Dreams are all about soul and spirit. It is no wonder that Freud called dreams the “Royal Road to the Unconscious,” the Unconscious being that realm which includes the soul. So it should be no wonder that working with dreams is a great way to get to know one’s soul: its yearnings, its growth and transformation.
Our deepening relationship with our own souls is an extremely important part of the spiritual journey, which also includes a deepening relationship with others and God. Meditation and intuitive training are also important tools to get to know our spiritual selves better.
We Cannot Ultimately Control the Results of Dreamwork
Dreamwork, unlike most meditative and intuitive practices, is a very spiritual endeavor because it is beyond the control of our ego, which is often at odds with our soul, our “higher self.” The only way to “control” a dream is not remember it, or forget it or discount it—the ways most of us use for not dealing with something we might find frightfully beyond us. Usually this behavior then results in anxiety, depression, neurosis or worse. Some people like to claim that they can “control” what is in their dreams. It is true that one can be awake in the dream, and make decisions in a dream but the ultimate outcome or result is beyond our control, just as reality is ultimately beyond our control—much as we might like to think otherwise.
Perhaps this is one reason why psychologists and others in the medical profession are leery of relying on dreams as a healing treatment: they cannot predict the outcome or guarantee a specific result. It is not like taking a pill and knowing what the effects or side effects will be. The ultimate outcome of a dream, especially its healing gifts, ultimately resides with God. However, when it comes to dreams, we can sometimes speak in generalities such as: when you do consistent dreamwork, you will see that many dreams do predict the future, or that dreams can reflect the progress or stages of a serious illness. These observations have been determined to be true by doctors and scientists.
One Role of the Dream is to Challenge Ego
Because dreams are beyond the control of ego when we work with them, they offer us support and insight as we try to deal with and overcome the limitations of our often fear-driven egos. Dreams can point out safety when our egos sense danger; they can tell us when our egos have led us astray from our true purpose in life; and they can tell us when we are on the right path. So dreams are a great way that the soul speaks to us, especially when our egos want to do something that is counter to the desires of our souls.
If you have seriously chosen to follow a spiritual path, consider dreamwork as a spiritual methodology. Next time, I will discuss how dreamwork can be used within the framework of a religious practice.