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Posts Tagged ‘dream’

Back on the Bus

Posted by Amanda Gray on January 18, 2015

I had interviews last week for a new employment position.  Just before my second interview, I had an interesting dream:

I’m shopping with my mom, when, suddenly, I remember I have an interview at 11:30 AM.  As I look at my watch, I think that there’s no way I’ll be able to get to the interview on time.  I consider calling the employer to tell them of my mistake, or to reschedule, but then I remember that there’s a direct bus that could work.   

I find myself on the bus.  There’s several other people, but it’s not too full or too empty.  I start a conversation with someone next to me (a male).  I share my earlier fears and reveal my next fear: I’m wearing my shabbiest clothes – not at all appropriate for an interview!  I consider what I can do.  I decide that I’ll try to buy a nice jacket when I get off the bus, stretch the time, and be, perhaps 5 minutes late for the meeting.  There’s also some kind of discussion about my favourite movie of all time, which I decide is Star Wars, Return of the Jedi.  I consider that I should bring a DVD of this to my meeting – and I think I take a ‘back in time’ aside in order to pick it up at home.

As I get off the bus, I see that I have two minutes.  I race around the mall stores, but there’s too much choice, and there’s no jackets quickly apparent on the front racks. I’m wasting too much time.  So I decide to just take off the shabbiest clothing item I’m wearing, which is a white, threadbare vest, with several black marks on it.  

I get to my interview, which now appears to be with spiritual teacher, Adyashanti.  I join a group of students on the floor in front of Adya and his presentation whiteboard.  I have my DVD of Return of the Jedi and I notice that I’m wearing a nice, bright orange jersey top.  A perfectly sensible outfit for a spiritual student.  I’m entirely relieved. Edmonton City Bus

The dream tells me that I’m back on the bus – involved again with a community/group journey.  The bus isn’t parked anymore, nor is it predicting some sort of ‘end of game’ scenario (see post Erasing Programs, Rewriting Software).  It’s also interesting how every time my dream character thinks there’s a problem, it falls away with no effort.

The next item for attention is clothing.  Clothing has to do with the persona: anxieties about fitting in and being ‘well-suited’ for a new role.  Focus is on the upper body, which may be related to the heart.  White – the vest – is a color of light, purity, newness, and awareness.  But it’s also dirty and old, and I’m ashamed of it, indicating some self-worth issues.  And then I’m throwing it away, indicating a willing transition, and letting go of the past.  Discarding the shame.  Orange – the jersey top – according to my favourite dream resource (Cloud Nine – A Dreamers Dictionary) – is a color of “Balancing, creative expression, cutting through/penetrating, and female strength.”  Another book considers orange to represent nervous energy/anxiety.  I like the color, and it’s definitely energetic.  It also brings to mind ‘safety clothing’, fresh citrus fruit, and carrots.  So, I consider it a positive symbol in this context.

At the end, my meeting is with Adyashanti.  A symbol of spiritual guidance, enlightenment and love.  I become a student in the dream.  This, to me, indicates a very positive teaching/learning situation.  A decision to abandon little ego choices and choose, instead, with the higher holy Self.  I take this as a sign that I’ve truly kicked my ‘actor’ addiction – an egoic fantasy to ‘create’ myself.  That actor stuff never seemed to come naturally, and it never brought me much peace, just lots of effort.  So, I truly don’t want the egos tiny, self-serving goals anymore.  They’re not ever intended to be reached, actually, anyway.  Now, what I REALLY WANT is to cooperate with the universe, and trust that what’s simply given will bring me the greatest eternal gifts: peace, freedom, and joy.

Return of the Jedi was a movie I particularly loved when I was 13 years old.  This symbol comes up, first, because it may indeed be my favourite movie of all time, but also because it might be pointing to something specific about that TIME.  So, something that was happening around that age that’s arising in consciousness for healing now.  Emotions to be resolved.  What I can think of, that’s significant, is that it was the time of my first crush – with Luke Skywalker.  Something in his mysterious, dark cloaked entrance before Jabba the Hutt, his power using the force, and his brave actions saving everybody, really addled my hormonal and spongy teenage mind.  It was my first experience with ‘love’, and I think I felt that a movie character was ‘safe’ to love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since this dream, I’ve been hired for the company that was interviewing me.  Yippee!!  I feel like this dream was already predicting success, and showing me that it’s ‘safe’ to proceed.  I’m SOOOOOOO READY!!  And THRILLED.  And ON BOARD.  There’s also several symbols of the job situation itself that are interesting:

