Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dreams of the Holiday Season

christmas dreams
christmas dreams (Photo credit: D Petzold Photography)
         When I think of Christmas-specific dreams, my thoughts go back to dreams of childhood.  I cannot recall offhand any dreams about Christmas in my adult years, but I do recall having Christmas related dreams when I was a child.

          My Christmas dreams when I was a child were those of wishing for things that I wanted to find on Christmas morning or more ambiguous discoveries of unexpected things that were equally delightful.  Christmas dreams were never bad dreams.   Those dreams were sleep experiences that would leave me feeling happy, hopeful, and excited about things to come or things that could be.  Dreams related to New Year were more disconcerting.

Two Examples of Holiday Season Dreams:

         One example that I remember came when I was about eleven years of age after I had begun collecting stamps.  I was passionate about the hobby at that time and I would look forward to receiving packets of foreign stamps as part of my Christmas bounty.  In one dream I was in the dining room of the house where we lived.  The house in the dream was bigger and the larger dining room was positioned differently than our actual dining room.   I reached under the table into one of the corners and discovered a cache of stamps that began pouring out into my hands and onto the floor.  I was elated by the philatelic treasure trove that I had discovered.   After awakening I checked beneath our dining room table to find out if any stamps were really there.  Of course they were not, but still the dream left me feeling happy.

       Somewhere around that same time I recall having a dream related to New Years that left me with a more apprehensive feeling.  In this dream I was outside in a neighborhood not far from the one where we were living at the time in San Diego, California.   This was a neighborhood that I recognized but was mostly unfamiliar with.   I had an awareness that it was midnight.  There was a verge of New Years revelry that was overshadowed by a sense that the world was ending.  I looked up at a sky that appeared to be churning with clouds that were illuminated with an internal fire.  I was fearful, yet awestruck.

Here Is How I Interpret the Difference:

       Christmas and New Year are both times of expectations.   Since the Christmas event is related to looking forward to receiving material possessions, there is usually little fear involved and a greater sense of hope.  Past experience construes previous gifts received and good times had related to that day.  Happy thoughts abound.   The Christmas dreams relate to some things unknown and things that are often probabilities, but they are all things that we believe will be happy things.  The Christmas dreams will frequently reflect that belief that we have within us.

        The New Year anticipates what will hopefully be good for us, but what might also bode darkly.  This is the beginning of an entire year that could consist of bad and good.  There is not much in concrete material things that we relate to the concept of a year.   The year is primarily related to a series of events.  We may have been hearing of the previous year's events, many which may have been bad and frightening.  Predictions may be offered of things to come and sometimes those things don't sound so good.

         In the early 1960's when I had the dreams related here, we were in a time of Cold War with the threat of impending nuclear war ever looming on the horizon.  I was not terrified, but interested in what was going on and fascinated by the possibilities of what could happen.   I was aware of Biblical prophesies and my favorite entertainment was any film that was  post-apocalyptic or dealing with effects of mutations resulting from nuclear energy or other sources.  My darker dreams of that period reflect not being afraid as much as being curious about where the world was going.

         Have you had any dreams specifically influenced by the holidays?   If so, have you noticed any difference in dreams related to one holiday or another?   How would you suppose dreams might differ in children from one decade to the next?  Do you ever have dreams that seem to reflect apocalyptic visions?


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dream Movies to See: Waking Life

Cover of "Waking Life"
Cover of Waking Life
           Many movies include dream sequences used for various dramatic effects, but far fewer are movies strictly about dreaming.  The movies that are built around the topic of dreaming are usually far-fetched fantasies, mind-bending horror tales, or science-fiction/speculative studies of the dream world.

           Then there is Waking Life, a 2001 film by Richard Linklater.   Waking Life is a remarkable film on many levels.  Not to be merely passed off as a cartoon for adults, Linklater's film was actually shot on digital video using live actors and then given the animated appearance through a process called rotoscope, where the frames are drawn over and colored in.  This process creates a visual that is a very disorienting fluid look.  The result is a wonderfully fanciful dreamscape.

           There is limited plot to the film.  Basically the main character wanders from scene to scene meeting up with an assortment of characters with whom he carries on a variety of conversations that cover topics such as philosophy, religion, politics, and the very nature of dreaming life versus waking life.  As the film progresses, the unidentified main character tries to figure out whether he is dreaming or not and eventually tries to find a way to escape the ongoing dream in which he feels trapped.  The basic story is comparable to a Twilight Zone episode.

