Tuesday 21 June 2016

When A Dream Blends With Life

I’ll be traveling during the next week, so my schedule is off again. But this trip will be the last one for quite a while.

During my out-of-town excursion a week ago, a man I was visiting told an interesting dream-related incident. His experience is a prime example of how dreams can be multi-faceted and have multi-purposes in our lives.

An acquaintance tells a dream-related event
Where I used to live I had two neighbors. One of them I didn’t get along with at all. But the other was really nice. We had much in common and we used to get together for social events. Even after I moved away, we stayed in touch for a long time—although we kind of lost contact during the last few years. I hadn’t really thought much about him for quite a while. But then, a week ago, I had a dream in which this friendly neighbor and I were having one of our old-time evenings together over a couple of beers. The sense I had from the dream was that we were having a good time—lots of laughter and affection. Even some nostalgia as we told stories of the old days. That’s all I remember from the dream. But the next day I learned that, in real life, this neighbor just died. I can’t shake the feeling that, after so many years, he came to me in my dream to say goodbye.

Do dreams have more than one purpose?
There are untold numbers of dreams in which there is an unsettling blend of dream imagery and real life. The appearance of deceased loved ones in dreams is common. Another kind of frequent dream experience is when the dreamer receives a warning from a confidante who appears to them during sleep. Students on a spiritual path often receive dream-visitations from their gurus. And prophetic dreams have a history that goes back to the origins of written communication itself.

There is plenty of evidence to show that these experiences are neither flukes nor pure inventions from the dreamers’ subconscious minds. On the contrary, they are quite often accurate, and some dreamers even have such consistent experiences of this kind that they can (and do) use them in psychic investigative work—even police work.

But how do such experiences relate to the kind of metaphoric dream analysis work that I usually examine in this blog? Is this a different category? What happens if you take the dreamer through the “Tell me about it” dream interpretation procedure?

Most people who come to me with these kinds of real-life-related dream experiences balk at the idea that such dreams are also metaphoric commentaries on the dreamer’s own life. The idea that a dream image can “come true” in real life is so startling that the dreamer becomes fixated on that aspect of the experience and is reluctant to do more exploration of the experience.

But that is precisely what we’re going to do this week. Stay tuned!

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