Years ago, while trying to distinguish one day from the next, I intuitively knew that my path was no longer in the corporate world. As a child I had a creative character, and my curiosity towards understanding human and social incidents had increased. While I was looking for a way out of my career I had a dream about how I was to select a new name for myself. The new name I chose for myself was Symbol and, in the same dream dream, I told myself “Let my new name be Chemist instead of Symbol. I want to transform myself just as a Chemist transforms materials.” This dream is what we call is a guiding dream. Then, I didn’t have much knowledge about the psychology of dreams, but my intuition told me that this dream was a message from my subconscious.
On top of this dream, the fact that I studied Art Therapy later on and worked with thousands of patients increased my interest in symbols. What kind of place is the human mind? What is the thing we call our subconscious? Why was its language discursive? Was the subconscious the door that opens up to your soul?
Life takes us places from time to time, and sometimes our mind wanders no matter how strong we are. “Why am I here?” is a common question that we ask ourselves. The answer to this question doesn’t come from our mind especially during the tough times. We need to deepen the question and ask our subconscious what we are doing and what we are supposed to learn.
I asked questions of my ego during my meditations and when I was in the middle of a tough period, I had another dream. In my dream I encountered a coyote, which I was afraid of. While trying to escape, I started to fly over an ocean...watching the water and fish beneath me was so pleasing. This dream announced that the thing that I feared would not happen, and the thing that I had been working on would please me while looking at it from an outside point of view.
Working as a therapist in Vancouver, I ran therapy groups with local youngsters. We included two shamans in our projects, one of whom became a close friend. To this day he is still a soul-mate and beloved one to me. What I learned from him is that our ego is our soul itself. We can ask it questions, however we must have the power and understanding to confront the answers we will receive. Some Native North American tribes believe in the guidance of animals, and they also believe in the tradition of symbols. We also believe in similar things; for instance, the evil eye talisman is a symbol. Blindly believing in symbols doesn’t mean they come from the subconscious; in this manner they are purely superstition. For them to come from the subconscious, you need to be open to messages coming from your subconscious because it conveys information to us when we are ready to carry it.
Even though the symbols of the subconscious are so extensive that they cannot be fit into one article, there are things that we can do to approach understanding it.
- Transfer your creative energy to creative activities. Most people direct their creative energy to the wrong things. For instance, if you have the habit of gossiping, that means you waste your creative energy. Instead of this, you should write, draw pictures, take photos, etc.
- Stop judging and aim for acceptance instead. Judging interrupts the growth of the soul and it signifies an unfinished issue.
- Do not be cross with people, as this energy increases your connection to the issues of the world.
- Go into the wild, step on the earth, and hug trees.
- Look into the eyes of a baby, or catch the eye of a little child who doesn’t speak yet...and silently look at each other.
- Catch the eye of an animal and truly look at one another.
- Silently watch the movements of a tree that is blowing in the wind.
- Get carried away with the melodies of a music you like.
In these spaces, and more, you will feel the soul of silence. The more you speak, the more cleaning your soul is supposed to do and your dreams engage in the cleaning of daily events. For this reason, it is important to create silence so that there is space for your soul to speak.
To understand symbols, that person’s experience with that symbol must be analyzed. Do not refer to books and information such as dream interpretations. For instance, if you see an animal in your dream, ask yourself what that animal means to you. Your feelings during the dream matter, so analyze what you felt as this is a message to you. For instance, if you are worried in your dream, there are probably incidents or people that make you worried in your life and your dream may be trying to help you understand that. Pay attention to dreams that you have that are repetitive - if you have the same dream, that means you haven’t solved a problem that you need to handle. If you have a dream on the eve of making a decision, it is important to understand them because our subconscious sometimes tries to lead us.