Nature in Dreams

December 1, 2011 admin Enviroment

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Part of the difficulty in dream interpretation stems from the lack of a universal system of codes and signs that can be really useful. Most dream dictionaries assume a very specific contextual framework, and one which proves itself rather thin whenever tested against anyone who falls outside of the framework. In terms of numbers and colors, there really is no universal interpretation, because they are entirely specific to any culture, and this may very well be the case with anything else in a dream as well.

It might be useful, then, to take a larger and more abstract concept and see how it applies. Something as common in dream theory as nature should be easy enough to apply and interpret, at least according to most systems of dream interpretation. And most systems of dream interpretation will relegate dreams about nature to the arenas of instinct and the unconscious. To dream about nature, then, would be to be dreaming about accessing your own inner nature, the animal side of things, demonstrating a kind of wildness or freedom. Here, there is an assumption that nature and civilization are somehow separate. For many cultures, this might very well be the case, but there are many other cultures who conceive differently.

In many regards, and for many dreamers, this would be a reasonable and very convenient interpretation. But if one starts to ask some elemental questions, it becomes much more complicated. There are plenty of ideas in the general surround to suggest that nature is linked to culture in a very profound way. The argument goes that examining someone’s view of nature would speak volumes about their culture. The same can be said for every individual dreamer, because individual consciousnesses can be varied, and no two people in any culture see things in quite the same way.

It is apparent, though, from an ethnographical perspective, that anyone who would equate nature with the realm of instinct would very likely have developed a very powerful separation from the natural cycles of things. In the same vein, anyone who’s view of nature places it in the realm of the home, or the marketplace, would be living in a culture whose separation from nature is not as pronounced, or perhaps doesn’t exist at all. The idea of nature as being in direct confrontation with civilization is an old one, and perhaps it’s even a very useful one, but it is by no means all-encompassing, and there are other ways of thinking, looking, and dreaming about such things.

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