My husband recently had a dream. In it, he was
driving a large black foreign car through the corridors of a large building and
out into a parking lot. He eased the wheels past a set of metal spikes and
thought that he had managed to avoid them. But as he continued down the road,
suddenly all four tires went flat.
What does this dream mean?
To unlock its significance, dreamworkers might use the method called "if
this were my dream." Using free association, they could quickly hone in on
the Jungian shadow inherent in the foreign and black-colored automobile.
Freudians could have a field day finding sexual metaphor in the flat tires. It
doesn't matter if dreamworkers amplify the metal spikes into the archetypal
Pearly Gates, play punning games with the parking lot or have a Gestalt dialogue
with the wheels. The end result highlights the personal psychological parameters
or spiritual explanations for the surface imagery of the dream.
And that's not enough.
In this case, the usual interpretation approaches leave out three crucial
underlying elements: the physiological, the out-of-body and the psychic.
Let me continue my story. First, please review the dream, paying close
attention to the car, the corridors and the spikes.
Physiological: My husband awoke from the dream with the sharp pains of
indigestion. Yes, in this case, the old saw that "a dream is the result of
what you eat" had some truth to it. Personally, I think the sharp pains
initiated the image of the metal spikes.
Out-of-body: As he finished telling me the dream, my husband commented,
"I was the car." This comment requires a bit of explanation. Many
traditions support the idea that we go out-of-body during the night. For astral
projectors, their traveling vehicle is an astral body similar to the physical
version. Remote viewers are more apt to travel without a body, as a spark of
consciousness. Shamans hitch a ride on another body, whether it be fish or fowl.
They travel empathetically, as the other body. They become one with the bird or
The common idea is that consciousness travels beyond the physical body. But
the truth is, consciousness can travel anywhere...outside or inside. My husband
recognized that the foreign car winding its way through the corridors of his
dream was equivalent to the foreign matter winding its way through his
intestinal track. "I was the car," he said. His consciousness was an
empathic spark of awareness taking part in the events driving through the
innards of his body.
However, this was not a literal view of the inner event. He did not dream the
interior of his intestine. The actual activity was overlaid with fanciful
imagery. Why? One reason could be witness inhibition. When direct awareness of
the literal event is too disturbing, the psyche creates an image buffer. (Yes,
Dr. Freud, I agree that the psyche can be a censor, but rarely for the reasons
you thought!) Another reason is virtually the opposite: the literal event is too
boring, so the psyche creates a more exciting and creative variation on the
original theme. My husband is an artist. After consideration, he agreed that
both "cover-up" explanations were plausible.
And why would his psyche choose that particular set of cover-up symbols?
First clue came from day residue known to him. The night before, my husband had
been a guest at the house of a married couple. There, he was witness to an
argument between them over what car they would purchase. It was the strongest
emotional event of the evening and "set him up" for the use of
whatever car imagery would most closely resemble the indigestion event he was
bound to experience later on. The imagery could have been a memory pulled from
his past. But it wasn't.
Psychic: Second clue came from day residue unknown to him. When my husband
told me his dream, it felt like a replay of the Action Jackson movie I'd seen on
TV the day before. At the climax of the movie, Jackson drives a car up a flight
of stairs and through the hallways of a mansion. Both he and his car are hit by
gunfire. That sequence was the strongest picture of the day for me. I had not
told my husband about it; I was nearly asleep when he returned home from his
visit. This is not the first time that my husband has "picked up" MY
day residue and translated it into HIS dream. Our psychic auras "rub
off" on each other continuously. Maybe because we sleep in the same bed.
There are plenty of interpretation techniques that honor the psychological
and spiritual. But do they routinely ask, "Is this dream psychic? Is this
dream an out-of-body (or in-body) experience? Is this dream the result of
physiological influence?" No. I know of no such method.
How about we invent one? And if so, what would we call it?