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This book reveals the fascinating inner world of soul travel, as opposed to dreams, and how that can result in heightened spiritual awareness in one's waking hours. Even for those who have difficulties remembering their dreams, John-Roger offers ways to delve into the “sleeping” part of one's life. Included is guidance on how to use dreams for advancement.
|Edition description:||Second Edition, Second edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
John-Roger, D.S.S., is the founder of the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, founder and chancellor of the University of Santa Monica and of Peace Theological Seminary & College of Philosophy; he is also the founder and spiritual adviser of the Institute for Individual & World Peace. He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows and been a featured guest on Larry King Live . He is the author and co-author of more than 50 books, including Living the Spiritual Principles of Health and Well-Being, Fulfilling Your Spiritual Promise, The Rest of Your Life, and Spiritual Warriorinspiration for the acclaimed film Spiritual Warriors. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Mandeville PressCopyright © 1992 Peace Theological Seminary & College of Philosophy
All rights reserved.
Twilight Sleep and the Dreams of the Subconscious Mind
You might think of the waking, or awake, state as being that state in which you are consciously aware of all your physical surroundings and alert in your actions and reactions in relationship to your physical environment. But the line between the waking state and the sleeping state is not hard and fast. There is no definite, clear-cut division between waking and sleeping.
During the day, you normally function in an awake state. Then, in the evening, you usually experience a period of time when you are less alert, less aware of your surroundings than you are when you're in a fully awake state. Yet you may not be asleep. You've probably seen people sit and yawn as they watch television in the evening. They may be half watching and half dozing. If you ask them to describe what they have been watching, they might not be able to give you a clear idea of the program. If you ask them if they were asleep, they might not know for sure. They've been in a sort of in-between state. I'm sure that many of you've experienced this in many different situations.
You may go to bed and decide to read for a while before going to sleep. At some point, you may realize that you haven't been paying much attention to what you've been reading. So you go back a few paragraphs and read them again. Yet when you get to the end of the page, you realize that you still don't know what you read, and you have to read it again. Are you awake or asleep? You're certainly not very alert physically. As you get to this point, you may just put the book down, turn off the light and go to sleep. Then, as you start to truly fall asleep, you lose conscious awareness of your surroundings, and you start moving through other levels of consciousness that are not as available to you when you are awake.
In those first two or three hours (the time can vary) of the sleep state, when you do not have a conscious awareness of your physical surroundings, you are actually in a twilight zone; I call this twilight sleep. It's a light sleep state. You may be just dropping off to sleep and your muscles may start to twitch or jump. You may hit your spouse, who says, "For heaven's sake, can't you just relax and go to sleep?" You might snore during this light stage of sleep. You might wake up a couple of times and check the clock to see what time it is. In other words, it's a fairly light and possibly restless sleep state.
During twilight sleep, there is dreaming. The dreams you have in this stage will probably closely correspond with the day's activities, and you'll try to resolve what has happened during the day. If there is anything that has been left unresolved in some way, you will try to complete and finish it in your dreaming. These are the dreams of the subconscious mind.
For example, someone may have said something to you during the day that you didn't like very much. Your subconscious mind may have reached out and latched on to the slight. It will emotionalize it, pull it in, and lock it into the memory pattern. Consciously, you may not even have been very aware of it, or you may have consciously dismissed it by thinking something like, "They don't know what they're talking about, anyway." Subconsciously, however, you have held on to that comment, so when you go to sleep at night, the subconscious will try to reconcile it. You might dream that you hit that person in the nose, or that you fight with them. You might go through all sorts of turmoil to complete the action.
If you've had a difficult day at work and have been under a lot of pressure, you might dream of being at work and completing more work assignments or of performing many of the things that you ordinarily do at work — typing, meeting with clients, working on projects, working with tools, etc. Whatever you do during your waking hours, you could find yourself doing more of that in the dream state.
These dreams of the subconscious, because they may be trying to resolve several different areas of your life, can appear to be very confused and scattered. A typical dream might go something like this: You go to work and your boss is there. But your mother is sitting at your desk, and when you go to the other side of the room to use another desk, your wife and kids are there eating breakfast. Then the boss gets really angry, and you become fearful that you'll be fired ... and so on. These are dreams of confusion because the activities of the day were unresolved in some way, on some level. If there is anything that was not completed during the day, you'll very often try to work it out in the dream state. One of the reasons that the dream state is so valuable is that it helps you to work out your daily problems and frustrations and to become more comfortable with yourself and your expression.
The dreams of the subconscious mind may also have to do with bodily functions. These are what I call "food dreams." If you have eaten too much food before going to bed, the peristaltic movement of food through the body will cause you to have dreams. If you go to bed very thirsty or very hungry, you may dream about obtaining food or water. This is natural because, subconsciously, you are aware of the needs of the body and will try to fulfill those needs.
