This is Part 2 of my Dreams and DreamWork Series…
Part 1 * Dream Life and the Dreaming Self
Part 3 * Simple Keys To Interpreting Your Dreams
The Inward Journey
Know Thyself! Nowhere is this more possible and more surprising than in DreamWork.
Each part of us makes appearances upon the Stage of Dreams, and this makes for a vast cast of characters indeed. From past-life selves to pretend selves to subpersonalities/fragments and to would-be finer selves, our night-life is informative, creative, and incredibly important.
The benefits of the dreaming state appear to be the real loss when we do not get enough sleep. The body can manage on very little sleep, but the personality, with its mysterious connection to both the Physical Self and the Higher Self cannot. It has been discovered that certain kinds of meditation – such as “Active Imagination” are akin to what we do in dreaming. Achieving such meditation appears to lesson the need for sleep itself. In other words, if we suffer from insomnia, we can compensate for this and maintain our overall health by increased time in meditation, prayer and listening to certain kinds of music and letting the imagination soar…
The dreams we have while in the sleep state may seem “crazy” and entirely random, but over time they develop into “series” and themes reappear as if building on what we have indicated we “got” from previous dreams! They help us organize the very stuff of our life. And talking about our dreams, either in a journal or – even better - out loud to ourselves or to others, seems to actually help develop an ongoing relationship between various parts of our selves.
Here are my top 7 reasons for adding DreamWork to your life:
1. Spiritual Growth and Psychic Development
In DreamWork, we seem to invite a much livelier and richer spiritual life to unfold. Dreams comment and inspire as to the meaning of life, death, other lives, and other realms. Just discussing the atmosphere and movements in dreams, not to mention the “strange” way events unfold, awakens our spiritual and psychic dimensions. When we talk about a dream, or write it down, we find ourselves on a Bridge between Worlds, walking back and forth into our misty memories of the dreams and our present waking state.
In DreamWork, we are forming a psychic connection with the larger, hidden and quite mystical world within which our smaller, more mundane daily lives are embedded. We seldom think about discussing dreams as a spiritual process, much less as part of the training of a psychic, but this is exactly what is going on. Just stepping out onto the Bridge on a daily basis, for a short but focussed period of time, will change you. And of course, the effects are quite heightened when we do at least some of our DreamWork in a small group setting.
While we leaven our conscious self with the lighter vibration of the DreamWorld, our ability to write and to speak (the best forms of DreamWork) give the DreamWorld a power it did not have. All this sets the stage for us to more and more synchronicities - “cosmic winks” from the Large World…
2. Learning the Sacred Language of Symbols
A picture is worth a thousand words…Learning to interpret and perceive the Mysteries through symbols has been, since ancient times, a kind of rite of passage. It seems we signal our willingness to make the Journey, when we are willing to spend the time understanding what our symbols mean. DreamWork is very much part of the ancient Mysteries and so we find that dreams, almost always, speak in symbol.
Dorothy and Friends on the Yellow Brick Road
3. Personal Growth and Exploration
DreamWork is personally enriching, like a course in literature or creative writing. Exploring dreams is like discussing a novel in a book club – or analyzing a movie. We are looking for themes, settings, background, character analysis, and turning points. We widen our field of knowledge, looking up history, meanings of words and symbol on the net or in dictionaries and other books . We learn to recognize that a person or action can be a symbol of something and that – leaning to move from concrete to abstract thought – is a groundbreaking development for the mind.
In dreams we often meet surprising elements of ourselves – we expand psychologically as we embrace hidden truths about our feelings, the people around us, our childhood, and daily life. These awakenings can include symbols and even “memories” within a dream that seem to point to past lives, to time spent in other cultures. This can lead to personal exploration, even travels, as we widen ourselves to other peoples, other cultures, other countries. We often meet our own sexuality, in both male and female forms, which in turn helps us understand this dimension of life, and ourselves, more deeply.
World Jigsaw Puzzle
4. Solving the Problems of Life
The issues and themes in dreams are often surprisingly practical, with advice about our work life, children, marriage, love life, friendships, childhood and current family situations, pets, health, psychological issues, and spiritual questions.
A lady once told our group she dreamed that she had come home to find a bunch of marbles spilled all over the floor. She was quite cross and begin picking them up. The group asked her if she knew how the marbles got there, and she blurted out “Oh, it was my husband – he said he had lost his marbles!” As she said that, she was struck by obvious meaning of her words, though they had not meant much to her until she told the dream aloud. When we said “Is there anything in your life where you are picking up after someone who “has lost their marbles?” She replied, “Yes, it is my husband, he is determined to quit his good job and do some kind of solo business. I have been going along with it, thinking it my duty to support him…but I guess, deep down, I really think he has totally lost it!”
We all agreed that maybe she should not force herself down this path until she was a little more genuinely supportive, or it would have very negative consequences, for the new proposed business, and quite possibly for their marriage….
5. Socializing, Communing and Creating in our Dreams
In dreams, we can meet our loved ones who have passed on, travel across the country to check on a friend, or commune with a pet we are parted from. We can continue to work on relationships whether we are estranged through time, issues, distance or even death.
Our social life in the Dream World extends to the whole of humanity. According to Seth. channelled by Jane Roberts, we participate in the formation of mass world events. In fact, Seth explains that large world or national events are actually planned in a dimension that Seth called Framework 2. Before our return here, or in dreams during our lives, we can answer “casting calls” to be part of these large events…World news looks a lot different from that perspective!
