Dreams have been the subject of spiritual and philosophical debate for all of recorded history which shows just how important understanding dreams are to people. Such debate continues to this day, but we have taken it to a new scientific level. There are sleep researches that after many years of study are, as yet, unable to identify the mental and physiological processes at work during our nightly adventures. Though hundreds of theories have been put forward, dreams remain a mysterious, largely unexplained aspect of our daily (or nightly) lives.
We spend one third of our lives wrapped in dreams and shadows and o scientist can put forward a reasonable and clear explanation of where we go or what we do there or why we need it when we are sleep. Sleep provides much needed rest for our bodies and minds and to go without is a form of torture.
I have had three children and in the early years the sleep deprivation was no joke, being awake every two hours to feed babies made me miserable, bitter, bad tempered and very irate. I am not sure why nature plays these games with new parents but I felt very tested.
Our sleep is very necessary but so is getting to that part of sleep that the scientists call REM sleep, this is the part of sleep that to an observer makes our eyes flicker fast under our closed eye lids, we often move about restlessly and mutter unintelligent nonsense. What is going on?
Western scientific minds think of dreams as an illusion, being in a fantasy world that has no basis in reality. I think that if Western scientists cannot fit a subject into the scientific box of conventional reality then they always seem to classify it as not being ‘real’.
The Visions that come to us in the night can be puzzling, strange, and sometimes very frightening. It is very real to the child having ‘bad dreams’ or even worse ‘night terrors’ it is also very real to the parent having to deal with them.
The explanations range from dreams being memories of the detached human soul wandering during sleep to communications from deceased relatives, from pure creative fantasies to meaningless imagery created by the mind sorting through recent events of the day during sleep. I think all these are all true at some time during our lives. It is easily demonstrated that not all people have the same type of dreams. The stress levels, hormone changes, life changes and environment all affect our dreams.
The most science has been able to do in giving meaning to dreams have been in the realm of psychoanalytic theory with the roots in the work of Sigmund Freud in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1899 Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams, in which he stated that all that all present pathological mental conditions could be explained by inner sexual conflict and frustration. Freud soon realized that one method of unlocking these buried memories was through the analysis of his patient’s dreams.
Leaving aside all twisted theories of the second and third levels of Freud’s research with their Oedipus complex, phallic obsessions and all the rest, in its most basic form he states that dreams are more or less symbolic expressions of a person’s repressed desires, fears and anxieties. To most of us in our ‘so called’ modern society this is what we have come to believe about our dreams.
However, Freud is not the only interpretation. When we look at earlier cultures they had other opinions that are not restrained by the traditions and beliefs of nineteenth century Europe. For example, take the theme of sexual repression, which held special interest for Freud.
There are a lot of people who refer to this man as ‘Sick Man Froid’.
In his time sexual repression and the consequent obsession with sex flavored the views of the day, this still lingers in our Western Psychology text books.
In other cultures around the world, like the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks they studied dreaming and made them a large part of their lives you can find many other answers and opinions than the rather narrow viewpoint taken by the Western World.
Studies continues to this day but most seem to focus on the digestion of stresses; night time struggles to overcome problems; integration of new learning; or the letting go of so called useless information. Our minds certainly have a lot of filing to do and it would make sense that part of the time sleeping could be spent trying to make sense of the world. This would also partly explain the children’s bad dreams as they are mostly trying to make sense of the world.
These theories are purely hypothetical; none are supported by evidence. They also ignore one of the most important aspects of dreams: that dreams occur within an alternative state of consciousness uncontrolled by the laws of the physical world; a state in which a high percentage of people have spoken to spirits, angels, ascended masters, gods and diseased relatives. Are we all mad?
Dream Books and how to interpret them are constant with every society that had recorded writing, with one of the oldest that was found in Egypt and was written in about 1350 BC and parts of the book goes back even further to about 2000 BC.
The intense interest in dreams has never lessened. Tens of Thousands of books have been published throughout the centuries, all promising to reveal the secrets these night communications. The authors of most of the modern books on dreams and dream interpretation prefer to see dreams as signs of unfilled dreams or desires and past experiences.
Most of them might be, maybe Freud was right that some of our dreams are sexual in orientation but what if some of dreams and our nightly journeys had deeper meaning and our dreams might be messengers from the Angels or Great Spirit itself.
