When people know how much I love dreaming, they tend to share dreams with me. Then they look at me and ask; what does it mean?
And there in lies the rub; the truth is, only the dreamer knows what it means. Fortunately, Robert Moss’s "Lightning Dreamwork" framework is a fast and easy way to turn the dream back over to the dreamer with a new perspective on their own question. The LD process is an excellent anytime mini-lesson in the power of dreams.
In this dreamplay process, the dreamer is her or his own authority on the meaning of his or her own dream. Credit for this understanding goes to Carl Jung and a wonderful modern dreamwork pioneer, Montague Ulman; thanks to them, this approach is honored by many modern dream work models, especially Active Dreaming. Yet, probably the most frequently asked question about dreams is what does it mean? It's at least right up there with "Isn't that weird?"
I’ve loved this OT saying from the Wisdom Book of Ecclessiastes since I read it when I was a teenager; “Naked came I into this world and naked I shall return.” It’s always meant to me that when I cross over, I will be doing it alone. That thought never scared me; it’s just a fact of “life.” What it has always conveyed to me is that I am responsible for that part of me that will exit, my soul. As I've matured, it's also come to mean that there are certain gains I can make in this life that I can take with me, not the tangible trappings of the physical but the intangible gains of the soul: How much I love. How much I learn and how much I care. It also means that the work that I love doing here will be magnified somehow; I’ll have plenty of opportunities to grow my path once I’m dead. Death isn’t the end so don’t fuss overmuch about getting older. Just do what you can and stay curious.
Another thing I definitely know now is that in death I won’t be at the mercy of some Nobodaddy (W’m Blake’s brilliant term for the vengeful patriarchal Father God). I’ll shape my own path in the subtler dimensions, just as I've shaped it here, hopefully with even more will and awareness. As long as I vibrate with the energy of Love, I’ll find each new adventure rewarding. In other words, everything is up to me and that’s okay. As it was in the beginning, is Now and forever shall be, right?
One of the best ways to experience what's available in other dimensions is to pay attention to nightly dreams, record them and ponder them. This is valuable because the self-reliance a dreaming practice teaches spills over into a dreamer’s waking life. Spiritual lessons learned tilting with the windmills of the mind apply to waking windmills, as well. Every time I befriend the scary lion in my dreams, (and not necessarily by making it a cute, cuddly pet, either) I find new courage in some aspect of my waking life. It also helps to see myself connected to a great Spiritual Resource that is extremely personalized to my experience; I get the images I need, the messages I need, the support I need, freeing me to need less from others. My connection to those I love improves when I don’t make burdening demands because my needs for security and self-esteem are met.
That doesn’t mean that human love, bonding and community isn’t a beautiful, natural, spiritual reality; dreaming just helps us bear in mind that ultimately, it’s the soul’s journey that matters and I need to walk it by my Self. Dreaming makes it so it’s never lonesome, though. Not only is there help and love from the spirit side, other dreamers, other souls on their own journeys can help us on ours. Not by telling us what to do, but by lovingly supporting our efforts as we lovingly support theirs.
So, when I say that only the dreamer can answer the question, 'what does it mean?', I’m not saying dreams shouldn’t be shared with others. On the contrary, dream treasures are constantly unearthed in shared dream work, as long as one person isn’t telling another what to think or do about their dream. “If it were my dream, I might think this or do that…” is perfectly acceptable because it respects the dreamer while it allows another person to play in the magic of a dream without the ego inflation of playing psychic guru or the unconscious projection of misplaced good intentions.
When I learn to travel my own dream worlds confidently and independently, it rubs off on my waking life. I live my day to day dramas with much more awareness and self-reliance. I love how Louise Hay constantly tells herself “I’m safe.” I’m safe because there’s more to me than meets the I (ego), because I am forever; even if I have to suffer something painful or unpleasant, in the end, I’m safe. My body is like a piece of clothing that I will shed one day in order to go naked into that good night, (and to continue to put a new spin on Dylan Thomas) dance, dance into the Light! Does that make Now irrelevant and my physical body of no consequence? Quite the opposite. It makes Now a treasure and my body my best friend, because I came into the physical to do something, and I appreciate all the time and resources I’ve been given to do it. I especially appreciate all the many doors dreams have opened for me; living both awake and dreaming as fully as possible fairly doubles your existence.