Friday, April 3, 2020

Dreaming of the Other Side

I am receiving many reports of encounters with the deceased in dreams and the liminal space of hypnagogia. The dead appear as they are - that is to say, alive in another reality. I love how Ava's departed mother started up conversation by saying, with a chuckle, "Remember when we both thought I was dead?" Often the deceased have adjusted their appearance to look much younger and healthier than when last seen by their survivors. Sometimes they come visiting, sometimes the dreamer finds herself traveling to their realms. Many recent dream reports provide a glimpse of the living arrangements the departed have created for themselves on the Other Side. In some of these dreams the departed seem to be engaged in arranging comfortable living quarters for friends or family members who will be joining them. One dreamer's deceased mother gave her a house tour of a palatial residence she has constructed for herself. Another dreamer was delighted to find she has a place in a community of scholars - with gourmet tastes and a fine sense of humor - who have been growing a delightful village over many years of linear time. In recent dream of my own, I observed a departed friend renovating cottages and apartments on a country estate that is not on any map of this world for family members who are still living on the physical plane.      Instead of being scared by these dreams, most of those reporting emerge calm and confident, assured that life goes on in one world another.. "Crossing to the Other Side" is a prominent theme in current dream reports, including from those who were not much open to recalling or sharing dreams before. One such dreamer reports making a crossing by water under the care of a mysterious ferryman, an element very familiar in mythic geographies. Interesting that people are dreaming in this ancient mode when so many in our world,unfortunately,will be making the crossing sooner than they expected, and may need a ferryman. I have also been studying recent reports in which dreamers find themselves exploring their lifestyle options on the Other Side, and are shown possible exit ramps from physical life. I have recorded many personal experiences of this kind since I died and came back as a boy. These things are too important for us to rely on hard-me-down beliefs. We need first hand experience and this requires us to become, in our own unique ways, shamans of consciousness. Our dreams will show us those ways. Dreaming is the best preparation for dying. We routinely travel beyond the body in our dreams, and we can learn to make this a conscious practice and embark on wide-awake dream journeys at our choosing. Developing this practice is the best preparation for dying because (as the Lakota say) the path of the soul after death is the path of the soul in dreams. This practice is not only about rehearsing for death. It is about remembering what life is all about, reclaiming the knowledge of the soul, and moving beyond fear and self-limiting beliefs. Our dreams also give us the easiest way to communicate with the dead. Here's an open secret: we don't need a go-between to talk to the departed. We can have direct communication with our departed, in timely and helpful ways, if we are willing to pay attention to our dreams. As the spate of recent reports suggests, we meet our departed loved ones in our dreams. Sometimes they come to offer us guidance or assurance of life beyond death; sometimes they need help from us because they are lost or confused, or need forgiveness and closure. Our dreams of the departed help us confirm that consciousness survives the death of the body and allow us to gain first-hand knowledge of what happens after physical death. I welcome the objectivity of spontaneous sleep dreams, ones we do not or cannot control - but may learn to navigate - and may bring us awake to realities hidden from the daily trivial mind. Over decades, I have noticed that the #1 reason why people who were previously unwilling to acknowledge or talk about dreams start to open up is that they have dreamed of someone close to them has died, and know the experience is altogether real. I must add that prime time for extended conversation and astral excursions with the departed may be the twilight zone between sleep and awake. This is a great space in which to stay with a dream that is still fresh in your mind and make it your plan to let the action continue to unfold or ask the questions you need to ask, or simply bring back more of the full experience. Photo: "Night Palms 2" by Robert Moss

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