"Can basic beliefs dreamers don't know about coerce them into actions
against their better judgment?"
Dream Sight News is a site on the Internet. This month the editor, Jane
Teresa Anderson, offered some dream samples furnishing apparent evidence
that demonstrate that certain basic "beliefs" dreamers may hold will force
them to act on them blindly with consequences that often are, in the
editor's opinion, "failing to reach the goals the dreamers have set
themselves". Such beliefs, she suggests, take root in our unconscious mind
often in early childhood. They often may be the result of traumatic
experiences. She then continues by saying that when it comes to "beliefs
you donít know about, your actions are automatic, with no chance of being
vetoed by your wiser judgment". In the end she asks the question, "if an
unconscious belief is not creating the results you want, how can you change
There are two presumptions and one inaccuracy in what the author is saying
in all this. I have printed these three contentious points that need to be
questioned in bold letters.
I want to begin this questioning with the inaccuracy. When you check
the word "belief" in the Collinsí dictionary for instance, you find that it
is defined in this way: '1. a principle, idea, etc., accepted as true or
real, esp. without positive proof'. I have written the word "accepted" in
italics in order to highlight the fact that belief hinges
upon this very word. It hinges on it because "acceptance" is an
indispensable prerequisite of a belief. Put another way we can only say that
we believe something if we are fully aware of what it is about. It is
therefore by definition impossible to have "beliefs you donít know about".
That being so, it is not making any sense to say, as the editor does, after
having listed the various dreams, "Dreams reveal your unconscious
beliefs". Clearly, "unconscious beliefs" is a contradiction in terms.
From this follows that we must look for a term in place of "belief" that
withstands the test of the dictionary and at the same time fulfils the
functions of "unconscious motivation".
The two presumptions are 1. That our wisdom may be greater than the
dream's, and 2. That we can change what the editor calls "unconscious
beliefs". Since the latter is a misnomer it is perhaps best if we begin by
proposing a more appropriate term for it. We know from what has been said so
far that by this is meant a motivational force the source of which we do not
know. Because of the fact that the source of it remains hidden from our
eyes, psychology has adopted the nineteenth century concept of the
"Unconscious". This is wholly unfortunate since it may suggest that this
realm is utterly devoid of consciousness. If that were the case, terms like
the "unconscious mind" which the editor has adopted, would be sheer
nonsense, for anything that is devoid of consciousness is simply
non-existent. What psychology means to highlight here is of course the fact
that there could be something in our consciousness of which we are not
directly aware because of our focus being temporarily directed elsewhere.
"Unaware", being the operative word in this context, it would be more
appropriate to speak of "incognisance" than of "unconsciousness". Thus the
term "unconscious belief" that forces us to act upon it blindly would best
be replaced by "incognisant promptings".
Whether or not we can actually change such incognisant promptings by
means of "dream alchemy", as the writer suggests, and thus replace them by
means of wiser motivations than the dream can offer, will be examined in
course of and subsequent to the discussion of the dreams the author has
listed for us. Each of those dreams hides what she has called an unconscious
belief which term I have now substituted with "incognisant promptings".
I was waiting in line to buy a theatre ticket, but people kept pushing in
front of me. Finally I got to the front, but then the ticket office closed
and I was directed to join a long queue at another counter.
The author comments by saying that this dream reveals the belief of "my
needs are less important than other people's." While this summary has a
certain substance to it, it does not ring absolutely true in the context of
the dream. To be fair, she offers some alternative answers we might consider
in this case such as: "I always seem to be kept waiting"; "just when I think
I have made it, I'm right back to where I started, or worse"; "patience
doesnít pay"; "youíve got to be pushy to get what you want in life".
The writer also sees this dream as an example of a possible belief
complex that might make Jim act in a similar way in similar situations. That
might well be true, but since I have no evidence of this I will have to
treat this dream like the rest on the writer's list as a one off case. Thus
I shall confine myself to demonstrating that this dream is actually nothing
more serious than a classic example of a very common occurrence within every
relationship with a female partner.
