I have been thinking about the nature of dreams lately and in perfect timing up pops a whole panoply of dream-related material….I open a book and there is a long exposition on the deep state of dreaming.  On WP there is this discussion about dreams. I was going to write a short piece as a result of my morning walk as my mind delved deep into the realm of our being and realized, I really don’t have time for that.  But, in perfect timing, as I looked at my drafts folder, I saw a post that had been sitting in there for years with a few rough edges which likely kept me from posting it. Sometimes these were written while in a near-trance state as I tried to tease out form from formlessness.

So instead of taking a chunk out of a lovely day with my daughter, I offer you a few frozen goods that have been sitting waiting to be thawed out.  😉

We have such a provincial sense of what dreams are, I think.  Our greatest minds have only been able to say that most of what our dreams are relate to unresolved emotional material getting rehashed or re-worked.  That was the Freud camp.  Jung was a little more inclusive and imaginative, at least, bringing in the concept of the archetype and the Collective sense of awareness into the mix.

I have been an avid dreamer my whole life and I know that dreams are merely a portal to a whole range of experiences.  Some are indeed the rehash of emotion, but so too are dreams also a spring board into other states of consciousness.  We project through dreams, we move through realms that our current focus does not seem to allow us.  We can have dreams inside of dreams, which touch on the inter-relatedness of realities of which we know little from our current state of waking awareness.

But dreaming is much more than this, too.  In my life, I have seen without a doubt that we travel through time, and that, for myself at least, my dreams that saw into the future were all tied into the lunar cycle.  I never knew this was the case until many years ago I started looking through my dream journals (which I had kept from high school all the way past my college days) and found a curious correlation with my precognitive dreams (which I had many of) and how they always landed within a few days of a particular part of the lunar cycle. This suggested to me that this was not some out there woo-woo kind of thing, but was very much a part of physical phenomenon.  As a result, it could be understood.  We just maybe hadn’t gotten to that point yet.  My dreams which have come true were always very specific affairs that had to do with births and deaths in my younger years and expanded into world events as I grew older.  These were not vague premonitions, but highly specific.  I was THERE.  I saw what happened.  I could see the people, I could know the specifics.  One such dream took place in 1995 when I was floating above the earth and saw an explosion take place at an industrial building over Russia.  I saw that a radioactive plume went up into the atmosphere and began drifting toward Europe. I saw this cloud come down as snow many hundreds of miles away to the west.

I was shown in the dream that the accident was so bad that they were evacuating people on freight cars.  I saw that there were a lot of people being evacuated in this way.  In the first day of evacuations, they had moved over 60,000 people.  I watched as I saw a ticker in the lower right corner of my vision kept up with the count in the dream.

Three weeks later, in waking life, the accident at the reactor at Chernobyl took place, and events unfolded in just the way that my dream had foretold. I was fortunate in this case that I had actually told my room mate of the dream.  He was the one who called me into the living room to watch the news on t.v. “Do you remember that dream you were telling me about a few weeks ago?…It’s on the news!” He would say excitedly to me.

People were loaded onto freight cars and on the first day of evacuation they had moved over 60,000 people. Further, in the days and weeks that followed, there was concern about the cloud of radioactive material that had been blown up into the sky and was moving to the west. It was coming down as radioactive snow and was menacing Europe.  A Dutch consortium was so concerned in the wake of this event that they set up a series of monitoring stations that monitored radiation levels in Europe and which have remained up until just after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Then there are the dreams about the candidate who wins the Presidency.  Ever since Reagan, I have had these dreams and they have not been wrong yet.  Now in the case of the Bush/Gore election, the dream foretold that there was a lot of questions swirling around with the election.  I went to shake Gore’s hand as he stood at a counter in a hotel speaking to an advisor.  He looked troubled and returned many times to this hotel in Florida to check on the progress of the election.  This happened numerous times and it made me wonder what was going on.  Then, a month later, I saw how Gore would return to Florida over and over after the vote had already happened as the election results were contested.  So while Gore ultimately won the popular vote, Bush was handed the election by the Supreme Court.  What is most concerning to me now is that since that election my dreams have suggested quite clearly that the election process is not what it seems anymore.  When I looked into why my dreams would be telling me this, I found Wesley Clark showing a journalist how the computers can be hacked quickly and the results “flipped” from one person to the other, all without anyone ever knowing that this had been done.  it has fueled a lot of concern, as you might guess about the nature of our democracy now.

Now the reason why I am bringing this up is that clearly, I don’t just dream of the “rehash” of Freud’s view.  Nor do I merely see what is in my own soup of emotion.  I am seeing events from a distance.  Some have been seen accurately over a distance of decades.

My dreams have shown me how to heal my body, and they have also shown me things that I could have seen one way in my life but chose to see another. I have been on other planets, and I have spoken with beings from very far away in other star systems.  In one dream, I took the material that I had dreamed to mean that someone would hurt me later in real life, and I responded from a place of fear and hurt as a result when the event, sure enough, came down the pike in my waking life.  But in retrospect what I have learned from that one event was that I was simply responding to something that I thought was real, and which became real for me, but had no bearing on the actual facts of the situation where the person who was hurting me was concerned.  I saw that I had completely misread the entire underpinnings of the dream and also responded in knee-jerk ways in the physical. Now I ask you; how would have those same events played out had I simply chosen to suspend my assumption that someone was just out to hurt me?  In truth, it could have turned out very differently.  In this case, I saw the world as I was instead of how it is (thank-you Anais Nin).

