UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The meaning of transformative dreams Biela, Pamela M. 1993

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


831-ubc_1993_fall_phd_biela_pamela.pdf [ 12.96MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0076837.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0076837-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0076837-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0076837-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0076837-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0076837-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0076837-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

THE MEANING OF TRANSFORMATIVE DREAMSbyPAMELA RUDIAK BIELAB.A., The University of California, Berkeley, 1968M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1986A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Interdisciplinary Studies)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAOctober 1993© Pamela Rudiak Biela, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature) Department of ^le, d,',Fc ; 10^sr, t ieThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate C)c4c, !per^l99?DE-6 (2/88)llAbstractThe purpose of this interdisciplinary study was to answer the question, "What is themeaning of the transformative dream for people who do not experience resolutionof their problem immediately upon awakening?".Existential-phenomenology from the perspective of a story was used to describe themeaning of the experience for ten individuals, nine women and one man, whoseages ranged from 23 to 48. From transcripts of the interviews, ten individualaccounts of the experience were constructed. These accounts included aconstruction of the structure of each dream story and its relationship to the person'sdescription of the experience. Significant statements of the experience were alsoextracted from the transcripts and formulated into twenty common themes whichwere then woven into a common story. Each person checked and validated thetranscript, individual account, common themes, and common story for any omissionsor distortions. The study also included responses to a questionnaire given topsychology students, asking them if they had ever had a dream which revealed asolution to a problem. Out of 305 students, 103 (34%) had experienced one of thesedreams. Forty-three (42%) knew the answer immediately, 58 (56%) found theanswer later, and two were not sure. These results suggest that the prevalence ofdreams which reveal solutions to problems could be much higher than expected.The findings support the general contention that these dreams are preceded by adesire for resolution and a search for answers. The dreams were vivid andemotional with the dreamer alert and actively participating in the drama. Peopleexperienced a felt sense of change without understanding the meaning of the dream.The dreams were complete stories with a beginning, middle, and end. The findings111demonstrate that viewing these dreams within the context of people's lives isessential in order to understand the meaning of the experience. The description is abeginning and can become the basis for future research on dreams which resolveproblems.Table of ContentsAbstract^ iiTable of Contents^ ivAcknowledgements viiiChapter IChapter IIIntroduction^ 1The Transformative Dream^ 2Rationale for the Study 4Approach of the Study 9Review of the Literature^ 11Western Historical Context 11Problem-solving Dreams^ 21Before the Dream 21During the Dream 38After the Dream 54Limitations of Existing Research^68Approach of the Present Investigation 71Existential-phenomenology 72Narrative^ 75Chapter III Methodology 80Explication of Presuppositions^80Participants^ 82Interview 85Analysis 90Individual Stories 91Formulation of Themes and Common Story^98Chapter IV Results: Individual Stories^ 100Participants' Dream History^ 100Case J^ 103Verbatim Dream Report 103Story Before the Dream^ 104Story During the Dream 105Story After the Dream 107ivStructure of the Dream Story^110Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story 113Case D^ 115Verbatim Dream Report^ 115Story Before the Dream 116Story During the Dream 117Story After the Dream 119Structure of the Dream Story^121Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story 123Case S^ 126Verbatim Dream Report^ 126Story Before the Dream 127Story During the Dream 128Story After the Dream 130Structure of the Dream Story^133Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story 136Case C^ 138Verbatim Dream Report^ 138Story Before the Dream 139Story During the Dream 140Story After the Dream 141Structure of the Dream Story^144Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story 145Case G^ 147Verbatim Dream Report^ 147Story Before the Dream 148Story During the Dream 149Story After the Dream 151Structure of the Dream Story^154Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream story 156Case A^ 159Verbatim Dream Report^ 159Story Before the Dream 160Story During the Dream 162Story After the Dream. 164Structure of the Dream Story^167Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story 169Case H^ 171Verbatim Dream Report^ 171Story Before the Dream 171viStory During the Dream^ 173Story After the Dream 174Structure of the Dream Story 176Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story^178Case F^ 179Verbatim Dream Report^ 179Story Before the Dream 180Story During the Dream 181Story After the Dream 181Structure of the Dream Story^183Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story 184Case E^ 185Verbatim Dream Report^ 185Story Before the Dream 186Story During the Dream 187Story After the Dream 188Structure of the Dream Story^190Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story 191Case B^ 193Verbatim Dream Report^ 193Story Before the Dream 194Story During the Dream 197Story After the Dream 198Structure of the Dream Story^201Relationship Between Life Contextand Structure of the Dream Story 202Summary^ 204Chapter V Results: Common Themes and Story^212Themes: Before the Dream 212Themes: During the Dream 218Themes: After the Dream^ 224Context for Viewing the Common Story^238Common Story^ 239Chapter VI Discussion^ 243Limitations 243Implications for Theory^ 244Implications for Practice 252Implications for Future Research^255Summary^ 256viiReferences^ 260Appendix A: Transcript, Case J^ 270Appendix B: Letter of Information 289Appendix C: Consent Form^ 290viiiAcknowledgementsI wish to thank the members of my committee Dr. Larry Cochran fromcounselling psychology, Dr. Ray Corteen from psychology, Dr. Jon Fleming frompsychiatry, and Dr. EM Whittaker from anthropology for their constructivesuggestions and their willingness to be a part of an interdisciplinary study. Myspecial thanks go to Larry Cochran, my advisor, for his encouragement from thevery beginning to do this work.I also want to express my appreciation to the participants of this study whoentrusted me with their stories.My heartfelt thanks go to my friends Sue Goldswain Brink, FrancescaHollander, Sheila Kesselman, and Brenda Prevost for their humor and endlesssupport. I wish to thank my colleagues at Vancouver Community College, KingEdward Campus, who made working a joy. I also want to express my gratitude toMargot Bradbury whose wit and kindness at work helped me through this year.Thanks go to Bay Gumboc for her assistance with the word processing and toArt's Place and Bavarian Room Restaurant which were my homes away from home.Finally, I wish to thank my family. Loving thanks go to my parents, Mary andFrank Rudiak, and to my sister, Carol Ann Lunt, who gave me a love for learning.Big hugs go to my husband, Tom, who cooked dinner every night and encouragedme to continue and to my children, Daniel and Stephanie, who are thrilled that theirmother is finished at last.1Chapter IIntroductionFor centuries, various cultures have used dreams as mediums for creativeinspiration, personal transformation, and messages from the divine. Elaboratesystems of classification and interpretation have been developed in order to makesense of dream experiences ( Kilborne, 1987). In twentieth century Western culture,dreams have not been valued as highly as waking reality. Consequently, they haveusually been ignored or relegated to the realm of fantasy (Tedlock, 1987). Theoriesof dream function and interpretation have been devised by specialists, but little timehas been invested in exploring the varieties of dreams and the meaning of theseexperiences for the people who have lived them (Hunt, 1989; Kilborne, 1987).One kind of dream valued highly by ancient and non-Western civilizations isthe dream in which people experience resolution of a personal dilemma. Peopleliving in modern Western cultures have also had these experiences (Biela, 1985;Getsinger, 1978; Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriere, Karle, Woldenberg, & Hart,1980; Marjasch, 1966; Rossi, 1985; Thomas, 1978). These dreams have been calledbreakthrough or transformative dreams by some, because si ificant change isexperienced within the dream itself (Biela, 1985; Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriere etal., 1980; Mahrer, 1989). In some of these experiences, the answer is clear andpeople awaken with the problem resolved (Biela, 1985). In others, the meaning isnot discovered until hours, days, and sometimes months later. The meaning of thedream which brings immediate resolution was investigated by Biela (1985). Thepurpose of this interdisciplinary study was to answer the question, "What is themeaning of a transformative dream for those who do not experience resolution oftheir problem immediately upon awakening?".The Transformative DreamThe attitude in the West towards dreams has ranged from active cultivationto outright dismissal. These divergent points of view have stemmed not so muchfrom thorough investigation as from prevailing beliefs on what constitutes reality(Fuller, 1986; Stephen, 1982; Tedlock, 1987; Watkins, 1976). Dreams may beperceived as real during sleep, but are quickly dismissed as meaningless uponawakening (Inglis, 1987; Tedlock, 1987).The impact from some dreams is not so easily forgotten. "Cultural beliefwavers", and people wonder whether their dream could be meaningful (Tedlock,1987, p. 8). If they have been struggling with a dilemma, the dream may holdparticular import and capture their attention.The transformative dream cannot be ignored (Corriere & Hart 1977;Corriere et al., 1980). The dream feels real with dreamers experiencing aheightened awareness of themselves and their surroundings (Biela, 1985; Corriere& Hart, 1977; Corriere et al., 1980; Rossi, 1985). Images are vivid and clear.Feelings are intense with the dreamer active and expressive. People wake up with ashift in feeling or meaning which for some brings immediate awareness that theirproblem is resolved (Biela, 1985; Getsinger, 1978; Marjasch, 1966; Rossi, 1985).The shift has been described as being a transformation in awareness wherethe conventional or usual ways of behaving, feeling, and thinking are severed (Rossi,1985). It is a psychological moment of clarity which is preceded by intense desirefor resolution.Accounts of dreams which fit this description have been found acrosscultures. In most non-Western accounts, people have usually encountered a god orspirit who brings healing, warnings, prophesies, or special powers (de Becker, 1968;Dentan, 1987; Hunt, 1989; Kilborne, 1981; Spaulding, 1981). These dreams have2either been sought by the dreamers, or have occurred spontaneously. Many cultureshave developed special places or sanctuaries where people could go and inducethese experiences (de Becker, 1968; Kilborne, 1987; Krippner & Dillard, 1988;Hunt, 1989; Parman, 1991; Rupprecht, 1990; Rycroft, 1979).Anthropologists have called these experiences culture pattern dreamsbecause of their culturally recognized form or pattern (Dentan, 1987; Hunt, 1989;Kilbome, 1981; Lincoln, 1935; Spaulding, 1981). The term was first used to refer tothe vision quest experiences of First Nations peoples in North America who senttheir children at puberty to an isolated place where they prepared for theirencounter with spiritual beings (Lincoln, 1935). The vision quest dream did notbring healing or resolution of a problem, but brought strength, guidance andinstructions on how to use spiritual power (Spaulding, 1981). Some individuals,however, received the power to cure others during the vision quest.According to anthropologists, modern Western cultures do not have culturepattern dreams, and Westerners generally view dreams as coming from within ratherthan from a source outside the individual (Dentan, 1987; Hunt, 1989; Kilbome,1981; Spaulding, 1981). Although Westerners do not have dreams which have aculturally recognized form or structure, there have been reports of transformativedreams, and some of these experiences have been described as being encounterswith God or spirits (Biela, 1985; Getsinger, 1978; Marjasch, 1966). The prevalenceof these dreams in Western cultures has not been investigated (Hunt, 1989).The most well-known accounts of dreams in which people experience theresolution of a problem come from the biographies of artists, writers, scientists, andinventors who have had creative dream breakthroughs (Dreistadt, 1971; Inglis, 1987;Krippner, 1981; Krippner & Dillard, 1988; May, 1975). Other reports have usuallycome from case studies of individuals in therapy (Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriereet al., 1980; Getsinger, 1978; Rossi, 1985).34Although there have been many reports of these dreams across cultures, fewaccounts have described the experience before, during, and after the dream.Reports of induced dreams have given information about incubation procedures andcures with only a brief mention of dream content (Rousselle; 1985; Stam & Spanos,1982). Accounts of creative dream breakthroughs have concentrated on the creativeproduct and dream content (Inglis, 1987). Some experimental studies have triedgiving people problems before sleep and assessing their dreams for evidence ofproblem-solving, but have had poor results (Cartwright, 1979; Dement, 1974).Others have had more success teaching dream induction techniques to people whowere struggling with personal dilemmas (Delaney, 1979, 1991; Garfield, 1974; Reed,1976). However, most of these dreams needed interpretation and did not bring afelt sense of change upon awakening.Most recent accounts of naturally occurring transformative dreams have beendescribed by anthropologists who have studied these dreams within cultures thathave had a tradition of using dreams for personal knowledge (Ewing, 1990; Stephen,1979; 1982; Watson & Watson-Franke, 1977). In the West, only one study hasinvestigated transformative dreams outside of the therapeutic context (Biela, 1985).All but one of the dreamers in that study experienced resolution of their problemimmediately. Little is known about the transformative dream which does not bringimmediate resolution.Rationale for the StudyThe lack of research on the topic has been partially due to the way all dreamshave been viewed by Western trained researchers (Tedlock, 1987). For the first halfof the twentieth century, clinical and anthropological research was dominated bythose who followed Freud's (1913) dictum that all dreams were wish fulfillments(Fosshage, 1983; Gould, 1978; Tedlock, 1987). Psychology ignored dreams andfantasy completely, because they could not be observed, measured and controlled(Klinger, 1971; Singer, 1966; Stone, 1977).In 1953, the situation changed when Aserinsky and Kleitman discovered thatpeople had rapid eye movement (REM) during dreaming. Those who oncedismissed dreams could now investigate them in the laboratory. However, becauseof the emphasis on measurable phenomena, researchers concentrated on thephysiological correlates of dreaming and dream function rather than on people'sexperiences (Cartwright, 1979, 1986; Cartwright & Lamberg, 1992; Fiss, 1983, 1986;Haskell, 1986a; Hunt, 1989; Labruzza, 1978; Mahrer, 1989).The last forty years of neurophysiological dream research have shown thatdreaming is a universal phenomenon and a biological necessity (Cartwright &Lamberg, 1992). There are four to five REM periods per night with the first periodlasting about 10 minutes and the final one lasting as long as 45 minutes (Cartwright& Lamberg, 1992; Dement & Kleitman, 1957; Dement & Wolport, 1958; Fiss,1986). When deprived of REM sleep, people make up for the lost time thefollowing nights (Dement, 1974).Studies which investigated the psychological effects of REM sleepdeprivation have demonstrated that lack of REM sleep affects the learning ofcomplex and emotionally relevant tasks (Fiss, 1986; Greenberg, 1987; Krippner &Dillard, 1988). REM sleep also increases when new information is being learned(Fiss, 1986; Greenberg, 1987; De Koninck, Christ, Hebert, Rinfret, 1990). Theseresults suggest that REM sleep plays a role in learning and memory consolidation(Greenberg, 1987). REM sleep may serve an adaptive function such as masteringthe environment, problem-solving, information processing, and mood regulation(Breger, 1967; Cartwright, 1986; Cartwright & Lamberg, 1992; Fiss, 1986; Fosshage,1983, 1987; Greenberg, 1987; Hawkins, 1990; Hunt, 1989; Winson, 1990).5Dreaming reflects the operation of complex cognitive processes outside ofconscious awareness. In the last decade, research in cognitive psychology hasdemonstrated overwhelming evidence for the existence of unconscious processes(Bowers, 1987; Bruner, 1992; Dixon, 1981; Dixon & Henley, 1991; Eagle, 1987;Erdelyi, 1992; Greenwald, 1992; Guidano, 1987; Hollander, 1992; Jacoby, Lindsay,& Toth, 1992; Kihlstrom, 1984; Kihlstrom, Barnhardt, & Tataryn, 1992; Lazarus,1991; Marcel, 1983a, 1983b; Lewicki, Hill, & Czyzewska, 1992; Loftus & Klinger,1992; Schacter, 1992). The question is no longer whether unconscious processesexist, but how intelligent these processes are (Greenwald, 1992; Lewicki et al., 1992;Luftus & Klinger, 1992). If intelligence means "equipped to efficiently processcomplex information", then unconscious processes are quicker and "smarter" thanthinking and identifying the meaning of events "in a consciously controlled manner"(Lewicki et al., 1992, p. 801).Unconscious processes are not restricted to basic cognitive operations suchas information retrieval and pattern recognition, but play a major role ininterpreting categories, making inferences, reacting emotionally to situations, andother complex cognitive operations once thought to be under the control ofconscious thinking (Lewicki et al., 1992; Loftus & Klinger, 1992). Knowledge canbe acquired both within and outside of conscious awareness, but the majority of thework involved in learning occurs unconsciously (Lewicki et al., 1992; Loftus &Klinger, 1992).When people are asked to explain how they make judgments and arrive atdecisions when playing chess, feeling love for someone, acquiring impressions aboutpeople, problem-solving, and thinking creatively, they are unable to give a response(Lewicki et al., 1992). "All they know is they just do it" (Lewicki et al., 1992, p. 797).The processes "essentially responsible for most of what we see, experience, and feel"are the least accessible (Lewicki et al., 1992, p. 797). Given the lack of accessibility,6unobtrusive or less direct ways are needed to explore how people come to knowwhat they know (Haskell, 1986a).Because dreams are not constrained by consciously controlled thinking andare produced involuntarily, they provide a unique opportunity for understandingcognitive operations usually hidden from conscious awareness (Fosshage, 1983;Haskell, 1986b). During dreaming, more memories are made available whichfacilitate creative associations and problem-solving (Fiss, 1986). New experienceswhich are of significance to the dreamer are compared with similar experiences inmemory so that people can maintain, modify, or adapt to the present situation(Baylor & Deslauriers, 1989; Cartwright & Lamberg, 1992; Greenberg, 1987;Hawkins, 1990; Kuiken, 1987; Schank, 1990; Winson, 1990).In dreams, cognitive operations are concretized into images framed innarratives which can be metaphors for waking concerns (Fiss, 1986; Krippner &Dillard, 1988). In metaphors, one situation is compared to another as if they werethe same (Krippner & Dillard, 1988). Although any situation can be a metaphor foranother, the closer people are to living the situation the more difficult it is to "see itas a metaphor for something else" (Hunt, 1989, p. 216). A separation in time isusually necessary to see the situation as a model or exemplar for understanding apresent dilemma. Waking up from a dream provides this separation which movesthe person from experiencing to "frame" which is the first and most difficult step inviewing one experience as a metaphor for another (Hunt, 1989, p. 216).Some researchers have found that people who attend to their dreams makebetter progress in therapy and have less symptom distress (Cartwright & Lamberg,1992; Fiss, 1986). Many have suggested that dreams reveal how people are copingwith situations in their lives (Cartwright & Lamberg, 1992; Fosshage, 1983, 1987;Greenberg, 1987; Hawkins, 1990; Winson, 1990). A description of the experiencebefore, during, and after a transformative dream and its relationship to the dream7narrative can provide an important contribution towards understanding the role ofdreams in personal change.Because transformative dreams have been recorded across cultures andacademic disciplines, there is a need for interdisciplinary research. Lincoln (1935)argued that the disciplines of anthropology, psychiatry, and psychology must beresolved to rid themselves of compartmentalization so that a more comprehensiveunderstanding of these experiences can be attained. Almost sixty years have passedsince Lincoln expressed his views, yet little has been done in this area. Recently,other researchers have echoed Lincoln's (1935) words and have argued for morecollaboration among dream researchers in separate disciplines (Gould, 1978;Haskell, 1986a; Hillman, 1987; Hunt, 1989; O'Nell, 1976; Tedlock, 1987; Ullman,1987; Von Grunebaum, 1966).The argument for more collaboration is intricately interwoven with the issueof methodology (Haskell, 1986a). Anthropological research has emphasizedqualitative methods which investigate phenomena within a natural context.Research in psychology, psychiatry, and counselling psychology have focused onquantitative methods which seek to explain, predict, and control. Collaborationamong researchers can enhance knowledge regarding the various approaches to thestudy of dreams.Increasing dissatisfaction with methodology has stimulated much debate inthe literature regarding the wide gap between practitioners and researchers (Fiss,1983; Haskell, 1986a; Hunt, 1986, 1989; Mahrer, 1989). The methods used havelimited the kind of questions asked (Peele, 1983). Studies on the physiology ofdreaming have asked where dreams come from, how they are formed, how theyfunction, and what their function is. Studies of dream content ask what peopledream about, how many times, and when. Questions which ask about the meaningof the experience cannot be answered with experimental methods.8If dream research is to advance, meaning must be taken into consideration(Fiss, 1983; Haskell, 1986a; Hunt, 1986; 1989; Vogel, 1978). Meaning is constructedby the individual living within a cultural context (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Lerner,Hurtsch, & Dixon, 1983; Sarbin, 1986). People's construction of the transformativedream experience may be most important for understanding the meaning of thephenomenon. For this reason, this investigation elicited personal accounts from theindividuals who have lived the experience.Approach of the StudyExistential-phenomenology was used to answer the question, "What is themeaning of the transformative dream for people who do not experience resolutionof their problem immediately upon awakening?". This method was chosen becauseof its rigor and concentration on the meaning of a phenomenon for people who havelived it. Existential-phenomenology begins with individual accounts and movestowards a common pattern which reflects each person's experience.In this study, existential-phenomenology was conducted from the perspectiveof a story which Polldnghome (1988) defined as being an organizational schemewhich organizes experience into a meaningful whole with a beginning, middle, andend. From detailed interviews, narrative accounts of each person's experience,before, during, and after the dream were constructed. The structure of each dreamstory was also investigated and compared with the person's description of theexperience. In addition, common themes were formulated and woven together toform a common pattern.Because of the lack of information regarding the prevalence of dreams whichreveal solutions to problems, a questionnaire was given to students in psychologyclasses asking them if they had ever experienced one of these dreams, if they knewthe answer immediately or after a period of time, and how often they paid attention9to their dreams. The individual narrative accounts, structure of the dream stories,comparison of the dream structure and the description of the experience, themes,common pattern, and questionnaire responses constitute the results of the study.These results provide a rich foundation for understanding the role dreams play inpersonal change and suggest implications for clinical practice.1 0Chapter IIReview of the LiteratureThe following chapter will review the literature on dreams which haveresolved personal dilemmas. Because few accounts have provided enoughdescription to assess whether an experience is a transformative dream, this reviewwill include all dreams which have brought resolution of a problem. The firstsection will provide a brief history of these dreams in Western culture. The secondsection will focus on what has been written about the experience before, during, andafter the dream. The chapter will conclude with a discussion of the limitations ofexisting research and an overview of the approach taken in this study.Western Historical ContextThe first written accounts of dreams in which people experienced resolutionof a personal dilemma came from the Egyptians and Greeks who built specialsanctuaries for inducing these experiences (de Becker, 1968; Oppenheim 1966).People would go to these sanctuaries to prepare themselves to receive a message orcure from a god in a dream. Information about these practices come from Egyptianpapyri, literary sources, and stone tablets called "stelae" which stood outside thesanctuaries (de Becker, 1968; Rousselle, 1985; Stam & Spanos, 1982).There is evidence that the Egyptians and Greeks were not the first to inducedreams. The writings of Homer, Stabo, and Herodotis mention ancient peoples whowent to caves and slept on the skins of sacred animals in order to receive a dream(de Becker, 1968). Little is known about the naturally occurring dream whichbrought resolution of a personal dilemma.Although accounts of dream incubation are found throughout the world, thecult of Asklepius in Greece was the most widespread (de Becker, 1968; Hunt, 1989;11Meier, 1967; Reed, 1976; Rousselle, 1985; Rycroft, 1979; Stam & Spanos, 1982).From the sixth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D., there were 420 templesdedicated to Asklepius, the god of healing. At these sanctuaries, people would sleepin a special chamber, and apparently Asklepius would appear in the dream and curethe person. In later centuries, cures within the dream occurred less often (deBecker, 1968). The god appeared and prescribed remedies to be performed by thedreamer while awake. The dream was still direct and clear. No interpretation wasneeded.Christian cultures continued the practice of incubation, despite an officialsanction against dreams in the fourth century (de Becker, 1968; Parman, 1991).Like the ancient Greeks, many of the dreamers experienced immediate cures intheir dreams (de Becker, 1968). Although folk interest in dreams and dreamincubation remained in Christian cultures, Western intellectuals, separated from therest of the people by class and ethnicity, looked down upon the dream practices ofthe people (Dentan, 1987). However, these same intellectuals used dreams andvisions as mediums for contacting the Divine (Parman, 1991).During the Renaissance, writers began revitalizing the ancient dream texts(Rupprecht, 1990). However, as the Renaissance progressed into theEnlightenment, reason soon reigned supreme as the main way to truth. Phenomenawere separated into science and the occult, rational and irrational (Rupprecht,1990). Dreams and the imagination were viewed as irrational and, therefore,unreliable avenues to the truth. When Western intellectuals began studying thedream practices of other cultures, they carried their assumptions of reality withthem, labelling non-Western views primitive and exotic (Dentan, 1987; Tedlock,1987).In the nineteenth century, many artists, musicians, and writers beganquestioning this imbalance and wrote about their own creative dream breakthroughs12(Inglis, 1987; Parman, 1991). They spoke of a realm beyond rational consciousthinking where people would find creative inspiration as well as chaos and madness.Although many scientists and mathematicians were reluctant to admit thatthey discovered answers to their problems in dreams, there were some who spokeopenly about how they arrived at solutions (Inglis, 1987; Maury, 1861; Saint-Denys,1867).Freud (1913) was aware that many people had experienced creativebreakthroughs in their dreams, but he chose to emphasize the irrational and chaotic.Freud's unconscious was not the seat of creative inspiration, but a "seething caldronof instinctual energy" (Fuller, 1986, p. 110).According to Freud (1913), the dream is generated by sexual and aggressivedrives which seek discharge (Fosshage, 1983). These drives link up with residues ofdaily events and are disguised in the manifest dream or dream as experienced. Thepurpose of the manifest dream is to conceal not reveal the wish to gratify childishsexual and aggressive impulses. The dream's function is to discharge unacceptablematerial and keep the equilibrium within the organism.Freud (1913) argued that when people dream, they regress to a primitive wayof thinking called primary process which is irrational. Primary process contrastswith secondary process which is logical and occurs when people are awake. Becausedreams are primary process thinking, logical forms of thought such as problem-solving are not possible in Freud's model (Fosshage, 1987). The dream may expressconflict, but there is little movement towards resolution. Freud reduced all dreamsto wish fulfillments. His narrowing of dreams to a single type drew attention awayfrom problem-solving dreams and other kinds of dream experiences (Hunt, 1989).Freud's (1913) ideas influenced many researchers who studied the dreams ofother cultures. Their dreams were reduced to wish fulfillments or viewed as being13pathological (Gould, 1978; Tedlock, 1987). Some researchers either inferred orexplicitly stated that the beliefs in these cultures were misguided.In the psychiatric community, the debate over Freud's (1913) ideas continuedwell into the twentieth century. Some saw his theories as freeing psychotherapyfrom neurology, yet still keeping it within the realm of science. Others were criticalof Freud's drive-discharge model, preferring to emphasize the adaptive, regulatory,creative, and healing qualities of the unconscious of which dreams are a part (Fuller,1986). Academic psychologists ignored dreams completely.Adler (1936), Jung (1933), Maeder (1916), Rivers (1932), and Robert (1886),all contemporaries of Freud (1913), espoused a broader stance towards dreamswhich included the creative and problem-solving potential of dreams. They arguedthat dreams are not necessarily expressions of repressed wishes, but are attempts towork through unresolved issues. Dreams can anticipate problems, serve asrehearsals for new ways of experiencing, and provide intense experiences oftransformation. Unfortunately, their voices were drowned out by others whoembraced Freud's ideas.Jung (1960) pointed out that most dreams have low energy and areconfusing and disjointed. However, some dreams have high energy and make sense.Jung argued that energy is life and that there cannot be life without tension betweenopposing forces. With more tension comes more energy. From this tension, newideas are created. How stable these creations are depends on the intensity of theconflict.Years later, Bonime (1962), Fromm (1951), French and Fromm (1964),Homey (1950), Ullman (1961), and Sullivan (1953) emphasized problem-solving indreams. Homey pointed out that dreams can help people get in touch with longingsnot expressed in their waking lives. Dreams are like "artistic creations" which canresolve inner conflicts (Homey, 1950, p. 330).14In 1953, when Aserinsky and Kleitman, discovered that rapid eye movement(REM) correlated with dreaming, many who once ignored dreams now becameintrigued by them (Aserinsky & Kleitman, 1953). The correlation of REM anddreaming allowed researchers to investigate the frequency, duration, and occurrenceof dreams which were not known before. However, only information which could bequantified was investigated.The discovery that people made up for lost REM sleep led researchers tolook for the function and biological mechanism of REM sleep (Cartwright &Lamberg, 1992). Hobson and McCarley (1977) developed the Activation-Synthesismodel of dreaming and suggested that a dream was merely the result of the cortexresponding to random signals from the brain stem. They argued that dreaming isprimarily physiologically, not psychologically, determined with the cortex playing asecondary role in dream production. Hobson (1988) later revised the theory, givingmore recognition to the psychological aspects of dreaming. He stated that the plot,which is a result of the cortext placing order on the random signals, is "synthesized inlight of an individual's past experiences, attitudes, and expectations" (Hobson, 1988,p. 15).In 1983, Crick and Mitchison speculated that the cortex could becomeoverwhelmed by the bombardment of random signals which would hinder thestorage of memories. They assumed that there could be a mechanism in the brainstem which subdues this unwanted activity so that it would not happen again.Humans and animals dream to forget.Both theories have been criticized (Fiss, 1986; LaBerge, 1985; Winson, 1990).Neurons from the brain stem do not fire randomly, but selectively (Winson, 1990).Unlearning also does not occur in any organism (LaBerge, 1985). Neither oneexplains why dreams of the same night can have similar themes and why somedreams have elaborate plots (Fiss, 1986).15Researchers who have studied the psychological effects of REM sleepdeprivation and how it increases when people learn something new, have speculatedthat REM sleep has an information processing function (De Koninck et al., 1990;Greenberg, 1987; Hawkins, 1990, Winson, 1990). This hypothesis has implicationsfor problem-solving in dreams. REM sleep not only reflects presleep experience,but is sensitive to learning and cognitive functioning (Greenberg, 1987; Fiss, 1986).Information from the previous day is processed during sleep. Unimportantinformation is discarded and relevant information compared with related problemsfrom the past. Dreams reveal, not conceal as Freud (1913) once thought (Breger,1967; Cartwright, 1986; Fiss, 1979, 1986; Fosshage, 1983, 1987; French & Fromm,1964; Greenberg, 1987; Hawkins, 1990; Hunt, 1989; Krippner & Dillard, 1988;Ullman & Zimmerman, 1979; Weiss, 1964; Winson, 1990).New models, based on developmental and evolutionary theories, assume thatthinking moves towards more complex levels of organization (Fosshage, 1983; 1987).The unconscious is not "a caldron of untamed passions", but is "a cohesive,continually active mental structure" (Winson, 1990, p. 96). The unconscious islogical and ordered and does most of the work involved in learning (Lewicki et al.,1992; Loftus & Klinger, 1992). Numerous studies in cognitive psychology havedemonstrated that unconscious processes play a major role in determining howpeople interpret their environment (Lewicki et al., 1992). These processes are morecomplex and faster than consciously controlled thinking, and people have littleawareness as to how they acquire much of what they know. Dreams, expressions ofunconscious processes, can provide valuable information about how people learn.Researchers have argued that attempts at problem-solving in dreams arerevealed in the dream structure or narrative (Baylor & Deslauriers, 1989; Feinstein& Krippner, 1988; Greenberg, 1987; Haskell, 1986b; Krippner, 1986; Kuiken, 1987).16Dreams are complex forms of mentation occurring during sleep and not only canexpress conflicts, but attempts at resolution (Fosshage, 1983; 1987).Some have used script theory to understand how memories are elaborated onand reorganized in the structure of dreams (Baylor & Deslauriers, 1989; Kuiken,1987; Schank, 1990). This theory assumes that people categorize situationsaccording to similarities in the sequence of actions (Schank, 1990; Schank &Abelson, 1977). For example, a teacher asks a child to perform. The child does aswell as she can, and the teacher then praises her. In a later situation, the childexperiences a similar sequence of actions with an authority figure. These two eventswill be categorized together in a "mental structure" called a script (Kuiken, 1987, p.228). Scripts are people's expectations about what will happen next in a situation(Schank, 1990). The setting and characters may differ, but the similarity betweenthe sequence of actions remains the same.When people experience something new, they must alter relevant memorystructures (Schank, 1990). People search for explanations for new events, becausethey need to "update" their expectations about what could happen (Schank, 1990, p.120). These expectations are usually unconscious and can be tried out and changedin dreams. Dreaming simulates new behavior and gives people the opportunity toexperience the situation in a new way (Schank, 1990). The dream story could besimilar to the waking conflict people are experiencing. When the conflict is resolvedin dream stories, there could be resolution in waking psychological reality (Haskell,1983b).Greenberg (1987) and his colleagues have argued that dreams dreams range"from no to partial to complete resolution of problems" (p. 100). They defined aproblem as a dream situation which creates negative feelings or which creates adilemma needing an action to alter it. A solution is an attempt by the dreamer to17solve the problem or evidence that the problem is integrated with wakingexperiences of the dreamer.These researchers developed their ideas by exploring their own dreams andby assessing the problem-solving activity in a patient's dreams which were collectedin the sleep laboratory (Greenberg, 1987). They also studied the content of histherapy sessions before and after sleep. For example, in one of the presleep therapysessions, the patient was worried about becoming too dependent on the therapist.In his dream after the session, he was driving up a steep hill on a snowy day. Hestarted to slide backwards. Sliding backwards is the problem. He solved hisproblem by sticking his foot out of the car to push it up the hill. The man also hadthe problem of getting help in the dream. There were people watching, but they didnot make an attempt to assist him until he pushed the car to the top. The dreamshowed his concern about slipping backwards, but also his solution which was tohelp himself first. The man's attempt to help himself was evident in the therapysession after the dream.Greenberg (1987) and his colleagues argued that a dream can have manyproblems and solutions. However, studying the actions of the dream characterwithout asking people how they experienced the dream provides only a partial viewof the phenomenon of dream problem-solving. People may display problem-solvingbehavior in the dream plot, yet not experience the dream as being different fromother dreams they have had. Some dreams do not seem to show any evidence thatthey refer to problems.Hunt (1989) suggested that researchers should begin looking at variety ofdream experiences rather than treat all dreams as if they were similar. Dreamswhich bring resolution of problems may be experienced differently and have adifferent structure. Hunt argued that most dreams are action sequences not stories.For example, the sentences "John was hungry. He went to a restaurant and ordered18a hamburger. When the check came, he paid it and left." have no point (Wilensky,1983, p. 583). Some dreams, however, fulfill the criteria for being a story as set outby Ricoeur (1984-1986). These dreams have some element of surprise that bringsresolution, linking the beginning, middle, and end of the story. The surprise isbrought about by transformation of an image which Hunt calls "image-basedtransformations" or "bizarre" imagery (p. 166). For example, a bear turning into acat is a "bizarre" image.Hunt (1989) presented one of his own dreams which helped him resolve apersonal problem. The "bizarre" imagery at the end fulfilled the dream, providingcontrast with the beginning. The surprise at the end not only completed the story,but had an intense emotional impact on him. Waking up in a cold sweat, he knewsomething significant had happened. Transformative dreams may be completestories. The shift at the end of these dreams may be a contrast to the beginningwhich completes the dream and resolves the problem.Many writers have tried to explain the occurrence of problem-solving indreams. Most of these writers have focused on dreams which have been induced.Cultural expectations, hypnosis, and self-suggestion have all been put forth aspossible explanations (Achterberg, 1985; Delaney, 1979; Devereux, 1956; Garfield,1974; Kilbome, 1981; MacHovec, 1979; Pulos, 1980; Stam & Spanos, 1982).One researcher speculated that ancient peoples began seeking oracles anddreams for guidance in the third millennium B.C. as an attempt to regaincommunication with the gods (Jaynes, 1976). Before this period, people did nothave conscious awareness, because their mind was bicameral. Lacking cerebrallateralization, the mind could be guided by direct auditory hallucinations from thegods. With the breakdown of the bicameral mind, left hemisphere specializationbrought subjective awareness and analytical thinking which eroded the authority ofthe hallucinations. This theory has been criticized, because the direct, clear dreams19which bring messages and healing were perhaps no more common in ancientcivilizations than they are today (Hunt, 1989). Little is known about the prevalenceof these dreams, because researchers have not investigated people's experiences.Some experimental studies have tried giving people pre-sleep problems andchecking their dreams for answers (Cartwright, 1979; Dement, 1974). Results werepoor, because they did not take into account the relevance of the problem for thedreamers (Cartwright, 1979; Dement, 1974). Others have taught people how toinduce their dreams and have had some success, but most of the dreams neededinterpretation and were not transformative dreams (Delaney, 1979; Reed, 1976).All these studies emphasized inducement procedures rather than the experience ofnaturally occurring dreams.Except for a few clinicians and some anthropologists, researchers have notacknowledged the existence of transformative dreams. Dream research has usuallyfocused on the content of normative or everyday dreams instead of various kinds ofdream experiences (Hunt, 1989). What people dream about rather than what theyexperience has been the focus.Anthropologists have questioned the appropriateness of viewing dreamsoutside of a particular context (Crapanzano, 1981; Dental', 1988; Degarrod, 1990;Kracke, 1987; Tedlock, 1987). They argue that dreams are not objects removedfrom the life experience of the dreamer. They are "communicative events"(Tedlock, 1987, p. 30). There is a teller, a listener, a dream experience, and anarration of the dream story (Tedlock, 1987, p. 30). Cultures have many differentkinds of dreams and ways of sharing them which analysis of specific dream elementsand structure cannot address (Herdt, 1987). Western analysis of dreams and otheraltered states of consciousness would seem primitive and naive to many cultureswho have been using these states for centuries (Tedlock, 1987). Anthropologistshave begun looking to their informants as teachers, seeking knowledge not only20"about other cultures", but "from other cultures" (Gould, 1978, p. 169). The nextsection will explore dream experiences which the dreamers themselves claimedbrought them physical healing or resolution of a dilemma.Problem-solving DreamsReports of these dreams range from brief accounts of the dream todescriptions of the experience before, during, and after the dream. Some of thesedreams occurred spontaneously. Others were induced. The first section will discussthe experience before the dream. The second will focus on the dream, and the thirdwill look at the experience after the dream.Before the dream.Most ancient cultures assumed that people became ill, because they lackedsomething (Meier, 1967). For example, the German expression for "What is yourillness?", "Was fehlt Ihnen?", means, "What do you lack?" (p. 124). The lack ofsomething was not in body alone, but in spirit as well. Body and soul were notseparate. Diseases of the body were also diseases of the spirit.Illness and accidents came from the gods, and gods could take them away(Meier, 1967). Dreams were mediums in which the divine could communicatedirectly to provide guidance and cures. Given this belief, developing the properconditions for the "right" dream to occur was essential. Sanctuaries were built andprocedures devised which would help people prepare for their experience.The most well-known sanctuaries were dedicated to the god Asklepius inancient Greece. Little is known about the experiences of the people who soughthelp. Only a brief account of the symptoms, treatment, and outcome were inscribedon the stelae. The stelae found in front of the main sanctuary at Epidaurus mentionthat people suffered from blindness, infertility, paralysis, leeches, worms, lack of21hair, dropsy, and a spear in the jaw (Rousselle, 1985; Stam & Spanos, 1982). Peopleusually had exhausted all other possibilities of a cure and would have a dream thatcalled them to go to a sanctuary (Stam & Spanos, 1982). If they were unable tomake the journey, someone else could go in their place.At the sanctuary, purity was an important part of the ritual, and peopleprepared themselves by fasting, bathing, and abstaining from sexual intercourse andparticular foods (de Becker, 1968). Moral preparation was also important. Aninscription at Epidaurus reads, "He who enters the temple perfumed with incensemust be pure, and purity is to have only pious feelings" (de Becker, 1968, p. 165).After purifying themselves, people entered the sanctuary and participated inceremonies which instilled a sense of excitement and hope. Some also experienceda dream which was an invitation to go to the special dream chamber called an"abaton" which means "forbidden" in Greek (de Becker, 1968, p. 164). In theabaton, yellow nonpoisonous snakes, symbolizing the god Asklepius, slitheredacross the floor while the incubants fell asleep on sheep skins. The snakes added to"the strangeness of an atmosphere already so pregnant with mystery" (p. 166). Asthey dozed off and surrendered themselves to the god, they smelled the incense andheard the incantations of the temple priests.Early Christians also practiced incubation at churches dedicated to Christiansaints. Gregory of Tours in the sixth century described healings at a church whichcontained the tomb of Saint Martin (de Becker, 1968). Like the dreamers in ancientGreece, these people had not found a cure for their ailments and longed for a visitfrom the saint. Their desire and desperation most likely increased their willingnessto surrender themselves to the process (de Becker, 1968).During the day, people who already had their dreams spoke of the saint'svisit. At night, the air was heavy with the scent of incense and the heat of the oncelit candles. The sanctuary, like others throughout the centuries, had an atmosphere22of mystery and otherworldliness which enhanced peoples' anticipation of a cure.People were exhausted and weak from fasting and terrified by the darkness andquiet. Some were in an ecstasy. Others prayed through the night, waiting for thesaint to appear in a vision. Others slept, hoping the saint would visit in a dream.People were ready to receive the gift of healing (de Becker, 1968).A sense of longing and incompleteness was felt by contemporary MoroccanJews who went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of a well-known saint in Israel (Bilu &Abramovitch, 1985). Most people went on the pilgrimage to get relief from aparticular problem such as health, fertility, pregnancy, naming a child, divineprotection, economic troubles, and religious concerns. Others went to find help withless specific problems. Some decided to attend because of a dream. There are noincubation practices at this shrine, but dream visitations are common occurrences.Like the early Christians, the Moroccans have a reciprocal relationship with theirsaint who expects devotion from the individual who in turn expects help from thesaint.People with health problems, like other dreamers centuries before, had triedother forms of healing before they had their dream (Bilu & Abramovitch, 1985).According to Bilu and Abramovitch, belief in the power of the saint combined withheightened expectations enhanced a sense of receptivity. The authors did not give adescription of people's experiences before the dream.In North America, First Nations peoples have known the power of specialdreams and have sent their children at puberty on vision quests to encounter "other-than-human" beings which before were only known to them in stories (Hallowell,1966). The children are seeking a relationship which will last for the rest of theirlives and will bring them knowledge, power, and protection.The Dunne-za of northern British Columbia, like many First Nationspeoples, know that their myths reveal an underlying plan which precedes substance23(Ridington, 1979). Knowledge and experience of events in the world occur onlyafter they are experienced in myth, dreams, and visions. To survive as hunters, theDunne-za have had to meet the trails of animals in the bush. Because of theirmyths, they know that their meeting is preceded by images of that relationship indreams. In their world, information from dreams refers back to a vision quest whichis informed by myth.Dunne-za children go out in the bush for ten to fifteen days and prepare byabstaining from food and water (Ridington, 1979). People are not allowed to talkabout their experience, but it is known that "if a child has the right thoughts, if hishead is in the right place, a medicine animal will come to him" (Ridington, 1971, p.121).The northern Objibwa, living east of Lake Winnipeg in Canada, like theDunne-za, needed the assistance of "other-than-human" beings in order to live a lifefree of sickness, hunger, and misfortune (Hallowell, 1966). During spring, Objibwaboys between the age of 10 and 15 were sent far out in the forest to spend timealone for six or seven nights (Hallowell, 1966). Purity was essential or the "other-than-human" beings would not go near the boy. One man spoke about thepreparations for his own fast when he was 13. His clothes were washed, and he wasgiven a new blanket. Before he went, he did not sleep with his mother and the otherchildren, but slept in the rear of the living quarters with the men. Usually, boyswere taken out in the forest with one of the male relatives and left there withoutfood or water. This man stayed ten nights and commented that he did not think ofanything evil, only thoughts of the good things he wanted for himself.In post colonial Pakistan, when a Muslim man has a dream in which two sudscome and give him food, he recognizes his dream as a call to become a disciple of asufi teacher or "pir" (Ewing, 1990). People who have an initiation dream usuallyhave been experiencing a long period of conflict. Many seek out "pirs" when they24are experiencing distress because of an illness or loss of a job. People either find a"pir" and then have a dream which confirms that the teacher is the right one, or theyhave a dream which sends them on a search for their " pir".A business man who had one of these dreams commented that his father hadinstilled in him a love for the mystical side of Islam. He yearned for somethingbeyond the material and had searched since childhood for a teacher. After workingin England, he went back to Calcutta and met his future teacher in a dream.Another business man was suffering from extreme distress. Unlike the otherdreamer, he had already met his "pir" and longed to have an intense relationshipwith him. He had been suffering from the effects of several motorcycle accidentsand was being forced to accept an early retirement which his "pir" had predicted.Ewing (1990) pointed out that both men felt as if something was missing in theirlives and were experiencing conflict, anxiety, and blockage. In Pakistan, dreams areone of the ways people who come from traditional Muslim families reconcile theconflict they experience living in a culture influenced by the British (Ewing, 1990).The Mekeo in Papua New Guinea have also resolved conflicts betweentraditional and Western ways of living in their dreams (Stephen, 1982). While doingfield work, Stephen (1982) was certain that Christianity had little impact on Mekeo.However, after returning home, she remembered a dream a man had told her andwondered if she had overlooked something important. When she returned sevenyears later, she asked him about his dreams, and he immediately told her the sameone which took place twenty years earlier. In the dream, his recently dead father-in-law took him to heaven and hell. Stephen suggested that the man may have beenwondering about the fate of his father-in-law's soul because of the differencesbetween Melanesian and Christian beliefs.Two other dreamers were faced with life and death circumstances beforetheir dreams which may have instilled a sense of urgency. One man was in a coma25and dreamt that he went to the land of the dead. Another man was praying formany hours at the bedside of his cousin's wife who was supposed to die. AlthoughStephen (1982) did not go into detail about their experiences before the dream, shedescribed people whose conflict between the two religions became an acute desirefor answers during a period of crisis.In Venezuela, Guajiro women migrants, feeling helpless and abandonedwithout adequate social and economic support in the city, have experiencedresolution of their conflicts in dreams (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1977). Dreamshave been one of the "culturally based solutions" which offer "a way out" of pressingdilemmas (p. 392). To the Guajiro, the dream is an image of a larger metaphysicalreality of which waking life is an imperfect reflection. In dreams, they cancommunicate with spirits and dead relatives in order to gain knowledge and power.The women interviewed by Watson and Watson-Franke (1977) wereabandoned by their husbands and were experiencing isolation as they struggled withtheir conflicts. There was a sense of incompleteness which permeated their lives.They searched for ways out and struggled with their dilemmas, but nothing helped.Before the dream, their fears intensified, and they felt helpless and depressed,having exhausted all possibilities for a resolution.One woman was distressed, because one of her sons was sent into themilitary. She pleaded with the military guards to allow her to see him, but theycould not understand Guajiro. When a neighbor's son died, she obsessively thoughtabout the details of the funeral. Becoming more apathetic, withdrawn, anddepressed, she cried all the time and neglected her chores and appearance. Otherstried to help, but nothing seemed to work.The intense longing, search, struggle, despair, and inability to find a solutionare common themes. Marjasch (1966) described the healing dream of Therese ofLisieux, a Carmelite Sister in the nineteenth century who was desperately trying to2 6adjust to the cloistered life. She was in turmoil because of the conflict between herdesire to be a dutiful sister and her longing to be a priest or martyr. She wished fora dream to bring her peace, but felt that she was not important enough to receiveone. The night of her dream, she experienced an "inner storm that rocked her tosleep" (Marjasch, 1966, p. 158).Marjasch (1966) noticed that these dreams seem to occur when the conflict isexperienced consciously. People waver, and the dream shows the way out of thedilemma. There seems to be a readiness for dreams that have an immediate healingafterwards. People are at their "wit's end" and have "exhausted all the consciouspossibilities" (p. 147).Accounts of creative dream breakthroughs in the arts and sciences describe apreparation period before the discovery where people are working intensely on aproblem (Dreistadt, 1971; Evans, 1983; Harman & Rheingold, 1984; Krippner &Dillard, 1988; May, 1975; Wallas, 1926). The amount of time varies with theproblem and the individual. Some have argued that people obsessively think aboutthe problem before the dream (Evans, 1983). Others have contended that peopleeither continuously think about the problem or experience periods where they arenot consciously focusing on the topic (May, 1975).Some writers have suggested that the necessary pieces of information willsurface in dreams or fantasies when enough pressure has built up within the person(Dreistadt, 1971; Harman & Rheingold, 1984). Many people have remarked thatthey felt exhausted before their dream.After the preparation period, comes a time of incubation when people stoptrying to solve the problem and do other activities such as play or dreaming(Dreistadt, 1971; Harman & Rheingold, 1984; Krippner & Dillard, 1988; May,1975). Some are still working on their problem days before their dream. Others arenot. People are not passive, but receptive during this period.27Insight comes during the illumination period and can occur in the dream orafterwards (Dreistadt, 1971; Harman & Rheingold, 1984; Krippner & Dillard, 1988;May, 1975). During the verification period, the person validates whether thesolution is correct.Although accounts of creative dream breakthroughs have not provided muchinformation about the period before the dream, they have given some description ofwhat people have experienced. Elias Howe, had been trying for several years tocreate the lockstitch sewing machine (Krippner & Dillard, 1988). His mind wasactive both while he slept and while awake. He kept making needles with the holesin the middle which did not work. His project came to a standstill before his dreamoccurred (Krippner, 1981; Krippner & Dillard, 1988).Mendeleev had been struggling with his attempt to categorize the chemicalelements by their atomic weights, but was unsuccessful (Krippner & Dillard, 1988).The night of his dream, he went to bed exhausted after again trying to find answers.Hilprecht, an anthropologist, also went to sleep exhausted after trying tounderstand the writing on two small pieces of agate said to have belonged to thefinger rings of a Babylonian king (Inglis, 1987). One ring had "KU" inscribed on itwhich Hilprecht thought referred to King Kurigalzu (circa 1300 BC). Unfortunately,he only had a simple sketch of the fragments done by the person who had foundthem on an expedition. Unable to decipher the inscription, Hilprecht went to bed.All three of these individuals were working intensely on the problem beforetheir dream. However, sometimes an idea can lie dormant for many years. OttoLoewi, a pharmacologist, had a hunch that electrical impulses do not control theheartbeat directly as was generally thought (Garfield, 1974; Inglis, 1987). He wasunable to think of an experiment to prove his idea. He had put his hunch out of hismind for seventeen years until he had a dream in which he saw the experiment heneeded. Two years before his dream, he had used a similar experiment for another28problem, but had not connected the experiment with his previous idea (Garfield,1974).Some researchers have taught people to induce dream answers through self-suggestion techniques (Delaney, 1979, 1991; Garfield, 1974). People concentrate ontheir problem and ask themselves whether they are ready to let go. They thencreate a statement which specifies what they want to know. The assumption is thatan answer will surface if people desire a solution, work hard at trying to solve aspecific problem, and stir up their emotions. Hoping to find an answer is notenough. Delaney (1979) tested her method for fifteen months on fifteen individuals.The average dreamer was successful in obtaining a relevant and helpful dream eightout of ten times.Although Delaney (1979) concentrated more on inducement procedures thanon the experience, she gave a brief description of some of the people who used hermethod. One man was struggling with the decision to give up art. He was tired ofhis part-time job which gave him little money. The night of his dream he asked if heshould get a full-time job or find another way to continue his art. Another personintensely disliked her teaching job and asked whether she should stay teaching in thepublic school system. She was frustrated, yet worried about financial security if sheleft.Reed (1976) argued that self-suggestion is not enough if researchers want tounderstand the experience of ancient dream incubation. They must replicate theincubation procedures of the ancient Greeks. Because Reed assumed readiness toreceive an answer is essential, he carefully chose only those individuals who had astrong desire to find a solution to their problem. He found that people who had aprevious dream which dealt with the problem were more likely to have an incubateddream. He spent three days helping people prepare for their dream. They wereasked to concentrate on the purpose and meaning of the incubation and to assess29their willingness to let go. Reed also asked people to be humble towards theirlimitations to resolve their dilemma. The incubation ritual should progress fromhard work to surrender thereby freeing the dream "to deal with deeper levels ofsignificance" (Reed, 1976, p. 63).One woman in his study had asthma and wanted to improve her confiningrelationship with her mother which she assumed to be related to her asthma. Shedesired to live on her own, but felt guilty about wanting to be independent. In herprevious dream, she was being held captive in a suffocating house owned by awoman who had recently died. All Reed's (1976) participants were struggling withconflicting ways of solving their problems and did not know how to break free fromtheir situations.Clinicians have noticed that there are some dreams in which change isexperienced within the dream itself (Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriere et al., 1980,Getsinger, 1978; Mahrer, 1989; Marjasch, 1966; Rossi, 1985). "These are specialdreams in which the person actually becomes a substantially different kind ofperson" (Mahrer, 1989, p. 149).Getsinger (1978) wrote about these experiences after a patient told himabout a dream which changed his life direction. Before the dream, the man hadbeen an instructor of Vietnam recruits and had an excellent record in the military.However, he was beginning to question his role in the military, being a black man ina white man's war. After the dream, he became extremely anxious and ended up inthe hospital where Getsinger met him.Rossi (1985) observed that when people experience a dilemma, they go froma sense of well-being to depression. They experience a "Weltschmerz" where thefamiliar way of viewing the world begins to fall apart (p. 3). He argued that peoplemust leave the familiar behind when it is no longer appropriate. There is conflict30between the old and the new until people break away from the old way ofexperiencing.According to Rossi (1985), the main problem for people is their unawarenessof what he calls the growth process. They do not know that they are breaking out ofa limited world view into a newer and better one. Because they are unaware of theprocess, they do not help themselves grow. They are stuck in a battle against thechanges. Feelings of inadequacy can be a signal for change, but if people arenegative to the new, they will stay blocked and move into depression. Rossi (1985)viewed depression as an "initiation of a creative process of self-development" (p. 10).It is a time of incubation, a period where people "work on their foundations" (p. 10).When people become more aware of the new that is developing withinthemselves, they may experience a crisis. The confusion can be intense, and theymay feel out of control and overwhelmed. Feelings and thoughts seem unfamiliar.How self-aware people become will affect the whole process of development. It isduring periods of intense anxiety that "original psychological experiences" can occur(Rossi, 1985, p. 14). Most of these experiences in Western culture occur in dreamsrather than while awake.One of Rossi's (1985) clients, Davina, had many dramatic dream adventures.However, only a few left her with a sense of change when she awoke. When Rossifirst met Davina, she was frightened and overwhelmed by her vivid dreams and scarywaking images which she did not understand. She had recently married and wantedto begin a new life, but her new husband was not spending enough time with her.Feeling abandoned, lonely, and lost, she wondered if her life was falling apart.Davina's dreams revealed feelings of entrapment in the world view of herparents. However, they also revealed changes occurring within herself (Rossi,1985). In her dreams, she began to reflect on her feelings and thoughts which led toawareness and active participation in the dramas. She was not passively reacting to31characters and events. According to Rossi (1985), self-reflection brings a shift inawareness and is the first step in taking an active stance in development. Davinaalso had dreams with spontaneous transformation of imagery where she wouldchange from one feeling state to another or from one character to another. Thesetransformations were also indications that she was changing.Davina resolved a childhood trauma in one of her dreams early in therapy,but she began experiencing many dreams and visions with monsters. She feltoverwhelmed with anxiety and was scared that she was having a nervous breakdown.According to Rossi (1985), she was in "the crisis stage of an unusually intense stageof growth and personality reorganization" (p. 56). The conflict was between herparents' world view and her own emerging adult view.She battled with the monsters in many experiences and finally felt more incontrol of them after a dream of blinding light. In the dream, she knew that shemust stay and face the light, but she woke up too soon. She felt less afraid, but shestill felt terrible and exhausted.According to Rossi (1985), Davina became increasingly aware that the battlewas between aspects of her own mind. She had worked through the separation fromher parents and was now developing her adult self. She was becoming stronger inher dreams and in her waking life. She seemed more poised and determined tomove on. She was writing poetry and began to interact with others and her parentsmore effectively. However, Davina was still feeling impatient, frustrated, anddesperate that she and her husband's relationship was not improving. Both she andher husband were breaking away from their parents and struggling to express theirindividuality, yet both wanted a relationship with each other. Finally, she had adream which she described as the "most wonderful dream I ever had" (Rossi, 1985,p. 110).32Davina had experienced two and a half years of torment. She had searchedfor ways out of her dilemma and had wrestled with the conflict between the old andnew world view. Weighed down by the burden of the struggle, she still persevered.She had her dream shortly before she knew she was pregnant.Corriere et al. (1980) knew from reading accounts of incubation practicesand vision quest experiences that there are some dreams in which substantial changeoccurs. They wanted to have these dreams, but realized that they needed to changehow they were living. They noticed that the way they acted with others was notcongruent with how they felt. When they stopped hiding behind their various rolesand expressed how they felt, chaos resulted. Their chaos could be compared to the"Weltschmerz" described by Rossi (1985). Like Rossi's (1985) client, Davina, theystruggled to understand and break free from the old way of experiencing. They feltterrified, yet also exhilarated that there was an opportunity for a different way ofliving.Slowly their dreams began to change (Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriere et al.,1980). They went from being passive, unexpressive, and unclear with little feelingand contact with others to being active, expressive, and clear with lots of feeling andcontact with other people in the dream. They called these experiencestransformative or breakthrough dreams. They are clear, direct experiences that needno interpretation.Although the purpose of their research was to demonstrate that expression offeeling in waking life correlates with a different way of dreaming, their account ofpeople's experiences before their transformative dreams describes people with anintense desire to live their lives differently (Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriere et al.,1980). Perhaps it was the intense desire and struggle while working on the problemwhich brought these dreams, not the expression of feelings.33For example, one of their colleagues, Dominic was feeling a vaguedissatisfaction with how he was living (Corriere & Hart, 1977). He was a successfultherapist, but desired to be better. Like his colleagues, he was beginning to talkabout his dream feelings which helped him express his feelings more in other areasof his life.A few weeks before his first breakthrough dream, Dominic was retreatingmore into himself (Corriere & Hart, 1977). Everything started to feel dull to him.One night, while lying in bed, he became aware of a presence that was summoninghim to come. Dominic felt terrified that the man could kill him, but was unable tomove. Finally, he was able to yell at the man which brought him out of the dreamstate. He felt safe that "it was just a dream" (p. 19). This dream was the beginningof a three day nightmare leading up to his transformative experience.Flashes of the dream came back that day and Dominic tried to push it out ofhis mind. Never had he felt so terrible. In desperation, Dominic told one of hiscolleagues who encouraged him to dream again. That evening he had a dream inwhich he felt as if he was seeing everything "for the first time" (Corriere & Hart,1977, p. 24). As he walked in the dream, everything became brighter, and he feltmore alive. However, things started to go wrong. The sensations in his bodybecame too intense, out of control. The light was blinding. He "was on the edge ofsome tremendous realization", and he was horrified (p. 25).The next day he felt "unhappy, confused, and disappointed....like there was awar going on inside his head" (Corriere & Hart, 1977, p. 25). He tried to push thefeelings down. Later that evening, he felt restless and sick to his stomach. Duringsleep, he realized he was having the same dream of light, but now there was light inevery direction, and he wanted to get out. He remarked, "I was afraid I was beingchanged into someone who wasn't really me" (p. 28). He knew that someone he wasafraid of was chasing him He fought to wake up, and when he did, he tried to34understand what was happening to himself. He thought about how he was living hislife, but could not figure out what was happening. The dream drifted in and out ofhis awareness all day. Finally, that evening, he had a transformative dreamexperience.According to Corriere and Hart (1977), Dominic was beginning to awaken toa way of experiencing that other cultures have known for centuries. However, thesecultures had traditions to help prepare a person for their dream encounters.Without cultural support, Dominic was scared and confused about what washappening to him. He struggled to push away the experience.Outside of the therapeutic setting only two researchers have asked peopleabout dreams which brought them change. Thomas (1978) did not investigate theexperience of transformative dreams, but asked forty people to describe the mostimportant change they had experienced during the previous seven years which wasinfluenced by a dream or dream series. Using open-ended questions and a probesheet with possible responses people could choose from, Thomas inquired about themain change people experienced, if the change led to any action or decision, and theimportance of the change. According to Thomas, only one of these dreamers had atransformative dream. Without the dream reports and people's description of theexperience before, during, and right after the dream, it is difficult to compare theirdream experiences with others found in the literature.Because Thomas' (1978) focus was dream change, most of his questions weredirected towards the period after the dream. However, he did ask whether peoplehad induced their dreams. Only two people had. Thomas (1978) argued that somepeople may have unconsciously induced their dream, because on the probe sheetthey checked off that they either had "a strong desire for insight", "marked tension oranxiety", or were "consciously brooding" (p. 176).35Thomas (1978) elaborated on one case which served as an "illustrativeexample" of dream change (p. 220). A 64 year old woman spoke of a series oftragedies in her life. She had been physically abused by her mother who died whenshe was eight years old. She was forced to go out and work. Later, her fatherallowed her to live with him, but then sent her away. A few years afterwards, shewas engaged to be married, but she discovered that her fiance had married anotherwoman. She came to Canada and married someone else who later ran off with herbest friend. After a painful eleven years, she went back to Kenya where she and herhusband had spent their honeymoon. She had two dreams there which changed herlife.In another study, Biela (1985) interviewed six people who woke up from theirdream with their problem resolved and one person who resolved her problem threedays later. They described their experiences before, during, and after their dreamswhich were similar to other transformative dreams found in the literature. All sevenfelt a sense of incompleteness or lack due to a dilemma which they could notresolve. One woman had experienced the break up of an engagement and felt "aterrible pain and a sense of feeling imprisoned emotionally" (Biela, 1985, p. 161).Another person could not forgive his teacher for over twenty years and described hispain as being "a wound bleeding" (p. 212).The problem felt like a burden from which they could not escape. Theylonged to get free of the problem and searched for ways out. The intensity of thesearch varied, but the desire was always with them. When thoughts and emotionsaround the problem became too intense, they tried to push them down. This effortcreated a struggle between their desire to contain their feelings and thoughts andtheir longing for a solution. Not knowing how to end the struggle, they felt stuck.For some, the intensity of their desire for resolution was heightened before their36dream. For others, their desire remained constant and felt like "a deep, slowbrooding" (p. 80).Although many reports found in the literature have provided only partialdescriptions of what people experienced, similar themes are evident in the accounts.People were experiencing a sense of incompleteness or lack which gave rise to adesire for completion or resolution of their dilemma. The ancient Greeks, earlyChristians, and Moroccan Jews were lacking a sense of physical well-being andlonged for their health to be restored. First Nations children were lacking theknowledge and power they needed to enter adulthood and wished to meet the"other-than-human" beings who could give them what they needed (Hallowell,1966). Contemporary Western and non-Western dreamers all felt the gap betweenthe way things were and what they desired.From the desire for resolution came a search for answers or ways out theirdilemma. Howe worked hard, trying to discover where to put the hole in the needlefor his lockstitch sewing machine (Krippner & Dillard, 1988). Rossi's (1985) client,Davina, desired an end to her suffering and searched for a therapist to help her.The Pakistani business man longed to live a more spiritual life and searched for histeacher (Ewing, 1990).The search was not an easy one and people wrestled with their emotions andthoughts around their dilemma. Watson and Watson-Franke (1977) described theisolated lives of the Guajiro women who were struggling in the city, living away fromthe social and family supports they once had in the villages. The man who wasunable to forgive his teacher in Biela's (1985) study struggled to push down hisemotions and forget past hurts.People felt weighed down by the burden of their struggle and blocked frommoving forward. The Guajiro woman, lost and helpless, went into a depression andwas unable to do her daily chores (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1977). The ancient37Greeks, early Christians and Moroccan Jews who longed for good health hadexhausted all other forms of help before they turned to their divine benefactors.The atmosphere and preparations at the shrines and sanctuaries instilled a sense ofsurrender and humility so that people would be ready to receive the gift of healing(Bilu & Abramovitch, 1985; de Becker, 1968). The creative dream breakthroughliterature described an incubation period where people surrender their struggle(Dreistadt, 1971; May, 1975). Incubation can occur before the dream or in thedream itself. Loewi was not working on his problem before the dream and had anexceptionally long incubation period (Garfield, 1974; Inglis, 1987). Most, however,did not experience surrender. The agony of their struggle increased, and they felttrapped. Others felt their desire for resolution was constant and did not increase ordecrease before their dream.During the dream.The dreams recorded on the stelae at Epidaurus in Greece reveal a typicalform or pattern (de Becker, 1968; Rousselle, 1985; Stam & Spanos, 1982).Apparently, the god Asklepius would appear in the form of a boy, bearded man, orsnake. He would either do something to the dreamer or tell the dreamer what to dowhen awake. One account describes a man with a paralyzed hand who experienceda dream in which Asklepius "sprang upon his hand and stretched out his fingers"(Stam & Spanos, 1982, p. 16). Another describes a woman blind in one eye who hada dream in which Asklepius "cut the diseased eyeball and poured in some drug"(Stam & Spanos, 1982, p. 16). One woman slept in the temple for her daughter whowas suffering from dropsy. She had a dream in which Asklepius cut off herdaughter's head and hung her upside down in order to drain the fluid (Rousselle,1985). The daughter at home had the same dream.3839All these dreamers were said to have experienced immediate cures within thedream itself. In later centuries, many of the cures were from remedies prescribed indreams. For example, a man with pleurisy was told to get ashes from the alter, mixthem with some wine, and put the mixture on his side (de Becker, 1968). After heperformed this act, he was cured.Although there are no records of how people experienced their dreams, thestelae describe a dreamer who is actively involved in an encounter which seems veryreal, not dreamlike. The images, sequence of actions, and communication withAsklepius seem vivid, clear and direct. Readers of these accounts centuriesafterwards can only assume that people's experience of being healed was anemotionally intense experience.The dreams experienced by Christians who slept at the tomb of St. Martin inthe sixth century were also vivid, clear encounters with a healing personage (deBecker, 1968). Some dreams were short. The saint appeared and simply made thesign of the cross over the part of the body that was diseased. Others were longer.For example, one dreamer had a lengthy illness and was not well enough to sleepnext to the tomb at the alter. Moments after falling asleep, she saw the saint whoreprimanded her for not going to the tomb. The frightened woman showed him thatshe could not walk. Filled with compassion, he gently raised her up and supportedher as she walked proudly to the alter. The chains which bound her legs fell, andthe woman woke up healed.The visitation dreams of the Moroccan Jews have similar themes (Bilu &Abramovitch, 1985). The main feature is also the encounter with the saint whomost frequently appears the way he looks in pictures. In the dream, some kind of atransaction occurs with the saint giving something to the dreamer, taking away anaffliction, or making a request. Many dreams begin with the dreamer notrecognizing the saint. The saint would then be forced to reveal himself in a dialoguewith the person which, according to Bilu and Abramovitch (1985), reinforces thecredibility of the dream. The dreamer also ascends to the saint which is reminiscentof the dream of the sick woman in the Christian church. This theme demonstratesthe asymmetrical relationship between dreamer and saint, but it also shows that thegap between person and saint is lessened with the person now sanctified.In one example, the saint appeared dressed in white with mint leaf handswhich means blessing, fertility, and health. He told her to get up, but she cried outthat she could not because of her headaches and tears from crying for two months.The saint told her that he was there to help her and demanded again that she arisefrom her bed. Holding out his hand, he raised her up. When she awoke the painswere gone.Although Bilu and Abramovitch (1985) did not provide much detail abouthow people experienced their dreams, they noted that the encounter was dramatic,clear, and vivid. The dreams had no bizarre content and were "extensions of wakingreality, forming a bridge between past events and expected future outcomes" (p. 92).The setting of the dream was the same as the waking location.In the vision quest experiences of First Nations peoples in North America,the encounter is with the spirit of an animal or inanimate object. Unlike the healingdreams of the ancient Greeks and Moroccan Jews, the person is not seeking a cure,but seeking strength and entrance into adulthood.Although people were not allowed to talk about their experiences, the formor pattern of the dream has been described. These accounts reveal dreams whichare clear, direct encounters. Hallowell (1966) spoke of the dream of a youngObjibwa boy who saw a man appear and call him grandchild. The man told the boythat he was strong enough to come with him. Then the man danced and turned intoa great eagle. The boy looked down and noticed that he was covered in feathers.The great eagle spread its wings and flew south with the boy flying with him.40Hallowell noted that ability to transform from one being to another is a commontheme which demonstrates through personal experience that the power tometamorphosize described in myths is possible.Hallowell (1966) contended that Ojibwa beliefs are not based on dogma, buton actual personal experiences in dreams and visions. Because individualsexperience "other-than-human" beings, mythic narratives are considered real. Beforethe puberty fast, the individual has heard myths, but now they become personalexperiences.The Dunne-za of Northern British Columbia first meet animals from mythictimes during the vision quest (Ridington, 1979). The children during theseexperiences "have trouble thinking straight" and the animal seems like a person tothem (p. 3). If they drink water, the animal will leave them. Although children havetheir experience when they are between the ages of 8 and 10, the experience recedesinto the background until they assume responsibilities as an adult member of thegroup.Some First Nations people experience a call to become a shaman during thevision quest (Guedon, 1984). Others receive their call when a shaman who has diedappears in a dream. Shamans are socially sanctioned practitioners who can altertheir awareness to contact the spirit world in order to acquire the power to help andto heal others. The dream or vision initiates a transformation in the person'snature. The person is contacted by powers, conquers an illness after contact, anddevelops a relationship with his or her helpers.The Pakistani sufi initiation dream is another example of a dream encounterwith a recognizable content and structure (Ewing, 1990). The dreams usually beginwith some anxiety. The dreamer meets two loving men whom he does not know.Their dress and manner suggest that they are saints. However, their identity isusually not revealed. The men are dressed in white and are busy doing some activity41which the dreamer interprets to be an invitation to join the spiritual life. Thedreamer usually feels a strong love towards these men. The dream feels real and isextremely vivid. After the dream, people remember whole conversations, colors,and tastes of food. There may be some variations, but this structure is the basictemplate.Variations in the structure reflect the different life circumstances of thedreamers (Ewing, 1990). The business man who had longed all his life for aspiritual teacher or "pir" had a dream in which he was inside his basement waitingfor people to arrive for dinner. He was awestruck when he saw two saintly mendressed in white arrive. He knew immediately that these were the people he hadbeen waiting for. The man who would eventually become his teacher asked thedreamer to sit with them and introduced him to the saint as his son. The men fedthe dreamer some food and vanished. The taste of the food filled him with love andyearning, and he ran up the road, yelling and crying for them, because he "knew theywere his life" (p. 62). He then began turning the pages of a telephone book as ifsearching for a number. Over and over he was calling out the name of one of thefounders of the sufi order and continued to do so as he awakened. This second partof the dream reflected the relentless search for his pir that would begin after thedream.The other dreamer who had already met his "pir" and was forced to considerretirement because of his many motorcycle accidents had a dream with a similarstructure. However, some crucial differences reflected his different life situation.The dream did not show the theme of initiation as clearly. The dreamer failed tolook at the second saint who was a major figure in sufi history. He was too absorbedin the man whom he later recognized was his "pir". He also did not eat with themen. According to Ewing (1990), these differences compounded with the differentlife circumstances influenced the effect of the dream afterwards.42The dreams of the Mekeo of Papua New Guinea were also vivid, emotional,active encounters with spirits or people who have died. Although Stephen (1982)did not provide much detail on how people experienced their dreams, she did givesome dream examples. The man who had his dream twenty years before theinterview told Stephen that the spirit of his father-in-law took him to a place whereevil people went after they died. Some of these people were chained and locked up.Others were working hard and were whipped when they slowed down. He was thentaken to another place where he saw good people living happily together in finehouses.The man who was in a coma visited heaven where he met judges who askedhim whether he had committed various crimes. Because he answered truthfully,they let him come back to the living if he mended his ways.The dreamer who had prayed at the bedside of his cousin's wife saw in hisdream two outstretched arms, each holding a picture of the Virgin Mary. A voicetold him to keep one picture for himself and to give the other to the sick woman and"know that Our Lady really lives" (Stephen, 1982, p. 114).Stephen (1982) was surprised at how vivid and emotional the dreams were.She expected these dreams to come from religious visionaries or cult prophets, notfrom "ordinary" people. These dreams suggest that religious beliefs influencepeople's lives, but they are not accepted without question. Each person through hisor her dreams "constructs a private symbolic universe" (p. 120). In times of rapidsocial change and personal crisis, dreams have been one of the ways theMelanesians have received advice.The Guajiro women interviewed by Watson and Watson-Franke (1977) haddreams of spirits who gave them clear commands. The woman who was afraid thather son would die in the military had a dream in which she heard her son's voice callher name. She saw a bearded man who smiled at her and asked her why she was43crying. He told her that she did not have to cry, because her son was not dead andwill come back healthy. He warned her that if she continued to cry, he would eather. She became afraid and hung her head, because she knew he was right.The dreams were clear, vivid, emotional experiences. The women listenedattentively to the spirit in their dreams and felt fear at the end. The dreams clearlyshowed the problem and "the correct sequence of responses to it" (Watson &Watson-Franke, 1977, p. 407). Not all the Guajiro women had dreams in whichspirits appear.Like the Guajiro woman, Therese of Lisieux was in despair before her dreamand longed for resolution of her conflict (Marjasch, 1966). In her dream, she sawthree veiled Carmelite Sisters and knew they were from heaven. She longed to seethe face of one of them who then went over to Theresa and lifted her veil over her.Therese was stunned when she saw that the sister was the founder of the CarmeliteOrder in France. The sister's face was filled with light. She smiled and gaveTherese kisses. Therese then got up her courage and asked if God would call forher soon. The woman smiled again and promised her that it would be very soon.Therese also asked whether God wanted her to do more and whether He wascontent with the way she was. The sister answered with an even more loving faceand embraced her saying that God asks no more of her. He is content, well content.The sister embraced her again "as lovingly as ever mother embraced her child" (p.159).Therese's dream was vivid, clear, and active with intense emotions(Marjasch, 1966). There was a clarity to the storyline which made sense to her.There was a heightened awareness as the dream shifted from anticipation to abodily experienced feeling of being loved and reassured.Creative dream breakthroughs have also been described as vivid, clearexperiences. Some of the dreams have revealed answers directly. Whereas others44have provided answers in symbolic form (Krippner & Dillard, 1988). Not all thedreamers have actively participated in their dreams. The insight people experiencehas occurred in the dreams or afterwards while awake. Some have described thesemoments as lightning bolts where new ideas flash through the mind (Harman &Rheingold, 1984; Krippner & Dillard, 1988). Ideas seem to come with ease as ifinspired by a force outside the self.Howe's dream is an example of an intense emotional drama in which heactively participated (Krippner & Dillard, 1988). Trying to figure out where to putthe hole in the needle of his lockstitch sewing machine, he had a dream in which hewas captured by a tribe whose king yelled at him to finish the machine, or he wouldbe killed. Frightened, Howe intensely tried to find the answer. He broke out in acold sweat, and his hands and legs quivered. The answer would not come. He wasfrustrated and cried out loud. The king then ordered his men to take Howe to theplace of execution. Overwhelmed with fear, Howe noticed that near the head of themen's spears were eye-shaped holes. He suddenly realized that this was the answerhe had been searching for.Hilprecht also experienced a clear, vivid, active drama after he had beentrying to decipher the sketches of the two small pieces of agate thought to be finger-rings belonging to a Babylonian king (Inglis, 1987). A Babylonian priest took him tothe treasure chamber of a temple and told him that the two pieces went togetherand were not finger rings, but earrings which the king had ordered to be made. Thepriest told Hilprecht that if he put the two together, he would discover the answer.He was also told that he would never find the other piece. The priest disappeared,and Hilprecht woke up.Like Howe's dream, Hilprecht's dream was vivid with a clear storyline. Theman also directly communicated with Hilprecht. Hilprecht was actively listening to45the priest's story which was very detailed and seemed to be a clear explanation. Healso woke up when the answer was complete.Mendeleev also had a clear, vivid dream. He saw a table with all theelements in their place (Krippner & Dillard, 1988). Like the other dreamers, hewoke up when he had the answer.Loewi's dream was also short in that he saw the experiment which wouldprove to him that nervous impulses were transmitted chemically (Inglis, 1987). Hewoke up and wrote down a few notes, but could not read his writing in the morning.He knew it was important and experienced the same dream the next night. At 3:00a.m., his idea was there again, and he jumped out of bed to go and perform theexperiment.Most of the examples of induced dreams seem less vivid, direct, and intense(Delaney, 1979; Reed, 1976). However, Delaney (1979) mentioned that induceddreams are clearer and more vivid than most spontaneous dreams and thatproblem-solving is not evident if people merely look at the dream content. Withoutmore information on how people experienced these dreams, it is difficult tocompare them with other examples in the literature.Some of Delaney's (1979) dream accounts were short. Others were morecomplex. The man who wondered whether he should quit his art had a dream inwhich he saw a $20.00 admission ticket to financial well-being (Delaney, 1979). The$20.00 was the amount he charged his students for art classes. He took the dream tomean that he should continue his art, teaching part-time until