Jun 2, 2015

The Purpose of Dreams and Dreaming

Dreams and Dreaming ...

Dreams are a window to understanding the human mind and psyche and are closely related to our everyday lives. Dreams are not random, senseless images caused by our over-active brains.

Every night as we sleep, we enter into another level of awareness; another form of existence. In our dreams we can be away in a far off country or island, or people and places and other things we may or may not recognize in our waking life, appear real. We often switch from one ‘life’ or ‘scene’ to another and can even visit people, be they living or on the Other Side.

During our dreams we are able to ignore the usual restraints of time and space and experience the cryptic world of our psyche, without the constraints of our waking life.

In our dreams we see people, events and places that we don’t recall or remember in our waking state; some people get hunches, ‘messages’ and solutions from dreams, whilst others are inspired to invent, write and/or create art, being inspired by their dreaming experiences.

Both ancient and modern philosophers have spoken about the heightened capacity for insight during sleep. Sleep opens up a whole other world to nourish, inform and expand our souls. During sleep our conscious minds take a break, allowing our subconscious minds to take over. There are hundreds of theories on dream interpretation and thousands of studies have been done, but no one has yet solved even a fraction of the mysteries hidden in dreams.

According to the ‘Gestalt’ theory, all the elements of your dreams are part of you, separated into symbolic pieces for you to examine and work on.

The Bible, as well as many other great books containing historical and ancient texts, show traces of a substantial belief in dreams. Notable identities of history, such as Plato, Goethe, Shakespeare, Napoleon, Sigmund Fraud and Karl Jung, to name a few, assigned prophetic value to certain dreams. How we learn from dreams and utilize the information obtained from them, has been the basis of much study by some of the world's greatest philosophers, researchers and presenters of information in the field of personal growth.

Prophets and others who have stood close to the fountain of Universal knowledge, have used dreams with more frequency than any other mode of Divination. During the third and fourth centuries, the 'supernatural' origin of dreams was generally accepted.

Dreams are far more than night-time fantasies sent to amuse and confuse us. They carry a lot of valuable information which we can easily learn to access and use in our daily lives. If we don't remember or bother to interpret our dreams, it doesn't mean they are not working. But for those of us who do, there can be an enormous amount of 'food for thought' contained within in our dreams.

The benefits of problem-solving or creative dreams are obvious today, and it is natural for all of us to have such inspired dreams from time to time. You may have noticed that often you feel better about a problem after a night's sleep, even if you don't recall dreaming. This is where the phrase 'to sleep on it' comes from.

There are ways in which we can harness the power of our dreams to provide solutions to our daily problems and emotional dramas. These solutions are not just a matter of chance, they are healing or teaching dreams that can actually be 'incubated' along certain topic lines and themes.

Often, we are expected to be consoled with explanations of it being 'just a dream', only to find that dismissing it as 'nothing' doesn't in fact lessen the nagging feeling that drives us to want to get to the bottom of its true meaning. This wasn't always the case. Ancient Eastern and native cultures recognised dreams as the 'television network' that the spirit or non-physical side uses to give us guidance on matters about our health, general well-being, personal happiness and future. Only in the Dark and Middle Ages did Western Civilizations come to believe that we were too insignificant to receive direct communications from a deity or Higher Being, and all dreams were therefore dismissed as heretical delusions.

Nevertheless, our dreams continued to niggle and nag us until once again we were encouraged to take them seriously. Sigmund Fraud suggested that dreams were the manifestations of our conscious conflicts or frustrated and repressed desires.

Our dreams can reveal to us every aspect of ourselves or our lives, anything in need of healing and any details we may need to know. Given the importance of the information that dreams reveal to us about ourselves, no wonder most people immediately ask why the information doesn't come straight out and say to us "This is your current issue and here is the solution". The answer is that the intricate and peculiar right-brain language of dreams communicates directly with our emotions.

To the Eastern mind, which is open to more intricate right-brain influences, this question would not arise, as Eastern culture and religious practices are rich sources of right-brain stimulation. The same is true in other ways for all the indigenous peoples of the world. For Anglo Saxons and Europeans or Mediterranean culture, however, the left-brain tends to overrule and rationalize, often dismissing the validity of our feelings, emotions and instinctive information from the more intuitive right-brain. This has led Western society to some pretty convoluted, weird and wonderful interpretations of the meanings of dreams.

