David Jenkins on Dreams and NLP
"Dreams: The Nightly Convention Of Your Parts"
Meeting Agenda - March 21, 2004
(GENERAL REMINDER: Please show up on time or a few minutes early, so
we can start right at 2, giving plenty of time for both the presentation
and free practice sessions.)
10 minutes: Open frame. Those in attendance
talk briefly about what's up for them, comments about last month's meeting,
ideas and suggestions.
Feature Presentation (approx..
David Jenkins: Dreams: The Nightly Convention
Of Your Parts.
How the presentation is related to Nlp: NLP is highly effective
with dreams. Think of the dream as the group of parts that decided to
come out last night. Many, if not all NLP techniques can be used on
the dream for example, you can change the size and shape of the monsters
in your dreams. Nevertheless, the dream is different from most other
forms of imagination and some experience will make a big difference
in your ability to work with dreams.
Short description: We will discuss how dreams are different.
We'll take some sample dreams and discuss which NLP techniques we might
apply to that dream. Students can work on each other's dreams in groups.
Details: My goal is to make your dream life as good as it can
get. You probably have never thought much about how good or bad your
dream life actually is. And you probably do not yet believe you can
change it. But you have a great deal of choice over what you dream.
Dreams occupy an enormous portion of our life even though we remember very few of them. In fact, we spend several hours, between two and three, each night in a dream state. Multiply those hours by 365 days a year and then by however many years you have left and you begin to get a sense of the matter. If you have a great dream life, then everything is fine. But for most people dreams are more likely to be stressful than not. So for the rest of us, the quality of our dream time is a big, tense minus our lives. We fail to recognize the importance of this time for two main reasons: in the first place it doesn?t count because it isn?t ?real? and, in the second place, we don?t have a clue what to do about it.
What is a dream anyway? We suddenly ?wake up? into the middle of a situation and have to react to it. It may be that we are having a great time flying around our childhood home. We might be able to talk to animals, discover a new room in the our house, or find that we now know how to fly a plane. Our dreams are literally the stuff that ?dreams? are made of. There is however another, darker, side to our dream life: they are more often unpleasant than pleasant. We are trapped, chased, attacked, shot, killed and maimed. We experience emotions from terror, horror, disgust, fear, shame and guilt down to the merely irritating and annoying. At the worst end of the scale, we find ourselves in all kinds of life-threatening situations: earthquakes, wars, floods or hurricanes. At the ?better? end of unpleasant dreams our feelings are hurt or we make a mess of things. And, of course, some dreams are just excruciatingly embarrassing. we might be walking into work naked, we might have an !
entire supermarket queue watching us as we are unable to fit a jar of jam into a paper bag. And some dreams are exquisite forms of never ending torture: as we go back, hundreds of times, to college to take the last test; as we are discovered in bed with the wrong partner, as our teeth crumble and our pants fall. And other dreams find us so lacking in competence and social skills that we can only wonder who is the person who lives our dream life for us? We find ourselves urinating in the town hall, defecating in the living room, laughing at a funeral, making a speech when no one knows the topic.
In the daytime we may be a competent, functioning member of society but our dream life somehow transforms us into this wildly unreliable person who is always getting into scrapes he or she cannot handle. No matter how hard we try to warn him, the poor bumbling idiot who takes over our life for us at night seems to ignore all obvious and practical advice.
You have an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have the right to the good life. On the scale of things, that?s easy to say because in your waking life you have the skills to help you protect your life, pursue your liberty and enjoy your happiness. You can defend yourself should your life be in danger. You have the voice to protest when things are not right and you have the friends and the brains to help you change the things you don?t like. But how do you pursue a dream life free from the oppression of murderers and monsters? How do you educate this clumsy, stupid oaf, this poor schmuck, who takes over on the night shift?
Usually when people apply themselves to their dreams they forget that they actually live their dreams. Instead they focus on the meaning of the dream in their waking life as though their dream life only existed for that purpose. They try to interpret the dream so that they can know what the dream tells them about their past or their future. No one seems to notice the poor (occasionally lucky) dreamer living this completely different life. They assume that the dream is a reflection of your waking life and your dream life will continue to be stressful until you fix the problems in your waking life. For example, they might reach the conclusion that you keep going into a lion?s den at night because you are unhappy with your work and you are unhappy with your work because your father was unhappy with his work and he was unhappy with his work because really he wanted to be a blah blah and so on and so on. The explanations are endless and might make you feel good but they do nothin!
g for your dreams.
If you look at your life from the point of view of the night shift worker, he might well say to you ?I don?t care about your problems at work, they are trivial compared to the terror I feel when I am there in a lion?s den. I know nothing about lion taming. Why are you whining about the way your boss glares at you when I am about to be mauled to death for two hours every night. I don?t care what your father did, do something useful, get me out of this fearful mess.? Put that way, dream interpretation seems to miss the point.
My way of working with dreams enables you to change the course of your dreams. In a funny way, sometimes comical, sometimes quite peculiar, it enables you to communicate with the you who lives your dream life for you. Once you can talk to him, a whole new dimension opens up: you can start to help him instead of leaving him in this long suffering agony where all he can do is wait for your boss to smile back at you, AND, he will be able to help you. I know this seems like it belongs in Ripley?s Believe It Or Not but, as you will discover quite quickly, you can actually help each other.
copyright David Jenkins 2003