“Dreams and Spirituality” – theme of Public Lecture for September

“Did you have a dream before seeing me?” dream expert Luisito de Jesus asked his audience at the public lecture of the Institute of Spirituality in Asia (ISA) on September 30,  2017.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 21
  • 22
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30

“By being aware of the unconscious life that we are living through our archetypes, dream symbols and dream stories, we could be healed, directed and be graced with new life,” he said at his all-day talk in the auditorium of ISA. 

 The resource person has been labeled the dream expert of the Philippines, having been in the field of dreams for more than 30 years. He has had television appearances, articles and interviews on radio and television as well as in newspapers and magazines, two published books, three unpublished manuscripts,  and dream talks through radio interviews and his radio program (“Dreamdate”).

In Calapan,  Oriental Mindoro de Jesus was involved in the formation of novices of the Society of Divine Word (SVD) for many years; in Bicutan, Paranaque he has taught Pastoral Psychology at the Don Bosco Center of Studies of the Salesian Fathers.

De Jesus continues to accompany, counsel and guide the Religious, celebrities and what he calls common persons. In his talk at ISA he defined spirituality as our relationship with God; our authenticity, truthfulness, attunement with God’s will; and our willingness to will God’s Will.

He described dreams as one of the means whereby God communicates to people, as attested by various Holy Books, and said that dreams are to be discerned so that one can listen to God’s message. From the Book of Job he quoted how God makes [people] in deepest sleep listen and be corrected from going to the River of Death.

“One of the premises about dreams and spirituality,” said de Jesus,” is that a dream is, among other things, a spiritual event which allows the waking ego to establish a relationship with the deepest self. Another premise is that dreams are given for our healing and wholeness. Their purpose is to bring us to consciousness; de Jesus cited how churches  and religious organizations have been built because of dreams.

He added that dreams and dreamwork (analysis) can be used to release energies. He introduced the term “dream tasks” which he defined as the primary way we take action to channel the energy insights of the dream to daily life.

“There are many kinds of tasks, like those of Joseph and the Pharaoh of Egypt,” he said about the latter’s nightmares about seven handsome and fat cows coming out of the Nile River but being eaten by seven ugly and gaunt cows, and about  seven fat and healthy ears of corn being swallowed by seven ears thin and blasted by the east wind.

“But not all bad dreams are bad,” de Jesus pointed out. “Giving them attention prevents the actual waking-life nightmares from happening when we  are  prodded to correct action.”

In Pharaoh’s case, he was prodded to consult Joseph, who could interpret dreams with God’s help, and to approve the latter’s plan to build up their food stock against famine.

“God is concerned with people’s lives so that even if leaders may not consciously want it, God works on their mind through dreams,” de Jesus pointed out during the Public Lecture. 

He also mentioned the baker’s dream and the butler’s dream in connection with Joseph’s dream, as well as Jacob’s dream about the Ladder of God and that of King Solomon.

A dream is often given in symbolic language, de Jesus added, and suggested a number of aids to discernment.

These are the small voice within called conscience; listening and meditating; speculating on the fruits; acting out; synchronistic events and experiences when tested and checked out against reality and reason to question their wisdom and creativity; dreams and dream work; spiritual guides; time, rhythm and emptiness; and God’s  will/ higher will.

On listening and meditating, de Jesus said:  “God usually calls us to do the kind of work that we/you need most to do and that the world needs most to have done. The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. God’s call feels right in one’s heart.”

Stressing how a dream is often given in symbolic language, he explained that the content and  meaning of symbols is expressed in unique and individual terms as well as in universal imagery. At this point he was asked by a participant  about culture.

We look at dreams as a universal symbol, De Jesus acknowledged, but we can also look at cultural symbols in our culture – for example, Baclaran crowded every Wednesday by a cross-section of Philippine society for its novena masses for Our Lady of Perpetual Help. But beyond looking is analyzing the process itself,  he urged. 

“Worked upon, reflected upon and related to, symbols could be recognized as aspects of those images that control, order and give meaning to our lives. Their source, therefore can be traced to the archetypes themselves which, by way of symbols, find more full expression,” he pointed out about the unconscious life lived through archetypes, dream symbols and dream stories.

He recalled his pastoral counseling of SVD novices, one of whom kept dreaming of running away with a boy wearing khaki shorts and a crew-cut hair style and who believed  he would be safe with this boy.

“There is always an inner-child issue in our lives,” said de Jesus. 

He added that if we are aware of such an unconscious life, we could be healed, directed, be graced with new life. We could then  be enabled  to attend the prodding of our unconscious toward a closer and better relationship with God, ourselves and others.

One of the expected results of  this particular  Public Lecture was for the participants to see where they are in their life journey through their governing archetypes and their stories about dream symbols.

They did receive information about  Strephon Kaplan-Williams’ seven basic archetypes (Feminine,  Masculine, Journey,  Hero, Death, Rebirth and Self) as well as Carol Pearson’s archetypes (Innocent,  Orphan, Lover,  Creator, Warrior,  Magician, Caregiver, Ruler, Seeker, Destroyer, Sage and Fool) and the  scoring system involved. 

“What are we trying to create of ourselves? “asked de Jesus about the Creator archetype and of its pairings (and perhaps more combinations possible, such as in the Destroyer- Seeker-Lover) and levels. “Emotional Intelligence is important  in being responsible for ourselves and in not saying no to others.” 

 As for parental roles possible in Warrior-Caregiver, a person could be a Warrior who also feeds and nurtures. In a Seeker-Destroyer-Magician, what is important is to go inside that person and find out an Inner Lover.

De Jesus noted how a high score for Destroyer and Creator could indicate the need to enter the mystery of love, as suggested  by the popular song “(Love Takes You) Through the Fire,” and to focus on authenticity and an attuned ego.

“Let us turn synchronize physical realities with prayer beliefs,” he urged about what he called cognitive distortions concerning the Magician. “Let us guard ourselves into reality.”

Across archetypes he also called for context, including living out the role suggested by an  archetype. For example, majority of children may feel obligated to their parents, as suggested over lunch by a participant – Pastor Patrick MacGivith –  about the docile character of Maria Clara in Dr. Jose Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere as the prototype for “Caretaker of Society” , perhaps a new archetype.  

What is important, said de Jesus in citing Dreams and Spiritual Growth (Savary, Berne and Kaplan-Williams) is one’s personal journey which covers Destiny (“What God and life wants of me”), Quest (“What I want from God and from life”) and Fate (“What seems inevitable in my life”).

Two of the consequences he cited for spiritual growth seem relevant to making a commitment to one’s destiny and journey (individuation): One, I seek to improve my relation to God/Source of my destiny, my call; and two, I choose to accept as fully as possible the fruits of my  commitment as expressed in increased vitality and meaning and representing God’s purpose on Earth.

And just as he had opened his talk with a video of “Any Dream Will Do” from the musical Joseph the Dreamer, de Jesus ended the day by playing “I Will Be There” to an image of Jesus Christ. #

Pinky Choudhury