Some dreams are just plain junk, right?


So you wake up with a dream that reminds you how forgetful, foolish, and stuck in drama you are. The best thing you can do is forget it as quickly and completely as possible, right?

Well, maybe not. Maybe you’re wrong. Maybe there is something valuable for you underneath all that superficial ugliness, like a dirty, uncut gemstone.  You’ll never know until you look!

I’ve been working with dreams since I was thirteen. I’m sixty-three now. And guess what? I am still as blind, subjectively immersed in my own waking misperceptions as you are! So, what’s the difference? I know some tricks for getting unstuck.  They basically involve learning to practice deeply listening to my inner compass. If you learn too, you can take any problem, any suffering in your life and learn to approach it in a way that works for you, that allows you to have confidence that you too can dig yourself out of that hole you’re in.

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

Getting my books published

Deepening my ongoing sense of luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance

Feeling healthy and alive

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

Some man is helping me buy an airplane ticket, perhaps from Phoenix to Tucson – not a long flight. I am in the role of victim because I can’t do it myself.  I am taking some things with me in my blue backpack on a bike trip somewhere prior to the flight. On the way, out in the country, I stop and get off my bike – perhaps there are holes or other obstacles. It’s a preoccupation that might cause me to be absent-minded. Miles later I realize I don’t have my backpack; I’m not sure where I left it.  So I’m forgetful. Does it have my flight ticket in it? I’m forgetful again. Does it have my iphone in it? More forgetfulness! It could have been our car GPS. I am trying to remember what I have lost, still more forgetfulness where I might have lost it, forgetfulness! and what I will do if I have lost those things, which is an attempt to problem solve. I return to the first building to look for them, problem-solving, but needless back-tracking, but go to another building where I open a wrong door (an error) onto some sort of clinic. Now I’m aware that the entire area is full of nude people walking around, most of them older with disabilities. I’m in the wrong place. I figure I must be in some sort of rehabilitation clinic. I find my plane ticket in my suitcase, which is a relief. I’m digging myself out of a self-created mess.

Why do you think that you had this dream?

This is an example of the type of dream that makes people not want to remember dreams at all! It is also an example of why people have historically divided dreams into “divinely inspired, spiritual dreams” and mundane, secular, day-residue, unimportant ones. And this is certainly the way that our everyday minds view such a dream. In terms of the Drama Triangle, I am largely in the role of Victim, persecuted by my forgetfulness. While I have some success problem solving, I waste time and bumble along instead of being focused and effective. 

But while this dream certainly is experienced as mundane, secular, day-residue, unimportant, are these accurate or, more importantly, helpful ways of looking at such a dream and at dreams in general? Fortunately, we have a way to test that waking assumption. All we have to do is interview one or more alternative perspective within the dream and see if they agree. If they do, we have validation; if they do not, then we  not only have to conclude that the dream is valuable, and therefore our waking bias is mistaken, but that our entire way of thinking about dreams and dreaming is mistaken.

What questions would you like to have answered about this dream?  

Is this dream just a reinforcement of my limitations and fears, as it appears, or is there more to it?

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself…

Man, building, ticket, airplane, Phoenix, Tucson, possessions, blue backpack, bike, the country, holes, obstacles, iphone, car GPS, wrong door, rehabilitation clinic, nude people, suitcase.

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

I’ll choose my destination, Tucson.

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are this or that character in your dream and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Tucson, are you a character in Joseph’s dream, yes?

Yes. Sort of. He’s fuzzy about me, but I’ll do.

Tucson, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am any place, any state of mind to which Joseph wishes to go. He associates me with human rights, the freedom to think, and the gathering of intellectuals of all sorts living life together in a mutually beneficial way in a relaxed, open, relatively slow-paced setting. Perhaps his ideal for a way to live out the remainder of his life.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I give people space to enjoy life, to grow at any age, to be stimulated, to give to others.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

No; I am whatever you make of me.

