Source Quotes: Dreams as Portal to the Source (Eward Whitmont and Sylvia Pereira)

Here are a number of selected quotes from a very wonderful offering by Whitmont and Pereira:

P. 2: Quotes: “the dream itself is an actual and necessary expression of the life force– One that manifests in sleeping consciousness and is sometimes remembered and re counted across the threshold of waking. Like a flower or a hurricane or a human gesture, its basic purpose is the manifestation in expression of this life force. It gives us images of energy, synthesizing past and present, personal and collective experiences.” (Page 2)

P. 3. “To approach dream interpretation adequately we need to find perspectives beyond those created by dualistic consciousness, which rest content with oppositions–exterior/interior, object/subject, day/night, life/death, functional – descriptive/imaginal, focused attention/openness, etc. While these opposites are valuable for defining rational awareness, we need also to develop an integrated consciousness that can read both daily and nightly actions and events and nightly and daily visions from many perspectives and to integrate these perspectives for our selves and the patient–dreamer before us in our consulting rooms. This capacity relies on an ability to shift between the many forms of magic– affective, body, mythological, allegoric, symbolic, and rational awareness.

 P. 5: “The clinical understanding of dreams requires both art and skill. The art consists of an ability to sense the dream as a multifaceted dramatic presentation, as if one were allowed to witness a scene from the play of life. The performance would require attendance with full respect, empathy, sensitive intelligence, intuition, and a sense of symbolic expression.”

P. 6: “…  the skills acquired through the practice of techniques must always be subject to the art of interpretation. The first ‘rule’, then, is the paradox of all the healing arts: the applicability of basic principles must be determined by feeling, sensitivity, and intuition.”

P. 6: “as expressions of pre-rational, ‘altered’ states of consciousness, dreams are as variable as nature itself. Indeed they are a lusus naturae, a play of nature that can never be fitted into rigid systems. Rather, our rational thought capacity has to learn to adapt itself to the Protean variability of the life processes which dreams represent. Rational or ‘secondary’ thought must learn to adapt itself to the feeling tones and images of the dream, in reverie and to play intuitively, as seriously as a musician does with a sonata, until meanings emerge.”

P. 7: “…  in clinical practice each dream offers diagnosis, prognosis, and appropriate material and timing to address the dreamers current psychological reality and to address and compensate the dreamer’s– and/or analyst’s – blind spots of consciousness. Diagnostically, the dream’s images and structure give evidence of ego strength and may reveal qualities of relationship between various forms of consciousness and the psychological and somatic unconscious. Prognostically, the dream calls attention to what confronts consciousness, as well as to likely clinical developments, and often, to how the present awareness and capacities of the dreamer and/or analyst tend to relate to those confrontations. … The psychological reality and blind spots of consciousness are addressed because every dream points to an unconscious complex and to the archetypal dynamism behind the complex’s emotionally charged layers.”

P. 8: “Not only does the dream inevitably address the dreamer’s and analyst’s blind spots, it also… is ‘an answer in hieroglyphics to the question we would pose.’ …  The dreamer is invariably unable to see those blind spots or to realize the nature of the ‘question’ he or she needs to ‘pose.’ Too often the dreamer identifies only with the dream ego’s perspective and it’s emotional responses to the images presented.

…  Dream work, thus, requires a witness, someone to provide a perspective coming from other than the dreamer’s context, with whom the dream can initially be encountered.”

P. 9: “But even at best, and even among experienced therapist themselves, dream work needs dialogue with another person. In spite of extensive experience with dreams, such collegial checking and confrontation usually reveals essential details and personal applications that were overlooked. The saying popular among doctors, ‘the doctor who treats himself has a fool for a physician,’ applies here, for the dream brings us unconscious dynamics, and we cannot, by definition, be aware of them easily.

P. 11: “Musing on the contents of the person’s ‘own’ dreams with an empathic other, associating to them, grounding specific dream images in analogous events and patterns of daily life, finding objective explanations, sharing reactions–all provide method and material to build the safe enough therapeutic relationship in which, eventually, genuine affects and individuality can come forth. Repeatedly, such dream work brings about a sense of valuable individual contents and of awareness of capacity to deal with images. Over time such mutual activity assists greatly in conveying and developing a sense of fluid and merged, yet constant and separate, identity – a felt individuality for which play and symbolic understanding is both possible and pleasurable.”

P. 12: “Knowing immediately what a dream purports to mean rest usually on a projection of the therapist’s own bias or countertransference, rather than on genuine, and often necessarily mutual, understanding. Like all utterances from the ‘other side’, the dream tends to be multi-leveled and oracular, hence ambivalent (even polyvalent) and resistant to a rational, black– white, simplistic approach.”

P. 14: “… the therapist must revere the dream’s image material carefully in it’s context and with open puzzlement until a corresponding associative affect–response emerges from the dreamer. …  Jung’s warning: ‘The analyst who wishes to rule out conscious suggestion [must] consider every dream interpretation invalid until such time as a formula is found which wins the patients assent.” … If assent is to be reliable, it must come from what might be called an embodied or gut sense of ‘Aha!’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Touché.’ This kinesthetic validation presents a deep confirmation from ‘the Self in the body’ which knows even when the conscious ‘I’ cannot. Unless this response is forthcoming, the analyst’s views of the meaning of a dream can only be considered hypothetical possibilities still awaiting confirmation or disavowal from the Self of the dreamer. Inevitably, too, the following dreams will confirm, modify, or challenge an interpretation and the dreamer’s understanding of the dream.”

