Hello everyone, it is Thomas the Mind Guy here and I’m going to do this next episode on dreams. I love this topic because dreams incorporate my two main areas of focus for the podcast, both the mind and the metaphysical. Dreams do a variety of different things and it’s important to realize how powerful they truly are. Dreams contain so much information and there is a lot symbolism and metaphors embedded in dreams that makes it difficult to understand them. Most people just label them as interesting or entertaining, while the darker dreams are considered nightmares.
I want to get into the interesting functions of dreams. Dreams for me are the most fascinating faculty of the mind and provide a wealth of information. Dreams also display to me the tremendous intelligence contained within the unconscious mind. If you really think about it there is a director, producer, actors, set designers all living within the unconscious mind to create a motion picture for you while you sleep. The tricky thing is that you can only access this realm when you are in an altered state. When I say an altered state I mean a lower brain wave pattern like theta or delta. This is why when you become fully awake, dreams become lost and forgotten.
Everyone dreams, except maybe for habitual marijuana smokers. I don’t know the science behind it but I did hear some dude on the Joe Rogan podcast talk about how weed inhibits your ability to dream. There are many recorded accounts of people quitting marijuana, afterwards having these intense and vivid dreams. The idea around this is that your unconscious mind has a lot of catching up to do since it’s been repressing your dreams from the habitual pot smoking. Out of all the cons around pot smoking, this to me is the most damaging, because what happens while you are dreaming is so necessary for your own personal growth.
Dreams are there to process information and teach you things. You see your unconscious mind doesn’t sleep, it’s always running. While you sleep your conscious and critical faculties are shut down and it gives your unconscious mind access to do some really powerful work. After all your dreams serve a purpose. What is that purpose? The number one purpose is to teach you something. There are lessons to be learned for you to be able to move on from past events and if you don’t learn those lessons you can never truly get passed them. Your higher intelligence located in your unconscious mind is trying to teach you those lessons so you can move forward in life.
This is why dreams are so important. Dreams are there to give you wisdom or a better understanding of things. They work in symbols too and if you can learn some of the major symbols embedded in the collective unconscious then you can more easily interpret your dreams. A common dream that people experience is free falling. This often represents a connection to anxiety around losing control or even failure and the big lesson to be learned is letting go. Letting go in my line of work is always a powerful learning.
Another symbolic representation in dreams has to do with being under water. Carl Jung believed that big bodies of water like ponds, oceans and lakes actually represent your unconscious mind. If you are underwater in your dream, this may just mean you are being swallowed, overwhelmed or drowned by unconscious thoughts, emotions, urges, or memories. Can you see why dreams and doing dream work with clients is exciting for me? Dreams are the most intelligent thing I’ve ever encountered next to ayahuasca, the psychedelic plant medicine found in the Amazon. Although I often describe ayahuasca as bringing your dreams into reality.
You might be saying to yourself, “I never remember my dreams,” or “I don’t smoke weed and I’m pretty sure I don’t dream.” Well if you think you aren’t dreaming and you don’t smoke pot than let me tell you that you are simply suppressing the ability to remember your dreams for whatever reason. I know for myself, for a period of 20 years I believed I didn’t dream, only to realize I shut down this ability to remember my dreams because of the nightmares I encountered as a young teenager.
This all changed this year when I learned that you can give your unconscious mind specific instructions when it comes to dreaming. Right before you go to bed tell your unconscious mind you want to be able to remember your dreams. Continue to do this nightly and demand it from your unconscious mind because you have the power to do so. This is how I started getting my ability to remember my dreams back. The interesting thing that happened was the recurring scary dreams that I had as a young teenager came back or in other words never left. It was an indication to me that there was still something to learn from my past.
I ended up going into hypnosis with a colleague and we did a dream work session. Here is how my recurring dream always ended. I would be in this area of an abandoned run down house where I would end up trapped. In front of me was what I called a demonic looking being with grey skin and an evil look in his eyes. The end of the dream would be me screaming at the top of my lungs at this evil looking character, followed by immediately waking up to my heart pounding. I’m going to share with you how ground breaking this dream hypnosis session was for me.
I witnessed a really bad thing that ended up becoming a stored trauma within me when I was around 3 or 4 years of age. I repressed the memory and wasn’t able to retrieve it until the age of 35 during an ayahuasca ceremony. Well what this dream taught me was that the demonic looking character was the bad man who did this heinous act when I was a young boy. Here is the fascinating part of the symbolism. I was raised Catholic and developed a lot of fears around the devil, demons and hell. My unconscious mind connected those fears and physically represented the bad man based on those fears.
