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    Thread: Non-erotic but sexual dreams

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      Non-erotic but sexual dreams

      [The following isn't explicitly sexual, so I hope it doesn't contravene any rule of this forum...]

      I've recently had several non-erotic but sexual dreams that have left me feeling low about myself and my ethics.

      In one of them, a girl (not anybody I've ever met, I think) was tied naked to a cross. Her nakedness wasn't particularly interesting or arousing to me in my dream *I don't remember that I bothered to look at her breasts or her genitals, for example. I approached her and penetrated her. Although she didn't cry out or try to struggle it was obvious from her expression of hate and contempt that it was non-consensual.

      Whilst I'm not religious (at my most religious I'm Agnostic) I have a very strong sense of ethics, and when I woke up I felt very low about how I had acted in my dream.

      About me: I'm male, heterosexual, in my thirties, English, and a virgin (I've not yet been able to become good enough to even date!)

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      If your own personal ethics are against this behaviour, then perhaps you are just testing yourself; I really can't say, since I'm not you.

      I can't tell you how you should feel either, but if it's any comfort I have had a dream like this recently, and I do feel the same way, that what I did would be wrong to do in waking life.



      A long time ago, I had a dream where I killed one of my siblings. At the time I didn't understand this dream and I have never tried nor had the intention of killing my sibling. I realised later in life this was just a reflection of something my waking conscious mind didn't pick up on, that something in my sibling was changing and that something between us was changing.

      Perhaps your dream will make more sense to you later, but don't definitely don't beat yourself up about it. You shouldn't feel guilty for dreaming something you didn't "want" to dream. That would be like saying we want everything that happens in our nightmares to actually happen, which I don't believe to be true.

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      In order to maintain our ethics, we must have the self-control to resist any temptation to go against them. When we are dreaming, the part of our brain responsible for exerting self-control (prefrontal cortex) tends to be relatively inactive compared to when we are awake. So, it tends to be more difficult for our dream selves to have the self-control to resist temptations.

      There's no need to feel guilty about doing this in your dream. It is normal to have the temptation to have non-consensual sex, even if this isn't the right thing to do.
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      Reading your dream, my interest was sparked by her expression of hate and contempt... and your statement about yourself:
      "I'm... a virgin (I've not yet been able to become good enough to even date!)"

      To me, this dream is manifested by your sense that women do not value, respect or feel attracted to you. The sense that, you are not good enough to even date.
      The cross and bondage might be there because they are necessary to create the proper context: otherwise, she wouldn't be in your reach. A sense that a woman would not freely choose you.

      Please keep this dream with you. It is an important one you should revisit a few times.

      Let me propose to you a healing active dream meditation:

      Laying down, sitting down, walking around, whatever you want, with music or without, relive the dream as you are remembering what you did yesterday. (vividity counts for nothing, though I enjoy to practice my visualization skills simultaneously. What is important, are the feelings, mostly, the "senses". Like: the sense that you have value. Remember, this is a trip into your mind, not into the physical world. Everything is just ideas. There are no physical bodies to desecrate. No shame. No morality.

      Here it goes:

