Sunday, 11 December 2016 22:49

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Dreams tell one what one's unconscious beliefs are

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

If you want to know about your real beliefs and motivations you have to go beyond what your conscious self tells you about you.  There is an unconscious part of you that determine what you do at the conscious level. That unconscious part of you is where your beliefs are, and those beliefs shape the world you see.

Ones beliefs literally determine the world one sees and reacts to.  Human society is really the product of our collective beliefs (what Carl Jung called our collective unconscious mind).

If you want to change your life, your conscious thinking and behaviors, you have to understand what is in your unconscious mind and what is in your society's collective unconscious mind.

Each ethnic group has a collective unconscious mind; members of each ethnic group tend to behave similarly because at the deep unconscious level they have the same beliefs actuating their conscious behaviors.

For example, in Igbos unconscious mind is belief that as they are they are nothing and a compensatory wish to become superior persons, to become very significant and special; that desire drives them to work hard and accomplish things. However, because its root is irrational it makes them do irrational things such as look down on other people whom they see as unarchiving and inferior to them and those feel angry at them and make life difficult for them and occasionally kill them to show them that they are not the supermen they think that they are.

Four years ago I returned to Anchorage, Alaska.  I used to live here but left it to explore alternative career opportunities (I wanted to work for myself and quit my job and went to Seattle and established my own school).  When I came back I did not have a guaranteed job so I relied on living off my savings and had to live as meagerly as is possible.

Apartments are very expensive in Anchorage.  For a two bedroom apartment, what I was looking for, you would pay anywhere from $1250 to $1500 dollars a month.

I saw an apartment and moved into it. In the past I am used to living in plush surroundings but now I just came back to town and was not sure if I would return to my old job at the local university or not so any kind of place to shack up at for a while, I thought, would do.

The very first evening that I moved into my new digs I looked around and noticed that I had moved into a poor people's neighborhood. There were many poor people and especially old people around.

My God, I said to myself, I am now living with the decrepit, the losers in life's race for survival. I was very annoyed with myself. I felt that I had come down to the lowest wrong of society. I felt that I ought to die rather than live with the poor.

I must confess that normally I do not have much respect for the poor. I have lived in Los Angeles and did not go to the poor part of the town, South Central; oh, maybe, I did drive through it once or twice but on the whole I stayed away from poor neighborhoods; I lived in West LA.  In Seattle I lived in the richest suburb, Issaquah. You get the idea; I do not like to be around the down and out people and in their part of town.

I made a mental note that I hope that things work out well for me, soon, so that I get the hell out of dodge and move to the suburbs, as I am used to living.  I simply did not want to be where I had moved into.


During my very first night in the apartment (actually it is good looking, it is just that it is in the wrong part of town) I had a dream.

In the dream my father came to visit me. I live on the third floor of that apartment building and father was on the first floor, at the foot of the stairs. I waved at him asking him to come on up.  He stood by the foot of the stairs, apparently contemplating something but did not come up.  Eventually, he smiled, waved goodbye and left.  I woke up.

Upon waking up, I wondered what the brief dream meant.  What the hell  was the man doing downstairs and why did he refuse to come up and instead smiled rather mischievously, waved goodbye to me and left.  Why didn't he come up, I pondered.

I thought about the dream for a while but did not quite get the import. Recently, however, I have been analyzing my dreams; finally, I think that I get what the dream was telling me.

My father felt that I was in psychological distress. His extraordinarily smart son who is supposed to be a member of the upper middle class is now living with the poor.  The son feels like shit and wishes that he is dead.

I would prefer to be dead than live with the poor. I do not like their values; they are too annoying for me to be around them.

In the apartment, death was in my mind; I asked myself how I descended so low in life.  Father knew that I was having negative thoughts and came to visit me. He and I have interesting relationships. Clearly, the man loves me but generally he does not tell me what to do. If truth is told I am his favorite son (I am also my grandfather's favorite grandson).

Father was downstairs and looked up at me and decided that I am his son, old Tom, a boy who is full of inner resources and can easily extricate  his self from whatever scrap  he finds his self in. He decided that I am up to the present task and that I do not need his help hence instead of coming up he left and went away.

The old boy knew that I was not going to kill myself; my present situation is just a temporary setback; old Tom can handle it. A little thinking and old Tom would rise to the top of the food chain, again.  I did not need his help, he felt, and left.

In father's judgment I have what it takes to survive anywhere I go to in this freaking world. All my life, the old man hesitated in telling me what to do; he always leaves me to figure things out for myself.

I am very stubborn and willful; I do not easily take advice from people; I think about things, decide on what to do and go do it.

In effect, I have subtly and not so subtly asked people to stay away from me and leave me alone and not meddle in my life, for I can always figure things out by myself.

Father felt that despite my anger at myself for coming to this low in life that I have the inner resources to take care of me. This has been his approach to me all my life.

