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Difference between visions and dreams?

Good evening! I found a post about salvia below interesting, and I had some thoughts. I have never used salvia or any other drug to induce visions. These visions often come very naturally to me. These are visions during awake and aware times. Some people may call these "out of body" experiences, but I've never believed one actually leaves their body to go elsewhere, so I dislike the term. These visions are what made me very interested in shamanism and also dreams. I interpret my "visions" the same way I do dreams when trying to make sense of them, because the symbolism still has the same meaning to me. Any thoughts on this?

Angie

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Re: Difference between visions and dreams?

Angie,
Like you I do not like the term out-of-body experience to explain 'visions'. The term conjures up something more than a 'natural' experience and my belief is conscious visions are possible but are within the realms of natural law. Jung has explained such images in unconscious dreams so there is a basis for natural involvement within the brain. They are called Archetypes.

Often such visions are associated with mental disorders or psychosis where the mind 'sees' images that are not common in waking consciousness. But they are usual contents we see in our dreams. Archetypal images often reflect major emotional events in a person's life with such images having relationships with mythological patterns. These are natural images that are produced by the primitive mind, that part of the brain that has retained the earliest experiences of mankind. Whereas in early man such images were major factors in the waking life, today they have been reduced to the storage bin because we no longer rely on them as 'guides' to survival. Intuition is one such guide.

I can not speak personally to conscious visions other than from what I have read but I do believe they are possible and real. Your stated interest in shamanism points to such known realities {although some call them bogus}. Not only do they exist in the Eastern lore but also are common in Native American cultures {also known as medicine men}. Modern science has dismissed such experiences, at least for the time being since little research has been performed. There has been some research that tries to explain such visions in logical scientific terms {Are Vision and Consciousness Intimately Related?} but these focus on the neurological aspects of the brain and not the psychological aspects for which I believe best explains the phenomena {since they are associated with unconscious stimuli related to emotions}. Studies in parapsychology, studies in the existence of forms of psychic abilities, address such experiences as being between science and pseudo-science but do help better explain conscious visions {Walking Between the Worlds.

Medicine men have access to these 'visions' because they have experienced extreme psychological conditions that pushed their mental and physical facilities to the limits. The story, or myth, states they are left in a isolation for a long period of time with little food or water and are told to sit and meditate. This causes a type of psychosis that alters consciousness and let's them 'see' into the sacred world. This is what we sometimes call 'vision quests', a 'shamanic' journey for ordinary people who are on the 'inner journey' of self realization. The visions associated with such experiences are real and whereas the vision quest is geared to seeing within oneself the visions of a shaman are actual experiences of witnessing the 'archetypes' in ways not ordinary to the normal conscious waking life.

Explaining your visions. It requires special access to the mental facilities I have laid out in the above to have such waking visions. Some people have 'psychic' abilities {although roadside psychics are usually frauds} beyond the norm and this would be a condition you possess. My question is did it come naturally or was there an event where you experienced a psychosis or similar extreme psychological disorder? Either way it seems you have access to the same images and stimuli we see in dreams. I assume when you interpret the images the interpretation provides answers to what and/or why you saw the images. Are you familiar with Jungian dream psychology and if do his concepts fit with your waking visions and their explanations? There may be correlations between your waking visions and his philosophy on dreams that may help you better understand your special skills.

Jerry

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Re: Difference between visions and dreams?

When I first started having these experiences about 25 years ago, they would happen when I would lie down to take a nap in the afternoon. I would suddenly feel as if I was floating upward. Not knowing what was happening, they freaked me out! :) I also have always been a lucid dreamer. I taught myself how to do this as a very young child as a way to wake up from my nightly nightmares. I have lucid dreams frequently now but not all of the time. About 4 years ago, I began to have that "floating upwards" feeling and decided to investigate. What I found was very exciting to me. I have met archetypes such as a white wizard, a witch, and an old shabby looking wizard, a wise man...a character who told me he was the "animus" (which was really interesting, because I had absolutely no clue what that was at the time). I see various symbols too.

Most of the experiences I could relate directly to my life and knew exactly what they meant. I could talk to the characters and ask them questions such as why they were there, etc.

Even though these experiences sound fantastical and unusual to others, I merely see this as a continuum of the dream state. In fact, I occasionally use a lucid dream as sort of a launch pad to this more wakeful state. I also am quite intuitive and have been able to help out a couple of others using this.

Because I am able to ask questions, these are easier to interpret. This has been a very useful tool for me in my personal growth.

Most of the stuff I need help with I find on your site :) I am not terribly schooled on Jung except for what I've read here and have found it useful. I recently picked up a Jung book on archetypes with the intent on reading it cover to cover but then found it to be a very difficult read.

Angie

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Re: Difference between visions and dreams?

Angie,
Don't give up on Jung. I think you will discover a lot of answers about your archetypes. You may want to try Joseph Campbell as a primer before taking on Jung full ahead. The one book I believe will provide the best, and simplest, insights to the archetypes is Campbell's interviews with Bill Moyers in The Power of Myth. You can watch the videos
here.


Another important book from Campbell is Mythos {Mythos at Amazon.com} which was originally named Transformations of Myth Through Time. The Mythos video which is available is hosted by actress Susan Saradon.

In Mythos/Transformations Campbell explains the origins of the archetypes which are Bastion's universal symbols. This book is vital to the understanding of the evolution of the man, God and the psyche. Along with The Power of Myth it provided me the tools to understand Jung {which indeed can be difficult reading}.

Jerry

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Re: Difference between visions and dreams?

Thank you Jerry. I've been pointed in the direction of Campbell several times lately and will definitely be checking these out. Thank you for being such a wonderful resource :)

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The Power of Dreams Dream Dictionary A Dictionary Based on the Concepts of
Jungian Psychology
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This dream dictionary will help in translating the dream language. It is 'Jungian' based and focuses on the best possible applications of the dream images and actions in relationship to the emotional energies found in dreams. It references the symbolic and metaphorical energies of the images and actions, citing the personal and the universal, as well as the archetypal patterns which underlie the foundations of all dreams
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