We live in a busy world, going through either plans or crafting ideas for achieving future goals. We read books and magazines, watch movies, documentaries, and series, either to gain knowledge or insight, restructuring our brain to enhance ourselves to become better, stronger individuals. We meet people to share our thoughts, opinions, ideas, and the infinite possibilities that go alongside. Through all of the above, we’re communicating with everything that surrounds us – people, the environment, and even nature.
This is only the beginning. For what we know, is only while we are conscious and feeling alive and being ourselves, believing in the reality that lives both within, and outside of us. We feel safe as long as we know what and why we’re doing something. All that matters is that we do things in the way we believe them to be right. We’re aware of the facts that allow us to agree with what we wish to do, and in which way we should approach different aspects to solve any given situation that may arise.
Hidden behind these sheets of reality, many different things keep going through our life. Some of them we tend to understand by arriving at deductions through analogies, logic, & rational thinking. Others, we begin to question and ask why such things occur, and what significance it may have, etc., for gaining information, and make it beneficial. One of these paths is through the back-alleys we might consider almost insignificant in our lives. These are the dreams we have whenever we’re asleep, and have always been living constantly in sync with the bounds of reality we’ve created around us.
Without peace, all other dreams vanish and are reduced to ashes. – Jawaharlal Nehru
People of different nature exist among us. And we continue to explore, learn, understand, and apply our knowledge to producing excellent results. We tend to get creative given, the time is provided. Similarly, when we’re asleep, our brain is working constantly to keep our body alive. Various important moments of our lives are being stored, its location depending on whether it’s short-term or long-term memory and our experiences that go along with them. But our brain is much more creative than we might think. It has capabilities to create objects which individuals have never had an idea of.
We may dream of many things. Some examples are mentioned below:
• A tsunami striking a coastal city.
• A sinking ferry boat.
• Getting kidnapped.
• Chased by a green snake along endless stairs.
• Ghosts and zombies.
• A pack of dogs chasing you, but are eventually killed.
• Attempting to catch an empty seat in an express train that leaves the station and travels across a bridge.
• Crows surround the house where you stay and crash inside after some time.
• Wild animals.
• A multitude of coiling and uncoiling snakes.
• A person of unknown identity appears in multiple dreams.
• Fighting alongside a brother with long sticks against people who intend to harm.
• Presence of being watched.
• Walking among a multitude of slithering snakes.
• A blast at a specific location, etc.
The above may have occurred as a result of a wide number of reasons:
• Fear of something in real life.
• An argument between individuals.
• Encounter with animals and/or birds in real life.
• Premonition of the future, etc.
If we start to think and reason with our dreams, we end up questioning ourselves why such dreams ever came into existence, or what may have caused for a vision to have come while asleep. To some of us, we’re unable to recall any or most of it and feel as if a shadow has befallen upon us, eager to grab us in surprise. In the case of nightmares, we enter a life filled with fear and terror of what might happen if it were to be true. At times, we get the sense and awareness of being in a dream. We reach to no concrete conclusion. And yet, we continue to live our lives with all our dreams as part of us.
The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it. – Kalpana Chawla
Our brain is wired depending on memories of past experience. If we can imagine all of our memories and experience to be cut down to basic elements that are the foundation of all things, we can view them as tiny square parts of a gigantic image spread across space. The only problem is that these pieces of the jigsaw puzzle do not have matching sections that fit into other pieces perfectly. Instead, they’re simply placed alongside each other to craft one big image of what our life has been.
Our mind is constantly busy crafting random thoughts based on these square bits and pieces of our memories and experiences. There are so many signals initiated within our brain that allows for the manipulation of ideas which lead to fluctuations of brain waves. Some of these brain waves intervene to create a completely different picture. As most of these interferences are minute, the signals converted towards stimulating different parts of the brain remain insignificant leading us to unable to remember our dreams in one complete sense. If we recall them, they involve gaps and jumps across different scenes. And if at all they get stored as part of our memory of experiences, we are able to recall them depending on how strong these connections are made within our brain.
Whenever we wake up knowing what we dreamt, whether having a nightmare or not, we begin to feel its after-effects. We begin to think about it, and sometimes even come to conclusions that may or might not be rational. Sometimes, we tend to write them down, documenting as much as we can, and refer to them if we need it. Along the course of time, we might even tend to track all of our dreams and study them to understand and correlate them with our lives.
Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together. – Anais Nin
People tend to dream with varied intensity and depth. We sometimes feel a strong connection, and we start believing in them. Some individuals tend to have an optimistic approach towards reaching their goals in life. When the magnitude of influence is high enough, dreams tend to convince an individual of its existence, whether it is real or not. Few of them begin to believe that they’ve had a premonition of what might occur in the future.
Different degrees of variance in multiple dreams may occur depending on the quality of sleep. The sense of creativity and imagination within an individual also leads to many diverse elements getting involved. The possibility of dreams may reach a much deeper and abstract level as the individual goes into deep sleep. Dreams in a long sleep as compared to short ones might have quite a difference. Lower level dreams could get close to rational thinking and realism. We reason with our dreams and ask all sorts of questions. However, we do not receive answers to most of them. We get uncomfortable and disappointed, and at times, get worried too. It is an influence of our consciousness to make logic towards analysing our dreams, whether they are manifestations of fears and phobias we may have, or through gaining insights for new concepts, ideas, and inventions.
