M1. All your dream players are simultaneous creations of your mind.
This is a simple statement that I am sure you will acknowledge when you think about it. But it means that all those people you see in your dreams whether they are colleagues, or family, or spiritual gurus or bosses or dragons or even the scenery, are all created by you.
And what is more, these dream players are acting out their parts simultaneously and apparently independently in cooperation or in conflict with “you’ all at the same moment in your dream. For example, in my dreams, the players often display different emotions, speech patterns, characteristic movements and even speak foreign languages.
It is quite a feat for your brain to display this multiplicity all in one go.
But most of us simply take it for granted, as indeed, we often do for all dreams.
However, this idea has important consequences for your life and well-being.
Please read on…
You in Society
It may come as a surprise, but the multitude of players in your mind in your dreams are still with you in your waking life.
You may need to think about that one a while, because what I am saying is that the “you” you think you are is more complex than you might have imagined.
Have you ever found yourself talking to yourself? Have you ever had inner conflicts?
Even neuroscience is with me on this one. Mirror neurons have been discovered in recent times in the brains. From an article on the subject it says that all of us have this capacity to do as I have described:
“Essentially, mirror neurons respond to actions that we observe in others. The interesting part is that mirror neurons fire in the same way when we actually recreate that action ourselves.”
However, our model of ourselves in society is that we are single-minded individuals operating in a structured society within one country, with one leader, with one god (often), with one economic system, etc.
But actually, what we are adapted for are interactive and cooperative societies with multiple personalities, multiple gods, multiple manners of being.
The problem is that with this contrast, we can find ourselves out of sync not only with the society we live in but also with ourselves.
And all this comes from simply paying attention to how our dreams hang together.
Btw. Have you noticed how when we refer to others we use the term “yourself” – singular. But when we refer to ourselves, we use “ourselves” – plural. It’s built into English language that we are multiple identities while we see others as single identities.
The Solution for You
What you have just understood and are about to discover is critically important to your well-being and happiness. It has worked for me and it will work for you too.
American psychologist James Hillman has said:
“The soul’s inherent multiplicity demands a theological fantasy of equal differentiation”
My personal view is not quite so extreme, but I do think it captures the core of the problem. With this in mind I propose the following solution:
- Recognize the diversity within yourself
- Get to know your cast of characters
- Honor your players and respect them for the traits and benefits they represent
- Expect that Society will ask you, “What will the neighbors think?”
- Recognize you have an identity and role within that Society
On an individual level: If you neglect your dream players and your cast of personalities it will lead to stress within you. We all have self-sabotage built-in to a degree, so use negotiation to ease those conflicts.
On relating to society: You need to pay attention to the signals Society provides without taking it all too personally. We all have to rub along and follow the rules.
In a way, it is continuing the sense and spirit of dreaming while you are awake. You can achieve this simply by getting to know the characters and players of your dreams, and by maintaining your attention while doing your normal daily activities.
Daily Life Becomes a Meditation
So the solution I propose, that works well for me and will work equally well for you too is:
To wear your role in society lightly whilst honoring the multiplicity of selves within you.
It will help you greatly in pursuing the western dream of Health, Wealth and the pursuit of Happiness, with more success, with less inner conflict, and with less stress.
It’s truly amazing what wisdom there is to be found in getting friendly with your dreams and in communicating with your dream players.