For the longest time, I had thought that all we needed to do to see we communicate with one another on the inside in the inner life was to become conscious of dreams. From there it seemed to me we could easily come to know our communal identity, human unity, something we can infer from the inner communication, but not confirm until we get beyond both the outer world and dreams and directly experience it ourselves. We could infer it, I’d figured, because our dreams are chock-full of such inner contact with each other. To my surprise, I’ve found that’s not the case. Most of the dream workers I’ve seen in discussion groups on the net and those I’ve talked to in person seem to be unaware of our inner links.
While it’s the needed direction, towards the inside, we seem to be going pell-mell into dreams without knowing either how to interpret them or even that they often tell us about incidents and situations in our waking life days before or days after. Most people into lucid dreams and those giving workshops on the same, of those I encounter, do not have this very basic foundation. Douglas has been showing the connection between dreams and waking life in articles on this blog. In this article, I hope to demonstrate something of our hidden inner communication by illustrating a dream, one that doesn’t, as is often the case, show it as only an aspect but as its focus and intention, showing me what was going on between others and myself.
I am at an American diner but in India, and I have a gift of $365 I want to give to my stepmother Ruth. It’s been a long time since I called her and my dad, but I’m confident she will accept the collect call, which I know has to be collect and somehow know she’ll be the one to answer the phone. There’s a pay phone in the restaurant, right among the tables, though it’s at night, and there are only a few customers, and after reflecting a moment on Ruth’s hatred of me, I make the call. It’s accepted, but I don’t speak to Ruth but my dad, and I tell him about the gift to Ruth, and he starts talking very fast about why I haven’t called in so long and at the same time not happy I’m calling.
There’s a dream shift. It’s very dark outside, and I’m alone sitting on the passenger’s side of the front seat of a car parked outside a bar talking to my dad on a cell phone. I’ve not gone into the bar and have no intention of doing so, but the bar has something to do with my dad I can’t figure out. On the other end I hear silence but know my dad is there. I try and talk to get him to talk, but he’s very reluctant, and maybe I hear him say a word or two and maybe I don’t. I can’t tell because he is so distant on the line in terms of his willingness to be there. I begin to cry the kind of cry I do in dreams sometimes right before waking, where I’m dreaming I’m in my bed in my room but know it’s a dream still, a place I release emotional pain, a place I use for a lot of things. As I release the emotion I begin to become aware it’s a dream because I’m consciously now feeling the pain of being an outcast by my yoga, by almost the entire world. I hear thunder and see faint traces of lightning flashes, as though they’re not in the dream yet but are coming.
I don’t become lucid. Instead another dream shift catches my attention, and I’ve just gotten out of a car having driven home. It’s night still but not late, as I see my uncles and dad working on an old car not far from the house. It’s an old wooden one-story country house, and I walk past the front and stop to look at my dad and uncles working on the car, which is just on the edge of the light from the house on the other side from where my car is, and something I can’t quite relate happens, a different kind of shift, where my dad’s no longer with my uncles, and I realize he was just there, had been there a long time, and I should’ve talked to him when I had the chance because he’s gone, as in passed away, and I won’t have the opportunity to see him again in this life. As sadness wells up in me I walk to the backyard, and that scene takes my attention, the sadness leaving.
It’s now the backyard of the house I was teenager in, only much bigger. I walk up to a shed and suspect someone’s been in there and gotten some of the special kind of organic material I’ve made and allow the neighborhood to take if they want to, but I’m not sure. There’s no light in the backyard, and it’s very difficult to see. I follow faint tracks, like from a small tractor and wagon, and come to the back fence, a wooden one as at my teenage home in waking life. It’s been opened, and the tracks are very visible going into the backyard and coming out, and it confirms that someone came and got some of the material. I’m not bothered by it, just don’t know why they did it the way they did, at night in secret, not coming to the front like good neighbors, and they took down part of the fence too, which does bother me a little until I see the fence can roll back in place without damaging it, sort of like a hidden gate, and I understand people can take the material that way too, understanding too that’s how people have been taking it for the most part. All I have to do is close it, but there’s no latch or anything, just roll it shut so it looks like there’s no seam in the fence there, and as I do I wake up.
