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Friday, January 8, 2010

Dream Imagery: The Baby Skeleton


          On Friday December 18, 2009 I posted an article about dreams .  Dreams have alway held a great fascination for me since childhood and I sometimes have journaled them or at least thought about them. Rohini, who has a blog called MY WEIRDEST DREAMS ,  commented with a request that I post some dreams on my blog.  I have decided to do this on occasional Fridays since I try to post about mysteries and mysterious things.  Dreams certainly fall into the category of the mysterious.  I am hoping that my blog friend Dr. Harris Stern will be there to lend his very astute observations about dreams.  Dr. Stern has also posted some fine articles about dreams.

         As I had mentioned in my December article, dream symbolism is very personal and can vary from one person to the next or even in our own dreaming life from one dream to the next.  Sometimes the meanings can be very concrete and they are exactly what has been envisioned in the dream.  Other times what we see in our dreams symbolizes something else entirely.  I don't think we can read a dream account in most cases and completely understand it because we need to know a lot more background about the dreamer's past and current situations.  But we can dabble and play around with it.

        The dream I am going to present today is one that I call THE BABY SKELETON .  This is a dream that I had when I was between 9 and 12 years old.  It was so vivid that I remembered it to the extent that it became a favorite story that I used to tell my kids when they were growing up.  Now you can enjoy the story and perhaps even play psychoanalyst.

         To begin with I will provide some background information as I recall it.  During the time of this dream it would have been between 1959 and 1963.  My family was living in a sprawling new housing development on Clairmont Mesa in San Diego, CA.  Our home was a block away from the large undeveloped Tecolote Canyon.  As children my sister, my friends, and I would often spend much of our non-school time playing in and "exploring" the canyon.  Bear in mind that this was a time when kids had a much greater reign to roam without some of the fears we have today.  We would often wander the canyon imagining that we were discovering things.  A bird feather was a remnant of a past Indian tribe, an unusual stone was an artifact of some primitive culture, or a dirt road was a pioneer trail.  We were full of imagination and adventure.

        Life seemed pretty simple and unthreatening to us children despite the news reports about possible attack from the Russians and the duck-and-cover air-raid drills that we would sometimes practice at school.  My family led a pretty routine suburbia life, my parents were just normal good parents, my sister Joy was one of my best friends, and my twin brother and sister were still very young.  I enjoyed watching THE TWILIGHT ZONE and scary movies on television and my reading primarily consisted of The Hardy Boys and Tom Swift.  Stamp collecting was my main hobby.  Life was good.

        In my dream I am in the canyon with my sister and perhaps some other friends.  We are exploring like we normally would be doing.  We are in what I would presume to be the western part of the canyon not far from the school where we attend, James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School.  Our group is following a trail on the eastern slope of that part of the canyon.  We come upon some ancient ruins that are much like Greek or Roman ruins.  Stone buildings are crumbling and fluted columns that are broken in pieces lay on the ground.  I am very excited that we have found such an amazing place in the canyon.  As I explore the site looking for artifacts, I find something about 20 inches long that is wrapped in an old blanket.  Unwrapping the parcel I find that it contains the skeleton of a baby.  I am very excited and feel that I have found something that is very special and even powerful. 

        Keeping my find a secret from my companions, I wrap the skeleton back up in the blanket and hurry home where I place the skeleton in one of my dresser drawers.  At this time I awaken, feeling very excited.  The first thing I do after I wake up is jump out of bed and check all of my dresser drawers to find the skeleton.  It's existence is very real to me in my initial wakefulness, but then I come to the realization that I have only been dreaming.   I feel somewhat sad and disappointed.

       Now it's your turn.  What could this dream have meant?   Have you had dreams that you were convinced were real when you woke up?  If you remember your dreams, I'm sure you have had dreams that have had this effect upon you.  How do dreams of childhood compare with those we have as adults?  Are you or were you a fan of TWILIGHT ZONE , The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, or Tom Swift?  Do you think my sister and I should have been using those canyons as a playground and wandering the neighborhoods on our own (everybody did it back then and none of us ever felt unsafe)?




20 comments:

  1. A most interesting topic. Alas I can't fathom out dreams, if I could maybe I would know the answer to some of the weird dreams I have. At times I have awaken from a dream maybe for a drink then go back to dreamland and continue where my dream left off before awakening.

    I enjoyed your post very much.
    Yvonne.

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  2. Yvonne,
    Thanks for the comment. I also have a difficult time with interpretation of dream, although if I really give it some thought I can usually come up with some pretty good thoughts. I've also had those dreams that continue after I go back to sleep--I always like those kinds of dreams.
    Lee

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  3. I think your childhood sounded awesome and you had a great imagination.

