The interactive dream is an experience where information & activity is received & given in the present moment. The dreamer is actively engaged in a relationship, contending with a new encounter. Dream representation may be “faithful,” and/or it can be fabricated by elements stored in the unconscious. The resulting dream image thus can become metaphorical in the sense that unconscious elements are transferred or fused with those in consciousness. Dream recall may occur as positive or negative reminiscence, or again, it may be imaginal or both; it can be static or interactional, whereby the dreamer relates with the dream person as in waking life, or they may set upon a course of events new to either one or both of them.
My partner, John Maher, who died in 1995, graduate of a well-known cooking school, spent a number of years as resident chef for a prominent social family in San Francisco supporting himself through college & graduate studies. Nearly two decades later I dreamed:
John & I have a small project, where among other skills, we’re teaching young guys how to cook; nothing too fancy, but basic, yet tasty items from materials readily available—John’s “scrambled eggs” curriculum. We have some classroom space in a high rise & use their large kitchen downstairs for hands-on cooking demonstrations. The project is somewhat like the Peace Corps where after basic training the guys will go to other areas/countries to work among the local people.
A big-wig visits; John gives him a run-down & prepares him for a class in the kitchen. He tells him how basic cooking is important both for the students’ welfare as well as their “clients.” Some, he points out, have never eaten properly, have used drugs & alcohol excessively which has become a source of [bad] nutrition. Starting out literally with plain scrambled eggs, he adds variations, moves on to other uses of eggs, combining with veggies, etc.; depending on the enthusiasm of the class, moves on to using local produce as a base for other areas of self-preservation/development. And of course, the students get to eat their lessons! I can see how John has built up interest of the visitor who’s eager to get to the kitchen! [Perhaps he hasn’t had any breakfast!] (2014. May 26)
Psychic Linda Mutch comments: “To have interactive experiences in your dream-state with John, that’s what I’m finding most intriguing: the fact that you were able to hear what you were doing in your dreams & identify that something interesting was taking place, within the dream state that’s current, that’s happening now, something beyond just having a dream & remembering it. You could have that interaction with John & that became an important part of your daily life. That’s what’s intriguing to me. These are interactive dreams.”
Dennie: I Hadn’t considered that. I was just recording dreams. Having all these dreams of John, I was curious & thought I had better keep recording them. There is something going on here. You put words to it. Now we’re getting into the unconscious. And the different levels of consciousness. After you said that, I thought now we’re moving into a new state of consciousness where I can entertain some different ideas, one of them being that I’m communicating with another person’s unconsciousness, even though they’re dead because I had an unconscious reading of their unconscious & was not aware of it until the dream.
John & I are writing a piece about a father & a son. We want to put one part into dialogue; John dictates as I write out a few lines. As I read it back, he points out that we’re getting too much description of “place” & in dialogue we need to focus on essence of the conversation/dialogue to give a fullness, a richness to the characters & their relationship. I try to edit what we’ve come up with, but as I write, I’m blocked; I realize it’s more difficult than I’d imagined. . .(2015. Jan. 29)
Linda: You were receiving information from him, and in a sense, using that information to guide what you wrote, to help you with articles you were writing. You would have naps, you would have semi-sleep states, where you would actually feel John’s presence or hear information, or direction, & be able to respond to that in a productive, active way & use that information to specifically work on an article together. And I’m not just saying that it’s not just a verbal sharing. In the dream-state you can actually have experiences.
D: You’re putting this to use . . .You’re doing something with it.
L:You’re putting this ability to use.
John is trying to get an old friend and me to re-look at our relationship and understand it better. My friend also seems to want to do this, speaks of having been put-out or rejected by many of his colleagues & friends. John is a real catalyst in trying to help us to talk about our relationship. (2013 )
L:In visiting that place in the dream-state you could continue to have that experience; you could continue to receive information, & give information, & the two of you could continue to have a “relationship” that can be described as a relationship with a dead person. I haven’t heard or read any writings anywhere that have said people do that.
I like the word dream-experience because dream is what you think you’re doing but then it changes into an experience. It doesn’t mean you have to be a freak.
D: Another level of consciousness—nothing strange. It’s that you’re tuning into it.