The Dream Game

The Dream Game - Ann Faraday Back in the eighties, I had a dream about an earthquake. in the dream, I am sitting in my living room when the earthguake hits. The wood beam ceiling collapses and the elm tree in the yard falls. Then I woke up. The dream was on a Monday night. I had the same dream on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday. That morning, I told my neighbor about the dream and he started to get worried ."Did you see my house?" he asked.

Thursday and Friday night there was no dream. However, on Saturday morning while I was making breakfast, the house begun to tremble. It was a 3.5 Richter scale earthquake which, if you are familiar with them, is noticeable but barely. Immediately after the tremor, my phone rang. It was my neighbor who said, "I am not impressed with your earthquake" then hung up.

Was it a premonition? If it was, it was a really lame one. More likely, it was a representation of my own anxiety. There was recently two 5.5 quakes that year and quite a few small tremors. What the dream did was to heighten my own awareness of my unpreparedness in the case of a major disaster which came in handy ten years later in the more devastating Northridge quake.

Ann Faraday's 70s handbook of dream work does have a little about premonitions (She believes in it, I don't). However it is mainly about using dreams to explore your own awareness. Her main inspiration is found in Gesalt dream work where the dream is a personal reflection of your psyche and should be examined in that way. Take the dream literally if you can and if a literal translation doesn't fit then explore the symbolic. For instance, my dream was quite literal. But if the dream didn't fit my actual situation I might want to explore other possibilities like the quake being a symbol of financial or social fears. She also borrows heavily from Jungian psychology but thinks the idea of archetypes is limited. She is very critical of Freudian interpretations as she should be. Her methods of interpretating dreams uses gestalt methods like empty chair techniques, dialoging, and dream journals. The book is a nice introduction to dream work if a little poor in the quality of writing. If you want to learn about dreams, it is a nice place to start. The book is out of print but appears easily available in used book stores and sites. If you are knowledgeable in dreams, you will probably not find anything you didn't know.