Bath time, when my children were very small, was great fun until the moment came to lift them from the water. They never wanted to get out. Eventually I found the happy solution.
“Who’s going to take the plug out, you or me?” I’d ask.
“Me! Me! I want to!” would come the unerring reply.
Once the water was gone, they were happy to leap out and move on to the next game. It worked until they were old enough to realise that I was giving them severely limited options and that it was me who was really pulling the plug on their fun.
A man once told me about a dream in which he was in a rowing boat on a calm lake when five tornadoes appeared. The tornadoes struck the water and spun it into gurgling holes, as if five enormous bath plugs had been pulled from the sand beneath the lake. He felt the dream was warning him that his money, invested in various projects, was going ‘down the gurgler’.
Our warning dreams motivate us to take action. But what kind of action should we take?
Are our dream warnings accurate, or do they reflect our fears and beliefs? Was this man’s money inevitably going down the gurgler or was he projecting (and creating) this outcome based on his unconscious beliefs and experiences – his conditioning? Had the plug already been pulled or did he have more expansive options?
And, in any case, was this man’s dream about his financial affairs or did it reflect other valuable information he could apply to ensure calm waters in his life?
My children expected only one outcome: that the plug would be removed in the next minute and the water would go down the plughole. So the outcome always manifested. If they had been older they might have suggested we run more hot water, stay in the bath longer, get take-away instead of cooking dinner and still get to bed on time. They would have learned the lesson that other wise options always exist. Or they might have stayed in the bath until the water went cold and learned a different but equally wise lesson from their experience.
Alternatives. Wider choices. Whichever way, we gain wisdom from our choices if we are open enough to learn the lessons they offer. Sometimes the wisdom is learned under happy circumstances (the hot water and take-away choice) and sometimes less happy circumstances (the cold water choice).
“Take the plug out? Otherwise what?” my children might have asked, had they been older back in the bath plug days. “Otherwise you will become other wise”, I may have replied.
To grow, to gain wisdom, we often need change. We need to challenge ourselves to explore the wider options of the otherwise.
If life wisdom is the path, there can be no wrong choices. Just different choices and different routes. But if we hold a vision, a goal, how can we find the best route, the one that delivers both the desired reward and wisdom?
Well, naturally our dreams provide the answers but how can we recognise them?
Our dreams are symbolic snapshots in time. They show us ourselves – our conscious and unconscious beliefs, experiences, memories and feelings relating to life at the time of the dream. Specifically they show us (once interpreted) how our unconscious beliefs are affecting our waking life and where those beliefs originated.
It is our beliefs – especially our unconscious ones – that shape our future. Above all, our fears shape our future by limiting our choices. We tend not to take the path that requires us to face our fears. Pulling the plug seems an easier option.
Looked at in this way, our dreams are blueprints of the future, projecting outcomes based on our past responses to life. In this way too, dreams can be said to be prophetic.
If the man’s tornado dream was indeed about his financial affairs then it may have been reflecting his fears and beliefs that his money would go down the gurgler, and such fears possibly may have created that result.
What was his dream advising him to do?
He may have saved money by withdrawing his investments if he was in danger of creating doom.
Otherwise he could use the dream to identify the negative fears and beliefs and change them, using dream alchemy practices. By changing the blueprint his projected future changes and the situation is defused.
To change the outcome, change the belief.
To change the outer world, change the inner one.
Beware the warning dream otherwise you may miss the real gold.
(The deeper meaning of the dream: The five tornadoes represented five major changes – the winds of change – in this man’s life that, each time, had ‘torn’ his calm world apart. Water often represents the emotions. These changes had stirred his deepest emotions, even though all appeared calm on the surface. His dream reflected his belief, based on these experiences, that whenever things were calm, a huge change would sweep in and shake him to the core. This belief extended to his financial affairs, ensuring regular calamity. His dream required him to look back at those changes to reap the wisdom of the otherwise and to transform his beliefs in destructive change into constructive change.)
[Copyright Jane Teresa Anderson, August 2003. First published as a Dream Sight article.]