Many times, youngsters who have bed-wetting problems will dream that they are in the bathroom, completing the natural process in the correct and acceptable way. Physically they're not, but their dream has been so real to them that they'll say, "But I thought I was in the bathroom." When children feel pressure on the bladder or the stimulation of the pajamas or bedding twisting around the body, they may have dreams that correlate with that pressure on the body.
It's important that youngsters who have a bed-wetting problem go to the bathroom before they go to bed at night. It will also help if they don't have anything to drink after five o'clock or so in the evening and if their bedclothes are arranged so that they will not twist around the body and cause unusual pressures. These precautions will make it easier for children to control themselves.
An adult can also suggest to the child, to their subconscious mind, that they "keep the bed nice and dry and warm" during the night. The suggestion should be phrased in the positive. If you say, "Don't wet the bed," children more than likely will because you have reinforced that action: "Wet the bed" were the last words they heard. Children will usually respond to simple, positive suggestions.
Sexual dreams, for the most part, also occur during this twilight sleep, and most often they are part of a pattern that the subconscious is attempting to resolve. If there is a person whom you find particularly attractive or desirable and the relationship is not a fulfilling one, you may dream of having sex with that person. It might fall into the "wish fulfillment" category. And, as with other bodily-function dreams, it's often the stimulation of the bedding or clothes that can initiate a sex dream.
In dream laboratories, where researchers have watched people sleep and have tested and experimented to determine the process of their dreams, the subjects have not gone below this stage of twilight sleep. Researchers have used several methods of investigation to determine when the people are dreaming and on which level they're dreaming. When a person is dreaming, even though the eyelids are closed, the eyes will appear to be watching what is going on in the dream state and will move back and forth as they follow the action of the dream. Scientists have given this process a name: rapid eye movement, or REM. By using electroencephalographs and other equipment that record brain waves, they've been able to separate and identify about five levels of dreaming within twilight sleep. As they develop more sophisticated equipment that is able to record subtler movements of brain waves, they will discover more levels.
By watching for REM and by identifying changes in brain wave activity, scientists in a laboratory situation can accurately identify when people are dreaming. They'll awaken their subjects and ask what the dream was. The dreamer may say, "I was watching people ride bicycles." Then they'll be told to go back to sleep. The dreamer goes back to sleep and starts dreaming again, is awakened again, asked about the dream, and then told to go back to sleep. All of the dreams that are reported in this stage of dreaming are the twilight sleep dreams of subconscious completion and resolution.
Scientists have found that people who are deprived of sleep and, thus, of dream experience, become disturbed. If the release process inherent in dreaming is disrupted, the subconscious does not have a chance to complete its communication efficiently in the body. People who have not had enough sleep begin to hallucinate and get angry, irritable, and hostile. We all know what happens when someone hasn't had a good night's sleep. The next day they can be like a bear with a sore paw. If people are denied sleep for a long enough period of time, they may become psychotic — not necessarily permanently psychotic, but psychotic for the period of time during which they are sleep-deprived until they are allowed to sleep and dream normally. When they can go to sleep, they will reconcile the imbalances of their lives, and their expression will move back within their bounds of normality.
The subconscious mind stands as a guardian to the consciousness, the conscious self. That is part of its function of completion during the dream state. It is attempting to reconcile for the consciousness what could not be reconciled in the awake state and, thus, to protect the consciousness from undue disturbance and turmoil. Because it serves this function, the subconscious will protect you if it feels any threat at all. If you are being observed during your sleep, it may run protection and not allow your level of sleep to drop too deep. Usually, you will not drop past the twilight sleep if you are being watched; you will stay in a light, restless sleep. This is particularly so if you are being awakened often during your sleep. For these reasons, it is very difficult for researchers to discover the deeper stages of sleep and dreaming that take place within the consciousness.CHAPTER 2
Levels of Dreaming
There are levels of consciousness beyond this physical consciousness. You are probably quite aware of the physical level. Then there is the subconscious level, which we have just been discussing. Beyond those, there is an astral level, a causal (emotional) level, a mental level, and an etheric level. And beyond even those, there is the Soul level. Each level exists both inside of you and outside of you; each is both subjective and objective. Each level may be expressed more completely and with greater perfection outside of you, but each level also expresses itself within your own consciousness.
You have a consciousness on each realm or level. That consciousness is a vehicle for your expression there. On the physical level, your vehicle for expression is the physical body. On each of the other levels, you may not have a body that would be identified as the physical body is identified. It is a body in the sense that it is a vehicle for your expression on each of these realms or levels of consciousness.
The astral consciousness can go out and travel on the astral realm, work through patterns, and perceive and know and be, just as much as you can now, in the physical consciousness. The causal consciousness can travel on the causal realm, the mental on the mental realm, and the etheric on the etheric realm. Each one of them can be on those realms and can exist there in consciousness as fully as you exist here in physical consciousness. You exist on every level of consciousness at all times. You are multidimensional. You are much more than your physical body — much more and much greater.
