The Dream Types and Dream Guidance in the Gnostic Work
In the Gnostic work, our dreams have enormous importance. The dreams that we have are not just a bunch of messy stuff that came from unprocessed departments of our subconscious mind, but they can also be a very valuable source of information that we can use in our spiritual unfoldment.
In the West today it is generally believed that dreams are simply a product of brain activity, the subconscious mind processing information, and that there is not much value to them. It is also believed that they take place only in certain periods of sleep, also known as the R.E.M. periods (R.E.M. standing for “rapid eyes movement” because of the rapid movement of eyes during those parts of sleep), however in the esoteric studies it is very well known from direct observation and experience that besides dreams that are of a purely subconscious origin, there are also other types of dreams as well, and it is also known that the dreams can take place during the entire sleep period (as it is the case with those who reached a certain stage in their inner work).
Our dreams are connection with the astral world, our ‘true’ home – a place where we keep returning after every physical incarnation. It is the place where we spend most of our time while bound to the Samsaric Wheel, from where we contemplate and reflect on our progress, and where we see our deeper purpose (unlike here in the physical world where most people are not aware of what is going on, until they reach a stage through karmic growth where they start becoming aware of it). So even though we live our life in the physical world, we still spend 1/3 of that time in the astral world, and so our sleep time serves not only to recharge our etheric/vital vehicle and thus gives the physical body what it needs to survive and perform well in this physical world, but we also engage in other important functions, which most people have no idea that they are actively being part of.
Throughout history, many cultures have looked at their dreams as a very important part of their lives; something that gives them guidance which they verified to be true and trustworthy. Thus they acted upon that guidance, and saw that it helps them and that they should follow it. Today there are also cultures and religions that put a lot of value on their dreams and insights that they can get from them.
Generally, we can sum up our dreams to five different categories:
The first category is known to modern science, and which is related to subconscious activity of the mind, which could very well be related to certain adjustments and the processing of the unprocessed information in the brain and in the subconscious mind. Normally when in this state, we are in our etheric body, floating very near our physical body or lying in bed next to it.
The second category is that in which we are in an astral location, interacting with real people (whether that be other sleepers or disembodied spirits), however our subconscious is active and is projecting outwards onto the astral plane its desires, preoccupations, fears etc. Normally when in this state we act like a drunk person would act in the physical world, and have our subconscious affecting the environment around us. The astral and mental planes (the two planes of the 5th dimension) are of such nature that thought and emotion can become manifested if done in the right way, however for a sleeper the projections of their thoughts and emotions outwards would cause the change in the astral world substantial mostly to them. This can be compared to a bubble inside which the sleeper is having their subconscious projecting things, while outside the bubble the real astral world can be seen.
Occasionally, the sleeper sees through this bubble and can have interesting and substantial experiences of the astral plane, in which he sees real spirits and has a meaningful conversation with them. The only problem that can here occur is that often time the sleeper would have his subconscious mind ‘paint’ the faces of the real spirits to those familiar to him, such as of his family members, friends, acquaintances etc., making him believe that he had a dream in which he talked to those people that he knows, while in reality it could have been people that he has never met in his physical life (this particular detail can be verified by becoming sufficiently conscious within such a dream, and seeing the face (or faces) changing from the familiar ones to unfamiliar ones). The same ‘painting’ of things by the subconscious mind can also occur to the environment, so that the sleeper subconsciously projects an environment unto a real astral location, which can sometimes be visible to others there.
The third category of dreams is related to dream guidance that we may receive, and which most people on this planet do receive regularly. The question that for many folks arises is “where is this guidance coming from, and how can we trust it?” There is not a simple answer to the first part of the question, because there are many higher influences that we are unaware of, and we remain unaware of them until we reach appropriate stage on the path to liberation, and even then there still remain many influences that we don’t know about. However, it could be said that some of the more common influences are coming from our own inner Being (higher self), our spiritual guides, and other higher beings who may or may not have direct relation to us. But it is generally thought that the most of the guidance is coming from our own Being and its various parts. And regarding “how to trust such guidance”, this comes down to having sufficient experience through which we learn to differentiate between different types of dreams and where we have clearly seen their effect on our physical life. This also needs to be combined with faculty of intuition, which is a faculty of our higher senses that enables us to feel and perceive importance in things and experiences that come to us both in dream life and in the waking physical life.
