The Senoi Indians of Malaysia live their lives around dreaming. They wake in the morning in longhouses which house not only themselves and their children, but their children’s children and their parents and possbily even grandparents. Families all share the morning meal, and it is at this time that the children share their dreams. If a young boy dreams of being eaten by a tiger, the elders of the family will explain that next time he dreams of the tiger, he must provide himself a spear to kill it with. By age ten, Senoi children no longer have nightmares. They have learned to control their dreams.
After the entire family has discussed their dreams together and breakfast is cleared the family begins craft time, creating physical renditions of things they dreamed about. They paint pictures or symbols, they make baskets and write stories. If a man dreams about taking another man’s knife he will apologise to him. In this way the Senoi tribesman live at peace with one another and work together fluidly. They do not fight amongst themselves nor war with other tribes. They are in fact surrounded by many warlike groups, but even the most malevolent of factions stay clear of them due to their “dream magic”.
It’s interesting that humanity’s most important abilities are those that have come to be considered the most fantastical. We believe every word that science tells us yet, when it comes to those areas of the brain that cross over into the mystic, science quickly becomes discredited, tabooed and categorized as “new age”.
But this is a new age, and science and spirituality are meeting on fronts that have never before been crossed. Simultaneously, the average working man finds few moments in which to explore these new possibilities. Quite often this is seen as a game~ender, as people excuse themselves from their practices due to time constraints. I see this as a quickening, a sign of overall advancement. The lessons are getting harder and there is little time to study for the tests of life. Either we take the time to get A’s or we slide by with C’s, it’s our choice.
Few people will take the time to advance themselves spiritually, but I believe that is and has always been the way of things. Those who work for PhD’s are much fewer than those in first grade. In the advancement of soul we return to grades we’ve previously passed again and again, in order to further learn the lessons presented there. Thus, no man is above another, but some are at the point in the cycle that they are less prone to sit around and let life pass them by.
If something is important to us we find time for it. I always seem to find the time to stop by the gas station in the morning to get my favourite unsweet raspberry tea, even when I didn’t have the time to do other things. It stands to reason that if a spiritual practice were enticing or simple enough, we would all find the time to do it.
Again, this is why I’ve come online, with the express purpose of sharing my maps that others may find easy routes through mountains more difficult to traverse alone. There are many teachers out there these days, most of whom are infinitely more knowledged than I. But I thought it was important to show the very beginnings of my travels, that those who are also beginning can share their maps as well, and those who have not yet begun can see that there is, in fact, time to aspire to any heights. The quicker you take small steps towards your goals the quicker you will get there. All one needs do is take up the mantle, fitting method and practice in to those times when we are forced to stop and take a breath. Spiritual practice is actually the easiest of anything we do in our lives. It takes up the least space and is best suited for the moments when nothing else is going on.
Such is the way with dreaming. In Vera Stanley Alder’s book “The Finding of the Third Eye” (which can be read in its entirity on the page “Knowledge is power.” by scelestious), she gives the best advice on the importance of dreams and how to remember them. Dreams become most beneficial when we write them down every morning, but many of us simply do not have the time to do so. I’ve always been a dreamer, and have many dream logs beside my bed. The points in my life when I have written my dreams down every night I’ve found they have changed my world considerably.
The more attention you pay to your dreams, the more attention they pay to you. You begin with a dream about a horse eating grass in a field and end with a dream about a white horse with black spots across his backside, dusty hair that blows away from his warm brown eyes, eating the choicest, emerald clover from between stalks of tan wheat and mauve wildflowers while a redtail hawk circles above, crying for its lost mate towards a setting sun of salmon, orange and turquoise. You can see how long it might take to write down all the details as dreams deepen and texture on every level. So what is left for us who seem to have no time? Assuming that when we sleep we are merely asleep, nothing. But we are not merely asleep.
William Buhlman has been leaving his body every night for 40 years. He says that everyone moves “out of phase”, as he explains it, two or three inches from their physical bodies each night. It is this state in which we dream. A third of our lives are spent in this state, and we can take small steps towards making use of these hours to our utmost benefit.
What is the benefit? I find that the solving of problems is the most beneficial. As a college student I come up against barriers when writing papers or solving mathematical problems. As a homeowner, I come upon problems with the upkeep of my house. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve awakened in the morning with the answer to my problem in my head, whether or not I’d dreamt about it that night, by simply asking myself to remember what occured while I was asleep.
Without thoughts to inhibit them, the creative and logical parts of our brains process complex information better. A recent study in the Journal of Current Biology shows that complex thought goes on in dreamstates as if we were awake, organizing information and troubleshooting while we are unconsciouus. If we ask our subconscious to remind us what we would normally forget on waking it will, gladly, and I can attest to this fact.
But the main benefit, which I speak of frequently, is having positive work to do during the day to divert thoughts away from the negative state of the world around us. When you can remember your dreams enough to ponder their meanings while brushing your teeth or driving to work, you have a better chance of setting aside morning stress or worry for what is to come during the day.
We genuinely believe that worry is beneficial, and that we will forget things if we loosen the reigns and let the subconscious flow. This idea is anything but true. In fact, our subconscious is the most astute note~taker and personal calendar that we have. It’s worry that gets in the way of it. Anything that diverts our attention away from the worry of our world and puts us in a more positive state is beneficial.
We can use the memory of our dreams during the day when it’s easy to get lost in the politics of the office or the painful physical work of the trades. What traps us most is the actions of others. I’m sure most of us feel that if it weren’t for others we would be just fine. But we can learn to live alongside others in perfect harmony, despite popular belief. They will always have the choice to be as they are. It is up to us to change ourselves to wave with the blow of the wind instead of staying rigid and breaking. This gentle allowance gives people the right to be their best when in your presence. You can’t imagine how much even the hardest person softens in the presence of such allowance.
Perhaps my boss demands something in a less~than~polite way. I can then choose to allow that to make me mad, dwelling on the self~righteous behaviour behind it. This will catapult me into further negative thought, such as the last time he spoke to me that way and how unfair it was, and all the things about him that give me reason to resent his behaviour. Soon I’m on the track to having a horrid day, judging him despite all the kindness he has shown me in the past, devoid of the compassionate consideration to what he may be experiencing that has caused him to react to me in this way.
It is times like these when one needs a little magick to enter the scene. If I can catch myself before I get too deep into negative thought, I can change my thought patterns and reverse the flow. If I turn my mind to the dream fragment I woke up remembering, I can soon busy my mind with something other than my boss’s attitude, which in turn allows my boss to get over whatever was troubling him…or not. We don’t have the power to change others. If they wish to hold on to negativity that’s literally their problem. If we can keep it from being our problem we are on the right track.
You won’t always find the meanings of your dreams, sometimes it’s confounding to discover why your brain has used certain physical representations to display non~physical ideas. It uses our identifications and preferences to form the night’s dreams or travels into representations that we can, with introspection, connect like dots to form a full picture. But in the cases when I simply can’t seem to make the connections between my dream characters or events to real~life situations I’ve experienced, that I turn towards re~writing the story of my dream in my own mind, which is a Senoi Dream Technique.
Simply imagine what you would want to have happened in your dream. If you were attacked, re~write the dream in your own mind, imagining yourself fighting back and vanquishing your foe. If you woke up just before something would have happened, continue the dream on from that point, writing the storyline the way you would have wanted it to turn out. With small steps such as this we can condition ourselves to stay focused on the exciting aspects of the brain’s capabilities and less on the physicality of the soul, which is the purest essence of what we really are.
I will post this technique and others in a page entitled “Dreamwork On The Go”
The Brain In Dreamstate:
Senoi Indian Dream Theory: