An Epic Dream

There are many types of dreams, Healing dreams, Recurring dreams, Lucid dreams, Nightmares, etc. One type of dream that’s less common, at least in my 50 years of living and sleeping are Epic dreams.

Epic dreams, sometimes referred to as Great or Numinous dreams are vivid and compelling, so much so, detail can be remembered for decades. They’re rich with archetypal symbolism and leave the dreamer feeling that she’s discovered something precious and rare upon awakening.

I’ve had one epic dream so far in my life. It was in November of 1993, I was in graduate school at the time.

I was in a huge, empty house with many rooms. I was compelled to walk through the house until I reached the last room. With my nose against the wall, I realized that I could go no further. There was a long moment in which I decided that I could move through the wall. To do this I intentionally expanded awareness to the level of my cells. As I did so two things happened: I saw and felt space between my cells and I moved through the wall.

Change

When I woke, the experience shocked me – I’d never before been so acutely aware of myself as a `process of becoming,’ as such. That is, it seemed that the only way to actually move through the wall was to focus attention on both my thinking self and my doing self. Another way to describe this is that to move through matter I had to embody a quality of being simultaneously aware of it self as the observer and observed. I had the strong impression that if I were to identify with one or the other, I’d lose a certain dynamic quality and become inert, making it impossible to move through the wall.

Even more bewildering was the fact that I could not draw upon Cartesian reasoning to further elucidate how change occurred to result in me moving through the wall. That is, if a person changes – both in state and position – how does one explain the occurrence without presupposing a division between Observer and Observed or subject and object? I could not presuppose this division because was not how I experienced it, which would be, ironically, unscientific.

The dream reminded me of encounters I’d had as a dance therapist, an artist, a friend – listening deeply to another or oneself…a kind of somatic experience of inner space.

In this state, it seemed to me that change occurred as the result of a certain quality of attention. I reasoned that if there were a way to understand the nature of change of this quality of attention, then perhaps it could be more accessible…more possible.

I wrote my Masters Thesis starting with the question, How to think about how change happens without assuming originating separate parts? I proposed concepts from David Bohm’s philosophical interpretation of Quantum Mechanics along with concepts from Somatic Epistemology to derive a non-dualistic framework for thinking about non-causal change. That was in 1997.