RECOGNIZING DREAM PATTERNS FOR TRANSFORMATION
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within” your host Sheryl Glick author of Life Is No Coincidence- The Life and Afterlife Connection and The Living Spirit which shares stories of awakenings, spiritual communication, healing energies, miracles and soul life awareness, is delighted to welcome Jon Miller author of Dream Patterns which teaches us to identify the significant meaningful patterns in our dreams and how to use that awareness to make necessary changes in our everyday lives.
As listeners of “Healing From Within” well know, Sheryl and her guests share personal experiences and insights into the world of metaphysics energy and matter and and possibility, hoping to further recognize and know our true nature as spiritual beings having a physical life as we also learn to move with less fear and restriction to create a more prosperous beautiful life journey.
In today’s episode of Healing from Within perhaps we may learn to distinguish between those few dreams that are really significant in isolation and may reflect major life and spiritual changes. We may learn how to discard the fluff and recognize crucial dream patterns as we discover how as we sleep our brain analyzes and synthesizes what we have seen throughout our busy day as well as help to develop our fondest goals for remembering life in a multi-dimensional way. Some books encourage decoding symbols but Jonson Miller takes a radical new approach and shows how the important recurring themes can actually change our lives. Professor Miller teaches history at Drexel University and is a member of The International Association for the Study of Dreams.
Jonson Miller shares his thoughts on how dream dictionaries might let us down when we are trying to interpret our dreams. A great many books on dream analysis either by design or unintentionally because of their individual emphasis treat every dream as possessing extensive meaning or even as being a grand mystical experience. It may make us feel special to think that we’ve just had a cosmic experience after awakening from a dream, but some dreams may just be urging you to go the bathroom. Jonson deemphasizes the importance of most individual dreams, but at the same time shows you how to begin to recognize those rare and special dreams of spiritual importance.
Sheryl tells of what she thought was a dream 23 years ago. “I was so sick with the flu and was trying to sleep…. Suddenly I felt my grandfather who had been deceased for at least 30 years right by my side, in shadow form, yet I knew it was him. He was trying to say something to me, but I couldn’t quite hear it. Then suddenly knew in my thoughts that he was saying I had to write something for my father? I awoke and was very confused by what had transpired. The next day I received a call from my mother that my Dad had passed and I proceeded to write his eulogy even though I didn’t exactly do it because I had been told to. I could not forget the feeling and intensity of that dream and several years down the road through a coincidental event, a thought went through my head to read a book by a psychic medium. Again I did what was suggested to me. I discovered in this book One Last Time the difference between a dream and a spiritual visitation. A spiritual visitation often stays with you and can be the opening to higher conscious. Realizing It wasn’t an ordinary dream, I now was on the path to understand how Spirit communicates with us and to discover more of the metaphysical aspects of life, energy and the Afterlife.
Jonson tells us not all dreams are meaningful for interpretation. We may find if you keep a record of all your recalled dreams over a period of time that there are patterns in them. You may find that most of the characters are drawn from a limited pool of people or that your dreams occur in a limited number of settings…perhaps an old family home wooded paths, or particular neighborhood. This will all begin to mean something as patterns develop over several months then disappear, while other patterns might persist for much of your life. The persistence depends on the waking-life patterns that are causing the dream patterns. Some issues arise and are resolved quickly. In that case, the dream patterns will not last. Some of our issues are however deeply rooted and may continue for our entire lives. By noting the long – term patterns in your dreams you reveal unrecognized patterns that exist in your waking life. These patterns might for example be repeated expressions of unhelpful feelings of anxiety. So by identifying the pattern we can break unhelpful patterns and create more skillful ones.
We can discover what goes into crafting each individual dream. A systematic approach to recording dreams ensures that we will write down important details. Jonson recommends the approach he learned as a child….Ask Who What Where When Why and How? to focus on memorable details.
Who? Who were the characters in the dream. Were you in it too? Were the characters strangers or people you know. Did they look the way you know them to look. Were they younger or older than they should be? Were they people you know in your life but looked like other people?
What? What were you and the other characters doing in the dream? Were you watching the dream passively or were you an active participant? What actions were you engaged in? Don’t forget your emotions and reactions They are an important part of the what. Were you frightened confused?…were there significant objects present in the room?
Where? What was the setting of the dream? Was it somewhere familiar to you? Was it a fantastical setting? Did it look like somewhere that could be real? Or was it somehow impossible? Was the setting someplace real to you, but appeared somehow different from normal? Notice the staging of the place: Are there things that you wouldn’t normally see in that place? Note the general atmosphere of the setting. Is it creepy luxuriant or regal?
When? This may seem an odd question for a dream, but there are often temporal clues especially when the dream is set outside. Was it night or day? Was there snow on the ground? If so then perhaps it was winter? Did it take place in the past or future?
Why? Is there some motive in the dream? Why were you and the other characters doing what you were doing? What was your goal? Were you fleeing from something? Were you trying to find something? Note your feelings Were you joyful afraid, or hateful
How? How were you doing what you were doing? If you were travelling by what means…car plane train bicycle cart etc. If you were in a car did it operate the way a car really works?
