This may not be the first principle but it seems foundational.
The reason it’s so important to think of the symbolic meaning is because the dreamworld is a symbolic realm which harbours unconscious emotions and forgotten memories or forgotten wishes and desires. Thinking of the metaphor first uncovers mysteries about the True Self. Once these mysteries are understood then there are so many choices and options metaphorically and literally. So take my advice: find the symoblic meaning first and then do the literal.
Another reason symbolism is important is because there are some symbols or metaphors which are very powerful in a dream but are NOT meant to be taken literal, ever. A prime example of this is if someone dreams about their ex. Dreaming about being with an ex is about remembering a quality the ex had. If the dream is positive then you can think about that positive quality they had and how to integrate it in your own life. If the dream is negative then think about ways in which you have this in yourself too and how you can change it for the better.
The dream doesn’t mean to literally go be with them. The dream is a symbol and meant to be taken metaphorically.
The dream I had last night is a good example of this.
I dreamed of being given a house, alcohol, porn, cigarettes and food and had a group of people with me who also wanted to “party” for a weekend.
Symbolically, this means there are higher states of being which I am arising to now. Alcohol is a SYMBOL of becoming intoxicated with life, with a spiritual life.
This dream does not mean that I should have a party, get drunk and engage in sexual delights with strangers literally.
The dream symbolizes having the space within myself now to enjoy myself, to enjoy life, and to arise to higher states of pleasurable happiness.
So what I can do after a dream like this is to think of what gives me Joy for real in real life and do more of that. Lately there are two things which really stand out that bring me a lot of Joy. One is sharing food with a family in need. The other is helping to return children to their families after they have been unlawfully taken away.
These two things bring me more Joy than anything else in the world.
The dream was actually symbolizing that it’s time for me to experience more and more Joy and feel uplifted and intoxicated with the Happiness of this.
Does that make sense?
Please leave your questions or comments below and I’ll reply as best as I can.