Read an Excerpt
I hope you will read this book as if it were a series of letters to you from a lover who is on a voyage. Each section in the book describes how our dreams guide us through the different legs of the great spiritual journey of life--the journey to understanding ourselves and the journey to love. We are all on this voyage, whether we know it or not. It's not an option; it's a deep and undeniable reality. The love letters in this book are designed to help you make this life pilgrimage with more clarity, more understanding, more grace.
Those of us who take this spiritual journey seriously devote time and energy to deepen and evolve our knowledge of it. We meditate, we study how the masters and mystics have taken the journey, and we strive to be conscious of our own spiritual unfolding. Others are more casual about this part of life, occasionally attending church or simply following the traditions of our parents' religion. And, unfortunately, large numbers of us have chosen to live in denial of the spiritual element of our lives.
Yet it doesn't matter what we think or do. We may have abandoned our spiritual self altogether. Philosophy and religious thought may never have entered our waking consciousness. That doesn't essentially change anything. Our spiritual self doesn't abandon us. We still dream. Sleep still regenerates us, and dreams still guide us unwittingly on our path.
These stories are like messages--letters, if you will--from the level of the soul. Like letters, these dream stories must be opened, read, and understood or else the communication is incomplete and ineffective.
What Is the Soul?
In order to fully appreciate the dream teachings, it's important for us towork with the same definition of the term soul. I titled this book Dreams Are Letters from THE Soul--as opposed to Dreams Are Letters from YOUR Soul--for a very specific reason. My journeys into soul consciousness have taught me something very important: Soul is collective, not personal. When I use the term soul I refer to a vast level of consciousness--one that exists before, beyond, and throughout the separation and isolation that we experience as individuals in human form. Soul is impersonal because it is universal. It is a unifying term, not a separating one. We are not individual souls. We are instead individuations of a collective level of soul consciousness.
Picture a meadow on a partly cloudy day. Think of the sun hiding behind a cloud. You can see beams of light shooting out. They look like spotlights, searchlights if you will, radiating from behind the cloud. In your imagination, follow one of those beams and allow it to illuminate a tree some distance from you. In this analogy, the sun is the source of life, or the Creator's light, veiled by the cloud. The cloud veil consists of the thoughts and beliefs (yours and the collective's) that both prevent you from experiencing the Creator directly and protect you from receiving too much cosmic energy too quickly. In a sense, this veil prevents the "spiritual sunburn" that might occur to your nervous system if you are infused with energy for which you are not physically prepared. The tree is you, rooted in the ground of your motherlike Earth, stretching toward the light of your fatherlike sun. The sunbeam is the soul.
The soul is the avenue through which the realm of the cosmos (the Creator or God) communicates with the realm of form. It is not a personal sunbeam. It is a transpersonal source of Love. It is the tree's connection to The Source. The sunbeam is the vehicle through which the tree and the sun relate.
The level of soul from which our dream letters come is a unified level. When we sleep, we melt into universal consciousness, and the soul imprints messages into our minds. Those messages are designed to inspire us to remember our essential natures. Our dream stories are what we recall of that imprint, and they guide our spiritual journey.
What Does This Book Tell Me About Dreams and the Soul?
Each section of this book speaks about the different kinds of messages we receive and the different levels of Love we experience through dreaming. As we develop deeper alignments and clearer lines of communication with the level of the soul, we also develop more sophisticated types of dreaming.
Part One recounts some of my adventures in the dreamtime. In it, I tell you a little of my personal biography, using my story to bring out some important teachings about the true nature of humanity's most common spiritual practice--dreaming. I hope my story will evoke your story.
Part Two describes a level of dreaming that I call the personal dream. In these dreams we learn more about ourselves--our own psychology, our own journey, and the unique gifts that we have to offer.
Part Three describes collective dreaming. These dreams take us outside ourselves so that we access information not local to us. In this type of dreaming we telepathically and clairvoyantly receive data from a collective information source.
Part Four discusses the transformative dreams we can access once we've developed our spiritual skills. These dreams heal us, teach us, advise us, and show us how to heal and teach others in dreamtime.
In Part Five, I discuss the most subtle types of dreaming that humans encounter. In these dreams we meet up with other dreamers and work together in the dreamscapes. Through these dreams we literally effect changes on our planet. Sometimes we even work outside our planetary consciousness to help design the flow of cosmic energy.
In Part Six, I give you, to the best of my ability, some guidelines on how a dreamer lives and interfaces with a world that is seemingly in chaos and at war with itself.
Finally, I encourage you to pay special attention to the wording and phrasing of the dreams I share with you in this book. How a dreamer reports her dreams gives the listener or reader important clues as to the mood of the dream experience and the unspoken feelings surrounding the dream story. Whenever possible I've presented the dreams exactly as they were written in the dreamer's journal to preserve the precise frame of mind of the dreamer as she remembered the story.
Dreaming and the Moon
In a previous book, The Woman's Book of Dreams: Dreaming as a Spiritual Practice, I introduced some fairly radical--although I believe ancient--ideas about dreaming and its connection to the moon. Since the moon is our night-light, she has a great deal of influence over what we experience as we sleep. She is the light, the cosmic energy, that guides us through our nightly journeys. Her phase, her location in the heavens, and how her energies might be interfacing with the personality of the dreamer all impact enormously on our dreaming patterns.
As a part of their regular dreaming practice, I encourage my students to look up the phase and location of the moon on the night they have a dream, and to chart their dreams according to the moon's monthly movement through the zodiac. This type of familiarity with the moon and its effect on dreaming gives you a sense of the cyclical nature of dreams and of your personal dream patterns. For example, you will most likely find that you have similar dream themes on the full moon every month. In Dreams Are Letters from the Soul, I refer occasionally to the astrology of the moon as I discuss the various types of dreaming in each section.
Also in this book I speak of "dream circles." This is an ancient prayer form, and it is the way I encourage people to work with their dreams. It involves meeting with a group of trusted dreamers on a regular basis, creating a sacred space, and through ceremony moving into dreamtime (while awake) together to explore the spiritual energies that inform and inspire dreaming. If you are interested in dream circles but don't know of a circle in your area, go to our website. We have an online circle there, and you may find ways to connect with other dreamers in your area.
The popularity of my first book surprised me. I discovered that many people long to discuss their dreams with someone who recognizes their spiritual source--someone who moves beyond the psychological and personal messages of the dream into the collective arena. Dreams Are Letters from the Soul resulted from the many requests I've received to go further with the discussion of dreaming as a spiritual practice.