Early people had no difficulty in explaining dreams. Each tribe or race had many different explanations, but most were founded on a belief unacceptable to modern practice of scientific inquiry: dreams are spiritual experiences in which are messages from the spirit realms.
Some people think that dreams are caused by spirits or demons, tempting and leading the faithful astray with visions of forbidden flesh and trying to ‘steal your soul’ and full of hell fire and damnation; others sent by the Gods full of warnings and portents, fairies and angels granting you respite from the waking world.
What do you think? Where do your dreams take you?
My dreams take me to far off places that leave me with just curious images to tempt and remind me during the day. But most of the time I seem to fall unconscious and feel like I have been stolen throughout the night only to be returned just before the alarm goes off, and I awake groggy and confused. For long period of my life I didn’t seem to dream of anything or go anywhere, like I had put my dream life on hold for a bit. But you know there is nothing more boring than someone going on and on about their dreams, so don’t worry, I wont.
Philosophers and mystics throughout the ages have put together that we possess two minds – only two I can have half a dozen at a time and that is just today – the conscious mind, which we mainly use during our daily activities and the subconscious mind(some call the last the psychic or intuitive) mind, which is in control during sleep.
The conscious mind is good at reading, adding figures and financial matters, also instructing body and mind and driving, arts and craft and great literature and music etc is also part of the conscious mind. It is concerned with the material everyday world. Our modern society places great importance on the conscious mind. With it we have created civilizations, traditions, language and legal systems and almost every aspect of our waking lives. Education today is largely about training our conscious minds to work with and act in harmony with other conscious minds.
When we are awake the conscious mind has been educated to block communication with the subconscious mind. This is a direct result of being told to “Pay attention!” “Concentrate.” “Stop Day Dreaming!” when we were young.
Some of us didn’t listen and we utilise the psychic mind during waking hours, along with the other ‘mad’ people, the artists and writers and people who are in touch with their inspiration or muse. Also during religious and spiritual rituals you can see the symbols of the subconscious coming out.
Symbolism is the language of the subconscious mind and they often appear as veiled messages, but from where? is the main question asked in these matters.
Freed from all physical laws, your subconscious takes you on some deeply personal and at times uncomfortable symbolic journeys.
The subconscious mind is much more mysterious and unexplained than the conscious. It resides within the realms of sleep, dreams, spirituality, psychic awareness and intuition. Images with many interpretations that only have meaning to the person concerned. That is the reason that all those dreams interpretation books are, in my opinion, a total waste of space, how can anyone find their dream meanings in a standard dream dictionary, are we all so standard? Are we all cut from the same mould that allows the same interpretation? I don’t think so! If these dream books were accurate they would all say the same thing.
Each person’s inner being, emotions, spirituality, and personal experience determines the nature of her or his dream symbols. So when dream dictionaries tell you that if you dream of teeth falling out, you are will be having a death in the family it is a load of old nonsense.
You have to be more logical and apply it to the way you see the world, from your perspective. What do teeth mean to you? How do you feel about teeth falling out? It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, when you where six years old it was a really exciting event. Maybe the spirits and Angels are sending you a warning to go to the dentist. It is largely a matter of examining the many symbols that appear. This is the main problem with images in our dreams; they are open to so many interpretations.
I feel that dreams can come from many sources and are labelled by many different types so I have attempted to put them into some sort of order:
– There are the Fantasy Dreams that are created by our hopes and wishes that are entertaining but hold little meaning.
– Natural Dreams these are usually a rehash of the day’s events; scenes from movies or television, negative events and arguments or confrontations are common here.
– Future Dreams which present information of possible futures, these are psychic in nature and are far more common than you think, and people have been documenting predictive dreams for as far back as the Babylonians, to every race and people on this planet. I could go into a bit on Quantum Physics here about all time happening at once but I promised I would keep this simple.
– Mindreading Dreams this is a theory that was suggested by a Greek Scientist who wrote that dreams could be a result of ‘emanations’ from other people and objects entering the consciousness during sleep. Telepathy remains a controversial area of area of study.
Telepathic dreams could, in part, explain psychic dreams. Thought messages received from dying relatives, mass deaths or endangered friends and family could trigger dreams. Much study still needs to be done. Many people who were asleep while the American 9/11 occurred reported having dreamed of fire, burning and falling bodies.
