Four Smart Questions and Answers About Dreams You had not Thought of Yourself

This dream is part of a series of four blogs. 
How to Use A Dream as a Tool For Self Development;
How to Analyse a Dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps;
Q & A: 7 Questions and Answers about Dreaming, and Mythology;
Four Smart Questions and Answers About Dreams You had not Thought of Yourself

Most people want to know what their dream means. They assume a psychologist or a dream dictionary will give them instant access to deeper meaning. They even assume a dream might give them a prediction about their future. Mindfunda sets the record straight. It is up to you. Here are  4 smart questions and answers that will instantly help you make much more sense of your own dreams.

Smart Questions and Answers #1

One of the most powerful question is not to seek the answer a dream is giving you. It is to seek the question a dream is asking you. A dream wants to set you in motion. Dreams do not like the status quo, They challenge you.
Look at the small and simple dream discussed in the first blog.

I am standing with my parents and brother in the street, and all of a sudden, a man comes running towards them and stabs my brother down“.

What question does this dream ask the dreamer? I can think of a number of questions. What in this moment of your life threatens you? Why are you watching while your brother gets stabbed? Is it time to move on now?

questions and answers

 

Any time you remember a dream and want to know more about its possible meaning, play with these kind of questions. In my eyes this dream-play is even more valuable than the answers you get.

 

SMART QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS #2

A very smart question to ask yourself if you want to know what a (repeating) dream means, is if you should want to hire a dream expert. As a dream expert, of course I would like you to do that. But there are some things you need to consider before you put your valuable money down to pay their consultation fee.

smart questions and answers

  • Can you trust this person? Even if someone has a certification like I do, people who advice other people about their dreams can put a label on a dreamer. I once attended a dream group in which a Jungian therapist called a dreamer “neurotic”. Needless to say this dreamer disengaged from the group. If something like that happens to you, make sure you get out and don’t pay. No self-respecting dream therapist would ever put a label on a dreamer.
  • Is my dream important enough to have clues that will help me improve my general sense of well-being? This is an intuitive feeling. It has to do with the fire that is enlightened in your soul after you wake up.
  • After you pay your money, what do you get? An email? A Skype Talk? A written report with action points to undertake? Is there a follow-up where the dream worker checks to see if you have honoured the dream? I always have a Skype talk and writ out a report for the dreamer. I follow-up after the dream consultation by sending an email a week after the consultation.

 

SMART QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS #3

What about dream dictionaries? Is it alright to use one to attach meaning to your dream?
This is such a complex question, but an important one to address. Online Dream dictionaries are huge. Lots of visitors. Among the majority of people who professionally work with dreams there is a shared contempt for dream dictionaries.

smart questions and answers

I am stuck in the middle with you. I see al lot of people getting stuck into the complexes they think they have. They mentally re-write everything to fit this basic assumption. I estimate about 99.995 percent of people, including myself, fall into this category. So if people interpret their own dreams, those dreams will revolve around those same paradigms. And you want a dream to show you some new information, a dream dictionary might be able to give you that. But just like a professional dream worker, a dream dictionary isn’t always right. So use any interpretation you find online in the most creative way. Let it suggest new layers of meaning to you, not definite answers. A dream can have a different meaning 10 years from now!

SMART QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS #4

What is the theme of my dream? In my eyes dream symbols are nice, but dream themes are gold. Don’t get stuck on dream symbols, look at the big picture. In my eyes there are nine themes in every person’s life.

Who are we?

Carl Gustav Jung was one of the guys who made a living out of exploring every inch of the Self and he created a model of the psyche that isn’t scientifically validated but is still extremely popular. But you don’t need Jung to answer this question. As long as you experience your life as a journey in which you can surprise yourself, you will discover amazing things about you.

Reality

A dream is a place to test boundaries of reality. A place to explore new forms of being, new worlds, new phases of life, new genders.

Culture

Usually in a dream an archetype reflects the values of the culture you are living in. We are social creatures and I am convinced that we are able to “pick” things up and pre-dream the future, even though this is not the commonly excepted Western vision about dreams. You can test it yourself very easily: try to dream for someone else. You will find out that when the emotional connection is high: it is a person that belongs to your “tribe” you will definitely pick up something.

Behaviour

What does you dream say about your behaviour? Does it give you a direction to change your ways?

