The “Naked” Dream


Beginning with “Gated Religions” I’ve been far more outspoken about social issues than is normal for me.  One night three weeks into the series of posts about injustice I had two dreams depicting my feelings about the new direction my blog is taking. I’d like to share the first one here, partly because it contains one of the commonest dream themes of all — being naked in public — and partly because it helps me illustrate the point I made in “Under the Big Top” about what it’s like for me to try to stay conscious. Next time I’ll tell you about the second dream.
Dream #4251: Nude Descending Stairs
I’m in a public square in an urban area. I’ve walked up a flight of steps to a higher level and am ready to go back down. I go to the edge of the platform I’m on intending to step down, but see I’m much higher than I thought. I return to the steps but am intimidated by their narrowness and the fact that there are no railings. I’m concerned about losing my balance and falling and making a public spectacle of myself. It seems as if I’m wearing big clunky boots that might cause me to mis-step and will make it harder to feel my way. Then I look down at myself and realize, Oh! I’m naked. No shoes, nothing. With a flash of awareness I realize there’s no way I’d be naked in public so this has to be a dream. This delights me. Well then, I think. If this is a dream I have nothing to lose. I shall descend the stairs, proudly naked for all to see! I take a deep breath and in a queenly gesture I throw back my shoulders, spread out my arms, and glide serenely down the steps.
The dream says I’m feeling a bit too high for comfort and want to get down. My first thought is that I want to stay balanced (a frequent concern of mine; hence, the sense of walking a tightrope I wrote about in Under the Big top). My second is that I don’t want to publicly embarrass myself. But seeing my nakedness awakens me to the reality that I’m dreaming and after that I feel wonderful.
In my experience, lucid dreams (dreams in which you know you’re dreaming) point to a new level of awareness in which you have seen a limiting fear or assumption and are acquiring the courage to rise above it. It’s like you’ve realized, If life is just a dream, I have nothing to fear by being me. When I reflect on my waking life I see that what I’m overcoming is a gut-level childhood fear of attracting criticism or controversy for expressing my honest opinions.  After the Lone Ranger shot me and my father died, all confidence and security vanished, danger awaited the smallest mis-step, and conflict felt profoundly life-threatening.
Blessedly, for the moment, at least, I’m losing my fear of exposing the naked truth about my views and feeling positive, confident, and empowered. Hence, my queenly stroll down the steps! If I’d rushed to cover myself up, this dream would be showing me how intimidated I still am at the prospect of public vulnerability and censure.
This is incredibly liberating. I’m reminded of the line from Kris Kristofferson’s song, Me and Bobby McGee: “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Sort of like being naked. No more masks to take off. Rock on, Kris!

Join 5,847 other subscribers


0 Responses

  1. I really like this blog entry…i am vivid dreamer and often I found myself going to new heights after I realize what the dreams means. Many dreams I do not understand but there is nothing more than understanding that there is nothing to lose.

  2. Thanks, gr8nrg4ever, and what a great name!
    Yes, I have the same experience after I understand a dream: more insight into myself, more assurance that I’m growing in awareness, a stronger sense of connection to the Mystery. I rarely understand a dream unless I spend a lot of time on it but the naked dream is easier than most, and enormously rewarding when you realize you have nothing to hide and nothing to lose!!

  3. Dear Jeanie,
    I woke up this morning wanting to say thank you for sharing your poignant, honest and heartfelt thoughts and feelings concerning the current political atmosphere of incivility – “No More Toxic Airwaves Please.” Then when I checked my emails, there was your new post sharing your inspiring and affirming dream.
    Thank you for sharing your naked, honest and real feelings. I felt grateful and wave of joy when I read your post “No More Toxic Air Waves Please.” It was a catalyst and an affirmation for me, both in my writing and in my personal life.
    There is a story in Marie Von Franz’s book on evil and fairy tales that spoke to me years ago. It is in essence about how sometimes we must say no, no more. There are times to pull the plug of approval.
    I am a devoted disciple of inner work, and, in addition, I needed to become equally conscious and aware of my environment and say “No More Toxic Airwaves Please” when necessary. To be silent in the midst of bullying behavior, culturally, or personally gives a tacit approval I am no longer willing to give. Saying “no” or “no more” can be as civil and mutually respectful as saying “yes.” It can be a great expression of love.
    (From your post-“Making a Difference”) – “We need to listen to our bodies, know our limits and protect our boundaries; and we need to center ourselves in a meaningful practice that renews our energy and generates a loving, peaceful attitude.” Yes!
    When I first began sharing my naked truth, I felt terrified. However, with lots of time and practice, the gifts of growth are nothing short of miraculous. I continue to learn! When I feel, think, write or speak my naked truth weaving together my “yes’s” and my “no’s,” the authentic tapestry of my life weaves together my authentic expression of me and reveals my contribution and signals others of like mind. I feel congruent, liberated and more human.
    Thanks again for sharing your naked truth and here’s to all of us sharing and learning from our naked truth – “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Sort of like being naked. No more masks to take off. Rock on, Kris!” – “If life is just a dream, I have nothing to fear by being me”
    Right on and Rock on Jeanie! I want to join in that naked chorus! 🙂
    Love from your soul sister, Sandy

  4. Oh, dear soul sister, Sandy,
    We are so on the same wave length. And I’m so glad my words are helping you become clearer and stronger in your own truthsl We must keep doing this for each other and for the younger women who are watching and learning from us. Sharing our naked truths can be difficult, but it is essential if we are to discover our worth and inspire and empower others to do the same.
    I love imagining the beautiful music our naked chorus will produce!!!

  5. Jean,
    It seems we have much in common in our attempts to keep a good balance. Like you I am very much concerned about social issues and in the past have voiced my opinions in public forums. But that kind of involvement often provokes my antagonist side and leaves me feeling uncomfortable. I think it is one thing to bare one’s soul in an affirmative light but voicing opinions can sometimes bare too much of the ego self in a negative way. I’ve decided to refrain from engaging in such activities if for nothing else to maintain my blood pressurel.
    On the subject of lucid dreaming. I have been invited to give several workshops at next month’s Earth Dance festival in Lakeland, Fl. and have encountered many questions about lucid dreaming. Many who attend the festival are young people and there is a focus on using ‘conscious’ lucidity in dreams. In affect they are attempting to ‘play’ with their dreams in a controlled effort. My thoughts are that while lucid dreaming can be an excellent tool of engaging the unconscious in a Q & A style intent to learn more about oneself, attempting to control the dream to this extent can affect the therapeutic value of dreams. What are your thoughts on the issue of too much control of a dream through lucidity?

    1. Hi Jerry,
      You make an excellent point about how “voicing opinion can sometimes bare too much of the ego self in a negative way.” This is so true. We need to feel free to speak the truth but not out of smugness, belligerence, hostility, superiority, self-righteousness, etc. It’s one of those “razor’s edge” issues where the point is to be conscious of our feelings and real motives so we approach a conflict with the intent to heal it instead of contributing to its toxicity.
      Wishing you well with your dream workshops next month! I don’t know anything about the Earth Dance festival, but I’ll be in Florida for two weekends in Sept. and would love to check it out if my schedule permits. Lucid dreaming is extremely appealing, of course, but, once again, the problem is ego inflation. When lucidity occurs naturally, it’s a gift to be cherished and learned from, but when it’s sought for its own sake as a way to bolster our ego’s need to feel important and special, it may not serve our best interest.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts