Hiding From Humanity -or- The Dreams of the Blushing Student

Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals 

Charles Darwin "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals" discusses his theory of "emotional expression" in animals and humans. The International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) is building a neuropsychological model of human emotion based on the "expression of the emotions found in dreams". The synoptic interpretation "The Allegory of Emotion" is a step in the direction of completing such a model. In the mean time, identifying other emotions found in dreams and adding to the already relatively lengthy list found in the allegory of emotion interpretation is part of the ongoing work of "1001 Nights in the Global Village". 

The dream below, has a number of feelings in it, one of the central feelings that Janice identifies as part of the background information to the dream is her "blushing" when her teacher speaks to her. Darwin states; "Blushing is the most peculiar and the most human of expressions."   

Here is the dream; 

Janice, 17 Student 

I am a female high school senior with an attraction to one of my female teachers. She is a history teacher in her mid 30's.  I have had some dreams with her in them, and we're usually in a classroom scene.  I have known her since the 9th grade, and I have always been oddly attracted to her. When I am around her i get nervous and excited.  When she directly talks to me i start blushing. Lately she has been there for me through hard decisions/times and encourages me to move off for college.  I have this urge to keep her in my life and tell her everything about me and know everything about her.  

So, in this recent dream she is kissing my body and me.  My hands are on her back feeling around because I can't believe this is happening.  As this is going on i notice her son is in the room, but we're hiding from him so she can keep an eye on him, but so he can't see us.  And she's worried that her husband will find out about us, but she doesn't stop.  Throughout this dream I feel so happy, but never uncomfortable or weird. What does this mean? 

Self-Attention-Shame-Shyness-Modesty: Blushing 

The headline above is the title of Darwin's "Chapter XIII" found in his Expression of Emotions. For Darwin, attention plays an important role in the experience of blushing. Attention seeking and attention avoiding behaviors can be found in a number of dreams posted at the IIDR website. Is attention love? You state, you have had some dreams that involve "classroom scenes" with your teacher in them. In reality when she starts talking to you, you blush. Said differently, by talking to you, your teacher is paying attention to you, and you apparently feel "lovestruck". In your most recent dream, the scene has moved to your teacher's home. During the erotic encounter you are hiding from her son's vision and your teacher is worried that her husband will find out. While you feel happy and do not feel uncomfortable or weird about this fantasy mise en scene, clearly your teacher does. She has a family and while you seem to experience no shame about being seen or found out, she does. 

Postscript: The Oneiric Roads of Obfuscation in the Global Village

The fact that a 17 year old has learnt the visual technique of "obfuscation" in her dreams should not be surprising. From a literary perspective, deception by humans has most likely been going on since well before Homer's tale of the "Trojan Horse". The historical roads of the dark side of visual and oral culture are paved by obfuscation, numerous interpretations posted at the IIDR website speak about the historical "closed minded" process, these include;

The dream is the royal road to understanding the psychodynamics of the obfuscation of the truth. While dreams are often represented in an "obfuscated code", Freud in "Interpretation of Dreams" had already clearly understood the "cryptographic" enterprise of interpreting dreams and the dream as a picture puzzle or "rebus". Freud states; "In social life, which has provided us with our familiar analogy with the dream-censorship, we also make use of the suppression and reversal of affect, principally for the purposes of dissimulation." (1) Following the Rousseau-ian enterprise, the IIDR is making the all the biological, cultural and media driven source codes of visual and oral culture transparent.

Further Reading: 

  1. Sigmund Freud, "Interpretation of Dreams", Basic Books, paperback edition, p509.
  2. Jean Starobinski, "Transparency and Obstruction"
  3. Milton Rokeach, "Open and Closed Mind"
  4. Carl D. Schneider, "Shame, Exposure, and Privacy"
  5. Marsha Nussbaum "Hiding from Humanity"
All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.