You will wonder where I saw a possible wife or a definite female companion
in Jim's life at the time of this dream. Dreams speak in symbols which may
be translated into associative items and parallel plots. In the present case
we detect an object that is decidedly female. It is the ticket office.
Another word for ticket office is box office. A box is a distinctly feminine
object, thus it stands for a wife or sexual partner. Under such
circumstances it is clear that the dreamer, in order to attend the show,
must first obtain the OK from that very "feminine office". Without this
permission he wonít gain entrance to that nocturnal play he covets so much.
From the dreamerís strenuous efforts to obtain this permission we may infer
that he will be equally determined in his waking hours to do the very same.
The fact that Jim is prepared to pay for the entertainment suggests that he
may even cajole his partner with some kind of present. Maybe even a ticket
to the theatre. But that does not need to be so. What is certain from the
word theatre is that he wants to perform and have his partner in on the act!
Alas, she rejects him. Perhaps she even elbows him back into his place.
Incidentally "many people" in dreams need not manifest as many people in
waking, but simply as many rebuffs from one single person as in this case.
Jim's burning libido is not allowing him to give up easily. He is given
sufficient patience to keep his hopes alive. But just as he finally gets to
the front, the ticket office closes. As I have said, a more telling word
would be box office. Yet he persists. His hormones are giving him the
patience, tenacity and humility to join a new queue. Now this is
interesting. First it is a frontal attack, now he tries to come in the back
door. How did I extract that? Well, queue is a French word for tail or butt.
So the dream with its image acrobatics manages to put him in a waiting queue
while at the same time teasing him with his partners "queue". Oh God, this
is such a common bedroom scenario, what married partner could miss its
meaning? No doubt, the last words that poor Jim probably heard on the night
that followed his dream were: "I've got a headache". But the rebuff could
have been quite physical, for after all his dream tells us that he was being
constantly pushed to the back. Again, the dream shows its genius for double
entendres: it says that Jim was being pushed to the back when it was really
his dearest wish to do the pushing.
The Freudian interpretation of the dream is of course not the only one.
There is also a non-sexual meaning and manifestation or indeed several of
them that are as valid as the sexual one. Indeed, from my perspective there
are invariably no less than two waking outcomes of one single dream story:
one is sexual while the other is "innocent" as Freud used to put it. This
innocent version, as I have suggested, could actually have had something to
do with the intention of buying a theatre ticket or more generally, going
out for the night. But that version or versions would not be as compelling
as the sexual interpretation when it comes to demonstrating the power of
incognisant promptings. The sexual context makes it far more convincing that
there is a force at play in a dream scenario that is well outside the
dreamer's control. It does so because it is known to all sexual beings just
how powerful their libido can be. It is for this very reason that I shall
examine all the other dreams that this writer offered for spotting the
"unconscious beliefs" of the dreamers from the sexual point of view,
although there is always also the non-sexual one.
Incidentally it would be of interest to know what Jim's partner had dreamt
on that same night or early morning. If we had access to such a dream, we
could then obtain a truly scientific verification or falsification of my
interpretation. It would then become clear if it was really Jimís belief
that made him fail, or if it was nature herself. Only by means of such
double checks can a dream interpretation be regarded as more scientific than
Here I have of course speculated in the same way as Freud used to do it. But
unlike Freud I am never satisfied to leave it at that. I always seek
confirmation for my interpretation whenever possible. The questions I would
ask in this case would be: 1. Does Jim have a wife or sexual partner? 2.
Did the wife or partner reject Jim's advances on the day that followed the
I was climbing a hill and decided I wanted to go back down again, but there
were too many rocks and precipices below where I was standing. I thought
that if I walked along one of the precipices I would eventually find an easy
way down. The trouble was, even the precipice path led upwards, so in my
endeavor to find an easy way back down I just kept climbing higher and
higher. I ended up feeling stranded with no way back down.
The writer epitomises this dream by saying it expresses the belief that
"backing down is not an option". She has picked up the dream's language
nicely for it ends "with no way back down". There obviously wasn't an option
as she writes. To me this is a splendid example that shows that we, as the
ego, want to go in one direction, while some stronger force nudges us in
another direction; in this case in the direct opposite. Put another way it
pictures the battle of wills, the will of the individual against the will of
nature in a classic manner. It does this to perfection since this inability
to surrender to the greater forces always engenders a conflict that will
leave us, as it did Greta, "feeling stranded with no way back".
