If you give a child in kindergarten school a book which has no pictures, he will not be interested at all because he has not yet learned to think in words. But he can dream more perfectly than you can dream; he dreams so perfectly that once in a while you will find a child waking up in the morning and crying, “Just now I had my bicycle. Where has it gone?” He was dreaming of riding on his bicycle, and as he opens his eyes he is in his bed and the bicycle has gone. And his dream is so clear that it is very difficult for him to make a distinction between the real bicycle and a dream bicycle; they look almost alike.
We are grown up, but our unconscious never grows, it remains a child. So in sleep, when your conscious mind – which has learned language, concepts, words – is fast asleep, your unconscious starts dreaming. It is a child, so every thought form has to be translated by the unconscious mind into a picture form.
This is one of the great discoveries of Sigmund Freud: listening to your dreams. And he does the opposite process, translates your dream back from picture form into language, into concepts, into words. It needs a tremendous expertise. Still, nobody can be certain about it. If you go to Sigmund Freud, each dream will end up as something sexual, because it is his idea, that all sex is repressed.
It is true that much sexuality is repressed, but there are many other things also which are repressed; it is not only sex. But it is a problem with inventors and pioneers particularly; they become so obsessed with their findings that they don’t take note of other possibilities. Freud’s own disciple, Adler, went away from him just because Adler said that sex can be a part of repression, but that is not all. His own idea was that ambition, will to power, is far more important, and that a major part of your dreams concerns the will to power.
For example, you dream that you have become a bird and you are flying. To Sigmund Freud it will symbolize only that you want the same sexual freedom as the birds and the animals, nothing else. But to Adler it will mean that flying upwards means you are ambitious, you want to become the prime minister. But this is all guesswork.
Another disciple, Carl Gustav Jung, also went away from Freud because he was more interested in ancient mythologies and he thought that our dreams are part of our previous lives. So if you are a bird flying, he will interpret it that in some of your past lives you have been a bird.
Now what to do with these people, and how to decide? The language of pictures cannot be precise. It is almost like a painting: many people can see it and can decide its meaning in different ways. Just as the child has a picture language, your unconscious has a picture language.
I am not interested in interpreting your dreams because it is such a rubbish job. You can go on interpreting for years and years, and the dreams will not come to an end – every day, six hours every night you have to dream. And you have inexhaustible sources of dreaming. And it is very quick – the dream time is not the same as your ordinary time. Just reading your newspaper, you may fall asleep for a minute and you may see a dream which spreads for years. When you wake up you look at your watch and only one minute has passed. You say, “My God, in one minute I saw a dream which was spread for a whole year, or even for years.”