QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Dreams Department

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Question

I keep having a reoccurring nightmare. In this nightmare, my mouth is closed shut but my tongue pushes my teeth out. It holds some meaning for me that I can't express. I am really curious what implications this dream has on me. I dream about the same thing at least twice a week. I would really appreciate some insight.

Answer

The dreamer him/herself is the final authority on the meaning of a particular dream, though sometimes it is interesting and educational to hear what the dream would mean if it were someone else's.

If this were my dream....
In my dream my mouth is closed. My mouth is a vital part of the way I interact with the world. I not only use it to eat and talk and breathe and kiss, but as a child it was the first way I explored the world and the first way I had of controlling what went in and became part of me, and what went out and thus became part of others.

My tongue pushes my teeth out. My tongue can work with my mouth, but not always. My tongue helps me express myself, helps me control what I assimilate and can push things out when I don't want them anymore. I can use my tongue to explore too, but usually it explores what is in my mouth. My teeth are usually something powerful to me, though they can be vulnerable when I don't take care of them. They help me grab and chew and bite into life. In this dream my tongue has found some teeth that it wants to push out, but my mouth doesn't want to lose them.

This reminds me much of what happened when I was losing my baby teeth, with some variations. In other words, in my dream the mouth isn't ready to lose what has made it stronger and more powerful. The mouth isn't aware that some stronger teeth are on their way. The tongue doesn't know either, but does know the direction the old teeth have to go.

I wonder to myself how this fits in my life right now as an adult. Have I acquired some ways of grabbing hold of life that are now perhaps, like baby teeth, ready to go to make way for bigger teeth?

2/20/98

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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