I keep having a dream over the years in variations that always puzzles me. I
can't find a place to urinate. I'm often in an old tree house above the
family garage, and usually end up looking all around and urinating in the
garage. Sometimes there is a hole in the floor, but other times I just let go
on the gardening tools and bench there. I've also had these dreams where I
wander around other buildings looking for a place to urinate. Got any ideas
Looking for a place to go is as frustrating in dreams as it sometimes is in
life. However, in waking life we usually don't look for deeper meanings.
Although this dream has its own uniqueness and deep mystery that only the
dreamer can give meaning to, there are some common and mythic themes I can
Often when we have to urinate in a dream, we really do have to urinate! But
other times we have to urinate during sleep and don't dream about it at all.
So a second set of answers may be necessary. I think urination in dreams
reveals a part of the way the dreaming mind works in general as well. When
the urge comes into the dreaming mind, the mind deals with this request like
all others, it begins to play with it, to match it to earlier experiences
that are similar and to unfold the metaphorical aspects of the urge.
On the symbolic level, we can look at the dream images of urination and
deification in terms of getting rid of something that is causing us pressure.
And the thing we need to give up may not be social sanctioned in all
quarters. The famous dream worker Jeremy Taylor says that when he has dreams
of urination, he goes somewhere private and writes down on a piece of paper
all the things he really wants to do, being completely honest with himself
and then burns the paper. This way we can allow expression of the most
noxious of our desires without making ourselves too vulnerable.
Exploration of the way we feel in these trapped situations brings out many
of the issues where we have poor options about the where and how of the
situation, but no choice about the thing itself. It must happen, it is going
to flow -- and yet there is no good place for this to happen. The dream image
gives us the ability to visualize this kind of situation and to allow us to
explore various ways of moving with this tension that will, inevitable find
expression in other forms in the world. The key here, I feel, is not in
finding a good place to urinate, but in learning ways of being in the
predicament itself. This is what Jung calls a real symbol as opposed to a
simple sign. A real symbol has the ability to hold the tension long enough
for a whole new paradigm of consciousness to emerge.
It might be useful to notice *where* this play unfolds. Is it at work, at
one's childhood home, the store, an unknown territory? As we become
comfortable working with one area, new ideas and hope spring from this
empowerment and can create a fountain of -- well, ideas.
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.