Lately, the universe has been pointing arrows to my dreaming activity. After one of my best friends visited me for a week, my dream channel began opening up. I’m either dreaming more or remembering my dreams better than before. Although I may be more tuned into dreaming (and therefore picking up more signs), I can’t ignore the multiple “coincidences” pertaining to dreams. For example, I lost my cell phone in my house about a week ago. I looked around for hours and didn’t find it. In my experience, finding lost items is most successful when I’m not fixated on the item and my mind is clear. But sometimes that’s easier said than done—it had been 3 days with no success. I was about to start writing a paper for a Communications class, but then I had an urge to record my dream from the previous night. I reached for a book called How to interpret your dreams and there I found my cell phone—in a basket of books.
This was not the only sign. A few days later, one of my coworkers told me that my voice was in her dream, but I was not. Regardless, she knew that I was talking to her. More importantly, I recently talked to my mom about my precognitive dreams and I was surprised to find out that she has them too. Although my dreams have mainly predicted personal events, my mom has dreamed about personal events as well as significant events in her family and community.
In order to examine my dreams in greater detail, I read How to interpret your dreams (1978). This book was based upon Edgar Cayce Readings and written by Mark A. Thurston, PhD in consciousness and transformation. Even though this book is outdated, it has a lot of interesting information and perspectives. One particular passage about dreams seemed to connect to NDE’s: “In dreams, visions and experiences, each individual soul passes through or reviews or sees from a different attitude those experiences of its own activities.” Although NDE’s are much more intense experiences, this description shows that dreams and NDE’s occur on levels of consciousness where awareness is heightened.
One chapter that I found particularly interesting and relevant talked about Oneness and psychic dreams. Thurston talks about “Oneness” in multiple ways: (1) the same energy expressed in different ways or forces, (2) the interrelation of minds/level of super-consciousness, and (3) holistic resonation of body-mind-and soul. In terms of my precognitive dreams, I utilized the 2nd type of Oneness to connect with another person. Through this, I understood a mix of my thoughts and intentions as well as his. Within the next few days, he contacted me (and he hadn’t in a very long time). Although I need to do further modern research on dreams and consciousness, this is an eye-opening starting point.
Although the story of the Interbeing is about how we (and our consciousness) are connected to each other and the universe, some of Eisenstein’s description surprised me. The survey of the Interbeing highly resonates with my small group discussion on Monday. Because most of us are seniors, we’re thinking about our futures—what our hopes, goals, and dreams are and where are talents are best suited. Our future plans and decisions signify who we want to become and how we want to leave a mark on the earth. All of this reflects upon two of Eisenstein’s descriptions about the Interbeing story: Everyone has a “unique and necessary gift to give the world” and “the purpose of life” is to utilize these gifts (Ch. 3). This part of the Interbeing especially “spoke” to me because I’m currently standing at a crossroads of decisions and opportunities in my life. Ultimately, I want to find my purpose and funnel it into a career without compromising my desires for a secure opportunity.
Another part of the reading that was particularly interesting was Einsenstein’s argument about Psychopathy (Ch. 28). Our society constantly tells the story that psychopathic traits are rooted in biology rather than socially learned. There are certain instances that I have felt the presence of psychopathic traits in others—but I have only considered the people who demonstrate them strongly. However, Eisenstein’s argument shines a light on how many people demonstrate psychopathic traits for rewards and self-interest. Although genetics and biology may be a part of it, Eisenstein’s perspective is definitely worth considering—and the way it relates to interconnectedness.
Throughout One Mind, Larry Dossey quotes brilliant inventors, physicists, writers, philosophers, and many others describing the collective consciousness through their specialized perspectives. In the Introduction, Dossey explains how Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “The Over-Soul” was one of his first insights into a universal consciousness. Although I admire Emerson’s work, I have never read this particular essay—but the excerpt in One Mind presented a strong, poetic overview of the collective consciousness:
We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. In the meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul.
Emerson’s description deeply resonates with my perspective of the world; his beautiful creation of a bigger picture guided me through the rest of One Mind.
Although there are many compelling parts of the book, a subsection—empathic resonance—particularly relates to my experiences within the last year. Dossey describes empathic resonance as “distant individuals” experiencing “similar physical symptoms” (148). Psychiatrist Ian Stevenson investigated several of these instances and found that “emotional closeness” is a factor across all cases. I’ve experienced empathic resonance on several occasions, but I’ve felt the other person’s emotions/psychological state rather than physical symptoms. All of these people have been really close friends—some right in Ann Arbor and others hundreds of miles away. These experiences have significantly influenced my understanding of others and have strengthened my connection to the greater consciousness.
In addition to a Psychology major, I’m also a Communication studies major, so Theresa Caputo, more commonly known as “Long Island Medium” naturally intrigues me. In the Communication Studies field at Michigan we study the media, its changing landscape, and its effects. During the guest lecture on Monday, either Melissa or Rita mentioned the T.V. show Long Island Medium and its potential implications for mainstream viewing. As extraordinary psychic experiences are becoming widely accepted—or at least considered—I wonder how this affects viewers’ attitudes. More importantly, is there a shift in beliefs and attitudes toward psychic experience because of the mainstream shows? It would be interesting to conduct a study to find out how shows like Crossing Over with John Edward, Long Island Medium, and the like have impacted viewers, so maybe this is some future research to consider.
Either Melissa or Rita talked about how Theresa is a real medium, but the show is extremely staged—like any reality show. However, I wonder if this affects viewers’ perception of psychic experience. Because most viewers are aware of the staging in reality T.V., it’s possible that viewers also see Theresa’s powers to be a part of this dramatic scheme. Although Long Island Medium may be reinforcing ideas, it could also be causing viewers to become more critical due to the reality show atmosphere.
As I listened/read interviews with Theresa, her description of her powers seems to align with literature and personal accounts from friends—and the way she presents it seems authentic. Her over-the-top personality is perfect for T.V., and until more research is done, I think that spreading these kinds of ideas via T.V. is a great start to integrating extraordinary experiences into media.