This article was originally published in the January-February 2022 edition of Miracles Magazine. You can hear me reading the article on my podcast.
The gap between reality and dreams lies not between the dreaming of the world and what you dream in secret. They are one. The dreaming of the world is but a part of your own dream you gave away, and saw as if it were its start and ending, both.
~A Course in Miracles T-27.VII.11.4-5
“WE ARE IN A DREAM!”
That was the breathtaking realization I had at the culmination of a very intense awakening experience years ago. In that instant the curtain was yanked back, allowing me to see the hidden mechanisms behind what we experience on this physical plane. I could see how this world is generated by the stories playing out in our minds, and that those stories are based on a singular fallacy: the concept of separateness.
From this illusory concept has arisen a world plagued by warfare, racism, misogyny, poverty, environmental exploitation—a world that reflects and reinforces our belief that we are on our own, cut off from Source, from Earth, from one another, from our true Self—all of it a fantasy that bears little resemblance to the Reality of Love.
So if this world is simply a dream playing out an illusion in the mind, what does any of it matter? Why should we even care about what is happening here on planet Earth?
My own experience doesn’t allow me to dismiss dreams so easily. In fact, dreams have played a key role in my own spiritual evolution.
I began having “big dreams” when I was in my twenties in seminary. I knew I needed to understand what they were telling me, so I began to study and practice dreamwork.
Dreams are consciousness expressing itself. They are the canvas of the mind, and they have many functions. They bring to light erroneous beliefs held in the deepest parts of the psyche. They serve as portals for divine wisdom to break into our awareness. They are our teachers and guides, and when we begin to pay attention to what they are telling us, our spiritual growth leaps into warp speed.
Over the years I have had dreams that revealed how deeply the misogyny of the religion I was raised in had bound my spirit as a woman. I have had dreams that revealed the rising of a new consciousness on the planet. I have had dreams in which I have encountered the resurrected presence of Jesus who, it was explained to me, was the guru assigned to me by the circumstances of my birth.
In other words, for me dreams matter a great deal. Not because they are Real, but because they are revelatory.
The Dream of the World
So what of this dream we call the world? What is it attempting to reveal to us? How might it be a portal for divine wisdom to help us awaken to the Christ consciousness within us?
A Course of Love defines Christ consciousness as “the consciousness of unity for unity is what is” (T4:12:23). Yet when we look at our collective dream, especially as portrayed in the media, what we see playing out on the public stage is the amplification of its opposite: separateness. Political polarization, wealth inequality, disregard for Earth’s intricate ecosystems, disenfranchisement of people on the margins of society, all of this is a vivid depiction of the illusion of separateness.
With the rise of disinformation and breakdown of consensual reality we are also witnessing the mind’s growing confusion about what is real. While this may seem troubling, this confusion in the collective dream indicates that the mind is beginning to question itself, a necessary precursor to letting go of its original conspiracy theory: the ego.
In this collective dream we also see, in movements such as Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement, the mind beginning to reckon with the trauma it has inflicted on itself because of this fundamental error called separateness.
All Dreams Serve Us
The person I studied dream work with, Jeremy Taylor, always said that all dreams come in the interest of health and wholeness—including nightmares, which come with such important information that they will jolt us awake to get our attention.
That is what I see happening in this current world dream that has become a nightmare for so many. It is placing before us the full implications of our illusion of separateness in order to startle us awake to the irrefutable truth of interdependence and the absolute nature of Love.
All of the tumult taking place in the collective dream is actually a sign that our awakening is underway. The idea of separateness is intensifying not because it is getting stronger, but because, like a star that goes supernova when it has spent its fuel, dying in a sudden flash of energy, the story of the ego is in the throes of its dramatic death.
We Are the Dreamers
You are the dreamer of the world of dreams.
~A Course in Miracles T-27.VII.13.1
Now, a caveat.
Those of us who understand the dreamlike nature of the world may be tempted to dismiss all that is happening on the world stage as other people’s fallacy, other people’s erroneous dream.
But that is just another instance of the mind perpetuating its illusion of separateness. The fact is there is no “other.” Consciousness is a whole, and one of the first principles of dreamwork is to understand that every character and every element in a dream represents an aspect of the self. As master explorer of dreams, Carl Jung, once said, “Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
It is not difficult to change a dream when once the dreamer has been recognized.
~A Course in Miracles T-27.VII.14.2
For instance, when we see a video of a Black man being murdered by a white man on the street of a major city, the dream is imploring us to examine our own mind. Where does the fallacy of racism still dwell in me? Where in my own mind do I still sanction coercion or violence? Where in my own mind do I believe another’s wellbeing has nothing to do with me?
When we see a nation divided and turned against itself, the dream is asking us to look within and notice. How do I harbor partisanship within myself? How am I still choosing to see others as adversaries, enemies, opponents to be vanquished? What are all the ways I continue to I deny my union with the whole?
When we see fires raging in the West and hurricanes pummeling the East—planetary imbalances driven by human “progress”—the dream beckons us to take a clear look at ourselves. How do I perceive myself to be separate from the rest of life on the planet? How do I, as a human, see myself as special, more significant than the other species that are my kindreds here on Earth?
This clear honesty, engaged in without judgment, enables us to see how we ourselves have been dreaming the dream of separateness. And as we envelop this awareness in Love, we begin to awaken. We become lucid: in the dream but not of the dream.
As we embody Christ consciousness in the midst of this present nightmare of fear and division, the dream is able to transform, becoming what ACIM calls a happy dream. Then this material world is freed to fulfill its divine purpose as a place in which Love matters.