The Train Station by Miroshu
I am now 24 and I can say I have been having this dream consistently for at
most 20 years. I am always trapped in a train station either taking the trains
in the wrong direction or missing the trains completely, or trying to get to the
right train. By the way it is not always the same train station and I ride the
train almost daily in my "real life". In my dreams the stations never
appear as they really are in "real life" but are close enough. I have
a naturally good sense of direction in "real life", I can be somewhere
once and go there again without thinking about where I have to go my body just
leads me and I know the subway systems very well but in my dreams it is a
totally different story. In my dreams when I receive advice from other
passengers it gets me into more trouble when trying to get out of the station.
Basically my goal is to leave, get out of the train station but I never seem to
make it. I take the stairs only to find that I am in another area of the
station. I am usually by myself sometimes with my sisters, or my best friend or
my boyfriend. I almost made it out one time I got out but I was not were I
wanted to be so I had to go back again in the damn train station. I am so
annoyed. I need to figure it out cause I need to get out of the train station
I think this may have to do with the decisions in my life but I am not that sure
because this is a dream that I have been having since I was a little girl. I
really have no clue where I am trying to go.
The I Ching's answer: Learning to command your potential
The I Ching's perspective on this recurring dream both explains what it is
showing you, and also sets this experience in a wider context, showing you what
you will need to achieve to get out of that station!
It begins with hexagram 4, Learning, which tells you why you find yourself
trapped in the station. You are still learning, still ignorant, like a growing
plant that is covered over. The cover means things are hidden from you: this
mirrors the dream image of being caught underground, unable to find the way up,
out of the station and into the daylight. But a cover can also be useful, as a
way of protecting and nurturing hidden growth. The Judgement (main text) of
Hexagram 4 shows this at work. A teacher is speaking:
'Learning, growth. I do not seek the young learner, the young learner seeks me.
To ask once brings you insight; to ask two or three times brings only confusion,
not insight. You benefit from determination.'
In other words, you receive answers only when you are ready, which is why
asking your fellow passengers for directions gets you nowhere. I suspect that
you've revealed the heart of the situation yourself in your comments: 'I really
have no clue where I am trying to go.' A station offers you many choices of
route, and many exits onto different streets in the 'real world' above - it is
where you choose your future direction. If you're not sure where you want to go,
you won't be able to leave the station.
In fact, this image is an indication that you have set off - your journey is
underway. In the I Ching, Hexagram 3 represents birth, and hexagram 4 the next
stage - growth and learning. In some ways, this stage is more difficult: 'Birth:
clear vision, not losing your grip on your dwelling place. Learning: disorder,
obvious.' Enlightenment comes later - but once you have left your dwelling place
and moved out into the world, your first experience is naturally of confusion.
Your situation is pinpointed by just one moving line, line 6: 'Striking the
learner. Violence is no use; useful to resist violence.' This, I think,
expresses your current state of frustration. You keep having the same dream, and
you are understandably annoyed at being stuck in 'the damn train station'! In
other words, you are hitting out at your own ignorance. The I Ching acknowledges
your irritation, but also warns that it won't get you anywhere.
The way things can change is depicted by the inner Pattern of Change,
hexagram 43, Deciding: 'Decision. Declaring it in the ruler's chambers, crying
out with sincerity. Danger. Notify your own capital city. It is no use to take
up arms; it is beneficial to have a direction to go.' So your intuition about
your dream is quite right: this has to do with decisions. When you first dreamt
it as a child, important decisions were being made for you; now, you have the
chance to take them for yourself. The next stage is to decide where you want to
go: this is the fork in the path, and following one route means ruling out other
possibilities. Then you can bring this decision into the open - being clear in
your own mind, and then open and firm with other people. Once again, overt
aggression ('taking up arms') is of no use.
The wider context for all this is shown in the Relating Hexagram: 7, the
Army. This hexagram is not about attacking, but about organising potential to
make it useful in practice. The Chinese 'army' was actually just the mass of
common people, not a separate group: the strength of the country was hidden in
the people, like an underground river. This offers you a new perspective on the
things that are hidden from you - they can include underground currents of
strength, and maybe aggression. This mass of unorganised potential calls for you
to become a strong leader, embracing all parts of yourself, taking
responsibility for your own potential and managing it like a general, or a great
teacher. Find your most important principles - like a general finding his ruler
- and organise your life around them.
The Nuclear Hexagram for both Hexagrams 4 and 7 is 24, Return. This is the
potential at the heart of both learning and of taking responsibility: renewal,
and a return to fundamentals. It can also mean a turning point, when you
rediscover the right path for you. This is the hexagram of the winter solstice:
the darkest time is also when the light begins imperceptibly to return. But the
solstice was a time for rest, not for traveling. It may be that a large part of
what you have to do here is simply wait for the understanding, growth and light
that will make it possible to move on.
The I Ching is the ancient Chinese oracle of change. For a hundred
generations, it has been answering people's questions, from dream interpretation
to career decisions, across the whole spectrum of human experience. I have been
learning from the I Ching for many years, and founded Clarity, a dedicated I
Ching consultation service, to make the oracle's help readily and simply
available to all who need it.
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