The nature of dream recall

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In the OBE and lucid dream community we tend to discern "normal dreams" from other experiences in consciousness that we designate OBE, lucid dream, phasing, etc. We apply different measures to experiences: Was I lucid? How real did it feel? Did it feel mystical? Did it have archetypal symbols with deeper meaning in it? And so on.

But what if nothing sets the normal dream fundamentally apart from any other of these experiences? Kurt Leland writes that all the experiences he had were ultimately energy transformations. What sets detailed accounts like his apart from those of many others? Why had Robert Monroe such detailed adventures with such enormous plots and information content?

Kurt posits that what we essentially do is translate these energetic experiences to ourselves. Given the nature of his ACs one notes the detail, and how much information is conveyed to him. If you look deeper at any of his accounts, the environment itself also reveals information to his probing consciousness. There is an interaction with the entities and places he encounters, and ultimately it is distilled into the account itself that we can read (and his own understanding thereof).

The experiences of a Kurt Leland or Robert Monroe or a Bruce Moen then form one measure of energetic translation skills. Each of them essentially had decades of dedicated training. But I wouldn't say so much in "getting out of body" but in translating anything they encounter in the energetic reality they probe into. Their accounts make sense. There is progress, development, expansion.

As I took this reference point I dropped my own game of comparing my own experiences, their level of details and of understandability, at least for a moment, and wondered: If the translation skill determines what can be conveyed of an experience, what does this mean for "regular dreams?"

Most people ignore their dreams. They are unaware that dreams have any purpose or are even taught or told that dreams are unimportant. When my interest in dreams awoke for the first time in my teenagehood I didn't have dreams of the quality described in Ann Faraday's "The Dream Game". I found mine too heavily coded (and too seldomly recalled) to actually mine them for any information. I was actually rather disappointed.

But now I look back and could also say - I didn't have any translation skills back then. Most of the energetic experiences I had at those times must have simply hit a "blank" in my translation matrix.

Try understanding a language that has little relation to your own or any you know, and it will all be an undistinguishable mess. It bypasses your brain because you find no structure, no familiar marks. I had that experience whenever a friend of mine talks in his native tongue. At some points I could make out some sounds that appeared more often, and at some point I would ask him what a certain word means "because you use it a lot."

Similarly, the experiences of the night may hit no spot in the mind where understanding is possible yet. For most people that is the default. Dreams are valuable in therapy because the people that are in therapy often build an emotional and mental vocabulary at the same time as they progress in therapy. But the very same understanding can help in learning to decode your dreams, because the emotional and mental dramas we experience during the day are often reflected in processing dreams at night time. The energetic part of the resolution of energies happening at night suddenly becomes more understandable, and a "more active dreamlife" becomes the result.

Or now I'd tend to think the availability of translation skills enables more dream recall, as more and more energetic transformations can be stored and translated in the mind. And if I look at my teenage self I know that I did not have these processing skills back then. I could have used them for sure.

As long as a lot of one's nighttime is bound up with releases of emotional energetic patterns, dream recall can be rather good and the experiences one has can translate more easily. And even lucidity might start to appear.

What follows next for some might seem like a regression therefore - suddenly all those anomalous elements creep in. Dream recall may suffer. Lucidity loss. We thought we had it made and suddenly we're thrown back, maybe for a period of years. Disappointment and frustration are the usual reaction. I know mine was.

I often resort to the model of energy bodies and planes to explain such regressions, as it was explained to myself in 2008 by Kurt. But this time I want to word it a bit differently, though the underlying message was always the same - whether you call it energy body, inner senses or anything else.

The energetic experiences can make a shift to another level. Once that level is reached, the translation skills need to be trained to be able to translate these experiences again. In my case I experienced blindness, absence of a body, darkness, no sight, no sight but touch, movement, I could not read, I could read with difficulty, I could know the meaning of reading without reading it, I would know things without knowing where from, and then some bouts of lucidity. When all of this started I could not make sense of dreams. Nowadays I tend to be able to get a handle on a fair share of dreams and archetypal experiences. My attempts to analyse them fed back into my experience of them, and what I could take back from them.

