Dream Symbolism

Based on our Body Structure & Sensory Perception





written by Alfred Ballabene


translated by Seth



For an illustrated version of this free ebook and personal contact please visit 

Table of Contents



Dreams and their Origin


Sensory Perception and Processing


The Hierarchy of Dream Symbols


Moving and Non-Moving Objects


The Four Cardinal Points


Direction of Movement from Left to Right


Meaning of the Vertical Axis


Bright-Dark Symbolism


Good-Evil Polarity


Rising and Development


Symbolism of Colors


The Four Elements

0. Dreams and their Origin

"I see a lime-green cactus without any thorns. It has this characteristic rosette shape out of which smaller and smaller leafs grow. On top of the plant is a beautiful pink flower. While I am looking at it bewildered, I hear a voice that says: "Whoever sees the basic material of dreams can read them like storybooks." I wake up and am happy about this friendly message.” (Ch.)


Before we start thinking about dream symbols, first we should think about the nature of the dream language. Our verbal language is based on tonal vibrations which follow a linear flow. Our words are formed by sound modulations which build our language. Sometimes this tonal language also occurs in our dreams. Primarily, however, dreams are a metaphorical and visual language. Imagine you were deaf and mute but had something like a computer monitor on which you could create pictures without having much effort. Now think of a situation where you want to say something like: “I'm hungry.” How would you illustrate that message? Or “I'm scared.” How would you express that without using tonal language? You could only speak in an image sequence. How would you choose this sequence?

It is highly interesting to think the other way around. Not as the interpreter but as the speaker. The human race is using this language since millions of years and even today people who try to interpret dreams pay too little attention to the fact that dreams mainly use this pictorial language. The many peculiarities of the dream content are caused by this special kind of language.

1. Sensory Perception and Processing

The center of our organic grown consciousness is the brain. This organ is located in a bone shell and has to paint a picture of our surroundings by using only a few sensors. The amount of sensory input must be kept low. All the dots, curves and color patches that are registered by the eye represent a huge amount of information. The bigger the amount of information the longer it takes to process it. Because of the large quantity of input, the brain presumably forms a number of layouts. The information flow into these layouts, which are not only form elements, but also filled with emotions and put in relation to each other. We find them in our dreams as symbols. If we think of dreaming as a neurological process these layouts are probably being related to other layouts.

2. The Hierarchy of Dream Symbols

In the opening paragraph, I tried to portray the dream imagery as a product of a cerebral process. If this is the case then one can assume that there has to be a hierarchy in the meaning of the symbols.


Verlag: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG

Cover: Seth
Übersetzung: Seth
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 18.02.2018
ISBN: 978-3-7438-5686-8

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