I had just discovered the meaning of life!
So, I needed to keep myself straddled between wakefulness and dreaming long enough to allow the frantic stream of awareness to flood from the tip of my pen and spill onto the page enveloped in darkness before me. Furiously I scratched timeless, ancient wisdom on paper. Imagining the contribution that this would make to all of humanity I drifted off: no more need for strife; war – gone; poverty – poof. My duty done, I allowed myself to fall back into a euphoric sleep with a Cheshire cat grin affixed to my face.
The warmth of daylight’s rays coaxed me awake and, as I had learned from so many years of dream work, I lay in stillness to invite the recall of dreams. Suddenly, the realization of the previous night’s capture dawned on me. The meaning of all life awaited me recorded on the lined pages of my dream journal. I could barely contain myself. I scrambled through clothes, books, pens and sundry items strewn on the floor beside my futon (this was in my bohemian days).
There it was!
I clutched it to my chest, gave a brief moment of thanks and with a deep self-satisfied exhalation lovingly titled the pages back to reveal…lines and lines of words written on top of each other in one single, ugly, black, illegible scrawl.
Lesson number one in dream recall, though it is possible to record in the dark, even the most experienced dream workers are fallible. Use a flashlight when recording in the middle of the night, the light is dim enough to record yet not bright enough to fully awaken you. (See DREAMS AS ALLIES – the basics of recall)
And, I could not dig up even an inkling as to the message I’d received. True to dream theory obviously more than 10 minutes had elapsed between my dreaming and my awakening; enough time for the potential paradigm shifting wisdom to be lost.
DREAM RECALL - RECORDING UPON AWAKENING
2. Leave some space at the top of the page to record steps 7 – 11.
3. Lay still to allow dreams to rise in the form of images, words, feelings. Remain in this position as you write your findings. If nothing arises, change position and …wait…; nothing there, change to another position…wait, and so on covering all positions. Re-establishing the position you were in during the dream connects you kinesthetically to cellular memory and the result can be the recall of the dream.
4. Don’t use short forms. The way we use words is important. The work is for your eyes only – censorship is the antithesis of dream work. Keep your journal in a private place.
5. Don’t erase or scratch out mistakes, simply draw a light line through them. These slips of the tongue and “unintended” wordings are further ways the subconscious communicates through you to yourself.
6. Keep recording til the recall is done and only then review the dream. This type of automatic writing allows the subconscious to flow.
- Explanations and realizations that come as you record the dream but are not part of the actual dream itself can be written in brackets within the dream.
7. When finished review what you have written.
- If further insights come record them at the end of the page.
- Put an * in the dream record to indicate that there are notes to follow if it relates specifically to something recorded within the dream.
8. Record the date the dream occurred and the date of the recording (they may be different). If you are recording a dream days, months even years after its occurrence note the incident that prompted the spontaneous recall. Dating gives context especially if you are keeping a journal.
9. Give the dream a title.
10. Summarize the dream in one sentence – commonly someone is doing something.
11. What type of dream is it? Develop your own categories.
12. Is it complete or a fragment? Even a fragment can reveal volumes.
I still don’t remember the dream itself and despite my initial disappointment I was, and continue to be, consoled by the fact that I could recall how amazing the realization contained in the dream felt. It felt like hope. And in a seemingly hopeless time that was good enough.