I wrote this post and then accidently deleted it by hitting the wrong bloody button on the keyboard… *sigh* second time lucky?
A lot of different culture place importance on dreams and their content- even in our so-called ‘modern’ society I could walk down to the local bookshop and buy several different books offering to interpret the contents of my dreams. Whilst I don’t set much store by these Freudian publications as a former psychology student and full-time mentalist I do believe in the importance of dreams.
Ever since I was little I’ve had very vivid dreams, unfortunately when I have a depressive episode these tend to turn into nightmares. I went through a stage a few years ago when I was having three or four vivid nightmares each night. It was a pretty horrible period of my life.
Dreams are where my faith and mentalism seem to meet, my sleep is a battle ground between the Gods and the screwed up portions of my brain. For a long time I would draw an ‘A’ in biro on my palm during the day to remind myself that I was awake- this is derived from an old lucid dreaming technique, something that actually really helped to stop my nightmares in the end.
Recently I’ve started some new medication (mirtazapine) which has been giving me some pretty amazing dreams- it’s almost comforting as I haven’t dreamt like this in a while, the exhilaration of waking up and feeling like you’ve been busy is something that I love.
The reason why I think dreams are powerful and important is that I think they give us a window into our inner-most feelings. They can highlight the things that are weighing on our minds and even show us ways out of them.
I used to have nightmares about being raped, I think I’ve discussed this on here before, they would generally involve people that I trusted standing and watching whilst someone calmly raped me. This highlighted how betrayed and alone I felt and helped me to see that I had serious trust problems- taking these into account really helped me to make progress in my recovery.
I’ve gotten plots for novels from my dreams- obviously they’ve needed some tweaking but the general story structure is still there- I’m amazed at how imaginative and amazing my brain can be when left to do its own thing.
Science has little understanding of the dream world, but I don’t think we necessarily have to listen to science on this one anyway, dreams can be our best friends or our worst enemies- all depending on whether we fight them or work with them.
On a slightly more religious note I have to say that I’m of the opinion that our souls do ‘float away’ (for want of a better term) when we dream, we’re more susceptible to the Gods and creatures from the Other World, and so it’s a time when they can give us signs and/or guidance.
So whatever cultural or religious persuasion you are don’t ignore your dreams, whatever you think about them they can be a revealing insight into your own mind.