I always dream of being in a tunnel.

Last week, I was giving a talk on nightmares and people in the audience were having a blast trying to outdo each other with the intensity of their dream images.  There is nothing like the vast landscape of the dream world with which to play “I can top that!”  There was scenario after scenario, each scarier than the other and the laughter of recognition as this group of individuals appreciated the variety of their dream experiences.

After ten or so minutes of this, one man sheepishly raised his hand.  Almost apologetically, he said, “It doesn’t matter what I dream about or where I am, but I am constantly finding myself crawling out of a tunnel that closes in on me toward the exit, to the point where I have to squeeze myself out.”  He went on to explain that he could be going from one room to another, or from outside going into a building (or inside one going out) but that he always seems to find himself trapped in some sort of narrow passage.  Panic sets in, but just as the tunnel closes, he always manages to get through.

This dream is about transitions and changes in the dreamer’s life.  Since he has had it many times throughout his life, it has become a very effective way for his unconscious to use the dream life to help him process the fears and challenges that come up when life is reflecting a big change.

A tunnel brings people from one location to another.  In this way, a dream about being in a tunnel is going to symbolize the process of transformation that is occurring when you leave a destination behind and have not yet arrived where you think you are heading to.  What is important to consider is that a tunnel is not an organic way of getting to one’s destination; it is a man made structure.  The change that is taking place when a tunnel becomes the symbolic representation of that change is one that must be planned, engineered and then executed.

As an example, this dream might come up the dreamer himself must actually construct how he is going to change his life, as opposed to a change when all that really needs to happen is for time to pass, or for someone else to make a decision.  Tunnels are also underground, so the transition in life that this dream represents are associated with things you want to keep hidden and out of sight – to occur below the surface so they don’t interfere with life on the ground above.  The danger therein is that you could be crushed or squeezed as whatever transition you are undergoing is coming to a close – I am reminded of the phrase “it’s always darkest before the dawn,” in the way that as you go through a big change, the longer and harder you have to work, it is always toward the end that you think you can’t take any more and feel the most squeezed.  This is where the anxiety and panic come in.

It is important to notice with this dream that you always get through…just like in life.  We are often terrified by change, feel we want to hide the impact of what is going on, keep our challenges below the surface of other people’s ability to see what’s going on and that we have to work so long on something, we might not make it all the way to our destiny.  But we do.  This dream probably helps you balance out the stress so you can wake up each day and face the next part of the tunnel you are making your way through.

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3 Responses to I always dream of being in a tunnel.

  1. Andrew Wilmott October 27, 2015 at 5:43 am #

    At around 4-5 years of age I had this dream of being suspended in time in a dark tunnel. I was looking at myself as if it was a still frame picture..but then i was yelling in my head, my lips wouldnt move. No-one could hear me. I would wake up in a cold sweat and had this dream many more time up until around the age of 13-15ish. I forever remembered this dream, and reflect on it from time to time.

    I have had 3 conflicting times in my life where my mind would race and I would lose track of the 5 sensory. This happened at the ages of 18 (2002), 25 (2009/2010) & 28 (2012).

    I am now in the 4th period of this, but this time is different. I have managed to overcome the side effects of the past bad periods of my life. I have finally found the answers I need and why this dream is so important.

    Thought Id share my story with you. The future has bright things in store for myself and us all. I hope many get to share it with me.

    To infinity and beyond.


  2. Wendy January 24, 2016 at 1:47 am #

    Can you help me with dream interpretation?
    So I found myself in a courtroom where many divorces were going through.
    I am married and I also was about to get a divorce there was a divorce lawyer who was dealing with my divorce but she appeared to be uncapable and not that good of a lawyer.
    I then find the inside of pens scattered on the floor. Belonging to my lawyer.
    I picked up a few and pot them in py pocket then my husband appears and picks them and they were supposed to go on on a machine like thing so my husband shoved them in there and handed it to the lawyer.
    I then decided not to get a divorce and so I found myself in a car with my husband it was a very nice warm day.
    Driving I saw this nice valley with the most beautiful flowers so I asked my husband to stop the car so I could pick them.
    I looked at the car and it was an old rusty car.
    Then I had to climb a little to get to the flowers. I remember a pink rose bush and an orange and red tulip bush.
    I didn’t want to wrench this beautiful flowers so I asked my husband to find something I could cut the stems with.
    He pulls out a Swiss knife and he is standing on a valley going down from the high spot where I was standing.
    Then there’s a cow there as he’s trying to hand me the knife he gets it lodged onto the cows horn.
    The cow then freaks out runs further down the valley and there was a tunnel with train tracks coming out of it and the cow starts to enter the tunnel as it does so flashing lights of green yellow and red start flashing then at that moment two bears one male one female come out of the tunnel and one of them is about to attack my husband I’m telling him to run but he won’t listen so i then see my dog attacking the bears. I then slide down trying to run back on the road where the car was but I know my dog is now dead.
    I see a train wagon wich was made of very thin metal sheets I jump in it and shut the door a see the female bear trying to attack me and I was scared because I thought the train wagon wasn’t going to be safe enough but it worked I didn’t get attacked.
    Then I woke up..!!

  3. ashley March 23, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    I have a reoccurring dream, like the one you’re talking about.-
    Yet in my dream I cant ever get out before I wake.-
    Id dream that these pyramid kinda step sides would be decaying yet for some stupid reason i want want to adventure around in them.-
    Eventually I would have taken enough turns to get lost in this tight crawl space of a hall.-
    I try to feel the wind rushing through the air with my face that is covered in dirt and start to get all panicked with claustrophobia.-
    When the wind finally blew i chased it to some corner and started tearing out the bricks of the wall in which made the “ceiling” of the tunnel crumble as well.-
    my muscles would get so tired that id lay down for a moment then get back up to keep digging.-
    then right as i pull another brick out i flash to a separate part of the pyramid where this deformed little demon looking guy jumps from roof top to roof top and i have to chase after him for some reason.-
    Then I’d flash again to the inside of the pyramid tunnels where some guy tells me to quit taking apart the bricks then he gives me this big living yellow and black snake to rap around my neck and just sit still-= im not afraid of snakes they just kind of make me anxious.-
    i then end up looking back at the corner i was tearing bricks from and it looked like i didnt even touch it then i would wake up..
    ..Think you’d be able to tell me any symbolizing or something about this?-
    last night has been my third night in the past week ive been dreaming this.