THE THEATRES OF THE SOUL
on a Dreams Retreat by Rev. Colin Andrews
Two: Some Practical Suggestions in Dealing with Our Dreams
1. The first thing we can do with our dreams is to write them down.
- Why? Because it ‘fixes’ the dream in our minds and helps to
make it a permanent part of the memory. It also gives us a record of
our dreams that enables us to go back over them, see the pattern that is
emerging and the way the different dreams relate to each other. Writing
down dreams is also a way of giving recognition to the unconscious.
- After a dream has been recorded the next step is to walk around
in it; make a friend of it. The dream is like a story or a parable and
you, the dreamer, are involved in it. Explore your own story! Ask yourself
what it felt like to be in the dream. Did you experience fear, joy,
beauty, curiosity? What are the figures who appeared to you? Did you like
them or shun them? Walk around in the dream and reflect. Work with it.
‘Ripen the dream’.
- Use your dreams as objects of meditation or active imagination.
Meditation involves contemplation of an image. Active imagination is
interaction with an image. Prayer can also be used in working with dreams.
For example, a dream figure who needs help - a retarded child or injured
- Ask questions: Why did this dream come to me? Does it show me
an unpleasant side of me l have ignored? Does it affirm me by showing me
something in a positive light? Does it surprise me with something totally
unexpected? Does it comment upon some choice or decision I am making? This
will unfold unwrap its meaning.
- We can discuss our dreams with a friend or a spiritual
director. Our culture needs dreams badly. We are spiritually deprived
people. Our souls are hungry, and if we are not filled with the right food
we will fill ourselves with the wrong food. Humans cannot go empty for
long. It is a marvellous thought that every night the Spirit sends us food
for our souls in the form of dreams. ‘Human beings do not live on bread
alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
- Your dream will never tell you anything that you already know.
So begin on this basis that the dream is pointing out a ‘blind spot.’ Beat
down the resistance to do inner work and get down to the meaning of your
- Repetitive dreams: God pounding on your heart. ‘Please sit
up and take some notice and listen to what I am saying - I told you
forty-five times and this is now the forty-sixth time, when will of
- Dreams are a subjective phenomenon - 90% of dreams are a
portrayal of the inner situation of the dreamer - portraying a part of our
own personality: ‘What part of me is that?’ our interior life laid out for
us (again the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious.)
- The dream will never waste so much as one word, anymore than a
master playwright would waste one sentence or one bit of scenery on the
stage if s/he were trying to tell you something of importance. What a
superb way of showing you to you! But that will take a long time to get through
all the detail. Yes it will. But, if you see through one dream and
understand it you will save yourself many dreams in future!
2. Key Questions for Responding to Dreams:
Respond to as many questions as you choose.
In selecting usually go with your greatest positive or negative energy
- How am I, as dream ego, acting in this dream?
- What symbols in this dream are important to me?
- What are the various feelings in this dream?
- What are the various actions in this dream?
- What relation, if any, does this dream have to what is
happening right now in my life? To something in my future? To something in
- Who or what is the adversary in this dream?
- What is the helping or healing force in this dream?
- What is being wounded in this dream?
- What is being healed in this dream?
- What would l like to avoid in this dream?
- What actions might this dream be suggesting I consider?
- What does this dream want from me?
- What questions does this dream ask of me?
- What choices can I, and will I, make as a result of working
with this dream?
- Why did I need this dream?
- Why am I not dealing with this situation?
- Why have l dreamt of 'so and so' now?
- Where are my helpers and guides in life and in my dreams?
- What can happen if I work actively with this dream?
- What is being accepted in this dream?
- What new questions come up from this dreamwork?
- Where is God in this dream?
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