The fact is that we probably wouldn't perceive, feel, listen to, or take on this information in our waking hours. We humans don't, as a general rule, like the crystal-clear, plain truth about our innermost fears and insecurities, told to us straight. Just think back to a time that you tried to tell a friend a 'home truth', with all the best of intentions, and you'll identify with the dilemma our Higher Self is confronted with on a nightly basis. We tend to most appreciate our inner revelations and truths when we come to them ourselves, step by step, little by little. That's why our dreams can, at first glance, seem like befuddled, bizarre mazes of images, ideas, emotions and situations.

Every night as we sleep, we enter another level of awareness; another form of existence. In our dreams we can be away in a far off land, and people and places and other things we may or may not recognise in our waking life, appear real. We often switch from one 'life' or 'scene' to another, and can even visit people, both living and passed.

During our dreams we are able to ignore the usual restraints of time and space, so we are able to experience the cryptic world of our psyche, without the constraints of our waking life.

In our dreams we see people, events and places that we don't recall or remember in our waking state; some people get hunches, 'messages' and solutions from dreams, whilst others are inspired to invent, write and create art, being inspired by their dreaming experiences.

Our dreams will show us not only our present focus and whether that is currently a physical/material, emotional, mental or spiritual one, and also, any incomplete issues from the past that need to be resolved before we can move on to the next step in our current waking life.

Once we are in the right place at the right time, our dreams will become more prophetic and assist us to take advantage of our future opportunities. Most of our dreams are asking us to look at ourselves from a different perspective. Some dreams can solve our current problems and help inspire us to take appropriate action. Others alert us to anything that is unhealthy in our personal relationships. When we make the right connections we are able to solve our current problems and gain inspiration which enables us to take appropriate action. This enables us to make the right decisions and choices in our lives – decisions relating to the values we choose to embrace, how we communicate and express ourselves in our relationships, our present life choices and how they influence where we want to go next.

Our dream settings are always fascinating. Every mountain and precipice, each abode and every path, is a rich tapestry of symbols woven together to create a complete message for us, personally. Your dream may occur in a location you are already familiar with, particularly somewhere you've lived – especially during the significant first seven years of life, when our personality develops. This is frequently a 'time-warp' dream; one that alerts you to a particular time scale in your life. The purpose of time-warp dreams is to inspire you to work on resolving an issue that stems from this time in your life.

Because death is often connected with suffering or violence, we as humans, fear it. There are lots of dreams of death that are actually past-life time memories. Often the clues to past life-times comes through your dreams. You may wake up knowing you have been speaking a foreign language in your dreams, or see yourself wearing clothes that could only come from either a movie set or a memory of one of your past-life times. These are some of the ways past-life memories bleed through into present time.

You could actually be working out some past karma with the dream characters in your present life, so it is vitally important when these types of dreams occur to ask yourself "Who might this represent in my life now?" Use your intuition with this one.

However, just one dream like this is not always enough evidence of a past-life. You will always get a very strong emotional reaction with the dream aswell. Its either a déjà vu feeling or that 'ah ha' feeling. The dream scenario will give you greater insights into what the issues between you might have been, so that you are better equipped to deal with them effectively in this life-time.

As souls, we all know everything about ourselves and when we take on our new physical bodies in each life-time, we move from the limitless, timeless spirit world, into the physical, limited, time-zone of the material world, where we 'forget' our past experience, bringing the essence of our talents and what is unresolved into our current 'birth-script', as well as the traumatic events in our first seven years.

Even if we never consciously consider our past realities, we can still carry these unresolved issues within us as unconscious negative beliefs about ourselves.

The symbols and signs are not universal because we each have our own unique feelings or attitudes to a various range of images, your personal symbols often become your dream symbols and its special connection you have with a particular symbol that should always be incorporated into your general reading of dream symbols that should always be incorporated into your general reading of dream symbols. Variances occur because of the way we individually relate to our environment, surroundings, family history and all the other factors that make us uniquely ourselves.

