Invitation to Dream
At the Center for Spiritual living in St. Louis we invite you to “Dream Big.”
So I want to talk more about dreams and find others who are involved in the research of dreams. Of course, Freud, Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich were early dream researchers. Today many others are spending their careers in this specialty of dream analysis and research… how does it work, what do they mean.
Three areas are intriguing.: the psychological level, the physical level and the spiritual level of understanding.
Dream interpretation is a specialty of psychology. At the psychological level, there is much to understand. How or why the mind, or brain, creates a dream? Why certain people enter into the dream state at night and other don’t? Why do people who have died appear in the dream. While this field of study is expanding daily it had its root in the early twentieth century.
One of the most famous psychoanalyst to provide a theory of dreams was Sigmund Freud. He believed that dreams could serve a purpose (no withstanding indigenous cultures that have known this for ages). His research leads him to the concept of the unconscious mind. According to the American Psychoanalytic Association, he also believed that this was a form of wish fulfillment. In a dream, a subject could act out desires he or she could not fulfill in waking life.
Disagreeing with Freud about dreams Carl Jung viewed dreams as a language to be understood.
Jung believed dreams were a direct expression of the mind. He thought that the unconscious expressed through a language of symbols and metaphors. Jung felt the dreams function was to compensate for imbalances in the psyche and allowed the dreamer to glimpse the future through these symbols.
Michael J Breus Ph.D. in the Psychology Today online site says, “Recently, scientists in Japan made a breakthrough in decoding the content of dreams. They used a technique called neural decoding—which involves brain scans and repeated questioning of study subjects—in order to identify visual content in dreams. The researchers were ultimately able to predict dreams’ visual content based on brain activity with 75-80% accuracy.” The article ends with the provocative question: “Why do we dream at all?”
In a HuffPost interview author and dream researcher/theologian Dr. Kelly Bulkeley, “Big dreams tend to involve visitations from people who have died, which naturally lend themselves to thinking about the afterlife, the soul, heaven and hell — lots of deep existential questions arise from these dreams. Then there are mystical dreams of flying, traveling to otherworldly realms, visiting places of astonishing beauty or symmetry. These are themes that lend themselves to religious and spiritual kinds of interpretations and uses. ”
We see in our dreams another world, but who is the seer?
There are three states of consciousness: Waking, sleeping/dreaming, and deep sleep. The question was once asked of a well-known saint, Papaji, what is the difference between the dreaming state and the waking state. Because, he said, in the dream, I feel as though it is real, like the wakened state. There is a house, trees, lake, car, plane, people…they are there. I panic, love, have fun and ,more.
The Master explained that during sleep the whole dreamscape appears right before you. Everything in the state is there, the dreamer, a house, trees, lake, car, tiger, people…all of these things are forms with labels. Even the dreamer we see in the dream. When you are asleep the names and forms are gone; even your body is gone. As long as name and form are there, there is a dream. Before the dream, there was no names or forms, the sleep state.
Then, when you wake up from the dream, you again encounter forms and names. When you awaken, the whole world is there at that moment, as in the dream. Therefore this awakened state is another dream.
When you awaken from this dream, you will never sleep or dream again.
MORE ON THE BIG DREAM
Although this short article gives us a platform to begin to understand dreams, there is another type of dream. Its akin to the Big Dream. That is the dream you have for your life. What is the big dream that will propel you into this next year with passion and drive? This dream is also something that comes from both our unconscious mind but from our genetic history. Our genes and our epigenetics (conditioning – learning and experiences) have much to do with this desire.