(Ah-So first greeted two newcomers and the rest of the sitters and thanked them for coming.)

We have decided tonight to attempt to address ourselves to the topic which is on your list - that of sleep and dreams. This topic we are aware, is a very difficult one. It is one in which there are some difficult concepts which we may have trouble getting across. We make every effort to answer and address the topics you request and so we will attempt this one.

The phenomenon of sleep and dreams has fascinated mankind from a very early age. There are many theories about sleep and dreams. Sleep we designate as that period in which you lose most of your consciousness of the material world. It is a state in which your consciousness, your Self, if you wish, is withdrawing from your material world. This withdrawing has one effect of enabling various physiological changes to take place in your physical body. It is a time when much repairing and replenishing of cells can take place. During your day- time activities, you will very often burn up cells at a faster rate than your body replenishes them and during the period of rest and relaxation while you are asleep, the repairing process can proceed more easily. When you are busy with your worldly affairs there is often tension. You often have some degree of anxiety about the outcome of what you are doing, or the desire to do something particularly well, and all this causes some tension in varying degrees in your muscles. This places some strain on the cells of those muscles and so the use of them is increased and there are changes taking place in the cells.
The sleep period is also a time when certain deposits can be laid down in the bones, during those periods of your life when this is appropriate and this is why young babies sleep so much, with them there is a large degree of physiological growth taking place.
The elderly, it is often noticed, seem to need less sleep. But with age there is a wide variety in the expression of this phenomenon. Some will require more sleep (than other people) but it seems to be generally so that a little less sleep is generally needed.
Except, however, towards the very end when the end of your life is accompanied by sickness or general weakness and debility. In the case of this so-called slow death, it is noticed that there are many periods of sleep, and in this case it is a special kind of sleep. These people are really taking short journeys over to our side and then they will return to the material world and they will do this, on occasion, many times. They are getting a glimpse of what is on this side, and this will help them when they finally take the permanent step. There are many reasons why they will do this. Sometimes there is a feeling of fear of the final step. Many people are afraid of the unknown, and our Spirit World for many people is unknown. And so they will come and look and then they will go back to the security of the body they know so well. This period is also often characterised by them talking to people who it is known have passed on before. These people are making their presence known to assure the person and so they can be close by when the final step comes.

For the majority of people, what is sleep? Obviously everyone can see it is a withdrawing of the consciousness. Where does the consciousness go? There is more than one answer to this question. At times the consciousness is merely withdrawing from the body, it settles in the centre of the brain. Now, it does not need a particular organ or area of the brain to do this. It just withdraws there to the lower part of the brain, (he is possibly referring to the limbic system). This occurs in the period of the lightest sleep. We believe that it has been shown that you have various cycles during your night-time sleep, with some periods being deeper sleep than others. In the periods of the lighter sleep, the consciousness has settled in the centre of the brain.
Then at other times, it (the consciousness) is withdrawing from the body. It may merely stay close by, it may travel further afield, in what you call, astral travelling. Everybody will do some astral travelling but not everyone will remember. Some people can do this deliberately and consciously, most people do it without realising, and either do not remember it at all, or recall their experiences as a dream.

Your need for sleep and dreams varies from age to age as you progress through your life. It is the means whereby your spirit can renew and remember its contact with the Spirit World, this is another reason why babies sleep so much. They are having to get used to their body, they are having to get used to the stimuli of your world. They have to get used to receiving sound through their ears, sight through their eyes, sensations through their skin. And they have to get used to the sensations from their inner organs and the moving of their arms and legs and other parts of their body. They spend periods where they are really in the Spirit World and other periods back in the body and your world. When they receive some input from the body that says that it needs attention, for instance hunger, they wake so that they can cry to receive what they need. And as they adjust to the body, as the senses are beginning to realise there is more in your world, so they start to stay awake later and later. We do not need to go through those processes, we think you are all familiar with them.

Your consciousness during sleep, whether it is in the body, just out of the body, or travelling, always maintains some connection with the body. Many people report that when astral travelling they can see the silver cord connecting their spirit body with the material body. Some people claim that they cannot see this, it doesn't mean to say that they haven't got it. Sometimes it will simply be that they have been too busy to notice. Other times perhaps it is (very) fine and they have not registered its existence, even though they may, perhaps, actually look for it.