*  Keys: “A key part of yourself, the crux of an issue.  Keys unlock the doors of mystery; expose hidden/secret knowledge; lead to awareness/growth. They can represent release/freedom from entrapment, power, authority, honour (‘keys to the city’).  The union of opposites, therefore reduction of tension.”  I’d also add: security.  It also makes me think of the ‘Keymaster’ from Ghostbusters, who, in union with the ‘Gatekeeper’, opened a powerful portal.  And the Keymaster from the second Matrix movie, the one who had the key for Neo to get to the Architect.  Highly symbolically interesting!

*  Justice:  “Bringing equality, harmony or stability into a situation or relationship.  Asserting our rights and upholding the rights of others.  Balance in consciousness.”

*  School:  There’s that teaching/learning situation. Curiosity, play, and discovery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In reference to the ACIM passages I listed in my last post (Erasing Programs, Rewriting Software):  Yes, symbols are meaningless, ultimately, but it doesn’t mean spirit can’t use them while we have need of them.  Everything is a message from spirit, if we take it that way.  All pointing to our ultimate function – the unification of consciousness.  And THAT’S my REAL job. 

 Red heartIn love

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Erasing Programs, Rewriting Software

Posted by Amanda Gray on November 12, 2014

I had this dream the other night:  Two busses in an underground parkaid.  One is in a well lit area, and as I walk around, a shadowy female body I’m with, tells me that it’s broken down and can’t be fixed.  I remember to myself that this was a bus I used to enjoy on tours with rock bands.  Then I find myself riding on a second bus, as a shadowy male driver tells me that he’s been instructed to park it where it can’t be seen, and he pulls into a narrow, shadowy spot in a remote corner of the parkaid.  Upon disembarking, I walk around and note that the parking spot is mostly enclosed with windowed walls, and that glare offers some additional obscuration of the bus.

My interpretation is this:

– Two of any symbol indicates a duality.  The broken down bus in the well lit area refers to a conscious decision I recently made to disengage with a particular duality that has caused me grief in my waking life for a long time.  The other bus, I’ll come back to in a minute.

– A bus symbol, as a community form of transportation, refers to a ‘journey’ I take with an organization or group, and the rock band ‘memory’ is the group I won’t be involved with anymore.

– The rock band, particularly glam rockers with black leather outfits and makeup – like KISS – are a symbol of my long held desire to be recognized in the world for my creative or performing ambitions.  It’s a rather powerful ego driven energy that craves attention, ‘scrambles’ in my mind for devices to achieve a very particular picture of how the desire may be satisfied, and yet, by experience, I know the desire, even if I achieve it’s goals, in whole or in part, will never abate, because it’s an endless, bottomless bucket.  This is the very thing I spent 14 years avoiding, denying, and trying to pummel down into submission.  Yet, energy can’t be killed, so it just gets divided into the subconscious and bounces around there as symbols of whatever’s not being expressed in my waking life.  So, just as I return to Vancouver, begin to let it free and start to express that ‘actor’ energy again in the world – trying to do it in a healthy, responsible way – it starts to produce this ‘scrambling madness’ quality in my mind.  I start to become obsessed with goals to get more attention, trying to make my body more beautiful to acquire what I crave, and yet then, constantly enraged at the body that’s clearly failing – getting too old and flabby – for the job!

The outer picture of my life showed me what’s happening in no uncertain terms.  It’s no coincidence that I went to a double feature at the cinema last week to see ‘Maps to the Stars’ and ‘Birdman’.  Both movies about famous people ‘scrambling’ to remain in the spotlight as they age.  Did I get the message from watching the movies?  Hell, YES!!  IN-FRICKIN-SANITY!!  Do I really want to pursue that insanity for myself?  Hell, NO!!  Then, a few days ago, as I recognized the scrambling thoughts arising in my mind, I made a concerted effort to say ‘no’ to them.  All day long, whenever they arose, I said, “No. Go away.  I’m not interested in you.  I’m not going to follow you or give any further energy to you.  I’m completely done with that.”  And I was.  And every time I reiterated my new desire to have peace instead of madness, the madness energy became smaller and smaller.  It seems to be gone now, and the dream indicated that it won’t be back, but I intend to be vigilant with even the most subtle risings, if they return.  This meinterstellar-movie-trailerntal effort is, I hope, the way to erase the energetic program and rewrite the software, once and for all.

