Chapter 10: The Pleasure Principle. Group Dreams and Value Fulfillment.
As I have frequently mentioned, you have a hand in forming all events to one extent or another, and at certain levels you are therefore involved in the construction of those global events that affect the world, whether they be of so-called natural or cultural nature.
Earlier, I also spoke about the importance of dreams in man’s early background, and their importance to you as a species. Here, I want to stress the social aspects of dreams, and to point out the fact that dreams also show you some of the processes that are involved in the actual formation of physical events: You actually come into an event, therefore, long before the event physically happens, at other levels of consciousness, and a good deal of this prior activity takes place in the state of dreaming.
Yet (remembering what I said about seeming contradictions), your dreams are also social events of a kind, and the state of dreaming can almost be thought of as an inner public forum in which each man and woman has his or her say, and in which each opinion, however unpopular, is taken into consideration. If you want to call any one dream event a private event, then I would have to tell you that that private event actually was your personal contribution to a larger multisided dream event, many-layered, so that one level might deal with the interests of a group to which you belong – say your family, or your political or religious organization – reaching “outward” to the realm of national government and world affairs. As your private conscious life is lived in a community setting of one kind or another as a rule, so do your dreams take place in the same context, so that as you dream for yourself, to some extent you also dream for your own family, for your community, and for the world.
Group dreaming was at one time taken for granted as a natural human characteristic – in a tribe, for example, when new locations were being sought, perhaps in time of drought. The various tribal members would have dreams in which the problem was considered, each dreamer tackling whatever aspect of the problem that best suited his or her abilities and personal intents. The dreamers would travel out-of-body in various directions to see the extent of drought conditions, and to ascertain the best direction for the tribe to take in any needed migration.
Their dreams would then be shared by the tribe in the morning, or at special meetings, when each dreamer would give a rendition of the dream or dreams that seemed to be involved. In the same way, other dreamers would simply check with the dreamers of other villages or tribes – perhaps a hundred or even more miles distant. Some such dreams were extremely direct, others were clothed in symbolism according to the style of the dreamer, but in any case the dream was understood to have a public significance as well as a private one.
The same still applies, though often dreams themselves are forgotten. Instead, for example, for news or for advice you watch your morning television news, which provides you with a kind of manufactured dream that to some extent technologically serves the same purpose. Instead of sending cameramen and newspaper people to the farthest corners of the earth, early man sent out aspects of himself to gather the news and to form it into dream dramas. Oftentimes much of the material did not need to become conscious: It was “unconsciously” acted upon, turned directly into action. Now such dreams simply act as backup systems, rising to the fore whenever they are needed. Their purpose was and is to increase the value fulfillment of the species and of the individual.
Psychologists often speak of the needs of man. Here I would like to speak instead of the pleasures of man, for one of the distinguishing characteristics of value fulfillment is its pleasurable effect. It is not so much that man or nature seeks to satisfy needs, but to exuberantly, rambunctiously seek pleasure – and through following its pleasure each organism finds and satisfies its needs as well. Far more is involved in the experience of life, however, than the satisfaction of bare needs, for life is everywhere possessed with a desire toward quality – a quality that acknowledges the affirming characteristics of pleasure itself.
In your terms, there is a great pleasure to be found in both work and play, in excitement and calm, in exertion and rest, yet the word “pleasure” itself has often fallen into disrepute, and is frowned at by the virtuous.
One of the main purposes of dreaming, therefore, is to increase man’s pleasure, which means to increase the quality of living itself. Dreams ae mental work and play combined, psychic and emotional rich creative dramas. They also involve you in the most productive of enterprises as you begin to play with versions of events that are being considered for physical actualization, as on a personal level you “view” the probable events which your family, tribe, organization, community and country will actualize.
From Note 1: The Divine Creativity of All That Is (from Session 747)
All That Is creates its reality as it goes along. Each world has its own impetus, yet all are ultimately connected. The true dimensions of a divine creativity would be unendurable for any one consciousness of whatever import, and so that splendor is infinitely dimensionalized, worlds spiraling outward with each ‘moment’ of a cosmic breath; with the separation of worlds a necessity; and with individual and mass comprehension always growing at such a rate that All That Is multiplies itself at microseconds, building both pasts and futures and other time scales you do not recognize. Each is a reality in itself, with its own potentials, and with no individual consciousness, however minute, ever lost.
From Note 2: Violence (from a Class Session 3 November 1970)
Violence will always be used creatively. You cannot be destructive even when you try. Beyond that, however, in the meantime the violence that you do, you do to yourself. You are a part of All That Is – of all the nature that you know and experience, of the world that you know, and even a part of the world that you know that you do not like. If you rip off the wing of a fly, you are yourself less. If you purposefully, now, or with malice, step upon an ant, then to the extent of your malice you step upon yourself all unknowing. Violence will always be used creatively, but if you do not understand this – and at your present rate of development you do not – then any violence is violence against yourself. This applies to each of you, for when you think in terms of violence you think in terms of malice or aggression. Despite all man does, he cannot really work any destruction – but while he believes in destruction, then to that extent he minimizes what he is, and must work harder to use creativity.
From Note 2: Ever-Occurring Creation by Consciousnesses of All Forms (from a Session in 1974)
All action is creative and ever-occurring – the only way I can get these ideas across to you. All energy is personified. When you look at atoms and stars you are looking at simultaneous action. You are looking into the past and into the future at the same time, as you think of it. From the landscape of the brain you are trying to look at the landscape of the mind.
You do not perceive the consciousness within the self. You do not perceive the consciousness within a star, either – yet the star is the physical materialization in your reality of another kind of consciousness, and all you perceive of it.