Re: “Dream therapy” set for a comeback? (July 28): After reading your post on ‘Dream Therapy - set for a comeback’ I felt moved to add my six-penneth.
I am a life-long avid dreamer. (And there is a reason why some people are and others not) Until my meeting with a dream-psychologist in 1991, who suggested that I could work with my dreams, I had regular nightmares, some recurring. With just the knowledge that my dreams may hold useful information, from which I could learn the nature of my unconscious mind and emotional health, my nightmares ceased. I kept a dream journal for many years after that. I came to understand that my nightmares were replaying my emotional fears, and when I understood what they were, and worked on alleviating those fears, the nightmares were no longer needed.
I then started lucid dreaming and having out-of-body experiences. At first, they were fairly anxiety- laden, (it takes practice) but in time they became more informative and relaxed. This led me to the understanding that my ‘consciousness’ was separate from my unconscious reactions. My dreams became conscious. I could ask a question and receive an answer in the morning, which proved helpful and elucidating. I can look into the future and have had more than just a few experiences of dreaming of a place, in detail, and colour, and then walk into that exact scene some weeks or months later.
I will now tell you something that may break your interest in what I have just written, or not, because it is fairly unconventional.
I believe that the mind does not reside in the body. I believe that the mind is a ‘free-form consciousness’ that uses the brain as a processor to supply images, sounds, and others senses to which the physical body can relate, for the purpose of down-loading information which is not physical, which we may call ‘understanding’. I believe that the language of the free form consciousness is numerical, geometric and scientific, and symbolic, ie it uses what we know to describe what we don’t know.
For every single thing in existence, there is another expression or meaning of that thing, which is not physical. I also believe that during my out-of-body experiences I have learned knowledge and gained wisdom, which I have not learned from studies in my physical life and I believe that this information is relevant to the understanding of the human condition, the relationship of the human to the natural world of our planet, and beyond, to the solar system and the galaxy and the outer universe(s).
I can dream for other people. I can ‘see’ things that are physically invisible. I can dream while awake, otherwise known as meditation, being psychic, clairvoyant, visionary, having seership, or seeing with the third eye. All these practices have been know for millennia, and it is a study of mine to understand why those who experience it, know it and believe it to be true and understand its worth; and those who can’t do it, do not. There is one simple answer. The human needs to have attained a certain level of evolution to be able to do it. (I also know that some people do it badly, do it for the wrong reason, and abuse it)
As for the condition of the psychotic, schizophrenic, or mentally deranged, I believe that these people have this ability, while their level of evolution is not yet able to direct it positively. There are manifestations of the whole spectrum of the human belief system, emotional state, and level of knowledge, and degree of conscious evolution. Drug-induced psychosis can open up the free-form consciousness in a state of fear. In these circumstances, their experience will be extremely frightening.
There is one other aspect. the free-form consciousness can run all the time, 24 hours a day. The waking state consciousness has physical frames of reference, within which the mind experience can be contained. The dream state has no such frame of reference. The psychotic etc has this dream state/no frame of reference but in the waking state. It may be that the drugs which induce the psychosis block the brain functions which process the incoming mind experience. The phyto- (and synthetic) chemicals which can cause altered brain function and altered mind states, probably had a purpose which was entirely self-protection for the plant. They blocked the intentions of the animal/human who was about to destroy it, rendering it useless, essentially because they are poisons. The side effect of leaving the free-form consciousness without a brain processor is interesting, and another discussion.
PS I am not and never have been psychotic, nor suffer from any mental disorder. I have had an emotional breakdown, following a prolonged period of grief. I have had many experiences in an altered state of mind under controlled conditions, without the use of any plant or drug, for the purpose of study. I used cannabis ‘grass’, ie the plant form, for a short period, just to experience it, but have not used any other drug.