Dreams and the Language of Intuition
By: Lisa Caza
A favorite quote of mine by Ruby Montana:
“Dreams don’t come true — dreams are true.”
That simple statement says a lot about the nature of dreams and awareness, and our assumptions about them.
In the mindset of the world today, dreams are seen as fantasy, the effluvia of a restless psyche. To be called a dreamer is to be called ineffective, impractical. Of course, thanks to Jung and others, we are increasingly recognizing that dreams are imbued with meaning. But, in my experience, even that perspective falls far short of the vast realities that dreams introduce to us.
Dreams are not merely the table scraps of the conscious mind that, when picked through, offers up a few undigested morsels of insight. Dreams are not merely a reflection of reality; dreams are their own reality.
We LIVE our dreams, deeply, every night. They fill the quiet hours of the night to the brim. Although we may be hardly moving our bodies, usually unaware of our bodies, anyone who remembers his dreams knows that we are hardly inactive in our dreams. We act vigorously in dreams. We confront and we flee. We love and we flirt. We work and we calculate. And we experience worlds of immense wonder!
We often think that dreams are fantasies and then there is ‘real life.’ But we only fool ourselves. The world of dreams may shift and slide while the waking world seems solid and stable, but dreams just follow more fluid rules. Dreams are real to us as we experience them, even if we have learned to be aware we are dreaming in the midst of the dream. And, of course, the world of daily reality isn’t as solid as we like to believe.
As you watch the patterns, experiences and images you encounter in your dreams and you discover their meaning, you may also recognize that the same patterns are quietly working in your waking life. We see a person or an object in a dream and say, “Aha! That is a symbol — and it makes so much sense!” Yet, when that same person or object appears in our daily lives, we ignore it as meaningless. Not only are our dreams imbued with meaning, but so too are all the events of our daily lives.
In paying attention to our dreams, we start to see glimmerings of a radiant intelligence that permeates our daily lives as well as the world of our dreams. Day and night, we are in constant, quiet communication with a vast and subtle intelligence. There is more life in our dreams than we think, and more dream in our lives than we think. As we explore the worlds of our dreams, we learn the language of our lives.
EXERCISE 1: Remember Your Dreams!
Don’t be fooled. The simple (but not always easy) act of remembering your dreams is a powerful psychic exercise. So much of the intuition is the ability to quietly shift your awareness beyond the limits of “normal” awareness. The thought process of daily awareness is, of course, important to function in the routine situations of life. But when we can no longer perceive reality in any other way, it’s as if we’ve walked a path over and over for so many years that we’ve created a trench we can’t easily climb out of.
Dreams are a different level of awareness, more fluid, multi-layered, filled with meaning. They are an alternate form of perception — that’s why they are often so difficult to remember. And that’s also why working with them helps us out of our “perceptual trenches.” In order to remember a dream you have to create a bridge between your daily awareness and the mind state of your dream world. Remembering dreams clearly requires a certain limberness of perception.
Simply remembering your dreams, even if doing so is a struggle, builds strength and flexibility of perception.
A few suggestions:
- If you have difficulty remembering your dreams, affirm forcefully that you WILL remember your dreams when you wake up. Repeat your affirmation with strength a number of times as you drift to sleep.
- Write down your dreams or at least a few notes about your dreams the moment you wake up. Often it is easier to remember dreams in the first few minutes after waking when your awareness hasn’t become fixed into its normal patterns of perception. Reread your notes later in the day to help bring as much of your dream memories as possible into your normal waking awareness.
- Keep trying! If you have difficulty remembering even one dream, the effort will still pay off. If you usually remember your dreams, this practice will enhance your dream recollection, awakening you to the full depth of your dream experiences.
EXERCISE 2: Create a Dream Symbol Dictionary
As you remember your dreams more, take special note of the symbols that appear in your dreams: people, animals, objects, places, etc. Write down the symbols that seem to you to be the most powerful, those that evoke the strongest feelings, those that keep reappearing in your dreams. Explore their deeper meanings.
A simple technique is to create a dictionary:
On an index card or on the page of a journal, write down the name of the symbol and a brief description of it. On the opposite page, or on the back of the card, write down what it means to you.
- What feelings do you associate with the symbol?
- What memories does it evoke?
- What does the symbol represent to culture, to religion, to the world of business?
- Might the symbol be a pun (coins representing “change”)?
You can also look through some of the dream symbol books available. They can sometimes bring clarity and a broader understanding of common symbols. But always trust your own insights and feelings first!
Why create a symbol dictionary? Because you are learning a new language. The intuitive mind speaks to us in a highly symbolic language. The first encounters with psychic “flashes” often seem like you’ve been dreaming while awake; you suddenly realize you’ve been watching a stream of images pass before your eyes. The world of dreams is the classroom in which we learn to read those images. Dreams are your own private language lab.
EXERCISE 3: Watch Your Dream Numbers
Pay special attention to numbers and dates that appear in your dreams.
If you get a date in your dream, mark your calendar and see what happens that day. Does your dream add extra insight into the events of the day? Sometimes your dreams can be precognitive, describing an important event on a date, yet too often we don’t recognize when this happens. Even if we remember the dream, we may not make the connection in our minds because we haven’t yet learned to understand the symbolic language of our intuition.
With numbers, notice numeric patterns occurring in your daily life, even in seemingly random details, and see what correspondences to your dream arise. Does any event or experience associated with the number somehow parallel your dream?
Recognizing numeric correlations with dreams can be difficult at first because we haven’t been trained to see numeric patterns. In our experience, numbers that arise in dreams can be many things, but when you make the right correlation you often find yourself thinking “Aha!” because all of the pieces of the dream suddenly snap into place. Numbers can be:
- Money– “Three” can be the $300 bonus you unexpectedly receive, or the $300 bill for the car repair you’re about to need.
- Dates — “Fifteen” can correspond to the fifteenth of the month.
- People — “Seven” can be the seven people in your business meeting later that afternoon (even if you didn’t know in advance who would show up).
Numbers found in dreams can, of course, be many other things as well. The more you work with dream numbers, the more you’ll learn to anticipate their meaning rather than make the connection after the fact.
Dreams are a deep well of hidden awareness. These three exercises are meant to be an introduction only. You can go much deeper in working with your dreams, both to understand yourself as well as tap into your psychic potential. Draw the waters from your dream life regularly if you want to develop your psychic abilities.