Posts tagged #the soul

The frightening secret about why you don't remember your dreams

 

"I try to remember my dreams but I can't."

The alarm rings. You fumble to shut it off as fast as possible. Do you really have to get up and leave right now, or could you afford a few more minutes in bed? You try to estimate the risks of sleeping longer. You decide you really do, indeed, have to wake up now.

Then you remember-- you're trying to keep a dream journal. "What was I just dreaming?" you ask yourself.

But it's too late; there are no savory licks of dream-stuff left. It's all gone away, into the aether from whence it came.

Your heart sinks with a little disappointment.  You're really trying to remember your dreams; you really want to connect more deeply with your creative unconscious; it's just that the dreams slip away so fast before you can grab them.  Now you can remember nothing from your night's adventures and you feel a little soul-less, a little empty.  What, after all, is a person without dreams?

A person without dreams is someone who succeeds at fitting in and not shaking the airplane. (I could have said "and not rocking the boat"-- but what thought scares you more-- a rocking boat or a shaking airplane?)

A person who doesn't remember what he dreams is someone who is more easily roped into the counterfeit dream of the culture-at-large: the manufactured dream of constant high status, hot sex, and total security.

Have you noticed that the dream of the culture-at-large is not only unattainable, but boring? It's not enough to fire the full range of the human imagination; it's just enough to stoke our base cravings.

Costly, poisoned milk

 

A person who doesn't remember what he dreams is someone cut off from the marrow of his own being, from the sustenance of his own life.  He's like a desperate farmer who has sold his cow and now has to buy the milk back at a steep price. And not only is the milk costly; it's also been poisoned; it's actually dangerous to consume.

As we settle for the mass-produced dreams of television, commercials and popular film we're drinking poison milk.  That stuff, taken as our only nourishment, makes us weaker and weaker.  We notice the symptoms of what's happening to us: we're depressed and anxious, unfocused and miserable. But lie to ourselves about the root cause.  We think that we suffer just because we don't yet have enough status, sex, security.

We can't even begin to imagine that our pain and our boredom and our sense of meaninglessness might have something to do with the fact that we routinely ignore the vast and beautiful productions that our soul offers us each night while we sleep; the secrets of the universe which are hand-tailored to us; the magnificent gifts that come fully-made.

Your dreams are your dreams.  They are communications that have the power to awaken you. The more you ignore them, the more you ignore your own spiritual growth.

"But I'm trying to remember my dreams-- I just can't!"

This is never true.

You don't remember your dreams because you don't truly want to remember.

You can't remember your dreams because you want other things much more.  Why? Because you're too heavily plugged in to the pseudo-dream: the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning is your security, your status.  Do you need to get up and run? What do you need to do before you leave the house? What should you eat for breakfast? What should you wear?

You can't remember your dreams because those thoughts are more urgent to you, more vivid and more intense than your desire to be in conscious contact with your own soul.  Just admit that it's true.  You would like to remember your dreams, but frankly you're more worried about being on time for wherever you've got to go.

If you want to know your soul, you have to make that knowing your priority

If you truly want to remember your dream-time escapades, you have to be willing to care more about what's going on within you than what's going on without you.  You have to be more focussed on the world of your spiritual and emotional terrain than on the world of your oh-so-urgent duties.

This is an intense reversal.  This is a taboo reversal.  No one in our culture is allowed to do this-- do this and you'll become weak, lazy, worthless-- or so the notion goes.  I say do it and you'll become truly awake to the weird wonder that you are.  And out of this weird wonder you'll make full, vast, and sculptured treasures.  You'll bring back incredible gifts.  You'll enrich our day-time world immensely.  You'll be a hero and you'll have our gratitude-- for you were the brave one who made the journey where we were too scared to go.

To remember your dreams, you have to decide that your dreams are more important than what anyone else thinks of you

Your first thought when you wake must be: "I am dreaming a dream. What is happening in my dream? What am I doing?" And then you offer a kind of very soft, gentle attention.  You attend for some moments, laying still in the dark (so as not to disturb the swirling aether where your dream licks are laying in wait) and then once you've collected as much as you can, you pick up pen and paper and write what's gone on.

You make this more important than "being where I have to be." You make your dreams the most important thing.

Gradually, as you treat your dreams with this kind of respect, they begin to speak to you more loudly and more clearly.  They begin to realize that you're one who listens; you're one who attends.  They begin to offer the deep initiation to you, the initiation into your own transcendent power as the interdimensional creature you really are.

So make the decision right now.

Decide to dream at any cost.

It won't hurt as much as you think, my darling.

 

Love!

Carolyn

 

Letters to a Young Dream Warrior - Letter #2

 

[Read the first letter here.]

 

Dear X,

 

So it seems to you that either you win over the gatekeepers or you fall flat.  You win or you lose. I offered to you that there's a third possibility: surrender. Leave the game.

