Out driving recently, we slowed down to pass road works. Orange witches’ hats marked off a hole in the centre of the road. Intrepid road workers were jack-hammering their way, waist deep in rubble, ear deep in mind numbing noise.
“You know,” Michael began, “whenever we passed road works when we were children, Dad would always sing, ‘There was I, a-digging this ‘ole, ‘ole in the ground sort of big and sort of round …’. And I would vow never to be as predictable and repetitive when I grew up.”
“And you’ve succeeded,” I replied, “I’ve never heard you burst into song and we’ve passed plenty of road works in our life together.”
“Yes and no,” Michael cringed. “I may not sing but I’ve never passed a road works without hearing my father’s voice striking up from the back of my mind, ‘There was I, a-digging this ‘ole’. He just won’t go away!”
We can laugh about these perpetual voices that echo on from our past. Parents, teachers, priests and school bullies, for example, often leave their mark. All the while we are aware of them we can shrug our shoulders and smile. We can drive on past the hole in the road without bursting into song, talk to our children without old-fashioned admonishment, and be assertive without fear of the school bully hurting us.
But what about the echoes we are not aware of? Deep in your unconscious mind are the records of every conversation, event and experience you have lived through carefully filed alongside the feelings these evoked in you. These experiences and feelings have shaped your life, even though you do not remember them. They form a blueprint, a pattern that exerts an influence on how you respond to the world. They may be unconscious patterns, but that fact alone makes them far more powerful than the patterns you are consciously aware of. The hole in the road you know about is not a problem. You won’t fall into it. But the very real hole in the road you are NOT conscious of is a danger.
How does this relate to dreams?
Dreams are reflections of both your unconscious and conscious minds, with special highlights on the conflicts between the two. When you know how to cut through the language of your dreams and interpret them, you can understand the blueprint patterns that are still operating in your life. Your dreams bring to light what is usually hidden to your waking eyes. Your dreams reveal the holes in the road, how they got there, and how they are affecting your waking life today. What powerful information!
For example, you may have forgotten the day when the other kids in your street were given money to buy ice creams from the ice cream van, but your mother didn’t have the change. She told you, “Money doesn’t grow on trees”, speaking without thinking her own mother’s echoing words which were also her grandmother’s. She didn’t realise you were the only kid in the street to miss out, and she certainly didn’t know the others taunted you about it for weeks.
As a five year old you felt deeply hurt, by the other kids and by your mother. You mistakenly learned that money was available to other people but not to you. When a deep feeling is associated with a belief (remember that children’s feelings are big) the belief is all the more strongly anchored. The child, in this example, grew up and forgot the incident, but his unconscious mind remembered and dug a huge hole in the road. As an adult, he wondered why he encountered difficulties with self-esteem and self-value. He didn’t know that his unconscious mind had established a belief pattern that he was less worthy of reward than others.
The problem is that the unconscious mind is far more powerful than the conscious mind, so its blueprint wins over conscious mind ideals, thoughts and goals.
Those plans you have that seem to keep misfiring are most likely overpowered by your unconscious beliefs in holes in the road and other perceived pitfalls and dangers. Your unconscious mind will sabotage realisation of your plans to ‘save’ you from such fates.
The solution? Change the blueprint.
This is easily done once you can interpret your dreams. There are various techniques (dream alchemy practices) that use the symbols of your unique dreams to change your unconscious blueprint.
Think of the process as mending the holes in the road so that you can make smoother and faster progress. You can’t remove a hole. The way to mend it is to fill it in. You can’t simply remove an unconscious belief; you need to fill the hole it occupied with a new, more appropriate belief. Dream alchemy practices are designed to do this.
But first, dream alchemy encourages you to look deep into the hole your dreams have revealed, for the best gems and treasures are discovered by mining deep into the earth, deep into the self.
Let your dreams enable you to build a smooth road forward, splendidly lit by diamonds gathered from the deepest pitfalls that once lined your route.
[Copyright Jane Teresa Anderson, March 2003. First published as a Dream Sight article.]