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 had this dream for several years but there is always a continuation of where the last one left off. Several years ago I kept having a dream of falling in love and I was extremely happy, even when I woke up. I never did see the man's face. This went on for a number of years. Exact same dream.

Next time, I dreamt that this man told me how much he loved me but that he had to go away. This also went on for several years.Then when I dreamt about him again, he came back told me he loved me and we were married. It was in the second continuation of the dream that I finally saw his face. It was a man whom I fell deeply in love with when I was 19. I have run into him several times over the years and even had an affair with him.

Sometimes it is years between us running into each other. He always asks about me but never attempts to contact me even though he says he will! I have kissed him only once about 3 years ago and I knew that from that kiss that he has still has feelings about me. Please try to interpret this dream and tell me why it is continuous into the next one. Thank you.


Although these dreams have a uniqueness and deep mystery to them that only the dreamer can give meaning to, there are some common and mythic themes I can comment on.

Repetition is like a exclamation mark, a "Look Here, this is important". The way your repetition stops and then picks up again is very unique, suggesting you have a good sense of timing, drama and the unfolding of meaning over time.

The Faceless Lover is considered by many to be *the* story of women. It may best or most poetically be found in Apuleius' tale of "Eros and Psyche". Psyche is the daughter of a king who must be wed to the dragon and is left abandoned on the cliff side. The "Monster" is really the god Eros, who knows if she ever looks at him directly the relationship will be over. (One just can't look directly at gods, there are too beautiful and intense). He takes her to his castle and only comes to her in the dark, making a pact with her to never turn on the light. Eventually she can no long resist and looks, and then the relationship is over for a long time.

The Jungian psychologists say that when the faceless lover comes to us in dreams, it is most profoundly seen as *part of ourselves* that we desire most, and see as (often) the opposite sex. If we just go along with the game, we continue to live in the rich castle of Eros and, according to the Jungians, endlessly chase after these people in real life. Sometimes it works, but usually the pattern just repeats and gets stale. It is said that eventually we either get tired of this game or something tricky happens and we see the faceless lover directly.

The common path of growth is to see these figures *qualities* in ourselves and develop them. If this were my dream, and the faceless lover appeared as an old friend, I would write a short series of qualities that come to mind that remind me of that person; Fast, Handsome, Playful, Analytical, Self-Assured, or whatever, and then try to develop those qualities in myself. Who, after all, can love me more intimately than my larger Self?


1. Lover's in both dreams and life can bring up the love and vitality needed to bring these qualities we once loved in others into our own personality. There are some guides along the way. The classic book on this is Animus and Anima by Emma Jung (1957-1981) (Dallas, TX: Spring Publications).

2. Two popular and very accessible books on this for men *and* women are: He: Understanding Masculine Psychology, by Robert Johnson, (New York: Harper and Row 1974). She: Understanding Feminine Psychology, by Robert Johnson, (New York: Harper and Row).

3. The Tale of Eros and Psyche is widely available. Some versions with comment include the already mentioned She, The Golden Ass by Marie-Louise von Franz and Amor & Psyche by Erich Neumann.


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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