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
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
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
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
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
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:
Identify how these patterns provide imagery for your dreams
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.
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.
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.