponds to and represents inner realities.
These images need to be unpacked properly if we are to experience their power and value. That’s part of what Depth Therapy does.
What is true for the waking conscious life is not at all true for dream life. For example, when we meet our boss Joe Schmidt in waking life, we are meeting our boss Joe Schmidt. But the Joe Schmidt we meet in our dream most likely represents something or someone other than Joe in our waking life.
If our boss Joe is a sad and grumpy man, then the image of Joe in our dream may represent and correspond to that part of ourselves that is, like him, sad and grumpy. The image of Joe may refer to the Joe inside of us.
In dreams, the “I” or “me” we feel ourselves to be is most similar to our waking experience of who we are. But that’s not who the dream is really about, though it seems to be.
The other people in our dreams often represent aspects of ourselves that are unknown to us. These are the unconscious parts of ourselves that have often been edited out of our awareness by our surface identity.
DREAMS, DESTINY AND CREATIVITY
It is sometimes shocking to discover these unconscious parts of ourselves. But it is also very exciting.
It is a bit like reclaiming lost territory. With self-knowledge, there is more room to live. This life is a journey, and we have to make it as who we deeply are. Otherwise, we will live out a false destiny. Sadly, so many people do.
Becoming familiar with the dream world can also enable us to tap into our creative resources for thinking and living creatively. Our imagination is like muscle in that if we don’t use it, we begin to lose it.
Our surface lives rarely bring the imagination into play. When our ordinary consciousness begins to appreciate the enormity of what is actually inside of us, a new excitement about life can emerge.