Should We Control Our Dreams ?
Part 1, Part2
In Western culture, in contrast to many primal cultures, for example, we experience a primary split between Nature and Spirit, mind and body, consciousness and matter, outer reality and inner reality. Core Judeo-Christian images blended with Greek and Roman philosophy have provided a powerful engine that drives our civilization. A core belief pattern is that "Man", is subject to an unchanging law of God and is responsible to exercise dominion over nature, which, since the "Fall," is under the power of Evil (Satan). The only salvation for "Man" is to turn his life, loyalty and obedience back to this unchanging God which will insure a place in Heaven in the after-life. The secular, scientific, socio-political-economic models derived from this hierarchy of God over fallen Man, and Man over a corrupt Nature, is that we feel dissociated from Nature, including our own and we feel responsible to freely exploit and control nature to insure our unending progress (salvation). In this world view, God guides, or controls our destiny, and we control or have dominion over acorrupt nature. In the extreme view, nature is not worth saving at all. This simple vision of a hierarchy of power between God, humanity and a corrupted nature is in sharp contrast to the visions it supplanted and other major cultural and religious viewpoints.
For example, the Native American and other primal mythologies are not based on an individualistic ideal, or a hierarchy of control but on a relational, or communal ideal which includes the animals and plants, rocks and sky as part of a vital living community. It is not a model of dominance over, but of partnership with all that is that is crucial to survival. Nature is experienced as a conscious living being to be loved rather than an object to be used, abused and discarded at will. The Great Spirit (God) is infused in nature so that everything is in a living relationship to everything else. When we look at dreams and dreaming through these very different and contradictory viewpoints we arrive at very different perspectives on the issue of control.
The question "should we control our dreams?" may arise from the relationship to all that is. Then the issue of control is experienced in a totally different light. Instead of a hierarchy of power we find ourselves in a more fluid ecology and economy of shared relationships where the health of the whole is more important than the autonomy of the parts. In this world view dreams are meant to serve the whole community. The impossibility of determining the source of dreaming as from either God or nature may reflect more on the inadequacies of our limited world view than on the source or value of dreaming. Through inner-dialogue a felt-shift occurs in the body if a breakthrough is achieved in the dreamer-dream relationship. During the question and answer period I suggested that we further expand our understanding of who the "we" is who is controlling in the first place.
Part 1, Part2
Dreamland psychic \ Dream Folklore \ Control Dreams