Advertisement

Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Claiming the gift of a nightmare

Dreams are not on our case; they are on our side. This is one of my personal mantras about dreams and (yes) it applies even to nightmares.

In my personal lexicon, a nightmare is not only a “bad” or scary dream; it is an interrupted or aborted dream. We are so frightened we run away. We wake ourselves up and try to slam the door on the dream experience, hoping that it is “only” a dream and can’t get out and come after us. This is a very foolish strategy. The challenges we face in dreams are challenges that are being presented by life itself. If we learn to confront the underlying issues inside the dream space, we may be able to prevent those issues from blowing up in our regular lives. This may require us to take action in waking life, based on what we have learned in our dreams; but we will lack the essential data required for appropriate action if we have left the dream broken and abandoned, behind that door we are trying to keep shut.

Advertisement

Common forms of the nightmare include:

The nameless terror.

The intruder.

Being pursued.

Being attacked by a wild animal.

Suffering an infestation of bugs, spiders or bats.

An unwanted encounter with the dead.

Being attacked by vampires, demons or zombies.

Being overwhelmed by a giant wave or a twister.

Being in a plane crash or an auto accident.

You probably have your own version. We have different lives, different characters, and different styles of dreaming (another reason why you will never find the full meaning of dreams by looking them up in a dream dictionary). My own least favorite dreams are ones in which I am stuck in a place where I don’t want to be.

Advertisement

Whatever the content of the dreams you flee from, the Rx is the same: try to learn to confront the challenge on the ground where it is presented. This requires firm intention and some degree of courage. You want to learn to go back inside a dream you fled and try to clarify and resolve what is going on there. You can accomplish this through the dream reentry technique explained in several of my books, including Conscious Dreaming and The Three “Only” Things. You want to give a name to that nameless dread. You want to know whether the plane crash was literal or symbolic and, either way, what you need to do to avoid it. You want to establish whether that dream intruder is someone who could literally break into your house, or a disease that could invade your body, or an aspect or yourself – maybe even your Greater Self – that is trying to get your attention. If you are scared of dream vampires, you want to think about who or what in your life may be draining your energy; if your dream house is infested, you need to know whether this reflects a condition in your body that may need medical attention.

Advertisement

I think it’s like this: our dream producers are constantly trying to alert us to things essential to our health, wholeness and well-being. When we ignore these messages, they resort to special effects to get our attention. If we persist in ignoring the messages, the problem the nightmares reflect is likely to show up in our regular lives. Nightmares are a gift in the way that a smoke detector going off in the middle of the night – when there is a real fire hazard – is a gift.

Sometimes we find that what we are fleeing in dreams is an aspect of our own power. When I first started living in rural New York, I dreamed repeatedly of a giant bear that came into my bedroom. He did not menace me, but he was so much bigger than me that he scared me. Finally, I told myself (as I would now counsel anyone) that I needed to go back inside those dreams, confront the bear, and discover why he was in my space. When I did that, the bear caught me up in his great embrace and showed me that we were joined at the heart, reassuring me that when I needed healing for myself or others, he would be there. I later learned that the bear is the great medicine animal of North America, and he has kept his promise.

Advertisement

I have worked with several people challenged by cancer who fled from sharks in their dreams. When they agreed to swim in those dream water through conscious dream reentry, they were able to claim the shark as an ally in healing. The shark, an impeccable killing machine that rarely gets cancer, is indeed an extraordinary ally in healing cancer. But to claim that kind of power, we are first required to brave up.

The wonderful “Shark Woman” painting is by Aniela Sobieski, a wonderfully gifted young artist currently based in upstate New York. Please visit her website at http://anielasobieski.com/

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Don

    After I left the Korean War I often dreamed I was alone and was being attacked by an enemy army. I was terrified. Those were the worst nightmares I ever had in my life. I even screamed in my sleep. (Ask my wife!) Then one night I had enough of that. I was not aware I was dreaming. I stood up and pointed my finger at them, knowing that they intended to kill me. I shouted the I AM A MEDIC, I am here to help people. What are you doing? I felt like I was committing suicide. The attacking forces stopped and stared at me. Then they turned and walked away. I woke up still trembling from fright. But I was never attacked like that again. I don’t know the full meaning of this dream. I think I was being told to stand up for my beliefs. I don’t know if I could or would do something like that again without full conscious awareness.

Previous Posts

Aboriginal Dreaming into the Dreamtime
Aboriginal Australians believe that we dream our way into this world, and dream our way out of it. "We talk to the spirit-child before a baby is born," naturopath and traditional healer Burnham Burnham explained it to me. If the father-to-be ...

posted 9:00:10am Jul. 08, 2015 | read full post »

In Search of the Antlered Goddess of the Ways
The British visionary artist Chesca Potter says that when she moved to London, she had a vision of an immense goddess figure, dressed in green and gold, over the church of  St Pancras. This is the oldest church,  in the city, founded ...

posted 8:15:05am Jun. 26, 2015 | read full post »

The only dream expert is YOU
You are the final authority on your dreams, and you should never give the power of your dreams away by handing them over to other people to interpret. Yes, our dreams can be confusing and opaque, and we gain greatly from other people's insights, ...

posted 11:00:05am Jun. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Dreaming is practice for immortality
There is a people of the South Pacific who say that there are as many afterlife situations as there are human imaginations. They may be right. What we encounter on the Other Side is conditioned by our desires, our courage and our imagination (or ...

posted 5:05:33pm Jun. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side
Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about — which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future life problems, or parts of ourselves we tend to ...

posted 1:22:38pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.