           This a talking film--little in the way of action, but a lot of very interesting discussion.   Waking Life almost comes across as a sort of documentary about ideas and theories.  In a sense the film seems like a college catalog where we are given overviews of course topics.   Many of the characters are actually real life philosophers, authors, and other academics expressing some of the ideas for which they are known.

           I've watched this film a number of times and probably will watch it many more.  For me, the film never gets boring as the concepts presented can stimulate some deep thinking.  I still haven't comprehended everything the characters in the film are trying to convey in their discourses.  One idea is touched upon and then the scene moves on to another.  It's a relatively short film that moves quickly because of the pace of flowing from scene to scene.

           The soundtrack is outstanding.  Mostly tango influenced, probably because the music is performed by a tango ensemble that consists of a string quartet, an accordion, and keyboard.  The music is appealing and what could be accurately described as haunting.  This is one of my favorite soundtracks.

           Waking Life presents the most accurate film recreation of what a dream is like, from the look of the film to the conversations in the dialog to the disorienting effect of the complete experience.  This could be one of my dreams.

            If you are willing to take the 90 minute journey and don't require constant action, you might enjoy Waking Life.   I find it to be intellectually stimulating and a learning experience--or at least a thinking experience.  It could be great fun for viewing with family or friends who like to discuss what they've seen.  I encourage you to try it out.  Let me know what you think of the film if you watch it.

          Have you seen Waking Life?   What did you think?    Can you think of any other films that deal strictly with the process of dreaming, the nature of the mind, and the philosophy of existence?  


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Continuity of Dream Settings

waterfall (Photo credit: 3sth3r)
A recent dream...

       I seem to be on vacation perhaps with a tour group.  Some of the people in the group I know, while there are others who are not familiar to me.   We are traveling in a bus or some similarly large vehicle.  

       Where my clearer memory of the dream begins, our group stops at a small town where we disembark and begin a walking tour.  At first I think we are in Kansas, but the very large mountains not too far away indicate otherwise.  I am sure this is not Kansas.  I am puzzled as to why I was convinced that it was and try to figure out where we are.

       The town is very quiet and very few townspeople can be seen.  Our tour group walks through the town.  The place seems familiar to me.   We suddenly come to a huge opening in the ground which I first think is a canyon.  A sort of waterfall cascades below into the depths of this place.  As I study the scene I note that the waterfall and the entire opening appears to be man-made as though it had once been a massive open pit mine.  There is much lush greenery in this chasm and this makes me think that if it were an open-pit mine, it has been out of use for quite some time.  To get a better few of the "waterfall" I go to another part of the chasm rim which is very grassy and wet.   The ground looks very unstable so I back away so as not to fall into the chasm.  I realize that despite the beauty of the appearance, this place is very hazardous.

         Our group now begins to return to the town and the tour vehicle.  We now seem to be in the hallway of my mothers house making our way to our destination.   At first the hallway seems to be very normal, but then it seems to be quite long.    There are rooms with open doors to my left.  I look in the first room and see  that there is an older person in a bed.   As I continue I don't look directly into any of the other rooms, but out of the corner of my field of vision I can see all of the rooms have old people in beds.  This seems to be a hospital or a retirement home.   To my right, the wall is opened to the outside where I can see the chasm and the distant mountains which tower against a blue sky with wintry white cloud puffs hanging over snow-capped peaks.

          We are suddenly in the town again walking toward the tour vehicle.  

          At this point I awaken, puzzled by the dream.  For some reason a country song is running through my mind.  It seems to be related to the dream or inspired by it.   It's almost like I was hearing the song in the dream as I was waking up.  Since it's a good sounding song I intend to write it down, but I don't and soon it is lost to me.   I realize this dream seemed to jump from scene to scene rather than have a logical continuity of movement.  

Sudden Dream Setting Changes:  Why Do They Occur?

          The sudden shift in setting is a common occurrence among dreamers.  What I refer to is the effect of being in one place and then suddenly another without any apparent reason for the change in location.  Often the dreamer may notice the change, but accept it to be something normal.  Sometimes the dreamer's mind may wonder about the scene shift, but rarely does the dreamer make note of the change or protest the change in any way.  The occurrence is merely an accepted part of the dream environment.

