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Episode 115 The Dream Show: Hippocrates, Freud & Jung

Thank you for your help

“Clearly you have an anxiety complex here,” Freud began, “and riding the pointed skateboard with a feeling of exhilaration does suggest a sexual connotation.”

“Clearly you have an anxiety complex here,” Freud began, “and riding the pointed skateboard with a feeling of exhilaration does suggest a sexual connotation.”

Imagine getting Freud, Jung, and Hippocrates (a dream healer from around 2,300 years ago who became immortalized as the Father of Modern Medicine) into a room together to interpret a dream.

They’d all have different views. Where would they agree, where would they disagree?

“Your knee is not working smoothly. We must give you some clay to make a statue of a running woman,” Hippocrates diagnosed.

“Your knee is not working smoothly. We must give you some clay to make a statue of a running woman,” Hippocrates diagnosed.

In today’s show, I meet these dream pioneers and ask them to interpret a simple dream I had about a skateboard. It’s an imaginary meeting, of course, but a genuine dream.

“Hippocrates, this is Freud; Freud, Hippocrates,” and so we begin.

The two grand old men eye each other tentatively as they reach across two millennia to shake hands. Hippocrates leafs through Freud’s weighty book, The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900, while Freud runs his hands over the stone snake-adorned walls of the 2,300 year old Aesclepian Healing Temple where Hippocrates works.

“Hmmm snakes,” Freud murmurs.

Splashes echo from the depths of an inner chamber where Jung dives back into the pool of the collective unconscious and taps me on the shoulder, “Okay, Jane. They’re ready for you now,” he winks.

“So who are all those people and roads in your dream, Jane?” Jung whispered in my inner ear.

“So who are all those people and roads in your dream, Jane?” Jung whispered in my inner ear.

I have decided to bridge millennial gaps and bring my dream, wide awake, for these dream grandfathers to consider. I have chosen the ancient Greek Healing Temple where Hippocrates worked as the venue.

The Dream Show, a free monthly podcast with Jane Teresa AndersonListen in as we continue.

We keep it light and playful, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the fun and smile at their different perspectives.

Listen here (Episode 115).

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Radio ABC WA: Sickbed dreams

Why are dreams extra vivid when we're sick?

Why are dreams extra vivid when we’re sick?

“It was a cool vampire dream that would make a cool vampire novel,” said ABC Radio WA host Glynn Greensmith, of the dream he had while he was sick.

Glynn invited me onto his early morning show yesterday to talk about dreams, wondering if there was a link between being sick and having unusually vivid dreams. Well, is there? We dream several times every night, so why is it that some dreams are more vivid than others?

Our dreams tend to be most vivid when we’re experiencing change, challenge or inner conflict. Of course, the solution to inner conflict and to overcoming challenge is to change, but sometimes we need a little help in seeing what to change, and how. It’s at times like this that we tend to get sick, isn’t it? On a simple level, most illnesses are stress-related. On a deeper level, you can read the health of the body as a direct reflection of the health of the mind.

On yesterday morning’s show, we didn’t discuss Glynn’s vampire dream, though just knowing the dream featured vampires suggests Glynn may have been feeling drained of energy (as if his lifeblood was being sucked out of him), or needing an energy boost, or, given that vampires bite into the neck, conflicted over a communication issue, or feeling under pressure to convert in some way, to become ‘one of them’, not a vampire, but a member of some other kind of tribe. Without the details of the dream, this is all conjecture. Glynn’s question was more general.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was a dream interpreter.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was a dream interpreter.

So dreams may be more vivid when you’re sick because they reflect the stressful issues underlying the sickness. When you interpret these dreams, you can discover the nuts and bolts of the core issues and beliefs contributing towards the sickness, then acknowledge and address these using dream alchemy.

Hippocrates – the father of modern medicine – was a dream interpreter who worked in this way. His work is immortalised in the symbol of the caduceus – the entwined snakes. (More info: see my blog A tale of two snakes.)

