The exploration of our inner worlds , the inner realms of our complex psyche is confronting for many. Everything from hidden treasures, hidden fears and bad memories lurk in the dark realms of the subconscious. When I say dark, it by definition of what the subconscious is – below our consciousness – so the conscious light of awareness is not there. So many things we are unaware of. In Ancient Egypt the subconscious was often referred to as “Shewit” (transliterated) which simply means ‘shadow’.
Shadow is a great description in the same way as there aren’t hidden monsters in the shadows outside, neither are there monsters in our mind, none we can’t handle anyway. Dreams unfold at a rate our psyche, our mind can handle. It’s like a natural law. The dream process knows how much we can handle and when we can handle it. This is one of the things I admire about dreams the most, their ability to reveal the correct amount of information at the right time. So much of inner development and psychological change is about timing.
So what can we learn from dreams? As much as you do or don’t want to. Dreams really are a window, a doorway into the hidden depths of your mind. If you want to go there, you can, it’s all about choice. On another level if you want to just see your dreams as phantasy unravelling of the mind with random firings of neurons while you sleep – go right ahead, it’s a free world. If however you sense there is a hidden world in the strange, bizarre and sometimes macabre symbols and think you may want to explore those more then come on board for the ride, you might want to buckle up though, it’s not all fairy floss and sparkles, nor will your ego get stroked to often. Just saying…
If you’re reading to this point, it’s safe to assume you aren’t of the school that claims dreams are random neuron firings and mean nothing, so let’s start to look at what they give us. It’s known from dream labs established around the world for decades that if you take 2 groups of people and wake each for the same amount of time, but one group you continually wake in their dreams, essentially stopping them dreaming, the group blocked from dreaming actually become ill within a short period of time. This shows us dreams have a vital function both for our minds and for our bodies.
So how do dreams possibly help our bodies? All you have to do is look at the correlation between the nervous system and our immune system. Most know that high emotional stress levels impede our health, this is through the effects on our nervous system which feeds our immune system. Dreams through their processing of complex emotions assist in reducing the level of emotion impacting our nervous system.
So why don’t dreams give us a nice written thesis on what’s happening so we can better grasp what they mean? Basically the fault is in the question, a reflection of our own narrow thinking too often limited to what we see as simple logical sequence. The symbols in dreams encapsulate a mass of influences from many areas and through different lines of time simultaneously, to want them to be any other way is an over simplification of the process. Throughout history dreams have been recognised as containing powerful imagery and dynamics from complex archetypes applicable to entire societies through to summating large emotional impacts through the life of the dreamer into sometimes a single package.
We’re only speaking about emotional impacts at this point, we haven’t even begun to cover potentials in us which are revealed so our life dreams can be realised. I spoke earlier about the term of ‘shadow’ to describe our subconscious, within these shadows are many potential abilities and traits unknown to us which can be revealed through dreams. Entire careers, new passions and even inspired life adventure choices have been opened up by people’s dream processes just to name a few.
One closing word. Try not to feel intimidated by your dreams, they are there to help you and accomplish this in so many ways. We’ll be talking a lot more about this later on, but the first step is to allay any fears that dreams may cause problems. They don’t, they help solve them.
Thanks for reading and see you next week!