Electric Dreams

The Waves: 05
Children's Dreams

Cosmic Moon (June 27 to July 24, 2003)

Nick Cumbo

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Cumbo, Nick (2003 September). The Waves: 05. Children's Dreams.
Cosmic Moon (June 27 to July 24, 2003). Electric Dreams 10(9).

The Waves is a newsletter reporting on the explorations of the Sea Life community. Sea Life, the main web forum at Dreampeace, aims to bring together a circle of dreamers from around the globe, collaborating in dreaming adventures, and 'dreaming with and for the earth itself'

Link: http://www.dreamofpeace.net/

This moon, we'll be looking at dreams, and their significance to children. We'll also be drawing on the wisdom of dreams, as a model for teaching, peace training, and the development of youth culture.


When I think back to when I was about 10 or 12 years old, I am sometimes reminded of the ancient Macintosh SE, we used as our home computer. It was a tiny little thing; with a black and white screen. Oh yes, it was a definite step-up from the typewriter we owned before, but it was nothing compared to my neighbour's setup.

My neighbour lived up the hill, you see. We'd spend heaps of our spare time with each other. Down at my house, you could play cricket, build a cubby, annoy my parents, and generally have fun. His house was very similar when I think about it, except for one important difference. He had a much better computer; with a colour screen and many more games than mine. How I enjoyed playing games like 'Bubble Bobble' together with my friend, seeing what new levels we could reach. Unfortunately, I always had to go home at the end of the afternoon. Quite probably, I was a little jealous of my friend and his computer.

One morning, I was to wake from a particularly beautiful dream. In the dream, I discovered to my surprise that my computer was no longer limited to the simple black and white palette of before, but was now capable of radiating the most immensely real colours.

Not only this, but it now came installed with an incredible game, in which I was able to take control of a plane, directing it's movement ever so easily around an astounding desert-like landscape. It was as though, I suddenly found myself there in the cockpit, exploring the ever-expanding boundaries of the world. And it was then that I woke!

I woke, desparately holding onto the hope that I might walk into the other room, to find that my parents really had been able to afford a new computer. No such luck, it seemed. My computer loaded, and it was still the same old machine. You can't imagine the sense of disappointment it left me with, knowing that it would probably be a few years before I could see anything like what I had just experienced, again.

What if I'd never really needed to wait for the computer in the first place! If only I'd realised that these opportunities had been awaiting me in the world of dreams all along. Dreams can not only transcend the limitations of our daily reality, but they also make great stories to share with our friends.

Dreamsharing is great fun, and also a fantastic way of building confidence in ourselves and our story telling ability. Considering we supposedly spend an average of about 7 years of our lives dreaming, it seems awfully important that we make time in our lives to experience the benefits of dreamsharing at a younger age. Given that I wasn't exactly encouraged to reap the gifts of dreaming as a child, I feel a great desire to share them with the children of today.


About two years ago, when I was about 18, and just realising the joys of dreaming once again, I had a quite strange conscious/lucid dream. In it, I found myself in my bedroom, quite unable to move. My attention was immediately drawn to the walls, which seemed to be covered in all different kinds of patterns and words.

I began searching for meaning, in the binary patterns, ancient hieroglyphics, the photoshop icon, shown on each wall. Confused, I finally turned to the window. Written above the window, I saw the the words, 'Teach the Children'. Very clear to the eye, but I couldn't understand why the message was there. I sat expectantly, wondering what I was to be taught. As the moments passed, it suddenly occurred to me that this was something I had been entrusted to do.

There are many varied ways and methods which can be used to teach children (or anyone else for that matter). I believe this was the message behind the variety of patterns on each wall in my dreams, and something that's important for all teachers to remember. As one example, we could look to Dee's 'Great Dreams' website, which tells the story of a dream, in which she learnt about the use of dominoes as a way of teaching children to count. Through dreaming, I believe we can create fun and more worthwhile methods of teaching which are actually enjoyable for the students.

Thankfully, I've recently reached the point where I've decided to make a big transition in my chosen career, moving from an 'Internet Technologies' degree to a degree in Primary School Education. I can't wait to get started.


