The Healing Power of Dreams

This Seminar offered an invitation to understand and include the healing power of dreams with the traditional wisdom and knowledge of Macrobiotics. Recorded – March 19th 1986

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I continue to offer Dreamwork in my Energy Medicine, Aura-Soma and Emethy practice and continue Advanced Dream Patterning Study with Dr. Michael Conforti  through the Assisi Institute. James H. Howard, M.A. LMFT has retired.

Seminar Notes:

This evening we are coming together to understand the healing available through our dreams. Tennyson said, “Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.” John Sanford called the dream God’s Forgotten Language. The root of the word Healing is “kailo” which means wholeness. Let us say that the healing power of dreams is the invitation they offer to a “return to wholeness.” Healing is always a return to the wholeness of our original nature.   We will review the Nature, Structure and Value of dreams, then move to an understanding of the personal and collective sources of the dream, including as many examples as time allows.

Nature, Structure and Value of Dreams

The dream is a highly objective, natural, spontaneous product of the psyche. The dream provides a view of our inner psychological, spiritual and physical situation, especially our imbalances, and a way to think about our condition, along with a prescription offered. The dream always reaches toward acceptance of our natural human self and our link to the Divine – this will entail discharge for clearing. As metaphor or parable, it is interesting that the root of “metaphor “is “bher” which is also the root of the Greek word for “dowry,” that which is brought by a bride to the marriage. Thus does the dream bear and bring its riches to us. Dreams have a place, a plot, events, and a result or resolution. Dreams literally wake you up to a new understanding. Dream-work is serious, exciting, and demanding and will support you to consider taking new risks into becoming who you are.

Source of the Dream – Universal human problems are viewed in the dream.

The Collective Unconscious

Some “Big” dreams are remembered for a lifetime. They come from this deeper level and are not concerned with one’s personal experience. Non-personal dream figures are Archetypal images, basic components typical to all human life. Let’s look at a few within the structure of the human psyche.

  • The Shadow – there is no one without a Shadow. Among other things, the Shadow will demonstrate, through projections and within your dialogue with the dream figure, unlived and dark aspects of ourselves. It will reveal irritations, frustrations, weak areas, inferiorities, rebellious areas, or it could present one’s beauty lost, unrecognized and abandoned. It is what we afraid of and would rather not face. Jekyll and Hyde would be an example of a Shadow identification .
  • The Persona –the masks we wear for the world. And the many roles we live. These are all necessary. The danger is to think we are the person we would like to appear to be.
  • The Anima – Just as a man will be introduced to his masculine Shadow through the men in his dream, so he will find the feminine component or inner Yin. This inner woman Jung called the Anima. The Anima is the archetype of life. Whether she is helpful or destructive will depend on the relationship the ego has developed with the erotic, tender, emotional, relational feminine side of himself. She can increase his masculine by giving him emotional support. She can possess him with irrational, moods, embitterment and pessimism. In dreams she may present herself as mother, lover, witch, child, or spiritual guide. When recognition and positive relationship has been established with the Anima, she offers inspiration, tenderness and an energy that offers Spirituality.. She can liberate – Dante’s Beatrice, Homer’s Helen of Troy. She is the inner feminine spirit guide.
  • Animus – The man in the woman’s dream is the Animus. The woman’s own neglected masculine qualities. This archetype holds the key to the woman’s development as a person in her own right. He is father, lover, husband, spiritual guide, sorcerer, or demon. He may help her to constructive thinking and creative ideas or fill her with inflexible opinions with a biting tongue and become a slave-driver. He is the bridge to her Spirituality.

Wholeness Archetype – the Self – the Infinite

We contain in us an image of what we should become and the Self tries to lead each of us to fulfill this destiny – as an acorn becomes an oak. Our unconscious seems to contain the knowledge of this inner divine as well as the capacity for it to be realized. Relationship to this archetypal core brings momentum towards wholeness.

Personal Unconscious – Day to day fluctuations of psychic balance in your subjective experience. The people who appear in our dreams represent aspects or fragments of our personality. This aspect of the dream arises from personal memories, emotions, incidents and impressions we have repressed. Perhaps it is something forgotten from childhood or an undigested psychological experience. The task is in locating the projections carried and to reclaim that energy – discrimination and separation from sentimentality – movement toward what is so with the person versus one’s projection on them.

Collective Unconscious – From this collective memory of all mankind come the “Big” dreams, often remembered for a lifetime. These images are without personal associations. They do not address personal experience, but, rather, bring archetypal images, typical of all human lfe throughout the centuries.

Summary

Welcome the dream as an assistant to your transformation. Every dream is a unique and spontaneous creation. Here will be found awe and wonder. Beware of rigidity or hasty interpretation. Befriend your dream – allow it to bring you questions. The images will express the meaning, along with the seed of our highest becoming. Here will be paradox where the opposites meet to reestablish equilibrium.