Dream Gates

Dream Gates


If it were my dream

posted by Robert Moss

Dream sharing at one of my workshops in Colorado

Don’t let anyone tell you what your dreams mean. And never do that to anyone else. This is the golden rule of dream-sharing.

One of the great contributions of the American dreamwork movement has been to insist that dreams belong to the dreamers. As Henry Reed, a PhD in psychology and one of the founders of the movement, likes to say, “dreaming is too important to be left to psychologists.”

Montague (“Monte”) Ullman, a clinical psychiatrist, made a giant contribution when he declared that none of us have the right to tell another person what his or her dream means, based on any certification or presumed authority.  We don’t need to be doctors or shrinks, gurus or experts to offer helpful comments on someone else’s dreams.In commenting on each other’s dreams, we should begin by saying, “If it were my dream,” making it clear that we are offering our personal associations and projections, not presuming to tell the dreamer the definitive meaning of his or her dream.The “if it were my dream” protocol is a vital part of my own Lightning Dreamwork process, now used by Active Dreamers all over the world. .

If you are commenting on someone else’s dream, you can do little wrong as long as you follow the simple rule that you will preface your opinions and associations by saying “if it were my dream.” You will not presume to interpret another person’s dream. You are absolutely free to give your own ideas on the meaning of the dream, but you will do that by pretending that the dream is your own. You will own your own projections instead of foisting them on the other person. You will not only help to guide the dreamer towards grasping the meaning of a dream; you will help her to claim her power to determine the meaning of her dreams, and her life, for herself.

You listen to a dream, you ask for the dreamer’s feelings on waking (which are always the first and best clues to what is going on in the dream) and you run a quick reality check, asking the dreamer what she recognizes from the dream in the rest of her life and whether any of it could manifest in the future, literally or symbolically.

Then you offer your comments, starting with the phrase, “if it were my dream”. As long as you follow this protocol, you are free to bring in any associations, feelings or memories the dream arouses in you, including dreams of your own that may come to mind. Often we understand other people’s dreams best when we can relate them to our own dream experiences.

For example: If the dreamer has told you a dream in which he/she is running away from a bear, you may recall a dream of your own in which you hid from a bear – before you discovered that the bear was an ally. Your own experience may lead you to say, “If it were my dream, I would like to go back into the dream and meet the bear again and see whether it might be an ally”. You are now doing something more useful than merely interpreting the dream; you are gently guiding the dreamer to take action on the dream.

It is very rewarding to receive a totally different perspective on a dream, so sharing in this way with strangers can be amazingly rewarding – as long as the rules of the game are respected.

The fact that we may be highly intuitive, and highly skilled as dream interpreters, does not give us the right to take people’s power away by telling them what their dreams mean – even (and perhaps especially) when we are convinced we are “right” in our reading of what is going on in the dream.

 

For a fuller discussion on how to “talk and walk” dreams, please see my books The Three “Only” Things and Active Dreamingboth published by New World Library.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Carol

    I am an avid fan of your work, and have participated in a couple of your online seminars through “Health and Spirituality” magazine.
    At one time, you responded to a seminar post of mine, suggesting that I select,for meditation purposes, a favorite tree as an entrance to my inner landscape, and a black lab dog as my protector or animal shaman.
    During a recent encounter with a black lab dog chasing my horse, I was tossed off, and am recovering from a fractured pelvis. I was attempting the recent ride on my own, in order to exorcise some personal fears related to a similar accident a little over a year ago. During the recent incident, I ignored my intuitive input concerning the possible danger ahead.
    Somehow, I keep coming back to the black lab, wondering about the possible symbology. Do you have any thoughts or insight concerning the black lab?

Previous Posts

"Nothing happens until it is dreamed"
The memory of a dream is the memory of a journey. It may have been a short visit to a neighbor's place or a date with the lover you will meet three years from now. It may have been a journey to the spirits on the moon, or into a universe inside a stone that is as big as the universe out there. Wh

posted 12:28:30am Jul. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Questioning dreams in ancient Mesopotamia
Our earliest records of the work of a dream interpreter come from ancient Mesopotamia. Here the person you asked for help with your dream was called the “questioner”. On clay tablets from Assur and Nineveh, the “questioner” is usually a woman. The title suggests that she will put questions t

posted 9:02:55am Jul. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Rabbi Zalman joins the Dream Assembly
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi related a wonderful teaching story about interactive dreaming in The Dream Assembly.  A bunch of Hasidic rabbis are discussing the goals of prayer. Instead of joining the debate, Zalman says, “I would like all of you to join me in a dream tonight.” Then he immerse

posted 12:30:35pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »

The Pauli Effect on the Pauli Effect
“Pauli Effect” is a term used for the mysterious malfunctioning of equipment in the presence of a certain person. We all know someone who has this effect, stopping watches, crashing computers, blowing out light bulbs. Often the phenomenon looks like a kind of adult (or not-so-grown-up) poltergei

posted 7:12:51am Jul. 02, 2014 | read full post »

Reading "what is behind"; Divination in Imperial Japan
In imperial Japan, one-third of the officials in the Ministry of Religious Affairs — the Jingi-kan — were assigned to one department, the Department of Divination. Their job was to read patterns of coincidence and advise the emperor accordingly. They had many techniques for provoking a sign from

posted 4:43:19am Jun. 30, 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.