C. J. Jung made a distinction between “little dreams” and “big dreams”.
Little dreams would mirror the daily activities and conflicts of our lives.
Big dreams would reference the major issues and influences in our life and “contain symbolical images which we come across in the mental history of mankind”.
However, I’ve found that a dream that seems small can become pretty big, once I go into it.
Consider this dream:
I’m in a large, spacious, busy ground-level mall of many shops.
I look at some packaged food hanging from a rack.
Then I’m in an upstairs part of the building. I go from room to room.
I’m trying to get back to work. But each room I enter just leads to another room.
I start to feel frustrated and confused. Why can’t I find the office where I work?
I climb a set of stairs.
When I reach the top stair, I decide to sit down and think things through. It’s nearly noon. By the time I reach work, the day will be half over.
Okay, the scenario was frustrating, but the feeling was not overwhelming. The dream seemed kind of small…
…until I went into it.
The second part of the dream represents a pattern in my adult life. I’ve looked here and there, without finding what I hoped to find.
In the dream, my job was in a “development” office—like the one where I once worked in waking life: a university fund-raising department.
So I’m trying to get to a place where I can make a contribution. But despite my best efforts, I haven’t yet arrived.
However, in the dream scenario, I keep searching. This searching is like work. Finding my way through the passage is part of my task in life. Once I’ve found my way, perhaps I can help others.
At the end, I climb a set of stairs. So I reach two higher levels in this dream.
Maybe I’m sitting down on the job. Or maybe I’m making the wise decision of stopping, resting, and thinking through my situation.
The scenario did not have vivid colors, did not transpire in a bizarre environment, did not offer a celestial choir or a devil’s fire, did not flood my being with a feeling of ascendancy…
…nonetheless, this “small” dream has given me another—a higher—perspective on my life.
© 2011, Michael R. Patton
my sky rope