What is the true meaning behind dreams? Can they be decoded?
Dreams are like letters from the unconscious brain. If only they were written in the same language that we use in waking reality.
Alas, they are disguised through conceptual thinking, which is how the unconscious mind works. But we can attempt to decode this information with dream analysis...
To begin your dream analysis, start a dream journal, for three reasons:
1. Improve your Dream Recall - so that in time you can remember up to five dreams every night (one for each REM sleep cycle). A powerful technique for remembering dreams is to set your alarm clock to wake you after each REM cycle has finished: first after 3 hours, then every 90 minutes thereafter. This can be disruptive to your sleep, but it is worth trying one night - you will be bowled over by the number of dreams you can recall!
2. Identify Dream Symbols - a dream journal allows you to track recurring dream symbols and translate the underlying meaning behind dreams. For instance, you may repeatedly dream about falling, but this only becomes clear when you count the number of times it appears in your dream journal. That's because your unconscious mind is trying to send you a message in conceptual form.
3. Increase Dream Meaning - writing and talking about your dreams places greater importance on them in your unconscious mind. The power of the unconscious is truly amazing, and if you give it a task (to remember more dreams) it will comply. Suddenly you will be able to boost your dream recall and have greater opportunities to translate the meaning behind dreams. You may also realize that your dreams become more meaningful for as you open up a new communication channel with the unconscious mind.
The essence of dream interpretation is not to take things literally. Dreaming about death does not mean you are going to die. Instead it may represent the end of an era or part of your life.
Dream analysis is symbolic - because that's how the unconscious mind works.
The human brain thinks and learns in neural patterns. If you fall off your bike and cut your knee, you will associate your bike with pain. Your unconscious then creates a "rule" to avoid falling off a bike in future. This is a neural pathway; a link between neurons in your brain. It is learned through experience.
Neural pathways become more complex over the years. They apply to every kind of experience in life. Your unconscious mind uses these associations in 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.
But equally, we have all grown up in the same culture, the same era, and we are all human. So it's no coincidence that we all make the same conclusions about life, unconsciously. That's where a dream dictionary comes in extremely useful.
Cloud Nine: A Dreamer's Dictionary is a most comprehensive dream dictionary for beginners. It provides thousands of dream symbols and definitions from which you can base your personal dream translations.
For anyone looking to find the meaning behind dreams, this dream dictionary is a good start. It also teaches you how to:
Jeremiah Morelli is a whimsical fantasy artist and visual storyteller. He places conceptual fairytale creatures in vivid dreamscapes to capture the imagination. He's also a school teacher, and amazingly finds the time and motivation to create this huge gallery of artwork. Such light and dark fairytale paintings make beautiful places to visit in your lucid dreams.
Inspired and named for the notion of Flatland, artist and photographer Aydin Buyuktas has created a series of works where "a space of surprises creates a space that creates surprises." Based on photos of Istanbul, Buyuktas explains: "We live in places that most of the times don't draw our attention, places that transform our memories, places that the artist gives another dimension; where the perceptions that generally crosses our minds will be demolished and new ones will arise. These works aim to leave the viewer alone with a surprising visuality, ironic as well as a multidimensional romantic point of view."
One summer, the 19th century lucid dream researcher, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Deny, took a bottle of an unfamiliar scent on his travels to France. He whiffed his scent-laden handkerchief by day, making an unconscious and emotional connection between the French countryside and his chosen scent. On returning home, he put the bottle away, out of sight and out of smell. His cunning plan was to have a servant sprinkle a few drops of the scent on his pillow at night. Lo and behold, Saint-Deny recorded dreams that took place at his vacation spot: the mountains of Ardeche.
Lately I've become a touch obsessed with the optical illusion paintings of Canadian artist, Rob Gonsalves. Everyone loves a good trick of the eye... but these paintings seem to be sprung straight from lucid dreams. Maybe it's their surreal nature. Or maybe it's the mockery of perspective. Gonsalves has spent decades perfecting his art, aiming to spark the imagination and jolt our expectations of reality at once. Check out the surprising results in these 22 visionary paintings. They're great lucid dream fodder.
Some people are born lucid dreamers. Others have to work at the ability to have lucid dreams. Regardless of how you get started, here are 11 signs that you're ready to wake up and take control of your dreams. 1. Your daydreams are intense. Do you have crazy vivid daydreams? Do you find it easy to fantasize visually? Such a knack for visualization makes it easier to drift into Wake Induced Lucid Dreams at night, or plant mnemonic cues to trigger Dream Induced Lucid Dreams. This is a natural advantage.
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?