Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Recurring Dreams About the Persona November 20, 2010

Recurring dreams can be especially effective teachers. They describe important inner truths that require your attention. Once you recognize these aspects of your unknown self and can see their impact on your waking life, recurring dreams lose their value and disappear.

If a recurring dream makes you anxious or afraid, it’s usually about shadow qualities your ego would rather not face or painful experiences you want to forget. If it brings pleasure, joy, or awe it’s probably about progress in your journey of self-discovery. Either way, the purpose of a recurring dream is to bring insights that lead to a healthier, more fulfilling life.

For example, the “naked in public” dream shows how comfortable you are with revealing the naked truth about yourself. Feeling embarrassed and ashamed in the dream usually means you have recently exposed an aspect of yourself you wish you hadn’t. Conversely, being unconcerned suggests you’ve accepted a previously disowned quality and no longer care who sees it.

The common dream of teeth falling out usually pertains to waking life situations in which you’re afraid you’ve created a bad impression and believe you’re “losing face.” After all, having a strong set of choppers lets you “sink your teeth” into something and demonstrates your bulldog strength, determination and persistence. This dream tells you you’re concerned about losing power and appearing weak, impotent, or unconfident.

Dreams about our public personalities are persona dreams. We start wearing masks in childhood when we realize people are watching and judging us. A wounded soul might create a very withdrawn or rigidly controlled persona, or one that changes like a chameleon, or one that is always performing to impress or please.  These are disguises born of the need to shield the core Self from public view. A healthy persona has the flexibility to respond in a variety of ways appropriate to each situation without betraying the Self. Thus, we can sometimes be the teacher and at other times the learner; sometimes a curmudgeon, sometimes a clown; sometimes a sage and sometimes a fool. What truly matters about our persona is not how well it shapes the perceptions we want others to have of us, but how openly and authentically it reflects the truths of the soul beneath.

As a child I was relaxed and confident around others, but after my father died I grew fearful and painfully self-conscious. One recurring persona dream I still occasionally have is of pulling gooey, grainy gunk out of my mouth and trying to dispose of it without anyone noticing, but no matter how much I remove there’s always more.  This depicts an exaggerated concern about offending or annoying people with something that comes out of me. In another dream I haven’t had in years I’d be searching through a closet for something  to wear (clothes are common symbols of the persona) and be thrilled to discover an article of clothing I had forgotten I owned. This said that in my search for ways to enhance my public personality I had happily brought a disowned or forgotten quality into consciousness. 

Recurring persona dreams indicate unresolved issues about our public personality. With reflection we can connect these dreams to recent waking life situations. This awareness empowers us to be easier on ourselves and more relaxed and genuine with others so that our soul’s light can shine through for all to see.


The “Naked” Dream November 13, 2010

Beginning with “Gated Religions” I’ve been far more outspoken about social issues than is normal for me.  One night three weeks into the series of posts about injustice I had two dreams depicting my feelings about the new direction my blog is taking. I’d like to share the first one here, partly because it contains one of the commonest dream themes of all — being naked in public — and partly because it helps me illustrate the point I made in “Under the Big Top” about what it’s like for me to try to stay conscious. Next time I’ll tell you about the second dream.

Dream #4251: Nude Descending Stairs

I’m in a public square in an urban area. I’ve walked up a flight of steps to a higher level and am ready to go back down. I go to the edge of the platform I’m on intending to step down, but see I’m much higher than I thought. I return to the steps but am intimidated by their narrowness and the fact that there are no railings. I’m concerned about losing my balance and falling and making a public spectacle of myself. It seems as if I’m wearing big clunky boots that might cause me to mis-step and will make it harder to feel my way. Then I look down at myself and realize, Oh! I’m naked. No shoes, nothing. With a flash of awareness I realize there’s no way I’d be naked in public so this has to be a dream. This delights me. Well then, I think. If this is a dream I have nothing to lose. I shall descend the stairs, proudly naked for all to see! I take a deep breath and in a queenly gesture I throw back my shoulders, spread out my arms, and glide serenely down the steps.

The dream says I’m feeling a bit too high for comfort and want to get down. My first thought is that I want to stay balanced (a frequent concern of mine; hence, the sense of walking a tightrope I wrote about in Under the Big top). My second is that I don’t want to publicly embarrass myself. But seeing my nakedness awakens me to the reality that I’m dreaming and after that I feel wonderful.

In my experience, lucid dreams (dreams in which you know you’re dreaming) point to a new level of awareness in which you have seen a limiting fear or assumption and are acquiring the courage to rise above it. It’s like you’ve realized, If life is just a dream, I have nothing to fear by being me. When I reflect on my waking life I see that what I’m overcoming is a gut-level childhood fear of attracting criticism or controversy for expressing my honest opinions.  After the Lone Ranger shot me and my father died, all confidence and security vanished, danger awaited the smallest mis-step, and conflict felt profoundly life-threatening.

Blessedly, for the moment, at least, I’m losing my fear of exposing the naked truth about my views and feeling positive, confident, and empowered. Hence, my queenly stroll down the steps! If I’d rushed to cover myself up, this dream would be showing me how intimidated I still am at the prospect of public vulnerability and censure.

This is incredibly liberating. I’m reminded of the line from Kris Kristofferson’s song, Me and Bobby McGee: “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Sort of like being naked. No more masks to take off. Rock on, Kris!


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