Why Do We Have Bad Dreams?

By Sri Harold Klemp

A good dream is one that helps you grow stronger, wiser, and more full of love.

So what are bad dreams for?

Children often have nightmares until the age of six or eight, and sometimes longer. Grown-ups do too, though not so often as a rule. But why scary dreams for good people?

A negative dream is generally a memory of a past life.

It may include experiences of mistreatment, suffering, and even death. Some of us even have dreams of being born, which can give a feeling of suffocation.

These experiences are part of everyone. Children still remember bits and pieces of past lives, and these bad dreams are a part of them.

Bad dreams are old fears.

Having a disturbing dream is like airing out a musty room in spring. You need to face that old fear until it loses its grip, for only then can you be free to live this life to its fullest.

So good and bad dreams both hold spiritual lessons.

From ECK Wisdom on Karma and Reincarnation

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The Law of Karma

Past & Present Lives

By Sri Harold Klemp

We are each the sum of all our thoughts, feelings, and actions from this life and every lifetime in the past.

The past is a fascinating study. Even more so is learning of a present condition that saw birth in a past life.

To celebrate their wedding anniversary, a couple took a cruise. A port of call was Mexico. The couple went to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum, took many pictures, and also bathed in the turquoise waters nearby. The cruise was a happy, memorable event.

But it proved to be more than a physical journey.

Just Coincidence?

Soon after their return home, both the woman’s husband and her father became ill with the same problem, congestive heart failure. They were taken to the same hospital, the same floor, and shared the same doctor. An interesting quirk of timing and location.

On top of that, the wife, four months before the cruise, had been brought to that very hospital and saw the same doctor, because she too had a heart problem.

A small world indeed.

The woman who wrote this account to me is a student of Eckankar. She reports that it was an obvious spiritual lesson of sorts. But what?

The Past-Life Dream

She asked the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ, the Inner Master, for an insight.

Then came a dream. It showed her a past life when she, her husband, even her father, and the doctor were Mayans. On the day of a great festival, crowds of people in bright colors and feathers filled the streets around the temples. The doctor was a high priest. He was at the top of the temple stairs performing human sacrifices. The Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ spared her the experience of reliving her family’s and her own death.

The dream was clear. The priest who did human sacrifices in those ancient days was now their doctor. His field of service today was to heal hearts, not rip them out.

That’s how the Law of Karma deals with misdeeds.

A bright sidelight to the dream is that she had a healing. She no longer needs to take any heart medication.

The Past-Life Lesson

Many of our dreams relate to past lives. Once we come to that realization, we can begin to access the experiences that lie hidden within our memory banks.

And, yes, it is possible to bring hard-won lessons from past lives into the present for a better understanding of our situation in life today. The spiritual exercise of the HU song can pull aside the veils that shade your inner vision.

For the spiritual student, it’s all about liberation. It’s about experiencing the freedom, joy, and wisdom of Soul. 

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Recurring Dreams about Dying

Would I Find My Name?

By Rian Beyers

When I was a child, I had a recurring dream. I was dressed in a soldier’s uniform, fighting alongside other men.

Bullets flew across unfamiliar terrain as we engaged in a firefight with our enemies.

I was in command. One by one, my men were killed, leaving me the last man alive. As the enemy troops moved toward me, I noticed they were wearing traditional Vietnamese-looking hats. If I was caught, I might be forced to reveal valuable information that shouldn’t fall into enemy hands.

I looked down and saw my name on the uniform and the weapons I carried. Then my life ended.

I had this same dream for many years. But I didn’t recognize the landscape.

I grew up in South Africa, and at that time our country had no access to television service. It wasn’t until several years later that television became widely available and I had my first glimpse of the Vietnam War.

I was shocked. The landscape was the same one I saw in my dreams. The uniforms of the American soldiers, the weapons they carried, even the way the Vietnamese soldiers dressed—everything was the same, down to the smallest detail.

I didn’t know what to think. After that, every time I saw a movie or show that accurately depicted the experiences of a soldier in the Vietnam War, I had a strong emotional reaction.

Was This Dream a Past-Life Experience?

As I got older, I began to wonder if this was a past-life experience. I’d heard about reincarnation but wasn’t sure if it was true.

Then I found Eckankar and learned that past lives are indeed real. Remembering our previous lives, and the lessons they taught us, can help us understand more about ourselves today.

I realized my recurring dream had actually been a memory of my past life as a soldier in the Vietnam War. But I wondered why this particular past-life memory created such a strong reaction in me. What did it mean?

Many years later, I visited the United States for the first time. I felt drawn to go to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. This monument honors United States soldiers who died or went missing in action during the Vietnam War. Inscribed on the monument are more than fifty-eight thousand names.

