Even before the very first book on dream interpretation was published in 1899 by Dr. Sigmund Freud, scholars, educators, doctors, clergy, and plain everyday curious people have speculated: Why do we dream?
Answers from the deeply convinced are found everywhere, and range in explanation from religious to scientific. Here are just a few, demonstrating the variety of dream interpretation methods, and the many flavors of dreams themselves.
Dream Interpretation Ideas:
Dreams are visions of a higher calling. We are unable to hear an audible voice of God in our waking life. But some people believe that God (or His angel messengers) actively speak to us through dreams. Just like in Biblical times. Other people believe that dreams are messages from our Higher Self, or our deep inner wisdom, serving to clarify our desires and guide our paths.
Dreams are biological misfires. Like random electrical activity in the brain, dreams are analogous to radio static, or a television station that has finished transmitting signal late at night. This analogy suggests that dreams have no interpretation; they carry no meaning at all, and any perceived correlation to our waking life is merely coincidence. A similar analogy is that of a computer, performing a data scrubbing routine. Some people believe that dreams are evidence of a nightly “data cleanup” – our brains reformatting the clutter in our minds to make space for a new day.
Dreams reveal our hidden impulses when our social filters are taking a break. During our waking life, we often mask our true thoughts out of courtesy, politeness, or social customs. Our conscious mind acts as a gatekeeper or police that modify our words and behavior to be more acceptable in public. But when these guards go off-duty at night, our dreams are the raw images and voices of “what’s really going on” inside us.
Dreams are our brain’s way of working out difficult issues and choices. Evidence suggests that our minds never completely “shut down” at night. When we sleep, we are still processing information, and “thinking” about things most important to us. This explains the use of expressions such as “let me sleep on it,” when we want some time to contemplate our options. Dreams might be the body’s way of metabolizing and synthesizing the barrage of stimuli from the day.
Dreams are the real world; our waking life is merely imagination. Some people insist they experience reality, freedom, creativity, and choice in a more profound way when they are dreaming. An entire field of study is devoted to lucid dreaming (being awake inside of one’s dreams). Lucid dreamers often say the lessons they learn while taking a deliberate and active role in their dreams gives them strength, courage, and confidence to bring about the kind of life they have always wished for.
So which is it? A combination of these? Perhaps the best way to find out for yourself is to conduct your own experiment. Journal-writing can be an effective way to explore and research your own dreams. Capturing your thoughts and tracking your dream images can be surprisingly satisfying. Often, enormous insights emerge. A deeper understanding of your body and mind. People report that dream journaling provides new avenues of action, a freedom from nightmares, and a renewed sense of peace.
To learn more about dream journaling and dream interpretation, visit www.DreamJournaling.net. I am setting up a resource site, and will send you a free “dream catcher journal” that helps you capture details of your nighttime experience. This is the first step in learning why you dream!