Hyde: Dreams 1
Guest Writer Bridget Hyde
“What I have continued to find … is that dreams are sources of wisdom for problem solving and life enhancement. They put us in touch with dimensions of ourselves that are normally hidden and that we need in order to grow toward our full potential.” —George R. Slater in Bringing Dreams to Life (Paulist Press, 1995).
Dreams are a very dynamic form of spiritual direction. They come to us in the service of wholeness. A visit from a dream brings unconscious information to our consciousness. Dreams carry a divine desire to make us whole, to integrate the conscious and unconscious worlds and find a balance between soul and persona.
There is much talk in spiritual direction about “ego” and how it keeps us from God, from our truest self. My experience has taught me that ego is not in and of itself bad. It is an ego out of balance that does harm.
Don’t we all need egos for our basic needs? It is our ego that drives us to get dressed and go out into the world. My faith tells me that God gave us our egos so we might have the confidence to put forward our gifts, and accomplish necessary, daily tasks. Sadly, some of us fall into situations here on earth that sap the vitality of our egos, our self-esteem. During dark or denigrating times, people often dream of kings and queens. Here, the dream seeks to balance a personal sense of worth by calling forth a regal, powerful archetype.
When an ego is out of balance the other way, it becomes inflated and sees itself above others, immune from harm or wrongdoing. If this happens to a person, the unconscious will sometimes bring a dream of falling from a high place to land on solid ground. The dream will seek to bring the person “back to earth.” Thus, a person may have a dream that a plane crashes, yet they land safely somehow; or another example is a dream where a car stalls and the dreamer must get out and walk. The main thrust of such dreams is to help the dreamer feel grounded, to avoid the fate of Icarus.