Carl Jung the 20th century Swiss psychoanalyst suggested that there’s a place between the conscious mind and the soul called the dream–it is a hidden door into the cosmic mind he said. It is something that exists in the twilight, the limen if you will, between the “out there” and the “in here” of our brains. This is the threshold upon which the shaman works his magic, where the healing takes place.
To the Iroquois dreams are a representation of the desires of the soul. To some tribal cultures they are messages from the ancestors, or from the spirit world. To many Christians and Muslims they were and in some ways still are seen as messages from God.
Jung thought that dreams were part of the Individuation process where we each become more fully human–where the “I” is created. Perhaps we dream to create the self? But what is this dream?
One night I thought that I had awakened from my surreal sleeping imaginarium and attempted to manipulate the lingering images so as to get back into it when I realized that I was still dreaming. So I asked myself while in the in the dream, “What is being awake? If I am still in this dream, but think I’m awake, am I really dreaming?” It came to me then that perhaps I wasn’t awake in the rest of my life, but only dreaming. “Am I a dream, dreaming I’m awake, or am I awake dreaming I’m dreaming?”
That was my first lucid dream experience, though at the time I didn’t recognize it as such, but it did shift my perspective a little about what I had been calling consciousness. Dreams then took on a different meaning for me when I realized that they were an in-between state of realities that may actually all take place within an even greater dream–the dream of God. If as Edgar Allan Poe quipped, “Are all we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream?” do we also dream God into reality and if we are dreaming him, is he also dreaming us?
In the Australian Aboriginal cosmology the Rainbow Snake god created the Earth that then created mankind, who in turn recreated the Earth, and all was done within “The Dreaming.” To them this Dreaming continues to this day and in this perspective we are the dreamer and the dream at the same time.
Every story of every creature creates. And according to the physicist Fred Alan Wolf, just as reality is affected by the surrounding energy field, dreams are not made by the dreamer alone either, but by the surrounding field, which in this case can be seen as the people around us. We are all involved to some degree in each other’s stories. When dreaming, we may be writing our own script and in this way each of us is but one dream story of the Dreamtime.
Perhaps we are all standing on the threshold of consciousness and in a lucid dream so to speak–where being awake and being in the dream are superimposed. It may be here that we create what is. We do not devise the objects of reality, though we do beget our experience and meaning for what is there. But because we can only know what we perceive-what we project; we don’t really know what exists outside our own heads.
The Mandala is for me an excellent metaphor for the dream within a dream concept where at the center of its concentric circles lie our selves. In it we are both the center and the rings around it–it represents the whole self, the conscious and unconscious striving for unity. Upon every boundary one stands and sees him self, forward and backward, in and out, above and below, creating and being created. Reality is derived from the center and then collapses upon itself as it becomes ever more aware.
On his way to the Archipelago of Dreams (R.J. Cole, 2011) Robert crossed this limen between worlds and entered the world of the dream where reality is created. In it he was confronted by the archetypes of his race and was forced to reconcile with them. Beyond the veil he discovered the reality of creation and was forced to grow up in its embrace. Robert learned of the dream within the dream and feared awakening within his slumber. This was his ultimate shadow that had stalked him all his life and would end his life as he had known it.
7 thoughts on “Magic: Just for a moment step outside your perspective.”
Great post 😄
Thanks! Would you mind me asking why?
Any speculation about dreams is potentially interesting, in that like consciousness itself there is no particular belief, theory, or explanation that withstands objective analysis. Or so I imagine, since I have not made a study of dreams (and my work on consciousness has been fruitless). I myself hypothesize that dreams are linked with memory and perception more than with any “spirit realm.” Sort of like the computer volatile dynamic random access memory, they keep the dynamic processes active during sleep.
There are dreams, day dreams, and visions all from the here and now but there are also a set of fantasies born from the Collective Unconscious, the tribal legacy of humankind. All cultures, races, and creeds seem to share this archetypal imagery and meaning and speak from the deeper regions of our psyche. Spirit born? Who knows? But once this something has tapped into your consciousness you’re forever changed and no longer have to ask. Dreams can be consciousness expanding because the personal unconscious sees things the conscious mind is too busy to notice. They show up when the mediator of the conscious mind aka the ego is asleep. Like your computer they are part of the brain’s process of moving RAM to ROM without the mediator having any say in the matter.
Sadly, I don’t dream that kind of dream. In reading Jung, so wise, successful, happy I now feel more solidarity and sympathy with Freud who was so wrong and tortured like the rest of us. There is a new collective unconscious, but it is clearly just as much programmed as the old.
It’s all programmed and all projection and we’re all both dark and tortured, bright and joyful, right and wrong.
There once was a boy who walked into a dark room with no windows. Grabbing for his flashlight he aimed it into the room and saw a large pile of feces. He turned off the flashlight and left reporting to his friends that the room was full of shit. Another friend went to see for himself and shined his light into the room whereupon it lighted upon a pile of toys, candy, and all sorts of happy things. Moral of the story: What you see all depends upon where you shine your light.
Dreams can be seen as the by-product of the brain’s night time activity of consolidating short term memories into a more permanent state. They come from that place in the brain where the day’s activities and unconscious observations have been stored ready for that night triage. As with all images seen either when awake or asleep each image has meaning to the viewer. When awake the linear system that is the conscious brain interprets data differently than the sleeping brain that is not linear hence some of the strange visions and seeming lack of logic. But it has been found that those symbols still have meaning for the observer and will often reveal material that the conscious mind misses during the day. This material has been shown to be quite useful if interpreted properly.