An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

Dreams, Poetry and Instinct

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm

One dimension of the dream is that the light comes from the eyes, that is, from one’s own authentic ‘perceiving’ faculties and not from intellectualizing. The Western mind always wants to find and operate a closed ‘system’. Perhaps your use of the jigsaw analogy illustrates this. We all need to ask ourselves (and I mean all of us, not only you as the dreamer) how we succumb to this ‘systematizing’  tendency. The zoologist  in ‘Instinct’ moves to the next level when he goes beyond analyzing behaviour and seeing the gorillas as objects of study and starts to live with and connect with them with his whole being.”Jeremy Hezell-Thomas, (reflections on a dream)

Today I decided to joined my father in the garden. I didn’t need to say anything, but just sat.  We sort of acknowledged each others presence, may be on a instinctual level, without the need to speak much, but some how connected much deeply then we would through conversation. It was lovely just being with him. Just being. With no intellectualising mind, defenses, stories, past, tensions etc in the way. I left all my baggage at the door.   May be I met him, as a person, with a deep gratitude for being alive together, sharing this present moment. I hadn’t done that in a long time. Nearly always, the mind would creep in.

As I reflected on Jeremy’s words and tried to decode a dream with him, he helped me see that dreams can never be ‘interpreted’ in a systematic, definitive and final way. The jigsaw analogy doesn’t work for it, because dreams are infinitely creative, always generating new insights, and often replete with ambiguity which is not amenable to logic. There is no final piece of the jigsaw to slot in. A dream can, however, be shared and  explored, often in deep conversation with another, and the effect of that is to open up an ever-unfolding process within one’s own psyche. Often, new dreams will follow as a result, opening up new vistas on the themes and dynamics that have been explored. Furthermore, archetypal images such as ‘the wild man’ are not limited to the personal psychological level; they are about the universality of human experience.  In traditional societies, there is often a sharing of dreams, not for the purpose of finding what it ‘means’ for the dreamer, but as a message for the whole community. 

It helped me see how limited the intellectualising mind can be in things which need heart, i.e. the higher cognitive faculties of perception, and how things can have layers of meaning which unravel over time with the souls journey. The symbolism and meanings carried in dreams also reminded me of poetry and how it needs to be approach through the heart – at least most forms of poetry. I often find a poem needs to be sat with, like a dream or person, and maybe its not so much us deciphering the meanings as it is about the poem unraveling itself to us as we make ourselves open to it. Robert Bly makes a very interesting point how in Iran, Shehraz, young children would sing poems of Hafiz at his tomb and how we in the West, don’t go the tombs of people like Walt Whitman for example. When asked what it would mean if we did that, he replied “you’ll bring the poets in your hearts, rather then have them in your head at graduate school. Children can associate it with their heart when they are small and then they can feel it all through their lives’. 


  1. Greetings,

    Very nice post….thank you for it.

    All good wishes,


    • Thank you Robert,

      Please let me know if you wish to contribute a post.


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