Mankind has often put forward many theories to account for dreams. And we have to acknowledge that every theory is right for some people some of the time. Sometimes you have the brain cells reactivating a memory of something that has happened. This is usually of some very impressive event, and the things that impress themselves most firmly on the brain cells will be the scary events.
And these are what you call nightmares. Your sub- conscious mind has been affected by this event, it sets up a fear and the fear triggers the brain cells that were operated by this event when it occurred, and so the event is seen again. Sometimes the fear will be very great, it may be something of which the person is not consciously aware. They were frightened, or it is something that the conscious mind refuses to confront, and represses it. And in these cases the event will be clothed in symbols. Something has been triggered and the same thing is being repressed and so to get around the block, the brain will use a symbol of some sort in order to discharge and also in order to repress. There is the contradiction that causes the need for a symbol.

It is true also that happy events can be dreamed in this manner. But they are less likely to be remembered on waking, and I am stressing that 'less likely'. Remember, as we have often said to you, nothing is absolutely set in spirit and things are less set in the material world than you realise. So some people will remember reliving the happy events, especially something which sub- consciously you know will be a very significant event in your life. But the fearful events, the ones you don't like, are the ones that are most often remembered, very often the consciousness in its fear will wake up in order to stop the dream and this means that you will often be more likely to remember the dream. When there are periods of sleep between the dream and waking, the chances of remembering the dream are lessened.

Now, very often your guides and helpers over here, will give you a dream, maybe a warning dream or a prophetic dream of some sort, and when this dream is remembered and it comes true, that person has a stronger link with the Spirit World. Now, if the person is disturbed by this, that link may be disconnected, sometimes though, the fear may actually strengthen the link so making this prophetic type of dream more likely to occur. But because it has the fear there, conscious progress in your waking life is seldom occurring, because the fear of the person will prevent that person taking steps in which a psychic message may be brought through.

Other theories of dreams are more physiologically based. It is the brain discharging itself, clearing its memory banks, we believe are phrases that have been used. On occasions this, too, is so. No one theory can account for all dreams for all people. And so, the random charge can be set up through the brain cells, and many impressions from the material world can be jumbled together and you get these very bizarre dreams. As the waking period approaches, the consciousness gradually comes back into the body. A lighter period of sleep will occur, and then a period of even semi- consciousness, before you come into full consciousness and the material world again.

When you are awakened unnaturally, unexpectedly, I am sure you have all experienced feelings of really have to force yourself to wake, perhaps coming up from deeper consciousness. This will often be experienced when you have used one of your alarm clocks to wake you earlier than usual, and you can see from that how the senses can draw the consciousness back. Alarming situations - the smell of smoke for instance - will trigger vibrations in the brain that call the consciousness back into the body to deal with the emergency.

The use of various aids to falling asleep, such as sleeping tablets, interfere with the processes of falling asleep and waking, mainly because of their effect on the brain cells. They are deadening to the brain cells and so you do not get the variation in the types of sleep during the night. This, we believe, is quite well-known in your material world and can lead to sleep problems when they are discontinued. Because of this, such aids should only be used in real emergency situations for as short a period as possible and preferably not every night. By having breaks in between, the brain cells will be allowed to behave as normally as possible, the withdrawing of the consciousness is closely linked with the body and the body affects the consciousness, just as the consciousness can also affect the body. Abnormal activity or abnormal lowering of activity in the body cells also affects the consciousness. Likewise highly irrational states affect the brain cells, they also affect the finer etheric body. And, in some instances, it even seems that it is the etheric body that is encouraging some form of emotional excitation because the person's etheric body likes these vibrations and can absorb some energy from them. Fortunately such occurrences are not common.

So you may ask, what do we do is we are having problems sleeping? First, ascertain the cause of the difficulty. Is there a physiological reason? Have you consumed something which will keep you awake? This can vary from person to person and there are well-known substances in your world which can cause wakefulness. Are you excited about something? Excitation can be pleasant : positive things, pleasure anticipated for the morrow perhaps. It can be nervousness - apprehension about the next day. It may be pleasure or anxiety about something which has already happened. What is it that is causing the tension in your body? Because it is basically the tension in your muscles which prevents sleep. We recommend first trying not to worry about the sleeplessness. This may not work well the first night. Usually if you do not allow yourself to get worked up or excited about it, the next night's sleep will naturally return.

