Bolle etiliche by Scaramuzzino at Flickr Creative Commons
I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind. ~~Emily Bronte
Jung spoke reverently of his Big Dreams. "Big Dreams" are dreams that feel important, memorable, significant, or impactful. Sometimes it feels transcendent and sometimes it is a nightmare. Sometimes a big dream is a dream that has stayed with us from childhood.
What all big dreams have in common is a powerful central image (CI) that carries the lasting emotional oomph and makes the "big" dream big. The CI is always visual (as images tend to be).
Even though most of us are happy to work with and explore our average dreams, a big dream holds our fascination and some people work for years on understanding them. The traditional Freudian approach to working with dreams is to free associate to each element of a dream (every piece of a dream is equally important) while looking for the common thread, which is often an underlying emotional concern.
But for us busy people, a striking Central Image is a good place to understand a dream and connect with the underlying emotions and concerns. The CI carries the emotional power, even when there doesn't seem to be any emotion in the dream.
Ernest Hartmann (March 2008). The Central Image Makes 'Big' Dreams Big: The Central Image as the Emotional Heart of the Dream, in Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams.