Symmetry in Dreams

Sometimes, symmetrical considerations help us, dream interpreters, to deduce the hidden meaning of the dream. Symmetry often points to the crux of the problem, if there is one, and allows a useful contrast between the symmetrical opposites, to clarify the contribution of both primary and secondary factors.

A case in point can be the famous Biblical dream of Joseph. 7 fat cows, 7 thin cows, that is a perfect symmetry, although the axis of symmetry and the nature of the contrast may not be clear right away to a beginner.

In fact, they were not even that clear to the well trained scribes who wrote down the presumed Joseph interpretation of the dream. The proposed interpretation itself only touches the surface of the meaning, and is patently incorrect, likely attempting to reconcile the dream with the, in all likelihood, historically attested plague that assailed Egypt in the past, to ensure that Joseph could have predicted the future, a feat which is entirely unnecessary from the point of view of a simple dream interpretation.

What is the correct interpretation then? It is simple when regarded through considerations of symmetry. The cows are the object of symmetry here. And the symbol is painstakingly clear, it is that of prosperity, as could be seen by regarding several cultures and the importance of cows in them.

The other element of symmetry is the number 7, at times associated with a kind of conflict, a military one, an inner one, or in its lesser form, a disagreement or a debate.

The assertion that the number 7 here represents conflict and not any of the plethora of the numerological associations, is supported by the image of one set of cows devouring another, itself a symbol of violent domination.

If we want to repeat the efforts of the Biblical scribes and connect the dream interpreted by Joseph to historical events, then the connection is also clear. A possibility of conflict, between two parties, lacking resources; all of this points to the battles between upper and lower Egypt, for the sake of resources.

In truth many dreams, even more practical and relevant to modern life can be interpreted in such an elegant way, because the consideration of symmetry and its varied uses is a great aid towards a proper dream interpretation.