Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dream a Little Dream

Last night (and this morning) I had really nutty dreams.  Seriously.  They were all over the place, and some of them were so vivid I really want to call certain friends and family members to either see if they are well, or congratulate them on their cool new flying elephants.
On one level, I truly believe that dreams are the Universe's way of sending us little messages.  On another level, I believe that dreams are the brain's way of sifting through all of the information stored during waking hours.
What are dreams?  One researcher asks "Why would Mother Nature highly activate your brain, paralyze your body, sexually activate you and force you to watch these things we call dreams? Why? Why would Mother Nature do that?"[1]   Excellent question!  For all of the research out there on dreams, the only questions answered are the physical ones.  We know that dreams during R.E.M. sleep tend to be the most vivid.  We know that most people have almost no muscle mass during dreams.  We know that personality often determines how people dream--type A personalities tend to have more disturbing dreams, logical people tend to have more emotional dreams, etc.  Nobel Prizes have been given out for the study of dreams.
As a pagan, I lean toward the more spiritual interpretation of my dreams.  Interpreting your dreams is a good way to get to know what's going on in your head a little better.  I believe in the symbolism common in dreams, for example:  oak trees symbolize longevity and stability, snakes can symbolize a hidden fear or threat in your life.  There are just some archetypes that are universal.  I believe that some dreams are the brain's way of pointing out things I may have missed during the day.  As a pagan, I believe that the Universe is sending me messages.  As a realist though, I believe that sometimes a dream is just a dream, and maybe a reaction to the spicy tacos and glass of wine I had before bed, or the cold medicine I'm taking.

 [1] PATRICK MCNAMARA (Boston University).

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