Big Dreams, Little Dreams
- Wednesday, 24 December 2008
In a recent e-mail conversation with a colleague, we talked about a mutual friend's "Big Dream." We were not referring to her hopes and dreams for the future, rather to a specific dream that seemed to take her beyond the everyday concerns typical of so many dreams. This particular dream took her to a place where she experienced both her spirit and beyond, in a transpersonal connection with Spirit. In other words, her dreams were about more than her individual psychology; her dreams took her to a place that felt spiritual.
A Big Dream is commonly understood to refer to a dream that has an enormous impact on the dreamer and reflects the archetypal realm. This realm is where we share beliefs and ideas with one another that transcend individual differences or regional customs. For example, if you dream about the archetype of “mother,” any human being on the planet would understand what that means, and that meaning would be similar cross-culturally. It is through this realm of the deeply symbolic that a Big Dream transports us, directly connecting us to the realm of Spirit. Dream shaman, Robert Moss, writes of Big Dreams in his book Conscious Dreaming where he explains that to the Iroquois, Big Dreams bring us information about our health or survival. So, big dreams can be practical, not only spiritual, with potentially life saving import, simultaneously putting us in touch with the “wishes of our soul.”
Unlike this Big Dream, my colleague mentioned her dream about “shopping for paper towels.” She wrote, “Contrast my paper towel dream to hers! I feel so un-evolved!” She was only partially kidding. She understood that dreams of any size and topic are important, yet in the same breath she diminished the value of her own “mundane” dreams. I have occasionally been guilty of the same thing. We are in good company; I have heard this come from the mouths of all the members of my dream groups over the years. They report, “I just had one little dream. It’s not about anything important.” The truth is, we all have Big Dreams, we just haven’t been taught to value our dreams so the special energy or messages of Spirit are often hard to recognize in the common symbols of daily life.
Dreams are holographic in nature and as spiritual beings, I believe that all aspects of who we are can be found in each ordinary “little” dream that we remember. A hologram is a picture, made through the specific focus of two sources of light that create a three-dimensional picture of the object being photographed. The metaphor of a hologram comes from the fact that if it were cut in half, the whole could be found in each of the parts. If we consider the fact that we live in a holographic universe, and that body, mind and spirit are not separate, and the whole is present within each part, then we have to consider the possibility that dreams cannot be sliced and diced into separate categories of meaning. Or, at least when we do that, we have to understand that we are creating artificial separations in the dreamer.
Every dream has multiple layers of meaning. While we often take that approach when we work with dreams, I find that ultimately we still fall into the same trap of categorizing dreams. So I wonder, what if every dream had a body-mind-spirit message? What if, like a hologram, all of those realms are present in each dream? It would mean that every ordinary dream carries extraordinary wisdom just waiting to be mined and used for our spiritual awakening, for emotional and physical health, and for the on-going journey of discovery that we call life. Isn’t it time you discovered your own “Big Dreams?”