Mystic Gateways

DREAMS

The Royal Road to Consciousness

tao gateway

" There doesn't seem to be anyone about.
That gateway and steps may lead somewhere."

Dreams are the royal road to higher consciousness, even though, for those of us who dream a lot, it may seem like a step back into fantasy and imagination. There is the awkward, and not very flattering, fact that our awareness in dreams (a sort of involved fantasy in an unfolding spontaneous play) is on the same level as our waking life, and it's all reduced to a memory. Such is the dream, and our time here.

To develop your awareness you could seek-out spiritual guides, read books, meditate, and study psychic phenomena, or you could try a little experiment with your own dreams. This is freely available to all , and here are a few 'rules'.

You need to start at the beginning, with your ability to dream. I suppose we all dream, but for some there is no recollection in the morning and the notion that "I don't dream". For such a person, there is a longer process of setting-up the desire to dream and recording even the smallest fragments at the start. Once you start to do this (and telling yourself that you will, before you go to sleep) you will start to recall small dream fragments, and later full dreams. Don't worry, those fragments are as important as whole dreams. When you reach this stage, and for the rest of us, follow the steps below.

1. Make a note of your dreams,

to 'start a conversation with your sub-conscious mind.

As soon as you wakeup write down on loose sheets of paper everything you can remember in the order you remember it. Write it all down verbatim, immediately. To delay, even for a few minutes, will ruin the whole exercise.
As you write down the episodes or events make a note of the order they occur in your dream (with linking arrows or numbers). You will put all these episodes in the proper order or sequence later. No doubt, as you write, you will recall further episodes, and having loose sheets of paper makes this process easier.
Do not write "I dreamed ...", but write as though these are real events that you experienced (which you did) in the present tense. How many dreams you record per week is up to you, so you don't have to do this every night. I say this because you will stimulate even more dream recall, and there will be a lot of note writing. This takes time. Some say, if you put the alarm on 30 minutes before you normally awake, this will give you an idea of the time you will need in the morning,

2. Keep a journal of your dreams, as a way to develop your awareness.

Later in the day, you can copy your rough notes neatly into a proper journal or notebook, in the order they occurred in your dream. Give every dream an interesting title. All of this may seem a little long-winded, but the time you spend writing in your journal goes straight into your 'psyche' or 'subconscious' (and into your awareness, because you have taken it ‘seriously’).
Leave plenty of space between accounts of dreams (at least half a page) because you may add comments, or pictures, later. Once again, give your dream plenty of room to breathe or develop. If you can illustrate an account with a picture, that may have a tenuous link with your dream, this is a bonus. (Look for newspaper or magazine photos). You dream a lot visually, so this is the language your 'psyche' or 'inner self' will understand and assimilate. [A strange side-effect is that you might notice a coincidence with events, personalities, or things, in the world, and in the pictures or quotes you come across. These can become a repeated metaphores, or symbols, for dream subjects.]
ALL your dreams will now follow a trend towards developing awareness, not just be isolated incidences or involvements. At the end of each account in your 'neat' journal, write down any insights or observations, or anything about your dream. Write something down, even if it's only a mark out of ten. This starts a debate between you and your subconscious.  Periodically, read through your journal to see 'where it's going'.

3. Edit your written accounts [ only when you are ready ].

The next step. After you have recorded at least ten dreams in your journal, go through each dream and strikeout any emotion with a marker pen. We don't want to know how you feel, or how concerned or worried you are, or what guilt or elation you feel. This is a statement of the FACTS. After a while you will get used to, and develop a way to, just record these facts and not the whole 'emotional dream experience' (but initially, you must record everything).

4. The message.

Anything told to you, or said by you ( indicated by quotation marks in your account) is a message for you. A message from your ‘higher self’, if you like. In your written account look out for puns and double meanings, or similar sounding words. Behind these are the meaning, or hidden messages, for you. ALL OF YOUR DEVELOPMENT, and the search for meanings and insights, DEPENDS SOLELY ON YOUR OWN WRITTEN ACCOUNT.
Often the feeling of an object or situation, or similar sounding names and words, will reveal something. It is as if your mind doesn't want you to grasp the message consciously, so it gives you a similar 'thing'. A number may have the sound of something else (for, to, ate) or indicate time, or distance. The 'feeling' of words or numbers may give you a big clue as to what you need to know, by going deeper into the qualities of the thing, 'symbol', or situation in your dream. All of this can only happen through the written word. Make a note of any of these findings, as a comment on how your subconscious is revealing itself. ( It uses the same associations and symbols often ).

5. Things will develop at a pace,

and the nature of your dreams will change. 

Through your dreams (actually your dream notes) you will develop some powers of detached observation. The more 'involved' you are in your daily life, in your thoughts and emotions, your past, and your future, the less you'll see and appreciate. Your dreams are full of this imaginative involvement and speculation (it's called "dreaming"), which is O.K, but it is 'fantasy' (or, more precisely, produces fantasy). In your everyday life the same process continues, so that when you step out of the reactions, reasons, meanings and speculations, your influence changes, even though (to you and others) it may appear to diminish (because you are reacting less). Perhaps, the best description of this 'state', and one that appears quite bland, is "Being Here, Now" {away from all your opinions}. What emerges is a sort of ‘self-realisation’ in a world that may not be entirely as you thought, and certainly more magical and 'dreamlike'.

6. You may now be ready for the "impossible"

notion or idea of Lucid Dreaming.

When you get this far, and with your other daily involvements in the world handled by the 'impersonal advice' in the hexagrams of the TAO I CHING (and your understanding of a quiet way through the world), you will be ready for the quantum leap of awareness into "Lucid Dreaming".

There is an interesting 'extension' to dreaming called "Lucid Dreaming". This is a state of heightened awareness in which you are awake while you continue in a dream. The great secret, not mentioned anywhere else, is that you continue in that state of 'Being here, now', that you aquired in awake life. [Any other approach may well involve more fantasy]. Needless to say, in such a situation you are able to do almost anything you want. In Lucid Dreaming you are going to be playing with the very basis of your consciousness and awareness.
Now you know why you need the TAO I CHING.