Dreamwork As a Foundation for Activism

Listen to this.

Excerpted from the book Astrology Is Real

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Some people imagine I’m a drug-user with a deranged view of reality. I forgive them for their misimpression. The truth is that I’m not in sync or sympathy with deranged aspects of reality, and that makes me seem odd.

I assume they also can’t tell the difference between the impact of taking drugs and the influence of doing dreamwork. The latter has been instrumental in shaping my unusual perspectives.

I have remembered and recorded and learned from my dreams since I was 19 years old. They have been creative disruptors and relentless educators. I understand how the freaky beast they have designed and sculpted—me—might appear eccentric to those who have never done such work.


I am perplexed by how few people draw on the exotic yet deeply practical revelations bestowed by our dreams.

More and more of us appreciate the value of meditation and mindfulness, but a comparable embrace of dreamwork hasn’t happened.

Meditation is a tool for clearing away the monkey mind’s and monkey heart’s chatter so we might calm down and tune into interesting modes of consciousness beyond our default everyday awareness. Dreamwork can help us do that and much more.

Yes, it’s a subtle art that requires a great deal of practice and training. But there is no better way to transmute the unripe and less beautiful aspects of our psyches. Healing pain is never easy, but dreamwork is the closest approximation we have to a miracle cure. It’s a matchless method for evoking and crafting our personal genius, and deserves to be at the core of our spiritual work.

This cultural blind spot, the neglect of our dreams’ treasure, is an unrecognized form of insanity. Millions of us choose not to use an easily available source of regular insight that can make us smarter about how to redeem our darkness and purge psychic toxins.

I’m convinced that if dreamwork were a regular practice, some of our massive collective problems would diminish. Here’s my hypothesis: To the degree that we stop projecting pathology onto others and deal with it in ourselves, we are more likely to act with moral equanimity toward everyone else.

That’s why I recommend dreamwork as a foundation for effective activism. Our effort to wrangle compassionately with our shadow self is a potent ground-level technique to purify and strengthen our efforts to redeem the world.

I will reiterate my previous quote from Andrew Harvey: “An activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions.”

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