by Donny Duke
A couple of months ago I was dreaming I was sitting down against a building in a field waiting for my mom to come and pick me up, and I became not only lucid but aware of myself in my bed, that place where if you just open your eyes you’re awake, twilight I call it. As I heard her car stop at the road some 100 meters from where I was, I got up, and on the ground in front of me there took shape a very beautiful mandala with the words “I love you” on it, made with many colors. It was made in a way that had my mom all over it, that is, it captured the essence of the way she made things, the colors and shapes, and I felt the strong presence of her as I saw it and read her message to me, understanding that this was a message to me from beyond death.
A few nights ago the following scene occurred in a dream, with another member of my immediate family, though one not deceased:
I’m driving my sister’s pickup truck down a highway, and she’s riding shotgun. We are going from a town where she lives to where I have my jeep parked, a distance of a few of miles. We talk on the way, or rather, I do, telling her of my current plans to move to the mountains. She lets me out at the parking lot I’m living in for the couple of days while I’m in transition from my former living situation to the one in the mountains. After she drops me off I think that she could have invited me to dinner or even stay the night at her house, and I wonder over why she didn’t.
A couple of nights ago I dreamed this scene with another family member, who’s also still alive:
My dad has taken me and some other hitch hikers to a gas station and is dropping us off. I’m on my way to Houston, a distance of about a 100 miles. As the others leave to go hitch, he tells me to put my suitcase in the truck, and I know that means he’s going to take me to Houston so we can spend some time together, and the dream ends. I hear a few lines of muse about the dream as I come awake completely in bed.
“If you google the word dreams you will get millions of hits for websites devoted to dream interpretation. Are any of them worth a visit? Very likely not. Why not? Because there is no scientifically supported system of dream interpretation. What you will get if you look at dream interpretation blogs, sites, pages, and the like will be garbage pure and simple. Or they will be the writer’s own idiosyncratic interpretation of dream images and that typically is not very interesting at all.”[i] The quote is from an article in Psychology Today. It’s not suggesting that dreams are meaningless, but that any attempt to interpret dreams until science cracks the dream code and provides a system to interpret them is garbage or at best so boring as to not be worth your time. But the ignorance of science isn’t the measure of our knowledge of dreams or our ability to interpret them, and why should its ignorance be the holdup in dream inquiry? Because science can’t interpret dreams, does that mean we can’t?
Rather than give some formula or system to interpret dreams, something you can plug any dream into and know its meaning if such an undiscovered formula exists because dreams have so many variables, and not all are actually dreams but something else, Douglas and I have been taking individual dreams and visions, including the inner voice, and interpreting aspects of them that can be shown to have some relevance to our daily personal lives and that of humanity in general, focusing on linking dream movements to ones in waking life and discussing dreams that reveal an inner connection between human beings, ones that suggest we live in a field of consciousness rather than in our own private inner world unconnected to the inner lives of others, which is the view of science.
In the most basic sense, dreams show us what’s going on with us, what’s on our minds, in our hearts, what we say with our mouths and do with our hands as we move through life, sometimes acting as a proving ground for personal movements not in our best interest, allowing us to see they indeed aren’t, or sometimes just simply being a gestalt, the dream itself being an meaningful experience that isn’t necessarily representing anything about our waking life, and dreams are not only about our personal symbols: study and tell us about other dreamers as well. But in this basic explanation of dreams I’ve not by any means exhausted their purpose and scope. And while dreams focus mostly on our present, they not only use images of our past to show us our now but also use our future too, but they not only focus on our present; sometimes they are almost exclusively about the past or future.
Dreams and visions are like a looking glass revealing the ins and outs of our life movement in itself and as it interacts with that of others and with the world and universe at large. That they do this in representative terms, telling a story about our story, about the story of others, and that they can be seen to have not only the past in them but also the future, the more of which you see, in little pieces, the more you can actually interpret them, suggests creative intelligence within us but beyond ours telling the story, intelligence that can see the whole picture, not only of our whole life past, present, and future, not only what’s going on with ourselves, but also what’s going on with everything and everybody we significantly interact with, are connected to, intelligence that can see through the walls of time and form.
I’ve come to believe this intelligence is the soul, what in us that transcends the material envelope[ii], which doesn’t create dream actually but is the is influence on it shaping it along our own personal evolutionary lines, influencing the organization of all the various elements that present themselves from whatever quarter in the making of any given dream into something that has meaning for us. The quality of people’s dreams vary widely I’ve found, and not everyone has storytelling dreams. For many they are just an incoherent barrage of sound and image, the reason I suspect many label them just random things coming up from the subconscious or from our active memory of the day’s events, or what’s pressing on us as we sleep.
