As we approach the third millennium, a time generally agreed upon to be a revolution in global communication, the most significant advancements may involve what is happening within us more than what is happening around us. Significant evolutionary developments in consciousness, particularly linking dreaming to creative genius, are being recognized and developed by researchers at the School of Metaphysics (SOM), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to progressive, wholistic education.
The proliferation in worldwide dream research during the 1900’s is as much a response to man’s inner, evolutionary need for Self revelation as to his outer curiosity about an experience he shares with everyone else on the planet yet knows painfully little about. For the last quarter of this century SOM researchers have explored the role dreaming plays in altering and in reflecting changes in mankind’s consciousness. Drawing upon the dream experiences of young and old, rich and poor, formally educated or self-taught, devout or irreligious, the world has become a schoolroom teaching us the difference between fact and fantasy, truth and myth.
An Evolutionary Gauge
As it turns out dreams are more than experiences of the day senselessly replayed; psychic garbage to be dumped. They are also more than veiled memos to yourself from yourself. SOM research indicates dreams are an evolutionary gauge for humanity. Dreams give insight into our past and portend our future both as individuals and as a race of people. The wide range of metaphysical knowledge – be it informative, precognitive, or revelatory – available in dreamstates, indicates an escalation of subconscious activity seen before only in the rare individual: the visionary, the scientist, the philosopher, the artist, the statesman. Now, however, the quickening seems to be occurring more often, and to more people.
The ability to dream is not uniquely human, evidence of brain activity that points to dreaming occurs in studies with animals and even plants. The ability to remember dreams and describe the memory is uniquely human and what occurs while our outer consciousness is sleeping reveals fertile potential. In fact, history illustrates that remembering dreams advances humanity, as well as the individual.
The creative genius is mindful of dreams, seeking to incorporate nocturnal images into his or her waking work. The list is indeed impressive – from Danish physicist Niels Bohr who conceived the model of an atom from a dream, to composer George Frederic Handel who heard the last movements of The Messiah during a dream, from Elias Howe who received in a dream the image of the kind of needle design required for a lock-stitch sewing machine to Mohammed to whom the Koran was revealed in dreams. All of our lives have been enriched because these people cooperated with the workings of their inner minds.
Researchers believe the increased subconscious activity prevalent in the outstandingly creative will increasingly be experienced by all of us. Dreaming reveals the inner mind's intuitive range in several remarkable ways.
1] Flashes of brilliance and genius.
Intuition is the direct grasp of truth. While the outer, waking conscious mind must discern truth through reasoning and direct experience, intuition frees man to draw upon timeless truths that are universally applicable. These are transcendental truths. They exist independent of physical differences, regardless of age, race, nationality, culture, while being relevant to all whether ourselves, our neighbors next door, or the strangers half a world away. Colerdige’s Kubla Khan or Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, both arising from their authors’ dreams, have outlived their creators because they embody universal truths that apply to anyone, any time, any where.
Rene Descartes, 17th century mathematician and philosopher, also realized transcendental truths because he was attentive to the workings of his inner mind. He experienced illumined perspectives from dreams that led to his theory of dualism: man’s physical body functions in a manner similar to that of other animals while his mind operates on a metaphysical basis under the influence of the soul. Descartes’ discovery of Analytical Geometry was the result of a dream which revealed that all sciences could be combined through mathematics. Such insights will become more common place as mankind enters the next century.
2] Problem solving.
Different parts of mind have unique functions to perform. When all are working, cooperatively, they are like an orchestra or like the revolving of the planets around the sun. Human consciousness is a cohesive effort that is at once individual and collective. The coming together produces what would be impossible for any one part to accomplish alone. Thus what the waking, conscious mind spends days and even years pursuing is brought to fruition within seconds by the subconscious mind in the form of a dream.
Consider Dmitri Mendeleyev. A Russian chemist during the mid-1800’s, Mendeleyev was trying to create a means to categorize the chemical elements based upon their atomic weights. “I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required,” he reported. “Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper. Only in one place did a correction later seem necessary.” As a result of this dream, the Periodic Table of Elements was created.
