Someone asked me where do most dreams take place. At first, I thought there was no possible scenario that comes up more than any other in dreams. After all, the land of dreams is where anything can happen and probably will.
But as I woke up this morning, I had a thought. And while I don’t present this as my experience of naming a setting that appears more often in dreams than any other, it did occur to me that from a symbolic perspective, there is a place that represents the idea of what dreams have to offer.
We live in a state of polarity. Everything in our world can be divided into two camps. Up, down. In, out. Day, night. Conscious, unconscious. Land, sea. Symbolically, land represents what we are conscious of and the ocean connects with our unconscious mind. We can see what is on land, but the most of what the ocean holds is below our vision, out of sight. We KNOW that there is an enormous world down there, but all we can see from our conscious perspective is a reflection of the surface of the water. In order to explore the depths of the ocean, we need assistance in the form of craft and technology. The same is true of visits to the unconscious mind. Instead of submarines and remote video cameras, there is hypnosis and creative expression. And, of course, dreams.
Where the land meets the sea is an extraordinary place. Stunningly beautiful and powerful in its majesty. It marks a place that is never stagnant and always changing. The insistent play of waves on land erode and shift the shoreline with a constancy that is staggering. And anything that happens on land will inevitably spill into the ocean, affecting its makeup irrevocably.
The same is true for where the conscious and unconscious meet. It is a violent and creative landscape, ever changing and magnificent. And it is a tenuous place: stray too far inland (consciousness) and you lose sight of what the depths of the ocean (unconscious) have to offer. Swim too far into the depths of the sea, and you are likely to drown (psychosis).
So while the beach may not actually be the most prominent scenario that people dream of, I will say this: Dreams that take place there are revealing the powerful transformation that is possible when the barrier between the conscious and unconscious mind is blurred.