LEARNING BY DOING
The process of dream interpretation is born out of the fundamental concepts just laid out. It is not necessary, however, for you to have a deep understanding of these concepts. Nor is it necessary for you to fully accept them as true in order to make use of this process. These concepts are only mentioned so that you have some notion as to the basis of how and why this process works. Sometimes knowing the how and why of a thing makes grasping the what much easier. At least this has been my experience.
Another thing which has been my experience is that learning by doing is usually more effective than simply consuming dry data. Therefore, as this dream interpretation process is described, it is recommended that you select a dream of your own to be interpreted as you follow along with the explanation of this process.
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The Dream Worksheets
Select a memorable dream (the more recent the better) for this exercise. You’re going to describe your dream using the Dream Worksheet which follows this section. The front side of the worksheet is in a table layout. Once it’s filled out, reviewing your dream in this format will make it much easier for you to break your dream down and uncover its meaning at a glance. The table format also gives you a speedy way to highlight the prominent elements or symbols in your dream (the people, places, things and activities), with their corresponding time reference.
The time reference of your dream elements indicates their period origin. This period origin may be from a past life; or it may be from your present incarnation; or it may point to a future point in your present incarnation; or the origin may not be based in any of your physical periods at all, but may be an astral experience. Remember, to your unconscious mind there is no distinction among past, present and future; physical experience or astral experience. They’re all the same thing. So as the unconscious mind selectively pulls elements from your experiences in order to fashion them into a dream narrative, these elements may come from any point in time (past, present or future / physical or astral). The unconscious mind makes no distinction whatsoever; however, your conscious mind still needs the ability to recognize where these elements came from so that it may better understand why they were in your dream.
If you don’t readily recognize an element in your dream (if you do recognize it, it indicates that it derives from your present incarnation), you’ll need to rely on the feeling evoked by the element in your dream in order to place it in one of the other time references.
Past Time Reference: Anything which felt completely familiar or appropriate to you in your dream, but upon awakening this same element seems foreign to you should go under the classification of Past Time Reference. Many times we’ll have dreams where we recognize ourselves in the dream, even though we are in a different body. In these instances, the “person” dream element that is you is a clear Past Time Reference. You are getting a glimpse of yourself from a previous incarnation. I had a dream once where I recognized myself in the body of a White man wearing a track running uniform. I had wild black hair and beard that could have made a fair number of Hassidic Jews envious. It was simultaneously cool, funny and somewhat disturbing upon awakening as I came to the realization that this was one of the people I’d been in a past life.
Present Time Reference: Everything that you can identify or associate with some aspect of your life should be classified under Present Time Reference. If you dream you’re in your house, and upon awakening you recognize the house in your dream (maybe it’s the house you’re living in now or the house that you lived in when you were eight years old – as long as you do consciously recognize the house, or the house very clearly reminds you of a place which you are consciously familiar with), then this “place” element would be from your Present Time Reference.
Future Time Reference: Anything which sparks a feeling of genuine surprise or revelation should be classified under Future Time Reference. Let’s say in your waking life you have a “tin ear.” But you have a dream where you’re expected to play a classical piano solo at Symphony Hall. Even in your dream you’re sweating bullets because as far as you know you don’t know how to play the piano. It’s curtain time, you’re on stage, the crowd applauds and waits for you to begin. You take a breath, say a prayer and begin pressing keys and lo and behold! It turns out that you’re actually a fantastic piano player! This “activity” element would be from a Future Time Reference because it was news to you (even in the dream) that you had the ability to do this.
Spiritual Time Reference: Anything which, even upon awakening, still feels as real to you as the nose on your face should be classified under Spiritual Time Reference. These are the elements that give you goose bumps because they’re so vivid and feel so awesomely authentic. I had a dream once where I saw the planets of our solar system floating outside my window. It scared the daylights out of me because it was so very vivid and felt so very real. I had that dream over twelve years ago and I still get chills whenever I recall it.
Use one of your dreams and fill out the table on the front of the following worksheet. On the back of the worksheet there are some additional questions. Fill them out in short answer. These questions will aid you in deriving deeper meaning from your dream interpretation.
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Dream Worksheet 1
Dream Worksheet 2
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