Abigail woke up amused. She was doing comic theater in her dreams with friends who were engaged by her performance. When we spoke about it on the phone, she realized that it was rare for her to wake this way.
This got me spinning. We dont engage our dreams. Violating one of the funological principals, most of us almost all the time simply fall asleep without a thought about what we might dream about and we just watch our subconscious put on what ever show it wants for us.
What if we assumed a more active role in our dream experience? I am not talking about lucid dreaming. Where we are aware that we are dreaming, but not really designing it’s content, though lucid dreams can sometimes manipulate the dream environment radically. What I am interested in exploring is the idea that you can seed your dreams by holding on to ideas or images as you go into sleep.
I’ve spoken with lots of people who find themselves dreaming about things which are pressing on them in their lives. It is clear we can unintentionally influence our dreams with the ideas which are important or up in our lives. But can we use dreams as self reflective tools to help us understand ourselves better?
If one wanted to experiment with this, the place to start would be to create a dream remembering friendly environment. This would start with pitching your alarm clock and your 8 AM appointments and start living in a world which which values and protects the information you get from your dreams by changing your morning rituals so that you can capture them. Book and pen beside your bed and the time to write down what ever you remember.
But the harder part is the seeding itself. One might run the assumptions and scenarios of the topic you were interested thru your mind as you drifted off in hopes of setting you in the right direction. I must also wonder if there is any evidence of successful dream learning (which Huxley was fond of using in both his dystopian and utopian novels)?
When Hawina and i were briefly living in Austin before we moved to Twin Oaks, she went to a few meetings of the Eckankar folks (reputed by some to be a cult). I did not think much of their spiritual path, but they did seem to have a set of clever questions you could ask yourself after you woke up and wrote down all you could about your dreaming. They also encouraged practitioners to think of questions they wanted answered before they went to sleep and claimed that with practice you would find the answers to these questions in the morning.
It would seem like these are potentially powerful tools, laying around near our hands and we just cant quite figure out how to use them.