A Story for the Positive Process: The Dream

  • Nossrat Peseschkian


A Middle East king had a frightening dream. He dreamt that all his teeth fell out, one after the other. Very upset about this, he summoned his dream interpreter. The man listened with great concern to the king’s account of his dream and said to him, “Your Majesty, I have bad news for you. Just as you lost all your teeth, you will lose all of your family, one after the other.” This sad interpretation kindled the king’s rage. The dream interpreter, who had nothing better to say, was thrown in jail at the king’s command. Then the king summoned a different dream interpreter. This one heard him tell the dream and then said, “Your Majesty, I have good news for you. You will become older than all of your family. You will outlive them all.” The king rejoiced and rewarded the man richly for saying this. But the courtiers were very surprised. “Your words were really no different from your poor predecessor’s. But why was he punished, while you received a reward?” they asked. The lucky dream interpreter replied, “You are right. We both interpreted the dream in the same way. But it is not a question of what you say, but also how you say it.”

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nossrat Peseschkian
    • 1
  1. 1.WiesbadenGermany

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