      You stand before a cross.
      A woman is tied to it.
      She might be naked or clothed. Doesn't matter.
      She is an idea. Scroll through many women. Women you don't know, some older, some younger. Some women you know. Some women you like, some you don't. Scroll. She is no woman at all. She is all women.
      Stop scrolling again. She can be any of the women you scrolled through. And you can change it every time you do this meditation.
      You approach her. You touch her with your hand. You look at her face.
      She wears an expression of contempt and hate.
      This is one attitude toward you. She is no woman. She is all women. She is no attitudes. She is all attitudes. Scroll. Now, she loves you. She sees the beauty in your soul, she sees your worth. Scroll. She is indifferent to you. She has a whole life and you play no part in it. She looks to the side. Scroll. She is fond of you. She looks at you like you are her long lost brother. Scroll. She wants you inside her. Scroll. Scroll.
      She hates you.
      Let her hate. Embrace the contempt. Have a sense of her greatness. Meanwhile, love yourself. You are great. You are confidant.
      Reach to the knots around her arms, around her wrists, anywhere else. Undo the knots. Ease her off the cross. Maybe her wrists were resting on a step rather than dangling.
      She still hates you. Let her go. She leaves. Or she stays. Maybe she eases you up the cross and ties you. Then leaves. Then the ropes fall off. They are just ideas.
      She is back on the cross. But she looks to you with fondness. Untie her knots. Hug. She is free. You are free. And you both respect and value each other.
      She is back on the cross. She lusts for you. Untie the knots. She is free. She climbs you. You mate. Freely. You are both deserving of each others passions. Respect. Autonomy. Connection. Love. Freedom. Trust.
      She is back on the cross. She is distracted, blind to your existence. You sit. The knots undo themselves. They were never there. She eases herself off the cross and walks on, free and at peace.

      That's it. Something like that.

      Something else I suggest is responding to these questions:
      Do I have worth? (obvious answer: yes)
      Am I good enough? (obvious answer: yes)
      Do some people have respect for me: yes
      Do some people love me: yes
      Do I respect and love myself in this moment: yes.
      These should all be genuine yes but it shouldn't be too hard to be sincere.

      At the same time, you are allowed to feel disappointed with yourself and be aware that you want more out of yourself, but let the positive and healing attitude dominate. Embrace the negative and judgmental part of you, but compartmentalize it. Limit it's reach and power.

      In brief, I do not think this recurring dream theme speaks to your character and morals, but rather to your perception of yourself and your idea of how women relate to you. I apologize if I got the wrong feeling about you, but I am just projecting onto you my own experience which at first glance seems to be similar to yours in some aspects. If you are indeed a bit like me, I wish you good fortune on your journey of self-love, confidence, and romantic connection.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 07-19-2018 at 02:52 AM.
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      Thank you all for your replies!

      dolphin:

      I don't think I've ever felt any temptation to have non-consensual sex before, either awake or in my dreams. To illustrate my "strong sense of ethics", the one occasion I was offered sex coincided with the occasion I was at my most uninhibited (discovering what it's like to be very, very drunk...) – and I still refused because I recognised that the girl was as drunk as I and would not have offered if she were sober.

      Occipitalred:

      The cross and bondage might be there because they are necessary to create the proper context: otherwise, she wouldn't be in your reach. A sense that a woman would not freely choose you.
      I don't completely disagree, but it'd be easier for me to completely agree if I'd not also had sexual dreams that were consensual (and erotic).

      I often try to meditate before I go to bed, so I'll try your suggested meditation a try!

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      That's a good sign that you had sexual dreams that were consensual.

      I generally am not inclined to interpret single dreams. I was interested in your dream because it had a recurring theme. What's interesting is observing your dream patterns as a whole. For example, the ratio of good to bad relationship dreams might be interesting. Not the specific ratio, but the overall feel. Do I have good relationship dreams? Just one, or a moderate frequency? What about bad ones? How are the bad ones bad?

      About the part you quoted, I would clarify something. To have a dream that manifests a sense of worthlessness does not mean you do not possess a sense of self-worth. Even predominantly confidant people will occasionally feel shame and disillusionment with themselves. Likewise, people who could benefit from more self-confidence also do possess these feelings of confidence. My theory however, is if most of your dreams about bad relationship have a partner that is not consensual or loving, and this dream happen at a moderate frequency (let's say once every multiple months), that is a sign that something blocking you in your romantic life is the sense that potential love interests do not respect and value you, etc.

      Just clarifying, because I know when I divulge my own dreams of vulnerability, I cringe at this representation of myself devoid of my strength and courage.