When I arrived, I was taken aback to see the vast number of names on the monument’s wall. I wondered if the name I saw in my dreams was there too. But since the names weren’t listed alphabetically, I couldn’t imagine finding it.

I stopped and did a contemplation, asking the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ to help me.

“If my dream is real,” I asked the Inner Master, “can you help me find my name on the wall?”

A few moments later, I came out of contemplation and began walking along the monument. I hadn’t gone very far, when I had a nudge to look at the wall. Inscribed there was the name I saw so many times in my dreams.

As I gazed at the name, I suddenly felt a burden lift from me. I realized I had felt responsible for the deaths of my men. Now I understood there was no need for guilt. We had all done the best we could.

This experience validated that my recurring dream really was a past-life memory. With the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ’s help, this recognition helped me release a hidden burden I had unknowingly carried with me.

Now I know that life doesn’t end with death. Soul is eternal. Every experience in this life and past lives can help me take another step closer to becoming a Coworker with God.

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The Spiritual Meaning of Dreams

As spiritual leader of Eckankar, Sri Harold Klemp receives thousands of letters from truth seekers around the world—many ask him questions. Here is a question he was asked about the spiritual meaning of dreams.

Q: Sometimes I have trouble finding the lesson or message in my dreams… Does each dream have a spiritual meaning or lesson involved? Or are some just purely creations of my imagination?

A: Every experience, waking or dream, has a lesson or message to impart to us. But let the meanings of your inner and outer experiences come naturally. In other words, if the lesson or spiritual meaning of a dream isn’t clear, don’t force it.

Soul, the spiritual self that you are, will send another dream again in some other way until your human self can easily grasp the meaning.

In Eckankar, dream study works on all levels. As with all things of a divine nature, accept each dream as a spiritual gift. Wonder about it. Roll it gently around in your mind to see whether loving patience on your part will reveal its significance.

This approach is the reason the Eckankar spiritual studies are called the Easy Way.

Dream Censor

One other point.

Dream experiences are real experiences from another time, place, or dimension. Some of them are from past lives, which you’d expect to be straightforward. Yet here’s where the mind—or what you called “just purely creations of my imagination?”—comes in.

The dream censor is a function, or part, of the mind. For purely karmic reasons, it may decide that a certain past life would be too much of a shock to you. You might break off a relationship. Yet that relationship in the present time may be necessary to bring an important insight to you.

So the dream censor tones down dreams. It lets a dreamer go ahead with life and so profit from past-life experiences.

—From Youth Ask a Modern Prophet about Life, Love, and God

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The Temple of ECK

“We are moving into a golden age of spirituality. As we enter the twenty-first century, a creative fountain is being opened, and many more people will be able to manifest that which is of the higher worlds.

“Often the preparation or training for this creative flow takes place in the Temples of Golden Wisdom.”

—Sri Harold Klemp, ECK Wisdom Temples, Spiritual Cities, & Guides: A Brief History

A Dream Sketchbook

By Raoof Haghighi

I had always wanted to visit the Temple of ECK in Chanhassen, Minnesota. A few years before being able to see it, I had a colorful, vivid dream that felt so real I remember every second of it.

In my dream I was walking around the Temple. It was very peaceful. The surroundings were green, with golden gates and beautiful golden footpaths winding all around the Temple.

As I walked, I suddenly noticed a massive golden temple in the sky next to the ECK Temple. Words could never describe the beauty of it. It was so bright I was amazed. When I awoke, I said to myself, “I have to paint this beautiful experience!”

A few years later, when I was blessed with being able to physically visit the Temple of ECK, it truly felt I had already been there—many times! 

I keep a sketchbook where I capture my dreams. Basically, it’s a dream diary with images. When I can’t describe an experience with words, that’s when I start to draw or paint it. I am so grateful to be able to capture some of my inner experience through art.

ECK has given me so much, every day, every moment. I think art is a great tool to help share the ECK experience with others.

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Remembering Dreams: A Technique for Dream Recall

The Golden Cup

Every evening at bedtime, visualize a golden cup to be filled with your dream experiences. The cup sits by your bed. When you awake in the morning, in contemplation or in your imagination, drink from the cup. You are drinking in the experiences, a conscious way of saying, I want to remember what I’m doing on the inner planes while my body is asleep.

The golden cup is Soul; it is you. As you put more attention on drinking from the cup, the experience takes on a life of its own. The more the God Current flows in and out of the cup, the more Soul shines of its own golden light. You, as Soul, become an ever brighter vehicle for the Holy Spirit.

The experiences you have will lead to greater awareness of your life and divine meaning.

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