Welcome to a path of limitless adventure, healing and possibility. The Aborigines of my native Australia believe that our personal dreams may open doorways into the Dreamtime, the deeper reality from which the events and circumstances of our lives are emanated, and the place of encounter with ancestors and spiritual powers. In my experience, this is simple and practical truth.Nietzsche wrote that “in our sleep and in our dreams we pass through the whole thought of earlier humanity”.
That is part of the story, but the story is even greater than this.
Dreaming is traveling. In dreams, we slip free from the normal constraints of space and time and from our everyday consensual hallucinations; we get out there. We travel to places where our departed are at home, and to cities and schools and pleasure palaces on various levels of the Imaginal Realm, the realm of true imagination. Shamans and mystics have long practiced the art of journeying consciously into this world-behind-the-world, and we can learn similar practices through the techniques of shamanic lucid dreaming that I have termed Active Dreaming.
I n dreams, we go beyond the curtain walls of everyday consciousness. Through the play of coincidence, the powers of the deeper world come through those curtains to prod or tickle or goad us awake. Real dreamers work with the signs and symbols and synchronicities of everyday life as well as with night dreams, conscious visions, and liminal states of consciousness. In this blog, I’ll offer techniques to help you become a dreamer 24/7, by playing with all these states of mind. I’ll share stories from dreamers today and in history to encourage and incite you to make more room in your life for the gifts of dreaming.
What’s that? You’re going through a dream drought? And you don’t notice much magic in the round of your days? Don’t worry: you have a world-class dreamer inside you who is ready to help you reopen your dream gates. This is the child in you who is the beautiful dreamer and knows the magic of making things up. In my next post, we’ll learn how by listening to the dreams of young children, we can not only support them, but reawaken the dreamer inside our supposedly grown-up selves.
We’ll discover, when we do this, that dreaming is not fundamentally about what happens during sleep (though there are great gifts in spontaneous sleep dreams that show us aspects of ourselves and our worlds that the waking mind doesn’t see). Dreaming is essentially about waking up to the bigger story and the deeper logic of our lives.
NEXT: Listening to children’s dreams.
Graphic: The torchlit path to the big yurt at Mosswood Hollow, a magical private retreat center (think Wind in the Willows transplanted to the evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest) where I lead many playshops and trainings in Active Dreaming.