Thursday, June 10, 2010

The In-Between

I have a dear friend who’s been asking me wonderful questions about her wonderful dreams. She's a very strong dreamer, (I really try not to be jealous). Recently, she's experienced heightened consciousness in her dreams. She feels as if she’s in an in-between state, between waking and dreaming, just as awake as when she’s conscious. These sleep/waking experiences are new to her; she's excited and curious about them.

In one dream, she’s walking in what seems like an in-between world. She says it's as if she's walking through a bright, sunny yellow mist or fog,a place of light, very pleasant. Another person is with her, a person she likes. They’re walking side-by-side, talking. She has a feeling of great elation and joy that stays with her after waking.

I told her that if this is my dreaming and these experiences are mine, I would value them. I know I would re-enter the dream again, not by trying to go back to sleep, but rather by relaxing, closing my eyes and letting the dream replay in my consciousness. I see myself re-entering the dream and revisiting the events, letting myself dream them forward. I learned this practice from Carl Jung's Active Imagination and Robert Moss’s Active Dreaming techniques . It's similar to shamanic journeying; all it really takes is the imagination of our childhood and the willing suspension of disbelief that we regularly apply to watching movies, etc. You're entering a daydream; weren't you good at that once?

In groups, I've learned to use Shamanic drumming to help create a mild trance state that can quiet the left blabbing brain. You can use a favorite piece of music, preferably one without lyrics and with a calming effect. Neither is essential; if you come back supercharged from a dream, going back can be quite easy. My favorite time to reenter a unique dream is immediately when I wake up from it. If a dream rocks my socks,the energy is hottest right then; the dream portals may not have closed completely.

A good dream experience is like a good orgasm, except it lasts a lot longer. Physics and Metaphysics agree, we create our world through our conscious and unconscious willing. If so, it’s important to to use my imagination to will my own good and the good of others. A dream like this is a gift and I'll imagine myself back in it again and again until the energy is gone and a new dream gives me a new portal. If I don’t re-enter on waking up, then I’m going back any chance I get. (I’ve had great dream re-entries as a passenger on long trips; it’s not a recommended activity while you’re driving).

Back to my friend’s dream, if I know myself to be in an in-between world, an in between state, you can bet I’m going to look around when I re-enter and gather any details I might have missed. I listen to what the person I'm with is saying, what I’m saying; I see what we’re doing and continue in any direction I desire. A rule of the dream world is that you control everything; there's a creative way out of every dilemma and an eternity to enjoy what feels good.

Another thing that comes to mind about this in-between is that I might literally be visiting a place between life and death. I know people get the heebie jeebies thinking about their own death, but most of us have lost people and animals we love. The in-between of the dream world is possibly where we continue our relationships with them. If dreams allow me to cross back and forth and if my loved ones there share ideas with me and give me comfort, why shouldn't I rely on this in my waking life? These are gifts for the soul; it's hard to live without a happy soul.

Perhaps places we visit in dreaming will help us prepare for our own deaths. I have the memory of a very special dream that gave me an amazing script for my exit from this life. I don't know if I'll share the whole dream, but it involves a bridge of moonlight on water. What an image,right? I hope that when it's time for me to go, I can access this dream portal to soothe my journey across. So, why wouldn't I cultivate that image while I'm alive by re-entering this dream from time to time, making sure it's strong and clear for when I need it?

Sometimes dreams like my friend is having get labeled "lucid dreams" or "OBEs", (Out of Body Experiences); there's a lot of fascinating literature about it all. I don't think there's any substitute for allowing yourself to experience your own dreams intimately; eventually, portal after portal will open and shiny new experiences will thrill you.

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