7 QUESTION: At certain times, I have a series of insightful dreams, and then come longer periods without dreams, even though I prayed for them before going to sleep. Does this have to do with lack of physical strength? When I am tired or overworked, I don’t have dreams. Is this perhaps similar to the connection with the Spirit World for which we also need a certain kind of energy, the so-called odic force?

ANSWER: Yes, the odic force has something to do with it, as the mutual influence of the spiritual and the physical is very strong. Yet this is not the only factor involved. Dreams cannot be requested. It is all right to ask for signs and answers, but the forms these take cannot be determined by you.

Perhaps it is better for you, in a certain period of your development, to obtain answers in a different form. You are not yet able to judge why help should come to you in a different way from the one you asked for. But perhaps your dreams of insight have become too habitual and therefore they do not require much spiritual labor for you to interpret them.

The intention may be for you to exert a greater spiritual effort and, if you do, you will receive the answer in another form. The accustomed way might still be used when it is very important for you to recognize something. By and large, however, the guidance will come in a way that will require from you greater spiritual effort to understand it; the purpose may be for you to establish a connection in yet another way.

76 QUESTION: If some of our dreams are sent to us by the Spirit World in order to teach us a lesson, why then are they so covered by symbolism?

ANSWER: In the first place let us not say a dream is “sent.” Dreams are not really sent. This is difficult for my human friends to understand, but there is a difference between the so-called psychological dream and the spiritual dream. The dream that is given by the Spirit World is really a memory of your sojourn in the Spirit World while your body was asleep.

You know that often you experience events in sleep. You are taught or advised about something and then you can take a memory along to help bring out what your soul has been impressed with. Even without such a memory, this soul-impression from a spiritual experience will eventually affect your life, your endeavors, your attitudes. Often it is helpful and more effective if this is a fortified picture.

The reasons that dreams are blurred by complicated symbols are manifold. I could not go into that thoroughly in a simple answer. It would need at least a lecture on this subject, which I may give at a later period. But for now, I would like to say this: there are so many levels of the human personality, as you all know, and they all have their various messages to convey. One blurs into the other. That is one reason for the distortions.

The second reason is that the language in the Spirit World is a picture language. When you are in the human state, accustomed to a completely different mode of expression, the symbolism of the pictures is something you have to translate. This, incidentally, is one of the reasons why it is so very hard for a spirit to express itself in human language. It is a limitation.

Imagine it in the sense of translating a text from a foreign language. If you are not very familiar with that language and you have to translate the meaning into the language that is familiar to you, it will sometimes be a difficult, laborious task. It needs effort. You have to think. Perhaps you have to look up a word in a dictionary. That is the difficulty here also. The phenomenon in itself is not confusing. In fact, it is much less confusing than your human language, which is so much more limited.

And a third reason, last but certainly not least, is another element. Again, you all know that people have resistance to finding out truth about themselves. That resisting part may interfere when your soul wants to convey a message to you.

One part of your being wants to give and show freely to your consciousness what the inner problem is. It projects these pictures, but then there is this other part in you at work that tries to blur such messages, whether they are from the part of your personality that wishes to advance and become more aware and conscious, or memories from the Spirit World that wish to serve the same purpose in a different way, by a different method that often you do not know how to distinguish. It is not important that you do so, as long as you get the message itself.

The resisting part desires to cover up, to camouflage messages that lead you toward self-recognition and inner change. That is all it can do, if your will is strong enough. It cannot prohibit – even if the outer will is still paralyzed – the higher self speaking and working and showing you the way.

This often happens through dreams. But the lower self always interferes. It sends in disturbances. Radio messages can be interfered with in a similar way. All these elements are responsible for the difficulty to interpret dream language.

80 QUESTION: Is it possible for you to give us some sort of formula we might adopt for interpreting dream symbols?

ANSWER: Yes, my friends, I have interpreted dream symbols in many years of training. But I cannot give you any preconceived formulas. This would oversimplify matters. To really understand and interpret dreams is a lengthy and often tedious process. It not only takes knowledge and experience, but it also demands a great deal of intuition, understanding and talent.

A dream is something extremely personal. There is so much oversimplification in your world. The real benefit of the message which the dream intends to convey is often lost when people diligently but automatically analyze dreams.

QUESTION: Why are dreams given if it requires an expert to get to the meaning?