he finds somethingbetter.The woman who was unhappy with her teaching job had the same dreamtwice. In the dream, she was riding in a car with a friend who was happy in herteaching job. She felt afraid, because she did not know the driver. She then saw abus which went to her school, but did not want to take it. They then went to an46empty parking lot where she saw a new car for herself. Her friend told her that shecould either drive her home, or she (the dreamer) could go in her own new car. Thedreamer again felt fear because of two men there. Her friend mentioned that shecould help the dreamer with the clutch in her new car. The dream report seems flatand devoid of intense feelings evident in other accounts.Delaney (1979) mentioned that some people had induced dreams which wereinspirational and occurred when people were struggling with deep philosophicalissues. Some were intense without sensory images which people described as pureknowing, unity, and harmony with the universe. Others had dreams of importantreligious figures who gave them advice. Little description was provided about theseexperiences before, during, and after the dream.Reed's (1976) examples of induced dreams seem more direct and emotionalthan Delaney's (1979) dreams. Reed (1976) commented that some dreams werevisitations similar to examples of incubated dreams from other cultures. Otherswere less dramatic. The asthmatic woman who lacked confidence and felt guiltyabout leaving her mother had a dream in which an elderly woman presented herwith a beautiful dress and sent her off on an important mission. Another womansaw light coming from outside the tent and go through her body. One personexperienced a strong wind which blew away the tent she was sleeping in. A smallwoman called to her to wake up and pay attention. She told her that she waspreparing her body for death and that the winds were spirits checking her sevenglands. The dreamer was scared, but felt comforted by the woman's authority. Shethen saw a large, glowing tablet with her past and future lives.According to Rossi (1985), most dreams play out the problem in differentways until the dreamer gradually changes perspective. However, in dreams whichbring resolution of the problem, the transformation is in one dream. The dreamershave a "deeply felt experience" of change (p. 165). "The drama of the dream is47structuring or channeling the shattering effect of our intense emotions byrepresenting them in the form of images where they can undergo transformation" (p.146).Jung (1933) also pointed out that some dreams reveal a solution. Thebeginning of the dream shows the scene of the action, characters, and often thedreamer's situation. The plot develops. and there is a culmination where somethingdecisive happens. The structure is similar to a drama.Rossi (1985) argued that in these dreams people self-reflect which bringsawareness. Two or more images of the self interact with the dreamer who is awareof events and actively participates in the drama. This effort influences the person'smood the next day. The person re-experiences and resolves earlier experiences in away that is appropriate to the new level of development.Rossi (1985) described a man who had suffered from epileptic seizures. Inhis dream, he saw his beloved grandfather who had died years before. They wereboth surprised and hugged each other. The dreamer felt ecstatic, but then felt anepileptic fit come over him Instead of getting stronger, it quickly transformed intoa mild and harmonious experience. The man has not had an epileptic fit for tenyears since the dream. Rossi (1985) added that physical healing is evident to othersupon awakening. However, when people experience psychological healing, theirdescription of how they felt after the dream provides the evidence.Getsinger's (1978) patient who was beginning to wonder about his role asinstructor of Vietnam recruits had a dream in which he experienced movement fromcuriosity and wonder in the beginning to a bodily sense of power and ability to takeaction in the outside world in the end. In the dream, he saw his mother polishingshoes outside a church. He then went inside the church which looked beautiful withmany candles. He saw a statue of Jesus as a boy. The dreamer knelt down, and ashe watched, the statue came alive and moved towards him. It was surrounded by48white light and the dreamer felt good and peaceful. It changed from a white to ablack Jesus. The statue then touched him, and the dreamer's white gloves fell awayto reveal his black hands. He then felt a power come over his whole body. He leftthe church feeling happy. He then told his mother to stop polishing, and they bothwalked away.Rossi's (1985) client, Davina, had struggled for over a year with her dilemma.In her dream, she faced the blinding light which she could not do five months beforein another dream. A dark creature from the underworld took her underground intoa cave where she saw a face with emerald eyes that was surrounded by the faces ofmonsters. Blinding light came from the face as it said, "Welcome to the center ofthings" (Rossi, 1985, p. 110). Davina felt awe while it continued to speak, telling herthat she had to go back up and create beautiful things. She needed to write, paint,and have children. Davina cried, because she did not want to leave. The monstersyelled at her and said that they would not hurt her if she did what she was told to do.She was led up outside. It was dawn and the sun was breaking through the mist.She went home.Rossi (1985) called this dream a numinous experience, comparing it to statesof heightened consciousness described in the mystical literature. There was blindinglight, sense of awe, sense of being in the center of some life force, and a feeling ofwell-being or peace. Like many of Davina's other dreams, this one was vivid andclear with Davina actively involved in the drama. However, this dream left her witha sense of change felt within her body upon awakening. According to Rossi, Davinawas able to have enough control to hear the message while experiencing the awe.She was strong enough now to relate to the creative force within her.Corriere and Hart (1977) noticed that in these dreams people experience a"shift in awareness" (p. 37) and a "snapping within the mind" (p. 18). Incompletefeelings from the day are actively expressed by the dreamer and transformed "into49bodily sensations and nonsymbolic images" (Corriere et al., 1980, p. 8). "A dreamwhich moves from distortion to realism, in which the dreamer is active andexpressive and clear and feelingful, is a transformative dream" (Corriere et al., 1980,p. 9). The dream ends with people feeling the shift which stays with them when theywake up. The focus is not on dream content, but on how the dreamer isexperiencing in the dream. The dream is direct, simple, and strong, and is a realisticreflection of the dreamer's feelings. No interpretation is necessary.Corriere & Hart (1977) described their colleague's dream which ended histhree days of torment. In the dream, Dominic "looked around" and nothing wasfamiliar except for the "painful brightness" (p. 30). He felt "ecstatic and terrified" (p.30). It pained his eyes so much that he was unable to see and his eyes watered.Tears came, and he felt as if he "was in a world of sadness" (p. 30). His eyes wereshut, and he began to see many different Dominics, his many roles. As he cried andcried, he felt as if he had come to what he wanted all his life. He felt at home withhimself. His crying felt out of control. He knew that he would "never be the same"(p. 31). He knew he had been running away from himself. As he cried, he becamehappier and happier. He began to laugh, and as he laughed louder, he could feel his"chest expand" and "everything seemed familiar" (p. 31). All his friends were there,and he reached out with open arms, yelling, "Reality. I have found Reality. Reality,welcome to reality" (p. 31).Dominic's dream began where his last dream ended. The dream continuedto shift in feeling until the dramatic change at the end. According to Corriere et al.(1980), "these shifts_ the number of them and their emotional impact_ are whatleave the dreamer (and the reader) with a special feeling about the transformativedream" (p. 7-8).Thomas' (1978) description of the changes people experienced due to adream or dream series did not include dream reports. He spoke about the part of50the dream which related to the change, the most important change peopleexperienced, and how they found the meaning. He provided one case as anexample. The woman who suffered for eleven years after her husband left her wentback to Kenya where they had spent their honeymoon. She had two dreams therewhich ended her pain. In one dream, she was in the sun and saw her husbandlooking peaceful and composed, wearing a beautiful safari outfit. In the seconddream, she was walking with her husband and telling him that there was a womanwho needs his help. They both went to help the other woman, and the dreamerwalked away without any doubts, accepting the situation. The dream "freed herfrom any residual feeling of victimization" (p. 221). The change was the mostimportant one she had ever experienced. Unfortunately, there was not much detailabout how she experienced the dream and her life afterwards.Thomas (1978) defined transformation as a shift from negative to positive,whereas Corriere and Hart (1977) defined it as a shift from a symbol of a feeling toa nonsymbolic feeling within the body. He added that only one of his dreamer's hadwhat Corriere and Hart called a breakthrough or transformative dream in that theyfound the meaning of the dream within the dream itself. He noticed that ten of theforty dreams went from negative to positive feelings which indicated within hisdefinition that transformation was happening in the dream. He added that thisfinding may suggest that some dreams symbolically resolve tension. Some dreamshad shifts which were more subtle.When Thomas (1978) looked at the dream summaries, he noticed that overhalf of the people had dreams with strong negative feelings. Ten more changed theexperience from negative to positive when they worked on the dream afterawakening. He did not mention whether there were shifts from positive to negativein the dreams.51Thomas (1978) provided a table with the feeling shifts in the dreams. Forexample, one woman went from feeling anxious, because no one was carrying herluggage to feeling competent carrying her own luggage. Another person went fromfeeling panic while swimming, because a rubber tube collapsed to feeling competentswimming on her own.Thomas (1978) also noticed that most of the dream experiences weremetaphors. The majority had only one scene which he called scenarios. Thomassuggested that the scenarios could "represent a higher order generalization orsynthesis (p. 113). Unlike Corriere and Hart's (1977) examples which show thedreamers actively participating, some of Thomas' dreamers were passive. Theywere observers or received the actions of others.Thomas (1978) asked his subjects what made them take notice of theirdreams. Most considered feeling to be the most important characteristic. Someused words such as "big", "powerful", "awe", and "wonder" to describe their feelings(p. 126). Other characteristics which people chose were vividness, color, sound, anddream characters.The dreams in Biela's (1985) study compare favorably with Corriere andHart (1977), Corriere et al. (1980) and Rossi's (1985) description of transformativedreams. The images were clear and vivid, and the story coherent. Peopleencountered a significant person in their lives. The encounter felt real which leftthe impression that there had been a visit. The interaction was the focal point of thedream. The dreamers were keenly aware of what was happening. Emotions wereintense and people expressed how they felt. The dreamers did not passivelyobserve, but actively participated and responded. The dreamer's actions directlyaffected the outcome of the story. The end came when the actions, feelings, andthoughts felt as if they were completed. The shift in the end was a felt sense ofchange.52The woman who could not get over the break up of her relationship had adream in which she was standing across from her partner. There was bottomless pitbetween them. She was looking at him, but he was not looking at her. She said toherself that, "Yes, it really is over" (Biela, 1985, p. 162). Suddenly, she found herselfin a car with her partner as the driver. When he put his arms around her in amechanical manner, she felt as if she wanted to fall into them. However, she did notgive in and pulled away saying, "This is enough, enough" (p. 162). She got out of thecar, slammed the door shut, and walked away.The man who could not forgive his teacher for over twenty years had a dreamin which the teacher approached him at a party. He approached with his usual grinand touched the dreamer's left cheek. The dreamer yelled, "How dare you touchme" (Biela, 1985, p. 213). He described his feelings, "Immediately I felt sick to mystomach, a feeling of nausea like I have never had in all my life....and the nauseadrained away, and with the nausea my hatred drained away" (p. 213).The one dreamer who did not experience immediate resolution of theproblem had a vivid, clear dream in which she actively participated, but heremotions were less intense and her encounter with the other person lacked verbalcommunication. However, she did experience a shift in emotions at the end of thedream which brought her a sense of release.All the dreams described in the literature were clear, direct, intenseexperiences which felt real to the dreamers. Many of Reed's (1976) examples ofinduced dreams were similar, but Delaney's (1979) dreams seemed less intense anddirect. All non-Western dreamers and many Western dreamers had encounters withanother person or spiritual figure. Communication was clear and direct. Mostdreamers actively participated in the drama. Meier (1967) noted that the ancientGreeks did not merely witness a cure, but participated in their healing. However,not all the dreamers were active. Some merely saw a clear picture of the solution to53their problem. Delaney's (1979) artist saw $20.00 ticket which stood for the price ofhis art class. Whether the dreamers actively participated or not, they were allacutely aware of what was going on in the dream. The experience was not muddledlike many normative dreams. The only dreams which seemed less clear were someof Delaney's induced dreams which needed interpretation.Emotions, when described, were usually intense. Watson and Watson-Franke's (1977) dreamers were extremely afraid when they met the spirit in theirdreams. Corriere and Hart's (1977) dreamer had three days of frighteningencounters before the final dream. Some of the reports clearly revealed shifts infeeling which Corriere et al., (1980) described. These reports were all dramas inwhich the dreamer actively participated. Not enough description of feelings wasprovided for the dreams in which people merely observed the solution. For thedreamers who experienced physical healing, the bodily felt shift at the end of thedream resulted in a cure. For the others, the shift brought a felt sense of changeupon awakening (Rossi, 1985).After the dream.The dreams recorded on the stelae at Epidaurus in Greece were said to havebrought immediate cures. According to Meier (1967), people no longer werelacking something, but were made whole. The illness, person, and god hadundergone a transformation, making resolution of their dilemma possible.Problems such as blindness, paralysis, lice, worms, and dropsy were gone when theywoke up. No interpretation was necessary. The cure occurred within the dreamitself (de Becker, 1968; Meier, 1967; Stam & Spanos, 1982).Gradually, over the centuries, the cures became less immediate (de Becker,1968). The god Asklepius would apparently provide remedies or perform certainactions in the dream which would be carried out by the dreamer while awake. The54cure would then be immediate. In one dream, Asklepius advised the dreamer to goto the altar, pray, walk across the temple from left to right, put his hand on the altar,and then on his eyes. When the man performed what he had been told, he wascured immediately. The dreams were still clear, vivid encounters. There were nointerpreters in the temples.By the second century, the remedies were still effective, but the cures weregradual (de Becker, 1968). Many individuals slept at the sanctuaries regularly andreceived medical consultations from Asklepius. People dutifully followed the god'sadvice.In Christian churches, some cures were also immediate. Others were gradual(de Becker, 1968). Many people slept at the church of St. Martin for more than onenight if they did not receive a cure or remedy. Gregory of Tours commented thatone woman slept at the foot of the shrine of St. John the Babtist for seven days.Others stayed for months or years.In the visitation dreams of the Moroccan Jews, some people experiencedcures immediately (Bilu & Abramovitch, 1985). Others had to wait to see if therequest would be granted. In these cases, the visitation of the saint in the dreamprovided anticipation of the saint's intervention. According to Bilu andAbramovitch, the dreams provided assurance that the effects of the visit werepositive and brought relief from worry and ambiguity. The morale of people washeightened which in some individuals brought about dramatic relief in theirsymptoms. Bilu and Abramovitch (1985) suggested that these experiences wereexamples of the "self-healing mechanism" which occurred within the context ofreligious practices such as pilgrimages (p. 92).The power acquired during the vision quest experiences in North Americavaried with some people gaining extraordinary powers and becoming shamans. Therelationship with the dream helper shaped much of the person's destiny (Hallowell,551966). The helper would aid the person in hunting and in the case of a healer orShaman, the helper would assist in healing the sick.The meeting of "other-than-human" beings during the vision quest for theOjibwa was considered the most important experience of a person's life (Hallowell,1966). It not only validated the existence of these other beings whom the personwould depend on for the rest of his life, but brought knowledge and power that gavethe boy confidence to face life's responsibilities. Their encounter was considered agift or blessing, and the boy had certain obligations to follow afterwards.For the Dunne-za in British Columbia, when children are on the quest forover a week, the parents start to worry (Ridington, 1971). The fathers begin to lookfor their children and dream about where they are. The animal spirit tells thechildren that their parents are worried and that he better take them back. Theanimal spirit then takes them close to home, so the parents can find them. Dunne-za children who return from their vision quest have trouble talking to humans atfirst. They cannot tell anyone of their experience.After the vision quest, the child does not have a full understanding of whathas happened (Ridington, 1971). The experience lies dormant until the childbecomes an adult with family and group responsibilities. These dreams of earlymaturity are special, because the medicines are shown to them "with the clarity ofwisdom that adds a new direction to the innocence of childhood and to theillumination of the vision itself' (Ridington, 1971, p. 123)In these dreams, they see themselves out in the bush as children and realizethat the mythic stories told to them since childhood are about them (Ridington,1971). Knowledge experienced in dreams links them to "a level of absolutecertainty" (p. 123). The significance of events are revealed in dreams and theimagery experienced is considered a gift. Songs communicate the imagery of thedream. The song is the main symbol of the medicine dream and is given to people56by their medicine animal. In the dream, people also learn how to put together amedicine bundle which contains objects that represent powers of the mythicanimals. They also are shown what foods and situations to avoid. Others will thensee that the person "knows something" (p. 124). Before, the young person sensedthat he knew the medicines, "but now he knows what they mean" (p. 123).There are certain people in the Dunne-za society who not only dream aheadon their own hunting trails, but dream ahead for the whole group (Ridington, 1988).These individuals are called Dreamers or prophets. Like the Swan, their culturehero, these individuals can go to the land of the dead and back in the same body."Ordinary" people dream back to their vision quest. Dreamers dream back to dyingand coming back. They can leave their bodies and follow a song which takes themto heaven. Dreamers can bring back songs from relatives in heaven. They wake upfrom the experience with the song and do not forget it.According to Ewing (1990), dreams have the most potential to transform anindividual in cultures which recognize a particular dream structure as beingimportant. The person recognizes the importance of the experience which can"become a node around which a nascent self-representation" is developed (p. 57).However, in Pakistani sufi initiation dreams, the extent of the transformationdepends on the dreamer's relationship with the spiritual teacher or "pir" afterwards.The new self-representation acquired in the dream may develop and becomeconsolidated in social interactions, or it could fade away if not reinforced.The two dreamers Ewing (1990) interviewed reacted differently after theirdreams. The man who had longed for a spiritual teacher all his life and foundhimself searching frantically for the saint's telephone number in the dream woke upstill saying the saint's name over and over. He was still immersed in the dream. Hehad the dream in 1946 and searched until 1958 for the "pir" in the dream. When hefinally saw his "pir", he knew instantly that this was his teacher. The man felt the life57drain out of him when the "pir" smiled and said, "You have taken a long timecoming, but you are here" (p. 63). The man embraced the "pir's" feet and began"sobbing his heart out" (p. 63). The "pir" told him to cook a meal and give the foodto someone who needs it. The man interpreted this command as confirmation ofthe relationship between this "pir" and his dream.According to Ewing (1990) this man had longed for a spiritual teacher, buthe could not clearly define his thinking until after the dream. His search becamemore directed. Meeting the "pir" was a public expression of his dream, and thecommand propelled him into an even more public act, becoming this "pir's"successor. The conflict between his public Western businessman self and privatespiritual self was reconciled. His dream narrative was part of a story which acted asa structure for a self-representation and furnished him with a scenario when herelated to others as a sufi.The other business man who had suffered in motorcycle accidents andalready knew his "pir" at the time of the dream had a different experienceafterwards. He formed a strong therapeutic bond with his "pir", but acted on hisdream intellectually by doing research. The failure of the dream was not evidentimmediately. For years, the dream had potential, but when he was not chosen to bethe "pir's successor, the dream faded away. When Ewing (1990) interviewed himlater, she noticed that his conversation was filled with disappointment and sadness."The promise of that dream was not realized" (p. 68).Although his actions in the dream were slightly different from the actions ofthe other dreamer, this difference compounded with the different situation and hisreactions afterwards may have influenced the effect of the dream. According toEwing (1990), researchers need to look at how the person acts on a dream and itsconsequence.58The Mekeo dreamers in Papua New Guinea also woke up with a certaintythat was not present before their dreams (Stephen, 1982). The influence of theirdreams lasted. The man who dreamt that his father-in-law showed him heaven andhell explained that the dream confirmed to him that Christian teachings regardingthe fate of the soul were true. However, the dream also convinced him that theChristian description of hell as being a fiery place was not correct. He combined hisexperience in the dream with the Christian teachings to form his own idea of theafterlife.The man who was in a coma for two days before his dream was deeplyshaken by his journey to the land of the dead where he met the judges who told himthat he could go back to life if he changed his ways. The man woke up certain thathe had to change his ways or face eternal damnation.The young man who prayed by the bedside of his cousin's wife woke upfeeling relieved and happy. He knew immediately that God had given back thewoman's soul and that she would get better. The woman's temperature was back tonormal and her hemorrhaging had stopped. A few days later, she returned home.Since that dream, the man has been able to cure many people.These vivid, clear, and intense dreams given by the spirit world compelpeople to act on their experiences. For these dreamers, the dreams were real. Theexperiences were more intense and vivid than waking reality and left a lastingimpression that has not wavered. The insight was immediate and no interpretationwas necessary.Stephen (1982) remarked that the Mekeo, like most people, do not regard alldreams as being significant. Most dreams are meaningless and unimportant, beingmerely preoccupations of trivial issues encountered during the day. "It is thus theunexpected dream, which lingers in the waking mind with a disturbing or59pleasurable clarity, that is likely to be of significance" (p. 107). The dream canbecome a guide and assist them in future actions.Like the dreams of the Mekeo, the dream encounters of the Guajiro womenin Venezuela left these women with a certainty that compelled them to act on themessage (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1977). The woman who was depressed andworried about her son in the army was frightened by the spirit who said that hewould eat her if she did not stop crying. She knew by his warning and good advicethat he was a particular kind of spirit called a "yohula", and she was too scared tocontinue crying. She felt better immediately, but in the weeks that followed sheneeded to cry and went to a place where people cry for the dead. She took pleasurein the thought "that she had cheated the spirit in this way" (p. 400). However, shebegan to wonder whether the spirit was Christ and slowly accepted that her son wasaway. She went back to her normal life which was not possible before the dream.Watson and Watson-Franke (1977) pointed out that these dreams were seenas commands from a higher authority. The experiences were communications fromspirits who are considered real and are from a larger reality which concerns the soul.This reality, usually hidden from the person, contains insights that provide solutionsto problems which people cannot resolve. They experience immense relief fromtension.After Therese had her dream encounter with the founder of the Carmeliteorder, she felt immediate relief, as if a great weight had been lifted from her(Marjasch, 1966). She felt the sister's touch for days. Her intense struggle was over,and she felt a certainty that she had never experienced before. She no longerbelieved there was a heaven. She knew. She also felt protected and loved. Theresethought of her dream as "a prelude to greater graces" which would be given to her(p. 159). A year later, Therese of Lisieux died, eight years after entering theCarmelite order. Twenty-eight years after her death, she was canonized by the60Catholic Church. Lisieux is now a shrine where people make pilgrimages to ask forTherese's help.The creative dream breakthroughs experienced by Howe, Hilprecht,Mendeleev, Loewi, and many others also left them with a solution to their problemthat they did not know before their dream. When they woke up, they knew thatsomething extraordinary had happened to them. Some have described the momentof illumination as "a flash of lightening" (Harman & Rheingold, 1984, p. 27). Theinsights "seem to flow into them in a stream or bubble up from a source" (Harman &Rheingold, 1984, p. 27).Howe jumped out of bed and created a model of the needle he saw in hisdream (Krippner & Dillard, 1988). This dream brought to an end years of workwhich resulted in the invention of the lockstitch sewing machine.When Hilprecht woke up from his dream in the middle of the night, he toldhis wife, so he would not forget it. In the morning, he put the sketches of the twopieces together as the priest in the dream told him to do. Although there were someletters missing, he could see that the inscription read, "To the god Ninib, son of Bel,his Lord, has Kurigalzu, pontifex of Bel presented this" (Inglis, 1987, p. 37). Twoweeks later, he saw the actual pieces which verified his discovery.Mendeleev knew when he woke up that the table of elements was the answerhe needed to complete his categorization of the elements by their atomic weights(Krippner & Dillard, 1988). Like Hilprecht, he had to verify his dream insight.However, in Mendeleev's case one element was incorrectly placed in the dream. Hewrote out the table he saw in his dream, changing the place of the one element.Loewi could not read what he had written down the first time he had thedream (Garfield, 1974; Inglis, 1987). The second night, he jumped out of bed andperformed the experiment which confirmed his hunch from seventeen years before.61The results formed the foundation of his theory of the chemical transmission ofnervous impulses. Sixteen years later, he received the Nobel prize for this theory.Some of the dreamers who woke up from their induced dreams had theiranswers immediately (Delaney, 1979). The struggling artist who dreamt of the$20.00 ticket was aware in the dream that it referred to the money he gets fromteaching art classes. He knew immediately that he should continue teaching tosupport his art. He also interpreted the dream to mean that better opportunitieswould come if he continued. A year and a half later, his classes had more studentswhich gave him more money.Others had to think about the dream and its relevance to the problem inorder to understand what the dream was trying to tell them. However, according toDelaney (1979), because these dreams were induced, people were more motivatedto discover their meaning and use the information. Both Delaney and Reed (1976)remarked that induced dreams are usually relevant to the person's problem. Forexample, the woman who hated her teaching job and asked about what she shoulddo thought the incubation did not work. When she asked the same question againtwo nights later, she received the same dream. She had not experienced a recurringdream since she was a child. After discussing the dream in Delaney's dream group,she interpreted the dream to mean that she could either go with her friend who ishappy in the school system, or strike out on her own. This last option was toofrightening.Reed (1976) found that people usually had a dream after they participatedin the incubation procedures if they had experienced a prior dream which related tothe issue. Some of the participants experienced immediate relief and renewal afterthey woke up. Others did not feel relief, but had dreams which gave them insightinto their problem.62Reed (1976) mentioned that some dreams provided symbols which inspiredpeople. The woman with asthma who dreamt of the perfect dress began workingaway from home and was not taking as much medication. She said she was moreconfident in many situations, because she imagined herself wearing the dream dress.Reed (1976) added that all the dreams resulted in gradual changes. Hepointed out that the benefits from the dreams needed to be patiently cultivated tobring about changes in their lives. Many of the dreamers commented that theirdreams have subtly changed. Their dreams seem more responsive and seem toprovide them with guidance in applying some of the insights of the incubated dream.According to Rossi (1985), evidence that a psychological problem has beenresolved in a dream is found in people's reactions when they wake up. Getsinger's(1978) patient who met the black Jesus in the church felt that he had a personalexperience of God. The dream confronted him with his own inner tensions towardsthe military which then led to confusion and anxiety. He was hospitalized andreceived therapy. The dream experience helped him become aware that he was inthe wrong profession. He left the military and became employed successfully inanother occupation.When Rossi's (1985) client, Davina, woke up from her dream in which shewas taken to "the center of things", she felt "very good and alive" (p. 110). Sheremarked that "the memory of the face has a calming feeling on me. The face waslike God. I seem to see that face in the sky at night in the lights" (p. 110). Sheadded that it was the most wonderful dream of her life. She called it "an assertivedream of what I am or what I have to do" (p. 110). She described the insight.If I don't violate my nature something will always watch over me. It'sa guiding life force or spirit. As long as I'm honest and open it will bethere and it works even in my deepest despair. It was there and nowall is well. Separateness from my (parental) family does not botherme now. I feel different, very whole (p. 110).63Rossi (1985) noted that changes occurred in Davina's outward behavior,whereas before the changes were not noticeable. She was able to express theexperience in her outside world. She began to experience a rush of creativity whichwas expressed in writing and painting. She related better to others. Her marriageand family relationships were filled with warmth and support. She also becamepregnant at the time of the dream. She knew that life would bring more problems,but she felt able to deal with them. Twelve years later, Davina called Rossi to tellhim that her life continued to grow richer and fuller.Corriere and Hart's (1977) dreamers also woke up with a felt sense ofchange. The shift experienced at the end of the dream brought change uponawakening. People experienced a release of tension and a change in the way theyviewed their world. The dream had such force that people did not go back to theirusual way of experiencing. When their colleague, Dominic, woke up, he feltwonderful and called his girlfriend right away to tell her his experience. He was sohappy to be close to her again. "Feeling 10 years younger", he went to work earlyand reached out to everyone (p. 34). Corriere and Hart (1977) pointed out that, likethe First Nations dreamers who had experienced a vision quest, there was aresponsibility for people to live out the experience. People must express theirfeelings in waking life, so they do not become hidden again.Thomas (1978) did not ask people to describe what they experiencedimmediately after the dream. However, he did ask people how long and what stepsthey took to discover the meaning, whether the meaning came gradually orsuddenly, what the most important change was, and whether they think the changeswould have occurred without the dream.One person found the meaning within the dream, and half found the coremeaning within four hours. The others took more than four hours. Some took days.6465Four mentioned that they were still discovering more about the dream at the time ofthe interview.The meaning was found suddenly for some and gradually for others. Somedreamers found out what the dream meant in two stages with the core meaningcoming first. Other people mentioned that their reflection was ongoing. Half of thepeople had professional help with finding the meaning.Most people stated that changes in attitudes, values, psychologicalfunctioning, and spirituality were the most important internal changes. The mostimportant external changes occurred in people's relationships with others followedby changes in job, residence, and life style. Most people said the change was asimportant or more important than others in their life.Although the dreamers in Thomas' (1978) study expressed that their changeswere important, without a description of what they experienced before, during, andafter the dream, it is impossible to assess whether they experienced a transformativedream.In Biela's (1985) study, all the people woke up stunned with the realizationthat something extraordinary had happened to them. Six of the seven experiencedimmediate resolution of their problem. They felt a sense of release whichcontrasted with the heaviness they felt before the dream. The dream gave theminsight into their dilemma, but it also broadened their perspective on life. Peopleused words such as "spiritual", "rejuvenation", and "healing" to express how they felt.Although people tried to describe what had happened to them, they found itdifficult to find the words to accurately express their feelings.The woman who broke away from her ex-fiance in the dream remarked, "Icannot think of any other dream where I have awakened with an immediateemotional release without thinking about it" (Biela, 1985, p. 108).The man who felt sick to his stomach when his teacher touched him couldstill feel the touch on his cheek when he woke up. His hatred was gone, and he feltthe touch for days afterwards. He recalled, "I was now totally disinterested in thisman, like I could [sic] have cared less. It was finished" (Biela, 1985, p. 213).The dreamer who did not resolve her problem immediately felt puzzled andthought about her dream for three days. She went over the sequence of actions andimagery, knowing that the dream referred to her problem of infertility. Feeling asense of relief at the end of the dream, she wondered why she threw baby shoes anda clock at pregnant women who were marching in a parade below her window. Atthe end of three days, she realized that the dream was telling her to let go of heryears of longing to become pregnant. She immediately burned all her pregnancybooks. During the interview, she commented that "a weight had been lifted. I wasfree. I got myself back, and it was right, and it was enough. A solution had beenfound to the problem" (Biela, 1985, p. 123). After the burning, she had more energyand applied for adoption which she was unable to do before. What the othersexperienced right after the dream, this dreamer experienced three days later.Most of the people described in the literature woke up free of their problem.These dreamers felt a certainty that their dilemma was over. The people whosought physical health were cured of their problem. Those who experiencedpsychological anguish were free of their torment.Some accounts gave more description than others and wrote of the lingeringpresence of the dream. The Pakistani business man could still taste the food thesaintly man fed him in the dream (Ewing, 1990). Theresa could still feel the touchand warmth of the founder of her Carmelite order (Marjasch, 1966). The shift infeeling at the end was with them when they woke up. They had a bodily felt sense ofrelease and lightness. Stunned by the dream, there was a sense of awe and wonderthat something extraordinary had happened to them.66Dreamers who were given commands felt compelled to act on them(Stephen, 1982; Watson & Watson-Franke, 1977). The ancient Greeks who did notexperience immediate healing followed the advice of Asklepius and were then cured(de Becker, 1968). The Mekeo dreamer who was told by the judges in the afterlifeto mend his ways felt compelled to follow their orders or he could return to hell(Stephen, 1982). The Ojibwa children felt obliged to follow the commands given tothem by "other-than-human" beings during their vision quest (Hallowell, 1966).Immediately after awakening, people felt a sense of lightness and freedom.There was excitement that they were released from the bondage of their problem.They were not merely free of their problem, but also felt whole and complete.Some described their world as being more expansive (Biela, 1985). Theresa feltlove and compassion for everyone after she felt the unconditional love from thefounder of her order (Marjasch, 1966). Corriere and Hart's (1977) dreamer wasecstatic and began reaching out to others, whereas before he felt closed and heldback.Most of the Western dreamers who induced their dreams did not wake upwith their problem resolved. Although Reed's (1978) examples seemed moreintense and vivid than those described by Delaney (1979), his dreamers also did notexperience immediate resolution. Thomas' (1978) dreamers did not induce theirdreams, but only one discovered the solution to the dilemma immediately. All of hissubjects mentioned that their change was as important or more important thanothers they had experienced. However, without a description of their experienceimmediately after the dream, it is unclear whether they experienced a bodily feltsense of change. These dreamers commented that they noticed the dream becauseof the intense feelings Perhaps some of these people experienced a change withintheir dream without the immediate resolution afterwards.67A felt sense of change for some dream experiences may come beforeawareness of meaning. Biela's (1985) one dreamer who did not experienceimmediate resolution did experience a shift at the end of the dream which brought asense of release. More research needs to be conducted on dreams which do notresolve the problem immediately in order to understand how resolution occurs.Limitations of Existing ResearchThe experience before, during, and after the dream which brings resolutionof a dilemma is part of an unfolding story. People move from a sense ofincompleteness and lack to a sense of wholeness and resolution. A dream reportwithout people's experiences before, during, after the dream tells only part of thestory.A description of the dream experience which reveals an answer to a personaldilemma must be viewed within the context of an individual's life. This statementpresupposes that an understanding of the dream experience cannot be acquiredwithout understanding the personal, social, and cultural realities in which the personlives. The way the person perceives and experiences is essential in order tounderstand the meaning of the dream.The importance of understanding individuals in context has been espousedby many researchers (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Guedon, 1984; Gould, 1978; Goulet,1987; Herdt, 1987; Hunt, 1989; Lerner et al., 1983; Mishler, 1986; Nelson, 1983;Preston, 1975; Ridington, 1988; Tedlock, 1987). These researchers have argued thattaking a phenomenon out of context neglects how people understand themselvesand their experiences and ignores how their understanding is related to theirpersonal, social, and cultural situation. Decontextualization leads to errors anddistortions, resulting in a misinterpretation of the data.6869Most dream research has been quantitative with minimal attention given tothe meaning of the dream for the dreamer. The emphasis has been on manipulationand control rather than experience. For example, laboratory researchers wholooked for evidence of problem-solving in dreams which were induced did not takeinto account the motivation of their dreamers and the relevance of the problem(Cartwright, 1979; Dement, 1974).When researchers outside the laboratory have tried to induce dreams whichprovide answers to pressing problems, the emphasis has been on inductionprocedures (Delaney, 1979, 1991; Garfield, 1974; Reed, 1976). Delaney andGarfield assumed that self-suggestion can create the proper conditions for problem-solving to occur. Reed, however, cautioned that not enough is known about theseexperiences to assume that only self-suggestion is involved in their creation. Thereseems to be a readiness to surrender the struggle with the problem. Merely willingthe dream may not result in a desired experience.Researchers who looked for evidence of problem-solving in dream narrativeshave given minimal attention to the meaning of the experience for the dreamers(Baylor & Deslauriers, 1989; Greenberg, 1987). Without an account of the meaningof the experience, it is unclear how these dreams are different from or similar todreams which people experience as resolving a personal problem.Hunt's (1989) example of his own dream in which he experienced resolutionto a personal dilemma was a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end.The dream was not merely an action sequence. It was the element of surprise orshift at the end which completed what came before. Hunt urged researchers to lookat both dream storiness and experience of the dreamer in order to understanddreams. Most dream narratives are merely action sequences. Perhaps some dreamsin which people experience resolution of a problem are complete stories.Accounts of the creative dream breakthroughs have focused on the phases ofthe creative process, dream content, and the creative product rather than on themeaning of the dream for the individual. The experience before, during, and afterthe dream has not been described in detail.Naturally occurring dreams in the West have mainly been reported in theclinical literature (Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriere et al., 1980; Getsinger, 1978;Marjasch, 1966; Rossi, 1985). There have been few investigations of these dreamsoutside the context of therapy. Biela (1985), Ewing (1990), and Watson andWatson-Franke (1977) have provided the most comprehensive description ofdreams which resolve problems. Ewing was the only researcher who looked at bothdream structure and the dreamer's experience. However, she was studying sufiinitiation dreams which have a particular culture pattern. Most of the dreamers inthese studies resolved their problem immediately. Little is known about the dreamwhich does not bring immediate resolution.In non-Western cultures the clear, direct dream which is curative, prophetic,or spiritual has been valued as more important than the dream needinginterpretation (Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriere et al., 1980; Hunt, 1989). Mostnormative dreams have been considered mere reflections of mundane dailyactivities and therefore of little importance.In the West, the least valued dream in other cultures has become the mostresearched (Hunt, 1989). This imbalance has engendered a belief thattransformative dreams rarely occur in modern Western cultures. However, thisassumption is misguided (Corriere & Hart, 1977; Corriere et al., 1980; Hunt, 1989).Explanations for their occurrence in other cultures are put forth rather than effortspent on understanding the meaning of these experiences for those who haveexperienced them. Transformative dreams have been explained away as products of70culture, self-suggestion, hypnosis, or a mind that is no longer bicameral (Gould,1978; Jaynes, 1976; Stam & Spanos, 1982).A major gap exists in the literature related to transformative dreams whichdo not bring immediate resolution of a problem. The way people have been able totransform their dilemma from a sense of incompleteness and lack to a sense ofcompletion and resolution remains unanswered. The purpose of this study was tounderstand the meaning of a transformative dream for people who do notexperience immediate resolution of their problem. An exploration of theexperience before, during, and after the dream was conducted