Friday, February 22, 2008

The Growth of Consciousness

The growth and development of our consciousness is reflected in our dreams, according to Ernest Rossi, a pyschotherapist and author of the book Dreams, Consciousness, Spirit: The Quantum Experience of Self-Reflection and Co-Creation. And in working with our dreams, we "co-create" a new consciousness. Ultimately, this creative process is a "struggle to get free from the grip of the older conventional view to try new ways of living and experiencing."

Begin by observing your dreams. Notice the non-linear stages of development in the creative process.

Stage One: These dreams depict a fixed state of consciousness. We are lost... frozen... in a fog... we don't know what to do... we're in a dark room... running in circles... we are a statue... we're on a straight and narrow road. I had a dream in which I was stalled at an intersection. We feel a sense of inadequacy or we have a negative attitude in the dream.

Stage Two: Dreams begin to shift from the frozenness of Stage One into darkness. These dreams may have repetitive cycles of thought and behavior. Images may consist of shifting, arguments, splitting, spinning, dancing, whirling, rebellion, war, fir, danger, blood, or destruction. There may be two or more states experienced in Stage Two dreams, for instance an ape shifts and it is you.

In your waking life, you may be experiencing a period of depression, isolation, or withdrawal. This is a time of incubation: something new is coming into consciousness. You may be vaguely aware of it, and yet not quite ready for it, which creates the stress, anxiety, or confusion you are experiencing. You may experience spontaneous flashbacks and memories during the day. Look at the memories as coming from a time when certain aspects of your personality may have been pushed away.

As you are observing your dreams, think about the changes they represent in the way your mind structures reality.

Do some inner dialogue (ala Robert Johnson) to help actualize the psychological qualities that first emerged as dream images.

Stage Three: Dream images consist of the bizarre, unique, odd, or fascinating; a sense of unreality or fantasy; or distortions, absurdities, and odd sensations. Look also for dreams where you examine your thoughts, feelings, or behavior within the dream.

Self-reflection is the essence of this stage. The bizarre is the essence of your individuality and the raw material out of which something new can develop. Personality changes are beginning, albeit in unpredictable ways.

At this point, carefully examine what your dreaming self thought was bizarre.

Stage Four: You may be trying on new behavior in the dream, telling yourself something in words or some other form of self-description, or engaging in dialogues. You may have an awareness that you are dreaming (consciousness or lucid dreaming). Some people experience a blinding light, sense of awe, sense of unity with God, or a sense of well-being. You are experiencing a heightened state of consciousness.

Now you are actively involved in an effort to reality test your new ideas in order to incorporate them more fully. The creative becomes actualized into behavior.

Click here to read about The Development of Dream Images

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