How I Take Impressions Literally

A Dream

I was in my grandmother’s house with my brother. It is a modest brown home in the suburbs. Inside the home was an old friend of mine behind a confectionary stand. He was dressed in the bright red uniform of my middle-school where I last saw him. He was offering to sell us some baked goods he had but we politely refused. In response he began to eat the treats he had for display.

I watched him in disgust, I wanted to call out that it was not very wise for him to eat the things he was selling. What if his boss were to see him now? I said to him that he should stop. He asked me to follow him and walked towards the front door. He slipped his hand between the door and the frame and pulled aside the wall as though it were a curtain. 

Outside there were fireworks in the sky. We soon found ourselves in a line leading into a neighboring home. The house was made out of glass allowing us to see inside. People were strewn about on couches in the house. At the front of the line there was a secretary calling out numbers of people allowed to go in. Next to her Oprah was signing in a choir-like voice for the entertainment of those waiting in line.

My Thoughts

Sometimes strange characters find their way into our dreams. It can be difficult to bring these characters outside of the dream realm as your mind stalls due to the inconsistencies in their assets. Why is someone from my middle-school in my grandmother’s home? Why is Oprah, a talk show host, singing choir on the street? These are the types of questions that are interesting to ask during the interpretation stage, but crucial not to ask before you’ve recorded your dream.

It is hard to use post-dream rationalization without tainting the content of the dream with your conscious input. A useful mechanism for me is to take all impressions literally, which is to say that anytime I think I may have been somewhere/done something in a dream then I accept that as true. Although I say I was in my grandmother’s house that was only an impression that I had at the time, had I tried to observe specific details in the dream to validate that assertion I would likely have been met with disappointing evidence.

Whether it’s old friends or off-beat celebrities it is a good habit to take your dream projections as they come. Trying to read too much into your dreams before you write them beginning to end can make you blank-out on other characteristics of your surroundings. Just a thought.

What do you think about taking impressions literally? Are some things better left unexplained? Or do you think there is always an explanation shrouded by imperfect recall?

 

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

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A key to the past within

It may seem obvious that dreams would draw from the past. Many characters and objects found in your dreams are taken directly from your past experience. But what about when it is not your personal past that your dreams seem to draw from?

Freud termed this “archaic remnants,” a phrase meaning psychic remnants that lie in the human mind from ages ago. This term is used to explain why certain archetypal images seem to reoccur in many peoples dreams. Images such as an evil snake or benevolent angel could be traced back to this psychic residue. 

Is it true or is it theory? I couldn’t say at the moment. I would like it to be true as it would give justification for a future fantasy like that found in Frank Herbert’s science fiction series “Dune.”

In the story of Dune there is a guild of characters known as the Bene Gesserit who essentially use a perfected recall of the memories of their ancestors. This allows them to have super-intelligence and become almost immune to the turmoils in the large scope of the series. 

If we are to ever truly learn from history it is important to internalize its lessons on a personal level. Personally, I’d like the human race to reach the level of the Dune series for a lot of respects (they are really fantastic books by the way). 

In “Man and His Symbols” edited by Carl Jung these “archaic remnants” that we find in dreams are the link between the rational world of consciousness and the world of instinct. 

It would be an interesting future to say the least if we all became better at observing and learning from these instinctual lessons of our subconscious. 

 

That post was a little bit rambled. I hope you don’t mind. What do you think we can learn about the archetypes of our dreams? Do you think dream’s images have the potential to speak from our biological past? 

 

Dream on little dreamers, 

EB

Memory on the fritz? Don’t give up!

I’ll say this as much to you all as I do to myself: When it seems like the dreams just wont come, keep trying! Even if you get one bizarre sentence into your dream journal every morning it’s better than nothing. Every little bit counts.

It’s hard to teach something like dream recording where the results do not always match the effort. It can be discouraging to even try when memorable dreams are rare.

Supplements like Fish-oil and multivitamins can be used to help improve memory recall. Also in Thomas Yuschak’s book “Advanced Lucid Dreaming The Power of Supplements,” Piracetam is said to increase the vividness of dreams if taken in low dosages immediately after experiencing a lucid dream. I’d say that seems like a tough moment to pinpoint to take a pill, but I figured I’d mention it for the sake of intrigue. 

I’ve never been one to take any kind of supplements. I find it important to learn how to deal with the “lows” in your relationship with your dreams. When frustrated, I often begin to dismiss dreams as “meaningless” and slack on my recording routine. 

It’s important to avoid letting this kind of burn-out thinking lessen your faith in dreams. Remember that no matter what every night you have a dream. It can be long or short, vivid or faded and even just wacky but they all mean something. 

If you haven’t remembered last night’s dream, that’s ok. Try again tomorrow! Trust me that your unconscious mind won’t be silent any time soon. 

 

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

Learning from a master: My first foray into a book edited by Carl Jung

I realize that my prior post have been a lot of conjecture with not so much of a research backbone. I’d like to change that, but unfortunately my lucid dreaming education is limited to my own experience along with brief sections in my psychology textbooks.

So a friend of mine loaned me “Man and His Symbols” edited by Carl G. Jung, which I hope will expand my knowledge on the subject.

My first impression (within the first 50 pages) is that this is a book I could really sink my teeth into. I’m really excited to hear how he elaborates on his understanding of a “dream language” for the unconscious mind.

In dealing with dreams Jung had this to say: ” First, the dream should be treated as a fact, about which one must make no previous assumption except that it somehow makes sense; and second, the dream is a specific expression of the unconscious.”

This quote gets to the heart of what it is to record a dream. The fact is that the lessons you experience in dreams are just as substantial as those found in reality, at least subjectively. The only difference being from where those lessons derived.

