The Flow of Dreams

In the high mountains above Boulder, lush with new growth and bright flowers, the streams are running full with snow melt and summer rain. Watching the water rush downhill with a great joyful exuberance, I think the flow of the mind, of our thoughts. Sometimes clear and directed, sometimes slower and spreading out, or going round and round in pools or eddies.

Several weeks ago, when the snows were lower on the mountains, I saw something new to me. Many little streams and draws were on the surface, but some water was flowing below ground, under huge embedded boulders, through the earth, surfacing in places from nowhere to flow above ground awhile and then vanish again under the surface. Like water flowing under ice and snow in the winter.

Consider now the flow of the dreaming mind. We talk of having a dream, as if it is something that comes and goes. Whether you have lots of dreams or very few, most of us know that we dream more often than we remember. In any case we believe that dreams are intermittent. But have you ever fallen half asleep in a class or a meeting, experiencing bits of dream that come and go? It often seems to me as if the dream is ongoing, like a TV program that I get pieces of every time I slip back into sleep. Like a broadcast, that dream seems to be going on whether my conscious self is paying attention or not. If I wake up for a while, it goes on underneath, until I drift back asleep and catch up with it a little later on in the story.

Have you ever had this experience?

Perhaps the fact that we are usually awake for long periods of time, so that the dream story or program has completely changed, means we don’t usually notice this dream state continuity. We think that it is only our waking self that has continuity, while the dream level only exists for isolated periods when we are asleep. I wonder, however, if the dream level is also continuous, though often under the surface and out of awareness, like the snow melt. Perhaps its always there, weaving its own level of story, by its own rules.

It has long seemed to me likely that there are higher levels of awareness and Self that we tap into occasionally, or even regularly, during meditation, or other peak experiences, that are none the less always present and ongoing. Or conscious attention and awareness may catch them or not, but our Soul’s thoughts form their own flow and continuum.

Perhaps the subconscious, the dream levels, are another level of ongoing mental flow, which we may learn to collect and channel, like the rushing stream, freeing it from its eddies and stagnant pools, to move joyfully and playfully towards the sea, towards our wholeness and Self. What is it like to live not in one stream of awareness, but in all of them? weaving these various on-going levels of Self into a coherent whole? or letting them weave you? Like the spring streams, there is more to you than meets the conscious awareness, more useful and purposeful than you know.

Feel into the truth of this for yourself. Invite this fuller awareness to come to you, sleeping, awake, or transcendent, a woven flow leading downhill to the Self.

(© 7/2013)

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