Dreams are Our Allies, Even if We Don’t Remember Them
Dreams create the link between our subconscious and conscious mind and can affect our emotions and thoughts after waking up.
We spend a third of our lives sleeping. There are four stages in sleep: deep, light, waking and REM, meaning rapid eye movement or the dream state. REM happens around 20 to 25 percent of a normal, 7 to 8 hour sleep period and goes through 3 to 5 cycles each night. Each REM episode becomes longer as the night progresses, with around a 90 minute total before waking.
Deep sleep is a physically restorative state when our muscles repair and cells regenerate. This state precedes REM and during it, our heart and respiratory rate decreases.
When we enter dreaming REM, our heart rate and blood pressure rise to a semi awake level. Respiratory rate speeds up and can become erratic, according to our dream’s content. Our brain consumes more oxygen and it’s activity increases to an almost awake level. This state is when new learnings from our day are committed to memory. It’s also when we are most likely to retain information or messages from dreams and bring them to a conscious, awake plane.
The other day I was searching through bookshelves for a particular book when I came across the numerous dream journals I kept for many years. I began reading the subconscious images and thoughts I diligently carried through to waking realm, over a period of fifty years.
What I discovered astounded me. My dreams had been steadily offering a preview of future events. Sometimes the message was symbolic but in other cases it could be quite graphic.
This revelation sent me spinning through my history with the dream world, starting early in childhood. I woke up every morning with a fresh download and sometimes couldn’t make any sense of it. I figured if I shared my dreams with siblings, they could help me understand them. So began my daily petitions to anyone at the breakfast table.
“Can I tell you my dream?” Eyeball roll from my brothers. Not again. I wasn’t beyond begging for an audience. One brother, 15 months older, was sympathetic to my pleas and often agreed to hear me out. Another bro would only listen if I promised him my dessert after dinner. They thought I was making up stories, which was not the case. I held an accurate, detailed accounting of each dream, equivalent to reading a short story in a picture book.
In high school, I learned about the Senoi ethnic group in Malaysia. They’re a politically and socially egalitarian society with a deep respect for elders. They hold a taboo on interfering with individual autonomy. This prioritized value of freedom extends to their religious beliefs. Verbal abilities are the main prerequisites for leadership. They believe spiritual wisdom is obtained through contact with dream spirits. So do I.
It’s a part of their daily ritual to gather after breakfast and open discussion to what members had dreamed during the night. Individuals expressed their thoughts on the meaning of their dreams and decided how to react to them after processing their content with the elders.
The Senoi were also non violent and peaceful in their behavior. No wonder. They had daily therapy sessions, hashing out their dreams every morning with wise folk in a council gathering.
Then I came across Carl Jung’s book ‘Memories, Dreams and Reflections’ and found a writer I resonated with. A Westerner, who knew the value and importance of dreams.
The majority of my dreams were peaceful and magical when young. I traveled to other planets, flew faster than a hummingbird and encountered creatures and beings delivering private messages.
I often woke up, still partially existing on another plane, a state I would come to know as a hypnogogic transition. I liked this feeling. The world was familiar, but I was sensing it in an altered, fluid and open way. A space without assumptions and contained with elastic boundaries.
As with anything in our lives, attention is the driving factor. My intention and attention was primarily focused in the field of spirituality. In adolescence, I began receiving what I call ‘gift’ dreams. They have continued emerging randomly and unexpectedly throughout my life.
I know what they are, due to their high vibrational frequency. They are a form of lucid dreaming, also known as Tibetan Dream Yoga and other names. In gift dreams I can participate consciously in the dream as it unfolds.
Sometimes, a voice will guide me to a new idea or construct, a direction promoting personal growth. This inner voice instructed me to buy my first deck of Tarot cards when I was 14. I began studying the archetypes portrayed in the Major Arcana images.
Working with these ancient and universal symbols accelerated my dream life and sent a cascade of gift dreams and codes spiraling through my subconscious. Their intensity woke me all hours of the night as I scribbled notes in the pitch dark.
