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Memories, Dreams and Reflections

I dreamed that I was leaning forward on a powerful motorbike, making my way down an empty road on a clear night until I came to a little guard house and red/white border barrier. I stopped for a moment as the barrier lifted, crossed over and continued my journey. The weather changed. Fog came up. I didn’t know where I was going and what to expect. I felt curious, guarded and a little bit anxious of the unknown. At the same time I was clear in myself that I wanted to go ahead. When I woke up, I was confused and surprised. It was an intense dream. Where was it coming from? What did it mean? I had no idea. Six months later I met Shantigarbha, my life partner, and I moved from Hamburg (Germany) to Bristol (England).

In the same summer (2015) I dreamed I was in a big hall, shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth II. When I shared my dream with Shantigarbha and my friends we thought it was funny. Six years later, in 2021, I applied for dual British citizenship. The ceremony was in a big hall, and I stood in front of a Union Jack and a photo of the Queen. I made an oath of allegiance to the Queen and shook hands with her representative.

These dreams came back recently in the dark of the period over New Year, while Shantigarbha and I were listening to Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams and Reflections. Jung (more about him) was in alignment with Freud that dreams are important as an expression of our inner world. He saw them as a doorway to understanding ourselves more deeply and contacting the ‘unconscious’. The unconscious is something which is outside of our awareness, something which is hidden in darkness and not yet visible.

Where Jung differed from Freud is that he regarded the unconscious as having a collective aspect. So dreams are not only ‘personal’ – they contain material relating to the collective human experience, from different times and places.

Coming back to my motorbike dream, I could imagine that my choice to live in another country is linked with my need for adventure and discovery. All my family members love travelling. Some of them lived abroad and spoke a foreign language. I had in mind that one day I would also like to experience living abroad but I didn’t pay much attention to it. Now I understand that this unconscious heartwish showed up symbolically in my dream. What’s interesting is that I wasn’t consciously aware of it. I guess I was too busy with family life at the time.

I’ve started to write down my dreams in a dream book. I want to give them more attention. I’ve become fascinated by what dreams can tell us about ourselves. I’ve come to believe that if we pay attention to our dreams and try to understand their symbolism, we can increase our self-awareness. And with awareness comes choice. Have you had an intense dream recently?