Tag: unconscious mind

Coincidences and Their Meaning

Kelley, Since December, I’ve had recurring encounters with a particular subject and a certain number. I read a review of the film, A Dangerous Method, about Jung and Freud. A few weeks later, I was reading a book about spiritual emergency that made reference to Carl Jung and synchronicity. Over several days things kept popping up regarding Jung. Shortly after I began to notice the number 123. It appeared on a data sheet I was reading, then later was in a book, on my trip meter as I was driving, the call number of a book…

Are these “coincidences” a manifestation of a mind primed to look for these things because of my reading? Could these happenings be some sort of synchronicity or message from the Universe or spirit guides that I should be heeding? If so, how do I get clarity as to what it is? Thanks, Belle.

Thanks for your note, Belle. For me, everything is a sign pointing to some deeper meaning of itself, or to some point of power. Why? Because I choose to see events as such. Because I choose to perceive events at all levels available to me, not just the most evident and most pressing. Symbols are miracles we have recorded into language. They are reminders that the Multiverse is alive and aware of each of us. We are aware of miracles when we choose to be active participants. For me, such coincidences are feedback that I live in an animistic reality, that All Things are connected.

In my experience, miracles are natural signals we allow ourselves to perceive. We have cultural signals to which we have ascribed collective meaning, such as weather patterns and interpreting animal behaviour. Through Jung’s work we have the symbolic interpretation of our own unconscious via archetypes marking the places where we as individuals draw from the same shadow pools of meaning. In specific pockets of divination we have collectively accepted symbolism in the tarot or the Runes. Because we are well aware of each of these systems of symbolism, we have assimilated them into a code that has been interpreted and accepted at a collective level.
The basis for what you are experiencing personally, however, is no different. We tend to reject personal signals and coincidences because there is no lexicon for how to interpret them. In essence, we doubt our own ability to interpret not just what the Multiverse is saying to us, but what our own unconscious is saying about our lives.

When you become aware of personal signals, it is up to you to interpret what they mean. Certainly there are books available to tell you what every sequence of numbers means in discrete detail. They may hit on exactly what you need–a signal of affirmation–or they may not. I suggest a more personal decoding approach. Consider what you were thinking at the time you perceived the signal. What was your state of being? How did you feel? What happened immediately after perceiving the signal? What memories or thoughts were triggered? This sentient information is the map that informs you of your personal language to your unconscious, to your spirit guides and totems, to the Multiverse. The more you work with understanding signals in your life, the more signals will come, the more evident their meaning will be, and the thinner the barrier becomes between your unconscious and conscious minds.

While I can’t tell you what you are onto, Belle, I can without hesitation inform you that you are onto something. The fact that you have become aware of coincidence is half the awareness. The rest is creating the language through which you understand what signals are saying. That language comes from within.
Be well.

Two Dreams, One Truth

I am frequently asked about dreams and how I interpret them. I recently had a night of sequential dreams, which after contemplation, I discovered had the same message. The dreams were straightforward and easy to understand, and gave great insight into how the unconscious never gives up on helping us to understand our needs.

Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living. ~Anais Nin

In the first dream I decided to call someone I’ve been out of contact with, by choice, for years. My heart was light, giddy even, and I found that the words I needed came without effort. When he answered, I told him who I was and asked if we could talk. He greeted me, then replied clearly, though firmly that he was busy and couldn’t talk. I knew immediately that he wasn’t busy at all, but that he didn’t want to talk with me. From the point of deciding to call him I knew that he may not be responsive, and that was OK. I told him that was fine, wished him well, and hung up. For whatever reason his sister was suddenly beside me, and she told me that he had a lot of disdain for me and didn’t want anything to do with me. My dreaming mind instantly recognized her as the “wet blanket person,” the voice always willing to tear down a good situation. She said several derogatory things that weren’t true about me, though it didn’t matter. I was really happy to have made contact with him, no matter how it went, and I fully respected his right not to interact.

My Life, The Stage

My Life, The Stage

The second dream found me standing at a port waiting to board an ocean liner, at the start of my high school reunion trip. Everyone was formally dressed, with all of the women wearing cranberry-colored dresses and the men in black tuxes. I was very excited about the trip and about seeing everyone again. It was also fun to be dressed up, and I doted on my hair. Everyone greeted each other happily and posed for pictures. Frequently, I peered anxiously at the enormous vessel waiting to carry us all toward some great destination. I couldn’t wait to go! Our luggage was already on the ship, and we waited to board. I slipped into the restroom briefly, and when I came back out everyone was gone. Only one other girl remained, and a helicopter was arriving momentarily to take her to the ship to meet the others. I ran around furiously telling the port attendants that I was supposed to be on the ship, as well, that my luggage was already there. They didn’t seem to believe me at first, then once they did, they insisted there was no way they could get me there. The dream faded with me standing at the port, realizing that I wouldn’t be going on my grand trip.

Before I was even fully awake, I realized that both dreams were about not getting desired outcomes. What I couldn’t understand was why the dreams were so different. In the first one, the conversation didn’t go as I’d wanted, but I walked away from it feeling good, confident, grateful. It was an event that I initiated, and with the exception of its cool reception, had full control over. There was no indication that there would ever be another conversation, no eventual happy ending. There was no analysis of who said what and what it really meant. Even when the sister attempted to mar the moment, I still saw the exchange for the great thing that it was. I felt good for having had the interaction, regardless. The second dream was something else, entirely. I felt terrible when I realized I wasn’t going on the trip. Moreover, the logistics of my luggage taking the trip without me–hence, every possession I held dear and may never see again–was very distressing. I was excited, had gotten my hair done, gotten a brand new dress… This was an event that I was not in charge of. I wasn’t responsible for it playing out. All I had to do was pay my way and get myself to the right place at the right time, which I did precisely. At no point in my preparation for the event did it occur to me that the event would fall through or that I wouldn’t be able to go. Yet, that’s exactly what happened.

Why was it OK not to receive a desired outcome in one dream but not the other? What was the reason that I was so distressed about things not working out the way I’d planned in the second dream? What made it OK that the interaction didn’t go the way I’d wanted in the first dream? I walked around for the next day in a fog, using every approach I could think of to wrap my mind around the dreams. It wasn’t until I lay down to sleep the next night and gotten into a reasonably peaceful hypnagogic state that it hit me. I had been looking at the outcome of the dreams as the indicator for my state of being–grateful or upset. I wasn’t looking at my state of being before the events in the dreams as a determining factor in their outcomes. Because I had no attachment to the outcome in the first dream, it didn’t matter what the outcome was. I was going to feel good after, no matter what happened, because I accepted ahead of time that it would not affect how I felt. There was no emotional attachment involved. It could be exactly the balanced exchange that I wanted, the exchange could have been hurtful, or there could be no exchange at all. My wellbeing was not reliant on the outcome.

The second dream was another story. I had invested in the cruise. I paid money, I took time off work, I purchased items to ensure my great time on the trip. Even though the cruise wasn’t my original idea, I was emotionally invested in it coming to pass. I couldn’t conceive of the cruise not happening. Because I couldn’t conceive of it not happening, I was entirely attached to it happening. I was emotionally reliant on one outcome.

So what’s the moral of the archetypal story? Seek balance in all things. If I’m balanced, I can be well with any outcome. Does that mean I shouldn’t put effort into outcomes, or be excited about potential outcomes? Not at all. In fact, excitement and passion are what drive outcomes into being. The trick is not to get all of my hopes and aspirations tied to a specific outcome. I understand the message from my unconscious mind, and I feel its truth. Now to practice hopeful detachment.

Inception and the Modern Dreamwalker

“We only use a fraction of our brain’s true potential. Now in a dream, our mind can do almost anything.”
Dom Cobb's Fetish

Dom Cobb's Fetish

“Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.” Dom Cobb

Don’t worry. No spoilers here. I will leave it to the many wowed by the dazzling spectacle of Nolan’s Inception to review the film’s theatrical successes. My fascination with it lay on an entirely different level than most film buffs will relate, and that is the very thoughtful depiction of the power of the unconscious mind. I was a little annoyed that they kept saying “subconscious,” a term that is not used in mind sciences but in the modern lay depiction of them, instead of “unconscious,” the stream of information that is dormant in the mind until specific provocation activates it in consciousness. I won’t even dwell on its reliance on one of my most grating pet peeves, which is a concept that is perfectly viable in Mind-Body-Soul alignment requires an external technological catalyst in order for the viewing audience to accept it. With regard to dreams, it is not only possible to control dreams and knowingly enter into the dream of another being, it’s a finely honed technique many refer to as dreamwalking. I have been aware of dreamwalking lifelong, and am aware that the unconscious mind conveys itself vividly through dream symbols, although the ability to forge a mindful connection between the unconscious and the conscious isn’t as quickly done as the film’s technique implies. Maybe I should get one of those machines.

The Dream Walking, artist unknown

The Dream Walking, artist unknown

Anyway. For me the film’s strengths lay in its very accurate presentation of the dream world, thus, the dreaming mind. I can’t begin to express thoroughly how tired I am of dream dictionaries, mystics who insist that Regular Guy has no business interpreting his own dreams. Sure, having a handy index of alphabetized symbols scribed from the collective consciousness since the dawn of humanity is helpful. My ego’s not that big. My experience as someone who teaches dreamwork, though, is that while those tomes do a great job of describing common archetypes, they rarely actually help a person unravel symbolic meaning as it relates to her present circumstances. As for intuitives who imply that we are each not the captains of our dream vessels and navigating their star paths… I say Inception’s Cobb knows better.

Inception presents the dream world as it truly is: a reflection of the self. The Dreaming is the collection of symbols unique and wholly meaningful to an individual as presented by that individual unconscious. Rarely is an element of a dream truly interjected by another force, and when it is, the individual’s unconscious allowed it to be. Consider that everything greeting you in dreams is some facet of yourself–the beauty, the scenery, the horror, the relatives, the peace. All are components of you projected onto the screen of your mind for you and you alone to receive, process and use as agents of change in your life.

