If you look at a dictionary definition for the word “dream” you will read a description like “a series of images experienced during the stage of sleep known as rapid eye movement”.
This is a very scientific description and, for me, there is more to be offered by way of an explanation. That’s not to say that the sciencey stuff isn’t important and there is a wealth of information available to those interested in that side of it.
Essentially, dreams and nightmares are good for you. We know this because research has proved the important role that dreaming plays in helping us store memory. Your dreams are also like a friend offering you a piece of advice which, like some friends, you may choose to acknowledge or ignore.
Dreams are a personal message – designed and encrypted especially for you so that only you can decode it. Where you believe this message comes from (be it God, The Universe or your Subconscious Mind) is personal to you. For me, it’s about taking the time to understand that message and then using the information to enhance your life through positive action.
Many cultures believe that dreaming is necessary to our health and wellbeing and when it comes to our dreams I believe they are so much more than just the subconscious rattlings of the Mind. You only have to look at examples of Creative Dreaming to see that. If you choose to follow a specific theoretical model when it comes to dreams (such as Jung or Freud) then you are really only getting one bite of the apple. (I discuss this more in my brief article Dreams are not for boxes and will talk more about this in my new book, out next year).
In the meantime, broaden your horizons and consider the possibilities available to you through the Dreaming World.
Did you know?
Dreams have been described as the window in to our soul… Each of us dreams in a different way and every dream is unique to the person dreaming it. It’s almost impossible for us to have a clear idea of exactly what a particular person, object or place in another person’s dream looked like, as the detail is contained wholly within the mind of the Dreamer.
“An uninterpreted dream is like an unopened letter.” The Talmud.
During the 1930s the Electroencephalograph (EEG) was invented and it was discovered that electromagnetic changes in brain activity were measurable. Over time and using these ‘waves’ of activity, it was established there is a pattern the brain follows during sleep, which incorporates various stages. It is the stage of sleep referred to as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) that is usually associated with dreaming. Sleep research has shown that dreaming is essential to our health and well being.
“As fresh facts about dream and nightmare emerge, we seem tantalizingly close the heart of the ancient enigma; but each discovery reveals yet another puzzle to be solved.” Sandra Shulman (Author of ‘Nightmare’)
Dreaming of the future
Julius Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, warned him of his death which she dreamt, just a few days before he was assassinated. Click here for my page on precognitive dreams.
One of the most common dreams that celebrities have is a fear of turning up for work naked. This is often because they’re in the public eye and perhaps worry they will make a mistake or feel vulnerable that they are ‘on show’ to others. Kate Middleton – now the Duchess of Cambridge – announced to the media the week before the Royal Wedding this was one of her recurring dreams (that she would walk down the aisle naked) but said she also has this dream whenever she goes for an interview. See if your recurring dream is listed here on my dedicated dreams resource.
There have been many theories developed over the centuries including those of Signmund Freud and Carl Jung. Freud essentially said that dreams represented our repressed desires and Jung believed that dreams were essential to balance the equilibrium. I respect the theoretical models of dream theorists but I believe that everyone is different. Many theorists and analysts will try to tell you definitively what your dream means – I won’t do this, because I don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy when interpreting dreams. Instead I work with you to explore the personal message being offered to you. Like many popular theorists though, I do believe that Dreams are much more than the rattlings of the subconcsious mind.
Remember: You had the dream – you are the best person to decide what it means.
Nightmares are good for you…
Nightmares are offering you the opportunity to explore an area of your life that isn’t working for you or acknowledging a period of stress in your life. Sometimes having someone to help you explore these troubling dreams in a safe, confidential environment can help. This can be a friend, colleague or a qualified professional.
What is Dreamology?
Dreamology is the term I use to describe the study of dreams but its official name is Oneirology (a word which comes from the Greek oneiro which means dream – Oneiromancy is the term used to describe dreams which are used as a form of divination – a way to predict the future.)
For thousands of years different cultures from the Ancient Egyptians to present day have considered their dreams of great importance. Whilst many dream dictionaries can define symbols within a dream, these are not always sufficient for an interpretation itself. Different symbols can mean different things to different people. Everyone is unique.
Take a look at my dedicated resource on dreams and sleep.