Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
In my quest to discover all of the tools available for re-creating my self, I was led – though reluctantly – to reexamine my beliefs about the value of dreams. I say reluctantly because I’d been raised to believe that dreams are meaningless, mysterious and uncontrollable experiences without any practical usefulness to waking life and the “real” world.
Fortunately for me, friends whom I respect believed dreams to be an important tool for personal change and self-understanding. Eventually they persuaded me to re-evaluate my attitude about dreams.
My friends were correct. My subsequent studies and experiments proved that my beliefs about dreams were false and self-limiting. First-hand, I discovered that dream experiences can be meaningful, therapeutic and beneficial to waking life. What’s more, I learned that I could train myself to better remember my dreams and I could create specific dreams that I needed and wanted to have. More about all of that, later.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DREAMS
For 25 years I had accepted the prevailing cultural belief that dreams are largely inconsequential, random imaginings. So I hadn’t considered something that today seems obvious.
Dreams are powerful, highly creative mental realities. Because our beliefs, expressed through physical and mental actions, create our reality, it follows that dreams are important to our life – and to re-creating our selves.
The more I examined my own dreams, the more I wondered why I – and humankind at large – had foolishly ignored the importance of dreams, a nightly mental activity, whether or not we awaken with their memory. (On the average, people spend about one and a half hours every night of their lives, dreaming.) Later, reading books about dreams and their history, I learned that our species hadn’t always dismissed their significance.
In earlier times, people understood that as their waking experiences had meaning and value, so did their dream creations. The population of many early civilizations, including Ancient Egypt, believed that they perceived future events – even created them – in the dream state. Certainly the intimate relationship between the dreamer and his waking self was repeatedly chronicled in both Testaments of the Bible. (Imagine trying to convince the Biblical Jacob, Joseph and Pharaoh that dreams are meaningless concoctions with no bearing on reality.)
If untold generations had acknowledged the importance of dream experiences, then how had we come to generally disregard them?
My theory is this: Humankind, desiring to better understand and prevail in the physical world in which we live, began to discount the value and worth of dreams – along with all other stimuli that weren’t perceived by the five physical senses. Humanity’s passion for things physical increased through the ages, and eventually, we came to believe that dreams were totally unimportant to “real” life, even though many of our philosophies and religions teach that our real lives were as spiritual, not physical, beings. Obsessed with the physical universe, dreams became unworthy of serious examination and evaluation.
These days, most people consider “real life” to be synonymous with “physical life.” Mental realities, including dreams, are most commonly viewed as random fantasies. How often has someone disputed the validity of your own personal experience with the dismissive phrase, “It’s all in your head!” That’s just one more way of saying, “If it’s physical, it’s real; if it’s mental, it’s not real.”
In other times, dream creations were believed to be no less real than physical constructions. Back then, humankind acknowledged both physical events and dream experiences as real, while understanding the obvious differences between the two kinds of reality.
In recent decades, we have slowly developed a renewed interest and respect for things metaphysical, including the world of dreams and other mental constructs. Actually, dream experiences began regaining a modicum of their former respectability with the advent of modern psychology. Freud spearheaded a minor dream renaissance within the scientific community with his Interpretation of Dreams (1900). In that book, Freud concluded that dreams were important keys to the makeup of the individual, worthy of careful and extensive study. He also believed that dreams protect sleep by draining off the force of emotional disturbances that would otherwise cause a person to awaken.
A Re-Creating Your Self Thought: In truth, it amazes me that most of us hold mental realities in such low regard. Many of us belong to religions that teach we are created in the image and likeness of God. Clearly, matter is not that image and likeness. The image and likeness of God is Spirit.
Coming March 15: Re-Creating Your Self in Your Sleep – Automatically
Have a Re-Creating Your Self comment, observation, or a question? Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2010 by Christopher Stone.