Types of Dreams
Question from a reader:
“Why does it always happen that what I saw in my dreams happens in the future, but not the same thing – only a part of the dream?”
Dreams are very rarely 100% literal. As I mentioned in a previous blog post about dream interpretation, dreams are often a mix of varying types of symbolism:
Personal symbolism found in dreams are things that have very specific meaning to you. Many dream interpreters will tell you that your personal symbolism should be given higher consideration than dream dictionary definitions, but I find that in many instances, both types of symbolism can carry meaning and you can get a fuller picture of what is being conveyed.
An example of personal symbolism might be hearing a song or seeing an animal that carries a specific meaning for you, seeing a place that has personal significance, etc.
Universal dream archetypes exist in the collective consciousness and according to Carl Jung, possess the same meaning for every person on the planet. You can use an online dream dictionary such as Dreammoods.com to look up these symbols, however, an actual dream book will be more thorough than the online database. I own The Dream Dictionary from A-Z which includes almost exactly the same info as Dreammoods, but with even more information.
While dreams are personal, your personal experiences often touch on universal themes and symbols. These symbols are believed to occur in every culture throughout history. Jung identifies seven such symbols in what is referred to as the major archetypal characters.
These Archetypal dreams, also refer to as “mythic dreams”, “great dreams” or “grand dreams”, usually occur at significant times or transitional periods in your life. They often leave you with a sense of awe or that you have learned something important about yourself. Such dreams have a cosmic quality or an element of impossibility if occurred in reality. They are often extremely vivid and stay in your mind long after you had the dream.
In addition to symbolism, dreams also occur within various levels of consciousness:
Subconscious: Subconscious dreams typically give you symbolism about things that are occurring in your daily life – emotions that you aren’t dealing with, situations that are currently happening, etc. Sometimes subconscious dreams may make little sense but appear to simply be the mind categorizing what happened that week.
I find that with my own dreams, my mind will use these people, places and events as context to kick up more important information and themes.
Superconscious Dreams: Superconscious dreams can also be considered astral travel, visitation dreams, past life dreams, alternate life dreams, precognitive dreams or may include some of the archetypal themes mentioned above.
Many of my dreams tend to be a mix of all of these various types of symbolism and levels of consciousness, so when interpreting a dream, you have to be able to sort out which pieces are which in order get an accurate idea about what is being conveyed to you.
I suspect the reason your dreams do not play out in real life exactly as you dream them is because there are layers of symbolism filtered into them that have meaning for you, and most likely that meaning conveys a message about the parts of your dream which are precognitive.