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We spend about one third of our life sleeping. Out of the average of seven hours per night that adults need to sleep to restore their physical and emotional bodies, most people will dream for about 25% of their REM/deep sleep stages. There is voluminous research on sleep and dreams from many different scientific disciplines in a number of different countries. Probably the most well known writer on dreams and their meaning to an individual, was the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung from Switzerland (1875-1961). Carl Jung created the term 'collective unconscious' which was a deeper step into understanding what possibly connects us as human beings. From his study of many cultures and individuals, he determined that dreaming itself was a phenomenon, an activity, that all human beings experienced whether they were aware of their dreams or not. He also cataloged what he believed were the 12 main archetypes which were 'universal' and could assist one
in determining one's life path, could assist in reflection on life's challenges and aid an individual in their own dream analysis. (See chart) An archetype has been defined in psychological terms as part of a language of symbols. When an individual has a dream with a powerful archetype it may also be a door to a "collective" unconscious. "The dream that contains an archetype often has a mythical quality. Instead of scenes that seem like the everyday world, the dream takes you to a place that feels ancient, from another time, or like a fairy tale. . . . Another sign is that things are bigger than life or smaller than life. Archetypes may also present themselves as otherworldly animals: talking lions, griffins, dragons, flying horses". They may be recognizable natural forms such the ocean, the highest mountain, an iceberg, the stars or human creations such as castles, dungeons, machines, clocks, a ship-for example. aristocratsofthesoul.com/an-easy-guide-to-jungian-dream-interpretation/
However, the more ancient societies and many Indigenous cultures, as well as most religions, point to a more otherworldly and Divine hand in dreams. Messages may be carried through dreams. The Holy Bible and many other religious texts recount dreams of some of their noted prophets, rabbis, priests, rulers and ordinary people with extrasensory abilities. Throughout human history there have been "seers" - those who have had prescient dreams, dreams which foretell or foretold the future or transmitted important messages such as where an enemy was hiding, or where to find a lost child. People have spoken of dreams in which "texts" appeared which they wrote down upon waking, or a 'painting' or a 'dance' created in their dreams. Dreams were sometimes warnings of danger ahead, plotting or death. Many societies cultivated those members who were known to have special abilities to interpret dreams. These people were advisers to the those in power and served an important purpose in their society.
Today, these "advisers" are often those treating people with emotional ailments and they are called, psychoanalysts; dream analysis is part of their toolkit for treatment. There are many strategies for helping patients who have insomnia or recurrent nightmares which impede their ability to sleep. They include "inception" or inserting ideas on a conscious level before sleep in order to change the direction and even the resolution of a dream to be less frightening or more affirming. I know because early in my life through my paternal grandmother and by being part of an experimental program during my time at Georgetown University, I interpreted, introduced lucid dreaming strategies, and inception into my own dreams and dutifully wrote down my remembered dreams for many decades. Later in life I consulted with elders and "clever" women and men as well as Wicaska Wakan (Holy men or "Medicine men") who guided me further into the Dreamtime and dream realm. This post will discuss part of those experiences.
"Most people dream anywhere from four to seven times per night, with each dream progressively lasting longer as the body remains sleeping. If a person has a particularly striking dream, it may seem like it lasts an hour or more, but the truth is that most dreams are short. What happens is that when a person falls asleep dreaming doesn't start immediately. A person will typically go through a first of a series of sleep cycles." sleep.lovetoknow.com/How_Many_Times_a_Night_Do_People_Dream
.According to contemporary psychoanalytical definitions:
"A dream is an involuntary and spontaneous product of the unconscious mind, and is usually obscure and difficult to understand because it is made up of symbols and pictures. In attempting to understand the dream-language, Jung uses a method of sort of similar to deciphering symbols. The first step in understanding a dream, he considers, is to establish its context. This means discovering the significance of the various images it presents. For example, one's mother might appear in a dream. Everyone has a concept of what mother implies, but for each person the image of a mother is different, and the significance of this image will even vary from time to time. The thought of mother may for one person be associated with love, care, and protection, and for another with power, anger, or frustration and so the meaning of a dream of mother can vary accordingly. As far as possible, each image or symbol must be taken in turn till its meaning for the dreamer is established as nearly as possible, and not until this has been carefully done is one in a position to understand what the dream may mean." www.psychologycampus.com/dream-psychology/carl-jung.html
My grandmother often had prescient dreams and had the scenes or warnings in her dreams confirmed later in the waking world state. When I stayed at her house in Brooklyn, New York, or saw her when she visited, we would speak about our dreams and sometimes she would offer her interpretation. It became a normal part of my life to discuss with her what happened in my unconscious. She also alerted me to significant "spirits" or symbols to look for and remember in my dreams.
