Aristides and the First Dream Diary

Aristides was a Greek who is thought to have written the first dream diary during the period of time dated 530 to 468 BC. This diary, titled The Sacred Teachings, was a huge work five volumes in length – although 27 portions of it may have been lost.

The reason for the title is that many of the dreams concerned Aesculapius the god of healing. They give accounts of how Aesculapius appeared to Aristides in his dreams and taught him various methods of healing illnesses. Many of these methods were what would be considered extreme today, consisting of bathing in icy cold streams, taking mud baths in freezing weather, and so on. Interestingly, in Japan, the teachings of Seitai, which are said by their founder Noguchi to be based on observations of the process underlying dreaming, also recommend freezing baths and other rigorous disciplines. The reason given is that much illness arises from having what might be described as a limp personality – one which constantly worries over inconsequential things, or retreats from any minor discomfort. The rigorous disciplines are said to strengthen the will and resolve of the practitioner, and thus make them more forceful in the way they meet experience. This is mentioned as the ancient practices may have had a similar aim. In some modern pain clinics, the patients are helped to gradually increase their exposure to pain, even to the point of powerfully moving painful joints and body areas. The results reported are said to increase the persons ability to meet and deal with pain and difficulties. See: Greece (ancient) dream beliefs.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Do you worry about inconsequential things? If so you could do with disciplines such as described in the slow breath.

It is also worthwhile to read and take to heart what is said in Dream Yoga.

Can you face and integrate emotional pain or do you hide it with nicotine and alcohol – or even worse heavy drugs?  Use Integrating.

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