"There are two views with regard to the different states of the soul. One of them makes a distinction between the waking and dreaming states while the other regards them as having no real distinction. Another state of the soul, viz, the state of dreamless sleep or deep sleep, is the state in which the individual soul becomes identical with the Absolute."
-from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad
One of the most interesting subjects in life for me as always been dreams. Not goals and desires, but the actual dreaming mind. Dreaming cannot help but be a major influence on my creative and visionary understanding of myself and the world. I know a lot of artists would say the same thing. Not just artists, but thinkers in all walks of life benefit from the power of the symbol based workings of the inner mind.
But speaking directly to the quote above I think it is talking about two aspects of the dreaming mind. One aspect is the personal symbol based one, of which the subconscious mind plays out the desires, fears, thoughts about daily life, etc. The second one, the one that is identical to the absolute, is the state in which the soul actually leaves the body and visits an objective reality. What some could call the astral plane. The deeper reality that is beyond this waking one.
I have had dreams where I am in old building where I used to live or inhabit often. Many times in these dreams, especially in the dreams about places I've lived, I specifically notice that familiar objects are not there. The room is the same, the dimensions are the same, but the desks that I called mine, the bookshelves, gone. Replaced with strange and unfamiliar items. Is this the soul-state interacting in real time with the waking world? The world that is identical to the absolute as described in the Upanishad? It's interesting to think about. Why would I dream about a former home, complete with correct dimensions, but see new unrecognized objects where I know old ones should be? Strange objects which have no identifiable correlation to myself in any way?
Sometimes I think strong events cast a shadow. Like the shadow of an oncoming storm-cloud, or the eery green stillness before a great storm. Dreams can be the way that we perceive this stillness, this shadow, psychically. I think that there is an absolute realm that is less dense than this one, like the levels of reality as described in the Cabala. And it's possible that important events in life happen in that realm first. Or it's possible to see events in this reality from that perspective. So it seems like you are seeing the future. Like seeing the same spot from different points in a coil. The way of perceiving reality completely linearly is an illusion, physics tells us this is true.
Many of the symbols in my paintings are directly from my dreaming mind. The interplay of the visual language of the mind is endlessly fascinating. Even if the implications of a possible absolute realm accessible through the dream state is a reality or not, the dream state remains an awe-inspiring tool.