Dream-Midwife and Dreamer
By Nobuya Teraoka
What is the role of the midwife of a dream? The best way to answer this is to examine the part the midwife plays in the whole process. But such an answer presupposes that one has undergone or watched enough dream explorations that one recognizes the far-seeing, intelligible and beneficent power of exploring dreams.
Reflection on that power leads to the conclusion that its existence must have a cause and upon further reflection that such a cause is best characterized as divine and providential. If one accepts such a conclusion, then the dreammidwife is an intermediary between the Mind of a god, which Pierre calls the Dream Master, which crafts and communicates the dream on the one hand, and the mind of the dreamer who experiences the dream on the other.
The midwife enters the dreamer’s experience through the dreamer’s recollection of the dream, which I call the dream text. The dream text is a recording of the dream immediately after waking and is the dreamer’s sincerest attempt to represent as fully as possible the total dream experience. Recollection is a return into the Dream Master’s Mind, in so far as it has been offered to the dreamer. Now, the need to include a midwife in the process of dream analysis is not obvious.
For example, Synesius in his work On Dreams believes that it is shameful that at the age of 25 years an individual is still unable to understand his own dreams. Socrates shares dreams that are meaningful to him, as well as their meanings, but never the process of dream analysis. For Socrates, as portrayed in Plato’s Dialogues, the process of understanding dreams is done without dialogue…