If it is a more lasting thing, then methods should be tried in which the body can relax. We prefer natural methods. Relaxation exercises are well-known in your society and they should be tried in the first instance. If necessary you may use natural aids to sleep, these are less harmful than your medically prescribed drugs. However, we do understand that people can get into quite traumatic situations will need stronger aids to sleep. These may be used if you remember the stipulations which I mad earlier. But first of all try the other methods. If necessary turn for help to people in your world who have some skill and knowledge and training in such matters. Hypnotherapy may help. Where the cause is of a psychological nature you may seek help in that field. We cannot lay down one firm rule, it is necessary for you to determine for yourself what caused this (problem) and then you can take the appropriate steps.

Now, I am sure that with this topic there is some area which I have not covered and about which you would like to ask questions, or may be you require further clarification. I am quite happy at this point to answer your further questions.

Guy: What is the state of the spirit in cases where people spend years in a coma? We had a case just now where a girl, Karen Quinlan, died after spending 10 years in a state of coma. Such cases are quite numerous. What happens to the state of consciousness or spirit in these cases.

Ah-So: These types of coma are caused by some damage of the brain, whether by a blow, injury, or whether by some chemical means. The consciousness is drawn suddenly out of the body. In cases of slight concussion, I believe you call it, the consciousness may be only - this is where I have difficulties with concepts. The only word I can use is 'shaken' into the centre of the brain. Now, if the centre part of the brain is damaged then the consciousness leaves the body. It is in a similar state to the sleep state, but consciousness cannot get back into the body, or cannot get fully back into the body. There are parts of the brain which are no longer working and so you may have partial consciousness. Then the consciousness will come in as far as it can and withdraw, much as in the sleep state. It, too, will do some astral travelling, but it will keep coming back to the body. It will keep trying to get fully into that body. As long as the body is alive, the consciousness will have some contact with it. As long as there is any possibility of consciousness entering through the brain and hence into the body, it will attempt to do so.
Now, the guides and helpers of that person will be around. They will be trying to help that person in the same way that they would if that person had died instantly. They will be surrounding the consciousness. They will be giving it support and encouragement in much the same way that you in the material world will try to help and support someone you know is in difficulties. It is the same type of process. The consciousness - perhaps I should explain that instead of consciousness we could, with greater clarity, be saying spirit, but because it is the body becoming conscious of the world, we are using that word (consciousness).
The consciousness cannot travel far in the world of spirit while the body still has some life in it. They are very exceptional souls who have travelled in the Spirit World to any great length while the physical body is still alive. There have been very few people who do it. And so in the case of these pro-longed comes, the consciousness cannot progress in the Spirit World. It is still attached to the body, and will constantly be drawn back to the body. It will be aware of physical sensations, something that would cause a conscious person pain, for instance, will be experienced by it in the same way. And this too, will be a means of drawing the consciousness back to the body if it happens to be travelling somewhere else. And so the prolonged coma acts as a brake, a limit, on the progression of the soul and the work that the soul has to do in the Spirit World.
Does that fully cover your question?

Guy: Yes, pretty well. Does it follow then, that it would be very useful to talk to a person in a coma and read to it because there is a reasonable chance that the consciousness will understand?

Ah-So: Yes. Usually the consciousness will receive sounds, sounds are also one of the ways in which the brain cells may be re-activated and so this sometimes serves to rouse the person from the coma. If you know someone in this state, if you are associated with someone like this, talk to them, read to them, play music to them, particularly the music which they like. This often has served to rouse the coma patient. If you can talk or read about spiritual things to the person in the coma, you can be helping the soul to make as much progress as it is able to. You can be preparing it for the final step over, if the coma is to lead to a final death, as you see it.

Jim: My dreams have been becoming more and more logical, particularly over the last 18 months. They seem to have a beginning and an end, and sometimes there is a story in it. There are still some break ups, but the stories make sense. I remember some but not others, or the next day I do not remember any of them. How do you bring them through to the consciousness and hold them there? Some of them have been messages I have got to give.

Ah-So: Do you make a practice of writing down dreams when you awake?

Jim: No, never.

Ah-So: This is one method which many people have found improves their re-call. It has some thing to do with impressing the memory on the more accessible parts of the brain cells, the more accessible brain cells. The consciousness is somehow, instructing itself to remember, and when you have the idea that in the morning 'I must write it down', the consciousness is reminding itself to remember.
Many dreams, of course, I hope you realise, will not have significance, these are the ones which it is useful for you to forget. You are more likely also to forget the dreams which would arise from astral travelling, because they are not actually taking place in the brain cells, it is something which is happening to your consciousness. And so the consciousness has to hold on to its memory when it returns, so that they get locked in the brain cells and can be accessed in conscious life. The development of logicality in your dreams suggests that you are getting more in contact with your Self. You are getting more control over what you do in the sleep state. Are you aware of astral travelling?