           Typically this scene shift will happen as the dreamer is en route from one location to another.  In this case it may be an abbreviation of dream time of sorts in order to move the transition more rapidly within the dream events.   At other occasions the dreamer may be in a place and the scene will just suddenly change without any sort of act of travel.

           Why would this shift occur?   As stated above, this may be an abbreviation of time within the dream to move the action along at a quicker pace.  Then again, considering that the dream is most likely a form of subconscious thought, the shift may be nothing more than a distraction in the sense of changing one's train of thought, free association, or being misdirected by stimuli from another source.  It may be the mind working as it normally does.

             On the other hand, the shift could be an illusion of memory.  Perhaps after waking we only think there were sudden shifts because we are remembering with a fault.  We vividly recall the highlights, but the details have faded.   Compare the dream experience to a sequence of events in waking life--a vacation say, or a day at work.   While we were actually experiencing the time our minds would focus on things of greater interest while minimizing the data that seemed unimportant or of little interest to us.  Later, upon recollection or recounting the events to another, we would draw only upon highlights and in doing so the timeline might sometimes appear to jump from one scene or circumstance to another.

            For me the latter explanation is credible.  However, I would tend to believe the theory of the dream as thought to be the better explanation.  Since dreaming seems to be primarily a mental process, it's seems logical that the mind would work in similar ways in sleep as it would in wakefulness.

           What do you think?   Why would dream scenes suddenly change during a dream?  Are our dreams like a magic and illusion show, full of smoke and mirrors and misdirection?    Have you had the time/scene shift experience in your dreams?   How about in real life?


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Do You Have Nightmares?

Allan Gray (Nicolas de Gunzburg) finds a coffi...
Allan Gray (Nicolas de Gunzburg) finds a coffin containing himself in a dream sequence. Modern critics praise this sequence as one of the most memorable sequences from Vampyr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
          The dream sequence is a literary device commonly used in film for creating tension, foreshadowing, revealing back story, analyzing character personality, and developing other aspects of story or character exposition.  Occasionally the dreams are thrown in for comic relief or just plain weirdness.

            Usually the dream sequence is a small part of the film that may occur with the character either sleeping or daydreaming.  In some films such as Wizard of Oz the dream is essentially the story.  Conversely, in a film like Inception the story is about the dreams and concerns the process of dreaming.

            Probably the most common use of dreams in films is the nightmare.  A character will have a dream that will cause them to awaken in terror accompanied by sweating or screaming or both.  This night terror will typically have something to do with a frightening aspect of the story and be directed to scaring the film viewer.

            I can't immediately recall ever having a absolutely terrifying nightmare like those often depicted in film.   The most frightening dreams I've had have generally been related to some undefined and unseen sense of terror that is not accompanied by any distinct visual that is inherently scary.  In most cases these types of dreams will cause me to awaken in silence or with a start, after which I remain awake for a period of time feeling dread, anger, confusion, or sadness.

             My dreams with scary visuals or themes tend to be more like nighttime entertainment as though I am watching a horror or suspense film in my sleep.  If I do awaken, I will frequently return immediately to sleep in order to continue viewing the dream, sometimes with the intent of directing the dream to change the bad outcome the dream had been seeming to take.   Dreams rarely terrify me, but usually they are just strange.

             Do you tend to have terrible nightmares?    Is there something in particular that seems to trigger these frightening dreams?   How do you cope with night terrors?   What types of things do you dream about that you find to be so scary?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dream Communication: A Call from a Past Girlfriend

Knoxville, TN, as seen from the top edge of Ne...
Knoxville, TN, as seen from the top edge of Neyland Stadium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
             A couple of recent guest posts (here and here) by Stephen T McCarthy of Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends gave me a dream memory jog that took me back to one of my own possible dream communication experiences.  Perhaps not quite as dramatic as the experiences recounted by Stephen, my dream is curious to me nonetheless and left me strongly wondering about it for a few weeks after having the dream and even to this day I wonder.  

The Dream about a Past Girlfriend

          This occurred probably about five years ago or more.  I recall that I was still employed at the time so the time frame would be correct.  The dream itself I don't even remember much about, but the impact of that dream had a big effect upon me.

           In the dream I believe I was at some event like a picnic or something that was occurring outdoors where people were eating.   Faye, a woman with whom I had gone to high school and college was at this event.  The dream presence of this woman was very powerful and I felt like there was a very strong psychic connection between us even though I had not seen or thought of her in many years.  In the dream setting we were having a conversation, but I don't remember what we were talking about.

