Aug 062012

People often ask me, “If dreams are so important, why are they so difficult to remember?”

Consider for a moment how deeply invested we are in what we call Reality. Rationalism is the pervasive myth of our time, occupying the lion’s share of our thoughts & motivations. So focused are we on navigating the literal, material world, that we’ve atrophied our relationship with the symbolic life.

When we wake up from a dream, it appears as a jumble of nonsense, so we set about forgetting it. The more we forget our dreams, the more they forget us.You see, forgetting is a passive choice. We choose unconsciousness because, somewhere deep in our bones, we know that Remembering is not only an act of rebellion that will carry us far out onto the fringes of consensus reality, but a choice that also carries a great responsibility.

Once we see the power we possess as autonomous individuals, we are beholden to its brave use. Remembering means looking at that which cannot be unseen, and offering our service to its resurrection.

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A writer, artist and tender of dreams, Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News & BBC Radio and her writing has appeared in publications around the world. Thanks to Skype, she works with dreamers internationally in her Private Dreamwork practice, based on Salt Spring Island in Canada. You can find Toko-pa on Facebook or sign up for her mailing list to receive news about upcoming events.

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  9 Responses to “Forgetting & Remembering”

  1. This is so me… I’m always asking why I don’t remember my dreams. It’s totally a choice I make when I wake up to not take that moment to remember, instead I choose to forget! DOH!

    Thanks Toko-Pa

    • You’re welcome Erica. I appreciate your honesty – Speed Levitch says this great thing, “Remembering is so much more a psychotic activity than forgetting.” The definition of psychotic is “the loss of contact with reality that usually includes seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.” Ha! Welcome to my world 🙂

  2. ‘Remembering is an act of rebellion’ – you’re so good at finding the essence and expressing it in an economical and arresting way, Toko-pa. When I started working with dreams forty years ago I didn’t know anyone else at all who did it, and it was like a secret rebellion in me. It’s much better now that we have a global and growing community of dreamers all rebelling together!

  3. Toko-pa, thanks for your liberating insight into Remembering. Quite apart from the context of dreams, it is a message that opened my willingness to remember the deeper truths of life and to welcome the consequences and responsibilites. Galen

  4. I love how you put this! It is liberating to hold this awareness of the payoff of forgetting! I am deeply grateful to be in a position of increasing remembering again. It reminds me of getting into a fresh water lake. You know that immediate resistance to what you know will enliven and heal you? First a toe, then over the knees, then kneeling in the water, submerging your head and kicking off…

  5. I met my best friend and when he told me about his flying dreams, I didn’t understand them until all of a sudden I had one and then I remembered I used to have them all the time when i was a child and I lost them somewhere on the way. After that, there was a phase in my life when I was actively pursued my dreams, I had time and energy to write them on waking up and the more I wrote them, the more I remembered. Sometimes they made sense, other times they didn’t. My life changed, with it my time and commitment to writing my dreams. Then I started forgetting them again except sometimes when I have some vivid and strange dreams. I also notice when I meditate on regular basis, I tend to remember my dreams more… its depends on how much time and effort we put into them. I love my dreams, it doesn’t matter if they have positive or negative energy. The day I wake up remembering my dreams vividly, I feel I have more energy than days that are normal…

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