The power of dreams

I have started to come into full connection with my dream-self. This means the habit of journaling dreams, but also on a deeper level, trying to understand them. I am far from an ‘expert’ in why we dream and what it all means, but I do not propose to provide solid answers. The subject matter seems too ethereal for that. I wish only to journal my thoughts and express what I believe; perhaps you will find commonality there or can help me realize what they are all about!

There is a logic in dreams, one that cannot be discerned from the light-world of reason and conscious decision. It is so easy to ask ‘how does this fit into my narrative? What is it trying to show me?’ I am now asking ‘what is the logic of the dream-world; is there one at all?’

I am believe two things of two things. Firstly that dreams are not meaningless. It is laughably arrogant to think so – as if the conscious mind alone can find its own significance; as if a being can ignore its very primal creative power and expect to know anything of itself! I believe our dreams to be visions from the unconscious mind, a ‘spiritual’ guide. If anything, it is the contextless, socially-shackled conscious mind that is more prone to meaninglessness – as this part of us alone can be subverted and truncated; there is no escaping the truth of our dreams, for without sleep we cannot live, and without dreams our sleep is poor.

Secondly, I am sure that dreams  are not just suppressed desires. This may be a part of a dream’s expression, but I do not believe for a second that a dream is just the ‘id’ trying to reach the surface. This is a very crude explanation for our dreams, and it feels intuitively wrong.

There is something far more powerful, far more primordial to the dream than that. I feel the symbolism of the dream is linking me to something universal – even if I am the only dreamer and my dreams are about me as an individuated incarnation, the themes and the symbols and the language of the dream have been absorbed by the world outside them.

My approach is to be patient with these dreams, to recognise the themes and try to understand their language. It is not enough to just write about it and analyse it from afar, and it can be dogmatic to turn to a dictionary of dream imagery for our answers (for instance, to think that lions always represent fear, or fire represents change or chaos! Its so trite!)

What I believe we must do is try to become the symbolism, try to embody it to connect to this deep part of ourselves. To journal carefully and recognise themes, places we keep going back to, people we keep on seeing. On the same patch of green space near to where I once lived I have dreamed of totem poles, of little English estate kids who resembled monkeys, of a camp of hippies and eco-warriors right on my front doorstep, of jungle-like long grass and a sense of emptiness. Is it a vision of past, present or a prediction of the future? I have to work that out myself.

Is this a pure expression of our spiritual aspect? Our direct connection to the world which created us and generates us? 

What I will end with is the incredible creative power of dreams. Spontaneously they can create the most complex systems an environments. Last night I dreamt I was listening to a song on the TV – the dreams devised the chords and lyrics, and they were great! Sadly I could not remember it at all. I also tend to dream of  reaching impossible train lines where the stations have ridiculous jibberish names. I cannot remember a single one of them! Sometimes the names are more plausible, but still random creations of the dream mind. Imagine consciously coming up with thirty station names, how much effort it would take. Now imagine trying to bring them all into conscious focus simultaneously – that it seems is what my dream-mind does (unless it is generating them at some earlier point in the dream or in waking life, but isn’t that just even more incredible, that it can create a dream to exist in and prepare the next parts!)

All of this is spontaneous – this is what makes it so unbelievably incredible. Our dream minds generate entire complex worlds and characters, impossibly vibrant colours and combinations, without the slightest effort.

I will never take this deep world for granted again, I promise. Every detail I can remember will be written down – you never know what is relevant, and what is just beautiful chaos.

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Listen to that deepest impulse

I don’t know how long this will go on for. I don’t know if it will ever be healed or go away, if it will let me live as other people do. I cannot give any guarantees to myself, or to anyone.

No amount of ‘sleep hygiene’ can guarantee a dreamful night. Positive thinking and mindfulness is not going to achieve much more than temporarily helping to cope – at worst it divorces you from your own being. All the new found things, breakthroughs in ‘gut health’, yoga and all that, is not the ticket.

All you can do for sure is listen to that deep impulse, let it manifest in you. It is you, you are not separate from it. Being aware of it will not fulfil it, there is no ‘pure consciousness’ which can perceive back upon itself. When a child cries do you tell them to be ‘aware’ of the reason why they are crying and expect them to be ok with that? I should hope not! You would listen to why they are crying and try to deal with the cause, to soothe their fears if they are unfounded and provide their needs if they are unfulfilled.

Likewise we cannot turn off or turn away from the manifestation of our deep impulses, our deepest pain. For me it manifests as insomnia and discomforting states. They can wipe me out, destroying a routine, disabling me.

But I have stopped using Valium to guarantee me a dreamless night’s rest. If I cannot make it to something the next day, unless it is extremely important, I have to accept I cannot make it. I will listen to the body-wisdom, even in its most debilitating states. This is the only long-term way to move forward.

Actually listening, playing out subconscious movements in the dark, holding the deep wounds and acknowledging them tends to work for me. It lets me rest, it fades into the background. It might never go away, but the more I can deal with it and accept it, the more confident I become that I will never again fall into a total abyss.

Adapting to cope or thrive in this society is not a way to be healthy and true – I have seen how brutalizing it is to those around me. It is an illusion and a sad one. We must fight to transform the world we live in, allow people to live out their pain and be dormant whenever they need to be. Wounded adults will never bring about a peaceful, enlightened society. Ignorant, power-hungry fools know not even themselves – how can they know anything of the world around them.

What would it mean to transcend your own self and be able to function despite the screams of your soul? It would be to live inauthentically, something capitalism demands of us. The destructiveness of our society results from such detachment. It is all around us, and it is all because we are afraid of nature in its truest and nearest manifestation: in ourselves.

When you next lay awake at 3am, unable to sleep, tossing and turning, rather than try to wipe yourself out with pills ask: what is this deepest impulse trying to tell me? Why is my body on strike, what is trying to come to the surface…