the power of dreams
There was a time when working with dreams was an ongoing, important endeavor. In the book, A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming, authors Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel, and Thomas Peisel explain how our ancestors valued dreams. “In the Talmud, a book written between 200 and 500 CE that instructs one on how to apply the Torah to everyday life, there are over 200 references to dreams. It (the Talmud) states ‘dreams which are not understood are like letters which are unopened.’”
The authors go on to say, “The earliest evidence of dreaming dates…back to 3100 BCE in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia.” Ancient Egyptians built temples for “the practice of dream incubation, a method of receiving divine healing and revelatory messages through sleep.” They practiced a form of lucid dreaming* and “likely mastered dream skills such as shape-shifting and time travel.”
And yet now, most people in our culture barely pay attention to their dreams – leaving so many unopened letters to float carelessly to their bedroom floor.
What can be accomplished from actively reviewing our dreams? Sir Paul McCartney reports that the song “Yesterday” came to him in a dream. Likewise, Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity was also born in a dream.
In addition to tapping our dreams for creativity, our dreams can also predict upcoming events in our lives. Abraham Lincoln dreamed of walking the hallway in the White House and coming across a room with a casket flanked by guards. When he asked what body lies in state, Lincoln discovered the casket contained the body of the President, recently assassinated. Had Lincoln been aware of the powers available through dreams, he might have chosen to “reenter” his dream to ask for specific details of the assassination— facts which he might have used to avoid the tragic event.
Sometimes our dreams can act both as a creative studio and precognitive message. This happened for a journalist by the name of W. T. Stead. Stead wrote an article in 1882 predicting a collision involving an ocean liner with an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. This idea, which came to him in a dream, happened twenty years before the infamous sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Oddly, novelist Morgan Robertson had a similar dream in 1898, which resulted in the book, Futility. The novel took place on the unsinkable ship, the Titan. Here’s the amazing twist. Both Stead and Robertson were passengers aboard the Titanic, and both died.
What messages are you leaving on the bedroom floor by ignoring your dreams?
*Lucid dreaming is a dream in which the dreamer recognizes she is in a dream. Then she controls her actions to take full advantage of learning, doing, being in the dream. She can, for example, fly without benefit of mechanical aircraft; consult with people long passed away; or practice skills she wants to develop in waking life.