In the Bible we find when Jesus taught an important concept and message, he used parables. In that way there was no limit to the meaning that could be obtained by his listeners. The parable had limitless wisdom for the future, for all peoples, for many situations. It is similar with dreams. The symbolic and metaphorical meaning is powerful and expressive. It is timeless – it relates to our past, our present and our future. We cannot contain the meaning of a parable or a dream. The meaning is always open to further interpretation throughout future centuries.
You may not realize you are very familiar with symbolic and metaphoric language, but you do speak that language in many ways each day of your life. Think of the symbols that we all recognize and react to. As we drive, we are constantly guided by symbols on road signs. They direct us, warn us, and even change our behavior. The symbol is extensive in its meaning.
From the time we learn to count, we use symbols to represent quantity. A “1” is not a word, but a symbol and represents various meanings for the user. What does “1” mean to you? It is a mathematical number, but also has connotation of a unity, alone, autonomy, first, the Self, beginnings.
Symbols open us up to a wide array of emotions. We cannot describe verbally the emotional content of symbols. The emotional response is too profound and personal for words to fully define. One may have a favorite cap that is worn out and seems to have no value. But to the owner, it may have value beyond words. The cap may represent a special occasion – an accomplishment, friends, a team. It becomes a symbol of much more than an object.
A country’s flag is a symbol that holds both personal and universal meaning. On a personal level, the meaning associated with a flag will be defined by the experience of an individual. It also holds collective symbolism for the world. It has universal significance, just as many dream symbols hold universal meaning.
Other symbols that we use daily and respond to in personal and universal ways are money, the moon, love, musical notes, and visual art. What meanings do they bring forth for you? When you begin to think in symbolic ways, you are speaking the language of dreams. You already are further along to understanding your visions of the night.
You can learn a great deal from the emotions of your dreams. You do not always have to interpret the symbols, but rather interpret the emotional impact of the dream. How did you feel in the dream? Was there fear? What were you afraid of in the dream? What does that remind you of in your waking life? You may often camouflage and deflate your emotions so that you don’t even know what you feel. At the moment it seems to lessen the angst of the situation, but over time the suppression of the emotion affects your health, your relationships and your work. The dream teaches us what we feel and how to deal with the emotions of our lives.
Even without remembering the storyline, dreams serve a purpose to add balance to your life and give you glimpses into your creative nature and innate wisdom. They connect us to the realm of the paranormal where we experience the magical essence of the universe.