      EDIT:

      I forgot to say. Whatever you do with your mind to become healthier, you should pair it with physical action. You need to change your behavior. Go on a date. If there are potential women of interest around in your life, introduce yourself, chat, be friendly, ask on a date, see where it goes. Short of this, do try online dating. Lowest effort is Tinder and such. Make one now. I have no idea the best way to use it, but what I did is, on your first day of matching and talking, set up a date. Setting it up might take longer though. I got off the app pretty quickly but I was happy to see I had the ability to invite a girl somewhere and entertain her during the duration of a date. You can gain comfort in this context, and cross a few barriers. Once that's done, I feel I would meet someone in real life, or if I used dating app or online dating again, I would message more before meeting to make sure we have chemistry... Though I think it's important to limit time before meeting in person.

      Once you change your cognition and your action, you should see the dream patterns change.

      (Sorry for giving you so many directives; just can't stop myself...)
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 07-19-2018 at 06:19 PM.
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      Occipitalred:

      I don't really dream about scenarios in which I'm dating or in a relationship; and whilst I won't deny that my dreams about consensual sex have been pleasurable, they've been more about feelings –*both emotional and physical – and less about scenarios; and I'd be at least a little hesitant to categorise those dreams as "wish fulfilment" as there is always something –*and just as often multiple somethings – "off" in those dreams: my partner is somebody they shouldn't be, or I'm taking risks I shouldn't, or the gender of my partner and I are flipped, or...

      With regards to my dreams about non-consensual sex, although I only began to have them recently they likely outnumber my dreams about consensual sex; the constant elements of those dreams are that the girl is always already naked and bound –*I don't bind her (and, besides penetrating her, I don't use violence against her – hurrah for small mercies...) – but how she is bound varies – the cross isn't a constant element, and in another dream she was bound by having her hands tied to her feet; that her nakedness isn't particularly interesting or arousing to me; that I don't have a lot of awareness of myself/my body, and that I don't remember taking off my clothes; the she doesn't cry out or try to struggle; that I don't get any pleasurable feelings from what I'm doing; that the intercourse is unprotected; and that the dream ends before the intercourse finishes.

      I'm sorry if I seem at least a little obsessed, but this bothers me; and whilst Occam's razor would suggest that your interpretation is correct, that doesn't answer why I've begun to have these dreams recently, and not years ago.
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      Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantLondon
      (...) that doesn't answer why I've begun to have these dreams recently, and not years ago.
      Why does anything happen "today" though? Why didn't I try to resolve my phobias years ago? I had the exact same power to do so back then as I do now, and this was even something where I do have the power of choice.

      And yet I didn't try to. When I did start working on it, it wasn't because I suddenly believed I could do it or that I had built up the confidence to do it... Notice that I'm suggesting that I supposedly had all the same opportunities and environment as I do now to make a choice, and couldn't; it simply wouldn't and didn't happen - and you are not being presented with a conscious choice, but with a subconscious impetus.

      I think your obsession on questioning this is perfectly fine, it's natural; it feels wrong and you want an answer or a resolution, most likely.

      My question now, since I think you want to resolve this, is to ask: how about you try setting an intention, before you sleep? Set such an intention that when you have this dream once again, you will remember to question the situation as it is happening. Question your dream self, or the girl, or the dream itself. It sounds to me like the dream is quite vivid and in that case, from my experience, an intention should be more likely to carry over into your dream.

      Also, from my own personal experience only: obsessing about the negative aspects and feelings of the dream will only progressively make it worse. This is how recurring nightmares, well, recur. We feed our subconscious more and more fear of it happening again and again. Expectation and fear (which is a kind of expectation!) play a big role here.

      And the more you reinforce to yourself on a less than conscious level that it's "wrong" or "disgusting", the more it might recur. It is entirely possible that this is not a shared experience for everyone, so what I'm saying is my opinion, but I do think that you should manage your expectations about this dream carefully, in the sense of not overly biasing yourself negatively.

