Why I have a Dream Journal

I’m a semantically-inclined domesticated primate, so finding the divine has been a journey. As a child, I charmed with the Logos. As a teen, I swung the Logos as a weapon. As a young adult, I was confined by the Logos. I found a growing mushroom near one of the walls of my Logoic prison and Cubenis helped me vault over the labyrinthine wall.

Haha, you can already see how easily I can get carried away by the Logos.

Words are seductive. With them we can read the minds of dead legends, we can telepathically communicate (I’m in your head right now), and with language we have augmented evolution with memes (not a grumpy cat meme, a meme is a cultural idea that is passed down generations through language.)

So words are tremendously powerful, but they limit. Almost my entire life, I valued the creative control dead domesticated primates displayed in regards to the Logos. I valued their symbol manipulation over my direct experience of reality. Rationalism and Logic are the deities of the Logos. I sat obediently at their feet.

Eventually I acquired the perspective that it may be possible that maybe there is more to the human experience then what can be captured and conveyed through symbols. It was a wild thought at first. I was stubborn.

My affinity for language is like an addiction. I relapse every day. If you know me, you can see me linguistically stroking my ego with monologues. I love yall for patiently allowing my indulgence.


Researching and learning about the subconscious mind, how to interpret symbols, and recording my dreams have been a kind of nicotine patch to my linguistic addiction.

The subconscious speaks through symbols. Understanding symbols is more an intuitional practice than a conscious semantic exercise. There are symbols like MacDonald’s arches or Apple’s logo, these are not the kind of symbols I’m referring to. The kind of symbols your dreams use represent fundamental human ideas, like water signals rebirth, life, or emotions, a fire represents transformation or purification. These symbols make sense in an evolutionary, primal way.

The belief I hold, (shout out to Carl Jung), is that dreams are meaningful, dreams speak in symbols, and symbols are interpretable. So, I attempt to record my dreams, try to decode them, and try to understand them.

(An interesting epistemological investigation offers two perspectives. Maybe my belief in all this spurs my brain to create these kinds of dreams, and I’m just playing a little, board-line psychotic game with myself, or, maybe, dreams actually are meaningful, symbolic, and understandable. I don’t know. But this brings me to something I believe very passionately in; your life is yours to understand and explore. Experiment and value your personal experience more than statistics, polemics, and other people’s stories. Experience your truth.)


So, dreams are meaningful, dreams speak in symbols, and symbols are understandable.
I have a journal and pencil near my bed, open and ready to record. Whenever I wake from a dream, I try my damndest to role my lazy bundle of flesh over and scribble down whatever I remember. Pro tip: start from the last thing you remember in the dream and work backwards. Then rewrite it chronologically. This works really well for me.

I normally doze back to sleep. When I start my day, in my daily three pages, I try to understand the dream. Most dreams aren’t saying much. Maybe that I’m excited about my day off or I’m wanting to sleep with a woman. I consider those practice. The important dreams, and you know exactly which ones are the important ones, those are feasts. Better yet, they are the raw ingredients. You have to interpret them, or prepare them, in order to digest them. (yay for food analogy.)

Learning to interpret dreams has been a journey too. A good deal of it is intuitional. A gloriously fun way to practice interpreting symbols is to play “The Cube” game with everyone you meet (at the prompting of a beautiful friend, I’m going to start posting my results of these games so yall can get a feel for how to do it, and it’s fascinating.)

Also, feel free to share your dreams with me and I’ll do my best.

The reason I have a dream journal is because I believe in the idea of “Individualization.” It is an idea presented by Jung and it is beyond the scope of this already growing post. To sum it up, your dreams will guide you towards the full maturation of your soul. If ya don’t listen; neurosis, physical ailments, “bad luck,” and a mid-life crisis await you. His elaboration on all of this is fucking fascinating and I recommend any of his books if you’re interested. He believed that your subconscious is wise beyond comprehension and it wants to help your puny confused ego navigate life. I agree and I try to listen.

I’ll offer a personal example of a dream and how I interpreted it.

I listened to a poem two Thursdays ago while driving back from Austin. The poem resonated with me and I cried a couple times. I realized that my expectation of how a romantic partner should be was naïve, childish, and limiting. This poem broke me up and I cried because I was thankful.

That night I had three dreams and each was intense and easy to remember.

In dream one, one of my close female friends died. She was on a plane and the plane stopped existing. Dreams don’t make logical sense, but the feeling of this important female friend dying was strong. I wept and wept and wept. You know that kind of wailing a mother cries when a child dies? It was to that intensity.

The second dream was me arriving at my first day of college at an all women college. I was led to the gym where an older man, the wrestling coach, asked me if I wanted to wrestle one of the female students. I accepted.

Instantly the dream changed and I was sitting on a back porch. I was in the suburbs, the afternoon sky was comforting and the trees were dancing. It felt nice. I was sitting with the two women I had been in love with in my life. I was talking with them explaining how I was looking for a new woman who was “more.” That was the only adjective I used. I looked down to my phone and I saw a tinder profile of an updated version of my first love. I declined and woke up.


Okay so here is what this ish means. Or, more precisely, here is how my perspective organizes this data.

A quick background before we dive in. The Anima is an archetype Jung labeled that represents the ideal female in the subjective individual’s psyche. The Animus is an archetype that represents the ideal male. These archetypes show up in dreams. As a straight male, my Anima will show up as females around my age. My Animus will be an older male but not elderly. (You may already be starting to put the puzzle together.)

The first dream symbolized the death of my Anima (the poem scorched my childish perspective of what a woman can and should be). My friend represented my old perspective of what a female should be. The weeping was my subconscious helping me processes the emotions attached to losing a part of myself.

The second dream symbolized my Animus helping me find a new Anima. (The coach asking me if I’d like to wrestle with these woman.) I don’t know why, but smarter people then I have observed over the decades that the unconscious likes to play with language. The obvious play here is, wrestling with new perspectives. I agreed to wrestle so I got a new dream.

The third dream was my subconscious helping me process this change. The two girls represented the two stages my Anima has already passed through. I was getting a chance to talk with them about my new direction. My subconscious asked if the right direction was to go back to my first Anima and I chose no.


I think it is beneficial to believe dreams are meaningful, to learn to understand them, and record them. 

This is all subjective. I fucking love it. I hope you will try it. Let me know how it goes. I love you.