Bias

Wat kind of bias does the dream indulge in? One of the hardest things to discover yourself. Usually you would have to take a step back and tell yourself the story of your life as if you are the hero.

Perception

Whose perception is told in the dream? Let’s look at the dreams I have discussed in the two case studies in this blog-episodes. The first small dream from the blog How to Use A Dream as a Tool For Self Development:

I am standing with my parents and brother in the street, and all of a sudden, a man comes running towards them and stabs my brother down“ talks about a first person perspective. In general this could be a clear indication that the theme of the dream is the Self of the dreamer. But the dreamer is not a participant she is an observer. Whose view is she observing? Who is the hidden dream maker?

The second dream is from the blog  How to Analyse a Dream with an Archetype in 4 Easy Steps:

In the first part of this dream which I vague recall, I am in a boat on a large lake – as if I arrived on a boat… I have arrived with Catherine who is in early pregnancy. I am bringing her to a woman who is refusing to see her because Catherine intends to terminate the pregnancy. I look out at the lake, its distant coastline, and the small boat that I will be returning in. The lake is calm and peaceful and smooth like a mirror. I think to myself, “I can do that.”
Now from a position of standing in the water [although I don’t feel the water] observing Catherine on the shore. I see a black bear above her in a tree. I call out to her, “Catherine, there’s a bear!” She doesn’t seem to hear me. Then I see four bears in the tree shaking it wildly. “Catherine! Catherine!” She moves to the other side of the tree I think she sees the bears and is ok.
Here the first person perspective is used but there is a moment in the dream where the dreamer looks back and sees the bears in the tree. To me this si a key point in the dream worth exploring further. If I was to professionally work with this dream, I would focus my attention on this aspect. Because right after the dreamer looks back while standing in the water, the tree of life with the four bears appears. All very strong archetypical symbols.

 

Where do we come from?

 

This theme is associated with the first theme of the Self. We belong to a tribe, we are the product of our ancestors. It is a melting pot that alchemically shapes our sense of Self.

 

Emotions

 

For many people emotions are at the core of every dream. I would never reduce someone to an emotion however… Emotions are a key to decipher what a dream might mean to you dreamer. But one of means keys, I hope that I have given you several others in this blog that you can use right away!

 

Consciousness

 

The big mystery. For years and  years I have educated myself in neurology, hungry to discover the origin of consciousness. It is still a mystery. It is an accumulation of neuronal activity, that exceeds a certain threshold.
In the second dream consciousness is gradually introduced, there has been a vague beginning of the dream. I would definitely see that as a suggestion towards a new found consciousness about life and death.
smart questions and answers

 

I hope I have helped you to see your dream in ways that enlighten your life. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need help with a dream.

 

Did I forget any smart questions you usually ask yourself when you remember a dream?  Let me know in the comments or send me your feedback!
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THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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Five books to Read on Dreams in the first Three months of 2017

What do I advise you to read on the topic of dreams in the first three months of 2017? I love to read and educate myself. I spent the last couple of days exploring the websites of publishers looking for pearls* that I might review for you. *Pearls are books that have a special edge: they talk about dreams from other perspectives. We all know the “tell me the first thing that comes into your mind” association method when it comes to dreams. I want to go further than that. I want to explore different ways: scientific, neurologic, artistic. Books filled with information that can turn your current world view upside down. From all the books I have previewed here is the list of books I want to read. And I think you will agree with me. The list below is arranged by date of publication, not by preference.

Read tip 1: Aging & Becoming: A Reflective Enquiry

Aging and Becoming. A reflective Journey  by Susan Scott and Susan Schwartz PhD.  January 2017

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In our society youth is idolized. Wrinkles are botoxed away and grey hairs are dyed in any other more youthful colour.
But aging has its merits too. You gain more self-confidence, you have fallen and gotten back up again. “The value of myths, dreams and tales are also referenced as these indicate the enduring trials and tribulations in our contemporary lives.  The authors challenge the view that the older woman has little to offer” (copy-pasted from Amazon site).
I love the way mythology and dreams are intertwined (I have written an excellent course on this subject). And as a woman, I have seen my value increase while growing older. Because I have so much more knowledge, I am able to support others in much more profound ways than I used to be able to when I was young. So I will be very glad to review this book for you on Mindfunda.

