exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
Editor's 1-Minute Essay:
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“When dreams are remembered, and their reflections-in-depth are understood, a whole new dimension of wisdom and insight is added to life, bringing greater sanity, meaning, and humor into our existence.” Ann Faraday
"I take dreams as facts." Dr. Carl Jung
What are dreams?
An answer here will depend on the philosophical moorings of the respondent; that is, materialism versus consciousness-based reality.
Freud, essentially, believed in man as animal-machine. He is famously remembered for his grand assessment that man is little more than a will to pleasure, an avoidance and repression of pain, with hidden sexual reference in much of the animal’s thoughts and activities. Dreams, for the materialist, are but the random misfirings of synaptical riot. There is meaning, they allow, but no supra-meaning to any of it, just as there’s none in any aspect of one's existence at-large. It’s all just an interplay of atomic particles, a purposeless dance of electrons and quarks. (See much discussion in this regard, the materialist platform, on the “evolution” page.)
Jung, however, with his growing interest in afterlife and consciousness studies, began to see things much differently. When his father passed on, he experienced a vivid dream-visitation, which deeply affected him. Dreams, for Jung, would issue as a kind of message-in-a-bottle from the deep within, the sacred soul. He counted the dream-experience as “fact,” a meaningful message from our sequestered true selves, to be accessed upon proper interpretation of the dream symbols.
Editor’s note: See an extended discussion of the expanding rift between the two great psychiatrists, Freud and Jung, in Dr. Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer Prize winning “The Denial Of Death” – a book I count as one of the most important of my life.
“I want to write. But more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried in my heart.”
Anne is quite correct. There is much wonder and marvel lying dormant within. And dreams, at times, offer a sneak preview of the splendor to come.
Dreams act as 'self-regulatory system' of the psyche, seek for 'equilibrium' of energies, a 'plus and minus' dynamic
“Every process,” said Jung, in one's life and body “that goes too far … calls forth a compensatory activity.” We must ask "what conscious attitude does it compensate?"
In line with this “equilibrium” view, dreams become more vivid, "more strikingly actual, the more we try to repress it."
The more we live in denial, the more we repress, the more the inner "true self" will try to get our attention with dramatic dreams; possibly, very distrubing dreams, and often very symbolical in nature. It is "holding the lid down on the boiling kettle," as Eckhart Tolle uses the phrase.
"Plus and minus" means that some dreams give us a boost and some try to slow us down, to keep us on track, as per the inner wisdom for oneself.
Dreams show us the 'unvarnished, natural truth,' especially when 'our consciousness has strayed too far from its foundations'
In our mundane lives, and if we are severely led by the dysfunctional ego, we typically “play roles” and “wear masks,” held up “with two hands,” as Elizabeth Browning warned.
The dream state creates a laboratory wherein one tests the limits of good and evil, one’s moral constitution. Dreams serve as deepest internal guidance-system, revealing what one really wants, hopes for, and aspires to.
Dreams "are pure nature," said Jung; they show us the unvarnished, natural truth, and are therefore fitted, as nothing else is, to give us back an attitude that accords with our basic human nature when our consciousness has strayed too far from its foundations and run into an impasse."
This being the case...
Dreams become the ultimate lie-detector test. In that etheric realm of the soul, it is not possible to tell a lie – to oneself.
In dreams, at times, we do tell lies and we might present ourselves disingenuously. But, when we do, we are not deceived. We immediately know – we can feel the energy of untruth right away. We might fool others in a dream-world, but we could never fool ourselves.
Dreams 'divide the sheep from the goats,' sort through the mere place-holders, and unveil the identity of those, or the one, truly loved.
Because it is not possible to lie to oneself in a dream – because the experience is being fueled by the sacred soul – you will know, without a doubt, ones, or the one, whom you truly love. Masks fall away in dreams, as do egoic motives, revealing eternally destined love. Let’s recall the ancient Spirit Guide’s phrase, “soul pledges.” If you love someone’s soul, you will know this, in the dream-world, where no lie can exist.
Charles Dickens poetically expressed this truth with, “I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.”
Dreams cannot be interpreted by looking up meanings of symbols in a book.
It is a "grave blunder," said Jung, "to associate dream-symbols with a fixed archetype… look for meaning of symbols as they relate to the conscious situation… renounce pre-conceived opinions."
To interpret a dream, center yourself, quiet your mind, recall the dream imagery, float in its energy, and ask yourself, "Where have I felt this energy before?" When you can answer this, you will know the meaning of your dream.
Dreams are better interpreted, said Jung, if part of a series..
And this is why, for those who would like to "map the inner cosmos," it would be a good idea to keep a dream journal. I have done so for close to 15 years and the value of this exercise has been very great.
You will begin to see patterns. You will discover recurring themes, over long periods of time. And you will discover, without a doubt, what is most important to you.
The truth is, only you, and you alone, can interpret your dreams, because only you can trace the energy "down the rabbit-hole" to source. And a dream journal enhances the entire project.
Dreams, on rare occasions, will not be dreams in the ordinary sense but visitations from a higher realm.
Most dreams fade with the morning sun, but a "visitation" will not fade. It is “more real” than one’s ordinary life and stays with you, exceedingly vividly, for years and years, and all of your life.
when a dream appears
You Belong To Me
See the pyramids along the Nile
Watch the sun rise from a tropic isle
Just remember darling all the while
You belong to me
See the market place in old Algiers
Send me photographs and souvenirs
Just remember when a dream appears
You belong to me
I'll be so alone without you
Maybe you'll be lonesome too
Fly the ocean in a silver plane
See the jungle when it's wet with rain
Just remember till you're home again
You belong to me...
dreaming is part of a family of consciousness-expressions
In the process of becoming an educated individual, one’s horizon of knowledge broadens. Things we thought we knew, while possibly still valid, now fit themselves into wider framework. We begin to understand how once-seemingly disparate items suddenly find linkage with other concepts.
