Electric Dreams

Dream Trek

Future Backward, Future Forward

Linda Lane Magallón

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 Magallón, Linda Lane (1999 March). Dream Trek: Future Backward, Future Forward. Column. Electric Dreams 6(3). Retrieved on July 11, 2000 on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

It's 1999, end of the millennium and folks are dreaming up prophesies of destruction and disaster. Take your pick: the Apocalypse, Earth Changes, Y2K.

Or maybe, the aliens are coming. If our image of the future is dark and dangerous, we react with fear. We behave as survivors, gathering objects and ideas around us like a blanket, to protect ourselves from the nuclear winter which seems to menace from a dismal tomorrow. When we're stuck with one imaginal channel, we can think the information that comes through is the true, the only possible future. And that applies to our personal future as well as our public one.

Within the world of dream, myths are born. In the past, we left that job to the masters, the leaders, the gurus, the expert dreamers. And then we had to live our lives according to some dream that the other guy had. And we built our civilizations according to the blueprint that the other person perceived, through his narrow focus. Today, we still have the choice to play follow the leader.

So look around and ask yourself, who's promoting his version of upcoming events...and profiting from the prediction? Disastrous prophesies fill lecture halls and create new cottage industries. Frightened people will pay big bucks to protect themselves from the unknown.

But even some of the people who follow this or that dream prophet are beginning to rethink the situation. Slowly, a new idea is filtering into the interpretation of dreams. It's the notion of the probable future. The image of a single-fisted timeline is opening up into a multi-fingered array of possible timelines. Science fiction is fostering the growth of this new idea. Thank goodness for Star Trek and Back to the Future, not to mention Sliders.

If the future is not fated, not a solo timeline, then the future which lights up in the form of a dream is only a probable one. And the question becomes not, did he dream the future? It becomes, why, out of all the possible futures, did he dream about THAT timeline? It becomes, even if he did dream the most probable timeline in the year 52 or 1165 or 1987, is that still the most probable timeline today? Have our past and present free will choices changed the course of events? Can they still?

Now we have the opportunity, like no other time in history, to be visionary dreamers, too. And that means creating the future from the inside out and the outside in. But whether we do the dreaming ourselves or leave it up to the other guy, we need to ask, what selves are predicting or creating the future? The healthy selves? Or the pathological ones?

Psychotherapy already has discovered that dreams respond to our needs, our hopes, our fears, our prejudices. This applies to both yesterday's residue and tomorrow's anticipated events. So, if you spontaneously dream up an optimistic future or if you dream up a pessimistic future, ask yourself, what does that dream say...about me? What's attracting my psyche's attention? My highest ideal? My greatest threat?

Think about the average content of your personal dreams. Do they specialize in safety and security issues? Duh, what makes you think that the channel's going to change when you expand to the global level of dreaming?

Before we present ourselves with the task of dreaming up the world's future, we need to make sure our heads are screwed on right, that we've faced our own problems, needs and fears and are long on the march to emotional maturity.

Whether we're talking deliberate or spontaneous dreaming, only a clean portal can pick up the clear vision through the static of inner conflict or outer chaos.

So, before you come to any conclusions about that future dream you had last night, take a long, hard look at yourself. And, when you think you can perceive a clear picture of reality, ask for a second opinion by someone who isn't afraid to be honest with you. Then go back to the gurus and ask them some hard questions, too.

Not all futures are being previewed by healthy, mature psyches. When it comes to dreaming the future, we need to do one another the favor of reality checks. Not just on the future. On ourselves.