Interview: The Nature of Dreams

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Interview: The Nature of Dreams

Post by figaro » Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:27 am

Interview IV.

The Nature of Dreams: A New Interpretation of Dreams
: An Interview with author Laurie Conrad by Diana Souza. November 3, 2004. Ithaca, New York. Laurie Conrad is the author of Realms of Light, published in 2009. She is also the author of The Spiritual Life of Animals and Plants, which was published in 2002. Her other two books, Meetings With Angels and Other Divine Beings, and We Meet in Dreams, are scheduled for publication in 2010.

Q Laurie, in your new book We Meet in Dreams you say: "Some dreams have the flavor and staying power of wakeful consciousness. I remember them in the same way that I remember a significant event in my waking life." Talk to us about the importance of making dreams as significant to us as the events in our waking lives.

L Well, I don't know if I would really agree with that. I think there are certain experiences that we can have while we are in dream state that are true experiences, and some of them are even mystical experiences - but I wouldn't say that is true of all our dream-state experience.

Some dreams are more than ordinary dreams. And these I would say can be as, or even more valuable than our ordinary waking state experience.

What I would call ordinary or psychological dreams are more personal, individual experience. We are normally not in a shared consciousness for our dreams. Waking state consciousness is a shared experience - & for that reason, in my view, more valuable than an ordinary dream. This shared, material reality that we live in is given to us by the Divine - that is why we all perceive the same world around us. And this shared reality follows certain laws - for instance the sun rises & sets. Trees do not stand on one corner today and then move a few blocks north overnight. In our psychological dreams - our reality is personal, our own. I think I would suggest that people read my book, there is not space in this interview to discuss this.

Basically: I think there are what I would call ordinary, psychological dreams, and then there are other experiences that we can have when asleep. In these times we can actually go to another realm or go to other places on this earth without our physical bodies being present. Saint Padre Pio would probably call it an extension of mind. I think many people have these experiences, they just are not aware of it. They think they had an ordinary run-of-the-mill, what I would call an ordinary psychological dream. But what might have happened, is that they actually went to another place on earth while in dream state. And if they ever later visit that town or building or street while in waking state reality, they will recognize the people and the buildings and streets and so on.

There are other experiences we can have while in this special consciousness when we are asleep. We can have visits from higher beings, divine beings, or people that we love that have died and left the earth. And these, in my mind, and in my experience, are true meetings. They are not just ordinary dreams. In the new book, We Meet in Dreams, I tried to list the differences, i.e. what do we look for to help us distinguish between these ordinary dreams and these more mystical or clairvoyant dreams.

There are certain qualities to these true experiences that we can have while in dream state, that seem to be true for everyone and for every experience. I've tried to make those clear to the reader. Many people have come to me with what they think are nightmares, and in my opinion they were actual visits to a lower realm. Others have had dreams in which someone they love who had died appeared to them in a dream and it comforted them. From how they described their dream, it was clear to me that they actually did meet with that person, it was not an ordinary dream. I tell people: If you are not clairvoyant, your loved ones who are now in other realms might visit you when you are in dream state. In my experience, some of those “dreams” feel more real than our experiences in waking state.

Q Many of the psychological issues we are trying to unravel are probably pretty tangled up in the depths of our subconscious mind. They are very hard to reach with the rational, waking thought processes. Would you say that some of our dreams are possibly providing us with a shortcut to our subconscious?

L Yes, I definitely would. And I think that aspect of dreams has been thoroughly explored by others far more trained in psychology than I: psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, dream workers and so on. Unraveling the subconscious is not the aim of my book. Others have done a far better job than I could ever do. So the aim of this book is not to discuss or analyze what I would call psychological dreams.

But yes, to answer your question, definitely. I think dreams always bring some kind of message to us, either from our own subconscious or some higher consciousness. What my little book is saying, however, is that sometimes these so-called “dreams” are actual visits to other realms. Or actual messages from beings in other realms, for instance people that we love who have died. Some people might call them out-of-body dreams, but there are other sorts of dreams that come under that heading that most people have not examined. I might say we enter some aspect of clairvoyant consciousness for these sorts of dreams. And I think the messages are often very, very helpful, clarifying and important. And for many reasons.

In this particular dream state consciousness, we can receive verbal messages, we can help others in other realms or on other places on earth - and we can learn much.

