Dream interpretation may be one way of identifying our unconscious fears and desires. Each and every night, we have access to our own personal psychotherapist - who understands us better than anyone else in this world.
You can interpret the meaning of dreams to change your core beliefs, your relationships, your hopes and fears. The more importance you place on your dreams, the more you will remember, and the easier it will be to interpret your dreams every day.
When you dream, the unconscious mind takes over. The unconscious is like an inner child. It thinks in primitive feelings and urges. It doesn't use logic and isn't able to plan ahead like the conscious brain.
That's why dreams are so weird.
The unconscious makes all kinds of strange connections that don't make sense to the logical brain. But you can interpret those connections and apply their resulting insights to everyday waking life...
To begin your dream interpretation, first look for dream symbols. Start a dream journal and aim to write down at least one new dream per day. (This is also excellent practice for lucid dreaming.)
In your dream journal, underline everything you think might be a dream symbol - such as a pig riding a bicycle, or a talking baby. These are illogical symbols that have a deeper meaning inside the unconscious mind.
The basis of dream interpretation is to identify important dream symbols and translate their true meaning in dreams.
Look out for recurring concepts. Breaking a promise is a concept. Running away from something is a concept. These ideas are all based on your past experiences of life and your interactions with the world around you.
Every "rule" or "concept" understood by your unconscious was set by your own life experience. You taught it everything.
In dreams, your unconscious shows you how it perceives the world in this conceptual form. It shows you its fears and its desires - but not necessarily as you would expect to see them! Let's look at the common example of flying dreams.
Flying dreams usually represent your own personal sense of power over yourself or a situation.
The unconscious is taking a concept, and showing it to you masked as a dream symbol. If you are soaring up high and enjoying the landscape below, it is likely that you are in control of your life.
However, if you are faltering or falling, your unconscious is telling you that you lack control or are vulnerable in life. Trees, power lines, buildings or gravity may obstruct your flying dream. Do you see the concept showing through?
If you have recurring flying dreams like this, try to identify who or what is at the root of your fears. What are you afraid of? What can't you control in life? Is someone making you feel worthless or vulnerable?
If so, take charge of the situation! You will soon start to soar in your dreams...
You have a unique understanding of the world around you. As you grew up, your unconscious learned about friendship, love, loneliness and betrayal. It made up rules about every human emotion and how you should feel about life. These "rules" are reflected in your dreams each night. They are yours and yours alone.
So don't rely on dream dictionaries exclusively, because there is no way that your mind conforms to all the same "dream rules" set by the author.
However, dream dictionaries can provide some value based on the fact that we have all grown up in the same culture, the same era, and we are all human. So it's no coincidence that we can make similar conclusions about life, unconsciously, and a dream dictionary makes a good starting point for the translation.
Cloud Nine: A Dreamer's Dictionary is a comprehensive dream dictionary for beginners, which provides thousands of dream symbols and definitions to help you translate your dreams. It also teaches you how to identify dream symbols, remember more dreams, gain insights from nightmares and invoke healing dreams.
Dream interpretation is not essential to lucid dreaming but the two concepts do tend to go hand-in-hand. Getting to know your own unconscious mind better is also a key element of lucid dreaming - and it will help you master trickier aspects of dream control in the sometimes bizarre backyard of your mind.
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?