June 22, 2009
So dreams have been on my mind a lot lately. I've been wondering what they are, where they come from, and what it means to dream lucidly, dream walk, or have precognitive dreams. Maybe it means you've tapped in to part of the 96% of our brains most humans don't use. Maybe you're connecting spiritually with something bigger than yourself, connecting with another layer in the universe or another reality with just as much truth to it as our waking reality. Maybe you're just crazy. Who's to say, really?
Have you ever noticed the synchronicity that happens when you buy a new car? Suddenly all you see are the cars around you that other people bought that are just like yours. It seems that the more vivid my dreams become, the more I hear about other people who are interested in exploring the meaning behind their dreams, are enrolled in dream "schools" or just believe that our dreams are another way to connect rather than just a random firing of neurons in the brain. As skeptical as I am, there are some things I can't always explain about dreams and other experiences I've had. I prefer to lump them under the heading of "things to be explained later, when we have better science" than "paranormal" or, heaven forbid, "crazy". And most of them are quite enjoyable- visiting with relatives and friends who are out of contact, either because of physical distance or because they've passed away.
How do you react when you have a vivid dream? Dream about something that later occurs in your waking life? What do you say when friends or patients tell you their dreams and ask for your advice or interpretation? Something I learned recently from a mentor was the importance of framing your response. For example, saying "if it were my dream..." or some other non-judgmental way of offering an interpretation that doesn't necessarily lend credence to the idea of dreams being real, but still might offer the dreamer some suggestions of topics to consider when they evaluate their own dreams. If they talk about having precognitive dreams, have them keep a journal by the bed and record their vivid dreams upon waking and also journal when the tied-in event happens in real life. This will reduce two common errors: thinking the dream occurred before the event when it actually occurred afterward and retroactively making the events and details in the dream match real life.
So, I'm curious. Do you remember your dreams? How do they affect your daily life? Do you share them with others? What do you say to people who share their dreams with you?