From the ages of 21 to 24, Albert Einstein showed up periodically in my dream world. I was not a mathematician but I was very intrigued with numerology. He became a best, dream friend and opened doorways I was tentative in crossing. He told me he was a mystic and could share some tips to assist my journey. I remember one dream as if it happened yesterday.
I was poking my head outside a fourth floor apartment window when I saw Al on the street below. He held open the palm of his hands and told me to jump, he would catch me. I couldn’t jump, I called out. I would die. He said I should trust him and I did. I landed gently in his palms, transformed mid flight to the size of Thumbelina.
‘Time and space is not what you perceive it to be my dear’ was his message. I had entered a growth period where this encouragement to probe the unseen became the foundation for a new awareness. Mission accomplished. Al split my dream scene and never returned.
Dreams cross over into all planes of being. One night I went to bed knowing my mother was close to death. One of my brothers was a nurse and attending her an hour’s drive away. He advised me to come early as possible the next morning.
I was exhausted, went to bed late and was in deep sleep, when I heard a very distinct sound. It resonated like an enormous gong or bell echoing through a large canyon. It was so unworldly, it brought me back to consciousness. I opened my eyes and saw a blue light, in a body sized form, enter through my closed bedroom door and waft to my feet.
The moment this luminescent light enfolded my feet, I entered a field of unconditional love. I knew the soothing, high vibrational signature, was the pure soul of my mother.
Not the personality and ego she had embraced while living, but this soul of immeasurable love, blessing me on her path home. She radiated over my prone body, pausing to bestow a kiss on both sides of my face. Bliss.
She swathed me in a tender cocoon of divine blue light, ushering in a childlike state of innocence, awe and gratitude. This liminal experience was one of the most profound healings I’ve received in my life.
I watched her light fade away and glanced at the clock. It was 4 a.m. I went back to the deep sleep my body needed, until 6 a.m. when the phone rang. It was my brother, advising me not to get on the road in the bad winter storm. Mom had passed away at 4 a.m.
Months later, mother communicated through mental telepathy. She thanked me for being able to receive her transmission of love while parting with her form. Witnessing her passing was a blessing for both of us.
I’ve awakened to strangers, dressed in exotic robes from foreign cultures, standing near my bed. A colorful character dressed in vibrant silk robes was right next to my head one night, performing a ritual. He told me he was a Manchurian sage from ancient times and I should go back to sleep. I immediately did so.
These beings were part of my dream state but their images lingered into full awakening. They were benevolent and could be quite humorous after I recovered from the shock of seeing them. Even offering apologies for disrupting my sleep.
Thumbing through the years of journals, I realized how many times Source energy relayed precognition before a trauma, loss, or life altering event was about to take place in my life. The more warnings I received, the more importance I placed on them. This felt like a shamanic training, presented via a series of dream symbols. It enhanced my ability to cope with what eventually arose. My nervous system had been prepared.
If you have difficulty remembering your dreams, there are simple ways to resurrect them from the subconscious and bring them into waking awareness. Noticing how you feel upon waking is a ready tool. Are you in a strange mood and have no idea why? You might’ve spent your REM cycles sorting out disturbances you avoided in waking life. Do you feel peaceful and rested? Your nightly sorting of the daily grind went smoothly.
Our dreams can plague us relentlessly if we are unwilling to deal with our dark side. Maybe you don’t have enough energy to handle a friend lacking boundaries, a difficult family member or problems at work or home. Suppressed emotions create dissonance in our field. Our subconscious will even provide nightmares to release internal pressure and bring us back to balance.
When a pivotal moment of greater awareness arises, we can surprise ourselves by rapidly changing our lives through the force of conviction. Where does this strength emerge from? Chances are, it had a long, subconscious rattling in your brain, prior to your breakthrough.
Dreams guide us back home to ourselves. Once a strong link is established between our subconscious and conscious mind, synchronicities will grace our trail. Meanings becomes loud and clear. No need for interpretation. Our path is less cluttered with life debris.
Like myself, you might be surprised by what you know on a deeper level of being. Experiment freely and see what works for you. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed exploring your mysterious and powerful subconscious realm.