 

What does this leaving entail? First, it requires a clear recognition that you cannot "win" the gatekeeper's game.

 

How is this true? It's true because even if you bluffed incredibly well for many years, even if you got through the initial hurdles and mastered the whole act, the prize that you would ultimately earn would be this: a life of quiet desperation, hiding your great light, becoming a gatekeeper yourself-- becoming someone so personally invested in the system that he defends it vigilantly, even in the face of its evident wrongs. Is this what you really want? Is this outcome made fully palatable because it comes with a garnish of social respectability and prestige?

 

Second, leaving the game entails recognizing the fact that any failures you've had thus far in the gatekeeper's game do not mean that you are valueless or a "loser."  In fact, they signify that your value exceeds the ordinary.  You have something to offer that exceeds calculable commodities and quantities. This excess of your being is sacred; it is precious-- it's also incredibly disturbing to people and to institutions who have built themselves up on a foundation of measurement and control.  Why? Because what is sacred about you can't be measured; can't be controlled; can't be quantified; can't be commodified.  It isn't predictable or mechanical.  It's disruptive and potent and beautiful.

 

In other words, if you have a powerful soul, gatekeepers won't like you because they can sense that there's something about you which puts their methods and their smallness to shame.

 

At this moment, monetary wealth is concentrated in the hands of these people and institutions who value control, measurement, security, debt.  You're not wrong in the recognition that you might have to do without monetary wealth for a time if you choose not to pursue the acceptance and approval of the gatekeepers. You're not wrong to see that you might have to live very frugally and without the comforts and safety nets of someone who's playing by the rulebook. This thought might frighten you; this thought might frighten your family and your friends.  But let's think through it in earnest; let's think about what it means to risk living a life of truth rather than a life of begging for approval.

 

We mistakenly tend to imagine that our work in this life is to fulfill our ego's goals and demands: become important, secure, powerful, insulated from possible harm.  But this is a way of spiritual stagnation and death.  It's a fear-driven and control-obsessed path.  Follow it and you'll find yourself one day depressed, sick, filled with anxiety and loneliness.  It's the modern dilemma and the modern mistake.

 

In truth, our real work in this life is to fulfill the aims of our soul, not our ego.  The soul asks that we become humble, vulnerable, intimate and connected-- it asks that we always be open and available to express love, that we give our gifts freely and receive freely from others.

 

In my own exit from the game (which has been a slow process), I decided that I would never again insult my soul by pretending to believe something I did not or by doing work that did not resonate with me as deeply important.  I decided I would stop lying, even if it meant losing all respectability and support from the people who had previously respected and supported me as long as I went along with their game.  I decided that I would devote my energy to creating stuff which would give to others something that I truly wanted to give.  And then I started giving it away. And since then I've been enriched immeasurably with friendship; with gratitude; with community; with love.

 

So that, Dear X, is my suggestion to you.  Don't ask yourself, "What can I do to be respectable and secure?" because in a world where the reigning institutions and people are corrupt and petty, respectability and security are for souls too timid to tell the truth loudly.  Ask instead, "What would it most thrill me to give?" and then get to work on giving that.

 

If you are fully honest with yourself about the answer to this question you'll find that gates will fly open in front of you.  The universe will stop at nothing to help you bring forth the gift it most truly delights you to give.

 

Many of us get so confused about this because we've been hypnotized by the myths of specialization and professionalization.  For instance, I always knew that it most thrilled me to give to others the gifts of knowledge and empowerment through writing and teaching.  For years, though, I was gravely confused-- I thought I needed a very specialized degree and approval from hard-to-please gatekeepers in order to give this gift.  What I finally realized was that I needed no authority to make me a writer and a teacher apart from the authority of my own soul; I didn't need to appeal to gatekeepers, I needed to appeal to other people who hungered for beauty and truth as I did. As soon as I took full responsibility for my inner authority, the opportunity to publish on a wide scale came to me.

 

As you do the labor of readying your gift; as you give forth your gift; as you do it day after day with great love-- you may find that all your needs are being met, but that you receive this need-meeting indirectly.  In other words, people may not pay you directly for the gift you're offering, but support comes to you in other ways. This happens because our society only knows how to pay directly for quantifiable commodities, and the gifts of the soul can't be quantified. Still, as you give support comes to you-- in ways you can't control or predict-- in ways that are more perfect than you could arrange for.

 

The support comes because by choosing to give your deep gift loudly and fearlessly without asking for permission or approval, you're living in the gift, you're living in grace.  You've surrendered.  You're no longer living by the sensible and measurable but by the magical and synchronistic.

 

Perhaps this answer raises more questions for you. Let me know what they are and I'll endeavor to meet them.

 

Love,

Carolyn

 

 

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