Dream On!

May 24, 2010 at 3:36 am | Posted in Psychology | 4 Comments
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The word ‘dream’ can mean many things, perhaps the images created during a waking reverie (daydreaming), wishful think (‘holding on to a dream’), or beauty too good for reality (‘a dream walking’). The original meaning, of course, is the succession of images and ideas that play in the mind during sleep. According to what I have read, everyone appears to dream, even though not everyone will remember having done so.

Some people say they don’t dream at all, but what really happens is that they don’t remember them. Possibly, the dreams were bland, unexciting or non-threatening and made no impact. You are also more likely to remember a dream if you wake up in the middle of it. Other people say they dream almost every night, spectacular epic adventures in cinemascope and full colour. I have had one or two tame versions of those. Still others only remember bits and pieces of dreams, and most of what they do remember makes no real sense. They are the ones I usually have. Sometimes, I don’t remember the previous night’s dream until I get into bed the next night – situational memory, I suppose.

To me, the images and ideas that appear in dreams are like little children let out of school, or balloons or birds released at a celebration, or even a myriad of bugs or tadpoles, hatching and wriggling their way to all parts of the pond (the psyche). Some will say dreams are aspects of the inner self let loose from conscious control, and that they have deep meaning. If you want to get an idea on how many people believe that dreams can be interpreted, just do a Google search.

After lots of study, scientists still don’t know where dreams come from, what their purpose is, or even which part or parts of the brain are involved. Theories abound, depending on which aspect of psychology is the preferred basis of study. However, many theories see dreams as being a tool to aid problem-solving, or a working out of deep-seated feelings, often negative ones. Even dogs and birds dream. Perhaps dreams are no more than neurological discharges in the brain that randomly stimulate the image or memory centres. So much for them being a reflection of our superior consciousness, or a doorway to the future!

Apparently, most dreams are one-offs. However lots of people do have recurring dreams; I know I have had them. For about twenty years or so, I had two dreams that recurred at irregular intervals; both involved water and my children. In one, I would find one or more of them drowned at the bottom of a swimming pool. In the other, we would be picnicking below a dam wall that suddenly burst. It’s probable these dreams reflected my fear of losing the kids. I haven’t had them – the dreams, that is – for some years now, thank goodness.

One day, we may discover the physiological and psychological, even spiritual, origins and meaning of dreams. I am not so sure though, that I’d want to be told that dreams really do represent aspects of ourselves that we usually repress, or that they can reliably predict the future. That’s just too scary!

(c) Linda Visman 24th May, 2010

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4 Comments »

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  1. Reblogged this on Wangiwriter's Blog and commented:

    I first posted this blog entry “Dream On!” in May 2010. It seems appropriate to re-post it now. The first post had no comments; I hope you will respond to it now. Here you are …

  2. If only we knew!

  3. I must say, Linda, I’m prepared to simply live with the mystery of dreams. I do take them seriously in my life and what I do with them makes some kind of sense for me, but I would never impose that on others. A great post – thank you.


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