Reading Note: Last night I started reading Jane Roberts’ The Coming of Seth, which chronicles how she started her trance channeling of the entity known as Seth before going on to write numerous books about spirituality and metaphysics with Seth’s help. I thought this particular volume would be an easy place to go back into reading the Seth material, and so made the mistake of beginning before bed. Even though it’s a lot less deep and dense than the other Seth books, though, the parts that weren’t a “How To” were still deep enough that my mind had trouble absorbing them. So I set it down after just a little over a dozen pages and resumed the next few dozen pages this afternoon, when I was much more awake and capable of handling it.
In other news, as worried as I was that I would never have any ideas of what to write here, I’m still having the reverse and better problem: Wanting to write All The Things right now. I still believe, though, that unlike my novel-writing, which I bang it out as fast as I’m able and then thoroughly look over the book only when the first draft is done, that slower and more contemplatively is the way to go here. Write a little, then think about what I wrote, instead of zooming forward to get out as much as I can. Zooming’s all fine and well for fiction, but it’s not my preferred method of exploration.
I’ve been intrigued by dreams for as long as I can remember, and for a multitude of reasons. As a child I considered them a place of adventures and ideas for stories (which, admittedly, I still do sometimes today). And early on I decided to try figuring out ways to remember as much of them as I could. I was going to be spending several hours a day dreaming, after all, and forgetting them felt (and still feels) like losing part of my day forever.
And from the time I was a kid I was aware that they could be trying to tell me things, symbolically or overtly, that I wasn’t quite up to hearing during my waking hours for whatever reason.
But as a teenager I added to the layers of my dreaming life by starting to consider them in a spiritual capacity. The idea wasn’t all that new to me; I grew up in a metaphysical church which taught that everything, every layer of life, had deeper meanings, including dreams. But until I was older they were still mostly just a novelty. By the time I hit, say, sixteen, though, I was considering them in a more serious way. I started investigating all the possibilities that dreaming could entail, from what my own brain is trying to tell me, to others trying to communicate with me (including ghosts), to traveling out of body.
I got more serious during the year that Alexandra and our best friend, who I’ll call Tanya in the blog from here on out, and I spent doing spiritual and psychic work and experiments trying to explore spirituality, finding our strengths, and helping each other develop. Dream interpretation was something Alexandra was fascinated by and her fascination was infectious. This was bolstered by the fact that my abilities seemed to tend towards clairvoyance and clairaudience – the ability to see and hear things beyond what the normal senses are capable of processing – particularly being aware those who were in spirit form, something else that my family also has a long history of. So it seemed like a natural fit to wonder if what I experienced in dreams tied in to what I did in my waking life in any way.
Some of the results were quietly spectacular.
The one that always comes to mind first began on July 4th of 1991, when I went hiking with friends I’ll call Dave and Shane around a river and tall bridge that are part of what was and still is my favorite spot in the world. As we were wandering through the woods we heard a woman’s scream coming from the direction of the bridge, and we went running to see if someone needed help. What we found was the corpse of a young woman, which had just been hauled to the edge of the water. (We found out later that the woman had just been released from the local psychiatric hospital, and was being driven home by her mother when she burst out of the car, ran for the bridge, and flung herself over. The scream we heard was her mother’s.)
For forty-five minutes Dave, Shane, and I sat there by the body with other witnesses and a police officer who had come to investigate. That night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I felt the presence of someone by my bed who was emanating waves of concern. I opened my eyes to see Shane standing over me, looking down. I thought, Shane, is that you? And the image vanished. The next day I told Shane about this and his jaw dropped. “Last night I had a dream that I was standing over your bed, because I wanted to see if you were OK.” He was completely serious, and not being into this sort of phenomenon, freaked out about it for some time.
This dream work, though, ground to a halt after Alexandra and Tanya and I drifted apart. We were never all that far apart as friends or geographically, really, but the constant spiritual working together had stopped, and never quite resumed.
In the time that followed, especially the last few years, my interest in dreams became more utilitarian – once again, as when I was a child, the place of adventures and story ideas, but also now regular nightmares as depression and anxiety dug a deeper and deeper trench into my psyche.
Yet the spiritual fascination remained. I started having more dreams, and increasingly vivid ones, about loved ones who had died, and wondering if this was just coming out of my own mind or if they were some kind of visitations – as my family has a long history with. The dreams in general became more vivid and easier to remember. Over the past year or so I’ve been getting more and more “visits” from people I care about but don’t see as often as I’d like, including all of those of you I specifically invited to read this blog.
These visits tend to be extremely intimate. I don’t mean sexually, but like those moments where you sit down with someone you trust immensely, let your guard down, and either let everything spill out, or you just sit together with only a little bit of companionable talk but knowing with complete certainty that this is exactly where you are meant to be at that moment. I know I’ve needed this kind of intimate companionship in real life for a while now; I suppose the dreams are working to compensate for the waking lack.
Which brings the story up to now. Last week’s visit with Alexandra was the catalyst for several things in my spiritual and metaphysical regard, a few hours that are starting to appear more and more as a significant turning point in my life, and trying to remember and interpret my dreams is one thing that has raced to the surface. My old curiosity about what dreams really are and how much they can tell me is still there, and I believe that one way or another, I’ll be taking them more seriously from now on – be they visits, nightmares, or something so completely surreal I might not have the first clue what it means (at first).
And really, as I said before, I spent a big chunk of my life dreaming. So why wouldn’t I want to learn everything I can about dreaming, and listen to whatever my dreams trying to tell me? Not doing so simply seems like a waste and a great loss.