Creative Edge Dreamworkby Donald W. Mathews
The following definitions and their ancient root words give us a common language for work in the important invisible realm of dreams. Notice the applicability of word roots!
Dreams carry the song of our soul, and ultimately reflect our divinity. They show the truest expression of our inclusive wholeness, our deeper mysteries. Yet they are expressed in a strange language—the artist's language of metaphor and imagination. I use artist in the broad sense of imagemaker, story teller, musician, etc. Dreams are evoked mysteriously from our psyche in image, and story without the normal boundaries of reason and the tight rules of social conformity. Dreams reflect both personal and collective themes—they have historical roots and provide future possibilities. They reflect our personal patterns, stories and myths.
Through the dream ego or reflection of our normal personality who usually appears in our dreams as our self, we begin to know and can relate appropriately to the various energies often hidden within us. Other dream characters also represent parts of self—some may be so embarrassing we try to keep them locked in a closet. We all have unconscious or secondary processes trying to grow or emerge throughout our life. By watching and exploring our emotional reaction in a dream, we can begin to relate through imagination and intuition to more instinctual or distant aspects of our being instead of repressing them in fear. Our psyche is full of many creatures and characters involved in patterns of behavior that reflect a complex drama—the drama and role, we uniquely bring to life. By learning the language of dreams and developing relationship with its characters, we consciously activate the creativity of our soul. Thus, we find spiritual direction for our divinity and deep meaning in our human lives.
However, our dreams and fantasies carry the most intimate reflections of the deep truth of who we are personally. Thus, sharing dreams makes us vulnerable to really being known by others. This takes courage and loving support. It requires acceptance of every dream as rich and meaningful to the dreamer's personal process, regardless of subject matter, content or other group members feelings or reactions. Ultimately, it requires, the unconditional acceptance of each other with our personal differences. When this trust is established in a group, we become "members one of another" in very special spiritual work,
As humans, we are capable of several different modes of behavior ranging from pure sensory experience in the tangible world without emotional disturbance, to pure mystical experience of the intangible inner or spiritual world with heightened emotions. In between these extremes, our imagination is activated with varying degrees of emotion or reaction. Initially our imagination gives form or reason to sensory stimulus. When we become consciously involved or personally related to our experience, we enter another important mode. As we develop our creative abilities for dream work and life, we strongly use intuition and our ability to shift consciously between these modes. Ultimately, we use all these natural modes simultaneously as a part of our divinity—to shine.
Using dramas of a dream, it is often helpful to relax and let memories of similar experiences come to mind. The mind is then free to explore associations of the underlying dynamics. Others sharing your dream can be invited to share memories that come to mind in their own personal associations as they reflect on the dream. This is more helpful I believe than having others interpret your dream. Thus all dreams hold collective energies or themes from the human condition we all share.
It often requires work and change to remember our dreams. It is like developing an acquaintance into a meaningful friendship, or taking a lover. The characters of our dreams may be very shy about revealing themselves—others are quite angry about how they have been disowned as meaningful psychic family members. So to begin, we must set intention and make a commitment to the new relationship. Be creative and patient with your approach. Buying and using a journal is helpful. Condition your mind to remember a dream just before sleep and upon awakening before movement. Do it with highest priority and with integrity.