There is so much to say about the dream state that I hardly know where to start. This may take several posts but at the risk of losing my readers, I think I will need to start with the dream state as real & literal. The typical understanding of the dream state & dreams in general is that they are the result of the subconscious & the brain playing out & processing all that has happened during the day. I don’t dispute this at all. Test subjects, deprived of dream state sleep, quickly become psychotic. Another understanding is that dreams are a way for your subconscious to communicate to the conscious mind via symbols or metaphors. Again, I agree. I own a dream dictionary entitled simply “Dream Dictionary” by Tony Crisp that is decent (although not my favorite.) I recommend that everyone have a good one in their personal reference library as a dream interpretation book is an excellent tool for discovering yourself. Not only is it useful for interpreting dreams but I also use it to interpret the happenings in my waking life as well. I firmly believe that spirit uses our waking life just as easily as our sleeping life to talk to us. Other books useful for this purpose include: “Heal Your Body-the Mental Causes for Physical Illness” by Louise Hay, “Permanent Healing” by Daniel R. Condron, “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die” by Karol K. Truman, “Love Is In The Earth” by Melody & both of the “Animal-Speak” books & “Nature-Speak” by Ted Andrews.
To consider the dream state as real & literal is a little bit farther out there, so to speak. You may not think of dreams as being about or taking place in actual literal places, planes of existence, other dimensions, other lives but consider how often you hear of someone receiving a warning in a dream that comes true or having a dream about an event that then happens in the physical. You can probably remember an instance in which this has happened to you or someone you know. I’ve had many such dreams of prophecy. Of course, I realize that such dreams can be explained away by the idea that your subconscious is aware of things & is communicating them to the conscious mind via dreams. However, I’ve relived & experienced past lives in my dreams. I’ve visited family members that have passed over. I’ve woken up in my dreams. There is a book that I still have entitled “Lucid Dreaming” by Stepen LaBerge. I first read it more than 20 years ago & immediately began having dreams in which I was “lucid” or “awake”. In such a state, you feel completely awake, aware & physical in your dreams which is the most amazing thing as it’s nearly impossible to tell that you aren’t awake in the physical. The basic idea in the book is to ask your self many times during the day if you are awake & then test the question by choosing to float. If you are unable to float then you know that you are awake in this 3rd dimensional reality where it is not possible to float but if you float then you realize that you are actually dreaming & it is this realization that has the potential to wake you up in that dream. By asking your self these questions during the day when of course you know that you are awake, eventually you will think to ask your self during a dream. Waking up in a dream is not the same thing as being aware that you are dreaming. It is very possible to be aware that you are dreaming & yet not actually wake up in the dream. To wake up in a dream, is to be fully present in the body that is in that dream. You will know when you have succeeded because you will feel completely physical & the dream will feel completely physical. What I have noticed about waking up in a dream, once you have realized that you are dreaming, is a feeling of being drawn forward into the dream & into your body in the dream. Alternately, as you become more proficient, you may simply be awake in your bed one minute & awake in a dream the next & move from one dream to another fully awake & present in each. Typically, this tends to cause me to wake up in bed multiple times in between or during the lucid dreams.
So, how does lucid dreaming illustrate that dreams are possibly real experiences & literally taking place in other dimensions, realities or planes of existence outside of our physical awareness? Well, experiencing a lucid dream is pretty convincing by itself but what clinched it for me, was many years later after my first experience of lucid dreaming, when I began to have Out-Of-Body-Experiences (OOBE’s). In an OOBE, you experience the process of leaving your physical body in another body, usually traveling to another place. OOBE’s feel equally as physical as lucid dreams & once out of my physical body, I could not discern any difference between them. Everything that I’ve experienced during a dream or a lucid dream, I have also experienced during an OOBE. I’ve experienced past lives in my dreams as well as during lucid dreams & OOBE’s. Likewise, I’ve visited family members in all three formats. These experiences led me to wonder if lucid dreams are actually OOBE’s minus the awareness of leaving the physical body. And I wonder, also, if dreams are experiences taking place somewhere that you experience in a less conscious manner than OOBE’s or lucid dreaming – like watching a live soap opera on television versus actually being in a play on stage.
