Secrets Learned From Dreams
The First Great Secret
One of the great secrets observed from over fifty years of dream watching concerns health. It is that many of us carry within us fears about our health, or about our own personal adequacy. This is natural enough, but in dreams these feelings are shown as being like a hypnotic suggestion for the body to be ill. These negative emotions are like bad infections or viruses we have contracted. To counteract their influence we must take time to feel the basic force for life and survival in us. Become aware of the force that is constantly renewing body and mind. Imagine it pervading every part of you and work with it toward healing and renewal. Whatever feelings of pleasure you can find, let them spread to areas of pain or discomfort. Let them fill your body and restore it. See Life’s Little Secrets
The Second Great Secret
The second secret is that behind the facade we may erect to tell people who we are, each of us want to be capable of loving and supporting at least one other human being. We want at least one other person to be glad we exist. This secret of love permeates your sexual drive. Even the sex cells – the sperm and ovum – when they meet, burst asunder and give themselves completely to each other. Dreams suggest we have an urge toward this at a personal level. We deeply desire our lover to so open to us, and we to them, that we take them into ourselves and are enriched by the merging of the other personality without compromising our independence. If you are frightened of this giving of yourself, you remain frustrated in a large degree. And one of the great themes in dreams is the constant reminder of the fears and hurts that stand in the way of such love. See: second example in Wife; Learning to Love
The Third Great Secret
The third secret is about death. A huge number of dreams reviewed for this book are about death. Most of them reflect the fears and images we have of death, and show us running from these painted masks. Many such images are what we have inherited from our culture, through its lack of positive statements about death. The secret witnessed in dreams is that if you dare stop running from these emotions and cut-out cartoons of death, with their maggots and rotting bodies, you will break through the screen the images are projected upon. The wondrous reality of life will be waiting for you there, ready to share the love and transformation that lies in death. Dare to challenge the mirage. See second example in Creative Dreaming and Problem Solving; Dreams of Death and Beyond.
I was Jesus walking among the people, in today’s world. I was in a crowded shop like building and could see lots of people out on the street gathering for a communal procession. I walked the other way through a corridor, passing people going out to the front way. It was then I knew that people were getting closer with the intention of shooting me. I kept walking to the area that I was intent on reaching which was a group of my people.
I came out of a door and saw them sitting in small groups talking amongst themselves. I walked up to a table where a couple were sitting, very engrossed in each other. I sat down with them, reaching out with my hand to touch the woman saying, ‘Do not be afraid, I am going to be shot’. As soon as I said it I felt the shot go through me. Then several more. I stood up and saw a man take aim and shoot me, I wasn’t afraid, just stood there feeling the bullet go through. I then began to walk amongst the crowds knowing that I was shot several times. The top of my head was blown off, all my brains had gone and still I walked with the crowds. I saw the blood and brains on the ground and wondered at the marvel of still being there. I felt it was the Crucifixion of myself / Jesus. Hyone
The Fourth Great Secret
A fourth secret is that we can communicate with the deeply unconscious aspects of our nature such as body processes. Dreams portray the life process as intelligent and purposive, as something existing in all things and synthesising all individual experience. Life as presented by the unconscious is responsive to our own actions and attitudes. If we care for and love the innate process of our being, such as daring to face the cultural and childhood sources of internal pain, and heal them, then life loves us, responds more fully to us, and opens its treasures to us. See Opening to Life
The Fifth Great Secret
I arrived at the view that one of the great secrets of life is that every event of love or hate is recorded in the Temple of our body. The other great secret was that we cannot feel sure about ourselves, we cannot be truly alive, while there are parts of our nature and history that we do not acknowledge. This felt like a revelation I wanted to promulgate. It was of enormous significance. See LifeStream
The Sixth Great Secret
I saw that dreams expressed an archaic wisdom. It expresses that wisdom that the collective awareness has gathered through unimaginable variety of life experience. It expresses the possibility of all the behavioural responses that it has learned. For instance, in human society there are all manner of forms of relationship between the man and the woman. There are men with one wife, no wife, many wives. There are men who never enter a relationship in their life. There are women without a husband, with one husband, with several husbands, or several partners. Of course the unusual forms of sexuality such as prostitution and homosexuality explore yet more varieties of personal experience. It isn’t that any of these are right or wrong, but simply variations on a theme. As in music that satisfies, the theme may explore conflicts, pain, discord, as the music moves toward integration, toward synthesis and satisfaction.
Our genetic coding presents us with a body and its possibilities, but there is also an experience that lies behind that coding. There are the millions of years life experience that led to the code. The archaic in us exists because of connections. The whole matrix of life exists because of connections. Many of these are obvious as we see in the food chain, as we see in the relationship between plant life and the sun and the earth. We see these connections in the way that bacterial life and plant life and human life work together. One thing relates to and depends upon another thing. At that deep level we all acknowledge that dependence. We feel it as a sort of holiness or awe. We see it as a fundamental truth and unfortunately often ignore it.
