Demo #3: Two Dreams about Outer Life

The foundation for interpreting your dreams is now built, and the next two dreams we interpret as part of RadOwl’s Crash Course on Dream Interpretation will add it. The territory we’re in is still outer life dreams, but we look for connections with inner life, too. Here we go.

Fighting For Control of My Car

I dream that I’m driving my car at high speed in a sharp curve of the highway. I look over and a group of contractors are alongside me in a truck like the one they use at the worksite. One of them reaches through my window and tries to take control of the steering wheel. I fend him off while barely managing to stay on the road.

A dream shared with me by a close friend

Control.

Here’s another example of how one sense of the word acted out in the dream is meant in another sense. The story occurs in and around the two vehicles on a highway and is told primarily through the symbolic actions, a narrative component identified during Step 1 so it can be interpreted and analyzed in Step 2.

Driving at high speed is an action.

Grabbing for the steering wheel is an action.

Barely staying on the road is metaphorical symbolism expressed through action.

Here’s a quick video lesson on dream action:

Control. We see the idea expressed symbolically through multiple details. It’s the dream’s central idea and it connects the dots. The idea is expressed in the fight for control of the dreamer’s steering wheel, and in the dreamer trying to control the vehicle as it speeds through a curve. So that’s where we begin the dream interpretation process. Make initial observations, then walk the steps of D3.

When two or more details of a dream point the same direction symbolically like in our example where you see the idea of fighting for control expressed different ways, you check it out. It could be the route to the dream’s meaning. In conventional dream experiences, all the details will connect through the symbolism and the story.

Side lesson: dreams that defy conventional interpretation

radowl's crash course how to interpret dreams demo 3
Dreams can be like an alternate reality

Unconventional dream experiences — a term I use to cover a range of experience from precognitive dreams to shared dreams — present a different challenge, but you have the main tool needed to understand them, too: why give yourself the experience? In some cases the better way to ask the question is, why were you given the experience?

It is perceived as something you are given because it originates outside of your conscious mind, but we are the creators of our reality and the decision-making process can occur subconsciously or unconsciously. I think dreaming could be a gift for us to know and realize that what we experience at the micro scale, in our individual dreams, is how we create reality at the macro scale. In other words, the entire universe is the dream of something experiencing itself through all of us. And when we end our time in this reality, we wake up in another one. :)

The process I demonstrate is streamlined. Usually, you will reach a dead end or two before finding the route to a dream’s meaning. But once you absorb these teachings you will be able to quickly and easily grasp the meaning of the majority of conventional dreams, especially ones where the personal context can be found in the memories of recent events in your outer life or powerfully-experienced events of your inner life.

Below, my lesson on shared dreams, then we pick up with our demo dream.

Work life in dream life | Personal context

J.M. DeBord
Visit jmdebord.com

Why does the mind of the man who had the dream choose the group of contractors from his work life as antagonist characters? It’s deliberate, and answering the question is how I bridge the distance between the idea of control and what’s happening in his life that’s dramatized by his dream. The contractors are people he actually knows from waking life, not completely imaginary, and the dream chooses to put them in a truck like the one the dreamer sees them in at the worksite where he’s the project manager and they work for him.

Outer life. That’s where the story context and personal context are leading us. We’re applying Step 3 — connect the dots in context — to Step 1, the dream’s elements and components. Now we know we’re looking at outer life first for the source of the dream and the memories he’s processing.

Personal context opens a line of inquiry. What’s happening at work that involves contractors and the idea of fighting for control of something? That’s the question to ask based on the simple idea behind the symbolic meaning of fighting the contractors over control of the dreamer’s steering wheel. It’s his steering wheel, something he’s in control of…

…Or barely in control, judging by how he’s shown as already in a high-speed curve when the contractors come into the scene. It’s a perfect summation of his work life at the moment. He’s running a big construction project, racing to meet a deadline, and things are getting out of control. Contractors are trying to tell him how they should do their jobs, in particular the group shown in the dream. If he gives them an inch, they’ll take a mile.

When we understand that the dream is about a battle for control of something , and we narrow down the possible sources to his work life, it’s easy for him to identify what the dream is dramatizing. Now what?

Step 1 Revisited: Resolution

Once the project manager understands the dream and its message, he creates resolution by cracking down hard on the contractors! Not just the one group from his dream — that group represents all of them.

