People in Dreams as Symbols

Symbols in dreams are not just messages encoded in words or physical objects like automobiles or houses. People you meet in a dream can also be symbolic, often representing someone else whose qualities are like the person in the dream in a pronounced way. Some authors say that the people we meet in dreams are all aspects of ourselves. While this can be the case for some of the people in our dreams, it by no means is true for all of the characters we encounter. Consider the following dream I had in which I met a female co-worker from many years ago. It was a brief encounter, and she smiled as we passed by each other. Now I have stated in my book that my dreams foreshadow the next day’s events. Usually the order of significant or memorable events for the day corresponds to the order of the dreams. Based on the approximate time of night when the dream occurred, I thought I might encounter someone around mid-day who would be a physical manifestation of the dream encounter. In the early afternoon, I was ordering lunch at a counter in a local restaurant when a woman and her daughter walked by. The area was narrow and we nearly bumped into one another. The daughter looked at me and smiled broadly, and I realized she immediately reminded me of the co-worker in the dream. As I stared at her, I thought the woman in the dream was a perfect association for this young woman. She was had the same physique, smile, and could have passed as a younger version of my co-worker.

Now if you think I am reaching for this interpretation, you probably haven’t worked much with your dreams. I have seen this correspondence hundreds of times over the years. I can often predict an encounter and sometimes the person involved based on the previous night’s dreams. When a family member like my son is involved, I wait for the call or visit and can predict the nature of our conversation based on the person used by my subconscious for the association. Three or four people I have known serve as surrogates for my son in the dreams. People who doubt that this can occur have most likely not worked with their dreams on a daily basis, even if they are so-called experts. The world of dreams is rich and varied with the possibilities unlimited. No one else can tell you what your dream means; the symbols are too personal and unique to you. It is true that there are some universal symbols, but even those may contain double meanings based on your associations. Others may see some general theme that is involved, but the depth of the meaning and understanding of particular symbols selected by your subconscious can only be realized by you. Do not let others tell you that your interpretation is nonsense or that dreams cannot reveal the future. You must believe in yourself and your ability to understand the workings of your own mind.

After working with my dreams for over forty years, I am not impressed with how much I have learned; I am amazed by how little I know. I am still learning new things every day.

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