    It reminds me a little of "Roxaboxen" a children's book by Alice McLerran in that it's a very magical childhood world. <3

    My dreams usually have to do with disaster or one of my students getting on the wrong bus. The kinda thing that would put a trained psychologist to SLEEP with their obviousness, alas. :)

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  4. rLEE-b ~
    I have a question. What did you mean when you wrote: "I don't think we can read a dream account in most cases and completely understand it because we need to know a lot more background about the dreamer's past life and current situation."

    When you say "past life", you're referring to events and experiences that the person encountered earlier in their current life, right? Such as childhood or young adult events? I assume you're not referring to experiences from a previous lifetime, as in "reincarnation." Is that correct?

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

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  5. Stephen--
    Thank you for pointing that out. I have gone back and edited out the word "life". You are correct-- it does sound a bit like reincarnation, which I do not believe, although some who do would probably use to explain their dreams. I have had some dreams about other eras that have certainly tempted me to use reincarnation as an explanation.
    But yes, you were correct in your interpretation of what I was trying to say.
    Lee

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  6. I can't even pretend to know what that dream was about. Although oddly my dreams occur in two running themes. They either take place on a cruise ship or on an island. (and no I'm not in the mood for a vacation, lol!)

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  7. OK, rLEE-b, I'm going to give this a shot.

    I'll preface this by saying that I myself do firmly believe in reincarnation, although I was pretty sure you don't. I'll also say that (wrong or right) I feel I have a sort of God-given knack for interpreting dreams (although I might be "full of it"). I once had a dream that I couldn't make heads or tails out of, and oddly, the following night, I had a dream that clearly interpreted for me the dream from the night before. Also, there have been a few times when friends have told me really wild dreams they've had, and after some thought, I've tossed out an interpretation that seemed to really make sense and connect things for them. So, here goes:

    Knowing that you didn't go on to become an archaeologist who made an important discovery, we can throw that out. I am curious to know if you had any siblings who may have died in infancy. This could be your mind relating to him/her in a way. But my feeling is that this isn't what's behind this dream (so I'll bet this "infant sibling death" scenario doesn't apply to you).

    Notice that it was you, and not one of your companions, who discovered the skeleton. I believe this means the dream is quite personal and applies specifically to YOU. You were "very excited", feeling that you'd found something "very special" and "even powerful." These are positive feelings, so this is not a dream about some negative future event.

    OK, we have discovered the skeleton of a baby wrapped in a blanket. This is someone who was cared for, not just tossed aside. It lived in an ancient civilization, but you brought it to the present and put it WHERE? In your "dresser drawers." What an odd place for a baby's skeleton. But what do we ordinarily store in our dresser drawers? Usually clothing: socks, shirts, underwear, etc.

    Alright, I'm going to tie it all together now by proposing the idea that this was your mind recalling a lifetime that you lived in some ancient civilization. You were cared for, but sadly, you died as an infant or a baby. Placing the skeleton in YOUR dresser drawers symbolizes that THIS little body was the outer casing, or "clothes", that your own soul once "wore" in that previous lifetime.

    This explains why it was YOU who made the discovery; why it was discovered in an ancient setting; why the skeleton was wrapped in a blanket; why you were so excited by this "VERY SPECIAL" discovery; why you kept the find a secret (too PERSONAL!); why you took it home and placed it in YOUR dresser drawer; and why the dream was so vivid that you went looking for the skeleton after you awoke and why you can still remember the dream all these decades later.

    As usual, I may be Full O'Crap, but that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

    Remember how a couple weeks ago, in your Blog's original "Dreaming" installment, you asked if anyone kept a dream journal, and I posted a comment in which I said that, strangely, only a day earlier I had gotten the idea that maybe I should post some of the dreams from my old dream journal on my Blog? Maybe we have some weird "dream" connection thang goin' on here.

    ~ Stephen
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>

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  8. T. Anne--

    Were your favorite TV shows ever LOVE BOAT and FANTASY ISLAND?
    A cruise ship and an island are similar in that they are self-contained environments apart from the rest of the world. What could that mean for you?
    Lee

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  9. I believe dreams are open to interpretation by the dreamer. Maybe it's a collection of thoughts and experiences derived from books, thoughts, social encounters, music, etc. Or perhaps they are premonitions or a bit of both. I love dreams where you are actually part of them, feeling the emotions, the environment as opposed to witnessing the events unfold. All dreams are symbolic of something. A Pandora's Box of the psyche. I have one recurring dream but I suspect it's conceived from an overactive imagination and a few waking dead movies I have looked at more than a few times...or is it?

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  10. Perhaps we are meant to bury our skeletons and let them go.
    Often we drag them out every now and then for inspection.

