Dreams calibrate our inner disposition.
They teach us that our experience in waking life
is very important to our well being.
There are countless definitions of what a man essentially is. To be strong, safe, firm in resolve, compassionate yet driven, able to navigate the expression and cessation of emotional impulse, to make intelligent decisions in the face of calamity, well dressed, good with kids, etc. Yet the ideal that seems to rise like cream to the top, unflinchingly, is a man’s realization of and dedication to his true purpose, calling, or, to use a more antiquated term—dreams.
Dreams in this sense are thought forms and associated felt senses that live and breathe within each one of us as a precious seed. They ask to be germinated in the physical world, and fling stress and illness through our nerves if we ignore their impulse. Dreams are also illusions, or a word to describe a lover or an infatuation. But the dreams we are referring to here combine all of the above. They are the Universes we sail through during sleep.
In recent weeks I have had several clients report violently chaotic day or night dreams. Some reported dreams of war or malicious relationships. Others would close their eyes in broad daylight and witness severed limbs or fatal falls on the screen of the mind. Within the week I had a zombie dream.
Many men I know rarely go beyond, “I wonder what it means?” stepping short of the rich displays, images, and characters that communicate in cryptic symbolism.
To open the dream and apply its wisdom to our conscious everyday lives and encounters, we need to have a clear understanding about the purpose of the dream world, the nature of its contents.
Keep in mind—dreams are multilayered with meaning and messages. There is usually more than one arching message. I once fell asleep inside a dream, into another dream! Here are six ways to interpret your dreams, to get in touch with your life dream, and wake up from the life-hobbling dream most of us are living. Oh, and these may assist you in finding your dream partner as well.
1. Everything (absolutely everything) in your dream … is you. That drug dealer in the alley, the murderous monster who is driving a tank, the cloud, the colour of the water, your family, or your ex, even the emotions, are all different aspects of yourself.
I worked with a man who had a dream he was being chased by a helicopter. The pilot was mean-faced and bent on destroying this man who ran from broken building to broken building trying to find shelter. My client was suffering from small bouts of depression, and I asked him to close his eyes and become the pilot (which is fully possible since everything in the dream is you). His feelings of helplessness and victimhood were immediately replaced by power. Consequently, he didn’t feel so bad about hunting this part of himself that was no longer serving him.
Upon waking, try becoming each thing in your dream, have conversations between objects and characters, write stories about these things interacting, and try new ways of behaving that are impossible in the physical world. You might find that suddenly, they become possible.
2. Dreams Compensate. Their very nature is to make up for our lacks and excesses in the real world. If we are too nice, we will be faced with a situation where we might have to kill to save our lives. If we are celibate, it is common to dream of wild orgies or evocative vampires and succubi. Should we acquire great wealth beyond our need, we may dream of losing everything. Individuals who isolate suddenly find themselves in an overwhelming crowd.
Dreams calibrate our inner disposition. They teach us that our experience in waking life is very important to our well being. Dreams are like medicine that both heal and lend suggestion on how to navigate our outer world in a way that fosters health. They tell us when we are out of balance.
3. Symbols in dreams are personal and universal. Some folks who dare go past simple remembrance, look up the symbols in their dreams: lost teeth, missing a flight, a hole in a hot air balloon, or various animals, etc.
These can certainly be helpful, but not until they are reflected against one’s personal opinions, past experiences, or intuitive sense. Say for instance you have a tree standing the middle of the field. One person beholds the Great Oak, and fears falling from its limbs, should they decide to climb it. Another sees the tree and wants nothing to do but sit underneath its calming shade, nourished by the beautiful halcyon.
If you look up the symbolism of oak, you will find descriptions such as strength and wisdom, yet it applies differently to the two cases above. Some find strength in facing their fears, and overcome by moving through them—a challenge. Others find strength in yielding, and allowing. There is wisdom in both. Figure out the meaning of the symbol, but make sure it is decorated with your personal vestiges.
4. Dreams like your attention. The old adage that you get what you put into something remains true. The more you reflect on your dreams, the more they appear, the messages are more interesting, and the chance of having lucid dreams (where you are conscious as yourself inside the dream) increases. The best time to recall a dream is immediately upon waking, without moving or thinking.
In addition, the more we pay attention to our dreams, the more our everyday environment lights up with corresponding experiences. When this starts happening, your dreams are literally coming to life. Our dreams can definitely come true.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
5. The Emotion of the dream is your key. Look back and ask yourself how you felt when you were being chased. What was it like being back in your childhood home, out on the farm? The emotion of the dream gives you a clue to how it is compensating for your waking life. Become the chaser. Feel its emotion. Become the house, and feel its emotion. You will find that many affective states can be experienced within the same dream, depending on where or who you experience it from. Perhaps as the old house you feel lonely, and forgotten, but as the sky you see that everything is beautiful and in its proper place. These are parts of yourself that are not yet acquainted, yet need each other for health and aspiration. Feel these parts of yourself alone or in the company of trusted friends, or talk to a therapist.
6. Utilize Free Association. Freud original developed this technique. While recalling your dreams, or writing them down (which I highly recommend), other memories or situations from waking life will emerge alongside the recollection. If you dreamt of a baker pulling bread from an oven, and suddenly you are back in your grandparents place, watching your grandmother do the same, write that down too, alongside it. Feel it. Become your grandmother and see how she is feeling while pulling the bread. Become the oven. Look up the symbols. Allow the meaning to emerge on its own.
May your dreams wake you up to a better and more enriched reality!