While it has been said that neurosis is a cry of the soul wanting to be heard, there are various positive ways that our souls speak to us, if we take the time and the effort to pay attention. One way is intuitive insight. Perhaps another is reverie when we are relaxed and allow our minds to meander without control, being fed by stirrings deep within us. Another very important way is dreams. Freud called dreams the “royal road to the Unconscious” for a reason. These night time scenarios are the most direct and readily available means of receiving undiluted messages from the soul.
It stands to reason then that anyone who is seriously interested in spirituality and the care of the soul would take dreams seriously, but sadly this is often not the case. There are plenty of people who try to follow a spiritual path and ignore their dreams altogether! Even many psychologists who are in the field of “the study of the soul” don’t take their own dreams seriously or use dreams as a therapeutic method. The most common reasons given are that dreams are hard to remember, or are weird and hard to figure out. An often not-stated reason is that dreams can be frightening and disturbing. Also, some religious people of certain persuasions feel dreams may be the work of the devil despite the fact that the Bible recounts numerous stories where people used dreams to listen to God.
There is in Western society and in Christianity in particular, an abiding distrust of the Unconscious that has not encouraged us to explore our dreams—something not shared by our ancient ancestors and indigenous peoples who all took dreams seriously. We need to reclaim this respect if we are going to mature spiritually in a truly holistic fashion of mind, body, and spirit.
Get to Know Your Dreams
If dreams are strange and so frightening, it is perhaps like anything else we fear: it is a fear of the unknown that can be remedied by getting to know what we fear. One gets to know one’s dreams by making the following intentions and following through with them:
- Take dreams seriously.
- Tell yourself you will remember your dreams.
- Write or record them in a dream journal. Review them on occasion.
- Reflect on them for several levels of meaning rather than seek a quick and superficial answer.
- Consider that every dream has a spiritual meaning.
- Consider everything in the dream as representing an energy within yourself.
- Make associations between things and people in the dream with those in your waking life at the moment.
Doing these simple tasks of dreamwork on a regular basis will provide a profound portal to the soul, teaching much about the soul and what it has to say. You will come across an amazing, undiscovered country and you will have practiced a very effective spiritual method!