Q Well, it's a subject that has been deeply treated by our modern psychological sciences. You're talking about it from a mystic's point of view. Aren't you really saying that we are reaching another consciousness in these dreams?

L In these more mystical experiences or clairvoyant experiences while in dream state, I am not sure that we are dealing with the subconscious. I believe it is a different consciousness, although not ordinary dream consciousness. Sometimes we use a subtle body, sometimes it is just extension of mind. Well, ultimately it is all the extension of mind, but this interview is not the place for that topic.

Q So we're accessing a consciousness that we can't get to in our waking state?

L That most people cannot get to in waking state consciousness, clairvoyants can. But if you are not clairvoyant, those avenues are made available to everyone when they are in dream state. In my opinion, everyone on earth has had at least one experience in dream state or sleep state that is not just a psychological dream, not just a product of their own personal psychology. In these special “dreams” someone from another realm might come and give us a message, even just a “hello” and a smile. But the dreamer dismisses it as only an ordinary dream. Sometimes our friends, or even enemies still on earth come to us in our dreams and give us true messages - but we dismiss them as only ordinary dreams, i.e. our own thoughts.

I think all that I am saying here tonight is more apparent and easier to understand in the interviews that are in Realms of Light. Most of the people I interviewed are not ordinarily clairvoyant, have never had a waking state clairvoyant experience. I interviewed housewives, lawyers, a policewoman, children, a nurse - you know, regular people. I always tell people: if someone you love has died, and you cannot feel their presence, if you are not clairvoyant - then most likely they will appear to you in dreams.

Q Laurie, I know you're a fan of Star Wars. Do you believe there really is a dark side?

L Yes, definitely.

As a clairvoyant, I can say that within our conventional reality, we do have these dark influences and beings around us, whether we are aware of them or not. God allows it, and it is an unmanifest war. It is the real war that we are fighting here on earth.

These dark or negative beings do not ultimately exist. They only arise within polarity. The essence of our universe is Divine. The battle between the Good, the Light, virtue - and Evil, Darkness, negativity, the Devil and his cohorts - does not arise until the polarity of manifestation. To say it another way, these opposites that we find in our universe, i.e. good/bad, light/dark, red/green, here/there - these exist only in the material universes. The substratum of all universes is unbroken Divinity, Light. Therefore, these devils or evil beings are not ultimately Real. Only God is Ultimately Real.

It doesn’t really matter where the darkness resides or where it comes from - it does exist in conventional reality, the reality we humans perceive. And it doesn’t matter if we live in a Hell of our own making or one ready made and waiting for us - it will be terrible suffering either way.

Q Have you ever seen Hell?

L I would say that I have certainly been to very low realms. I am not sure that I would survive visiting the Hell realms.

Q What should we do if we think we are in the presence of a dark being?

L Refuse them. Say your favorite prayer or think about a beautiful waterfall - distract your mind. And if you can do that, in general, these beings will leave, they will give up and go somewhere else.

Dark beings cannot make you accept the temptations put on your path, or in your mind. We always have the free will to refuse them.

Q Getting back to the topic of nightmares: In your book about dreams, you talk about nightmares not necessarily being just dreams. What do you mean by that?

L Often people have come to me with their nightmares and asked if I have any insight into their meaning because they cannot understand the meaning behind the dream. If there is a psychological meaning, it is not apparent to them. In my opinion, often they have actually gone to a lower realm while they were asleep. This is not always true, of course. It depends on the dream, and in the book I give many examples of dreams that people have brought to me, and my interpretation of them.

There are many different realms. When Christ said "My Father's house has many mansions," I think He was talking about all these different realms. They are almost countless. In general, the lower realms are very chaotic and the beings there are living out their lower nature. If we go there in our sleep, it can be horrifying. Terrible and strange events happen to us, nothing makes sense. It is chaotic, horrible people are there, and we wake up and we say “Oh, my God, my psychology is a mess. What in the world is that dream trying to tell me?”

Well, I believe it really is not a psychological dream. It is not trying to tell you anything about your psychology except: don't visit that realm again because it is always going to be that way.

Q What do you mean the realm will always be like that?