ANSWER: If you really want to know the truth about your dreams, and if you take the time and effort, you can find out sometimes even by yourself. At other times, you will need help. But in case you really want to know about your innermost self, you will not shy away from the possibility of receiving such help and you will be guided to it.

As I have often said, the real work of self-search cannot be done alone. This applies not only to dream interpretation. But most people do not want to know about themselves. They put out of sight everything that may give them a deeper understanding of themselves, whether gained from a dream or from the observation of their conscious daily reactions.

96 QUESTION: Can you give us suggestions for interpreting dreams?

ANSWER: I am giving them constantly, but let me just say a few words here, since this question has come up. One of the most dangerous things in dream interpretation is generalization. Beware of it. Always use the personal, subjective associations – what you think, feel and experience in connection with dream events.

The tendency to escape from unresolved problems, from conflicts, from that part of you that has remained in illusion and immaturity, makes people sometimes read into dreams a high spiritual meaning that may or may not hold true. You objectify rather than probe the dream for its subjective meaning.

Be careful of that, my friends. A dream always contains a special message to you from your own soul. To find this message is infinitely more constructive than looking for a consoling, pleasant message from outside yourself.

Your fear of facing yourself makes you turn away from the constructive messages your soul delivers to you constantly. And you refuse to read these messages. Not only because they are not always easy to read – it may take time, effort, patience, and a great deal of real inner will, as well as help from others who are qualified to help – but also because you like to hear nice, pleasant things.

When you perceive a much more constructive and productive voice of love that sometimes says momentarily not so pleasant things, you become so blind that you do not even perceive the love. You are blind to it because deep inside you connect love with what is pleasant and easy – and, unfortunately, that is not always the truth.

Productive love sometimes has to criticize. Whether this applies to another person or to your own dreams, your reaction to both is often the same. You turn away from it.

Your own dreams are messages of love, although they sometimes reveal something to you that, at first, you do not want to know. Go to the trouble of deciphering them, even if at first you cringe away trying to forget them, trying to belittle their meaning because of their apparent nonsense, or trying to put a very glorious, beautiful, flattering message into the dream from the Spirit World.

The true message that comes from your soul is instructive rather than flattering. That kind of message is from the real Spirit World. It points to what really goes on in you, what is immediate.

To answer your question with rules and regulations would be impossible. There is too much to dream interpretation. I have done this with my medium in a constant training process over the years. The fruits of this training are constantly being used, and this is the only way to learn. You cannot learn something that is constant and alive by learning a few rules, by hearing a few words. That would only be misleading.

Were you to ask someone who speaks a foreign tongue to tell you something about it so that you could begin speaking it, what could they say that might be helpful to you? Your dreams are a language, and to learn it takes considerable time. Until you have learned this language, you need a translator. Then little by little you begin to learn it yourself, depending on how much talent you have for this language and how much effort you make.

98 QUESTION: Sometimes when one has an unresolved problem and one goes to sleep relaxed, intending to have the problem resolved, one wakes up with the solution. Then one’s unconscious mind has solved it.

ANSWER: Whatever terminology we use, there is really only one thing important to know about the meaning of the unconscious, and that is lack of awareness. When you are unconscious, you are not aware. Now, there are degrees, of course. Do not imagine that your unconscious mind is either a perfect and wise super-creature or a monstrous animal.

Many people have extreme attitudes toward their unconscious. The unconscious mind does not necessarily have anything to do with your real self, the higher self, or with the lower self, the part that you deny. Both sides of your nature can be partly conscious and partly unconscious.

For instance, you may be conscious of certain aspects in yourself, or about general concepts, but you are not conscious of their entire significance. Your awareness is neither completely absent, nor is it completely present. There exists, then, a degree of awareness.

That you can resolve certain problems during sleep by instructing your unconscious mind happens because you have knowledge of which you are not aware. In certain states of relaxation and concentration, such as concentrating on the will to find a solution before going to sleep, the unconscious knowledge can reach surface awareness.

Your entire striving on this Earth sphere is to increase your awareness of what is already stored in you. In such a state of relaxation, it is also possible for spirit helpers to aid in bringing your own knowledge to the surface. In other words, it is a combination of the Spirit World working with your own real self.

What is necessary for such awareness is the constructive functioning of your inner will. Therefore, when a person goes to sleep facing a confusion or a problem and wholeheartedly desires to resolve it in the best possible way, even if this means giving up a selfish aim, then that person creates a state of inner openness where productive universal forces of truth can get to work.