Other cultures, like those of the Iroquois and other Native American peoples, turn regularly to their dream lives as one would turn to a living sacred Book in which truths are communicated – to whole peoples, as well as to individuals – from Unseen worlds. A dream is not really considered “private” but to belong to the whole community.
In Australia, the Aborigines’ Eternal DreamTime was – and continues to be – a Time of Creation as well as Revelation. In the West, we have tended to see dreams and their significance in personal terms - sources of information about ourselves and offering some guidance. In other cultures, dreaming is considered to have a deeper, mystical, alchemical dimension - a link to primal Creative Forces. And, as Western science begins to talk about the Universe as a “Vast Creative Mind“, the Circle closes, and Knowledge at last comes home to the West.
6. Healing Ourselves and Others
Modern medicine now knows (as the ancients did) that dreams heal the body, brain and mind. In dreams we meet broken-off, lost fragments of self, confused parts of ourselves lost in roles we don’t fully accept. We revisit old traumas, often in ways that are much easier to integrate than more forced, conscious recall…Dreams introduce problems, but almost always include the answer, and this becomes surprisingly clear as we talk our way into and through a dream. What seems like a broken-up, confusing set of images can turn out to hold a simple recommendation, a folksy perspective which helps cut through very complicated issues.
DreamWork can provide an intimate form of self-help for relationships. If couples, families and friends talk about their dreams, they find that their sensitivity to one another and to the fine points in each other’s personalities and needs are becoming much clearer. It is especially important for parents to encourage their children to bring up their dreams. Very often a child’s deepest concerns will be red-flagged in one or more dreams that are obvious in their meaning – even to a parent who is new to DreamWork. Just letting family members know their dreams are important is a way of showing love and respect for them as unique individuals. DreamWork in a family opens the door to shared spiritual experiences, and strengthen the bonds of love.
7. Raising the I.Q., the Sacred Marriage, and Spiritual Evolution
DreamWork is psychic work, taking us into the mysterious world of human nature itself. It combines intuitive and analytical skills like working with the Tarot Deck and Astrology. All of these activities, DreamWork included – raise the I.Q. The benefits to intelligence apply to both the formal concept of I.Q. and the more subtle, social concept of “Emotional I.Q., or Emotional Intelligence. Once we enter the world of symbolism we are using both sides of the brain and, in knitting together information from both sides, we must create new brain territory!
Uniting Both Sides of the Brain in Symbol Work
We first see the picture (image, symbol) in the right side of the brain which is known as the seat of intuition, art, emotion and holistic thought. Then we move – at increasing speed as we get more nimble – into the left side of the brain where logic, mathematics, science, and our birth language reside. We then “translate” the pictures/symbols into everyday language that we all share…then we blend the right-side intuition with the left-side words to come up with something quite new – a meaning that works in our life for the picture, image, and symbol.
This process is particularly intense with DreamWork because we not only move from right brain to left brain back and forth, but we simultaneously move back and forth between the dream and our life – looking for possible “fits” between events or themes in our life and the various symbols in the dream. This means our left-right effort at synthesis is fuelled by the inner-outer effort to see chronic and current events and situations in our outer lives in terms of our inner dream imagery.
Left-brain/right brain interaction in DreamWork leads us gently to Yin/Yang integration within our unfolding lives. Yin/Yang holism is the foundation for the Sacred Marriage between all opposites, and especially, the alchemical union of the Inner Male and Inner Female, of which Carl Jung wrote – and which the ancient Egyptians made central to their spiritual studies and initiation rites.
In Episode 3 of the award-winning documentary The Pyramid Code (Dr. Carmen Boulter )- The Empowered Human Being - we find that the Egyptians believed the integration of the male and female to be the crucial, final step toward spiritual enlightenment or achievement. The Egyptian inner priesthood apparently understood quite well the division of the brain physically and its correlation both to physical sides of the body and psychological, spiritual differences in human functioning.
The Right Brain was seen to be the Sacred Feminine (ruling the left side of the body, as we know from modern neurology). The Left Brain was seen as the Sacred Masculine and governed the right side of the body. If we have physical problems manifesting on one side or other of our body, it is very possible these are the out-playing of deep Masculine or Feminine issues yet to be resolved without our karmic patterns and many lives.
The Egyptians appear to have valued the Sacred Feminine so highly that some of the wisest, most senior priests and rulers are shown wearing the Egyptian female wig. This is similar to initiate shamans in many later cultures, even today, who must don fake breasts and make the journey from male to female as a final “death” before their new life of full Sacred Power.
Getting Started With DreamWork
Even without the camaraderie and guidance of a DreamWork group, DreamWork is a wonderful personal project. However, I do recommend group work where you can either find or perhaps even put together a small DreamWork group (6 to 8 people seems absolutely maximum). It should be 4 weeks to begin with, meeting once a week, for around 2-3 hours at most. It is fun to go longer, but there is a level of exhaustion from this intense work that is appreciated only a few hours later! This is the framework most often recommended, and it is the one I have used with my groups.
Buy or find in that drawer a large journal-type book and get ready to write down what you can recall of your dreams…There will be more, as time goes on, and if you do find a group, be prepared for a Big Dream, or a flurry of intense shorter dreams. The Higher Self seems to really turn it on – recall-wise – once there is a signal that commitment has been made.
Sweet Dreams, Everyone!
Part 3: Simple Keys To Interpreting Your Dreams
© Carol Leigh Rice 2014