A dreamy phone date

Seeking insight into your subconscious? It's your lucky day. Just place a call to the School of Metaphysics.

April 25, 1999|By Sarah Pekkanen | Sarah Pekkanen,Sun Staff

Babies do it. So do businessmen. Your fifth-grade teacher did it, too. Some of us swear we never do it, but we're lying. Freud certainly did it -- and he was really, really interested in it.

We're talking about dreaming, of course -- and not those delicious daytime fantasies about the speech you'll give your boss when the Powerball gods finally smile upon you. It wouldn't take a psychiatrist to uncover the root cause of that reverie. No, we speak of the nocturnal visions that flit up from the deepest layers of your subconscious, which can be far more perplexing.

Are you hopelessly twisted if you dream that you're arguing with your mother -- and she's wearing a diaper? And why do you always end up giving that big speech naked?

The bad news, perhaps, according to the School of Metaphysics, a tiny, nonprofit institute in Missouri that has interpreted dreams for 25 years, is that all dreams are significant. The good news? The meaning of your dreams is probably very different from what you think it is.

Take Paul Blosser, who was vice president of a financial services company when he began suffering recurring dreams about his teeth.

"I'd be talking to someone and they'd all fall out in my hands," he said. "It was so gross and disgusting -- I couldn't understand it."

Much to his relief, Blosser learned that teeth represent "the mental tools we have to ... learn and grow from." Clearly, he wasn't using those tools well, he says. That knowledge inspired him to quit his job and start his own computer consultancy.

Blosser is now a teacher at the School of Metaphysics, which offers a doctorate in metaphysics -- the study of the nature of being or reality -- but is not accredited. According to its literature, the school aims to help its 100-plus students access the 90 percent of brain power that goes unused -- and dream interpretation plays a big role in that goal.

While all this might seem a bit heavy, dream interpretation doesn't have to mean an upheaval. In some cases, it can provide simple reassurance.

Someone who dreams their spouse is cheating on them "needs to be committed to themselves and their own ideals," Blosser says. "It's not about their spouse at all." And people disturbed by dreams about killing someone may be merely going through a change.

"Everybody dreams, and everybody has some kind of experience with dreams -- good, bad or otherwise -- and they want to understand," Blosser said.

And the School of Metaphysics wants to help.

This weekend, as it has each April for the last several years, it will staff a National Dream Hotline. Its "dream interpreters" will help callers (at 417-345-8411) decode their dreams' symbols and what they might mean.

They do not, the school emphasizes, offer counseling. That's because a dream's significance must be determined by the dreamer.

"The dreams are in symbols, and they tell you about your attitudes," say school officials. "They are not telling you about the literal events in your life."

The lines are open tonight until midnight Central time (that's 1 a.m. in Baltimore). But be forewarned: Last year, more than 1,000 callers jammed the phone lines. While waiting your turn, it might be smart to keep a cup of strong coffee handy, just so you don't drift off into dreamland.

Do-it-yourself dream analysis

Feel like playing Freud? Here are the hidden meanings of some common dream symbols, according to the School of Metaphysics:

Car or small truck: The physical body

Animals: Habits

Mansion: The mind

Baby: A new idea

Food: Knowledge

Mountain: A challenge or obstacle

Nakedness: Openness and honesty

Roads: The dreamer's direction in life

Hands: Purpose

Death: Change

If you can't get through to the National Dream Hotline, the school also has a Web site -- www.som.org/symbols.htm -- that lists more dream symbols, common questions about dreams, and a "dream of the month" that you can try to decipher.

Pub Date: 04/25/99

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