Gestalt dreamwork presumes that dreams are a message from the subconscious and that every element in the dream is a projection is an aspect of the person’s self. The dreamwork involves identifying these various elements and opening channels of communication between them. The course of therapy simply involves the facilitation of the conversation. The conversation itself serves to reintegrate disowned parts of one’s psyche.
But is conversation enough? Some researchers are working on the idea that dreams are a built-in simulation game, teaching us ways to avoid danger. If that’s true, or even partly true, then dreams contain actionable information about things that we need to be working on in real life.
A couple of weeks ago I had a dream about a Chris Craft runabout, similar to the one pictured above. The boat was moored under the Ventura pier and it had quite a bit of rot and damage. For a moment I contemplated getting ahold of this boat and restoring it. But as I thought about it, it seemed like the project would be too expensive…it could easily end up costing more than a boat in restored condition was worth. Essentially the boat was beyond repair. In Gestalt-speak this suggests that there’s a part of me that feels rotten and beyond repair.
For some reason I feel compelled to go a little further with this discovery than acknowledging this hithertofore unknown part of myself. What if I actually did the work of restoring my subconscious “dream boat?” Or to put it differently, what if I was to take specific actions on the dilemmas and choices that my subconscious coughs up?
Maybe I’ll travel a little way down this road and see what turns up.
[Photo from Antique and Classic Boat Society, classifieds]