What follows is my considered opinion. I take careful note of my own
dreams, giving much thought to their themes and meanings. Your dream
strikes a personal chord with me because a number of my most vivid
dreams have featured one or more beasts in an antagonistic role, this
despite the fact that I am fond of animals large and small in my
waking hours. I have in my dreams been assaulted by dogs, lions, and
on one occasion a flesh-eating squirrel. These animals never bit me,
but they came awfully close, and I did see the squirrel gnaw the flesh
off someone else's fingers. I do not recall any brushes with a bear.
Your dream falls into the broad category of pursuit dreams. It is
generally accepted that dreams in which one is pursued or assaulted
signal nervous tension in the dreamer. If one has been acutely anxious
or guilty, in other words fearful of some event or judgment, the
object of fear manifests itself as a creature who seeks to do one
harm. The creature is not necessarily malign, which may well be a
significant detail. For example, a wild beast who seeks to prey on the
dreamer's persona generally does so from hunger rather than malice.
What is feared is then likely to be a natural force, perhaps an
impersonal one such as the law or a divine one such as final judgment.
In comparison, a human who seeks to do one harm in a dream is nearly
always marked by malice, unless he acts in self-defense. To come under
malicious attack is to be a victim of injustice. It would seem, then,
that an assault by a human represents sheer anxiety, whereas an
assault by an animal stands for guilt.
The fact that you are attacked by a bear, whose natural business it is
to kill and consume weaker creatures, is the first of three salient
details about your dream. The other two are that it bites you and that
the dream recurs. I have already explained why I think it likely that
the bear symbolizes an impersonal force, such as human justice or
divine retribution, which you fear. It is rarely the case that pursuit
leads to physical injury in the dream. Usually the pursuit ends, if
not in escape, then in some inconclusive fashion, often by mutating
into a different dream or by the dreamer's awakening.
A bite is an intimate kind of injury, much more so than a blow, a
stab, or a projectile wound. There are teeth involved in a bite,
perhaps meeting with the victim's bone, as well as blood mingling with
the attacker's saliva. To be bitten is to conjoin with one's attacker.
This is not to impute romantic elements to the attack. There is,
however, a distinctly sensual element in a bite, emphasized by the
shaggy, untamed character of all bears. If the bear is an impersonal
force that the dreamer fears, then to sustain a bite from it may be to
recollect the sensual nature of a transgression or to anticipate
sensual repercussions from it.
The recurrence of a dream indicates not necessarily a recurrence of a
transgression whose consequences one fears, but a fixation, whether
conscious or unconscious, on such a transgression. This may be an
illicit or immoral act one committed in the past, perhaps far in the
past, or one that seemed to be of secondary importance at the time. If
it comes back to haunt one in one's dreams, it is because it has not
yet been resolved, regardless of its remoteness or apparent lack of
There is no need, I don't think, to invoke mystical explanations or
grand psychological theories to account for your dream. The former
would contravene the laws of nature as I understand them, and the
latter too often overlook the importance of common sense. If the brain
is a kind of computer, and the thoughts in it are like programs that
go about allocating memory to perform their computations, then
dreaming is comparable with the procedure known as garbage collection,
where the computer goes about reclaiming portions of memory that are
no longer required by a program. Another way to see it is that because
dreams come out of your mind, they are cut from the fabric of your own
experience. What emerges in your dreams is a distorted rendition of
conscious thoughts you have recently had. I find that the calmer I am
in my waking hours, the less distortion there is in my dreams. When I
am perfectly content, I dream mundane scenes taking place in the
workplace or at the supermarket. It is in response to upheaval that my
dreams begin to bristle with surreal and violent action.
Tension in one's life begets chaos in one's dreams. That is the most
general construction I can put on your dream. A much more particular
one, and one that is commensurately more likely to be wrong, is that
the recurring image of a bear biting your person is the representation
of your fixation on a past wrong you have done for which you fear you
are to be punished, with the transgression or the punishment or both
being of a sensual nature.
If you feel that any part of my answer requires correction or
elaboration, don't hesitate to post a Clarification Request so that I
have a chance to fully meet your needs before you assign a rating.