as well as aninvestigation of the structure of the dream story and how it relates to the lifecontext. A study of the naturally occurring dream helps address the gap betweendream research and practice (Fiss, 1983). The majority of research has beenconducted in controlled conditions with a focus on only a few variables.Practitioners, helping individuals who are struggling with personal dilemmas, workwith the "whole" person who lives within a particular context. There is a need formore information on how dreams assist in the process of personal change in thedaily lives of "ordinary" individuals.Approach of the Present InvestigationTo answer the question, "What is the meaning of a transformative dream forpeople who do not experience resolution of their problem immediately?", aqualitative method which explores the meaning of an experience for people whohave lived the phenomenon was chosen. A variety of methods emphasize meaning,but one of the most rigorous is existential-phenomenology (Cochran & Claspell,1987; Valle & King, 1978). Existentialism is a philosophy which attempts tounderstand human beings within the context of their lives. Phenomenology is a71method which allows researchers to investigate a phenomenon as it is lived (Valle &King, 1978).Existential-phenomenology attempts to understand the structure or patternof human experience using descriptive techniques (Valle & King, 1978). The aim isto begin with individual accounts and work towards a common pattern whichreflects each person's experience of the phenomenon. The common pattern is like amelody which is recognizable despite a change of key or instruments (Valle & King,1978). The relationship of the notes to the whole remains the same.Although existential-phenomenology is rigorous in identifying parts, itbecomes more problematic when developing a common pattern (Cochran, 1989;Cochran & Claspell, 1987). Narrative provides the form that existential-phenomenology lacks.In this study, existential-phenomenology was conducted from the perspectiveof a story. The terms "story" and "narrative" were used interchangeably to mean anorganizational scheme which organizes human experience into a meaningful wholewith a beginning, middle, and end (Polkinghorne, 1988). A brief discussion of thebasic assumptions and procedures of existential-phenomenology are presented first,followed by a discussion of the narrative perspective and its contribution toexistential-phenomenology.Existential-phenomenology.Existential-phenomenology claims that individuals are not separate fromtheir world. People live within a context, and it is from this contextualized worldthat the meaning of existence emerges. The everyday experience as lived byindividuals is their "life-world" or "Lebenswelt" and is the starting point forresearchers and the basis of all knowledge (Giorgi, 1970; Valle & King, 1978).72The experience of the individual rather than the world as interpreted byscience and theory is the source of information for the existential-phenomenologist(Valle & King, 1978). The aim is to explore pure phenomena prior to interpretationor reflective thought (Husserl, 1970). Prereflective experience is prior to language.Existential-phenomenology assumes that people "can have experience prior tothinking about it and organizing it according to the categories of language"(Polkinghorne, 1988, p. 27).In order to understand what a person has experienced, the researchersuspends preconceptions regarding the phenomenon. However, this stance assumesthat it is possible to have "pure observation" without interpretation or context. Inpractice, existential-phenomenologists explicate their preconceptions in order tobecome more sensitive and open to the phenomenon throughout the whole researchprocess. Questions are also formulated from these presuppositions. Explicatingassumptions is the first task for the researcher. In existential-phenomenology, tasksare the research procedures which maintain rigor in constructing a description ofthe phenomenon (Cochran & Claspell, 1987).When this study began, existential-phenomenology was chosen because of itsrigor in identifying parts of a phenomenon, not because all its assumptions wereendorsed. This method was used even though the assumption that there can beexperience prior to language was not accepted. It became clear soon after the studybegan that the investigation was moving towards a narrative approach whichassumes that language is not only involved in thinking about experience, but it isalso involved in its creation (Merleau-Ponty, 1962). The movement towards anarrative approach will become clearer in the pages which follow.After the explication of preconceptions, the researcher selects people whohave experienced the phenomenon. Each person must be able to articulate their73experience and have enough distance in time between the interview and theexperience in order to have gained perspective on what has happened.In existential-phenomenology, participants in a study enter into a dialoguewith the researcher in order to explore the meaning of the experience. They worktogether "without divisiveness of social or professional stratifications" (Colaizzi,1978, p. 69). Their dialogue takes place in a trusting relationship which allowspeople the opportunity to speak freely about their experience. The participants areasked to describe their experiences, and the researcher actively listens, checking forunderstanding and asking for clarification and elaboration.The next task is analyzing the transcribed interviews. There are variousmethods in existential-phenomenology. This study follows the one developed byColaizzi (1978) which will be briefly outlined here and more thoroughly described inthe next chapter. After the transcripts are read, significant statements or phraseswhich directly relate to the experience are extracted. These statements are placedtogether according to whether they refer to the experience before, during, and afterthe dream. The meaning of the statements are formulated, always keeping in mindthe context of the transcripts. These meanings are compared with those from othertranscripts and formed into common clusters or themes. Once formed, theresearcher goes back to the original transcripts to check for any distortions oromissions. The themes are then woven into a description which reflects theexperience of all the participants. The description and common themes are takenback to the participants for validation and any modifications.As stated previously, existential-phenomenology is rigorous for identifyingthemes, but lacks the form which narrative can provide. A description of thenarrative perspective is presented below.74Narrative.Unlike existential-phenomenology which claims that prelinguistic experiencedoes exist, the narrative perspective asserts that language and experience cannot beseparated (Polkinghorne, 1988). Human existence is immersed in a personal andcultural realm of meaning which is not static, but is continually expanding as peopleencounter new experiences and reconstruct old ones (Polkinghome, 1988).Language is the medium through which experience is constructed. One of the mainways language makes experience meaningful is through the configuring of the givensof existence into narrative form (Polkinghome, 1988).Narrative is an organizational scheme expressed in story form and is both aprocess of constructing a story and its result (Polkinghome, 1988). People in allcultures have made sense of their experience through narrative (Bruner, 1990;Cochran, 1989; Miller & Moore, 1989; Ochberg, 1988; Polkinghorne, 1988;Richardson, 1990; Ricoeur, 1984-1986; Robinson, 1981; Sarbin, 1986; Shotter, 1990).One of the most fundamental aspects of human experience is temporality(Polkinghome, 1988; Richardson, 1990). People do not experience time as merely aseries of instants, but as awareness of the past and future in the present (Husserl,1964). Experiences become understandable through their temporal positions andtheir role in a meaningful whole (Richardson, 1990). The correlation between theactivity of telling a story and the temporal quality of experience is not an accident,but a cross-cultural form of necessity (Ricoeur, 1984-1986).The plot, the syntax of narrative discourse, is the organizing theme whichtransforms a series of events into a whole by identifying their significance in relationto the development and outcome of the story (Polkinghorne, 1988). The plot is notimposed on an independent set of events, but is created by moving back and forthfrom plot to event until there is a best fit (Polkinghorne, 1988). Best fit does notmean there is only one plot for a set of events. The same set of events can have75different plots, depending on the individual and the culture. The act of plotting oremplotment is so pervasive that individuals are usually unaware of its operation(Polkinghome, 1988).According to Cochran (1989, 1990), the beginning and end of a story ideallyform an opposition. The beginning is characterized by a gap between what is andwhat ought to be. The person has a sense of incompleteness and desires an end towhat was aroused in the beginning. The sense of incompleteness can be negative orpositive, but in both situations incompleteness creates a yearning for completion.The desired end, however, may differ from the actual end. During the story,the end can only be anticipated, not predicted. There are two story lines: (a) theintention of the main character, and (b) what actually occurs. In the first story line,the intention of the main character provides direction or a line of movement. Theindividual seeks an end to what was aroused in the beginning. The second story lineis what actually occurs. When the person's line of intent and the actual line ofaction converge, the person is optimistic and content. However, when there is adifference between the two story lines, tension is created.All people and events which facilitate or hinder movement towards the endare relevant. However, because the end can only be anticipated while the story isunfolding, relevance and significance could change. The person's intent determineswhat is significant and relevant, but the actual line of action may lead the persontowards a different end than what was desired. What was once important couldbecome insignificant in the end. Something or someone who seemed unimportantcould become an essential part of the story. The opposition between the beginningand the actual end, not the desired end, organizes the story and determines what isrelevant and significant.The researcher explores the meaning of the story within a context known asthe hermeneutic circle (Howard, 1982). This concept describes the relationship76between the parts and the whole. To understand the part, the researcher needs tohave a sense of the whole or context. Similarly, to understand the whole, one needsto comprehend the parts of which it is composed. The researcher begins by enteringthe circle. Hermeneutic understanding becomes "a constant back and forth ordialectical process" (p. 10).The problem for the researcher is to construct a story that is sound andtrustworthy (Cochran, 1989). Existential-phenomenological research procedurescan provide the rigor for identifying the individual themes of an experience, andnarrative can provide the form which existential-phenomenology lacks.Narrative form influences the investigation from beginning to end. As statedpreviously, the first task of the researcher is the explication of preconceptions. Oneassumption is that the dream is experienced as part of an unfolding story of thedilemma. A question which follows from this assumption would ask how thedilemma began, how it ended and what happened to move the story from beginningto end (Cochran, 1989). From these questions, more follow as the dialogue betweenparticipant and researcher progresses during the interview.The selection of participants for the study is also informed by the narrativeperspective. People must have enough distance from their dilemma in order tounderstand the meaning of the beginning, middle, and end of the story as a whole.The relevance and significance of experiences change when a person becomes aspectator looking back rather than being immersed in the story while it is unfolding(Cochran, 1989). There is no specified number of months between dream andinterview. However, people interviewed in a previous study had a sense when thestory was not finished (Biela, 1985).According to Mishler (1986), interviews with standardized questions andways of analyzing the answers ignore the context of a people's lives and suppress thetelling of stories. He proposed an alternative way of interviewing based on narrative77theory of discourse which assumes that "narratives are one of the natural cognitiveand linguistic forms through which individuals attempt to order, organize, andexpress meaning" (p. 106). This approach assumes that interviews are forms ofdiscourse or extended conversations between the teller and the listener of the story.These conversations are "speech events whose structure and meaning are jointlyproduced by interviewers and interviewees" (Mishler, 1986, p. 105). Questions andanswers are forms of speech with linguistic and social rules which structure thedialogue. By formulating and reformulating questions and answers, researchers andparticipants work together to find meanings they both understand.The collaborative style of existential-phenomenological interviews fits wellwith Mishler's (1986) approach. Both facilitate people's "efforts to constructcoherent and reasonable worlds of meaning and to make sense of their experiences"(p. 188). Narratives are sensitive to context and are stifled in the traditionalinterview where people are not allowed to explore the meaning of their experiences.Narrative also influences the way themes are identified in the transcripts.Unlike existential-phenomenology which emphasizes the prereflective aspects ofexperience, narrative focuses on people's reflections, actions and feelings. Themesare also not viewed in isolation, but are viewed within the context of a story. Theirmeanings cluster together depending on whether they describe the experiencebefore, during, or after the dream. Some themes extend the meaning of otherthemes, whereas others contrast and oppose each other. The whole story puts thethemes in perspective with the researcher moving back and forth in a hermeneuticcircle of understanding (Howard, 1982).Taking the whole into account while formulating themes, helps theresearcher weave the themes into a coherent story. For example, researchers beginto see whether the cluster of themes in the end complete what happened in thebeginning. They assess whether themes in the middle of the dream begin to form a78description of how the person arrived at the end. The story should describe how theperson changed from one state to another.Existential-phenomenology viewed from the perspective of a story canprovide what is needed in dream research, a rigorous qualitative method which canprovide descriptions of the meaning of dream experiences for the people who havelived them. More specifically, dreams which provide answers to personal dilemmascan be investigated within the context of people's lives in order to understand themeaning of the experience, before, during, and after the dream. The research lackscomplete descriptions of these experiences. Usually a brief description of theexperience before and during the dream is presented without the change whichoccurred afterwards.This study investigated the meaning of transformative dreams which do notbring resolution of a personal problem immediately upon awakening. Usingexistential-phenomenology from a narrative perspective, the meaning of theseexperiences for the individuals who have lived them was explored. The researchresults include each person's story of the experience, before, during, and after thedream, structure of the dream story which shows the movement from beginning toend, comparison between the structure of the dream story and the person's accountof the experience, common themes from all the transcripts, and description of thecommon story woven from these themes. The results also include responses from aquestionnaire given to psychology students, asking them if they had everexperienced a dream which revealed a solution to a problem, if they found theanswer immediately or after a period of time, and how often they paid attention totheir dreams.79Chapter 111MethodologyThe aim of this study was to understand the meaning of the transformativedream which does not bring immediate resolution of a problem. To this end, an indepth exploration of the experiences of ten people was made. First, individualstories were constructed from their accounts of the experience before, during, andafter the dream. Second, the structure of each dream story was constructed in orderto assess the movement in the dream from beginning to end. Third, a comparisonwas made between the structure of the dream story and the person's description ofthe experience before, during, and after the dream. Fourth, themes wereformulated from their accounts and woven into a common story.Rigor in research refers to how strictly principles or procedures are followedto fulfill a particular aim (Cochran & Claspell, 1987). As stated previously, inexistential-phenomenology, procedures can be viewed as tasks which maintain rigorin constructing a description of a phenomenon. The tasks completed in this studyare described in the following sections.Explication of PresuppositionsThe first task was to explicate my presuppositions regarding these dreams.Becoming aware of my presuppositions in this study was facilitated by re-examiningthe stories of people who had experienced resolution of a problem immediatelyupon awakening from a dream (Biela, 1985) and comparing their stories with dreamtheories and accounts of problem-solving dreams in the literature. However, theresearch did not begin with these two tasks. According to Whittaker (1986), howthe researcher arrived at the decision to do the research is an importantconsideration, because "no knowledge arises in a vacuum" (p. xvi). This decision80influences what data is to be investigated and all the other decisions and strategieswhich follow during the research process.The decision to investigate dreams which resolve personal problems beganbefore the previous study when two individuals told me about their dreamexperiences (Biela, 1985). Their excitement and sense of awe while telling theirstories captured my interest and sent me on a search for more accounts. Althoughthere was a dearth of material in the literature, there seemed to be many peoplewho had these dreams and were willing to talk about them.During these discussions, I noticed that people rarely began their accountwith the dream. They started by briefly describing their problem and then went onto talk about the dream itself. After they told the dream, they continued their story.The impact of the experience after the dream seemed to be enhanced by thecontrast of the experience before. Listening to their accounts, it became evidentthat their dream was part of a story with a beginning, middle, and an end. Thispreliminary part of the research influenced the decision to use a qualitative methodwhich gives people the opportunity to speak freely about their experiences.During the interviews in this study and the previous one, people usuallyasked how far back in the past they should go while telling their story (Biela, 1985).They were told that they could go back as far as they wanted. My response wasbased on the assumption that if people are allowed to speak freely in interviews theywill relate their experience in story form (Mishler, 1986). This assumption followsfrom a previous one which states that people attempt to organize their temporalexperiences into meaningful wholes (Polldnghome, 1988). They should be allowedto decide what they think is relevant to their experience.The explication of presuppositions, a reflexive process, continued throughoutthe study, acting as a reminder to remain open and sensitive to people's experiences.81Participants in the StudyThe next task was to select people who had dreams which revealed solutionsto personal problems, but did not experience resolution immediately. In theprevious study, it was not difficult to find people who had experienced immediateresolution of a problem in a dream (Biela, 1985). However, because there is noindication in the literature of the prevalence of these dreams, I had no idea whetherit would be easy to find people who did not experience a solution immediately. Isoon discovered through a network of contacts at the university and a local collegethat there were a number of people who have had these dreams and were willing tobe interviewed.Ten people were selected according to phenomenological principles put forthby Colaizzi (1978) and Cochran and Claspell (1987). Each person must haveexperienced the phenomenon in question and be able to articulate their experience.In this study, people must have had a dream which provided an answer to a personaldilemma. They also must not have received the answer immediately uponawakening. Second, they had to be able to speak English.The ten participants formed a theoretical sample. In theoretical sampling,there is no predetermined number of people (Glasser & Strauss, 1967). Each caseis analyzed before another one is added. Cases are added until a saturation point isattained in which no additional information is found. In this study, commonality wasevident after three interviews. However, more individuals were added partly out ofinterest and to confirm the themes.Because I wanted to explore the prevalence of these dreams, I also gave abrief questionnaire to students in psychology classes, asking them if they had everexperienced a dream which revealed a solution to a problem and whether they knewthe answer immediately or after a period of time. Out of 305 students, 103 (34 %)had experienced these dreams. Forty-three (42 %) knew the solution immediately,8258 (56 %) found the solution later, and two people were not sure. At first, I did notask students to identify whether they were male or female, so only 238 of thequestionnaires contain this information. In this group, there were 168 females and70 males. Out of the 82 (34 %) people who had these dreams, 57 were females (34% of the 168 females) and 25 were males (36 % of the 70 males).When asked whether they paid attention to their dreams, 29 of the 103 (28%) who had a dream which revealed a solution to a problem stated that they alwaysor most of the time paid attention to their dreams. Forty-seven of the 103 (46 %)said they sometimes did. Of the 202 people who never had one of these dreams, 39(19 %) stated that they always or most of the time paid attention. Seventy-nine (39%) sometimes did. The rest in both groups rarely or never paid attention to theirdreams. These results suggest that the prevalence of dreams which reveal solutionsto problems could be much higher than expected and having these dreams does notnecessarily depend on whether people regularly pay attention to their dreams. Thenumbers confirm my lack of difficulty in finding participants.The participants in this study were already contacted before thisquestionnaire was handed out in the psychology classes. Nine were women and one(A) was a man. This imbalance could be attributed to the number of males andfemales approached by my contacts. Some of my contacts taught classes which hada predominance of female students. The ages of the participants ranged from 23 to48. All were university educated. Six were Canadian, and one (J) was American.One of the Canadians (H) came to Canada when she was a small child from acountry in Southeast Asia. One person (D) was from a small country in theMediterranean. One (A) was from South America, and another (E) was from acountry in Africa. Six people regularly paid attention to their dreams, but did notconsistently follow any particular method of interpretation. The other fourperiodically remembered their dreams. For two of these four, recall of their dreams8384was rare. All ten commented that the dreams they described in this study wereunlike any they had ever experienced. More information about their personalhistory of dreaming will be presented in Chapter IV.Although all these individuals had experienced many dilemmas in their lives,the problem they discussed in this study stood out because of the dream. The dreamwas not viewed as one of many events that helped them solve their problem.Rather, it was given the central position in their story. The experience already hadimportance before I arrived and was framed as a dream with a period before andafter. The dream was given importance immediately after they woke up andbecame even stronger when they realized that the problem was resolved.Many accounts in the literature support this aspect of the experience.Stephen (1982) remarked that she went into the field in Papua New Guinea with theintent to investigate the influence of Christianity on the Mekeo, but found that shecould not ignore the importance people placed on a particular dream whichresolved their dilemma. Like the dreamers in this study, the Mekeo gave the dreama central role in the story of their dilemma. When Stephen (1982) went back toNew Guinea, she decided to deliberately ask people about their dreams.The time between the dream and the first interview ranged from one monthto nine years with the average length of time being one year. Unlike many dreamswhich are quickly forgotten, the memory of these dreams seems to linger on. Forexample, one person had the dream nine years before the interview. He pointed outthat the dream was as clear as the day he had experienced it. Stephen (1982) alsocommented that her Mekeo informants remembered their dreams years later.For the two individuals who had experienced their dreams one month beforethe interview, their stories were still unfolding. Although both thought theyunderstood the message of the dream, the meaning did not become clear until ayear later. For one of the participants (B), the message did not change, but wasexpanded and made clearer by experiences which occurred during the year betweenthe first and second interview. Another person (D) commented that her dreamrevealed two messages, one in the beginning of the dream and the other at the end.Right after the dream, she concentrated on the first message, seeing the second oneas a challenge she would have to overcome. A year later, she realized, like the otherdreamers in the study, that the end revealed the message of the dream. Themessage was not a challenge, but an obstacle which she would have to face. Themeaning of events, including the dream, changed when she could look back and seethe whole story.InterviewThe aim of the first interview was to have people describe what theyexperienced before, during, and after the dream. The length of this interviewranged from 1 to 2 hours with average length 1 1/2 hours. Before each interviewthere was a 10 to 20 minute period of "small talk" which seemed to occur naturally.Usually this period ended when the conversation moved towards the topic ofdreams.The interview began with the broad request to talk about what theyexperienced before, during, and after the dream. As stated previously, peopleinvariably asked how far back they should go, and I responded that they could goback as far as they liked. The following questions were asked if they were notanswered in the person's description:1. How did your dilemma begin?2. What did you experience from the beginning of the dilemma up to thenight of the dream?3.^Describe the dream from beginning to end.85864. Going back over the dream again, what were you thinking and feelingduring each experience in the dream?5. What time did you wake up?6. What did you experience immediately when you woke up?7. What did you experience that day and the days that followed?8. When did you discover the meaning of the dream?9. How did you discover the meaning of the dream?10. What did you experience when you discovered the meaning?11. What did you experience afterwards?12. Comparing your experience before and after discovering the meaningof the dream, how were they different?13. What part of the experience stands out for you?14. Has the dream altered the way you view your life?15. Has the change lasted?16. How was this dream different from other dreams you have had?17. How do you view this experience now?The following questions were asked about their own history of dreaming:1. Do you frequently remember your dreams?2. If so, do you record your dreams?3. Under what circumstances do you remember your dreams?4. What kind of dreams have you had?5. What do you usually dream about?6. Have you ever induced a dream?7. How do you interpret your dreams?8. What system do you use?9. Do you have a theory of dreaming?10. What do you think is the function of dreaming?11. How do you use the knowledge from your dreams in your waking life?12. Do you share your dreams with anyone?13. Where do you think dreams come from?14. Have you ever had a vision?15. Do you think visions are different from dreams? If so, how?16. How are your beliefs about dreams similar to or different from yourfamily, friends, or culture?When I did the interview, I realized that some of the questions whichinquired about their history of dreaming were interpreted by the participants ashaving the same meaning. Questions 4 and 5 were thought of as being the same.Although they viewed questions 7 and 8 as being similar, I found question 8 helpful,because all the participants except for one (F) did not believe that they used aparticular system. They used whatever felt right to them. Questions 9 and 10 wererelated to 7 and 8 and elicited similar responses. Like the first set of questions inthe interview, if they answered them already, I did not ask the question directly.Questions 14 and 15 did not have any relevance for them. I asked thesequestions, because in many non-Western cultures visions are considered to beimportant. The only person in this study who had experienced a vision was C whohad one as a child. Everyone commented that visions were experiences people haveduring waking and dreams were experiences people have during sleeping.People usually spoke for a few minutes about their experience before thedream. I nodded and gave several "mm,mms" during their talk. They would thenstop and I would give a brief paraphrase which encouraged them to continue.As stated previously in chapter II, interviews are extended conversationswhich are "speech events whose structure and meaning are jointly produced byinterviewers and interviewees" (Mishler, 1986, p. 105). By formulating questionsand answers, we worked together to construct meaning we both could understand.87A question may have different meanings to different people and the participantsresponded to their "own specifications of the question rather than to the originalquestion asked" (Mishler, 1986, p. 53). The question's meaning and answer is"created in the discourse between interviewer and respondent as they try to makecontinuing sense of what they are saying to each other" (p. 54).An example from one of the transcripts demonstrates this process of co-construction of meaning. E began her story by talking about how frustrated she waswith her marriage and how much pain she was experiencing in her back before herdream. She was trying to understand the connection between the two and trying tosort out problems in both areas. Whenever I paraphrased briefly what she had said,she would continue her story. However, at one point she could not recall what hadoccurred right before her dream. The following excerpt shows how paraphrasingcan also bring certain details into awareness:Me: What about the week before, if you can remember?E:^I can't remember that. You know, I don't write very detailed notes(She had written down the dream.).Me: So you can't really remember anything of the night before or the daybefore.E:^Yes, yes, I remember! This is what really confused me about the nightbefore, because I remember thinking about the issues of my marriagebefore I went to sleep....I asked her a few moments later what some of these issues were, but shecould not recall. However, after she told the dream, we were talking about what sheexperienced afterwards. She spoke about her desire to discover the meaning andwhat she thought it meant. She recalled going to her therapist who offered aninterpretation of the dream which did not fit for her. Suddenly, she rememberedmore about the experience before the dream.E:^And it's interesting that I met with her every two weeks and that was aMonday. That's interesting, because M (Her husband) had comehome that weekend....Me: It was before the dream that he'd come home? (I was trying to helpher remember more of the period before the dream. She understoodmy intention.)8889E:^Yeah, So that if you were asking what was going on, I think it hadbeen a rough weekend....(She then proceeded to tell me what sheexperienced.)According to Mishler (1986), the telling of an experience is not usually alinear progression from beginning to end. It is more like a novel with flashbacks.Some experiences would remind people of previous ones, and they would loop backin time to tell these experiences before going on with their story.The dream, unlike many other experiences which occurred before and after,was remembered as a unit. Everyone told the dream from beginning to end. If theystopped during this telling, it was usually to get a response from me about what theyhad said. I would give a brief "mm,mm", and they would continue.After they told the dream, I asked what they were feeling when they woke up.Because people invariably mentioned that they never had a dream like this one, Iwould ask how this dream was different. I then asked them to go over the dreamagain and tell me what they were thinking and feeling during each experience in thedream. Sometimes people would also fill in details which were missed in the firsttelling. These details were usually about the setting or characters. I asked thesequestions, because dream researchers have noticed that people usually do notcomment on their dream feelings while telling the dream (Delaney, 1991; Hunt,1989; Kuiken, 1987). I asked about their thoughts in order to fill in any detailswhich would be important when I wrote out the dream story and the structure of thedream story.During the interviews in this study, I noticed that most people gave detailedaccounts of their feelings during their telling of the dream. However, asking forspecific details did give me more information in some of the accounts. For example,one person (C), forgot to tell me that she felt panic when she picked up a worm.This one detail was extremely important when I constructed the structure of thedream story. The contrast between the panic in the beginning and calm in the endand the movement in the dream between these opposites were essential details inthe story and demonstrated how she resolved her dilemma.When C first told the dream, she said, "....in between the folds of this coverthere is a wriggly, ugly, little caterpillar, worm-like thing. So hesitantly I picked itup." After she told the dream and spoke of her reaction to it, I asked, "At thebeginning of the dream, when you were waking up, as you said, you shook yourcovers, and, in the dream, it is sunny, like it is right now, what were your feelingswhen you saw that worm?" She answered, "Panic. It was a panic reaction and it was,I guess, here it is when I least expect it, a kind of experience like that. And what amI going to do now. I never know how to handle these situations." She went on to tellme how she never could stand to find something unexpected which then led to otherexperiences which occurred before her dream and contrasted with her experienceafterwards. She did not give me this information before which exemplifies Mishler's(1986) contention that interviews are extended conversations with both teller andlistener constructing meaning.After people finished telling their story, we usually talked about how theyexperienced the interview. All remarked how unusual the dream experience was forthem. The occurrence of the dream seemed to stimulate wonder and curiosity aboutthe larger questions of their lives. Some experienced the telling of the story asreliving the experience. Although they had told the dream to themselves manytimes and had reflected on their experience, they had never told their dream as partof a story with a before and after.AnalysisThe analysis of the transcripts was completed in two phases. The firstinvolved the construction of each person's story, the structure of the dream story,and a comparison between these two. The second involved the formulation of90themes which were then woven into a common story. The tasks completed in eachof these phases are described in the following two sections.Individual stories.The story of each person's experience was constructed from the transcripts ofthe taped interviews. The aim was to construct a clear account of their experiencesby organizing their statements into a coherent whole with a beginning, middle, andend.First, statements which referred to their experience before the dream werepulled from the transcript. This same procedure was done for the statementsreferring to the experience during and after the dream. These statements were thenplaced on cards with the first initial of the participant, page number of thetranscript, and a note commenting on whether they occurred before, during, or afterthe dream. These cards were used later when formulating the themes and commonstory (Colaizzi, 1978).The statements were then placed in chronological order. Their stories wereconstructed using these statements and the transcripts. During this process, Icontinually moved back and forth from the statements to the transcript in order tounderstand a person's story. The dream story was constructed from the verbatimdream report that people gave when they were first asked to tell their dream andfrom their responses to my questions about the dream afterwards. For each part ofthe story, their own words were used whenever possible. Using the exact words wasparticularly crucial when writing out the dream. Another word may meansomething completely different to the person. Although most of the dreams weretold in the past tense, they were written out in the present tense to provide a senseof immediacy for the reader. After each story was constructed, it was comparedwith the person's transcript to ensure that the story was complete.91Next, I constructed the structure of the dream story. This construction wasobtained by reading over the verbatim dream report and the dream story.According to Hunt (1989), most dreams are not complete stories with a beginning,middle, and end. They may lack a beginning, end prematurely, or go on and on assequence of events without dramatic resolution.Using Cochran's (1990) criteria of what constitutes a story, the verbatimdream report and the dream story were read and pondered over to get a sense ofwhether the dream had a beginning and an end. To be a story, the end of the dreamshould contrast with the beginning. The beginning and end become clear when theycan be viewed in light of their opposite.The following questions were asked about the setting, situation, andcharacters of both the beginning and end to get a sense of the opposition:1. What is the setting of the dream?2. Is the setting indoors or outside?3. Is there any indication of color, weather or season?4. Does the setting convey a particular feeling or mood?5. Does the setting in the beginning contrast with the end? If so, how?6. What kind of situation does the main character find him or herself in?7. What is he or she thinking, feeling, or doing?8. Does the main character have a goal? If so, what?9. Is he or she actively striving towards that goal?10. Is the main character alone or are there other characters? What istheir relationship?11. What are these others thinking, feeling, and doing?12. How are the characters interacting with each other?The beginning and end of the dream were then described to show theopposition. The aim is to stay faithful to what is given in the dream report. and not92read in or interpret what is not there. For example, in the beginning of D's dream,she and her boyfriend had their arms wrapped around each other as they lookedinto each others' eyes while discussing their wedding. D felt blissfully happy andcontent. They were sitting alone on a wobbly rock outdoors among decayingchurches.In the end, they were not alone outdoors in a public setting, but were withD's family inside her home. She and her boyfriend were no longer intimate, butwere having an argument about where they should sleep. He wanted to be in theboys' room and only with pressure agreed to be with her. D was left feeling bitter.The opposition between beginning and end can be seen in the setting and theactions, feelings, and thoughts of the characters. D went from being in love tobreaking apart. D's verbatim dream report, story during the dream which Iconstructed from her report and any comments afterwards, and the structure of thedream story are presented here in order to demonstrate the method. All three areincluded under Case D in Chapter IV.Verbatim Dream Report:When I was dreaming, I was conscious that we were married, and Iwas feeling very happy. And the time was the day after we were married, andwe were hearing Mass, but the church where we were hearing Mass was verystrange. I was aware of, at one point I got this sight, I could see this hugevalley, and this valley was full of churches, but very strange churches,churches with very irregular shapes, extremely high walls, you know, like afortress, and with no ceilings. So it's like as though they were incomplete,that they had these very high walls, incomplete with jagged edges, you know,how a building is left with the stones unfinished. There was nothing insidethese churches except earth and rocks, and they were fairly rough. The floorwas very, very rough. We had to climb over the rocks. So there was thisvalley, and these churches, if you want to call them that, and we were insideone of them. We were sitting on rocks on the ground, and I remember, youknow, back home when we go out, we usually sit on stones. We have a verystony country, very rocky, and usually you sit on a stone that is wobbly. I didhave that sensation that I was sitting on a stone, and it was wobbly. And Ihad to keep my balance. And we were sitting next to each other on stones.And there was a feeling of closeness between us, because we were looking ateach other's eyes and smiling and feeling happy and cozy together. And wehad arms around each other. We were holding each other, and we're talkingabout the wedding, talking about yesterday, how I felt, and that sort of thing.93And I remember that there was a young girl, a couple in front of us,and they kept turning like that and just looking at us without any shame andwithout being conscious of it and talking about us right in front of us, so Icould see these two people turning towards us and talking about us. Andthey appeared to be talking in a lighthearted manner. They were happy, youknow, they were just passing comments about us and joking and laughing. (Ina positive way.) Yes, not in a way that they were praising us, but in a goodnatured way.And then I started thinking about the wedding, and all of a sudden thewhole idea of a wedding becomes very dubious to me. I start asking myself,"Was I really married?". Then I notice that I start looking for the ring m hishand, yes, for proof that we're married. All of a sudden I needed the proof,and I see two rings on his finger, and the rings were very large, and they'rerather uncomfortable. I mean, if you have a large ring, your fingers have tobe really spaced. And they look more like bracelets to me than rings, very,very wide. And I looked at myself, and I had one too. Then I startedthinking back on the ceremony, and I can't remember it. I can't rememberbeing married.And things changed. I think we decided we we're going to eat orsomething, and we'd go up in an elevator to a restaurant which is on the topfloor. And there was a landlady guiding us, and what happened was that weused the elevator to go up, and she used the stairs. I'm slightly disabled, so Ialways use the elevator, and I feel bad about not using the stairs. And whathappened was that as soon as we got out of the elevator, we see the landladywaiting for us with a very suspicious look on her face. Maybe that's relatedto my disability. I don't remember the part of the dream when we wereeating. I don't remember it. I know I dreamt more about it.But then what happened was that after eating, all of a sudden wewere, both of us were at my parent's home, in our summer home which isdifferent, because it's smaller. And we spend three months of summer there.And there was everybody. It was after dinner at home, so everybody washome. And after eating, we all go to sleep, and J wanted to go to sleep. AndI remember we were all in one room deciding where people were going tosleep, because in the afternoon, people don't usually sleep on their beds.They just sleep wherever they like. And J wants to sleep m the boy's room onone of the beds. And my mother was already on the other bed with a kid, mynephew, I think. She's already lying on the bed trying to make him sleep.And J said he wanted to sleep on the other bed. And we were all sittingaround and discussing, and I feel I wanted J to come and sleep with me, and Itold him, and he agreed reluctantly. And we'd go into the girls' room. This isthe part of the dream I can't understand, and I feel a little bit bitter that hehadn't accepted to come and sleep with me immediately. So we go into theroom. I'm feeling bitter, and the last thing I remember is that before lyingdown, we had to change the sheets.Story During the Dream:D is conscious that she and J were married the day before and arevery happy. They are hearing Mass inside a church with huge irregular,jagged walls with no ceilings. It looks like a fortress and is quite rough.There is nothing in the church, but earth and rocks which they have to climbover. D notices that they are in a valley with other churches similar to theone they are in. All the churches look as if they are in ruins.94D and J are sitting on stones with their arms wrapped around eachother. D has the sensation that she is sitting on a wobbly stone and mustkeep her balance. There is a feeling of closeness and happiness as they aresmiling and looking into each other's eyes. They are talking about theirwedding, and D talks about how she is feeling.A young couple sitting in front of them keeps turning around staringwithout shame or self-consciousness. They are talking and joking about Dand J in a lighthearted and happy manner.Suddenly, D begins to think about the wedding and feels doubtful thatshe is married. She asks herself if she really was married yesterday and looksfor the ring on his hand for proof. On his fingers, she sees two rings whichare as large as bracelets and look uncomfortable. She notices that she has aring too. D thinks of the ceremony, but she cannot remember gettingmarried. D fears that the whole thing might crumble before her eyes. Sheknows it was too good to last.D and J decide to go eat. They go up an elevator