Isn’t it interesting that we use the word dream both for when we dream of doing something in the future and also for the stories that we receive while we are sleeping? They are not all that different. Many people love the waking dream of flying off to many different countries. When I am flying in a dream, I have a feeling of freedom and lightness that often seems so real that when I awaken if feels like I know how to do it when I am under the laws of gravity. I have flown all over South East Asia in the last two years and I can tell you that I am closest to the flying dreams that I have in sleep time during my travels.
So I am wondering, as I am writing this post, if the two realities, waking and sleeping dreams, actually originate from the same place. I have had, on occasion, running dreams, where I have felt completely relaxed, been able to run for very long distances, and finished in times way beyond my expectations, which when I approximate those feelings in my actual running life, give me my best results. The two realities seem to become one at that point.
I have been known to say that all dreams come true. It is a very frightening thought, because on the one hand, I have my share of positive dreams like the flying dreams that I love to live out in real life through travel and my daily life, and then, on the other hand, I have numerous ego related dreams such as the one shared in the last posting about not being able to choose a film to view. What is even more worrisome is the fact that the negative dreams seem more likely to come true than the positive ones because the ego seems to run on its own desire and own controls. I am not behind the wheel with the ego; someone else is.
Today, for instance, I have a huge desire to go up to someone and just tell them that they are way out to lunch. I have a great deal of anger that this person has such a huge voice and is giving out ideas that people are compelled to listen to and obey. Last night I didn’t have a dream about this situation because I already knew that if I lived out my ego desire to tell what was what, that the consequences would be disastrous. I already have a long history of bad dreams about this subject and have watched myself suffer consequences for trying to make a big ego listen to my ideas. I don’t need a dream, in this case, to know that my ego desire will not work. My waking life experience, and my former process work lets me know not tell the person that he is headed down the wrong path, but I feel a strong urge to so, nonetheless.
The dream in my true self, which is the opposite one of my ego is to have more relationships based upon mutual sharing and appreciation for each other, but the anger in my ego used to become so intense, that I used to just unleash a flurry of negative expressions that ended in disaster. Generally speaking I am known as a fairly calm and gentle person, but I also do know how to tell the truth. I really want to let the person know how wrong he is.
In the Baha’i Writings it is put this way.
“Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.”
This is another way of saying that, in this case, being right and saying it, is wrong. Sometimes it is just better to keep my big mouth shut. My ego is dreaming of telling someone the truth even though that person is not capable of hearing it. My true self is dreaming of setting up environments where mutual sharing and appreciation are present. Unfortunately, the ego dreams are always, at first, much more compelling.
If in my night dream, I am being attacked by a poisonous snake, my ego will have me do everything possible to avoid or try to kill the snake. This is survival. In real life, a poisonous snake is a poisonous behavior such as gossip and backbiting. I can remember that there was a time when I was having to deal with people that were just very charming and excellent public speakers with progressive ideas, but behind my back they were doing all kinds of dirty dealings and spreading lies about me. One night I had a dream with huge numbers of poisonous snakes all around me which made me want to avoid everything about the place I was in and at the same time really kill the behavior by confronting it. Eventually the snakes in real life did get rid of me by firing me. The dream came true.
I was not powerful enough in my life to realize that my true self’s dream which is to create environments where mutual sharing and appreciation, can thrive wherever the dream is strong. The venom was just too strong. Fortunately I was fired, but my true self’s dream still lives on, and because I already have the experience of knowing that trying to confront the wrong ideas doesn’t work very well, I can calm my anger, keep my mouth shut, and then seek positive ways to build supportive environments.
This is all to say that waking or sleeping our true dreams continue on, but they always come with the price of dealing with the ego’s desire first, learning from it, letting it go, and then pursuing fully what is in our hearts. The ego’s dreams do not have to come true in real life. You can deal with them in your meditative and therapeutic life so that your true dreams can flourish.