L It is the nature of the realm itself. The lower realms are always going to be lower realms. And the nature of the realm will not change. Hopefully, many of those beings will graduate to a higher realm. But the realm itself will always contain the same kind of activity and beings.

Q And you even say in the book that several people that you know have been to the same realms?

L Yes. And the descriptions of those realms were almost identical.

Q Now we are talking about nightmares, but in the book you also talk about some beautiful realms that you, and your acquaintances and friends have visited. In fact, you and I shared a dream visit to another realm.

L Actually, you and I went to the same place on earth, on the same night - years before we knew each other in this waking state reality. It was pretty astonishing to discover that we had both been to the same “dream” party so many years ago ... That story is in We Meet in Dreams, and certainly is an interesting example of shared dreams.

I have more chapters about the higher realms in Realms of Light. In that volume I speak of my experiences of the higher realms and I also interviewed others in that volume.

Q I think those stories are going to be so comforting to people, so encouraging. Those stories and interviews transcend our ordinary concept of death. You don’t believe in death, do you?

L No, death does not exist. Not as we think of it. The body dies, but the soul continues, we continue. We continue living in other realms, in other “mansions” as Christ called them. In that sense, the soul is immortal, eternal.

Q Would you further explain the difference between what you call ordinary, psychological dreams and actual visits to other realms?

L I will try. I am not saying that psychological dreams do not have value. I am saying there is another sort of experience we can have while in sleep state, where we will actually visit another realm. And that realm exists outside of us and our personal psychology. What I call an ordinary dream is the product of our own personal psychology and the memories stored in our subconscious.

Q Sort of like brain static? An ordinary dream, it's sort of like static in your brain?

L Well, often an ordinary dream is trying to tell us something important that we cannot consciously face or retrieve in waking state consciousness. But, this ordinary dream is taking information that we have stored in our own vehicle, from our own personal history here on earth.

Q Our "vehicle" meaning the body?

L The body, which includes the brain. Whereas, in these other experiences, we are going to realms that are self-existent outside of ourselves. Whether we ever visit that realm or not, it exists. Depending on which realm we visit, we will either mistakenly think that we had a horrible, inexplicable nightmare - or a very pleasant, beautiful dream. I think it is important to distinguish between these two sorts of dreams, because they should be analyzed differently. I speak about these topics fairly thoroughly in the book.

Another reason I have written We Meet in Dreams, is to encourage people not to go to those lower realms while in dream state. Sometimes we get there by accident perhaps, but more often than not, we are going there because we are curious or because we want to help. In my experience, we cannot help the beings there on these visits. We can help them better by just praying for them.

Q I guess there's no conscious way to avoid going there in a nightmare though, right?

L I think we can avoid going there. Most often, as I have said, we go there because we are curious or because we want to help the beings there. The book should fortify people with enough information to discourage these visits. Maybe they will not be so curious or subconsciously want to go there if I can convince them that the experiences are never pleasant and always fruitless.

The best way to help the beings in those lower realms is just to pray for them. You don't have to know who they are, just ask that your prayers be sent towards all the beings in those lower realms. Catholics would say that we should pray for the souls in Purgatory.

Q And what about going to the higher realms in dreams consciously? Is there any chance we could precipitate going to some higher realms when we dream?

L Yes. We go where our aspirations and thoughts lead us. If you are thinking about Divine beings during the day, you have a better chance of visiting them while in dream state, because that is where your aspiration is, that is where your heart is. That is where your waking state thoughts are. If you are clairvoyant, you might have more control over it, but not always. I have been to all sorts of places, and I have no idea how I got there, even though I am clairvoyant. But yes, I think your aspiration and your understanding of how these realms operate can help you.

Q And would you say that dreams in general are the most reliable path to our subconscious?

L I would say that there are many ways of getting to truth. Either truth about ourselves or about the universe. Or beyond this universe, to ultimate Reality. And I would say that all dreams are given to us for a very good reason.

Q And you give really good examples in the book. Would you say these special, more mystical dreams, are one way for people to get to the higher knowledge?

L It is one way. And certainly it is a way to make contact with people that you love that have gone on to other realms. I think it is important for all of us to feel the continuity of that love from heart to heart, human heart to human heart, soul to soul - or even cat heart to human heart. There are cats and dogs I certainly hope to see again some day in a higher realm. This deep connection with our fellow creatures is so important to us, that if that relationship seems to be broken by death, it can be devastating.