My junior year at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (SFS) in Washington, D.C. I happened to attend one the SFS Dean's seminars where I first encountered Dr. Arnold Mysior. (1921-2015) He told me they were going to offer the first course of Psycho-cybernetics in a seminar for graduate students and I was invited to apply even though I would only be a senior the next year. I was accepted into a small seminar as the only undergraduate and the only female student. Our course "instructors" were from many sectors of society: General Alexander Haig-from the military and US government, he served as White House Chief of Staff, Secretary of State and was one of my mentors, (1924-2010) Dr. Alexander (Aleco) Christakis-Nuclear Physicist, Cybernetics and Systems Theory specialist, Greek/American (1937-) and other rotating/visiting faculty from various US agencies and think tanks. We went off campus for a number of our sessions and one of my more vivid memories is the first time I went to the Pentagon and General Haig's office there.
In addition, I also had two more years (1976-1978) in a "special program" where hypnosis and 'inception', as well as a type of 'remote viewing' skills were refined in one on one sessions with Dr. Mysior, sometimes as many as three times a week. uk.iacworld.org/full-list-of-different-types-of-psychic-abilities-here/ I was a type of human guinea pig, though at the time (I was 20 years old when I started), I didn't realize it. After the initial year (two semesters in my senior year) I wrote a paper putting forth my original thoughts into a social science format. (see scanned letter) I also started to note the significant change in my dreams to more global landscapes, landscapes I hadn't seen before and events beyond my personal scope of experience. I began to categorize my personal symbols and archetypes that were recurring in my own dreams. I was also given "hypotheticals" /situations that posed a problem and how one could inject a "thought" or "question" into a dream and to another dreamer at a distance. One technique I was taught was to introduce a thought just before going to sleep, if I thought I might have a recurring dream or nightmare. This could be "I can fly out of any situation". I was to repeat this consciously as I was going to sleep and also make a conscious effort to remember my dreams. As one "homework" assignment, I was taught to program myself to wake up at a certain time and immediately write down either my dream or what I was feeling just at that moment and then program myself to "go back to sleep". Later on I learned how to go directly into deep sleep for only ten minutes and emerge/wake up "rested". What some people might now label "power naps". This was a different type of discipline and mastery over body functions.
Unfortunately, some of the experimentation involving hypnosis was still in the "process stage". Years later I suffered some aphasia and had intrusive remote viewing scenes and eidetic* images and retrocognition glimpses I couldn't explain. At the time, very few books in the west contained any verifiable information on these phenomenon. There were books in Russian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Latin, I later learned, but most had not yet been translated into English. I needed to seek out a more adept interpreter and also review my earlier 'training' and childhood trauma with more detail. A very respected, but also controversial psychoanalyst, Dr. Charles Socarides (also Greek/American) agreed to see me. He was one of the doctors for US Naval Intelligence officers in addition to his long list of other patients/clients. He was somewhat familiar with some of the experimental programs I had undergone and could help me sort out what may have been "cover" (in hypnosis) and what was "real" in terms of what "I saw" in my dreams, my memories and what I witnessed in my waking reality. We worked together on some "untuning" of experiences for over three years, in order for me to have more control over what I was "seeing" and how to discern and analyze. His was a more western medical, scientific approach and it helped considerably. (see links below for more bio information on the people I have written about here) People have tried to discredit Dr. Charles Socarides, but he was a skilled and gifted healer of the mind for many, although for one of his own children-he felt he had not been able to "help" him when he was conflicted about his sexuality. The last time I was able to consult with him in person in New York was in 2002. He died in 2005. One of his articles is linked below.
As my life evolved I met more "spiritually trained" elders at the Zen center near San Francisco. One was Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk who had been a bridge between Catholicism and Buddhism as well as science and theology. (see link below) He prompted me to expand my understanding of my dreams as part of my "calling" and shortly thereafter I moved to Australia with my husband and worked in the Gumbaynggir community for a number of years where their "clever" men and women had a very different perspective on dreams. Their concept of "Dreamtime" or "The Dreaming" is sophisticated and transverses many centuries. A few of their elders told me they had "called me" in my dreams. I heard/saw that invitation.