Dreams usually arise from an unconscious mind. They come in a wide variety of ways:
• Doorways leading to the possibility of parallel worlds.
• Possible connections with past-life.
• Astral travel through materialistic space, time, and/or other dimensional planes of existence.
• Symbols and shapes.
• Clues towards solving problems.
• Signals sent by organs of the body where problems exist.
• Fears and phobias in real life that block experiences in real life, etc.
Based on our collective human intelligence, we generalise the symbolic interpretations of a hypothesis. Hypnosis and past-life regression allow us to understand ourselves better via various psychological branches. We delve upon the psycho-spiritual aspect of dreams that appear in a child, even when it’s in the womb of its mother. Different models of dream analysis are used to speculate and arrive at certain conclusions. Carl Jung’s analysis speaks of alignment and harmony between the conscious & the unconsciousness that allows for all the dreams to occur. Our personality at the most fundamental level reasons with these dreams and provides us with clues to answers on different levels of understanding.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung
While awake, we accumulate a vast amount of data. All of it is processed by our unconsciousness to connect a wide variety of dots. To understand this, few people state that by disconnecting our personality before dreaming, we can approach it through the non-rational thought process. It simply says to become part of the experience. Dreams are said to convey unacknowledged messages. They’re well known to manifest unknown objects and entities, creating confusion of thought, thereby crafting curiosity within the mind to know what it means. It could be a divine presence or an effect of influences such as increase/decrease in temperature, or even going to sleep with/without drinking water.
Another aspect known to us is that we are capable of dreaming in many different ways. We may think to have placed ourselves at the top of the food chain, that being able to have a conscience, animals aren’t capable of differentiating between what’s good and bad (or nightmarish) in a dream. However, if we are willing to understand that everything is a manifestation in either a physical or an abstract manner can surely realise that everything is capable of dreaming from its own sense and that no one is better than others.
The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind. – Sigmund Freud
Taking it to the next level, we go out into the concept of shared dreaming, also termed as collective dreaming. People have also communicated telepathically through collective dreams. It is well known to have a collective consciousness of all that connects us with everything else. Since we are close to being humans, we are able to connect with different people via dreams. To generalise it, it also allows us to connect with every little aspect and entity that exists around us, whether we perceive it through our senses or not. The 100th monkey research performed on monkeys depicts how an idea isolated across a remote island spread out to other places. Another example would be that of the root network of plants that exists below ground is believed to have the capability of sending messages so as to act in defence. Some of the collective dreams involve an unknown individual called “This Man” to come in their dream. There has only been speculation and assumption as to what it can possibly mean. Some say it’s an archetype of the different states of life and emotions, and that all matters related with it concentrate towards a single entity.
Today, in the world of technology, we also know that even artificial intelligence is capable of creating faces. Some of these faces have never been known to have existed in real life. There are times when we watch ourselves as completely different manifestations, let alone a different personality, in our dreams. Are these dreams showing us how dark we are at the most fundamental level? Or is it simply asking us to accept our true self? Similar matters allow us to ask ourselves whether dreams are transitioning human beings towards a higher dimension.
The knowledge of dreams isn’t yet completely known to man. It may be a path along our spiritual journey. It may also be true that when we arrive back after astral travel, we dream of ourselves as if falling down, only to wake up. They may also be leading us towards a different dimensional path of understanding of which we haven’t got the slightest hint. We don’t know why we get recurring nightmares, why certain people get sleep paralysis, and why people wake up to a false awakening.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. – Edgar Allan Poe
Some people have mastered the art of controlling their dreams. From being aware, to taking control of the rules played within the game of their own dream. And while people wake up from their dreams, there are also those who are capable of continuing the same dream when they go back to sleep again even after a few minutes. This is known as lucid dreaming.
We’ve gained so much knowledge. And yet, we can’t confirm what most of our dreams signify. What should we do to become dream masters? Do we continue to research further and speculate based on the knowledge we’ve gained so far? Are we even moving in the right direction to explore the path laid by our unconscious mind? Should we believe whether tomorrow exists if we are to continue having nightmares? Or do we give up on what’s left in reality? Have we progressed ourselves in determining who we really are? Or are we drowning in our own doubt for want of the knowledge we seek? Have we accepted our fundamental self that might differ from who we are? Are we being guided into a higher dimension towards humanity’s higher self? Will we ever know the answers to these questions? These are some questions we need to ask ourselves that might shed light in the future.
Acknowledgements: I’d like to thank ‘ARTery – A Link to Life‘, and all of its members who contributed towards the discussion on this fantastic topic ‘Dreams’. Allowing me to be part of this discussion has brought me an experience that has provided different perspectives towards what it has to offer. It’s really an honour and a pleasure to be part of it. Thank you so much.