Therefore, if you have these special meetings, I think it does make a difference to know that they are a true meeting and not just a dream. Not just for the sake of truth, but also for our human psychology. It is very important for us all to know that the connection soul to soul always exists, eternally. That understanding and knowledge gives us a base to stand on in our daily lives, so that we can accomplish our work here on earth.

Q You write in your book about dreams about a curious phenomenon that you call shared dreams?

L Well, that's my terminology, because I have never read anyone else's work on it.

Q So what do you make of this phenomenon of shared dreams?

L I think one thing these experiences are telling us, is that true Reality is not entirely the way we think it is. Time and space are not exactly what we think they are.

For instance, my friend Inger’s dream about the little boy in England ... She could describe that street corner to you. And if you went to London, you would find that street corner, because she really was there.

Or your dream about Cornell. The campus and the buildings in your dream looked exactly as they do in waking state reality - but you had never been to Ithaca or Cornell at the time of the dream.

What does that tell us about time and space? How could you be on the Cornell campus in your dream years before you came to Ithaca or saw a photograph of Cornell? What does that tell us about the nature of our own soul or mind or consciousness - or our perception in general? How did you get to Cornell, in the middle of the night, when you were asleep on your bed? Who are you truly? If you are the body, then who went to the Cornell campus that night in your dream? How can we possibly be only this physical body, if we can do these things?

Q Yes, and I had never been to Ithaca when I had that dream.

L These experiences can help us to think beyond ordinary reality and the identity we have with the body, thinking that we are this body instead of identifying with the soul.

And I would like to repeat that if people are looking for a psychological interpretation or textbook on interpreting dreams, that is not the purpose of my book. That is not the thrust of the book. In this book, I am differentiating between what I call a psychological dream, a dream produced by our own personal psychology - and these special “dreams” that are more a mystical experience, a true experience, a soul experience.

Sometimes these dreams are prophetic, they will tell us of the future. Or they will bring us messages from other realms. Or they will take us to other places across this earth and show us what is happening there. And, more often than not, we will just dismiss them as ordinary dreams. And so we miss the true meaning these “dreams” are trying to give us.

In these special “dreams” we can go to other realms, gathering experiences, gathering knowledge. There are many examples of these dreams in the book, and we begin to see similarities between them. A pattern begins to emerge. Not just about the nature of these different realms, but also the reasons we go there or might go there. Knowledge that people have gathered while they were there.

Q So dreams are visitations?

L They can be. Realms of Light is mainly about messages from other realms, visits to other realms in our “dreams” or having ....

Q Encounters with people we love who have died and gone to other realms?

L Yes. I would call these true experiences, actual experiences. Not ordinary dreams. And I think it is important to differentiate between the two.

In We Meet in Dreams, there are entire sections in the book on how to analyze these “real” dreams. And you do not analyze them in the same way you would an ordinary dream. If we want to get the most out of our dream lives, then I think that it is important to know how to correctly analyze these “dreams”. In the book I try to differentiate very clearly between the sorts of dreams we can have, how to distinguish between them.

Q Yes, you have fabulous checklists in the book on that, those checklists are so valuable. You talk about how to differentiate between messages you might receive in dreams that are real and ones that are imagined.

L Messages and experiences.

Q You mention in your book that often people will get messages from their loved ones from other realms while in dream state.

L Yes. When I interviewed people for “Realms of Light”, I was struck by how often people would receive messages in dreams from people they love that have gone on to other realms. Non-clairvoyants. And if people refuse to accept and acknowledge that it was a true experience, not just a product of their own imagination, first, it is a disservice to their loved one. It also unfairly robs the person who received the message of the peace and the...

Q Consolation?

L The consolation that they would receive. You also might say that we are turning our back on the soul.

Those are the primary reasons I tried to be very clear in “We Meet in Dreams”, about the signs of what I would consider a real experience - including checklists, as you point out.

Q I really like some of the anecdotes you have in your book Realms of Light, people helping others while in dream state.

L For instance, Inger's story.

Q Right.

L In her interview, she tells us about several dreams that she had. I would call all of them true experiences. In one of them she described a street corner in London, and how she saved a little boy’s life. In my opinion, she was really there and truly did save that boy’s life. She pulled him back from the curb. Of course, Inger was fully clairvoyant, as you know.