So I ask you; what could your dreams be telling you that you do not get or understand currently?  Could your dreams be showing you a clear-eyed view of the world and as it filters down into your physical awareness of your emotional state, you still misread them?

I know that dreams are multidimensional in nature.  There is so much to them that we can mine for understanding, but in order to do so, we have to open our minds for the possibilities.  The dream does not exist as a conceptual framework that is entirely rational but communicates through imagery that is invested with feeling…YOUR feeling…and yet, even those images can suggest a different direction if you allow yourself to free associate.  The dream of the monster that is chasing you turns into a friendly little creature that is half its size the moment that you turn around and begin smiling at it.  So I ask you, what was the reality here?  the reality was your fear of something that really had no basis except for your lack of awareness.  But by bringing in a sense that you could be aware and that things could be different…they were.  Dreams like these show that we can see the world in vastly different ways if we are ready to.

I have had anxiety dreams, recursive dreams about some emotional issue that keeps cropping up.  As I look back on my dream journal I see that the presence of snakes may well have not been about fear, but about kundalini which was waiting in the wings and that I was not fully ready somehow.  Over and over these dreams showed up and I always responded to them the same way.  Then, one night, I dreamed a different kind of dream in which a serpent looked me in the eyes and I could see worlds within those eyes as it swayed back and forth.  Without words I beckoned me and began to suggest that there was much much more to my concept of the dream serpent than I had perhaps previously thought possible.

We are here in this rather narrow realm of our awareness and we do not realize just how vast consciousness is, that consciousness and matter are different sides of the same coin, that everything is delicately intertwined and that all of this is much more complex and nuanced than our rational minds have a capability of understanding. I know that upon awakening my dreams seemed to change.  What I found was that what was happening was that I was grasping more of what my dreams were actually about. I had a much more nuanced understanding of them somehow.  This was the result of heightened intuition and what awakening does for our perceptual abilities, and it helped to teach me that the mind I had prior to awakening was itself rather provincial.  It was only able to grasp what it could grasp because it was so…rational in its approach and so literal. the capacity to feel is where the dream world begins to show us its deeper secrets because the language of dream is imagery encoded with feeling.  This is not always emotion and the Freudians would assume, but rather our vast capacity to just FEEL the incredible flow of material that becomes this experience.

There is so much we can take from our dream states.  They are not just some dumping ground for our emotional junk.  Sometimes they can offer up novel ways of solving problems, but as is often the case, we have to ask ourselves what the dream really means.  Last month I talked with an old teacher of mine who has remained friends with me since my college days.  We chatted after not having been in touch for several years.  She began telling me about a problem she was having with her sister.  She also told me about a dream she had in which someone had pooped all over her yard and she had to go out and clean up the yard.  As I listened to my friend it became clear that were she able to see and feel things differently, she might be able to view her dream differently and it could lead to a break through.  I explained that her response to her sister all these years came from an early issue that she was never able to get over and it has hounded her ever since.  It has resulted in her seeing her sister a certain way and it has locked her into a place of anger and frustration.  I suggested that the poop in her yard , which she thought her sister had put there, symbolically, of course, was in truth her own reaction to her sister, and nothing more.  Further, even her own impulse to go clean up the poop further showed that she had borrowed someone else’s junk and pretty much made it her own.  Instead of confronting the feelings, she quietly only dealt with the aftermath by feeling put upon.

“You know, Ann,” I explained in our conversation as I sat outside in the parking lot on my phone, ” you could just as easily see your sister as just a pain in the butt and not put up with her junk.  You can create better boundaries as a result.  But by getting upset at her own brokenness, you have invited her to come poop in your yard….and is she the one coming to clean it up?  No, of course not. Someone like that is not going to do that.” I explained.  Ann sat quietly on her end listening and asked what was the way forward? I continued saying, ” So the answer, to my mind, is to not have to clean up the poop in the first place.  You think that she feels entitled, whether that is true or not, to behave this way. I bet that all of this would go away when you stop taking it so personally and then insisted on emotional accountability. Then the poop wont offend you….and she might just not use you as some kind of emotional crutch, either.”

My friend had to go to South America the next week, so I never found out whether this approach worked.  What I do know is HOW we choose to see and HOW we choose to react to the events and people in the world around us tells us much more about ourselves than the other people.  That might be a tough pill to swallow, but when you come down to it, it’s not the other person’s journey that you are experiencing, it is your own.  You see it all through your own lenses, through your own heart and mind.  Now I ask you; what are the lenses and how are they colored that serves to distort what it is that you think you see? When you re honest enough, these lenses will fall away and you can see and feel in an  entirely new way.  I know because it has happened to me countless times as I learned to take each glitch I had in life and turn it around to see that it was me seeing it a certain way.  There is more than one way to see it.  Changing how you see the world will mirror a change within you, too.