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      I suppose you don't have many relationship dreams because little of them are residual dreams given your status. And it's no surprise things being off in dreams, especially if they are things you did not experience in real life. If they are residual, then you must think of what media you consume (movies, shows, porn, books, ear-to-ear stories, etc...).

      How can your dream partner be someone they shouldn't be? What risks? Seems there are scenarios. I don't imagine what you mean here but seems if you ask yourself how you felt in the dream, you might answer "Wrong, fearful, inhibited" vs "freely being absorbed into the sensual experience"? which kind of relates back to the themes in the non-consensual dreams.

      About gender being flipped... That's a different subject on it's own; a big one. You need to understand your perception of gender (male, female, non-conforming), of your gender identity (male, female, non-conforming). In other words, what are your concepts of man and woman, how do you embrace these concepts of being both man and woman? Do you gender flip in other contexts? Being a woman in a dream might be your mind exploring your "feminine" self. Read more on the Anima. But this is little different to how other women in your or my dreams might be our projection of our "feminine" self. Conversely, you might just be observing your idea of OTHER women. But both your inner woman and the other women are interconnected surely. A man dreaming of being a woman having intimacy with a man might have something to do with a susceptibility to be or the avoidance to be more [insert feminine traits: passive, receptive, serving, caring... if those are the traits that you conceptualized as being feminine.

      Describing your dreams, you talk a lot about the dream content, the images and the actions. These are just ideas; some are noise, some reflect cognition patterns. What is more important to take note is how you feel in the dream about these things (not after when waking up). Binding varies but that is just detail. The overarching theme is loss of autonomy/freedom. This could relate to your perception of yourself or the woman. How do you feel? Do you feel wrong in the moment? Or predatory? Or whatever else?

      Why now and not before? What has changed? If you can't think of anything, let it go. You are in the now. If it is manifesting now, deal with it now.

      ---

      Myself also having never truly dated anyone, my romantic dreams are rare and might be odd in their own ways. Yet, there are clear recurring themes. I have learned a lot from them, but in most ways, their meaning eludes me. I hesitate to lay it all out here to provide context because, let's just say my psychology is far from simple on this topic so it would likely just be confusing. But I will give an example of one theme from period B.

      Quick Context:
      Pre-period B: it would be true to say I wanted a girlfriend (in a future time, not then). Despite this, the circumstances made it feel I was damned to eternal celibacy. More specifically, because of the idea that I was unable to love another person.
      Over time, the social criticism of my single status started to make me feel a loss of autonomy.

      Pre-period B: Rare dreams of pleasant, innocent or sensual romantic encounters.
      Period B: Dream theme: cold relationships.

      They were all very different dreams. In one, I would walk with my disinterested significant other. As we walked past the showcases, I would try to spark a discussion, but she would dismiss it. I would resign myself to this bad relationship, thinking fondly of our son instead. In another dream, my wife and I would be caring for our newborn baby. Yet, it would be like there was a wall between us. She wouldn't look at me; we acted independently and out of sync. I would wake up wondering why as a single boy, I was dreaming of miserable marriages that only held together for the sake of a child.

      I notice in all these dreams, I felt trapped. I decided that my idea that I was unable to love another person which meant I was damned to eternal celibacy, paired with the social pressure to be in a relationship made me feel trapped. In those dreams, I was playing along with the norms of society. Yet, I suffered because it was all fake. I wasn't in love (since that's impossible).

      So I scrapped these ideas. I scrapped the idea that I had to be in a relationship. It took a long time to get accustomed to my resolution of staying alone until the end if I never felt love. I also scrapped the idea that I could never love. It is possible. Over time, dismissing the pressure to be in a relationship and having faith in my ability to love, these dreams faded away. Period B was over. This is why I trust my interpretation but it is very possible this is all incorrect.

