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The 17 Most Common Dreams and What They Actually Really Mean

The Meaning Behind The Most Common Dreams and Nightmares Revealed

Dreams are a fascinating world. Everybody dreams at night. That’s billions of dream messages around the globe every single day. Yet most are unaware of the purpose or meaning of dreams. Some explore esoteric or superstitious interpretations while many religions make absurd connections or even hijack interpretation for their own confirmation. With all the advances in technology and sophistication in lifestyle, it is embarrassing to see how our society has not embraced a serious attitude towards dreams and dream interpretation.

“But dreams and their interpretation are the via regia to our true self” says Dr. Schellhammer, Founder of the Schellhammer Institute and author of the bestselling book Modern Dream Theory, adding that “Dreams reflect our psychical-spiritual human being and our entire life. They show us our origin and our aim. Each dream is a puzzle, because they speak a ‘foreign’ language. Many lack openness for this symbolic language that can actually be learned”.

Schellhammer, who worked with more than 150,000 dreams, gathered from his clients over the last 30 years concludes, “Dream interpretation isn’t just a technique, a tool for self-discovery and a solution for life’s most important problems, but also an existential challenge of first order – until human beings learn to take their inner life seriously we will continue to see failings of grave magnitude around us.”

Inspired by Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, he embarked upon the journey of exploring dreams, their architecture and their meaning. We present here an extract from the book Modern Dream Theory, outlining the 17 most common dreams and what their meaning is.

Burglar dreams: Dusky figures, breaking into the apartment, mostly at night, into the house or into the bedroom. This always produces a certain fear. The figures are mostly own shadows, own not integrated aspects of personality.

Childhood dreams: This type of dream relates with elements and themes from the childhood and youth that are dreamed retrospectively. The core here is biographical reappraisal of the past; or it’s a call for catharsis.

Danger dreams: Scenes with clear situations of danger characterize this type of dream. It could be psychical dangers, but often also health problems and existential matters. One should react to hazards reasonably with particular caution and alertness. The core-message: “Attention, here is danger!”.

Fear dreams: Fear is an expression of threat, frequently arising from the inner psychical life, but often from personal living environment. The objective is not the fear itself but the factors which lead to fear. Some dreams of fear let the dreaming person know how he produces fear in his personal environment. Turn your face towards the fear, recognize and clarify what creates fear!

Exam dreams: The purpose here is sometimes a biographical reappraisal of the past. They point out in general to a high extent passed or failed current psychical maturation processes.

Falling dreams: We fall down somewhere, on the floor, into a hole or down a slope or from the sky. Maybe one has to fall to come back to reality with both feet on the ground.

Flying dreams: Here you fly, finally! But the relation to reality is lost. Humans cannot fly, only their illusions and the Ego‘s (I) delusional flight into unreality.

Nakedness dreams: They often include quite embarrassing situations out in public. Many people show in their real life everywhere their most private psychical inner life. This is embarrassing too. And one loses protection.

Nightmares: The main characteristic is not the pictorial dream-scenery, neither the threat nor the related fear, but more the specific message of warning to the dreaming person. The dreamer is in a particular matter exposed to significant hazard and is under pressure, which means the danger is paralyzing, depressing or oppressive. This emotion is the primary purpose of the dream-message. It is not necessarily meant in a health or a physical sense. Many issues can be addressed: A relationship, a current business, a forthcoming (wrong) decision, a career change, a possible termination, a sexual misstep with consequences, a decision with serious consequences and so on. Nightmares are very important and have to be taken serious. The emotion of the nightmare cries out for: “Help! Alarm! Alarm!”

Sex dreams: As simple as it sounds they address the nature of drive, sexual fantasies, secret wishes and personal sexual practices in life. Despite an enormous wave of emancipation in industrial countries and countless taboo-free offers, sexuality remains one of the main problems of humanity in our times. It should be noted that not the question of guilt is in the center, but more the positive, creative integration of own sexuality, enjoyment of physical lust, and obviously ‘sex with love’. One aspect is often the development of one’s own gender identity.