Dreaming, especially lucid dreaming – wherein we know that we’re dreaming – is a very close sibling to the out-of-body experience, the near-death experience, and remote viewing. All of these issue as expressions of consciousness.
This is a large subject, and I touched on it in the “out-of-body experience” (OBE) writing as part of the “afterlife” page. You’ll want to see more discussion there.
There are individuals who’ve spent decades exploring the OBE at an advanced level; meaning, not just “floating above the body,” but visiting new worlds and dimensions. Physicist Tom Campbell, of the “Double-Slit experiment,” is one of these astral travelers. And it is Tom’s observation that lucid dreaming is very much like other aspects of truth-seeking consciousness.
dreams as learning lab and private tutoring
There’s a certain class of dreams, he says, that fade from our memory very quickly, but another genre of dreams might stay with us permanently. These, Tom asserts, are likely to be a kind of message or lesson prepared for us by Universal Consciousness as part of our education.
Don't you know I had a dream last night,
Ev'rything was still,
And you were by my side so soft and warm,
And I dreamed that we were lovers,
But when I woke up, oh, I found that again,
I had been dreamin', dreamin' again...
Don't you know I had a dream last night,
You were here with me,
And you said you'd thought it over,
You said you were coming home,
But when I woke up, oh, my dream it was gone...
I'm not the same,
Can you blame me,
Is it hard to understand,
I can't forget,
You can't change me,
I am not that kind of man...
Andrew Jackson Davis taught that horrible dreams can be the result of low-brow ancestors' influence
An excerpt from Andrew Jackson Davis’ “Death And The Afterlife: Eight Lectures On The Summer-Land”:
"Some peculiarly organized minds have the most horrible dreams… And there are persons who live rightly and abstemiously, who also have horrible dreams. Why is this? Because they have not yet outgrown or overcome the influences from the temperaments of their ancestors. They are representatives of branches of temperamental roots, which go far back and down in the ancestral soil. They still vibrate and pulsate in the living generations. This fully accounts for the "night thoughts" of many who are pure and beautiful, and who think beautiful thoughts during the daytime. These same persons sometimes dream the most repulsive dreams. Ancestors predominate in their personal consciousness, and they have not will-power sufficient to keep down the rising hereditary impressions, especially during the less guarded hours of slumber… I would dream that I was where strange, murderous-looking people were secreting themselves in dark passages, or some other equally unpleasant dreaming…
"Some men think there is essential truth in astrology. Well, I once visited an astrologer, with a desire to test the possibilities of destiny. A distinguished professor described to me the influences of the several stars. He drew my horoscope, according to the day and hour of my birth, and then went on to tell when I was sick, or when I should have been ; that certain planets were my ruling stars, both for weal and for woe; and that when certain planets came into conjunction… The very star that was astrologically fixed to rule my private destiny I forthwith put out of my house. I would not have a star intercepting the orbit of my individuality. Therefore the events that astrologically were to happen to me, have not occurred in the slightest degree. Thus I teach you self-possession, although I believe that every great soul will best succeed by steering and steadying himself by the stars. Keep down the disagreeable which you have received from your ancestors. Prune away among your roots and branches. Expel old discords from your minds, and you will then have the satisfaction of knowing that your dreams are at least your own. And from this starting-point you can go right onward to solid facts in your mental operations."
'Dreams are the mind's attempt to find order and security'
In his February 10, 1971 lecture, Krishnamurti suggested that dreams represent the mind seeking for order:
"So freedom is order, complete order, and that order has come into being through the understanding of disorder, not through seizing order. If you seize order, it becomes a principle, an idea a formula, but if you actually understood totally the disorder of your life, of everyday life, if you do not run away from it, try to cover it up, suppress it but observe it, look at it with your whole heart and mind, then out of that comes an extraordinary sense of order which is living, moving, and has a quality of vitality, vigour."
Editor's note: K is defining "freedom" here as a mind that is no longer burdened with the attempts to create order by seeking for some external security, but instead simply observes the disorder within the mind, and from that "choiceless" observation a new kind of freedom emerges.
"I do not know if you have noticed that before you go to sleep, if you are at all sensitive, you review the day, don't you? Do you do it? That is, you review - you say I should have done that, I should not have said that, it would have been better if I had put it that way. You review the day, you look over the whole day, and the mind does it, because it tries to bring order before it goes to sleep. As I said, both in one's life and outwardly order is essential in relationship, and the brain is always trying to find order in various directions, always moving out or moving inward, and as you observe before you sleep, if the mind is at all sensitive, it reviews the day and looks over it and says, "This is a mistake, that is the right thing", looking, observing, trying to bring order.
"And when you go to sleep, it tries to establish order through dreams because it demands absolute order, because in order there is protection, safety. So when the mind during the day, not artificially, not with determination, not with will, observes totally the confusion, the untruth, the hypocrisy, the contradiction and brings order there, and then when it goes to sleep, the mind, the brain then, because it has brought order during the day by observing the disorder it lives in, then that brain has a quality of total freedom to observe."
Editor's last word:
Krishnamurti, in one of his lectures, theorizes that, if we were more aware during our days, if we were able to openly-and-honestly process events of our lives, then, during our nights, we might not dream.