I'm also a member of the World Dreams Peace Bridge, the home from which Jeremy's fantastic Peace Trains dream was initially born. Recently in discussion, Jean Campbell and others have suggested the idea of 'Kids on the Bridge'. The basic concept is to give a place for children to share dreams and peace inspiring discussion online; making room for the advent of 'digital' peace trains between children of various cultures. A web forum probably being the best way of achieving this.

As a result, a key part of project on Children Dreams, focused on using our dreams as a source of guidance for the development of the forum. The first dream that really got us thinking about a possible theme for the Children's forum came from a member Kat.

"The dream takes place at an amazingly awesome water park. Its no regular 1, there are huge water slides (a couple of stories tall if I recall correctly), and all of these other water things that U can enjoy playing in. The cool thing about this water park is that there are water slides with water pushing down AnD up. I recall thinking to myself that this must be a 1 of a kind water park..and I was right. Another amazing feature of this water park is a HUge water slide that eventually turns into a see-through tunnel that goes underwater. Once you get to that part..you are very amazed at the sea life that is there. There are all kinds of sea creatures and beautiful sea plants. This was something that i especially loved! There was something else that you could do in this water park that i found a bit ..scary. You could choose to go scuba diving. This might sound fun, but the scary part is that you only had the snorkle in your mouth. No other breathing apparatus. I found this weird and unsafe so I decided not to do it."

Given that our forum is called 'Sea Life', it immediately occurred to me that perhaps the theme of the new forum for children was a water/fun park. Kat's dream seemed to bridge the two forums together. The sentiments were echoed soon after by a dream of Jessica's, which seemed to give life to the notion of a 'Peace Train' travelling around the park.

"For some reason I am back at high school confirming that they have all my records in order before I go off to college. Then the whole graduating class is going to an amusement park to celebrate. There is a train going around the park but it is levitating over the 4" wide track. There is also something about a pool in the park"

In another of my own dreams, I asked what we could to improve the tentatively named, Children's Peace Trains Forum. Waking, I retained a clear image of a ferris wheel in park. What made this interesting, was that it not only linked in with the concept of a fun park, but I was also instantly reminded of Dee Finney's Great Dreams website, which I had visited only a few days earlier.

Great Dreams: http://www.greatdreams.com/children.htm

What really stood out to me about this page, was a beautiful image of a ring of faces, which could be seen to be representative of the people of various races (yellow, red, black, white); retaining their individuality, and also meeting together in the center as one. The dream seemed to highlight the importance of encouraging racial equality at the forum; and thus the world around us.

Interestingly, at the bottom of the Great Dreams site, Dee shares an image from one of her own visions. In the image, one sees a line of children; the faces of the children being depicted exactly the same way as those in the drawing made by Joseph Mason. In the vision from which the image is drawn, the children are singing joyfully "These are the Changes, These are the Changes!". Dee reports realising at that moment 'that the Earth Changes are not just about the changing of the Earth with volcanoes, storms, hurricanes, horrible accidents, and deaths of a majority of humanity, but the raising of consciousness of the people themselves". It is my opinion, that we should be making children more aware of the gifts they can bring to the future of the Earth, and all that which lives upon it.

Determined to find out more about how I could accomplish this, I ventured once again into dreaming. The dream turned out to be more like catching a miniature episode from the twilight zone. In the vision, I'm on a train passing by a station (familiar to me in dreams as a place of discovery/opportunity). I see a whole group of young teenagers with their backpacks on, standing along the platform. The train doesn't stop at the station.

Waking, I was a bit confused, I wasn't exactly sure if this group made the cut to be termed 'children'. To be honest, they seemed a bit old. I decided to put the interpretation of the dream on hold for a moment. A few days later it's significance became clear through a fantastic example of mutual dreaming.

That weekend, I went off to stay in a tipi with my friend Alana. As I went off to sleep, I asked her if she'd join me in a dream, to retrieve a gift for the children. Over the course of the night, the fire went out, and the tipi quickly became a rather cold little sleeping area. Sitting up in the bed, I noticed Alana wake, and decided to tell her about my dreams from the night. She laughed, as I did this, recalling an earlier event. Apparently, it was very funny.

"Yeah. You woke me up in the middle of the night, and told me how five spirits came to you in our sleep".

