|Dreams are as much a part of our lives as everything else we
experience. Not only can they help us to understand ourselves, other
people and those difficult situations in which we so often find
ourselves; they help us solve our problems and help us heal ourselves,
By the age of seventy-five years old, on average we will have slept for twenty-five years and for at least ten of them we have been dreaming.
Sleep is our prime state of existence for the sleep-state is just as much an experience as the awake-state because when we are first born into this world we spend virtually all our time asleep, in `dreamland`. Slowly but surely we then begin to experience more and more, through our five physical senses,
in the dimension we call `outer reality`. During sleep we return to our prime state, a state that was interrupted by us being born into a physical body that seeks expression in periods of wakefulness, limited by 3-dimension (outer) reality.
Dreams therefore are potential sources of great wisdom and guidance where we are transported nightly to the `Land of Dreams` with the help of Hypnos, Morpheus and Hermes and travel and communicate with the rest of creation. From this source comes our energy and our inspirations too, which are not received from intellect alone. There is a broad division between objective and subjective dreams: the former is usually experienced by people who are psychic; dreaming about actual events involving real people. These dreams have a distinctive quality, or feeling to them that is familiar to the dreamer.
They rarely need to be interpreted for they are usually only too clear, especially when the events in the dream actually come to pass. I work with subjective dreams, which contain the possibility of helping the dreamer in some way.
In therapy, dreams often indicate where a person should start in their work and frequently lead to the main problem. People often dream about a person or occasion that seems to have been triggered by a recent event in their life. The unconscious uses actual experiences and weaves them into a tapestry to portray a message it wishes to bring to the attention of the dreamer. It is interesting to discover that as soon as you start to pay attention to your dreams you are given instructions on how to proceed in many areas of your life.
Dreams can be especially helpful in enabling people to recognise and accept the many varied aspects of themselves, some of which may be unconscious.
Our essential nature is spirit, but our personalities are ego-created. This hides from us our divinity and keeps us enslaved by our egos.
We therefore should remove the blockages that hide our spirituality from our consciousness. That entails stripping ourselves of all our weaknesses, deceptions, misconceptions, fears, prejudices and a host of ego-related issues and it means consenting to be who we truly are.
Everything we are and everything we ever will be is already within as. But, until we know this and become fully conscious of it, we cannot begin to remove or reframe any part of it. Dreams can help us detect the unconscious aspects of our personalities. By identifying the traits of the people who appear in our dreams, we can catch sight of our unconscious attitudes, actions, and habits, emotions and thoughts that may not necessarily express our true selves.
We all have unconscious tendencies that we are completely unaware of operating within us.
The unconscious is the oldest and most primitive part of the mind and it's language is disguised in pictures and symbols. Symbols express what thoughts can`t think and feelings can`t verbalise. They can embrace and express our inner and outer life, our past present and future.
A picture or symbol contains a whole idea or concept and can act as the eyes of our inner world. When endeavouring to interpret the messages in our dreams, we need to develop and use the functions of emotion and intuition rather than intellect and sensation. It is best to `feel` into a dream, or understand its meaning in a flash of intuition. Universal meanings of various symbols followed by the dreamer`s personal ones should be considered first.
Many books have been written on universal symbols.
The unconscious chooses it`s own symbols that are familiar to the dreamer. The keys with which to unlock the meaning of a dream actually lie within the dreamer and clarified when brought up into the conscious mind. The people who appear in our dreams need to be examined. In the same way that real people can act as mirrors in which unconscious aspects of a person are reflected, the characters in our dreams can reflect facets of ourselves.
When a person is present as himself or herself in a dream, the major part of his or her personality is represented. However, very few people always act, think, feel and speak as one whole, integrated person. Instead, it is as if a person is composed of a bundle of parts (sub-personalities), like the cast of a small play, each one portraying a separate role. Dreams can also reflect the various parts at variance with one another so that the person can become conscious of the need to bring them together into a more balanced whole.
So, every character in a dream can be observed as representative of a part of the dreamer. Some are major parts while others may be quite small ones.
Each person contains within him or her a whole troupe of performers. When recognisable people appear in dreams, it is helpful to write down as soon as possible after awakening, everything that comes to mind describing each person. When the various attributes have been outlined, the action in the dream needs to be studied to determine how these diverse facets are interacting with the other characters in the dream and within the person in outer reality
Children and babies in dreams may symbolise either recently developing attributes or recently acquired facets of the personality, or aspects of the dreamer still at the age level of the child in the dream that need to be rescued or developed. Negative or disturbed characters in dreams need to be healed, comforted, reassured and loved. They, too, are parts of the dreamer. Animals symbolise instincts and the dreamer can determine what they signify to him or her personally.
There are also masculine and feminine qualities represented ie. the anima and animus. Some dreams show the dreamer his or her fears or desires.
Some compensate for areas that are out of balance.
Everyone dreams, but not everyone remembers his or her dreams. So an easy method is needed to help people to remember their dreams, a method that could become a regular habit. Very few people seem to be aware that they can ask for a dream to help them solve a problem, or throw light on a situation needing clarification.
A method of recording your dreams would be to place a cassette recorder on your bedside table, close enough to be turned on as soon as you awake from a dream while it is still fresh in your mind. It can be transcribed later, at a more convenient time. An alternative is to place a note-pad, or a dream journal,
and a pen next to your bed.
If this would disturb someone by switching on the light, then a tiny torch would be useful. There are many different types of dreams and the meaning of a dream always lies within the mind of the dreamer and is presented by the unconscious mind to instruct the dreamer about himself or herself.
They are highly personal messages from ourselves to ourselves.
When I work with people on their dreams in `Elevated Therapy`, I purposely limit my help in supplying possible meanings to the various symbols.
I ask many select and impersonal questions to make it possible for the dreamer himself or herself to extract the meaning of the dream sequence themselves,
where they are often surprised with the associations that enter their mind.
This encourages them to take responsibility for their life and what their dreams mean in relation to it.
In sleep, we return to this Land of Dreams and once we recognise it, our lives take on an added dimension.
The real world is not what it seems: it is `The Source` that matters for we were there before we were born, we go there when we sleep and we shall return there after we have died.
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream". - Edgar Allen Poe
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