I have always been big on dreams, and for decades kept a dream journal beside my bed. In the early days I thought of dreams as a psychological aid, as many thoughtful college students do who major in the social sciences.
But then I began to notice various patterns to my dreams. I realized that more than simply recording my life and concerns, they were sending me clues about the future, about probable and possible courses of action, friendships, job opportunities, and even – dare I say it – alternate lives and identities.
For now, however, let’s focus on the intuitive and precognitive aspects of dreams.
I believe that intuitive information is continually being presented to us in various forms: physical sensations, inspiration, academic ideas, and precognition. Because dreams operate outside the usual constraints of time and space, they can take a jumble of probabilities and issues and layer them – nest them – in either apparently chaotic, or seemingly structured dreams. Either way, what we need to know at a conscious or unconscious level is handed to us in code, so as to be helpful without overwhelming us.
My earliest dreams having to do with precognitive information centered around family milestones. Typically I would dream of a death in the family, and there would usually be a death within a few weeks, but the person who died was almost never the person in my dream. That might have been too difficult to carry. But I was prepared ahead of time for something to happen, and something always did.
As a child I had not yet learned to censor my conversation about such matters, and would mention my dreams to my mother, who would also be having similar dreams at the same time. While we disagreed at home on many aspects of my “high falutin'” ideas about religion and cosmology as I began to read independently, sharing family milestone dreams was one significant area where we met and agreed. Some mornings we would look at each other and say simply, “Did you have a dream too?” “Yes.” Interestingly enough, the question was most often triggered by my mom as I got older and started learning not to mention such experiences.
These were not dreams on demand: they were powerful, even disruptive dreams that made you sit up and take notice. They were also not exact dreams: somebody in the family died, but for me that person was not the subject of the dream. Perhaps my mother’s dreams were more exact than mine, and I learned over time how gifted an intuitive she was.
For this and many other reasons, discernment is critical in working with dreams, and particularly important when precognitive or intuitive information has significant personal and social impact. Figuring out that pattern of “true, but not that person,” took time, and it took mistakes as well! The dreams were preparing me for an upcoming event, without my being able to intervene in the decision making process of the person about to leave. “Be prepared, but don’t get in the way.”
Just as there is a shorthand to regular intuitive information in the awake state, dreams have their own shorthand as well. For example, whenever I find myself getting off track, I have an airport dream in which I am rushing around about to miss my flight. Sometimes the dream would also show me how to fix it – “Leave that huge suitcase behind and just go straight to the gate!” At other times and in other dreams, I’d just wake up frustrated and in a dither, knowing I’d missed the flight – again! But eventually I would learn to wake up resolved to get back on track, and to get my priorities straightened out.
Pay attention to your own dreams, and discover your own dream shorthand. What are your dreams telling you if you would just let them get through?
Lucid dreams, or dreams in which you are aware you are dreaming, are especially fun. In lucid dreams I get to “think” about my actions in the dream, and change them if I don’t like what I see. Lucid dreams are a great classroom or workshop for learning how to maneuver in probable realities, and to make choices when several options are presented all at once.
These dreams are intense and powerful, and often unforgettable. They employ reason and intuition seamlessly, as decisions are made by both thinking and feeling in this “mind-altered” landscape of the dream. In my view, lucid dreams are the training wheels of the universe, or conscious reality creation. Decisions made in this state can easily flow over into the waking state, and can take on a more precognitive quality if the dreams later result in intended or “chosen” actions that derive from the exercises and advice and decisions undertaken in the lucid dream.
Dreams and Business Intuition
With regard to using dreams for business applications of intuition, I find that a question or issue will “percolate” in my rational mind for a few days or even weeks, and then I will consciously decide to “sleep on it.”
Always being thoughtful in advance to have writing paper and a good pen handy beside the bed, I’ll take a nap or sleep overnight, and will just know when I wake up that a certain phrase or series of images are aimed at the client question or issue I had been mulling over. There is simply a different quality to the images or phrases, and I know this is meant not so much for me, but for my client.
Again, discernment is key. I remember one particularly powerful dream in which I woke up knowing that the dream was meant both for me personally, as well as for my client. When I sent the intuitive write-up later to the client I said, “This is what I got: I know some of this is meant for me, but I feel it is also relevant for you as well…FWIW [for what it’s worth].” I let the client know that there could be bias in the information because some of it seemed so relevant to me personally, which is not always the case; on the other hand, one of the earliest tenets of my intuition training was, “Don’t edit.” So I sent the unedited information, along with the (hopefully discerning) disclaimer. The client later told me that what I sent him was also relevant, accurate, and as important for him to know as it was for me.
Given the nature of synchronicity and the fact that I seem to be bombarded with synchronous events in my daily life, it is also not uncommon for me to have a dream or conversation about a particular issue hours or days before an issue comes up in a session with a client for whom I had no advance information. Routinely I find that in some ways I had “met” that person in the dream state before our meeting over the phone, on Skype, or in person, and was getting prepared for our later real-time conversation through intuitive and precognitive dreams, as well as through apparently chance conversations, newspaper articles, or television snippets that I would just “stumble upon” around that time in the waking state, for no apparent reason.
Meet the Boss
Almost a year before I made a major move from the East Coast to California, I had a dream in which a figure appeared and asked me the question, “Shall we try it?” In that or a different dream around the same period of time I jotted down a date that popped up in the dream: “September 18, 1981.” At the time I was doing post-doctoral work at Harvard, with plans to look for permanent work once the year was over, but no concrete plans to move to the other coast. In fact, as I looked back today at my dream journals, I read that I was planning to work in New York City.
In September 1981 I began a new job at a university in the Bay Area of northern California. About three years after the move I was rummaging through my dream journals, and there it was: the date September 18, 1981, as well as the “Shall we try it?” question. The person in the dream, who was a stranger to me at the time of the dream, was to become my new boss!
Dreams are our partner on the path to success and fulfillment
So often we are afraid of our dreams: because they frighten us and turn into nightmares completely out of our control; because they set unrealistic expectations that we fear we cannot meet; because they make no sense in the waking world of sequential thought and logic.
When we learn to approach our dreams as a tool for our collective and personal fulfillment; when we push the bogey man out the door and invite the close and trusted friend inside our consciousness in its place; we can discover the true partnership not only of intuition and dreams, but also of reason and dreams!