Making the most of dreams

Monday, April 25, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:44 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One woman has recurring dreams of car trouble. Another dreams of her best friend’s boyfriend. A third dreams of her young daughter’s death.

These are some of the callers from across the United States and Canada who called Columbia for the School of Metaphysics’ annual National Dream Hotline.

Students and teachers at the School of Metaphysics, a nonprofit educational and service organization, answered phone calls during its annual weekend hotline, which ran from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight Sunday.

This is the 17th year the school has held its free dream hotline. The hotline gives students and faculty a chance to apply what they have learned at the school to the community. Through the years, the school’s 16 branches across the Midwest have developed similar hotlines, which they hold on the same weekend.

The national goal is to interpret a total of 144,000 dreams. In the history of the hotline, interpretors have interpreted 28,000 to 30,000 dreams, said Kimberlee Otto, coordinator of the hotline. She said she gets many calls about recurring dreams or dreams about loved ones.

She explained how people’s dreams reflect on the dreamer. Dreams, she said, should be interpreted as soon as possible because they reflect the events of the last few days.

“Every dream is about the dreamer,” she said. “It all relates to you, and every dream is an aspect of you.”

Cars, marriage and death are popular themes in the dreams of the hotline’s callers. Otto explained that cars represent the physical body, and car problems may reflect a health problem. One caller reported recurring dreams of car troubles. When asked, the woman said she suffered from chronic ailments.

Marriage in dreams represents a commitment to self, Otto said. She said dreaming of the opposite sex means you are dreaming about your subconscious self, the self only you know, but dreaming of the same sex means you are dreaming of the self you portray to people around you.

“When marrying in a dream, it means you are making a commitment to knowing yourself and actually doing it,” Otto said.

Kelley Naylor, a student and faculty-in-residence at the school, said she has received many calls about death.

“It’s concerning for people when they experience death,” she said. “I think people just really want to know if it’s prophetic or if it’s something else. It can be kind of dramatic.”

Naylor told the story of a woman who called with a dream about the death of her 7-year-old daughter in a car accident. The dream had been worrying her for several months.

Naylor told the woman not to interpret the dream literally. Her daughter, Naylor said, represented a new way of thinking, and death represented change.

“She breathed a little easier, I think,” Naylor said.

Otto said the ultimate purpose of the hotline is to help people know more about themselves through their dreams.

“A lot of times, dreams will give you ideas of what has been going on in your mind,” Otto said. “It gives people the opportunity to know themselves better than they do.”

Naylor agreed.

Dream interpretation “is a great tool for people to know about who they are and where they are in life,” she said. “This is a simple way to do it. Everyone dreams.”

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