During the past 14 years I have served as a midwife
at the birth of many extraordinary dreams, including psychic ones. By holding
group and mutual projects and telepathic dream experiments, I encourage folks to
dream intentionally and together.
For a long time I was not convinced that I was a psychic dreamer, myself.
That's because I knew too much. I knew the picture of the classic psychic dream
as described in the parapsychological literature. But I didn't realize that
those images and definitions contain a bias which worked against me. That
prejudice prevented me from recognizing and appreciating my inherent ESP
I call it the literal bias. It comes from a very important need to
distinguish between the false and true; the appropriate and inappropriate. To be
psychic is to perceive...in an extraordinary way. Just as with *regular*
perception, it is necessary to learn to perceive accurately. Extrasensory is
sometimes defined as *extended sensory.* It's a sneak peek at the mundane, a
remote view of the surface, a prophesy of a blatant physical event.
The most widely accepted standard for accurate perception is the waking
state. Thus a *true*
extrasensory dream is supposed to be one that equates well with physical life.
The more it copies waking reality, the better. A literal psychic dream is like a
home video or Ansel Adams realistic photograph. A literal-realistic dreamer has
a mind that creates pictures which mimic the waking standard. Doctors,
engineers, architects as well as psychic detectives and healers benefit from a
literal mind set.
There are many reasons offered to support the literal psychic dream. Literal
dreams can heal and solve problems. They can give us sneak previews of our
literal future. Or futures, as the case may be.
And literal dreams are a lot easier to figure out than symbolic dreams. When
it comes to psychic-symbolic dreams, we are dream interpretation couch-potatoes.
Symbolic dreams are rarely put through the decoding mill accompanied by the
questions, *Is this a precognitive dream?* *Is this a clairvoyant dream?* *Does
this dream have anything to do with anyone else besides me?*
But reality is more than just the surface of things. Literal-realistic
doesn't plumb the depths. And dreams (especially dreams!) are a dive into the
unconscious. A voyage through the underworld of myth and symbol. A trip inside
alternate reality. A trip insides our heads.
The dreaming mind engages in *primary process thinking.* It takes apart the
standard picture and reduces it to its essential parts of color, shape, form,
sound, touch and feel. If it reassembles the parts in order, we have a literal
dream. But it doesn't always reassemble or retrieve or create the images as we
I am basically a creative-symbolic dreamer. So are most of the folks who have
been attracted to intentional or deliberate dreaming. Our minds paint inner
pictures with the freedom of an artist to illustrate reality in abstract and
non-linear terms. We come mainly from two groups, which sometimes overlap.
The first group is dreamworkers and dreamers who take the time to understand
and interpret the symbols in our dreams. We understand the value of sign and
mythic imagery. We have spent too much effort learning our own dreaming language
to throw away the symbolic approach when we come to psychic dreaming.
The second group is creative folks. We are the artists, writers, musicians,
in-dream and out. Patricia Garfield's seminal book on intentional dreaming is
called *Creative Dreaming.* It's certainly aimed at the right audience.
Now, put together a personality who naturally dreams in symbolic-creative
terms together with a type of dreaming that is defined in literal terms and
you've got a potential problem. In this skeptical society, the literal psychic
dreamer is unappreciated and misunderstood. But the psychic-symbolic dreamer is
barely recognized--even by dreamers and dreamworkers themselves! Some folks have
been looking for a way to integrate the two extremes. But the exploration of the
subject is barely begun.
Consider this: ESP is about becoming extra perceptive, and that includes
learning to peer beneath the surface to that which is not obvious to the naked
eye. Like what we think. Like how we feel. Using ESP we can *pick up* another
person's fantasy or another person's dream. And dreams and fantasies may have
nothing to do with waking life. They might be crammed full of those strange
non-literal images we call *symbols.*
I believe that we are all psychic dreamers by nature. My hope is that I can
help folks recognize and appreciate when we have psychic dreams, no matter what
our personality types and perceptive proclivities. But we may have to take out
our magnifying glasses and put on our Sherlock Holmes hats to find those that
don't fit the consensus reality standard.
Then when we start playing psychic games, rather than feeling like failures
if we don't dream up a carbon copy of waking reality, we can begin to realize
the Michaelangelo within. We can applaud the natural genius who paints the dream
with complex emotional textures as well as stark and simple black and white.