Amplification of Symbols/Images and Actions in a Dream
The Deep Stuff- Expanding the Associations to the Dream Images
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What Is Amplification of Symbols?*
The Amplification technique is derived from the dream interpretation approach of Carl Jung. It is a simple, but valuable way of working with the symbols without doing the injustice of saying at the first opportunity, "Of course, this symbol means..." Amplification is an attempt to expand the dreamer's associations to, and familiarity with, the symbol, without subjecting the symbol to a cut-and-dried intellectual translation.

If, for example, a person dreamed about a fish, an intellectual approach would be to discern that abstract meaning of fish, ex. "Fish means the Christ." However, using amplification, the dreamer would instead ask himself, "What is a fish?" or "What does a fish do?" or :"What does a fish remind me of?" or "what do I like or dislike about a fish?" In this way, the dreamer becomes more and more familiar with the peculiarities of the symbol that may have been overlooked by a pre-emptive intellectual translation.

The Amplification technique is especially helpful in working with personal symbols, whose meaning is almost entirely linked to one's personal associations. Yet it can and should be used with archetypal symbols as well, for we all have different associations to them....{}
Note: The word symbol{s} is the same as an image or action. A house is an image but it is symbolic. Running is an action but again it is symbolic.

This is the critical part in ananlyzing and interpreting your dreams. Amplifying the symbols, expanding them to their greatest possible fit to your life. Just as the example with the fish in the above quote, every image and action {the symbols} will have meaning and application to your life. And although the dream dictionaries provide good possibilities to what symbols may represent it is not always clear which fits your life. That is until you recognize, by amplifying the symbols, to how they represent an emotional energy in your life. There may be more than one representation that fits and if so determine which fits best and go with it. If after interpreting the other symbols that follow and preceed the symbol and you find the selected meaning doesn't fit within a story line then try other application/meaning. The dream should and will take the form of a recognizable story depicting some part of your life where the experiences took on strong emotional energies. The strong energies will either cause an emotional conflict and/or are important in the development of your personality and personal attitudes. Because most all dreams are negative there is a need to resolve the issues so your conscious life will be less emotional motivated and more productive.{if all dreams were positive there would not be emotional conflicts to resolve, and no need for the dream}.

the dream is to the psych{ology} as the immune system is to the body. Nature's tool to protect and heal

Themes and Patterns
When amplifying symbols correctly themes will develop. The themes will 'mirror' patterns of conscious actions, behavior, personality traits and/or attitudes. But they will also be intermingled with how you really feel, how you should really act/re-act in your conscious life. A recognizable story line will develop and themes of emotional patterns will emerge. The emotional patterns are energies that influence if not control your conscious life. If in your waking life you have tendencies to make wrong choices in relationships then most likely there are discernable reasons for those choices {Example: As a child you experienced multiple 'step-fathers', your mother also made wrong choices in relationships}. The choice of relationships will be a theme and the patterns will fit not only how you make decisions but also how you made the wrong decisions. Something is out of balance from what should be the correct or best choices. This causes conflicts within the unconscious if not consciously. You may or may not be aware they exist but that does not stop them from having an influence. Dreams are nature's tool in helping to recognize what is out balance and if not offering a solution {not rare but not always the norm} will demonstrate where you are in your emotional life {the dream ending}.

What Is Your 'True Self'?
Your true self is who really are, how you really feel about yourself, the world, other people that is not always reflected in your conscious life. The ego self perceives what best fits the ego desires and is not always how you truly feel or what you want in life. Your self image/ego is different from what lies within the unconscious, the self that is full of emotional energies. We all have 'secrets', things we would never want others to know. But more important are the aspects about our individual lives we do not know, that are ignored, not recognized or aspects that are repressed. These aspects are not only hidden from others but from oneself. The dream is a direct link to the unconscious, not controlled by the ego but by what really motivates the personality, personal attitudes, and even actions and re-actions in the conscious life. Gives true meaning to duality, the conscious life vs/opposite the unconscious life.

Preparations Prior to Interpreting Your Dream
{Remembering & Recording Your Dream}
Step 1: Remembering and Recording Your Dream

Remembering Your Dreams

The first thing to do when interpreting a dream is remembering it. It is still a mystery why 95 to 99% of people forget their dreams but one theory is you're not concentrating on them while you're sleeping. Another theory is due to the hormone associated with memory (norepinephrine) is turned off while asleep. People who think dreams are important are more likely to remember them.

Upon waking from a dream lay still in your bed, keeping your eyes closed and moving as little as possible. Wake up slowly and stay relax. Hold on to the feelings you have and let your mind wander to the images of what you have just dreamt.

