• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Oct 2015

      Strange Phantom experience/dream

      Could someone help me decipher this?

      I wouldn't actually describe this experience as a 'dream' per se because there's such a lack of visual information. I only say that it was a dream because I could "wake up" from it. But yeah, anyways... This experience/dream has been recurring for a couple of weeks now. It had stopped last Monday till last Thursday whilst I was a camp, but now it's back.

      Within the dream (I think, I can't be sure...) As I drift to sleep, I see a dark shadow flit across my half-open eyelids. It swirls around for a bit then I start feeling an intense pressure on my chest and body. I'll find it somewhat hard to breathe but still manage not to suffocate. Usually the pressure isn't so large that I jolt myself awake - That has only happened once thus far. I have no control over what's happening and I can feel the shadow-like thing move my body around. I remember thinking amidst all this that "I don't want it to realize that I am awake. I'm scared, let's pretend that nothing's happening and not respond to whatever it's doing." So I let it do as it wishes with my body. It doesn't violate my body or anything, the phantom just kinda twists and turns my body into weird circles. Each time, it feels almost as if someone picked me up and threw me into the air and I'm just floating and doing somersaults or turning round and round in the air. I am aware of how my body's turning at odd angles and last night was particularly "Spectacular". The phantom had flipped me 360 degrees forward into the air from my lying position. The waking point is when I feel that the phantom is getting too rough for my liking and I've had enough or that the pressure on my chest is too much and I can't breathe.

      Now that I think of it, it doesn't make much sense because in real life, I have motion sickness and I think I'm getting a little queasy just thinking about it However, I do not feel sick or queasy in the dream/experience. Although I say that I can feel my body turning and contorting into weird angles, I do not feel any pain or discomfort apart from the insistent pressure on my body. When I wake up, I find that I've been lying in the same position as when I fell asleep. I'm thinking it might be sleep paralysis but there isn't any visual information other than the weird shadow who likes to 'play' with my body in my dream/experience.

      I'm not too sure what this could be. Does anyone have a clue?

      Additional info about me:
      - Female
      - 19 y/o
      - Raised in a Catholic family
      - Have trouble sleeping at times

      Any form of help is much appreciated. Thanks!

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Dec 2007
      From your thorough description of the dream/experience, along with your background information, it looks like your recurring dream is somehow related to issues linked to the idea of “spirit”.

      That’s because there is a strong emphasis on “not being able to breathe”. Symbolically, “breath” and “wind” are universally connected with ideas of “spirit” as opposed to “body”.

      The dream is recurring because it has a very important message to get across to you, the ego.

      It’s interesting that the dreams stopped while you were at camp which probably involved being with others and perhaps participating in various physically orientated activities.

      In this case, the spirit is also a “dark” or negative one.

      The fact that it controls your body and tosses it around at will suggests that an aspect of your psychology is tending to dominate (or could in the future) certain parts of your life too much.

      Possibly your religious upbringing has inclined you to lessen the importance of your natural, earthy and “body” side because Catholicism in general terms often leans toward treating the body as an “enemy”.

      So it’s as if too much “spirit” could be in danger of “suffocating” you.

      But perhaps you feel guilty to say anything against “spirit” and therefore, you let it do what it wants although apparently this is “dangerous” (i.e. it could suffocate you at some point).

      Being in the air and doing somersaults etc. suggests that the “airy” and “intellectual” side of spirit is involved too much.

      The fact that in waking life you have motion sickness is probably being used by the dream to say something like “You SHOULD feel sick from what’s going on inside but you don’t”

      So as mentioned, it looks like you could be in danger of being overly “possessed” by an inner psychological figure, perhaps as stimulated by some major decision that was made or an event that occurred etc. just before the recurring dream began.

      One school of psychology calls this inner “spirit” figure in women the “animus”.

      A helpful definition of the term “animus” is found in Jungian analyst Jane Wheelwright’s book “Death of a Woman”. Although being a definition, it might tend to sound a little dry, by mulling over each part and relating it to one’s personal experience, the nature of this inner figure should gradually make more sense over time:

      “Animus: The archetype in the female psyche that is the inherited pattern of potential experience of the male instinct.

      This archetype underlies and is basic to a complex which is affected by the individual’s early experiences of men, primarily her father, male siblings, and the collective images of men provided by her cultural experience.

      The images and affects [emotions] that attach to the complex express what is other than her female body-ego identity, such as her own unconscious maleness, the unconscious, the inferior function [for example, if a woman tends to move through life chiefly using emotions and values, then her inferior function, i.e. A less developed way of dealing with certain situations, would often tend to relate to the use of thinking and the intellect].

      The animus assumes a generalized image of the individual’s male ideal, which strongly influences her selection of a mate.

      Consciously related to, the animus – presented in dreams as a single figure or a group – functions as inspirator or bridge to the unconscious as source of creative, mental, or spiritual initiative and well-spring of potentiality for development. The animus functions as guide to and expedites the pursuit of impersonal endeavours.

      When not consciously related to, the animus causes a woman to be opinionated, argumentative, rigid, controlling, and excessively critical of herself or others”

      Generally speaking, the animus is also related to “focus”, intentionality, assertiveness etc.

      As outlined in “Man and His Symbols”, edited by C. G. Jung, there are four general stages of animus development in a woman.

      Stage one is the “wholly physical man”, e.g. The classic “Tarzan” type, stage two the “romantic man” or the “man of action”, e.g. A movie heart throb or wilderness explorer etc., stage three is the “bearer of the word” such as a president etc., stage four is the “wise spiritual guide”, e.g. A Gandhi-like figure.

      These stages aren’t fixed and one or two may never be reached, but they’re a useful guide to help decide what “level” a given animus dream figure is symbolic of.

      To find out more about the animus or “inner male” in women, Jungian analyst Barbara Hannah’s “The Animus: The Spirit of Inner Truth in Women, Volumes 1 and 2”, is a valuable collection of her many lively and easy-to-read essays on the topic.

      You may also like a book by Jungian analyst Marion Woodman called “The Ravaged Bridegroom” which also deals with the animus figure. A new copy can be obtained from the publisher at innercitybooks.net

      Anyway, I hope that these ideas can be helpful in deciphering your dream/experience.

      Please feel free to ask any questions or to make any comments about this particular way of looking at your recurring dream.
      Last edited by Athanor; 10-17-2015 at 06:06 PM.

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