When you go past the stage of twilight sleep, you go very deeply into these other levels of consciousness. This is the time that you may not know you're dreaming. This is the time when the "spiritual dreams" take place. You may sometimes move quickly past the twilight sleep and into these other levels. When that happens, you might say later, "My head barely hit the pillow, and I don't remember a thing until I woke up in the morning. I don't think I moved all night long. I know something happened during the night, but I don't remember a thing." Because these levels are deep within the consciousness, it is more difficult to bring experiences of them back into conscious awareness.
As you drop past the twilight sleep, the other levels of consciousness (the other bodies) begin moving out or splitting off from the consciousness of the physical. They travel into the other realms, where there are many kinds of activities and experiences. You usually drop off into the astral body first and travel in the astral realm. Many of the actions in the dreams from this level will be closely associated with the physical realm. The reference points will, for the most part, be from the physical world. You'll see people, animals, and cities much as they exist on the physical. People and places will be more or less physically recognizable.
The lower part of the astral realm is "nightmare alley." Here you may have nightmare experiences, weird dreams of monsters, snakes, and bogeymen, etc. This is where most of your nightmares occur. Because the astral realm includes imagination, you may meet there all the monsters that you have ever imagined. In a sense, you have created there all the things that you've let your imagination dwell on and place negative energy into, and you may meet up with them as you travel that realm. In a way, it's terrific because it gives you the chance to confront them and discover that they are illusions of your own creation and not real at all. When you learn to work with the Light and the Mystical Traveler, you can ask for the presence of the Light and for the Traveler's protection, and you will usually see the monsters dissolve right in front of you. We'll talk about the Light and the Traveler in more detail in Chapter Four, "The Soul's Dreaming."
A typical dream of the astral realm might be finding yourself in a really frightening situation and trying to scream, and no sound comes out. You may try to run away and find that you can't move or that you are running in slow motion. The scenes may shift rapidly. When a monster gets too close, you may suddenly find that you're someplace else. There may be a pervading sense of stickiness or heaviness in these dreams. In the morning, you might say, "I'd like to tell you about this dream, but I don't think I have the vocabulary or the skill or the time."
The experiences on the astral realm may also be highly emotional at times. Your fear patterns, your worry patterns, and your negative patterns are often based in the astral realm. You may have a lot of fear in relation to the astral because you may have been there before and not liked your experience. When your muscles twitch and jump, or when you feel as if you're falling and you jerk as you hit bottom, you are probably moving into the lower part of the astral realm. Sensing, but not necessarily knowing, that you are moving into an area that's not too nice, the consciousness resists going there, and you may find this jerking process going on.
The high part of the astral realm is very beautiful. Many people in metaphysical circles refer to this area as Summerland. It has majestic cities, and the people there are very beautiful. It might be similar to the traditional concept of heaven, with pearly gates, streets of gold, and that sort of thing. If you visit this part of the astral realm, you'll probably enjoy it very much.
Perhaps more than 99 percent of the people on this planet astral travel at night. You don't have to be asleep to astral travel, but it's often easier to travel if the physical consciousness is not active. One way to travel astrally while you are awake is through daydreaming. When you create imaginary situations and scenes in your mind and move through them and they become almost as real or even more real to you than the physical world, you are usually in the astral consciousness. These scenes that you create or have created in your mind may take place in the astral realm.
It's important to become aware of what a powerful creator you are. There is nothing that you put into motion through your mind and emotions that is not recorded somewhere, and these creations will often come back to you when you least want them. It really pays to be very careful about what you imagine, or "image in" to your consciousness.
The next level of consciousness that splits off from the physical during dreaming is the causal. The experiences of the causal consciousness may still have some elements of the imagination present, but the primary experience will be emotional. You might wake up just loving the whole world. Or you might wake up hating your next breath. These will be keys for you that you have been traveling on the causal realm. Often, you won't remember seeing specific people or places, but you'll have a strong, strong feeling. You might say, "I had this terrible dream. I can't remember what it was about, but I was terrified." Or "I can't remember where I was or what I was doing, but I was in the most beautiful place. It was so nice and peaceful." These are probably from the causal realm of consciousness.
As you drop more deeply into the sleep state, the mental consciousness may split off and travel into the mental realm. The dreams or experiences you have on this level may seem unusual because you will wake up knowing that you were taught something during the night. You'll know you were in a class. Most often, if you've been on the mental plane, you may not see people or remember particular places. Your memory will probably be more related to ideas, knowledge, and thoughts; it will be a mental process. You may remember hearing part of a lecture or someone reading out of a book, but you may not be able to remember anything of the lesson. You might try paying closer attention. The more information you can bring back from the sleep state, the more valuable these experiences can be to you.
Excerpted from Dream Voyages by John-Roger. Copyright © 1992 Peace Theological Seminary & College of Philosophy. Excerpted by permission of Mandeville Press.
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