Your question: Being Chased
“I looked in a book of dream analysis and read that being chased is a sign that one will have to work hard, but will be successful eventually. Is this true? And, can dreams mean something completely different if your culture and background is different?”
Being chased can suggest a situation is getting the better of you; it can also acknowledge the need to escape from something which may be taking over your life, or you feel is catching up with you. It could be something like a deadline, or one that you might want to talk through with someone, if it involves feelings from the past.
Consider who is being chased and who is doing the chasing; in many people’s dreams they do not know who they are being chased by, but simply know they are trying to get away. This can be a reflection of a general problem, rather than something specific. Have a think about how you can manage this problem so that in your waking life you can find a positive way to confront it.
Some people also dream they are running and can’t get away, as if they’re stuck in mud or running through treacle. This often emphasises that you can’t “get away” from the problem and so taking time to understand the situation causing the dream, and to find ways to manage it positively are healthy. When we are dreaming we are usually physically paralysed (the theory is so that we don’t do what we’re dreaming about), and this can be reflected in our dream as a feeling of running in slow motion.
With regards to the cultural background – we are all different. People with the same background or culture will still experience dreams – and life itself – differently, even if their approach to life is similar. Interpretations of those dreams will depend very much on the the dreamer, their way of life and their experiences.
In the west, the culture can (generally) be that dreams are unimportant. Many eastern and some western cultures do embrace all aspects of dreaming, and see them as a fundamental part of every day life, for example cultures like the Aborigines (and their belief in the Alchera) and Native Americans (and the role of dream catchers).
Keeping a dream diary can help understand common and recurring dreams. I talk about this and provide a template in my book, Answers in the Dark.
Copyright Delphi Ellis