Caveats Concerning Dream Interpretation

Here are some caveats concerning the interpretation of your dreams. I have mentioned several times that dreams are usually not literal, with some exceptions such as telephone dreams in which literal messages are given. There is a natural tendency to interpret some elements such as common symbols like a car or house in a literal way when they appear in a dream. This can lead to misinterpretations that can have negative consequences. Suppose you dream that the stock market is going to crash, so you immediately sell your stocks. Although it could be a literal warning, the dream may have nothing to do with your stocks. Instead, it may involve some other aspect of your life where a crash or severe downturn occurs and the stocks are just symbolic of that event. As another example, suppose you dream that you should move to another named city. It is not a good idea to immediately quit your job, pack up your things, and move to that city. The move you need to make may be a psychological one that is represented by the other city. You should ask what the other city means or represents to you and ask for further guidance. If you really should make a physical move, you will receive other signals through flashes of insight or other dreams.

Another caveat relates to the occurrence of time in a dream. Dream time is not the same as physical time, and often an event that appears to be immediate in a dream will require some considerable time to occur in physical time. This is one of the reasons that prophecy is so controversial. Sometimes I have been given a time in a dream that was literal such as a dream concerning a problem with one of my eyes described in my book. Other times the reference to time was more opaque and not easily determined. The best that can be said is that the event of concern may have been associated with other events in the dream, and the key to when this event occurs is found in the occurrence of the associated events. The dream may simply be showing you your probable future if you make a certain decision. Whether or not this occurs, and the timing of it, is up to you. I will be dealing with this subject much more extensively in my posts next year.

My final caveat concerns the depiction of a person or event in a dream. You may dream that your life has fallen apart, and in your waking life, that is how you feel at that moment. This does not mean that this represents your reality going forward; it means you have had a temporary setback and with the right perspective, you could have a dream the next night showing you in a positive mood and on a better path. Your dreams can show your state at any given time, and may do so in an exaggerated way. They are not saying that it is your lot in life. In fact, they can be a reminder that you need to make a change in your attitude, associations, or surroundings to change your current state.

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