Thursday, August 23, 2007

I don't sleep, I dream

I have always been fascinated by dreams. My whole life, I have been a dreamer; whether peaceful, entertaining or a full out night terror, I have always had very real, vivid dreams. My dreams are always in colour and I am always myself. I go through phases where I'll dream very intensely every single night for a period of time. I'll remember these dreams in great detail. I'll wake up exhausted, from the intensity of the events that have occurred in my subconscious. Then there will be phases where I won't remember a thing or perhaps I don't dream at all. I've always said I should write them down- I could write a book with these elaborate storylines. I should really create a dream journal to keep track of them all. I have always been intrigued by the subconscious mind. Thoughts that come from our minds and imaginations which we're not even aware are in there, are utterly astonishing sometimes.

For the last month or so, I've been on a major dream kick. I've been dreaming with great tenacity every single night and then I awake, almost believing that I've had actually these great adventures because they seem so real. People who I have not consciously thought about in years are making appearances each and every night. I've never known if these patterns of intense dreams correlate to anything specific that I'm doing. Is it something I eat, hormonal, just my various sleep patterns? Hard to say. I've never been able to pin it down. Three nights this week, I have had vivid dreams about a child. I am holding him so tightly that I can still feel him in my arms when I wake up. He is a little boy whom I call Mo and we are somewhere that looks like Africa. It's insane how real these dreams have been. And more bizarre still, is that I have had this same dream three times now... it's the first recurring dream that I've ever had.

I have spent quite a bit of time reading different theories about dreams including thoughts from Freud and Jung. I have read several of Carl Jung's books; my favorite being Memories, Dreams, Reflections. I really do buy into Jung's theories on this topic for the most part. He believed in the existence of the unconscious. However, he didn't see the unconscious as animalistic, instinctual, and sexual; he saw it as more spiritual. Dreams were a way of communicating and acquainting ourselves with the unconscious. Dreams were not attempts to conceal our true feelings from the waking mind, but rather they were a window to our unconscious. They served to guide the waking self to achieve wholeness. Dreams offered a solution to a problem we are facing in our waking life.

Jung viewed the ego as one's sense of self and how we portray ourselves to the world. Part of Jung's theory was that all things can be viewed as paired opposites (i.e. good/evil, male/female, or love/hate). And thus working in opposition to the ego, is the "counterego" or what he referred to as the shadow. The shadow represents rejected aspects of yourself that you do not wish to acknowledge. It is considered an aspect of yourself which is somewhat more primitive, uncultured, and awkward.
Since dreams were a way of communicating with the unconscious, Jung felt that the imageries in dreams were a way of revealing something about ourselves, our relationships with others, and situations in our waking life. Dreams guided our personal growth and helped to self achieve our potential. He also believed that the dream's manifest content is just as significant and revealing as the latent content. Often discussing what is currently going on in your life, helps to interpret and unlock the cryptic and bizarre images of your dreams. Jung's method of dream interpretation is placed more confidently on the dreamer. He believed that we all possess the necessary tools to interpret our own dreams. There is no one correct way to interpret a dream. The meaning of your dreams is a personal judgment and is up to you on how to interpret them. Whatever interpretation felt right to you is most significant and more important than what someone else thinks or believes.

In our waking life we must adhere to certain standards and belief systems that are accepted by the majority of people around us. Within the constraints of this collective reality, we cannot do certain things. We cannot fly. We cannot walk on water. We cannot move into a palace and live in luxury. We work with the collective reality to determine what is possible and what is not possible. So, at certain times, we escape the shackles of the collective reality and travel into the essence of our own reality through dreaming. Dreams take us to a place where we don't have to play by the rules of reality. I wonder where I will escape to tonight!

1 comment:

PatZ said...

the best ones are the ones where you wake up and spend the whole day wondering if they actually happened, but no, that's ridiculous because how could i crash my XTerra in the ditch if i don't have a car...