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Monday, August 13, 2007

Dream Symbols 13: Exams

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Some years ago I dreamt I was working at a job and although I had all the letters after my name in the dream that I actually do in real life, I was told that I would need to return to high school for a few courses, and then to some undergraduate courses at university, and then I would need to complete another Ph.D. before I would be considered properly qualified to do the job I was working on for that particular firm. I was hugely embarrassed to be told that my already excellent qualifications were not sufficient, and furthermore angered, that I would need to spend even more time preparing and learning new aspects of my job.

In real life I was not working for someone else, but I had taken on quite a challenge, both professionally and personally, and as I woke, I realized that although I would neither be returning to high school nor to university, I was in for a steep learning curve in other areas. And so it was. The dream very correctly indicated the amount of learning I would be doing, and later, I have often referred to that time in my waking life as my second Ph.D.

As exams loom over us in dreams we may become extremely agitated and stressed, because in the dream we know we are not prepared. We know we will not do well on the exam, or may even be certain we will fail, and we know it has something to do with the fact that we simply did not do our work over time in order to be at the same level as the rest of the class.

In some instances we may in fact we very well prepared, but are not able to make it to the exam on time, and we know that if we are not there at a specific time, we will not be allowed to enter the exam room, and therefore will fail.

Or we may be on time, but not be able to find the room. Hence we are not able to write the exam, and hence we will fail. Or we finally find the room, but find we have not brought a pen, and we are not allowed to get another and no one will lend us one. Or we start answering the questions and realize that as time goes by, there are more and more questions, and that we are never going to get to the end of the exam in the allotted time.

Exam dreams can have many different interpretations, but clearly they are connected to something in real life that has either not been prepared properly, or sufficiently, or that needs some kind of enhancement. We may lack a sense of self esteem in some endeavour we are undertaking, a sense of self-confidence, and the feared exam in the dream attests to that. We may feel criticized or judged, although generally speaking, such criticism or judgement tends to rest with ourselves, rather than with someone in the outside world. In other words, the dream may be pointing us in the direction of preparation of matters that currently concern us, and of working on those parts of ourselves that may cause us such concern in real life.

Previous posts in this series are:

Dream Symbols 1: Pregnancy and Birth
Dream Symbols 2: Death
Dream Symbols 3: The Snake
Dream Symbols 4: The Butterfly
Dream Symbols 5: Flying
Dream Symbols 6: The House Part 1
Dream Symbols 7: The House Part 2: The Kitchen
Dream Symbols 8: The House Part 3: The Bathroom
Dream Symbols 9: The House Part 4: The Bedroom
Dream Symbols 10: Marriage
Dream Symbols 11: The Spider
Dream Symbols 12: Sex

You may also be interested in viewing some of the recommended dream books and books on symbolism on my website, as well as some of the dream links on my links page.

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