to a restaurantwhich is on the top floor. They are guided by a landlady who uses the stairs.When they get off the elevator, they are met by this same woman who looksat them suspiciously. D feels badly, because she believes the look refers toher inability to use the stairs because of her slight disability. D cannotremember what happened during the meal in the restaurant.After eating, all of a sudden they are at the summer home of D'sparents. They are feeling full and relaxed with a strong sense of communityfeeling. D's whole family is there, and it is after dinner in the afternoonwhen everyone usually goes to sleep. J also wants to go to sleep. Because noone sleeps in their own beds in the afternoon, they are all in one roomdeciding where they will lie down.D becomes annoyed when J wants to sleep in the boy's room on oneof the beds. Her mother is already on the bed next to this one trying to makeD's nephew rest. D wants J to sleep with her and tells him. He agreesreluctantly, and D feels bitter that he did not agree to sleep with herimmediately. They both go to the room with D still feeling bitter. Beforelying down, they have to change the sheets. D feels a rift between them andwakes up.Structure of the Dream Story:D's dream has a beginning, middle, and end. It begins with feelings ofcloseness, happiness, and fulfillment and ends with separation, bitterness,and disappointment. The intimacy between D and J in the beginningcontrasts sharply with the rift between them in the end. Completelyabsorbed in each other, they seem oblivious to the Mass that is taking placein the church. Although the setting is public, they are essentially alone.Their arms are wrapped around each other while they gaze into each other'seyes while talking of their wedding.In contrast, the last scene is in D's private family home, yet D and Jare now immersed in family decisions on where to sleep. D's attempts to pullJ away from the family are met with resistance. He prefers to be in the boy'sroom, but it is already occupied. His relationship to D seems to havechanged from being a husband to a brother. Only with pressure does J agreeto sleep with her. Gone is the love and warmth which seemed to flow freelyin the first scene.The beginning scene, however, is not totally devoid of its opposite. Dand J are intimate together among the ruins of old churches in a valley. The95decay and desolation of the surroundings contrast with the warmth and loveof the newlyweds. This contrast is enhanced by the image of D keeping herbalance on the wobbly rock while she and J are embracing. There is a sensethat D could fall off at any moment.The moment comes soon after when their intimacy is interrupted bythe other couple who are openly staring and talking about them. Althoughtheir manner is lighthearted and nonjudgmental, their presence marks thestart of the middle part of the dream and begins the movement downward inthe story from bliss to bitterness. Their watchful eyes act like a reminder toD to remember the wedding ceremony which is a public and religiousdeclaration of their commitment. The focus is now on their relationship inthe eyes of the community, not in they eyes of each other.D turns back to J, not with love, but with doubt. She needs proof thatthey are committed. However, the rings are too loose and uncomfortableand could fall off. Her doubts then turn to fear when she cannot rememberthe ceremony. She now has a sense of foreboding that the union couldcrumble before her eyes. What was only hinted at in the previous scene isnow made more explicit. D even makes the statement that their love was toogood to last.In the next scene, D and J are still together, but the sense of intimacyfrom the first scene is less evident. Instead of sitting together with their armswrapped around each other, they are making decisions on where to eat. Theonly mention of closeness is their standing together going up the elevator to apublic restaurant. When they arrive on top, the public gaze has now turnedto suspicion which contrasts with the nonjudgmentalness of the couple in thelast scene. D's uncomfortableness is now focused on her own disabilityrather than she and J as a couple. Thrown off by the woman's looks, therestaurant scene is muddled and confusing to D.The tension and confusion increases in the last scene with the familydeciding where to sleep. Feelings of being full and relaxed after a meal withthe family contrast with the tension between D and J. Unlike the last scenewhere the couple agree to eat, they cannot agree now on where to sleep. D'sdesire to be close is met with resistance and J's desire to be in the boy'sroom. J has become one of the family and only with pressure from D does hereluctantly agree to be with her. D's feelings have gone from annoyance tobitterness, and there is a rift between them. Intimacy and love, once givenfreely, are now given reluctantly.According to Cochran (1990), the beginning and end are not necessarilydevoid of their opposite. In this dream, the setting was desolate and rocky whichforeshadowed what happened later. The dreamer also mentioned that she wastrying to keep her balance on the wobbly rock in the first scene. Cochrancommented that "a story is a field of opposition in which the beginning polegradually shifts toward the end pole" (p. 26). The shift in this story came soon afterwhen the dreamer noticed another couple staring and talking about them. Their96presence marked the start of the middle part of the dream and the downwardmovement from bliss to bitterness.Each person was left with a particular feeling or thought after their dreamwhich is presented in Chapter IV after the structure of the dream story. Forexample, D remarked that the dream gave her the experience of being married to J.However, it also confronted her with her own reservations towards the relationship.She knew there would be obstacles which needed to be overcome if they were tostay together. At the time of the dream, she thought that these obstacles werechallenges. In time, she realized that they were actually barriers which could not beovercome.After the structure of the dream story was constructed, it was compared withtheir story of the dilemma to see if there were any parallels. The beginning of thedilemma was compared with the beginning of the dream. The end of the dilemmawas compared with the end of the dream. The middle of the stories was alsoassessed for any similarities or differences.Everyone was given their individual story, structure of the dream story, andcomparison between the two in order to check for any distortions or omissions.Except for minor changes, all were validated.People were surprised at the parallels between the dream and the story oftheir experience. Although most had seen some parallels, they had never looked atthe two stories as a whole before. None had realized that their dream was acomplete story with beginning, middle, and end. They had experienced a shift in theend which for some was dramatic, but had not noticed that the end contrasted withthe beginning. They also had not observed the movement from one pole to theother.97Formulation of themes and common story.The statements people made about their experiences were used to formulatethe themes. The meaning of each statement was formulated, moving back and forthbetween the person's transcript and statement. During this step, the context helpedto grasp the implicit meaning behind the words. For example, before the dreams,people were struggling between opposing points of view. The word "struggle" wasnot always used, but, when going back to the transcript, struggle was clearly presentin each person's story. This step drew out the meaning rather than put something inthat was not there.Next, the formulated meanings from each transcript were compared withthose from every other transcript. Similar meanings were placed together intoclusters or themes. This step moved the analysis from individual accounts to acommon description. A common story began to unfold with themes at the beginningcontrasting with those at the end. For example, people felt an incompleteness ordisruption in their lives at the beginning which contrasted with their awakening to anew perspective at the end of the story. The themes in the middle described howpeople arrived at the end.Once the themes were formulated, they were woven into a common story byfirst going over the themes which occurred at the beginning and at the end in orderto get a sense of the contrast. Next, the middle themes were examined tounderstand how they moved the story from beginning to end. This step had fewsurprises, because the story had been unfolding throughout the analysis.The transcript, individual story, structure of the dream story and itsrelationship to the description of the experience, themes, and common story werethen given back to the participants for validation or modification during the secondinterview. At this second interview, all the themes were accepted except for minorvariations. For example, the theme "Relevance" had to be modified. Some people98experienced this theme immediately upon awakening from their dream. Others didnot know immediately that the dream related to their problem. In this secondgroup, some realized that the dream was relevant when they began to think aboutthe dream, whereas others did not know until they discovered the dream's meaning.All the participants were astonished that there were common themes.Unlike dreamers who come from cultures with extensive traditions in dreaminterpretation and classification, these people did not have the support andencouragement from their culture to value their dream. They had never met anyonewho had one of these experiences. They felt validated that there were others likethemselves.99Chapter IVResults: Individual StoriesBased on qualitative evidence, the individual story of the experience before,during, and after the dream, the structure of the dream story, and a comparisonbetween the two were constructed for each person. These ten accounts constituteone part of the results of the study. The common story and themes which form thesecond part of the study will be presented in the next chapter.The aim of this chapter is to present a summary of the participants' history ofdreaming, the verbatim dream reports, individual stories of the experience, structureof each person's dream story, and the relationship between the structure of thedream story and the person's description of the experience before, during, and afterthe dream. Afterwards, there will be a summary of their stories and the kinds ofmessages they received from their dreams.Participants' Dream HistoryAll the participants came from modern Western cultures. Although theycame from various family backgrounds, their responses to the dream historyquestions were similar. They showed more variation in their responses to questionsreferring to dream recall, dream recording, and source of dreams. D,C,G,F,E, andB frequently remembered their dreams and regularly paid attention to them. Ofthese six, C, F, and B started noticing their dreams a few years before the dreamthey described in this study. S and A rarely recalled any dreams, and J and H werebeginning to pay attention to them. E, D, G, and B frequently recorded theirdreams. However, like the others and most dreamers in other cultures, these fourdid not consider every dream important. The dreams people remembered wereusually vivid, clear, emotional, and related to waking concerns. Many remarked that100they did not remember their dreams when they were busy and found that recall washighest during times of stress and change in their lives. They usually remembereddreaming about issues important to them. Many commented that they had anxiousdreams during stressful periods. Two people had tried inducing a dream, but hadpoor results.No one followed a system to interpret their dreams except for F who said "inme" after each part in the dream. For example, she would say, "I see the woman inme who is walking down the street in me." This method unlocked the meaning ofthe dream she described in this study. The others remarked that they intuitively feltwhether a particular meaning was correct. G commented, "I'll think about one thingin a dream and somehow I just know it means this or that....It's just an intuition thatrings true. It just rings right."Telling dreams over and over seemed to be an important way to find themeaning of dreams. B spoke about her experience.It just comes clear. It's obvious or it becomes obvious to me. Butwhen I did actually work on the dreams, when I had time or if Ithought it was important to do that, I kind of sit with the dream for awhile, think about it, read it over a number of times.When they were asked about the function of dreams and how they usedthem, they based their ideas on their own experiences of dreaming rather than on aparticular theory. A commented that he did not remember most of his dreams, so ifhe does have one "It is a flag that there is something stressful going on."G described her experience.I'm trying to piece information together, figure things out. I'm alwaystrying to make sense of things, and when I'm dreaming, I'm workingon making sense of it in my world. I think that's what s happening,and it doesn't happen in a linear, logical way, like the way we have tooperate when we're awake.C has started looking at her dreams more in the last few years and describedhow she uses them.101I'm sort of looking at them more now in relationship to my life. HowI can change my life to be healthier, emotionally healthier and thatthe dreams either show me where I'm not, places that I can work on.Some also used terms such as "conscious", "unconscious" and "awareness" toexpress their views. E's description fits well with how people used these concepts.I accept that it's bringing into awareness what you do not have in ourconscious minds....Mme seem to be just very, sorting through stuff, butit's more graphically put in the dream....Then there is this other kindthat perhaps make one realize that there's more emotionalinvolvement in something that you haven't realized. And then I'vehad other dreams too which definitely have shown me things that Ihaven't been willing to look at and now I've had to look at them,because they're come up in my dream.Some people commented that the dream they presented in this study felt as ifit came from outside themselves. However, when asked directly about the source oftheir dream, they said it came from within This comment differs from manydreamers in non-Western cultures who believe that these dreams come from anoutside source.Two of the participants (H and D) who come from countries outside of NorthAmerica gave answers which differed from the others. H remarked that, "this dreamwas like some unconscious register....things filter through and are stored somewhereelse until they are jarred up." She then qualified her statement. "Angel Gabrielcame from above and gave me this dream. It's almost like a godsend to me. I viewit in that way, but, you know, a lot of people are skeptical about this." Regarding herother dreams, she said, "I just got to make sure he (her ex-boyfriend) doesn't catchme, because I'm in a way superstitious, and these people (in her country) say, well,when, if you die in your dream, you're dead in life." This cultural belief differedfrom the beliefs of her own family who did not pay attention to their dreams.Like H, D combined the views of her culture and the West and describedwhat she believes.Dreams can come from the devil, so she (her grandmother) would tellme to be careful....they can lead you astray....It can really be a realspiritual experience, that you feel that somebody somewhere is trying102to tell you something. You don't know whether it's God or thedevil....I'm a skeptical person about these things. I'm a spiritualmyself, but my skepticism resists it.When D spoke about her transformative dream, she seemed less willing toassume that it came from herself. "In a sense, I can see where it came from, insidemyself, because I know that I was subconsciously very concerned with these things.At the same time, what I do feel couldn't have come from within."B and C commented that dreams came from within, but were unsure aboutthe source of some of their dreams which were telepathic or precognitive. Theothers believed that their dreams came from a part of themselves which hasinformation about their problems that they did not have during waking life.Only one person (C) came from a family who regularly discussed theirdreams, and she did not like her family's dream beliefs. For many years, shedeliberately tried not to remember her dreams. The others pointed out that theirfamilies would not be interested in their dreams. Some of their friends, however,are curious about dreams and want to talk about their experiences.Their families and friends offered little encouragement for using dreams forpersonal knowledge. The participants took notice of a dream, because it was vivid,clear, emotional, and relevant. The impact from their transformative dreams wasdifficult to ignore, and they were left wondering about the meaning of theexperience and its importance.Case J:Verbatim dream report.There is a woman, and I had to hold her really tightly, her armsbehind her back on some kind of cart which reminded me of those like theFrench Revolution movies where the person's on the cart, and they're goingto the guillotine, and they are standing up. She was a criminal, like acriminal thing. Two women were helping me. I remember feeling confusedabout the whole thing. What did they represent, because they were sort ofreally in the background. It was very hard work that I mustn't let go.103We reached the destination. They waited a little bit behind, becausethey were weaker and more afraid than I was. And I took her to an area ofseveral pools, like wells. They were small roundlands. Actually, they startedout being little pools and then they kind of turned into a brick around it,because I needed the brick later on which I will explain this actually, I don'tknow if you ever read the Narnia books. (Yes) Do you know the magiciannephew where they jump into the pool? (Yes) That's exactly what it waslike. They were small and round. So I chose the deepest one, and I threwher in. I was very afraid, because it was a long process to drown her, and Ihad to push her down with this long wooden stick, like when you're trying toget something waterlogged so it would stay. She is very white. She had awhite sweater and white skin and blonde. It took a long, long time, becauseshe kept bobbing up like I think I've got her waterlogged, and she wouldcome back up. It was really hard, hard work. I was exhausted and finally shewas gone.So I brought the others, the two women who were waiting behind inthe background, to look, and she was still alive. She floated back up. So Iwas like, oh no. So the process began again, and it was a long process, and Iwas gritting my teeth. I remember that specifically which was probably whatI was doing in real life. Then a woman came by my side, and I don't know ifshe was one of the other two or a different person. And at that point Idecided I had to knock her unconscious. That's where the brick came loosefrom the side of the pool, and I hit her, and this scared me. Even in mydream I thought, "This is not me," because it was really wild, vicious, just likebam, really trying hard to kill her.And she sank to the bottom, but she rose again. I said, I can't believeit. She will not die. So we struggled some more, and the woman by my sidesuggested that I hit her again which I kind of didn't want to do, but I had to.So I did. And at this point the woman in the pool looked at me and in effectagreed to drown. She kind of looked at me and I went okay, she'sacquiescing which felt really strange. I felt really sad and guilty. So she sankand her white sweater, this kind of makes me laugh for some reason, now herwhite sweater and her black pants kind of floated up to the top, and as Ilooked in, I could barely see, like a naked, white body, her body on thebottom but I couldn't see any features. She, the woman was dead. I knewshe was dead then.The woman beside me offered to take a picture of this dark pool withthe clothes and the barely visible white form on the bottom. She said I mightneed it later in the future for assurance that she was dead, a moment() ofwhat happened. And so I agreed, but I decided to get the others. I can'tremember why, but I thought they would want to be there to see the picturebeing taken or something. I can't remember. And when I came back, Ichanged my mind about the picture. I told her not to do it. And this is whenthe dream kind of went all muddled and confused, and I woke up.Story before the dream.J had been working part time since the birth of her first child. Although sheenjoyed her career, she never felt completely at ease with her decision to work. Jthought of her mother who had postponed her career as a teacher in order to have104time with her children. Her mother had always seemed energetic and creative,unlike J who was always tired.The extent of her conflict became clearer to her when she attended aconference away from home. She had never spent a night away from her daughter.Feeling anxious and distressed, J volunteered to be the client in a role play exercise.For the first time, J realized how much she loved her work. This realizationintensified her distress. Both career and motherhood were important to her.Giving up one for the other would not bring her peace.In the months that followed, J became pregnant with her second child andworked up until one month before her due date. Determined to resolve the conflict,J wrestled with her feelings and discussed the issue with her husband. Stillexhausted from work and motherhood, J wondered if she should give up her jobafter the next child arrives. She could no longer stand the tension between her tworoles.When she went on maternity leave, she decided to pay more attention to howshe was feeling at home. She noticed that she vacillated between loving her life fora few days and then hating it. There seemed to be no way out of her dilemma, andher confusion grew more intense.In the midst of her confusion, J had a dream which seemed to be telling herabout her conflict. Unsure of its meaning, she decided that she would pay attentionto her dreams. Perhaps they could provide her with answers. With her husbandaway on frequent business trips, she felt forced to look within herself for a solution.A couple of weeks later she had the following dream.Story during the dream.J is walking next to a woman in a cart. The woman has her hands foldedbehind her back as if she were a criminal going to her death during the French105revolution. J has to hold her very tightly. Two women are helping her, but they arein the background. She is feeling confused about their role. It is hard work, and shemust not let go. J feels as if she is part of an important drama, creating it as she isgoing along. It feels very dramatic, and she is determined to finish the job she cameto do. However, she also feels afraid that the woman could hurt her and afraid thatshe will not be able to do whatever she has to do.When they reach their destination, J feels a little relieved, because she hasarrived. She also has a lot of fear, because she knows that she has to begin. She isreally serious and tries to get up the courage. The women wait a bit behind, becausethey are weaker and more afraid than J is.The area has several pools which look like wells. They are small roundlands.J takes the woman over to the deepest pool and throws her in.J begins pushing the woman down with a long stick and feels violent, becauseshe knows she cannot be tentative and waver in her determination. She must pushher down and does. Despite her fear, it feels satisfying. She can do this.The process takes a long time. The woman is very white. She is blonde withwhite skin and is wearing a white sweater. She keeps bobbing up again each time Jthinks that she has her waterlogged. It is really hard work. Every time the womanbobs up, she looks at J. J feels sorry for her, because she is very noble, really avictim, but very noble. She does not want the woman to pop up, because she willhave to rescue her. She does not want these thoughts to get to her, because it makesher work harder. Her instinct to rescue her is conflicting with her need to drown herand her determination wavers.As the process continues, J gets discouraged and feels afraid that she may notsucceed. She is also getting really angry, because she knows it helps her to stayviolent. However, J is also getting very tired and afraid that the woman will stayalive. Finally, the woman does not come up, and J thinks the woman is gone.106J gets the other women who are waiting in the background to show themwhat she has done, but the woman has floated back to the surface. She thinks, "Oh,no!" Although J is really disappointed, she grits her teeth and begins the longprocess again.One of the women then stands by her side, and J decides to knock the womanin the pool unconscious with a brick that has come loose from the side of the pool.She begins to hit the woman in a vicious and wild manner which scares J. Shethinks, "This is not me." She is really trying hard to kill her. The woman sinks andrises again. J says, "I cannot believe it. She will not die." They struggle again whenthe woman next to her suggests that J hit the woman again. Although J does notwant to hit her, she knows she has to do it and does.Suddenly the woman in the pool looks at J as if agreeing to drown. J thenfeels a bond between them as if they were connected. At that moment, J feels sad,mean and guilty, because the woman is so sweet and nice. J feels sick andnauseated as if she has struck her down. She thinks, "What did I do?" Maybe sheshould have let her live. J does not want her to be so nice.J knows the woman is dead when her white sweater and black pants float tothe surface. She looks into the pool and sees her white, naked, dead body. J noticesthat she could not see any of her features.The woman standing next to her suggests that J take a picture as assurance oras a momento of what happened. J agrees and goes to get the others to see whatshe has done. When she comes back, she decides not to take the picture. J thenfeels muddled and confused and wakes up.Story after the dream.J woke up feeling scared, because she had been so violent in the dream. Yetat the same moment, she was also feeling excited, because she knew the dream was107important. She had never experienced a dream with such heightened awareness andintensity and knew it must be telling her something.J went over the dream to herself and wrote the dream down. She wanteddesperately to tell someone, so she called her mother. Her mother listened, but wasnot particularly interested in dreams. J was therefore left on her own to discover itsmeaning.For days afterwards, J had a heavy feeling along with a strong desire to solvethe riddle of the dream. She knew the dream referred to the split she had beenfeeling between motherhood and career and wondered if the woman she killedrepresented motherhood. That meaning did not seem to fit, because she waslooking forward to the birth of her second child. A few days later, in another dream,she was choosing the strongest and the best men for her side in a battle with anunknown enemy. Although this dream did not feel as important as the first one, Jknew they were connected. With her child's birth just weeks away, she wonderedwhich side she had killed. Was the battle yet to come?After the birth and during her maternity leave from work, J enjoyed stayingat home with her two children. She felt rested and content. When she thoughtabout the dream, she knew she had not killed motherhood. She did not want toreturn to work. Unfortunately she was forced to return for monetary reasons.The first month back at work was difficult, because she was having baby-sitter problems. She noticed that she handled these problems differently. Beforeshe would have agonized over the situation. Now she felt responsible to fix theproblem and get on with work.Although J liked being back at work, she constantly kept telling people thatshe must accept the fact that she will never feel comfortable combining motherhoodand career. Despite her feelings, her husband and others told her how positive andinteresting she was since she returned to work. Their comments disturbed J,108because she thought the split could only be resolved by staying home with herchildren. Perhaps staying at home was not good for her, yet how could she everresolve the split?A month after returning to work, J found the dream. She forgot that she hadwritten it down. When she read her account, she realized that she no longer felt thesplit between motherhood and career. She had been telling others that she couldnever resolve her split, but had not taken a close look at how she was feeling beingback at work. Her thoughts had become a habit which did not fit with herexperience.Stunned and excited by this realization, J began going over her experience atwork and at home. Although she now had two children to care for, she had notbeen tired or anxious. She also no longer felt worry or guilt when she thought of herchildren. When there was a problem, she dealt with it. She enjoyed the time athome and at work.Still shocked and surprised, J became suspicious. How could these feelingsvanish without her being consciously aware? Did the feelings go suddenly orgradually? She did not know the answer, but decided to watch her feelings for a fewdays which verified for her that she was now free of her old emotions. J also noticedthat, since she read the dream account, she felt even less stress. The awareness ofher new found freedom seemed to bring a release of energy. J began doing lots ofactivities for herself which she normally did not do. She began exercising andreading lots of novels. She also became more assertive with her husband regardingchores at home.Although J still does not know what most of the dream means, she is contentthat she has been healed. She is surprised at her attitude, because she usually tendsto analyze everything. The dream provided healing without interpretation oranalysis.109Structure of the dream story.In the beginning of the dream, J is walking towards an execution holding ontightly to the woman criminal. It is hard work, and she is determined to finish thejob she came to do. In the end. the job is finished, and the woman is dead, but J isleft with intense self-doubt and confusion about what she has done.In the first scene, J feels as if she is part of an important drama, playing theleading role in an execution of a woman she does not know. The difficult task seemsto be hers alone with the unknown helpers lingering behind her.Although J is determined to finish and has a sense that she is creating thedrama, she is not sure how the story will unfold. She is afraid that she will not beable to do the job and scared that the woman could hurt her. She has to hold ontightly even though the woman is not resisting.In the end, the execution is over, and the woman is dead, but success is notdue to J's efforts alone. Only after the encouragement of one of the onlookingwomen and the agreement of her captive, does J complete the job she came to do.Her victory, however, is bittersweet. J has gone from unquestioneddetermination in the first scene to intense self-doubt in the last one. Theimpersonal relationship between herself and the woman has transformed into anintimate bond, bringing J sadness, guilt, and self-doubt. J now feels like the meancriminal and the woman the innocent victim. Wishing the woman was not so nice, Jthen sees the black and white clothes float to the surface and knows the woman isdead. What has surfaced is both black and white. What is white is dead andfeatureless below. Self-doubt is now mixed with confusion with J agreeing to take apicture only to change her mind moments later.The middle of the dream and upward movement from J's determination tofinish the job to J's remorse over what she has done begins when J arrives at the110pools of water. Although she feels some relief that she has arrived at herdestination, her fears from the first scene intensify, because she knows she mustbegin. However she is very serious about what she has to do, and her determinationseems to increase. Unlike the others who are more afraid and weaker than she, Jmusters up the courage and throws the woman in the deepest pool to ensure success.Her fears seem to subside when she begins pushing the woman down. Herpushing feels violent, but she knows that she must do the job and does. It feelssatisfying to know that she can do it.J's optimism soon fades when the woman does not stay under. The woman'sdetermination to stay alive seems as strong as J's determination to kill her.However, the woman uses different means to get what she wants. Every time Jpushes the woman down, the woman bobs up again and looks at J. J then feels sorryfor her which makes her work more difficult. For the first time in the story, J'sdetermination wavers, and she wonders whether she should not drown the woman.The criminal is becoming an innocent victim and the execution more personal for J.Even the woman's appearance suggests her innocence.J's need to drown the woman is still stronger than her desire to rescue her, soshe deliberately gets angry to stay violent. Despite her increasing exhaustion, shekeeps pushing until the woman no longer pops up.Thinking the woman is gone, J gets the others only to discover that thewoman is still alive. Instead of giving in to her disappointment, J seems even moredetermined and grits her teeth to begin again. However, this time one of the otherwomen stands beside her. J then decides to use stronger, more violent means to killthe woman. J's anger seems even more intense than before as she wildly tries toknock the woman unconscious with the brick. Her own viciousness scares her, andshe does not recognize herself. She seems shocked to recognize that she is reallytrying hard to kill the woman, but also astounded that the woman will not die. J'sfear that the woman may live seems stronger than her fear of her own viciousness,and she continues to struggle.As if worried that J may not succeed, the woman next to her suggests that shehit the woman again. Although J's doubts return, she knows she has to hit thewoman and does.As soon as J gets this encouragement, the woman agrees to drown. It is as ifshe knows that J will not give up. Whereas before J was essentially alone with herstruggle, she now needs assistance from others, including the victim in order tosucceed. The connection that had been growing in previous scenes whenever thewoman looked at J now turns into an intimate bond. However, J's doubts have alsoincreased with this connection, leaving her with intense remorse for what she hasdone. Her fears in the first scene that the woman could hurt her seem to havematerialized, making her victory a sad one. Her work was easier when the womanwas an impersonal criminal. She has finished her job, but wishes the woman was notso nice.Suddenly, J sees the black and white clothes float to the surface and knowsthe woman is dead. Although she still feels intense sadness and remorse, she is nowalso confused. J saw only her whiteness before, whereas now she sees both blackand white. What was once alive and white is dead and featureless below. Stillconfused about what has happened, J changes her mind about taking the picture.It is the victim in this last scene who finally ends the struggle and creates thebond between them. Upon awakening J is left with shock over her own violence andpuzzlement about what the dream means. It is not until months later when J returnsto work and reads the dream that she realizes that the split between career andmotherhood has been healed.The story leaves J, not with satisfaction of a job well done, but with fright thatshe was so violent and puzzlement over the dream's meaning. It confronts her with112her own violent determination to end the struggle and with the possibility that thesplit between motherhood and career may be over.Relationship between life context and structure of the dream story.The beginning of the dream reflected J's determination to end her conflictwhich she had been struggling with for so long. Being on maternity leave did notresolve her problem. To her dismay, she became even more confused when shefound herself vacillating between loving and hating her time at home. Althoughthere were others around her, J felt alone in her struggle to find an answer. Like theexecutioner in the dream, J was determined to kill off one side of the conflict inorder to find peace.When J first thought about the end of the dream, she wondered whether thedead woman represented motherhood. However, after the birth of her second childand during the rest of the maternity leave, the conflict seemed to be gone. She lovedher time at home and never wanted to go back to work. If the white woman was notmotherhood, who was she?When she reluctantly returned to work for monetary reasons, she quicklyreverted to her old habit of telling herself and her friends that she would neverresolve her conflict. However, J had followed the suggestion of the woman in thedream to take a picture to remember what had happened. Now, months later, sheread the dream again. To her surprise, she realized that her conflict had ended. Jfelt lighthearted, free, and amused. She accepted both her roles for the first time,allowing her to combine both motherhood and career.The middle of J's dream and movement upward of the plot reflected J'sstruggle with her two roles. She was relieved to begin her maternity leave so thatshe could observe how she felt at home. However, when she discovered herboredom after a few days at home, she became more and more frustrated and113discouraged. Like her struggle in the dream, every time she would push down oneside of the conflict, it would pop up again. She continuously wrestled with herdilemma, but nothing seemed to work. She could not be at work or home withoutthinking of the other. Like the dream, the struggle seemed to go on endlessly with Jfeeling exhausted.J's determination in this part of the dream reminded her of her feelingswhenever she was being firm or strong. She would suddenly feel uncomfortable andguilty that she was being too forceful. She felt this way when she was career orientedand when she had to force her daughter to take medicine. Her uncomfortablenesswould bring out her tentativeness which would hinder her from getting the job done.Her tentativeness contrasted with her husband's perseverance to get their daughterto take her medicine. J envied her husband's ability to hold their daughter's armsdown to get the medicine in her mouth. In minutes, the ordeal would be over withthe daughter giving in. Although J felt sorry for her daughter, she knew that she hadto be less tentative with her. She would have to grab hold of her arms and find thewill to do what was necessary.In the dream, J found the will to keep going with the support of the womanmore fearful than she. Like her daughter, the woman in the dream gave in whenshe knew she could not win. However, what came next, J never experienced in herwaking live. The bond between herself and the woman and the intense remorseover what she had done were all new experiences for J. Unable to understand thedream, with only weeks away from giving birth to her second child, J puzzled overthe experience. She did not know whether the conflict was dead until she went backto work after her maternity leave.Although J did not know when the conflict ended or what the details of thedream meant, she knew she was free the moment she read the dream. The weightof the struggle has been lifted allowing her to have more energy to do things for114herself separate from both work and motherhood. The dream was a model of whatshe had been through and of what she could become.Case D.Verbatim dream report.When I was dreaming, I was conscious that we were married, and Iwas feeling very happy. And the time was the day after we were married, andwe were hearing Mass, but the church where we were hearing Mass was verystrange. I was aware of, at one point I got this sight, I could see this hugevalley, and this valley was full of churches, but very strange churches,churches with very irregular shapes, extremely high walls, you know, like afortress, and with no ceilings. So it's like as though they were incomplete,that they had these very high walls, incomplete with jagged edges, you know,how a building is left with the stones unfinished. There was nothing insidethese churches except earth and rocks, and they were fairly rough. The floorwas very, very rough. We had to climb over the rocks. So there was thisvalley, and these churches, if you want to call them that, and we were insideone of them. We were sitting on rocks on the ground, and I remember, youknow, back home when we go out, we usually sit on stones. We have a verystony country, very rocky, and usually you sit on a stone that is wobbly. I didhave that sensation that I was sitting on a stone, and it was wobbly. And Ihad to keep my balance. And we were sitting next to each other on stones.And there was a feeling of closeness between us, because we were looking ateach other's eyes and smiling and feeling happy and cozy together. And wehad arms around each other. We were holding each other, and we're talkingabout the wedding, talking about yesterday, how I felt, and that sort of thing.And I remember that there was a young girl, a couple in front of us,and they kept turning like that and just looking at us without any shame andwithout being conscious of it and talking about us right in front of us, so Icould see these two people turning towards us and talking about us. Andthey appeared to be talking in a lighthearted manner. They were happy, youknow, they were just passing comments about us and joking and laughing. (Ina positive way.) Yes, not in a way that they were praising us, but in a goodnatured way.And then I started thinking about the wedding, and all of a sudden thewhole idea of a wedding becomes very dubious to me. I start asking myself,"Was I really married?". Then I notice that I start looking for the ring in hishand, yes, for proof that we're married. All of a sudden I needed the proof,and I see two rings on his finger, and the rings were very large, and they'rerather uncomfortable. I mean, if you have a large ring, your fingers have tobe really spaced. And they look more like bracelets to me than rings, very,very wide. And I looked at myself, and I had one too. Then I startedthinking back on the ceremony, and I can't remember it. I can't rememberbeing married.Then things changed. I think we decided we we're going to eat orsomething, and we'd go up in an elevator to a restaurant which is on the topfloor. And there was a landlady guiding us, and what happened was that weused the elevator to go up, and she used the stairs. I'm slightly disabled, so I115always use the elevator, and I feel bad about not using the stairs. And whathappened was that as soon as we got out of the elevator, we see the landladywaiting for us with a very suspicious look on her face. Maybe that's relatedto my disability. I don't remember the part of the dream when we wereeating. I don't remember it. I know I dreamt more about it.But then what happened was that after eating, all of a sudden wewere, both of us were at my parent's home, in our summer home which isdifferent, because it's smaller. And we spend three months of summer there.And there was everybody. It was after dinner at home, so everybody washome. And after eating, we all go to sleep, and J wanted to go to sleep. AndI remember we were all in one room deciding where people were going tosleep, because in the afternoon, people don't usually sleep on their beds.They just sleep wherever they like. And J wants to sleep m the boy's room onone of the beds. And my mother was already on the other bed with a kid, mynephew, I think. She's already lying on the bed trying to make him sleep.And J said he wanted to sleep on the other bed. And we were all sittingaround and discussing, and I feel I wanted J to come and sleep with me, and Itold him, and he agreed reluctantly. And we'd go into the girls' room. This isthe part of the dream I can't understand, and I feel a little bit bitter that hehadn't accepted to come and sleep with me immediately. So we go into theroom. I'm feeling bitter, and the last thing I remember is that before lyingdown, we had to change the sheets.Story before the dream.About ten years ago, D became friends with a Catholic priest. He laterdeclared his love for her, but did not want to leave the priesthood. Their friendshipcontinued long distance with meetings every few years. However, the last time hewent away, D did not hear from him. Three years later, she returned to her countryduring an August break from school and was surprised to find him there.They resumed their friendship and as the weeks passed, they grew closer.They had frequent discussions of his unhappiness in the priesthood and of thepossibility that they would get married if he leaves.As the relationship grew more intense, D's fears increased. For sevenmonths, while D was away at school, she thought about her future. Very few womenin her country pursue a Ph.D. By choosing to come to study in this country, D hadchosen career over personal relationships. She had resigned herself to the fact thatshe would never marry. She would concentrate on career, family, and friends ratherthan on a romantic relationship. For years she had kept her emotions under control.116Although D felt strongly for J, she did not know whether she loved himenough. What if he leaves the priesthood, and she discovers that she does not lovehim? There were days when everything was blissful, and she could not imagine lifewithout him. Then there were days when doubts crept in. She had a physicaldisability and wondered whether he would accept her limitations. She alsowondered whether he would fit in with her family.When D arrived back at university, the tension around her conflict grewmore intense with every phone call from J. The urgency of his making a decision toleave the priesthood placed pressure on her to examine her own feelings moreclosely. Although she longed to be with him, doubts around their future continuedto surface. Consumed by her dilemma and feeling isolated from family and friends,she turned to her dreams for guidance. One evening, about a month after returningto school, D fell asleep feeling much more tired than usual. She had the followingdream.Story during the dream.D is conscious that she and J were married the day before and are veryhappy. They are hearing Mass inside a church with huge irregular jagged walls withno ceilings. It looks like a fortress and is quite rough. There is nothing in thechurch, but earth and rocks which they have to climb over. D notices that they arein a valley with other churches similar to the one they are in. All the churches lookas if they are in ruins.D and J are sitting on stones with their arms wrapped around each other. Dhas the sensation that she is sitting on a wobbly stone and must keep her balance.There is a feeling of closeness and happiness as they are smiling and looking intoeach other's eyes. They are talking about their wedding, and D expresses