Exploring the Power of Healing Dreams

Puzzling out what a dream might mean is hard enough. But there's a deeper question: What does it want?


| November/December 2000



Fifteen years ago, I was abducted—there is no other word for it—into the realm of the Dream. It occurred without precedent or preamble: One day I was going about my business, with its usual mix of high goals and low concerns; the next, I was cast away in a far country from which I've never quite returned. Before I knew that there are dreams and there are dreams, I treated them as most people do: as nocturnal reshufflings of the mental deck; as fantasy and wish fulfillment; as psychic leftovers, those emotional coffee grounds and crumpled-up impulses toward sex and violence ditched nightly down some inner Disposal.

But suddenly my dreams, usually hazy and easily dismissed, acquired a jolting, Technicolor realism. They gleamed with mysteries both opaque and insistent, their meaning tantalizingly beyond my grasp. In one, a maniac heralded as “the greatest mass murderer in the history of mankind” had “escaped from a cell” and was chasing me with an ax to decapitate me. In another, Death peered through my basement window, his gaunt face glowing like phosphorus beneath his hood, coolly casing the joint. Necks were a puzzling leitmotiv. Six long needles were stuck in my “neck-brain” by a circle of primitive tribesmen; a “World War II bullet” was lodged in my neck, and a kindly Chinese surgeon removed it; or I was crawling through a tunnel full of crumbling bones in a Mayan “necropolis.” (“Neck-cropolis?” I asked myself, mindful of dreams' incorrigible punning, but I could make no further sense of it.)

I often went to my job as a magazine editor still enveloped in their creepy aura, determined to soldier on. But after one terrifying dream in which torturers hung an iron pot filled with red-hot coals beneath my chin, I couldn't ignore them any longer. I was sure that something inside me had gone drastically wrong. Each successive dream had spelled it out more explicitly until it glared down at me from a neon marquee: cancer.

I went to see a doctor and blurted out my fears, embarrassed that my only symptoms were a fistful of nightmares. After skeptically pressing and prodding my neck he informed me he felt nothing out of the ordinary. He suggested, not unsympathetically, that I was suffering from job-related stress, which was true enough. I awkwardly asked if there was an organ that might fit my dreams' peculiar image of a “neck-brain.” He suggested the thyroid gland and ordered a blood test, but my hormone levels were perfectly normal.

The nightmares continued. I badgered the doctor for a more complete workup, and this time, palpating my neck, he detected a hard lump—a thyroid nodule. A scan was ordered, revealing a dark suspicious mass that he assured me was almost certainly benign. Some weeks later, I felt a grim twinge of vindication when a needle biopsy confirmed what my dreams had hinted—it was a cancerous malignancy.

I took a sabbatical from my job. My days filled with a procession of friends, relatives, colleagues, and medical experts, each bearing conflicting advice, none willing to give my dreams their due. I could scarcely blame them. If I couldn't understand my bizarre visions, how could anyone else? But I felt doubly a pariah, self-exiled from an inner world I could not comprehend, yet regarded with suspicion by those who thought I was giving my dreams too much importance. I drove people to distraction trying to explain how these dreams were different—deeper, wider, higher, more real—but they didn't seem to know what I was talking about.

laurel
4/26/2014 3:20:27 PM

I've had a few healing dreams that have come in different forms. A few "voice message" dreams: one that said "walk backwards" to adjust my spine (it works!); one that told me "you need to set goals!" to incease my energy levels (also worked!) I had a dream in which a nurse friend told me to use ear candles (I had incubated a dream to ask about healing an eye problem; it turned out that it was actually an ear infection affecting my eyes, not originating in the eyes.) I've learned to interpret dreams through the School of Metaphysics. It's a great program; you can learn more about it at www.dreamschool.org or www.som.org. Not for profit, staffed by volunteers who are well-meaning educators!


micheal ambrose
5/9/2013 1:08:51 PM

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