Why it’s so hard for us to see the inner communication between us has to do with the nature of dreams, which don’t often or always depict the actual people or situations they are about but are symbolic in nature and tell a story of the story, some representative scenario often using our own family and the scenes most familiar to us as the symbols for the dream. Our creative reflex, what I call that in us which fashions them, can do this because dreams mean more than one thing, have more than a single interpretation, can be about your family and at the same time about whom or whatever. That’s the case in the above dream, but dreams are also irrational, that is, they don’t come from the rational thinking mind which likes order and symmetry, does not like loose ends, prefers a one to one correspondence in the making of analogies. Dreams more often float their different interpretations, rather loosely, making it not possible to interpret them the way the mind likes to do that: this means that, not this means that here but not also there.
We are also rather ignorant about universal symbols in dream, have some sense they occur, but for the most part, from what I’ve seen of dream dictionaries that now abound upon the net and what I saw available before the web, we are much more off base than on in what the symbols mean, for the mental reasons I’ve mentioned above. We tend to assign meaning to symbols with the thinking mind, or the talking, reading, networking thinking mind, and we don’t understand that we learn what the symbols mean from the very fashioning of our dreams, that is, as we open the inner consciousness, that part of us in which we experience dream, the meaning of the universal and personal symbols reveal themselves, as though we’re being taught, and we are. There’s a soul behind all doing that instruction, the psychic being.
With these things in our awareness, I’ll now interpret the above dream, assigning meaning to symbols as they occur therein. On the surface the dream is about my relationship with my dad and stepmother. We are estranged. I’m in India and they the U.S., but there are other gulfs of distances between us. The dream is symbolizing inner communication between us, but it’s not that contact that’s the focus of my interpretation, or not that interpretation, a contact that happens all the time between ourselves and those we are bound to by family ties or whatever, but an inner contact hard to see with the reason, though once it sees it, it doesn’t take being spelled out each time to see it. Though it would seem the dream is about that familial inner contact, what triggered the dream to show the disguised contact I’m focusing on, what the dream’s more about, is a situation I was involved in at the time in waking life, some two weeks back, and is the interpretation I’ll be demonstrating. It bears some elaboration, which can be done in process, though you’ll have to keep picking up the thread of the dream so as not to lose it in the elaboration.
The contact the dreams shows isn’t just a representation of an event in waking life but a live streaming as it were of inner contact occurring at the ‘global’ moment of the dream, the timeframe of the unfolding of the incident the dream represents (along with the frontal or obvious familial interpretation). Before the dream, and after, I was seeing/hearing in my muse the discourse I was having, via a Facebook page, with the editors of a major publication of our yoga, the Integral Yoga of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. That communication resulted in a muse poem specifically to them and which I would post as a comment after one of their Facebook posts so they would accept a friend request I’d sent. That poem came during the day after the dream. Since the poem has that inner contact as its content, something they would recognize, since it reveals their thoughts and feelings on the matter, they friended me shortly after posting it. The dream I’m demonstrating, which occurred the night before they accepted the friend request, shows the ‘fury’ of inner communication between us revolving around that friend request as well as a comment I’d put on their page asking them to read a poem of mine on our page Harm’s End that I’d written and posted before the dream, called “Pardon / Tell the Truth / You’re a Satellite”, a poem about atheism.
The diner, the first scene of the dream, represents Facebook, and that few people are there would indicate, though it’s a public place where people eat (we’re consuming for good or ill in the posts we read/watch-eat), there are only a few people listening or reading in on the event in question, that is the communication via Facebook with that publication. That it’s night means, in this situation (night would mean something different in others), the whole event is under wraps, something done not in secret but, though occurring openly, not one anyone would want to see. The gift I have is the poem about atheism, and I can tell you what the numbers in $365 mean, but that’s too much detail. I’ll just say it has to do with the cost in my consciousness of the poem. That’s it’s both to my step-mother and that she’s the one who has to accept the collect call (collect because it’s their page they maintain) has to do with her hatred of me, what would be unbelievable if I tried to describe, what it was like being her step-child as a small boy.
