Everybody dreams, but there are few who place any importance to the phenomena of sleep. Before we can begin to comprehend or even analyze dreams, whether our dreams are symbolic or otherwise, we must first divert from our mind our materialistic conceptions of what the individual called man really is. The external or physical man, is no more the man than the coat he wears. The physical man is only an instrument of which the real inner man or soul expresses itself in the physical universe. Various materialistic theories have been given in the past, trying to explain the mighty phenomena of dreams, but these theories have always been more or less unsatisfactory. Why? Because the-materialist tries to explain the riddle of human existence without an individual human spirit his explanation will always be unsatisfactory.
Dreams afford a separation of soul and body. As soon as the senses become torpid, the inner man withdraws from the outer. There are three different ways which afford this separation. First, natural sleep. Second, induced sleep, such as hypnotism, mesmerism or trance. Third, death. In the above two cases the man has only left his physical body temporarily, whereas in death he has left it forever. In the case of death, the link which unites soul and body, as seen by clairvoyant vision, is broken, but in trance or sleep it is released. The real man is then in the astral world. He now functions in his astral body, which becomes a vehicle for expressing consciousness, just as the physical body is an instrument for expressing consciousness in the waking state.
Consciousness is not annihilated when the man is in the Astral world, it is only temporarily suspended. Just the same as in the case of death. The man is fully conscious in the astral regions clothed in the body of the Astral matter. This Astral body is in the physical and extends little beyond it. The Astral world is here and now, interpenetrating the physical, and not in some remote region above the clouds as so many imagine.
Man is a soul. He has a body. He expresses himself in three worlds. While he functions in the physical body, viz., physical, emotional and mental worlds. Just as the Astral interpenetrates the physical the mental interpenetrates the Astral. The Astral body in which man functions during sleep is the body of emotions and desires and he expresses these desires and emotions in the physical life.
The Astral body in which man functions during sleep is very subtle matter. It resembles the physical. In fact, it is an exact reproduction of it, but it can only be seen by clairvoyant vision. When a man leaves his body in sleep or death, the spirit must leave the physical body before it will be rested and recuperated to enable it to undergo the strenuous daily toil of physical life.
Here is an example. Let a man go to bed say ten o’clock. Let him sleep until six next morning. The ordinary man will awaken feeling refreshed and ready for his daily toil. Let him go to bed at ten, lie awake all night, next morning he will not feel refreshed and during the day he may feel sluggish and sleepy. Let him go to bed and lie awake night after night for a few weeks, what will be the result? He will be a physical wreck. Although he may have the same amount of hours lying in bed, he will not feel recuperated and refreshed unless he has had his natural sleep and this can only come to pass.
When the soul or spirit withdraws from the physical body, the physical body is not the man, and as long as our materialistic writers who endeavor to interpret dreams fail to grasp the nature of the inner man, the real self, they will be forever groping in the dark.
The first question that naturally arises in the mind of the layman is this: How can a man leave his body in sleep and continue its natural functions such as digestion, circulation of blood, etc.
We do not consciously direct the circulation of the blood, or any of the natural bodily functions during our waking state. These things go on whether we will them or not. Although the spirit leaves the body in sleep as previously stated, there is still a magnetic connection with soul and body. This magnetic connection acts on the sympathetic nervous system and the cerebro spinal which controls the functions of the human organism. In sleep the astral man may be in the immediate vicinity of his sleeping recuperating physical body or it may be thousands of miles away in space, the magnetic connection still exists regardless of the distance. No matter what distance the astral man is away from his physical body, he can return to it with the rapidity of thought, as the saying is, for it is the soul that thinks, the brain is only an instrument of the soul.
Many of our dreams may be attributed to subconscious memory, for when our mind is centered on a certain train of thought these thoughts are apt to filter through into the conscious state in sleep. The subconscious memory cannot be truthfully called a dream, for it is only a memory of something we have previously perceived in reality or imagination. One only has to examine his subconscious dream in the light of reason to eliminate them. Telepathy does explain some of our dreams, for just as it is possible for minds to receive telepathic communications (thought transference) from another in the walking state, it is also possible for the so-called dead to have telepathic communication with the living, for thought is a power, its limitation is unknown.
While many of our dreams may be traced to subconscious memory or telepathy and happenings of material affairs of our daily lives, others are undoubtedly the astral happenings of the ego while functioning in the etheric regions. There we meet not only the misnamed dead but also many of those who are still in the physical body, and let me state here that many of our difficult problems of physical life are worked out in sleep.
The old axiom, “I will go to sleep on it,” has a greater significance than is generally attributed to it, for sleep and dreams have more to do in shaping your lives than you have any idea of. You can go to school in sleep and study anything you are studying in physical life and make marvelous progress. This requires much training, however. Keeping the mind free from evil thoughts is most essential to enable the sincere investigator to enter that larger state of consciousness, for the thoughts of our waking state have a more or less effect on the ego during sleep. Every individual harbors a certain train of thought, whether at business or pleasure this train of thought has a tremendous influence on the ego, in fact it shapes ones destiny.
Choose well your thoughts for your choice is brief and yet endless. —Anna Besant in Thought Power
Man may be said to live two lives in one, one when he is fully awake and the other when he is sound asleep. These two lives, of course, is the expression of his one existence. The highly developed, spiritual man as he retires into the interior world during sleep, realizes a state of spiritual bliss that is far beyond the stage of ordinary mortals. Man has been in the habit of looking at himself as a mass of flesh and muscle with a slight chance of realizing the Divinity within him. As the earnest soul gradually arouses himself he finds his proper place in the universe, for within him are all the attributes of deity, and when he reaches the end of the long evolutionary journey that is ahead of him he will find himself and know what he is destined to be, a God.
Author : Yacki Raizizun (The above essay has been taken from his book The Secret of Dreams)