Analyse your dreams by putting ALL the dream symbols down on paper and write next to each one what the symbols mean to you personally.

Write down the emotional essence of your dream: sad, scared, happy, joyous, angry, stressed, secretive, resentful, bashful, bewildered etc. Be honest with yourself about your true feelings; how you feel about your life, your relationships, your future career and especially how you feel about yourself at the time of the dream; and your true feelings about how the dream made you feel.

For most people, the type of dream most commonly remembered is the 'Dream Lesson'. It is in this area that remembering our dreams can be of immense value; the messages from our Higher Selves that are otherwise available only to our subconscious minds and brought closer to our conscious awareness. Dream lessons ask us to be aware of our motivations and encourage us in our new ventures, whilst continually revealing the issues we are currently tackling in our lives.

Quite often our dreams will serve us by bringing up into our conscious mind, the fears and fantasies we have hidden from ourselves, especially childhood one that life deeply buried in our subconscious minds. As you face these fears, night after night in your dreamtime, you will access your inner courage and move through the fears you face in your waking life, with more ease.

At some time we will all experience a prophetic dream about ourselves and/or those close to us. These prophetic dreams often help us to avoid ugly situations. The purpose of a prophesy is to avert any potential disaster or to warn us to change something in our lives. The purpose of other types of prophetic dreams is to help you to correct one of your unconscious negative patterns. These dreams are showing you probable realities. They are encouraging you to change, and their purpose is to shake you from a fatalistic view of life.

The prophetic nature of dreams have been recognised and respected by many cultures, and dreams have often played a significant role in the decision-making process within these cultures. A great example of this comes from Native American tradition, where the initiation ceremony of a Vision Quest is undertaken by initiates to attune with the Great Spirit, and receive spiritual, emotional, mental and physical gifts of power and protection from the spirit world and Mother Earth.

Déjà vu is an experience that all of us have had on occasion. It is the feeling that we are walking in our own footsteps. It explains that sense of replay that occurs when we find ourselves in a situation we know we haven't been in during our waking life, yet where we instantly recognise some of the surroundings, the participants or the actions taking place. People who experience a lot of déjà vu often don't recall their dreams until they re-live them; that is, when they get the feeling or know that they have seen this before, identically.

When you dream about a house or home, it will universally represent your self – your authentic self. Each room relates to an aspect of yourself, and the functions you associate with each room will give you more clues to work with. When you find extra rooms in your dream home/house, it represents the aspects of your future self and your hidden talents, as well as your hidden personality traits, and any current waking life situations.

Nightmares give us the opportunity to release our fears and frustrations in the dream state, thus allowing us to get some of our most negative experiences out in the open where we can deal with them.

These dreams are so powerful that they insist we wake up and pay attention to them. The more tightly we have kept a lid on a belief, a feeling or a trauma, the wilder our nightmares will become. Nightmares are very effective in alerting us to trouble in our subconscious self. Nightmares are essentially, keeping you emotionally healthy.

Deeply buried and traumatic emotions can also result in nightmares that will reveal to us all of our fears, and even some aspects of our emotional nature, which we have consciously repressed. These nightmares can, in some cases, be connected to deeply repressed trauma or childhood issues relating to either physical, sexual or emotional, mental or spiritual abuse.

If you're unsure whether you flying dream is an 'astral-travel' experience or if it is merely symbolic, examine your feelings and the other events in the dream. You will discover where its meaning holds truth for you. Astral-travel dreams feel different from normal dreams. You may wake up with a sense that his was not an ordinary dream; you may sense that you have actually been to some place and/or met someone who is, has been, or will be special to you. Either way, a dream about flying is a great sign that you are rising to an elevated position in some area of your life.

A falling dream can also be symbolic and may have a number of meanings. It could imply 'taking the plunge' or making a commitment to something or someone in your life, 'slipping up' or 'falling down' means you may be off-track in what you are doing or it could even be a symbol of delving into the scary aspects of the issues in your life.

The fast return of your astral body back into your physical body can sometimes manifest in your dreams as an experience like falling from a great height.

