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Why Dreams are Cryptic by Kari Hohne

By Kari Hohne Subscribe to RSS | March 20th 2012 | Views:

When we are dreaming, the mind uses symbols that become a reflection of our inner world. An icy landscape can symbolize being aloof, while a fiery one can personify the activation of passion. Even the other people that appear in our dreams are reflecting us in some way. If we consider the adjective we would use to describe this person, we can understand the part of us that is currently undergoing exploration.

As another sensory organ or way of taking in experience, the cryptic nature of dreams has a way of taking conflict and condensing it into clever morsels. This allows us to consider the idea of change in a non-threatening environment. Anything is possible in the dreamscape and by providing an objective playground to explore potential, dreaming offers more freedom of thought than we would allow by day.

Whether we look at the human body with all of its intricate systems, or the mind's ability to classify experience in terms of the known, we are creatures highly predisposed to order. We prefer the tried and proven and shy away from the unknown. At some point in our development, we began closing our minds to ideas that went against the beliefs we adopted about who we are or who we might become. Dreaming allows new information beyond the defense mechanisms erected by the ego. We generally dream of feelings and ideas that we would rather not face by day.

Like the hero of our ancient myths, we embark on an adventure through a strange dreamscape to discover bizarre clues that will reveal our real identity and therefore, our destiny. Just as the hero is often presented with a paradox or puzzle to solve, the bizarre nature of our dreams becomes an important aspect in understanding how dreams help us to move beyond our defense mechanisms.

Whether the ego sleeps or is duped by the paradoxes, the freedom of growth is achieved. Dreams that appear threatening are only attempting to get our attention or break us free to explore. We awaken with a start and remember the dream and that is the point. Dream themes act like volume control to get our attention. The ‘louder’ or more frightening the dream, the more we open to the idea that a type of change is in order.

The ego is like a fortress or gatekeeper that specifically bars access to new information that might topple our inner kingdom. When we sleep, the gatekeeper or subconscious net is inactive, and information makes it past the walls of consciousness through dreaming. However, it is usually the bizarre imagery that becomes the most powerful ‘food for thought’ in effecting lasting changes within us.

Like the soldiers of Troy who allowed the Greeks to gain access into their fortress with a strange wooden horse, the mind uses bizarre symbols to break through our defenses. While we dismiss some symbols as nonsense, something profound has cleverly devised a way to fertilize the psyche. Dreams condense difficult and complex ideas into symbolism which is often humorous. We may even wake up and ponder the strange symbol specifically because it was so weird. In this way, unconscious issues can begin to take root in the waking psyche.

When I work with clients, I find that they immediately want to dismiss these bizarre symbols as if they are meaningless. I focus on them specifically because I see it as a red flag, calling the hero into a type of initiation. Eventually the client too, will come to appreciate the kernel of wisdom hidden in the rich complexity of their bizarre dreams.

We spend one third of our lives in a condition of sleep that allows us to explore our potential in a topsy turvy world of symbols. Just as the body is continually healing itself, dreams heal the psyche, tilling the soil of a hardened inner landscape to keep us growing in a changing world. Whether or not we remember our dreams, they are helping us to sort through outworn ways of thought so we can remain well.

Trust the power of your dreams to guide you and no matter how bizarre the symbol, explore the way in which it might be trying to teach you something about yourself. For more information on how to tap your dreams for guidance, be sure to visit the links in the resource box below.

Kari Hohne - About Author:
Kari Hohne, author of The Mythology of Sleep and The Mind’s Mirror, has analyzed dreams for over 3 decades via her website Inspired by Dreams. To download free dream interpretation podcasts visit Inspired Radio at Itunes, or download her Way of Dreams app on Iphone, Ipad and Kindle.

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