Electric Dreams

A Tale of Dream Trees

Linda Lane Magallón

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Magallón, Linda Lane (2006 Jun). A Tale of Dream Trees. Electric Dreams 13(6).

Once upon a time there were three neighbors. Each had a dream tree in the backyard.

The first neighbor had rich soil. His tree produced a bounty of fruit. The second neighbor had poorer soil. Her tree produced branches and leaves. The third neighbor had very poor soil. Her tree grew short and gnarled.

One day the third neighbor chanced to drop some fertilizer at the base of her tree. The rains came and went. The tree grew leaves, blossomed and bore sweet fruit. Next year, the neighbor fertilized her tree on purpose. She also turned up some of the soil, cleared a space for the tree to grow and watered the tree. Lo, the tree bore leaves, flowers and even larger sweet fruit. So the third neighbor went to tell her neighbors of her good fortune.

The first neighbor could not understand why the third neighbor had to do so much hard work. He pointed to his tree in the backyard. "See?" he said. "I do not labor, yet my tree bears fruit." He did not realize how fortunate he was. His house had been built in a naturally fertile part of the valley

The second neighbor could not understand why the third neighbor would want to do so much hard work. She pointed to her leafy tree in the backyard. "My tree is just fine as it is," she said. She could not comprehend the joy of eating sweet, juicy fruit. She had never had a taste.

The third neighbor went home to contemplate. She wondered what might happen if her neighbors bothered to clear the ground and feed their own dream trees on a regular basis. What if, like her, each became a dream environmentalist?

Now, dreams reflect our feelings and emotions. They display our mental and physical attributes and attitudes. The sorts of dreams we produce are clues to our overall health. Towards the base of the dream tree, dreams highlight trauma, conflict and other evidence of stress or psychopathology. Further up the trunk are the so-called "normal" dreams. Growing in the treetops are some rare fruits: the delightful, wonder-filled dreams.

Basic level dreams are the raw material of psychotherapy. A serious approach to dreamwork can help diagnose the problem and fix the flaw. And there are practical ideas for waking life that can be plucked from the lower branches of the dream tree. But if you are going to bother to do gardening work at all, why not enjoy all the fruits of your labors? Why not climb to the top and reap the sweet rewards of a growth level dream?

Growth level dreams are creative, humorous and playful. They are flights of fantasy, imaginative creations, and story-like epics. They are archetypal, spiritual, visionary. They are also sociable and psychic, in a positive way. Most of all, they are enjoyable and fun. A growth level dream is the product of a healthy and nurtured psyche.

In the field of dreams, growth level fruits and flowers can sometimes find it hard to coexist along with the ragged leaves, twigs and broken branches. A stunted dream tree is fed with thin soil and beset by storms. But there is nothing to stop you from becoming a dream environmentalist.

As a dream environmentalist, you combine old ideas and new explorations to bring forth a robust crop of dreams. You root out the weeds, clean up the toxins, feed the soil and plant new flowers in the garden. Should you bother to nurture your entire dream plot, it can gift you with growth level dreams as a reward for your extra attention. But you can't wait until harvest time at break of day. You must start prior to sleep.

Healthy dreams are not healing dreams. They are the product of the latest medical wisdom: a fit and dynamic life means you do your best to avoid dis-ease in the first place. Your nightly repertoire benefits from a large dose of preventative medicine. Once a week or so, you take a bit of time to process the day residue scattered all over your backyard and turn it into a compost heap. You prepare the ground with supplemental images and ideas just before sleep. And then you drift into slumber with the expectation that all your good work will grow sweet, juicy fruit.

What dream content describes the optimal or detrimental conditions of your psyche, the needy or growth level dreams? That, you can only determine by watching your dream tree through all its seasons of dreaming. Set up your dream journal as a farmer's almanac. By tracking themes through a series of dreams, you will find what indicates problems and what highlights your potentials. Whatever criteria you use, the process is the same: discover what hinders, what helps and act to encourage or discourage. Before you go to sleep.

As a gardener of dreams, you can cultivate a rich crop to fruit and flower throughout your entire tree. When you bring intention to the realm of dreams, your dream environment opens up to the extraordinary. Energy, action and emotion stir up your hidden possibilities and allow them to burst into blossom.

(Dream Flights)