herfeelings.117A young couple sitting in front of them keeps turning around staring withoutshame or self-consciousness. They are talking and joking about D and J in alighthearted and happy manner.Suddenly, D begins to think about the wedding and feels doubtful that she ismarried. She asks herself if she really was married yesterday and looks for the ringon his hand for proof. On his fingers, she sees two rings which are as large asbracelets and look uncomfortable. She notices that she has a ring too. D thinks ofthe ceremony, but she cannot remember getting married. D fears that the wholething might crumble before her eyes. She knows it was too good to last.D and J decide to go eat. They go up an elevator to a restaurant which is onthe top floor. They are guided by a landlady who uses the stairs. When they get offthe elevator, they are met by this same woman who looks at them suspiciously. Dfeels badly, because she believes the look refers to her inability to use the stairs dueto her slight disability. D cannot remember what happened during the meal in therestaurant.After eating, all of a sudden they are at the summer home of D's parents.They are feeling full and relaxed with a strong sense of community feeling. D'swhole family is there, and it is after dinner in the afternoon when everyone usuallygoes to sleep. J also wants to go to sleep. Because no one sleeps in their own bedsin the afternoon, they are all in one room deciding where they will lie down.D becomes annoyed when J wants to sleep in the boy's room on one of thebeds. Her mother is already on the bed next to this one trying to make D's nephewgo to sleep. D wants J to lie down with her and tells him. He agrees reluctantly,and D feels bitter that he did not agree to sleep with her immediately. They both goto the room with D still feeling bitter. Before lying down, they have to change thesheets. D feels a rift between them and wakes up.118Story after the dream.D woke up feeling warm and happy. She was struck with how real and vividthe dream felt. Although she had experienced many vivid dreams, she never hadone that felt this intense and directly related to an important issue. It was as if shehad really spent time with J. Before the dream, she could never imagine what beingmarried would feel like. Now she knew, which gave her a certainty that she wantedto be married to J.D wrote her dream down and went off to school. Whenever she rememberedher dream, the feelings of warmth and happiness would return. Basking in thesefeelings for three days, D did not think about the particulars of the dream.Slowly, warmth and happiness were replaced by fear and doubt. D realizedthat she had concentrated too much on the first part of the dream and had notlooked at what the rest of the dream had to say to her. The second part of thedream seemed to be telling her that she is going to be married and will be happy,but certain obstacles must be overcome.Little by little each obstacle surfaced as she thought about her feelingsaround the details of the dream. She realized that she needed to think about what itmeans to be married and not merely think about the romantic part. Sheremembered the crumbling church and thought about how she needed to look at herfeelings towards her religion when J finally leaves the institution which is crumblingall around them. She did not remember the ceremony, and the rings did not fit.The rings were not normal and felt uncomfortable. D thought this scene referred toher own uncomfortableness with marriage which was telling her to think about whatit means to be married. Before August, she had decided to follow a career, live herown life, and stop waiting for her prince to come. Now that she has someone in herlife, she needs to think about herself in relationship with someone else.119D thought about her family who does not know J. J comes from a class lowerthan hers which could cause problems with her family. Although there was a feelingof being full and relaxed with a sense of community after the dinner, there were alsofeelings of tension and fear that perhaps she and J did not really love each other.The actions and feelings in this scene reminded her of her last close relationshipwhich was not intimate enough for D. She and this other man usually spent toomuch time in the company of others and not enough time talking and being alonetogether. Perhaps J will be like this other fellow and will always want to spend moretime with others. D needed to find new intimacy with J, not the one sheexperienced with the other man.D remembered the look on the woman's face as they came off the elevator.D equated that look with her own uncomfortableness with her disability. J coulduse the stairs. D could not. How will they both handle her disability?These obstacles were not seen by D as blocks, but as challenges she canovercome. She was seeing the relationship from the other side of the ceremony.Before the dream she had not thought of the obstacles, because she had not allowedherself to think about the problems. D thought back to their experience of beingtogether in August and remembered that the days of bliss and warmth were alwaysfollowed by doubts and fears. The dream story has followed the same pattern.However, now she knew what it felt like to be married which erased her doubts.She faced her future with the certainty that she wants to be married, but will need toovercome the obstacles. This certainty was helpful, because J phoned soon after thedream to tell her that he had decided to leave the priesthood.Her feeling of commitment gave new meaning to everything she did. Shegave herself permission to let go and say, "Yes, I want to be married." She never feltfree enough to let go before. She felt happy and secure looking forward to a futurewhich she could enjoy without struggle. Her whole life seemed to be turned upside120down. She had to reconsider everything. She had become used to beingindependent and would now have to become used to being committed. Whereasbefore she had to think about supporting herself and finding outlets for personalrelationships outside of marriage, she now had to think of her career andrelationships in a new framework.This framework was one in which she felt more sure of herself. Although shewas in a foreign country in strange unfamiliar situations, she knew she had a placesomewhere else where she felt connected. The feeling of connection colored all heractivities and thoughts. In every situation, she asked herself how she should look atit now that she was connected to someone. For example, when she thought abouther dissertation, she knew she must finish as quickly as possible to return home to J.Along with these more positive feelings, she also felt frustration and lonelinesswithout J and wished she could get on the first plane home. Once she had made herdecision, she no longer dreamt of J.Structure of the dream story.D's dream has a beginning, middle, and end. It begins with feelings ofcloseness, happiness, and fulfillment and ends with separation, bitterness, anddisappointment. The intimacy between D and J in the beginning contrasts sharplywith the rift between them in the end. Completely absorbed in each other, theyseem oblivious to the Mass that is taking place in the church. Although the setting ispublic, they are essentially alone. Their arms are wrapped around each other whilethey gaze into each other's eyes while talking of their wedding.In contrast, the last scene is in D's private family home, yet D and J are nowimmersed in family decisions on where to sleep. D's attempts to pull J away fromthe family are met with resistance. He prefers to be in the boy's room, but it isalready occupied. His relationship to D seems to have changed from being a121husband to a brother. Only with pressure does J agree to sleep with her. Gone isthe love and warmth which seemed to flow freely in the first scene.The beginning scene, however, is not totally devoid of its opposite. D and Jare intimate together among the ruins of old churches in a valley. The decay anddesolation of the surroundings contrast with the warmth and love of the newlyweds.This contrast is enhanced by the image of D keeping her balance on the wobbly rockwhile she and J are embracing. There is a sense that D could fall off at any moment.The moment comes soon after when their intimacy is interrupted by theother couple who are openly staring and talking about them. Although theirmanner is lighthearted and nonjudgmental, their presence marks the start of themiddle part of the dream and begins the movement downward in the story frombliss to bitterness. Their watchful eyes act as a reminder to D to remember thewedding ceremony which is a public and religious declaration of their commitment.The focus is now on their relationship in the eyes of the community, not in the eyesof each other.D turns back to J, not with love, but with doubt. She needs proof that theyare committed. However, the rings are too loose and uncomfortable and could falloff. Her doubts then turn to fear when she cannot remember the ceremony. Shenow has a sense of foreboding that the union could crumble before her eyes. Whatwas only hinted at in the previous scene is now made more explicit. D even makesthe statement that their love was too good to last.In the next scene, D and J are still together, but the sense of intimacy fromthe first scene is less evident. Instead of sitting together with their arms wrappedaround each other, they are making decisions on where to eat. They are standingtogether as they go up the elevator to a public restaurant, but they are not intimate.When they arrive on top, the public gaze has now turned to suspicion whichcontrasts with the nonjudgmentalness of the couple in the last scene. D's122uncomfortableness is now focused on her own disability rather than she and J as acouple. Thrown off by the woman's looks, the restaurant scene is muddled andconfusing to D.The tension and confusion increases in the last scene with the family decidingwhere to sleep. Feelings of being full and relaxed after a meal with the familycontrast with the tension between D and J. Unlike the last scene where the coupleagree to eat, they cannot agree now on where to sleep. D's desire to be close is metwith resistance and J's desire to be in the boy's room. J has become one of thefamily and only with pressure from D does he reluctantly agree to be with her. D'sfeelings have gone from annoyance to bitterness, and there is a rift between them.Intimacy and love, once given freely, are now given reluctantly.The dream gave D the experience of being married to J. However, italso confronted her with her own reservations towards the relationship. There willbe obstacles which need to be overcome if they are to stay together. At the time ofthe dream, she thought that these obstacles were challenges. Only with time did shediscover that they were actually barriers which could not be overcome.Relationship between life context and structure of the dream story.The feelings in the first part of the dream reminded D of her blissful dayswith J in August. Their relationship felt right. She wanted to be married to him.The scene with her arms around J feeling happy and close was reminiscent of manyscenes with J that summer, except for one important difference. Now D knew whatbeing married felt like. She could not imagine the feeling before, and this newfeeling erased any reservations she may have had towards marriage with J.At the time of the dream, D thought the last scene was a reflection of herown fears that J would be like her last boyfriend who preferred to always have lotsof people around. D knew that the intimacy issue and their different backgrounds123would have to be worked out. Feeling committed to J, she could now look at theirproblems as challenges rather than obstacles to be feared.What D did not know until a year later after the dream was that a rift wouldoccur between herself and J which would end the relationship. When J came to staywith her at the university for a month, he seemed to be unconcerned with D's wishesand feelings and showed little intimacy or understanding. J found herself becomingincreasingly annoyed at him. There were also many problems with their dailydecisions living together which they had not foreseen.The ending of the dream took on a new meaning for D. Problems were nolonger challenges to be overcome, but were now obstacles to the relationship. Therift between them in the dream had become a reality. J was acting as he did in thelast scene. The dream had not only been a warning to look at the obstacles, but hadbeen a warning of what was to come.The movement downward of the plot in the middle of the dream reflectedboth D's experience in August and her experience after the dream. Doubts soonfollowed bliss. As D mentioned, "The cold light of reason set in." However, inAugust, D did not look closely at her reservations towards the relationship. Like thedream, she was trying to keep her balance on an unstable rock amidst the crumblingchurches. She did not want to look at her relationship and J's severed connection tothe priesthood. She preferred to stay oblivious to the decay and desolation allaround them.After the dream, D was challenged to look closely at her connection to Jrather than allow herself to stay completely absorbed by the romance. However,what began as a positive exploration of their challenges soon became a criticalexamination of their obstacles. Like the dream, the looking turned from beingnonjudgmental gazing to suspicious glaring. As Soon as D began to look at herrelationship and move beyond her own absorption, she began to look for proof in124herself and J that they both wanted to be married. She slowly began to realize thattheir commitment was not as strong as she once thought. Like the rings, theirconnection was slowly falling away.Despite the waning of their feelings, the relationship continued. Like thescene in the elevator, they were still together, but without the intimacy they hadbefore. Their commitment seemed to be a given rather than an intense desire to betogether. D began to question her reasons for getting involved with J. Was shemarrying J, because she wanted recognition in the eyes of the public, or was shemarrying him, because she loved him? She now looked upon the relationship withsuspicion.J's letters became less frequent and the phone calls more strained. AlthoughD feared the loss of the relationship, she began thinking of J less. J's arrival tospend time with her at the university marked the beginning of the actual rift. Likethe dream, there was lots of tension and disagreement on almost everything. Livingtogether proved to be difficult. J took for granted that he was a part of thehousehold without acknowledging D's desire for intimacy. J's unwillingness to beclose annoyed D to the point that she could not stand to be near him any longer.The rift had occurred.D's experience of being married in the first part of the dream was now alsoseen with a different meaning. In the dream she felt committed which turned herworld upside down. Where before she felt independent and planned to stay single,she then felt committed and planned to get married. These feelings have notchanged. She still feels committed to the idea of getting married, but not to J. D nolonger thinks of herself as always being single which has changed her view of life.She no longer feels isolated and separate. In its place has come a connectednessand commitment to a relationship. As she commented, "Deep down there was a125part of me saying, don't worry, you have a place somewhere else." These feelingshave given her peace and strength during her studies in a country foreign to her.Case S:Verbatim dream report.I was taking my kids to the park, and it seemed to me they must havebeen much younger than they were, because I wouldn't be taking teenagersto the park. And it wasn't any specific park that I know exactly, but it wasvery typical of V parks. It was a large maybe city block, and it had a littlecabin in the center of it which a lot of parks around here do. And I thinkcaretakers live in them, but they might be open for community centers. Isuspect they are, and I suspect this one was supposed to be sort of that idea,that it was a little community center possibly with a cabin attached to it. Andit was snowy. There was snow all over the park, and we had approached on aroad that went along the long width or length of the park. And there was astreet and then there was sort of a little ditch on the far side and then a rowof trees which again is quite typical of V parks.And we had just walked across the street, and my kids had sort of ranoff to play, and I looked across the street, and there was an old car, an oldAmencan car, a big one coming alone the street. And the wheels were off onone side. The tires were off on one side. It was rolling on the wheels on oneside, and the tires on the other. And I noticed there was a teenage girldriving the car. And as I watched I was thinking she'd better be careful withthe car, because the road may be icy. And as I watched, the car slid off theroad, sort of into the ditch. And then came up beside a tree, not into a tree,but they came up beside a tree.And I looked around to see if anybody else had seen it. And therewere people in the park, but nobody else seemed to have even noticed it. Itwasn't a loud crash or anything. It was just what had happened. And Iremember thinking, sort of, well, I guess I'd better go then. Nobody else isgoing. So I went over across the street and opened the door as far as I could.It opened, and I said, "Are you all right?". And the girl was quite hysterical.She was just screaming, "I want to get out." So I pulled the door open as faras I could, and there was enough space for her to squeeze out. And I said,"Okay, the door is open. Come on out." And she said, "I can't." And I triedit first to sort of, that she could come out. I said, "Well, yes you can." And shewouldn't, and so then it seemed to me that the only thing I could do is pushthe car forward so that the door would go past the tree, clear of the tree.And I could open the door really wide and let her out. And when I was doingthat, I was thinking to myself, "This is an awful lot of work to be doing." And Igot behind the car, and the wheels were down in the ditch, and I had to pushthe car up sort of over and forward, so she was able to get out. And I didthat, and it was hard work and went over finally and opened the door. And Isaid, "You can get out now." And she just sort of got out and danced awayand ran down the road.And so then I came back to the park. And I, now this is where itchanges and instead of now being a park, it was the therapist's office in someway, but not, you know, how dreams are. It sort of blended. Anyway, it was126in the community center, and I went in, and it was a large open room and ithad windows around it, and it was quite obviously the therapist's room in herhome and what had been a square rug on the floor, or rectangular rug on thefloor, was now sort of a large table...But it was, you know, it was clearly whatit was, but there were people, mental patients wandering all around there.There were people standing. There was one door to the outside, and therewere several people standing around the door, again, young teenage girls.And there were people in hospital gowns wandering around. And theyseemed to me clearly to be mental patients. And I was a little bit annoyed,because I'd made an appointment, and I wanted to have my time with her.And also I was dirty from pushing the car, and so I went over...there was asink there, and I washed my hands. And then I thought I'd like a drink ofwater. And several of the mental patients were walking around and had cupsin their hands and were drinking water, but I didn't see where the cups were.I couldn't see. So I went over the...This probably doesn't have anysignificance, but the therapist wasn't really the therapist. It was a womanwho was in an English class that I was teaching, probably not exactly, but shehad quite a distinctive hair style. Well, it wasn't a style, but her hair naturallyhad a blond streak that came right down the center that was otherwise dark.It was a natural streak. It wasn't dyed. You know, it all sort of intrigued me.I used to look at it (in class), and so it was that woman's hair...And I said, Doyou have some water or a cup?" And so she sort of looked up at me. Andthen she walked over to the sink, and she picked up the soap dish that hadbeen lying there. And the soap dish was, you know, one of these little plasticRubbermaid dishes. And it was covered with layers of sticky soap. And sheheld it up to me, and I looked at her, and I said, "Well, now, I can't drink outof that." I said I wanted a cup, and she said, "Well, you can use this." And Isaid, "No, I can't." And I walked away. And I cupped my hands together(like this) and held it under the water and drank that way.Story before the dream.Two and a half years before her dream, S left her husband. Because she didnot understand why she would suddenly leave a marriage which she tolerated fornineteen years, she decided to see a therapist. She wondered why she suddenlyfound the situation so intolerable. Concerned that she was hurting her husband andchildren, she wanted assurance that her change in perspective was valid. How couldshe just walk away and not have more pain? She wondered if she was denying herfeelings.At first S was hopeful that the therapist could give her some insight into herpersonality, but as time progressed, S found herself babbling on at each session to atherapist who only listened. S began to think that something was seriously wrong127with herself, because the therapist kept making weekly appointments. She thoughtthat perhaps she was not approaching these sessions in the right way. Who was sheto question an authority? However, when the therapist went on maternity leave forsix months, S felt confused that she did not suggest that S see someone else.After her maternity leave, the weekly appointments began again. S did notknow what to discuss, so she summarized her week. Because she was in graduateschool and finishing her thesis, she spoke about her stress. S left each sessionthinking that she did not get what she needed. She did not seek therapy to talkabout stress at school.A month before her dream, the therapist moved her office to her home. Theoffice was a large room surrounded by windows. S remembers that it was snowingthe first day she went there. That day, and every time she went afterwards, thetherapist would leave in the middle of the session to get the mail when it arrived. Swould leave feeling annoyed, but thought, "Well, at least she didn't read it." Thenext patient would always be waiting outside whenever she left. The night of herdream, S does not remember anything out of the ordinary.Story during the dream.S is taking her children to a park on a snowy day. Although her children areteenagers, in the dream they are young children. The park is a typical one for S'scity. It has a community building or caretaker's cabin in the middle. The park alsohas a row of trees and a ditch next to the street. S crosses the street to the park tolet her children play. The children run off as soon as they get there.S notices a teenage girl driving a big old American car with the tires off thewheels on one side S thinks that the girl should be careful, because the road may beicy. S anticipates that there could be problems because of the road and a teenagerdriving an old car. S is the only one who is watching her. The car then slides off the128road into a ditch up against a tree. There was not a loud crash. S looks around tosee if anyone in the park has noticed. No one has. S thinks that someone shouldhave noticed and been there. Although S does not feel obliged to offer herassistance to the girl, she decides to help, because it looks as if no one else is going.She wishes she had some support.S crosses the street, opens the door, and asks the young girl if she is all right.The girl is hysterical and is yelling, "I want to get out. I want to get out." The tree isblocking the door from opening wide. S holds the door open, so the girl can squeezeout. She coaxes the girl to come, but the girl keeps saying she cannot. S says, "Yes,you can."S feels annoyed that the girl is not trying. She is being a stubborn teenager.She is not hurt. The only thing S can do next is push the car forward past the tree.As she pushes, she is thinking that pushing the car up over the ditch is a lot of hardwork. Finally the door is free, and S goes over to open the door wide. The girldances off down the road. S is irritated that she does not even say thank you.S goes back to the park. It is no longer winter, but spring. She sees that thepark building is now the therapist's office. When she goes inside, she notices thelarge room with lots of windows. There are mental patients wandering all around inhospital gowns and young teenage girls standing at the door. S feels annoyed thatthere are so many people around, because she has an appointment and she wantsher time with the therapists. Because S's hands are dirty from pushing the car, shegoes over to the sink and washes them. She then thinks that she would like a drinkof water, but she cannot find a cup. Several of the mental patients walking aroundhave cups and are drinking water. She still could not see where the cups were.She goes over to the therapist who looks like one of the students she hadonce taught. Like the student S used to know, the therapist has a blond streakrunning up the center of her dark hair. S asks the therapist if she has a cup for some129water. She looks up at S and walks over to the sink and picks up a plastic soap dishcaked with soap. She holds it up to S. S looks at her and says, "Well, now, I can'tdrink out of that. I want a cup." The therapist tells S that she can use the soap dish.Surprised, S says, "No, I can't," and walks away thinking, "How could she do this.She should know better." S goes over to the sink, cups her hands together under thewater and drinks. She then wakes up.Story after the dream.S woke up feeling amazed that the dream was so vivid and detailed, becauseshe usually only remembers brief moments from dreams or nothing at all. She didnot think about the content of the dream until she took the bus to the therapist'soffice later that morning.S began thinking about what pulling the girl out of the car meant. S realizedthat she usually does take on things single-handedly and assume full responsibilitywith little reward. Others do not even notice that there is something that needsdoing. To S, this scene in the dream was the significance of the dream. S thoughtthat she would bring up the dream to the therapist.When S arrived at her therapy session, she began telling the dream rightaway. She was not sure why she was telling it, but she knew that she wanted to tellher. The therapist did not say anything until the part where the teenagers enteredthe room. She then commented that S was probably worried about the lack ofprivacy, because a patient is always waiting in her entrance hall outside the room.She thought that S may be concerned that people might be able to hear what she issaying. However, S does not remember being conscious of her concern. Shewondered if she could be subconsciously bothered. S did remember seeing themailman peek through the window on numerous occasions. She was annoyed thatthe therapist would always run to get her mail in the middle of the session which S130thought was totally inappropriate. S would think to herself, "Thank God, she didn'tsit there and read it."S continued telling the dream. When she arrived at the part of the dreamwhere she was looking for a cup, she told her therapist quite emphatically that allshe offered was a soap dish which was completely inadequate. If the therapist hadtaken a cup away from one of the patients, that would have been unsatisfactory, butnot inadequate. The therapist's only comment was that S frequently uses thewashroom before the sessions. She must have been thirsty and looked for a cup inthe bathroom. S thought, "That wasn't true, I mean that wasn't anything that everhappened. I mean I had never been there looking for a cup. I never felt thirsty". Swas not surprised that the therapist did not make any other comments, becausenothing enlightening ever came out of these sessions. As usual, S did not argue withthe therapist's interpretation.After S left, her only thought was that the therapist may think that it was rudeof her to compare her office to a shack in a park. S was bothered and wished shehad not said that to her.S did not deliberately think about the dream, but it kept coming back to her.When it would come to mind, she would go over the dream again. Slowly she beganconcentrating on the soap dish incident. The next day the meaning became clearer.Suddenly, S understood. She had the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle, andeverything fell into place. The therapist's inadequate action was an analogy to thesituation. What she had been getting from the therapist all along was inadequate.As usual, S had to rely on her own resources and take responsibility.S came to therapy, because she needed validation that she did the right thingleaving her husband. She did not trust her own feelings. The dream told her thatshe always had to rely on herself to get the job done. She had noticed the car andthe lack of cups and took action. She had acted on her feelings both in the past and131in the present to get what she wanted. Before her dream, S had not been aware ofthese insights which were quite enlightening to her.Although she knew the therapy had been inadequate, she went to the nextsession the following week. She did not raise any of these issues. Because S'sschedule was changing, she told her therapist that she must change her appointmenttime. The therapist offered her a time that was not convenient, and S said shewould see if she could work something out.S did not feel a desire to go back to the therapist, so she did not phone her.A month later the therapist phoned to tell S that she had a cancellation. When Stold her that she could not come because of a dental appointment, the therapistbecame flustered, said "thank you", and hung up. S thought again that her strangeresponse was inappropriate. The therapist never phoned back. Again, S's insightswere validated, and she felt a satisfaction that she was not wrong. The therapistwas not helping her. S had to rely on herself. With this validation, S decided not tocontinue therapy.The realization that she could trust her own feelings and take responsibilityfor her actions to do what is necessary had filtered into other areas of her life.When she is in other situations now, she tries to be aware of her feelings and trustthem. For example, if she is in a situation where she is feeling uncomfortable, sheremembers her dream and what it was telling her. She uses the analogy of climbinga mountain. Whenever she thinks she cannot climb the mountain, she remembersthe dream and realizes that she has already done it in the dream. Because she hasexperienced that trust, she could trust again.132Structure of the dream story.In the beginning, S accepts the responsibility of caring for her children whorun off to care for themselves. In the end, S rejects the inadequate care from herirresponsible therapist and walks off to care for herself.In the first scene, S is obliging her children by taking them to the park. Afterthey cross the street, the children run off to play, leaving S standing alone out in thecold. S seems to dutifully accept her parental responsibilities without complaint.The park, without its usual activity, seems lonely and desolate. The caretaker'scabin in the distance is the only hint that someone else could be there with her.In the last scene, S is back at the park, but it is now spring. She is no longerstanding alone out in the cold, but is inside her caretaker's house with mentalpatients who seem to be getting the care that they need. Unlike the first scene,where S is a parent passively accepting her parental obligations, in this scene, S is apatient actively demanding care from her therapist who is not fulfilling herobligations as a caregiver. Shocked that the therapist will not give her what shewants, S walks away, relying on herself to get what she needs.The middle of the dream and upward movement from passively acceptingresponsibility for others to actively taking responsibility for herself begins when Snotices a teenage girl driving an outdated, worn-out car. With detached concern, Smakes a judgment that the girl should be careful because of the icy road. Given thecondition of the car and the road, S anticipates problems ahead.S's assessment of the situation is correct, and the girl drives into the ditch.Instead of rushing to her aid, S looks around to see if anyone else has noticed.When no one has, her concern for the girl seems to change to mild irritation whenshe judges that someone else should have seen the accident and been there. S doesnot want to help, but she reluctantly decides that she must accept responsibility,because no one else is going. She realizes she has to rely on herself. This133realization and her wish for some support foreshadows her demand for care andmovement away from her therapist in the last scene.S leaves her parental responsibilities and crosses the street to help theteenager. However, when S opens the door to ask the girl if she is all right, the girlkeeps yelling hysterically that she wants to get out. Because the tree is blocking thedoor from opening completely, S holds it open so she can squeeze out. S keepstelling the girl that she can come out, but she keeps insisting that she cannot. S nowadmits that she is annoyed, because the girl is not even trying. Whereas before Smade a judgment that others should have noticed the accident, she now is annoyedand makes a judgment that the girl is just being a stubborn teenager.Despite her annoyance, S does not think of letting the girl fend for herself. Itis as if S has accepted that she must complete the task even if it means assuming allthe responsibility herself. She believes that the only thing she can do now is pushthe car past the tree. She admits to herself that pushing is hard work, but she keepsgoing until the door is free. Instead of letting the girl open the door herself, S opensit for her. However, when the girl dances off without a word of thanks, S's irritationseems stronger than before. Not only has S gone out of her way and assumed fullresponsibility for helping the girl, but she does not even get a thank you from theperson she is helping.S leaves the situation and winter behind as she walks back to the park in thelast scene. It is now spring, and she does not seem to notice that her children arenot there. She seems determined to get help and walks directly to her caretaker'soffice. It is as if she is fed up with always taking on sole responsibility for helpingothers and never getting help for herself.Her annoyance returns when she sees all the other patients. She anticipatesthat she may not get what she needs from her therapist who is supposed to care forher.134Instead of dwelling on her annoyance, S begins to help herself by washing herhands of the dirt. She then realizes that she wants a drink of water, but cannot finda cup. It is as if S wants something more, but cannot find what she needs on herown. S observes that the other patients are getting what they need, but instead ofasking them where they found the cups, she goes to the authority. The appearanceof the therapist foreshadows the inadequate help she receives moments later. Is thetherapist an authority who can help her or a student who cannot give her what sheneeds?Unlike the first scene, where S wished for some support, in this scene sheasks directly for what she needs. The therapist gives her the soap dish, but S doesnot need the soap dish anymore. She has already washed her hands of the dirt. Shedoes not passively accept what the therapist gives her, but tells her that she cannotdrink from the dish. She again states what she wants, but the therapist insists thatshe can use what she is giving her. Like the last scene, where S persisted in helpingthe girl, she now persists in asking for what she wants.Surprised at the therapist's inappropriate actions, S again tells her that shecannot use what she offers. As if finally realizing that the therapist is not going togive her what she needs, S questions the expertise of the authority who should knowbetter. She walks over to the sink and uses what she has to get what she wants. Likethe previous scenes, she must rely on herself.The dream tells S that she has always assumed full responsibility with littlehelp from others, but she has not been aware of how self-reliant she is. Althoughher therapist is supposed to be an authority, she is not giving S what she needs. Thedream helps S to realize that she can trust her own sense of a situation and takeresponsibility for herself. In the dream, S experiences trusting herself and theactions she took afterward. Having already experienced this trust in a dream, shecan begin trusting herself in waking situations.135Relationship between life context and structure of the dream story.In the first scene, S accepts responsibility for taking care of her children whorun off to play on their own. The children were younger in the dream than theywere in waking life, so S would not be taking them to the park now. When S left herhusband, she was concerned that her children would suffer and went to the therapistto validate her reasons for leaving. However, like the children in the dream, herchildren were doing well and did not need as much concern as before. When Sthought more about the dream, she was reminded that at a very young age she hadto take care of her younger brother and sister. She never questioned thisresponsibility, accepting it without complaint.The last scene reflected the present situation with her therapist. Thecaretaker's house looked like the therapist's office with its many windows. Thetherapist had just moved to this new location weeks before S's dream. When S wentto the office, she was concerned with the lack of privacy, because she keptwondering whether the people waiting in the entrance way could hear what she wassaying.The mental patients in the dream reflected S's concern that something mustbe seriously wrong with her if she needs weekly appointments for two years.Although she was determined to get help for herself, she was not getting the helpthat she needed. In the dream, all the others were getting what they needed, but notS.In waking life, she never confronted her therapist, but assumed that thetherapist was an authority who should know what she is doing. The dream helped Sbecome aware of her annoyance. It was her annoyance in the dream that seemed tomotivate her to help herself. She used the therapist's facilities to wash her hands ofthe dirt from her past. When she wanted more, she directly asked her therapist, but136what the therapist gave her was inadequate. She had to go off and help herself. Sneeded to confront her therapist, and the dream gave her the awareness of theproblem and the experience of asking for what she wanted.In the middle of the dream, S was the only one who noticed the girl andanticipated that there could be a problem. S mentioned that this theme was afamiliar one for her, because she always seemed to be the one who was aware ofparticular situations and foresaw problems. Like she anticipated, the girl had anaccident because of the way she was driving combined with the poor condition of thecar and the road. In waking life, S saw this happening in her marriage of nineteenyears. The car was old like her worn-out marriage situation which was heading on acollision course only she seemed to see.No one noticed the car or the crash which was not very loud and did not domuch damage. Like waking life, S was forced to take on all the responsibility forhelping. The dream helped her become more aware that she was taking on toomuch for others, but also showed her that she was irritated that no one was there tohelp.S then put into action what she decided in the last scene. Helping the girl getout of the accident, reminded S of her marriage and many other situations in herlife. There was a way out after the crash, but the girl was too upset to notice.Although S, in her waking life, could see disaster ahead and take action whenneeded, she rarely noticed how self-reliant she was. She was not as helpless anddependent as she had once thought.Because the girl was too stubborn and upset, S had to work hard to push thecar out of the ditch. She wished she had some support. In her waking life, S alwayshad to take on responsibility and hard work without support or thanks. S mentionedthat she was not aware until the dream that she always had to rely on her ownjudgement and action to get things done.137138The scene then quickly changed to her present situation with the therapist.Like the previous scene, others were getting what they needed, but S was not. Whenshe asked the therapist for a cup, she gave her a soap dish which was totallyinadequate. As S commented, the therapist could have used the cup from one ofher other patients which would have been unsatisfactory, but she did not even dothat. She did not even try to find the means to help S, and S finally confronted her.What she found difficult to do in waking life, she was able to do in her dream life.This act gave her the experience of trusting herself and speaking up for what shewanted.This action in words paralleled her behavior in the previous scene. Sherealized that she had always been aware of situations and had followed up withaction. This awareness of her strength allowed her to make the decision to quittherapy. Although S did not tell the therapist why she was not coming back, she didtell the therapist that what she gave her in the dream was inadequate. S did notknow the significance of the dream when she told her. However, when she thoughtabout the session later, she realized what the dream meant. The experience of thisdream has spread to other areas of her life where she is beginning to recognize thatshe can trust herself to notice a situation and take the appropriate action.Whenever she is in difficult situations, she can remember the trust she experiencedin the dream and trust her sense of what is happening to do what she thinks isappropriate. Like climbing a mountain, once she has done it, she knows she can doit again.Case C:Verbatim dream report.In this room, the dream took place in this room, on this couch whichwas why I'm glad we came here. My son has the bedroom, and I sleep inhere. So at night time it's folded out into a bed. In the dream, it was asunny morning like this. The curtains were open, and I was folding the bedup into a couch, and in between the folds of this cover there is a wriggly, ugly,little caterpillar, worm-like thing. So hesitantly I picked it up. And I can seeit in my hand, just as my hand is now. And I made myself look at it. Mynormal reaction would be just to throw it on to the floor and sweep it up withthe broom. I looked at it, and as I was looking at it, it transformed into ananimal. And it was about the length of my hand. It was a combination of acat and a dog. It had markings very similar to a Siamese cat, but more tan.So it was a wriggling worm that turned into this animal which I then wasstroking and talking to. And I wasn't scared of it. I wasn't repulsed by it.And that was it. It was very silky and wonderful.Story before the dream.One year before her dream, C began experiencing problems in university. Ateacher in one of her classes frequently made reference to prostitution and incest ina joking manner which rekindled C's memories of sexual abuse in her own family.Memories began to flood C's consciousness, making it difficult for her to cope.In the past, C found relief from her underlying chaos by helping others andexcelling in school. These activities gave her a sense of control over her life.However, being self-critical, nothing C did was ever good enough. She would alwayshave to be perfect, or her self-esteem would suffer. Now, with her past interfering,C could no longer keep her high grades.Unable to cope, C sought professional help for the first time. Unfortunately,the therapist was destructive rather than helpful. Whenever C saw her, she felt as ifshe was peering down into a bottomless pit. Her therapist kept pushing her to let goof her pain, but C feared that if she let go, she would disappear and never return. Ifshe allowed her emotions to surface, she could lose all control.Feeling coerced by the therapist, C left therapy at the end of the school year.Exhausted and shaken by the experience, she separated herself as much as possiblefrom others and spent the summer quietly taking care of her young son.Towards the end of summer, two weeks before her dream, C's parents madea surprise visit. It had been four years since she last saw them. Although she still139feared her father, she found it difficult to hate him, because he was being so nice toher and her son. She found herself wanting to like him, because she wanted a fatherso badly. C also discovered that for the first time in her life she had some controlover her father. She was able to assert her wishes and receive some compliancefrom him. Although she wished she had more control, she knew she had taken thefirst step.A few days after her parents left, C went away for the weekend and met awoman whose abused childhood was as painful as hers. The woman introduced C toa family who showed her more love and care than she had ever experienced in herown family. The contrast between this family and her own shocked her, and shebroke down crying. She then realized that she needed to find another therapist tohelp her heal the past.When C came home from the weekend, she asked some close friends torecommend someone. Although C was afraid, she decided to phone the therapistthey mentioned. C liked speaking with her on the phone and knew that she wouldfeel safe and in control. At the first session, she gave C "lots of information" andways to deal with her situation. She also suggested that C write down her dreams. Cleft feeling hopeful that she may finally be able to look at her past. A few days afterthis first session, C had the following dream.Story during the dream.It is a sunny morning and the curtains are open. C is folding up a couchwhich she sleeps on in waking life. In the folds of the cover, C discovers a wriggly,ugly, little caterpillar or worm. Her first reaction is panic. She thinks, "Where didthis worm come from?" The worm was unexpected, and now she knows she has todeal with it. Her normal reaction would be to throw it out and sweep it up. Forsome unknown reason, she takes a deep breath, and hesitantly picks up the worm.140Holding the worm in the palm of her hand, she makes herself look at it. Asshe looks at the worm, it transforms into an animal about the length of her hand.It's beige and looks like a combination between a cat and a dog which looks veryrelaxed and confident. C begins stroking the animal and talking to it. It feels silkyand wonderful. C feels a mixture of surprise, relief, acceptance, and tranquility.Story after the dream.When C woke up, the feeling of peace and calmness lingered on. She couldstill feel the