Tuesday, May 18, 2021

When NOT to share dreams

The Lightning Dreamwork process, which I introduced to a worldaudience in 2000, provides a safe and usually fun way to share dreams and personal stories with just about anyone, just about any time. A basic requirement is that we offer feedback in the “if it were my dream” format and never presume to tell each other what their dreams or their lives mean. The dreams (as Jung once said) are the facts from which we proceed. We don’t need more context than is required to locate the dream in the dreamer’s life and possible future, and we discourage sharing too much personal background,
     Nonetheless, the question inevitably arises: when should I not share a dream? A general answer is that you don’t want to share your dreams with someone who refuses to play by the rules and may use the sharing as a pretext to lay an interpretation on you or, worse, go on a fishing expedition into your private life.
     Assuming that you do have partners in dreamwork who respect the rules, there are still occasions when you will want to be cautious about what material you share. I want to review certain kinds of dreams that you may want to share only with an intimate confidant, or not at all,

Dreams that contain intimate personal information

You won’t want to share these except with someone you are willing to make privy to intimate details of your life.

Dreams about other people that contain troubling information

We are all psychic in our dreams, and we sometimes dream about other people’s situations in ways that are disturbing. We see someone we know involved in an accident, or a relationship or health issue. We don’t want to lay this kind of information on that other person without carefully evaluating its accuracy and then considering how best to use it in a way that actually helps.

We need to be wary of projection. The dream may actually reflect or own situation rather than that of another person. 

The best way to clarify what is going on is to go back inside the dream in a conscious journey carrying a detective’s questions: Who, what, when, where, how? If we are satisfied we have dreamed of an issue in another person’s life, it may be appropriate to share the details – if we have specific details that could be applied to avert or gentle an unhappy scenario. 

More often it may be better to use the information without sharing it overtly: for example, by suggesting gently that someone may want to pay a visit to a doctor, or think twice about a travel plan, or by assisting family and friends to prepare for a coming death,

Terrifying and disgusting dreams.

You may really need help with these, but you want to share with those who are prepared to help, through their own depth of practice, and not lay the scary or smelly stuff on someone who is not ready and able to guide you through. Thinking about “bad” dreams and nightmares in general, there are interesting and conflicting folk traditions. Some hold that you should spit out the bad stuff on your own, while appealing to higher powers to release you from it. Some say you should not tell the evil dream because in doing that you might increase the likelihood that it will manifest. Some say that it’s fine to tell it before breakfast but you had better get that done before breaking bread.

Dreams from inside gated communities

There are gated communities in the dreamworlds and they are far more interesting than privileged reat estate developments in ordinary reality. If you are connected to a certain spiritual community, esoteric order or shamnanic lineage, your dreams may be a field of interaction with other members from across time and place and your experiences may include initiation, ritual and advanced training, in ways that are held secret by such traditions in ordinary reality. It is no secret among adepts that true initiation takes place in a hidden order of reality, and the details are not to be shared with those who have not earned the price of admission.

Big dreams of power

In many ancient and indigenous traditions that understand that dreams are real experience and a field of interaction with gods, spirits and others, certain dreams of power are held tight, because the dreamers do not want to dilute what has been given to them. Personally, I enjoy sharing big dreams of power in such away that I can invite others to come inside a tent of vision – for example, through a group shamanic journey into the key scenes from such dreams – and receive some of that power.

The rules of the Lightning Dreamwork process are in several of my books, including Active Dreaming.

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