If you accept the possibility that your dreams are real experiences just as your physical life is a real experience, then you can see that your dreams need your prayer & healing just as much as your waking life. In fact, I feel that your dream life can often illustrate your wounds even clearer than you could be aware of otherwise. By treating your dreams as your own true experiences & doing your work to heal them, you heal yourself & possibly prevent those undesirable prophecies from coming true. The dream state is a magical place & is much simpler to heal than here. Anytime I wake up from an unpleasant dream, especially, I pray: “I ask for the Complete Cleaning Clearing Healing Restoration Protection Forgiveness Prayer * for this dream & for all persons, places, things, events, circumstances & situations involved & I surrender this to the Holy Spirit & specialists to be done for me through grace in Christ’s name. Amen.” It is often a good idea to interpret the dream both symbolically with the help of a counselor &/or a dream dictionary & also literally & heal with prayers & forgiveness work. By doing your spiritual work on issues illustrated by your dreams, you probably prevent them from becoming reality in your physical life & lessen the problems you already have. For those who do not remember dreams, I recommend saying the above prayer every morning when you awake with the following added to it: * “for all of my dreams & everywhere I’ve been at night during my sleep & for all persons, places, etc.” & continue as above.
To encourage your remembrance of dreams, it is helpful to leave a pen & notebook by your bed with the expectation that you will write down any little glimmer. As you commit to writing what you do remember, you will be encouraging your self to remember with more detail until you will be good at dream recall. Another trick to recalling your dreams, is to not move when you wake up as remaining in the same position that you were in while dreaming seems to help you recall the most recent dream. Rather than immediately moving or getting out of bed, lie there for awhile & see what you can remember. It’s not unusual for it to take several minutes for the dream to come to you. I have a theory about this as well. I have often been aware when returning from an OOBE that while I (my consciousness) has returned to my body in bed immediately, the body that I (my consciousness) has been traveling in, is much slower to return. It seems that body has the memory & sometimes I don’t consciously remember anything until I feel that body rejoin my physical body. It’s a very distinctive subtle feeling of humming. I have also noticed this humming when awakening from dreams & not just after OOBE’s. Once the humming stops, I can suddenly remember the dream or the OOBE.
Are our dreams actually OOBE’s? I don’t know for sure but from my experience it certainly seems a possibility. I would love to hear about your experiences of the dream state.
Live, Love & Laugh in the Light of God 🙂
I have really had trouble reining my self in for each post that I’ve written in this series so far & “Our Mental Selves” is no exception. I may have to cycle through the “Our Selves” series multiple times in order to get to say everything I’d like. I was a little worried before starting that I wouldn’t have much to say with this one & the last one “Our Energetic Selves” but by the time I sat down, my mind was overflowing with thoughts & ideas. I guess my mental self has been called upon. For the purposes of this post today, our mental self includes our intelligence, intellect, thoughts, thought-forms, beliefs, ideas, words, mind, brain & thinking processes including abstract & concrete.
Our mental selves are a little like our physical selves in that they both receive more of our attention & acceptance compared to the other aspects of our selves, being of a more tangible nature than say, the energetic self. So, for example, even though you can’t exactly put a finger on your thoughts, they appear to originate from the physical construct of the brain which gives them an aura of concrete reality & realness. You could locate the mental self in the brain, for it’s apparent from our physical biology that much of our “mentality” is located in the brain but I don’t recommend this. It’s probably more accurate to perceive your mental self as a body permeating your physical body. Viewed in this way, you can see that your mental self, intelligence & mind are not limited to just your brain. Every part of your body is intelligent.
