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Learning the Language

ImageModern films like “Waking Life” and “Batman Begins” talk about it, masks used in rituals from different cultures reference it. The reality of our lives is that we live in two worlds: the world of the daily activities and the one of the silence of the night. These two worlds are necessary parts of our existence. Each day we wake up and prepare for what is ahead of us, and when we return home, we prepare for the night sleep. We spend years repeating this cycle. As we connect with people and tasks during the day, we connect with our dreams during the night.

We have learned to relate to others during the day through language. We wave at a friend or call an uncle. Likewise, we dream and communicate through images and words at night. Imagery is the primary language of dreams. These images are like letters from a deeper side of our lives. This side is what the psychologist calls the unconscious. Dream images manifest the content of our unconscious.

It was the psychoanalyst Carl Jung who explored the deeper layers of the unconscious. His research found that there are figures and characters in the “inner world” that appear and guide us. An undiscovered world opens up to us as we pay attention to our dreams. Images appear in the dream to show a way, to lead each of us on a unique path. That is why it is said that dreams have thelos. They may reference a personal or historical situation or the spirit or archetypal realm.

We can experience life on different levels when we open the door to dreams and allow this strange communicator from the other world to meet and lead us. We can live balanced and rhythmical lives. This happens as we allow the unconscious world to enter our conscious one. Through understanding the content of our dreams we broaden our vision of our waking life and gain more perspective into how we live. It is as if we are multilingual in a multicultural world. Understanding our dreams helps us to connect with the deeper or archaic aspects being hidden in the depths of our modern life, touching the spirit or what Jung calls, the Self. It is like observing a tree with roots deep in the earth and branches high in the sky - how the lower and the higher connect in one person.

Our society separates these two worlds, making it hard to find common ground with others in our daily affairs. It is imperative that we stop being blind to the magnificent beings that we inherently are. By allowing the dream space into our day world we allow ourselves to connect with who we are, where we are going, what is bigger than us, what we fear and what precautions we should give attention to. These images affirm, connect, confront and help us to transcend. They support our daily life, giving meaning and fulfillment to our world of the day.

 

 
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For more than 16 years, Multicultural Psychotherapy Associates has been helping individuals, couples and families suffering from various mental health problems using traditional and alternative psychotherapeutic methods

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