I have been thinking a lot recently about dreams and dreaming -
The ritual of dreaming allows us to perceive insights, to connect with the 'other' world around us. By 'other' world, I mean that which we tend to ignore often in our modern, digital image filled lives. We are probably bombarded more now with images and stories at our fingertips than we have ever been in the past. This constant, easily accessible flow of stories and images, allows us to forget and disregard our own internal, innate, instinctive and often irrational images and insights - Our 'other' world, our wider consciousness or self.
There are many theories regarding dreams and what they mean. The native American people and other indigenous peoples held firm beliefs in the power of the dreaming process, they trusted their unconscious mind and their irrational behaviour during these visions, it provided a healthy balance between their embodied conscious self and their wider unconscious self.
Religion and the 'white' man took over from the dream and visionary wisdom and way of living that many native people enjoyed and respected. They introduced a more rigid rational, religious lifestyle, that is of course, also much easier to control!
So what do we mean by the notion of the 'other' wider self, of the conscious and unconscious self? There are many theories, my own is that we are all intrinsically linked and connected to every natural (that is, everything that exists in nature, not made by people) thing around us, above and beyond the stratosphere, through a woven energy.
Much of the substance of this energy is strange, exotic and mysterious to us, often left unnamed, unidentified and concealed - The sense and intention of the weave, however, is still rooted somewhere deep within us.
The ritual of dreaming brings us closer and connects us to the world around us, this interwoven tapestry of life and our wider consciousness. A self belief and acceptance of your wider other self generates a wellness of both body and mind.
Our unconsciousness is a part of who we are. As a people, many of us find it difficult to interact with that side of ourselves nowadays, which can lead to self doubt and conflict, both internally and externally.
Through the ritual of dreaming we allow ourselves to re-connect with our wider self, this insight may often be irrational and make no sense on awakening -We should take heed though and acknowledge that however bizarre, strange, profound, wonderful and beautiful our dreams are - They always have an essence and a meaning.
They allow us to connect.