I have been asked on a semi-frequent basis to talk a bit about dreams. Obviously, one could spend a great deal more time than a simple blog talking about the nature of dreams (and many have, of course), but I thought I would include an “intro” to dreams and dreaming from a spiritual perspective.
We have different types of dreams that serve different purposes.
The first type of dreams that we can talk about are garbage dreams. This is your brain clearing the clutter from your day (or week). There is no huge meaning here, it is more like your brain has an entire whiteboard filled with marker from the thoughts and experiences you have from your day, and your body/mind will “digest” that information (or clear the whiteboard) so you can have a clear, fresh whiteboard for your next day.
Of course in our high-stress world, this doesn’t happen, and we don’t necessarily start out “fresh” each day. To keep things simple, I will say that simply some of our dreams do not have much meaning: you watch five episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, and then you dream about Carol Alt, it doesn’t really have any sort of profound meaning– your body is simply trying to digest your experiences from that day.
The second type of dreams are psychological dreams. Yes, I am going to be very simple here. Yes, there are a huge amount of books that go into much higher level, or in-depth sort of waters than I will here. But basically we have our conscious mind. This is what we are aware of. What we know to be true, what we think about, what we do with ourselves. We also have our subconscious, and really the totality of who we are is kind of like the tip of an iceberg (the conscious mind) and then the rest of the massive iceberg (the subconscious mind).
We may, simply put, only really understand about five percent (yes, I made that up, and yes, for most people that would be a high number) of our motivations for doing things, basically. Most of us are walking around with little idea of the sort of traumas, patterns, loops (repeated behaviors and thoughts), and energies that we are carrying around that create our reality. Obviously, the more that we do our own “inner work” or spelunk into the depths of our selves in an authentic way (going in, not out, and not ignoring, as the spiritual trends these days tend to want us to do).
Some dreams serve to bring forward ideas, understandings, and symbols from our subconscious into our conscious mind. This is a sort of processing in this case– we may not understand why we are bothered by someone at work and then we have a disquieting dream about the person. Or it may create even less of a connection– we may need to study and think about the symbology of our dreams, or discuss it with others.
For example, if we are walking down into our basement where we see a creepy clown and a birthday cake that reminds us of when we were six, we would have to know basic Jungian psychology enough to know that the basement is reflective of our subconscious, know ourselves well enough to know how we feel about clowns and reflect on any experiences we have had with them (perhaps if we really sat with said clown we would realize it had a similar energy of an uncle that was at that birthday), and be willing to be reflective of our sixth birthday party and what may have happened there to tie everything together. We then may need to explore why such symbols are arising now, and the connection to our current lives.
The third type of dreams are collective consciousness dreams. This is where we move away from the “personal” (our own library of symbols and reflections based solely on our own life– whether spiritual, emotional, or psychological) and into more collective energies.
Our dream life is a gateway. The best explanation of this I have heard is that our daily experiences and then our “night” (as in, sleep, but obviously could mean simply night as well, as magical/occult/spiritual practitioners fully realize and utilize to their benefit) are like two wings of the same butterfly. For an utterly generic to the point of meaningless term, we are more “spiritual” at night, and we are more open. The proverbial universe is also more open as well, but as most things go, it is our own openness that creates our reality.
We also are much less resistant.
This means that in our dreams if we were to fly, or to see/sense/feel the impossible, we wouldn’t shut down the experience (as we would in waking reality). If we were to talk to an elephant, or a plant, or a strange being, we would be more open to it. If we were to talk to an elephant and it would respond in our daily lives, most of us would understandably freak out, or at the very least question our sanity.
We shut ourselves down and off from a lot of experiences in our daily lives. As someone who is “highly psychic” (you can read about these categories in my book, Managing Psychic Abilities, which will be out soon) I notice a lot of stuff around me in my daily life. I do not have much resistance, and have, quite frankly, seen a lot of shit (pardon my language) by this point that would cause most people to run screaming, or to deny what they are experiencing… or more regularly, to just not notice it because it is not an accepted part of what they view the constraints of “reality” to entail.
All this being said, I was once told that I notice about four to six percent of my surroundings and happenings on a regular basis. I agree with this sentiment, as I have been “blasted” with energy far beyond that and can recognize how much is out there that I do not see/sense (I have an awareness of the layers of the “onion” that are beneath me, to extend a metaphor I will refer to later). There are a lot of complex reasons for this, and to why we tune out things (mainly so we don’t go crazy, as when you get to certain points things like realizing you are in several timelines at once are a bit odd to reconcile, but even at lower levels of consciousness combined with the stress of our day and what we already have to process/digest can throw even someone at the .03 percent of noticing off the deep end).
But in dreams we are more open.
