I was excited to recently be one of the first guests interviewed on the Blissfully Speaking podcast, a new venture of Bliss Spiritual Co-op.
On July 6, 2023, I was honored to be a guest on The Dream Journal radio show, hosted by Katherine Bell. The interview is now available in podcast format. You can listen to the interview at this link:
I was recently interviewed by Robert Kalil on his Typical Sketpic podcast show. Rob has done a great job building an audience, with over 10,000 YouTube subscribers. In the interview, I discuss dreams, manifesting (law of attraction), emotional guidance, and my approach to coaching, among many other topics. Rob's audience is interested in UFOs and I explained how I view these encounters as being "extra-dimensional" rather than "extra-terrestrial".
Do you occasionally take notice of the fact that there is a song playing in your head? When this happens to me, I can sometimes quickly connect the experience with a song that I recently heard on the radio, at the gym etc. But, on other occasions, I find that it is a complete mystery. Through my dream journaling practice, and especially a recent Billy Idol dream (described below), I’ve come to realize that the original source of the song in my head at least occasionally comes from a dream.
I once dreamed that I was in a church, with none other than James Brown seated in the pews not far from me. As the service came to an end, James suddenly bursts into song. I’ve encountered Michael Jackson several times in my dreams. In one dream, he exited the scene by doing back flips and cartwheels. In another, Michael started breakdancing in front of me. For me, I think both James Brown and Michael Jackson represent the idea of spontaneous creativity.
I once dreamed that I was talking with Axel Rose (such a symbolically potent dream figure name!). We decided to exchange contact info and he gave me his cell phone number. However, I could not remember this phone number upon waking. If I had, it would have been cool to “honor the dream” and try the phone number.
I’ve had several Bono dreams including one where Bono appeared as a very sharp dressed tailor, with a tailor’s measuring tape wrapped around his neck. Thus, for me, Bono may represent the idea of the precise execution of one’s art form.
Looking over my dream journal, some of my other rock star dream encounters have included Pit Bull, Ice-T, Bruce Springsteen, Weird Al Yankovic, Darius Rucker, Jon Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, Eddie Van Halen, Taylor Swift, David Lee Roth, Susanna Hoffs, Stephen Pearcy, and Rod Stewart. Quite a roster!
While not X-rated, the dream became NC-17 when Idol’s band was joined on stage by a group of topless women. Attempting to record as many details as I could upon waking from this dream, I tried to recall, without initial success, the song that was being performed at the show. I then suddenly realized that I already had Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell playing in my head. This led me to conclude that Rebel Yell must have been the song being performed in the dream. This experience caused me to speculate about how frequently my dreams are the source of the otherwise unexplainable songs that I find playing in my head.
If I were being more accurate with my borrowing from the French language, I should have titled this blog post Rock n’ Roll Déjà Rêvé instead of Rock n’ Roll Déjà Vu, as the French language actually offers us two separate but closely related ideas. Déjà vu translates as “already seen” whereas déjà rêvé translates as “already dreamed”. I note this because I’ve come to understand that many of my déjà vu experiences can be more precisely and accurately understood as déjà rêvé.
I had an interesting precognitive dream experience in 2011 that illustrates the déjà rêvé principle. In waking life, I was out running errands on a Saturday. My wife texted me with the suggestion that we reactivate our Costco membership, and I added this task to my agenda. As I was walking into Costco, I crossed paths with my friend Stacy* as she was exiting Costco with a full cart. Stacy was a commercial banker that I had known for many years. It was a seemingly random encounter and she mentioned to me that this was her first ever trip to Costco. After a brief conversation, we went our separate ways. But, the encounter triggered a strong sense of déjà vu for me. Then I suddenly experienced a dream download. That morning, I had recorded two dreams in my journal. I now spontaneously remembered a third dream and this one featured Stacy. In the suddenly recalled dream, Stacy was looking for a new banking job and I had walked into the office of another banker with a copy of her resume.
A couple of takeaways from this experience at Costco:
• It reminded me of the importance of having a steady dream journaling practice. By journaling my dreams on a regular basis, I am effectively exercising my dream recall muscles. I am building a bridge between my waking mind and my subconscious mind. If I had not been journaling my dreams, I think my experience at Costco would have simply left me with a vague and unexplained sense of déjà vu. Instead, I was able to have a fuller experience by recalling the dream that triggered the déjà vu feeling.
• This experience was different than my other precognitive dreams. On the one hand, you could say that I dreamed about Stacy and then I encountered her at Costco. But, as far as my waking mind was concerned, I first encountered Stacy at Costco and only afterwards recalled that I had dreamed about her that same morning. As with my other precognitive dream experiences, I’m led to question the true nature of time, as there was another part of me that appeared to know about my encounter with Stacy prior to my waking reality encounter with her.
