photo courtesy of igcse-music-notes.blogspot.com
A musician dreamt that a string broke while he was tuning an exotic instrument. The noise this made was so violent that he was “jerked awake”—both literally and metaphorically. He found this process of “tuning” his inner “strings” both familiar and also “exotic.” The part of him that identifies with the “East” felt comfortable with the process. The part of him more aligns with the “West,” thought the experience was unpleasant.
It was time to ask him what has been going on in his life that might have triggered this dream. I suggested to him that dream messages are usually about something current in the dreamer’s life. This is true even if that current issue is one he has been grappling with his whole life.
The dreamer’s response
Both of those things are true. This is an issue that’s been front and center for me for the past several weeks. It feels like it’s been amplifying in my life, really, to the point of discomfort. But it’s also true that I’ve been working on it a whole lot longer. That process has been quieter and calmer, but I know it’s been gently grinding away at the back of my mind for a long time—maybe my whole life.
Let’s face it. I’m American; I’m Western. That’s the culture I was born into, and that’s the culture I understand the best. But the changes I am watching happening inside of me are definitely influenced by the East. I’ve certainly done plenty of reading, but it’s one thing to observe—and even appreciate—a cultural activity and behavior that is foreign—even when that behavior is commendable. But it’s a totally different thing to change your own behavior to incorporate something odd and unusual.
That’s how I’ve felt about everything that’s going on inside of me. I mean, even the fact that I am getting dreams like this seems so alien to my Western upbringing. It implies that there is a process going on that we, in the West, don’t typically acknowledge. This dream thing—and other--I don’t know what to call them, maybe nudges or hints, of being directed in life without the use of my brain, is really weird to me.
But it’s there. I know it’s valid. I just have a hard time getting used to it. So I go into this kind of denial state, where I push all of these thoughts to the back of my mind. It’s the part of me that just wants to be normal. I want to get up in the morning, walk down to the end of my drive, pick up my newspaper, greet the neighbor and then go to work. I don’t want to stand out. That’s really the biggest reluctance I have. I just want to be normal.
But it’s also true that these nudges—this sense of being guided—has really helped in certain circumstances. More than once, I’ve been in kind of a bind, not knowing which direction I should take with an issue I was trying to figure out, and all of a sudden, there it was. The answer was right there. It’s so weird. But also helpful.