This is the review about Aging and becoming, a Reflective Enquiry.

Read tip #2: text as dream

Text as Dream, Instinctual Life in Literature by Rani Drew, $47.99 to be published February 15th, 2017

 

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Writer Rani Drew  compares Freud’s breakdown of a dream with the process of creating art. I am really fascinated when a dream is compared to a work of art, or a text. I think I am going to learn a lot reading this book, even though I am not a Freudian. I do admire the intuitive nature of the Freudian model of the psyche, where the human mind is conceived to be an iceberg, with treasures hidden beneath the surface.

Read tip #3: Dreams, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis

Dreams, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis. Mind, Body and the Question of Time, by Keramat Movallali, $52.95 to be published February 2017

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Time in dreams. This is one of the things that fascinates me most of all. I have had dreams that featured time-traveling.  And this book has such a juicy promise: “Dreams, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis sets out to give a scientific consistency to the question of time and find out how time determines brain functioning” (copy/pasted from the Amazon site). I just could not resist, I need to know more.

Read Tip #4:The Brain

The Brain: What Everyone Needs To Know® by Gary L. Wenk, to be published February 2017 on kindle for 12.99 Hardcopy March 2017 for 74.00

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This book is written in the form of questions: How am I going to live longer? When am I going to die? AND: a whole chapter on dreams! Yes, we love it. “What happens when I am dreaming? What is a lucid dream? A lot of interesting questions.

Read Tip #5: Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece

 Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece by Charles Steward, to be published March 2017 (a republication)

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A book, written by an Anthropologist of whom the Times Literary Supplement  said when it was published in 2012:  “In his extraordinary Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece, Charles Stewart offers a new way of thinking about dreams in their social contexts . . . and Stewart has a gripping story to tell.”
That sounds like an intriguing promise to me. I hope I will be able to get a review copy so I can share my thoughts about this book with you.

If you have any other books about dreams and mythology that are going to be published in 2017, let me know in the comments.

 

Check out Mindfunda Courses: Add more value to your life exploring your own Mythology

 

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Red book jung, should you read it?

He sees the tree of life, whose roots reach into Hell and whose top touches Heaven. He does not longer know differences: who is right? What is holy? What is genuine? What is good? What is correct? He only knows one difference: the difference between below and above, and that it has its crown at the top, clearly differenciated by the roots. To him this is unquestionable. Hence he knows the way to salvation”
Carl Gustav Jung, The Red Book

A couple of years ago I stept into the Jungian Institute at Nijmegen. And there it was the Red book. A big, no I mean BIG red book, liber novus with gothic language handwritten by Jung. I was allowed to look inside (carefully tough because it was as expensive as it was tall), turned over the pages and enjoyed the artwork I saw. I was impressed. I was craving.

Red Book Carl Gustav Jung, reader’s edition

A couple of years later I saved enough to buy myself a copy of the Red book. Reading it over the years has helped me in my own religious wrestlings. Like Jung, I like science. But science despises magic. I need some magic to make my live more interesting.
Please do not take my curiousity badly. Recently I heard something about magic that awakened my interest in this bygone practice. And then I came to you because I heard that you understand the black art. If magic was 

Jung’s inner explorations are moving: “I suffer my agony between two madman. i enter the truth if I descend. Become accustomed to being alone with the dead.”,
they outrage you sometimes: “She moaned and whispered in a weak voice: “Give me blood, I need blood” . Jungs’ anima Salome, was based on his crush for Sarah Bernhardt:

Sarah_Bernhardt_by_Paul_Nadar
Sarah Bernhadt by Paul Nadar

 

and shaped by his sexual addiction to Sabina Spielrein.

So I can definitly advice you to buy the Red Book. The Red Book helps you dive into the brilliant mind of Carl Gustav Jung. What he has offered the world were the results of inner musings like he describes in the Red Book. Even tough it can be difficult to display the discipline to read it, even though sometimes you get a bit offended, even irritated at the text and you have to tell yourself it has to do with the zeitgeist, the era in which Jung lived. He can be irritating, he can move you, you can recognize your own doubts about the life you live in his writings.

Now the Red book is available on a smaller format. My Red book can be very user-unfriendly if I need it to quote or if I take it with me to give workshops. If I had to buy it again I would certainly go for the smaller version.

If you would like me to orginize an online course about the Red Book please let me know