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Introduction – Your Dream Interpreter
Dreams are one of the most extraordinary experiences any of us can have. This is why they have fascinated men and women in every culture throughout the ages. The roots of our own culture show that we are no exception to this. The Old and New Testament are full of dreams and dreaming, such as that of Pharaoh and of the warning dreams experienced by Joseph. (1)
In our own times an enormous amount of experiment into the nature and meaning of dreams and sleep has taken place. This has occurred both in the laboratory and in the testing bed of everyday experience of tens of thousands of men, women and children, along with the professionals dealing with human problems. A vast amount has been learned, showing that dreams are more profoundly revealing of transformative insights and self-understanding than even the ancient cultures realised. This flood of new understanding has shown that dreams are not mysterious jumbles of random images, but arise from the innate mental and physical processes of life within us. They express the unconscious wisdom that enabled and sustains the growth and health of your body and mind. This enormous experiment and research have also defined ways that each of us can learn to understand the dramatic and graphic language of our dreams.
What are dreams?
As with any area of thought, there are a wide variety of views as to what dreams are and what function they play in life. But if we attempt to find a synthesis of these ancient and modern views, it is that dreams are an expression of the most fundamental processes of life in us reaching toward awareness. Creatures have dreamt for millions of years prior to human emergence, and in their dreaming we see the biological life of our planet arriving at its own kind of consciousness, but achieving it in a very different way than we know in our waking life. It is like a huge pool of collective awareness that never knows itself as any one thing, but is the experience of all living creatures. The Psychiatrist Carl Jung gave it the name of the Collective Unconscious. The Australian aborigines called it The Dreamtime, and recognised that all creatures emerge from it, and pass back into it in sleep and dreams. The aborigines call it the ‘all-at-once’ time instead of the ‘one-thing-after-another’ time.
Whether we want to see this fundamental level of awareness as instinct, as holy, or as a collective unconscious, this fundamental part of us has the experience of millions of years. It has within it the essence of all human experience, from all cultures. Not only is this pool of collective experience ancient, holding all patterns of relationship already developed, but also it is always changing, always forming new possibilities from gathered experience.
In our waking state we have built an image of who we are. We frequently really believe we are the person that image creates. What you touch in your dreams is the person you can be beyond those limitations and concepts. Dreams open to you this possibility of vastly extending your own experience, and finding wholeness and a connection with your roots. (2)
Dreams are more than random images
Countless experiments have shown that each of us dream about four or five times each night. While we dream our voluntary muscles no longer respond to our attempts to move, and our eyes move rapidly under closed eyelids. Our muscles are paralysed in this way because, if they were not, we would actually run around or act out what we are dreaming.
Animals in which the brain area that blocks such impulses has been damaged live out their dream in movement. It can then be seen they are practising their basic life skills such as hunting or survival tactics.
But dreams do not simply extend your experience and allow you to practice your future actions; they express all the other functions of the human mind and spirit, reaching beyond the limits of waking awareness and your senses. Dreams solve problems; they reflect the state of health of your body and mind; they reach into your past and often access your earliest memories and responses; they are an expression of the self-regulating process of your body and your mind; dreams express your deepest creative ability and reach into new views and possibilities; they are a safe area to directly experience, and therefore practice, having a baby, getting married, dying and exploring the unknown.
Dreams reveal to you what you fail to see about yourself while awake. They show what you miss realising about the world around you, and the directions you are taking in life. They unveil things that usually lie beyond the boundaries of your five senses. But their information is sometimes obscured in apparently strange drama or feelings. Fortunately men and women throughout the ages, and especially in recent times, have clarified ways of extracting information from even the most obscure of dreams. Using these techniques enables you to gain insights that can transform the way you live and experience yourself. (3) It allows you to release old tensions and hurts. More than anything else it starts to unveil your immense potential.
(1) See Genesis 40:007 to 41:49 – and Mathew 1:20 and 2:11
(2) It would spoil the flow of the ideas to quote all references to support the statements made. However, the stated view of the dream and what lies behind it can be further explored in such books as: The section by Marie L. von Franz ‘The Process of Individuation’, in Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung. There is a River – The Story of Edgar Cayce, by Thomas Sugrue. Cosmic Consciousness – A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind by Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke. The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra. Supernature by Lyall Watson. The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. Collision With The Infinite by Suzanne Vega.
(3) The word insight is used purposely. It is defined as ‘the capacity to discern the true nature of a situation; penetration. The act or outcome of grasping the inward or hidden nature of things or of perceiving in an intuitive manner.’