Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
A Method for Increasing Consciousness in Dreams
Many of the techniques mentioned at this site revolve around increased consciousness in dreams. A very effective way of breathing life into the dream world is adopting the discipline of writing down dreams.
Dreams are valuable because they permit the dreamer to examine the contents of his or her personal unconscious and interpret dream symbols to discover hidden conflicts that can then be exposed to the light of waking awareness. They reveal to us our personal weaknesses, our blind spots, and our unacknowledged pain from the past. Thus, dream analysis can be a form of spiritual purification.
However, apart from this psychological function, dreams also represent an entrance to the vast realms of the human unconscious that are accessible through spiritual travel. This consists of both the personal unconsciousness with its layers of conflict and unfulfilled need, as well as the deeper layers of the self which contain a broad variety of transpersonal psychic and spiritual states. To direct attention towards dreams is to focus the waking awareness on these areas and give them value and importance.
Writing down dreams informs the deeper self that the dreamer cares about the unconscious and the variety of states it contains. It enlivens the unconscious contents and increases awareness in dreams. Increased awareness in dreams can lead to lucid dreaming and spiritual travel.
Writing down dreams draws the dreamer's attention to the subtle elements in dream experience that permit the individual to recognize what his or her dreams are like. To become familiar with the contents of one's dreams also increases the probability that a dream will be recognized as such, and the dreamer will wake up.
There are many difficulties and challenges to be confronted when keeping a dream journal. A first step is choosing a place to sleep one or two nights a week where the dreamer can do writing upon awakening without disturbing anyone else.
The person keeping a dream journal should go to bed early with the journal at the bedside. The mental reminder that the dreamer will remember and write down the dreams upon awakening should be given before going to sleep. A small nightlight is helpful to see enough to write in the journal but not so powerful as to shock the journal writer into consciousness so he or she cannot go back to sleep after adding an entry to the journal.
Keeping a dream journal represents a quantitative shift of attention from the outer to the inner life. It can be a useful tool in improving the dreamers ability to do spiritual travel. As dreams become clearer, the person can extend the reminder to include the directive that the dreamer will awaken in the dream and do some activity that will lead to an altered state of consciousness (spiritual travel).
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