One thing Jung had to say gave me a lot of relief as a lucid dream enthusiast who is often asked to interpret dreams.

“No dream symbol can be separated from the individual who dreams it, and there is no definite or straightforward interpretation of any dream,” he said.

This is something that makes dream recording so important. In my opinion there is no such thing as a single interpretation for any symbol in a dream. It entirely depends on the person who has dreamt it and what that symbol means to them.

What can be extrapolated from this is that dreams are a personal kind of treasure.  They’re something you can use to learn about yourself, but never an accurate way for others to judge you.

This is why I tend to be open with my dreams to friends. They always make for good conversation and in the end the true meaning of your dreams can only be known by yourself.

Well that’s all for now, I’m really looking forward to reading more of this book. I’ll definitely have more post as I delve into the realm of the Jung.

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

Angels and Dreamons

A Dream

I was standing outside on my balcony at night. As I looked out I found there was another apartment building across the road. The other building had a single balcony protruding from its shadowed bulk. I looked closer at the balcony. An ominous black mist emanated from the balcony . As I zoned in to the scene I felt my eyes lose focus.

An angelic figure appeared above me, glowing in white light. I pointed in the direction of the balcony across the way, hoping to bring his attention to the evil aura. I felt him fly away, but from my balcony could only see a glowing white light sinking into indistinct blackness. The white light came back soon after, but still my eyes were unfocused.

Thoughts

Dreams are a place of contrast. With a bit of thought archetypal themes can sometimes be found in dreams. These themes often revolve around simple things like what is large vs. small, what is bright vs. dim or even what is good vs. evil.

We can find these themes by focusing on what seemed important through a dream. Try asking yourself: What colors did you see? What textures did you feel? What sounds did you hear?

Oftentimes it’s not about what you actually saw or heard, but what you felt you saw or heard. If you asked me to describe the “angelic figure” of my dream I would be able to tell you that it was a figure in a bright white light. But I know it was angelic, not because I actually saw the perfect projection of an angel, but because I felt that I was looking at something that would be considered angelic.

I apologize if that seems redundant or arbitrary but I want to make a simple point. Don’t expect too much out of your dreams. You’re going to wake up with vague notions of the relationships that existed in your dreams, so take them at face value. Write what you know and interpret it later.

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

~Edgar Allan Poe

 

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

 

Your Avatar and You.

A major appeal of lucid dreaming is the fact that you can be whoever you want to be. Many meditative practices revolve around the recognition of a distinction between the mind and the body. It can be very healthy to give yourself the perspective of a new shell, even if it’s only subjectively.

What’s great about dreams is that your avatar, the physical representation of yourself in your dreams, is only limited by your imagination. Manipulating the dimensions of your avatar is the usual way people experience this, whether they become as tall as a building or thin as a crack in a door. However, more abstract things are entirely possible through dreams such as taking the form of an animal or the wind.

In a dream that I had just last night I took the part of a strain of seaweed being pulled along by the crashing waves of a beach. With some effort I was able to direct the aim of my drifting in order to sting the main antagonist of the dream with the jellyfish eggs tangled within me.  Admittedly this was an extremely strange dream for me, but at the same time I was glad that I had trained myself to recognize this dream’s insight.

The forms you take can be extremely interesting to observe. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to recognize that you’re an active participant in your dreams and it can also be difficult to know what you look like. Thus, the two goals to avatar recognition are knowing that you are and knowing what you are.

Knowing that you are is the basis of all lucid dreaming and comes with practice but there are some checks you can do to make it easier. Looking at text such as watches, books or phones which tend to look garbled in dreams is usually a good way to assert consciousness. Another method is to focus your energy on any specific object or person in the dream. The “anchor” typically works well for this. Focusing on something allows you to control the flow of the dream and prove your presence to yourself. There are many more methods, but these are a couple that came to mind.

Knowing what you are is where the fun part comes in. Try to take note of the perspective from which you’re viewing the dream. Are you way down at the feet of the people around you? Are you looking them right in the eyes? Or are you soaring far above them like a bird?  Mirrors are usually a lucky find in dreams as they force your mind to either create a picture of your avatar or leave it blank and give you a blatant clue to the fact that you’re dreaming. If you’re able to catch a hint of what you are try to act the part. Ebb and flow like a wave, stretch your wings like a bird or simply just breathe.

Oftentimes it’s only in retrospect that you can recognize what your role was within the dream you just had. Even if you find that you were just yourself most of the time it’s a huge step forward to know even that. Keep on trying and see what you’ll become.

 

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

 

Waking up slow

As someone who has four separate alarms, I understand that waking up is a difficult process. Trying to remember a dream is hard in the wee hours of morning when all you want to do is…well…keep dreaming. There is no one way to make this an easier process other than practice, but what you practice is up to personal preference.

One idea is to wake yourself up about an hour a half (approximately one REM cycle) before your planned waking time. This way when you wake up the second time not only are you quicker to wake but you also give yourself less information to recall. Personally, I find this approach great for starting to learn how to write your dreams but not really too effective for the long term.

Another idea is to set a relaxed routine about your dream recording. Trying to write while still in bed can cause you to zone out or fall back asleep. Try picking a comfortable but upright chair to write your dreams. Maybe that will help you retain just enough cognizance to organize your thoughts.

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way outlines a method of note recording after you wake known as “the morning pages.” I find that this is very useful to use in combination with dream recording as a kick-start to your writing. You basically write whatever comes to mind for three pages straight, even if it’s complete babble. You can even do it with your eyes closed. See if following this up with journal writing jogs your memory 😀

Keep in mind that looking at distracting electronics (I’m looking at you facebook addicts) immediately after waking up is typically a good way to forget everything about your dreamland adventures. I know that from experience.

 

Dream on little dreamers,

EB