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:
If we're completely honest, lucid dreaming isn't really known for being the most social of interests. In fact, often it's a lone pursuit - just you, your dream journal and the landscape of your mind. But this technique called PAL (or Partner Assisted Lucidity) breaks down that wall and turns lucid dream exploration into a social event.
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
It is estimated that these wise and wily Indians have been using mugwort in their healing and ritual practices for 13,000 years, where it is known as the ‘dream sage’. They use the herb to promote good dreams, which they consider an essential aspect of normal human functioning! But that’s not all...
Silene Capensis has been used for millennia by the Xhosa shaman of the river valleys in the eastern cape of South Africa, where it is known as Undela Ziimhlophe or 'white paths'. It's fragrant white flowers open only at night, when they emit a fragrant and almost hypnotising aroma. Also known as African Dream Herb or Ubulawu, Silene Capensis induces spectacularly vivid dreams - yet has never entered the mainstream and remains a fringe taste within western culture.
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?