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Use of the Word Negro in Dream Interpretation
On several occasions readers have asked me about why Gustavus Hindman Miller refers to Negroe as a negative interpretation to dreams or if he was a racist in his dream dictionary “10000 Dreams Interpreted.” I consider it extremely healthy that folks responded and enjoy opening up this dialog. Keep in mind, that as a matter a physics there is no white light without all the colors of the rainbow or so-called light spectrum (infra red, ultra violet, etc.).
One should first consider that this is a publication written around 1900. It is based on his personal attitude and belief system from that period that contributes to dream interpretation from his view and conceptions of others during that time. Furthermore, I have done extensive research and find no evidence of bias on the part of Miller. Regarding this issue, I feel it is healthy for readers to respond to historical publications which entice discussion or provoke thought. I solely have this dream dictionary on my website as a reflection of mankind’s historical reference and supplement it with God’s word in order to assist one in discovering a suitable understanding or meaning of their dreams which may be rendered by the individual on a personal level. I must also point out that no references on my site are a reflection of my personal beliefs or attitude. The information and assistance provided on SpiritCommunity.com is simply that .. information and assistance. All of our visitors are encouraged to think for themselves, to keep an open mind, and to accept only those things that promote their free will and increase self awareness (see disclaimers). Please keep in mind that no answer in life worth while is easily gained.
One should try to be empathetic about terms and view symbols concerning dream interpretation by others from the writer's perspective too. Hence, there is no need to feel offended by such a historical reflection. There’s an interesting contemporary metaphorical expression that goes like this, “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure that you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” Such are the ways of men and woman kinds limited means of communication. The Gustavus Hindman Miller dream dictionary is old as well as others on this site. Additionally, I must point you 100+ years back to help you try to focus on what might have been in common mankind’s mind at that time.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the word “Negro” in worldwide languages, simply means “black.” Webster defines it this way:
Inflected Form(s): plural Negroes
Etymology: Spanish or Portuguese, from negro black, from Latin nigr-, niger sometimes offensive : a member of a race of humankind native to Africa and classified according to physical features (as dark skin pigmentation)
- Negro adjective, sometimes offensive
- ne•groid /'nE-"groid/ adjective or noun, often capitalized, sometimes offensive
- Ne•gro•ness /-grO-n&s/ noun, sometimes offensive
Before I articulate further, let me point out that all mankind should consider that Jesus was a person of color (Middle Eastern). Hence, especially for a Christian, prejudice based on skin color is foolish, shallow and unexceptable in God's eyes! The word "Negro" has spread too many languages, to a greater or lesser extent, because many have come to perceive the usage of any word similar to "Negro" with respect to black people in any language as a possible form of insult. Internationally, there is no definite consensus. While some argue that prevailing attitudes in the United States of America (and elsewhere) should not always be taken into account when deciding what words people should use in other languages, others try to avoid using "Negro" or its variants, as they have come to consider that it could be possibly offensive. Implementing this decision is not always easy, because in some languages the word for "black" is not considered to be a better alternative at all (in Russian chornyi is a name for minorities like Chechens, in Estonian must also means "dirty", etc.) Other options are "dark skinned" or "African". However, many languages presently do not have any widely accepted alternatives for an alternative to "Negro" that is more neutral or positive in its associations. Some Spanish-speaking people have adopted the term "negrito" or even "azulito" (the diminutive of "azul", the color blue) instead of "negro" to avoid the insulting connotation of the word in English.
In the United States, amongst the African community, the cliché “black is beautiful is often used.” Personal interpretation, mental pre-conditioning nor programming has anything to do with the facts or spiritual meanings of dreams. If one believes red is bad, than that is what one believes. Conversely, many true meanings may be lost due to prejudice. However, it is important to consider your own conceptions or an author's perspective when attempting to interpret a dream. Things that are black in dream interpretation are often signs of things hidden, like the subconscious and spiritual, but may also be considered good omens. Black (particularly for white people) may symbolize evil. If so, bear in mind that, as a general rule, what appears in your dreams is always some part of you, and that the so-called 'evil' (and therefore repressed) parts of you are really evil only if, because of neglect, they become rebellious, or if you let them take control away from your conscious self. These ' evil' things are transformed into good things - creative, and bringing fuller life, happiness and wholeness - when conscious and unconscious interact and establish a harmonious working relationship. Please note that many factors must be considered when dreaming about a person of color and to look at any dream just from the context of one dictionary meaning is useless. The interpretation of dreams is a highly personal matter. The best way to learn how to interpret dreams is to study and know your own self. Dream interpretation requires a complete analysis of content details, emotions, likes, dislikes, etc. For more possible dream meanings for the color black examine our page "Common Dream Symbols." All the basic tools for dream intrepting are revealed on my page "Simple Method of Dream Interpretation & Analysis."
From a psychological perspective, many folks from times past, who where white, had a pre-programmed cognition (from family or other early training) that things that where black where evil. This includes historical schooling worldwide. Nothing could be further from the truth! A good example would be the subconscious trying to communicate a message to the conscious mind in a dream. This may well be represented by a black crow and represents a good omen and a message for the unconscious or subconscious to help overcome those past beliefs. In fact, the very things that one is taught in childhood the subconscious and God’s spirit try to reveal in the contrary via mysterious ways. As one develops spiritually, we begin to understand that it is the invisible or hidden that has the most value and is individually interpreted or only understood from ones personal experiences and educational background before enlightenment or revelation is obtained.
Many people are angry in this world because of evil and do not know who to blame. Frequently, people only look at the surface rather than dig deep into the hidden things and achieve the finer meanings. These kinds of thoughts only create irrational judgments. To interpret a dream, one must be very analytical. Another good contemporary example of what I am trying to say is, if you where born, raised and trained in Afghanistan, what would be your perspective of Americans? The truth of the matter regarding any question like this is that the answer would be varied by different people from many lands, educational backgrounds or cultures. The mind is conditioned from early childhood and it is challenging to overcome this until there is a spiritual awakening, unless one stubbornly chooses to die in vain or ignorance. Some contributing realities that effect mentality are manifested in hard-life experiences, but more importantly in a less physical format. Enlightenment is achieved through faith, study, prayer, meditation, dreams or even less commonly understood modes such as mechanism that improve the Delta or other brainwave patterns that assist in bridging some of the aforementioned gaps creating a more efficient mind and improved spirituality.