The mental self can cause or contribute to problems in our lives & bodies just as any of our other aspects can & since “energy follows thought,” the potential is great for our mental self to cause a great deal of problems for us through our thinking & our thoughts. Since we usually assume that our thoughts originate with us, we then proceed to buy into everything we think without discernment, believing all that we think. You’ve heard the saying “don’t believe everything you hear”? To this, I would add “or think” because your thoughts are not always just your own. Some thoughts that arise unbidden in your mind are from God but some are from unhealed, wounded parts of your self, some from others in spirit whether of a pure nature or a wounded nature. In the same way that you would weigh & measure the words of others, I would suggest that you weigh & measure your own thoughts. Are they true? clarifying? accurate? compassionate? peaceful? loving? reasonable? logical? Do they lead you to make improvements in your life, body & relationships? Or do they tear you or others down? criticize? attack? judge? condemn? Do they stir up hate? unforgiveness? revenge? anger? Do they dwell on temporary negative conditions? things out of your control? what others are doing? or have done? The quality of your thoughts can indicate the source of them. Needless to say, the loving thoughts of God feel very different from the wounded thoughts of others or of other parts of your self. Don’t believe that you hear any thoughts but your own? This is possibly true if you continuously occupy your mind with ongoing active thinking, although, I have heard Spirit talk to me right over the top of my own thinking so I know that active thinking is no actual impediment. The best example I can think of, demonstrating that we can hear Spirit as our own thoughts, was one time that I was out of my body (OOBE) but heading back. Usually, coming back into my body is instantaneous but this was one of those times that it wasn’t. I was moving through a space similar to a hallway & up ahead of me & off to the left, I could hear a woman talking as if she were in a room off this hallway. She continued talking as I moved past her & I continued to hear her voice as I moved away. Gradually, as I merged with my body, her voice changed from it’s own distinct sound to the sound of my own thinking & continued on, sounding & feeling exactly like my own thoughts. This experience, among others, confirmed for me that we have the ability to “hear” those in spirit in our minds as our thoughts.
The difficulty with “hearing” spirit in this way is learning to discern which thoughts are your own & which are not. To this end, I would suggest a few things.
Forgiveness Work or Emotional Work mentioned in a previous post “Our Emotional Selves” is also very effective with clearing & healing the mental self. For myself, I found that as I did my “work,” I enjoyed greater & greater periods of time without any chatter in my mind. A quiet mind can be key for many, as it was for me, to enable the voice of Spirit to be discerned. Once you develop the ability to be quiet in your mind, the voice of Spirit is quite obvious.
Meditation works for some people by training the mind to be quiet & cease the chatter. This training can then be used to listen to Spirit. This technique has the benefit that it is available to anyone, there are many self-help books on the subject & it doesn’t require having access to a therapist. It does require daily commitment though & it lacks the depth of healing & overall healing benefit offered by forgiveness work.
Practicing the Presence: Choosing to practice the presence of God involves your willingness to be open to God, stated with intent & then sitting quietly, letting go of everything else. It looks like meditation but is not because you are not focusing your attention on anything in the physical, you are not trying to stop thinking, you are not required to hold any particular position, chant any word or phrases or accomplish any goal other than being with God. The Presence of God has the power to overcome all of your resistance, woundedness, fear & negative mental constructs, thoughts, beliefs, disordered & faulty thinking & rigid mind. One of my mentors has developed a wonderful version of this technique that I am going to try to share here. This can be done anytime but bedtime is especially good. Say out loud or in your mind, “I choose to fill myself with the Divine Presence of God.” This is the basic statement or intent to which more can be added such as “I choose to fill my bones, muscles, connective tissue”, etc. Alternately you could start with your feet & move up adding your legs, etc. You could go through the list of body systems such as pulmonary system, skeletal system or body organs & glands such as heart, etc. You can expand this idea by choosing to fill your relationships, your different aspects such as your subconscious, emotions, emotional self, field, soul, spirit, mind, will, etc. I always take a deep breath after each stated intent because I want to let go of all resistance to God & to receiving what I am asking. Once you feel that you are done, then just lie there enjoying the feeling of being filled with God. Sweet Dreams!
