Dreams are like letters from the unconscious mind. If only they were written in the same language we use in waking reality.
Fortunately, we do have the ability to study our dreams and interpret the common dream symbols they contain.
Although there is no hard-and-fast rulebook of universal definitions, the following dream meanings offer a sound starting point for most people to create their own personal dream meanings.
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Not every single element of your dream has an unconscious meaning. Sometimes, it's just background noise.
To identify the important symbols in your dreams, keep a dream journal. Write in the present tense as if you're re-living the dream, and underline any unusual or poignant aspects which are central to the story, or which instinctively attract your attention.
Next, refer these dream symbols to the list above. If they're not on the list, you can find more definitions in a dream dictionary such as Cloud Nine: A Dreamer's Dictionary.
Remember, even these definitions require your interpretation - within the context of your dream, your personal psychological attachments to the symbols, and your current life circumstances.
Recognizing common dream symbols is a good way to start lucid dreaming (being aware that you're dreaming, while it's all happening). This turns your dreamworld into a vivid and controllable alternate reality.
If you often dream of being chased, you can mentally attach this dream symbol to a reality check. This is a measure of self awareness which enables you to recognize when you're dreaming.
Next time you're being chased in a dream, something amazing will happen. You'll become lucid and enter a private fantasy world of your own.
Access Rebecca's popular e-course, 10 Steps to Lucid Dreams, plus personal insights and links to her best web content. 30,000 people are on board.
Books are a powerful way to increase our understanding and generate new perspectives. Good books are immersive and profound: they can change the way we live our lives. In teaching us new lessons, stripping away fallacies and inspiring independent thought, the following books on lucid dreaming are bestsellers for a reason - they are groundbreaking and thought-provoking reads to expand your awareness and develop your lucid dreaming skills.
Galantamine is best known for its ability to improve memory and provoke intense lucid dreams. Research by Dr Stephen LaBerge has found that taking galantamine intensifies your dreams on many levels, including cognition, lucidity, recall, control, bizarreness and visual vividness. If you want to boost your dream life, and maybe prompt some lucid dreams, it's worth taking the occasional galantamine supplement.
Why write a book about how to "hack" sleep? Well, I've suffered from sleep issues throughout my entire adult life. Sleep was such a tough thing to figure out. It didn't respond to willpower. I could beg and cry and kick and scream to myself to fall asleep, but my body would not listen. Finally, I realized that enough was enough and that I was going to fix this very important area of my life for good, or at least do my best to try. I spent nearly one year constructing a system to improve the quality of my sleep.
Humans are unique in our endless capacity for imagination. According to Steven Mithen, an anthropologist at the University of Reading in the UK, we needed to evolve seven critical mental skills before we could have imagination as we know it. Each of these abilities serve a distinct purpose in their own right, while imagination is the culmination of them all.
This dream starts out pretty violent but then suddenly goes all profound on me. I'm having a nightmare in which a thin, gray-faced man is trying to kill me. I become lucid and battle him with ease, firing shots of lighting out of my hands and hitting him in the chest. He falls to his knees and I lock him in a gated prison using only my mind. But then my lucid dream evolves into a lucid nightmare. Another villain, who looks like Krang (or Krang's body at least) from that delightful cartoon about giant mutant turtles, frees the gray man using his telepathic powers. I am no match for him.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?