Q Yes.

L In fact, she foretold my accident, she told you about it before it happened.

Q And you tell that story in the book.

L I do. Because many of Inger's “dream” experiences were validated later, for instance, the dream about her mother - we could probably safely say that all the dreams she told us were true experiences.

I did not write these books just to be other worldly or esoteric. I wrote “Realms of Light” and “We Meet in Dreams” for many reasons. But one important reason was to point out that while in dream state, we can help other people on earth. In one instance, Inger saved a life and in another she helped someone emotionally, saving a life in that sense. And I believe that we are all capable of helping others while we are asleep - and do help them, people that we know or people across the world that we have never met. We go where we are needed. If you are a good, loving person, you will do good deeds while in sleep state. If you are a criminal, you will help other criminals. So it is doubly important to concentrate on our spiritual lives, and develop virtue.

Often when people are rescued from a disaster, they will say that they felt a loving presence near them, or they felt much calmer than they thought was possible. If it is an event announced in all the newspapers, then many people are praying for them. But then there are also more private dangers and tragic events. And I believe that kind souls, ordinary people, are probably going there and helping in their sleep, whispering something comforting in their ear or holding them, trying to console them in some way.

Is there a way to prove this? Well, yes, there have been instances. There was a little girl in Europe who helped soldiers while she was asleep. She was about three years old during one of the World Wars, now I don’t remember which war. This little girl would wake up in the morning and tell her parents about the men she had helped, and describe the trenches and the battle. They thought she was just dreaming, or making it up. But after the war was over, a soldier knocked on their door. He had come to thank the little girl. She had told him her name and where she lived. The parents, of course, were astonished. So you would have to say that yes, there are proofs. It is very sad that we need proofs. That people do not realize how much we can accomplish just through our own love and compassion for our fellow creatures.

Q I think Carlos Castaneda also referred to it as lucid dreaming. It's about being conscious in your dreams. Conscious enough to acknowledge dream as an experience equal in importance to anything that happens during your waking life. And that we should integrate the two, that they should be equal, that you could be learning at night in your dreams. And I believe that Jung and other psychologists also refer to lucid dreaming.

L I have never read Carlos Castaneda, so I cannot say whether he and I are speaking of the same thing. If by “lucid dreaming” you mean that you are aware that you are dreaming, and might even be able to change the outcome of the dream - no, it is not the same thing as what I am calling an actual experience.

Q I have a repeating dream about you. I always dream that I come to see you and you are living in the same house. It’s about three stories tall, on a hill with a beautiful sunset view. I'm often there for sunset. We are apparently living a colorful, meaningful life together in another realm.

L It can be worthwhile to examine repeating dreams. Especially if the house always looks the same from one visit to the next, if the house is always facing in the same direction, the same environs, the same furnishings, the windows and interior rooms always placed the same. The same people living there each time, with others coming and going, as would happen here on earth. I speak of these things in We Meet in Dreams ... It could very well be that we are meeting in a house that exists either here on earth or in another realm.

In Realms of Light I give an interesting example, although it is not a repeating dream. A friend stayed overnight, when I was still living in the little house on Buffalo Street. We woke up in the morning and my friend said: “I had the most vivid dream about a blond woman. Who is she?” I said: “I dreamt about her as well. That’s my singer, Louise McConnell. She lives in California now.” My friend said: “She looked terrible.” And she looked terrible in my dream too. In the “dream” Louise was asking me for healing and help. I was very worried. With good reason, as it turns out - she had just been diagnosed with cancer. My friend, who had never met her, never heard of her - apparently shared my dream of her - or rather, Louise appeared to her as well.

Q Just before she found out about her cancer?

L No, it was just after she had found out. I was told a few weeks later, after my dream of her.

Many years earlier, I had “dreamt” about Louise for months before I actually met her in waking state reality. I had been to her house so many times in these dreams, that when I finally walked in the front door, I knew where everything was in the house.

As I have often said in my books, and in interviews, I have been especially fortunate in that most of my clairvoyant and supernatural experiences have been validated. Some things can never be validated, while we are still in the body.

Many people do not have that confirmation. Which is another reason I have written these books, to try to validate the truth of these experiences for others.

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