What Seems Inappropriate in Real Life Probably Isn’t in a Dream
So suppose last night you were dreaming about having intimate relations with someone or that you just really gorged yourself or were taking illicit drugs. In real life or maybe even in the dream you might be feeling like you are doing something wrong. You may wake up feeling full of guilt for something inappropriate in your dream life. Here is some good news. You can drop the guilt because whatever inappropriate thing you did in your dream isn’t bad in the dream world.
The natural tendency of the human mind, when dealing with dreams or other non-material, spiritual realities, is to think that both worlds live with the same kinds of rules. I have news for those of you who have had such dreams as the ones above. The material world and the spiritual world may interact, but they aint the same. The dream world is a spiritual world, non-material. This means that while having intimate relations, i.e., sexual ones with someone in real life while you are still married may be inappropriate in real life, it is not so in the dream world. The dream world isn’t physical. You are not passing bodily fluids to each other in a dream. You are passing metaphoric fluids. You are not gorging yourself with real food. You are gorging yourself with spiritual food. And you are not taking illicit drugs. You are feeling the feelings that come with spiritual qualities.
Dreams are mostly meant to act in symbolic ways. Something like sex or fighting, for instance, are meant to serve as metaphors so that really important lessons can be learned, but the dreams bring with them such powerful feelings that they are often mistaken for the real world. Fighting shows you that you are in conflict usually with your own self, while sex is a metaphor for intimacy, getting closer to yourself and others. The key to working with spiritual realities like dreams is the ability to have the mental self discipline to realize that a dream is a spiritual message, not a physical reality.
It is the same problem that plagues religious thinking in fundamentalism. For instance, many Christians believe the the metaphor of Jesus returning as a thief in the night is a true metaphor because no one would believe that He would reappear as a negative being. However, when it comes to the metaphor of returning in the clouds and everyone seeing Him all at once, the fundamentalists shift from metaphoric thinking to literal thinking. This is simply a lack of mental self discipline because the metaphor is much more elegant and useful than believing that Jesus is going to break the rules of science.
To break out of the mind’s tendency to retract back into literalism and then experience a lot of guilt, there are some simple things to do to keep the mind in the metaphor that can lead to some important changes. The first is to ask yourself what the verb or noun means in real life and then shift it over to its spiritual meaning. Here are some examples.
What is sex? Sex is the intimate physical act between two people. What is the spiritual meaning? Intimacy or getting really close to oneself or others.
What is eating? Eating is taking in food so that you can function in the world. What is the spiritual meaning? Eating is taking in spiritual knowledge or taking in experience so that the spiritual qualities can be developed and enhanced.
What is drinking intoxicants? Drinking alcohol is taking drinks that take your mind off of negative tensions so that you can relax and feel more at ease. What is the spiritual meaning? Drinking metaphorically means finding the joy in your life and attending to it in an intoxicating way by forgetting about the negatives that exist all around you.
Self discipline in the process of developing oneself is a very challenging character quality to maintain because it is very easy to shift out of the spiritual metaphoric process and go into the literal physical one. Staying physical is a process that probably most of us do much more than we would like. If our spouses or friends or bosses do something where we feel hurt, for instance, then we may jump from the spiritual process into a ego one. Instead of staying with the hurt to allow it to develop our inner beings to a higher state, we may heap blame on the hurters and expect them to change until we feel good again. To have self discipline is to stay in a spiritual process at all times so that we constantly grow even in dire conditions.
So that dream you had last night with a beautiful person is just telling you to develop spiritual intimacy, closeness. If you felt guilt about it, then you can just drop the guilt and realize that you have a lot of spiritual work to do to get the virtue of intimacy. The guilt comes from someone who is fearful of intimacy and is just trying to control the world so that people don’t get close to each other. The reason that religious teachings are so strong on loyalty in marriage is very simple. Being loyal allows you to have huge freedom to get really close to a lot of people relationally and that closeness can produce huge benefits for humankind. When loyalty is broken, then the process of true intimacy is at risk because having an affair shows a lack of self discipline.