Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dream Randomness

Dreams are pretty odd things, aren’t they? I’m talking about the dreams you have in your sleep. Do they mean anything?

I am skeptical about dream analysis; I find it hard to believe the little movies that play in your head while you sleep are indicators of anything specific. They might contain glimpses of people or events in your life, present and past, but probably are not a predictor of any future.

My dreams are not as bizarre as a Tim Burton movie but they do have bizarre connections. The main character of one of my dreams might start as a real person from my life but then will morph into a different acquaintance or a total stranger. Sometimes the plot is close to my reality but characters from other unrelated parts of my life are in it.

During that first few seconds of waking in mid dream, I can tell how deep I was sleeping by where I am in the dream. If I was an observer of the action, I was not sleeping well. If I was actually IN the dream, as a character interacting with other characters, then I was in deep sleep. Is this normal? Do you have this experience?

Sometimes I have dreams in which I am falling or where there seems to be a stranger in the room. Those dreams wake me up, startle me in fact. But they have never been indicators of reality.

The oddest dream I ever had was also the first dream I can remember having. I was a kid, riding in the back of a yellow 1957 Plymouth taxi. A female angel was driving. Really! OK, nothing is real about that but I remember it vividly, as if it happened and as if it was yesterday and not decades ago. As a very young child I was a car geek (I can identify most car years and models made between the late 30s through the mid 60s, even though I wasn’t around for most of that time period) and I grew up Catholic, so angel stories were part of my childhood. But I don’t really believe in angels, at least not the white winged versions we were taught about, and I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a 1957 Plymouth.

I would tell you about recent dreams but I can’t remember any. I had at least two last night, one where I was an observer and one where I was a participant. Work friends were in the character mix as were a couple of non-work friends and some strangers. The memory usually fades within minutes of waking up. So why can I remember one I had as a child?

Sometimes I have wide-awake visions of possible future scenes but I’m not sure if I should call them premonitions. One way I make things happen in my life is to visualize outcomes; sometimes I write them, painting a word picture of a scene I want to experience. I should dig through my “life box” (it’s an actual box where I keep writings, journals and photographs) to see if any of my word pictures happened.

I planned to wrap up this post with a neat little reference to studies of dream interpretation. A Google search for ‘dream analysis’ produced 258,000 results. Jung and Freud were quoted and the feud between them was also noted. But my quick scan of Wikipedia (the Cliff Notes of real research) revealed nothing conclusive and you must be dreaming if you think I’m going to dig through the other 257,999 links to find a witty conclusion. Anyway, it’s almost my bed time, so I’m off to sleep. Sweet dreams!

1 comment:

Linda V. said...

We'll have to have a long talk about dreams....I've been doing dream analysis since I was 17 years old. There is something in dreams, but each is unique to the individual. I can teach you more if you'd like, a couple tips about how to remember more of dreams, and what some things mean to you. Sweet dreams!!!