“The highly developed, spiritual man, as he retires into the interior world during sleep, realises a state of spiritual bliss that is far beyond the stage of ordinary mortals.”
Everyone dreams. Considering we spend a third of our lives asleep, that probably isn’t surprising. But while it’s understood that sleep rests our bodies (enabling us to “undergo the strenuous daily toil of physical life”) and recharges our minds (enabling us to subconsciously solve problems from our waking life), dreaming is more complex. What exactly are dreams for?
Before we can understand how or why we dream, we must first explore our spiritual side. “The external or physical man is no more the man than the coat he wears,” writes Yacki Raizizun in The Secret of Dreams. “The physical man is only an instrument [with] which the real inner man or soul expresses itself in the physical universe.”
Dreams can be thought of as a “temporary death” where the soul and body separate. This leaves man in the astral world, expressing consciousness through the astral body, “just as the physical body is an instrument for expressing consciousness in the waking state”.
Varieties of Dreams
Dreams can be classified into four groups:
- Physical Stimulus – The sounds and sensations in our physical environment can affect our dreams, which is why sleeping in a cold room might make us dream of snow and ice.
- Subconscious Memory – Thoughts from our daily life, even those we didn’t notice, may filter into our dreams.
- Telepathy – This usually involves living people (e.g. dreaming about someone you haven’t seen or heard from in ages and then seeing or hearing from them the next day) but is also possible with “discarnate beings”.
- The Actual Astral experience of the ego or soul in the astral region – Dreams that involve “communicating with the dead” or “having premonitions of a certain thing which actually happens” are sometimes expressed as symbols, “the true language of the soul”.
How to Evolve the Larger Consciousness
Three things are required to ensure good progress. Firstly, you need “physical, emotional, and mental harmony” lest you mistake dreams for reality or reality for dreams. Secondly, you need to develop the ability to concentrate your thoughts so the ego can “impress itself upon the lower mind” as you lay down to rest. Thirdly, you need to keep your mind free from evil thoughts because any intentions to harm others will make the black arts “return and burn you as you justly deserve”.
“Man has been in the habit of looking at himself as a mass of flesh and muscle with a slight chance of realising the Divinity within him. As the earnest soul gradually arouses himself, he finds his proper place in the universe, for within him are all the attributes of deity; and when he reaches the end of the long evolutionary journey that is ahead of him he will find himself and know what he is destined to be: a God.”
I’ve always been fascinated by dreaming and this book has strengthened my eagerness to explore the subject. And while some may toss the work aside because they can’t keep an open mind (or think there’s not much to be gained from a book so short), it’s quite intriguing if you’re prepared to give it a chance. Oddly enough, I like the fact that it raises many questions without offering concrete solutions because that forces us to come up with our own. Many of these ideas, which have been the subject of several films, include the following:
1. Can we communicate with the dead in our dreams?
Raizizun explains that death is only the end of the physical body but not the end of the “mechanism of consciousness which is the seat of thought and emotion”. Raizizun also explains that we can meet and converse with many of the “misnamed dead” when we go to sleep, just as if they were alive. But how do we know that we’re communicating with our long-gone loved ones and not simply experiencing subconscious symbols of what they represent? And is the only way to communicate with the dead when we’re asleep (Bruce Willis and his wife at the end of The Sixth Sense) or can some gifted “mystics and sages” do so while they’re still awake (Matt Damon using the power of touch in Hereafter)? I honestly don’t know.
2. Can dreams predict the future and warn us of doom?
“The ego is ever watchful and it always impresses the lower mind when danger approaches,” Raizizun points out. “The extent [to] which we are guided and warned from the ego depends [on] how much we are not swayed by our physical methods of artificial civilisation implying the power to impress the astral experience on the physical brain.” But can we actually alter what’s supposed to be? Or are attempts to alter what’s supposed to be exactly what makes it happen (Sandra Bullock in Premonition, those silly kids in Final Destination)? These questions lead to more conundrums about destiny and fate much like in Minority Report, a movie I’ve seen three times and haven’t yet figured out. I honestly don’t know.
3. Can we communicate with each other in our dreams?
During our dreams we can meet “not only the misnamed dead but also many of those who are still in the physical body”. This works best with minds “in close sympathy with each other”. We can even do so without being aware that we are: “Your nights may be made useful even if you are not conscious of yourself out of the body by suggesting to yourself upon retiring that you will go somewhere and meet someone and assist them in an unselfish act. If you persist in your suggestion on retiring, your spirit will go where you demand it to go.” While Inception focused on this idea, it turned into a confusing exploration of concepts writer/director Christopher Nolan might not even understand. Guess what? I honestly don’t know.
The book doesn’t go into much detail on the “rigid training” required to remember or control our dreams. My approach is to keep a dream journal. All you need is a notebook and a pen next to your bed (with a lamp or torch close by in case you wake up in the middle of the night and need to jot things down before you fall asleep again). As you lay in bed each night, repeat out lout that you will remember your dreams. This ‘prepares’ the subconscious mind and leaves it in a state of expectation that is often followed through. As soon as you wake up (and before you move a muscle or even open your eyes), recall what happened in as much detail as you can. Once you’ve remembered all you can, get up and write it down before getting started with the day.
And what should we do with the information we gather from monitoring our dreams? Not take it too seriously, for one. “I do not claim that our physical plane affairs should be guided entirely by dreams nor are dreams of the fortune-telling variety to be relied upon,” Raizizun advises. “You must use your reason and judgement in this the same as anything else, and only when the student has attained [that] point in his development where there is no break in consciousness, may he be guided by the astral life.” Still, it’s useful to spend some time interpreting them with resources like Dreammoods while always remembering that each person’s symbols are different and that your first intuitive understanding is usually correct.
Ultimately, it’s good to remember that the messages in our dreams are there for our benefit. They’re the way our subconscious mind makes us pay attention to things we may be avoiding in our conscious lives. “Very often the ego enlightens the sleeper of some material thing for his own benefit, which he may use advantageously in his waking state, but as he generally looks at the phenomena of dreams as an hallucination of the brain, he allows many a golden opportunity to slip through his fingers because the materialist’s brain cannot grasp things of the spirit.” Don’t let that be you.
If you enjoyed this post, please remember to Like, Tweet, and Share it using the links at the top or bottom of the page. And remember to subscribe to free alerts or follow me on Twitter to be notified when the next review is released. For more on the subject, see Lucid Dreaming and Dream Yoga.