Online Store Directory
Spiritual Meditations and Exercises
Who We Are and What We Teach
Brotherhood of Light Lessons: Course Books on Astrology, Alchemy and Tarot
Calendar of Activities
Astrological Sunday Services
Church of Light TV
Serial Lesson 58
From Course V, Esoteric Psychology, Chapter 3
Original Copyright 1936, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2011, The Church of Light
Subheadings: Every Thought Brings a Change in the Physical Body Symbols Are Habitually Used by the Unconscious Mind to Communicate With the Bodily Organs Universal Emotional Symbols Used by Animals and Men Man then Added Universal Imitative Symbols Things Acquire their Names Through the Law of Association Symbolical Pictograph is Closely Allied to the Oldest Language - that of Feeling Symbolical Pictograph is the Language Commonly Employed by the Unconscious Mind When Feelings Do Not Suffice The Three Dream Factors The Dissipation of Day-Dreaming Censorship The Happenings of the Previous Waking State Recognition of Occurrences Witnessed from the Astral Plane Wish Fulfillment Dream Interpretation
Birth Charts: Norma Shearer Chart Mars Baumgardt Chart
Language and the Value of Dreams
ONE can hardly locate any point in the evolution of mind where symbols first were used. After all, concrete things cannot exist bodily in the mind, and as a symbol is that which stands for something, whatever mental images the mind holds are the symbols of its physical and mental experiences. Those symbols which are now in current use as the words of our language, are merely the more complex development of a process that is as old as life itself.
The oldest language of all is the language of feeling; used by the soul, or unconscious mind, to receive information from its sense organs, and to communicate its orders to the form it occupies. Whatever, at any point in its cycle that form may have been, it reacted to the conditions of its environment. That which is felt was stored as thought-elements in the thought-cells of the unconscious mind. This feeling, as thus stored, imparted information to the unconscious mind; information which CONDITIONED the future conduct.
Even at the present day, because the language of feeling has been so very long in use, the cells and organs of our physical bodies take their orders readily from feeling, and but reluctantly from the reasoned commands of objective consciousness. One must steel oneself carefully, making the reasoned command unusually forceful, to prevent flinching while a knife digs out a sliver of wood that inadvertently has found its way under the finger nail. The old language of feeling gives the command to move away from the object inflicting pain. Reason says hold firm, that the offending invader may be removed and thus prevent still greater future pain.
When attacked, reason commands anger to be held in abeyance; that the actions may more effectively be guided by cool judgment. But the old language of feeling harks back to primitive occasions of attack, and commands that adrenaline should be secreted, stimulating the heart action, and withdrawing blood from certain vulnerable regions and giving those organs used in combat an additional supply. Even though the head be kept clear, when conflict thus arises, it is the unusual person whose physical cells and organs are so under the dominion of reason that his body does not react to the stimuli of his glands. In spite of reasoned commands, on occasions people blush, grow pale, flush, exhibit signs of nervousness, and blunder in the performance of trivial tasks. All because the glands, cells and organs of the physical body more readily understand the language of feeling than they do the words employed by the objective mind.
Because physical life had the power to feel before those special organs of feeling used in hearing and in sight were developed, the general language of feeling is the oldest of all means by which the unconscious mind communicates its desires to the physical organism. But with the development of hearing and sight, visual images and auditory images were related, through the LAW OF ASSOCIATION, with this language of feeling.
Sight is the ability to feel, through special sense organs, the etheric vibrations reflected from objects in such a manner as to distinguish and define those objects. Hearing is the ability to feel, through special sense organs, the molecular vibrations that have been set in motion within the range called sound. Other people have a nervous system so sensitive that they can feel the thoughts of others at a distance in such a manner as to recognize their significance. And some, furthermore, perceive through bringing up into objective consciousness what is recognized by the special sense organs of the astral body. Yet whatever the organ employed to gain information from the environment, it merely specializes in some process of feeling.