          When I awoke I felt as though I had actually communicated in some way with Faye.  The last time I had spoken to Faye would have been nearly thirty years previous to having the dream.  She was living in Tennessee at that time and I presumed that she may still be living there.  But after having the dream I sensed that she was somewhere near to where I was living in the Los Angeles area.

           I felt compelled to find Faye because I was convinced that she was thinking of me and trying to find me.  I began searching for her on the internet.  I made phone calls to old friends to see if anyone knew what had happened to her. 

           My search turned out to be in vain and I eventually stopped looking so intently.  Now and then I would check the internet to see if her name showed up anywhere.  I figured she was probably married now and no longer used her maiden name.  The intensity of my interest in contacting Faye waned, though now and then I do wonder about her and that dream.

Who Is Faye?

          In reality Faye was never an actual girlfriend of mine.  She was a year behind me in high school--in the same grade as my younger sister.  My sister and Faye were somewhat friends, but not particularly close.  I was in a few clubs with Faye so we did know each other.

          Later, when I was in college, I discovered that Faye was living in an apartment near campus.  She had also began attending the college where I was.  One of my friends had been hanging out with her and we started going over to her apartment to visit.  I was very interested in getting closer to her, but I didn't think she was interested in me so no relationship ever developed.

         After I stopped attending the university I lost contact with Faye.  Then about five years later I somehow got her phone number--possibly from my sister.  Faye was now teaching ballroom dancing at an Arthur Murray studio in Knoxville.  This seemed rather odd to me since Faye always seemed so quiet and shy.  The years must have changed her.  I called her and we had a brief phone conversation.   We said that we would have to make arrangements to meet up sometime, but we never did and soon after that I left East Tennessee for many years.  I never thought much about Faye after that.

A Surprising Revelation

        Several years later my sister and I were talking about old times and people we had known and Faye's name popped up in the conversation.  My sister told me that in high school Faye had a big crush on me.  I chastised her for not having told me then as I would have liked to have known that.  I realized that Faye could really have been my girlfriend if I had only taken action in that direction.

          Still another several years went by and I had the dream.   Suddenly Faye was back on my mind but in a different way.  I felt like she was communicating with me for some reason.   I had been happily married for a number of years at the time of the dream.   Why that dream at that time I don't know.  There seemed to be an urgency to the dream but it was never addressed as my inquiries to locate Faye were unsuccessful.

         A year or two ago my sister told me that she had made contact with Faye and had her phone number. She said that Faye was now married and she didn't know that much else about her.  Apparently my sister didn't pursue any further encounters with Faye.

          Now with Faye's phone number in hand, I could contact her to see if she remembered having had any strange dream experiences involving me.  Instead I chose not to.   Since I was married and she was married I didn't want to become involved in any awkward circumstances.  

           Perhaps someday we'll run into one another and the topic can be brought up.  The sense of connection was so powerful in the dream I feel like it could have been a situation of dream communication.  Then again it might just be dreamer's nonsense.   I may never know, but I'm still a bit curious.

           Have you had a powerful sense about a dream that made you seek out old friends?   To what would you most likely attribute dreams that seem like communications?     Do you think it best that I did not contact Faye?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Does a Dream Smell Like?

Jan Brueghel (I) - The Sense of Smell - WGA3581
Jan Brueghel (I) - The Sense of Smell - WGA3581 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Influence of Scent on Sleep and Dreams   

        Thanksgiving and the holiday seasons are times that we associate with many odors and aromas.  The smells of savory meals, tantalizing goodies, and Christmas trees will be bombarding our senses and bringing back old memories.  There's something particularly evocative about many smells and the holiday seasons are rich in these prompts to the subconscious.

            This seems like an appropriate time for a topic that came to me after a recent dream that I had.  An aspect of this dream made me wonder about the connection between the sense of smell and the dreaming experience.   Do smells affect our dreams or does the dream cause our minds to conjure an illusion of smell within that dream?   Or could it be a case of either one of these things occurring depending on the circumstance and the dream?

            As is the case with other types of external stimulation, smell must undoubtedly influence what we are dreaming.   If food aromas are present we are likely to dream about food and start feeling pangs of hunger.  If we were to smell smoke we might dream about fire and in some cases be awakened to actual fire--the dream could act as a warning to wake up.  The external stimuli could be cooking smells, perfumes or scented candles and the like, or even bodily emissions from ourselves or our sleeping partners.

