Perhaps like me, you see the word dreaming and think about the dreams that you have when you're asleep. You might remember a recent or recurring dream or a nightmare. You may have images, both strange and comforting, that appear during your sleeping dreams. The imagery, symbolism, archetypes and memories that arise in these dreams can tell us much about our innermost and undiscovered selves.
Carl Jung refers to a dream as "a small hidden door into the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul, long before there was conscious ego and will be soul, far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach." Our minds use images and people, in our dreamworld, that are familiar to us, in order to tap into this ancient cosmic connection. We may remember only snippets or complete details of a story, perhaps nonsensical, maybe predictive, but always valuable if we choose to take time to reflect upon our sleeping dreams.
What about the dreams we have when our brain is awake? We also have dreams when we are conscious: dreams of joy and fulfillment; plans and visions for our selves, our loved ones our communities, and our planet. Are these waking dreams also somehow connected to some ancient cosmic force?
Our dreams, both unconscious and conscious, are limited in some ways by what Don Miguel Ruiz calls "the dream of the planet." He writes, in The Four Agreements, that this includes "all of society's rules, its beliefs, its laws, its religions, its different cultures and ways to be, its governments, schools, social events and holidays." This is why a person of one culture or religion would most likely have dream symbols that differ from someone in another culture or religion. This is also why we judge events, people and societies that are different than our own experience.
We need to understand that our decisions and actions, thus far, have been based upon beliefs imposed on us by others. This means, that our dreams have also been shaped and influenced by what Ruiz calls "domestication of humans." We learn what to do that is "good" and what is "bad" and that we will be rewarded or punished, eventually becoming our own "domesticator." Ruiz calls the resulting belief system our "Book of Law" that becomes our perceived truth, "even if these judgements go against our inner nature." Each of these judgements, that make up our belief system are called agreements:
"There are thousands of agreements you have made with yourself, with other people, with your dream of life, with God, with society, with your parents, with your spouse, with your children. But the most important agreements are the ones you made with yourself. In these agreements you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. The result is what you call your personality. In these agreements you say, "This is what I am. This is what I believe. I can do certain things, and some things I cannot do. This is reality, that is fantasy; this is possible, that is impossible."
By looking honestly at our agreements, one at a time, we can begin to open up to our true selves, our sacred selves and connect to what Jung calls our "sanctum of the soul." Ruiz tells us that as we are able to break agreements that no longer serve us, our personal power begins to return to us. "Instead of living in a dream of hell, you will be creating a new dream - your personal dream of heaven." You will then be able to serve others well, allowing them to open up to their own true selves and the beauty of their souls calling them home.
Bonnie Burton Nalley
Soul in the World
ref. The Four Agreements
The writings of Carl Gustav Jung
How well do you know your mind? How well do you THINK you know your mind?. Your mind can create a story whenever it wants - a story about why that person looked at you that way, about how you don't have enough money to be happy, a story about how others have it easy. but you do not. Your mind will instantaneously fabricate a story about everything that happens around you and everyone you meet, if you let it.
The resulting "story" is based on a series of thoughts that have occurred spontaneously in your mind. These thoughts come from one of two places - the past or the future. In only a few seconds, the "story" can go from conflict to climax to resolution (remember the steps of a story plot from grade school). The characters of your story are probably clueless as to their leading roles while you remain unaware that you are replaying a story from your past, or creating a story based on some fear about the future.
In the practice of mindfulness, we focus our attention on what we are doing in the present moment, be it breathing, washing the dishes, speaking, or eating breakfast. We might imagine mindfulness to be a form of intentional thinking, but not a kind of thinking that involves planning, interpreting, or strategizing. It is thinking about what we are doing, what we are saying, what we are sensing, or how we are feeling in a single moment in time. It is focused thought rather than random thought. It keeps us present. It keeps us in the real story of the moment. It is the purest form of thought and the basis for finding joy in all things.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation,
but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking." ― Eckhart Tolle
Soul in the World