"What???", I replied, bewildered. "I didn't have a dream like that, and I certainly didn't tell you about it! Haha. You must have dreamed about the conversation..."

"Haha. Yeah. You told me that they were 14,15,16,17, and 18" she continues, considering the possibility a little shyly.

Her response left me in awe. It seemed she'd dreamed the advice, directly for me, even though I had not mentioned anything to her about age groups with regards to the Children's Peace Trains forum. Her dream reinforced the importance of 'children' of all ages, having access to a forum where they can work together to create peace in our world.

Though it may seem a little separative, I think it's important to recognise that realistically speaking, there are some significant differences between how children of these two age-groups may communicate and the topics they are likely to wish to discuss. Together, I believe that a forum for each group, would form a great basis for improved peace awareness amongst school children of all ages.

These forums are currently in development. If you'd like to help out, or simply register your interest in the concept, please send me an email (the address is listed at the bottom of the article). Your input or words of support, really do make a difference.


Returning from my little holiday in the tipi, I set off on my walk home from the train station. Settling, into a relaxed pace, my attention was suddenly drawn to the window of the fire station. If I were being honest, I might admit that I couldn't help gazing at my reflection, to check that I wasn't too messed up and worn out from my travels.

Lucky I did! There, hanging from the clear reflective glass of the fire station, was a shiny new poster. 'Our Future, Our Children', the theme of 'NAIDOC Week', an event held by the 'National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Committee', between the 6th and 13th of July. No stranger to the subtle chain of synchronicity, I decided there was something more that I could do for this project.


As it turned out, one of the key aims of NAIDOC is "to promote the rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and increase the awareness of this heritage to all people on a regional, National and International level". Considering that the heart of traditional Aboriginal culture seems to lie in it's dreamtime creation myth, it seems important to draw on the wisdom of Aboriginal people in a project on Children's Dreams.

In 'Mysteries of the Dreaming', James Cowan reveals the spiritual life of Aborigines, that has remained a concealed behind a veil of misunderstanding and prejudice.

"The Aboriginal belief is that before the dreaming or tjukurrba - that is, before the Primodrial Event had occurred - an undending, featureless plain represented this pristine landscape.. Not until the period of the Dreaming and the mysterious appearance of the Sky Heroes, either from inside the earth itself or from an ill-defined upper region, did the landscape take on a truly cosmic significance and attain to form. At the conclusion of the Dreaming period, the Sky Heroes disappeeared from the face of the earth, leaving in their place their personalised 'signatures' in the guise of topographic landmarks, contour variations, trees, animals - in fact, all manifestions of life on earth."

One way in which we can learn from the Aboriginal people, is their understanding of the animals with which we share the Earth. In my own childhood, for example, I had a recurring nightmare of being chased around a desolate landscape by a purple wolf. Sharing this at the forum, it soon became apparent that I wasn't the only one to have intense experiences with different animals in childhood dreams. Valter reported a similar recurring dream, of a wolf which lurked under the garden of his house. Another member, CCHawk, also experienced the same recurring episodes:

"I was in my house, watching television... and Felix the Cat would always be on. I'd watch it for a while when all of a sudden there'd be a loud fwoosh noise, of the house exploding into flames. The flames would start flooding in on all sides of me and I'd be stuck on the couch scared. I also remember spiders and snakes flooding in, and they'd surround me just as well. I'd start crying and screaming for my mom and dad... but it wouldn't help, and that's when I'd wake up. The dream would always be in third person."

It is my opinion, that it is vital that we do our best to connect with the animal spirits hunting us in childhood dreams. As a quite experienced conscious dreamer, I've often found that overcoming one's fear, and confronting these animals, can bring great gifts. In a similar way, one can draw on the animal spirits to help us deal with difficult situations in our day-to-day life. Animal Spirits, is a very handy site with fantastic interpretations of the qualities and wisdom of particular animals.

Animal Spirits: http://www.animalspirits.com/

The animal spirits, are no doubt a key part of Aboriginal culture.