Indeed, it has been the approach of all people to me. Folks around me believe that I am a strong man who wants to do things my way and pretty much leave me alone to do my own things.

I have had visions with Jesus in them. Even in those visions the old boy told me to go do my own thing and knew that he could not tell me what to do. He dared not see himself as my savior and rescuer.

Nobody is out there to rescue me; I want to rescue me; this is done by my wishes.

My first remembered dream happened when I was four years old. In that dream I was crawling in the middle of the street in front of our house and a truck came barreling down the street. I felt that it could crush me to death but instead of crawling away from the road I stayed there crying, wishing for somebody to rescue me but nobody came to rescue me.

The import of the dream is that even if I wish for other people to rescue me that they would not rescue me. God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit would not rescue me, either. Only I can rescue me.

This is my existential decision, a decision I made before I was born on earth; I chose to rescue me and to not expect other persons to rescue and save me.

I know that I made this decision before I was born for as a kid I used to ponder something that troubled me.  During Christmas time our family members would buy loads of gifts for the other kids but no one would buy me one; some would do it as an afterthought. It is as if folks wanted me to do things for myself.

My senior brother would have a room full of gifts from all kinds of uncles but they would not buy me anything.

When I went away to secondary boarding school folks seldom remembered that I existed, talk more give me pocket money. My brother, oh my God, folks showered him with pocket money. During vacations when Eugene came back from school folks brought all kinds of gifts to him. Me? Nobody noticed my coming back from school or when I returned to school! Folks used to be at the bus station to pick my brother up; me, well, I have to take a taxi to go home; nobody was there to pick me up; no big deal was made of my coming and going.

Over time I learned not to expect gifts from family members or from anyone else, for that matter. I told me that if I have something to give to folks that I should just go ahead and give it to them but should not expect reciprocal gifts. And that has been the story of my life. I give and don't get given.

At first this seemed unfair but upon reflecting on it I realized that the situation is as a result of my existential choice; therefore I do not  have to blame anyone for the situation;  I am not a victim and there are no victimizers of me.


In this particular dream, I did not want external persons to rescue me, so my father came and took one look at his resourceful son, old Tom, wanted to help but remembered our secret agreement that required him not to help me, smiled and knew that I have what it takes to survive no matter where I find himself in; my old man respected our unconscious pact, a pact  we made before I was born (children and their parents make agreements before they are born but on earth they forget their contracts): not to meddle in my affairs, and went away.

In time I got my work situation somewhat stabilized, although I still want to establish my own college and will do it soon.

The relevant point to this dream is that it told me what is in my unconscious mind. In my unconscious mind is my resolution to do things my way, and my refusal to ask other people to help me; I do not like to be rescued by other people; I am man alone and has been that way all my life.

I would literally bite your head off if you tried to play the role of savior in my life: I would ask you to get the fuck out of my life and let me save myself.

In my unconscious mind is a wish to be my own savior and not have other people save me. As I wish is done to me: nobody saves me.  I have always gone for what I want in life and generally get it.


Look into your unconscious mind (dreams help you to do so) and you would see what you desire, what forces drive you, what beliefs shape your life.

Each of us placed ideas into his unconscious mind; those ideas shape his behavior and actually determine the outcome he receives from life.

Some of those unconscious ideas are from this life time and others are from other life times.  Those ideas and beliefs shape the world the individual sees and experience.

Examine your unconscious mind to find out what is shaping your thinking and behavior. As old Sigmund Freud observed, dreams are the royal road to the unconscious mind. Therefore, try to interpret your dreams and see what they are telling you about your unconscious mind.

You may have to change your core beliefs if they are giving you a rotten existence. For example, my desire not to be helped by other people keeps other people away from helping me. I could change that self-defeating belief and now desire help and plant that changed expectation from people in my unconscious mind and people would see that I welcome help from them and help me.

There are no accidents in this world. Each of us experiences what his unconscious mind brings into his life. No one is a victim.

What is in one's unconscious mind brings to one what one experiences. For example, if you are consistently discriminated by other people, a part of your unconscious mind wants to experience discrimination.

Why would you want to be discriminated against? Good question. It is probably because you want to feel unjustly treated, feel like a victim and justify anger at those who discriminated against you.

In time you will learn that you asked people to discriminate against you; therefore, you overlook their discrimination; that is, you forgive people; forgiveness means that you love those you forgive despite what they did to you.

When you love all people despite the good or bad they did to you, you would constantly feel at peace in this world.

Do you want to be peaceful, and happy?  If yes, then forgive all people; love all people. See this world as a dream where each of us dreams and in his dream produce the dream figures that play roles in his life. A dream is not real; what is done in dreams have not been done; therefore see what people did to you as what was done in your and their dreams and have not been done; peoples dream actions have no permanent effect on you; therefore you overlook their actions, you forgive people and in doing so you experience peace and joy.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

December 11, 2016

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176