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Dreams:
The Next Step to Consciousness Raising
by Little Rock (Jack Li)

Ever since the late 60's many people here in the U.S. became
interested in dreams and dream interpretation. Also all the related
matters. But there are still few of the die-hards to say that they have
never dreamed in their lives.

Yet clinically it has been proven, that every body dreams, and there
are no exceptions. Therefore, one way or the other we all dream; only
the question is whether we choose to remember them or not.

Of course some of us dream more lucidly than others and some of us
dream somehow inwardly. Some may choose not to remember them
due to certain kinds of inner inhibition. I believe that all primates do
dream.

Not too long ago I was at a friend's home and their dog happened to
sleep under the table where we sat. While we were talking, all of a
sudden their dog under the table started whining and when I looked
at him, he was twitching and whining, with rapid eye movements. So
I told my friends that he must be dreaming, - the dog dreamed a dog
dream. As if in his dream, he was fighting or running.

I think most of us who own a pet may have the same kind of
experience - particularly with dogs and cats. But we could never
know because our pets cannot tell us about their dreams.
Nevertheless, it is a very interesting phenomena.

With regard to our own dreams: ever since the dawn of humanity,
we were fascinated with our dreams. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks,
Romans, Philistines, Hebrews and Chinese, etc., they all had a hand in
dream interpretations. Some of them even had in their king's or
emperor's courts, a priest, whose responsibility was to interpret his
king7s or emperor's dreams.

Here I shall use the examples in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Because it is most familiar to most of us in the west. Those famous
dreams in the Old Testament are: Jacob's dream of the angels came
down from heaven on a ladder (Genesis Ch.28), then the dreams and
their interpretations of Joseph (Genesis Ch. 37, Ch. 40 and Ch 41).

Eric Fromm wrote on this in a very enlightened manner (Scientific
American re-prints) Also Fromm's book 'The Forgotten Language' is
highly recommended to those who wish to look into the dream
phenomenon seriously.

There are many different ways to look at the dream as a whole. Most
popular views I've come in contact with are that the dream is some
sort of omen to the individual. Yet in a closer examination, we would
realize that dreaming actually is part of our mind's function. (Here I
would avoid using the word 'brain' because it may make an
impression that everything works like a machine.)

Since our mind controls all of our inner and outer functions therefore
we should pay attention to our dreams. Most of us view our dreams
as elusive, because they are unpredictable; some of our dreams seem
to be very clear and yet some of them are very mysterious.

Here we must be patient and we must make a careful observation of
our dreams. There are many books available for us to learn to do
this. We should choose a method which makes us feel most
comfortable to observe our dreams. Our dreams mainly serve as
communication vehicles to ourselves.

All of our dreams are unique to us. There are no two individuals who
could have an identical dream. Remember dream experiences involve
both visual and audio, therefore great amount of variations do occur.

According to C.G. Jung, there is a universal kind of dream or a
universal theme of dreams but there are many individual variations.
That is why, studying dreams is a challenge to anyone who wishes to
undertake such a task.

Since the prevalence of the so called new age, dream and dream
interpretation have become one of the most important consciousness
raising tools. If one could understand the meaning of one's dream
this exercise would prove to be a useful tool for one's consciousness
raising effort.

Here in the West ,most of us tend to have the expectation, to receive
instructions from the outer world; for instance, from a teacher or
guru of some kind. But through dreams, in fact, one is to receive
instructions from our inner self.

The contents of one's dream usually are coded in both universal and
individual symbolic languages. This is the reason why our dream
messages are much more appropriate to ourselves rather than
interpreted by a teacher or guru. Because only the dreamer him or
herself would be able to know the meaning of such message and
what is needed to transform one's life.

This is also one of the reasons that almost all the Eastern disciplines
teach meditation, understanding visions, and dreams. If we truly
wish to understand our dreams or the message of our dreams, then
we must become an observer of our dreams.

What I mean here is that we must be detached from the emotional
element of the dream before we would be able to analyze our
dreams accurately. There is no simple way to unravel one's dreams,
therefore we must follow a clear procedure to do their recording and
analyzing before we could say we truly understand our dreams.

There are many good books and methods available to us to use. The
only thing we must do is to choose one that works the best for us.
Dreams are really a form of language, therefore the content of the
dreams are usually rich in symbols. These symbols could be roughly
divided into two groups: one is known as 'universal' and the other as
'individual.'

As C.G. Jung had noted there are many dream symbols that are
common to all ethnic groups all over the world. He investigated the
phenomena thoroughly when he traveled to the Far East, South and
North America, Polynesian and African continent. He found these
people, although worlds apart, shared common dream symbols.

These common symbols are known as 'universal dream symbols.' The
'individual symbols' are unique to the individual dreamer's own
perceptions of their realities. Therefore it is harder for others to
understand these symbols. Due to social situations, sometimes these
symbols could be understood as social or ethnic symbols.

Dreams are not confined to symbols only. Oftentimes, the content of
the dreams becomes a symbolic event of the dreamer. Therefore,
these symbolic dreams could be extended to a social or universal
event. Many ancient peoples of this planet recognized these dream
events as prophecies in their belief systems.

In biblical terms these dreams are often known as the messages of
God, because the significance of their contents was not only the
individual but the entire group of people or an entire tribe. No one
can restrict anyone's dream contents, therefore today someone may
have a dream which has a content which could be applicable to a
global or cosmic event. We must feel free to understand our dreams
without any inhibitions.

Then our dreams will become a very useful tool to raise our
consciousness. One must not treat one's dream as some kind of fad
then it will defeat the purpose of why we wish to understand our
dreams in the first place.

If we truly make up our minds to study and understand our dreams
then we not only help ourselves, but also at the same time, we set an
example for those who wish to know more but could not decide. By
doing so we will gain new knowledge about ourselves and eventually
we will transform our lives to a new level.

Therefore it is well worth our effort to invest our time to study our
dreams. I think you'll find opening to dream experiences very
exciting and enlightening. This is also another way to open up to the
higher horizons of our inner self.

Recommended books to read:

Jung, C.G.-Dreams
Jung, C.G.-Man and His Symbols
Jung, C.G.-Dreams, Memories, Reflections Garfield, Patricia-Creative
Dreaming
La Berge, Stephen-Lucid Dreaming
McDonald,Phoebe-Dreams: Night Language of the Soul

Note: To avoid confusion, I do not recommend Freud's work on
dreams. Although Freud was a dreams study pioneer, he himself
declared his work on dreams as incomplete with too many
assumptions.

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