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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Prophetic and Self-Fulfilling Dreams.
The Interpretation and Meaning of Dreams.

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
W. Shakespeare. The Tempest, (Act 4, Scene 1). 

Hypnos, God of Sleep
Hypnos — God of Sleep

Many people wonder how to interpret their dreams and if they really mean something. Well, dreams do have great significance to me and with good reason. I know from personal experience that there’s a kind of alternate reality we can only tap into when our conscience is turned off and instead our subconscious is unleashed.
Loads of books have been written on the meanings of dreams, but I don’t think any manual can help you to decipher yours with minimally acceptable accuracy. First, I’m pretty sure the meaning of a dream varies from person to person, the same object or situation can lead to a wide range of outcomes for different people. There’s a rich palette of possible interpretations and subtle undertones in most dreams.

Sometimes, our dreams are the reflection of our hidden feelings and fears, psychological problems, or simply the inner workings of our brains that, for some reason, we’re allowed to peep into.

When at school, I remember solving a geometrical problem I failed to crack during the day the following night in my dream; years later at university, I was stuck on a design of a building for my diploma project until I finally dreamt about it.

The purpose of dreams is still a mystery today, although for my money, they could be messages from God or tools of divination, apart from a merely physiological function.

"For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men and sealeth their instruction.." (Book of Job, 33:14-16)

Dream of Joseph
Dream of Joseph
 (Daniele Crespi)
Luminaries like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung identified dreams as an interaction between the unconscious and the conscious, which appears to be both logical and plausible.

When we sleep our brains digest and sort out the information received during the day and some of it even sinks in, while some is discarded, and then the system is reset — it’s like arranging a new consignment of goods on the shop shelves. Dreams are a surrealistic reflection of reality, since our conscious is not there to control it, although a couple of times I saw dreams that were like virtual movies with well-structured story line and even credits. The fact that I always dream in colour adds to the fun.
       
Some of my dreams qualify as short-term prophetic or precognitive dreams that in most cases come true literally. Mind that I don’t try to retrospectively fit dreams onto my life experiences. 
There’s a theory, or so I heard, that every living creature, inanimate thing or physical environment carries an inalienable information field, just like any material object casts a shade in a sunny day. It seems that by some mysterious mechanism sometimes it’s possible to tap into these fields, whether by means of dreams (which I consider the most ordinary way) or psychic powers.

Jacob's Ladder
Jacob's ladder. (Palazzo Farnese)
Every night I usually see the gist of the next day, for example if I’ll accomplish all I’ve set out to do, if an appointment will be cancelled etc — like when I dreamt that the lady who was going to sit for me the following day called in sick and in the morning the events played out to the letter.

Sometimes our brain talks in riddles, and the images in a dream are abstract representations of future events created by association of thought and should be decoded by the same technique. Easier said than done, though, it’s like solving puzzles. For example, I dreamt that I was chasing something in the middle of some turmoil and didn’t catch it, the next day traffic was delayed by the bad weather and I was late to work. Unfortunately, In most cases I can only match my dreams to the events post factum.

However, a couple of weeks ago I had two almost identical dreams that can be classified as self-fulfilling dreams / prophecies not influenced by “dream incorporation”.
I dreamt that I went for a walk across the area I usually jog around and came across a pile of things in the street, saw among them a wooden piece that could be recycled and took it.

When I woke up in the morning, I was aware that the realization of the dream depended on my next move. I had no previous intention to roam the streets that day and was feeling quite lazy, but I was curious to check the dream out, so I took my bum off the settee and went for a prowl. Guess what, the pile was there, and I did indeed choose a recyclable wooden piece. It’s not the find in itself that made the dream especially intriguing, but the fact that the dream wouldn’t have come true hadn’t I decided to go for a walk and make it happen.

A few days later I saw a similar dream about a heap of junk waiting for me in the same area. I was rather sceptical this time, still I thought what the heck and reluctantly set off for the hot zone, and once again, the heap was there, so I was "lucky" to pick another recyclable wooden piece.

I wonder what superior powers took the trouble to guide me twice to a stack of debris, but never bothered to give me handy tips about something more profitable, like a winning lottery number for example (a small prize would do), or at least warn me against blunders.
Well, I guess it’s half a loaf.

How is all this supposed to help you to interpret your dreams?
Well, probably it can serve as a testimony to the fact that psychologists’ babble about memory biases (selective memory for accurate predictions), distorted memory so that dreams are retrospectively fitted onto life experiences and so on, although it’s often the case, aren’t such watertight arguments after all.

Bear in mind that sometimes ‘a hat is just a hat’ and your dream is just a  jumble of senseless motley suite of images.


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