Dreams and Dreamers

■ reamwork IS aN esoteric area that has attracted scientific I ■ analysis in the last decade. There has been considerable JL-^ research into lucid dreaming, where the dreamer takes control of the events in the dream or at least is aware of the fact he or she is dreaming. Psychologists have set up sleep labs to study student sleep patterns and have done quite a bit of physiological measurement in the last few years. The mystery is fading. The Winter 1992 (#22)issue of Gnosis, a magazine for Western esoteric traditions, devoted almost all of its articles to the use and understanding of dreams. Both Freud and Jung did extensive work with dream analysis and found a valuable resource.

The Sufis use dreams as part of their training, and many of the Christian and Judaic prophets used the content of their dreams to show their relationship to Jehovah. The Roman God-Emperor Claudius recorded dreams he thought were important, as well as his family's historical and profitable relationship with the water sprite Egeria. Roger Bacon, one of the founders of the Royal Academy cf England, expressed an interest in dreams, as did his contemporary, the magician John Dee. Brugh Joy puts a great deal of emphasis on the interpretation of dreams. There's a long history of interest and research into what happens to the mind when we sleep.

The ninjas have techniques for the active use of dreams, and some have the ability to communicate in and with dreams across great distances. I have had both Hatsumi and Stephen Hayes convey messages to me in dreams. In both cases it was something I already knew how to do, so I incurred no giri. Dreamwork for the purpose of combat is a little different. It can be quite fun to send a nightmare to an enemy, depending on your skill in understanding his or her fears. Of course, you must study to be able to do this. It requires endurance on the part of your friends if they accidentally share your attempts to master Dreamtime.

On the next few pages, I'll lay out some basic ideas, convey some cautionary tales as warnings, and then leave it up to you. Dreamwork and creative meditation tap into similar areas of the brain. As even animals dream, which any dog or cat owner can observe, the area is obviously not the higher cortex. Dreaming can be considered a primitive function. Most psychologically healthy people do not remember their dreams as they are not warnings but simply entertainment for the mind while the body is sleeping. Dream content normally flows out of the four Fs of survival: feeding, fleeing, fighting, and sex. If a dream becomes a repeater, that is usually a sign that the spirit or body would like to get the social self's attention. Once the social self recognizes the problem, the dream goes away.

Before my first wife divorced me I used to have a recurring dream of wandering around a large, empty house with rotting floors. My companion in the house was a small, black, yappy bitch dog that attacked me every time I'd start to crash through one of the rotting spots. Disconcerting to say the least. Considering that she divorced me in the midst of the struggle to get the Ph.D., the dream content seems obvious. Hindsight is like that. At the time I made the mistake of describing the dream to her. She saw the implications where I did not. She was pissed. She was a psychological anthropologist and had read a lot of Freud. Freud felt that one of the major functions of dreams was to adaptively connect emotions to events. Dreams of this sort usually don't require a great deal of introspection if you're in touch with your feelings. (1 wasn't at that time, or at least had trained myself as a medic to ignore most feelings, not wishing to be "sensitive.") Once the divorce was final, the dream went where all warnings that are heeded retire to.

The research on Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep indicates that we usually dream a number of times in the course of the night. Lucid dreaming studies show that we can program ourselves to dream about particular topics by self-suggestion before dropping off.

Dreamwork times that are most effective seem to be just before going to sleep or just as you are waking up. When you realize you are beginning to dream, rather than just watch the story, raise up your hands and get into the situation just as an actor gets into his or her part. The entertainment hypothesis is supported by the fact that when I was a child most people seemed to dream in black and white, like the movies and television. (I've always dreamed in color.) I can't tell you how long it has been since anyone told me their dreams weren't in color. Taking an active part in your dream life is one way to train the imagination.

My son Shawn informs me he likes to edit outcomes as he goes, and if the dream starts to move in a direction he perceives as unpleasant he gets busy and changes it to his liking. He also tells me it is hard to get out of these dreams when you are interacting and something happens outside the dream that you have to attend to, like answering the door or telephone when you're napping.

Australian Aborigine shamans spent a great deal of time in an altered state which they referred to as Dreamtime. Being in Dream-time was a tool that allowed the wise men and women to predict events, travel in the astral plane, and perform certain healing rituals. Dreamtime was considered a creative state where the normal rules of time and space did not exist. The concept of Dreamtime corresponds with the Void in Aborigine creation legends as the source of life. This seems to be pretty strong evidence that you don't have to be asleep to make use of your dream states.

