SEX, SYMBOLS & DREAMS by Janice Baylis, Ph.D. Sun, Man, Moon, Inc. 1997
What a delight. Sex, Symbols & Dreams is as entertaining as it is
informative and scholarly. Thumbing through the book I first noticed all the
little comic strips - over 50 of them. The delight was in discovering that
Janice Baylis had found a connection, a definite parallel between the
dream-mind's use of associative thinking and cartoonist's use of the same
For example dreams sometimes present pictures of idioms. Baylis presents a
dream Carl Jung reported having in which a man was trying to jump on his back.
Jung interpreted it as a picture of the German idiom 'you can climb on my back';
which means 'I don't care what you say about me.'. This is similar to our
American 'Go jump in the lake'. Baylis also presents a DRABBLE comic picturing
Penny, the daughter, asks, "Mommy can we all go to the water park
today?" Mommy answers, "That's a wonderful idea. Why don't you put a
bug in Daddy's ear?" "OK" says Penny. The final picture shows the
little girl putting an actual bug in the sleeping daddy's ear. She is calling to
her Mommy, "Now can we go to the water park?"
Sex, Symbols & Dreams goes on like this for seven chapters with dream
examples from various sources - Artemidorus, Bible, Cayce, Delaney, Freud, Jung
etc. - and coordinated comics ADAM to ZIGGY.
*Her premise, that the dream-mind operates mainly on an associative linking
process methodology, is extremely well supported by her research through the
For each type of associative link Sex, Symbols & Dreams provides a
coordinated dream using sexual imagery. For example in this dream the bed has
sexual connotations. A twenty-three year old woman dreamt she was in bed with
her step-father. She is facing him. He is dead and blue and wrapped like a
This step-father had sexually molested the dreamer when she was fourteen. Bad
feelings from that experience had been in bed with her ever since, affecting her
sex life. But now the feelings were finally dead. The "blues"/sadness
are dead. The problem is "all wrapped up", an idiom for concluding a
task successfully or striking the winning blow.
*That is how Part I of Sex, Symbols & Dreams is organized. This lesson
plan is applied to seven symbol systems each with several elements. Idioms are
an element in the Figures of Speech System. The other systems are Life
Experiences - personal, cultural, universal; Qualities; Words; People; Family
and Psychological. The Psychological takes three chapters, "Your
Personality", "Personality Plus" getting the components into
balance; and "Beyond Personality", the transcendent function
connecting to higher consciousness.*
Part II focuses on sexual dreams including the Freudian kind. But, the other
side of the coin, dreams with overt sexual imagery, are Baylis's special
interest. There is a plethora of dream examples where sexual images function to
represent or symbolize something non-sexual. For example the alcoholic woman's
dream of being raped in a public bar to picture how her alcohol addiction was
overwhelming and violating her body and her life.
Part III presents a case study of one young woman's dream series dealing with
her self-esteem issues and her relationship to men.
Part IV gives the reader a set of summary charts for the elements in each
symbol substitution system. There is also a mini-dictionary showing how the same
image would have a different meaning in the different systems. The reader can
apply this to images in their own dreams.
Perhaps the material should have been presented in two separate books. One
book for the associative symbol systems and another book for the sexual
symbolism might have been better.
I learned an enormous amount about the way the dream-mind substitutes images
for related ideas/meanings. I enjoyed the studying. I agree with Rita Dwyer, she
remarked, "Fascinating stuff!"
SEX, SYMBOLS & DREAMS is available at bookstores by special order; on
Internet at amazon.com or at 1-888-522-9547.