Working with Our Dreams in the Spiritual Life Part II

Following my earlier article looking at how to work with our dreams, detailing the initial stages of recording all the detail of the dream and then building up all your associations with the dream symbols, we now move on to the later stages, towards understanding any meaning the dream has to convey to us. 3. Dialogue with your dream There are many creative ways we can prayerfully dialogue with our dreams to help unlock their meaning. The important thing to always bear in mind in this work is that dreams have come for our good and growth, however difficult or even frightening they may initially seem. Some dreams may let aspects of our Shadow emerge which we fear or want to reject, but we need

Symbolic Life & the Spiritual Path

Modern society has lost the power of symbolic life, though we have not escaped our need of it. A symbol is a term, a name, or an image that in itself may be familiar to us but which through its connotation and application also points to hidden, vague or unknown meanings. For example, the image of the cross. For Christians a cross means much more than the intersection of two lines. It has wider unconscious aspects, qualities than can never be precisely defined or fully explained. It also has not one but many possible meanings beyond itself. It is in ongoing exploration of these symbols that our minds are led beyond reason and logic to living with paradox. There are indeed innumerable things b

Working with our Dreams in the Spiritual Life Part I

In the Christian tradition, many people are becoming more interested again in working with their dreams, recognising some intuitive value and wisdom in them that needs to be listened to. However, most of us these days don't have a clue where to start to begin to try and work with our own dreams. They contain a language of symbolism that is alien to our modern Western mindset. On top of that, as each dream communicates information that is not consciously known by the dreamer, it can take real effort, stretching some of our capacities, to get hold of what the dream is saying. I have been writing down some of my dreams for a number of years now and have been to several workshops looking at work

Spiritual Life & Our Dreams

'Spiritual directors and gurus have always been listeners, but the language to which they listen is the 'forgotten language' of myths and dreams and symbols, the language of fundamental human experience,' Kenneth Leach in Soul Friend. From ancient times, people of all religions have shown reverence for dreams and sought to understand their meaning. In the Christian tradition there is a particularly long history of respecting and working with dreams. Apart from well-known examples of dreams in the Bible, dream material is also to be found extensively in much early Christian literature: Dreams and the Early Christian Writers St Irenaeus (d. 202) said the dream was the means for him to mainta

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