Every Thought Brings a Change in the Physical Body
Creatures with eyes have learned to place great dependence upon visual images, that is, upon the ability of the eyes to interpret the feeling received from lightwaves. Repeated experience has associated certain images with definite feelings. The image of a snake close at hand is so closely associated with danger that not only man, but many beasts, react instantly by leaping away from the image. No slow and laborious process of reasoning here. Nor in dodging a missile seen coming at one’s head. Time is too short to think the matter over. Association has related the image of the snake or the missile not only with danger, but also with a special kind of movement to avoid the danger. The visual image itself, through its previous associations, is utilized by the soul, or unconscious mind, as a means of commanding specific action.
Another visual image—the sight of food—is utilized by the unconscious mind as a means of commanding the flow of saliva and the gastric juice.
Or if we wish to turn to auditory impressions, the cracking of a dry stick in a region where game has been much hunted, is so closely associated in the mind of each animal with danger, that it has all the force of a command from its unconscious mind to flee at once. No stopping to think it over. No pausing for visual verification. The crack of the broken stick sets it off as if, which at times it does, its very life depended on it.
Here I have given a few outstanding examples of the operation of a principle which the laboratory psychologists have formulated in these words: “No mental modification ever occurs which is not accompanied or followed by a bodily change.”
This means that every perception, sensation and conception being a change in the astral form is accompanied by a tendency to produce corresponding changes in the physical body. Astral substance being so much more mobile, the changes usually take place in it first. In the case of organic growth, for instance, the organic processes of renewal and multiplication of tissue afford the astral form the opportunity to mold the physical form by acting upon small particles as they are deposited from nutrition.
Symbols Are Habitually Used by the Unconscious Mind to Communicate With the Bodily Organs
It means also that while feeling is the oldest language used by the unconscious mind, that the unconscious mind in communicating information to the physical cells, physical glands and physical organs, customarily uses visual images, auditory impressions, sensations of odors, and perceptions of taste. The higher types of animals have had abundant experiences in association with each of the five common physical senses. The association of experiences of a given type with a given sense impression relates these so closely in the thought-cell structure of the unconscious mind that when one is given energy the other also receives energy. And because the experiences in the past have called for some special activity, this activity is also associated with the same thought-cell structure. The sense impression, whatever it may be, thus adds energy to thought-cells, which in turn stimulate physical change.
To put the matter in a slightly different manner, a certain sense impression has come, through repeated association, to have a definite meaning to the unconscious mind. It is the symbol of a condition. And acting upon that usual association the unconscious mind has come to use that symbol in issuing its commands to the physical organs. That is, visual images, auditory impressions and other sense impressions are the habitual symbols used by the unconscious mind to communicate information and to command action. And thus it is, whether through dreams, visions, or divinatory instruments, because the unconscious mind is so accustomed to using such symbols, it finds it easier to communicate whatever it perceives to the objective mind by means of such symbols, rather than by means of lately acquired arbitrary words.
Universal Emotional Symbols Used by Animals and Men
The term language more commonly is applied, not to communications between the unconscious mind and its physical vehicle, or between the unconscious mind and the objective mind, but as denoting the means by which one individual communicates with another. And in this more widely accepted significance of the term it is interesting to note that the rudiments of language may be observed in animals other than man. Sounds, for instance, which arise involuntarily from an emotional stress, become associated with the emotion as its auditory symbol.
When an animal which has experienced pain that has caused it to cry out, hears another animal emit a similar cry, the LAW OF ASSOCIATION comes immediately into play. The sound is at once related in the animal’s mind to its own cry, and to the pain which was coincident. In one way or another the particular cry becomes associated with pain in the mind of each member of a flock. And as pain in a similar manner has become associated with that which causes pain, the cry becomes a symbol by which the whole flock is made aware of the presence of danger.
A dog recognizes the snarl and bared fangs of another dog as the symbol of its animosity. A horse will paw the earth as a symbol of its desire to travel, will neigh as a symbol of greeting, and will snort as a symbol of fright. Other horses recognize the significance of these expressions; but the number of such symbols of communication that can clearly be recognized thus by other horses is hardly so numerous that such animals can be said to have a language. Perhaps even the methods commonly employed by man to express emotions of various kinds, though conveying definite information to other men, should not be dignified by the term language. But certainly they border closely on it.
