People have always been fascinated with dreams, and many have struggled to make sense of them through dream interpretation. Dreams can provide insight into our inner selves and our emotional states. That is why it is important to pay attention to your dreams and not eagerly dismiss them.
In Biblical days, people believed that God communicated with them through dreams. Warnings and messages were given through the dream state. Even centuries ago people realized the importance of dreams. Dreams were recorded and interpreted. Various cultures believed their ancestors communicated with them through dreams. Information and knowledge were gained through dreams, and healing could take place during the dream state.
People often believe that they don't dream simply because they don't remember their dreams. But it's been shown that everyone dreams, whether they remember the dreams or not. We have our most vivid dreams during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. This period lasts approximately 1.5 hours during the sleep cycle. So why do we dream? Some scientists believe that dreaming plays a role in brain development, the release of anxiety and/or repressed desires, fears and other emotions. It is also believed that dreams are the incoherent result of the unconscious processes of assimilating data derived from our waking reality. In truth, science cannot yet adequately explain dreams and their meanings.
The most common types of dreams include nightmares, precognitive, recurring and lucid dreams. In a precognitive dream the dreamer is provided with information involving a future event. Anyone who has had a precognitive dream may realize that such a dream may not be realized at the time of the dream. As a matter of fact, it may seem strange to the dreamer. If the event plays out at some time in the future it may then be recognized in a sort of deja vu experience. Not all precognitive dreams become reality but some do. A lucid dream is a dream in which the dreamer realizes he is dreaming. In some cases, the dreamer can actually influence the outcome of the dream. A recurring dream is a dream that a person has repeatedly. A recurring dream may be the result of an unresolved conflict the dreamer has in his life. The dream may be a way of prompting the dreamer to confront the problem therefore solving the conflict. Nightmares are familiar forms of dreams in which the dreamer experiences a great source of fear such as being chased, attacked or running from monsters. These dreams usually represent the dreamers fears and anxiety.
There are certain recurring themes that appear in dreams. Such themes include falling, flying, running, being chased, birth and death. Messages from deceased loved ones is also a common theme of dreams. People often dream of a loved one that has passed on appearing in a dream and saying that they are fine, even telling the dreamer there is no need to worry. Some people believe that the deceased loved one is actually communicating with them through the dream state. People may also receive answers in dreams to particular problems they have been dwelling on. Scientist believe this may be the result of information being accessed through the dreaming person's subconscious mind or through a collective consciousness.
People seek to determine the significance of their dreams through dream interpretation. Dreams are not usually taken literally but interpreted through their symbolism. The dream is condensed into the symbols that appear in the dream thereby interpreting their meaning. Analyzing a dream can be difficult and take considerable time to interpret considering that each symbol which appears in a dream can have several meanings. A symbol may have a meaning that is personal to the dreamer that may seem perfectly logical in context yet completely incoherent to someone without personal knowledge of the dreamer.
A dream journal can be useful in the analysis and interpretation of dreams. A single dream may prove difficult to interpret and universal dream symbolism may not always be relevant to every dream and dreamer. By keeping a dream journal you can learn to interpret your dreams by consistently reviewing the symbolism that appears in your dreams. It is best to keep the journal near the bedside and record the dream immediately upon waking since most dreams fade from the memory rather quickly. Some dreams are quite vivid and do tend to remain in the memory for several hours or even days. It is important to try to remember as many details of the dream as possible when recording dreams for later analysis. Record how often the same dream occurs and take note of any differences in detail. Keeping track of your dreams on a regular basis can help you to interpret them. You should also note any occurrences that appear in waking reality in connection with your dreams such as a deja vu experience that may have occurred following a precognitive dream.
The Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud believed that dreams were expressions of repressed sexual desires and unfulfilled wishes. Edgar Cayce, the American psychic known as the "sleeping prophet," believed that dreams were visits to the spiritual world and that deceased loved ones do visit us through our dreams. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung considered dreams to be a window into the subconscious mind. Scientists continue to study and debate the issue of dreams, their meanings and significance. Although no definitive answer can be provided as of yet, dreams do indeed seem to have some significance. In many cases, they provide answers and even warnings. Dreams occur for a reason and perhaps we should all pay more attention to them.