Dream on and rock on, my friends!
* Named changed for privacy purposes
In late November of 2022, I recorded a very short dream about a secret door. It later became apparent that the dream had precognitive qualities. Here are my original dream notes:
November 29, 2022 (Tuesday)
Dream 1 (6:30 AM). A room has a secret door on the floor. Later, however, this area is shown again and there is no longer a door on the floor. But then it appears again.
That was it. A very short dream. A few days later, I received a call from a woman who, with her siblings, had inherited an old commercial building located less than a mile from my real estate shop. When she called, she and her sister were at the building. I offered to meet them at the building right away. No time better than the present in the real estate business. It was a very interesting old building that had once been owned by a telephone company and had subsequently been converted into a large workshop.
The sisters informed me a couple of days later that they had decided to list the building with a different real estate company. When the property hit the market, a friend of mine (and a potential buyer) requested a tour of the building. Thus, within a short period of time, I got the chance to tour the building again.
In the midst of this second tour, I turned around and saw that my friend had pulled up a hatch on the floor. A secret door! As soon as I saw the open hatch, I immediately thought of my secret door dream. See photos below of the floor hatch in both its closed and open positions. When closed, there is a camouflage effect because the top of the hatch has floor tiles that match the surrounding floor. Once you know it is there, the floor hatch is very easy to spot. But, during my first tour of the building, I was in the building for about 30 minutes with one of my colleagues and neither one of us noticed it.
I would like to highlight a few notable elements of this precognitive dream experience:
Was this a meaningful experience for me? Yes, it was meaningful for me in two ways.
A precognitive dream is a unique form of synchronicity because the two related events happen in different states of consciousness. The experience of a precognitive dream often makes me feel like I'm interacting with a playful/trickster aspect of my consciousness. For more examples of precognitive dreams (and coincidences), see the The Inner Self at Play section of my website (link below).
The Inner Self at Play
“Let me hear your body talk (your body talk)”
- Olivia Newton John, Let’s Get Physical
DISCLAIMER: We all have different tolerances when it comes to food and drink. The fact that a food or drink causes me problems does not mean that it causes problems for you.
My little case study starts in early 2013. I was dealing with some sinus and respiratory issues, which ranged from uncomfortable to painful. I was a mess nearly every day – sniffling, sneezing, and dripping all over the place. I was embarrassed by the nearly constant nasal sound of my voice. Most concerning, I often awoke in the early morning hours in a fit of wheezing.
Around this time, I had a dream about the HVAC system of a house. In the dream, a technician showed me how the air ducts of the house were stuffed with a thick, blanket-like material, making it extremely difficult for air to travel through the ducts. The HVAC ducts represented my own respiratory system, which was under duress. The depiction in the dream was confirmed, in waking life, by a CT scan. My ENT doctor told me that I had one of the worst sinus infections he had ever encountered. His recommendation: sinus surgery. Hesitant to go under the knife, I found myself searching for an alternative solution.
By this time, I had started to take notice of some recurring food/beverage themes in my dream journal. One of the steadiest drumbeats was alcohol. The following dream seemed designed to catch my attention:
As quick background, I should share that I completely abstained from drinking alcohol throughout my teens and all the way into my late 20s. During my 30s, I was an occasional social drinker. As I transitioned into my early 40s, I got into the habit of having one or two beers at home at the end of the work day. This transition was subtle, such that I had not really taken conscious notice of the change.
As dreams often do, this dream presented me with a cartoon-like exaggeration of my circumstances. In waking life, I had never consumed alcohol while driving. But, I was consuming more alcohol than at any prior period of my life. In dreams, cars often represent the physical body since the physical body is the “vehicle” we use to manipulate in waking life. The dream was showing me that my alcohol consumption was causing my body to “drive in the slow lane”. In another alcohol themed dream from 2013, I was inside an old tavern. A lawyer walks through the tavern, announcing that he is representing people in a lawsuit related to health issues caused by the tavern. Even during the dream itself, the lawyer’s statement caused me to wonder if my own health issues were related to the tavern.
At the time of these dreams, I did not understand how alcohol was contributing to my respiratory issues. It was just clear from the dreams, and some waking experiences as well, that alcohol was at least contributing to my health issues. I decided to significantly cut back on my alcohol consumption. For the first time since the chronic congestion issues had emerged, my symptoms began to gradually ease.
I’ve learned that alcohol is just one of many sinus congestion triggers that I need to monitor and moderate. In Appendix I below, I’ve included three examples of dreams where my Inner Self has helped me identify another possible area of food/drink overconsumption. In my case, these additional triggers include (when consumed in excessive amounts) coffee, chocolate, fast food, and carbohydrates. As of the time of this writing (2019), my sinus congestion issues have by no means completely gone away, but they are no longer chronic in nature. When I have a bad congestion episode, I’m typically able to associate it with the overconsumption of some food or beverage during the preceding days.