In nesting time, if you will conceal yourself in almost any thicket and suck on the back of your hand, in imitation of the distress call of a fledging bird, every old bird in the vicinity, regardless of species, will come close and exhibit signs of anxiety and excitement. It is a favorite method used by bird lovers to see their feathered friends that otherwise remain invisible. But what interests us here is that birds of different species recognize the sound as conveying the information that some young bird—perhaps their own—is in trouble. That is, this particular sound is a universal symbol recognized by much of the bird world.
Thus also, a frown, a smile, laughter, tears, a cry of joy, an exclamation of fright, are universal symbols recognized in the world of men. Laughter, the world over, is recognized as the symbol of mirth. A smile is recognized as denoting pleasure. A frown indicates displeasure; as does the growl of a dog. The whine of a dog denotes anxiety, and is so recognized by other dogs and by men. Weeping is a symbol of grief among men; and a shout of victory, whether from the throat of a barnyard cock or from those who attend a football game, is unlikely to be misunderstood.
Man then Added Universal Imitative Symbols
But in addition to these emotional sounds, some of which the higher animals use to convey similar information to their fellows, man at a very early date added those of imitation. That is, he heard the wind through the trees, the noise of water babbling over stones, the cries of birds and animals, and other noises of the wild. And he adopted and adapted these sounds to convey information about the objects with which more commonly they were associated. The sounds that express fear, love, anger and pleasure were derived from the spontaneous expression of these emotions; and an object that commonly gave rise to an emotion might be designated by the emotion; but if there was no such emotional association, it might be designated, instead, by some sound associated with it.
Take, for example, the sound of rushing water and note how it resembles the sounds of the names given it in the various languages: “Rauchen, risseln, ruschen, rinnen, rennen, to rush, ruscello, ruisseau, river, rhein.”
If you ever have listened to the whine of a Norther the word, wind, will be more than vaguely suggestive; as will the word, snow, to one who frequently has heard it slithering along an already ice-hardened crust.
The tracing of words to their origins is an interesting task. And the more we know about such origins the more clear it becomes that there is a complete chain of ASSOCIATION between the emotional and imitative sounds used by primitive people and the words we use today.
For that matter, through using imitative sounds and gestures as universal symbols, it is possible for two people of different nationalities to carry on considerable conversation. Once as a young naturalist in Southern Oregon, in a day when fewer Red Men spoke the English language, I had an Indian tell me of various experiences.
When he wished to tell me of a trapped animal, he placed his hands open on the ground like the jaws of a trap, then closed them suddenly on his foot and emitted the cry of the indicated animal when in distress. I have had him tell me, in such fashion, how many coyotes he had caught; repeating the performance and imitating the snarls and howls of a coyote; how many wild cats he had captured; repeating the performance the proper number of times, and giving vent each time to yawls and cat-calls. I have had him tell me of other game, imitating the bounding of a deer by leaps with his hands, then picking up a stick and leveling it, and shouting “boom,” much as a child might do. Although I never received instruction in such sign language, I had no difficulty in following the tale he told.
Things Acquire their Names Through the Law of Association
Through Resemblance and Contiguity sensations fuse to become perceptions, perceptions join to become conceptions, and conceptions amalgamate to become reason and intuition. And under the influence of the same two factors, which together constitute the LAW OF ASSOCIATION, an object acquires its name. In sound, form, color or some other attribute it may Resemble something for which already there is a name; or it may be Contiguous in time or space with something already named. And from the attributes of objects—as in the obvious relation between pigeonhole, which now means a place where a document ceases activity, and the hole in a dovecote where a pigeon comes to rest—as the need for speaking of them grew, were also derived the words by which man designates his conceptions.
Having once associated a word with an idea, another word expressing a different idea often is derived from it through Resemblance or Contiguity. And a whole train of ideas may be expressed by a single word through its associations with some of the words in the train. This development of language, one association leading on to another, each expression built in obedience to the LAW OF ASSOCIATION, on what had been before, is dramatically stated by Anatole France:
“The metaphysician has only the perfected cry of monkeys and dogs with which to construct the system of the world. That which he calls profound speculation and transcendent method is to put end to end in an arbitrary order the natural sounds which cry out hunger, fear, and love in the primitive forests, and to which were attached little by little the meanings which one believed to be abstract, when they were only crude.”