    Thanks for the follow

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  11. Dreams are like mystery books, the more you try and figure them out the more confused you become. My husband has some of the most fascinating dreams and he has them every night, wish I had wrote them down, maybe I would of wrote a book, ha, ha. Thank you for stopping by.

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  12. Yo! rLEE-b ~
    I want to add something that occurred to me after posting my last comment:

    In composing this Blog Bit about your old "Baby Skeleton" dream you used the phrase "the dreamer's past life." Granted, by that you did not consciously mean "reincarnation", and hence, you went back and edited the phrase after I pointed it out to you.

    But is this mere coincidence? Could it not be that this was "a slip of the subconscious"? That at some deeper level you already knew that this particular dream was about "the dreamer's past life" in a reincarnation sort of way?

    Just a little more food for thought, Brother.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

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  13. thanks for all of your comments. The insight is always appreciated. For the new visitors to my blog, thank you for stopping by and I hope to hear from you again often.

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  14. Dreams are fascinating. Mine jump around a lot and rarely have a cohesive story line to them. They are very vivid, but rarely pleasant. Hmmm... hate to find out what that says about me :)

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  15. Stephen--

    Thanks for the lengthy analysis or commentary. I would like to address some of your observations.

    My mother did have a miscarraige a few years prior to my dream and I have thought about that as an influence, but I don't think that it has anything to do with the meaning of the dream.

    Actually, putting my treasured find in one of my dresser drawers did make sense because this is where I kept many of my treasured items. In fact I had one drawer that was set aside for "treasures" an things that were special to me. As a side note, I still have this dresser in my garage and use it to store a number of unuaual items that are special to me.

    I really do like your interpretation-- it was very well conceived I thought. But seriously, do you believe in reincarnation? Is there some Biblical evidence that you can provide that supports this idea?

    And if you were just being silly it was a very creative silly and I enjoyed it.

    You may be right about that dream connection, or some kind of connection, although perhaps the only connection is that I used the word connection five times in this sentence, if you can make the connection.

    See you in my dreams (or would that be a nightmare).

    Lee

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  16. Jemi--

    Have you ever tried to take control of your dream life to make it more pleasant, cohesive, and ultimately useful. There are different schools of thought on techniques to control one's dreams in order to enjoy them or use them. There are methods like "lucid dreaming", which I think many times I do in my dreamlife. Or sometimes you might plan your dreams before you fall asleep by focusing on something positive that you want to dream about. It may take practice, but you might want to try it. The dreams will still be mostly strange and often incohesive, but they may be more pleasant.

    Lee

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  17. Lee--
    Was this a reoccuring dream? I have two of those...One is when I'm little and lived in England. I'm in a rowboat with Allen, a grownup friend of my Mum's. The boat starts taking on water. Allen paddles it to an island in the middle of the river. The island has a big weeping willow on it. That's it...I've been having this dream for 34 years. The other one is scary...wolves...cornered...fence...can't get out...

    GREAT! Now I'm not going to sleep tonight. :(

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  18. Hello Sharon--

    No, it was a dream I had only once. I can't think of any dream that I have had that has been recurring. I have dream places that I seem to go back to repeatedly, but the events are similar, but different. I frequently have a sense of deja vu in my dreams.

    Any idea what the weeping willow in your dream represents. I have always been partial to weeping willows. We had a large old one in our back yard when I was very young living in Cleveland, Ohio.

    Rivers and islands probably have some sort of strong symbolic significance. As far as the scary dream, have you made any kind of connections as to what events were occurring in your life when you've had that dream?

    Lee

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  19. I'm sure every part of my (boat) dream has something to do with leaving England and my family there.

    The wolves dream occurs during stressful times...change...moving...job changes...

    I bought a book on dreams, but haven't read it yet.

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  20. >>[But seriously, do you believe in reincarnation?]<<

    Ha! That sounds oddly like a challenge.

    >>[Is there some Biblical evidence that you can provide that supports this idea?]<<

    Hmmm... I don't know, because I don't know if the book you refer to as "Biblical" is the same one that I think of as "Biblical." Mine starts with a section called "Genesis" and ends with a section called "Revelation." How 'bout yours?
    ;o)

    >>[And if you were just being silly it was a very creative silly and I enjoyed it.]<<

    What, ANOTHER challenge? You mean you can't tell when I'm being silly and when I'm being serious? Of course I was being serious!

    >>[You may be right about that dream connection, or some kind of connection, although perhaps the only connection is that I used the word connection five times in this sentence, if you can make the connection.]<<

    I can indeed make the connection. And all I can say is: Dang! Yer as good as I iz!

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

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Lee