Dreaming Ourselves to Life
Both waking and sleeping, we encounter objects, events, animals and people that represent 'meaning' to us and that may trigger a whole gamut of emotional reactions, a flood of memory, a new insight into present reality or inspiration for an innovative project.
It is as if in each of our everyday lives, we are presented with the gift of enlightenment tailored for each of us alone–no need to buy, search out, or resort to ready-made advice! Dynamics such as Synchronicity, the Creative Process, the Imagination and Intuitive Thought all belong to the realm of the Dream, the Unconscious, be it Collective or Individual.
How do we make the best of this dynamic living treasure? Alertness, openness, and a questioning mind go a long way in reaping benefit from these phenomena. A new alternative system of priorities allows the practical applicaton of the bank of information available to us through the Dream Realm. The purpose of the integration of unconscious information is personal fulfillment on the individual level, and peaceful, sustainable community and global living on the collective one.
Through dream processing, perhaps we will become the creators of the new symbols and concepts for this time. Heinrich Zimmer points out a crucial reality for world civilizations:
Concepts and words are symbols, just as visions, rituals, and images are; so too are the manners and customs of daily life. Through all of these a transcendent reality is mirrored. They are so many metaphors reflecting and implying something which, though thus variously expressed, is ineffable, though thus rendered multiform, remains inscrutable. Symbols hold the mind to truth but are not themselves the truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them. Each civilization, every age, must bring forth its own.
–Zimmer in Creative Mythology by Joseph Campbell. 625 - 626.
It could be added that each person has his/her own capability and opportunity to bring forth personal reflections/symbols of the transcendent reality in which we are embedded.
The pages on this website about Archetypes, Symbols and Dreams rely heavily on the work 'Ariadne's Clue' by Anthony Stevens, since explaining the theories behind the dream and symbol forming process is done so well in that book.