At The Edge – Dream Analysis

The Dream: “I am a super sleuth person in a kind of Bond Film. A helicopter drops us off on a sky scraper building with smooth black glass (futuristic modern type). The helicopter on the landing pad is making an incredibly loud helicopter noise. I am holding on to the edge of the building with my finger tips. My super sleuth partner tells me I can let go because I have helicopter super powers and will fly down to the ground safely. I am doubtful. Why isn’t he doing that? I look down. There is the river Thames beneath me. I start lowering myself down the the building like a scared spider woman. (The fear. Oh! The fear. That river Thames!!!!)”

I’ll ignore the taxomony and idioms for this one.

Dreams of falling, or fear of falling, are very common and can take many forms. The briefest of these dreams is the leg jerk experience where one is dropping off to sleep and feels as though they have slipped on ice. Whilst this may come complete with a biological/neurological explanation, it also frequently comes with a brief dream image.

On my way home from a night shift in a mental health unit I had this experience as I dropped off to sleep on the bus. I was surrounded by school children and depressed looking people on their way to work and in the falling experience I grabbed for my bag and snatched it as though in a panic startling those immediately next to me. I was eyed suspiciously for the rest of the journey and the following day caught a different bus.

In movies when people panic they scream and they scream a lot. In real life, however, people tend to scream only briefly when startled, a lot more when when in great pain and quite a lot when falling. And it seems that falling is one of the most archetypal in-built fears we have. It’s quite reasonable that we expect the ground – the planet beneath our feet – to support us, and when that support fails, it is akin to a certain death. It can feel a lot like the end of the world, or the end of us at the very least.

Think about experiences where the support you had from others was suddenly taken away with warning. It’s rarely a pleasant feeling.

There are other complicated experiences that can add interesting dimensions to this. For example, we are given support we don’t need or want, but for various reasons are forced or obliged to accept it regardless. This is common in families and close relationships and can make things very complicated emotionally. Then, we allow a certain dependency on this support because it is the right thing to do and then…. well, they let us down.

Anyone who has experienced this first hand will know what I am talking about here. It leads to a whole host of intense and seemingly irrational emotional responses in us. The desire to murder mostly, or that might just be me.

Anyway, my own observation is that the people who do this to us will remain blissfully unaware of their behaviour and will continue doing it to us regardless of how you respond or deal with them.

It is this complex set of experiences that is being played out in this particular dream. The helicopter being a mode of transport makes it more likely than not to be about a work situation, but there are too many counterexamples to be certain. My estimate is that there is about an 80% likelihood of a transportation metaphor possessing the theme of business/work.

So we have a helicopter dropping the dreamer off on top of a tall modernistic building. This is a high status issue, and the dreamer is in an exciting role that may offer great adventure, but also it offers a great personal risk.

Essentially, we can suggest that the support she had placed her in a difficult and risky position where she was placed at great risk of letting herself down.

This is a common political move in friendships and workplaces where someone wishes to deliberately sabotage another person. Encourage them into positions and roles where we know they will fail. I’ve known first hand a number of situations where this has happened to people I know, or people who came to consult me for help. Most of the time though there is no conspiracy, it is just that the person encouraging the other isn’t actually as clever or as insightful into the capabilities of the other person as they thought they were.

Be wary about other people who think they know your capabilities. One personal example was the idiotic time i decided my life needed to be more interested and so I went to do a weekend of parachuting out of an airplane. One half day in a hanger pretending to be parachuting and then off we go, let’s go jump they all said. Getting ready to board the plane I was so afraid because I knew so little about the whole thing that I simply refused to get in.

“Go on, you can do it” they all said. “No,” I said. They gave me reassurance, encouraged me, told me everything would be fine. I refused and walked away from the plane and went home. I rarely allow myself to be put into situations, literal, metaphorical, social, or otherwise simply because other people think it will be good for me (or good for them). I have found that as a result, I am often considered rude.

I once I was told, “Your problem is that you don’t like being told what to do.” Err, well, yes, naturally. Just think about the mindset of a person who’d say such a thing to another person with such conviction and not realise what they are saying.

Anyway our dreamer is in the situation and now the excitement of it all is starting to change as the support on which she was dependent is no longer available to her. The dreamer correctly wonders where her sleuth partner is correct about her super helicopter powers. She is hanging on by her fingertips, not wanting to let herself down.

So, she is caught in the complex conundrum of knowing her own abilities versus trusting her sleuth partner. If she stays, she will be hanging there for ever….on the edge.

If she trusts her partner and the partner is correct she might fly and be a high flyer. But only she can know for sure if she is able to support herself in the absence of being grounded and down to earth. Protip: She can’t fly. She will fall like a brick, and drop herself in it (i.e. the Thames) and once more struggle against the flow, or have to go with the flow in order to get grounded and secure again.

So this reduces it down to a simple choice. Continue to hang on in there, living on the edge. Or let go, take a fall and drop herself in it. The “it” into which she would drop has a very displeasing familiar to it, “(The fear. Oh! The fear. That river Thames!!!!)”

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