Travel dreams: The scenes show aspects of life, where one is always somehow on the road (journey of life). Partly such dreams are an expression of inner development. Sometimes they are to be interpreted in the context of a significant change in life. They are often archetypal, because they shape destiny. In that case they belong to the ‘big dreams’ or ‘archetypal dreams’.

Teeth dreams: Anything, mostly pernicious situations relating to teeth characterize this type of dream. Teeth may be compared to attitudes: Teeth cannot get a grip of life if they are in a bad state or missing.

Archetypal dreams: Archetypes are those symbols that address the basic forces of the psychical (mental) life and the development of human beings toward psychical-spiritual wholeness, from the origin to the goal. Archetypes are plans and patterns. They reflect collective experiences of mankind since genesis. Examples: Paradise, witch, devil, wise man or wise woman, spiritual sun, fountain, pyramid, owl, mysterious spaces, tomb, castle, geometric symbols, ‘sacred’ animals, symbols of God such as the burning bush or mandala of wholeness and so on.

Their meaning does not originate from personal biographic experience. They exceed the general sense of themes. Archetypal dreams contain spiritual sense of themes which are concerned in the core and essence with mankind and life. This includes also religious dreams. Archetypal dreams contain mostly simple real-pictures and general symbols. Archetypal dreams also reflect decisive turning points in life. They arise with particular crises, with life-decisions and in relation with all important inner processes of changes. Archetypal dreams confront humans in their whole being and existence. The main characteristic of archetypal dreams is that they point out basic themes of mankind and life which in general applies to all human beings.

Death dreams: As much as we can understand them as psychical-spiritual transformation, they form part of the archetypal dreams about Individuation. As a forecast of death such dreams are ESP-dreams. Or they reflect the elaboration of the death of a beloved person. One’s preparation for passing away is also an archetypal process. Dreams of death sometimes simply disclose the other world, the fact that a human continues living after having passed away. The frame of interpretation is extensive. A dream about a burial is not necessarily an archetypal dream. Coffins and burials sometimes mean only that a matter or a relationship must be ‘buried’. Dreams of death contain an archetypal meaning when they are related to a process of transformation or to the other world.

Initiation dreams: The decision for Individuation, for the psychical-spiritual self-development up to wholeness is always accompanied by a dream that not only introduces the process, but also discloses largely prospective (forecasting). Initiation dreams always contain archetypal components and the start of an archetypal process.

Prophetic dreams: These dreams are not the same as precognitive dreams. They are not simply ESP-dreams. The indication of an upcoming illness (e.g. cancer) is not a prophetic dream. Such dreams are mighty because they include an enormous collective importance and at the same time they contain archetypal components. Prophetic dreams disclose calamitous social developments, directly or indirectly related with collective salvation.

Religious dreams: On the one hand dreams are created from the spiritual intelligence (the inner Spirit). In that sense religious dreams have a very special importance. Archetypal symbols, actions and sceneries reveal the true vivid essence of religion. God reveals itself through dreams. Dreams guide humans towards God. The office of a priest is based on archetypal procedures, experienced in dreams. In religious dreams salvific history is expressed. Many archetypal processes are in their most genius sense ‘religious’. They also provide consolation, hope, confidence, bravery, strength and orientation in the spiritual explorations. On the other hand: Religious dreams also reveal (disclose) hypocrisy, falseness, and aberration of religion. Nothing speaks so clearly about the Church, the religious teaching and practices as dreams. Religious dreams are the sole reliable and vivid source of all revelation about God and divine realities.

The ‘Inner Spirit’ (called also: ‘Spiritual Intelligence’) is the mental function that creates our dreams intelligently and composes correctly practiced meditations. The Spirit is informative, organizing, guiding. The Spirit is the principle of acting in the soul. The Spirit is animating, stimulating, and benevolent. The Spirit is source of wisdom, part of the Creator. Therefore, the Spirit is not a human creation, not a product of culture, but a spiritual-psychical function in each psyche (soul, mind) of each human. The inner Spirit is the highest authority and stands above all religions and dogmatic teaching. For more interesting and exciting insights about dreams, dream interpretation and the meaning of dreams, grab a copy of the book Modern Dream Theory.

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