Many times an answer appears as it did for Mendeleyev in a dream. In the coming years, people will reach beyond physical knowledge to cure the malaise in the world. They will turn more and more to the inner fount of creativity and guidance for solutions. Whether gained through lucid dreams or waking visions, the results of this self-reliance will be a responsive positive consciousness that generates a productive society.
About two weeks before his assassination, Abraham Lincoln dreamed he heard sobbing. Leaving his bed he sought the source; arriving in the East Room he saw a coffin lying on a platform. When asked who was dead, the soldiers guarding the body said, “The President. He was killed by an assassin.” When the dream came to pass only days later, the president was laid in state in the East Room guarded by soldiers.
Prophecy is an intuitive ability arising from clairvoyance, the capacity for “clear seeing”. It is part of the innate nature of subconscious mind that we are able to see lines of probability. Some people fear this, preferring to not know the probable outcome. Most of us ignore clairvoyant perceptions and so find ourselves in the same kind of difficulties, over and over and over, maybe different people, maybe a different setting, but the same themes recur in our experiences. As long as we ignore we cannot learn, and increasingly we will find our denial brings nightmares that will not be ignored.
We must stop rejecting our own supernatural development, and embrace the transition into intuitiveness. WWII American General George S. Patton is an example of someone who respected his intuitive foresight. He believed in his psychic faculties, often calling his secretary to dictate battle plans that had appeared in his dreams. One involved a successful surprise attack on German troops just as they readied an offensive on Christmas Day during the Battle of the Bulge. When we accept our ability to clearly see, the choices we make in life produce a very different outcome, changing the lines of probability. Prophecy is man’s next step in understanding the full meaning and impact of freedom.
4] Peace of Mind.
Peace of Mind is the most prized state known to man. Yet money cannot buy it. It is not acquired by birth or by association. Someone else cannot give it to you. Inner peace must be cultivated by every individual through his own desire and effort. Establishing a rapport with the subconscious mind is a first step toward inner peace. Being attentive to your dreams indicates your desire for that rapport.
Salvador Dali's fascination with dreams began upon reading Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams which he said was one of the discoveries of his life. He tried to preserve his dream imagery on canvas calling his work "hand-painted dream photographs." A surrealist, Dali's goal was the resolution of two states, dream and reality, into an absolute reality. The most famous surreal painting, flexible watches melting over a barren branch, is Persistence of Memory painted by Salvador Dali.
In many cultures the bringer of dreams, the subconscious mind, is known as the soul. Your subconscious mind is capable of permanent memory, recall beyond the present life experience. Your subconscious mind is not a physical part of you; it is not capable of peace depriving, misery-making attachment. The soul offers objective guidance based upon the direct grasp of truth. A knowledgeable and workable relationship with your own inner self, or subconscious mind, transforms your awareness of what is real. Dreaming enables us to experience other realities where we exist and live independently of the physical world's limitations. Learn to exist in both worlds and peace of mind is yours.
5] Accelerating soul progression.
Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre, told a friend she used dreams to help her describe sensations she had no way of understanding in reality. If she needed to know what it would feel like to take opium, she would fall asleep "wondering what it was like, or how it would be." When she would awake, she would describe her dream experiences, incorporating them into her novels.
The subconscious mind utilizes a universal language for communication that transverses territorial boundaries, cultures, religious beliefs, even the limits of personal experience. These are all of the physical world; dreams are of the spiritual realm. Research shows dreams are potentially Self-revelatory messages sent by your subconscious mind while your waking mind is at rest. They bring freedom; the blind see, the lame walk, the pauper is a king. In dreams you can be anyone and anything. It is mind expanding to realize that the physical world is only one realm for experience. As is true with the waking choices you make each day, how you respond to this freedom determines whether your consciousness is enriched from the experience or untouched by it.
Recognizing dreams as the means for inner mind communication enables you to relate on deeper levels. This kind of Self knowledge is what everyone is seeking. Courting this knowledge accelerates your soul progression thereby enhancing humanity's evolution.
