For example, the mandala is one of the mythological symbols. It has been recurring all over the world. In old Christian paintings it is there. In old Tibetan paintings it is there. In Chinese, Japanese and Indian art the circle has a fascination. Somehow, when your sight becomes circular, when it becomes a current, joined together, undivided, you begin to see a circle in your vision, in your dreams. That circle represents your reality. In the same way, all symbols represent inner subjective realities. And if a society gives a particular shape to a deity, it becomes very helpful. It becomes very helpful for the seeker because now he can decode many inner visions.
Freud inaugurated a new era in the West by interpreting dreams. Before Freud, in the West, no one was really interested in dreams. No one thought that dreams could have some meaning, or that dreams could have some reality of their own, or that they could have some secret keys which could open the personality of men. But in India it has always been known. We have always been interpreting dreams. And not only dreams, because dreams are ordinary: we have also been interpreting visions. Visions are the dreams of those persons who are meditating and changing their consciousness. They are also dreams. In ordinary consciousness dreams happen and now Freudian psychology has come to conclude that a particular pattern of dreams shows a particular meaning.
For example, a person goes on seeing in his dream that he is flying in the sky, that he has become a bird. He goes on flying: over hills, mountains, rivers, oceans, cities, he goes on flying. Freud says this type of dream, a dream of flying, happens to the mind which is very ambitious. Ambition becomes flying in dreams. You want to be above everyone – above hills, above everyone. If you can fly, you will be above everyone. Ambition is an effort to fly above everyone. In dream, ambition becomes a pictorial image of flying.
Sexual dreams have a similar pattern all over the world. When boys become sexually mature they will start dreaming of holes, tunnels. Those holes, tunnels, are symbols of the feminine sex center, of the vagina. Girls will start seeing phallic symbols – pillars or minarets – in their dreams. And this happens all over the world: all over the world there is no distinction; this happening is similar. Phallic symbols will come to girls and hole-like symbols will come to boys.
If in a particular sexual state particular dreams happen, they have a reality. That reality is subjective. It is just the same when you enter meditation: you are entering a different state of consciousness. Then particular visions will start happening. They are also dreams, but we call them visions because they are not normal. Unless you achieve a certain state in meditation they will not happen. They show that something is happening within. They project your inner realities on the screen of the mind in a pictorial way.
Remember that your unconscious mind does not know any language. Your unconscious mind knows only the most primitive language and that is of pictures. Your conscious mind has learned language symbols, but the unconscious mind still remains pictorial just like a small child. It converts everything into pictures.