So maybe Hollywood still needs a mechanism to propel self-awareness. Fine. I’ll give it that. But the fact that it opened its audience to truths in controlling dreams, that it presented the potential to use dreams as catharsis for the self, and that it nailed the underlying mechanics of the dreaming human consciousness is a strategic and welcomed leap forward in mainstream entertainment.

The Renegade’s Guide to snoring

Kelley–I don’t know if this is particularly shamanic, but I’m an avid dreamer, though rarely can I figure out what my dreams mean. Can you recommend a good guide to dream analysis? Thanks! Compass-less.

Thanks for your note, C. One of my first observations that I was on a different path was in the depths of my dream world. I’ve always been a vivid and lucid dreamer. Recommend a good guide? Sort of. There are two excellent resources for interpreting dreams. The first lies in cultivating the bridge between your conscious and unconscious minds. Dreams can be many things–a mirror of yourself, messages from your unconscious, messages from your body, travels out to/memories of other planes/experiences of yourself, messages from other beings, or visits from other beings. Sometimes a dream is a combination of these. My general approach to decoding my dreams and those of my clients falls mostly in that order. First I determine if the dream was coming from me or another consciousness (Yes, I know, ultimately we’re all one consciousness, but in order to comprehend metaphors and symbols they must be filtered through a coherent legend, which resides in your unique unconscious/conscious mind connection.). Most people who dream prolifically seem to have their own measure for determining the origin of the dream. Myself, I just know. Dreams that don’t come from me feel foreign, to put it simply. The quickest test I can suggest for this determination is to ask your High Self to step into your conscious mind and pose the question, “Did this dream originate from me or from a separate consciousness?” Go with the immediate answer you get, whatever fashion that answer comes in. Depending on that response I go in different directions. If it was my unconscious communicating with me, I consider how the personalities and symbols in the dream are a mirror of myself. By that I mean, I assume that everything in the dream was really me, even if the figures in the dream are other people that I know. From there I break down the archetypes by gender, age, emotional state, physical condition, etc. Even the setting I examine archetypally to decode any message it may need to convey. Probably 80% of my dreams are facets of myself expressing needs or hurts that need to be addressed, or beliefs, habits, relationships, or thought patterns that are no longer functional in my life. By considering that everything in the dream is mirroring some aspect of myself I intercept messages from my unconscious mind or body (which has its own symbolic communication system), not only do I cognate the message, but I “write in” what that symbolism meant so that if it comes up again I have direction right off the bat. Retaining this personal meaning is where keeping a journal is invaluable. Most of the time once I unravel the meaning of a symbol, I don’t dream about it again; thus, recurrent dreams are resolved. Remember, as with all truths, what was meaningful in a certain way one time may be meaningful in a different way subsequently. Even though the symbolism may have been sound at one point in your life, allow yourself the freedom for it to mean new things later. As you grow your consciousness expands. So does how you carry and interpret archetypes.

Frequently I wander off in a dreamstate, which arguably isn’t a dream at all, but perhaps the classic “vision.” Nonetheless, it’s a particular kind of spirit journey that only occurs when I’m sleeping, so I still consider top snoring aids at emsafety.net. In these visions, I experience going out of my body, or perhaps I experience a different manifestation of myself. This could be some simultaneous life, some experience of myself from a past, or perhaps an entirely different plane of existence that I know isn’t Earth. Sometimes I visit someone in this type of dream, or I see things from an animal’s perspective. Again, distinguishing this type of dream for me is typically easy, as I am consciously aware that I’m dreaming. Some consider these journeys “lucid dreams,” in which the dreamer is observing the dream from a detached perspective while also participating in the dream, and directing its progression, to some degree. If you’re not sure if you are wandering out, the same “High Self” test as above is appropriate to do to determine if you are astrally traveling in your sleep.

Another type of dream that I think falls under the category of “vision” involves messages and visits from other consciousnesses. Once you determine that a dream did not originate from your own consciousness the task becomes one of clarifying the message. Perhaps that requires a little research and a bit more skill, very much of the shamanic sort. I find that dictionaries for dreams are one dimensional, at best. Without question I support the collective influence that archetypes and symbols have, and encourage becoming familiar with those across various cultures. However, I feel that stopping there is missing a vital reason for why the symbol visited us. In addition to collective relationships to symbols we experience personal relationships to them, and those meanings are only culled out when we consider the symbol is its own consciousness that has intelligent insight to deliver specifically to us, as individuals. While brown bear may mean protection and confidence as an archetype, to me, specifically it may also carry a message of hope and the ability to sustain through hard times. The way to create those personal bonds with symbols is through meditation and shamanic soul travel.

The second key to understanding your dreams lies in connecting with the feeling they evoke. Feelings are precisely the compass that connect the dream to your waking life. When you can clarify the way a dream left you feeling and see how that feeling manifests in current circumstances you have decoded the symbols of that dream. In that brilliant inner light you can’t get lost.

Be well, C!

Intentional Insights is a Q&A column inviting you to look inside yourself. If you have a question that you would like for me to address in my column regarding a brief Soul Reading or questions about spiritual healing and shamanism, please send them to me at Kelley at soulintentarts dot com, or contact me to schedule a full-length Soul Reading. Intentional Insights is a production of Soul Intent Arts. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!