You have most certainly had a brilliant, vivid dream in your life, perhaps even in Technicolor, where it was as real as life. Afterwards, like the Taoist master, Chuang-Tzu, you may have harbored deep doubts as to how real is this waking dream of ours.
As Chuang-Tzu asked, “Am I dreaming that I am a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming he is Chuang-Tzu?”
We are all living in a dream of dreams, where every dream intersects every other dream and every dreamer intersects every other dreamer. To top it all off, there is only One of us, Whom is dreaming all of us, That Whom we call, “God.”
While this might all sound totally outlandish, cutting-edge physicists have left their materialist foundations over a century ago.
At first, the physicists recognized, with Albert Einstein, that matter could be equated with energy, that matter, as was shown by the atomic bomb, was instantly convertible to energy.
Then, the more they tried to arrive at the smallest particle, they began to recognize, with Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, that they had to bring consciousness into the equation, that without consciousness, there is no matter.
Ultimately, in the age of String Theory, the physicists awoke to the reality that there was no smallest particle, that every particle was a wave and that what they thought was a particle was an event created by the observer.
The more mystical physicists woke up, around the time of the Beatles and Maharishi, to the possibility that…
…we all live in an ocean of consciousness, Consciousness equates to energy, and energy consciousness.
So, in our current era, we can speak of two kinds of dreams, our waking dream, and our sleeping dream.
We have a prolonged intermittent dream that we mistake for our life, and we have short, discontinuous dreams that remind us every night that we all always only dream.
It is as if we go on stage every day, around 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM, and then we exit around 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM or 11:00 PM.
When we go off stage into our green room, we can relax, play around and not take it all quite so seriously.
Our nightly dreams are too incoherent to stand on their own, and our daydreams are, at best, soap operas. TV series and commercials—that’s the very fabric of our lives!
Our daily dreams and nightly dreams have a different set of rules.
The physics seem completely different. During the day, we appear to inhabit the old, lawful Newtonian universe of billiard balls, where there is a cause for every effect.
During the night, on the other hand, we seem to occupy the space age universe of relativity, where time and space are a flexible fabric and bend to our every caprice.
In order to have a dream, you need both a stage and a story. In order to have a story, you have to have black and white, up and down, good and evil.
Everything must seem to move to a climax where you can really win or really lose. It would all be meaningless apart from our fears and desires.
Fears and desires are the price tag for the show.
At nighttime, we get to rehearse, or play around with both desires and fears. During the day, our characters never quite capture their ultimate desire, and rarely meet their final fear, but they come close.
In a nocturnal dream, you can weave back and forth in time or space. You have no real limitations. It is just that nothing ever stays put. If you are lucky, you enjoy recurrent dreams, where you can play with the various themes until you get them right.
As the original psychiatrist, Dr. Sigmund Freud, revealed to the world in his masterpiece, The Interpretation of Dreams, much of our dream life is sexually motivated.
During our daydreams, we need to play it fairly cool. Orgies are frowned upon in even the most decadent of societies. Sexuality is vital for humanity to keep perpetuating itself. Better not mess with that too far!
So Freud suggested that every concave, or hollow surface in our dreams is feminine, and every convex, angular surface is masculine.
Thus, keys and cathedrals penetrate, while holes give way. Freud held that our sexual psyche, or Libido, was wild and untamed, part of the dumb, unconscious Id.
Our fragile Ego helped keep us in line during the daytime. We also had the Superego, or Parent, to spank us and give us a sense of propriety.
While much of Freudian psychology has been debunked, many of his original insights are profound and provocative, worthy of review. We can best find our sexual fantasies during the night. Wet dreams are a clue to interpreting many of our most provocative moments.
Dr. Freud’s star pupil and would-be successor, Dr. Carl Jung, felt Freud had gotten a bit carried away with all that sexual stuff, living as he did in the late Victorian age.
However, Jung was interested in the higher chakras of love and meaning. Dreams reveal the Self, and they are a means for us to work with our shadow, or undeveloped side, and begin to assimilate it, to become whole and integrated.
Jung systematically studied all the world’s mythologies and preferred astrology to analysis. He even built a house by the lake with his own hands to stay in touch with the elements. He discovered Archetypes, or master images, whether Superman or Marilyn Monroe, hero or goddess.
A hero of magnificent proportions lies latent within every one of us. Our journey begins at infancy and never ends until we awaken to our own divinity.
Jung welcomed wild dreams. We can swim to the bottom of the ocean or fly beyond the stars. We can wrestle wild beasts and prevail. We can go back in time and become a Roman gladiator, or a medieval knight. Night dreams are a way for us to flex our wings, to keep trying on new possibilities.
On a good night, we can surprise ourselves with a sweet dream, no matter how infrequent. We succeed at everything we try. Everything we do works out. We marry the boss’s daughter or mistress, much like Michael J. Fox in The Secret of My Success. We find ourselves in the dream world in a perpetual state of grace, staying in the flow.
If we are spiritual, we might, in such a dream, join John Lennon in his anthem, “Imagine,” where he sings of a world with no heaven above, no hell below, only the sky above us, the people all living together in peace, and freedom.
Or we might join John Denver in his “sweet, sweet dream” where sometimes he is there, and flies like an eagle.
Sweet dreams motivate us.
They get us out of bed wanting to change the world. For a few minutes, for a few hours, we feel the urge to obey the Great Commission, climb the rooftops and preach love to all of our brothers and sisters. Without sweet dreams, if only on the rarest of occasions, we would have no impulse to carry on.
As we begin to meditate and tune into the spiritual dimension, we begin to consciously dream at night.
We become aware that we are in a dream state, while experiencing the dream, itself.
We might even wake up to go to the bathroom, and then go back to bed, close our eyes, and be right back where we left off. With any luck, we can begin editing the dream and bending the dream closer to our heart’s desire.
In recent years, I, myself, have had lucid dreams, picking up books I have never seen and reading them in great detail. I wondered where they came from. But there they were, right in front of me. I have found myself for a short time in a world every bit as real as this one, the one we all know in our waking dream.
Lucid dreams are our portal to revelation.
Very often they happen at that magical period of night between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM, when all is quiet, the time when many of the yogi’s, and such masters as Dr. Deepak Chopra or the Dalai Lama like to start their daily meditations.
Some of the most gifted ones will learn ultimate truths or successfully discern the outline of the future.
Of greatest promise are dreams that actually serve as revelations from our Higher Self.
In the Book of Genesis, you see Joseph, the son of Jacob, or Israel, interpreting Pharaoh’s dream of stalks of wheat flourishing for seven years, and then fading away for seven years.
In the story, Joseph successfully predicts seven years of feasting and seven years of famine. He advises pharaoh to store away silos of grain during the prosperous years to feed the people during the years of famine. Pharaoh makes Joseph Prince of Egypt.
You don’t have to be a priest, prophet or king to have a revelatory dream. I have had several during my lifetime.
They linger on with you for decades and bring clarity to the Big Picture. Somehow you know that you have enjoyed a divine visitation, the kiss of an angel, that this dream was more than a dream, but a gift of prophecy.
In my dream, despite all appearances, we all eventually make it. The love that emerges is overpowering. The curtain finally closes. The audience bursts out in wild applause.
We are all far greater than appearances. It may take a lifetime to wake up to the magnitude of this glorious truth.