Indian Yogis believe that we leave our bodies and that our spirit moves freely in the astral realm, or spirit dimension, during sleep and also in some deep states of meditation or trance. The spirit is connected to the body by a 'silver cord', a kind of energy cord which allows us to leave our bodies and return again safely. (This 'silver cord' can be seen dissolving and dissipating once the human body has died) Death occurs when the silver cord that connects the spirit to the body is broken, and the spirit passes over to the spirit dimension, leaving the physical body to return to the dust of the earth.

The presence of this energy or spirit within our bodies is confirmed with Kirilian photography (an aura or energy photo) which shows the electromagnetic field, or bio-electrical aura around all things.

Aromatherapy is the use of pure essential oils which have been derived from plants. It has been used to enhance relaxation, healing, prayer and meditation for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used plant oils such as Frankincense and myrhh for adornment and worship, Arabic medicine in medieval times consisted of recipes using herbs, flowers and spices to cure illness, and incense has been burned by many cultures throughout the ages.

Aromatherapy is a way for people to stay in touch with nature and receive its wonderful benefits through the sense of smell.
Dreams can be remembered with increased clarity, by triggering the memory through the sense of smell. The essential oil blend you use to help you drift off to sleep can be used again the following morning, when you wish to interpret your dreams. The fragrance invokes a memory.

We can look beyond the surface of our dreams to uncover the hidden treasures that lay deep within our subconscious. Underneath the daily conscious reality of life we experience, there is an unlimited potential of spiritual wealth and beauty. We can explore the realms of intuition and discover the essence of who we are with greater clarity and insight, by understanding the nature of our dreams.

Dreams fall into three categories: release, wishes and precognition.

Release dreams are your subconscious mind letting go of all the emotions your conscious mind has not dealt with and expressed. When you have a dream that seems to be about one very strong emotion in particular (passion, anger, grief, fear, embarrassment, confusion), it is almost certainly a signal from your subconscious mind that it is time to confront and resolve that emotion during your waking hours. Release dreams are a great safety valve, and they can be very helpful guide to some important unfinished emotional business that needs your attention.

Wish dreams are exactly that – a wish your heart makes when you are fast asleep. Wish dreams can throw a spotlight on wishes you may not even put into words for yourself yet. Always look at the overview rather than the specifics of your wish dreams. You may be surprised how much you can learn about yourself and what you’re really wishing for.

Men and women of all creeds and cultures, throughout the ages, have accepted that dreams could foretell the future or reveal long-forgotten images of the past.

Our experiences during our sleep and dream state can provide us with enlightening information. We need to be able to unlock the mysteries of our dreams by being able to interpret our dreams in our own unique way. By understanding our dreams, we are seeking a better understanding of ourselves.

When you are working with the intuitive aspect of your mind, you will quickly develop your ability to interpret and receive the messages that your dream is telling you.
Intuition is the key to this ability.

Intuition has been part of the human psyche since the beginning of mankind.

It is virtually impossible for only one meaning of a dream symbol to be accepted, when we are all unique individuals.
Jot down short sentences and phrases that will help jog your memory about the circumstances of a particular dream scene or symbol.

You do not have to write an essay – but you can if you have the time and inclination.

Write down any dream symbols that are still vivid in your mind. Write your own interpretation of your symbol. In this way you will build up a dream guide that is totally, absolutely unique to yourself. This guide need never have an ending and should be expanded upon at regular intervals, as new icons and symbols appear and become noteworthy.

Falling represents (from an archetypal perspective) a feeling that you don’t have anything solid underneath you and are not supported. By being made full aware of this emotion, you can easily begin to sift through your life, and address any problems or issues you may not have noticed prior to the subconscious signals through your dreams.

We often dream about situations that are unresolved. Once the problem has been overcome or resolved, or an answer created, the dream often stops recurring.

Often you must decipher whether the dream is part of the solution, or part of the problem. If it is repetitive, it generally indicates that it is part of the problem. If the dream occurs just the once, it is generally part of the solution.

To understand what a particular animal in a dream indicates, look at what that animal represents to you.