Written language, also, is based upon an imitative foundation. To express that a man was doing a particular thing, the simplest form of writing merely pictured the man engaged in the act. The Cro-Magnons who invaded Europe at the end of the Ice Age thus drew pictures upon the walls of the caves where they resided; and from which they had driven Neanderthal, who was the original cave man.
American Indians, to indicate where game was abundant, traced the trail to be followed on a conspicuous rock, and crudely pictured the game to be found at the proper place along the crooked line which mapped the trail.
Such pictographs are purely imitative, as much so as to make the sound of rushing water to designate a flowing stream. The association is of the most obvious kind. But intelligent peoples were not long content to be restricted by what could thus actually be pictured.
Symbolical Pictograph is Closely Allied to the Oldest Language - that of Feeling
To express one thing, they pictured something else which was invariably associated with it. The spring of the year could not be pictured; but a rose, which came always with the spring, could easily be pictured. The time of year when cattle were taken into the mountains could not be pictured; but the clover on which the cattle fed in the high valleys could easily be drawn, and came thus into use to designate the summer.
Or take the cuneiform writing of the early Sumerians. Sheep when sold were kept in pens. It was difficult to draw a sheep with the little wedge-shaped marks in soft clay tablets, but four such marks in a rectangle made an excellent picture of a sheep pen. It was used to indicate sheep. And after it were placed as many wedge-shaped marks—shaped thus because the papyrus stem used for stylus is triangular—or tallys, as there were sheep to be designated. Thus a record was kept of sheep bought and sold.
Some sheep were fat, and some were not fat, and it was desirable in calculating the price to know how many of the sheep bought or sold were fat.
To draw a picture of fat is difficult. But to get sheep fat it was customary to feed them grain. To picture a sheaf of grain with the little wedge-shaped marks made by a papyrus stem was easy. It is the origin of the astronomical symbol of the sign Virgo, and also of the Biblical blessing given to his Virgo son by Jacob: “Out of Asher, his bread shall be fat.” To indicate the number of fat sheep in a transaction, such a crudely pictured sheaf of grain was placed alongside of the pictured pen which denoted sheep, and the required number of tally marks placed after it. Tallys after a pen adjacent to no sheaf of grain were so many sheep which had not been fattened.
In Chapter 8 (Serial Lesson 132), “The Development of Knowledge”, Course XII-I, Natural Alchemy: The Evolution of Life the history and development of writing is followed to its more complex modern forms. But here it is only necessary to trace it from its simple beginning as visual pictograph images to the next step, which is the visual symbolical pictograph. Yet the necessity is urgent to make clear at this point that pictographs and symbolical pictographs not only were the first visual images used by the race in the communication of ideas from one to another, but that, because they represent obvious associations, they are the images still employed by the unconscious mind.
While the words we speak, and the letters we write, in reality are linked historically through a long chain of association with obvious relations between things, yet the links in the chain mostly have been lost. Thus our written and spoken language has the appearance of arbitrary sounds and arbitrary marks on paper. It is, in fact, a most effective tool for the expression of precise and detailed information. Yet biologically it is a very recent acquisition, as well as a complex one, and the unconscious mind, for this reason, often finds it a difficult instrument to use.
Pictographs, however, are closely related to feeling. To recognize a mountain or a tree from its picture requires no complex mental process. And if the individual is accustomed to think of the mountain as an obstacle, if it has prevented him from journeying to some desired spot on the other side, the picture of the mountain also, in his mind, has the function of a symbolical pictograph of an obstacle. And if he is accustomed to think of trees only in terms of firewood, a tree, following the most obvious association, may readily become the symbolical pictograph of fire.
Many thoughts can not be expressed merely by pictographs. We can not picture energy, love, desire, ambition, thought, religion, statesmanship, and thousands of other conceptions. But through the commonly observed and recognized relations of such conceptions to things that we can picture they can be expressed pictorially.
Symbolical Pictograph is the Language Commonly Employed by the Unconscious Mind When Feelings Do Not Suffice
Feeling is the oldest language in existence. Visual and auditory images such as either directly or symbolically represent thoughts are far more closely allied to this oldest language than are arbitrary words and phrases; and therefore they are much more easily handled by the unconscious mind. Consequently, when the unconscious mind strives to communicate with objective consciousness, it may make use of feeling. We often hear people say that they “feel” something to be true, even when reason indicates the contrary. Or the unconscious mind may make use of visual and auditory images, such as those experiences which people have in their dreams.
