Getting Ahead Of Our Ghost

The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind. — Sigmund Freud

This is the last scene from a dream I had earlier this week: In the dream I was running along a path through a forest at night. At first I was walking but then when I started to run my body separated from this white phantom self which was also me, which had been in my body and was now walking behind as I ran further ahead.

I do not know what preceded this scene but upon noticing my “other” interior self I woke up.


Concept: separation between my two selves.

Upon waking I had several specific impressions associated with the dream.

First, I thought about the power of an integrated life. That is, life in which we are whole, our spiritual and physical manifestations fully in sync. There was a sense in which I myself was more powerful when walking and whole than when running and split.

Second, I somehow had an understanding that running ahead was a mistake.
“Don’t run ahead, go slow.” The implication being that when we walk instead of run, we’re more “in the flow.”

Third, I had this thought also: Instead of chasing life, let life come to you.

Am I running too hard? Running too fast? Trying to do too much?

Often our dreams draw their symbols from experiences we’ve recently had during the day. In this case it may be that I was corresponding with someone about the writings of Karen Horney. Horney was Sigmund Freud’s eighth student and first female student.

In her own studies of neurosis she postulated that a root cause of much of our anxiety is a neurotic split between our idealized self and real self. The greater the divide, the more anxiety. As she notes, “Though his self-inflation may be most obvious to an untrained observer, the neurotic is not aware that he is idealizing himself.” (Our Inner Conflicts, p. 97)

This idealization can take many forms. Beauty, power, intelligence, genius, saintliness and honesty are just a few of the examples she cites. This idealization becomes a substitute for realistic self-confidence and realistic pride.

Not an attempt here to get too deep into the psychology, but it’s interesting that these thoughts preceded the dream and subsequently followed as well.

Related Link


I began keeping a dream diary in seventh grade. It seemed like the subconscious nocturnal activity was more interesting than my real life. Dreams can often be quite fascinating.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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