animal in the palm of her hand. This tactile sensation and theaccompanying feelings clouded over her usual tendency to analyze the experience.Although she did not understand what had happened, she knew it was importantand wrote it down. Writing down the experience was new to her, because she hadalways felt reluctant to look at her dreams. They were too scary and out of control.Although C did not try and interpret the dream, she had a sense that thedream was telling her that something ugly could turn into something beautiful. Thedream flowed in and out of awareness during the next week. Whenever she thoughtof the image of the animal, the feeling of peace and calmness would return.A week after the dream, C went for her second therapy session. She told thedream to the therapist after the session ended. When C commented that shethought the dream meant that something ugly could turn into something beautiful,the therapist smiled.After C left, she thought more about what she had told her therapist. Shestill felt the calmness of the image and wanted to understand more about itsmeaning. The meaning became clearer when she thought of its relationship to herlife. Until that year, C had never lost control. Although she knew she neededtherapy, she could not bear to look at herself with her first therapist. With the141142second one, she could look at all the awfulness which she identified as herself.Being self-critical, she could not see herself as anything else but a worm.Going over the details of the dream, C thought about the beginning scene. Inthe dream, she woke up alone which was unusual. She always woke up with herpartner. Because C did not feel comfortable with herself, she usually had otherpeople around as much as possible. However, she knew that she had to deal withher problem alone.Discovering the unexpected worm reminded her of going hunting with herfather. She used to hate finding animals unexpectedly and would become hysterical.Despite her panic in the dream, she took a deep breath and picked up the horriblecreature. Holding the worm in the palm of her hand gave her a sense of control.With this new therapist, she felt she could control how much she wanted to explore.She chose to keep looking at it. She could handle the problem. It was tangible, andsomething she could see.The dream showed her what happens when she takes the courage to reallylook at herself. She transforms. By looking at the animal, it transformed intosomething loveable and acceptable. Stroking it, she could then feel warm and calm.All her life, she could not find the peace and tranquility which she finally feltin the dream. Whenever she felt good before, she knew she would soon feel awfulagain. It felt like a vicious cycle from which she could not escape. The peace shefelt now was a wholeness which C described as being more than physical andemotional. It was a spiritual wholeness, not a wholeness which had all its parts, buta completely different whole. Before the dream, she would try talking herself intobeing calm or try giving herself affirmations, now she could remember the image ofthe animal.Although C felt the calmness every time she thought of the image, shementioned that she did not feel the dream's full impact until she related it to her lifesituation. She began trying out new behaviors, to see if she had been transformed.C had always been extremely frightened to speak up in a class. Three weeks afterher dream, she was in her Spanish class. Each student had to speak a few lines inSpanish. C began to panic and sweat. She could not speak up in English, so howcould she speak in a foreign language? Suddenly, she felt something coming up theback of her spine and over her head. It was a voice using her childhood nicknametelling her she could do it. She spoke very well, but also realized that it was okay ifshe did not do well. She was not a bad person. Nothing was going to happen to herif she did not speak. She knew from the dream that if she looked at what she feared,it could change. She had a new perspective. This moment constituted a real shift inhow C related to school. Weeks later, she was able to give a presentation in anotherclass.C no longer felt the need to measure herself against other students. Beforethe dream, to feel good about herself, she would have to go home and build herselfup by telling her partner how well she did compared to others. Now it is not atragedy if she did not do well. Her self-esteem does not depend on how well sheperforms. She has a sense that she belongs at school.C's relationships with people outside school has also changed. She nevercould ask for help before. Now she can. She was the one always giving her time.Because she never could set limits, people could walk all over her. Now she cancontrol how much she gives. She reminds herself of the control she felt whileholding the worm.C's dreams have also reflected this new perspective. She no longer feels outof control with people taking advantage of her. Like waking life, she is settinglimits and saying no.C believed she was ready to receive her dream. Although people told herthat she was smart and good, she never believed them. In order to accept this143message, C knew her whole perspective had to change, but she did not know whereto begin Should she look at her painful memories, her self-criticalness, or her lackof setting limits? The dream seemed to combine all the pieces and heal her at thecenter of the problem, her lack of love for herself. She now felt acceptance and lovewhich allowed changes to occur in many areas of her life.Structure of the dream story.C's panic when she discovers the worm in the beginning contrastsdramatically with her peace and tranquility while stroking the animal in the end.Waking up to a bright, new day, C is alone busily folding up her sleeping couch. Inthe midst of this activity, she discovers the unexpected worm which she can seeclearly in the light. Feeling intense panic, she wonders where the ugly worm camefrom.In the end, C is still alone in her sunny room, but the ugly worm hastransformed into a unique and special animal which she cares for and loves. Wherebefore she felt repulsed by the worm, she now feels connected and wants to strokeand talk to the animal. Her panic and fear have been replaced by calmness andacceptance.The peace and tranquility in the end, however, are not completely absentfrom the first scene. C's icy panic contrasts with the warmth and light from the sun.A new day is beginning. Without the light, the worm may have gone unnoticed inthe folds of the cover.When C acknowledges that she must deal with the worm, the middle of thedream begins, and the plot moves upward from panic to calm. Thisacknowledgement is a new thought for her and seems to ease her panic, giving herthe courage to hesitantly pick up the worm instead of throwing it away.144The acknowledgement that gave her the courage to pick up the worm nowgives her the courage to face the worm in the palm of her hand. Although her panicand fear are less evident than before, C still must force herself to look at the worm.Looking at the worm transforms it into a confident and relaxed animal whichhas the qualities of both a cat and a dog. C's panic has subsided, and she nowunhesitantly strokes and talks to the animal which feels silky and wonderful. She issurprised at the change. It is as if the calmness and confidence of the animal arenow a part of C. From something she once wanted to discard has come somethingshe can love and cherish. From her love, has come acceptance and peace withinherself. Gone is the panic and fear which were present only moments before.C's story is one of facing and conquering what she fears. She is left withrenewed confidence in herself to begin her life in a fresh, new way.Relationship between life context and structure of the dream story.C had seen her new therapist for the first time a few days before she had thisdream. Like the light pouring in through the window of her room, the therapist hadbegun to shed light on C's problem. Although C was scared that she may uncoversomething awful, she was hopeful that she could begin looking at herself withsomeone she could trust. It felt like a new beginning.The calm and peace at the end of the dream were feelings C had rarelyexperienced. When she had moments of peace, she always knew that dread andworry would soon follow. Now she felt an acceptance of herself as a warm andloving individual. Where before she had always talked herself into feeling calm, shenow felt a peace and acceptance that she had never experienced before. Before herdream, C never knew which problem to tackle first. The dream had concentratedon the core of her problem, her lack of love for herself.145Like waking life, C acknowledged that she had to deal with her problemwhich conjured up vivid childhood memories. It is this acknowledgement that bringsher to therapy and begins the plot in the dream. Afraid of what she may encounter,the dream reflected this fear, yet showed her that she had the courage to faceherself.In the dream, C acted differently. Instead of pushing aside what she did notwant to see, she picked up the worm. She continued to look at the worm while itwas in the palm of her hand. C could never imagine picking up one of theseanimals.Holding the worm in the palm of her hand reminded C that she had controlover choosing to not throw away the ugliness she saw in herself. She could handlethe awfulness and choose to look at it in her therapy sessions. With her previoustherapist she felt out of control and unable to take the risk to look at herself.Taking the risk and looking at the ugliness transformed the awfulness intosomething beautiful. The awfulness was something tangible which she could touchand feel.When C began stroking and talking to the silky, cuddly animal, she becamecalm and tranquil. Actively caring and communicating with what was once ugly andscary, brought the change in feelings which lingered on after awakening. The dreamwas a model for C, allowing her to feel healed and whole for the first time in herlife. After the dream, C's calmness and peace returned every time she wouldremember the image of stroking the animal.Although the image with the accompanying feelings transformed in thedream, C did not feel the full impact until she thought about the details of thedream and their relationship to her life. When she reflected on her actions ofpicking up the ugliness and looking at it instead of throwing it away, she realizedthat a transformation had occurred. By continuing to stroke and love what had been146transformed, she found the peace she desperately desired. With the acceptance ofherself, other changes soon followed.ae_seG;Verbatim dream report.I dreamt about my house. I really loved that house. And it was myhouse, but it had some things that were different. It had a front porch on itwhere people sat and that wasn't on it, and it seemed that although thishouse is on a hill and right across in front of the house is a huge poplar stand.It was a flat place, and there were, it was a pine stand, and in pine treesthere's not much undergrowth, because the needles fall so thick on theground. And through these pine trees, I could see as I moved to the side justbits of a thing that was going on within those trees, and it was a camp beingset up. There were people in there. There were people who were camped inthere, and they were watching my house. This is a house that is way out in,no neighbors around, nobody but trees. There was some sense that thesepeople were going to do something to me or to my house. So I was worried.This was disturbing me that these people were camped around, that I wasvulnerable, that they would be able to see me when I came and went, and Icouldn't exactly see all of what was going on there, and I didn't know exactlywho it was, but I knew it was Indians. And I was worried about break-ins orthey murdering us or whatever. Anyway, that was quite enough, and at onepoint, I worried about it every time I left the house, and I would go away.So at one point, I had to go somewhere, and I had to go and get arobe, and it seemed that I drove quite a ways down the road. And then I hadto get out of my truck and walk into the forest, and it was quite an open path,and it seemed that on my left there was a man walking with me, and he waslike a husband or another part of me, and we walked quite a ways into theforest on the path to get this robe.And I got to a place where you get a robe, and I got a robe that was abear skin. And it was the skin of a very old bear. It was grey and had greyhairs, so it was a very old bear. And then this other part of me, man part ofme got a very colorful blanket, and it was beautiful. And so we put the robeson us, and we walked back.And then when I went back to the house, the people that had beencamping and watching the house were on the porch, and it seemed that theywere quite comfortable about being there. They had some kind ofexplanation that they had come, and it had something to do with the stereo. Idon't know whether they listened to it, or taken it and decided to bring itback or something. Anyway, I was disturbed a little bit, but it was all there,and there was nothing wrong with it. The wires were different or something,but, anyway, I perceived it as not a threat, just some kind of violation ofproperty, but nothing dangerous. And I'm not sure whether those peopleleft then or after we talked or if they stayed, because after that there werestill other people in the house with me. Oh, yes, and one of the things thatbothered me was these people, I'm really not sure I knew they were Indiansbefore, but once they were in the house, maybe they were, maybe they147weren't....speakers, but they only spoke English, and this was troubling to methat they did not speak C.So, anyway, the dream is still in the house, and it seemed that in backof the house people were gathering, and there was some trouble, some kindof danger. These people were out there, and they were troubled in somekind of way, and so the people that were in the house and myself, sort of theother side of the door, or whatever, it was decided that somebody should goout there with a gun. Somebody better go out there and take a shot gun.And they all said that I better be the one to take the shot gun, because Icould kill, and I knew this was right, because I've killed before, and I knewthey couldn't do it.So I went out and took the shot gun with me. I noticed there seemedto be more than one group of people, but some of them seemed to be morelike spectators, and when I went out there, I had the shot gun loaded in. Itwas pointing towards the most aggressive people, but it seemed like I shouldbe killing someone, but I just thought I would rather die, and I didn't want to,and it would be better not to, to shoot somebody.So then what happened was that this closest person that I didn't shoothad a broken bottle and holding on to the neck end of it, and the rest hadreally jagged edges and stabbed me in the chest, really violently. And itkilled me. And it was just one of me. There were other ones of me in thehouse still.Story before the dream.G had been teaching on a reservation for eight years. During her stay there,she had married a man from another reserve. Their marriage was a difficult one,and at one point, G had to hide from her husband for two weeks with her baby andtwo children.G loved teaching on the reserve, but three years before she left, theatmosphere was being poisoned by political dissention which was affecting therelationships among teachers, students, and the community. Although she hadmade the decision to leave and go back to school, she could not sell her house. Ifshe left without selling her home, she would be out of a horrible, volatile situation,but out of a job, house, and money.G's decision was made for her when the situation became even more volatile,and she was let go from her job with eleven other teachers. The termination wasparticularly painful and confusing for G, because the week before her principal hadasked her if she would consider being principal the following year. G felt devastated148and hurt that people she had worked with for years had not stuck up for her. Shefelt as if she had been stabbed in the back. She had a difficult time believing thatpeople would do something this terrible if she did not deserve it. Either she wasbad, or they were.G's whole life had gone up in smoke. She had no money, security, or thankyou for all the years she had poured her heart into the job. When she arrived at theuniversity to take prerequisite courses for her graduate program, she could not eventalk in class. Although she finished the year with high grades and an acceptance intograduate school, she was still grappling with the past. Did she deserve to be fired, orwas someone doing something awful? G was obsessed with finding the answer.Slowly, while in graduate school, G started gaining more confidence andbegan looking back less and forward more. She was trying hard to come to gripswith her feelings by telling herself that not everyone has to like her. She kept tellingherself that she is smart and has many strengths.Although she was becoming more accepting of her past situation, her feelingsof powerlessness and worthlessness would still surface when G thought someonedisapproved of her or when there were misunderstandings. These feelings were oldemotions stemming from her mother's constant criticisms of her when she was achild. G found it difficult to dispel these childhood feelings despite her success atschool. During this period of greater confidence and unresolved feelings, G had thefollowing dream.Story during the dream.G is back at her house which she left two years before. Although she knowsit is the house that she loved, she sees some changes such as a front porch. Thehouse is surrounded by pine trees. Through these trees, as she moves to the side,she begins to notice people setting up camp. She can barely see them, but she does149know that they are from the reserve. Her house is way out in the country with noneighbors near by. She has a sense that these people are going to do something toher or to her house. They could break in to her home or even murder her. She feelsworried and vulnerable, because they could observe her coming and going, but shecould not see much of them. Every time she leaves the house, she worries.At one point in the dream, G has to go somewhere to get a robe. She getsinto her truck, driving quite a distance down the road. She then has to get out of hertruck and walk into the forest on an open path. The sun is shining, and G feelswarmth from the sun and the earth. She can smell everything. It feels like a questwhere one goes with the flow. On her left is a man walking with her who feels like ahusband or part of herself.After walking deep into the forest, they arrive at a place where they each geta robe. G is given the skin of a very old bear with grey hairs. The man is given abeautiful colorful blanket. They both put on their own robes. It feels good, as if Gis growing into an old lady.G arrives back at her house alone and finds the people from the forest nowsitting on her porch looking quite comfortable. They explain to her that theyborrowed her stereo, but have put it back. Although G feels a little disturbed thatthere has been some violation to her property, she does not feel danger or worry asshe did in the beginning of the dream. However, she is bothered that they arespeaking English instead of their own language. G thinks some of these people arestill on the porch, but others are now in the house with her who feel as if they are onher side.G then notices that people are gathering outside at the back of the house.She knows there is some kind of trouble or danger. She feels comfortable with thepeople in the house. They are in the same position as herself. G does not feelafraid. She knows she has to figure out how to deal with the problem. Everyone150decides that G should deal with the problem, because she knows how to kill. She hasdone it before. G knows they are right. No one else could kill. G then gets the shotgun from the bedroom and goes outside.G notices that there seems to be more than one group of people. Some seemto be spectators. G's gun is loaded and is pointed at the most aggressive group. Itseems as if she should be killing someone, but she thinks she would rather die thanshoot. She does not want to kill and knows that it would be better not to do it. Shemakes the decision not to shoot. She feels resigned.The person closest to her has a broken bottle with jagged edges. Holding thebottle by the neck, this person violently stabs her in the chest. The pain is intense,but G accepts it. It does not feel tragic. G is killed, but she knows there are otherparts of her in the house. She then wakes up still feeling physical pain.Story after the dream.G's chest ached, and her legs felt stiff for at least a half an hour after shewoke up. She had difficulty walking, because her ligaments would not stretch. Shewas amazed that she could feel the pain and surprised that she had survived herdeath in the dream. Although the ending was violent, G was not afraid. Thisreaction did not surprise her, because whenever she had been in crisis situations, shehad not run away.G wrote the dream down, so she would not forget anything. She thought thedream was wild and must be important. She had a sense of its meaning, but had notput it into words. As she wrote, she understood more of the meaning. It was like aninteresting puzzle When she thought about its message, she knew that it was timefor part of her to die. She needed to let go of that part which was so critical ofherself. It is that side that blamed herself for everything and could not look at herproblems. The part that went outside with the gun showed G that she had choices151and control over what part of herself to let go. She made the choice to kill that partof herself and not blame. G also knew that everything could be taken away fromher, but she would still have herself. What is inside is strong and whole.G also thought about the robes. Her robe was from a very old bear. Sheknew she had to get wisdom and take along the beauty of it.As she thought about the beginning of her dream, she realized that it wassin-filar to her job situation where she really did not know who the attackers were.They could watch her, but she could not see them clearly through the trees. Thesepeople were the lost group on the reserve who were lashing out at her and othersbecause of their own powerlessness.The next scene took her far away walking into the unknown, not with fear,but with an awareness of flowing with it. It felt like a quest. The man who was withher felt like a husband or another side of herself. She did not know who gave themthe robes, but that did not matter. She did not need to get the gift from someoneshe knew. However, she thought that the robe could be from all the dead peoplewho did not have influence. It felt like a gift of protection from a guardian spirit.Her robe was from a old grey bear. Although there were many bears around herhome, she had never seen a grey bear. To G, the robe meant wisdom and maturity.She was growing into an old lady. In the dream, G had felt the change in her, butnot in words. She did not remember having the robe on when she went back to herhouse, because it was not something one shows off in public.She thought about the people on her porch in the dream. She no longer wasworried, but tolerated their intrusion. Like waking life, there was a group inside thehouse who understood her. Communication came easily with these people.Together, they became aware of the danger outside. Something should be done,and she was chosen. G was always chosen in these emergencies, because she did not152freeze up like the others. If an animal needed to be killed, she could do it eventhough she did not like killing. Somebody had to do the job.That day she told her dream to a friend who did not help her with theinterpretation. She just listened. G noticed that her life took a dramatic turn forthe better. She felt more relaxed at school and with relationships. She felt muchless critical of herself and allowed herself to be imperfect.Although G felt these changes right after the dream, the process was likefinding a new muscle which she needed to keep flexing. Where before her dreamshe would go around for months feeling worthless and experiencing other uglyunpleasant emotions, she now can identify what is causing the feeling and let it go.For example, her godmother died an unhappy death, and G found herself having asick feeling for days afterwards. She then tried to identify what was happening toher and realized that it was the old feeling of blaming herself. Every timesomething went wrong all her life this feeling was there. Her mother criticized hereveryday and blamed the children for her drinking. It was like an old button thatwould be pushed. Now she could let it go. She had the tools to dismantle thatbutton for the first time in her life. Before, that feeling was a part of herself. Shecould tell herself in words, but the feelings would stay. Now she can dissociateherself from it. She does not have to go around feeling inferior and incompetent.In her dream, she had let go of blaming herself. She can now accept her upsand downs without feeling worthless. She does not take on responsibility for what isnot her problem. She allows herself to learn from the experiences without blamingherself. She works on what she can. What she cannot do, she will do later. Beforethe dream, she was consciously trying to work on herself to not feel blame, but thefeelings would stay. Now she knows at a gut level that she has a sure way to makethose feelings evaporate. G was never able to experience this change before.153Structure of the dream story.The dream begins with G feeling vulnerable, afraid, and powerless and endswith her feeling strong, competent, and accepting. G's helplessness and fear ofpotential harm in the beginning dramatically changes to confidence and acceptancein the face of death in the end.In the first scene, G is alone outside the home she loved. Her peace andsecurity are being threatened by the intruders who are setting up camp in the forestnearby. Her vulnerability is enhanced by their being able to watch her withoutbeing seen clearly themselves. Isolated from others who could help, G worries eachtime she leaves that the group could break in or even murder her.In the last scene, the intruders are now at her door and the danger hasescalated, However, G feels confident she can handle the situation. She has thesupport of the people inside, and, with her enemy out in the open, she sees that notall of those outside are out to harm her. Although G now has the power andopportunity to kill, she suddenly realizes that she would rather die than murdersomeone. She accepts the violent death which she feared in the beginning. It waspainful, but not all of her died. There is more of her inside.In the second scene, it is G who breaks the tension by leaving everythingbehind, thus beginning the middle part of the dream and the upward movementfrom fear to acceptance. Driving her truck far into the forest, G's mood has changedfrom impending doom to hope and anticipation that she will get the robe. Theforest which contained danger in the first scene now has what she needs.Upon arrival she must walk the rest of the journey, but not alone. She is withsomeone who feels like herself. The forest is no longer dark and threatening, but iswarm, sunny, and alive with growth. There is a sense of serenity, connectedness, andtrust. G accepts the quest she is on without fear or worry, knowing she will receive154what she needs. When she puts on her grey robe made from the skin of a very oldbear, she feels like she is growing into an old lady.In the next scene, G goes back home, but not with fear for herself, but withtolerance for her intruders. The maturity she received from the robe seems evidentin the way she now handles the situation. Although she is annoyed that theintruders have used her stereo, she has more concern for them than for herself. Shethen becomes aware of other people inside who are like herself. On her quest in theforest she had her partner beside her. Now she has the group inside.The danger returns when G hears the crowd gathering outside. Unlike thefirst scene, G is no longer afraid and helpless, but feels comfortable with her friendsand confident to take action. Although she knows she must decide what to do, it isthe group which finally makes the decision that she alone has the ability to handlethe problem. With their encouragement, she recognizes her ability to kill and goesoutside to face her attackers.In the last scene, she is outside again, but now sees that some people aremerely onlookers. After noticing that not all the people are there to harm her, sheis ready to attack the most aggressive. However, the tolerance she showed towardsthe intruders in the last scene has now changed to acceptance of her enemy. Shechooses death rather than kill someone. Her sudden change from readiness toresignation allows the person nearby to kill her. The G outside who was ready tokill her enemy is now dead, but the G inside is still alive. The situation was painful,but it did not kill her.The story is a model of acceptance and strength. As the story unfolds, itshows G how she has grown and allows her to experience her most difficultchallenge, the letting go of blame at the hands of her enemy.155Relationship between life context and structure of the dream story.The first scene in the dream reflected G's volatile situation back at thereserve. With the tension escalating at work, G felt increasingly more helpless notknowing who her attackers were. Like the intruders in the forest, her attackers hadthe advantage in that they could watch her, but she could not see them.In the dream, G left before the situation became acute. In waking life,unwilling to leave her house unsold, she stayed until the situation erupted withherself and eleven others getting fired. The last scene depicts her termination andthe three groups involved. There were those who were in the same situation asherself, those who were onlookers, and those who were the aggressors. G wasdevastated and hurt that people she had worked with for years had not stood up forher. The termination was particularly painful, because of the principal's offer theweek before.Like the dream, the firing was painful, but she did not die. However, unlikethe dream, she went away feeling devastated and obsessed with discovering whethershe was to blame or someone else. The last scene was like reliving the firing exceptnow she was choosing to die rather than kill someone. She was facing the situationwith new awareness and feelings. She was unafraid and confident that she couldhandle the situation. Accepting her death brought the realization that whathappened was painful, but she was still alive inside.G woke up feeling the physical pain, yet knowing that everything could betaken away, but she would still have herself which is whole and strong. The part thatblamed others and herself had died. Where before she had tried to change herfeelings and could not, she now has experienced the change in the dream. It is like amuscle which she must keep flexing. She has the confidence to identify what ishappening and handle the problem.156Like the dream, G's shift from helplessness to strength began when she leftthe volatile situation on the reserve. The movement upward of the plot in themiddle of the dream reflected the changes in her life after she left. The universitywas far away from the reservation, and when she arrived, she had to rely on herselfto prepare for graduate school. Although she had felt devastated by the situationand was still grappling with feelings of worthlessness, she was gaining moreconfidence and was looking back less and forward more. Her future seemedbrighter and hopeful. She was beginning to feel more accepting of herself andothers. Like this scene in the dream, she was acquiring wisdom and maturity.Although the robe was not visible in the next scene, its influence was evidentin the way she handled the intruders. In waking life, G was trying to change herfeelings of powerlessness in difficult situations, but was still unable to separateherself from blame until she had the dream. When G woke up, she viewed the robeas being a gift from a guardian spirit. In the dream, she had experienced a change inherself when she put on the robe. It seemed to help her face the situationdifferently in the next scene and in her waking life.G's new way of experiencing and communicating in this part of the dreamreflected changes which were beginning to surface in her waking life. Although Gdid not go back to the reserve, she was talking with people who were still there.These were people with whom G felt a close bond. With their help, G wasbeginning to understand that neither she nor others were awful people. During thisperiod, G also had other dreams about the situation.However, despite G's growing understanding of the situation, her life still feltclouded over with unresolved feelings which were depicted in the dream by thedanger brewing outside her house. After G had experienced the support andunderstanding of those in the house, she accepted that she was the one to deal withthe problem and realized that she could handle it. However, she had not yet157accepted her aggressors. Like waking life, she was going to point her loaded gun atsomeone.In the last scene, the acceptance which began with her quest in the forest wasnow evident in the way she dealt with her dangerous aggressors. Her acceptanceseemed to be tested in increasingly more difficult situations as the dreamprogressed, moving her closer to the acceptance of her own death in the end aftershe realized that she would rather die than kill someone. Her tolerance of theharmless intruders in the last scene had now moved to acceptance of being killed byher aggressors in this scene.In waking life, although G was beginning to understand the situation and thepeople who hurt her, she had not come to the point of accepting the situation. Shewas still pointing the blame at herself or others. The dream had moved G to a newlevel in her awareness. In waking life, G had killed animals when it was necessary,and she always knew how to deal with emergencies. She did not freeze up like mostother people. She knew the others could not do the killing, so she would have to bethe one. When thinking about this part of the dream, G remembered her ability todeal with crisis situations. She recognized that she has the strength to act whennecessary. Her attitude and actions in this scene contrasted with the way shehandled the situation two years before. She was no longer feeling worthless andhelpless, but was feeling confident and in charge. In this scene, she was given theopportunity to recognize her strengths in the situation and take action.When G reflected on this part of the dream, she knew that she had choicesand control over not blaming anyone and allowing them to kill her. She wasbeginning to understand that not everyone had been against her. She surrenderedand accepted the situation, not because she was weak, but because she was strongand wise. She was not afraid to die. G knew that everything could be taken away158from her, but she would still have herself. Despite the pain, she was still strong andwhole. She knew that she had allowed them to kill her critical self.In waking life, she has been learning to recognize and separate herself fromher feelings of self-blame which she has carried around with her from childhood.Before the dream, she had tried to tell herself that she was not to blame, but thefeelings would stay with her. She could not dissociate the critical feelings fromherself. Now she can.Case AVerbatim dream report.The dream starts with me coming through the gate of my parents'house. Now, the dream is in color which is uncommon for, the other dreamsweren't in color. This one's in color. I walk in. I start out at the gate. I'mnot carrying anything, though I am coming home. This is the coming homefor the first time. And I come in through the gate which is a great big stonegate. This is the real gate in my parents', great big stone gate, wrought iron.That's always open and leads on to a driveway which is probably 300, 400yards long lined with huge beech trees on either side, gravel. And I gocrunching down the driveway, and at the end as I come through the bend atthe end of the drive, rather than being my parents' house, it's another house,more ornate, sort of Victorian brick house, sort of bitty, lots of sections upand down. Plus the house my parents have has sort of got a Georgian frontadded on to an old farmhouse, so very different in appearance.So anyway, I arrive at the house, and I go walking in the door, andinstead of being received, I walk into the final parts of a, of a show, but it'ssort of a pageant, a lot of very garishly dressed minstrel types, men andwomen. It's very busy in there. My parents, it's just ended, my parents arethanking these minstrel people. There are other people around, not relatedwho don't recognize me. Nobody actually seems to recognize me or noticethat I am there. The troop leaves, and I go with them.We go out of the house and into the house again around the back, goup a set of very winding stairs , sort of almost like a turret stairs, narrow, nowindows, sort of your, you know, these stone steps, the type that are worn inthe middle. We go walking up and arrive in the room where the troop isrelaxing after the pageant they just put on, very noisy, and I meaneverybody's dressed m costume, sort of like the extreme hippies, lots ofcolors, ribbons, sort of Gypsy type. Anyway, I'm standing around there, andI'm talking with them, not saying anything in particular, maybe not evennecessarily talking, but certainly part of the, accepted as being part of thepeople there.And then this small, this small adult arrives, sort of a dwarf, but a verywell formed dwarf. So I mean, not a dwarf, dwarf has connotations of sort ofstrangeness, and it wasn't. The oddity was that he was small, right about the159160size of a five year old, maybe a little bigger five year old, six year old, but veryadult. He comes in and is talking and jumping around sort of doing acrobatictype stuff. And over on one side there's an old rocking cradle, and I'dbecome aware of this old rocking cradle, and at the same time, I'd becomeaware that the pageant that they had been putting on, has been a sort ofnativity play. The small man continues to sort of gallivant around, makingjokes and talking, not that what he's saying is of any particular interest, buthe's the center of the happenings. And everybody's sort of laughing, sort oflike cocktail party noise going on.And he approaches the cradle and laughs, leaps into the air too. Andat this point everything sort of slows down. He leaps into the air, and I'mwatching him, and as he leaps into the air, he's goes flat on his back assuminga position of lying in the bed, but he's not in bed. And as he reaches this sortof horizontal shape, he shrinks and changes into a baby, a baby probablyabout three or four months old. And as he's horizontal and changing, hestarts to fall quite slowly at first, and once the transformation has fimshed, hefalls very suddenly. And at that point all of a sudden a spike appears at thehead of the cradle, a big iron spike probably eight inches long, sort of coneshaped, not a cone, yeah, a cone. And everything reverts to normal time. Hefalls and is impaled by the spike. And the spike goes through his head andcomes out of his forehead. And everything is still in color. So I mean, there'sfor me, there's a burst of goriness. So I mean, I actually see the spike comingout, and there's a spurt of blood. I turn around and start down the stairs andwake up. And that's the dream. And I turn and start down the stairs soundscontrolled, but it isn't. It's a shock and horror. So it's sort of a dash. MyGod, I've got to get out of here type of attitude. I turn, and as I just startdown the stairs, I wake up.Story before the dream.A was unhappy with his life. He had been working as a sailmaker for fiveyears and had gone as far as he could go in his present position. A job that was oncechallenging and fascinating had now become boring and stale. He contemplatedmoving to another firm, but realized that he was no longer interested in makingsailing his life.Although A was tired of making sails, he was afraid to give up his secureposition which was providing him with a good salary. His fear of losing a secure jobconflicted with his desire for work he enjoyed. In the past, A had always chosenenjoyment over a secure wage. When work was no longer enjoyable, he wouldalways move on. He was perturbed that this time he seemed to lack the courage tomake a change.A was also getting fed up with his life outside of work. He had been part ofthe drug culture and was trying to cut back on the amount of "dope" he was smoking.Experiencing intense disillusionment with the way he was living his life, he began toquestion whether he was a "nice" person. To his horror, he realized that he did notlike himself. His moods would fluctuate from being on top of the world to being inthe depths of despair. Both body and mind felt unhealthy.During this period, A's parents asked him if he would like to move back totheir country and take care of their land. In return for his work, he could live in arent free cottage and possibly keep horses. The offer was tempting to A, because hecould be self-sufficient while developing his music and writing. The drawback wasthat he would be living near his parents whom he had not lived with for eight years.He was already living an idyllic life now in a cottage with a large garden. However,back home he would not have to work in a boring job. A's inability to make adecision placed even more pressure on him to make up his mind about his jobsituation.For three weeks while mulling over the pros and cons of moving back withhis parents and leaving his job, A experienced two frightening dreams which wererepetitive. In one dream, he dreamt that he was awake in bed hearing a soundwhich seemed like white noise that permeated his body. He had a sense that if hemoved, something horrendous would happen. If he tried to move, he could not. Inthe other dream, he found himself walking over a bridge with someone followinghim. Glass would then shatter. In some of the episodes, he would be attacked byglass. In others, A had a sense that the glass broke and hurt him because ofsomething he had done in the dream.During this same period, one other dream which was not repetitive alsostood out in A's memory. This dream had a white horse, a man, a woman, and A.Sometimes A would become the man. Other times he would not. The horse would161travel through idyllic countryside and end up in areas of ruin. At the end, the manand woman rode off on the horse leaving A standing there feeling as if he hadmissed something. A always thought this dream had something to tell him, but henever discovered its meaning. His memory for this dream and the others hassurprised him, because he rarely remembers his dreams except during times oftransition and has never been particularly interested in interpreting dreams.A was also experiencing more pressure at work. Although he was getting afairly good wage, he was not getting paid enough for the amount of work he wasdoing. In this company, he always had to demand more money. He hated asking, sohe would wait until the situation had come to a crisis. Around the time of hisdream, he was doing a rush job on a sail. Many of the workers on the floor had gonehome, so he was doing their jobs as well as his own. While he was busy working, theowner and two others were standing around the office waiting for A to finish. All ofthem knew the work and could have helped. A became angry and told them to"shove it". He then left for the day.Although A did not remember whether the crisis at work happened the daybefore his dream, he did remember that the day was damp and that a dense fog mistwas rolling in from the sea. Being an avid sailor, A was particularly sensitive toweather conditions. That evening he had the following dream which ended hisrepetitive dreams of noise and shattering glass.Story during the dream.The dream is in color which is unusual for A. He is walking through the gateof his parent's house. He is not carrying any luggage, but he knows he is cominghome for the first time A is not particularly feeling anything as he crunches on thegravel, walking down the long path towards the house. Everything seems quitenatural.162As he gets to the bend in the driveway, he notices that the house does notlook like his parent's house. It is a brick Victorian home with ornate sections. Theactual house his parents live in is an old farmhouse with a Georgian front and is lessornate than the one he sees here. A walks through the front door, and instead ofbeing received by his parents, he is surprised that he has walked into the final partof a pageant. The show has just ended and there are a lot of men and womendressed in garish mistral costumes. His parents are thanking these people. Thescene is very busy, and no one notices or recognizes A.The troop then leaves, and A follows them out the front door and around theback of the house. A then follows them through a back door up a narrow windingstaircase. The stairs are stone and worn in the middle and look like turret stairswith no windows.They arrive in a room at the top of the stairs where A notices the rest of thetroop relaxing. There is a lot of noise with lots of people mingling and chatting. Anotices all the details of the scene which is colorful with everyone dressed inminstrel costumes which look like Gypsy style clothes with ribbons and otherdecorations that hippies would wear. He mingles with the people and feels like anaccepted part of their group.A small man who is about the size of a dwarf or a five year old arrives at thedoor. Although he is small, his body is not like a dwarf or a child. He is a fullyformed adult. A thinks the man is odd and is being too loud and raucous as hegallivants around doing acrobatics and telling jokes.Over to the side of the room, A sees an old rocking cradle and realizes atthat moment that the pageant was a nativity play. The little man who now hasbecome the center of attention approaches the cradle. The man laughs as he leapsinto the air and time slows down. He lies horizontally flat on his back in the air overthe crib. The man changes into a naked baby about three or four months old as he163slowly falls into the crib. Once the transformation into a baby is finished, he fallsvery suddenly. An eight inch iron cone shaped spike suddenly appears at the headof the cradle. Time then reverts to normal and the baby's head is impaled by thespike. The spike goes through the back of his head and out the forehead. Therewas a burst of blood as the spike goes through, and A thinks, "Oh, my God" whilefeeling horror, shock, and disgust. He is watching a young child being tortured andfeels helpless to stop the situation. A then turns on his heels and starts down thestairs thinking, "My God, I've got to get out of here." As he hits the stairs, he wakesup.Story after the dream.A's awakening was a continuation of the dream. As he was dashing down