      If it is correct though, the lesson from this is that period B is very vaguely defined... Nothing really changed. I just assume that's when the inner conflict culminated. But that wasn't clear to me then. I actually only "understood" period B recently, many years after the fact. Then, I was just thinking about the themes, the context... Not the timing. Another interesting thing is that while in the dreams, the woman was the cold partner, it was really about my own perception of me as being romantically cold. So you must think: are the women in your non-consensual sex dreams the ones that are stuck. Or is it you that feels stuck. And the babies and children turned out to be a theme of their own about something unrelated. So one theme at a time.

      ---

      Please do continue to reflect on these dreams but what I really believe is that you won't fix anything in the dream. You have to fix it in real life. You have to grow through changes in attitude, in behaviour. How do you feel about dating? This is what has the power to change the content of your dreams. I see dreams as manifestations of our psychology. And I look at my dreams like a doctor would inspect my body for symptoms of some injury or disease. Then I try to treat it in real life. Then I see if it got better or worse.

      EDIT:

      I agree with DarkestDarkness that feeling these dreams are wrong is not helpful. They may just fuel the dreams by making you feel even less worthy of love and less free, etc...
      I also agree with DarkestDarkness about setting intentions of how to respond to the dreams when you re-encounter them before you fall asleep. Except, I am not a fan of asking the dreams questions. The dreams are complete on their own and should be sufficient for interpretation after. Asking dream questions asks the dream to express itself verbally instead of emotionally. Yet, in dreams, you generally have impaired clarity of thought and ability to clearly communicate verbally... Ask questions when you are meditating or reflecting or discussing instead.
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 07-20-2018 at 01:30 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      Why now and not before? What has changed? If you can't think of anything, let it go. You are in the now. If it is manifesting now, deal with it now.
      Indeed, this is certainly good advice.

      And it was interesting to read your contextual story. Thanks for sharing.

      I do agree that it is important to try and take action in waking life, since dreams are most of the time more than likely just reflections, guesses, simulations (whatever you want to call it) from our situation and experiences in real life. In that sense, I would also agree that dreams can be like a symptom of something in our real life.

      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      Yet, in dreams, you generally have impaired clarity of thought and ability to clearly communicate verbally... Ask questions when you are meditating or reflecting or discussing instead.
      Yes, I think you're right on this. I suppose personally I have a somewhat different school of thought in the regard of asking the dream context more questions, but, I do agree strongly with what you say here about impaired clarity of thought. Especially since sometimes it can be difficult to carry even a single word of what someone said, back into waking reality.

      I'm very tired and don't have much of value to add to it, so I just wanted to reinforce the advice by saying "I agree". Overall I think Occipitalred has very good advice here, for anyone else who is potentially going through something like this.

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      I'm pretty Wow'ed at the volume of precise information in the previous posts.

      I want to give some of my point of view but I have only about 10 minutes to conjure up this post. And I will only check back on this site about every other day for 30 minutes.

      ---

      I've had large volumes of sexual content in both lucid and non-lucid dreams. Large amount of similarities with some recurring concepts that you describe. Which spurs me to belief that there's some kind of universal concensus considering sex dreams. I too had/have little experience with actual sex.

      I've had dreams where I thought I was with a woman and ended up being a man in my bed. Which I didn't unagree with. Dreams Always end at weird tiems. I've had one almost sex experience with a girl. And in this dream she introduced me to her pretty hot btw, girlfriend. (which should be a true oasis) But there was something weird going on with her genitals. And it just didn't feel so good. This friend ended up explaining to me outside that i just wasn't very good in the sack. the thing is that 'this wasn't just a dream these girls really wanted to have sex with me. lol. There's just a multitude of dreams where I tried to engage in sexual but met with refusal.

      What i think is going on.. the woman in the dream is the same as the woman in real life. The jungian aenimus so to speak. She thinks the same things and feels the same things and reacts the same way that real woman do. I really think ur just lacking a bit of imagination. Most women in life want attention, touchy, foreplay, love and all those things. i suspect the dream woman doesn'want to be just penetrated. And honestly the only woman who gets to be just penetrated is in some shape or form bounded. In this dream you show no interest in the naked female body. Try fantasizing more about the female body, it's outside perks and internal organs. It's fluid organic beauty. Women love this kind of attention. And i think this appreciation for the female body (or any body) removes any kind of subconscious urge to boldly penetrate without any love or affection.
      Try viewing ur own body with the same interest.

