Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Three coincidence games for any day

posted by Robert Moss

Three Only Things

Navigating by synchronicity is the dreamer’s way of operating 24/7. We all know what it feels like when the world around us gives us a sign or a symbol. Coincidence is when the universe gets personal. It can feel like a secret handshake, or a wink, or a tickle – or like an unseen hand slamming a door shut in your face or pulling the rug from under you.

A sign may point us in a certain direction, like Left or Right, or Detour Ahead or Stop/Go. The play of synchronicity gives us plenty of signs, if we are paying attention, and they can be life-savers. But  the world speaks to us in a richer and more complex vocabulary of symbols. A symbol is more than a sign. A symbol brings together what we know with what we do not yet know.

Navigating by synchronicity is not just about getting an instant message. It is about growing our perception, about learning to track what rhymes in a day, a week or a life. It is about developing pattern recognition and field perception. As we do that, we begin to sense the hidden order of reality, and the shapes of “what wants to happen in Earth and Heaven” (as the Chinese sages say of the I Ching).

My daily game is to receive everything that enters my field of perception as a possible clue to the larger reality.

To bring this into practical focus, here are three coincidence games you may find fun and rewarding on any day.

 

 

First: ask yourself is there a theme or question on which you would like some guidance right now. Then play this game. Carry that question with you and accept the first unusual or striking thing that enters your field of perception as a possible message from the world.

Second: schedule ten minutes of free time every day. Go outside and use all of your senses to see what the world may be saying to you. This works in a city street, or out in the woods, anywhere you are ready to expand your attention.

Three: open a book at random and see whether the first sentence you notice has a message for you. The five-dollar word for this is bibliomancy (divination by the book). The ten-dollar word is stichomancy (divination by the line, or verse).

 

For more on coincidence games, please see The Three “Only” Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.

The “What Part of Me?” Game and its Limitations

posted by Robert Moss

Conscious Dreaming internetDreams make us whole. They show us the many aspects of ourselves and help us to bring them under one roof. That is why it is often useful to ask “what part of me” different characters and elements in a dream might represent. Is the shadowy dream attacker an aspect of myself – maybe my anger or sexuality – that I have repressed or denied that is clamoring fro my attention? Is my mother, in my dreams, the part of me that feels or judges as she does? Is the storm of fire or flood the force of my own emotions?

Fritz Perls, the Austrian-born psychiatrist who was one of the founders of gestalt therapy, maintained that all the elements in a dream are projections from the dreamer himself. He encouraged clients to play out the role of all these dream elements, giving voice (in both words and body language) to natural forces, scenery and “inanimate” objects as well as the cast of human players. In this way, the dreamer might be able to get in touch with many split-off aspects of his personality and bring them together.

By asking, “Which parts of me are top dog and under dog in this dream?” we can sometimes clarify what point we have reached in the perennial contest for dominance between different aspects of ourselves. This gestalt approach makes for lively dream theater, which is my favorite element in the playshops I lead. It can help to build consciousness of the extent to which we create our own reality. And when role-players give voice to walls and mirrors and ocean waves, they move towards the shaman’s understanding that everything is alive, in both the dreamworld and the physical world.

The game of “What part of me?” is an excellent game for beginners. I play it most often with workshop participants who have limited experience of working with dreams and may be starting out with limited dream recall.

In practice, I find I use the “What part of me?” approach on only a small proportion of my own dreams, and only then in conjunction with other basic techniques, which always include a reality check. It would be foolish, for example, to interpret a hurricane in a dream as a “storm of emotion” until you have checked whether a literal hurricane is in the offing. Frankly, the “What part of me?” game works best with short, relatively uncomplicated dreams, especially those that involve a symbolic house or landscape, the play of natural forces, battles and conflicts, or recurring generic figures like the hotel manager, the teacher, the policeman, the taxi driver. The gestalt approach, even in this heavily modified form, is rarely satisfactory as a primary method because it tends to ignore both the transpersonal and the literal content of dreams and therefore misses urgent and empowering messages.

