Dreams Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other staff.


I have the same dream about twice a week. I'm at a field just outside the Himalayas. I look up and see a pack of flying monkeys. I think they are coming after me and run. I reach a petting zoo. I pet the animals and am happy, but eventually one of the flying monkeys captures me. I feel they want to kill me. I'm taken to the leader, and then tied up in a dungeon. Each dream the dungeon is different in that I'm always next to a different movie character. Once it was the Star Wars character, Chewbaca, who said to me "aaAAAuuUUGHHhh". I'm taken out of the chains and put in the middle of a circle of monkeys. They appear to be playing "telephone". Slowly, the head monkey goes to the last person in the circle to see how the story ends. When the monkey opens her mouth to say how it ends, I wake.


The meaning of a single dream can only be decided upon by the dreamer him/herself to maintain the premise that we are all the final authorities on the meaning and value of life. However, we can make general statements about dreams that can enrich the images.

If this were my dream....
In my dream I'm being pursued by animals that remind me of the Flying Monkeys of the Wicked Witch of the West in Oz. I try and stop here for a moment to review what "monkeys" I have on my back this week. Ugggh, a long list, and the dream isn't giving me much of a clue as to which one is the worst, so I look back to the dream.

I see I go to a place where I can contact the animals in a safe way. Ah, a useful clue. Instead of fleeing, maybe I can tame them? But no, this doesn't work and I am captured. Because there are different dungeons in different dreams, I think to myself how there must be several monkeys bothering me. In one dream, I am taken right up to the leader. For me this is a dangerous but transformative move. The minions could keep me locked up indefinitely, but with the leader, something bigger may happen. That I'm taken out of chains and put into a group of monkeys means to me that they are trying to make a monkey out of me. Chewbaca being in a cell with me once repeats this theme. Then the attention is all in the monkey game, is shifted from monkey to monkey.

To me this is how out of control it is being with monkeys. They play with my desire to escape by circulating the attention around -- monkeying around with me. Finally the leader is about the speak it when I awake. It's almost as if the answer to the game is my life. But since the final word is unspoken, it is I who have to speak it, or have the opportunity to say IT. I can choose not to and continue monkeying around, being pursued by monkeys and being turned into a monkey. Not a bad life, really. Or I can speak the words that monkeys can only whisper between one another behind my back.


Richard Wilkerson is general editor for The Internet Dream E-zine, Electric Dreams, and director of DreamGate, the Internet Communications and Dream Education Center. He writes the Cyberphile column for the Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter.


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