P. 17: “The dream is a spontaneous self portrayal, symbolic form, the actual situation in the unconscious.” Jung

“In each of us there is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves. When, therefore, we find ourselves in a difficult situation to which there is no solution, he can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude. (Jung)

Jung called the dream ‘a highly objective, natural product of the Psyche…  [a] self representation of the psychic life– process. …  The dream compensates or compliments a deficiency of the dreamer’s conscious position; And/or of the therapist’s position with regards to the dreamer or the analysis.”

Page 18: “… to differentiate Jung’s postulated Self from the self concept psychoanalysis… we shall capitalize it and referred to it as Guiding Self…. It is also to be viewed as the source and director of the individuation drive, that archetypal urge to ‘become what one is’. It is also to be viewed as the source and director of life events and of dream material, both providing invaluable metaphoric/allegoric and symbolic messages which aid the individuation process to those who learn to read them.

The Dream ego may represent: the dreamer’s actual and felt sense of identity as observing witness or actor.

Appears as the Guiding Self sees her or him.

The dream may point up the Self’s view of the dreamer’s identification (merger) with an ego-ideal or an inflated grandiosity.

P. 22: “Developmental possibilities through Dream Work

The dreams dramatic outcome, then, is to be considered conditional: given the situation as it is now (namely, the setting or exposition of the dream, to be discussed below), this or that is likely to develop. … nothing in a dream outcome, therefore, is to be regarded as fixed or unalterable; unless it is explicitly shown to be so by the terms of the dramatic structure of the dream itself and by the symbolic or allegoric tenor of the images.”

P. 24: “Rarely, if ever, will the dream tell the waking ego what to do. Even when a problem is solved in the dream this shows only a possibility that is available. The dream shows what psychological realities the dreamer is up against, what happens to work for or against his current attitude and position, and what the effects of that position or particular approach are likely to be. It leaves the matter to the dreamer to draw his or her own conclusion, to make decisions, and to act. In this way an ongoing dialectic occurs between conscious and unconscious dynamics. For better and/or worse, conscious freedom of response is respected and preserved.

The ‘situation as it is,’ seen from the perspective of the Guiding Self, includes both inner developmental potentials and trends, as well as the consequences inherent in the dreamer’s current, ‘just so’ psychological situation.”

P. 119: “dream series

Until now, we have been dealing with single dreams. However, there is a continuity, we might almost say, an extended story, as dreams unfold sequentially as part of a steadily evolving series. They tend to tell a running narrative, which feeds the conscious ego the kind of information it requires and is able to assimilate, given its particular position in the developmental process. As consciousness takes in response to the dream’s messages, the dreams again respond to the newly gained positions of consciousness; thus a dialectical play develops. When it is a matter of vitally important or fundamental life issues and consciousness does not respond adequately to assimilate the message, dreams will recur. Sometimes they repeat in the same form; sometimes the images become more numerous, larger, or threatening. These kind of recurrent dream series may even lead to nightmares. Such nightmares and recurring dreams – and particularly those that have been recurring since childhood – deserve urgent attention.

… When a dream journal is kept, one gets the impression of an unfolding continuum of views, and of a seeming intentionality in the selection of themes for each given moment.

Indeed, in the instance of a specific, organic symbol, birth in dreams can usually be seen to refer back to a process seeded some nine months before. Or the age of a dream figure will refer to some energy that was ‘born’ those many years before. But more than that, it is as though dream number six in October knew what dream number twenty-nine in April was going to raise and was preparing the dreamer with preliminary insights. Subsequent dreams quite often, therefore, need to be considered in the light of preceding ones, that might have dealt with the same or similar subject matter. A central theme or themes are developed in sequence overtime. Often, one cannot avoid the impression that the series operates as though the unconscious could ‘anticipate . . . future conscious achievements,’ no less than future unconscious dilemmas, for an early dream seems already to know or plan what a later dream is to pick up and carry further. This is an aspect of what Jung called the ‘prospective function’ of dreams.

Usually, such an elaboration occurs not a linear progression but rather like a circular or spiral movement around a central thematic core, casting light upon the central theme from, what might be considered, different psychological angles. It is as though dream one raises a theme; dream two raises a seemingly different one; dream three presents again another angle and so forth; while dream 12 may perhaps pick up on one, and 14 may link up what was raised by three and 12 – or whatever. This circumambulation of the dreamer psyche field bus repeatedly brings up crucial complexes, and elaborates on them, building on previous consequences. Gradually a sense of wholeness pattern adults to the process of being shown the various aspects of the themes, presented with all their very nations from a variety of viewpoints. And keeping up with the images of the dream series, one can keep up with the life– And the individuation process.”

see: Dreams, A Portal to the Source, by Whitemont, Edward, and Pereira, Sylvia, 1992.

Explore posts in the same categories: Communications from the Dream Time, Connecting the Dots Series, Dream, Individuation, Learning to Think and Work Symbolically

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