Conscious Dreaming

Sri Aurobindo makes it clear that it is not only possible, but in fact, extremely valuable to become conscious in the deeper states of sleep and thus utilize the dream-state from a state of conscious awareness. “It is possible too to become conscious deeper within our subliminal selves and we are then aware of experiences on other planes of our being or even in supraphysical worlds to which sleep gives us a right of secret entry. A transcript of such experiences reaches us; but the transcriber here is not the subconscious, it is the subliminal, a greater dream-builder.”

Sri Aurobindo goes on to describe the action of the subliminal in the creation of dreams: “If the subliminal thus comes to the front in our dream-consciousness, there is sometimes an activity of our subliminal intelligence,–dream becomes a series of thoughts, often strangely or vividly figured, problems are solved which our waking consciousness could not solve, warnings, premonitions, indications of the future, veridical dreams replace the normal subconscious incoherence. There can come also a structure of symbol-images, some of a mental character, some of a vital nature: the former are precise in their figures, clear in their significance; the latter are often complex and baffling to our waking consciousness, but, if we can seize the clue, they reveal their own sense and peculiar system of coherence. Finally, there can come to us the records of happenings seen or experienced by us on other planes of our own being or of universal being into which we enter: these have sometimes, like the symbolic dreams, a strong bearing on our own inner and outer life or the life of others, reveal elements of our or their mental being and life-being or disclose influences on them of which our waking self is totally ignorant; but sometimes they have no such bearing and are purely records of other organised systems of consciousness independent of our physical existence.”

This action of becoming awake and aware of the subliminal level of dreams opens up enormous possibilities for knowledge, understanding and insight to our lives and our relationships. Many people have in fact experienced the solution of problems or the clarification of a decision process by “sleeping on it” and Sri Aurobindo has given us here a clue as to the process involved.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 5, The Cosmic Illusion; Mind, Dream and Hallucination, pp. 424-425

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