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In Your Dreams

High Anxiety: An Elevator in Free Fall

September 19, 2000|CYNTHIA RICHMOND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Dear Cynthia: I had a dream that I was in an elevator that would suddenly drop as if it were about to crash all the way down, and then stabilize. Then it would start plummeting down again, only to halt and stabilize for what seems like seconds. I woke up before the elevator crashed, but in my dream I knew that it was eventually going to crash. I remember being terrified and hoping the elevator would crash once and for all so that it would stop.

--JENNIFER

Alhambra

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Dear Jennifer: The first elevator was installed by Elisha Braves Otis in New York in 1857--and probably not long after, people started dreaming about them. Originally, elevators were referred to as cars and were operated by a uniformed operator. You don't mention anyone in the elevator with you, so I assume you are alone on this ride.

All vehicles can represent our bodies, since the body is the vehicle of the mind and spirit. But they can also represent how we are getting from stage to stage in our lives. We say that a certain movie was a "great vehicle" to show a particular actor's talents, for example.

In your dream, you start off high and then drop down. The elevator almost taunts you by stopping for a moment, then resuming the drop. This could be a symbolic illustration of anxiety--a fear that you will drop from a height you have reached, fear that you will drop from favor or lose status.

But it is almost as though someone or something is toying with you. Perhaps this ambivalence represents your own wavering thoughts.

If at the time you had the dream there was a goal that you had achieved and then there were some problems, or even rumors of problems, this dream would make perfect sense. The feeling that you just want it over with would indicate that you are straightforward, you prefer not to get involved with the drama of life; you just want to know where you stand so you can move ahead.

Of course, as with all dreams, you must use your own frame of reference. If you are a stockbroker, anything that falls and stabilizes and falls again might be terrifying in an entirely different way.

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Cynthia Richmond is the author of "Dream Power, How to Use Your Night Dreams to Change Your Life" (Simon & Schuster, 2000). Fax your dreams to Cynthia Richmond at (818) 783-3267 or e-mail them to in.your.dreams@worldnet.att.net. Please include your hometown and a daytime phone number. "In Your Dreams" appears every Tuesday and should be read for entertainment purposes only.

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