"Aborigines identify with animal totems, for a totem is an embodiment of each individual in his or her primodial state. That is, before the individual was born into the world. The totem is a sacred link with the Dreaming, with a man's incarnation as a human being, with the Sky Heroes who created him. To sever this connection is to destroy a man's spirit and ultimately his desire to live. Indeed it is impossible for an Aborigine to 'lose' his totem, except by way of cultural disruption, as in the case of many urban Aborigines unfortuante enough not to have been born within a totemic environment". (Mysteries of the Dreaming)

While I'm not sure if the animals of our childhood dreams, were necessarily our totem animals, I do believe that they appeared in our dreams for a reason, and that at the very least we could have moved from being immensely scared of them, to finding out more about their qualities and skills of survival in the wild.

While I didn't get to do as much dreaming with the aboriginal people as I would have liked, I did manage one interesting adventure.

"I become lucid, and decide to go off in search of 'Young Aboriginal Dreamers'. I start singing my intention out aloud, and let myself be pulled off into the astral, with some intensity. I continue singing, asking my 'higher self' to guide me.

I eventually end up in a school classroom, surrounded by a whole group of young aboriginal boys. They all seem to have pretty short hair, and are quite young. Their smiles are very beautiful. I smile back, "Is it okay, If I ask you some questions?". The boys don't seem to mind at all, in fact they are quite eager to speak to me.

One boy in particular draws my attention. Round faced, and kinda cheeky looking (in a very friendly way). I ask him what school I'm at. It's really funny, he doesn't bother answering that question. Instead, he grins, apparently "there's a girls school down the road". He seems to have his own priorities"

Upon waking from this dream, I couldn't help but laugh, at his humorous response. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but certainly it was a great lesson, about just how similar people are, regardless of race.


This year, saw the beginnings of our first annual 'Treasure Chest Dafumu' (dream of big good fortune), launched in collaboration with the World Dreams Peace Bridge, and timed to coincide with the beginning of the new year of the 13 Moon Calendar, July 26th. By sheer synchronicity, this is also the date of Jeremy's original Peace Trains dream.

The principle behind this 'Treasure Chest Dafumu' resulted from an earlier pair of dreams. At the time of the first , I'd just started the site Dreampeace, and in the dream I was wondering what other people would think of it. "Immediately, I notice a man on the other side of the street, who gives me a gift. I 'see' with my minds eye, an image of a treasure chest". Awakening from the dream, I knew that this treasure chest, may contain all kinds of gifts for the site. In the second, the concept evolved somewhat, becoming two 'treasure' islands, which I liken to the websites of Dreampeace and the World Dreams Peace Bridge.

In my conscious dream, I set out to retrieve a gift from the treasure chest.

"I'm on a train. It pulls up to a station, and I suddenly realise that I'm dreaming. I pause for a few moments, considering whether or not to pull my awareness up a notch, and truly become the Dreamer. I do.

I'm about to jump out of the train. It's almost a gut reaction to suddenly realising I'm in a confined space. Yet, I soon recall my intention to visit 'Treasure Island', why not let the train take me there. It begins to accelerate, and I look around at the wide mix of people. It's quite busy and I catch the sight of business people amongst them. It feels like a morning train, yet I try and focus my attention on running with the feel of the dream. I don't wanna wake up.

The train starts to accelerate even more. We pass all kinds of different buildings. I feel like I'm in Melbourne somewhere, and this is soon confirmed with the sight of the city about 10km away. My body is suddenly ripped out of it's current situation, and begins being pulled along with tremendous speed. It feels natural, yet I know it is not me who is choosing the direction. I am just riding a current of energy.

It's really intense, and as I stream above the road, I hear an outer voice. The familiar voice of an elder female spiritual guide proclaims, "It's kinda like the devil" (as though introducing me to where I'm being guided). I pause, voicing my concern that I'm more guided by love. My guide seems to agree with my thoughts, but continues with her previous statement ("It's kinda like the devil"), "except that you'll be doing this to share"

I'm still racing, but I begin to fade. I'm really feeling disappointed. Not now! Oh no, what can I do. I try alerting my guide with my mind, hoping that they'll be able to help me out. They must, because I end up back in my room. Everything is blurry and dark, and I don't have full control over my movement, yet I do catch the outline of a piece of paper. By focusing my awareness on it, and gradually strengthening this feeling, I am able to bring myself into my room, full-bodied.