      Really, try this test. And if it changes the dream pattern then my theory seems to be correct.

      Fact that she's on the cross and ur a christian might be symbolic for ur own cognition how you think woman must subject itself to to be with you. As if sex with you is like having to wear a crown of thorns. But as long as you would view urself as this, that validates the illusion. There's no shame in having a bad self-image. Only much room for improvements. And rewards to reap.

      My (sexual) dreams started changing for the better as soon as i learned to approach women in real life with better attention. Better compliments. Even bolder compliments about their appearance. My fantasies and cognition changed. i feel more in sync with woman sexuality. And it crosses over the boundaries; Dreaming,fantazy,real life experience all connected at the same time.

      I apologize for the explicit and rambling nature of this post. But I hope I made my point across at the least.

      I don't really dream about scenarios in which I'm dating or in a relationship; and whilst I won't deny that my dreams about consensual sex have been pleasurable, they've been more about feelings –*both emotional and physical – and less about scenarios; and I'd be at least a little hesitant to categorise those dreams as "wish fulfilment" as there is always something –*and just as often multiple somethings – "off" in those dreams: my partner is somebody they shouldn't be, or I'm taking risks I shouldn't, or the gender of my partner and I are flipped, or...

      With regards to my dreams about non-consensual sex, although I only began to have them recently they likely outnumber my dreams about consensual sex; the constant elements of those dreams are that the girl is always already naked and bound –*I don't bind her (and, besides penetrating her, I don't use violence against her – hurrah for small mercies...) – but how she is bound varies – the cross isn't a constant element, and in another dream she was bound by having her hands tied to her feet; that her nakedness isn't particularly interesting or arousing to me; that I don't have a lot of awareness of myself/my body, and that I don't remember taking off my clothes; the she doesn't cry out or try to struggle; that I don't get any pleasurable feelings from what I'm doing; that the intercourse is unprotected; and that the dream ends before the intercourse finishes.

      I'm sorry if I seem at least a little obsessed, but this bothers me; and whilst Occam's razor would suggest that your interpretation is correct, that doesn't answer why I've begun to have these dreams recently, and not years ago.
      In my view, violence is not part of the whole scenario. It's just a way to keep some woman from having as you felt unpleasurable sex. It's only occuring recently because there's some process in you trying to make you aware of this. All ya need to do IMO is practice the potential for pleasurable sex. There's really no shame in this except ur dream trying to sync you more to the emotional needs of women (hate, contempt to love,addiction I think) and in turn ur own.

      Again, excuse me for the boldness but seems to be the only communication pattern I have at my disposal. As long as the point gets across. Does it make any sense?
      Last edited by Dthoughts; 07-24-2018 at 01:28 PM.
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      Although in order to provide a more accurate interpretation of these recent dreams it would usually be best to have some additional general background information about you, here are a few ideas that might be helpful.

      Just to mention to start off that there are generally no rigidly fixed interpretations for a given image in a dream (unlike the overall impression given by most “dream dictionaries” for example), and it’s always best to have the spontaneous memories, thoughts and feelings of the dreamer as related to each image and event in a dream.

      That way, a better analysis is more likely, but having said that, there are some general symbolic motifs that appear in dreams which can serve as a basic starting point for discovering its meaning.

      Also, it’s important to say that the language of dreams is one based on analogies and metaphors which can often be very complex and therefore can be very hard to understand.

      In addition, dreams are the broad equivalent to those processes which keep our physical bodies in an equilibrium.

      For example, as you know, automatic adjustments are continually made to keep a person’s temperature, blood sugar level, water content etc. etc. at appropriate levels.

