The Meaning of Dreams



Are dreams a window into parallel universes, or is it your astral body traveling in an astral plane?

Or is it just fantasy?

—AB, Europe


Dear AB,

Most dreams are simply “materialized” subconscious thoughts, or projections of the subconscious mind. So in general dreams are not really fantasy, but they are not much more important than that. What happens is that in sleep our life force withdraws inside and makes subconscious impressions come alive. Yogananda says it much better: “In sleep, life energy is released from various bodily demands and retires to the brain cells, in which are stored the thought films of all past experiences. The enlivening action of the energy on the stored-up thought films in the subconscious mind results in the projection of the mental motion pictures we call dreams.”

However, he also explains: “Not all dreams are meaningless. If your mind is calm and attuned, you will know someone is trying to get in touch with you through that dream. As you develop spiritually, your loved ones may appear to you in visions in meditation. And when you are very highly developed, you can behold those souls right here in front of you.”

There are also superconscious dreams which are very meaningful. They are on the level of a vision, giving inspiration, guidance, blessing. However, these are rare. Swami Kriyananda once experienced kundalini awakening during such a dream.

You ask: while dreaming, are we in the astral body? Yes. In sleep our consciousness retires from the physical body and it is in the astral body. In deepest sleep, it is even in the causal (thought) body. You may read in the Autobiography of a Yogi: “If man’s sleep be deep and dreamless, for several hours he is able to transfer his consciousness, or sense of I-ness, to the causal body.”

Seen in the right perspective, our nightly dreams are a cosmic teacher: they tell us that in truth ALL life is a dream, and that you are dreaming right now, reading this dream text. Self-realization means waking up from this dream, in superconsciousness, in oneness with God.

In divine friendship,