They are a hidden source of information about your inner worries and desires
One of my favourite quotes from C.G. Jung is the one that says that our unconscious minds use images to comunicate with us.
In a documentary about Jung called Carl Jung: Wisdom of the Dream - Uncovering the unconscious, we discover that it was precisely because he wanted to understand the meaning of his own dreams that he became a psychiatrist and an analytical psychologist later. I think this is fascinating in itself.
Rather than believing in the Freudian theory that says that our dreams "contain what the conscious minds repress" (Narrator-Part 1), "Jung saw the unconscious as creative and independent."
In the case of Freud our dreams are connected to sexually repressed desires but for Jung there was more to it.
Jung believed in the individual unconscious but also in a collective unconscious, where we all share the same images and symbols. The only difference is that we give them different names. This is how the concept of the archetype was born.
Deciding which one of these theories makes more sense will depend on what resonates more with you.
However, and to connect this with the Gothic, in this article I want to talk to you about the messages in our dreams from a Jungian point of view.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TRY TO REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS?
Some people don't remember their dreams and I guess if that is your case, maybe this article will do nothing for you. But if on the contrary you remember your dreams up to the point that they affect your day, then you will find this information interesting and even crucial to obtain clarity to develop your projects.
Before Jung found me, I truly believe this has been the case, I used to think that there was more to my dreams than just a way to recharge my batteries.
Throughout my life I've had various dreams that have never completely left me. Some of them were shocking and scary, to the point of even feeling physical pain. Others told me about how attached I was to the people around me, others became premonitory dreams and in others I received messages from the dead. As scary as this last case may sound, the messages always came from deceased friends and family members.
Being aware of your dreams and recognising in which category they fall can help you understand better how your brain works but also how intuitive you are. Acknowledging both aspects can help you identify the synchronicities that are present during the day.
Discovering and learning more about your dreams through the Jungian lens can also help you understand yourself better if you are a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) trait, which Jung called innate sensitiveness. Moreover, it can even make you curious enough to take a Myers -Briggs test to understand better who you are in terms of socialisation with others and how your brain deals with tasks.
Learning more about your psychological type can help you understand your processes when doing a course, working with others, and even help you known when the best time of the day is for you to carry out different daily activities.
It can undoubtedly help you put limits when others want to take advatage of your good faith too.
WRITE IT ALL DOWN EVEN IF ITS EMBARRASSING
If you are in the writing business this will make a lot of sense.
Keeping journals and diaries is beneficial for many reasons. But the most interesting one for me is how dreams can help us gain clarity when we are stuck in a mental loop. Also because they come without filters.
Why do you think we find epistolary Gothic novels such as Dracula so interesting?
When we see the world directly from the eyes of the characters, the information is much more real, objective and with no filters. It is like direct access to the person's brain. We get to judge what is happening inside the character and how he/she perceives the world with a clearer view from the writer.
I had a super messy and busy dream experience two nights ago.
These kind of dreams take a toll on me. When I wake up I'm already tired. When this happens I try to write the dream down.
Sometimes what I dreamt could make a good story for a book, and other times, I just need to get it all out to empty my brain so I can cope with my day better.
Writing your dreams down without judging the parts that might embarrass you, is a cathartic exercise. However, you can take the exercise further by making connections and figuring out what you think might have been the trigger. This combo, can give you an overall picture of what's going on in your life at the moment.
Morpheus blew my mind in the Matrix a few years ago. What is real, the dream world or the world of the vigil? And what is the dream world made up exactly? You decide.
YOUR WORRIES AND DESIRES
They can be of two types:
If you cannot differentiate which is which, ask yourself what it is that you want to do and what it is that you think you should do to be accepted by the outside world.
If what you do feels like a burden, it's quite likely that at some point down the line, you have self imposed that task, job or activity.
The combination of internal and external worries as well as desires is what makes us wear masks, repress our real needs, take others for granted, believe we are the center of the world, manipulate others to get what we want, tell ourselves we are not worth anything, let imposter syndrome rule our lives and a long list of many other things that make us unhappy.
If by reading the above you have felt uncomfortable or it has moved you, you have probably found your Shadow. And yes, your Shadow can also appear, at an unconscious level, in your dreams. In fact, it's probably the place where it's most likely to appear, and/or in your Shadow Work meditation routine, if you have one. Here you are consciously looking to connect with your Shadow which is, by the way, hidding deep in your unconcious mind.
Can you see now how everything is connected?
USE THE GOTHIC TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR DREAMS
In my September magazine of You Are Gothic But You Don't Know It, I dedicated twenty pages to Sleep Deprivation and the Monsters of the Mind precisely becasue there is a literary connection between what happens before we dream, during the dream and just before we wake up.
Some of the books you could read related to dream states and that I talk about in my article are Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe.
But there are many other Gothic books and stories that could help you with your own journey and that maybe we could address another time.
We still ignore the messages that hide in our dreams and we might be missing out on important information about ourselves.
Learning more about C.G. Jung's approach to individual dreams and the collective unconscious can help you understand better if what happens in your dreams is just yours or part of a collective human trait.
Keeping track of your dreams in a journal can help you get on with your day in a healthy way. It can also help you figure out what is really worrying you so you can prioritise a solution for it.
Do you want to know more:
Until next week, stay Gothic my friend!
Thanks for reading,