Because symbolical pictograph is the language commonly employed by the unconscious mind to impart information too complex to be expressed merely as feeling, its appeal is universal. Pictorial symbols may be chosen, the common associations of which are the same the world over. In this manner, regardless of changes in arbitrary speech, or differences in nationality, an idea can be conveyed to any intelligent people in the world in spite of passing time.
It was the understanding of this language commonly employed by the unconscious mind, that led the ancient wise men to employ it to impart to posterity their knowledge of occult law and spiritual verity. Instead of entrusting their wisdom to the fluctuations of arbitrary speech, they employed symbolical pictographs which were universal in import. Such universal symbols were traced in the sky as the constellations, and were traced on tablets as the sacred tarot.
The Three Dream Factors
The question often arises, especially in studying the significance of dreams, why when the unconscious mind attempts to impart some information to the conscious mind, it does not use the language to which the person is accustomed in his ordinary waking life. The reason now should be apparent; it is because symbolical pictograph is far more familiar to it, and is therefore much easier to use.
There are, in fact, three elements of the dream life that need some special consideration. 1. The effect of desire. 2. The effect of the preceding waking period and of stimulation from the external environment. 3. The actual experiences of the soul on the astral plane.
To understand the effect of desire upon dream experiences the difference between Directed Thinking and Fantasy Thinking must be known. Desires are energies in a state of tension within the thought structure of the astral body. Such energies, which are ever straining for release, as well as physical stimuli, tend to attract the attention. Because it was not decided beforehand to focus the attention thus, this type is called SPONTANEOUS ATTENTION.
The energy of a desire tends toward release in action of a particular kind. All action, in fact, is due to desire energy thus released. Yet desire can find expression not merely in physical activity, but also in mental activity. And when it is permitted thus to express in mental images which are uncurbed by the critical faculties, the process is called FANTASY THINKING.
DIRECTED THINKING is thinking with the attention directed by volition. The attention also usually is directed to actual conditions, the effort being made that the images shall stand in their natural relation each to the other, without distortion. That is, directed thinking is a careful attempt to reproduce reality.
FANTASY THINKING, on the other hand, makes little attempt to maintain the distinction between actual conditions and desired conditions; but follows wherever Spontaneous Attention leads.
When a master said that the person who Thinks is the exception, and a great naturalist remarked that few people ever think who think they do, they did not refer to Fantasy Thinking, but to Directed Thinking. Fantasy Thinking takes very little effort; but Directed Thinking quickly uses up energy. It is a process of psychic assimilation that consumes much vitality and leaves the system correspondingly exhausted. In other words, there is no harder work in the world, and none more useful, than Directed Thinking.
In regard to Fantasy Thinking, the late William James said:
“Our thought consists for the greater part of a series of images, one of which produces the other; a passive dream-state of which the higher animals are also capable. This sort of thinking leads, nevertheless, to reasonable conclusions of a practical as well as of a theoretical nature.
“As a rule the links of this sort of irresponsible thinking, which are accidentally bound together, are empirically concrete things, not abstractions.”
Day-dreaming and dreaming in sleep are not dissimilar processes. The difference is chiefly in how much consciousness is influenced by awareness of external conditions. Sit in a chair, relax the body, lean back and close the eyes:
The sound of a street car may recall the rumble of an earthquake, and thus through the LAW OF ASSOCIATION bring before the mind a whole train of images. To the extent the attention is completely withdrawn from the objective world does it more and more become absorbed in Fantasy images. The physical world seems to cease to exist. So long as the physical brain registers a recognizable consciousness of the physical environment it may be said to be awake; but when Fantasy Thinking so absorbs its attention that the few impressions received from objective consciousness are greatly distorted, the physical brain is said to be asleep.
The thought-cells and thought structures of the astral body never cease interacting with each other. In them are stored energies always straining for release. And those which at the time find some measure of expression become the focus of attention. Or, as the laboratory psychologist would put it, every person at all times has trains of thought passing through his mind. Every person dreams continually all the time he is asleep, even though he is unaware he ever has a dream. The psychoanalysts have proved this so completely that it is universally accepted.