Freud would have seen in this dream a substantial sexual conflict; one that
leaves a dreamer stranded on the shores of social mores and nature's urges.
This very imagery I have just used to describe the location of Greta's
conflict shows that we readily project our feelings into the outside world.
The shore I had in mind is the embankment that borders on the ocean of
libidinous urges which is held in check by the ethics of social taboos. The
dream, as are poetry and everyday metaphor, is doing exactly the same thing.
While in everyday language the metaphors are often veiled to a greater or
lesser degree due to the fact that they are presented to us in a code of
sound, the dream's metaphors loom large because of their energetic pictorial
imagery. But curiously enough it is this very intensity of expression and
often realistic imagery that prevents us from seeing the metaphor and its
meaning just as we miss the forest for trees. The important thing in Greta's
case is to realise that the dream projects not only her feelings into the
mountainous landscape, but also some of her own anatomy.
This projection of the body and or some of its parts follows the same
principle that is called "as above so below". Within the framework of the
dream this means that our physical body is projected into the landscape.
Twin hills out there for instance may refer to a woman's breasts. In poetry
this is an easily recognised "device", but when it comes to dreams, most of
us miss the meaning. We find such poetical projections of erotica even in
Songs of Solomon which has been modeled on the ancient Sumerian poetic cycle
of the "Sacred Marriage Rite". Thus in Solomon 8:10 the beloved says of
herselfĒ "I am a wall, and my breasts like towers." In 7:7 the lover
exclaims: "This thy structure is like to a palm tree and thy breasts to
clusters of grapes." In 7:3 he says: "Thy two breasts are like two young
roes that are twins." And in 4:12 we get as close to dream language as is
possible: "A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a
We need not call for Dr. Freud to help us see the meaning of such
projections into the landscape. Water is clearly feminine and consequently
women dream far more of water than men, so far as I can assess; after all
they are the ocean of life, they carry the amniotic fluid and thus whenever
the dream wants to feature things feminine, water will often play a part.
The womb of a woman could well be presented as an indoor swimming pool. But
that is more likely to happen when there is a pregnancy underfoot or an
impending illness of the womb because such a pool is more a reference to the
internal reproductive organs than the attached exterior anatomy. With
respect to the latter an outdoor pool is featured, a lake, the ocean or a
river, or a flood plane.
I realise that it would be far more appropriate now to deal with Nelson's or
Bronwyn's dreams that feature water very strongly than returning to Greta's
mountaineering feat which is devoid of water. Indeed, her dream seems to
contradict what I have just said about women's dreams. We shall see that it
does not. The first thing I felt about Greta's dream was that there is no
male entity around. There is a hill, a path, rocks and precipices, but no
forms that would suggest the presence of the opposite sex. Earlier I have
suggested that hills may refer to breasts. But there is only one hill in
this dream, so it canít mean that. This one hill, if it is a projection of
Greta's physique, can only be Mons Veneris. Pathways, streets etc. according
to Freud are a reference to the anatomy of the vulva and so would be the
precipices. Looking down a precipice in a mountainous region engenders
vertigo and great anxiety. The higher we climb, the greater will be this
feeling. There are two kinds of anxiety: unpleasant and pleasant. The
unpleasant one is shunned as much as possible while the pleasant one is
sought fervently and frequently. Climbing a mountain clearly engenders
increased anxiety and thus Greta climbing her dream hill becomes a perfect
analogy to increased "anxiety" of the libidinous kind.
But in Gretaís case things go awry. She gets herself into a situation where
climbing the hill suddenly becomes unacceptable. She wants to return. But
the forces of nature push her onwards and upwards. But because she isnít
comfortable any more with what she had begun probably willingly, the journey
ends with her feelings of being stranded with no chance of redress.