We are able to connect to our greater selves, who we are without the constraints: beliefs, traumas, and so forth that we have chosen to define our reality.
We are also able to connect to more than our selves. In our daily lives we are really preoccupied with ourselves to the extent that it is rare that most of us can consider anything other than ourselves. There is a specific point in the spiritual path where this changes, but for the sake of this blog I will say that most people are so focused on themselves that the idea of energies and experiences not completely fixated on them (on the idea of the Self as creator or protagonist of their world) simply wouldn’t be accepted in daily life.
In our dreams, we move beyond such constraints and are able to connect to greater symbols, archetypes, and experiences that make up collective energies. We can move beyond the idea of ourselves being the center of the Universe to realize that we are but a small part of things, and will be more willing to notice that and experience that in dreams, at least at first.
We may still be a part of the dream, by the way, but the symbols, experiences, and energies of the dream will not be reflective (necessarily) of our own personal library, our own experiences in this world. They will rely on communal constructs, thoughts, and so forth.
Basically, we can see, experience, and notice things without having to turn it into a personal narrative, or have it be all about us. What we do with that information when we wake up is another story (if in waking life, we are not beyond the “I am the protagonist” narrative of our existence, we will likely then create a narrative to suit our current narrative about our lives, or what we consider or would like to be true about ourselves).
So this is the point in dreams where things may get a bit weird.
Because if we are “awakening” or on a spiritual path, we will not only have the above dreams (symbols from collective consciousness, symbols from our unconscious mind brought up to our conscious mind, and “garbage”) but we will begin to realize that dreams and sleep are the great connector.
What this means is that dreams are a meeting ground. Our daily, “mundane” reality is hard for energies to get through to. It is hard on the energies to get through not only because of our conscious mind refusing to believe, or fearing, anything “spiritual” coming through to us (or own resistance, basically) but also because a lot of energies are not really intended to be a part of the “physical” or concrete reality, and it is hard, if not impossible for many energies to become dense enough for us to notice them.
Without getting too confusing, our physical reality is like the outer part of an onion. There are many, many layers all on top of one another… but most of us are only able to sense, see, and willing to acknowledge the outer layer (where things can be measured, show up physically and densely, and so forth).
This is what a lot of people don’t get about spirits (former humans) and other energies, by the way. The reason why some people can see or sense them is because they can look beyond that initial layer of the onion. The more layers you are willing to look inward, the more you are aware of just how many layers there are, by the way. And those layers are not elsewhere or some place that needs to be visited or “journeyed” to– they are all right here. We just may feel safer if we create the mental construct that the “spiritual” is elsewhere.
As an aside, one of the funniest aspects of being able to see/sense stuff (yes, I will use the word “stuff”) is that most houses are, well, “haunted”. This means that one person may encounter anywhere from several to several thousand spirits in their daily lives, of course without realizing it. If people were to know this, they would freak out (or reach for the sage, which if you have taken my clearing course, you know that sage doesn’t really do a huge amount). But our minds and spiritual path/readiness do not allow for us to see this/sense this, and so if we do sense anything “spiritual”, such as a former human/spirit, the tendency of even “spiritual” sorts is to assume that they are there to create issues for them (the whole “protagonist” thing, again) or that they should all be gone, or that they have a personal responsibility to clear them. All of which are illusions, by the way, but I digress…
But basically, our dreams serve as a meeting ground where we can more easily meet teachers, guides, experience other layers of that “onion” (other layers of reality).
We also have more openness to discover who we are without the constraints of our beliefs, traumas, and energetic constraints given to us by others pressing in on us.
If we understand how to, we can travel (such as dream walking; or traveling into the dreams of another person), lucid dream (or realize that we are dreaming, and learn to control or work with our dreams), and by extension learn how to etherically and astrally travel while awake.
We can also learn to communicate with specific energies utilizing dreams, such as receiving information from either specific places or through specific energies that we have already made contact with, in our dreams.
Dreams can also serve the function of initiation, teachings, and the realization of who you fully are… basically a glimpse of who you could be with some of your trauma and constricting beliefs/energies no longer being a part of your daily lives.
In our dreams we are more open, and this can also cause some safety and other concerns. For example, many people inadvertently travel, or come into contact with energies that create fear.. or experiences that cause fear because of lack of understanding. I always suggest my Cleansing course for this, as it will teach things like dream pillows as well as measures to ensure basic safety (if this is a concern).
But in Part Two, I will discuss some of the more “spiritual” aspects of dreams, including how we are more of “ourselves” in dreams, some of the places we may travel, initiation(s) in dreams, teachers/guides in dreams, and how we can come into realization and acknowledgement of our dreams to serve our spiritual path and our waking reality.