Without as yet explaining the source of the energies which desires posses, let us merely consider them as energies straining for release. If a particular desire, whatever it may be, is rather completely realized in the daily life, it has released its energy in thus finding satisfaction. Because it no longer has much energy to spend, it has little power spontaneously to attract the attention, and little energy to use up in the weaving of Fantasies relating to its fulfillment. Its influence upon the dream life, therefore, is not apt to be profound.
We will learn later that attention reinforces the energy of desire and that action is always in the direction of the strongest release of desire energy. Yet the conditions of civilized life place, and rightfully, many inhibitions upon desires that have acquired tremendous energies in their biologic past. It is no longer considered good taste to kill an opponent, even if that opponent is the suitor for the hand of the lady of one’s choice. Yet in the biologic past that was the proper thing to do. Nor is it now the proper thing to express the desire for reproduction, except under the protection of a marriage certificate. But birds and beasts and other forms of life through which the soul has made its way, have recognized no such restrictions.
The desire to conform to civilized standards is usually stronger in the waking state than the desire to follow more primitive impulses. Physical action, therefore, is governed by the proper amount of restraint. But restraint does not dispose of the energy of desire, it merely prevents the energy under tension from breaking through and becoming converted into action. The energy is still there, ever striving for release.
The desires which restrain other powerful desires from expressing themselves in physical action, do not offer such unbending resistance to their expression in Fantasy, that is, in the realm of imagination. It is not uncommon for people to permit themselves in their imagination to do things they certainly would not do physically. As a matter of fact, if they were able to express these acts in physical life there would be no need for them to use up the energies of these desires in Fantasy.
The child is born with a sense of omnipotence. In the womb all his needs are supplied. After birth a little crying, or kicking about, brings a quick response to his needs. When no desire is denied there is nothing to indicate he can not have or do anything he wants. All infants thus live in a happy delusion of being all powerful.
As life moves on, however, their desires multiply and they find obstacles more and more barring the way to their fulfillment. Because the desires can not be realized in physical action does not destroy their energy. The energy is still there, straining for release. And if a desire is powerful, we may be sure that sooner or later it will find some way of escape.
The Dissipation of Day-Dreaming
If the desire is such as to afford possibility of realization, and such realization would be beneficial, the best method of using the energy of the desire is to direct it into those actions which tend to overcome the obstacles and thus lead on to its fulfillment.
If, instead, the energies of the desire are permitted to weave Fantasies, in which the realization is attained only in imagination, this may afford a substitute satisfaction. But it uses up energy which should be directed to some actual accomplishment.
The individual who finds great pleasure in imaginary accomplishment, to that extent decreases the energy at his command for actual accomplishment. He has drained his desires without getting concrete results.
Satisfaction in such imaginary accomplishment should not be confused with the use of imagination creatively. Creative imagination brings images together in various combinations, and lives vividly in the mental, or astral, realm, not to find complete satisfaction there for the desires, but to get ideas, to formulate plans, and to perceive how things the better may be done. That is, the desires create and build first on the astral plane; that they may have a correct pattern to follow when they express externally. But there is sufficient energy left, when the correct pattern is decided upon, for a valiant effort to bring about its physical realization.
But when desire, as in Fantasy Thinking and Day Dreaming, is permitted to be used up and attain its satisfaction in imaginary conditions, this is Dissipation. It dissipates energy in useless inner experiences which are negative. And to the extent satisfaction is found in such imaginary situations is there lack of ability to attain satisfaction in the realm of reality.
It is true that many desires, in their original form, should not be permitted expression. But they each represent so much energy that can be made available for real accomplishment; and means can be devised by which such energy can be diverted into channels that lead to worthwhile results.
Civilization has, from early childhood, built into the unconscious mind certain standards of conduct. More primitive desires, even when fortified with energy, are not permitted to trespass too far on these standards, even in imagination. There are things that an individual does not permit himself to do even in his day-dreams. Nor will he permit himself to do them in his dreams at night. That is, he has within his unconscious mind desires not to do these things which are stronger than the desires to do them.