Some medications result in vivid dreams. One reason is that medication (especially anything designed to help you sleep) can block REM sleep (the phase commonly associated with dreaming), so it’s only when the drug begins to wear off that the dreaming mind has a chance to squeeze in a whole night’s essential dreaming work into a very short time. This phenomenon of vivid dreams towards the end of the sleep period is known as REM Rebound. The same thing happens when you drink a lot of alcohol: no dreams all night then wham-bam, REM Rebound.

Some medications result in vivid dreams. Why?

Some medications result in vivid dreams. Why?

Medication can also cause vivid dreams because the drug is perceived, by the body and mind, as an invader, a foreign substance. While we may need some medication to aid our healing, or keep us alive, if it blocks the old communication lines between body and mind, our dreams let us know about it. When pain is the body’s way of communicating that something is wrong – that we have an unaddressed emotional pain making itself heard in the body – is it really helpful to block that pain? The dreaming mind may up the ante, reflecting the situation in increasingly vivid dreams.

Viruses, bacteria, toxins and other disease-causing agents may be reflected in invasion dreams: people breaking into your house or bedroom, perhaps even vampires breaking into your blood supply.

Being forced to take time off work because you’re sick can bring up dreams reflecting a whole host of challenges: how will people at work survive without me; who will do my job; will I lose my job; how do I really feel about being at home all day; and so on.

Stephenie Meyer got the idea for her vampire novel, Twilight, from a dream.

Stephenie Meyer got the idea for her vampire novel, Twilight, from a dream.

It’s a huge subject, but I’m not here to write a book, I’m here to write a blog.

Talking about books, I wonder if Glynn has thought any further about making his cool vampire dream into a cool vampire novel.

Didn’t Stephenie Meyer get the idea for her cool vampire novel, Twilight, from a dream she had in 2003?

Also see: Can dreams help heal disease?

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I’ve just had coffee with a beautiful soul who is creating something quite exquisite to celebrate dreams. You’ll hear about it here first, when it’s ready to unveil.

“What is that pendant you always wear? Some kind of totem?” she asked, leaning forward to examine the fine detail of the chain that I wear day and night.

“Two snakes, from a dream,” I smiled, settling back to tell my story. “It all began in the year 2001. Oh, and it also began more than 2,000 years ago …”

I had a powerful dream in 2001. A huge golden snake opened its mouth and swallowed a huge silver snake, leaving only its tail protruding from its mouth, still very much alive. I watched, horrified, expecting the golden snake to snap shut its mouth and consume its prize. Then I realised that the golden snake was in an equally vulnerable position, because the silver snake could start eating the golden snake from the inside.

Then came the greater realisation. This was not a dog-eat-dog or snake-eat-snake situation. This was a situation of trust. This dream was about trusting the process of facing fear. As I watched, I noticed I was covered in cobwebs, which I pushed away, emerging into sunlight, like a butterfly – I thought in my dream – from a chrysalis.

So yes, snakes are a totem for me. They’re a personal symbol for transformation through trusting the process of facing fears at the deepest level.

Now, let’s go back some 2,400 years, to the healing temples in ancient Greece. If you were sick of mind or body in those days, you went to a healing temple to spend the night sleeping in a room filled with (harmless) snakes. In the morning, you told your dream to your healer, whose job was to interpret your dream to diagnose your situation and prescribe a cure.

Shades of my approach: first interpret the dream then prescribe a dream alchemy practice to create the desired result (healing).

One of these dream interpreters was Hippocrates, the very same Hippocrates immortalised in the Hippocratic Oath sworn by western medical practitioners. That’s why the caduceus, that symbol of modern medicine, is a snake entwined staff.

Michael surprised me, back in 2001, by taking my dream to a jeweller, immortalising it in white and yellow gold. Pure dream alchemy.

What’s your totem? Where can a little extra trust take you?

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Episode 115 The Dream Show Hippocrates, Freud & Jung

Hippocrates, Freud & Jung

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