Dream Gates

Dream Gates


The dream is our key to half the total universe

posted by Robert Moss

Young William James as adventurer in Brazil, 1865

In The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James observed that “The founders of every church owed their power originally to the fact of their direct personal communion with the divine.”

That “direct personal communion” has been conducted through dreams and visions and interior dialogue and observation of signs and marvels in the natural world, all facets of dreaming in the broader sense understood by our ancestors and by active dreamers in all cultures. James reminds us that religion without dreaming is divorced from its very origins.

In a letter to Henry Rankin on June 16, 1901, he put it this way: ?”The mother sea and fountainhead of all religions lie in the mystical experiences of the individual, taking the word mystical in a very wide sense. All theologies and ecclesiasticisms are secondary growths superimposed.”  Borrowing from his friend, the great British psychic researcher and scholar, F.W.H. Myers,  James explained that “mystical consciousness” is related to the existence of an “extended subliminal self, with a thin partition through which messages make irruption.”

For most of us, it is through dreams that the subliminal self most frequently irrupts through that “thin partition” into everyday awareness.

In Principles of Psychology, James offers these interesting reflections on the orders of reality we may enter in dreams., and why dreaming is our mode of experiencing half the “total universe”:

 The world of dreams is our real world whilst we are sleeping, because our attention then lapses from the sensible world. Conversely, when we wake the attention usually lapses from the dream-world and that becomes unreal. But if a dream haunts us and compels our attention during the day it is very apt to remain figuring in our consciousness as a sort of sub-universe alongside of the waking world. Most people have probably had dreams which it is hard to imagine not to have been glimpses into an actually existing region of being, perhaps a corner of the spiritual world.

And dreams have accordingly in all ages been regarded as revelations, and have played a large part in furnishing forth mythologies and creating themes for faith to lay hold upon. The ‘larger universe,’ here, which helps us to believe both in the dream and in the waking reality which is its immediate reductive, is the total universe, of Nature plus the Super-natural. The dream holds true, namely, in one half of that universe ; the waking perceptions in the other half. 

Dwell with that last statement for a moment.  The dream “holds true” in half the “total” universe, and is our way to access and experience this reality. If James is correct, then if we have divorced ourselves from dreaming, we are only halflings, only half present in the universe.

 



  • http://newyear'sresolution lady hummingbird

    You just gave me the best new year’s resollution and this on3 is fun to keep.

Previous Posts

Here's to the Sun of God
In my neighborhood, Hebe, cupbearer to the Olympian gods, is now decked out in Christmas trimmings. Though she would probably prefer to be wearing vine leaves, she may be relaxed because she will remember that Christmas decorations - especially anything involving a tree - were borrowed from the foll

posted 11:20:28am Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Advice from a dead movie star created the star of "I Love Lucy"
On the day the Obama administration announced that it intended to seek to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, a friend reported dreaming of Lucille Ball, the star of "I Love Lucy." She wanted to know why she was dreaming of the star of "I Love Lucy". I commented that the dream seemed to me to be

posted 5:18:13am Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

The departed are dreaming with us
One of my driving purposes in writing The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead was to help  some of the many people in our society who are hungry for confirmation that communication with the departed is not “weird” or “unnatural”, let alone impossible, and that it is possible to extend love and for

posted 4:39:32am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Dream dates: Sir Christopher Wren dreams a cure
An intriguing account by John Aubrey of how the celebrated architect who recreated St.Paul's after the Great Fire of London dreamed a simple cure for a kidney ailment. I'll leave the narrative in Aubrey's voice. Note that "reins" in late 17th century English (as in modern French) means "kidneys".

posted 11:27:57pm Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

The origin and power of the shaman's drum
The shaman’s primary tool for journeying is the single-headed frame drum, the type we use in Active Dreaming circles. I am constantly astonished, though no longer surprised, by how quickly this ancient instrument can help even the most rational, cognicentric Westerner to enter another state of bei

posted 6:15:48am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.