Jim: I've never been aware of it.

Ah-So: You cannot remember it.

Jim: I dream in 3D and full colour and the people are real people.

Ah-so: That is the first step. When you say real people, do you mean people you know in the material world?

Jim: Some of them, and some of them are total strangers.

Ah-So: You are gaining - because you are new to the circle we have some difficulty with the contacts - you are gaining a greater confidence and maturity in spirit and you are getting this greater control. As you say some of them could be useful messages, signifies your clairvoyance strengthening. We believe you have had conscious clairvoyant flashes at least, and it is a sign that steady progress has been made. A steady dream life and logicality, pleasurable dreams, indicate a settled life, not necessarily settled as meaning living in one spot, but you have steadiness in what you are doing. You have reached the point in which your development is beginning to reach fruition, do not worry about it. Do not try to force the pace, simply co-operate with it.

Garry: At what stage does spirit enter a human foetus? And at what stage does that spirit carry on living if that foetus dies before birth or shortly after. I have been told that they live on and grow up on the other side.

Ah-So: Yes. The incoming soul is usually hovering around the mother. It can enter the foetus and withdraw again. The time at which it permanently enters can vary, it is no later than the beginning of the birth process. There are instances when a soul, for some reason, desires to enter the body early and it is seldom that the entering occurs before the quickening - the permanent entering we should say. Usually by the time that the foetus is beginning to look like a human, temporary entering can take place. When a baby dies before birth or shortly after, it is usually because the soul, the spirit, has decided that something is not right. It may be simply that the spirit has decided or feels that it has had enough experience of the material world, and wishes to go into its spiritual development. Sometimes the death before birth is occasioned because of some physical event, this may be used simply as an excuse for the incoming soul to depart. Sometimes the incoming soul may simply decide to alter the life's plan and may be the body in some respect, does not, or could not for some reason, fulfil some aspect of that changed plan, and so the soul will withdraw. It very seldom happens that a change of incoming souls occurs. If it does it, occurs very early before many temporary entries have occurred. Usually the withdrawing of the soul, the spirit, simply causes the foetus to die, because the life force is withdrawn from it. Even a temporary withdrawal of the life-force will cause the death of the foetus. This, of course, has to be a complete withdrawal of the life force. The soul will always be around or be close to the mother, and the permanent withdrawal of the life-force occurs if the soul withdraws completely from the mother's aura. Where the soul withdraws because of a change of life-plan, naturally that soul will simply move to another foetus. Where the soul has decided to withdraw from the material world, it will do its growing, growth and development in the Spirit World, up to the point at which the etheric body is the one that it desires to have. So the soul may grow to, perhaps five years, it may decide to grow to 15 20, or whatever age it desires. Having been attached to a developing foetus it will help the etheric body and will inhabit it as you do when you come over here from a normal death. As you know, in time that body will dissolve, the merging of that soul with others will begin to take place. This is a gradual process.

Jim: The merging of the souls is more or less what I understand as a spiritualising of the etheric body.

Ah-So: You may use that term. It is the body becoming finer and less defined. It loses its human characteristics. Perhaps you may think of it as a formless light, to you, but not to us.

Deirdre: When you say merging, does that mean losing our identity?

Ah-So: This merging takes place in what you would term, the higher levels of the Spirit World and the identity isn't so much lost as broadened and expanded, and eventually the merging of souls with other souls, merges and merges, until eventually you merge back with the Godness.

Wendy: When you are dreaming is that the time your guides can talk to you?

Ah-So: Yes, this can happen. Not necessarily with everyone, and naturally, not necessarily every time. But it is one way in which your guides can speak to you, especially if the link isn't very strong yet and the person is not receptive to the input from their guides.

Deirdre: What can you do to strengthen those links?

Ah-So: Generally, becoming interested in the psychic area. There are many paths to follow and it is necessary to select the correct one for you. You may find it necessary to experiment and investigate different ways. Usually this is a prompting from your guides, but you are not aware of it and you are still able to shut it off and to say, 'No'.

I think, if you will excuse me, we would like to withdraw at this time. We make our usual invitation to you to, if you have a query during your supper, please ask and we will do our best to impress our answer on this medium. I thank you all for your attention.

(This talk had the unusual feature of having some grammatical errors, these have been corrected in the text. The words in brackets have been added in an attempt to clarify the statement being made.)

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