Our dreams have an important purpose in our lives, with personal meanings, symbology, associations and messages.
Numbers play an important role in our dreams. Each number has its own spiritual power, vibration and significance. Essentially, numbers are symbols. Numbers, a series of numbers or number sequences are significant if they clearly appear in your dreams.

Seeing numbers in our dreams can represent stages of spiritual growth and the archetypal energies of the collective unconscious.

Numbers appearing in dreams may sometimes appear indirectly and may present as a number of characters, a repeating sequence, a number of objects etcetera.

Numbers have a personal significance associated with them which needs to be taken into account. Numbers in dreams may refer to our age, an indicator of a house number or address, or signify when an event took place (or will take place). Numbers appearing in our dreams may represent important and/or significant dates and events. These may be dates such as anniversaries, birthdays and the like.

Numbers can play an important role in our dreams as time-keepers or indicators of time. The numbers that appear in the dream may give clues to events that have taken place during the waking hours. Most dreams draw on recent events and memories, generally within the week.

Many of us have a ‘lucky number’. Dreaming of our lucky number may be our subconscious mind assisting us with our life choices and major decisions.

Identifying number patterns and repeating number sequences (Angel Numbers) in our dreams can reveal deep meaning patterns in our lives. In another context, the numbers appearing in your dreams may indicate a significant event, age, date, anniversary etcetra. A dream number may also symbolize a specific item or number of items (eg. children to enter your life etc).

Listen to your inner-wisdom and intuition when interpreting and deciphering the meaning of the numbers appearing in your dreams, as our dreams are as unique as we are and have personal significance.

Each of us sees colour differently. Science has proven that individuals may dream in black and white, colour, or both. Black and white dreams are usually connected with the emotions and events that you are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Colour dreams usually come out of a deeper subconscious level.

Traditionally, RED means sexual drive, energy and survival.
ORANGE means social interaction.
YELLOW deals with the intellect.
GREEN deals with compassion.
TURQUOISE deals with communication.
BLUE indicates knowledge and healing.
VIOLET is to do with the intuition.
MAGENTA indicates the imagination or the spiritual.

Dying in a dream very rarely indicates that the dreamer (or the person they may be dreaming of), is about to pass over. Usually, a dream of this type indicates transformation, change or renewal.

Experiencing fear in dreams often occurs because the dreamer feels they don’t have the resources to deal with what’s confronting them.

Frustration in dreams deals with a lack of fulfilment and satisfaction.

Joy deals with levels of contentment, and when this feeling is experienced in a dream, it implies that happiness will follow.

Detachment is often experienced in the dream state. This is a feeling of observation without any emotion attached to it. Detachment is a unique way of dealing with life situations occurring in both our sleeping and waking state.

Spring is a time for new ideas, a blossoming, nurturing, the start of new things, the early manifestation, perhaps an awakening.

Summer is a time of harvest, collective effort, the orchestration of human endeavours, more light, heat, holidays, a vast supply of the fruits of nature.

Autumn is a time for things to fall away, but preceded by an expression in the most brilliant way in the physical, a time of a final display of life before moving on, the last moments, a sense of things to come to an end.

Winter is a time of hibernation, darkness, imagining, internalizing, solitude. Winter is a season where you can’t expect to see things grow or blossom, a time for an inner, unseen development, a time of potential energy.

The experience we call dreaming could be the bridge between our physical and spiritual life – the ethereal link between the conscious and the unconscious. If we acknowledge our dreams, we can cross the bridge into an infinite world of balance, creativity and abundance.

We can look beyond the surface of our dreams to uncover the hidden treasures that lay deep within our subconscious.
Underneath the daily conscious reality of life we experience, there is an unlimited potential of spiritual wealth and beauty.

We can explore the realms of intuition, and discover the essence of who we are with greater clarity and insight, by understanding the nature of our dreams.

Interpreting Your Dreams  -  10 Ways to Interpret Your Dreams
Colours in Dreams  -  Colour Dreaming
Tarot and Dreams   -  Using Tarot to Interpret Dreams

Dreaming of Numbers - Numbers in Dreams

Joanne Walmsley  
Sacred Scribes

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