John: So I see myself wandering about on a dusty dirt road, walking up and down, just pacing, very confused. Two young ladies that I know come out from their house; I guess they were out sunning themselves because they’re in bikinis. They see me in the road and they kind of think it’s humorous. They seem to decide that they’re going to have some fun.
They come over to me to see what I’m doing and to tease me a bit. I find myself glad to see them. It is as though I need someone to talk to about this state of confusion I’m experiencing. Maybe they can help me sort it out.
My confusion stems from my being thrown around inside by the dreams I had the night before, and it’s put me in this disoriented state. I usually can hold onto some energetic or something tangible, but that wasn’t the case last night.
I tell them this and they seem offended. They were looking for the communication to unfold in a different way. So, I say, “Well what confuses me is that I always thought that all the dreams a person has in a given night were related.”
That statement surprises them; they don’t seem to care about dreaming. But it does seem to cause them to wonder where I’m going next. So then I ask “May I share some dreams with you?” Well, this isn’t what they had in mind and I can see them flinch. I try to make the best of this by saying, “I know, someone else’s dreams are not very interesting.”
I can see this makes sense to them, but it isn’t quite right either. So then I say, “No, that wasn’t it. Unless they are one’s own personal dreams, listening to someone else’s dreams leaves something to be desired.” But that wasn’t quite right, either.
They’re not really getting it. They just don’t seem to be interested no matter what I say. Well, I’m still confused, so I grab my notebook to tell them what it is that’s throwing me around. I want to go through a dream to give them a hint of what I’m talking about.
But I find that I’m unable to read what I wrote, let alone figure out what page I’m on in the notebook. So between fumbling for the dreams in the notebook, and my disorientation, I wake up.
Isn’t that a strange dream? It’s a great dream though.
So, what does it mean? I think it’s saying that the process of dream work becomes more difficult when there are distractions, whether internal or external. Even in the dream process, as you go along and try to hear the dream, you still have distractions, distractions between how you understand the symbolism and the dream itself.
You don’t necessarily go straight to an understanding of the depth that is going on behind the scenes of a given dream. And because of the distractions, and our lives are filled with all types of distractions, it makes it even more difficult for anyone to find time to dwell on dreams. Everything else seems more interesting.
In a sense, a dream is a distraction of a distraction; one that a person has chosen to carry. Unless a person chooses to let go of the other distractions that are very personal to them – the more ego-based aspects of life – until they’ve chosen to do that, dreams are shut off to them because the guidance in dreams is basically the enemy of the ego-based life. The dreams are trying to guide a person out from that way of being.
Of course, for some people, dreams do open up and they’re able to recognize that there is something much more to dreams than the surface activities. That’s only one level of dreams. And what happens, as one gets further into the inner process of dream work, is that it challenges the way you are going on with yourself. It challenges you to be more in tune with the connected, more universal aspects of yourself.
In other words, a dream gives us access to other parts of ourselves that are not reachable when we remain veiled by the established patterns and personal identities that we’ve choose to portray to the world.
Hardly anyone wants to make the shift into such a state of personal awareness, because it can be scary and upsetting. It’s easier to fall back on the patterns in our life we tend to lean on for security and comfort. If we get the idea that the dream world comes to us at the expense of our ego-based notions, that’s not a choice many people are willing to make.
The reason I had a dream like this is that I’ve been wondering how can this alchemical process (of dream work) ever become something that interests, or clicks, with others? How will others see it as something that they can use as a way to realize much more for themselves in their lives?
I really hope that other people can discover that, in order for their lives to be more real, this inner dynamic part of them needs to come alive. We all have an inner awareness that is trying to wake us up. It tries every night. But unless we accept the importance of this process for personal development, we won’t understand why the images and scenarios that we experience during sleep are worth dwelling on. And to dwell on our dreams in an instructive way means we need to quiet the distractions of the outer life.
If we want to base our life completely in the material world, it cuts us off from our inner world. It should be the other way around: the processes of our inner life should be supported by what we do in the outer world. When we make that shift, so much more becomes possible.