– The other bus, being hidden in a shadowy spot, refers to a community association that isn’t known to my consciousness yet.  It’s on hold for the moment.  It tells me that I’m not going to be playing the duality – separation – game of the world anymore.  My new goal will be unified, from a unified consciousness, joining with others that share my core values, and moving forward for the highest best interest of the whole.  This symbol also reflects my worldly experience, because just that day, I’d had a job interview with a company that seems to reflect my core values, seems like something I’d like to do, and I could reasonably be offered the position… but they want a week to decide.  So, it could, potentially, be the community I’ll be joining, but I don’t know yet.  It’s on hold.  And maybe something else will arise in the meantime.  And maybe I won’t be offered the job in the end.  Who knows?

Another movie I saw the other day was ‘Interstellar’.  It also served as a reflection of desires within me.  Particularly, to be a ‘pioneer’ – an adventurer into the unknown.  I even used the word ‘pioneer’ in my job interview as I related how much I’ve always jumped at new projects, to enjoy exploring and learning new things, and to boldly go where no one has gone before!  This is what I do, what I’ve always done.  In fact, it may be that same ‘actor’ energy, from a positive perspective, as the motivator for my ‘role’, not just on a stage, but on the ‘stage’ of the world at large.  This experience we humans have is, when you really look, about worlds within worlds, dreams within dreams, stages upon stages, and reflections of reflections.  Isn’t it?

I have this vague feeling, like there’s something brewing on the horizon of my mind.  A cloud constellating around a bunch of ideas that have been floating innocuously about, and that, when they come together, in a crystalline fashion, they will create something entirely brand new.  A ‘vision’ for my life, perhaps.  A goal for the second half, perhaps.  I can’t jump on it too fast (although I’ve tried), because it’s still in parts and pieces so far, and I have to be patient, trust, and wait for the combining effect – the eureka moment.  Ugh.  It’s difficult for me.  I want to jump in!

Hmmmm… anyway… perhaps, perhaps….


ADDENDUM: 

I had a waking ‘dream snapshot’ shortly after this posting.  I’m distinguishing this phenomena from a regular sleeping dream.  I often refer to the parts of a dream that I focus on for interpretation as ‘snapshots’, because those particular images are like a still ‘snapshot’ in the whirlwind of multiple dream images, and they stand, somewhat, apart from the rest.  So, anyway, an image, just like the ‘snapshots’ I might glean from a sleeping dream, came to me when I was awake. It just popped into my mind and said, look at me!  It’s important here because it was also of a bus.  The bus was parked at the far end of a football field.  The open air stadium was empty of people and the sky was twilight.  The bus was parked perpendicular to the touchdown line, next to the goal posts, and had a big, neon blue, digital clock on the side, flashing 00:00:00.  Around the bus, were many other neon blue lights, flashing, as if in ‘celebration’.

Interpretation:  when I first thought of this image, I felt that it meant ‘touchdown!’ – like it was a confirmation that my activities of the previous day were a successful transition to my new community journey.  (I recently signed up with a website to do freelance voiceover work and have been submitting auditions like crazy.  And I’m feeling really great about the possibilities of the work.)  But, upon further consideration, I realize that it’s still a shadowy image, indicating information that isn’t fully conscious, and the bus is still parked.  I’m not on it.  I’m looking at it from far away.  And there’s no other people – no community.  Now I think it might be indicating the end of a game.  A game that I’ve been playing in my mind – the end of some cherished ideas about the world, my life and what it all ‘means’.  Do any of these symbols mean what I think they mean?  The Course in Miracles would say that all symbols are meaningless.  It’s only an attempt of my mind to put meaning on a thing that has no inherent meaning.

Lesson 1

Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.

Lesson 2

I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.

