Pay attention to the luminous and numinous.
~ Richard Zimmer, PhD
Dreams are the language of the mysterious.
But I don’t always understand them, as if I have dream time dyslexia.
What are those gray-haired men, those flighty women, those somber, lost children doing there?
Why do I awaken with a wad of cotton in my forehead, after one of those night-time (or early morning) sojourns?
Once, I sought guides, books of symbols, psychology for answers:
Jung : According to Jung, dreams are not attempts to conceal your true feelings from the waking mind, but rather they are a window to your unconscious. They serve to guide the waking self to achieve wholeness and offer a solution to a problem you are facing in your waking life.
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
Freud: The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.
Dreams are often the most profound when they seem the most crazy.
The bible: Daniel 4:5 “I saw a dream and it made me fearful; and these fantasies as I lay on my bed and the visions in my mind kept alarming me.
Buddhism The Tibetan dream interpretation is particular. It is mixed with cultural beliefs, which is a background of the psychology, and is firmly influenced by Buddhist philosophy of mind and phenomena, the understanding that everything is an illusion.
I learned about symbols, archetypes. That certain figures are universal and have human meaning across cultures. Such as the “wise old man”:
I read that dreams were unfulfilled wishes. Or that they meant nothing but clutter from the day, a form of psychic junk.
I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve had big dreams, little dreams. Nonsense dreams, scary dreams. I worked hard for many years attempting to discern between the frivolous and the fantastic as seen in my dreams.
And then I met a Native American woman who told me: No one can interpret another’s dreams. They belong to him alone. Each person must look at this story, seen only by him. Figure it out yourself. Pray about it. The answer is within you. Go about your business. More will come to you.
Now, I don’t want to analyze any more. A theory holds that characters in dreams are part of us, but I don’t like them. At least not the adults in the dream. I worry about that seemingly lost male child. I want to comfort him.
I awaken feeling somehow that the gray-haired man and the flighty woman are keeping me from doing so.
So I let it be, I wait, and try to do on waking what gives me solace:
~tending to the garden
~ writing with dear friends, fellow writers.
There’s still the sneaking suspicion that the little boy wants or needs something.
And then I remember a dream from years ago. In the dream, then, the boy came to me, wanting my company. Maybe it was the same little boy. In that dream, I took his hand and took him to a huge gathering. So much was going on there. People of all nations came, met, sang, danced.
A kind of pow wow. But more. People of every color, every culture were there. People who had passed, and people who still live. Everyone.
They were in a circle. The drum was talking to them, and they moved around the circle. In it, I’m wearing my shawl, holding his hand, dancing around with them. With my relatives, with everyone. In that dream, we were all related.
What do I tell them, the boy, the man, the woman in this dream?
No, I don’t want to analyze it.
I go into the kitchen and cook some oatmeal with raisins, and make coffee, and drink it with evaporated milk. I feel warm and satisfied.
And then I think:
I’m going to hear the drum, you can come with me, or not, it’s up to you.
Come, on son, we’ll find a way to dance to the drum again.
April 24, 2013 ~ revised 12-19-16
Copyright Suzanne 2016
In loving memory of Fern Catherine YoungBear
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