The Difference Between a Spiritual Dream and a Physical Dream
Last summer I had a dream where I was in Brazil having a lot of difficulties and then toward the end of the dream I found myself in a patch of oregon grape plants which I started eating. So, after I woke up, I immediately looked up the healing properities of oregon grape and found that it was exactly what I needed. When I think about the dream and that it would just give me the healing herb that I needed, I feel pretty astonished, but the dream illustrates a basic principle of healing. Healing is both spiritual and physical and so when I analyze the dream, I find that it requires that I learn the spiritual part, which is how to deal with the difficulties, and then also accept the need for physical healing which comes in the form of the oregon grape bush.
In the 1990s is was very popular to treat depression as only a physical problem which needed a drug to remedy. There is no doubt, and the research bears this out, that thousands of people were helped by the drugs to relieve the symptoms of the depression. It allows you to forget the conditions that brought on the depression or the triggers that stimulated its presence, and then maintain a higher level of enthusiasm about your life. It is exactly the same as if I were to only take the oregon grape and not deal with the difficulties that happened to me in Brazil. I am going to get some healing from the herbs, but the next time that the same type of difficulties come up, my emotions are automatically going to start reacting in a way that will lead my body to the weakness that needs more oregon grape. This is the logic of illness.
The healing requires both doing the spiritual work and the physical work. Most of us want to forget the depressing circumstances that caused us so much stress so we will go for the physical healing only. Indeed, the culture builds it right in to expressions like “I really need a drink” after having had a difficult time at work. But since the dream world is interested in both your spiritual growth and your physical well being, it is going to give you both messages. Spiritual growth is always going to take up much more of the dream space because developing virtue is the purpose of our lives. Our bodies do not survive the planet, but our spirits do.
Every time a person takes a drink or smokes a joint to relieve the symptoms of daily life then he stops the spiritual growth process in favor of the forgetting process. In all of the dream meetings that I have done I have never been to a meeting where at least one person has not asked me. “What does it mean if I can remember my dreams?” So I think that the best way to answer the question is to ask the person, “What is it that you are trying so hard to forget?”
I am certain that a huge number of physicians prescribed ant-depressants and then used the research to support themselves because the process of remembering the conditions that caused so much stress and then the body and mind to fail, is truly depressing. It is much easier for a doctor to prescribe a physical remedy and then tell his patient to forget the problems that he is having and it is also more lucrative for the doctor.
The key is to realize that if you are having some difficulties in your life, that your dream life is going to help you resolve them. Most of the information will be spiritual and sometimes you will get physical remedies or suggestions. The difficulties are the gifts because they lead to the development of new capacities. They never go away by themselves or with a drug.
The big question for all of us is, “WHAT AM I TRYING SO HARD TO FORGET?”