Electric Dreams

The Mystical 
Meaning of Dreams
part ii

Swami Vimanananda 

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Vimanananda, Swami (1995 September 2). The Mystical Meaning of Dreams - Part II. Electric Dreams 2(11). Retrieved July 31, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams  

The Mystical Meaning of Dreams - Part Two

There are many planes of conscious experience, each plane having its own set of laws. (the way things behave).

Behind every experience is a more primary, abstract experience of that 'thing'. Whether the experience is 'REAL' or Symbolic depends on whether you experience it directly or indirectly.

Our Symbols can be categorized into three major types: Personal, cultural , and Universal. Personal symbols are those which are unique for each individual, depending upon our psychology and previous experiences. The jet airplane is an exhilarating thought to some, but terrifying to others. A juicy steak is a positive symbol for the cattle rancher, but to the organic vegetarian?

Cultural symbols are those which are common to a country or ethnic group, but which have no meaning, or a totally different meaning in another culture. The Stars & Stripes represent freedom for the American. The spinning wheel represents freedom for the Indian. Snakes are a symbol of spiritual potency in some parts of the world, but demonic to others.

Universal symbols, or Archetypes, are those which transcend the other two categories. They are basic ideas, shapes, or force fields, where the details aren't filled in yet. The circle, the square, and the triangle, light and darkness, up and down are such symbols.

Our goal is to discover where we're at, personally, culturally, and symbolically. When we know our personal symbols, we can improve our daily life. When we know our cultural symbols, we can transcend our biases. When we have understood and balanced on personal and cultural levels, we will be able to obtain reliable information from the 'higher', more Universal levels.

Exercise #2:

Start two journals - a daily journal and a dream journal. For the next few weeks, make notes about the people, places and things you experience most often in waking life and in your dreams. Next to each, classify it as basically a Personal, Cultural, or Universal. Which type is most prevalent in your

dreams? Again, are there themes?

Swami V.