What did you dream about last night?
As frightening as it seems, the chase dream is a common dream theme for the 20 something crowd entering the work force. When we are young, we are uncertain about the ‘code of conduct’ or the behaviors that are required of us. The fast pace at which we may be forced to adopt new identities in the work place, brings a past way of being in opposition with a new way of being. Being chased reflects the non-integrated aspects of your evolving identity currently in conflict. This dream also happens frequently when we are moving, divorcing or making significant changes to our identity. Being pursued or attacked is the ‘internal drama’ of one side of you questioning your behavior as you enter new situations. Like the voice of the parents, who taught you about what you should or shouldn’t do, these tapes continue to play as dream characters that emerge each time a new situation calls you to become something you may not be comfortable with. During daily life, the Shadow or non-integrated qualities within you, can be masked and take form as drama ‘out there’ when what is really going on is drama 'in here.' Just as these encounters encourage you to grow, dreams challenge you in the same way. The most frightening dreams are simply a call to acknowledge, integrate new characteristics and discard old ones as you evolve. As you grow to meet new situations at various stages of your life, these pursuit dreams become quite common and fade away as your sense of self has become more clearly defined. Similarly, conflict has a way of dissipating in your life once you have ‘composed the inner terrain’ enough to have developed self-esteem and self-knowledge. Ferocious animals will attack in dreams, when your emotions have erupted ‘beyond your control,' feeling wild and foreign to you during the day. See Blood and Animals. Finally, there are times when you are the pursuer or attacker in a dream. Commonly, you will have a dream of attacking someone else or witnessing someone being killed and do nothing about it, even though you would never do that in real life. In the same way that someone dying represents the passing of an old or outworn way of being, not doing anything when someone is ‘eliminated’ speaks to how you let go of the outworn. If you see the situation more like an assassination, you might consider whether you are allowing something to continue (such as an affair) that your psyche may see as an assassination of character. How you felt about being the attacker will determine whether 1) there is ‘remorse’ in the sense that subconsciously, you know you are killing off an important part of you that shouldn't be discarded or 2) ‘neutral’ because you know that what has passed is no longer necessary. See Enemy,Murder, Death, Nightmare and Weapons and Utensils.
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