Meeting Self In Dreams
by Rachel Creager Ireland
In dreamwork, it is sometimes said that a person you meet in a dream is probably a representation of you, the dreamer, rather than the actual person. Occasionally other people play themselves in dreams, but it’s not the most likely meaning. (I wrote a poem about this once.)
To understand the significance of a person, notice the first thought you have when you think of that person. Let’s say you have a dream and Donald Trump is there. What is the first fleeting thought that comes when you think about him? It might be orange hair, or bigoted speech, or excessive use of metallic gold paint in interior design. In these cases, respectively, you might explore the significance of the color orange, or examine your thinking for ways you might be unintentionally bigoted, or look for ways in which you might be excessively ostentatious or making a show of wealth you may or may not possess.
I dreamt that G, a man I know, was making advances, but I refused him, staunchly loyal to my husband. And just as a dream person isn’t really the person, dream sex isn’t usually sex. It’s more often some kind of union, a melding, or taking in of a quality. If the dream is lucid or semi-lucid, I don’t consider it infidelity to accept such an offer. Thus it was a bit unusual for me to refuse so adamantly. What do I think of when I think of G? He operates several businesses, and he’s successful at everything. He’s honest, kind, and generous. He volunteers. His wife is just as lovely. They have a wonderful partnership and they do everything with grace. They’re so perfect it’s slightly intimidating to me. (Of course I know they’re not perfect, but for purposes of dream interpretation, we don’t need to understand the person in depth, because he isn’t himself in my dream.)
It wasn’t a stretch for me to see that G, in this dream, represents success that I find elusive in my own life. Does success want me even more than I want it? I had to chuckle when I opened my journal to record this dream, and saw the last dream I’d written in it, and forgotten, just a few days previous.
In it, I was at camp, with my longtime friend, sometime partner, M. It was the last day, and there was a program that would be presented, but we were going to skip out and imbibe illicit substances. Actually, I kind of wanted to go to the program, but I was going to loiter until the last minute, then slip in just as it started. Then I had to go to the bathroom. While I was there, I heard in the next room a camp counselor had come to find us, and was having some kind of talk with M and our other friends. When I came out of the bathroom, they were all gone, and it was too late for me to get to the program.
What’s the first thing I think of then I think of M? Without hesitation, it’s his prodigious ability to avoid responsibility. He has many other qualities, some I admire, and he’s certainly matured in the 25+ years since we dated, but the other traits aren’t what come to mind. He could disappear from a room right before jobs were assigned. He could telepathically know when someone wanted something from him, and make himself scarce for days. Avoidance was his gift.
Can you guess where this is going? Let’s just say I’ve got some major financial issues weighing on me lately. And I’m questioning myself and choices I’ve made. Am I shirking responsibility? Have I pissed away too much time? Am I patently rejecting the charmed life which is trying to get closer to me?
As Edgar Cayce used to say, “The entity is meeting self.” And thus concludes the fun part of dreamwork. Now I have to do the real work.