As you undoubtedly know, Sigmund Freud is famous for his book on dreams. I have it here right in front of me – The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text. 674 pages if you include index. I do not know if I this is a boast or a complaint but years ago, I read and underlined up to page 236. I cannot say that I remember much, but it is my plan to read this famous text someday. I am trying to decide whether to start over or begin at page 237.

But before this decision is made (feel free to express your opinion) we are going to again look in the book On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined Life, the book I do not recommend and have not read in its entirety but keep offering to loan you. This week, Adam Phillips, the author, reminds us that we tell ourselves secrets at night by dreaming.

He says a bunch of other stuff too but the main thing that struck me was the idea that our dreams are the most private activity we do. He says it like this: “The dream represents the impenetrable privacy of the Self.”  He says everyone can be excluded from the dream if you don’t want them to be involved. He also writes that the “dreaming experience comes to signify that which is beyond description in the total life experience of the person.”

I’ve tried over the years to analyze my dreams with varying levels of success, but I have known people who have studied their dreams and found them extremely helpful. I am not arguing for the importance of dreams, just the idea (new to me), that dreams are private messages we give to ourselves. That no one can know what the dream is if you don’t tell them!

Have you ever thought of your dreams as being private messages you send to yourself? Please let me know – I am curious!


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