If I had confined myself to playing the “What part of me?” game with any of three dreams in which I seemed to be driving into fatal road accidents, I would not be writing these words. I asked of those dreams – as I ask of any dream material – “Is it possible that this will play out in some way in the future?” Since the answer in each case was Yes, and I was not ready to die on the road on those three occasions, I harvested specific information from the dreams that enabled me to avoid those possible future events.

Similarly, if I dream of a deceased friend or family member, I can certainly play the “What part of me?” game, but will not want to miss the possibility, generally a high probability, that I am having a transpersonal encounter. I will want to try to understand whether and why I received a visitation, or made a trip to the Other Side.  I may want to reenter the space where I met my dead relation (who is alive somewhere else) and have a longer conversation.

If I sit down to dinner with Stalin in the midst of World War II (as in a recent dream I reported here) I can certainly ask “What part of me?” is like the Soviet dictator and “What parts of me?” may be at war. Yet my feelings are that my dream self actually traveled across time into a possible scene from history that happens to be highly relevant to the current crisis with Russia. Dreaming is often traveling, and dreamers can find themselves in other times and other worlds.

Even though I am rarely satisfied by the “What part of me?” game, I often gain insights when someone reminds me to play it with one of my own dreams. Because dreams are multi-layered, many angles of understanding may be valid. A dream can be both personal and transpersonal, literal and symbolic, a dance of personality aspects and a multidimensional drama. So by all means, let’s play the “What part of me?” game, and have the fun of turning this into theater whenever opportunity presents itself. And let’s not fail to ask the further question, “What part of reality (and which reality)?” was the site of the dream experience?

 

Parts of this article were adapted from Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life by Robert Moss. Published by Three Rivers Press.

 

Dreams may be memories of the future

posted by Robert Moss

- box memories of the futureOur dreams are constantly coaching us for challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us on the roads of life. It’s possible that we rehearse everything that will take place in the future in our dreams, though we forget most of it.

Across human evolution, dreaming has been a vital survival mechanism. In the days when we were naked apes without good weapons, our dream radar – our ability to scout across both space and time – often enabled us to avoid becoming breakfast for saber-toothed tigers or leathery raptors.

If you adopt the practice of recording your dreams and comparing the dream data with subsequent events, it won’t take long for you to notice some match-ups. The incidents you preview in your dreams may be trivial or terrifying, blah or wonderful. They may be events in your own life, or events in the future history of the world.

In our dreams, we have several kinds of engagement with the future. 

Precognitive Dreams

Through precognition, we see events and circumstances ahead of time, as they will be played out. A precognitive dream may be literal, or symbolic or both. For example, a dream of a tsunami might turn out to be both a preview of a literal disaster and advance notice of an emotional storm that will hit with the force of a tsunami. We may not understand what we have seen in a precognitive dream until a physical event catches up with that dream. It may also be difficult for us to understand what we have seen because we are looking at things from a certain angle, perhaps the perspective of a different person. But with practice, we can learn to recognize markers that a dream relates to future events, and we can then move to clarify and use the dream information.

Such practice becomes very interesting when our dreams show us possible future events that can be changed for the better.. 

Early Warning Dreams 

Dreams may contain early warnings of a possible future development we may not want – a crisis at work, the bust-up of a relationship, a health problem, a car accident. We may not want to focus on any of these unpleasant possibilities. But if we are willing to study what an early warning dream is telling us, we will often find that it is giving us vital information that can help us avoid a possible future problem if we take appropriate action.

Sometimes we dream the future for the benefit of another person, even a great cause. What will then happen depends whether we can find an effective way to get the dream information to the person who can best act upon it.

Early Opportunity Dreams 

Early opportunity dreams may also require action if we are going to manifest a future we’ll enjoy. You dream you are in your ideal home, or doing the work that nourishes your soul and your bank account, or you are with your soulmate, who is someone you have not yet met in the regular world. These dreams may be inspiring and encouraging, but you won’t want to leave them floating away from your physical life like helium balloons that have lost their strings. You’ll want to figure out what practical action you can take to move decisively in the direction of that happy dream.

