A man dreamed, “I discover a hidden compartment in my wallet. There is a lot of money there. I am surprised, but quickly close the wallet so that a man standing nearby doesn’t see all the money I have and try to steal it from me.” In dreams, money is often a symbol of energy or effort. It can represent what we are capable of giving or are willing to sacrifice. For example, if you dream of some clothes that you really like, but you feel they are too expensive, your unconscious is saying that you are unwilling to pay the price (effort or sacrifice) for a new way of being in the world symbolized by the clothes.
When we dream of finding money it is, therefore, often a symbol of a new potential, or source of energy and ability in our life. When he was young, hall of fame basketball player Larry Bird had a recurring dream in which he found a large sum of money beneath the porch of his house. He would hide the money from his brothers so that they would not take it from him. The dream reflected, in part, the great talent and potential that lay hidden and undeveloped in him at the time.
In the man’s dream above, he sees that he has more money than he thought he did. But, no sooner does he find the money than he wants to conceal it from the other man. In the dream the dreamer represents his ego, and the other man his shadow. The dreamer wants to conceal from his shadow the undeveloped potential, passion, and energy he has discovered. He wants to hoard this lest his shadow demand he hand it over or, in other words, develop it.
You have probably heard the saying, “Those to whom much is given, much is expected.” It is a sad reality that sometimes we try to conceal from ourselves and others our real potential lest we experience the responsibility of developing this potential. For example, we may hang onto our grief, our addictions, our disabilities so that we don’t feel obligated to do more or live more of our life. We may cling to a certain identity with all of its limitations and rules as a defense against stepping beyond those limitations into the unknown of our larger being.
The egocentric ego is miserly towards the soul. It withholds food it should be sharing with the rest of the personality. And the greatness that only we can bring to the world stays stuck in our wallet, where it can do no good.