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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 20-Jun-07


Wednesday 20-June-06 

Strange dreams

It's rather early on a weekend morning and I'm tapping on my PDA whilst my wife sleeps quietly beside me. The curse of early rising during the week is early waking at the weekend. Oh well.

I just had a bizarre dream in which I was a giant. Now what does that mean? Dreaming is a strange facet of sleep that has purpose and meaning that many have guessed at over the ages.

A common dream interpretation is mystical, where dreams show the future, allow spiritual travel or may include direct interaction with deities. Shamans travel to dream worlds and saints talk to Mary. The mystical dream can be a pathway to revelation.

Psychoanalysts such as Freud and Jung used a more mundane interpretation: that dreams are simply the subconscious sorting things out. When trauma occurs we often cannot deal with it at the time, so we repress it, and then use dreaming to try and sort things out.

Dreams are often believed to be metaphorical, using symbolism that requires informed interpretation (or perhaps blind guessing). This is a gift to the mystics who can customize the meaning to the context and extends the expensive sessions on the analyst's couch. It also lets me choose between comforting and challenging reasons why I was recently a giant.

Animals dream too, which kind of complicates the picture. I watch the muscular twitches of my sleeping dog as she runs, barks and eats in her primitive internal world. Is she self-aware in her dreams? Does she wake up and know that she was dreaming?

Dreams change the mind of the sleeping person and may be used to change minds again in interpretation. Yet although some claim to know the secret of unlocking their deep meaning, sometimes I just wonder.

Your comments

I got to know what my dream means to for the past 3 nights i can remember my dreams

first night: i was in my house at which point me and my friend got into a argument and he left i went down stairs and he came back in and coated everything in the house with gasoline and burnt the house down i ran into the burning house and saved my guitars but my dad died

second night: i was running down a street then i turned and my other friend was swimming in a pool that wasn't his and a guy came out and freaked out at him then my friend got his clothes and ran

third night: i was a a school dance and me and my very close friend that's a girl that and has a boyfriend and we kissed and did not tell her boyfriend then i fell down and appeared in my house again and again it was on fire and my dad died again but this time i missed it and did not save any of my guitars

-- Colton E

Dave replies:
Dreams are strange things and can be difficult to interpret. They are often about something that is incomplete and unfinished in your mind. The subconscious is often quite literal and child-like, as well as using metaphor and analogy. The trick then is to think about the themes and patterns of your dream and wonder what it might relate to in things which are concerning you, perhaps very much in the background.

The first night may be a concern about trust. It may include guilt about your father putting the guitars before him could be about putting anything before him. Maybe the third night is a bit of a resolution, now putting your father on par with other things (the guitars).

There's generally a theme across nights about friends, which does point to concerns you have about friendship.

Very difficult to resolve at a distance, but maybe something for you to ponder.

i had i dream i was in a board game and i want to know what it means.

-- amber

Dave replies:
Hi Amber. I can only suggest what it might be -- you'll have to say if it makes sense. In a board game like chess the players are outside the game, moving the pieces. It may be that you feeling controlled by somebody else or generally have little control over your own destiny.

I keep having dreams that I feel like I'm really there. My husband told me that sometimes I fight in my sleep. Last night I dreamt of an black cat with green eyes in my closet I could hear him purring loudly, then all of a sudden there is two instead of one. Why am I having these weird dreams every night. I also had one of an dark shadow hovering over me. Please help me I cant rest good at all.

-- Dakisha B

Dave replies:
I don't know what your dreams mean, Dakisha, but intense dreams can be a sign that there is something unresolved in your life. Perhaps the cats watching and the dark shadow mean you feel under scrutiny? Are you being criticized at work? Try to accept the world as it is and be honest about what may be affecting you. Talk with friends or your husband if there are things worrying you. Just getting it all out can be very helpful.

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