Sri Aurbindo--a King's College (Cambridge) educated Indian man born in Calcutta who became an activist, a philosopher, a Yogi, and a saint (1872-1950)--placed dreams within a universal context of being. "In sleep we leave the physical body, only a subconscient residue remaining, and enter all planes and all sorts of worlds. In each we see scenes, meet beings, share in happenings, come across formations, influences, suggestions which belong to these planes...Planes of supraphysical existence, worlds of larger life, mind or psyche which are there behind and whose influences come to us without our knowledge. Occasionally we get a dream from these planes, something more than a dream, -- a dream experience which is a record direct or symbolic of what happens to us or around us here." [from Integral Yoga].
Meanwhile Carl Gustav Jung, exploring his own psychological experiences, was reaching a similar awareness. His dreams tapped into something so vast and beyond his individual consciousness that he found himself in a timeless experience of the blood bath in Europe that hadn't yet happened, but that he would recognize later as the First World War.
Neither of these giants of the human soul were the first to engage in this exploration. It's been going on since what we call the Dream Times in most ancient and not so ancient cultures. It's just that they both spent their lives studying consciousness, and they wrote about their findings in a language that strikes us as more scientific than the language of the mystic. This is not to say they didn't also use poetic and mythic language. They did. Read Aurobindo's Savitri. Read Jung's Red Book.
Many writers begin with dream. A poet, a novelist, a writer of memoir, the musical theorist, the philosopher of art. Those are obvious. But who is not telling us where they begin? The cosmologist? The theoretical physicist? The historian? Go deep enough into reality and eventually one passes through the realm of dreams. Its language is one everyone would do well to learn.
If I learn this language will it change my life? Even this old life? Dreams may be constellations in the sky of the soul. If I travel through the dark, should I not pay attention to their light and the map it provides?
I chart my being by the stars
In the skies and in the cells
In whorls of ancient trees
Along the pathways of the soul
The heights and deeps
Fire and emptiness
A new leaf emerging from the stem.