“A man is but a product of his dreams. What he dreams he becomes.”
~ Astoria Eden
Dreams and dreamers go way back…I mean waaaaaaaaay back. Even a few steps further…all the way back to the first prophets, even back as far as the caveman days. Anthropologists have encoded cave drawings to be communication about what was literally happening in cave dweller’s lives, as well as future events and visions from their dreams. In fact, research shows that even our Neanderthal brothers and sisters dreamed about what they were grappling with in their waking lives. While our Fred and Wilma Flintstone might have dreamed of being chased by a slobbering Tyrannosaurus rex, today we might dream about getting chased from our homes by a sinister lending institution.
All of us have a family bloodline that trace back to specific mythologies, folklore, and traditions…including dreaming traditions. It is a wonderful thing to understand your family’s dream mythology…so that you can keep what you want, and let of what you don’t.
Our Egyptian great-grandmothers and grandfathers dating back to 1279 BC, to the early reign of Ramesses II, were great believers in the power and influence of dreams. Ancient Egyptians believed each dream was an oracle revealed to them by their gods.
The ancient Greeks were known for their special Aesculapian dream temples in which people would visit and have transformational experiences.
I’ve always felt a strong pull toward the shamanic traditions that teach the dream world may be more real than the world of our consensus reality. They believe, as do I, that when you are asleep, you are in the most vulnerable, suggestible state of being that you are in all day. This is magic time, when your mind’s power is truly accessible. The guards at the gate (i.e. your ego) are asleep, leaving access to your most valuable asset…your subconscious (dreaming) mind.
When we fall asleep, we slip through the cracks of the waking world, where our worldly desires and limitations run the show, and we connect to the world of the soul, where our consciousness is expanded and we fly free and explore our unlimited possibilities. Because of this many aboriginal dreaming tribes held as their only ambition to become a strong dreamer — to make sure that all their actions taken by day are done with the single purpose to ensure the best dreaming state possible.
The Senoi are a long ago dreaming culture that believed in gaining the positive benefits even from dreams that appear to be negative, to maximize pleasure and empowerment for the self and the tribe. The Jungian-Senoi Institute in Berkeley were quoted it in the early 1980s as saying, “Senoi dreamwork emphasizes the deliberate alteration of dream states, the resolution in dreams of problems encountered in waking consciousness, dream ‘rehearsal’ for activity while awake, and the application of dreams to creative individual and community projects.” The new theory sees dreams and even nightmares as an open and positive phenomenon, which can be shared and shaped for maximum human development.
We are multi-dimensional beings that, according to the American Hypnosis Association, inhabit only 12 percent of our mental and spiritual genius and potential. This is because we’ve made the third dimension king. I believe 100% of who you are — all your power, all your talent, all your experience, all of your capacities, and all your potentialities — is king — or queen, as the case may be. And this limitless wealth is worth exploring. Don’t you agree?
Questions for contemplation, journaling, or a dream group discussion:
- Can you identify what some of your cultural or religious beliefs, superstitions, mythologies or ideas are about dreams and dream interpretation?
- Which of those dream beliefs do you choose to keep?
- Which dream beliefs would you prefer to discard?
- Describe a dream you personally had, or one that was shared with you that would be considered a “collective dream”—one in which benefits the larger family of humanity.
- How do you feel about the idea, “You don’t have complete ownership of your dream…in that it is meant to be shared with those who would benefit from it?
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
~ Albert Einstein
Copyright © 2011 Kelly Sullivan Walden. All Rights Reserved.