Some weeks after leading one of my 5-day adventures at the Esalen Institute, I received a note from one of the participants, a highly intelligent, spirited lady, a person with two PhDs who had explored consciousness in many ways. "I want to thank you for that wonderful lecture you gave last night."
I checked the date. I had not given a lecture that evening anywhere in consensus reality. I had already intuited what she was telling me. She had attended a lecture I gave in one of her dreams. The woman from Esalen reported that in my lecture, I had listed, "very clearly and elegantly", five reasons why we misinterpret dreams about the future. I had written them on a whiteboard in view of the group.
This gave me shivers. On that very day, I was laboring over a chapter in a book that was later published as Dreaming True. The chapter was titled "When Dreams Seem False" and on the first page I was developing a list of the five most common reasons why we misinterpret dream messages about the future. I was satisfied with my statement about the first reason we get these messages wrong. But I was not yet content with my formulation of the other four reasons, or the order in which they should appear on the page.
I emailed the woman from Esalen. I asked her, "Any chance you kept notes from my lecture, or could reconstruct what I wrote on the whiteboard?"
She responded within a couple of hours, sending me her version of Dream Robert's five points. They were expressed with admirable brevity, very much in my own style. Borrowing from my dream student's notes, I was able to compose the opening section of that chapter with almost no editing. Here's how it reads:
The five most common reasons why we misinterpret dream message about the future are:
1. We mistake a literal event for a symbolic one, or vice versa.
2. We misidentify people and places.
3. We fail to figure out how far in the future the dreamed event might be.
4. We see future events from a certain angle, that may not reveal the whole picture.
5. We confuse realities, confounding a dream that relates to external reality with dreams that are real experiences in other orders of reality.
Now, I am well aware that very often I am playing the role of teacher in my own dreams, with many difference audiences: with people I recognize, with people I will meet in the future, with people in countries I have not yet visited, with people in other orders of reality, including the afterlife and what I like to call the imaginal realm.
I have received hundreds of reports from people who say they have attended a workshop, a lecture, a ritual or some other type of training with me in dreams. I have learned to pay close attention to reports about Dream Robert's teaching activities, because sometimes I find that he is more than a few steps ahead of me. It's a rare student of mine who brings detailed notes back from the dreaming, but I am open to more!
Photo "Under the Bean" (c) Robert Moss