Stranded is a telling expression. The literal meaning of "strand" is the
shore of the sea, the sands and the rocks. It shows that Greta was left high
and dry on her hill climb and for this reason there are no water features in
the dream. Her erotic encounter was one of total frustration and regret. And
indeed backing down in the sense of getting out of the dilemma was no
option. Nature takes its course whether we are with her or against her.
I am standing waist deep in water when I notice a shark coming towards me.
I am so terrified, I freeze. I close my eyes and hope it will go away. All
is quiet for a while and I think the shark has gone, but when I open my eyes
I see several more sharks lurking in the water.
The writer maintains that this dream expresses the belief that "ignoring my
fears and hoping for the best works for a while and then things go from bad
Although this is a man's dream, water is most prominent in it. It is there
not because it refers to the dreamer himself, but to his sexual partner. I
suggest this because if a man dreams that he is standing in water it refers
to him being sexually connected with a woman. But in this case there are
problems as is all too obvious. The water is not warm and inviting, it is
not welcoming as the dreamer would expect, on the contrary. It houses that
almost universal icon of terror, the shark. This icon is so widespread and
common that it must be seen as something of an archetype of terror. No doubt
it was because of this that Jaws was such a huge success that it spawned
Jaws II. Yet the story is still about sex, about the man wanting it, but
unable to obtain it. I can almost guarantee that this man had an almighty
"domestic" with his partner on the dreamday. This domestic may not have
revolved around the subject of sex explicitly, but most definitely
implicitly. When the dream says that Nelson shut his eyes hoping the shark
would go away, it simply means that he did not want to acknowledge that he
was no longer in friendly waters, but that his relationship had deteriorated
dangerously. The fact that he would possibly be in an ear-shattering row the
next day - my assertion based on personal experience after such a dream -
instead of in his partner's loving arms is not something that he would want
to contemplate. So he closes his eyes hoping that his assessment is wrong.
He closes his eyes clinging to the hope that things will not fall on a heap,
but will get back to the way they were at the beginning of the relationship.
Alas, when he opens his eyes to the stark and unadorned reality of things,
he sees that there is little hope of improvement since the waters are
swarming with sharks. He could have dealt with one of them, but not a whole
So the author of Dream Sight is quite right in her assessment that
things could only go from bad to worse. But the reason for this is not the
fact that Nelson did not face his fears. Closing his eyes meant that he did
not want to believe that his sexual relationship was on the rocks, or more
precisely, that it would be devoured by the predators lurking in the waters.
It meant that once he was courageous enough to look the matter in the eyes
he would realise at last that forces greater than his would swallow up the
last vestiges of his sexual relationship. Nelson might stay in this
relationship for years yet, but it will never get back to where it was and
in the end the sharks will rip the bond of the two lovers to shreds.
I am standing waist deep in water when I notice a shark coming towards me.
I am terrified but try to make friends with the shark to stop it from biting
me. I look into the eye and begin to talk and, amazingly, as I do this it
changes from a shark into a huge playful fish. We end up playing swimming
games. I am aware it is strong and powerful, but it doesnít frighten me any
The author of Dream Sight extracts from this the belief that "when I face my
fears I overcome them". Obviously Jim's and Bronwyn's dreams have much in
common. Interesting is that in both cases the dreamers stand in water up to
their waist. It means that their genitals are immersed in water thus
demonstrating that here too the dream centres on the sexual relationship of
a couple. Bronwyn is luckier than Jim for her efforts to defuse an obviously
explosive situation succeed. But was this happy outcome due to the fact that
Bronwyn "faced her fears"? After all Nelson too opened his eyes in the end
which could be interpreted as "facing his fears". But that was to no avail.
So did Bronwyn win over her angry partner by facing her fears or because the
dream would have gone that way in any case?
To me the plot suggests the latter. Again I see in the opening
scenario of "the shark coming towards Bronwyn" a sure sign of an impending
domestic upheaval. If it wasn"t a full-blown row that resulted from this
dream on the dreamday, there was at least a distinct and unmistakable threat
of one. But I go for the full-blown thing which, as it subsided, had the
typical "making it up" in its train. The "making it up" was of course
full-blown sex as the swimming games clearly intimate. The terror of the
shark ended up becoming a strong and powerful connection with a fish which
latter in this case firmly manifested as the partner"s penis. Fish and
fishiness are generally well recognised sexual symbols which have been
incorporated of old in the iconography of myths and religions. Isis for
instance, the Egyptian goddess as the swallower of Osiris's penis became
Abtu, the Great Fish of the Abyss while Kali, the Indian goddess changed to
the fish-eyed Minaksi after swallowing the penis of Siva.