This does not dispose of their energy, however, and they seek constantly to find some means of expression.
In our everyday life it is common to make veiled illusions to things that it is bad taste to state more bluntly. On the screen there is a ruling that the person firing a gun, the gun, and the victim who is killed by the shot, must not all be shown at the same time. The person firing the shot can be shown, then the person struck by the bullet can be presented an instant later, and finally persons looking down as if on a dead body. The actual killing is thus symbolized.
Civilized standards of conduct impose upon the movie screen restrictions as to what can be shown in its stark reality.2 Yet these realities are made known to the audience by symbolical pictographs.
Nor will civilized standards of conduct permit the individual, in his dreams, to do the crude things which some of his primitive desires prompt. The civilized desires stand as guardians of what may be presented to consciousness. They are stronger than the savage desires; just as the movie censorship is stronger than the producing companies. Yet even savage and crude desires are permitted to express themselves if they disguise themselves sufficiently to meet the requirements of the censors.
Bearing in mind that it is only those desires which have not found fulfillment in objective life which retain their energy, and that the energy of these unfulfilled desires, whatever it may be, is ever straining to find expression, it is easy to perceive that these are the desires which most influence Fantasy. Not able to release their energies in physical action, they release in finding an imaginary realization.
This also indicates that which the psychoanalysts have proved, that the strongest unfulfilled desires are those that most influence dreams.
As the reason they have never been permitted objective realization often is because they are unacceptable to the Civilized Desires, and as these Civilized Desires are frequently strong enough to prevent their crude expression even in the Fantasy of dreams; if they are to find any measure of satisfaction they must more or less completely disguise their real selves in the garments of symbolical pictographs. The experiences of the individual in his dream-life no less than what he hears or sees in his dreams, largely perform the function of such symbolical pictographs.
The Happenings of the Previous Waking State
Whatever is now before the attention is always linked through Resemblance or Contiguity with that which was before the attention previously. Mental processes are not disconnected images, but trains of thought, one image joined to the preceding image through the Law of Association.
There is, therefore, no sudden jump from the thoughts which occupy objective consciousness to the thoughts which occupy the attention during sleep. All normal dreams start with some experience, or thought, of the preceding waking state. And contrary to what might be expected, this experience which enters into the dream as a connecting link, is more often than not some inconsequential happening or passing thought that was given slight attention during the waking state. Perhaps for that reason it was unable to release energy associated with it, and this energy carried over into the dream state affords the link of connection which dreams always require.
This fact, universally observed by students of dream life, is mentioned here to emphasize that thought is a continuous process night and day, governed at all times, as all mental processes are, by the LAW OF ASSOCIATION; and that in the analysis of what occurs during any sleeping state, if it can be completely remembered there will be happenings which have been definitely suggested by, and have their origin from, something which entered the mind before the period of sleep. This factor, therefore, in dream interpretation, even though represented in symbolical form, should not be given some other significance.
Recognition of Occurrences Witnessed from the Astral Plane
The astral body possesses sense organs by which it can acquire information from the astral, or four-dimensional plane, in the same way the physical sense organs can be used to acquire information on the physical plane. Furthermore, the astral body during sleep is not chained to the physical, but has the power to move to distant parts, and there to perceive what is taking place.
To the extent it can raise or lower its general vibratory rates it can even travel to higher or lower planes than that of its usual vibratory level. It is almost as free to move from plane to plane, or from one region on a given plane to another region on that plane, as is a discarnate soul. And it can communicate with discarnate entities or persons on the plane it thus reaches after the manner in which people usually converse. Or within certain limits it can tune in, while actually on one plane, sufficiently to pick up information being broadcast from another plane. In other words, even as on the physical plane during the waking state the acquisition of physical information is limited only by the ability of the individual: so the acquisition of information from the astral plane during sleep is limited not by impassable barriers, but by lack of individual training and initiative.
If our attention is riveted during the day to worldly matters, and we have no knowledge of the possibility of acquiring information from another plane during sleep, the mind in slumber continues to occupy itself with the problems and desires of the day. The janitor who every day is in the laboratory where great scientific discoveries are made, as a rule knows nothing of the experiments there being carried out. He is so engrossed in his own personal affairs that these matters of vast importance affecting the destiny of thousands are carried out under his very nose without him knowing anything about them.
