A turtle born on the beach knows to walk to the sea, birds know their migration routes, and whales have new songs to sing each year. These and other phenomena point to the idea that there is an innate wisdom in nature. There is an emergent potential in creation that is often overlooked. How do things begin and what are the precursors to birthing something new? When we look to the source of human inventions, we see that visions and dreams are usually at the source of creating something new.
Science-fiction and fantasy stories from fifty years ago are now everyday realities for us. The vast realm of our unconscious is latent with information that is yet to be manifested into this world. How do we access it? Dreaming and meditation seem to be two potent ways to access this information, while ceremony and art are the traditional ways that humans engage, to enact this innate wisdom.
Science Meets Dreams
The overlapping space between academic/scientific research and the artistic exploration of dreaming is one of endless curiosity and depth. I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with two pioneers in the field, Anthony Colombo and Daniel Deslauriers, and our talks seeded what will become an ongoing discussion about the topic. I invite other bloggers, artists, academics, and dreamers of all sorts to join us in putting our heads, hearts, and stories together for this exciting journey of discovery!
By dialoguing with the dream image- and with others about our dreams – we cultivate the skill to take on multiple perspectives – that of self and of the culture for example – and we gain a greater awareness of the roles we enact culturally. – Fariba Bogzaran and Daniel Deslauriers in Integral Dreaming, a Holistic Approach to Dreams
Anthony Colombo is the Founder of Dreamspace, which guides groups through an immersive experience where participants engage the brilliance of their dreams and imagination to co-create the lives they truly want. Anthony has produced award-winning cultural and environmental multimedia and taught interactive multimedia design, production and ethics as a university professor. He has also worked closely with indigenous elders in Arizona and Hawaii.
Dreaming comes to life when we collectively use our inner creative brilliance to co-create the vibrant planet we all want. The greatest resource we have lives in the infinite potential of the human spirit, imagination and dreams. – Anthony Colombo
Daniel Deslauriers is a professor of Transformative Studies at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) in San Francisco and former chair of the East-West Psychology Program. He teaches courses on consciousness studies (especially dreams), arts-based research, and multiple ways of knowing. He is also the co-author of Integral Dreaming, a Holistic Approach to Dreams with Fariba Bogzaran, Ph.D.
Exploration of this collective level may bring into awareness our past (the ancestral history we share with others), our present (our current cultural and ecological embeddedness), and our future (as the result of our present actions aggregating at a collective level). – Fariba Bogzaran and Daniel Deslauriers in Integral Dreaming, a Holistic Approach to Dreams
As you can imagine, our conversations covered a whole lot of ground. One common thread is the notion that somewhere in our past lies the keys to understanding our present and co-creating our future. Sense of self and sense of place within the larger community is central to tuning into the impulses that emanate from our core. The boundaries of the self can expand well beyond our bodies to include the realm of dreams or even an understanding that we are an integral part of our environment both influencing and being influenced by it. Yet the centre of our being remains the same and any expansion of this sense of self must be in proportion to our rootedness at the core within.
Karen Jaenke explains in her study, Personal Dreamscape as Ancestral Landscape, that dreams have the power to reveal forgotten memory. She notes that a relationship to ancestors “forms a central anchor for personal identity” allowing this sense of self to extend “into a generational awareness of connections, patterns, and stories woven into the relationship with land and cosmos.” We are part of a greater web, all of life is emergent within this matrix.
People in contemporary Western societies often suffer from a form of fragmentation due to a lack of contact with their own ancestry. Because most of our ancestors had a strong connection with place, connecting with one’s ancestry often sensitizes one to a sense of place. – Fariba Bogzaran and Daniel Deslauriers in Integral Dreaming, a Holistic Approach to Dreams
I recently read a great article that talks about how scientists have found that memories may be passed down through generations in our DNA. As a fan of Bruce Lipton and the study of epigenetics, we know that belief and experience play a major role in changing our genes. Some would argue that genetically passing on “memories” is a misleading statement, but perhaps our understanding of “memory” could be expanded … Is the shape left in the canyon long after the river that carved it has dried up potentially a memory left in the land?
With the recent globally synchronized meditation movements as well as the many examples of crowd-sourcing that the internet has facilitated, we are seeing the emergence of global consciousness. Perhaps a collaboration is in order … A dream this big can not be carried by one person, it’ll take an international, cross-cultural community to piece it together. That’s where you come in! If integral dreaming is the key to global transformation, then what is your part in this story? Perhaps you’ll need to consult your dreams …