The more coherent your dreams are, the more they tell a story, and the more you can see yourself in them making decisions based on judgment and reason that are resolving conflicts within yourself or with others, healing your personal mess or integrating who you dislike or who dislikes you, the more your soul has a hand in shaping them, and, consequently, the more they can be used as guidance, as a road map that not only shows where things are and the direction you need to go, but also what’s obstructing you and what’s aiding you in getting there.[iii] Where ‘there’ is depends on you, the direction of your life’s movement, its purpose to put it more meaningfully, but, if you are able to put the inner eye on the outer world to the degree you see the underlying unity of all things and all people, what comes more and more into focus as you do see the outer world through the inner lens, regardless of where you’re headed to personally, you’ll see you and I, all of us, are moving to wholeness in our relations with ourselves, each other, and with the world at large, working out oneness.
The above dream scenes show this process at work, but, in what what might be called the catch 22 of dream, I can’t contact any of my family members to verify inner contact with them, since my mom’s been dead some years, and neither my sister nor my dad will speak to me. It’s a catch 22 because so often dream, when it’s seeing beyond the physical senses, shows us things in shadow, or shows us the shadow side of things, what we or others don’t want to admit, what we want to keep a secret, and so we are often unable to verify the dream with waking life. Although the case here isn’t something bad being hidden, is just I can’t verify the dream because the people involved are either dead or won’t speak to me, it appears to me things like clairvoyance, which these three dream scenes are examples of, each a different aspect of it, happens all the time among us, but it doesn’t get verified, or even usually mentioned, because it shows things we don’t want others to see. In a rather rebellious and somewhat illicit earlier piece on my personal blog, “Under the Graffiti”, I point this out in a way that might bring it closer to home:
“It’s happened so many times not only in my own personal experiences of anything to do with clairvoyance and the senses seeing past their physical range, but also with many others I’ve talked to who’ve related to me their experiences, ones that they really couldn’t tell someone else about (I got these ‘I know I’ve been bad’ ears, so you don’t have to worry none), or at least not the whole story, because it revealed their shadow side, so much so and in so many instances I’ve come across that it seems to be part and parcel of the process, that the ESP’s not only to give you that sight but more to try and wake you up out of your animal cravings, get you to get up, evolve, and that’s the number one reason I’d bet we don’t hear about these things as much as they occur among us: they show our bad that we don’t want others to see.”[iv]
I think anyone intensely involved in working with their dreams with others they physically share daily experience with, who’s had a lot of experience being part of such a dream group, would be inclined to agree with me in regards to the above, would see the shadow in that light, but that our dreams (in fact our lives) are working out oneness takes an inner depth of seeing that goes beyond the scenes of the world, contact with the soul, and I can only tell you that you really have to look for it to see it if you don’t, but once you begin to see it, you wonder why in the world everybody can’t see it it’s so present and apparent.
The three examples I give are showing a process of reconciliation ongoing between the members of my immediate family and I, those three people perhaps the most commonly recurring characters of my dream life, and I suspect it’s the case with most of us; we dream all our lives about who were the most significant people in our formative years, whose womb we came from, whose genes, who we shared that womb with, if, that is, they were actively there as we grew up. If not, it’s the people that most filled those roles. My muse once told me that the more one we are with someone, those most like us or close to us, like a brother or sister, or a neighbor, the more likely we won’t get along with them, and if you look at the world and its conflicts, that’s often the case.
Before my mom died she had little to do with me, and we didn’t communicate often. She carried that enmity into death, and it seems that on the other side she realized some things, the need of reconciliation for one, and so she sent me a clear message of love, her first from the other side, in the form of that colorful mandala, and it came in the context of a longer dream I was having with her, not her I should point out but a representation of her my dream maker had made, and this is an important point about dream: most often when we dream of someone it’s not actually them in the dream, not a dream sharing experience, or only extremely rarely, but our dream maker making their image so as to represent some inner or outer interaction with them. The message was well placed in my life, came when I needed that declaration of love from her.
It’s not yet accepted human knowledge that we continue on after we die, much less that the dead can communicate with us, but we’ll get there before long, since these kinds of communications from departed loved ones are so common to human experience. It’s often like it is in this dream scene, they give us some message or sign rather than seeing them face to face, and when it is actually meeting them, the meeting is quite short and comes most often in the representative mode of dream, like you and they doing some activity together, not as you and they able to just chat a moment.
With my sister Gwen reconciliation is still some ways away, if it’ll even happen before one of us dies, and then it’s inevitable, but it is in process, as the dream of her taking me some distance in her truck shows. In the scene I was driving it, which would indicate that for some time during her day, a day close to my dream, I drove her life vehicle for a little while, that is, I was driving her thought and feeling for some distance, a few miles the dream shows, and that it was in broad daylight and on a major highway shows this was conscious on her part, not on a side road under the shadow of trees. She carried me in her mind and heart for some distance, but, as the scene also shows, she went no further, didn’t take me to dinner or to spend the night. Since she’s made it very clear she wants nothing at all to do with me, it’s probable she keeps me out of her mind as much as possible, but with someone as close to you as your brother, that’s just not possible to do all the time, and sometimes the heart wins out, as is the case here.