The hatred of my yoga for me would also be likewise unbelievable in terms of its unwillingness to ‘accept’ me. That hatred is what I must go through to communicate outwardly with anyone in my yoga that knows my story (everyone gossips everywhere), with anyone in the world for that matter, and, because my writings are a bit revelatory and at the same time revealing, showing not only good stuff that attempts to sound the depths of the world but also stuff that sounds the bad I’ve been a party to, I seldom get a reply to any communication I send, to the yoga or us, us being humanity. In the dream, however, I’m confident the hatred will give way, and I’ll be able to get through.
Your dad in a dream is both your dad and representative of an authority figure in your life. Whether you accept their authority doesn’t matter. It matters that they have power to punish you. In the dream, the people behind the aforementioned publication, people with authority in the yoga, are represented by my dad. It’s been years since I called him, as it’s been years I’ve been a more or less quiet outcast in the yoga, though there have been periods in the past 12 years I’ve been in this exile, especially in the beginning, where I sent out a flurry of communications, but now, for the first time, people are talking to me, what the dream’s showing, since my dad, who are the people fielding the Facebook page and possibly their superiors, are at the same time ready to hear from me (full of questions about me more like it) and angry I’m contacting them. The gift, the poem, is of no consequence to them, only those questions and anger, but I do feel the gift has been accepted, and as I do find myself in that car outside a bar.
The windows are rolled up, and the doors shut, and I am very alone inside that car, much like I’m inside my room, where I spend most of my time, but the dream’s also demonstrating that the communication with my ‘dad’ has gotten real personal and private, between he and I, how it’s being experienced by us, regardless it’s still on a public Facebook page. A bar in dream symbolizes lower vital indulgence, whether that be drinking itself or other substances, or sex and the like. In the dream I don’t know why I’m parked outside that bar, only that it has to do with my dad, as though I’m waiting for him to come out, though I know he’s not in there and know he doesn’t drink. I’m there because my dad thinks that’s where I go a lot, or, to say it literally interpreting the dream symbol, the people of that publication, as well as my yoga in general, and the ‘world’ for that matter, see me parked at a bar indulging my desires when they think of me. You might notice that in the dream I haven’t parked myself there and don’t know why my dad has me waiting there, outside a bar.
Though it might be too much detail, why I’m in the front seat and not the back, and why I’m in the passenger’s seat, has to do with the fact I’m not driving either the car in the dream or my room in waking life, and it’s not the Devil driving let me tell you, but neither am I just in the back seat a passive passenger; I’m riding shotgun.
The silence on the other end of the line, me trying to get my dad to talk, not knowing if he’s saying anything or not the darkness is so thick, night here again meaning what it does in the diner, jars me a little towards awareness. Pain tends to do that also in dream. The dream symbol begins to come off, and I start feeling what pain the dream’s surfacing, the position of being an almost total and absolute outcast in the household in which I live, on the inside of things, the house of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. I release some of the emotional pain associated with that, and as I do I begin to wake up in the dream and also hear and see the play of thunder and lightning, as though it’s there but at the same time not yet, it being more an outline of the phenomenon than the full monty, a common characteristic of dream and its manner of revealing our reality. I’d be bold enough to say that it’s presence shows our communication, between the publication and I, to be significant at the very least, and that it seems more on the way than all the way there to be indicative perhaps of some coming climax in regards to my acceptance as a sadhak in the Integral Yoga with a contribution to give: understanding, though that contribution is an elaboration here, not a facet of the dream.
The dream shift captures my awareness back in the dream which is a much different scenario, and the only link to the other parts of the dream is the car, which I’ve just gotten out of after arriving at my house, which is also the Duke family house, my dad’s side of the family and made up of country people. As I walk across the yard/driveway, I see my dad and uncles working on an old car, just in my awareness, what it means when the action’s taking place on the edge of darkness. That my dad’s suddenly died, and I regret not taking the long opportunity I had to see him before that, is the dream shifting more to the frontal interpretation of it being about the relationship with my actual dad, and once again I begin to become aware it’s a dream, the regret pushing the boundaries of the dream-movie before my eyes, but it’s not enough to make me lucid , and as I walk to the back of the house, I see the shed, and the dream captures my complete awareness once again. The shed represents our Facebook page Harm’s End, and the special organic material are the muse poems posted on it. I can see that people have been on the page reading the material, though I see that in the symbols of the dream, not aware of what they represent.
