Nighttime dreaming sometimes involves events in the future. These dreams can be frightening or delightful – or simply confusing. Daydreaming, on the other hand, is often anticipating wonderful things in the future or dreaming about the past as if it’s the now.
There’s a very powerful argument to be made for living into and dreaming about things that you’re looking forward to as a means of increasing their likelihood of happening.
I frequently recommend to clients to have at least three things to dream about: (1) a vacation or a trip, (2) time with someone(s) you love and who love you, (3) the attainment of a new skill or level of understanding or mastery of a particular subject matter.
What do you daydream about? Are your daydreams sometimes precursors of things to come? Can you see how actively creating your daydreams can be beneficial? How much do you think your daydreams can actually influence your future?
Many people pay close attention to their dreams when they concern issues of significance to the dreamer. Often, we humans will at least pause more carefully before moving forward with something if we have had a disquieting dream about the subject matter.
Have you ever changed your mind about something because of something you dreamt? If so, did you consider your change a rational act or something superstitious? Do you have any evidence that your decision to change something based on a dream was the best decision?
“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions” writes Edgar Cayce who, as an author and seer, encouraged people to study their dreams.
What were you taught about dreams when you were growing up? Were you encouraged to remember and document your dreams, or were dreams dismissed as irrelevant? What would you or have you taught your children about dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is dreaming while you know you are dreaming. Dr. Stephen LaBerge teaches Lucid Dreaming – a technique that almost anyone can learn – and says:
“Possibly, all you will need to do to increase your dream recall is to remind yourself as you are falling asleep that you wish to awaken fully from your dreams and remember them. This works in a similar manner to remembering to awaken at a certain time in the morning.”
Do you remember your dreams? Have you ever kept a dream journal? How susceptible to dream recall are you? Do you remember details? Have you ever used dreams in therapy and / or to seek to understand your waking life more fully?
Jonas Salk, the scientist who discovered and developed the polio vaccine, said:
“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.”
If you’re like me, it’s not so much nightmares as it is recurring dreams of working things out in the dream state that don’t appear to be worked out in the waking state.
How much attention do you pay to your dreams? Are there nightmares – or are there dreams that you want to be different?
Do you think that your dreams are sending you information of processing on a deeper level that you can find useful on the level of what we perceive to be “reality”?
What do you think Salk meant when he attributed his success at achieving his dreams to his having encountered his nightmares?
Have you been able to use nightmares to the same effect? Are nightmares “teachable moments”?
Over the weekend, I saw the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie, “Inception” on the IMAX screen. The general topic of the film is dreams – explored in a high-tech, lavish way.
The movie itself is like dreaming: often feeling incomplete, jerky, intriguing and troubling at the same time. Sometimes brilliantly confusing.
Dreams are a universal part of the human experience, yet there seems to be wide variation about how each of us relate to our dreams. Most of us remember that we dream, but some vague recollection is most often as far as we go.
Are you curious about your dreams? Do you remember them? If you remember them, how much significance do you place in your dreams?
Would you like to know more about dreaming and how to access the information and meaning in dreams?
Is dreaming for you more of an unexplored curiosity than a source of insights and ideas for how to live a more fulfilling “conscious life”?