The important thing to do to remember your dream is to learn to lay still when you awake and go over the dream in your mind. Repeat this until you have it set in your mind or you will forget important parts of the dream. At first this can be difficult because we are progarmmed to a routine that is counter to memory. Changing habits can be difficult at best. But being able to remember your dreams is the first important step in interpreting them.

Recording Your Dreams
Because dreams are lost within minutes if not seconds it is important to have a method of recording your dream as soon as you awake. Either record your dream using a pen/pencil and paper or record your dream on a voice recording device. A voice device is best since it is faster to voice your dream instead of writing it down. Either way be sure to record your dream just as you remember it and after that is done add any additional information to feel relevant to the dream. Each word has meaning and properly recording is essential. Write down or record as many details in your dream as you can, no matter how minute or seemingly unimportant it may be. Do not worry if it makes sense. Many dreams don't. The idea is to record the dream so you can evaluate it later.
More Reading Dream Moods: Tips To Recalling Your Dreams>
For more on Dream Structure see The Structure of Dreams

Note: The use of the word IMAGE will be interchangeable with the words actions and symbol. Every dream is a story with a plot, full of images and actions. And because dreams use a language of symbol and metaphor the images are symbolic, a symbol representing some aspect of the dreamer's life.

Interpreting Your Dream
Amplification of Images/Actions/Symbols
Now that you have written your dream down or recorded it, it is time to interpret the dream image by image, action by action. Analyzing and amplifying each IMAGE to its best possible application that fits your life. Every image has meaning and finding which meaning/application fits best is how you find the message{s} of the dream {every dream has at least two}. The Dream Dictionaries I have put together will help in determining the image's application and consequencely help you discover its meaning. The best way to do this is to take an example dream I have provided and interpret/amplify the images. The dream I have chosen is a very short dream making it easier to analyze. It was posted at the Power of Dreams/Myths-Dreams-Symbols Dream Forum and the response to my analysis was confirmed.

Step 2: Think About the Dream
Are there any aspects of the dream that have meaning to you? Or seem to apply to or fit with an experience recent or in the distant past? Remember, the dream is attemping to communicate an emotional issue{s} that is in conflict {albeit it unconscious} that needs understanding and resolution. There may be parts that seem logical to your life and others that are just plain weird or even frightening. The worst dream is just that, a dream. But its meaning is most important and its symbolic language has a message{s} that can bring about wholeness and direction to an otherwise rudderless life.

Step 3: Give Thought to the Emotional Issues in Your Life
Emotional issues/conflicts and emotional energies are what your dreams are trying to communicate {and help you resolve}. The emotional issues that plague you. What have you experienced in life that could have caused emotional distress? Failed relationships, living conditions and issues with financial support, raising and the nurturing of children and all that goes with the family unit, anything and everything that was capable of producing emotional energies that would/could cause a conflict to the norms in living your life.

In the process of analyzing your life give particular attention to childhood. Childhood experiences and influences are the foundations for later life traits and attitudes and although most are unconscious the energies associated with the experiences go with you throughout life. In childhood there may have been experiences where parenting was not what it should/could have been. We are wired to receive affection, nourishment, love and attention from day one. It doesn't need to be outright neglect, merely where, as a child, your relationship with parents wasn't as 'normal' as should have been. The earliest years in life are where foundations to who and what you become in later life are formed. Personality is usually complete by age 9. The first 3 years are the most important because our neurological sensory organs and archetypal senses are at their maximum in perceiving the environment in which we exist. What you 'learn' from your environment in these years are implanted and influence who you become in later life.

Levels of Emotional Energies in Dreams
{All dreams, if not all symbols, have at least two or more meanings/applications}

    Level 1: Underlying Structures

    Look for these: Experiences in early life that could have created emotional issues/conflicts, especially within the family and social environments. Parents constantly arguing {especially if there was physical abuse}, living in a one parent home, a childhood where there were recurring experiences causing emotional pain, neglect, physical or/and psychological abuse by anyone, general negative experiences, experiences that take away from a normal life especially in childhood. Also physical/emotional injuries unrelated to family; loss of friends or due to death, physical injuries that left a psychological mark, any experience that would cause emotional pain. The list is endless but the emotional energies associated with them are all too real. Such experiences cause conflict in your conscious life, the unconscious and often unknown psyche energies possessing the ability to alter your conscious self {but never taking away from the true self which the dream is attempting to reconcile}. But more than that they are the building blocks for personality and attitudes. Your early life evironment greatly determines who you become later in life. An introverted or extroverted person1 is hardwired to be that personality type but environment can and does alter it. Conflict sets in, an out of balanced natural psyche altered not to be its original intended self evolves. Your dreams will sometimes feature conflicts of and to personality. Decoding the language of the symbolic images/actions will lead you to the source of conflicting energies and allow a resolution/healing to take place.