Lesson 3

I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

Lesson 4

These thoughts do not mean anything.  They are like the things I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

As you see, it’s clear right from the outset of the workbook lessons.  So, however I attempt to interpret symbols, dreaming ones or waking ones, is it merely a fools game?  Because none of them mean anything?  And, I have to begin to see all symbols as the same – meaningless – in order to see past them to what’s real?  Dream-making, as I understand it, is the function of ego. Do I want to believe in dreams – illusions – or do I want what’s real?  Even if I don’t have any idea what ‘REAL’ is?

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When the Devil Knocks

Posted by Amanda Gray on February 8, 2012

I watched a show called “When the Devil Knocks” last night.  It was about a woman, named Hilary, who suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder and it included a little of her therapy to re-integrate her various personalities.  It helped me to decode a dream I had early that morning:

– I’m in the kitchen of an open space apartment.  I’m across a red coloured bar/counter from a man.  I know that this man is a murder suspect and I’m the investigator on the case.  The murder happened in the apartment.  The man explains that he got angry and then forgot what happened.  I reply, “It’s what they call a ‘blind rage’, Mike.”

– I realize that we’re not alone in the room and I turn to see an old woman at the dining room table.  She’s in a wheelchair and she holds a lit cigarette.  “Where did you come from?” I ask as I approach her.  “I’m usually kept in that room,” she indicates a closed bedroom door.  I understand, “Oh, you’re the room-mate.”  She says, “I’m entirely under the direction of God.”  I reply, “Oh, I love people who’re under the direction of God.”  I touch her hand gently, then explain that I’m conducting an investigation in the kitchen, “At least that’s what they call it anyway,” I add flippantly.

– As I return to Mike, I see that he’s got a small steak knife stuck to the rim of his ball cap.  He boldly walks past me and out of the apartment.  I follow and call to him, “Mike!  Mike!  Please, don’t. Give me the knife.”  Mike gets into a large freight elevator.  Another man walks in front of me and hands him a small paring knife across the elevator door, “Here, I stole this one for you.”  The ‘friend’ walks quickly away.

– Mike takes both knives in his hands and abruptly exits the elevator toward me.  He puts both knife points under my chin, intending to stab me up through the face/neck.  I sweep with my right arm to block his attack, but I know it’s futile – or too late.

– I jump awake.

So, the hour program about the woman with multiple personalities, Hilary, helped me interpret this dream-riddle: 

– One of Hilary’s personalities was named Tim.  They explained that the Tim personality was the ‘friend’ of her abuser and the one that hated the original personality, Hilary, the most.  I realized that my ‘Tim’ was ‘Mike’.  Although my childhood abuse wasn’t enough to form complete personality separation, it was enough to create a fracture where I could store my murderous anger and rage – then repress and deny it.  This is also known as the core of the ego. 

– Clearly, ‘Mike’ wants to murder ‘me’.

– The elevator is how Mike will try to retreat back into lower consciousness, if I let him.

– The red counter in the kitchen relates to blood.  First, from the abuse, then later, from my period.  Also as a symbol of murder, passion and hatred.

– Two boys, Mike and his ‘friend’, because there were two abusers involved.  Knives, because my abusers used a knife.  Also, everything showing up in pairs indicates a split, or dualistic, pattern of thought.

– I’m playing the ‘investigator’ character.  The authority figure or judge.

– The old woman represents the ‘wise old woman’ archetype, higher wisdom or the Holy Spirit.  Mostly, she’s been kept ‘locked away’ in the bedroom.  She’s now free to make an appearance, but she’s still in a ‘handicapped’ state in the wheelchair.   I’m not allowing her to be fully helpful, or surrendering completely to guidance and direction from God.

The cigarette? Perhaps a symbol of a spiritual fire/torch that burns and cannot entirely be extinguished, no matter how much I might ever have wished it?

Then, of course, my A Course in Miracles reading was right on target. On Text page 582 about the “avengers knife in his own hand, pointed to himself.”  And on page 584 for the “murderer who stalks you in the night and plots your death…” etc.  The main point of the reading was that I DO THIS TO MYSELF.  I AM the attacker – no matter how much or in what ways I try to project it out on the world or on my body, or in what form it takes.  MIKE is ME.  He’s probably the ‘invisible force’ from the dream in my last entry as well (Embracing the Feminine).  At least now I got a good look at him.

