4-8-00 18:45:01 -0400 (EDT)
I was always interested in dreaming as a child, and, in fact, I used to put myself to sleep by constructing my dreams in advance! As a result, I remembered my dreams, and often had vivid dreams.
My family and larger community were not particularly interested in dreams, but encouraged me in remembering them as a kind of imaginative exercise.
I have been keeping written records of my dreams since 1972. When I was in my early twenties, I came across Strephon Kaplan-Williams book, "The Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Manual", which is a grass-roots dreamwork book based on groups he was leading in Berkeley, California. This book enabled me to see that I could actually work with my dreams in a variety of creative ways, instead of just recording them. The many methods of dreamworking explored in this book opened up a whole new world for me, and deepened my sense of their importance to my day-to-day life.
I thought of dreams as simultaneously psychological and spiritual. Psychological in the sense that they provided a symbolic snapshot of who I was and where I was going at any given time, and spiritual in the sense that they provided guidance and an opportunity to listen to a voice of higher wisdom which I believed spoke to me through my dreams.
Dreaming helps me to stay fully "awake" -- to be able to become conscious of, listen to, and attempt to understand, the life experiences which occur when I am asleep. Dreams also help me to solve problems, are a source of guidance and creative inspiration, and a means of connecting with people who share this orientation.
Compared to my earlier days of dreaming and dreamworking, I find that now dreams are more fully integrated into my life. I keep my journals, work my dreams, participate in dream groups, and notice the links that dreams provide between waking and sleeping.
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