      In an equivalent way, dreams try to maintain an overall psychological balance which will allow for the gradual all-round self-development of the dreamer.

      Also, looking at the stories, myths, music and art etc. about a given image as created by people over thousands of years can be very helpful in providing useful parallels which can clarify its meaning in a modern dream.

      The fact that the same dream motifs regarding non-consensual sex apparently have been appearing often is also important, suggesting that it’s essential for you to do your best to understand what the dreams are trying to say. This might even relate to your age. For instance, when we’re close to or just beyond the age of thirty-five, spontaneous “memento mori” dreams spontaneously appear (Latin for “Remember that you must die”). The idea is that even though from our point of view we’re still young, we’ve reached the half-way point of life from the point of view of the dreams, so it’s necessary to gradually turn our attention to developing parts of ourselves that had to be left behind in the first half of life, or which have been extra difficult for us to deal with. All this is presented to the dreamer symbolically in order that we can more consciously work on becoming as well-rounded a person as we can during the second half of life.

      Your other dreams where the sex was consensual probably were in relation to occasions when your feeling life had been allowed to express itself more freely in outer encounters.

      Of course, it’s probably safe to say that there is usually an element of instinctive sexual desire when any image of sex appears in a dream because it is “part of life” to a profound degree (and an opposite to being “innocent” as well), but this is far from the narrow Freudian viewpoint regarding sexual images in dreams.

      It appears that perhaps very early on, certain unfounded beliefs about your inherent “badness” apparently took root, resulting in problems with relationships, especially those involving women. If so, it looks like the recent dreams have been trying to symbolically express this state of affairs along with providing some clues on how to proceed.

      The unknown woman in the dream you described is likely symbolic of your inner feminine side, termed the “anima” in Jungian psychology.

      Although being a little dry because it’s a definition, here is a description of the “anima” as found in analyst Jane Wheelwright’s book “The Death of a Woman”. Gradually mulling over each part and relating it to your own experience can help to bring it alive:

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

      This archetype underlies and is basic to a complex which is affected by the individual’s early experiences of women, primarily his mother, female siblings, and the collective images of women provided by his cultural experience.

      The images and affects [emotions] that attach to the complex express what is other than the individual’s male body-ego identity, such as his own unconscious femaleness, the unconscious, the inferior function [e.g. often emotions and values etc.].

      The anima assumes a generalized image of the individual’s female ideal, which strongly influences his selection of a mate.

      Consciously related to, the anima functions as inspiratrice or muse – a bridge to the creative wellspring of the unconscious and to unknown potentialities for development.

      The anima serves as a guide in relationships, particularly with those who have a different outlook.

      When not consciously related to, the anima causes a man to be moody, capricious, ruthless, and snide with others.”

      So because the girl in your dream had an expression of “hate and contempt”, this could mean that she might tend to “retaliate” in some way. In a practical way, this might potentially lead over time to one or more of an endless number of possible unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms appearing such that your day-to-day life could be adversely affected.

      Overall then, and not to be flippant, the dream could be saying something like “This is your hang-up. What are you going to do about it?”. That is, your feminine side is apparently often “suspended” in a painful way. It could also be “violated” too often. For instance, possibly there could often be a lack of empathy and sympathy for yourself as well as for others. In addition, you might often be unaware of what your emotional reactions really are because they could tend to be suppressed and unavailable to your awareness.

      The cross is a very powerful symbol and, of course, has many Christian ideas related to it. However, broadly speaking, it can in addition be seen in the context of universal symbols expressed by humankind across the world and among many different societies. In this way of looking at it, the Christian symbolism can be clarified and broadened in a way which can make the cross more meaningful to modern people. I mention this because you wrote that you’re not a member of an organized religion. (For those reading this post who are actively practising an organized religion, no offence is intended and here is a quote from Jungian analyst Murray Stein to more fully outline this approach:

      “Approaching spirituality from a psychological perspective does not contradict traditional religious practices and beliefs. It offers a richer appropriation of religious images and doctrines on a personal level, and for many it provides a way back to religious thought and belief that have lost their meaning in modernity”.)