I also intuited this picture – I call it, GETTING OFF THE SEE-SAW:

Duality See-Saw

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A Course in Miracles - The Movie

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Embracing the Feminine

Posted by Amanda Gray on February 1, 2012

A dream:

– A friend is telling me about a wild, black cat he’s been feeding.  He also tells me a story about a similar cat, how it was lifted off its feet by an invisible force and when it landed after several feet onto it’s back, *poof*, it disappeared.

– I’m walking down a sidewalk.  It’s a pleasant summer day.  I observe the wild, black cat, and notice another, a twin, slink past as well.  I notice that the second cat has a collar around its neck.

– I hear bells ringing… and look down to notice a collar of bells around my right ankle.  Suddenly, a powerful force grabs the middle of my back, and pulls me off my feet.  As I fly through the air, I struggle, and hoarsely scream "NO!"

– I snap awake, terrified.

Interpretation:

A cat (feline) is related to the feminine.  It’s black, which represents shadow aspects.  There are two cats, which represent duality.  An animal often indicates unconscious material that’s ready to come up into consciousness.  The more ‘friendly’ the animal, the closer the information is to conscious recognition.  The collar indicates ownership.  On my ankle, the collar tells me that I’m like the cats – and that I need to pay attention to balancing masculine (right side of the body) and feminine (feline) aspects in myself.  Bells indicate spiritual growth.  The powerful force is behind me, so I can’t see it, and I don’t want to see it.  It’s a power within me that I’ve denied, pushed to the back of my consciousness, and am now terrified of facing.  I’m afraid to land and *poof* – disappear.  It’s this power that ‘owns’ me, as long as I keep trying to repress it.

I got my monthly ‘friend’ the other day (my period).  I always feel the same about it – disgusted, annoyed, dirty and ashamed.  It reminds me of abuse in my childhood.  It reminds me of how much I hate having been born a ‘powerless’ woman.  That’s right, I have very little appreciation for my feminine side.  I think it might be the ‘power’ that I’ve repressed and that’s showing up in my dream.

I also caught myself the other day, whining to someone (a man I barely know) about how horrible it was to get a period.  He, being a vet, suggested that I get pregnant.  EWWWWW!!!  GROSS!!!   An even more horrible idea!  My A Course in Miracles lesson this morning (Text pages 560-564) talked about ‘unfairness’ and how it’s always linked to attack.  So if I think it’s ‘unfair’ that I’m a woman and have to tolerate having a period once a month, then I’m bound to attack myself.  The lesson also mentioned blood a few times:  "The blood of hatred" and "The bloodied earth".  Ok, Ok, Jesus, I get it!  I have to pay attention to this.

I was also thinking last night about love.  I wonder if I’m afraid of love because I confuse love with sex?  I reject sex for many of the same reasons I reject my curse… I mean, my period.  For me, sex equals guilt.  In the past, I’ve tried to minimize the sex-guilt conundrum by choosing partners that I saw as somehow ‘innocent’.  Like blond men.  Or younger men.  In the past seven years that I’ve been single and celibate, I’ve only been attracted to men who are guaranteed not to be sexually attracted to me: gay men, celibate monks, eunuchs (Ok, I don’t actually know any eunuchs, but if I did, I’d be attracted to them too).   Anyway, my point here is that, if I reject sex, perhaps I also reject love with a man because I believe that kind of relationship must include obligatory (yuck!) sex.  Perhaps, and what concerns me more, is if the belief system extends to rejecting love from Source (God) as well.

Do I imagine that the innocence I ‘lost’ in my childhood can be recovered through the innocence of another? Do I think I can ‘steal’ it back from them?  The Course would say that I never lost my innocence at all. It’s still here, I just denied it. Perhaps it’s Innocence (with a capital I) that’s the ‘power’ that abducts me in my dream. In my upside-down mind, I’m afraid of this innocence that I threw away because accepting it means that the guilt-self concept of myself must then *poof* – disappear.

This makes me think of the movie, "Henry & June".  Anais says sex makes her feel "so innocent".  Why do I think sex has to equal losing innocence?  Like Anais, I could decide that it increases innocence.  Which doesn’t mean I have to get out there and start getting it on with people, it just means I can start seeing it differently.  In truth, whatever ideas people project upon it, sex is, just as much as the body is, ultimately, meaningless.  It’s a basic confusion of the body with the Self.

And that’s where it stands at this point.  I’m praying about it and surrendering it to spirit for correction.  See, and that’s where I’d really like to acknowledge and embrace the feminine – for its gifts of surrender, acceptance, and receiving.