            Studies have shown that aromatherapy can have an influence on better sleep and more pleasant dreams.  Likewise, sleepers exposed to unpleasant odors will often report unpleasant dreams.  Various oils are on the market to produce more restful sleep with more vivid dreams.

My Dream Case Study

         In a recent dream I am going through many strange places with my "children"  (or they may be grandchildren or not even really children that I know at all).   Some of these places are very dark and spooky.   I enter into certain places that have a musty putrid smell that I relate to evil-- the smell is accompanied by a warmth.    These are cavernous places with deep canyon-like recessions that disappear into darkness.  I am afraid I or my "children" will fall into one of the "canyons" --they appear to be dark, jagged, and dangerous, but I sense that they could be soft like blankets.

       .   Many people make appearances in and out of the dream corridors.  I seem to be at a fair or amusement park or some very public event.  I see people leaving and I am trying to join them.  Sometimes I find myself on the streets leaving.   The place seems all very unfamiliar though I sense that I know it or recognize it.

          My former boss is there at one point.  I am giving him some paperwork from my office, including sheets that appear to be some sort of inventory report related to a very large order of mostly older or discontinued items  for an Asian customer.

           My dream thoughts keep returning to the smell I sensed in the dark cavernous places.   I continue to think about the nature and the origin of this odor after I wake up.

Where Did the Smell Come From?

           I am not aware of any odor within the bedroom that would relate to what I sensed in the dream.  There is a possibility that the "smell" is merely a illusion based on certain expectations of the dream place.  My mind has probably manufactured the smell which in reality did not exist.  Still I am puzzled since the smell was so distinct and real that I wonder if the had really come from somewhere in the room or had entered the room from outside.

           Have you experienced smells in dreams?  If so what was the experience and to what would you relate the source?   Are you able to imagine smells so vividly that your olfactory senses are actually stimulated?   

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, November 15, 2012


           In this post Stephen T McCarthy continues with his explorations of dream communication between souls.  See the previous post for the beginning of the series.


DREAM: MARCH 9, 1997
On Monday night or early Tuesday morning (March 3rd or 4th ), I had a dream in which I saw Claire H., from the Tuesday night ‘A Search For God’ study group at the church. In the dream, she said to me, “I’m making a connection with you” or “I’m making contact with you”, or words to that effect. She also said, “I’m too hard for you”, and I replied with something like, “You could gain a little weight and become softer.” She balked at that suggestion.

"A Search For God" Textbook

The dream was so vivid, and left such a strong impression on me that I couldn’t get it out of my mind, and I reflected on it over and over again during the course of the day. Although my attendance at the Tuesday night ‘A Search For God’ group meetings had been sporadic at best over the last couple months, I decided that I would go to the meeting that evening in hope that Claire would be there; I wanted to approach her during the break and ask if she had recently had a dream about me, or had been recently thinking of me for any reason.

I got to the church a little late on Tuesday night, so when I walked in the door, all eyes immediately turned to me. I had barely taken a couple of steps into the room, and hadn’t even reached a chair yet when Claire said, “Stephen! Stephen! I’ve got to talk to you! I was hoping you’d show up tonight.”

The Church

I later learned that during Claire’s meditation session at 9:30 or 10:00 A.M. that morning, she had been unable to meditate very well because the image of my face kept reappearing to her for some unknown reason. She doggedly attempted to meditate but repeatedly saw my image until she finally gave up. Then she told me that she kept thinking of me during the day and was hoping I’d come to that night’s meeting because she had been missing my participation in the Tuesday night group lately.

I told Claire about my dream that night/morning and we were both surprised by the sudden and insistent thoughts we’d had of each other. Neither of us understood the references to “hardness” and “weight”. 

Interestingly, Claire had a dream about me approximately 7 or 8 months earlier in which she drove up to a house and parked her car. She tried walking up the path to the house but because of deep snow, and the fact that she was bundled up in some ridiculously oversized snowsuit, she was unable to make it up the walk. Just then, I came out of the house, walked down to her, took her by the arm and helped her up the pathway to the house.

Claire and I seem to have some sort of mutual goal or some sort of spiritual connection.

