There is a secret trick to understand more about the dream you dream. It is this secret: dreams tell stories. But who is the storyteller? What is the perspective of your dreamstory? This is a subject that gets ignored by most dream methods: Jungian, Freudian, Gestalt. There is only one book I know of that mentions this: Lucid dreaming, Gateway to the inner Self by Robert Waggoner. Let’s explore. I’ll start by telling you one of my favorite dreams:
“I am walking in the garden, the grass is green and next to me walks an older man with grey hair and glasses on. He wears a suit. I recognize him as Carl Jung. We walk together and he keeps on talking to me, telling me things about the psyche, that by waking up I forgot about.”
My feeling when I woke up was one of sheer happiness. I was a great admirer of Carl Jung and his insights in the human psyche. To come up with a concept like “the collective unconscious” has always impressed me. To dream of such a man treating me like his equal, discussing things that mattered to him with me made me very happy.
My Dutch teacher Sister Michelle was a nun of the order of the sisters of love, so she was mean. But she was also thorough in teaching the language and we both loved books. I was enlightened to be taught about books because I read so many. The books’ perspective I had to find. Sometimes it was the I, like in dreams, sometimes it is a first person’s perspective. But most of the time it is not. Most of the time there is an Omniscient Viewpoint. No one tells the story, it seems to be told from a god like point of view. I came to call this viewpoint in my dreams “the dream-maker”.
If you look at my ream what do you see? Who tells the dream? I start with an “I” perspective: “I am walking in the garden”. It is clear, it is a dream about me, seen from my perspective. Then there is an introduction of another character: Carl Jung. He does a lot of talking. So there is a change in perspective, from me to Jung. He tells me a lot about psychology, about the human psyche but when awake, i have forgotten all. (Given Carl Jung his intellect I guess this happened to him quite often, he was so intelligent most people lost track in conversations. It is known that he asked people to pre-read his books before publication, to check if they where not too complicated).
But- who’s perspective has the dream taken on now? Not Carl Jung’s. There seems to be a third person: the storyteller. An Omniscient Viewpoint. How does this help you understanding dreams you dream? It helps you to step back from the dream as being a part of you. the notion that all deam characters are only a part of you. If this dream of mine came from a Omniscient Viewpoint then it must have been a divine message? Indeed I did go to University and studied psychology, a study that fitted like a glove. For me, looking at the perspective of a dream story has always been the secret trick to understanding dreams you dream. I think my Sister Michelle in hindsight.What do you discover when you look at your dreams to see whose perspective the story tells?
After reading Robert Waggoner’s chapter: Connecting with the Hidden Observer of Dreaming in his book Lucid Dreaming Gateway to the inner self (highly recommended, if you have not read it yet I encourage you to do so) I did the following experiment.
I wanted to know who my dream maker was. I decided to try to get a lucid dream to get more clarity on this intriguing subject. That night I dreamed that I was standing outside a tower, a dark medieval tower. Inside was a man, looking a bit like how I imagine Merlin looks. Older man, grey hair, sharp nose, an archetypical wise old man. And I admit, I was disappointed. My dream-maker was a man. At the second I thought that (as it happens often in dreams) Merlin changed in a woman. An elderly lady dressed in a green robe with a lovely red necklace on.
How about you? Have you ever given thought about the perspective of your dream story?