Saturday, August 18, 2007

I can breathe under water

"In the following pages, I shall demonstrate that there is a psychological technique which makes it possible to interpret dreams, and that on the application of this technique, every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance, and one which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state. Further, I shall endeavour to elucidate the processes which underlie the strangeness and obscurity of dreams, and to deduce from these processes the nature of the psychic forces whose conflict or co-operation is responsible for our dreams." -excerpt from The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were walking down to English Bay to watch the Celebration of Light fireworks. We were a little late getting down there and as we walked towards the water we could hear that the fireworks had already begun. My friend said "Imagine those explosions were gunfire and we are in a war zone right now". For a moment I tried to imagine what it might be like to be in a war-torn country, where gun shots and bombs echo through the air on a regular basis. I felt lucky to be able to walk freely, to enjoy the fireworks, and to feel security in knowing that our beautiful city is spared from the threat of such devastation as Iraq has faced in recent years.

That night I had a terrible dream that I was living in a city that suddenly was under attack from an unknown force. I was talking on my cellphone with my mother, who was telling me how scared she was. Just as I was speaking to her, I saw a bomb fall out of the sky and explode right in front of me. I died in my dream, and felt my spirit floating into the heavens. I remember thinking to myself, "my spirit is still alive". Then I woke up. This dream made me recall the urban myth that it is a terrible omen if you dream your own death, and that you are supposed to wake up before you die. I have also had recurring dreams of being able to breathe underwater... was I a fish in a past life or something?

I've heard that symbols in dreams are signifiers of deeply embedded workings of the subconscious, so I wanted to look into the meaning of these dreams I've been having.

"To dream of your own death, indicates a transitional phase in your life. You are becoming more enlightened or spiritual. Alternatively, you are trying desperately to escape the demands of your daily life." -

This analysis definitely rings true with my current situation because I recently quit my career in order to pursue my dreams. I don't particularly have any demands in my daily life, other than job-hunting, so the alternative explanation does not apply. I am not a religious person, but I like to think that there is some higher power, and that we do not just vanish into thin air when we die.

"To dream that you are breathing underwater, represents a retreat back into the womb. You want to return to a state where you were dependent and free from responsibilities. Perhaps you are feeling helpless, unable to fulfill your own needs and caring for yourself. Alternatively, you may be submerged in your emotions." -

This analysis is also applicable to my current situation. Having given up my regular, full time paycheck, for the first time I am experiencing what it is like to constantly wonder where and when I will generate income. I like not having to answer to anyone and being able to charge people for my writing, which is what I love to do the most, but at the same time, I am daydreaming about being financially stable. I want to win the lottery, come into a fat inheritance, or however else people get tons of money suddenly for no reason. Who doesn't?

About submersion in my own emotions - people who know me well know that I am not one to divulge what I am feeling, especially to strangers. I tend to bottle things up a lot, because I prefer to be non-confrontational, and I don't like letting people in.

Dream analysis seems to be pretty accurate! Not that our dreams are trying to tell us anything we don't already know, but they can definitely shed light on what deeper concerns we might be harbouring and perhaps enable us to fix our problems, or just understand ourselves better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ive seen myself dead in my dreams 6 times now

its a scary feeling and mine are random, not when things are changing in my life

10:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home