THE BREEZE AT DAWN
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back & forth across the door sill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round & open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
“The Essential Rumi”
New Expanded Edition
Translation by Coleman Barks
Harper Collins, 2004, p. 36
The Breeze at Dawn is a Rumi poem. Rumi (Sept. 30, 1207-Dec. 17, 1273), as he is popularly called, was a 13th century Persian muslim poet, jurist, theologian & sufi mystic. There is a good deal of information about him on Wikipedia. His followers founded the Mawlawi Sufi Order after his death in 1273. Every major religion has a mystical form it seems. In Islam it’s Sufism, in Judaism it’s Kabbalah & in Christianity it’s Gnosticism. These are just the ones I know. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are many others.
I consider this poem to be one of my theme songs, so to speak. It was first brought to my attention by one of my mentors (I highly recommend having at least one mentor but that will be a post for another day) & it seems that every time it is brought to my attention again, it fits me & my life perfectly. When I decided to begin this blog, yet again came the reminder. So, of course, I had to plaster it on the front page. I can’t possibly explain in one small post all of the reasons why it fits & belongs on the front page of this blog but I will attempt a few just to introduce myself & this blog.
First off is the obvious in that it has my name in it! Despite my moniker & that I was born at dawn (hence the name), I am not a morning person & I have a lot of trouble waking up in the morning. Often falling back asleep, when I intend to wake up. “Don’t go back to sleep” is a reminder to remain conscious & to remember who I really am – a spiritual being having a physical experience – something that many of us have forgotten & that causes us to live our lives half asleep. Life seems so much easier & simpler to sleepwalk through it. Spirit has worked hard to wake me up in this lifetime & keep me awake!
Asking for what I want is something I am still learning to do. This requires that I be aware enough of myself that I know what I need. After waking up enough to realize what I need, I still have to take it a step further & ASK. I don’t mean ask others which could also be another meaning of this line but ask Spirit. This reminds me of the bible verse on my Favorites Collection page Matthew 7:7-8 NIV “So I say to you: Ask & it will be given to you; seek & you will find; knock & the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds & to the one who knocks the door will be opened.” My absolute, all time favorite bible verse since I was young that never fails to bring tears to my eyes & to give me goosebumps when I read it. By the way, I’ve learned that anything that causes goosebumps or brings tears to the eyes is significant to me in someway. Just one way that Spirit communicates.
“People are going back & forth across the door sill where the two worlds touch.” This for me refers to the waking & the dream state, the physical world & the spiritual world, being born & passing away among other possibilities. These two worlds only seem disconnected from each other but aren’t as “the door is round & open,” implying that you can easily cross “back & forth” from one to the other. My earliest memory of crossing the door sill was when I was 2 years old. I was reaching for a red ball in the corner next to the stove when a pot of hot coffee was accidentally knocked over on top of me. I went into shock from suffering 2nd & 3rd degree burns. I have no memory after the red ball until the hospital where I remember watching from the corner of the curtained off emergency room as the hospital staff worked on me. I was not afraid & just stayed there & watched. The next memory is of waking up back in my body in the hospital crib with something uncomfortable wrapped around my middle, probably a blanket. This was my first out-of-body-experience (OOBE) that I can remember & possibly my first spiritual experience in general, also.
“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you” would be me. I have kept my spiritual life a complete secret from others for most of my life. “Coming out of the closet” so to speak, is something I never intended to do & yet here I am telling secrets! I can’t keep quiet any longer. The pressure from Spirit to speak can no longer be denied. For anyone who understands metaphysics, the study of things beyond the physical, my not speaking all this time explains in part my developing thyroid problems. It’s time to speak. I hope Spirit & God are happy, now. 🙂
And with that, this blog has officially begun.
Happy New Year!