It’s not possible, as I said, to verify this inner communication with my sister, or rather me picking up on her thinking of me with enough emotional force to register in my inner life, but I’ve seen this play out in dreams enough times to know it’s the interpretation of the dream scene. It came in the context of a longer dream that had nothing to do with her, but since the dream took place near where she lives, she appeared in it. I’d probably picked up the inner communication some time before, and it waited in my inner being until such time a dream appeared that could represent it. As I’ve suggested, dreams are composed of many different elements that come from various places within and without us, and they are organized together to form a dream.
The dream scene with my father happened at the end of a longer dream I was having with him, and though it would also show inner communication between us, or rather what we each are thinking of the other, it’s this scene that shows more clearly reconciliation happening, or that he’s now willing to give me some time in his heart and mind at the very least. The scene ends where I’m about to drive with him to Houston, a couple of hours away, where we’ll be alone together and can talk. Upon awaking from the dream the scene ended, my muse suggested that he was going to read (or have read to him, since he can’t see very well now) a long story[v] about the Duke family I wrote and made a copy of and had mailed to him snail mail, and that might be what the suitcase represents he told me to put in the trunk, the suggestion that he’ll read it at some point in the near future. I can only speculate if that’s the case, but, although I can’t verify he’s going to give me some time focused alone time in his thoughts and feelings, I know very well that’s what the dream’s showing.
It’s this very thing many people, especially from science, object to at bottom, God and soul being objections based more on this overriding viewpoint rather than on being impossibilities in their own right: knowing something to be true that the physical senses haven’t verified or really can’t verify. I’d suspect the author of the Psychology Today article I quoted has this fear at heart, and all who think like him in regards to dreams being unintelligible things, and that their interpretation is something we ought not to bother other people about on “blogs, sites, pages, and the like.” That fear is that reality won’t conform to material science, and they’ll have to remarkably shift their worldview, significantly change their lives, and maybe even lose their jobs, though as they experience it, it’s the fear that superstition will take the place of knowledge or greatly hamper its pursuit as it’s done in the past, as it’s doing now.
Today, however, superstition, the kind that’s holding up knowledge about ourselves and our world, isn’t so much religious, although religion definitely points a gun at knowledge and sometimes even shoots it. It’s the ignorance of the people with their hands on the world doorknob of knowledge, your average mainstream techno-culture scientists, who have their hands on the way we define the world, the research cash to investigate it, the news media to cover it, the arts and literature to symbolize it, that keeps us in the dark about the most basic things about us with their dogmatic insistence on the primacy of matter, the most basic of those things being we have a soul, and we share not only a field of consciousness together but one also of identity. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s the darkness of fear.
I’ve suggested many times now our next revolution in knowledge will be the one that occurs when we turn our attention to inner exploration, the investigation of consciousness and the inner life, one that’s already begun not only on “blogs, sites, pages, and the like”, but also in our hearts and minds, though not yet as a revolution, the big one we’ve all been anticipating in one form or another (just not yet inner), one that will turn society as we know it on its ear, change our most basic social institutions, change even being human. Many if not most feel technology’s what it’s about, it being our human endeavor, and we measure our progress more by our advances in technology than by a growing and greater sense of our shared humanity.
Dreams are the most common and available doorway into the inner life, the subliminal life we live deeper than conscious thought, and talking about them in a public space quickens the inner revolution in society, since dreams can show us to be more than a mere physical body that has somehow engendered its own separate bubble of conscious awareness, and such knowledge really turns you on.
By showing our dreams and visions here at Harm’s End, Douglas and I hope to demonstrate that we are so much more than some separate spume of matter floating on a shoreless sea in meaningless infinitude. Far from being garbage or so boring you’re wasting your time, blogs about dream and inner exploration such as this one, and the thousands like it on the net, on social media, are slowly but surely lighting the world with the inner fire, whether they’re right on about our interpretations of inner experience or not. Ours is the attempt to light the inner fire in the world, and we fumble a lot as happens when lighting a fire from wet material, but once that fire starts, no power on earth can put it out. Even now, on more than one page, truth is staring back at us, truth being not some religious or scientific formula but what’s actually happening with us in our seemingly brief little lives.
[ii] Our inner being, or dreambody, since it is open to the universal, also can see into the inner life of others and into the future (to a limited extent), but it’s the soul behind it that’s ultimately the intelligence in us shaping our life.
[iii] I’ve greatly over simplified the making of dream, skipping over a tremendous amount of inner process and going directly to the soul, which to become conscious of you have to become conscious of that inner process, but I’ve done so because it’s not God behind all shaping our dreams and as well our life movement in general as we tend to believe if we do believe there’s higher intelligence behind it; it’s our individual soul, as it’s God’s delegate in humanity, and the more conscious we are of our soul the more it can do that more directly.
[iv] https://acollaborationwiththeunknown.wordpress.com/auto-biographical-sketches-a-letter-and-a-comment/ (You’ll have to scroll down to the graffiti story.)