Monday, December 29, 2008

Where to pick up lost dreams

What happens to the dreams we don't remember?

I asked myself that question one morning, when I awoke with little dream recall, though I could feel that my night had been highly active. I decided to go back to bed, focused on this intention: I would like to visit a place where forgotten dreams are kept.

I drifted into the following conscious dream, which I titled


I arrive in a space that looks like a neighborhood video store. I don’t walk through the door. I am simply there. There do not seem to be other clients, or any of the regular clerks.

There is a strange creature among the shelves. Its head is birdlike, with a single eye, and – like its long neck and upper body – is chromium-plated. I notice this thing is next to the Horror section. I wonder whether it is simply a display, then see that it is alive, moving slowly on multiple feet or pads. I give it a wide berth.

The videos on this level are organized according to familiar categories – Drama, Comedy, Family, Adult etc. There is a large Adult section most of whose content is quite unfamiliar to me. I realize that a block has been placed on some of this material, so that it did not reach my conscious mind, or – in cases where the film has been rated I (for Intrusion) was not allowed through during the night.

Beyond the first room, I see a space devoted to Diagnostic Imagery.

I discover sections devoted to my dreams of individual people. I have only to focus on a name or title, and the movie begins to play all around me, so I can enter it at will. There is no need here for a DVD player. You simply select a movie, and it starts playing.

I see a dream of a woman who had disappeared completely from my remembered dreams. In the dream movie she tells me, “I want to give you a life of exquisite beauty.” She changes from a sarong to the flowing evening gown of an older woman; its gauzy fabric floats about her.

I am surprised to find a fairly large section devoted to another woman who has only appeared in my remembered dreams once or twice, and equally infrequently in my waking thoughts. I sample one of these dream movies. In it, she shapeshifts back and forth between the forms of a woman and a flowering vine.

I realize I have a guide available, a woman in a sky-blue uniform, rather like a flight attendant’s outfit. She shows me a staircase leading down, through an opening that is doughnut-shaped, padded with blue upholstery. I go down, and am surprised to find myself at a bus stop. I wait at the bus stop for a time, then realize that just as a bus is a shared vehicle, so this bus stop is a portal to the realm of shared dreams.

I am excited by the prospect of exploring dream adventures I may have shared with other people, and may not have remembered. I focus on three people who are central to my present life. In each case, I ask to view the dream movie that presents our initial encounter (whenever and wherever that may have been). I find that there is an immense archive of shared dreams involving each of these people. One is as large as a great gothic cathedral, with shelves rising to the high roof many stories above. I watch several dream movies in each location. They take me deeply and vividly into scenes of other lives and other times - of leopard people in Africa, of Celtic voyagers in a coracle on a cold northern sea, of a turning castle in a high desert landscape where everything is the color of sand except for the pretty star-shaped flowers, blue and purple, on a terrace. The dream movies reveal a hidden order of connection in all these relationships, transcending our present lives.

I know now that there is no limit to the entertainment and instruction available in this Cosmic Video Library. I note again that some of the unremembered dreams were not merely forgotten, but blocked. There is an operating censor who tries to shut out psychic intrusions and projections.

I decide to make a quick scan of materials available for the history of dreaming. A new movie starts playing. It involves an ancient battle in China. Guided by a dream, a general deploys his troops in a mountain pass to crush an enemy.

I will watch no more dream movies on this visit, because my female guide in the sky-blue uniform is telling me it's time to get up and write things down. Time to re-member the forgotten dreams. I’ll know where to come to pick up some more, on days when my dreams have fled.


Betsey said...

I have thought about dreams that I didn't remember especially those nights when I know I had been very active. I never have consciously done anything about retrieving them.
I will now.

Unknown said...

Just this last night, I know I had a long dream full of activity, people instructing me, going places....lots of movement, but could not pull anything out except a few scraps....

From now on I will use this technique, Robert.


Robyn said...

This is so intriguing! An archive of unremembered dreams. Not lost, just unclaimed and available to be viewed upon intention.

Your dream report is fascinating as is, and would also make a riveting novella or film.

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

Wow! This is amazing, and I love the photo you chose to accompany the post. I've begun so many journal entries acknowledging that I had a lot of dreaming activity but little or no recall - I don't know why I never thought to go back and ask for 'help'. It is especially impressive that there is a horror category as well as a diagnostic, and that there are blocks against intrusion. The Dreaming Universe takes such great care of us!

Diana said...

Hi Robert, The Cosmic Video Library - what an interesting portal for individual or group journeying.

Exploring shared dreams and initial encounters made in dreams where we first connect with people such as those central to our lives, or exploring the possibility of having so connected with people attending a dream circle, is fascinating.

Robert Moss said...

Hi all you fabulous dreamers: let me know if you succeed in retrieving lost dreams through a similar portal. On other occasions, I've found myself in a Cinema of Lost Dreams resembling the movie theatre where I used to go to watch Saturday matinees when I was a boy, and a very special Post Office where a little old woman who looks a bit like Harriet Tubman presides over the Desk of Undelivered Dreams. The dream I wrote up in the blog was a conscious dream, but I was navigating the environment rather than trying to control anything and there was a just-so-ness about the shared dream experiences.

Nancy said...

In reducing my myopia, I've been trying to pull back memories of ages 3 or 4 before I got glasses, & what comes through is often quite dream-like. My body is usually the portal for this: I'll rub the back of my skull while looking at the eye chart, & get a flash of a little girl all tied up & fighting furiously to get free. Is this me as a child, not wanting to be constrained? Or I'll get an image of a white cord from the back of my skull to my temple, which when I investigate it, feels restricting but also like it's holding me together! Or when getting a massage I'll feel like the occipital ridge across the back of my skull is a dam, preventing the water/emotions/energy from my heart/body from flowing upward to my head/eyes.

I would never have gotten to this point without your dream training, Robert, neither being receptive to these images nor being able to work with them. Thanks.

Robert Moss said...

Nancy: Thanks for reminding us that the body can be a portal for conscious dreaming, and that we can also promote self-healing by journeying to a younger self.

John said...

Amazing dream! Reminds me of an updated version of Borges story, "The Library of Babel":