I was once teaching in a grade 5 class in mid-town Toronto and happened to get into what dreams mean – always a fun topic, but not something that’s spoken of in our classrooms. Even mentioning dreams is probably considered pretty risky. I would guess that most teachers have probably never taken dreams seriously and it would be rare to have a serious discussion about it in class time . Even though dreams can be one of the best ways to guide your life, if you pay attention to what the other side wants you to know .

Jewish tradition, for one, advises us that a dream uninterpreted is like a letter unopened. The well known psychoanalyst Carl Jung took his patients dreams very seriously, and did his analytic work in step with what the dreams were advising. Once when a business man he was advising, complained he didn’t have time to work with his dreams right away in the morning, that he was much too busy. Jung reprimanded him saying his priorities were all wrong, that the dream he’d just had was much more important than his busy business schedule.

So I asked for dreams in this class – and as usual several children put up their hands willing to share what they remembered. As you may have experienced – dream don’t always stick around long. That’s why we’re always advised to write down our dreams as soon as we remember them. One analyst described them as slippery fish that you need to catch right away . Dreams are coming from a long ways away – and unless you catch them quickly they’re liable to slip from your mind right back into the unconscious. So considering how fleeting they can be, if you remember a dream you can be sure it’s for a reason & well worth writing down and remembering.

So one young boy told us his dream saying “I was crawling through a big tube on my hands and knees. I crawled and crawled and at the other end I came out stupid”. Interesting”, I commented, “And tell me honestly now, how much TV do you watch?” He froze as if he’d been struck by lightening. His hand went to cover his gaping mouth and he let out a gasp. “Lots” came back the answer. “Maybe too much”. He understood that ‘the boob tube’ was controlling his life and his capacity to think clearly. And this was even past the era when the expression “boob tube” was ever mentioned.

So good night and sweet dreams!

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