Any future we can see (in dreams or through wakeful intuition) is a possible future. We can influence the odds on the manifestation of a specific future event. While it may seem impossible for an individual to change certain future events perceived in dreams – like a natural disaster or death at an advanced age – it may still be possible to work with the dream information in a useful way: for example, to alert friends not to go on vacation in the place where the dreamed hurricane will hit, or to help someone whose death is near, and the family, to meet that situation with grace and closure.

 

future_freeway_sign250_1Practical advice on dreaming the future

1. Record your dreams. Date them and give them titles. Note your feelings right after each dream.
2. Ask, of any dream: Is it remotely possible that some part of this dream could manifest in the future, literally or metaphorically?
3. Learn to reenter your dreams to clarify information.
4. Come up with an action plan.  If you don’t like the possible future event you have dreamed, create an action plan to avoid it or contain it, or at least be fully prepared. If you do like a possible future you have dreamed, come up with an action plan to make it more likely that it will manifest.
5. Note when a later event seems to fulfill a dream. Try to identify personal markers that are telling you that a dream is about the future.

 

Adapted from Robert Moss, The Three “Only” Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination  published by New World Library)

 

Soul loss and soul recovery: a Q&A

posted by Robert Moss
  • DreamSoulHome_cvr.indd What is soul loss?

When we suffer trauma or bitter disappointment or violent shock, soul may leave the body, to escape. This produces the phenomenon that psychologists call dissociation and shamans call soul loss. It can be seen as a survival mechanism. When you can’t take any more pain, you go away in order to make it through.

A child who has been abused, a survivor grieving for a beloved partner who has died, a lover who has been betrayed and abandoned, a soldier who  is shell-shocked, and the victim of a terrible accident are all likely to have suffered major soul loss.

Let’s notice that soul loss need not be major, or the result of violent events. We suffer a lesser degree of soul loss when we choose one direction in life over another, or when we put our energy and focus into one thing rather than another – like holding down the job instead of pursuing a creative project, or being a mom instead of a lover (or vice versa).  Soul loss may be merely temporary and transitional “soul drift”, as when we are jet-lagged and it takes a while for us to catch up with ourselves.

  • What are the symptoms of soul loss?

Common symptoms of soul loss include:  chronic fatigue;  emotional numbness; chronic depression;  spaciness;  addictive behaviors; low self-esteem; inability to let go of past situations or people no longer in your life; dissociation and multiple personality disorder; obesity or unexplained weight gain;  abusive behaviors;  absence of dream recall;  recurring dreams of locations from earlier life, or of a self separate from your present self.

  • What is the difference, in a practical sense, between someone with a lot of soul in their bodies and someone who does not?

For people with a lot of soul, or vital energy, in their bodies, most of the symptoms of soul-loss listed above would be rare, transient, or absent. For someone who has suffered significant soul loss, three or more of these symptoms are likely to be chronic.

  • Why does the soul have a hard time staying in the body?

We suffer pain or abuse, grief or shame, and part of us finds the world so cruel that we want to go away. Soul loss is also caused by wrenching life choices: we decide to leave a relationship, a home, a job, a country, a lifestyle — but part of us resists that choice, sometimes to the point of splitting away and withdrawing its energy from our lives. We also lose soul energy when we give up on our dreams and settle for a life of dull compromise, refusing to trust ourselves to love or to take that creative leap.

  • Where does soul go when it leaves?

Sometimes we find that a part of ourselves  is stuck in the old place, in Granma’s house, or in the apartment we shared with our first love. Sometimes a soul part we lost seems to be living in a separate reality, like the land of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan. When we wish ourselves dead, a part of our soul may go far way, as far as a Land of the Dead.

  • Are all aspects of soul recoverable?

There are parts that are so damaged we don’t want them back. Sometime they appear burned or charred, dark or addicted. Sometimes our life choices are so radical that a part of ourselves simply cannot be persuaded to share our present situation. My inner businessman is quite disgusted with the choices I have made, and won’t stay close to me unless I make money more of a priority than I am likely to do!

  • What is the first step that someone who would like to experience more soul in their life to take?