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Dreaming, Acting, Living

Posted by Amanda Gray on June 5, 2011

The most important point to understand about dreams is that all the characters and symbols are aspects of the dreamer. So when I dream about a boy – it’s me, a teacher – it’s me, a house – it’s me, a bear – it’s me, a jewelled necklace – it’s me, etc. If I cast myself as a jewelled necklace, what does the necklace say about me? Am I a sparkly, diamond necklace, or a dull, unpolished necklace? Did I steal the necklace, or was the necklace given to me as a gift? Every aspect of the necklace may be considered, and what I learn will shine light upon the particular fragment of myself that’s showing up as a jewelled necklace.

Dreams that are most common to me are ones where I’m performing in a theatrical play or in a film, or where I’m participating in an acting class. Sometimes I’m trying on costumes, or I’m auditioning for a part, or I’m observing other actors as they perform. Sometimes, in nightmares, I dream that it’s time to go onstage, and I suddenly realize, in terror, that I haven’t learned my lines and I have no idea what to do!

As I discussed my theatrical dream anxieties with my family this morning, we learned that we all have the same dreams, in slightly different forms. My Aunt dreams that she’s in school, but hasn’t prepared for an exam. My Mom dreams that she’s supposed to cook a meal, but doesn’t have any groceries in the fridge. Does everyone have the same complex? Does everyone harbour fears of the same impending disaster?  What do these dreams say about our lives?

Then I started thinking further about life as a play. Like Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Just as a dream at night is a microcosm of our ‘dream of life,’ so a play on a stage is a microcosm of our ‘play of life.’ I thought about how I’ve often judged the characters in the play of life, including myself, or times when I’ve judged the script, or the playwright (God). Then a number of questions arose in my mind:

  • Do I fear that I don’t know my part or my lines?
  • Am I afraid that it’s my fault that I didn’t study my part in advance?
  • Am I afraid to accept the part that was written for me? Am I afraid I’m unworthy of it?
  • Do I fear that the lead in Hamlet is too much responsibility for me?
  • Am I afraid that I’m unsupported by the other actors?
  • Am I afraid that I’ll make a mistake and ruin the whole play?
  • What if others find out I didn’t study my part? What if I’m a total fool in front of the entire audience?
  • Am I trying to control the play and the other characters?

Two of the most mystical experiences of my life happened when I was performing on stage. The first time, I was performing the lead role of Rose in the play “A Shayna Maidle” in theatre school. It was a short run, only 5 or 6 performances, and I realize now that I made the most mistakes on stage ever during that run. It was my habit to memorize my lines immediately, word for word, and so thoroughly that I rarely, if ever, called for a line during rehearsal. Yet, on the first performance of this show, on preview night in front of an audience of critics, I blanked, and had to call for a line. Since the Stage Manager was no longer ‘on book’ – we all had to wait an extraordinary length of time to get back on track. I was so embarrassed! On another night, I broke a ceramic lamp onstage and neglected to address the problem in the moment, by improvising some other way of turning on the light, or by taking the time to clean up. My acting teacher gave me heck after the show. He said that the audience expected me to ‘live’ in the moment of the play, and that I was cheating them if I ignored the moment, in favour of sticking blindly to the script. The mystical moment was when I had an ‘out of body’ experience – I found myself watching the show from the front row of the audience! I came off stage that night and complained to my teacher, “That was my most horrible performance ever!”

“No,” he said, “It was your BEST performance ever.”

“What? I wasn’t even THERE!”

“Yes, that’s exactly why it was so good.”

The second mystical experience was quite similar to the first. This time I was performing a monologue in a ‘contest’ for actors, models and singers. There was a judging panel and a full audience comprised of performers family members. Now that I think back, I remember that I also performed a song, and that the last note of the song was a horrible disaster. I can’t remember if the song preceded the monologue or vice versa, but never the less, about halfway through my 3-minute monologue, I left my body. I hovered high above myself, to the right side, and I became aware of this amazing energy. The energy was flowing out of ‘me’ toward the audience, and then, I could feel it flowing back to ‘me’ from them. I was fascinated with watching this energy flow back and forth. I remember seeing a lady with glasses sit forward in her seat, listening intently, and I remember looking down at my body, still doing its thing while I sojourned like a balloon in mid-air. Next thing I knew, I was finishing the last line of the monologue. I did as I was taught, to ‘throw and keep throwing,’ and then, I bowed my head and took a small step back. Suddenly, to my unbelieving surprise, the audience exploded with applause, cheers and hoots – more than I’d ever heard in my life! Apparently, when I’m not there – the body is an amazing actor!

