Mystical, Visionary, and Spiritual Dreams
The Interpretation of Dreams

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Mystical, Visionary, and Spiritual Dreams

Mystical, visionary, spiritual, or "high" dreams go beyond dealing with everyday events and concerns to access the dreamer's spirituality. The Tibetan Buddhists call them dreams of clarity. In their book Exotic Dreams, Stanley Krippner and Andre de Carvalho categorize these kinds of dreams in several ways: numinous (having "numen" or divine power), transpersonal (going beyond personal concerns into those of all humanity), transcendent (making contact with higher or divine knowledge), and spiritual (relating to the "spirit" or ultimate human values). These dreams often include exotic characters who have some universal meaning that is generally understood by all culturesa bird, a wise old woman, a monster. The spiritual aspects of these dream symbols were dismissed by Freud, who was antagonistic to organized religion, and by Adler, who was wary of anything occult in nature. Carl Jung, however, believed strongly in the power of dreamwork and spiritual practices to "cure souls.'' He referred to the universal characters in dreams as archetypes, attributing to them supernatural qualities and powerful aspects of the dreamer's personality. We call these characters dream helpers, beings who step in to show you the way or offer some new insight. It is quite rare for a dream to take on the added spiritual or mystical dimension of a visionary dream, but when it does happen, it will be clear to you that something special has transpired. While infrequent, this kind of experience is readily available as a "spiritual exercise" to anyone regardless of religious orientation. And the more you focus on the spiritual aspect of your waking life, the more likely you are to have dreams related to spirituality. The Tibetan dream yoga tradition, which cultivates the experience of these kinds of dreams, recommends practicing meditation and other rituals during waking life to "clear the mind" for "higher" dreams of clarity during sleep.

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