I keep having dreams involving babies aged about one year old. The
dreams are different, but it always turns out that the babies fail to thrive
after their first birthday. They become weak, or sick, or I lose sight of
The author comments like this: "Things go well for about a year, and then
they stop thriving". This is of course absolutely correct. Babies are after
all personifications of projects, of new ventures and of new jobs. We have
many metaphors that are about babies like "I was left holding the baby", or
"donít throw the baby out with the bath" and so on. But here again we have
to ask if Karen fails because it is her belief that things will go awry
after one year or if there is a factor at work that has nothing to do with
belief? As you will notice I have not yet committed myself to a sexual
interpretation. If you were inclined to coerce me into such an
interpretation I would say it was possibly connected with Karenís inability
to hold onto a partner with whom she could "make a baby". She said these
baby dreams were all different. It would be most interesting to know in just
what way they presented themselves. With that sort of knowledge it might be
easier to determine whether or not this was really about failing
relationships or just about jobs or both.
Be that as it may. I would now like to look at the differences and
congruencies between author's view of these dreams and my own. There is no
doubt that we concur totally in regard with the dreamís influence on the
waking life. In short we agree that the dream is a kind of blueprint of the
future. But the writer of the article obviously holds to the Jungian notion
that our dreams are more about reconnoitering the future than determining
it. This Jungian perspective leaves the possibility open for the dreamers to
change those dreams that threaten the goals they have set for themselves.
I am surprised that Jung never realised that he often said at the
end of an unsuccessful treatment of a patient things like: "The fate
depicted by the dream ran its course". (C.G. Jung, The Practice of
Psychotherapy 142; Bollingen Series XX, Pantheon Books, Tran. R.F.C Hull).
Had he done so he might well have revised his view of the dream as a
prognostic tool in the medical sense and considered that it might be more
like a prophetic instrument in the Josephian sense. We shall see at the end
that Jung had an experience that must have made him change his long held
view ultimately realigning himself to the ancients who saw the dream as an
unalterable prediction of things to come.
Before coming to that I would like to quote and discuss a line from
the author's article I have already cited at the beginning of this review.
Here it is: "when it comes to beliefs you don't know about, your actions
are automatic, with no chance of being vetoed by your wiser judgment". Apart
from the word 'belief' this sentence might well serve as the perfect basis
to my argument that dreams cannot be changed for the 'better' and that our
'wiser judgment' is nothing more than self-deception.
There is a perfect experiment that will demonstrate this. It is
called 'post-hypnotic suggestion'. For this a subject is put under deep
hypnosis. I would like to point out at this very juncture that true deep
hypnosis evidences REM exactly as does the dream state. Furthermore I want
to add to this that the brain frequency in the dream state produces theta
waves of 4-8 cycles per second or 4-8 Hz, which is also the case in the
state of deep hypnosis. As well as that this same frequency is also observed
when the channels are opened to intuition and past memories, including dream
memories (!) that are stored in the so called subconscious mind.
The post-hypnotic experiment is simple. After the subject has been
put under deep hypnosis he or she is told to perform a certain task at a
given time after waking up from the trance. Added to this command is
another, namely that he or she will not be able to recall what happened
during the trance state.
Thus the hypnotist might suggest to his subject that he was to get up off
his chair five minutes after waking up from the trance, go to the table and
grab the vase of flowers on it and tip it over the hypnotist. Five minutes
precisely after waking up the subject that has no memory whatever of the
given command will get up and do exactly as he was told. He will think that
his actions were his own idea. When asked why he did this strange deed he
will find several good excuses. Yet they are nothing but rationalisations.
He might say: "You looked feverish and I felt I needed to cool you down."