Thinking about all of the above questions will help you recall and record with more details. It’s just like making observations in the waking world.
Sheryl says that as a medium who downloads messages from spiritual energy while meditating she writes down every impression word sound feeling smell or vision and then closes her book. When she goes over the messages with her client no matter how long after doing the reading she remembers all the feelings thoughts songs words and visions that she had by simply reading the message to the client. Sheryl finds her dreams are much the same as her meditation remembrances: full of symbolism color and descriptions of people places and feeling. Dreams are multi-dimensional layers to our energetic or soul life and remind us of who we really are and perhaps the purpose of our physical life and the goals we have set for us to achieve in this incarnation?
If you do not dream then write that down?
Answer Who what where when why and how?
Choose a voice for recording your dreams. Use either First, Second, or third person.
Choose a tense for recording Past or present.
Record the date of your dream
Title Your Dreams
Note any immediate sources of dream imagery
There is much that goes into sculpturing any specific dream. The most immediate contributors to the construction of our dreams are sensory stimuli. Our senses of taste touch smell hearing and sight continue to work while we sleep. Realize there is no unbridgeable division between your waking and dreaming consciousness.
Jonson shares with us the role of consciousness in our dreams. The role of consciousness can also incorporate sounds from your environment, subtle changes in light in the room and sufficiently powerful sensations will if it doesn’t wake you up, get through and your consciousness will try to make sense of it. There is often a relationship between your body in a dream and your waking body or at least parts of it. When we sleep much of our body is put into a state of paralysis. Our bodies probably evolved to do this to prevent us from hurting ourselves while we dream. We might sleepwalk all the time, and probably fall off a cliff, and we definitely wouldn’t be well rested. The phenomenon of hypnopompic sleep paralysis are when you awaken so abruptly from REM sleep that the natural bodily paralysis hasn’t had time to wear off. If you are prone to dreaming about ghosts aliens or gremlins, imagine seeing them and being unable to move..truly a scary proposition.
Most people can’t get their arms and legs to move in their dream body or talk. This is a result of sensory stimulating and the basic physiology of sleeping and dreaming. This insight is part of why it is important to understand the influence of our bodies on the sculpting of our dreams. Sheryl remembers experiencing this paralysis the night after having foot surgery. It was truly terrorizing and something she is glad she never experienced again. Perhaps it was a result of the anesthesia or medicine she had been given.
There is no sharp boundary between waking consciousness and dream consciousness. The level of consciousness exists on a spectrum from passive dreaming with nothing of what we would think of in waking consciousness to being fully aware that you are dreaming and having complete control over that dream.
(Lucid Dreaming) The lack of clear boundary between the two forms of consciousness is illustrated by the phenomenon of lucid dreaming. Lucid means clear rational or intelligible. During a lucid dream, the dreamer gains awareness of the fact that he or she is dreaming. This opens up the possibility for the dreamer including the capacity to deliberately direct the dream. Awareness of dreaming is the essence of lucid dreaming. A desire for flight is common among lucid dreamers. Lucid dreaming can provide much joy and even serve as an aid for your waking life—such as preparing for athletic or business events or even in your spiritual life. While you will certainly record your lucid dreams in your journal you will not include them in your analysis of dream patterns.
We can use long term patterns in our dreams to recognize patterns in our waking lives. Studying your dreams requires more than recording them and thinking about them in isolation each morning. You must return to them days, weeks or even years later, and think about your dreams in relation to one another. It is through this periodic review of dreams that you find the patterns in them. It is these patterns that are the meaningful parts of most of your dreams. It is these patterns that reveal the unseen patterns of your waking life. Once revealed you will then work to change unhelpful patterns.
As you review your dreams think about our six questions..who, what, where, when, why and how? Then organize them write them down be systematic. Make a bi-weekly report and notice how many times certain people or types of people appear, notice places, feelings, animals, places from the past time of year, questions asked, what seems to be desired, whether there is fear/anxiety frustration. Are your reactions consistent from one dream to another. Also, note recurring characters. Are they in the background serving as guides?
Dreams can help to change unhelpful or unhealthy pattern in our lives. Sigmund Freud argued that all dreams express our desires including and most importantly our unconscious desires. If you express hatred for or commit a violent act against someone in your dream, you really do dislike that person, and if you sexually desire or have sex with someone in your dream, then you really do desire that person. Freud hoped to uncover people’s neurotic complexes through dream analysis so new healthy patterns could be created and old ones discarded once understood. Usually dream patterns are the repetition of particular clusters of dream images or themes, and some recurring dreams may happen over and over in the same way.
Trauma can certainly produce recurring dreams It is not uncommon for people who’ve gone through life-threatening experiences such as battle or natural disaster or some kind of abuse. Then these dreams can help the healing process. It is also possible that many recurring dreams are not simply the replaying of traumatic events and may have significant variations, change over time, and might represent the resolution of past fears that caused the dream in the first place.
