"The Boy Who Died and Came Back," Part IV: At Home in the Multiverse, "The Double on the Balcony," Robert Moss writes some very fun stuff about this topic.
I've written here about one of my all time favorite dream sequences, In the first, I hear a voice that says, "Can the Ego be dissolved? What is the role of the Observer?" Dreams are often koans, mental jigsaw puzzles or parables.
Two months after this dream, I got my answer by way of a lucid dream, perhaps an OBE because of the hyperconsciousness of the experience. I was in what Robert Waggoner calls the Clear Light, though I hadn't read his books, yet. I always chuckle that I had this transcendent experience as an unexpected dream gift. I came awake from the dream saying, "I'll never be able to explain this, not even to myself." In my dream my sense of "I" was in that Light, as I came to, the sense of Oneness I experienced began to fade, my separateness became stronger. As my ego took charge of waking life, I could re-enter my dream and feel the sense of awe over and over again. Today, these many years later, that dream is my portal to the Light; the feeling is still strong.
What I learned from the dreams and where they took me in my studies is that the Ego needs an Observer to keep it in check and to help it really blossom. In my two previous posts reviewing Robert's new book, I talk about the power of story.
As human beings, maybe even in some animal clans, we love stories. "Tell me a story"is frequently the request we hear from young children. I love to hear stories or to read them, but what this dream koan and the many wonderful teachers of Mindfulness, like Eckhart Tolle, have taught me is that my thoughts are frequently telling me stories that aren't really that groovy. I might quite unconsciously be telling myself the story of a puny checkbook and a robust bill basket while I'm brushing my teeth. What I've learned to do is say; "Aha, listen to that story! Where does that get me? Is this the story I want to entertain. Duh; no."
By listening to what I'm really telling myself all the time, I can choose the best story for me. Okay, "all the time" is perhaps not realistic; the drunken monkey, as Buddhists call the ego/mind, is a tricky and slippery little devil. Luckily, Monkey isn't hard to please once you get to know it through Observation. Dreams hold up a mirror that helps us see Monkey working. Dreams knock on our inner doors and ask us to open to our own Wisdom and connect to the Light.
In a recent extended-family drama, the kind of thing that has the phones ringing and different relatives chiming in, I found myself feeling fearful, protective of the Me and Mine. I asked for a dream of guidance; "What can I do?" I dreamed that two of my nieces, (one was purely a dream niece), wouldn't allow me to use their make-up; yet, all I needed was a simple eyebrow pencil. I felt they were shallow, heartless and careless of my feelings. I woke up feeling the sting of rejection. Reality check: real niece, but not the relative involved and unlikely to deny me an eyebrow pencil, dream niece not someone in waking. As I lay there feeling the strong emotion this dream evoked and trying to fit it with my question to the dream source, I saw what my dream was saying. "What can I do?" I can focus on my heart; I can marshall my kindness, (when I first typed the question, I found I'd written, What kind I do?:-).
As often happens, these nieces were Shadows my Ego was casting with its fearfulness; their behavior mirrored an unconscious story that could dictate my conscious behavior. I relaxed and focused my awareness on my heart chakra and bathed it in emerald green light. I expanded my heart center with every breath. My dream gave me the perfect answer. As I wandered through the emotional land mine (I wrote "land mind") of the crisis, I was predisposed to close down in fear. I focused on my heart and trusted that step by step, in the moment, things would work out. And they did. The outcome opened a door that had been shut in anger and created new possibilities for personal growth on everyone's part.
This is one reason I think dreaming is at the forefront of the Spiritual Revolution. If Self-Awareness, Mindfulness is at the heart of Enlightenment, really of Being, then dreaming is a vital practice. In dreams we get to talk to and listen to the Observer, who has a much bigger picture to offer than the blinkered Ego. What's my Story? I'm writing it as I live it. I write as consciously as I can and look to my dream stories for the best suggestions, the best plot ideas for my waking ego to use. I stay connected to my dreams so that my Big Story, the reason I joined this human experience again, will inform all the little stories, the personal dramas that can take too much time and sap too much energy, unnecessarily.
Each of us has a Story. Together, we are the Book of Life - All of Nature included. No one can tell us what our story, what our purpose is, but we can lose the thread and go off narrative if we're not connected to the Watcher, our own Soul Mate in the Multiverse. Dreams are an organic, innate avenue to Spirit. All we have to do is pay attention, listen and learn; then we'll each find our own story and how best to live it.
May it Be So!