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:
Here's a good question. If a lucid dream is any dream in which you know you're dreaming, then why aren't we always lucid in dreams? Why doesn't it just become the default state of dreaming? Why do we accept our dreams of flying pigs and dinosaurs as an extension of waking life? What is the mechanism for defaulting to non-lucid dreams? Intriguingly, scientists have approached this question from three different angles./p>
What do blind people dream about? Can they "see" in their dreams? Take a look at scientific studies into the dreams of the blind, colorblind, and black-and-white dreamers. In 1999, dream researchers at the University of Hartford analyzed 372 dreams of 15 blind people. They found that both the congenitally blind and those who went blind before five years old did not have any visual dreams at all. That's because our dreams are made up of real world experiences and our innermost thoughts, anxieties and desires. So for someone who has never perceived images or light (or can't remember any) their dreams simply can't manifest visually.
Not long ago, scientists at Frankfurt University discovered how to produce lucid dreams with electronic stimulation. It was a world first. And - astonishingly - it worked in non-lucid dreamers 77% of the time. Now you can buy the same technology for yourself. The foc.us V2 - which delivers the proven optimum 40 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) - was originally developed to increase working memory in video gamers and improve sleep.
As technology continues to move us towards more immersive dreamlike experiences, one can only wonder what digital wonders lay just beyond the horizon of tomorrow. We may also question just how the future of virtual reality will impact the study and practice of lucid dreaming. Are we, perhaps, the last generation to whom lucid dreaming will maintain an appeal?
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.
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?