In recent years, I’ve come to understand that the primary cause of my congestion issues is acid reflux. If you are interested in learning more about how this can be, I’ve included some notes and resources in Appendix II below.
The first quirky dream phenomenon is the confusion that often arises in my dreams about my identity. In waking life, I am always Chris Cunniffe. In my dreams, however, I can only say that I am usually Chris Cunniffe. In some dreams, “I” appear to be someone else altogether. For example, I once dreamed that I was walking through a hotel. I come upon a mirror in a hallway. Unlike waking life (where my hair is short and brown), the man I see in the mirror has long and dark hair. Studying my reflection more carefully, I’m even more surprised to see that my facial features are Japanese. Who is this guy?
* Throughout this post, I’ll use an * to indicate when I’ve changed a name for privacy purposes
An Introduction to Counterparts
As for the unorthodox theory that may connect and explain these intriguing dreams, it has an unorthodox source. I first become inspired to start a dream journal (back in 2011) after reading several of the Seth books published by Jane Roberts. In creating the books, which were published in the 1970s and early 1980s, Jane acted as a medium or channel, speaking aloud for an unseen spiritual teacher name Seth. Seth described himself as an “energy personality essence” that is no longer focused on a physical plane of reality.
“A group of cells forms an organ. A group of selves forms a soul. I am not telling you that you do not have a soul to call your own. (Again louder, with a smile:) You are a part of your soul. It belongs to you, and you to it. You dwell within its reality as a cell dwells within the reality of an organ. The organ is temporal in your terms. The soul is not.” - The Nature of Personal Reality (Session 637).
“Quite literally, you live more than one life at a time. You do not experience your century simply from one separate vantage point, and the individuals alive in any given century have far deeper connections than you realize. (Intently:) You do not experience your space-time world, then, from one but from many viewpoints.” – The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 721).
“Some of your counterpart’s memories may appear in your dream states, where they show up as fantasies, perhaps, to you. These are like psychic snapshots . . . .” - The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Sessions 724).
Counterpart Dream Hints
The fact that a person is a recurring dream figure does not necessarily mean that they are a counterpart. But, to my way of thinking, it certainly makes them a candidate, especially if their repeated appearance is unexpected. Before I conclude that someone is very likely one of my counterparts, however, I look for dream symbolism that is suggestive of a strong bond or connection.
In many of my counterpart-candidate dreams, I find myself sharing space with the dream figure – such as a shared house, a shared apartment, or a shared office. I pay special attention to dreams where the dream setting is a bedroom. Bedrooms often represent intimacy. These dreams can be misunderstood if we erroneously limit the idea of intimacy to the romantic or sexual context. Quite often, I’ve found that a bed or bedroom has been offered to me as a dream symbol of spiritual intimacy rather than physical intimacy. These space sharing dreams can be very creative. Creative examples from my dreams include sharing a swimming lane and sharing a bobsled.
• After getting off a of a plane, I’m going through my bag. There was a black woman traveling on the same plane. I realize that the contents of our bags have somehow been combined into my bag. Among the items, there are two small cans of Starbucks Doubleshot. I understand that one can belongs to her and the other can belongs to me.
• Bob* (a recurring dream figure) and I are inside a house. He is wearing a long-sleeve plaid shirt and I realize that his shirt is identical to the shirt that I wore the day before. His wife is there. She describes another plaid shirt (this one is brown and short-sleeve) that Bob* likes to wear. As she describes it, I see a mental image of the shirt. It is identical to one of my short sleeve shirts that I like to wear. It is like we have the same wardrobe.
• I’m in a bedroom that is like my waking reality bedroom, but there are differences. For instance, there was a TV is this bedroom (not the case in my waking life bedroom). I hear some noise under the bed. When I look under the bed, there is a Siamese cat staring right at me. Upon waking, I did some free associating with the word “Siamese” and immediately thought of the idea of Siamese twins. Looking in Wikipedia, I was reminded that “Siamese twins” are more accurately described as conjoined twins. The phrase “Siamese twins” came into common parlance due to Chang and Eng Bunker (see picture), a famous set of conjoined twins from Thailand (formerly known as Siam). Note: In addition to the double idea, this dream also features a bedroom.
Chang & Eng Bunker, 1811-1874
• Charlie* (another one of my unexpected recurring dream figures) and I are both getting ready in the same bathroom. We are both trying to shave in front of the same mirror. The mirror is small. We crowd together so that we can both see our reflections in the mirror as we shave. Note: This dream also features shared space. In a separate Charlie dream, Charlie and I were sharing a bobsled.
