Electric Dreams

Electing to Dream

David Jenkins, PhD

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Jenkins, David, PhD (2006 November). DreamRePlay: Electing to Dream. Electric Dreams 13(11).

Regardless of your political views, there is so much media focus on the upcoming November 7th elections, that it would be close to impossible for your Waking-self not to notice. But how about your Dream-self?

We don't usually dream about current events. By and large, we dream about the people and relationships in our immediate life. Sometimes we dream about larger-than-life characters such as movie stars, but it is rare that we go beyond that personal sphere. Nevertheless, there are times when the dreams of entire populations share some common themes.

After September 11, many people had dreams that referred to the World Trade Center. A Brooklyn woman dreamed she was searching through the rubble for her childhood security blanket. That's a very direct and, for her, painful reference. A California man dreamed he was lost in New York on Bombay Street. Since he knew of no such street, the pun in "Bomb Bay" indirectly suggested a fear that the San Francisco Bay might also be bombed.

Many people responded to the Hurricane Katrina disaster with related dreams, which ranged from being swept away by floods to cleaning up the mess.

Elections are not quite the same as disasters, but their importance can bring them into our dreams.

Because our dreams tend to resonate with the emotions we are experiencing, you may dream you are talking to the elected leaders you prefer and everyone is listening to you. You might dream your side has lost the election by one vote.

Don't be surprised if your dreams tell you what you want to hear. One Democrat, in 2004, jumped the gun and dreamed:

I was napping on the sofa while my daughter watched TV to see who was winning the election. Suddenly I awoke [in the dream] to lots of cheering and triumphant sounding music. I asked, "Who won? Did someone win?" My daughter just sat and smiled at me. Again I asked her, "Who won, who won? Did Kerry win?" Finally she answered me with, "YES!!!!" We were overjoyed and started calling friends to make sure everyone knew.

John Kerry, of course, lost that election.


If you are actively involved in election campaigning, you may well be too exhausted to dream.

If you are unsure who to vote for, maybe you’ll have a dream that tips the balance.

As with all dreams, consider the Dream-self as a separate person and have a conversation. That other part of you may well have a very different slant on politics than you do.


That's the title of a piece in last Sunday's Washington Post in which I was a featured expert. Readers sent in dreams and several dream experts made comments on them.

I didn't think I was trying to get "into readers' heads" but I did ask the same kinds of questions I discuss in these columns. Regular readers of my column will recognize the "Movie method" and "Continue the dream" techniques.

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