Interpretation of dreams: how to decipher them yourself?

1 – Understand the different types of dreams

Enrich your life by becoming the interpreter of our dreams. Such is the invitation in the form of a challenge launched by the ethnopsychiatrist Tobie Nathan in his latest book. For Freud, the dream was the expression and the realization (masked and deformed) of a repressed desire (in The interpretation of the dream – Threshold). For Jung, it was the fairest expression of the unconscious when the sleeper dreama conception that is not opposed to Freudian theory, but does not confine it to the sole dynamics of desire (in On the interpretation of dreams – LGF, “The Pocket Book”).

For Tobie Nathan – he has incorporated the latest discoveries in the neurobiology of sleep into his research and thinking as a psychotherapist and has immersed himself in ancient traditions of interpretation – “the dream is the dreamer”, it is a condensed of its uniqueness. And his interpretation has the power to alter his life. The ethnopsychiatrist distinguishes three categories of dreams:

“The Effervescence”which would be an overflow of affects that could not be expressed in the waking state, and which pour out in a muddled way into our unconscious during sleep.

“Vectors”which connect us to beings, forces, and elements that cannot be accessed in waking life.

“Signals”, which warn us of an imminent event (danger, accidents, diseases). Tobie Nathan considers nightmares, with a strong anxiety charge, as “separate dreams” and classifies them in the category of “signal dreams”. They are therefore to be closely examined and interrogated.

The originality of his theory is the intrinsically creative active power of dream activity: “The dream does not only express, it does not content itself with reproducing, it facilitates the creation of the day before and the emergence of intuitions” , says Tobie Nathan. It can help us solve problems, prepare us to face a test or take a fresh look at a situation or a relationship.

2- Recognize predictive dreams

But that’s not all, according to the ethnopsychiatrist, our interpretations are predictions. This is undoubtedly the most original aspect of this theory, which affirms, in essence, that our dreams, made up of fragments of thought rearranged and organized in the form of a story, produce new combinations among which “there is necessarily the one that will take shape in the life of the dreamer in the more or less near future”. It is up to everyone to let themselves be guided by their intuition, their intimate conviction. “We will try to visualize the scene which has imposed itself, advises the psychotherapist. Once in the story, the interpreter will have to work backwards. He will mentally go through the dreamlike story, will stop on the salient points, those which astonish, catch the attention because they detach themselves from the usual reality. »

Warning dreams can be recognized by their intensity, by the fact that one color dominates, their “accent” is concentrated there. The affects that they cause in us remain in a very significant way when we wake up. A few scenarios: losing your bag, your papers, facing hostile people, falling, being attacked… So many situations that should lead the dreamer to ask themselves at least this question: “Could a major upheaval occur in my life? life ? (professional change, relational change, move, etc.). From there, listening to his intuitions, listing the objective facts can help to consider his situation or his current relationships with a fresh look. And also help to prepare, psychologically but also materially, to face a possible transformation.

These explorations are very often manifested by sexual dreams involving the close entourage. For Tobie Nathan, in waking life everyone is paying attention to their feelings: am I wanting, am I wanted? The dream makes it possible to explore, by staging them, all the combinations in order to obtain an answer to this question by “alternately borrowing the body of each of the partners”. Thus one is, in the dream, both the friend, the colleague, the desired father-in-law, and the one who desires him or her. Examining the reactions of the different dreamed protagonists sheds light on our satisfactions, our fears or our frustrations.

For further

To read

The New Interpretation of Dreams by Tobie Nathan
Understand your dreams in the light of new discoveries, neurobiological in particular, but also according to ancient traditions (Odile Jacob, 2011).

3 – Understand the dreams that guide

The dream also makes it possible to explore all the possibilities, “by setting up the scenarios that could have been our life”. We can then take advantage of it by asking ourselves what we could readjust in our reality: wouldn’t this dream of sexuality with an enthusiastic and joyful colleague mean the need to unbridle our daily life a little? Pharaohs had predictive dreams for Egypt. Reduced to our humble person, Tobie Nathan tells us, those concerning the company, the institution, the service for which we work can have the value of dreams of collective interest. And give precious indications on the orientations and the decisions to be taken, the way of working or the solutions which will resolve conflicts, or make it possible to break the impasse. They can also go beyond the professional framework and gain momentum, these are then “altruistic dreams”, activists or citizens. They reinforce our sense of belonging to the human group and emphasize our ideals.

We can stop when we wake up on the values ​​they express to think about how we serve them or not enough in our life. Even if the conceptions of death differ according to the cultures, there are invariants, explains the ethnopsychiatrist, including these: death constitutes a space distinct from the common world and the passage in this space is accompanied by rituals. Why do they come back in our dreams? To ensure the proper management of an inheritance, to repair an injustice that persists, to restore an error in the perception of the family or the descendants. Restoring order and justice cleans up relations with the living and pacifies those with the dead. In any case “interpretation is always a decree of existence, a midwife of tomorrows”, concludes Tobie Nathan, who advises us never to let someone whose intentions we do not know state truths about oneself from our dream.

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Interpretation of dreams: how to decipher them yourself?

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