– Serial Dreams we all have these, where you have many different types of dreams all in one night. Or the same dream over and over. Which can be highly irritating? If you dream the same dream for more than three nights I would say that there is defiantly someone trying to give you a message.
– Out Of Body Dreams most of the ancient peoples saw sleep as a time when the soul was set free from its earthly body to wander, exploring other worlds, meeting Gods and Angels. They call this nowadays astral projection (find more about this on another article.) These dreams are highly fabricated, for we see what we want to see on the astral planes.
– Spirit Sent Dreams sleep is the perfect time to make connection with your personal spirit, angel or even God and for our divinities to make themselves known to us, to offer comfort or guidance in times of need. The doubting mind is stilled. The subconscious mind is in full operation and can easily receive messages from the gods.
– Lucid Dreams, these are wonderful and I will do a another article on this subject but basically this is where you are aware that you are dreaming while you are sleeping, you kind of ‘wake up’ into the dream world and then what you think you can create instantly, like flying. I have done this quite a few times and it is great fun.
Divinely inspired dreams aren’t merely relics of Pagan beliefs. Early Christians accepted that ‘God’ could inspire dreams. St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and many other early Christian figures wrote that interpreting the future through dreams wasn’t spiritually unlawful, for God instructed people through dreams. The Christian Bible is filled with accounts of divine dreams.
Many people have difficulty sleeping. Insomnia is wide spread throughout the world. The causes are varied: lack of certain minerals; poor diet; the overuse of caffeine, chocolate and other stimulates; tension, stress and all kinds of other excuses.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, please don’t turn to artificial and hazardous drugs. There are many other techniques and herbs that can help you find a natural and refreshing sleep.
As I mentioned earlier interpretation is best done by the dreamer or by a one-on-one consultation with a dream interpreter or consultant for a reading, or a good psychic that can ‘tune in’ to your personal energy field and find out what is going on.
If you really want to learn about your dreams the best way is to keep a dream journal. Find an empty note book and every morning immediately after waking put pen to paper and just write what you remember. At first it will be fragments of images and pieces of color, this is just the warming up stage and if you do this every morning for about three to four weeks it will be a message to your subconscious that you are serious about this and you want to understand more.
Start by listing the date and dream type (you can use the list above but if you have dreams that don’t fit into any category or fit into two or three at the same time you will have to make your own groups up.) You are unique after all and so are your dreams.
What symbols do you remember? What was the emotional tone? Where was the setting? What was the time of day in you dream? What was the weather like? Any animals, people, noises, smells? Where you in your body or another’s or floating above, watching from afar or really close up? Also record your health and emotional state at the time, and for interest sake, what was the phase of the moon.
Try not to censor or lie to yourself, there is nothing to be won or lost here, just a basic understanding of our dreaming selves. Work with it. Consider it to be an adventure of discovery, search out hidden meanings and patterns within the seeming nonsense that you write every morning, they will become clearer the more you practice; you are your best interpreter in this field.
Unremembered dreams happen all the time. Sometimes we simply just cannot remember our dreams, but this gets to be a habit for many people. When this happens just put in your dream diary ‘no recall’. Spend a few minutes attempting to determine why you can’t remember.
Dreams of all types may be blocked by emotional problems, illness, poor diet and prescription drugs. Additionally waking to an alarm clock can also be pushing the memory of dreams away. Ask most people what they dreamed of last night and they will reply “Don’t know?” it is like they are totally switched off in this area.
The most likely offender for unremembered dreams is the conscious mind itself. Are you afraid of the answers that you might remember? It is again something you can only answer but if you are looking at your Dream Diary and find a few concentrated areas of ‘no recall’. I would find that as a distinct challenge to overcome, I want to know what is going on.
Dream reality is a state between our world and the stars, between earth and the sky, between the human experience and the Great Spirit. Within its unlimited space, divine advice, freedom to stretch our subconscious wings and fly and comfort, satisfaction, wisdom, harmony all can be found in our dreams, we just have to look a little more deeply.
Dreams won’t soon lose their mysteries. Sleep researchers will never discover the secrets of our nightly travels just by studying the body and the brain they are looking in the wrong places.
These visions that come to us in the night can have a tremendous impact on our waking lives and when we can look back as see our own progress in clarity and meaning we can discover new wisdom.