Little-Understood and Mysterious, but Part of Us All
has their own ideas of what dreams are, and what they mean – if
anything! Dreams might be the most often discussed yet little understood
phenomenon common to all humans – though animals also dream. Certain
professions claim dreams as their exclusive turf to define and label –
but seem to want to insist that dreams are always symbolic. That is
What Are Dreams?
superficially dreams seem similar one to the next, not all are of the
same character. Dreams can actually be many different things, from a
random creation out of imagination and experience with no additional
significance, to a spiritual experience that is actual. At times they
seem to offer a door into an unexplored and supernatural realm;
sometimes they offer a glimpse of incredible beauty. While most seem to
be happenstance, some appear not to be. Here are some of the things
dreams can be:
- Random creations of a person’s mind, recombining experience and imagination.
This may be the most common type of dream. When remembered after
awakening, often the events, objects and concepts make no sense at all,
even though they made perfect sense in the dream. Some concepts can’t
even be expressed! This is a fascinating aspect of dreams. The way I
figure it out is this: if you suppose that each human being has his or
her very own self-created spiritual universe, completely apart from the
physical universe we all interact in, composed of the mind and anything
else the person has put there, then it is possible to see that events,
ideas, and objects can be created within that universe which bear no relation to our own, and can’t even be expressed in physical universe terms.
reflection of troubling or threatening events or ideas, or of
delightful, pleasant or exhilarating events or thoughts, changed, mixed
and magnified in the mind
- A reflection or elaboration of some actual incident or thought the person had while awake
response to a person’s conscious desire to dream about something
specific, such as the creative development of a storyline that a writer
wishes to explore. When I am in the frame of mind of creating
stories, I sometimes dream a story. Sometimes I am viewing it as an
outsider, and sometimes I am participating in the story!
recollection of an intense or beautiful experience or ability from the
person’s distant past – even a past he doesn’t know he has, such as
past-life existences. Over my lifetime, I’ve had vivid dreams
in which I had the ability to create in art forms I didn’t know in real
life. I have vividly dreamed of singing improvisationally in an
intensely beautiful, otherworldly manner; I’ve improvised beautiful
music on the piano; I’ve danced in a medieval castle with such grace and
power that I literally flew; I’ve felt love as a spirit in an amazingly
intense manner never felt while awake. From all of these dreams I
gained a new reality: a wonderful sense that, having had these dream
abilities and experiences, I had the potential to experience these sensations and abilities for real.
- A perception of one’s own spiritual universe, or those of others. When
a person sleeps, it’s possible that his/her abilities, normally limited
to those of their body’s senses when awake, can expand unfettered. In
such a state, we can be in someone else’s presence, and perhaps share
the thoughts and images of their own mind/universe.
- A trip to another place as a spirit during sleep (out of body, or through viewing at a distance).
A couple of times, with my body asleep, I have found myself
inadvertently in someone’s private space where I shouldn’t have been
(OK, someone’s bedroom!). In one instance, the person became aware of me
and demanded to know what I was doing there! It sounded like they were
yelling, though it had to be thought transference.) I hightailed it out
of there and awoke in my own bedroom! I have also felt myself (as a
separate awareness) floating distinctly above my sleeping body that was
lying in the bed – a most wonderful sensation.
communication from another person to the sleeper via the thought
wavelength, where the recipient receives the communication in thoughts
and images during sleep. A type of this kind of dream is a
lesson sent from a spiritually aware person or teacher to the sleeper,
in moving, living images in the dream, such as in story form. Such
experiences can be interactive, containing 2-way communication, with
both the teacher and the recipient affecting and changing the images in
- A dream foretelling events in the future. I
believe it is true that some people have the ability to foretell the
future. But I am personally not interested in this ability, because I
also believe we all have the ability, even if not always realized, to
change and direct our futures in directions we determine. We need not
fear the future, because it is ours to create.
- A symbol of some existing condition or omen of a future event in the dreamer’s awake life.
Here we get to symbols – things in dreams that stand for or mean
something else. For example, different cultures or groups may have
traditional understandings about dreams and what they mean. These
understandings, being widely agreed upon in the group, therefore do
prove true among their members, even if untrue beyond that culture. An
example is one group’s belief, told to me by one of its members, that if
a woman dreams about fish, it means she is pregnant. She related
several personal experiences in which that actually had occurred. Her
comments were a revelation to me, because it showed that the nature of
dreams varied widely from person to person and group to group, and may
indeed be carried along with a person’s culture.
As you can
see, dreams can be useful and revelatory. They can provide us clues to
our own spiritual natures that might otherwise be difficult to
experience on our own. All that said, I have realized something very
important about this subject.
We shouldn’t let ourselves become
too caught up in thinking about dreams, introverting into them or our
own minds, and in trying to understand them or assign meaning to them.
We should always prefer the real world by doing our best to
live a vital, full, rich existence in it, filled with actual
communication, face-to-face with other people and facing the real
environment around us. We should live and love in the real world. We
should put away the smartphones whenever we can and develop interest in
and relationships with the real people around us. Therein lies the real
satisfaction and happiness of a life well-lived.
All the best!
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Also check out my illustrated novella, The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening. Winner of two national awards!
Copyright 2012 by D.E. Lamont. All Rights Reserved.