There's this piece of paper there - especially for me. It's very well presented, attractive but simple. I begin reading it. Arranged along the paper are a series of different areas of education in schools. Each area of teaching outlines a number of specific guidelines, which are obviously considered important. Some of these guidelines are also highlighted in bold, as a way of noting that these are absolutely integral. The first area of teaching shown is very general. The first guideline states that there will be "state sets of teams". The only other guideline I can remember specifically is something about 'binders' being arranged in '65 pages'. Following this, I see a whole series of different areas of teaching. There must be at least 20-30 different areas, 'History', 'Physical Education', etc. I notice some of the guidelines are specific suggestions for the booklist. By this stage, my memory is getting a bit blurry. I'm having difficulty remembering the items I looked at before.

I turn back to the beginning, and to my surprise, find myself looking at a map. It's a map of Melbourne. I browse around it, wondering what it's for. And I notice a large square in the south-western, western suburbs. It must cover a width of at least 10-15kms. I immediately know this to mean, that this is where the program must begin. Moments later I wake."

This dream was a great inspiration for me, giving me great confidence in the Education degree', I am set to begin next semester. After a little thought, I quickly came to an understanding of what the comment about the devil actually meant. The devil strikes me as powerful, and I think what my guide was trying to alert to me was that nothing's more powerful than sharing.

Organising the children into "state sets of teams" seems very important. I do alot of my dreamwork this way, and thus have a strong recognition of how helpful this can be. Surely some of the concepts I've learnt through my experiences with Sea Life, would be of great assistance in this quest.

I was a little shocked to discover that I would be teaching in the Western side of Melbourne, as I am currently at least 40km from this area, and such a move was definitely not something I had envisioned. Making the advice, seem all the more significant. Meditating as to why I'd been directed to this area, I saw images which reminded me of the higher crime rate in the area, and the possibility that perhaps I could make a real difference to education in a lower class area of Melbourne.

The experience itself, and the female guide, who accompanied me on my journey, reminded me of a previous dream that took place soon after beginning the Children's Dreams project.

"I am near a building of some kind. A quite young woman, familiar to me (perhaps as a spirit guide?), is telling me that she is very happy that I am interested in working with children's dreams and peace trains. She seems wise, and has a nice aura. I feel she is giving me her seal of approval. She gives me these small round pots. I think they are to give to the children."

Given that I take a plant, as a symbol of growth, it seems to me that these pots I was being provided with are a possible educational framework for children. I am eternally grateful for the assistance of my guides in this endeavour. Jean Campbell's Treasure Chest dream, seemed to confirm the value of what is beginning to develop:

"I came into a dining room where you were sitting at a table surrounded by a bunch of kids, all around six or seven years old. The kids were happy and having a lot of fun. You were passing out ice cream in bowls, with different types of topping like chocolate and strawberry.

You and the kids were singing (I don't know if you know this song, but there's a kid song here in the US that goes, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands...etc." That was the song you were singing, but the words went, "That tomato soup's too messy, eat ice cream." You sang this as you put a bowl of ice cream down in the middle of one kid's bowl of tomato soup.

And that's it. That's the dream. But of course the thing was how much fun you were having, and how much fun the kids were having, and how much fun I was having watching it."

It made me laugh too, yet I couldn't help wondering what Jean's personal interpretation of ice cream was, to which she added, "whenever I think about ice cream, I always hear in my mind the thing I learned when I first learned about ice cream: "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

A friend Victoria, also a member of the World Dreams Peace Bridge, has been involved with online dreaming communities for a long time. As we're both from Melbourne, and both very interested in education, we'll be doing our best to join forces in serving up that icecream. Please do what you can to join us.

On that note, I'll leave you with a beautiful dream, from Victoria's 6 year-old son Blake.

"There was a magic girl.
She lived in a house that isn't our house.
She lived in a witch house.
She went to magic school.
She had yellow hair.

She pointed her finger [showing me right index finger] and threw magic. White one. She threw the white magic to our house. She made our clock fly, and our table.

The magic opened and closed doors.

She can fly with a broom to school."

We'll be back in a condensed form next moon, so stay tuned for the results of our 'Journey to the Lucid Crossroads'.

Email: explora@dreamofpeace.net
Forum: http://www.dreamofpeace.net/sealife