The guidance in dreams can come to us in different ways. Often in such dreams we are part of a particular situation in which we either have a role or we are a passive observer. Through the development of such situation and its ending we come to see what it is that this dream is telling us. Another way to receive guidance is to be shown a symbol. The latter are part of the universal language or archetypes that can speak volumes, and that can clearly convey information that we need. For example, people who do the inner work and have the path to liberation as their main goal in life would often see types of symbols related to that goal; they would see things such as a car or bus (which represent their own inner work and an esoteric vehicle/school respectively), they would see water (representing the state of their sexual/creative energies), they would see various animals, and many other things relating to the path.
It is in this third type of dream category that we can also experience what is known as premonitions. The latter are dreams in which we see a future event, or we are told or shown what it is that is going to take place in future. This future unfoldment could be related to something that will happen only to us, or to our family, race, or even the whole world. Besides being shown the future, we can also be shown something from our personal history (from this lifetime or before it) or from the history of this root race etc.
The fourth type of dream is related to our dream life and learning. Normally, people are not aware that they have this type of dreams. This could be the case because due to strength of their subconscious mind they do not spend a significant amount of time in this dream state, or because they simply don’t have access to this type of memory and knowledge. But those who do qualify to get such knowledge (which tends to happen when we consciously embark on the path of self-realization) we start to see that we have another life that we come back to every night, and which is just as real and as substantial as our physical life. In that life we visit places that in this dream state we are very familiar with, and we also interact and have relationship with people that we over there we know. During such dreams we have memory of those places, people, and of our life there in general, and we also have our duties and activities which we perform there. Interestingly, in our waking state we don’t know anything about those places and people, because we have not seen them before in the physical world, and yet when we go again to that dream life we immediately recognize them and resume our dream life. It seems that there is also part of that dream life which we do not remember yet, and cannot bring that memory to our brain, for one reason or another. But what we can remember is enough to inspire everyone who has opened the doors to this higher world sufficiently enough to get access to this type of dreams.
In this type of dreams we can also receive teachings, often time in a classroom-type scenario. We could be in a place that literally looks like a classroom, or we may be in an open-air environment where a lot of people have gathered to listen to someone’s talk, or we may even be in a type of a temple environment. The access to learning environments would depend on the spiritual development of the soul who is there, and here I’m not only referring to the spiritual development that is done consciously, but also to a type of development that is related to karmic spiritual evolution, and also other types of unfoldments that are less known and that are related to spiritual history and spiritual development of souls from before their arrival to this planet.
Unlike the second type of dream in which the sleeper would act as if drunk and (often time) incoherent, in this fourth category we act as if we are awake, with proper thought behind our actions, although we don’t have full consciousness like we have here and we are not conscious of our physical life.
The fifth type of dreams is happening to those who have reached a significant stage in their inner work, and are receiving knowledge about life, themselves, as well as many other things, through the process of initiations. The initiations are the intrinsic part of the path to liberation, because they involve learning and transformation; the learning that they entail transforms the person who goes through them, at the end of which is a test and, if successfully passed, a reward. In the early stage of the path the rewards are related to gaining access or creation of the higher (solar) non-physical bodies, and afterward the rewards entail incarnations of the parts of the inner Being and having access to its virtues and later on its wisdom.
All of the above types of dreams can be known and explored. The knowledge of all of these has a value for us, because it adds up to the knowledge of life and the Universe that we gain over the course of this lifetime and beyond. Nevertheless, some types of dreams are more useful to know than others, particularly for the path to liberation, but also for everyday living. If talking about usefulness, it would be good for everyone seeking to progress in life and on the path to become more aware of guidance that they receive in dreams, because it is this that is directly helping us to ascend and to gradually progress. In order for such dreams to have the maximum results, we would first need to know how to remember them, and then how to interpret them, and finally how to apply them.
When we develop our dream life in an objective way to the point of looking forward to the coming night, it means that we have reached a certain inner transformation and are arriving to an ever deeper understanding of what is taking place in higher worlds – in those seemingly far away dimensions of life, which in reality are closer to us than what we could have imagined.
HDP, September 2020.