Awake in the World

“Instead of concealing, the purpose of a dream is to communicate something to the consciousness. The unconscious, in other words, has a kind of intelligence that attempts to guide and otherwise assist the conscious self.” – James R. Lewis

Dreams come from the different levels of consciousness. The human being functions at various levels – the conscious or waking level, the subconscious and the super-conscious level. Dreams may come from any of these places. The ones from the subconscious tend to make us aware of feelings, ideas and thoughts that we have held and pushed beneath the surface of the conscious mind. Many times dreams have revealed to me suppressed feelings of anger, attraction, annoyance or joy. They literally make the feelings and yearnings conscious by creating scenes where I clearly see and experience the feelings and attitudes.

The dreams that come from the super-conscious or higher consciousness are dreams of guidance. They point us in the direction of our soul’s purpose and encourage us to act to fulfill it. These dreams may be filled with light and guides and reveal beauty and joy. These are the big dreams, the ones that tend to wake us up at three a.m.  They have a deep impact on us and we remember them for a long time to come.

Dreams may also come from a soul to soul contact with a friend, foe or stranger. They can also include visitations from departed family and friends who wish to bring messages and console.

But not all dreams offer valuable information. Some of them are simply gibberish and come from eating bad food, taking medication or falling asleep with the TV on in the background.

Some dreams act out or reenact an event from the day. A common dream is to repeat a repetitive task while learning to play an instrument, type or take a test. It seems as if the learning is continued in the dream. This seems to aid learning the instrument or passing a test in one’s waking life.  These dreams are like rehearsing for an upcoming event.

How Do Dreams Work?

Each night when we fall asleep, we enter into the sleep cycle. It consists of ninety minutes. About thirty minutes of that cycle is REM (rapid eye movement) or dream sleep. This cycle continues over and over throughout the night until we wake up. The ideal way to begin to work with dreams is to try to wake up naturally (without an alarm if possible) at the end of one of the ninety minute cycles. The ideal would be to wake up after six hours, seven and a half hours, or nine hours, for example. When you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, particularly in the deep sleep stage, you feel groggy and most likely will not recall much of anything. I’ve found that I can suggest to myself to wake up at a certain time in the morning and I wake up on time. If I have a meeting or a trip I will set the alarm but I will still make the suggestion to wake up. I usually wake up a few minutes before the alarm goes off. It’s a fun experiment to try.

Through suggestion it’s also possible to begin to recall dreams. The mind is a wonderful instrument that is open to suggestion. By repeating, “I will remember my dreams” before going to bed, the mind registers the message and begins to act on the suggestion. This is a good way to begin to recall dreams. There are also some easy tricks to help facilitate the process.

First keep a pen and paper by the bed where you sleep. As soon as you wake up in the morning don’t leap out of bed. Open your eyes and wait. Pause. Reflect. Go inside and look. Do you recall an image? Do you have a feeling? Do you hear a phrase or a song playing in your mind? Whatever comes to you write it down. Sometimes by finding that last feeling or image, it’s possible to work your way back into the dream or dreams. Write down what you find immediately.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. More at and on Facebook at:


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