As we’ve seen, some mirror dreams lead to confusion over identity. But, identity confusion can arise within a dream in many other creative ways. Some examples:
• I’m in a hotel corridor. As I approach my hotel room door, I retrieve a room key that I had tucked into a pocket of my luggage. After retrieving the room key, I notice that my luggage tags identify the owner of the bag as Dave Smith* (in waking life, Dave is an acquaintance that previously lived in Charleston, but has been living in another city for many years).
• I’m working on bureaucratic paperwork related to travel, including a passport. I also put on a name tag that says Fred* (a waking life friend and recurring dream figure). I also realize that I have a lot of Fred’s stuff with me. Note: A passport is an intriguing symbol for a dream that involves confusion over identity. In a separate Fred* dream, I dreamed that I was sharing a swimming lane with Fred.
My Billy Joel Synchronicity that Inspired the Title of this Blog Post
They will tell you you can't sleep alone in a strange place
Then they'll tell you can't sleep with somebody else
Ah but sooner or later you sleep in your own space
Either way it's O.K. you wake up with yourself
- Billy Joel, My Life
A Seth Exercise for Experiencing Your Counterparts
- The Early Class Sessions, Book 4 (October 5, 1971)
Some More Seth Quotes on Counterparts
- The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Sessions 732).
“Many of you have daydreams in which you actually see yourselves as your counterparts, and portions of their lives sometimes come through to you as you go about your chores.” - The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 732).
“The voice that cries in the wilderness is your own, and the voice that answers from eons of time, that you do not understand, is your own. You have counterparts, you are not alone. You have brothers and sisters that you do not recognize.” - The Early Class Sessions, Book 4 (July 6, 1971).
“Some of the people you dislike most heartily may be counterparts.” - The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 732).
“If you belong to any particular groups, often your closest counterparts will also be there. You will be a counterpart from their viewpoint, by the way. Many political, civic, educational or religious groups are composed of counterparts. These counterparts form psychic families. They are family representations on another level. . . . Certain members of the group express the repressed tendencies of others. Yet each is supported through a common sense of belonging, so that the group sometimes seems to have its own overall identity, in which each member plays a part.”
- The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 732).
“Now remember: You are one earth version of your own greater personage.” – The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 724).
“You are unconsciously aware of the experiences of ‘your’ counterparts, as they are of yours, and you use that information to round out your own.” – The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 724).
“The soul, or this greater personage, does not simply send out an old self in new clothes time and time again (humorously), but each time a new, freshly-minted self that then develops and goes its own way.” – The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 724).
“. . . to some extent or another you are related to all of those alive upon the planet. You are time contemporaries. You will have a far closer relationship with some than with others. Some will be your counterparts.” – The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 731).
“. . . .reincarnation is indeed a myth and a story that stands for something else entirely!”
- Conversation with Seth, Vol. 2, Chapter 6.
“The idea of counterparts was meant to lead you beyond time-oriented reincarnational ideas.”
- The Personal Sessions, Book 3 (September 29, 1975).
“ . . . if you could think of a multidimensional body, existing at one time in different realities, and appearing differently within these realities, then you could get a glimpse of what is involved.” – Conversation with Seth, Vol. 2, Chapter 6.
“Now, in the dream state, so to speak, you compare notes.” – Conversation with Seth, Vol. 2, Chapter 6.
“These counterparts are psychic relationships, formations that in the deepest terms flow into historic time and out of it. Some, in your terms, last a lifetime. Others represent psychic encounters that happen between two individuals at several points, say, but are not continuous. They may be no less intense, however.” - The Personal Sessions, Book 4 (March 27, 1978).
“The world then is indeed like a theater at any given time, but the play is not preordained or laid out. It is instead a spontaneous happening in which overall themes are accepted beforehand. Each ‘greater personage’ takes several parts, or brings forth several psychic children, who spring to life as individual human beings. These psychic children have as much say in their birth as you have in yours, physically speaking, and that is considerable. You choose ahead of time your environment and purposes. This greater personage then has earthly counterparts, each individual alive taking part in the vital human drama of any given century. Each learns from the others, and the counterparts fit together like mosaics — except that these mosaics are fully endowed with independence and free will. So the individuals alive upon the body of the earth at any given time fit together as beautifully as the cells do within your individual body at a particular time.” – The “Unknown” Reality, Vol. 2 (Session 724).
Resources for Further Reading About Counterparts
Jane Roberts, The “Unknown” Reality (1979), especially Vol. 2, Sessions 721 through 732.
Susan M. Watkins, Conversations with Seth (1980), especially Vol. 2, Chapter 6, entitled “Who Else Do You Think You Are? Counterparts Are Comparatively Encountered”.
Jane Roberts, The Oversoul Seven Trilogy (1977-1984).
Chris Cunniffe, Abundance Coach and Dream Coach, at Lucid Coaching, LLC