At the height of this development I would almost daily have experiences that I consider significant for myself, but my translation skills would barely keep up with what developed. Many elements I didn't understand, and so I went to Charles to help me understand what eluded me, and those channeling sessions would fill in many gaps in my translation matrix. I really got used to having something to record almost every morning. 2010 was full of good stuff in that regard.

I hit another drought in 2011. Now my ACs are picking up again. And it took me till now to realise that I simply had to be brought back up to speed in my translation skills before my mind could start picking up on those experiences again. And before this happened I remembered next to nothing - for weeks I would go without anything I could record. Or I would have false awakenings with little understanding of something I might want to record, but it was gone when I finally woke up.

I didn't connect the dots, but I think now I have it. I had to go back to school. My being was experiencing the energetic changes but I had not yet a handle on translating them. Part of learning this is simply being exposed to it till some understanding develops, and then more information filters in.

And I do think we go to school at night, I remember all of those accounts in books by Monroe, Moen and Leland of them finding themselves in a classroom, and many AD members have similar experiences. There's lots of classroom experiences when you look for them in the dream and OBE journals.

But what the aforementioned authors have pointed out are the many non-lucid Dreamers in those classes. They sit in and are aware of nothing, asleep to their experience. We think it is just lack of lucidity. But I would extend this notion - their presence is merely for exposure. One day they might have taken in enough of what's going on on this level, have it combined with the learnings going on in their physical lives, have awakened enough to the next level of their being to consciously participate. They graduate to become Rangers, and when they do they might spot the ranks of those who seem asleep in class.

The energetic track of experience is like the unread portion of our lives. And there are many tracks to tap into to expand to ever higher levels of experience, and each of them reflects also back on our existence on Earth. As we learn to read dreams, as we learn to read the symbolism present in OBEs and mystical experiences, as our translation skills develop, all of this also reflects back on our understanding of the here and now, the experience of this plane and this planet and the consciousness around us.

In this sense there are no more regular dreams than there is a regular physical existence. All is interwoven and expands if our understanding and our knowing participation expands. Life takes on a different meaning and a different quality. As the mystic quality shines through in the experiences of the night, the experience of the day will also transform along these lines, though it takes longer to pick up on the clues.

And don't worry about the dream recall droughts. They might just hail better things on the horizon. It just takes some time to get there.

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  1. poème's Avatar
    You can't possibly know (or pehaps you can? ;)) how these three last sentences you wrote speak to me at the moment...

    My dream recall is not the best at the moment. What I recall, when I recall something, tends to be very vague and short, sometimes I can't even find words to capture what I remember, as if I didn't understand enough to put all the pieces together and make it intelligible. This has been going on for some time now, and this drought felt kind of disheartening to me. I wondered a lot about this, so your post brought me some very welcome answers :)

    It could very well be, indeed, that I started exploring a new energy body and/or new planes and that I now need to learn a new set of translation skills. I do, like you, think that we regularly `go to school`in the dream state. As you say, like many other members of the forum, I also had a lot of these classroom and workshops dreams. Just for the anecdote, I see a teacher figure regularly in these dreams, and in the waking state, that person... literally [I]is[/I] a translation teacher!

    Thank you for this very rich post!
  2. poème's Avatar
    Just one last thing... I noticed that once in a while, I [I]will[/I] remember a dream very clearly, then my dream recall will fade again for days... As if my dream self had decided to return to planes she can translate better (and I can read better) for a night... Surely you've noticed the same when you also experienced dream recall droughts?
  3. Korpo's Avatar
    Yes, certainly. It used to add to the frustration.

    But when you reverse perspective, you can see how you have lost nothing regarding your "old abilities." It then becomes contrast to what is going on, like reassurance.

    Kurt also posted on another forum about this phenomenon - you explore one body (the highest accessible), you master another (the current focus) and you wrap up needed lesson in yet another (a lower one). So, according to him, even these shifts "back down" have a purpose.
  4. poème's Avatar
    I used to feel the same, so I can relate to that as well.

    ...And it's a good way to put things, indeed :)

    Out of curiosity, was he only mentionning this or is there more to read about this phenomenon? If there is more, do you remember where it was posted?
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