By Douglas McElheny
A couple of weeks ago I had two dreams in the same night featuring a skyscraper. Here are the dreams:
I’m at the Steel Building1 in Pittsburg and I go rapidly up the elevator to the top floor. The top floor is like a lounge. I’m sitting in a chair for awhile and then get up and go to another room. I realize I don’t have my wallet so I go back to the other room to look for it and I find it on the floor. Then I’m talking to two kids in Spanish, showing off my Spanish skills. They only seem to speak English though and don’t seem to understand me. Then I take the elevator down to the ground floor to look for my mom. I go outside the building and find her there.
I’m on top of a skyscraper sitting at an outdoor restaurant. I’m waiting for some people to show up and finally they start showing up and sitting at my table.
For me going to the top of a skyscraper is an obvious symbol for some kind of ‘rising above’ so to speak consciousness-wise, so I wondered how it might manifest in waking life, if at all. I would guess most people who study their dreams have found like me that you can have a dream like that, or even a negative dream like getting bitten by a snake, and no outer event happens that seems to correlate with it. Such was not the case here as I will describe, but let me give some background first.
For a number of days prior to the dream, my vital and mind were wrapped up in some things I was concerned about going on in Donny’s life in India. The morning after the dream, as I was observing the charge in the vital and the unrelenting grinding of the thoughts on this matter, I just threw up my hands, so to speak, realizing that while I had to buckle down and reject the mental movements, it would probably take some time for that vital charge to move out of the system, and I would just have to ride it out. One thing I’ve observed in myself when the vital gets taken over by strongly charged emotion, such as worry in this case, among other things, is that the worry takes hold of the mind and creates worried thoughts. Those worried thoughts in turn feed the emotional charge of worry, which produces more worried thoughts in a vicious cycle.
What’s important about this I’ve found is that the thought is where you can break the cycle since it’s easier, in my case at least, to reject a thought than to push out an emotional charge. It’s still not easy though, and it’s not something you do once and it’s over. I stop the thought for a little while, but then as long as the charge is still there the thought comes back, and has to be stopped again and again. But what happens is that you can get the thoughts under control, and even if the emotional charge lingers you’ve put a little distance between yourself and the emotion, so it’s no longer in command of the mind.
There are ways, however, that an emotional charge can go out of you quickly. For example the thing you were worried about gets resolved or the vital’s attention goes elsewhere for some reason, hopefully to something positive happening in your life or that of someone close to you. Another thing that can happen though, often for no discernable reason, is some help comes from within, and that’s what happened to me that day. Late that afternoon as I took our dog Rosie for a walk I noticed that my mind had suddenly gotten quiet and that the emotional charge had given way to a slight but very palpable sense of ease and contentment. I realized this little uplift was what had been indicated in my dream by being on top of a skyscraper and was grateful for the alleviation. It didn’t last long maybe 45 minutes or so and then the vital charge and thoughts came back since I guess it hadn’t moved completely out of my system. It wasn’t as bad though.
Regarding some of the other symbols in the dream, the wallet seems like it would be money or money concerns, and there were definitely some money concerns for me in this situation. I’m not sure what to make of my speaking Spanish, or being in a restaurant. Regardless I think what’s mainly important is the movement of uplift and being able to connect that to the actual manifestation of that in waking life.
Here again as in other past posts I’ve put this out mainly to show what’s possible, and I think I should say that such experiences as this are the exception and not the norm for me. Why such an experience comes in one situation and not in another I have no idea. The subliminal parts of ourselves seem to have their own law and process which are a complete mystery to our waking selves. What I think is important to realize, assuming one is on some kind of spiritual quest, is that these things are little glimpses or promises of states that can become fixed and permanent in our waking life.
What’s also important I think from a practical viewpoint is what I pointed out about the vicious cycle of thoughts feeding emotions feeding thoughts, and then showing how you break the chain at the level of the thought. For many people that’s Mindfulness 101, but for some reading this article that could be a real and very significant revelation, and there are few things I think that are as fundamentally important for a person to see as this.
1. It might be worth pointing out that the Steel Building is the only skyscraper I have been to the top of.