        Do you think this dream experience signifies some sort of deeper connection besides the acquaintance within the study group?   Have you had a dream communication of this type that you'd like to relate?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, November 8, 2012


        Again I am pleased and honored to welcome blogger par excellence Stephen T McCarthy whose wonderful writing can be found at Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends and Stuffs.  Over the the span of two posts Stephen will be offering a couple of dreams that suggest the possibilities of dream communication with others.


My maternal Grandpa, Floyd “Bulldog” Schulz, passed away in November, 1989. Some years later, my Grandma began throwing away and giving away (to non-family people) a number of his belongings that held special meaning to many of us. It wasn’t malicious at all, but she was at an advanced age and just wasn’t always thinking clearly.

My Grandfather


I was amidst a large group of people whom I believed to be movie “Extras”. We were waiting to be called to the set and gathered together in a large building with pews, like a church. At the other end of the pew in which I sat, was my Ma, and in the pew behind me were a few (fictional) friends.

I had the old Sears Silvertone electric guitar that my Grandfather had given to me years ago, and I passed it back for my friends to examine. Sitting beside one of these imaginary friends of mine, I saw the ghost of my Grandpa (for in the dream, I was aware that he was actually dead).

The ghost of my Grandpa did not appear like a specter, but seemed to be fully physically present and I was shocked by his presence and yet comforted to know that he was still around.

As I passed the guitar back, one of my friends almost lost his grip on it. I instinctively reached out to catch it if it fell, and my Grandfather did the same simultaneously. But my friend secured the guitar in his hands and began looking it over with interest.

My Grandpa then crossed one leg over the other and was gently and slowly kicking the upper leg back and forth as he used to do when he was content or self-satisfied. But I was the only person capable of seeing him. Later in the dream, I told my Ma that Grandpa had been present because I was sure she’d be delighted to know that.


I believe this was not so much a dream as it was an actual communication from my deceased Grandpa. The guitar was real and he gave it to me when I was 13 or 14 years old. I was taking guitar lessons at the time, and I used the old Sears Silvertone electric guitar until I lost interest in the lessons. The guitar just collected dust thereafter, but my Grandfather often made mention of it.

In 1978 or ’79, while working on the ‘JAMES AT 15’ television series, I was asked to bring the guitar with me to be used as a prop for a prom scene in the TV show (however, I don’t believe it was ever actually utilized on the episode we were filming).

The Pop/Rock duo England Dan & John Ford Coley (who had a number of hit songs in the ‘70s, including ‘I’d Really Love To See You Tonight’ and the excellent Todd Rundgren-penned spiritual ‘Love Is The Answer’) portrayed the band hired by the high school for its senior prom.

While on the set, working on that ‘James At 15’ episode, one of the two musicians, either England Dan or John Ford Coley (I didn’t know one from the other) saw my Sears Silvertone guitar and offered to buy it from me. I declined to sell it because I still considered it my Grandfather’s guitar.

When I moved to Phoenix from Los Angeles in May of 1995, I left the guitar in my Grandma’s basement. My Mom was anxious to get the guitar back for fear that my Grandma might sell it, give it away, or throw it away. While back in L.A. on September 9 for my Cousin’s wedding (19 days before having the dream described above), I retrieved the guitar from the basement and took it to my parents’ home.

I believe the dream – which referenced the actual history of the guitar having once been present on a Hollywood television set – was my Grandpa’s way of using me to get a message to my Ma that he was very pleased by her decision to get the guitar back into “secure hands”.

Three bits of evidence lead me to believe pretty strongly that this was not just a dream, but a genuine communication from a soul on “the other side”: 1) The dream was extremely vivid; 2) the dream occurred such a short time after I had actually “saved” my Grandpa’s guitar at my Mother’s urging; and 3) the way my Grandpa expressed his satisfaction with the situation by crossing one leg over the other, placing a hand on the top kneecap, and then gently, slowly, kicking the uppermost leg forward and backward.

Later, in real life, when I read the description of this dream to my Ma, she said that she didn’t know what I meant by my Grandpa’s “satisfied leg kick”; so I demonstrated it for her, and the moment she saw it, it all came back to her and she clearly remembered that he DID have a habit of doing that when he felt “all is well”.

And the truth is that if I had not seen my Grandfather do that in the dream, I myself would NEVER have consciously remembered that little idiosyncrasy of his. The forgotten “satisfied leg kick” was the major piece of evidence that convinced me I had really been in communication with my Grandpa while I was in the dream state and he was in the “Heavenly” state.

