Dreams Cloud Educational Series by Dr. Robert Van de Castle - Session 4 Recurrent Dreams
Hi, in this meeting I’d like to talk with you about recurrent dreams. By definition a recurrent dream is one that keeps happening to you repeatedly. Unlike typical dreams, which are dreams that most everyone has at one time or another in their life, a recurrent dream could be recurrent in that it’s happening again, and again, and again to you, but it may not have typical content at all. You may be dreaming about a two-headed, blue dragon. That’s certainly not a common theme, but it may be something that keeps reappearing for you.
What’s considered to be the motivation behind a recurrent dream is that there is some problem you’ve not yet faced in your life and dealt with. If you go and you buy a car or you buy furniture and you sign a piece of paper saying, “I agree to buy this car or this furniture at a certain price”, they’re going to expect that you are going to pay those payments. If you don’t, you can get an initial letter that says, “Perhaps you’ve overlooked your payment.” If you don’t make your payment, they start increasing the letters saying, “We’re very concerned you haven’t made your payment, and we need to get a payment within the next few days or you’ll be hearing from us.” If you still haven’t paid your bill, you get another one threatening legal action, “We are going to have our legal department come out and take your house away, or take the car back” or whatever. So the consequences keep getting more and more serious because you haven’t dealt with the original agreement. The agreement was to pay a certain amount of money.
So recurrent dreams are like that. There’s something in your life, you’ve not yet faced. You haven’t dealt with it and until you deal with it, it’s going to keep coming back, and coming back and coming back and being a recurrent dream. So there’s no easy answer to that. We’re hoping as we continue on with these various lessons, you’ll learn more possibilities for looking at your dreams to get the answers. But if you do have that same dream recurring with a great frequency, it means automatically, here is some problem that you’re not dealing with successfully and your internal psyche is anteing up the demands of, you need to look at this and it can maybe start to accelerate the amount of anxiety. Because when these come, it’s usually with a great deal of anxiety and the anxiety keeps increasing and increasing. It’s like your psyche is saying, “You still haven’t faced this issue from your past. You still have not dealt with this kind of particular problem. You need to do that and until you do, I’m just going to keep coming back and haunting you and reminding you, you haven’t yet faced this issue and resolved it.”
It’s difficult to say too much more about these because they are so individualistic. You have to find out for you, what is this particular kind of dream that comes back and look and try and approach it by always looking at the preceding day. What during the preceding day may have had a similar feeling for you. A feel of, “Oh, I should’ve done this. Oh, I should’ve done that. I know I really need to start working on whatever, my health, my weight issue. I need to start working on doing more home repairs. I need to do a better job of taking care of my kids, or whatever it is. We all have a ‘to-do’ list. We need to do this. We need to do that, and maybe we just haven’t been completing many of our to-do items, but you have an internal bookkeeper that knows what’s going on and says, “Nope, you still haven’t done it, but I’m still here and I’m going to keep reminding you, you have unfinished business.”
Now on this topic of recurrent dreams, they don’t come back in exactly the same fashion. One of the things you want to look out for is, in what way are they changing, because if you’re making progress, it may get to be less scary and there may get to be more feelings of accomplishment. There was a very nice study done by a group up in Montreal where they had people who had had recurrent dreams. One group was still continuing with the recurrent dreams, another group never had any recurrent dreams and another group had recurrent dreams in the past year, but had some psychological work. When they went back and looked at their dreams, the people who had the recurrent dreams without working on them, still continued to be plagued by those dreams. The people that had recurrent dreams but were doing some kind of therapy or some kind of work on themselves, had now made some significant progress. When they ran through some personality tests on them, they were shown to be happier, more confident, less anxious and all the kind of nice things you’d like to have about yourself. It was a nice piece of research demonstrating that very clearly, the groups were similar in some ways of having lots of recurrent dreams, but the difference in the one group who showed all the positive changes in their personality testing later were those who were able to take on their recurrent dreams and eventually come to a more masterful conclusion with them. They can be worked through. Just because you’ve been struggling with them awhile, you shouldn’t get discouraged with it. It should just increase the challenge like, “I know there’s been research demonstrating that a little bit of work on it will make a difference and I’m going to start doing that tonight.”