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The Unconscious World of Dream


(1) If there is some area in your life where you are - or feel - unable to 'keep your head above water', this is probably what the dream is about. Dreams that follow may tell you what to do about the situation. You can either change the situation or change yourself, so that you react differently, or remove yourself (physically) from the situation.

(2) Water may be the symbol for the unconscious, so drowning may express a threat or fear of being swallowed up or taken over - overwhelmed - by unconscious forces. If there is such a threat, it will be from repressed or neglected contents of the unconscious. What have you been bottling up?

(3) Since water may represent the feminine, your dream may be asking you to do something about a mother-attachment that has been stunting your development as an individual in your own right. A man's failure to free himself from such an attachment (which may be largely unconscious) may have disastrous results in his relationships with women - in whom he will always seek his mother. A woman, unlike a man, doesn't usually have to cope with the effects of an infantile incestuous fixation of her libido on her mother; but both Freud and Rank (Otto Rank) stressed the crucial influence of the mother on both male and female children: for all infants, male or female, the earliest deep attachment is to the mother., the source of nourishment. Moreover, for the achievement of normal development the female child must - according to Freud - perform the additional task of transferring her libidinal attachment from mother to father. Jung, too, regarded the liberating of oneself from psychological bondage to one's mother as the first great step in the process of self-realization.

Reference: Eric Ackroyd

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