Out of the dreams

Ouspensky’s initial concern eventually gave way to a clear understanding of how most dreams are formed. For readers familiar with his “search for the miraculous,” Ouspensky’s conclusions may be disappointing. Ouspensky rejected the idea that our everyday dreams tell us anything of our true selves, our destiny, or have any message at all. They are, he says, meaningless, “entirely accidental, entirely chaotic, unconnected with anything”, rather, he argues, most dreams are the product of our physical condition or physiological state. Since his childhood he had had a recurring dream of being caught in a bog. Try as he might to avoid it, in the dream he invariably found himself sinking into deep, seemingly bottomless mud. Although for years he felt that something important was being revealed in this dream, in his half-dream state Ouspensky discovered that in fact the bog was the dream representation of his feet getting caught in the blankets. Similarly, a persistent dream of becoming blind turned out to be caused by his efforts to open his eyes while asleep. His hand getting caught beneath his knee produced a dream in which a dog was biting his hand. A recurring dream in which he found himself crippled was the result of the muscles of his legs becoming torpid.

Gary Lachman | In search of P. D. Ouspensky: The Genius in the Shadow of Gurdjieff

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