Our tribal religions often, unfortunately, get disconnected from that archaic source of life. Frequently the religion, although it states it is about the creative impulse in us all, often doesn’t help us to connect with that creative source, with that internal archaic awareness. So dreams, and the love that people there for each other, are always a direct route to reconnection. They take us back to that wisdom, that tried and true experience. They arouse again the awareness of our connection with each other. See Life’s Basic Functions
The Seventh Great Secret
Dreams are an expression of biological life forming a dim awareness of itself, an ill-defined awareness of itself as it came alive in the creatures swarming on our planet. Life became conscious in that way millions of years ago. From the point of view of human consciousness we do not see it as a powerful form of consciousness. But the focused self-aware consciousness of human beings feeds back into that unfocused ocean of awareness. That fundamental awareness, or what the Australian aborigines call the Dreamtime, and what a lot of people probably mean when they use the word God, is transforming constantly through the impact of new experience. This transformation comes about through an interaction between the focused self-awareness of human beings and that fundamental awareness behind existence. That core awareness is archaic and, ancient, a collective experience of everything that has lived. That core awareness is unfocused, but in that is its wonder. It doesn’t particularise. It doesn’t end up being any one thing. It remains all encompassing, a collective. Because of the interaction between physical life forms and that core awareness it is evolving all the time.
Example: The only way I can describe it is to say that it felt as if I am standing in an open space in a town without any other people about. But what I was standing in was the many images, felt threats, fears, longings that assail human beings. So in one sense I was standing in the middle of a dream, and I was surrounded by the images of the felt threats, fears, hopes, that in fact impact on human consciousness every day. They impact in a way that are for many people torments, perhaps even life-threatening, and that for some may lead to suicide. But as I stood in the middle of these things and they came at me one after the other in the form of images, but images that were deeply felt, I was like a burning flame. I don’t mean that I looked like a flame. I mean that as each image impacted on my consciousness it burnt out. I was naked consciousness, and as each form, as each image attacked my nakedness it was burnt away, perhaps by my recognition of it as simply an emotion, a feeling, an image that in itself was a passing show of things.
I don’t think I have ever before felt such an amazing feeling as that magical sense of being able to stand amidst anything and everything that came towards me and yet remaining as pure, naked awareness.
This led me on to looking at, or wondering, why, as human beings we should be so dominated by images and imagery. In particular I was thinking about how our culture, and how we as individuals, are so manipulated by the images that are thrust at us day after day week after week, and year after year. The images of the big powerful male, the beautiful female, big tits and perfect teeth, the whole business.
So many things happened here it is difficult to remember them all and to record them in any sort of real sequence. But it seemed to me, and it was an incredibly powerful experience to find my way through, that the influence of the images deeply pervades us. It leads to a culture in which millions of human beings are led to want the next gadget, it leads millions of us into a consumer society where we constantly feel the need to get something, to buy something, to be a consumer.
But also, at the end of burning through all the imagery, and the recognition of what an extraordinary thing that was, I stood in the middle of something that I did not at first recognise and so was once more caught up in. What I mean by this is that my nakedness burnt through image after image, emotion after emotion, but suddenly one came that appeared to be real to me and so I was carried along by it, became lost in it. And what I became lost in was the sense of purposelessness that I see as underlying much of our culture, and also one of the big driving forces in being consumers. In imagery this was like looking around and seeing okay, I am this naked consciousness, but so what? Here I stand in the middle of rather grubby and ugly streets and houses. Here I exist in the middle of a culture whose games have no great quality to excite me. Is that all I am? Is there nothing else?
What is important here is that for many of us the meaninglessness, the purposelessness, is as real as bricks and mortar.
The experience of being naked awareness, of burning through image after image, feeling after feeling, viewpoint after viewpoint, left a great impression. Out of it realisations were emerging. The major one was that there is no danger in being awake in ones dreams, but one must beware, or be aware of, the fact that sometimes, as happened with myself in meeting the feeling of pointlessness, one can become possessed by the image, at least for a while. When that happens the image, the emotion, the viewpoint takes on a concrete reality, a supreme sense that there is nothing beyond it. Perhaps a way of describing this is to say that if you could imagine that you are standing in an open space, and by some trick of technology an image of a house is built around you, with walls, furniture, windows, etc. If you can imagine that you discover in imagery that the doors are locked, then you are completely trapped. But you are trapped by nothing but what you take to be real.
Perhaps the central secret of this is that what happens in life and in our dreams is that what we do tend to see as real what is created out of our own mind stuff. It is created out of our own emotions, our own fears and hopes. There is no way out of that unless we recognise the material it is made out of it is the energy of consciousness.
This is so like the ending scenes in the film Matrix, that I am sure whoever wrote the script had a profound awareness of this. The hero of Matrix breaks through the surface appearance of things and enters into the very programming of the apparent world around him. This is what happens when we wake up to what underlies all our experience whether as a physically external world, or as our own dream world.
The point is that whatever we believe we are; whatever we believe the world is; it becomes that because we create it out of our mind stuff. I am not suggesting that the external world is a figment of our imagination. What I am saying is that our feelings about it, our perception of it, are shaped by our own innate nature. Truly, the Buddhist search for Moksha, or freedom/liberation, does arise by recognising that all experiences are a play of consciousness.
Perhaps the central secret of this is that what happens in life and in our dreams, is what we do tend to see as real is created is out of our own mind stuff. It is created out of our own emotions, our own fears and hopes. There is no way out of that unless we recognise the material it is made out of it is the energy of consciousness – our own thoughts, beliefs and convictions. See Archetype of the Search for Self; Dimensions of Human Experience