When the confusion is not tackled, when one is not fully aware of what one is confused about, then such answers cannot come. Hence conscious effort has to be made most of the time. Sometimes, of course, an unconscious desire may exist of which the person is unaware.

QA139 QUESTION: I never used to think about death or dying, but a few weeks ago, I had several dreams and also waking thoughts about my having cancer. I interpreted them as a kind of warning. I wonder what brought these fears up or how did they occur?

ANSWER: Such fears are always a result of guilt that is not wholly recognized and come to terms with – and in connection with such guilt, the desire to avoid aspects of living that are unpleasant. It is these very aspects one handles with childish lack of integrity that one feels, at the same time, guilty for.

In other words, if an individual does not want to assume the apparent – and I underline apparent – hardship of adult responsibility, with all its integrity that is necessary, with the fullness that is necessary, then the neurotic self wants to, as it always does, look for an easy way out. This easy way out can sometimes be a death wish. Now, at the same time there is a guilt about wanting to avoid honest living, as the healthy, mature self does. Do you understand that?

QUESTION: Was the guilt tied to any particular thing that I did at that time?

ANSWER: Well, not necessarily a particular thing you did at that time, but it may be, as you very well know, by the way that this whole aspect is now coming to the fore. You now feel more consciously the guilt and the death wish, which before was inverted. It was channeled into a different area; it was more indirect.

You manifested the death wish through spoiling things for yourself, rather than actually wishing yourself death. It is a sign of progress when these things become so conscious and so acute, for this means you are already on the way out, especially in the way you are moving on this Path. It is not a particular, one-time act, but there may have been an action, a usual behavior pattern, which sometimes comes out and sometimes does not come out in one’s daily life.

When it appears, it may elicit these feelings of guilt and the desire to avoid. This desire to avoid is, in the last analysis, always death. Because when one avoids life, one courts death. To the extent this happens, to that extent one fears death.

But you are now really glimpsing that there is no need to avoid life; that life is actually wonderful. And what you thought up till now was so difficult, and needed and should be avoided because you could not handle it, you now gain moments where you see this is all illusion. You are in this stage now. Do you understand?

ANSWER: Yes. I just want you to be sure that there are no warnings, none whatsoever? {Yes}

QA163 QUESTION: As I develop, I have found that the way I dream changes. Others I’ve talked to experience the same thing. Can you say something about the differences of dreaming in connection with development on the Path?

ANSWER: Yes. That is very often the case. It is not only the type of dreams, but the flavor of dreams. It cannot be different, for how could it be different since the dream expresses a climate. As you grow and unfold and develop and overcome certain obstructions, the climate within changes.

The dream expresses a small excerpt perhaps on where the climate is, and the climate has changed. Therefore, the climate of the dream must change as well – the flavor of the dream must change as well.

Now, let us say, for instance, grossly speaking, an individual finds himself in that prephase of Pathwork which might sometimes last for years and years and years, where he only looks at surface things, where he’s still afraid to look at the real things in him. That produces a certain climate. The climate is then that he is in a haze, in a fog.

As I put it, in connection with one of our last recent lectures, it’s the fog of prereality. He does not face anything yet – or not much, perhaps. This will produce a certain similar flavor or climate of dreams, which might also lead that the dreams are very concealed, very obscure, very contradictory, not always easy to find the answers to.

While at another period, when this is overcome and already one has faced certain things, has looked at certain things and overcome certain things, the climate must be clearer. Therefore, the dreams might be clearer.

Now, someone may say, quite justifiably, there are cases where someone is completely in a fog, self-alienated at the very beginning perhaps of such a Pathwork, and yet his dreams may be very obvious, show very clearly the problems, perhaps in a much clearer way than with someone else who is much more aware of himself – or of some of his problems, at least – where the dreams are more concealed, more obscure. This happens too.

This may, for instance, be the case when there is at least one part of the inner reality, the real self, that says, “Yes, I want to.” It is always the inner that may be a determining factor there, and then added up with everything else.

So it is not always to be taken as in exactly the same way, because so many factors play a role that you don’t know anything about. But generally speaking, the climate of dreams changes logically according to the climate of the inner person.

QUESTION: Is it possible that eventually, when the development proceeds to the extent where we have very good contact with our inner selves, that we stop dreaming altogether, that we don’t need to dream?

ANSWER: Well, no, I would not say that, for the dream mechanism is an automatic process, and as long as man lives in the body of flesh, there is so much he is not aware of. Even if he is completely self-realized – as much as this is humanly possible – and completely in contact with his divine inner self and lives by an integrated wisdom, his divine self is more and more activated, more and more unfolding.

