Another intervention is to ask the person if they are dreaming. By simply asking this question, it will make them aware of this aspect of life that we all are a part of. When you ask this question you are allowing the hurricane to attract dream spirits which will bring direct messages to the dreamer in a way that cannot be denied or put aside. Dreams are not co-dependent and they really don’t care if they insult the person’s ego. I have found over the years that dreams are the most honest information that any of us can get, but first we need to pay attention. A simple way of paying attention is to ask if the person remembers their dreams. It is interesting that Carl Jung who helped Bill W. used dreams as the main focus of his treatment with all his patients regardless of the issue.
When working with folks in the area of dreams I explain to them that dreams really know what is going on even more so than they do. God or the Higher Power always wants to speak to us and relate. Unfortunately, we have ego getting in the way and ego misunderstands Higher Power’s message to us. Well then? God has created a way to go around ego and basically trick ego into feeling like it’s in charge but it’s not really. Dreams are the way that God tricks ego.
Ego’s way of understanding is limited and many times the understanding is a distortion of what is really going on. Ego is in charge of coming up with things like denial and other defenses, excuses and so on that keeps the insanity going. Fortunately there is sleep. Once we are asleep, then ego is asleep and what better time to bring in messages to your spirit? Well, again if the message is straight forward information, once you are awake, guess who is awake also? Ego. 6
Ego will take dream information and distort it if it’s straightforward. So what God had to do is develop a language that ego does not understand and this is the language of symbols.
By the way I’m not saying ego is a bad thing. It just needs to be trained to understand spiritual things and once it knows its place then things are a lot easier when it comes to relating with the sacred. Ego is like a puppy that has to be trained to do what is required in a wholesome and healthy way. Once ego is trained it can relate to spirit and have a wholesome relationship with the Sacred.
OK, back to the symbols idea. Dreams usually speak in images and symbols that most of the time, do not make sense to the ego part of your personality. This means that if you want to understand the message of the dream that you will have to put some effort into it. Effort is in the form of documenting the dreams and then searching for an interpretation. This interpretation usually is facilitated by telling the dream to an objective person or persons who will help you figure out the dream.
At this time is would be a good idea if there is someone around that can have some understanding of dreams and what they mean. If there isn’t there are some tools that you can use to help yourself or someone else to interpret what the psyche or spirit of the person is trying to convey in the dream. This can be done individually or in a group. I have found that groups are really a powerful source of dream interpretation since there will be more than one interpretation to the dream thus giving it even more meaning to the dreamer and also to the group. Wouldn’t it be something if there was a dream AA group?
I will give you a few ideas as to how I approach dreams when in a group situation. Individual situations are similar except there’s less people.
Either you or the dreamer write down the dream word for word as the dreamer speaks. At this point it’s a good idea to start writing one theme or idea per line or two lines. For example: if the dreamer says: ‘I was going to my old house in the dream. Then there was a person I recognized from the time I was 8 years old and he said something I remember vividly.’ You would have at least four themes in this brief dream.
Once the dream is written down theme by theme it is time to go back to each line and amplify or interpret the dream. In groups, there will be many ideas to each dream theme which is good. Even if it’s just a couple of people it’s a good idea to try to have at least three ideas for each line or theme. The reason for this is that the ego would like to be co-dependent at this time and come up with a ‘nice’ interpretation that will make the ego feel special. There’s nothing wrong with feeling special, but sometimes the psyche wants to just tell you the god awful truth and the ego prefers not to hear it.
Remember that every image means something. Even the smallest detail is trying to reveal some important spiritual truth to the dreamer. Also, it is critical to know that there is no such thing as a bad dream. What may appear to be a bad dream is usually a spiritual message that ego does not want to hear, so it calls it a bad dream or omen or some other defense.
The dreamer needs to know that at times there may be some aspects of the dream that they may not understand right away. It is important to study a sequence of dreams since at times future dreams offer material or even outright interpretation for a present dream. It’s perfectly ok to leave room for mystery in this process.
During the time of healing and recovery there are usually death dreams. The dreamer may be quick to panic as ego usually does when there is an indication that it may have to be put on the sidelines. Death dreams usually mean the death of something in the personality. In these instances it may well mean the death of the addictive lifestyle and the resurrection of a healthier life. It is good to seek at least three meanings as mentioned before.
Once the dream has been gone over, I usually take the paper with all the notes from the process and give this to the dreamer. They may want to offer a ceremonial offering to the dream for the gift that the dream brought them. It is important to remain aware to the etiquette idea discussed earlier. It is proper manners to say thank you when a gift is received and this applies to the gift from the dreamtime. The dreamer may want to burn the paper and put some sage or cedar on it as an offering to the Creative forces that brought the dream.
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