      Jungian psychology has drawn together the expertise of mythologists, anthropologists and those from many other fields to reach the following conclusions regarding additional symbolic ideas as related to the cross. For example, there are four points to the cross and the number four is symbolically almost always associated in sacred worldwide mythologies with the concept of potentials having been made real in the outside world. In this way, it mirrors the idea of the “mandala” or “sacred circle”, the circle also being a symbol of the potential wholeness of the personality.

      This “wholeness” can be achieved only by uniting the opposites that exist in the human personality such as love and hate, charity and selfishness, patience and impatience, generosity and greed, humility and arrogance, and so on. That is, one or other of any opposite should never be kept from awareness but instead, allowed to live, in some cases no matter how hard this can be to do in actual everyday life.

      The idea of the opposites in a cross is concisely symbolized by the presence of a vertical and a horizontal axis. Of course, the presence of opposites causes great suffering in each individual; that is, “we all have our cross to bear” depending on our particular experiences and upbringing. In the case of the figure of Christ, his death on the cross can be seen as partly symbolizing the fact that the human man reached his own “wholeness” by living out the opposites of the psyche to the full no matter what the cost was in suffering, because through this, he also lived out his own unique life.

      As Jung writes:

      “Submission to the fundamental contrariety of human nature amounts to the acceptance of the fact that the psyche is at cross purposes to itself”.

      You mentioned that you haven’t been “good enough” as yet to date and this suggests a kind of distance that’s too great between you the ego and an inner “darker” side which Jungians term the “shadow”.

      Jungian analyst Daryl Sharp defines the “shadow” in “Jung Lexicon” as follows:

      “Before unconscious contents have been differentiated, the shadow is in effect the whole of the unconscious…

      The shadow is composed for the most part of repressed desires and uncivilized impulses, morally inferior motives, childish fantasies and resentments, etc. - all those things about oneself one is not proud of.

      The shadow is not, however, only the dark underside of the personality. It also consists of instincts, abilities and positive moral qualities that have long been buried or never been conscious.”

      Often, a person denies and represses this dark side which is then automatically and unconsciously projected onto an apt subject, that is, one who displays the repressed aspect of the person who is unaware of any such similar failings. Endless strife is caused by this dynamic on a personal and on a global level, so it’s possible that any such situation in yourself may also tend to disrupt good relations with other males.

      If this way of looking at your recent dream seems to make any sense in your personal situation, you might like to brush up on your emotional side by reading a couple of books such as “Nothing's Wrong: A Man's Guide to Managing His Feelings” by David Kundtz, and “Emotion: A Very Short Introduction” by Dylan Evans.

      Another book that I often recommend is “Meeting the Shadow”, edited by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams. It covers the concept of the earthy, shadowy, emotional and instinctive side of human nature that we may not feel very comfortable with, and covers how to deal with it in detail. It's easy to read, being composed of many short articles by various authors inside and outside the psychological community.

      Other books to choose from on this subject include “Owning Your Own Shadow” by Robert Johnson, “Romancing the Shadow” by Connie Zweig and Steven Wolf, “Make Friends with your Shadow” by William Miller, “Your Shadow” by Robin Robertson, and “A Little Book on the Human Shadow” by Robert Bly.

      If by chance you feel that you are basically a quiet, inward-looking person and that this isn’t going to change much at this time of your life, you might also like the book “The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World” by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D

      In any case, if something clicks about this way of looking at your dreams, they should stop or at least appear much less often, especially if you take some practical steps to improve your feeling life overall.

      Anyway as mentioned, without knowing anything much about you, this way of looking at your dream might not fit your personal circumstances very well, but I hope that these ideas can be helpful in some way.

      Please make any comments or ask any questions about this interpretation that you’d like to.
      DarkestDarkness likes this.

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