           What do you think about Stephen's dream and the interpretation?   Have you ever received a communique from beyond or from someone else still living?   Do you think Stephen should have sold the guitar if the price was right?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dreams of My Next President

Politics Balloons
Politics Balloons (Photo credit: Newfrontiers)
          Only once can I recall having a dream about a president or anything having to do with politics.   That dream was recounted in my post called "Obama In A Parade".   This particular dream did not impress me so much as being of any political portent as much as the vividness of the characterization of President Obama.  The bottom line is that my dreams are never political in any way.

          This does not seem to be the case with everyone.  The other night I was looking on YouTube for a video related to the Frankenstorm Sandy and in my search I was led to a number of videos with people describing their dreams about the current president of the United States and the upcoming election.  There may have been hundreds of these videos--I did not look through all of them as I did not want to devote the time to this pursuit.   I did find it rather odd that there were so many people who were having Obama dreams and election dreams.

          Many--perhaps most--of these dreams were deemed to be prophetic in nature.  The prophecies were generally not too good.   Some of them were quite ominous.   Not sure what that all means, but it might be interesting to look back on some of these videos in a year or so--that is if we're still around.

         Stephen T. McCarthy will be returning for the next two weeks with some more of his dream observations.   If you missed his last post Goldenshadow, I hope you will go back to read it.  Stephen has been standing in for me as I deal with some issues in my life.   I am greatly appreciative to this talented writer and man of deep relevant thought.  He is a gem among bloggers.

          Don't forget to vote if you are a U.S. citizen!

           Do you ever have political dreams?    Do you think there is any reason for the large number of election and Obama dreams other than the impending election?   Do you believe that dreams can prophesy things to come?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Goldenshadow: A Guest Post from Stephen T. McCarthy

A Stephen T. McCarthy vacation memory
         I've had to step back from my blogs for a couple of weeks due to an illness in my family.   My dear cyber-friend and blogging mentor Stephen T. McCarthy is stepping in to help me.  The following is excerpted from a post on his Stuffs blog.  You can also find Stephen at his currently active Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends.

The Set-Up

In the preface to ‘Surprised By Joy’ C.S. Lewis writes this:

How far the story matters to anyone but myself depends on the degree to which others have experienced what I call “joy.” If it is at all common, a more detailed treatment of it than has (I believe) been attempted before may be of some use. I have been emboldened to write of it because I notice that a man seldom mentions what he had supposed to be his most idiosyncratic sensations without receiving from at least one (often more) of those present the reply, “What! Have you felt that too? I always thought I was the only one.”

And later in the book, along the same lines, Lewis writes:

Nothing, I suspect, is more astonishing in any man’s life than the discovery that there do exist people very, very like himself.

I had assumed that by the word “Joy” in the book’s title, C.S. Lewis meant something like “glee”, which is what the word “joy” has always implied to me. And I didn’t know what he was referring to with that allusion to some sensation that might engender a response such as“Have you felt that too? I always thought I was the only one.” But I didn’t have long to wait in finding out. And never in a million years would I have guessed that by “Joy” C.S. Lewis meant what I have always meant when I used the word “Goldenshadow” – a word I had invented to describe a feeling that I always assumed I was the only one to experience, and thus a new word was needed!

The "Goldenshadow" Concept

I considered “Goldenshadow” to be my secret weapon as an artist; it was that one totally indefinable “feeling” that enveloped my life and ran through it going back to my earliest memories. It was a special gift from God. I could use it in my art and in my life. When Warren Zevon sang one of the greatest lines ever committed to song, “There’s a sadness in the heart of things”, I got it! I totally got it and I figured that nobody else did. Certainly I never saw where anyone else ever pointed out what a perceptive, accurate and fabulous line that was. Frankly, I even kind of doubted that Warren Zevon, who wrote the line, really fully understood it. But in one simple yet brilliant sentence, he had captured “Goldenshadow”.

Goldenshadow was my own utterly unique “thing” – a state of mind, a prevailing feeling of the soul that I had and yet no one knew I had it because I wasn’t telling; I wasn’t even going to attempt the impossible and try to explain it to anyone. And no one could ever really understand it anyway because I alone possessed it. Or so I thought.

