Where do we go when we dream? The idea has intrigued and baffled us since before recorded time.
Usually we think of dreams, and the arena where they’re acted out, as being subjective and imaginary––personal fantasies concocted by the unconscious in order to convey information to us while we sleep. And indeed, it appears there’s some truth to this, but it’s only a partial truth. According to some researchers, the level at which nocturnal problem-solving and self-analysis take place is but one neighborhood in the complex landscape of dreams.
Shamans suggest the realm of dreams is actually an alternate reality, a place every bit as “real” as the physical world we inhabit by day. In his book The Art of Dreaming, Carlos Castenada talks about different dream worlds, including the world of inorganic beings. In Dreamscape, Bruce Vance describes the dream environment as an objective territory with its own inherent laws. He says it remains essentially the same when viewed by any dreamer––an idea that contradicts what we’ve been led to believe about the individual nature of dream experiences.
Some of us also journey via dreams to places that exist here on earth––an instantaneous way to travel that eliminates security checks, passports, and jet lag. Several years ago I took a dream trip to what I believed was Africa (even though I’d never been to Africa in waking life). In the dream, which seemed incredibly realistic and vivid, I stood on a plateau overlooking a green lake. When I described what I’d witnessed to globe-trotting friends, they immediately recognized the place as an area of Zimbabwe.
Journeying in the Dreamscape is an option open to anyone who chooses to pursue it. All it takes is intention and a little practice. In fact, you may have already done some dream traveling without realizing it. Have you journeyed in your dreams? What worlds have you visited? What experiences did you bring back? Please share your adventures with us––pictures anyone?
it. Have you journeyed in your dreams? What worlds have you visited? What experiences did you bring back? Please share your adventures with us––pictures anyone?