In one of our online groups (and sometimes in our longer workshops) there has been an interest in working with dreams, so we have been delving into dream work. In depth psychology dreams are a bridge into the unconscious. So they can be very useful for many reasons including awareness, direction, healing and transformation.
Also for shadow work as our shadows reside in the unconscious. It is far better to make conscious the shadows then play them out unconsciously.
In Process work dreams are also unfinished experiences wanting to be completed. Understanding the dreams helps us understand what has not been completed as well as what we are repressing.
Once we make an aspect of the unconscious conscious then we can work with it, see how it affects us and possibly transform it. It is consciousness which gives us choice. Nothing can be transformed whilst it remains unconscious.
It is worth mentioning that in Jungian psychology, dreams have a trajectory ie they are signalling a direction and can be amplified and brought more into our conscious understanding.
Process Oriented Psychology takes it a bit further and sees dreams as states waiting to turn into a process.
We also discuss edges in our groups because – apart from being very useful consciously – dreams often process edges.
An edge is the limit of who you think you are and what you imagine yourself capable of. It is the ledge between the old identity and the new identity that emerges when we take the risk letting go of our old identity and going over the edge into the unknown.
Our dreams can contain the tension of having come to an edge in our conscious awake state but having backed away from it our unconscious is trying to go over that edge still, so it plays out in the dream state.
This is why so many dreams are about things that we cannot imagine ourselves doing or saying or hearing etc but seem to relate to something we have thought/seen./heard/wondered about/happened to or near us, etc.
On a different but connected tangent coming to but not going over edges can also cause body symptoms ie aches, pain or illnesses or something coming out physically. If we have come to an edge and then backed away or tried to avoid it, then a body symptom may arise to try to finish the process/go over the edge.
Collectively I have been reflecting whether the world had come to an edge ie trying to do something about climate change but never really committing to going over the edge of radically changing society or systems or dependence on fossil fuels. Thus the collective body symptom of covid-19 has arisen which has pushed us unwillingly over the edge to radically change.
Edges and dreams – intriguing and useful aspects to work with in healing and transformation.
Phoenix Arrien xx