INTRODUCTION TO DREAMS
Dreams are a natural part of life for everyone, every symbol and every image that appears in your dreams has a certain relevance, your dreams are there to guide you and offer you emotional and psychological assistance. There are thousands of dream symbols and each one has meaning, you can learn how to decipher your dreams and use them to help you in your day to day life.
To dream you first need to sleep, as during your sleeping hours your brain undergoes changes. When you sleep you lose your conscious awareness, then you begin to pass through the four stages of sleep. In the first stage your blood pressure drops and your eyes roll from side to side, this is called the hypnopompic stage, where you are neither fully asleep or fully awake, although you would awaken easily if you were disturbed. The next stage, stage two, breathing and heart rate slow and you become unaware of outside noise. In the third stage you will be in a deep sleep and it would be difficult to wake you. The fourth stage known as (Non-REM) which is non-rapid eye movement, this is when the conscious mind sleeps. From this state you move back through the stages, then you enter REM sleep, you tend to remember the dreams from the final REM stage.
Sleep is necessary for your physical mental and emotional wellbeing and when you sleep you no longer have conscious control. The amount of sleep you need varies with age, babies need approximately 15 hours a day, teenagers approximately eight or nine hours, adults need seven or eight hours sleep, as you get older the amount of sleep you need lessens, older people need about six hours of sleep. Sleep is essential to allow you to physically and mentally re-charge, it is imperative for your emotional stability and overall health. The mind is like a computer it needs care and attention to work at optimum capacity and when you sleep the unconscious takes over and tries to organise your experiences.
When you dream it is as though you are watching and involved in a movie of your life, with familiar and non-familiar people and situations. In your dreams you can feel comfortable or unsettled, happy or sad, you may see objects, symbols, clothing, vehicles, boats, animals, water etc.
Dreams are often accompanied by strong emotions and when you wake you can often still feel these emotions, such as you may have a dream that you are in deep water and as water pertains to emotion, you can very likely relate this to something emotional that is overwhelming you in your waking hours, and possibly your dream has helped you to find the answer. Many people see symbols in their dreams and these are often taken from something in their day to day life.
Keep a dream journal next to your bed and write in it the moment you wake, this is when the dream will be remembered, and after writing in your journal you can then begin to decipher what the dream was trying to tell you.
The best way to interpret your dreams is after writing them down, read over what you have written then write down the first thought that comes into your head, this is called dream association. By writing your dreams down you will soon realise that certain symbols appear again and again, you tend to dream about things that are familiar to you. Dreams are not meant to be interpreted literally, symbols mean different things to different people, imagine you have dreamed of death, this usually means change or dramatic change depending on the intensity of your dream. A woman may dream of giving birth and this can mean the birth of an idea, or the birth of a business, or it could be a dream of an actual birth to take place in the future, what you see will depend on what is happening in your life at the time. Some people have precognitive dreams, this is a dream that reveals something actual that is to happen in your future, this usually happens to people who are quite psychic.
Ancient works are full of dream references, dreams have been interpreted for thousands of years, some believe there is a collective unconscious, this is a holding place of patterns that have been inherited through experiences, instincts pertaining to humans and expressed in dreams. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote that the psyche is made up of the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious, therefore when you see a symbol in your dream you must decipher whether it is part of the collective unconscious or the personal unconscious. Jung wrote that the unconscious mind projected dream symbols in such a way to bring the unconscious and the conscious into balance and harmony.
Dreams deal with aspects of your life that you are unable to deal with in your waking state and understanding your dreams can help enormously as you proceed on a daily basis. The most important part of interpreting your dream is the personal significance to you, and how the dream relates to your way of life and your personal situation.
When you dream you are working things out in another dimension and the dreams you remember when you wake have been carried into your conscious reality for you to work through. When you dream your logical mind is resting, the dream world and your waking state work to support each other. The dream world is rich with helpful information, there are symbols and situations that you can learn much from to support you in your waking state, dreams are attempting to bring mind body and spirit in sync. You can improve intuition with dreams by becoming more aware in this rich inner world that you travel through when you sleep, as you practice you will become more accurate with your interpretations. Dreams are your doorway to a magical way of understanding yourself and others on a deeper level, they help you to become self-aware and to gain insight into those closest to you, dreams are like learning another language and practice attunes you to be more in touch with your senses. Dreams can be quite childlike and take you on a fantastic journey to see magical creatures and to spend time in castles, to fly above the earth like a bird, to plunge into the ocean and commune with the creatures there. Within your dream state absolutely anything is possible, dreams also teach you about your subconscious and the areas of growth that have been stunted due to irrational fears. Dreams can help you to live a full, conscious and receptive full life. You delve into a well of truth as you dream, within a dream you are truly uninhibited and have a depth of creativity at your disposal. Dreams can help prepare you for changes in your life and you begin to think of yourself, even in your waking state, as more than just a physical being.
Dreams help to expand your consciousness as there are no limitations, becoming attuned gives you greater control, and the capacity to expand your senses on all levels, you begin to feel there are no barriers to impede your progress. Dreams help you to realise there is so much more to life and living, and many people believe that through an understanding of your dreams your life can only be enriched. Dream interpretation has been practiced throughout time.
There is an Egyptian papyrus that is dated around 1250 BC, written are 200 dreams that are described and interpreted by the priests of Horus, Horus was the Egyptian god of light.