I Ching -or- Row, Row, Row Your Boat Gently Down the Stream

Social Change -or Changing Paradigms 

As a University student, I took an interest in the "I Ching", also known as the book of changes. At about the same time I became interested in the concept of the "Tao" especially as the concept was used in Fritjof Capra's "Tao of Physics". While many have critisized this physics-nature-mysticism connection, we hopefully stand at the threshold of a social change, changing our failing paradigmas of understanding.  Said differently, we are on the verge of a mythological sea change in our conscious understanding of nature and the unconscious. Effectively, these ideas were the basis of the collaboration between the psychiatrist Carl Jung and the Nobel prize winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli. Here is such a dream that speaks of the ideas of change. 

Nadine 31, Married 

The dream began with myself, three of my good friends and one of their husbands. I didn't think about the significance until I realized that one is getting married, one is pregnant and one is moving away from us. I chalked that interpretation up to change. We are all outside on a beautiful summer's night sitting on a hill watching a meteor shower. The moon is full and incredibly bright in the sky. All of a sudden though, we watch the moon go through all its phases and the earth suddenly spins to catch up.  We all pass out and when we wake up, we're in a boat on a wooded river. I look over the side of the boat, and there are fish everywhere. The water is incredibly clear and I can see trout, salmon, bass and other fresh water fish. They are all very healthy looking fish (not small at all but not frighteningly large). On our left is a waterfall which doesn't upset anyone but we reach for some paddles and start to paddle past the waterfall. We do this with great ease. As we continue to paddle, looking for a place to dock. My son then came to wake me up, the dream never ended.... 

Changes in Nature -or- Everything Flows 

There are many ways to understand social change and the social movements of history. Your view of change in your dream is based in part on the physical movements of the earth, the moon and the cosmos (the meteor shower). Life changes are found in the relationships of your friends; one is getting married, one is pregnant, and one is moving away. 

Your dream seems closely related to Heraclit's philosophical concept of change. Heraclit reportedly poetically said; "On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow". Said differently, "everything flows". The Chinese Tao Te Ching also uses the model of nature to understand the psychodynamics of change. 

You are all in the same boat, and there seems to be a sense of beauty in all this change, even the waterfall doesn't upset anyone, you are able to control your boat's path with great ease, evidently looking for a safe harbour to dock. On a final note, the nursery rhyme "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" seems to poetically fit the boat paddling sentiment of your dream. 

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.