6] Fulfilling spiritual destiny.
People describe destiny in different words: a calling, God's will, fate, a sense of mission, or even lucky coincidence. Whatever the description, adhering to the spiritual destiny your soul reveals to you brings the peace of mind each of us seek. Many have found their destinies revealed in the form of a dream. Such accounts are recorded in holy scriptures of every culture. Accounts of destiny and fulfillment abound throughout the Bible, from Jacob’s dream of a stairway to heaven to the angel Gabriel appearing to Joseph to announce the coming of the birth of Jesus to John’s dream which is the entire Book of Revelation. Much of the Koran, the sacred book of the Muslims, was revealed to Muhammed in dreams. Gautama's (who became the Buddha) mother, Queen Maya, dreamed of her immaculately conceived offspring before his birth, as did Mary the mother of Jesus.
Seeking meaning in dreams is the result of enhanced awareness, a self-consciousness that precedes destiny's other-consciousness. Those who seek relevance in dreams usually find it, and many have changed history because of it. Before the American Civil War, Harriet Tubman successfully made nineteen trips leading hundreds of other slaves to freedom claiming dreams helped her find safe routes. The nonviolent mass strikes of 1919 were a turning point in India’s efforts to achieve self-determination. After weeks of meditation, Mohandas Gandhi dreamed the people of India could suspend their usual business activities for twenty-four hours, devoting that time to fasting and prayer. His dream served as the inspiration for the strikes which helped free his people from British colonial rule. Tubman and Gandhi both found the meaning of their lives enriched and their destinies fulfilled because they listened to their dreams. Listening to your dreams gives you security; they are your soul's feedback concerning how you are conducting your life and what you can do to make your life better.
Most people do not count themselves among those who are historically noteworthy, but research shows we should for what these dreamers experienced sheds light on the future for all of us. Research indicates that people who are creative, or who are religious, remember their dreams more than others. This reflects the expansiveness of their consciousness, their willingness to think in innovative ways. Dreamers whose ideas change the way we live are influential thinkers because they are using more of their potential than their contemporaries. They are evolutionary pioneers. In addition to brain power, they draw upon the inner resources of subconscious mind for inspiration, problem solving, and creativity. The clearest indication of the ascent of subconscious activity is a proclivity toward intuition. Awake or asleep, intuition is a porthole for ageless wisdom. It is a mental satellite sending and receiving thought, an internal equivalent to the Internet's information superhighway connecting all subconscious minds. Become aware of the many facets of your dreams, and you accelerate your own evolution and soul progression.
Dream awareness produces a consciousness that is very open and receptive as well as curious and quizzical, not skeptical in shutting things out but open-minded in terms of discovery. This awareness makes you much more inclined to be attentive to any experience whether awake with your eyes open or in the closed-eyed reverie of a meditative dream state. You pay more attention to what those experiences are and you look for the meaning in them. You actively seek the truth experiences bring. And to this end it is well that we remember the advice of Friedrick A. von Kekule.
A chemistry professor from Belgium, von Kekule had been attempting for some time to solve the structural riddle of the benzene molecule. He fell asleep in a chair and began to dream of atoms flitting before his eyes, forming various structures and patterns. Eventually some long rows of atoms formed and began to twist in a snakelike fashion. Suddenly one of the snakes seized hold of its own tail and began to whirl in a circle.
Kekule awoke "as if by a flash of lightning." He constructed a model of a closed ring with an atom of carbon and hydrogen at each point of the hexagon. This discovery revolutionized chemistry.
When Kekule described his dream-discovered insight to a scientific convention in 1890, he concluded his presentation by urging the audience, "Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then we may perhaps find the truth."
Barbara Condron has studied dreams all her life, researching and teaching dream interpretation for the last two decades through the School of Metaphysics. She has authored a dozen books including The Dreamer's Dictionary, an extensive reference book based upon the School's dream research. Condron is International Coordinator for the National Dream Hotline® an educational hotline offered by SOM the last weekend in April each year.