How to View the World Through Dream Eyes

Published in The Huffington Post

dream eyeWhen we think of dreaming, we typically think of being in a different place — another state of consciousness, a dream world or dreamscape and certainly not in Kansas anymore. In reality, however, it only looks like we’re not on Auntie Em’s farm. Dreaming, after all,  is more about a different way of perceiving. It’s about seeing with dream eyes.

Extensive research confirms what we all have long known: that our perceptual processes are markedly enhanced during dreaming. We can, for example, simultaneously see what lies directly before us and behind us as well as the room we’re in and the building housing it. Our sense of self — that is, how we see ourselves — can also morph wildly in our dreams.  Viewed through dream eyes, I can be me, or a part of me watching me, or someone else entirely.

Viewed through dream eyes, I can be me, or a part of me watching me, or someone else entirely.

 In contrast, ordinary waking life is framed by waking eyes that see through a highly focused, detailoriented,and, at times, myopic lens of intention.  Experiences, events and things in waking life are deemed interesting or meaningful only when they align with our intentions. Our waking eyes typically fail to even notice things that do not appear within the frame of our intentions.

The psychologist and poet R.D. Laing described the limitation of waking eyesight in a short but poignant verse:

The range of what we think and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice
There is little we can do to change
Until we notice how failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds.

Seeing only with our waking eyes results in loss of peripheral vision.  If the devil is in the detail, the angel is in the bigger picture.

 Read the full article on The Huffington Post.