The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recessesPorticina Fantasy, magico mondo degli gnomi,minimondo of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.

A dream is too slender a hint to be understood until it is enriched by the stuff of associations and analogy and thus amplified to the point of intelligibility.

The dream is a spontaneous self-portrayal, in symbolic form, of the actual situation in the unconscious.

In each of us, there is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves. When, therefore, we find ourselves in a difficult situation to which there is no solution, he can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude.

The art of interpreting dreams cannot be learned from books. Methods and rules are good only when we can get along without them. – C. G. Jung

Woman in strange and surreal watersThis excerpt from the writings of Carl Jung captures the mystery and fascination of the world of the dream.

Each reflective person knows the experience of being so captured in his or her own view of a situation that  that life feels disappointing and meaningless. Dreams can sometimes provide a doorway, an opening, into another way of seeing the world and being in the world. Dreams speak an ancient language of metaphors and symbols that can be difficult to interpret. Actually, too much intellectual effort to interpret the dream can drain the dream of its vitality. It is a richer and deeper experience to explore the dream, tend the dream and appreciate the dream.

Dragon fightEven terrifying can be looked at and explored. Gods and monsters can be from deep layers of the psyche that represent existential fears of pain and death. Sometimes they are parts of our personal psyche that have grown and become angry and what they really want is the dreamer’s attention. They are not trying to harm us rather to get us to pay attention, maybe even protect us in a misguided way.

Night sky praise

My experience with dreams is that the dreams themselves do love to be tended. They delight in our attention and we can watch them deepen and grow over time. I encourage you to keep a journal by your bed and write down your dreams first thing upon waking. When you have an opportunity, share the dream with a loved one with whom you trust your stories and who will be respectful of the dream itself. Perhaps this will help you glean whether or not you would like to follow this path in a therapeutic relationship.