Dreams, Part 3: I’ll Be Seeing You In All The Old Familiar Places

First of all, a point of order: It’s awfully clunky to keep saying “Those of you I specifically invited to read my blog”, so instead, from here on out I’ll call you the Circle. This is a term that Alexandra, Tanya, and I came up with years ago for our particular group who was privy to the spiritual-seeking we were doing at the time, and I think it fits well here. A Circle comprised of a small number of trusted and loved people.

I’ll be the first to admit that one of the reasons I enjoy dreaming so much is the people I get to see in them. Usually those who show up are friends and family I don’t get to see very often, or not as often as I’d like – and, of course, those who have died. My mother’s side of the family has a long history with using dreams as a way to communicate with those who are now spirits, and that’s been passed on to me as well, it seems.

Sometimes I’ll meet up with people in dreams with whom, in the dream, I’m very close to. They don’t actually exist in my waking life – or at least not that I know of. But I’ll get to that.

My dreams are heavily populated. It’s extremely rare that I’m ever totally alone in one. In fact, the more I’ve let myself become isolated, the more populated my dreams have become, whether I know the people in the dreams or not. But I’ll write more about that in a bit too.

That song that I used for the entry’s title? It’s usually sung as a song about lost love, but it can also mean friends who are gone one way or the other, or family members – or anyone you’ve loved and lost in any way. The people I see most often in my dreams are the ones I still feel the closest to, whether or not I see them regularly when I’m awake, whether or not they’re close, and whether or not they’re still alive. But typically they are people I want to see more of.

Where do all these people in our dreams come from? Psychologists will tell you that all of them are constructs of your brain, possibly representing something you need to deal with, or symbolic of something you need or want, or your brain “downloading” or reorganizing memories and information from the day. Theosophists and many others with similar spiritual or paranormal beliefs believe that our souls can travel through non-physical planes while we meet, engaging with other souls of those we know in the physical and spiritual worlds alike – the latter perhaps being the source of people we’re close to in dreams but don’t know in “real life”. They believe that with our conscious minds relaxed, our soul or subconscious or both are free to meet with the souls of those who have died.

I think all of these ideas are right to one degree or another. But despite my desire to know everything I can about everything, I’ll admit that in this case, I’m more interested in the time spent with those I see in my dreams than I am the mechanics of how they got here. (Or, I suppose, the why, which would also make me a bad theosophist and possibly a bad spiritual explorer in general. I’m not saying I don’t care at all – just that it’s a lesser priority for me than their presence itself.)

As I said above, I look forward to dreams because of those I get to visit with. All of you in the Circle make regular or semi-regular appearances, despite my waking circumstances. Alexandra, who lives thousands of miles from me, occasionally visited before our physical visit two weeks ago, and now is a regular. Another friend in the Circle who I’ll call Night lives much closer, but we haven’t seen each other in person since high school – and yet now and again she appears in my dreams as well. My Circle friend Usagi lives no more than a five minute drive away, but due to various circumstances (and no fault of hers) I don’t see her anywhere close to as much as I’d like; but she appears in dreams, as well.

Of those I see who have died, my grandfather is the most frequent visitor. He was raised in a harsh and strict religious environment amid a church called Apostolic, an offshoot of the Amish, and his father was the sort of fundamentalist Christian that gives fundamentalist Christians a bad name, but nevertheless my grandfather held spiritual beliefs similar to mine. In one recent dream, as we stood chatting in the living room of my grandparents’ house, I suddenly remembered that he was dead. Perhaps somewhat indiscreetly, I mentioned this to him. “So what?” he asked me. “That doesn’t mean I can’t visit you.”

And the people I don’t know in waking life? I’ve wondered about that for a long time. They could be constructs of my own brain, but when I’m with them in the dream I get the same feeling that I do when I’m with beloved friends or family. Or they could be souls that my soul knows, not here in the physical world but on the spiritual planes, come to teach me something, or I teach them something, or maybe just visiting because we enjoy each other’s company. A friend just recently likened this to being an author and our lives a book – which of course was an analogy I jumped right into.

To paraphrase what she said somewhat and maybe throw my own spin on it, if my soul is writing a book, then I, as the author, know all of the characters in that book, even if they don’t always show up in the pages. Their not being present in any given chapter doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

The last thing I wanted to talk about here was how my dreams seem to be working overtime to balance out what I’m missing when I’m awake. I don’t just mean people, as important as that is to me, but a whole range of stuff.

I used to be a very outgoing, extroverted person. For several reasons this has changed – I’ve let myself become more isolated, partly from becoming more introverted over the years but also as a defense mechanism due to depression and other less than happy circumstances. My dreams often cast me into places or situations where I’m given the chance to be among people with whom I can be as outgoing as I want to be, including those of you in the Circle.

Over the last few years I’ve gone from being a very open person emotionally to equally closed off and armored. I got tired of my emotions and vulnerabilities being used against me, and so closed them off, slowly but now iron-clad. In my dreams I tend to be very emotional, especially with loved ones, probably as a release valve.

I used to be very affectionate. Long hugs, snuggling, holding hands, stroking hair, that sort of thing. Over the last few years opportunities to be affectionate have become almost completely nonexistent, and admittedly this is something I miss more than almost every other part of me that I’ve let slip away. In dreams, though, I tend to be as affectionate as I once was. A typical dream a few nights ago, for instance, had me lying down with a friend, my chest to her back, and draping my arm around her. There was nothing sexual about it, just mutual comfort.

I miss emotional intimacy, which has also become almost nonexistent in my life. When I was living close to one longtime friend, for example, who isn’t in the Circle but I wish could be, we regularly enjoyed what we called 2 a.m. conversations. They might or might not literally be at 2 a.m., but the name came about because we would often talk late into the night and though we were typically totally open with each other anyway, by 2 a.m. we were often relaxed enough that our guards would be totally down and we would talk about anything we wanted to with complete honesty. I miss those and similar conversations, or for that matter being able to open up that much with anyone. But that friend and others, including those of you in the Circle, regularly show up in my dreams for 2 a.m. conversations. (Maybe literally at 2 a.m.)

Really, what it comes down to is that no matter where my dreams come from, or why the people I see in them are there, I consider them a gift, and feel blessed that I have them. And that thanks to the resumed spiritual exploring I’m doing now, I’m remembering more and more of them as I go along.

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