Spiritual Work and Paranormal Investigations (Part 3 of 3)
Everyone dreams. Humans and other animals require sleep, and yes, they all dream. Our mental and physical health is dependant on how we sleep and how we dream. A common belief is that gods speak to us through dreams. For example, according to Islamic belief, Muhammad talked to the angel Gabriel several times through his dreams. As a result dreams are very important to followers of Islam and a person’s dreams are highly respected and private between the individual and the divine. Some cultures believe we are nothing more than someone else’s dream. Some shamanic cultures even say that what we perceive as the physical world is the dream and reality exists while we sleep. Many of the higher levels of mediation and trance-states of altered consciousness allow us to communicate with our animal spirits, spirit guides, and divine entities.
But what if we can communicate with spirits through our dreams the way we do while awake? Many cultures believe that this is a matter of fact, and stories of this type of phenomenon are not few and far between. We’ve seen that communicating with spirits on the physical plane can be difficult. Factors such as the observer’s level of awareness and the entity’s ability to affect the physical world come into play. But what about the world of dreams? If we are all energy; if we can understand and communicate with spirits verbally through the collective unconscious; and the fluidic reality of the dreamscape can lead to premonitions, then would it not make perfect sense that spirits can utilize the thinning of the veil between our conscious and subconscious minds in order to communicate in real time and one to one?
Anthropological studies suggest that a belief in life after death originated from dreams of deceased relatives and friends. The research of Dr. Carla Willis Brandon argues that it is indicative of the survival of consciousness in her article Death Bed Visions.
Edgar Cayce once said, “Dreams, visions, and impressions to the entity in the normal sleeping state are the presentations of the experiences necessary for development, if the entity would apply them in the physical life. These may be taken as warnings, as advice, as conditions to be met, conditions to be viewed in a way and manner as lessons, as truths, as they are presented in the various ways and manners.”
However, Carl Jung said dreams are “the main source of all of our knowledge about symbolism.” This means that the messages you receive from your dreams are expressed symbolically and must be interpreted to find their true meanings.
There are different levels and types of dreams. Many are just random images and thoughts from our subconscious thrown into a big mixing bowl. I like to think of general dream states as the mind’s version of defragmenting a hard drive. It sorts all the data that is collected, deletes broken or corrupted data, and frees up space by rearranging things. The random images that flash across our eyes during this process are the basis of the majority of our dreams. That’s why they range from the hilarious to the downright bizarre. Lucid dreams are those in which the dreamer is consciously aware that they are dreaming and can interact, change, and direct the course of dream events. What we call “vision dreams” and “spirit communication” dreams cross the boundaries of the physical universe… as we know them. These include the telepathic dream, the shared dream, the clairvoyant dream, the astral dream, the psychokinetic dream, and the precognitive dream.
The average person spends approximately ninety minutes a night in a dream state. Some of us can remember all, or many, of our dreams; others have trouble remembering that we dreamt at all.
The subconscious mind is very powerful and when we are asleep we are in an alpha state of being. The body is relaxed, and the conscious mind is at rest and usually peaceful. This allows the boundary between our conscious self and our subconscious mind to be more open, thus allowing the dreams to be experienced. Our friends and family that have passed over can and do come back to visit us in our dreams. These spirits will find a way to communicate with us, whether to just let us know they are alright, or to give us a message. I’ve got several stories in my family of these encounters.
Some of us are fortunate enough to have developed our natural abilities to the point that we can see and hear them through psychic awareness; others will sense them around them. Sometimes these spirits will manufacture a scent we associate them with. I was told a story of a woman who communicated with her father and whenever he was around she would smell Electroshave. Whether or not this is evidence of his presence is subject to debate. Smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. If she smelled that or a similar scent then her subconscious mind would think about her father, thus implanting the suggestion in her dreams. Similarly, she could be thinking of her father and her olfactory sense misfires and tricks her into thinking the scent is in the room. Still, there are many cases where s particular scent correlates to paranormal activity.
While we are sleeping they can enter our state of consciousness to communicate with us. Time and time again we have heard stories of those who passed on visiting and talking with their loved ones while they were sleeping.
The death bed vision that Dr. Carla Willis Brandon discusses is “an otherworldly experience the dying and their family members encounter just before death. The dying will report visions of angels, deceased loved ones, or religious figures mere moments, hours, days, or even weeks before actual death occurs.”
One spine-chilling story I can think of involved my grandfather. This was many years ago in Florida and they didn’t have a phone in the house, the closest one was down the street. He had a dream in which his brother came to him and was calling out his name. He awoke very startled from the dream and in the commotion he wrote the time, 3:30 am, on the wall. The next day he received a call that his brother had died during the night at that very time; in another incident, my grandfather came to my uncle in a dream and told him if he didn’t stop smoking he would die. My uncle quit cold turkey the next day.
Usually when someone visits you in a dream it will be very vivid, often in living color, you will have total recall of the dream, and it appears to be happening to you in real time. You will wake up knowing that you indeed had a visit from beyond.
There are several techniques you can use to increase your level of awareness and recall of these types of dreams.
First, test reality. Whenever anything in the waking state looks out of place or unusual, ask yourself whether or not you are dreaming. Habitual practice of this technique will make questioning come naturally and to occur automatically while dreaming.
Use dream incentives. Outside stimuli can induce consciousness in the dream but are not strong enough to awaken the dreamer (such as lights, perfumes, and music). Incentives work differently on everyone, but the most powerful incentives are those that are tied to something of importance to the dreamer or the spirit you wish to contact.
Before you go to sleep say a simple prayer of protection and ask the person with whom you wish to communicate to appear in your dreams. Communication can occur through conversation or through images and symbols.
Interpret your dreams on a personal level. The plethora of “dream dictionaries” available is nice, but they’ll often have different interpretations for the same symbols. When interpreting the symbology of your dreams take into account cultural and societal references and what different objects and places mean to you through your personal experiences.
And, of course, use a dream log to write down all that you remember from the dreams so that you can go back and decipher the meanings and messages later. If you start to focus your analytical skills on every detail at the same time you’re trying to recall it things will get lost in translation. Write it down first THEN go back and explore the meanings.
This could take several days to produce results so don’t give up if you don’t succeed the first night. Try it for at least four nights then stop for a day or two and try again. If after two weeks you still have no results then take a break and try to communicate with someone else. Perhaps the person you are trying to contact is not able or willing to communicate at that time. Perhaps they are not responding because that particular individual has moved on to their next level of existence elsewhere. Keep positive, stay alert, and be persistent and you will succeed.
We now see that speaking with those who have passed can take many forms and levels of skill. Whether you communicate with the other side through the lens of a camera and a recorder, through the use of clairsentient skills and psychic abilities, performing a soul cleansing, or using the power of the subconscious mind to reach those who have crossed over through dreams, a vast array of options now exist to aid in your paranormal investigations.
May your dreams be peaceful, plentiful, and productive. May you continue to expand the boundaries of your personal and spiritual journey. Until next month… J
For further reading, Raymond Moody wrote several best-selling books on life after death. I personally suggest Reunions: Visionary Encounters with Departed Loved Ones and Induced After-Death Communication: A New Therapy for Healing Grief and Trauma
The article, Death Bed Visions, by Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon can be read in its entirety at http://www.pararesearchers.org/Psychic/dbv/dbv.html
**Author’s Note: I’m asking for submissions of personal accounts of paranormal encounters to be featured in a collection for a future article. Please email submissions directly to me at [email protected] and put “Ghost Story” in the subject line. Should be fun and interesting!!