Nevertheless, every day he lives, he is aware only of the smallest percentage of what actually exists around him and within him. Therefore dreams will very often express those things he is not aware of.

Again, such an individual would have very different types of dreams. Let us say, for instance, a person in such a state would then dream something also in a symbolic way that was of some kind of significance to his inner life yesterday that he did not perceive, because he was in his shell too blind and too conditioned not to see, in spite of self-realization to a large extent. So dreaming must continue as long as the human state exists.

QA182 QUESTION: I had a dream about Christ in which a spirit came down to him and said that he would have to suffer and die and he was very sad. The whole scene was bathed in a red light, and I was curious about what the red light meant and also who sent me this dream?

ANSWER: Your own innermost being sent you the dream. The dream expresses thoughts and ideas and feelings and fears that you do not dare to acknowledge on the conscious level. You do not dare to do this because you exaggerate the meaning, and the fear then becomes almost terror. Now, in the first place, it would be important to establish what you associate with Christ. What is your association? Your personal association.

QUESTION: I have to think about it.

ANSWER: Suffering, isn’t it? That the good is punished, the good must die, that that which is beautiful and noble and open and giving and loving will be tortured and killed. From what I can perceive, I would surmise that you have a fear within yourself, that if you open up, if you become spiritual as well as human in your love – the red light would be the red with glow and warmth of love feelings and sexual feelings – and if this merges with the spirituality and with the openness of the total being, that this would kill you. Can you connect at all with this?

QUESTION: The last statement I didn’t get.

ANSWER: That if you open up all the way and let yourself love and feel, that this would kill you. This is a fear in you. The dream is not an oracle that tells you what takes place or what is. Not all dreams, but most dreams – and the particularly important interpretations – tell you what you subjectively desire or fear or believe. And your fear of being killed if you’re open and loving, this is the main meaning of the dream. Can you verify this at all?

QUESTION: I connect this somehow with the work that I’ve been doing and the book that I might possibly write.

ANSWER: In what way?

QUESTION: I felt like somehow I’ve come to earth to do this Christ-like act for other people, to help them.

ANSWER: In other words, you liken yourself to Christ.

QUESTION: Yeah, I guess so. Or I want to.

ANSWER: Well, this is a dangerous attitude.

QUESTION: Well, I don’t get serious about it.

ANSWER: Well, to whatever extent you do this, there are many problems there that are precisely connected with the interpretation I gave you.

QUESTION: I see myself as being very advanced as to having solved a lot of problems but not having full consciousness yet.

ANSWER: You know, what is “advanced?” This categorizes and can be a very, very misleading thing. But I would say the more advanced, if you will use this word, a person is, the more the realization exists that growth is an unending process and that in order to give to others, the primary weight must always be on seeing what the personality may still be blind to, the fears and the evasions and the defenses the personality is still blind to, no matter how spiritually enlightened such a person may also be.

QA190 QUESTION: I have found dream interpretation so helpful to me, but there are so many dreams, and there isn’t time to discuss them all with the Helper. Could you give me some guidance so that I will be perhaps better able to bring the right dreams to the Helper and get help from them?

ANSWER: Sometimes when dreams are too prolific – in other words, more prolific than can be absorbed – this is as much a sign of inner resistance as if there are no recollections of dreams. The moment you know this, you can just as much control it – and I mean control in a good way, not in a self-dominating way – as when there are no dreams available, and that is the following.

Before you fall asleep, send a thought into yourself that you wish to retain from session to session, just a sufficient amount of dreams which are necessary and helpful to take care of. And if your unconscious still produces more than you can absorb, then you can meditate or send a thought into yourself, where you say that you would like the inner inspiration and guidance to know which dreams to pick out, so that you have the meaningful sequence of the dreams.

For the dreams are always most meaningful in sequence, not as isolated entities. When you see the sequential continuum, you will see a unity behind and a message in them that may very easily elude you if you just take isolated dreams. In that way, you will begin to make the dream production commensurate with the reality circumstances you live in.

Also, I would say that, at the same time as you do so, that you use a specific meditation so that the dreams are not only gone through, but really experienced as your inner reality, experienced as messages that are completely alive and which are not just cut-and-dried statements. When you do this, when you focus in this way on your inner world, the inner world and the conscious outer world will unify even more and faster.

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