My Dream Philosophy
What do dreams show us?
My experience of the world is of a place filled with souls and spirits, each one on a journey of becoming. All these beings are moving through an underlying fabric, a kind of many-coloured shimmering tapestry. Each colour is what some call an “energy”, a kind of fundamental motivation, or inspiration.
The spirits of the world express these energies – through their actions, their creative works, and their sacred rituals – and through this expression they grow, change, add their own patterns to the tapestry, and finally outgrow the world.
Some of these energies attract people together, some drive people apart. Some inspire people to great deeds of kindness and heroism, some inspire deeds of cruelty and horror.
As spirits come together they work together, share and exchange energies. Sometimes spirits enhance and enliven each other, sometimes they diminish and dishearten each other.
Each spirit has a path that it is destined to tread, colours it must express, energies that must be absorbed or given out. But that does not make life or the world pre-destined: we have choices, too. Some people choose to imprison certain energies, refuse to let them out, while others fixate on a particular colour, and force out that energy to an extreme.
We can choose how we express energies, too. We can express ourselves selfishly and in isolation from others, or we can choose to share our inspirations. We can choose to become rich ourselves, or we can choose to enrich our whole community. Either way we express richness, but one way is bad for everyone, while the other way is good for everyone.
We can choose to protect ourselves from attack with anger, or we can let ourselves be defeated and then be angry at the rest of the world for not protecting us. Either way we express anger, but one way is bad for everyone, while the other way is good for everyone.
It is important we understand our energies, which ones are blocked, which ones we are over-expressing; how we are being selfish, how we can share more. As Jung and Freud stated, these things reside in the “unconscious”, beyond our knowledge. There are many clues, watching our own behaviour, watching how people behave towards us. But the most direct, insightful, but often puzzling, window onto our energies and our destinies is our dreams.
What does Dreamcraft do?
I try to witness, to encourage, to affirm, to inspire people to reach into themselves and bring out their best, to enthuse people to meet their destinies, find their vocations, and bring their own love to the world, in their own unique, individual way.
I see my work as helping people to meet their destinies. Facilitating people to release the energies they have contained, and providing calmness for people to take a rest from over-expressing energies on which they have become fixated. Allowing people to reflect on ways they can express energy – positive ways that benefit the whole community, or negative ways that harm everyone.
At its root this is very simple: Every energy, each stitch of pain or thread of anger, each scene of joy or inspiration, moments of shame, sighs of regret … every fibre of colour in the universe needs expression and loving witness.
Why this is, I do not know. It is simply what I have seen. A soul in pain that is alone and isolated will ebb and fade and attract cruel and angry energies. A soul in pain that is witnessed supportively and with love (even if only by one other) will heal, flourish, and attract energies of inspiration and support.
When I first encountered this tapestry of energy, it made no sense to me, crashed over me like the chaos of a breaking wave. But through the years I have found that sense can made of this flow, these streaming colours. These energies seem to follow certain patterns, or laws, more intuitive than the laws and theories of science. These are the insights of psychotherapy and theory of mind, the knowledge of dream and symbolism.
I am not a spiritual teacher, guru, or shaman. Dreamcraft participants interpret their own dreams, discover and express their own energies, create their own symbolism and sacred rituals. I can teach some methods of interpretation, theories of mind, creative techniques and ideas about ritual. But I don't instruct or interpret, I nurture disobedience, and do not mediate with spirits.
How is Dreamcraft related to mental illness and healing?
All things have spirits: people, animals, trees, plants … and also places, rocks, houses, springs, rivers, clouds. The energies we express affect the energies expressed towards us. How we are to others affects how others react to us. If we express the wrong energies, then even inanimate objects can seem to persecute us – we can become accident prone, or isolated and alone.
But the converse is true as well. Once we are expressing the right energies, following our destinies with kindness and compassion, then even inanimate objects can seem to support and aid us in our work.
Thus I do not adhere to established models of illness and healing. We are all following our destinies to a greater or lesser degree. As we fall away from our destinies we become unhappy at first, and then depressed. We may then begin to feel persecuted, suffer terrifying nightmares, see frightening visions involuntarily. We may then descend into the hellish places labelled psychosis and paranoia, and ultimately lose the will to live.
Conversely, as we rediscover or recover our destinies, so we become happier, more fulfilled, more confident in our fellow humans, more in control of our spiritual experiences. Life recovers its sense of meaning, we recover our will, our hope, and the sense that the struggle of life might, after all, be worthwhile.
This does not mean that we can live blissfully forever after without suffering. We still grieve for loved ones when they die, we still suffer traumatic accidents, crippling illnesses and apparently insurmountable life challenges. This world is not an easy place in which to live … but if we live in it well and share both our joys and burdens, it’s easier to find the necessary strength and the help we need. Grief will relinquish it’s grip more quickly and the sting of pain will be comforted. Joy and celebration will begin to take an equal place next to sadness and regret.
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