Performing allowed complete control and safety. I knew the script, I knew the lines, everyone was going to do exactly what I expected them to do, and we were all going to do it the same way over and over, and over again. Within this perfect bubble of certainty, I didn’t feel afraid and could completely relax. I trusted the time and space inside the bubble, and I think that’s what allowed for those mystical out-of-body experiences.

What would it take for me to trust life in the same way? Must I have the same level of control? Must I have a perfect a script for every word I speak, or every action I perform? Do I have to ensure that everyone else is performing the same script? Must I automatically judge the ‘play of life,’ as it is, as inadequate and in need of my help? Do I have to become the playwright (God) as well as the actor? Yes, that is, exactly, what the ego would try to do.

What would happen if I didn’t judge the production? What if I didn’t have to control the play or the other actors? What if I just TRUSTED the playwright (God)? Even if it seems that I don’t know the play, or the lines, or my role, or every other actor’s role, do I really need to know? What if I could surrender my need to know? What if I allowed myself to drop my idea of the script entirely? What if I drop all the ideas of all the characters I would play? Could I simply improvise? And allow others to improvise? Could I allow the play to be written fresh in each moment?

Just as all the characters and symbols in my nightly dreams are aspects of myself, so all the characters and symbols of the play are aspects of myself. The stage – is me, the audience – is me, the candlestick and the mistletoe – is me, the other actor – is me. Is my fellow actor dressed as a Jesus or as an alcoholic? Do I invite him onto my stage to share the spotlight, or do I banish him off into the darkness of the wings? Could we both play the same part? Could we play the part so well, we stop acting? If we stop acting, could we wake up, entirely, from the play?

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The Dreaming Riddle

Posted by Amanda Gray on May 26, 2011

Dream:

I’m in a gigantic bakery kitchen.  Thin slabs of chocolate roulade (thin cake baked in a flat pan, often used to roll with filling) are cooling on the work tables.  I approach one slab of roulade, thinking it was one I baked for myself earlier.  I cut a square chunk, but as I lift it to my lips for a bite, a man approaches me from behind, “No, no, no!”  He tells me that the other baker, Candace, baked that slab.  I see Candace, dressed in a white cooks uniform, across the room with her back to me.  I’m sorry for my mistake and I express to him that I hope I haven’t ruined her yield.

Enlightened teachers rarely talk about dreams, except to say that we need to wake up from the one we dream when we think we’re awake.  Personally, since my night-time dreams have been such a robust part of my daily experience, I’ve frequently used them to gain insight into the activity of my unconscious mind.

When I was a child, I imagined two black, cartoon ants that had an old film projector and a white screen on a stand.  One ant would ask, “What film are we going to show tonight?” and the other would turn on the projector, “How about this one.”  On the screen, I’d see the grainy countdown appear: 3, 2, 1, and, poof, I’d be asleep.

I’ve always loved to dream.  My dreams are rich, colourful, and entertaining.  I usually dream when I’m close to consciousness in the morning, so with very little effort, I can remember many vivid details.  When I started to make a concerted study of my dreams, around the year 2000, I would consider every storyline, character, and location.  I poured through dream interpretation dictionaries to understand every symbol and nuance.  It was extremely time-consuming, but it was also fun, a lot like solving a riddle.

I don’t know how my theory stacks up with the great dream philosophers of our time: Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, etc., but I divide my dreams into two kinds.  One kind is indicative of the ego keeping itself active and entertained.  These are often busy dreams, with lots of characters, locations and plot lines.  They’re difficult to interpret because there are many symbols, but rarely ones that really ‘jump out’.  The other kind of dream is short, sometimes simply one image, like a photograph.  It’s vivid and remembered easily, because, I think, it’s important to remember.  I’ve decided, through my experience with them over the years, that those are the images spirit is using to communicate with me.  It’s an elegant form of communication, and much like an ‘instantaneous download’ of knowledge.  I’ll find that one image will have many subtle, but meaningful, details.  I’ve also learned to pay attention to anything white.  A symbol in white, particularly if it’s a neon bright white, is always, for me, an important message from spirit.