In one picture of fending off a contractor from taking control of his steering wheel while navigating a curve at high speed, the dream tells the story. Now it’s his turn to respond.

Below is another picture that tells a story, by Brenda Ferrimani. She’s famous for painting her dreams.

Dream interpretation lesson: the big picture
In the dream she’s told by Spirit that her name is Salmon, so she titled her painting and the dream “I Am Salmon” Picture links to her description.

Dream: Dressed for the part but not acting it

That title sums up the following dream:

I dream that I’m dressed as a cop when I see a crime being committed. I decide to look the other way and do nothing about it.

A dream shared at Reddit
radowl's crash course on dream interpretation
The uniform covers an associated idea beneath it. In this case the idea is “power to stop wrongdoing.”

In the dream story he’s dressed for the part of law enforcement but chooses to look the other away instead when he sees something wrong going down. Symbolically, it could point toward his outer life or inner life. When I begin the dream interpretation process I have no hints or clues that help me pick up the scent trail and follow it, unlike the previous demos where initial observations provide me with a place to begin.

My initial suggestion to him is to reflect on the past day or two of his life prior to the dream and search his memory for anything that can be described as looking the other way from something wrong going down, particularly when he has the power to act or enforce. For example, a promise has enforcement power behind it, and looking the other way can mean failing to keep it. Or witnessing a person being victimized and doing nothing to help even when you have the power to intervene is the sort of waking-life situation that could be illustrated by this dream.

Bulls-eye.

The dream is brief and so was the moment in his waking life when he looked over during a licensing exam for his profession and saw someone cheating. The thought crossed his mind that he should report it, but he decided against it. Hey, if someone cheats, that’s their business. And the job of catching cheats is for the test-givers. That’s how he reasoned it.

He had the power to report the cheating and chose not to use it. The dream is a view into the processing of related memories. The moment in time was important and the decision he made is now part of him. The integration happens neurologically and psychologically as he’s dreaming. It’s why the dream disturbed him enough to seek help understanding it. He stepped back from how he saw himself react in the dream and said wait a minute, that’s not the usual me.

Reactions. They say so much without having to actually say anything at all. Use the video below to review and continue your learning process.


Uniforms and Roles

Behind the roles you play in your dreams are likely to be parallels with roles you play in life. It’s purposeful, and part of the process is to reverse engineer the dream by interpreting the symbolism and analyzing the story while looking for anything that parallels your life, including the roles you play. The guy who had the dream had once wanted to be a cop, and that’s the sort of personal association and life context you explore during D3’s process.

But what wearing the uniform really means is he had the power to play the role of enforcer if he’d wanted to. Notice that he actually wears the uniform, another detail pointing toward the central idea of power to take action if one chooses. Police uniform equals power, symbolically. When you step into the uniform, you also step into the role and assume the power.

The uniform can also convey ideas like narc and busted. Those words could spontaneously come to mind during Step 2, Associate. To interpret dream symbolism, D3 gives you three tools: associate, simplifty, amplify, In this demo we also also simplify to see the simple idea behind the dream of having the power to bust a cheater and choosing not to use it, and you could say that amplify comes into play because the dreamer did not realize the personal importance of the decision he made — it’s a turning point for him, away from being the kind of person who would tattle.

All dreams point toward inner life

In the two dreams we analyzed in this demo, the memories-turned-into-dreams are about as directly related to outer life events as you’re likely to find. But you still see internal processes of neurological and psychological digestion taking place in response. That’s common. Dreams often begin with what’s happening in your outer life, then focus on how it affects you internally.

In a way, we’re always talking about inner life when we trace our dreams back to their source. Dreams are your inner world projected out like a movie for you to star in. It’s the story of your life, day by day. Dreams are created internally and are always subjective, except in unconventional dreams that feature objective information and perception.

I hope you’re ready for demo 4. That link is below, follow by a link to the introductory lesson for RadOwl’s Crash Course on Dream Interpretation in case you missed it.

RadOwl

I'm the author of "Dreams 1-2-3: Remember, Interpret, and Live Your Dreams," and "The Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Symbols, Sign and Meanings." At reddit.com I'm known as RadOwl. I began studying dreams in the early 1990s and delved into all major schools of thought, especially the writings of Carl Jung.

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  1. April 30, 2019

    […] Demo #3: Two Dreams about Outer Life […]

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