Begin to actively look for moments of anxiety fear and anger and recognize they are probably a defense mechanism based on an engrained pattern from childhood that no longer fits your present circumstances and “let them go.” Example: Maybe, you had a friend or relative who disturbed you and some co –worker sounds or looks like them making you uncomfortable, while you aren’t fully aware of your unconscious unpleasant association. In a dream you may make the connection, laugh it off, and be done with that pattern that no longer serves you.
Professor Miller tells us that some dreams are significant on their own (Jungian”big dreams”) and have mythological content. “Big dreams” are in fact very meaningful and can be interpreted alone without any reference to long-dream patterns. Carl Jung is the psychoanalyst who created the idea of the archetype. He argued that archetypes are universal patterns and structures that are expressed through common patterns of symbols that derive from the collective or shared unconsciousness of all peoples, as opposed to our individual unconscious minds.
Myths discussed by Joseph Campbell are expressions of this archetype. They represent or reveal the universal experiences and truths of simply being human in the world. Jonson gives an example of his teenage “big dream” of the Holy Grail. In the dream three women gather around the great tree as a symbol of cosmic order or the Cosmos itself. Jonson feels he might interpret the dream as revealing his new role in the world as he experienced puberty like a rite of passage. It gave Jonson a personal revelation of the mythological elements of history and provided a sense of awakening to deeper levels of Consciousness.
Sheryl remarks in response to that reference that It isn’t necessarily the imagery. but the visceral power of such dreams that mark them as big. They often validate one’s life destiny or plan and the values that you might hold to be most important in life. They are the memories perhaps of past lives or awareness by the soul of Universal truths and at a subconscious level hold much wisdom.
In big dreams nearly every element may be individually significant and meaningful, but they will also possess many layers of meaning that cannot be communicated with words. Big dreams like myths and art are to be felt and lived not merely known. Identify “big dreams” by the overwhelming dominance of mythological imagery in these dreams and the power you feel in the presence of these dreams.
As an historian Professor Miller is interested in dreams and Sheryl says..”In Quantum Physics we discover that the past present and future are happening simultaneously, and what we know from the past can help us avoid mistakes and poor choices in the present. Dreams also combine aspects of the past present and even future events and can help us conquer fears and negative habits or thoughts leading to greater creativity health and happiness. History like dreams is a recording of fact and possibility and can be quite valuable in predicting outcomes and creating better results personally and collectively.
Everyday folks can begin to work with their dreams. Begin by understanding the patterns in your waking life so that you can:
1. Identify how these patterns provide imagery for your dreams
2. Identify conflicts between your attitudes towards and feelings about those patterns in your waking life and in your dreams. The conflicts between the two many reveal either unconscious attitudes and may help you understand yourself your needs and desires.
3. Then, take actions having identified a pattern. Perhaps, have a clearer understanding of the part certain people places or experiences play in your life..remove negative thinking and embrace more positive attitudes which will improve your health and well being quite dramatically.
4. Learn to accept allow and surrender to life without judgment blame and anger. If your dreams can help you learn that, then you will truly be guided towards more joy.
Professor Miller would like readers of to take away with them after reading your book the following,
“Dream Patterns teaches us to identify the significant meaningful patterns in our dreams and know how to use that knowledge to make changes in our waking lives. Almost every book on dream interpretation emphasizes the interpretation of individual elements of individual dreams. But dreams contain much imagery that is not meaningful or interpretable. Dream patterns shows how to break through the noise created by physical sensations, events of the previous day, intrusions of conscious thinking, and other stimuli to reveal repeating imagery and themes, that reflect unrecognized patterns in our waking lives. Awareness of these patterns liberates us from them and empowers us to live our lives more skillfully.”
In summarizing today’s episode of “Healing From Within” we find that in dreams are the values and needs of our individual soul essence and the connection to Universal Energy and the life force of existence. As life is a journey of the soul as it remembers who we are and where we come from, often in dreams we have our most uplifting and enlightening moments. The quote. “To sleep perchance to dream,” implies the need we have as humans to allow ourselves to relax into the memory of the past present and future and to find peace in that state of being.
As Jonson wrote, “As you become more mindful and self-aware, you will be better able to penetrate the waking patterns that your dreams are pointing to. Moreover, you will start to become aware of the deep source of your patterns. With awareness comes the ability to accept these patterns, determine whether they’re helpful or not, and if not, to let them go. Mythological imagery may become prominent also, during periods of deep philosophical and spiritual change.”
As we search for more self-awareness and how to master our emotions in order to transition from one stage to another in life many of us find tools to help us and to learn more about our human and energetic life forces. Dreams are an important tool to this continuing growth.
Professor Jonson Miller and Sheryl would hope you learn to appreciate your dreams as another key and tool to creating what is best for you in your life journey and to use that knowledge with gratitude and love, for, in moving from the dark elements of a dream, a thought or a reality, we are following a path of self-growth and that is the reason we may begin to truly appreciate life.