Shortly after reading ‘Surprised By Joy’ and being shocked to learn that Lewis knew my Goldenshadow (even if he referred to it as “Joy”) I described Goldenshadow to my Brother and Sister and was again surprised to learn that they also knew what I was referring to. So much for my having a “unique gift”, eh?

I had now come to realize that those fleeting feelings of “Joy” or “Goldenshadow” are probably a nearly universal human experience. In fact, my brother Nappy even recognized that Warren Zevon’s line“There’s a sadness in the heart of things” was an excellent description of Goldenshadow, and my Sister said that - as with me - Goldenshadow is sometimes induced in her by certain songs, although the songs that worked on her were different from those that work on me.


In my waking life I have experienced Goldenshadow many times. But undoubtedly the two most powerful encounters I’ve ever had with it took place in the sleep state. Some of you might mistake these experiences for simple “dreams” but I can assure you they were no mere dreams. These were remarkable spiritual experiences.

In one of them, I found myself as an adult back in my paternal Grandmother’s Orange County Mobile Home, where we used to go to spend Christmas Days with her when I was a child. But it didn’t really look like her mobile home did in reality. For one thing, it was considerably larger and most everything was a deep, rich green or glowing gold color. The old-fashioned beauty of it and the longing it created in me to “go back” to those good old days was so strong that it sort of hurt me. It was a mixture of glee and pain – overwhelming! I had that dream many years ago and yet I still sort of feel the emotion it induced in me even as I type this now.

[However, the “good old days” of my Grandmother’s mobile home which I was longing for was merely a symbol for something else. The real “Good Old Days” that this dream was pointing back at took place in a spiritual Kingdom long, long ago.]

The other Goldenshadow “dream” I had was even more powerful. The next morning I wrote about it in the Spiritual Journal I used to keep. Here is a word-for-word copy of my journal entry:

Feb. 4, 1998
I HAD A REMARKABLE DREAM LAST NIGHT; LIKE NONE I HAVE EVER HAD BEFORE! I found myself in a fairly nondescript setting; there were a number of trees in view, and they were, perhaps, lining a dirt path – that’s all this place consisted of – the location for this dream seemed irrelevant. It was my very favorite time of the day, when the sun is finishing its descent toward the horizon, when patchy spots of golden light are contrasted by long shadows stretching toward the east… the last of the day [Note: the “Autumn” time of day], when the world begins to settle into the stillness of evening.

I was admiring the light and shadows in the foilage of the trees when I became absolutely OVERWHELMED BY AN INDESCRIBABLE SENSE OF WELL-BEING! It was as if I had become a part of the serenity around me, and rather than beholding beauty, I HAD BECOME BEAUTY! And instead of inhaling air, it seemd that I was breathing the light and shadows I had been admiring, and had become dusk itself. I was filled with unfathomable peace, although “peace” is really not the right word for it – I was wonderfilled (yes, a slightly better description) and I felt far better than it is possible for a mortal mind to even imagine! I felt so great that it quite literally took my breath away, and I found myself gasping between exclamations of, “OH!...OH!...OH!”

Indeed, I felt so good that weeping seemed to be the only natural and reasonable response, and an act of inexpressable gratitude. Soon I began to experience a pervasive melancholy because there was nobody else present to share this with. It was truly too good for just one person to have, and all that was lacking in this perfect state of being was others. I, one of the great loners, suddenly found that I desperately wanted to have people around me to share this feeling with, and so a deep sadness was mixed with the euphoria.

I thought to myself: I’ll have to remember how this feels so I can tell others about it. But then instantly I realized that this would not be possible, and I answered: No, it’s no use. I’ll never be able to tell ANYONE about this because there aren’t any words that can describe it. This feeling can’t be translated in words!!! And this saddened me further. Soon after, the dream ended.

I have had many unexplainable spiritual experiences in my life, but to this day, I consider that the most powerful one of them all. If, by my description above, you believe you have gotten some glimpse of how I felt in that dream, think again! Because even I, who had the dream, can’t really recreate in me what that felt like. It was something “given” to me but which I couldn’t hold on to and keep and which I can’t truly remember in any worthy way. I can only say that my mortal consciousness was overcome by wonder and Love. And that’s an utterly failed attempt to use words to describe the indescribable.

         Thank you, Stephen, for allowing me to repost this excerpt.  For those of you who wish to read the complete haunting and beautifully written blog post you can find it HERE.   

Enhanced by Zemanta