The Breakthru Dream
Every now and then as we continued to help each other we would have dreams which were unlike any we had ever experienced or read about. These dreams did not require interpretation. They were not symbolic, coded messages from the unconscious which had to be deciphered.
Without knowing it we had found the second way to dream--the one that works; normal dreams do not work. The two kinds of dreams are 1) normal dreams which require interpretation. They are usually passive and full of anxiety. They don't work. And 2) Breakthru Dreams which do not require interpretation. The dream involves the dreamer and teaches him directly about his life.
Slowly these new kinds of dreams began to teach us about dreams in general and about our lives. We began to learn what everyone thought was the unconscious was simple a grab bag of unexpressed feelings from the day and from the past. We began to see that if we could be conscious enough during the day to express all of our feelings then we could have different kinds of dreams at night.
Eventually we began to call these new kinds of dream Breakthru Dreams because they were a direct breakthrough between the unconscious and the conscious. In a Breakthru Dream the dreamer is aware and able to clearly express all feelings. Sounds simple--it isn't. It's basic but it is not easy.
Dream psychologists have collected and classified tens of thousands of "normal" dreams. What they conclude from these collections is that the normal dream is typically passive, apprehensive, and somewhat unpleasant. Usually the normal dreamer is not aware he is dreaming and he is not active or expressive in his dreams; often he is merely an observer. The feeling level in the normal dream is generally low and there is frequently a "gray area" between reality and fantasy.
The Breakthru Dream contrast strongly with normal dreaming and gives a perspective on all other kinds of dreams. Here is a Breakthru Dream of one of our staff.
I was parachuting down to a beautiful island in the South Pacific. As I slowly descended I knew that I was dreaming and I knew the natives on the island would worship me as a god, they had a mythology that predicted someone would come from the sky to lead them. Because of this I realized I could have almost anything I wanted from them. I also knew that they were an almost perfect culture. They were physically beautiful, loving, and free from violence and crime. I knew they needed only one more things to make their life perfect and I would bring that to them. Then I was walking up to their village from the beach where I had landed. They were all running toward me and I could see how strong and beautiful they were. I saw them waving to me and I waved back at them. I noticed that I could feel good because they thought I was good and powerful. Then we gathered around a campfire in the village. I suddenly realized what I had they I could give them. It was the final knowledge they were waiting for and I had it. Just knowing what I was about to say affected me. I could clearly feel inside myself how I was giving up the false image they had of me. As I gave it up I felt more and more feelings of power and sadness inside of me. "There are no leaders,: is what I told them. I suddenly felt much closer to them. I felt a sense of relief go through my body. I had friends in my life instead of being separate. I began to cry and told them how glad I was to be there. As I looked closer, I saw that they were actually my friends--Steve, Carole, Riggs, Joe, Cominic, Jerry, Werner--and they were all gathered around me.
Notice that this dream has a number of characteristics which distinguish it from an ordinary dream. First, the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming. Second, the dream is full of feeling. Third, the dreamer fully expresses the feelings he has. And fourth, the dream shifts from a symbolic, unreal mode to a real representation of the dreamer's life with his friends.
These characteristics clearly identify Breakthru Dreams. They are present any time the natural process of feeling is carried to the limit in dreaming.
The four characteristics we have identified are the dynamics of the Dream Maker Process (Later in the book we will teach you to work with and chart your dreams using these dynamic processes).
The classic psychoanalytic theory hold that dreams are disguised wish fulfillments. Freud postulated the existence of a dream work mechanism or censor to convert blatant, socially un-acceptable wishes (usually sexual wishes) into disguised symbolic pictures.
What we learned from our attempts to share all our feelings and dreams was that the censoring process is a secondary process. It is certainly true that people do learn to disguise and hold back their wishes and other feelings. But it is also true that people have a primary impulse to express feelings, completely and openly. In short, there is a basic thrust, in waking and dreaming, toward full consciousness. We call this the Dream Maker Process.
When the Dream Maker Process prevails, then, symbolic, confused, and censored dreams are transformed into direct, clear, and expressive dreams--Breakthru Dreams. These new dreams provide a feeling reference for what waking and dreaming can be. Breakthru Dreams merge the realism and self-control of waking consciousness with the emotional energy of dream consciousness.
Excerpted from The Dream Makers: Discovering Your Breakthrough Dreams. Richard Corriere, Ph.D, Joseph Hart, Ph.D.