Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What is Your Personal Mythology?

This past weekend I attended a seminar at the Dream Institute of Northern California given by Fariba Bogzaran and Stanley Krippner. The topic for the day was dreams that are out of the ordinary, such as lucid, precognitive, spiritual, and so on. The final topic of the session was called “Dreams and Personal Mythology,” and that’s the part of the seminar I’m going to focus on.

My personal mythology is the story I tell myself about my life. My mythology might be helpful: “I’m a wiz at math and science.” “I usually get what I want.” “Men find me very attractive”. “I make friends easily.” “I am a deeply spiritual person.” Or it might be harmful: “No one likes me.” “I can’t control my weight.” “I can never do anything right.” “I’ll never be able to _______.” “I’m selfish and mean.” Clearly, what we tell ourselves has a pervasive impact on our lives, and yet we are usually not aware of these endlessly replaying scripts. Bogzaran and Krippner led the group in an exercise to discover these secret messages.

I’ll briefly describe the process in case you’d like to give it a try. To begin, choose one of your dreams. Close your eyes and relax, and after a few moments re-enter the dream. After you experience your dream for a while notice the emotion you are feeling, then notice what part of your body that emotion relates to.

Think of a past waking life experience which evokes the same feeling. Take this information back into your dream, and observe any parallels. This meeting of conscious (waking life) and unconscious (dream) material will help you to discover your personal myth. There are two basic forms of personal myth: the descriptive tells you how things are with you, and the prescriptive tells you what to do.

For more information on this topic Stanley Krippner and David Feinstein have written a book called “The Mythic Path: Discovering the Guiding Stories of Your Past -- Creating a Vision for Your Future.”  For further information on unusual dream types Bogzaran and Krippner have written “Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work with Them.”

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