Dreaming Q&A

Penny Scout emailed me some questions about issues of Dreams and Dream Interviews, and I thought it a good idea to answer them here, for everyone’s benefit. To wit:

Some of my questions about dreams are:
If you wake up to an alarm does it ruin the end of the dream? The ones that are interrupted are usually the ones I remember the best. Even the dream we did yesterday was interrupted by an alarm I think.

Well, if you interrupt a dream, you interrupt it! I noticed the shortness of the third Act of your dream, but I didn’t realize that it literally stopped when the alarm went off. Who knows what the rest of the third Act might have told you? Having said that, even a fragment of an image contains valuable stuff, and even moreso almost three full Acts of the dream in question. We do the best with what we get. Other options do exist for helping to recall dreams on waking, besides the interruption of the alarm. We can talk about those if you’d like.

When the dream changes scenes in a major way how do you know if it is a different act or an entirely different story? For example the dream of the fortune teller was preceeded with a dream of wandering in the woods which was preceeded by a steve kane (this guy from high school I have recurring dreams about) dream. I remember them bleeding into eachother without a pause, but they were significantly different. How much do you choose to interpret?

I’ve experienced “separate dreams” which turned out as Acts I, II, and III of a whole arc! The only way to tell involves looking/interviewing each in turn, as best you can.

Then what if all you recall is one particular fact out of what you know was a whole dream but it seems highly charged, like all I remember I was cuddling with Emilee Danielson, who I hate in real life? Is it possible to interpret at all?

Absolutely!  If nothing else, it makes for good practice to even go after the fragments. But I have had great realizations from single images or situations.

What about filling in the gaps when things are fuzzy. Lets say from example, i think the beagle girl had dark hair and glasses and looked like bookstore girl in the urban scout but it’s so faint I could be making it up now that I’m awake. Make it up or leave it out?

Well, I suspect you know more about that girl than you think. Why would your dreamself choose a whole character that it didn’t bother to actually use? In those situations, you can tease it out of yourself, by trying to get a negative reaction from yourself. You or the dream interviewer can do this. For example, you gave me just a description of a brunette girl, no more. What if I had said, “well, brunette like Angelina Jolie, or brunette like Betty Boop, or maybe she had no face at all, totally faceless, just brown hair…?” I bet you’d have an extreme reaction to those. In that way you can clear up from around the edges till you have a good sense of the person/thing/etc.

How important is it to write down the dream in as much detail as possible. If I dream of shoplifting from a store is it worth noting the light quality, that it was muted, the placement of the items that the shampoo was on the right, or what? I tend to think no, especially because i can visulize the scene in my head still, and recall those details if need be. I do think it was important that I went out the backdoor since I mention this later in the dream.

In the end, you know best how much you need to write to recall the dream. As you already experienced, you write the dream down as an anchor for remembering it. But the writing doesn’t remember it – you do! So, write as much as you need to help you reenter the dream when the interview starts.

I hope this helped. Thanks Penny Scout for the questions! And good luck.

Written by Willem