The Forest of the Mind.





You’ve often heard the term used that people sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees. Welcome to dreams, they help you see the forest AND the trees. Just having come back from the Daintree in Far North Queensland, this has been on my mind – a big picture with very fine detail simultaneously. From tiny tree frogs scooting across in front of your feet to vast expanses of dense rainforest as far as the eye can see. We need to see both, not just one or the other.

People often ask me why it’s important to recount the finer or smaller details of dreams, as well as the big, impactful moments and scenes. That’s because both have valuable content. A dream will have a running theme throughout, then under this it will have layers of lesser themes trailing through, sometimes not for the whole dream even, they may trail in and out like cameo appearances.

When you look at a dream, it’s good to ask some questions about the lesser things, say like:
“The path I was walking along had a stone in it. Why was that stone there? Why was it that shape? Why was it that colour?”
While at the same time not getting lost in the detail from the deeper and bigger themes of the dream. Everything in a dream has a meaning. Your mind has constructed it down to the finest detail, if it hadn’t, there would be vast holes or gaps in what you see and experience. Every detail is accounted for and specified, that’s why it’s worth noting as much as you can if you really want to unlock all the keys of your dreams. The smallest detail can be a key to opening up a whole realm of meaning, they’re certainly worth noting.

Seeing as we’re speaking of forests, let’s have a look at some nature dreams. What are some things worth noting?
Trees are particularly important to take note of, they type, height, branch spread, any bark or seed/fruit details. In ancient times, people were often described as types of trees. Now we have ‘a thousand’ ways of ‘assessing’ people with all the Myers-Briggs tests and so on. In times past, people were simply described as a tree and that sufficed to communicate a lot of detail about their ‘type’. Someone described as, say, a Pencil Pine would be viewed as able to excel in a particular direction, but narrow in their field of thought or practical application. Another described as an Oak would be seen as very strong in their nature and quite broad in their interests and mental diversity. These are fairly simplistic, but give a basic idea of the contrasting types in these two examples.

Staying with the ancient theme, there are accounts of people ‘seeing’ others as trees. This doesn’t mean they saw them walking down the street on their roots with their branches waving and leaves falling off, what is being expressed is a perception. It may sound odd, but if you think about it we use expressions similar to this all the time, think of times you’ve described a friend as in a ‘bright mood’. Guaranteed if you switched out the light they won’t light the room! It’s a perception – and a very accepted one – that people people’s moods energetically ‘brighten’ or ‘darken’ how they appear. If you can accept that, then it’s not a very big step to see a dream can communicate themes and ideas like this to you through its chosen symbolism.

Leaves – look at the shape, colour, length and any other unusual traits. Remember everything is there for a reason. The trees in your dream may not be botanically accurate, it may be a total creation of your mind of something that doesn’t even exist in this world, but these are dreams we are talking about so its free range creation 😉
Colour tones in leaves can tell you a lot – the various shades of green all have import (if they are even green) and add the layers of detail you can build to find what the dream is trying to reveal. Yes, reveal…. the language of dreams is not trying to hide anything from you, quite the opposite it’s trying to give you a gift, your outer mind just has to go the trouble of unwrapping its packaging. Your dreams WANT you to know their meaning, just that symbolism is their main language – it has to be, we are too complicated to be spoken to in a slow word by word process.

Grass – like leaves, you’re looking for details of the blades, length, colour, type, arrangement – are they single or on groups or tufts? This may sound obvious, but the opportunity to repeat what you need to look for locks it in the outer part of your mind so it triggers into action when you’re trying to recall your dreams, sometimes even at the time of the dream.

Flowers – Wow, so much to look for. Petal arrangements, stamens, stems, scents (yes many people have a sense of smell in dreams and it can be a very impactful detail, definitely worth noting), colour – and don’t forget texture, the texture of a flower can hold a lot of revelation in itself. It’s a fun exercise to look at your friends and think what flower you would describe them as to summarise them best. You don’t have to tell anyone, it’s just a mental game to yourself, but it does sharpen your language of description!

Remember dreams don’t have to be botanically accurate, I can’t emphasise that enough. The dream making process will create exactly what it wants to communicate its message, just don’t worry if it doesn’t fit into any of your botany references. Somewhere in there is a message of you, tailored exactly to your needs from your own mind. It really doesn’t get much better than that, in this case it really is all about you.