Just as in the case of our dreams that prompt us to act in a certain way
although we have forgotten them upon waking and thus believe that our doings
were our own idea, he too will never know that he was prompted by an
Clearly the dream is no different to a post hypnotic command which
we will promptly execute it in much the same way as the writer of Dream
Sight suggests we as the dreamers do with regard to our "beliefs we donít
know about". It is plain to see that what she calls "beliefs you donít know
about" fits perfectly into the framework of the post-hypnotic suggestion
given to the subject with the added command that the suggestion be
And speaking of forgetting: do we not forget most of our dreams? How many
minutes, if we are lucky, do we remember of two hours or more of dreaming of
one night? How can we step in and profess that we know better than our
dreaming when we at best snatch a tiny fragment of countless hours of
dreaming in course of our life? Is this not like some layman remarking on
procedures of genetic engineering of which he knows no more than that there
are test tubes and Petri dishes involved? And yes, isnít it interesting that
Freud who claimed to have cured the neuroses of many patients wrote: "The
actions we ascribe to coincidence or free choice are in reality subject to
unconscious mechanisms implying a determinism that rules both the conscious
and unconscious life absolutely." (Freud, Octave Mannoni, Rohwoltís
Monographien, August 1975, Rohwolt Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH, page 80-1; my
And no less interesting is Jung's experience of the mysterium coniunctionis
of which he says: "I can describe the experience only as the ecstasy of a
non-temporal state in which present, past, and future are one. Everything
that happens in time had been brought together into a concrete whole.
Nothing was distributed over time; nothing could be measured by temporal
concepts. The experience might best be defined as a state of feeling, but
one that can't be produced by imagination. How can I imagine that I exist
simultaneously the day before yesterday, today, and the day after tomorrow?
There would be things which would not yet have begun, other things which
would be indubitably present, and others again which would already be
finished and yet all this would be one." (C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams,
Reflections, 327, Collins, the Fontana Library, 9th Impression, 1971,
recorded and edited by Aniela Jaffe, translated from the German by Richard
and Clara Winston.) In view of this Jung must have changed his mind about
his understanding of the dream as a mere reconnaissance flight or medical
prognosis with possible input from the dreamer. When all exists now, how can
we add or subtract anything?
Freud was right when he maintained that absolutely every conceivable object
and situation could be used as a stand-in for your sexual organs and their
encounters. This fact alone is massive evidence of the all-pervasiveness of
sex. But the dream has some favourites as it were, images which occur more
often than others, and so are more typical. This sort of thing is socially
conditioned. In a culture where there are no stairs people won't dream of
going up stairs, and in a society where there are no locks and keys such as
among the natives of Australia before white man's arrival, there will be no
dreams of locks and keys. Locks and keys however, as Freud had pointed out
one hundred years ago, occur very frequently in dreams of people of our own
culture. With regard to such regular images it pays to take notice of their
occurrence in your everyday speech. As I have said elsewhere, the dream's
metaphors are also our waking metaphors. In fact I argue that the metaphors
in everyday speech are copied from the dream. In view of the fact that the
dream is a pregram of waking, it could hardly be any other way. The
difference between waking and dream metaphor is merely one of presentation.
While one is pictographic, or made of dream pictures, the other is abstract
sound, or acoustic code, spoken language that refers to pictorial images in
You may be aware that it was the sexual interpretation of the dream that
rent the association and friendship between Jung and Freud apart. Freud
insisted that the deeper one delved into the dream, the clearer it became
that its bedrock was pure sexuality. Jung on the other hand objected saying
that it was not justifiable to take the sexual language of dreams absolutely
concretely. Indeed, Jung believed Freud was obsessed with sex, regarding it
as something numinous. If Jung meant this to be a reproach it failed
miserably. It failed because "numinous" really relates to something
"divine, to something mysterious, arousing religious or spiritual emotions".
And that is precisely the way our ancient forebears, the bedrock of later
generations, saw sex.