A waking vision is not the same as a dream. It is more like a hallucination, a dream with the power to intrude on the perceptual screen of the social self when wide awake. This is not entertainment like a drug reaction; it's more like a nightmare in intensity but can be positive and even fun. This can be brought on empath-ically when sharing something exciting with awakened companions. I've had that happen with Veronica Moran while partying, and Kevin Millis while swimming. Veronique (nickname) and I were standing in a hallway when suddenly a tunnel formed between us and we both stepped inside and were no longer at the party. Kevin and I were snorkeling in southern California when we both started to have what Maslow would call a peak experience. We were both seeing on the same spectrum and could describe to each other what we were experiencing.

I've talked with married couples who sometimes share each other's minds. It's not that uncommon. The Russians supposedly have done a lot of research in this area. Now that the Iron Curtain has collapsed, we may get to examine what they've done with telemetry, telepathy, clairvoyance, and so forth. I used to be pretty skeptical of this whole area of investigation. Now I'm skeptically curious.

Waking visions also seem to be part of the meditative experience, as I described in the chapters concerning the kundalini. There may also be a link with past-life experience, spirits, and/or genetic memory, which I tend to discount even given my personal experiences (I prefer not to wade in those waters, though I seem to get splashed from time to time). Dr. Rich Grant once found himself immersed in a cavalry charge in France of a few centuries back. Suzanne Carlson dreamed of herself as her father as a young man in World War II London during the bombings. I've been on a high platform watching troops in strange uniforms pass in review (this was not a pleasant vision), as well as been a trader with bronze spearheads poling a log canoe with a leather sail. The feeling is you are wide awake, but what you are watching is a dream that is, was, or can be part of you.

Dreamwork can also be a spontaneous response to receiving higher energy from a master of chi kung or someone who has gone through the kundalini and figured out what to do with them selves besides head for a rubber room. I'm thinking of the example of Arlene Hill, a theatre student. Blake Poindexter (hoshin sandan) and I wired her up with meridian massage at a party when she was dating Mark Robinson, one of our blue belts. We both dumped a lot of energy into her as we were working out her kinks.

Arlene codified a phenomenon that I hadn't really thought much about. She was completely on her own, as she and Mark broke up soon after and she wasn't training with us, so she had no idea what to expect or what we had done to her. One thing she definitely didn't expect was the vivid increase in the intensity of her dreams as her body began the process of rewiring to handle the higher energy we had dumped in her. She personally blamed me and particularly resented being chased from her loft in a dream by a shape-changer which caused her to fall and break her foot. A> Arlene's energy escalated she was also presented with the problem of how to deal with her suddenly much greater attraction to men as well as a quantum jump in her performance skills. She was also confused by the admiring approach of satanists, as well as meditators and yogis who had never shown any interest in her before. Her broken foot kept her from blowing off the excess energy through dance, and she was not interested in the men she was drawing to her flame, so her elevation was not without some internal pain from overloaded biocircuitry. There is something to the power of virgins.

When I was working for General Motors and living on a little lake, my neighbor across the way was a nurse. I asked her if she meditated or knew therapeutic touch. She didn't and wanted to learn. One week while her husband was attending a conference so she didn't have to devote her evenings to him, 1 taught her how to meditate and give meridian massage as well as read auras and use therapeutic touch. (This can only be done by energy exchange.) About a week later, she told me she had the following dream. Her husband and she were at a restaurant when a group of Japanese dressed as businessmen struck him down and kidnapped her. They hid her away in a large stone castle and she was feeling very lost and helpless. She was taken to a room to be interrogated by a large group of men. While they were distracted by torturing her, I walked into the room. I changed into a large black bird with claws for hands and feet and long sharp bill. I tore into the back of the group and began shredding them with great glee. I killed them all. I then returned her to her husband. At the time of this dream she had no knowledge of ninjutsu and certainly wasn't aware of an esoteric piece of information like tengu are ninja are birds. Her healing skills improved and her doctor wanted to take her with him when he moved into private practice.

Steven, a student of Mark's, once had a dream about me after we had worked out together at Mark's place on Bear Lake. Blake and I were demonstrating how hard you could hit with chi, and Steven may have been cannon fodder once or twice in the course of the demo. It's interesting having third-generation students as you don't have any idea what they know, or don't know, not being their teacher. Steven told Mark he'd had the following dream.

