Dr Phil repeatedly tells his guests that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.
By this he means that people don’t change much, even when their behaviour is dysfunctional.
Dr Phil delivers an hour of advice to those who share their problems onscreen. His bag of avuncular liquorice allsorts includes psychiatrists, psychologists, self-help gurus and various professionals keen to offer their services.
Dr Phil also analyses dreams.
Dreams originate in the right brain and are uncensored messages free from left brain meddling.
The right brain thinks in pictures. These pictures are often random and nonsensical. But sometimes dreams are lucid and offer insights unobtainable during our waking hours.
A lucid dream has the potential to change your life.
And I had a lucid dream last year.
Prior to the dream I had experienced several years of turmoil. The Ancient Greeks warned that, ‘those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad,’ and they were certainly trying with me.
I was locked into a cycle of unhappy memories, regrets and recriminations that were damaging my psyche. Despair is a terrible emotion and without relief can lead to very dark places indeed.
It was during this period of darkness that I had the lucid dream.
I’m unsure how long it lasted; it could have been seconds, minutes or hours. All I knew was that my consciousness had shifted and was now engulfed in something without form or substance. I felt as if I were hovering above the Earth, somewhere in space and within a cloudless gas.
There was no sense of being an individual. In fact, I couldn’t even think in those terms. The ego was gone and I saw it as a superficial, misery-inflicting construct.
Being part of a higher consciousness meant it was impossible to feel unhappy.
I felt that the consciousness wanted to experience life on Earth and could only do this through organic substances. It uses organic matter and fills it with consciousness — which, in our case, we interpret as being human.
The consciousness connects all but it is not ‘God’. It is something that exists as a force to which we return once our bodies have died.
I was aware that it was a dream, but it felt so real.
The dream was joyful and life affirming and gave me hope. For the first time in several years I awoke fully present and alert but with a quieter, more peaceful mind.
I’ve read that many people have experienced something similar to my dream. Sometimes it is through hallucinogenic drugs, meditation or during periods of grief. For some it is akin to a religious experience and they feel a strong or renewed connection to their faith.
I don’t believe in gods, however, and feel that religion is misleading and a distraction as to the nature, meaning and origin of a higher consciousness.
The consciousness is intelligent and indescribable, but it feels benevolent and peaceful and loving.
Dr Phil, how would you interpret my dream?
And Dr Phil, I’d also like to add that another predictor of future behaviour is a good night’s sleep and a lucid dream, especially one about a higher consciousness.
To sleep perchance to dream