Electric Dreams

Dreams and
Speaking the Truth

David Jenkins, PhD

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Jenkins, David, PhD (2006 August). DreamRePlay: Dreams and Speaking the Truth.
Electric Dreams 13(8).

In waking life it is often easier to settle for less than the whole truth. Convention, politeness, diplomacy, ambition, obligations and other issues take priority, making half truths, or even fibs and falsehoods more likely. The ability to say something in a way that avoids revealing our true beliefs is a skill we all must learn.

The danger is that we start to believe our own half truths.

Truth is an issue in dream work when your dream self is too constrained to say what he or she really wants and needs to say. The great benefit of dream work is that you have no reason not to speak truthfully to dream characters. You are totally free to work out what you really believe and then practice how best to say it in a clear and non-threatening way, which will support you in your waking life.

Sissy's Dream

I dream I am walking down the street on my way home. I see a cute little school girl. She is selling kittens and asks me to buy one. I tell her that I am in a hurry to get home.

In fact Sissy felt like saying, "No way. Potty training a cat is that last thing I'd want to do." Sissy didn't want to hurt the girl's feelings but she hid her own feelings by implying that, if she were not too busy, she would have taken a kitten.

I asked her how she could tell the whole truth to the girl without hurting her feelings. After some experimenting, Sissy decided to say: "I would not be a good person to look after a kitten because I don't really like animals and you need to find someone who would really enjoy your kitty." That answer allowed Sissy to be true to her own feelings as well as kind.

Tom's Dream

I dream I am with a group of people from work and an old acquaintance, Dan, comes up and says hello. We are all going to a conference. Because he is friendly, I feel I ought to be friendly back. I give him my business card. But I have a funny feeling that I shouldn't. I say, "Call me, letís have lunch sometime."

When Tom woke up, he felt hopping mad at himself. In waking life, Dan had stolen money from his friend Jane when they were all in graduate school. Tom was so strongly influenced by convention that he was outwardly friendly even when he didn't feel that way.

We first explored what Tom really wanted to say to Dan (on the lines of "You louse! Give back the money.") The problem for Tom was that he and Dan were not alone. That dream context was not the time or place to show his anger at Dan. Tom tried saying, "Nice to see you again" but realized that was completely untrue. Then he said "Have a nice day." That was acceptable because it was meaningless. Then Tom said, "It brings back memories to see you again," which was far closer to his real meaning. Both he and Dan would understand the implication.


In waking life we are under a great pressure to avoid the truth. We fear that the truth will hurt other people or that the truth will be used against us. "Looking good" is often easier. But, over time, we can lose sight of what it is we truly believe.

Saying what you believe in a way that is acceptable to the listener is a skill that needs to be learned. You can start learning this process in your dreams. Even though these examples might seem simplistic, they were powerful experiences for the dreamers and helped them to speak up for themselves in waking life.

Dream Analysis By Telephone

A phone consultation is a great way to begin your exploration of dream work. It is also perfect when you don't have the time to attend a regular class but want to discuss a particular dream.

David is available for dream consultations by phone. The current cost is $50 per hour. A typical dream analysis might consist of a 30-45 minute discussion of the dream and a follow up after the next dream.

David's hours for telephone consultations are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 7 pm, Pacific Time. To make an appointment, please email him with two or three times when you are available and your phone number. He will e-mail you back with an appointment time, payment information and request a confirmation. David's e-mail address is davidj@dreamreplay.com

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