Monday, December 3, 2012
Dreaming the Eye in the Triangle
The world of dreams is where we are most alive and come closest to realizing our true potential. If you are a complete materialist, I've already lost you. However, if you have ever been curious about what lies beyond the Gates of Horn and Ivory, then perhaps you remember some special dream which seemed more vibrant or more exciting than the waking world. Maybe you have even explored methods for remembering your dreams or gone even further, seeking techniques to explore various aspects of your dream existence. Stay with me here. Dreams are recognized not merely by visionaries and artists as being important but also by psychologists and even biologists. Without dreams we would not maintain good mental or physical health. So, even though science does not understand as much about dreams as artists, musicians, and mystics do, they know we cannot live healthy lives without plenty of them.
My Early Experiences of the Dreamscape
I first became interested in dreams beyond the casual curiosity that children may have, when during the winter of my tenth year I came down with a severe case of flu. I must have been running a pretty good temperature because I found one night I was catapulted into an extremely vivid, colorful and dramatic dream. Not only that, but the following night, the dream picked up where it had left off. This went on for three or four days. Then my dreams returned more or less to normal. I was obsessed with finding out how to recapture this intense form of dreaming. I didn't have a great deal of immediate success, but this was when I first began committing my dreams to the page. Having already been keeping a diary, this was not perhaps such a giant leap. It was however an important one. I have kept written records of my dreams almost without interruption since, although over the years, unfortunately, a few volumes have been lost.
Techniques of the Dreamer
There are many techniques which can be utilized to benefit from dreaming. Learning to value dreams is the first step. You will not remember your dreams if you do not value them. If you do not already have strong dream recall, start talking to yourself about your dreams. You might want to do this silently to avoid losing friends and alienating family and coworkers. However, setting up a desire and expectation that you will remember your dreams will aid immensely in developing recall. Biological science already assures us that the average adult human dreams about 5 times per night. So, the issue is developing recall.
There are a few simple steps to doing this.1. State or write your intention to recall your dreams
2. Act to confirm that intention. By this I mean, set out materials to write your recalled dreams down; write them out as soon as you awake whether in the middle of the night or in the morning.
3. Repeat 1 and 2 every night.
You may not recall them at first, but if you persist, you will succeed.
Then, find books and other material on dreams. There's a wealth of material out there. Look and explore as many of them as you are drawn to. Avoid formulaic books; that means dream dictionaries. Every dreamer has his or her own language of dreams; you need to learn your own. How can you do this? If you wish to achieve true dreaming, you need to keep or recapture your pure, calm, imaginative spirit
The Dream Lodge
How does any of this relate to Freemasonry? Well, Freemasonry, whether the UGLE likes it or not, has long been associated with Hermetic science. Hermeticism is concerned with gaining a profound vision of the creative force behind existence. What Hermeticism teaches is that the consciousness in you which sees and hears is the eye of god; your mind is god. If you can understand that, then the light will be yours.
By this, we do not mean that the conscious self is God, but rather that God dwells within us and is directly, at least potentially available to us through our minds. This is the point of Hermetic study, and indeed, even of the major Christian mystics over the centuries.
Don't freak out. We're going to step back a bit from that precipice. What can you do that is practical and doesn't deconstruct your early 21st Century materialist brain beyond repair? OK, here's something a lot more conservative. You may have been exploring Masonic symbolism. You may even have ignored your Grand Lodge's admonitions and have read such heretical tomes as those written by McNulty, in the process breaking the most important landmark of them all, "Thou shalt not read anything intelligent about Freemasonry." So, we're going to discuss how to create a dream in which you explore the symbols of Freemasonry.
Incubating the Masonic Dream
For this exercise, imagine your lodge. Attempt to visualize all the details from the doors to the four corners, to the tiled floor. Imagine the furniture, the lights, and the entire ambiance of your lodge. If you have an ideal or preferred lodge to your actual one, you may choose to visualize that ideal lodge. If for example, you love the appearance of Kilwinning No. 0, then imagine Kilwinning. Bring to mind the symbols you wish to explore. Pick only one or two. Spend some time examining a wide range of images depicting these specific symbols. Make those images as diverse as you can find.
Sit on the side of your bed and quiet you body and mind. Next, hold your images in mind for a few moments, then lie down. As you prepare for sleep, gently ask yourself to have and clearly remember a dream that explores both the images and meanings of these symbols. As you drift off to sleep, hold your intention, confident that the dream you remember will bring your symbols to life in unexpected and wonderful ways. If other thoughts distract you, return to your incubation focus.
When you wake, whether in the morning or at any point during the night, write down any dreams or recollections that you have. Do not attempt to analyze anything, just write out whatever you remember. Even if you don't remember any dream at first, persevere. You have begun a journey and if you keep on you will begin to recall a great deal. Such an exercise can make the meaning and importance of dreams and masonic symbols far more vibrant than any other approach. Take notes and keep going. This can be the beginning of an amazing adventure; one which may last a lifetime.