"Oh, I've had such a curious dream!" said Alice, and she told her sister, as well as she could remember them, all these strange Adventures of hers...
Today is March 8, 2013, and once again there is not much left of the day.
Lately I have had some vivid dreams. My spiritual training says that dreams are our memories of Soul's adventures in the inner, spiritual worlds. The memories may be unclear, or disguised in symbolism, but they are nevertheless memories of real events. In order to interpret our dreams, we must practice remembering them, then hone our ability to interpret them. How do we do this? By trial and error. And who is to say whether our interpretation is correct? We are. We are the best ones to interpret our own dreams.
There are any number of people who will protest that they never dream, but the fact is that everybody dreams. It's just that not everybody remembers their dream adventures. Depending on how much sleep you get, you generally have several dreams. On average, a person spends one to two hours actually dreaming every night.
For most of us, dreams are a visual media, but blind people dream, too. Whether or not visual images appear in their dreams may depend on whether the person was blind from birth or lost his/her sight later in life. But dreams can be based on other senses than vision.
If you were to awaken right after REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, you would remember your most recent dream much more vividly than if you slept through until morning. When you wake up, if you don't write down as much as you can right away, you will forget about half your dream within five minutes, and 90% of it within ten minutes. That's why it's a good idea to keep a dream journal and pen or pencil handy near your bed, if you want to remember your dreams.
According to The Art of Spiritual Dreaming, by Harold Klemp, dreams serve a number of functions. We do a lot of processing of each day's events in our dreams, as well as a great deal of problem-solving. Dreams can also be prophetic, often warning us of a situation that we might be able to avoid by making judicious changes during our waking lives. Dreams can be encoded messages, giving us information about ourselves and our situation that we may not notice during our waking hours. Dreams can also show us past-life scenarios that can benefit our present lives, if we are able to interpret them correctly. Even our nightmares can be beneficial, because they allow us a chance to face our fears in a safe environment.
We tend to process the day's events during the first part of our sleep period. When that processing is done, then we can move on to more informative or spiritual dreams. When we watch TV or videos, the mind must process these visual images. The more images, the more you have to process, and the less time you have for dreams that can benefit you more directly. That's why it's a good idea not to watch too much TV in the evenings.
Our dream symbols are as individual as we are, so it's a waste of time to consult dream dictionaries. Instead, we must learn to interpret our own symbols. The more time we spend interpreting our dreams, the less symbolism there will be in them. The symbols are due to a function of the mind called the "censor." Since Souls can have some pretty unbelievable experiences in the inner worlds - some of them quite frightening - the "censor" encodes anything that may frighten the dreamer in symbolic images. When we learn to accept the information in our dreams without fear, the "censor" relaxes and dreams become much clearer.
I've been writing a lot lately about my hopes and goals for the future, now that I'm retired. It dawned on me the other day that I should also be taking advantage of the dream state to do a little problem-solving. Tonight, I will begin to dream my future. :-)