You do some cleanup, and you ask for help. In the book, as in my retreats, I offer practical guidance for psychic cleansing and release. One of my favorites is a very simple fire releasing in which we cast out any heavy energies that are holding us back and clear a space for vital soul to come back in. It’s very important to remember that we have help available, including from our spiritual allies and our own Greater Self, and that it’s always a good idea to ask for help nicely.

  • What role does addiction play in soul loss?

Addiction can be both a cause and an effect of soul loss. Part of our brighter energy may leave us if we fall into habits and company it doesn’t like. When we are missing a part of ourselves, things come in to fill the gap, and we reach for things to fill that gap. From a shamanic viewpoint, addictions are often worsened by spirits of the dead who are seeking to feed their own cravings through a living person. I have never met a true alcoholic, for example, who has not (from my viewpoint) been accompanied by dead drunks. In the book, as in my programs, I offer practical guidance to create healthy psychic boundaries between the living and the deceased.

  • What is the difference between spirit and soul?

We can’t lose spirit, when the term means mind, higher consciousness or our spark of the Godhead.  But we can lose contact with it, and block our own access to the Greater Self.  Soul is a different matter. Soul is quite mobile and soul energy is divisible; we can lose parts of it and take on parts from others that we really don’t want around.

  • You have developed an original approach to healing through what you call “soul recovery”. What are the key elements in this approach?

We use the core techniques of Active Dreaming to bring more of soul into the body and help others to become whole. By learning to share dreams with others in the right way, we create a safe space where our younger and brighter selves can draw closer, and we start to build communities of soul friends. By learning to use a dream as a doorway through which we can travel — in shamanic lucid dreaming — into a deeper space, we can go to the places where lost souls can be found and reclaimed, and we help each other to do this.

  • Are there other ways, in addition to working with our dreams, to experience soul recovery?  If so, what are they?

Soul retrieval, as opposed to soul recovery is a shamanic operation in which the practitioner makes a journey on behalf of a client to locate lost aspects of soul, brings them back, and transfers them to the client’s body, often by blowing them into energy centers such as the heart and the crown of the head. It can be a profoundly healing event. It reaches parts that Western psychology often does not reach, and may be essential in cases where people are missing so much of themselves that they are not equipped to become self-healers until an intervention has taken place. The limitation of this is approach is that nearly everything depends on the character and skill of the practitioner, on the reality of his or her connection with spirit helpers, and on the quality and motivation of those helpers.

  • You say that dreams not only show us what the soul wants, they also show us where it has gone.  Please elaborate and provide an example of this.

Our dreams can tell us which parts of ourselves may be missing, and when it is timely to bring them home. Recurring dreams in which we go back to a scene from our earlier lives may indicate that a part of us has remained there. Dreams in which we perceive a younger self as a separate individual may be nudging us to recognize and recover a part of ourselves we lost at that age. Sometimes we do not know who that beautiful child is – until we take a closer look.

A middle-aged woman approached me for help. She told me, “I feel I have lost the part of me that can give trust and know joy.” As preparation for our meeting, I asked her to start a dream journal, although she had told me she had not remembered her dreams for many years. When she came to see me, she had succeeded in capturing just one tiny fragment from a dream. She remembered that she was standing over a table, looking at three large-size “post-it” notes. Each had a typed message. But the ink had faded and she could not read the messages.

Slowly and carefully, I helped her to relax and encouraged her to try to go back inside her dream. Quite quickly, she found herself inside a room in the house where she had lived with her ex-husband prior to their divorce, almost twenty years before. Now she could read the typed messages. The first read in bold capitals, “YOU CAN DO IT.” They were all about living with heart, and trusting life.

She realized that she had left her ability to love and to trust in that room for nearly twenty years. I asked her what she needed to do. She told me, “I need to bring my heart out of that room and put it back in my body.” She gathered up the messages and made the motion of bringing them into her heart. As her hands crossed over the place of her heart, we both saw a sweet and gentle light shine out from her heart center. She trembled, eyes shining, and told me, “Something just came back. Something that was missing for twenty years.”

- Based on Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.
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