Beyond the personality aspects is the development of attitudes2. Family interaction, peer pressures, environmental conditioning, etc. are precursors for developed personal attitudes and when there is something out of synch conflicts form that are played out in the conscious life {making life less rewarding, harmoneous, positive}. You basically become what you learn {factored in with the inherent predisposed archetypal factors} from your environment, the conditions in which you grow up in. If those years are not stable/normal or have experiences with strong emotional energies that unconsciously/consciously causes conflict to your set parameters they can become factors to behavioral attitudes and actions in later life {who among us does not have something?}. And because there is a conflict that affects wholeness they become the focus of our dreams.
1}Extroversion, Introversion, and the Brain
2} 8 Factors Responsible for Development of Attitudes

    Level 2: Recent Experiences
    Look for these:
Conflicts in your life from recent experiences that possess strong emtional energies. These emotional experiences most likely will have associations to developed attitudes and personality from early life. But the recent experience alone will possess emotional energies beyond the normal life experiences, and because they caused an emotional conflict they will be stored in the unconscious as an unresolved emotional energy. As examples. You are reprimanded by your boss that left you numb, or you have a conflict with a fellow employee you think of as over bearing {which could be a result as projecting a trait in your father onto that 'male' person}. Or you have a minor auto accident that disrupts your normal routine but left you thinking. The images/symbols that are addressing the dream tryant representing your father and his tyrannical attitude would at the same time represent your boss and his demanding temperament. The dream is addressing both aspects of emotional conflicts using the same images/symbols.

And then there are issues of temperament that are a result of early life 'training'. If you are prone to easily anger the anger you feel needs resolution but more important the reasons/foundations for the anger need work as well {because they are a result related to developed traits}. All personality traits and personal attitudes have foundations and most come from early life indoctrination. The anger you feel is ofetn an inner anger brought about from childhood. You are as much angry at yourself as you are angry at the world arond you because of the unknown/unresolved emotional energies.

    Level 3: Dormant Emotional Energies Related to Later Life Experiences
    Look for these:
You are in a relationship but for no legitimate reason have doubts to the fidelity of your partner. This could be a result of a past relationship where your partner was unfaithful. Experiences where there was infidelity or issues of trust often leave a deep emotional mark on the psyche. Your suspicions, whether right or wrong1, could very well be related to the stored emotional energies from your past failed relationship. The dream is attempting to help resolve the issue.
1} Intutiveness: The Intuitive Mind

But there is likely more to these emotions of reasoning. The baseless doubts as well as the choice of partners are likely related to feelings of insecurity, which in turn will go back to foundational experiences from early life. There may have been 'same' or similiar experiences in the relationship of your father and mother which would have caused issues with insecurity. Often the choice of partners is based on foundational experiences and if there are issues of insecurity there could be an inclination to choice someone to supplement those emotional issues who is not an ideal choice. Issues of insecurity, self doubt, constant indecision are ingredients usually related to foundations. From this example you can see why the different levels of emotional energies are being addressed by the same images/symbols. They are often related.

    Level 4: Trauma Experiences
    Look for these:
Carl Jung delivered a seminar in 1938 that explored the dreams of individuals suffering from "Shell Shock" the diagnosis of psychologically affected returning soldiers that preceded the modern diagnosis of PTSD. Jung explained how recurring dreams from trauma {shell shock} indicate an absolute shift in the psychic system, and are a singular exception to the way dreams typically process and digest material from life.
The dream is never a mere repetition of previous experiences, with only one specific exception: shock or shell shock dreams, which sometimes are completely identical repetitions of reality. That, in fact, is proof of the traumatic effect. The shock can no longer be psychified. This can be seen especially clearly in healing processes in which the psyche tries to translate the shock into a psychical anxiety situation. {Carl Jung, Children's Dreams, pp. 21-22}
Trauma, PTSD, and Dreaming: Understanding recurring dreams and nightmares
Typical dreams are never just repetitions of daily events, but total repetition can occur if the dreams are the result of a traumatic event. These dreams seem to overpower or overwhelm the symbol making function of psyche and likely also come with a physical residue of trauma that must also gradually be worked through by professional counseling. The language of symbol and metaphor that dreams normally use is not in use in some cases of trauma experiences

Again, keep this in mind when analyzing your dreams. Your dreams are about you and your emotions. Experiences in your life that possessed strong emotional energies that, although not thought of consciously, remain within your unconscious psyche
. Your personality and personal attitudes are essentially linked to these emotional experiences. They are often motivators for who you become later in life. Discovering and understanding these energies will lead you to your true self. Resolving the issues associated to the emotional experiences will allow you to be all you can be, find wholeness and harmony in life.
Note: Two aspects of Jungian psychology related to discovery of your true self is the spiritual Self and the creative self. Two aspects within the psyche that are natural and life changing.

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