About / Dreams
Book VII shows all illustrations with explanation from the book 'The illustrated encyclopedia of dreams' by A. Fornari, E. Rombaldini and L. Picknett. Published by Guild Publishing, 1990.
Introduction 'The illustrated encyclopedia of dreams'
From time to time we all experience vivid dreams which are difficult to explain. The impression most of us are left with when we wake up after such a dream is one of confused, muddled images which have no logical form. It is often as though we have been watching or taking part in a strange fantasy which seems to have nothing to do with our everyday lives. In fact, dreams probably reflect more about ourselves than we realize. Our dream world, however nonsensical, disturbing or beautiful, is in many ways more real than what we call 'reality'. In most cases dreams reflect our deepest desires, fears and frustrations — what we could term our 'inner' or 'private' face, which only emerges through our subconscious when we are asleep.
Our 'outer' or 'public' face, however, is different. Most of us habitually hide behind a barrier or system of convention imposed by society. We usually try to be like everyone else because we are happier being one of a crowd. To some extent our behaviour is 'coded' — that is, we behave according to our situation and who we are with. For example, we might hide certain personality traits that we think could be unacceptable to one person, while later, when talking to someone else, we may allow these traits to show but will repress another aspect of ourselves. We all use different types of self-censorship when we are mixing with others and establishing relationships, although we may not always be aware that we are adjusting our behaviour to fit in with others. Adapting our public face to suit various situations tends to become second nature. The question then arises as to which face - the private or the public - gives a true picture of what we are really like. It can be argued that it is the private and not the public face that provides an accurate indication of our true self. This is because the private self is not bound by the rigid constraints which we constantly put on ourselves while we are awake.
A master key to dreams
This book will help to find the key to your private self, by making sense of the puzzling images and strange symbolism that dreams are made of. Once we understand more about our private thoughts and fears, and when our true strengths and weaknesses have been revealed in our dreams, we can use this knowledge to our advantage. It would be comforting to believe that we alone hold the key to the private or inner self, but this is not necessarily the case. Although dreams are personal, all of us dream about ideas and symbols which can be easily interpreted. So the secrets that our dreams hold can be revealed by someone who has no personal knowledge of us but who is versed in dream symbols and interpretation.
Using the Encyclopedia
The Encyclopedia of Dreams incorporates the wisdom of a large number of history's most notable interpreters of dreams, from the Greek Artemidorus through to Freud, Jung and their successors. The interpretations provided in the main part of the book - an extensive A-Z with explanations of the most common images and symbols encountered in dreams - are based on knowledge gathered by experts in the subject. When there is more than one interpretation put forward for a specific image, you should select the most appropriate one. Obviously, the greater one's self-knowledge, the more accurate the selection of an interpretation will be. Furthermore, each specific interpretation should be modified and adjusted in the light of particular circumstances affecting your life at the time a dream comes to you. If you dream that you are lost in a maze, for example, and yet your work is going well, you should look to another domain of your life to understand the uncertainty and indecision the dream suggests is nagging at you.
The basic tools of interpretation provided by the A-Z should also be used in conjunction with the knowledge acquired from 'Sleep The Pathway to Your Dreams'. This section answers questions about the complex relationship between sleep and dreaming, explains the process of sleep and describes why both sleep and dreaming are vital to our physical and mental wellbeing. With practice, the information in this book should enable you to understand dimensions of yourself that have, until now, been no more than strange, disordered images within your dream world.