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Dreaming: Doorway to a New Reality

By Larry Dossey, MD

The most important aspect of my spiritual life is a sense of oneness with the Divine. It permeates my life and manifests as a sense of oneness and unity with other people.

A lot of people believe that unless they have some sort of incredible, life-changing sudden epiphany, their spiritual journey is not valid or genuine. We have to guard against that. The spiritual path is extraordinarily varied and it comes in many flavors. One of the things I would want to suggest to folks is that it’s the depth and the endurance that really matter, not the pyrotechnics, the fireworks that one may experience from time to time.

A fundamental part of my spiritual development has involved science, most dramatically in the study of distance healing and intercessory prayer, which I’ve written about extensively. I consider the scientific studies supporting the power of prayer to be evidence of the unity that the great mystics have described throughout history.

My research has convinced me that we are all connected at some very deep level across space and time in ways that we scarcely perceive in waking consciousness. There seems to be a benevolent, quite wonderful side to the universe; otherwise, healing through thought and intention and prayer could not be expected to take place.

Although there have been no incredible moments in my life that one would call epiphanies, I’ve had experiences of what I call nonlocal mind (akin to collective consciousness) uniting me with my patients through dreams. These dreams, which generally occurred the night before I was to see the patient involved, were extremely vivid and full of clinical facts.

For example, during my first year of practice as an internist in a Dallas hospital, I dreamt about Justin, the four-year-old son of a colleague. I had met this child only a few times and certainly didn’t know him well. In the dream, he was stretched out on an examining table and one of his parents was trying to comfort him. There was some sort of medical technician trying to do something to his head but Justin would have none of it; he was going berserk. Finally, the medical technician threw up her hands and said, “I give up, I quit!” and walked away. The dream was so vivid and disturbing that I almost woke my wife up to tell her about it.

Later that day at lunch, I was having a sandwich in the cafeteria with Justin’s father. Suddenly, his wife approached us carrying their little boy, who was crying. She told her husband she had just come from the EEG (electroencephalography) lab where a technician had been trying to obtain a brain wave tracing. But Justin had gone berserk and would not cooperate. It was such a chaotic fiasco that the technician, who had never before been thwarted in her efforts to obtain an EEG tracing on a child, had finally given up and abandoned the procedure. I was speechless because I had dreamt this event in almost photographic detail the night before.

I later went to my colleague’s office and said, “Look, we need to talk. Is there any way that I could have known that your child was scheduled for an EEG today?” He said, “Don’t be silly, of course not. No one knew except my wife and I and the neurologist.” He said that Justin had developed a fever the day before and had had a brief seizure, so his parents had made an appointment for a quick consultation.

When I told him about my dream, he was extremely disturbed and wanted to hear no more of it. He knew in an instant, as did I, that if we took this dream seriously, we would have to revise our idea of reality, of the very nature of how the world worked. It took me years to revisit that experience, which I finally did in the book, Reinventing Medicine.


Larry Dossey’s numerous books include One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters; The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things; Reinventing Medicine; and Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine. Larry, the executive editor of EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, a peer-reviewed, bimonthly publication, has become an internationally influential advocate of the mind’s role in health and the role of spirituality in healthcare. For more information, visit Larry’s website and the website of EXPLORE.

Larry will be speaking at the annual conference of IANDS, the International Association for Near-Death Studies, in Westminster, Colorado on August 3, 2017.

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This article appears in: 2017 Catalyst, Issue 8: Energy Medicine and Plant Medicine