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Interpreting dreams

Published May 22. 2010 09:00AM

Are our dreams simply a window into our subconscious or are they something far more important? Science and its disciplines accept dreams as being a method of communication between our conscious and subconscious minds providing cryptic messages in symbolism that we are free to interpret or not if we can remember them. Yet not everyone sees dreams in this manner. Some people believe dreams are a connection to the thread that binds all humanity together. Others see dreams as a way to access higher levels of consciousness or other planes of existence. Who is right?

This column is just some of my observations offered in a spirit dialogue and thought as to what I think dreams can be and not necessarily what is accepted fact. Much of the advancement in the sciences comes from speculation and that is precisely what I am doing this week.

In general, some view dreams as a way for the brain to act out on images, impulses and thoughts generated during the day. The imagery generated by dreams is created by the subconscious with meaning known to the individual personalized to his fears, likes, dislikes and tastes. They could be a mechanism to express our innermost desires to our conscious selves. I think they are cryptic simply because our consciousness controls speech and thought so the only communication mechanism left is imagery.

Most scientists will not stray from this view of dreams accepting they are a release valve for life and of no use except maybe for providing a fantasy release for our brains on a nightly basis. After all, many of us do not remember our dreams. I'm fortunate to not be included in that group though. I cannot imagine not dreaming or better not remember my dreams. I think I would actually be disappointed if I could not recall dreams.

For some people though the dream state seems to extend beyond simple imagery. Some people truly believe some dreams are a window into the spirit world or to a collective consciousness. After all, our history is rich in examples of dreams foretelling the future from the ancient past to modern day dreamers. Many of us can probably provide an anecdote of a friend or ourselves who have had a dream that came true.

One of the oldest documented examples is when the Pharaoh in Egypt had a dream which was interpreted by Joseph as a warning there would be seven good planting years and seven years of famine. Based on Joseph's interpretation, Pharaoh appointed him to be in charge of the granary and Joseph helped save the Egyptian people from the famine. Later in the Bible, Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a statue as a prediction of the world through the end of time including the downfall of Babylon and future kingdoms. The book of Daniel is rich with dream imagery and interpretations. It should be mentioned that dream interpretation after the fact in my opinion does not carry as much weight as a dream that might be correctly interpreted ahead of time.

One of the more famous recent dreams was that of President Abraham Lincoln shortly before his assassination. To summarize, he dreamed he was in the White House and heard sobbing. Searching from room to room, he could not find a source for the crying but he continued to work his way to the East Room. Upon arriving in the East Room, Lincoln received a "sickening surprise" when he found a coffin on a framework wrapped in funeral vestments and surrounded by soldiers. There were people in the room but the corpse's face was covered. He asked a soldier, "Who has died in the White House?" The soldier answered, "The President, he was killed by an assassin." A loud burst of sobbing woke Lincoln from the dream and it is said he was unable to sleep the rest of the night. Within two weeks, his dream came to pass.

There are anecdotal accounts which abound about prescient dreams by people many of which come true. Of course there are more that do not, but because many dreams do not come true, does it necessarily follow that no dreams predict the future? I doubt that although I think it unnerves some people that we can possibly be given insights into our future. Do I think that a dream once experienced sets the future in stone. No, but I do believe it could be a possible course events may take. Should prescient dreams be interpreted literally? No I do not think they should in all cases, but I think upon contemplation we can determine what our dreams mean to us.

However, I think there is the distinct possibility that some dreams are more than a link to the subconscious mind. I think some dreams are a link to our collective unconsciousness and to the fabric of time and space. Physics proposes our universe may be one of an infinite number of universes crafted as decisions are made and time moves forward. In that theory of time, proponents believe that if we are presented with a choice, universes exist that play out the results of that decision creating an infinite number of universes of which you and I live in one possible existence.

What if dreams are able to link our spirits or our consciousness with other planes of existence and in some cases what we see is actually coming to pass either in our timeline in the future our in another? Or maybe a pink elephant is simply a pink elephant?

Til next time…

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