Thursday Therapy: befriending your dreams
“The classical Jungian attitude toward the dream is expressed very well by a term I would borrow from existential analysis… This term is to befriend the dream. To participate in it, to enter into its imagery and mood, to want to know more about it, to understand, play with, live with, carry, and become familiar with — as one would do with a friend. As I grow familiar with my dreams I grow familiar with my inner world. Who lives in me? What inscapes are mine? What is recurrent and therefore what keeps coming back to reside in me? These are the animals and people, places and concerns, that want me to pay attention to them, to become friendly and familiar with them. They want to be known as a friend would. They want to be cared for and cared about. This familiarity after some time produces in one a sense of at-homeness and at-oneness with an inner family which is nothing else than kinship and community with oneself, a deep level of what can also be called the blood soul. In other words, the inner connection to the unconscious again leads to a sense of soul, an experience of an inner life, a place where meanings home…
Befriending the dream begins with a plain attempt to listen to the dream, to set down on paper or in a dream diary in its own words just what it says. One takes especial note of the feeling tone of the dream, the mood upon waking, the emotional reactions of the dreamer in the dream, the delight or fear or surprise. Befriending is the feeling approach to the dream, and so on takes care receiving the dream’s feelings, as with a living person with whom we begin a relationship.”
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