If we are absorbed in reading a thrilling tale some person may enter the room in which we sit, and we remain quite oblivious of it. We only see, hear, or otherwise recognize that to which our attention is attracted.
Nor is it something most can do without some training to direct their attention during sleep to the acquisition of information. Since birth the training all has been toward keeping the attention riveted to the physical avenues of knowledge.
Yet the four-dimensional world is open to inspection during sleep, and its entities are there to be contacted, almost as readily as they are after passing from the physical body. And through directing the attention to acquiring knowledge from such sources during sleep much of value, not merely that has already happened or is in existence, but also regarding that which will happen in the future, can be brought back into waking consciousness.
Except when some unusual stimulus intrudes, the state of relaxation, such as that preceding sleep, favors Fantasy Thinking. Even without losing objective consciousness, if we close the eyes and relax the body in an easy position, the mind, no longer having its attention directed to reality, tends to drift into a world of the imagination.
In such a state, as well as in sleep, one thing suggests another, and this suggests something else, and if there is in the thought structure of the unconscious mind some strong unfulfilled desire, the energy of this desire, straining for release, soon captures the attention. That is, the energy of such an unrealized desire straining for release is sufficient stimulus that it attracts the attention. The trains of thoughts passing through the unconscious mind are led to this desire because it is making so much disturbance.
A foot uncovered during sleep, if it gets unduly cold, attracts the attention. The Fantasy images are led to include this coldness in their symbolism. This, for instance, may bring dreams of sleigh riding, or of arctic travel. And in the same way the stimulus of an unfulfilled desire brings the Fantasy images passing through the mind to include and symbolize it. The desire is energy seeking release. And it finds this release in the Fantasies of the dream.
But opposed to the crude, even though natural, methods of expression, there may be the rigid censorship of the Civilized desires. Thus if the energy of these unfulfilled desires are to express, even in the Fantasies of dreams, they must conceal their true identities under various symbolic disguises. The images are subject to condensation, displacement, and various other processes, which, nevertheless, when viewed with an understanding of symbolical pictograph, fail to conceal their true significance from one attempting to interpret them.
In the interpretation of dreams the effort should be made to separate and interpret, each according to its own type of significance, the three various factors of dream life. The happening of the previous waking state that is the link between waking consciousness and the dream should be sorted out and given recognition as possessing this function only. Then the unfulfilled desires, especially the one which at the time is strongest, should be sought, and given its proper evaluation; for it also commonly finds symbolic expression in the dream.
Finally, there often is, and this can be cultivated as the usual occurrence, information of real value to the individual gained from the inner plane. The best manner to learn to recognize this factor is to remember the dreams and correlate their happenings to the events that shortly come into life. Through such cultivation dreams can be made to possess great value.
Norma Shearer Chart
August 10, 1904, 10:00 a.m. E.S.T. 73W30. 45N30.
1920, went to New York and received discouraging screen test: Venus inconjunct Saturn r. Got job posing for commercial photographers: Venus semi-sextile Sun r. Later given first chance in pictures: Mars semi-sextile Neptune r, the movie planet.
1921, given her first lead role in pictures: Mars semi-sextile Neptune p, Sun semi-sextile Moon r, in 10th.
1929, happily married: Venus sextile Mars r, co-ruler of 7th.
1936, husband, a wealthy and talented director, died just as she was receiving high honors: Mars opposition Saturn r, conjunction Sun r in 10th.
Mars Baumgardt Chart
March 7, 1890, 7:20 a.m. P.S.T. 122W45 5. 45N30.
1897, started collecting stamps: Mercury, ruler of letters (3rd), square Neptune p.
1907, owned and operated first cinematograph and first radio in Southern California: Sun sextile Pluto r, the radio planet.
1908, gave lecture before Astronomical Society: Sun sextile Pluto p.
1913, made curator of Clark Observatory, where for 21 years he gave regular lectures on astronomy to vast crowds: Sun trine Mars p.
1922, started radio lectures on astronomy which were a regular feature for 10 years: Sun semi-square Pluto r, the radio planet.