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Remembering/recording/interpreting dreams, dream groups, case studies, and suggested readings.
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Dreams incorporate the wisdom and guidance of nature in a form that is personalized for each individual. Dreaming is our primary connection to the source of being, call that whatever you like. If we are born of Buddha mind then he thinks us whole each night as our ego relinquishes control. If born of Mother Nature, then the Great Mother returns us to her womb to renew what we damage by day. As Jung's star pupil Marie Louise von Franz put it, "Dreams are nightly letters from God."
Every night in our dreams we experience directly the continuous stream of guidance (that still small voice) that can recalibrate our views and make each new day a fresh opportunity to get life right.
Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt [marvelous error!]
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.
Dreams are "real experiences" within the psyche and they really do change us, just as our outer experiences grow us and change us. People who are prevented from dreaming rapidly deteriorate in functioning, so our dreams must be helping us while we sleep, even if we never remember them!
People who choose to study their dreams can magnify this benefit and accelerate personal growth. "Every understood dream is like a slight electrical shock into higher consciousness" (von Franz). To follow our interior dream guidance is a powerful means of inspired, self-direction.
Everybody dreams every night of their life as we are reconnected with our source and filled with a wholly personal and yet truly universal knowledge! The part and the whole unite each night, without which we cannot go on. All issues are addressed for all who sleep.
Since everyone dreams, we interpreters of dream should seek to communicate with everyone, allowing the dreamer to substitute their preferred language for terms like God or Soul or Nature. Don't let simple word habits deprive anyone of the wisdom in their dreams. Remember Rumi's elegant phrase, "Language is a tailor shop in which nothing fits."
Whoever makes us makes our dreams. Modern culture obscures our connection to the web of existence we inhabit, while busyness distracts us from our inner nature. Fortunately, our dreams are a hot line to the divine. They keep us in touch with wholeness and health, no matter what. Dreams have provided guidance to people in every culture in every era. Truly universal, they are a cornerstone of all science, all religion, and of all art forms.
Our waking world is marinated in dream soup. Understanding our dreams is also the key to understanding our waking life! Our dreams reveal us to ourselves from the inside out. The central secret to understanding dreams lies in progressively grasping the corrective viewpoint of our higher self. To see our lives as our soul sees them is the treasure in each dream.
This involves seeing the spiritual roots of practical events. Dreams apply to our lives, the classic mystical principles that great teachers, poets and truth-tellers have always taught, and they address the life questions we are currently facing and will be facing next. Since eternity includes past, present and future as bedfellows, our dreams include many hints about what is likely and what is certain to happen in our future. The systematic review of past dreams reveals how very often this is true.
The same insights that make sense out of dreams can also explain the hidden aspects of our waking reality. In our dreams, we can talk to the dead. We do the same by day but Ego will not admit it. In dreams, we change identities by the minute, just as we do by day, while ignoring and explaining it away as "mere moods." Learning to see waking life from the souls-eye view of dreams may be the most important spiritual skill we can learn.
Why not glimpse your personalized answer sheet to life's upcoming tests? While the village idiot called Ego has the permission of free will to guide the boat, we are not required to follow the fool. Why not benefit from the wiser sources that inhabit our mind "when sleep erases the banal?"
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Ron Masa, Ph.D. taught and wrote about dreams while in private practice for 25 years. He and Debbie Hart co-lead the University of Yourself (http://www.UniversityofYourself.com
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