In the dream I would always end up going into the basement of this empty house looking for my sister. The reason being was because the bad man told me that if I told anyone what I witnessed that he would hurt my sister. I ended up developing a part that would silence me whenever it thought people would get hurt through my speaking and even evolved into emotional hurt. After this event when I was 3 or 4, I didn’t speak for 3 months, except to my mother. I had to go to two different preschools. The second school was all the way across town with a group of kids who had behavioral issues. I ended up becoming extremely shy and not trusting anyone due this trauma. I am also certain this part was the biggest contributing factor towards my avoidant personality disorder.
The lesson the dream was trying to teach me, especially at the very end of the dream when I would stand up to the demonic looking bad man and yell at him. The lesson it was trying to teach me was to ‘speak up and ask for help’! Something that was extremely difficult for me as both a child and an adult. When I learned this in the hypnosis session the dream immediately shifted to me asking a police officer for help while outside of the house and telling him to go help my sister, in which he did.
Two things resulted from this one hypnosis session. The first being I resolved the issue in the dream and never have to experience it again. Meaning I don’t have to be woken up in the middle of the night by this dream. The second thing that resulted from this was being able to identify a part of me that was no longer serving me. I was able to integrate this part back into the whole. All parts are created in stressful moments and these parts have a specific role or function. This part was created to keep me and my sister safe. It would shut me down and stop me from speaking whenever it thought it was going to say something that would put myself or another person in harm. Overtime it got progressively worse because these parts grow stronger once reinforced through experience.
Since then I’ve been able to find a handful of other parts to integrate back into the whole from my dreams. So the other thing that dreams are able to do is help you to identify fragmented parts of your psyche. All the characters in your dreams are different aspects of yourself that each have a specific role or purpose. You often take on parts from close family members too, like your parents. This will be a good time to say that if you are experiencing recurring dreams it’s time to look at the lesson it’s trying to teach you or identify the part that’s no longer serving you. Once resolved you can be free from this unpleasant dream that may have caused you anxiety and/or fear.
The third thing that dreams do is quite interesting and is a little more out there in the conventional sense. Dreams allow you to connect with people who have passed over to the other side. Often it’s done to give someone who is grieving a loss the ability to be comforted and move on from that person’s death. This is exactly what happened to me when I was around the age of 26.
I had a friend from high school, a year younger than me that I would often party with in college. He was an incredible human and was so accepting of all walks of life that it didn’t matter who it was, he could have a conversation with anyone without any judgment or bias. Everyone loved him and the reason his passing was so challenging for me was that I had a deep seated belief that good things should happen to good people. When he passed it shook my belief systems and I cursed out this world and cursed out god. I didn’t want to live in a place where bad things happen to good people. At the time I had no idea what karma was but for me this was not how karma was supposed to work.
I had difficulty sleeping for weeks after this and I remember I had a lucid dream one night. A lucid dream is when you are dreaming but you have a sense that you are awake while in the dream. It seems quite real. I was standing in a gigantic ballroom that was so vast I couldn’t see the end of it. There were giant chandeliers spread out about 100 yards apart and the ballroom was packed with people conversing with each other. I was surrounded by groups of individuals and I was just observing my surroundings. It was loud, noisy and so much going on, it was difficult to not be overwhelmed with my senses.
I was standing there for what felt like 20 minutes when a man who had his back turned to me suddenly swung around and we stood face to face. It was my friend Tim. He stuck his arm out and said, “What’s up Suski?” We shook hands, I immediately woke up and I never worried about Tim again. He was in a better place and I was freed up around my old constructed beliefs about reality. I had a sense of peace.
I really don’t know how to understand that experience with Tim in my dream. Maybe it was my unconscious mind creating something that would allow me to move on, that is certainly possible. Although, it felt so real and it being a lucid dream gives me a belief that it really was Tim’s spirit in the dream. All I do know is that I was able to move on and continue living life. A lesson was learned and I am here today to write and share about it.
Dreams are so powerful and once you get present to the power of your dreams I hope you start to utilize them. Dreams are here to teach you and help you grow. There are lessons in dreams and if you can understand the symbolism, the parts and messages; it will allow you to move forward. All you often need to do is let go of the things holding you back from the past. The deceased may also have the ability to communicate with you through dreams, as a means to help you come to terms with their passing. There are a few more things about dreams that are pretty resourceful and when the time comes I’ll share them with you, but for now this is a good stopping point. I hope you enjoyed this episode on dreams.