For them it was not something that should be hidden, something to be ashamed
of and denied, but something to be venerated (this word comes from Venus and
is related to venereal), for after all it forms the basis of our earthly
existence. Indeed, if it were not for the fact that our parents and their
parents back to Adam and Eve had sexual congress, we would not be here to
Survival on this planet depends first and foremost on the s-twins:
sustenance and sex. The formula is simple s + s = S: sustenance plus sex
equals Survival. The two S's are as inseparable as Siamese twins. Indeed if
one of them should die, the other would follow on its heels. This of course
has to be understood in the larger context of life in general where sex is
also the fertilisation of plants.
If dreams are about life, about survival, then an interpretation without the
sexual facet is nothing short of castrating the dream. Only the dual
interpretation of the dream will yield a precursor of life perpetual. Our
ancient forebears were only too conscious of this simple fact of earthly
existence. They realised that the earth by itself was like a woman without a
husband. If the earth was to be "Mother" Earth and thus capable of bearing
and nurturing mankind and other life, impregnation was paramount. This boon
would come from the sky which was also heaven where "Father" God was at
home. In their eyes he rode at times in the storm clouds, struck the earth
with orgasmic lightning bolts and impregnated it with gigantic ejaculations.
In Sumeria, the cradle of human civilisation, rain was not just water, but
it was also "strong water" which meant semen. We need go no further to see
what our forebears did when they spoke in such terms. It is all too obvious
that they projected the human condition into their surroundings. When they
saw in the thunderstorm the same phenomenon as in sexual intercourse, they
did exactly what the dream does every night. Indeed, if we observe the dream
attentively, we will see that it constantly identifies the human body with
the body of the earth. For example it will feature twin hills when it wants
to draw attention to a woman's breasts. A minaret or the steeple of the
church will be an unmistakable reference to the penis. On the other hand a
terrestrial cleft, a hole in the ground, a pit, a cracked rock will just as
surely point to the female genitals. And so does the door. And why not?
After all the vagina is the door into this world for most of us, the
exception being those lifted from the womb as the babe in Macbeth by
For the ancients there was no distinction between the sacred and the
secular, between the physical body and spiritual realities. Indeed the body
was the icon for things spiritual just as the sky was the icon for heaven
beyond the sky. For our forebears the bodies of their women were no less
sacred than their temples. Indeed in the Near East all temples were modelled
on a woman's reproductive system. The lower end of the vagina up to the
hymen was the template for the porch of the temple. The hall was fashioned
after the vagina proper, and the uterus provided the pattern for the holy of
holies, the inner sanctum. (See Allegro, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
When you reflect on this you suddenly realise that as a foetus you developed
in the inner sanctum of a living temple. At the same time you realise that
modelling the temple on the vagina does not vulgarise this sacred structure,
but instead ennobles its fleshly counterpart.
It is only through the separation of the sexual from the sacred that sex
becomes something other than a divine union, something other than the two
aspects of one and the same divinity finding reunion in the heavens of
When I moved to the present domicile I was approached by one of the local
ladies who discovered that she was in possession of my dream book entitled
DREAMS, Pre-grams of Tomorrow, a Path to a New World Perspective. Being a
prolific dreamer she suggested that we run a dream group here. This became a
reality in May 2003. Ever since then we met on the last Sunday of the month.
We begin at 10:00 a.m. with a cup of coffee and small talk. Then from 10:30
on to midday I give a talk about a particular subject.
The last one was centered around the [article above]. We have lunch on the
premises and then, at 1:00 p.m. we have a session of interpretation of
everyone's dreams. At the beginning of these workshops I was the one who did
most of that, by today all members have become proficient and they all offer
their view of the dreams to be analysed.
My book had been published in 1991. I wrote it twenty-one years after an
experience that shook the foundation of my very existence. I could see from
then on how dreams would translate to waking experiences. One of the most
fascinating things of that experience was that I saw that the Freudian
interpretation was as valid as the Jungian one. Both interpreters have a
point, but where they both miss out is in the fact that dreams are of the
4th dimension and are able to foresee tomorrow and beyond. In my book I show
how this fact can be realised by anyone who can recall their dreams and has
sufficient diligence and stamina to follow my instructions and record their
dreams meticulously and watch for their waking manifestations.