One of the best things I've learned from following my dreams for over 30 years is that I'm my own authority when it comes to me.
There is no need to give my soul into another's care; she's my responsibility. Contemporary patriarchal religions claim they will save my soul. She doesn't need saving, save from them.
I'm a spiritual being having a physical existence; dreaming is the bridge between the realm of my spiritual being and the physical realms "I" dwell in now.
Why would I give anyone authority over my soul? So much of what these religions espouse denigrates woman, that's what's damaging to my soul, my psyche. It's damaging to the male psyche, as well. Myths we've imbibed since childhood, especially when we're parked in "church" and religious studies early on, endure at an unconscious level.
One example is the psychically imbedded patriarchal myth that woman is the patsy of all evil, "woman born of the rib of man" (go figure), Eve; she who crossed an arbitrary line and wham, all Hell literally breaks lose. There's also the patriarchal Greek version of this dumb, trespassing woman, Pandora. Those myths are a heavy burden on womankind.
Religions like Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism and most Islamic sects from what I can tell, see women as threats to man's ultimate spiritual sanctity. His Holiness the Man can be sullied by her unholiness, the woman, therefore justifying her pitiful place in the pecking order of His patriarchal society.
The Good News is I don't need religion because dreams teach me the most profound and the most practical lessons, in a custom tailored narrative.
I follow my dreams in the most literal sense. In this way, I live twice as long, in both the spiritual and physical worlds at once. This allows me to replace belief with experience. I don't believe in life after death, I know life after death is the next stage of my own and all physical adventures. I trust my own spiritual experiences in dreams to assure me and sustain me in waking life.
Dreams guide me through my experiences in waking life, too. As I say in my bio on this blog, they've helped me, comforted me, disabused me of illusions, scared the pajamas off me and lent me strength. They teach in amusing, often kind ways, though sometimes, they're heart thunderingly scary.
Along with dreams, there's synchronicity, dubbed that by Jung to describe the psychic phenomenon of "acausal connections." Castaneda's Shaman teacher, Don Juan, calls it "Agreement. It's that wonderful thrill of recognition we experience when life's physical events echo our inner worlds, especially the dream worlds. I see it as another bridge between waking and spiritual life. It's that deja vu feeling; or as Robert Moss has pointed out, it's probably really Deja Reve.
When something from the dream worlds manifests in waking, it's also an affirmation that there is guidance and support available from other dimensions. I live in more than just this physical reality; I walk a path in waking life and I walk a path in dream realities. I pay attention to both. From my dream path, I know I'm not alone. I know I am loved, connected and assisted; dreams allow me to explore the mystery of existence for myself, which is how I take responsibility for my own soul. My soul is an eternal reality, so it's my soul that seeks connection to me. It's my Soul who is saving me. My Soul or as some teachers refer to it, my Higher Self. I connect to my soul most strongly through my dream experiences.
Dreams bring healing with them when we pay attention and respect them. Listening to our own dreams, seeking our inner guides first hand is a great adventure. If it seems like scary terrain, it might be worth getting a dream coach; otherwise, it should be as easy as riding a bike when we were kids. We all dream; pay attention, why not? It's an organic avenue to self awareness and self-love
Here's a story that illustrates the dream/synchrocity connection. I often have post dream teaching life synchros; they're like a huge hug from another world.
I recently taught a workshop at a local university; a young woman shared a dream about seeing a dear sweet Huskie pup in desperate need of rescue and yearning to do something to save it. At the end of our Lighting Dreamwork process, she announced that she was definitely going to volunteer at her local animal shelter, as she had been wanting to do. The next day I'm at Petco for cat supplies and see that they're running a special adoption clinic event for dogs from some awful puppy mill, mostly pit bulls or similar breeds. The sight of those dogs in cages and numerous people there to adopt put me in mind of yesterday's dreamwork. The synchronicity really hit, though, when, standing in the check out line, I turn to see that the man behind me has a young, beautiful blue-eyed Huskie on a leash. Immediately the dog jumps, places his paws on my shoulders and stares into my eyes. Whoa! Deja Reve! I felt animal love so profound that, if that man hadn't already adopted him, that little boy would have come home with me. I did leave the store with those physical shivers of recognition that synchronicity induces; a kind of spiritual high-five.
When I taught high school theology, I tried to apply the learning model that derives from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, (physical, security, belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization): we learn best by experience, second best by example and least best by being told. I still find that's true.
Dreams are experiences, just like waking events are, experiences in my life. I don't need to be told what to believe. As Jung once cryptically said, I know. I know what I know, what I don't know, I've yet to find out. What you know is part of your story. We can share our stories, we can use our imaginations to place ourselves in another's dream scenario, but we cannot live a dream or a life for another. We each have our own path to follow; our own actions to live out in lessons and consequences. The best way to teach another how to understand dreaming is to point to the door available in their souls and show them how it opens. The worst way is to presume to tell someone else what their dream means.
By way of convincing us to pay attention, pre-cognitive dreams are one of the most compelling dream experiences we can have. When a dream weaves itself into the fabric of my lived experiences, the next day, the next month or the next decade, I realize there's more to me than meets the I. I'm not alone; guidance is available to me through dreams. Something beyond this physical world makes sense, help is available, if I pay attention.
So, I invite you to let your dreams guide you. All it takes is paying attention to your dreaming experiences. Even when dreams don't manifest in waking life literally, their symbols and scenarios are often vibrant metaphors for our waking experiences. Giving dreams space to exist in my life, as real as any other real I can experience, broadens my perspective on existence considerably. Most dreamers find this to be true; why not you?