by Bernie Siegel, MD: There have been many dreams and experiences which have been personal guides for me and made me think about my life and actions and creation…
If you think about evolution, sleep at some time, was a dangerous undertaking. You lie down in your cave or shelter and along comes a predator and has you for dinner. Many creatures do not sleep or sleep while standing so they can escape from dangerous situations. So I believe the reason we sleep is not just to allow our body to rest but that it is to allow this inner wisdom to speak to us through symbols. This includes the body or somatic problems as well as psychological ones. Dreams and drawings are useful in diagnosing physical conditions. Carl Jung interpreted a dream and correctly diagnosed a brain tumor. I have had similar experiences with my patient’s dreams and drawings. So in my life the thoughts and wisdom come from this inner universal wisdom which creates my dreams and speaks to me at times in images and words.
A dying teenager asked me, “Why am I different?” The voice, speaking through me, said, “Because it makes you beautiful.” I was about to apologize for saying that until I looked at him and saw the bright eyes and beautiful smile the words had created. When your mind becomes like the still pond you will hear and see and connect with the thoughts which can change your life because you are accessing the greater consciousness and can know the future and communicate with animals and more. When you are asleep this is your natural state but when you are awake and your life and mind are turbulent it cannot happen. The ugly duckling sees he is a swan and a tiger raised by goats, when his mother dies giving birth to him, sees who he is when another tiger takes him to a still pond and says, “See you’re a tiger. You’re not a goat you’re like me.” When the mind is still you will see and hear what needs to be seen and heard in your life at that moment.
I have had many experiences when I have had a voice speak to me. It happens when I am taking a walk or exercising and my mind is quiet. Consciousness is non-local but again it cannot communicate when we are in turmoil. My animal intuitive friend, Amelia Kinkade, while sitting in Los Angeles, told me where to find a lost cat in Connecticut. She also told me that I had to quiet my mind in order to be able to communicate with my animals. It is the same message and it has worked and taught me a great deal.
An example: I wrote a book called Buddy’s Candle to help people deal with the loss of a loved one of any species. When I finished it I took our dog Furphy out for a walk. I heard the voice say to me, “Go to the animal shelter.” We got into the car and drove there. I walked in and saw a dog sitting near the door. The voice said, “What’s his name?” Of course the answer was, “His name is Buddy. He has been here less than fifteen minutes.” I said I was there to take him home and I did. I have to add that on the way home I stopped for gas and Buddy leapt out of the car and started running down the road. With help I caught him and when we got home I quieted my mind and asked him why he did that? His answer, which blew my mind was, “I belonged to a couple. The husband was an alcoholic. When his wife would ask him to take me for a walk he would go to a bar and drink while I was locked in the car and then he would abuse me.”
I told him I would never treat him like that. The test happened a few weeks later when going shopping I accidentally hit the button on my car keys, while putting them in my pocket, which opened the minivan’s side door. When I returned to the car Buddy was sitting in the open car. I started yelling for Furphy and then heard Amelia say, “Bernie quiet your mind.” As soon as I did I knew Furphy was in Stop & Shop looking for me. And indeed when I went there the guard saw me and asked if I were looking for my dog which he had with him.
Last but not least the voice helped my father to die laughing. I heard the voice ask me how my parents met, before I went to the hospital, knowing my dad was going to die that day. I answered I didn’t know and the voice said. “Then ask your mother when you get to the hospital.” When I walked into my dad’s hospital room the voice asked my mom the question. She said, “I was sitting on the beach with girls I didn’t know. I learned later they had a terrible reputation. Boys coming down the beach tossed coins to see who would get the other girls and your father lost and got me.” The stories she followed with allowed my dad to die laughing. A gift for us all to experience.
Now back to the visual messages. Many years ago I experienced hematuria and my associates wanted me to immediately see a urologist as cancer could be the cause of the bloody urine. I was very busy and did not want to interrupt my schedule and caring for patients. That night I went to bed and dreamed that I was sitting in the cancer support group I ran. Those attending were all introducing themselves and telling why they were attending. When it came my time to speak and introduce myself everyone said, “But you don’t have cancer” before I could say a word. I awoke knowing I didn’t have cancer and that I could make an appointment that fit my schedule. The dream proved to be correct. I had an infection.
Next problem was my wondering whether I was running support groups for seriously ill people and a doctor because I feared death and wanted to feel invulnerable. That night I dreamt I was sitting in the back of a car with several other people. I can’t recall who was driving but we went off a cliff and everyone in the car was screaming in panic while I sat calmly observing what was happening. I awoke knowing that death was not an issue or problem for me.
Another dream I had was of an iridescent white cat I thought was called Diamond because of her appearance but people weren’t pronouncing the name correctly. I went to visit the Jungian Therapist James Hillman because of that dream and a past life experience I had which was like lucid dreaming. A friend, over the phone asked me, “Why are you living this life?” when she heard how busy I was. I went into a trance and saw myself as a knight being told by his lord to kill someone. It was like watching a movie about myself. I ultimately did kill a young woman and her dog because if I had refused my lord said that he would take my life.
To make a long story short when I discussed these things with Hillman he said the cat was named Daimon and was about my spirit and the life I was to live and I should talk to the cat and I did. Then he shared how I was talking about my Lord and I said yes the lord of the castle and he answered. No, it is your Lord. It hit me then how I had always wondered how Abraham, Jesus and Noah could follow their Lord’s instructions and not ask for other options. I learned about faith from that experience. Who my Lord should be and that my reason for being a surgeon was to cure with a knife and not kill with it.
For me consciousness is non-local, not limited to the body and can exist independent of it. I had a near death experience choking on a toy at age four and a past life, as I described, and I believe all these relate to our connection with our personal and collective consciousness which never ceases to exist. For me creation comes from intelligent, loving, conscious energy and when we leave our bodies we are unalive and perfect again. I believe what sees when we have a near death experience and leave our bodies is the same force which creates our dreams; the universal collective consciousness and the source of creation.