thestairs, he was throwing his legs out of the bed on to the floor. A then spun aroundthe house horrified that he could dream such an experience. He thought about theother dreams with the white noise and shattering glass which were scary, butnothing like the horror he felt with this one. He started to worry about going to bedat night, wondering what was going on.This dream was the last of the scary dreams. A knew it was significant andmust be telling him something. He also knew that this dream was more importantthan the others. It was in color, whereas the others were grey. The dream was closeto the decision he was making about going back home. The location was a personalone in that it was at his parent's home with his parents in the dream. A also neverhad a dream that was so realistic. The experience was real as far as he wasconcerned. There was no transition from dreaming to waking.The other dreams merely felt like ill health and disease which was like a flashbetween existence and non-existence. There was no need to figure them out. A164believes that he would not have remembered these experiences if it were not for thisfinal dream in the series.The dream stayed with him, but he did not know what it meant. He knew itwas important, and he made a decision not to live with his parents. A also made anumber of other changes in his life. He did not get the raise he wanted at work, sohe decided to work the night shift and have time during the day to pursue interestshe enjoyed. A's friend who was a daycare worker asked him if he wanted to sharean apartment. They needed help at the daycare, so he substituted there during theday and worked nights at his old job. After two months, A was exhausted with twojobs and had to quit the daycare. After he came back from Christmas holidays withhis parents, he had to move, because the landlord wanted the apartment. A movedfour more times after that and, during this period, finally decided that he hadenough money to quit work and try other career options. He concentrated onplaying guitar to see if he could make a living at it and substituted in daycare centersthree times a week to see if daycare was a possible career.To heal a knee injury from his sailmaking job, A took up Tai Chi. ThroughTai Chi, A became interested in meditation and Zen Buddhism which rekindled anearlier interest in spirituality. Although he had thrown out his mother's religion andthe idea of God when he was thirteen, he had never completely lost interest in asearch for the meaning of life. However, A's search for a different way of livingduring the eleven months after the dream led to a spiritual awakening that he hadnever experienced before. He quit smoking "dope", lived healthier, read extensively,and searched for a meaningful career. Although he did not understand the meaningof the dream, it was always with him. It was an intense demonstration that heneeded to change his life. He did not want to experience that horror ever again.The dream was an example of what could happen if he did not change.165Eleven months after the dream, A's parents offered him another proposal tocome back home. This time their offer was more structured, so A would knowclearly what to expect. Despite their appealing proposal, A could not decide. Hewas enjoying his life and was not sure that moving back home would be right forhim.A week later, while doing the slow movements in Tai Chi, the dream cameinto his mind. He allowed the dream story to unfold as he did all thoughts thatpassed through his mind while meditating. When he came to the end of the story,he suddenly knew the answer. The horror and emotional peak at the end of thedream was now replaced by resolution. The answer came as a note in harmony withother notes, as part of the Tai Chi experience. A knew that if he was going to goback and live with his parents, his relationship with his family would have to change.He had to relate to them as an independent adult. They no longer had control overhim and could not make decisions for him. When he realized that the child haddied, he was prepared to go back home. His year of searching and growth after thedream and the answer which finally surfaced allowed A to go back home and begina path of discovering his life's work.A's year at home was a maturing year for him. Although it did not turn outthe way he thought it would, he felt comfortable around his parents and continuedwriting, doing meditation, and playing guitar. At the end of the year, he decidedthat he would return to Canada to become a daycare worker. When he returned, heworked in daycare, but then decided to go to university. Now he has finally found acareer and feels fulfilled in his life. He feels secure and no longer feelsuncomfortable with himself. Before the dream, he felt manic one day and down thenext. The year after the dream, his emotions became more even. He neverexperienced the horror again.166Structure of the dream story.The dream begins with A anticipating a visit with his parents. Like aninnocent child, A saunters down the path towards the front door of his parents'house, trusting that home will be as it always has been. In the end, he flees downthe back stairs of the house in horror. His innocence is gone and the child insidehas died a violent death.In the first scene, A is alone and seems quite content, knowing he is going tohis parents' home. There is nothing unusual happening. Everything is as he expectsit to be. The naturalness of the surroundings and A's lack of luggage enhance therelaxed atmosphere of the scene.The naturalness and peace of the first scene contrast with the artificiality andcommotion of the last scene. A, no longer alone, is inside the house mingling andchatting with actors in a back room which is hidden away from all except thesestrangers and himself. He accepts the situation until an odd little man arrives who iseven louder and more bizarre than the others. A's uneasiness turns to shock as hestands by helplessly watching the man transform from man to baby and thenviolently die. Terrified by what he has just witnessed, he rushes down the stairs,knowing he must escape the horror inside.The middle of the dream begins when A gets to the end of the path andnotices that the house looks different with its elaborate Victorian facade and ornatesections. This discovery is the first surprise of the dream and marks the beginning ofA's sense of disconnectedness and downward movement from his anticipation ofgoing home to his desperate escape from a place which is foreign and horrifying.A's sense of disconnectedness increases when he steps inside the front doorand realizes that the inside is different as well, with all the colorful actors and garishsurroundings. Expectations of being greeted by his parents are dashed when A167notices that they do not notice him. They are too busy thanking the actors who havejust finished performing in a play.Although A feels alienated and separate from both his parents and thegroup, he chooses to follow the crowd to an unknown destination. A seems to haveaccepted the strange situation, going with the flow that is reminiscent of his mannerin the previous scene. However, he does not realize that this path also leads to hisparents' home, but through a back door to a room he has never seen.It is here at the actors' private party that A finally feels accepted and a partof the group. Although the interaction between A and the others lacks intimacy andseems superficial, A fits in and seems to enjoy the noise and festivities until the oddman arrives. A's sense of separateness from the last scene returns, yet now he doesnot accept the situation which is becoming wilder and noisier. His uneasiness is thefirst indication that he is separating himself from the crowd which he followed soeasily before. However, despite his disapproval, A does not leave the situation.When he sees the cradle and realizes that the actors have performed in anativity play, the man becomes the center of attention and the scene becomes evenwilder. With all the drama of a play's finale, time slows down as A watches the manregress from man to baby and then violent death. A's previous uneasiness anddisapproval now turn to horror and disgust. The situation which he toleratedmoments before has now become unbearable. As if propelled by his horror, A fleesthe situation, knowing he must get out.Although A did not know where he was going at the end of the story, thedream was a warning to A to change the way he was living or his life woulddeteriorate even further. The dream shocked A into recognizing the seriousness ofhis situation.168Relationship between life context and structure of the dream story.When A had this dream, he was contemplating accepting his parents' offer tocome live with them. A's casual and carefree manner as he walked down the path tohis parents' home reflected his hope that going home would give him theopportunity to leave his unhealthy lifestyle for a more peaceful and naturalexistence. In this scene, he did not have any luggage. If A did go home, he wasunsure about how long he would stay. Four months after this dream, he did gohome for a few weeks during Christmas holidays, but then returned to Canada toexperience many more changes.The last scene of the dream reflected A's feelings of acceptance and ability tofit in with the group. The noise and activity were similar to the commotion andnoise of the other repetitive dreams A was experiencing weeks before this dream.His periodic disgust and fear about his unhealthy lifestyle seemed to come to a peakin this scene with the arrival of the odd little man. When A discovered the meaningof the dream, he saw the man as representing himself. Although A was no longer achild, he did not feel like an adult. He did not like himself and felt like a little manwho could do all sorts of clever things and fit in to any group. A's uneasiness withthe way he was living his life was turning to disgust and horror weeks before thedream. Watching the man perform was like watching himself in waking life. A hadbeen playing the role of half man and half child and now wanted this role to end.With the realization that the pageant was a nativity play, the transformation began.The birth of the divine child in the play was now the death of the child in this scene.The man/child had ended his life with A standing by in horror. A's half adult, halfchild life had ended in one violent act.The middle of the dream and downward movement of the plot fromanticipation to horror reflected A's conflicts around going home and the way he wasliving his life. Home and parents were not what he expected. No one recognized169him which reflected the alienation A felt in his waking life. He did not recognizewhat he had become and felt horrified at what he saw. If he went home, his parentswould probably not recognize their own son.Like waking life, A felt alienated from both his parents and the actors, butchose to be with the group and go to an unknown destination. A did not knowwhere he was going before and after the dream, but he was hesitant to go home. Hecould fit in with groups of people despite the alienation he felt inside. He couldplay many different roles.The group led him back home through the back door where A finally wasnoticed. A accepted the noise and revelry of the group as he did in his waking life.However, like waking life, he began to feel uneasy and later disgusted with himself.Although he disapproved of, and even hated himself before the dream, A did nottake action to change his life. Like the dream, he stood by and watched helplesslyas his life deteriorated. The dream acted as a warning to shock A into doingsomething about his health, career, and personal life. His path took many twists andturns which finally led to the resolution of the dream eleven months later.The transformation from little man to impaled baby reminded A of thechanges he had made. He had gone through a spiritual awakening or rebirth sincethe dream which then seem to lead to the discovery of the meaning while doing TaiChi. The slow motion of the transformation was similar to A's Tai Chi movements.The horror of how he was living his life was pictured vividly to him in this last sceneand reminded him of the book, Heart of Darkness. The spike went through themind which A believed had to change. A commented that both mind and spirit weresick. The scene contrasted with the peace he felt when doing the slow movementsof Tai Chi. Where there was once horror, there was now resolution. The horror ofthe dream jolted him to change eleven months before, and now the horror was nolonger there. He had followed the twists and turns of the stairs which had finally170brought him peace and tranquility. A realized that the child had died, and he couldnow go back to his parents as a mature adult. The growth which began the yearafter the dream continued with A feeling secure and comfortable with himself.Case H;Verbatim dream report.I spontaneously generated a tea party in this dream. And it was allthese G ladies, I mean the stereotypical fat, G mother who's always tellingyou eat more, eat more type of mother. And I go around, and the firstmother I go up to is his mother, because she is one of these socialites in theG community. And I say, "Oh, thank God. Do you know where we are,whose house this is?" And she says to me in English, "Why do you want toknow?" like real stern-like. And I say, "Oh, I'm sorry. Did you move?" Youknow, I'm thinking like this. I'm thinking, I'm just out of sync or somethingbecause of everything that was happening. And she says, you know, "Why doyou always want to know?" And she walks away with her tea cup. Everyone'sgot a tea cup, and they're walking around, doing their, like a cocktail party,but, you know, tea cups. And that's the only thing that is said to me inEnglish throughout the whole dream, "Why do you want to know? Why doyou always have to know?" The only person that would speak English to mewas his mother, and she always says to me, "Why do you have to know?"Story before the dream.H thought she had a warm and loving relationship with her boyfriend. Thelove he gave her in the beginning was beyond anything she could imagine. He caredfor her, bought her lots of presents, and even took a part-time job at night to buy hera promise ring. All her friends commented on their wonderful relationship.Gradually, H noticed that her boyfriend was becoming overprotective. Atfirst he started getting annoyed if she went somewhere without him. Then he wouldgrab her arm and prevent her from going. He constantly talked about marriage andbought things for their future house. H shrugged it off, saying to herself thateveryone's boyfriend is possessive once in a while.One evening, H experienced an incident which she could not ignore. Herboyfriend had bought a large, framed print for their future home. They were talking171in his room, and he suddenly threw the print at her. She turned, and it shatteredagainst her back. Although she was not hurt, she was shocked and started crying.He made her clean up the mess. She did what he demanded, because he looked soangry.H was shaken by this incident, but made excuses for him because of hispressures at home with his family. His parents did not approve of his relationship toa woman from outside their culture. No matter how much she did for the family,his mother was always nasty to her.The next time her boyfriend became angry, H did get hurt. She had her chinresting in the palm of her hand. Suddenly, he kicked her on the head, sending herflying across the room. That night she could not fall asleep because of the pain fromher bruised head.When she finally fell off to sleep, she had the first in a series of recurringdreams. She would have these dreams 90 minutes after falling asleep three times aweek for two months. In these dreams, she would find herself in a public place suchas a hospital, beach, or party. She would be asking herself, "Where am I?" Shewould then ask the same question to the first person she saw. They would alwaysask her why she wanted to know. All the others she asked would answer with smalltalk such as, "Nice weather!" It felt as if they were keeping a secret from her.H would always feel extremely frustrated and yell out, "Doesn't anyone speakEnglish? In some of the dreams, she would begin crying. All the dreams were inher boyfriend's language except for the last one.H would wake up from each dream thinking about how bizarre and weird theexperience was. She would always feel too excited to go back to sleep, so she wouldkeep herself busy doing laundry or other housework.While these dreams were occurring, H's life was deteriorating. She wouldleave early every morning and take the long bus ride to her boyfriend's house to172make his breakfast and wash his clothes. Whenever he was ill, she would go to hisclasses as well as hers. Exhausted from lack of sleep and stress, her grades startedplummeting. She told no one about the abuse and isolated herself as much aspossible from family and friends.She would always ask herself why he was mistreating her. Her answer wouldalways be that somehow she deserved it. How could someone who loved her somuch be so cruel unless she was to blame. He made her believe that no one couldlove her as much as he did. Isolating herself more and more from others, shebecame dependent on him. If she left him, she would have no one.The night of the final dream, H and her boyfriend had an intense screamingmatch. She became so afraid that she asked him if he was going to hit her. Stunnedby her question, he told her that he never thinks about hitting her. It just happens,and he feels sorry when it does. She was too tired and exhausted from the wholesituation and asked him to drive her home. When she arrived home, she thought,"Thank God that I wasn't hit this time! I was lucky today." She was so tired that shefell asleep immediately.Story during the dream.H is at a tea party which looks as perfect as a Hollywood set with everythingin its place. She notices fat mothers walking around with tea cups. H thinks theylook like stereotypical mothers from her boyfriend's culture, the ones who alwaystell their children to eat more. H feels confused as to where she is, but feels reliefwhen she sees her boyfriend's mother. H says to her, "Oh, thank God! Do youknow where we are? Do you know whose house this is?"His mother answers sternly in English, "Why do you want to know? Why doyou always want to know?"173H feels surprise that she spoke English and says, "Oh, I'm sorry. Did youmove?" H also feels out of sync with everything that is happening.The mother answers again, "Why do you always want to know?" H then feelsirritated and feels her body jerk. His mother walks away with the others still aroundH chattering. The dream fades, and H wakes up.Story after the dream.H woke up in disbelief that this dream was in English. The dream mustmean something. Because it was out of the ordinary, it felt eerie and frightening. Hthought that these dreams have got to end. She could not stand them anymore.They were just ridiculous!H did not keep herself busy after this dream, but started contemplating. Sheremembered talking with her girlfriends about dreams when they were younger.When they had weird dreams, they would ask themselves what was the mostimportant thing in their lives at that time. H asked herself this question andrealized that the dream must be about her relationship with her boyfriend. Shethen remembered her high school counsellor who advised her students to write allthe pros and cons of a particular career on a sheet of paper. H wrote down the prosand cons of leaving her boyfriend. She agonized for two hours, because she found ithard to think about what was good about leaving him. After the two hours itdawned on her that maybe what he had been doing was wrong. She suddenlyrealized that if she left him, she would not get hit anymore, and she would havemore time for sleep, school, and everything else. The thought of leaving him waslike jumping off a cliff, a complete dare.That day she did not go over to his house and pick him up. When he phonedand gave her a lecture for not coming, she remembered that lecturing was on her listof reasons for leaving him. Fearing his reaction, she waited until later that day in a174public place to tell him that she was ending their relationship. The look of shock onhis face still haunts her now three years later.Her boyfriend could not accept her decision and kept coming over to herhome. H was so upset when he came that her parents sent her to her aunt who wasa psychiatrist to find out what was wrong with her. They did not know about theabuse. She saw her aunt for a few weeks and then went to a counsellor who helpedher understand how she became victimized by her boyfriend. H also dropped out ofschool right after she left the relationship. She never had the recurring dreamsagain after the last dream.Her counsellor helped her to begin piecing together the meaning of therecurring dreams. He kept asking her what was going on that she was always playinga role in a perfect place and asking the first person she saw. She made herself fit into the dream situation as she did in waking life. She continuously asked herself whysomeone who loved her so much would hurt her unless she deserved it. She thoughtshe was not perfect enough.While H was seeing the counsellor for two months, she was beginning tounderstand parts of the dream and her relationship. She was trying to becomestrong, so no one would ever do that to her again. She also kept busy going to a gymand eventually lost forty-five pounds. Although her friends encouraged her to date,H found that she really did not enjoy being with men. She still felt nervous andvulnerable, because her boyfriend was following her. He would continue to appearoff and on for two years after they broke up.Six months after her dream, H was washing her car when she looked down ather hand and discovered that she still had her boyfriend's ring on. She immediatelythrew it off and felt the dream's meaning. It happened in an instant. Like the snapof a finger, she was a new person. It was a triumphant feeling. She thought, "Ha, Ibeat you. You didn't get me." She realized that she had tried to play the role of the175perfect woman in a perfect Hollywood set. Everything was just perfect and had tofit. When the relationship did not make any sense, she would not admit it to herself.It was as if the dreams were calling out to her to figure them out. Although thecounsellor had helped her understand the meaning, she never felt it until now. Shewas finally free of him and felt her old self coming back.H called her friends to go out. Excited about her change, she wanted to bewith others. Where before she had pushed herself to keep busy, she now felt herwhole heart was involved in living life to the fullest. She also wanted to prove toherself that it was really over by socializing more.H decided to go back to school and is now in university doing an honorsprogram. Although she sometimes has dreams of her boyfriend chasing her, sheknows that these occur only when she is under stress. She feels free of him now andvows to never get that low and repressed again.Structure of the dream story.H's dream begins with H feeling lost and confused as to where she is, yetanticipating that someone will help her. It ends with her no longer asking andirritated that she has been refused help.In the beginning, H is alone among strangers at a tea party which looks asperfect as a Hollywood set. All the stereotypical fat mothers from her boyfriend'sculture seem to know one another and feel comfortable together. H feels lost, notknowing where she is, but thinks someone will tell her.In the end, H is still an outsider at the party and does not know where she is,but she is no longer asking the question. She does not anticipate help, and feelsirritated that her boyfriend's mother will not tell her.H's annoyance in the end is foreshadowed in the beginning when H describesthe group as being stereotypical, fat mothers who always make their children eat176more. Although her disdain is reflected in her description, she does not express herattitude to them. She knows she does not belong, yet plays the role of the politeguest.The middle of the dream and downward movement from anticipating help toknowing she has been refused begins when H sees her boyfriend's mother. Hexpresses her relief and clearly poses her question to the one person she knows.Instead of motherly kindness and caring, H receives parental sternness andauthority. The mother answers H's question with a question of her own as if H didnot have a right to always pry into a group secret.H, however, seems to ignore her rebuff, feeling surprise that finally she foundsomeone who speaks her language. She still thinks that she will receive help andapologizes as if blaming herself for not knowing.Despite her apology, H persists in finding out where she is. However, herquestion is a different one. She is still puzzled, but she now suspects that the party isat the mother's home. She is figuring out the situation on her own without anyone'shelp.The mother continues to evade H's request by repeating her previousquestion. H, however, now reacts differently. She no longer has an apologeticattitude, but gets irritated at the mother. Feeling a jolt within her body, she seemsto finally recognize that the mother knows, but will not tell her. Although H doesnot express her irritation, she is now alone again at the party to reflect on this newknowledge.The story confronts H with her own confusion and anger which she was notacknowledging in her waking life. It tells her that she would have to rely on herselfto find out where she is. In this last dream of the series, her frustration had finallyturned to irritation. For the first time H was not blaming herself for not knowing.177Relationship between life context and structure of the dream story.Like the other dreams, this one occurred in a public place which looked asperfect as a Hollywood set. Everything was in its place with everyone playing a role.H felt confused, out of sync, and lost. She did not belong.Although H did not admit that she was in an abusive relationship, she wasaware that the situation she was in did not make sense to her. She also knew thather boyfriend's mother did not like her. In the dreams, she kept asking where shewas. Like waking life, she was trying to play the role of the perfect woman, yetnothing was ever good enough for her boyfriend or his mother who was typical ofher boyfriend's culture.The end of the dream seemed to reflect her situation that same evening.Fearing their argument would end in abuse, H expressed her fear of getting hit forthe first time. To her surprise, her boyfriend apologized. She went to bedexhausted and fed up. Her acceptance of the situation seemed to be coming to anend, and the dream reflected this change. This dream did not end in frustration likeall the others. No longer blaming herself, she realized that the mother was notgoing to let her in on the secret. Like waking life, she did not express irritation toanyone. However, her annoyance was strong enough to jolt her body, leaving her toponder what she had discovered.The middle of the dream began when she finally saw someone she knew.Although the mother treated H badly in waking life, she was relieved to see her.This is the first dream where there was someone she knew and someone who couldspeak her own language. Unlike others in the family, his mother showed herselfclearly to H. H knew where she stood with his mother. H saw the mother'spossessiveness as one of the main reasons for her boyfriend's behavior.In the dream, she posed the question directly to her, thinking that the mothermust know. Like waking life, H responded to the harshness of the mother and178boyfriend with an apologetic attitude. He was larger than life to her, so she must beto blame for not being perfect. She must continually strive to be better.However, the night before the dream, it was her boyfriend who apologized,not H. Although H was fed up and too tired to care, in her dream she persisted inquestioning, but this time asked if the mother had moved. H seemed to be finallyquestioning the change in her relationship while also making the assumption that itwas the mother's party. Like waking life, the mother never changed her attitudetowards H. She never allowed H into the family which she seemed to control.Nothing H ever did seemed to meet with her approval. Her question posed directlyto H in the dream finally confronted H to ask herself why she was staying in therelationship.She woke up thinking that these dreams have got to end and felt compelledto discover their meaning. Before that morning, H did not even know that thedreams referred to her relationship. After going over the pros and cons, it becameclear that she must leave him. Although H did not understand what the details ofthe dream meant, she understood that she must take action. It was not until sixmonths later that she understood the meaning of the dream and finally felt free ofhim.Case F:Verbatim dream report.Within a nice neighborhood of houses, and it was on a hill. And at thetop of the hill were the nicest, biggest houses, and the idea was that you couldwork your way up and actually get one day to be at the top of the hill. Therewere some people that had just recently moved in. They have one house, andthe person was a real estate agent who won the house. His boss had also saidthat he had won this house, but if he kept doing as well as he was, he couldactually even end up in one of the houses on the top of the hill.So I met this lady. She was walking down the street. She was a verygrumpy, barefoot, raggedy looking hair and overweight. And she was pushinga baby carriage, and she pushed, and I stopped her. You know, welcome tothe neighborhood kind of thing. "Isn't it nice that you've won this house?179And I understand that you may even get an opportunity to move up to thosebig houses on top of the hill." But she wasn't the least bit interested, and shejust walked on downhill into her sidewalk to her house.Story before the dream.For six months, F felt trapped and depressed in a relationship with analcoholic. Although she wanted to break free from this man, she found herselfenticed by his promises of a better life when he finally completed his real estatecourse. F had been a single parent for thirteen years and was tired of being aloneand financially insecure. If he finished the course, he could pay back the money heowed her and provide F with a better life. When his moods were up, they would gobike riding and do many other activities they both enjoyed. However, even in thesehappier moments, F would feel a sense of dread, knowing that his mood would soonswing the other way. When he was down, he would seek consolation throughalcohol and fly into jealous rages.F could not make the decision to leave. One moment he would seem to careand vow that he would finish the course and pay back the money he owed her. Thenext moment his emotions would plummet, and he would head for the bottle. Fcould not stand these mood swings. Perhaps she could leave him and forget themoney he owed her. She had managed on her own before and could again. Herdaughter and friends did not like this man who reminded F of her father whichscared her.F wrestled with her decision. She wrote letters to him and even saw acounsellor. Nothing seemed to resolve her dilemma. What if he does finish thecourse, and she could finally live a better life. Maybe if he begins making money,his drinking would also stop. F felt reluctant to give up her dream of living a betterlife. After six months of wavering back and forth on her decision, F experienced thefollowing dream.180Story during the dream.F finds herself standing in a neighborhood of big expensive houses. Shenotices that the best homes are situated on top of the hill. The idea is that youcould work your way up and one day live in one of the big homes on top. F isfeeling a bit curious.She then sees some people who have recently moved in to one of the homes.The owner is a real estate agent who had won the house. His boss told him that ifhe keeps doing well, he can someday move up to a larger house.F notices the woman of the house pushing a baby carriage. She is barefoot,overweight, and very grumpy. She also has raggedy hair. F stops her on the streetand welcomes her to the neighborhood. She also tells the woman how nice it is tohave won a house with the understanding that she could someday move up to one ofthe bigger homes on top of the hill. To F's amazement, the woman was not the leastbit interested and walked on downhill into her sidewalk. F then wakes up.Story after the dream.F woke up and took notice of her dream, because it seemed interesting. Shewent over the details and knew that the dream must have something to do with herrelationship, because it mentioned real estate and winning a house. She could notfigure out what the woman meant.F went to work and thought about the dream off and on. She also describedthe dream to a friend, but she still did not understand what it meant.The next day, F decided to apply a method of dream interpretation which shehad read about before her dream. She began telling the dream to herself using thewords "in me" after every part. F began by saying, "I am standing on the hill in me,looking at the house in me" and continued until she had finished the dream. When181she said, "the woman in me who is grumpy in me and unhappy in me", F suddenlyrealized what the dream was telling her. She was that woman. If she stayed withthis man, she would not be happy. He is not the person for her. The reasons shealways gave herself for staying with this man were not going to bring her happiness.Even if he eventually does make money, she would be miserable with him.F now felt certain that she must leave him. It was as if she had received amessage from somewhere else. The message was totally clear. She no longer feltany doubt. He would not get rid of her unhappiness. Only she could do that forherself.F then told him that she was leaving him, but he calmed her down, promisingto finish the course and quit drinking. F felt sorry for him, because he did not havea job or any friends. She knew if she left him he, would be miserable and sit aroundby himself all day. He needed to finish the course, so she decided to wait until hefinished months later.F felt depressed about the situation. She had made her decision to break upwith him, yet felt guilty about leaving when he was still without a job. During themonths that followed, F had many other dreams that confirmed her decision toleave him. In one dream, she was disgusted that he gave her a cheap ring whichlooked as if it came out of a cracker jack box. In another dream, he was drivingwildly downhill in a red car which crashed. F saw this car as being her own bodywhich was going downhill, because she was so depressed staying in the situation.Finally, months later, he finished his course and left. The dreams stopped,and she no longer felt sorry and guilty about him. F felt great relief and neverwanted to be involved with anyone again. It felt heavenly to be on her own.F began doing more things with her children and began seeing her friendsmore often. Because she had felt down for so long, she started working on herself.The dream's message stayed with her. She could still see the unhappy, withdrawn182woman with low energy. F knew that she had to seek happiness for herself and notdepend on someone else to give it to her.She took a course in meditation and awareness and applied positive thinkingin her daily life. Because she received such a clear message from her dream, Fbegan paying more attention to her dreams. All these efforts helped F feel strongerand happier. She found a new job and eventually went to graduate school. Shehopes that she never gets that low again.Structure of the dream story.The opulence of the neighborhood and movement uphill in the first scenecontrasts with the downtrodden woman and movement downhill in the last scene.F's curiosity is piqued in the beginning as she stands in awe of the wealthysurroundings with its opportunity for advancement to the top of the hill. Alone withher impressions, she can only imagine what life is like with so much luxury and hopefor more.In the end, F has discovered that wealth does not automatically bringhappiness. Instead of facing upward at the fancy neighborhood, F's gaze is turneddownward towards the bedraggled woman walking down the sidewalk into herhome. Not only is the woman going downhill, but her appearance is as well.Amazed at the woman's disinterest, F is left alone again to ponder over what shehas seen.The middle of the dream begins when F sees the real estate man moving intothe house which he has just won. No longer alone with her assumptions, F can nowobserve the inhabitants from a distance. Her curiosity is fueled even further whenshe sees the man's unhappy partner. Although F's gaze is still turned uphill, withthe appearance of the woman, the story moves from an upward to a downwardfocus.183The contrast between the luxurious surroundings and the woman seems toenhance F's curiosity, compelling her to move from passive observer to activeparticipant. As if not believing her eyes, F welcomes her and expresses her ownpositive feelings which clash with what she sees in the woman.The woman passes by without a word, and F's gaze for the first time turnsdownward as she watches the woman walk downhill into her house. Stunned by thewoman's lack of interest, F's thoughts turn downward as well. Alone once more, shenow thinks about the unhappy woman, not about luxurious homes and theopportunity for even bigger ones uphill.F's story ends with puzzlement, not with satisfaction. The contrast betweenthe unhappy woman and her neighborhood opens up the possibility for F that shecould end up like this woman.Relationship between life context and structure of the dream story.The setting of F's dream reflected her hopes for a financially secure life. Ifshe stayed in her relationship and her partner finished the course, she could live inan expensive home and have the opportunity for advancement to an even higherstandard of living. She was curious to know what it would be like to live in suchluxurious surroundings.The end of the dream confirmed her suspicions that, despite the wealth, lifewith this man would not bring her happiness. Struck by the woman's indifference toall the opulence around her, F realized after the dream that she could end up likethis woman. Like the dream image of the woman walking downward, she wouldfind herself going down hill if she stayed. The image was repeated again in a futuredream where her friend was driving down hill in a car which crashed. Because Fwould not leave until her friend finished his course, her dreams continued to stressthe message that she should not stay with him.184The middle of the dream mirrored her conflicted feelings around the issue.Like her male friend, the owner of the house in the dream was a real estate man.This man had accomplished what she and her friend both wanted. The man in thedream was busy settling in, acting as if he belonged in the neighborhood. Incontrast, his partner looked out of sync with the rest of the setting. Before thedream, F was struggling to decide whether she would be happy with this man. Nowshe was given the chance to get an answer. Approaching the woman was likeapproaching herself. How could this woman look so unhappy?As if unable to comprehend what she was seeing, F congratulated thewoman. In waking life, F tried to continually tell herself that when her friend makeslots of money, they will both be happy. In the dream, she was confronted with herfuture and left to ponder what she had seen. The dream was a warning to leave thisman.F's puzzlement at the woman's attitude in the dream turned to surprise when shelater discovered that she was the woman. Her main reason for staying in therelationship was taken away from her. She had no doubt that she would end up likethis woman. The relevance to her situation in this dream and its clear message ofunhappiness confirmed to F during the months afterwards that she must stick to herdecision to leave. There was no longer any doubt about what the future would belike with this man. If she wanted to be happy, she had to rely on herself. When hefinally left, she was able to make changes which helped her live a more fulfilling lifeon her own.Case E:Verbatim dream report.I'm walking along a sort of dam wall, and this dam reminds me verymuch of a dam that was on a farm that I used to visit when I was a kid in A.185And this is, we called it the farm. We're going to the farm. This is mymother's relative. And I even know which dam it is. I know that dam. Sovery clearly I can see the dam, and it was one of two dams. So that'sinteresting. But I'm walking along, and there's this scaffolding along theedge, kind of like grandstanding, you know that, it's interesting that I usedthat word grandstanding, isn't it? (Yes, what does that mean to you?)Grandstanding means like always taking air time and kind of being the onewho wants to be special. I remember C, that when I was so irritated withsomebody, and he said, Oh, I know why you're irritated, because she's alwaysgrandstanding." And I thought it suits it perfectly. So when I said that Ithought, "Isn't that interesting." But it's like, do you know what I mean,there's these kind of tiers, wooden tiers of seating, like in a ball game, youknow, something like that. So that's interesting that this scaffolding is on theedge of the dam.And suddenly, I even wrote that in here, kind of like a, and then I'mwalking along the edge of this, this is the grandstand here, and I'm walkingalong this path. And as I sort of get to the edge of the grandstand, suddenly acrocodile just lurched up out of the water and grabbed on to my dressinggown, the dressing gown I have now. And I got a terrible fright as he did this.I just remember that I panicked, and I was struggling, and I managed tostruggle out of this dressing gown. So he grabbed, and he grabbed myhandbag and dressing gown and dragged them down, went down with them. Iwas standing there naked without anything.And then I thought it was like, "Oh, yeah, I should have known. Thatcrocodile is always there." So that it sort of shifted. It was no longer thisunexpected thing. It's like, "Why didn't I remember that he's always there,and I should have expected that. That's what he always does, and I shouldhave expected it."Story before the dream.E had been experiencing back pain for five years. She was also experiencingemotional pain in her marriage. The more her husband denied that there was aproblem, the more confused and trapped E would feel.About a year before her dream, E saw a massage therapist who kept tellingher that she must find out what emotions she was putting into her back. E could notfind the answer and decided to attend a workshop on psychosomatic medicine sixmonths before her dream. In one of the exercises, she asked herself what wascausing her back pain, but there was no answer. Coming from a medical family, Ewas hesitant to embrace an emotional explanation wholeheartedly. However,despite this reluctance, she still wondered whether her pain was due to purelyphysical causes or due to the way she was living her life.186E also sought help from an acupuncturist and a therapist who each saw herproblem differently. The acupuncturist, who was also a medical doctor, suggestedthat her problem came from a much deeper source which he called her reptilianbrain. He told E that she was responding to situations from this deeper level.Although his comments made sense to E, she was not completely convinced. E'stherapist saw the problem as stemming from her marriage and focused on E'sdreams which reflected her struggles at home. Unfortunately, the therapist placedher own interpretation on E's dreams which E did not feel were correct.E found some relief from her emotional and physical pain when she pouredherself into work and spoke with friends. Although she did some exercise, she wasnot consciously taking care of her health.Two months before E's dream, her husband was away on frequent businesstrips which brought him home every other weekend. These two months weredifficult for E, because she had to contend with her children, house renovations, andwork. The weekend before the dream, E's husband came home. The situation thatweekend was intensely frustrating to E, because her husband still did notacknowledge that there were problems in their relationship. The night of herdream, E thought about their situation and felt trapped, because she could not finda way out of her dilemma.Story during the dream.E is walking along a dam wall which looks like the one on a farm she used tovisit when she was a child in her own country. The farm belonged to one of hermother's relatives. E is sauntering along on a sunny day not feeling anything inparticular. There is scaffolding along the edge of the dam. The scaffolding haswooden tiers like grandstands at a ball park.187E continues to walk along the path, but when she gets to the end of thescaffolding, she suddenly feels a crocodile lunge out of the water and grab her. Sheis intensely afraid and panics as she struggles to break free. The crocodile continuesto pull at E, but she manages to struggle out of her gown. The crocodile then pullsthe gown and her handbag down into the water with her clothes.E stands there naked and thinks to herself that she should have known thiswould happen, because the crocodile is always there. She feels a shift inside herself.It is no longer an unexpected thing. She should have expected him, because healways does this to her.Story after the dream.When E woke up from the dream, she felt the crocodile's presence whichpilMed her. She felt possessed by the dream and felt as if she needed to understandits meaning. E started making associations to the crocodile who is the most fearedanimal in her country. Crocodiles have always been fascinating and terrifying to E.They drag you down and there is no way to escape. Even when she spoke about thecrocodile, she became frightened. E also thought about the meaning of thescaffolding and wondered if it was related to her tendency to always grandstandwhen she was irritated.Later that day, E went to her therapist and told her the dream. Because Ehad talked about herself always running around the house doing things for othersand never having time to get dressed, the therapist focused on this image and thehandbag which she saw as E's identity. She told E that she was killing herself,staying in the marriage for the safety and security. E was being dragged down by themarriage and her obligations. The therapist also saw the crocodile as the devouringmother. None of these meanings fit for E.188For the next two weeks, E's thoughts about the dream were colored by hertherapist's interpretation. When E saw her again, she still was not sure that theinterpretation was correct.A few days later, E went to her massage therapist, because her back pain wasflaring up. When she again asked E what she was putting into her back, E jumpedoff the table, excited with her flash of insight. The crocodile was her reptilian brain.The silent killer had been with her since childhood. It had been with her all along,dragging her down. When she was in stressful situations, she had always put upbarricades as a def