I have recently reviewed a large number of dreams posted on a website by people seeking the meaning of their dreams. I have been struck by several things. First, there is enormous diversity in the dreams that are posted. The second thing is that many of the people provide the barest of details about the dream and provide little or no information about their lives, but expect someone to provide an interpretation. The third thing is that from the comments posted along with the dreams it is clear that many of those who posted the dreams do not understand the source of the dreams. They don’t realize that the dreams relate to their thoughts, beliefs, and actions in their daily lives.
I have been studying and interpreting my dreams for nearly fifty years. And I have examined numerous dreams of other people. The possibilities for the meaning of the symbols in a dream are unlimited because each symbol is unique to the dreamer. Now it is true that some common symbols appear frequently in dreams, but even these symbols can have shades of meaning that differ from one person’s dream to another. An example of this is a symbol like a car. A car in a dream may represent the physical body, and the age, model, and condition of the car often provides additional clarification about the condition of one’s body. But this is only one interpretation.
The dreamer’s feelings about cars can greatly affect the meaning of the car in the dream. Does the dreamer love cars, or are they just transportation? Also, how does the car relate to the rest of the dream? Whose car is it? Is it one the dreamer owns now or he has owned in the past? What color is the car? Is it stationary, or is the dreamer driving it on the highway? The dream could be about how the driver, who may be the dreamer, is traversing life. In the dream, the driver may be driving too fast, or may be careless and cause an accident.
Maybe the car is at a repair shop or body shop. The number of possibilities quickly grows. All of these questions must be answered to get at the meaning of the car in the dream. And whatever the correct interpretation, it usually relates to the daily life of the dreamer.
I have had dreams about cars that include all of the possibilities just mentioned. Sometimes the dream was a health dream with information provided about the state of my health, which sometimes included a discussion with a mechanic at a service station about the repairs needed. At other times, the dreams related to my actions in my daily life. I might find myself driving too fast or too slow, or making a right or left turn. In these dreams, my physical health was not the issue; the conduct of my life was the issue.
The interpretation of your dreams can be fun; you can make a game of it. But other people cannot interpret your dream by your simply giving them a few sentences that describe the dream, and you cannot interpret it by simply looking up the symbols in a dream dictionary. You may get a sense of the theme of the dream and some of the broader issues involved from other people or a dream dictionary. But to understand the complete meaning and significance of a dream you need to interpret it yourself.
Your dreams are about you, your most secret thoughts, actions, and desires. No one else can tell you what a person, object, or place in a dream means to you. No one else knows all of your thoughts and actions during the course of the days prior to the dream. Your subconscious mind selected the objects, people, and environment of the dream because of associations in your mind that are woven into the dream. If the car in the dream was one you previously owned rather than your current one, the message is different because the association is different. There is no shortcut to self-awareness. You must do the work.
Although I have spent a lifetime studying my dreams, I still learn new things about myself all the time. I am not impressed by how much I have learned about dreams, but by how little I know. The mind has enormous creative power and humankind’s potential is unlimited. But to tap into the potential, you must begin to understand the workings of the unconscious. And I believe the study of your dreams is the best way to do that. There is a very special feeling when you finally discover the message in a dream for yourself. It is a feeling that you do not get if someone else just tells you something about yourself, even if it is true.