Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.
Question: Hi. My dream was that I was eating rice… and once I was done… rocks were in my mouth… it was very weird. Thank you—Eli H.
Answer: Could it be that you’re just hungry for rocks? No, that’s crazy. I think it’s time to consult the O.G. Mother-Loving Godfather of Psychoanalysis, Dr. Sigmund Schlomo Freud! (Pronounced Froyd in English, ?f???t in German, and Frood in BillandTeddish.)
In his seminal 1899 work, The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud grandiloquently described our midnight ramblings as “the royal road to the unconscious.” Seems like a fancy-pants way of saying dreams are related to mental miscellanea, right? Nothing too revelatory in that observation. As we delve further into the text, however, we see that Freud offers more detailed analyses and examples.
Let us turn to chapter 17: Crop-Related Night Terrors. Here you find countless combinations of dream symbolism covering everything from tropical strawberry hailstorms to falling down a well made of Swiss chard. The following grain-specific symbolisms, in particular, may aid us in unlocking the meaning of your dream.
(Having published this work around at the turn of the 20th century, Freud quite presciently predicts numerous idiosyncrasies of modern-day life):
|Your paraplegic grandfather’s wheat harvest being ravaged by a hurricane.||Bad things happen to good people for inexplicable reasons; the wheat is symbolic of fecundity, nourishment, the toast option you know you should get but, gah, sourdough; the hurricane is symbolic of the Sport of the Future, which is called “ice hockey.”|
|The atmosphere is made of sorghum. Sorghum, everywhere, closing in on you, nowhere to run.||Escapes such as liquor and drugs exist because man is never comfortable with his position in the world, or with the way his brother-in-law still shakes his hand extra hard, even after all these years.|
|Every item on display at the grocer contains something called “corn sugar,” a harmless-sounding ingredient that consumers find totally safe and natural.||You cannot escape the inevitable, metaphorically speaking—nor literally speaking, because you are morbidly obese.|
|Freshly grilled corncobs lying in the dirt.||Fiery penises lying in the dirt.|
So, what might we interpret? Rice is certainly a grain. Rocks, meanwhile, could be representative of the classical earth element in Mah?bh?ta Buddhism. (I like to include at least one reference to eastern religion in my dream interpretations.) The fact that you are ingesting food that turns into rocks may symbolize an internalization of the kinds of guilt and regret Freud explores here—or it could just be a symptom of bad nighttime acid reflux. For those diagnoses I recommend therapy and Prilosec taken with a meal, respectively.
Now let’s open to chapter eight, Twilight-State Livestock Symbolism and Occasional Plant Sexuality, and find the section on goats. Freud suggests goats can be revealing dream indicators. He offers the following handy pie chart showing his five most typical types of goat-related dreams:
Goats are kind of legendary in that they will try to eat just about anything, up to and including the most unappetizing items like fast-food wrappers, scented clothing, and rocks. You following me, Eli?
It could be you’re unconsciously trying to express a desire to own a goat, or to herd goats, or even to be a goat, which would be rad. Have you been studying ancient Greek or Roman history in school lately? The coupled eating of rice (human food) with rocks (goat food) may suggest spiritual kinship with the Roman faun, a mythological half-man, half-goat creature that roamed the forest in search of the ultimate party.
Have you been repressing a long-held childhood desire to play the pipe flute? (I mean “play the pipe flute” literally here, by the way.)
To the above-suggested dream impetuses, I say, respectively: buy a goat or two or five; go ahead and be a goat, but own that shit; and, finally, it’s never too late to learn a musical instrument.
A look at one last chapter from Freud might shed some light on any potential sexual implications of your dream. Please find the section titled Zodiac Gemstone/Food Pairings.
According to Freud, all human behavior is guided by sexuality—i.e. by the general desire for bodily pleasure, whether horizontal mambo or chocolate. Food and gem dream symbolism is the mind’s way of subconsciously guiding us toward that pleasure. Perhaps your mind is trying to tell your body that long-grain rice is a sexual depressant for you, or that chewing on literal rocks may help you get off your figurative rocks. The following table shows Freud’s most prevalent Zodiac gemstone/food dream pairings and what they likely indicate to your love life:
|Garnet||Breadsticks||You’re into light kink (it’s OK!)|
|Amethyst||Blood sausage||Loyal, well-suited toward monogamy|
|Aquamarine||Apple strudel||Dip baked goods in liquids to stimulate libido|
|Diamond||Lychee nut||Dominatrix in sheep’s clothing|
|Emerald||Cold ham||With a fox, in a box, here or there, anywhere|
|Pearl||Champagne||Your standards are unattainable|
|Ruby||Rock salt||You are not comfortable with third-party arrangements|
|Sapphire||Asparagus||Honorary Latter-Day Saint|
|Opal||White chocolate||Might I suggest the Red Light District?|
|Topaz||McRib||“McRib?” Vas es das?|
|Turquoise||Kielbasa||You have a thing for Austrian physicians (vink, vink)|
Freud offers no specific information on rice or rocks, unfortunately. Garnet being among the less remarkable gemstones, it’s probably as close to a rock as you’re going to get. (Bonus: “garnet” may stem etymologically from the Latin granatus for “grain.”) Additionally, breadsticks come from flour, which comes from grain, and rice is a grain, so it’s close enough. Buy a whip and a ball gag if you didn’t spend it all on goats already.
Or not. Maybe it means nothing. Legend has it Freud once said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” The mind is a dense, mysterious network of memories, desires, and probably other stuff, so don’t take anything too literally, even if it does come from someone as reputed as Sigmund Freud. The guy did a ton of blow, after all.