The shadow elements of a dream, such as night scenes or dark basements, tell me that there’s something I’m trying to hide from my conscious mind.  The split of the unconscious from the conscious mind segregates experiences or traumas that we don’t want to acknowledge.  In my experience, dream shadows rarely give up crucial information, they’re really only helpful to know there’s still something to root out of hiding.  If my greater intention is unity, any smaller intention to hide in dark corners must, eventually, be brought to the light of consciousness.

I recommend two dream books that have been invaluable to me over the years.  My, hands down, favourite is:

Cloud Nine

My second favourite is:

Little Giant Encyclopedia: Dream Symbols

When selecting a dream book, ensure that it doesn’t offer nonsense of future predictions, such as, “dreaming of an itchy right hand means the dreamer will receive money”.  I’ve heard that some people have dreams that effectively predict the future, but, even then, I doubt they would get much value from those future symbol books.  Although I had an occasional prophetic dream in my early life, it was often only discovered after the event played out and was always so inconsequential, I stopped paying attention to them, and they went away.  To me, dreams are far more relevant as insight into myself, the symbols as placeholders for deep-seated belief systems and patterns of thought.

Dream dictionaries are like regular dictionaries, organized in alphabetical order.  To use one, I simply look up the words that best describe the dream image.  For example, for the dream I described at the top of this post, I would look up: bakery, room, kitchen, table, clean, cook, food, sweets, black, square, man, back, woman, and white.  The descriptions in the dream book are merely starting points.  After reading them, I would then consider which interpretations resonated the most for me, and then think further about how the symbols fit specifically into my life experience.

Without referring to my dream books, I knew what my bakery dream was about.  In 1991-92, after a year of cooking school, hosted at Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta, I continued working over the summer in the pastry department.  One day, I arrived for my evening shift and had two tasks on my work list: mix and bake chocolate Devils Food cakes and ‘Etruscan Torte’ cakes.  I had made both of these cakes before and felt confident in my skills.  I started with the Devils Food cakes.  I assembled the ingredients, mixed the batter in the giant Hobart mixer, and filled the cake rings.  I don’t remember if I was particularly distracted that day, or what I was worried about, but I put the cakes into the oven and totally forgot about them.  When I finally remembered, they were cremated beyond repair.  I was thoroughly disgusted and furious with myself as I cut black chunks of charcoal from the baking rings and disposed of all ten cakes in the garbage.  Since I’d already started work on the Etruscan Tortes, I despondently continued with that.  I cut vanilla roulade to fit inside the cake rings for the top and bottom layers, and filled the middle with a gelatine-meringue mixture.  I thought they were to bake for 45 minutes and I put them into the oven….  Well, if you’ve done any baking, you may already have recognized my mistake.  Gelatine isn’t baked, it’s refrigerated.  In 45 minutes, I asked my sous chef how I should test for doneness.  He corrected me, but it was already too late.  The gelatine mixture had melted and leaked out of the cake rings onto the pans in a big slushy mess.  Ten more cakes, ruined!  I was horrified and devastated.  How could I be such a complete loser?  Within a few weeks of the incident, I concocted a number of excuses, and quit the job.

My dream pointed to this entire scenario in a few symbols.  By incorporating the character of Candace, a co-worker from a current job, it also links the past with the present.  It tells me that I made a past mistake that I never truly forgave myself for, and that I’m still holding onto guilty fears that I could make work mistakes again.  Through the dream, I discovered a limitation that has been affecting my experience, and I can now surrender it – forgive myself.

Although, I also understand why teachers of enlightenment wouldn’t recommend dream analysis.  The mind loves to examine itself, and as long as I’m rooting around in its house of mirrors, I won’t make the essential decision to abandon all mind games – lock, stock and barrel.  Yes, perhaps I have delayed myself extraneously, and thus, I’ve given up dreaming riddles, for the most part.  If I have a dream that I remember, fine, and if there’s some symbolism that jumps out at me, fine, and if an interpretation reveals itself without effort, that’s fine too.

Dreams are a fantastic mystery.  A form of riddle that may never be completely solved, but we can look, and ask, and wonder.

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