"I was sitting in a large banquet hall. There were many people there and we were waiting for the speaker. Finally, the huge doors at the end of the hall opened and in walked Dr. Morris. He was escorted by four beautiful women, each of a different race. They were very solicitous of his comfort. His talk was about the importance of conserving your sexual energy which was very funny since the women did not seem to be very helpful in that direction." As Steve is a very handsome young man, he thought he would attempt a pick-up of Old Baldy's escort. "When I approached the women, they poked fun at me and slandered my manhood. It was very embarrassing. They said that at my level of potency they would be jailed for manslaughter if we got it on." Steve knew nothing about the Yellow Emperor and his Court of Lovelies and neither did Mark at that time. I had not yet given him the Big Red Book (Douglas and Slinger's Sexual Secrets).

When Kevin and I were giving Earth and Fire seminars on his turf south of LA., a higher-ranking American ninja decided he could attend for free, take over to give a couple of advanced lessons, and probably rip off a few of our students as rank hath its privilege. He showed up late in the afternoon of the second day after I'd spent the first day teaching the participants how to see and feel energy. He had only met me once before at a Tai Kai and had no idea what my skills and interests were. (It must be remembered that in Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu some of the masters are much more physically talented than mentally. Some have never shown any interest in the soft side of the art; some who are thick as bricks refute their own experience and say it doesn't exist; and there are a few whose level of enlightenment allows them to attempt to fake it. Genjutsu, or faking skills for professional reasons, is not denigrated by the system but can be a necessary survival skill for duping the naive.)

Anyway, this boob starts telling the students to watch how his energy moves up the chakras as he performs some techniques. I had to warn the class to remember Hatsumi's dictum concerning trusting your own senses and primary sources. When the day was finished I summarized the learnings and invited those who weren't exhausted after two twelve-hour days to come party with Kevin and me in Malibu. The visiting master got to sleep alone in his truck in the parking lot. He told Kevin he had terrible nightmares and could hardly sleep at all that night. 1 have noticed over the years that his taijutsu has improved enormously, but since he is not a friend I'm not aware of the state of his ego. I've not spoken to him in years.

You can usually tell when a dream is not yours, as the symbols and feelings will be wildly different from your own. Now, intruding into someone else's dream requires that you know how to get on that person's or group's wavelength, or you have shared energy and are "in" that person so you can go visit your energy baby. Rather like some of the experiences that twins report. Most people regard the penetration of their dream in about the same way a victim regards rape. It is scary to realize that someone else can share your dream. This is very different from dreaming about someone. This is being visited by an alien presence in your most inner and sacred being.

It is probably a good idea to approach dreamwork with caution. It's an intense form of telepathy. When I returned from England after taking Suzanne Carlson through the kundalini, she would show up in dreams and dreamtime. That was very pleasant since I like Suzanne. I talked with her old boyfriend and he said that she'd been able to do that with him for a long time. It's a different matter when the appearance is unexpected. He wrote a song for his Chicago rock band, The Mean Reds, that is quite popular in the dance bars, called "Get Out of My Mind!" It's about how difficult it is to shake the witch-lover's spell. A lot of people seem to empathize with his anger.

There is a ninja story concerning a high-level physical practitioner who wanted to learn how to use dreams. His teacher trusted him to use the information for self-protection; instead he decided to intimidate the samurai he worked for by sending him nightmares. He dropped hints so that the samurai would realize the source of his night terrors and bribe him appropriately to win back his peace of mind. The samurai chose another route of continuously assigning his ninja subordinate to increasingly dangerous jobs until he was severely injured in an explosion that could have been ignorance or sabotage. Only the ninja's superb taijutsu prevented him from being killed and disfigured. The samurai then truly feared and retained him, as he survived where lesser men would have died. When I told my master boxer friend John Yono this story, he said, "I would have sent the nightmare and then rescued the samurai from what I sent, building his gratitude." John's is a more Christian viewpoint.

Before the Texas Tai Kai in 1991, Hatsumi-san came to me in a dream. It was in the early morning hours when I like to meditate while lying in bed. Often the male sexual energy is higher in the morning, and this is a good time to draw it off your testicles f your spouse is tired. 1 was lying beside my wife in that state between dream and waking when Hatsumi and a beautiful Japanese woman appeared in the buff before my surprised eyes. It had been over a year since I'd seen him and I'm pretty certain he was in Japan. He began to speak to me in telepathic English baby talk.

"You can love me even more by loving her," he said as he gestured broadly and dumped his energy into his female companion. It did not require a degree in cross-cultural nonverbal communication to notice her enthusiasm. Esotericists might find this visit a manifestation of sadhana complete with dakini or khadroma. (Look it up.) Anyway, it scared the hell out of me. I retaliated by sending a dream date for his turkey, owl, and dogs.

