The poet, David Whyte, wrote about midlife transitions: “There comes a time when you must harvest the fruit of your life. Otherwise you will rot on the vine.” The time has come for harvesting a lifetime of dreams. They have aged like good wine, changing complexity and depth as I age. I continue to marinate in their juicy wisdom.
I share these delicious morsels with you in the hope that you will be inspired to turn to your own dreams for sustenance.
Dreams are the digestive system for the psyche: every night dreams digest daytime experiences, integrating that which nourishes the psyche, discharging that which does not. Dreams are processing past experiences and evolving our future selves. Dreams come on behalf of our personal healing and guidance. But they also connect us to the natural world, the spirit realm, and the whole of consciousness. So dreams may come through individuals in service of evolving the culture and sustaining the environment.
There are many techniques for deeply exploring dreams and symbolism: archetypal analysis, projection, active imagination, automatic writing and dialogue with characters, DreamTending and Embodied imagination. Each way of working with dreams has its value and efficacy. As I recount what dreams have taught me through the years, I will illustrate these different techniques.
I have become like the people of the forest in Fahrenheit 451: they exchange their personal identities for the books that they have memorized; they walk through the forest reciting their particular novel to preserve it until such time when society will again cherish books. Like the people of the forest, my identity is not separate from the dreams that have inspired and shaped my life. I can no longer make small talk but live and breathe the narratives and images of dreams. We, the dreamers, preserve the dream realm until such time when society reawakens to its reality.