By the time my son, Denali was born in Macksville, NSW-Gumbaynggir country- I had many years of experience with dream interpretation and dream "navigation". Gumbaynggir elders were like my grandmother, in that to speak openly and freely about dreams was just an ordinary part of life and nothing "strange or weird". As the Australian Aboriginal doctor, Commissioner and writer, Dr. Helen Milroy stated: "We are part of the Dreaming. We have been in the Dreaming for a long time before we are born on this earth and we will return to this vast landscape at the end of our days. It provides for us during our time on earth, a place to heal, to restore purpose and hope, and to continue our destiny". Commissioner Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She was born and educated in Perth. She studied medicine at the University of Western Australia, worked as a General Practitioner and Consultant in Childhood Sexual Abuse at the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children for several years before completing specialist training in Child and Adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Milroy’s work and research interests include holistic medicine, child mental health, recovery from trauma and grief, application of Indigenous knowledge, cultural models of care, Aboriginal health and mental health, and developing and supporting the Aboriginal medical workforce. She is certified and has practiced in both New Zealand and Australia. Her approach incorporates her tribal beliefs and "dreaming" experience.
While there is some academic and personal writing about "The Dreaming" and "Dreamtime" it is usually only passed on through oral tradition and transmitted human being to certain human beings. It requires a complete change of mindset for a western raised person to start to grasp. It requires an open mind, spirit and imagination to begin. Throughout my life I have signed "confidentiality agreements" including one with Kahurangi in New Zealand (Ngati Kahungunu iwi) and gave my verbal promise to those Aboriginal elders who were part of a decade long project with interviewing, recording (by cassette and with an Aboriginal woman photographer) to record certain histories more accurately for the next generations and for a court case they sadly lost, asking for acknowledgement and compensation for their stolen children. There was also a firm, though unwritten rule about not broadcasting or writing about many realms since not only might that knowledge be used for the wrong reasons, exploited or misinterpreted; but in the wrong hands and with a 'wrong' mindset'; the power of the "Dreaming" could do actual harm. The "old fellas" are strong and all around though most never feel or sense their presence either awake or while asleep. Most non-Aboriginals will just dismiss the 60,000+ years of the "Dreamtime" and the Aboriginal co-existence with their environment-even with proven evidence by archeologists, carbon dating and other "scientific" tools of verification. They have no idea what they are missing,
The only other people I felt relaxed speaking about my dream time events and sights were some of the Lakota, Dakota, Cree, Menominee, White Mountain Apache and Kickapoo Sundancers I learned from and danced with over the years on reservations in the USA, or as many tribes call America...Turtle Island. Understanding the "visions" and images one may receive from ceremonies, fasting, meditation and learning how to ground the electric sensations that may accompany these experiences, is a skill that may be refined like any other special ability such as a "talent" for drawing, music, poetry. Many people may have a gift but it is never developed or worse, it is denigrated or denied and withers before it has a chance to grow and bloom. "There are different types of psychic abilities, and while one individual may be better at one or another, he or she may decide on further developing those skills to spend time, work and energy in developing different ones - thus enhancing her/his awareness and sensitivity to perceive beyond the five senses the other realms of reality."
Main stream society, especially now, would like to erase this knowledge and power completely because it is not 'controllable' or even predictable and maybe because they cannot 'understand it' in a sound byte, youtube video or tweet.
The importance of understanding the lexicon of our dreams, receiving the messages they offer us, connecting with our own subconscious part of our being, cannot be overstated. Much of 'modern life' aims to suppress our individual and unique connections to the collective unconscious. The sensory assault through noise, electro magnetic pulses, dizzying created images to distract us, artificial lights, constant electronic chatter via screens, phones, subliminal advertising and programming-does much to diminish our abilities to sharpen our natural senses or to sleep and dream peacefully. Our children and the next generation already have many of their dreams "incepted" and commercially sponsored-though they many never realize it. Social engineering and false narratives have constructed an etheric cage and even categorize people who do speak about dreams and visions as mentally ill or unstable or 'out of their minds'. How many messages are being sent-whether you believe they are from God, Angels or just the human collective consciousness-which will never be "received"? How many warnings have we heeded or have we been too stifled to hear or see?
How many people are apathetic to what happens to them and their mind and consciousness for over one third of their life? I read more pop culture amateur psychology about dreams but very little about real "navigation".
Ponder the phrases...."Sweet Dreams" and "Dream on"...may you be blessed with clarity in your waking time and in your stages of sleep.
From the hills of Henan province, where my dreams are vivid, memorable and numerous-once again "Happy Holidays"!
*eidetic-"Vivid mental picture in the form of a dream, fantasy, or an unusual power of
memory and visualization of objects previously seen or imagined. An eidetic person continues to “see” an object that is no longer objectively present. Eidetic persons behave as if they are actually seeing an item, either with their eyes closed or while looking at some surface that serves as a convenient background for the image. Furthermore, eidetic persons describe the image as if it is still present and not as if they are recalling a past event. According to some research, the incidence of eidetic imagery is very low in children (2–10 percent) in the general population and almost nonexistent in adults. (less than 1%)."
Milroy, H. “Restoring Life and Spirit: Recovery from Trauma.” Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Social Justice Report 2007. Sydney: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, HREOC. pg. 414