Tucson, you are in Joseph’s life experience, correct?  He created you, right?  


Tucson, what aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?

The goal of an active, engaged, mutually beneficial, intellectually stimulating life.

Tucson, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I would  be the world community filled with IDL practitioners helping everyone to wake up out of the Drama Triangle by listening to their emerging potentials in order to access and follow their inner compass.

Tucson, are you sure that’s you and not Joseph talking? 

It’s both. Neither one of us had thought of that before; we both like this image better. 

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

World Community, how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 9 The synergism is powerful.  

Compassion: ? We wake up and become enlightened as we help each other to wake up and become enlightened.  

Wisdom:         9 It’s pretty smart to listen deeply.

Acceptance:   9 When you listen instead of reacting, you’re being accepting.  

Inner Peace:  9 There are still problems and suffering; there always will be. But having a plan and being on a path to address both brings a  lot of inner peace.

Witnessing:    9 I can witness Joseph’s dream and his assumptions about the future and put them into a much broader, transformative perspective.

World Community, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

Not much. I’m basically there now in consciousness as we speak.

How would Joseph’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

Much more focused on where he was going rather than on obstacles or his own limitations. 

If you could live Joseph’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

Much more focused on where he was going rather than on obstacles or his own limitations.

If you could live Joseph’s waking life for him today, would you handle his three life issues differently?  If so, how?

Getting my books published: It’s an important step in building community.

Deepening my ongoing sense of luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance: I like this. It’s focusing on the purpose of world community. 

Feeling healthy and alive: These are also my purposes.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of his life?

Reframing stuckness, when it arises, as it does in this dream, in terms of large but concrete goals and the steps necessary to achieve them.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Joseph to imagine that he is you and act as you would? 

Whenever he gets stuck.

Why do you think that you are in Joseph’s life? 

To help him remember who he is and why he is here.

What are your answers to the questions the dreamer had about the dream?

The dream came as a wake-up call. It depicts how and why he allows himself get bogged down in trivial, inconsequential issues and activities so that he forgets who he is and what he is doing.

Joseph had this dream because…

To help him see how such routine thoughts and feelings are so much irrelevant drama that he chooses to do that keeps him from focusing on who he is and where he is going.

How is Joseph most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?

Just get bogged down in inadequacies, limitations, and fears.

What would you recommend that he do about that?

Reading over this interview to get a broader perspective will help; a lot. Just remembering it. 

World Community, you are imaginary. Why should your human pay attention to anything you say?

I am imaginary, but not unrealistic. Nor am I any more of a dream than anything else about the world.  You get to choose what dream you are going to dream today. You either choose consciously or you let inertia and others choose for you.

Thank you, character! Now a couple of questions for your human:

What have you heard yourself say?

I reinforce my fears when I take my awareness off of what my life is about – where I am going, what I am doing. 

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Carpe diem – seize the day! Remember who I am, why I am here. When I find myself stuck in drama, refocus. 

Make a list of the recommendations in the interview. Read them over before you go to sleep. If they are action items, check them off if you’ve done them. If they are variable qualities, score yourself 0 – 10. Play a game: see what you can do to raise your score half a point.

Remember World Community, particularly when you get stuck.

Seize the day!

Was this dream day residue? Was it mundane garbage? Was it reinforcing waking drama? Yes, it was. But it was also much more. That “much more” was not evident unless I was willing to let go of my waking perspective.

When I did so it became evident that this dream was a wake-up call and a doorway into an expanded reality and life vision that places mundane daily life in a context that not only gives it meaning but a way to rise above the drama.

You can do this too. Just take any old dream, interview an alternative perspective, and see what you get. Not only that, but use the interviewing protocol that you can find on this site here to help those you love do the same. Then help them to put it into practice by checking back with them, to ask them how it’s going and ask follow-up questions of whatever dream character/emerging potential that you interviewed.

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