“Dreams pass in time.” ― Obi-Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker
Jung wrote “Dreams are pure nature”. Dreams are unfettered, they are wild and reside outside our will. We have no control over our dreams yet dreams affect our lives in tangible ways. Dreams tell us a lot about ourselves if we take the time to think about them. They serve as a conduit for our imagination and serve to assist in the integration of our conscious and unconscious lives.
Dreams provide us with symbols that act as cardinal points that guide us on our journey. They reflect the archetypes of the human persona to which we gravitate. To dream is to express our inner desires, hopes and vulnerabilities as well as our fears and regrets. In dreaming we resolve much that happens in our inner world. To dream is to allow us to grow beyond what we are, to become whole as intended.
Dreams take me to places and experiences that are alluring or terrifying but always compelling. Their residue lingers through the day long after specific details have vanished from memory. Most days I forget my dreams but when I recall them in startling clarity I search deeply for meaning. Dreams are important because they are a looking glass in to our soul. They tell us more than they conceal.
“It’s like… something out of a dream, or, I don’t know. Maybe I’m just going crazy” – Luke Skywalker
When I was drinking I rarely recalled my dreams. Some nights I would black out and not dream at all. If I did there would be no recollection. To be drinking and drunk was to live in a sort of a dream. My consciousness was lowered and in my drinking I searched for answers and meanings that did not exist. Illusions of myself and the world would emerge. In my drunken reverie I would imagine heroic triumphs and build myself up to something I was not.
My thoughts would also turn dark and loathsome. I would imagine that the world was against me, that I was not worthy. I would fall in to a dark place of self-pity, resentment and anger. In one hour I could swing from the dizzying heights of euphoria to the dark world of depression and fear and back again. The sobering up the next day was the “waking up” to reality and the consequences of my actions. In my waking state my mind would torment me with glimpses of my drunken spree as if recalling a nightmare. I would recall things I had done and said with horror.
“Anakin, you must break through the fog of lies the Jedi have created around you” – Palpatine
After a while it seemed as if my waking time and my dreams had merged in to one. I would ponder a disturbing dream I had had the night before. Flashes of faces, voices, laughter and lights would appear in my mind and I would soon realize that the images represented a memory, not a dream. I would later recall something about a drinking spree and ask a friend about it only to learn that my recollection was the product of a dream and had never happened. Dreams and reality became confused.
To live in alcoholism was to live in a twilight world, a fog, that blurred dreams with reality. As time passes the connection between body, mind and soul breaks down. As the important self-regulating conduit of dreams is taken hostage by alcohol we lose grip on reality and insanity begins to creep in.
“It was only a dream.” – Anakin Skywalker
Dreams are harbingers of calamity and disaster in Mythology as well as warnings and prophecies . The Greeks personified dreams as Oneiros. Gods and other mythical creatures spoke to heroes through the Oneiros. They were warned of impending danger and guided by the benevolent Gods. In Norse mythology dreams were seen as harbingers of fate for both mortals and Gods. The Universe and all creation was said to be the dream of the Slavic God Svarog. One day Svarog will awaken from his slumber and all existence shall end.
In the Old Testament Joseph the son of Jacob foresaw his own future in dreams and later interpreted dreams for the Pharaoh forewarning him of impending disasters so that the Egyptians could prepare. In the New Testament angels visited Joseph in a dream and foretold that his wife Mary would bear the prophesied Messiah. Joseph was later warned in a dream to take the baby Jesus in to Egypt to escape the slaughter of the infants by King Herod.
“I had a dream I was a Jedi.” ―Anakin Skywalker
I had a Dream
In Star Wars visions and dreams often appear to the characters as a warning or prophecy of danger. The Jedi took notice of their dreams. The Force interacted with the Jedi through their dreams. Ahsoka Tano dreamed of an assassination attempt on Padmé Amidala and was able to foil the plot. On the other dimension world of Mortis, Anakin was shown a vision of Darth Vader and the Death Star in a dream. The dream showed Anakin that he stood on a precipice. The vision revealed his future should he fall to the Dark Side. Yoda was forced to face his shadow in order to transcend. Through a dream induced by the Force Yoda wass confronted by visions and was able to rise above his fears, hopes and ultimately his Dark Side.
All Clone Troopers had nightmares. They dreamed of the horrors of war and possibly of an unknown future when the Clones would turn on the Jedi and massacre them under Order 66.
“The Missions, the Nightmares… they’re finally…. over” – “Fives” last words
Anakin Skywalker often dreamed about loss and despair. As the years passed the dreams became darker. The dreams reflected his inner demons and fears. The potential future was manifested in Anakin’s dreams. On Naboo he dreamed of his mother’s death and the visions sent him to Tattooine where his nightmare became a reality. As Anakin began to be drawn tighter in to Palpatine’s web on Coruscant he began to dream of Padmé suffering in childbirth. She would call out to him and scream as she writhed in agony, dying. Anakin felt powerless to act to prevent these tragedies from unfolding. Desperate to save his wife he turned to the Dark Side and his actions led to his worst nightmares being realized.
The fall of Anakin and his transformation in to Darth Vader was the start of a long nightmare from which there was no awakening. In his sleep, Padmé would visit him and he would fight for his soul. Darth Vader would awaken and push the memories of his past behind him. Dreams were a reminder of the dead past. Every waking moment was a nightmare of torment and pain, eased only by a lust for power and revenge. Darth Vader would have dreaded going to sleep for in his dreams lay the residue of who he really was. The desolate soul of Anakin was trapped deep within him, locked in a nightmare he could not escape.
“Sleep, all life is a dream.” ― Jedi Master Kit Fisto
Alcoholism is a bad dream that can last for decades. There are brief moments of wakefulness however the allure of the dream world of alcohol constantly beckons us. Reality is too painful to endure sober. We fall in to alcohols embrace and find that the fantasy we seek does not exist.
What exists is a meaningless and nihilistic realm where the body, mind and soul withers in a form of dream purgatory. We feel a sense of foreboding as if some calamity awaits. Alcohol affects REM sleep so we never get enough good sleep and our thoughts are scattered as a result. Existence soon becomes a grey netherworld that is neither fully awake or fully asleep.
“Soon will I rest, yes, forever sleep. Earned it I have” – Yoda
Sobriety brings restful sleep and dreams I love going to sleep so much so that I look forward to the end of the day and retiring to bed. The morning comes without a hint of regret. Peaceful sleep has ended and dreams evaporate like an early morning mist. I get up to face the new day, my mind is clear and body feels rested. I can remember my dreams. Some make more sense than others. I never ignore them.
Mostly my dreams are good. The dreams show me aspects of the past and present, sometimes I believe there are glimpses of the future. Sometimes I dream that I am drinking again. I relive in my dreams the same comic tragedies that played out when I was drunk. Yet they are worse. When I awake I do so with a clear head. There is a sense of relief that it was only a dream. I am still sober. The drinking dreams are mere echoes of the past. They serve as a reminder of what it was like, what happened and how things changed. They also show how things might have been or could be. I keep my feet planted in reality now, my dreams are my own, I learn from them but they do not control me like they did Anakin.