The evidence, however, isn’t substantial enough for me to be sure neighbors have come and read some of the poems, taken the organic material, and so I follow the faint trail leading to the back fence to investigate. I should say, leaving the dream a moment, that I usually get no reactions from a muse poem post, except sometimes likes from my kids and their friends who like the pics, or a like from Douglas, my partner on the page. So I have no idea if anyone’s reading them or not except for the little round world on the top of the page telling me I’ve had pageviews, something that isn’t daily nor ever very many except when we’ve boosted a post, where most of our reactions for posts have come from: paid.
Nighttime here in this part of the dream has more to do with my neighbors getting the organic material, reading the poems, under the cover of darkness, not letting on about it , leaving no likes or comments, unless, like I said, it’s from our family or a boosted post. Once I get to the back fence it’s very clear neighbors have come, with a small tractor even, and gotten some of the reading material. It being the back gate represents the same thing it being night does; they came in secret, almost as if they stole. They left the fence open even, and it wouldn’t be stretching it to say that represents the two page views I saw the next morning after the dream, what had lit up in my little world at the top of the page. It’s no problem closing the fence again. All you have to do is read the message, and the number in the little world icon disappears. I don’t like it that neighbors are coming in secret to get what I’m giving openly and for free, want them to come around to the front, give some appreciation, but I do realize some material is being taken at least, posts are being read, and so, as I close the back fence, click on the little world, I’m not unhappy about it.
Although I don’t absolutely know that publication read the atheist poem that I asked them to in the comment I left on their page, the dream, along with the two page views, gives me good reason to believe that they did. The dream and other inner communication between us resulted in a poem I put as a comment on their page, during the day after the dream, and as I said earlier, they befriended me soon after posting it. For the past two weeks I’ve been waiting for them to like my page, and not even another poem has moved them, but I don’t see them ignoring me. What I do see is the necessity of showing I really see. Especially religious authority, as history bears witness, when it’s confronted by what it fears and doesn’t understand, is not a kind father.
Though you might think I’ve read too much into this dream, that it’s not possible to interpret them in such detail, even if I’ve gotten a symbol or two wrong, I haven’t over-stepped the boundaries of dream. It takes a lifetime to learn to interpret them, as much study as we put into books and other outer media, and few seem willing to do that, wanting just to jump to dream powers such as lucid dreaming and out of body experiences and the like, or even straight to spiritual experiences. Becoming conscious of dream initiates a multifarious process that eventually culminates in understanding not only the nature of dreams and their symbol meaning, understanding how to consciously use them to investigate reality, find the soul and look for God, seeing in great overabundant detail our hidden inner unity, how we communicate with one another on the inside of ourselves, but also, coming to the understanding that outer reality is as well like unto a dream in that it’s a story of a story, though a more substantial story we might say than our personal pell-mell dreams, a real story that represents layer upon layer of deeper reality that when you get to its bare ground, you find God.
I can’t lead you there, but I can try to show you how to see our underlying hidden unity, at the very least, how much we talk to one another in our inner life, and that the most readily available window to see that is the field of dreams. We don’t normally see it because, as I said in the beginning, we don’t yet know (have lost really) knowledge of the interpretation of dreams. This article might be called a field guide, looking however at only one species, but you have to use more than your reason to use it.
How in the world do I tell you, you only use your soul in a manner of speaking? To see what I’m talking about, your soul shows you that it’s using you. I don’t really think language can get here, it being itself a story of a story, representative by nature, and the soul, speaking of it in itself here and not its evolving personality the psychic being, well, how to say it? It doesn’t represent; it just is. It’s where dreams are born and all this communicating in them, sleeping dreams and world dreams, from where the seed is cast.