Dreams and the Soul’s Desire with Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.
7 Video & 7 Audio Recordings
7 Video & 7 Audio Recordings
In this course, Steve Aizenstat explores the desire of the Soul in dreams and our daily lives and does so in conversation with Machiel Klerk (Jung Platform founder).
Steve takes us on a journey as he eloquently talks about the different ways Soul communicates with us. When we listen to the living images in dreams and daily life in terms of presences and visitations, we get an opportunity to hear the stories they tell us. This frees us from making up our own stories and interpretations about them.
The images are often experienced as visitations and can be in the form of a person, a landscape, an object, and/or an experience. Through these visitations, we get an opportunity to touch into the Soul’s desire and the Soul’s purpose. Dreams can help us to understand this; additionally, when we begin seeing our daily life as a waking dream.
This rich seven-class course is about how we receive guidance on our life path, soul companions, tending to dreams, addictions and afflictions, and the World Soul.
The classes are available now.
CLASS 1: The Soul’s guidance
We are authentically being called by our Soul’s desire. This desire moves through us but it is easy to get caught up by the expectations of others, or feel pulled towards the expectations of others. We are often trained/conditioned to go in one direction, while something else might be pulling us from a different direction. In this first class, Steve Aizenstat shares how to connect with the Soul. We have to pause, breath, tend to dreams, and engage in imagination, to touch in and be present. In this way, the Soul guides us.
CLASS 2: Nightmares and opening to the Soul
This class explores the topic of nightmares and how they relate to the Soul’s desire. The images in dreams are demanding our attention. Steve has some ideas to re-orient ourselves toward these images: first, we mobilize support; next, we develop a sense of curiosity so that we can develop a relationship with them. He offers suggestions on how we can hear the story of the dream images. This is a way of listening to the deep soul. It is not about meaning making, but it is about engagement, about opening up to the pull of the soul. It is about cultivating a relationship and engaging in a conversation with the images that come up. Nightmares are trying to bring us home.
CLASS 3: Homecoming
Homecoming is about a sense of belonging and being connected to a sense of purpose. This class examines how dreams can help us be at home in ourselves. Dreams ask us to move from external demands in our life, from the many distractions that are, to connect to the dreaming psyche. This is where we can find a sense of home, which opens our imagination, and brings a sense of belonging that is always there. We rediscover and reconnect to a generative source. Befriending the dream figures is the answer to the yearning we have to come home to our Self (or the many selves). It is a mythic motive as well—the call of home.
CLASS 4: Ancestors, Spirit Guides and Spirit Animals
This class is about different Soul companions. In our lives, we do not have a lot of rituals to honour the presence and aliveness of our ancestors. In dreamtime, however, these figures will come to us, and we’re invited to know them, and befriend them.
Whether we know it or not, we are a part of a lineage and carry within us the necessity of remembering our ancestors. We receive this opportunity in our dreams. When we value these visitations, we can develop and sustain a relationship with our ancestors.
Steve suggests that we pay attention to the animal figures in dreams and follow them to see where they take us. This is because they usually know the dream environment differently than we do.
CLASS 5: Call in addictions and afflictions
In this class, Steve reflects on the call hidden in addictions and afflictions. He sees working with dreams and the imaginal realm as complementary to existing addiction treatment therapies. In addictions, something ‘other’ is requiring our attention. Can we find the transcendent quality that lives in between the compulsivity and the reward of the addictive behavior? Can we learn to know the figure? Do we manage to break out of the clutch of the compulsion and addictive behaviour? These are the questions we must consider to have a breakthrough into a kind of imaginal/dream center experience. This class ends with a short talk about afflictions.
CLASS 6: What is the World asking from me?
In this last class, we expand our horizon from the personal Soul to the world Soul. So far this course was centered around questions such as: What is my call? What is my purpose? And how do we connect with a sense of belonging?
Now we move onto something bigger and broader—a world psyche or soul. Steve offers questions that take us out of the ego position such as what is making a claim on my experience to a broader selfless position to connect to our calling, purpose, and sense of belonging.
When we, in addition, hear the question from a world-centric position, something else gets evoked. But what is the world asking from me, what kind of service am I to undertake? What is being asked from me? These questions generate meaning and enhances motivation. We feel supported by the call of the world and enter into action accordingly.
CLASS 7: Last Class
In this class, participants were invited to share their learnings, and engage in a conversation, and ask questions around applying the course learnings.
By the end of this course you will
Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the Founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned Professor of Depth Psychology, an imagination specialist, and innovator. He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies, institutions, Hollywood films, and has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations where he has spoken. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.