Understanding what dreams are

A dream, which is not interpreted, is like a letter, which is not read. ~  The Talmud

Dreams are very much a part of being human, and whether we are aware of it or not dreams come as messages from our inner selves in order that we might more fully realise our true potential.

Our dreams tell us what we need as well as what we desire, in order to be complete. Through our dreams, we alert ourselves to aspects of our waking life that we need to pay attention to. These may be outmoded attitudes or beliefs, as well as the  less pleasant aspects of ourselves   which require conscious acknowledgement and recognition in order to grow and evolve.

Dreams can be blunt, exasperating, and tantalizing. They come across as spontaneous creations of our inner beings so as to tell us something of ourselves. A powerful dream has a way of lodging itself deep in our psyche; it just won't let you go.

 In fact you can feel like you are in the grip of a powerful dream for days, sometimes weeks. It will glow in your nerves, hum in your blood, bewilder and baffle your senses. Dreams are a living vehicle that carries messages from within. The symbols and events of a dream can hold a mystery and power that in turn evoke further memories, thoughts and reflections.  Insight can come like flashes of illumination in recognition of something not seen before.

Much of the work of dreams has to do with restoring the balance between the various parts of the personality, between inner and outer life. Maintaining this balance requires enormous inner energy and much of the tension involved in this process is released and expressed through dreams, which is why we often wake feeling uneasy after a particularly powerful dream. Indeed dreams are not always pleasant. They can often be disconcertingly direct, raw and painfully honest. Sometimes it requires a great deal of openness with oneself, honesty, courage, and preparedness to sit with what is uncomfortable to allow their meaning to unravel.

It was Carl Jung who noted: Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

The most powerful, vivid and meaningful dreams often occur during times of crisis in our life. As in all periods of crisis even though we don’t necessarily ask for it, this represents and period of change, transition and opportunity for personal growth.

Although dreams cannot protect you from the ups and downs of life, it is through working with and understanding them that they provide the guidance as to how one might navigate through the difficulties. Finding the meaning to your dream also provides a key as to how to fulfill your own destiny in order to realize the greater potential of life within you.

There is a beautiful saying of Novalis: "The seat of the soul is there, where the outer and inner worlds meet." Such is the place and wonder of dreams.