Often a spirit will approach you during dream states. They seem to be strongest around midnight. A guiding spirit may be considered an angel if you're a Christian or an ally if you're into American Indian spirit lore. I personally don't think it is a good idea to attack them like Jacob in the Bible story. They cannot cross the dimensional plane unless you feed them energy, and you can't do that unless you know how to transfer chi or are so scared you kick into fear and terror mode, which radiates all over the place and the boogie gets it for free. It's more interesting to make it a friend or pet. Kick back, relax, match breaths, and observe carefully.

Pay close attention to the feelings, as this is in no way an intellectual exercise. If the spirit gets uppity — eat it. Just inhale it with your tongue and recycle it through your orbits. It can be quite a rush. (See the yogic asana or pose called the lion. You might remember the tongue as an organ of spiritual transfer from your tantric practice.) The stronger spirit wins. All the crap about how powerful they are is propaganda to frighten the foolish and superstitious. This is a creature of energy and breath. It's lighter than air. Its only hope of survival is in not being noticed when on our plane. It's curious as to how you got over into its realm while you are obviously still in the material world. It remembers being carnate. It's happy to share information, particularly if you're willing to share energy. No human sacrifices necessary if you've developed your own inexhaustible source of living energy through chi kung.

You probably know as much about dreamwork as I do. It's a new interest for me. Toff, Blake, and the Hoosier element of hoshin fancy their dream skills. The basics relate to lucid dreaming. Higher energy is necessary for sending over distances. The periods just before waking or going to sleep allow access to nonordinary lower brain functions similar to meditation. Visual exchange does seem to work better at night. Sending down works better than sending up. Interchange between compatibles or equals is quite vivid. Indian shamans would often use animals to transport their spirit in dreamwork.

Recently after a workout I went to a massage therapist I've been teaching the hoshin meditation skills to see if she could release some of the tighter fascia in my legs and hips as I've never been satisfied with my flexibility. She said there was some surprising tightness and worked my legs through all kinds of funny little lifts and stretches to break things a little looser. It felt great. I told her the story about being on Ilana Rubenfeld's table and the oatmeal abuse. She thought it was funny and remarked how women often do damage unawares. Psychoanalysis often reveals the beginning of female-hating as a response to careless mothering, as if adolescent rejections weren't enough. We talked about Bly's men's groups and I expressed my opinion that he will probably do for fathering what Freud did for mothering in the long run. He's a better poet than shaman/psychologist.

That night in my dreams I was weeping and recognizing how much I missed the only woman with whom I have ever been romantically in love. She was twenty-some years younger than I and had her own life to create. I tried very hard to keep from connecting her to me and when it finally happened was so astounded by the depth of connection and experience granted to enlightened lovers that I lost all semblance or need for distance and just launched myself at her. I have had considerable erotic experience of the fairer sex over the years, even taking the vows cf matrimony twice, but had never come across telepathic love-making, sharing energy, and being what she described in her inexperience as "compatible and passionate."

It has been years since I've seen her, though little things happen daily that cause me to think of her. We did not part well or happily. I showed her my very worst and succeeded in driving her away. It was painful and stupid on my part, but the age difference seemed as monumental to me then from a teacher's perspective as race to a bigot or IQ to an intellectual. It does not seem strange to me that she would be released by the stretching of the hips and pelvis. Dreams are one of the doorways to the body's knowledge. Sometimes the dream provides the only acceptable release.

Nowadays there are all sorts of "revolutionary tools for higher consciousness." I have tried most of these toys over the years and have come to the firm conclusion that higher consciousness comes from your genitals and brainstem, not your cortex, and you will be much happier with the results of meditation on the microcosmic orbit and breathwork. You have to develop the initial power before you can reach out and touch something with any degree of consistency. At this writing I've come into very interesting and real contact with Shiva, Tara and/or Sophia (who would seem to be interchangeable with Ningobble of the Many Eyes), Jesus, Kali, Kobo Daishi, Athena, and the Yellow Emperor, to mention those consciousnesses that have recognizable characteristics, and some others that were beyond me to recognize and a few that I ate. As I find religion ridiculous for the most part and was not drunk, stoned, or on acid at the time, I suggest an attitude of friendly observation and willingness to share as the proper approach to spirit contact, as opposed to worship and fawning.

All hallucinations are supposed to be part of you or a product of your own mind. Share and tell. It might just be your left lobe after all. In dreamtime anything is possible, and there seem to be some interesting problems with time if not space and distance. Some master-level practitioners of Shaolin Kempo or Sillum Kung Fu are rumored to be able to cross time barriers through meditation and breath control. Nobody in my circle of friends has figured that one out. The immortals live on in dreamtime.

See you in your dreams.

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