Dreams for some people, are a place of wonder and for others it can be a place of horror, but for most it is merely a series of exercises for the brain while the body is at rest. For many people the memories of dreams are vivid and inspiring while for most, there are rarely even vague memories. Either way, it does not change the fact that dreams are place of magic and curiosity, but the most important fascination is why we dream.
There have been many explanations over the centuries as to what dreams are and how they function in the larger patterns of life. What is their purpose to and in the brain and how do we track the dreams that we have has been a focus of research for many psychologists. While a lot of data has been collected on the brain waves while dreaming, it has provided little information as to the purpose. In fact, there are many that have stated that dreams serve no real purpose at all though some research has found that not dreaming can be damaging.
The current scientific stance on dreams is that they serve to help to brain sort through information that has been collected through the awake time activities and then moved the information into long term storage. The spiritual and therapeutic beliefs are that dream serve to organize information to not only provide further information but to also provide information that is outside of the understanding of the human conscious. All three of these stances are correct and the goal of this paper is to show that not only are all three valid but they also work together to help the human mind to connect with the world it lives in.
The first form of dream is the De-fragment Dream. This is the well-known dream of random events, objects and situations that get mashed together in to a random collect of stuff. Often these dreams are fast, jumbled and rarely remembered. These also tend to be the dream most frequently studied because in the lab environment most people are woken up after the physical indications has noted that the dream has been concluded. The physical indications are often referred to as R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) sleep because of the movement of the eyes and other noises and movements people make while dreaming. Once these physical movements have stopped, the researcher will wake the test subject up and have them record their dream.
It has been theorized that these dreams are needed for the brain to sort through the information it has collected and then either store the needed material or dispose of the unneeded material. In a sense, the brain is de-fragmenting the information into more comfortable forms. The result of the de-fragmentation process of the brain is often dreams that has no basis in a story or a theme that identifiable but instead it is random in the selection of material and rarely does the dream have any real sense of flow through it. Additionally, these dreams are rarely remembered because of the information already being in the brain in a different and more grounded format.
The second type of dream could be referred to as the Symbolic Dream and is most often see in situation in which a people “sleeps on” a problem or difficult situation. Many of these dream will have imagery that is symbolic in nature and there is frequently a story attached to the journey of the dream. Many of these dream will evoke a strong emotional response in the dreamer either during the dream or when the dream is remembered. In many cases the dreams are remember as vague images and emotional responses after the dreamer is awake. Some people, these dreams have resulted in works of art or fiction as examples on H.P. Lovecraft’s collected work, and stories like ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
The goal of these dreams to assist the person through their subconscious to come an answer to a problem or resolve a frustration. These are the types of dreams that Freud wrote about in his work on dreams, concluding that the objects and actions in the dreams had symbolic relevance to the person and was a way for the mind to provide a message to the dreamer. Additionally, the symbolism of these types of dreams are analyzed as part of therapeutic processes in order to gain insight to the client’s needs or desires that are being neglected (the id part of the brain). Many people have attempted to explain the variety of symbols that present themselves in dreams and there are many different books with explanations for each of these symbols but in the end, the symbol interpretation can only be done by the dreamer because each symbol will have a different meaning to each person.
While these dreams are more frequently remembered than the De-fragment Dreams, they also happen less often. A person might have a dream that is Symbolic once a month unless there is an increased need, such as a stressful series of events. Many people can evoke a symbolic dream through thought exercises, not unlike praying or meditating, right before going to sleep at night. Contemplation on a problem or situation before sleep will often result in a Symbolic Dream in order to come up with a solution.
Premonition Dreams are the rarest dreams and the most frequently remembered with the highest levels of consistence over years. For many, these dreams will evoke an emotional response that is consistent with waking times emotional responses. For many whom have these dreams regularly, they are able to recite the turn of events with a story telling style and often have a Deja-vu experience when the dream happens in waking time. Additionally, many of these dreams will be in locations that are unknown to the dreamer and may include people whom are unknown. One of the most important ways to realize that one has one these dreams is that the objects and activities are grounded in reality, meaning that there is nothing in the dream that is different from the way it could happen in the real world.
Many might mistake a Symbolic Dream for a Premonition and this is part of the reason that the idea of these types of dreams has been dismissed by scientific communities. Jung did believe that these dreams did exist and wrote about the idea that dreams helped people to connect to the Collective Unconscious and Premonition Dreams were a communication with the collective energy that all humans share. It has been argued by many gurus and spiritual leaders that humans have the ability to connect with larger realms of reality and that dreams of foretelling are just a method of connecting to the higher self that humans have the capability to do. It could also be argued that these dreams indicate an ability of the human to evolve in to something more powerful and amazing, a being of great skill and energy.
Ties of the Mind
How this all ties together is simple: Every human on earth has all of these dreams. There is no special person in the world that has premonition dreams more than another person. The difference is that ability to believe in what you dream. If you believe that dreams are unimportant de-fragmenting at the end of a day, then you will see all dreams as being such, and this is the same of the premonition and symbolic dreams. Efforts to manipulate the mind have be recorded since the beginning of time and as a result, humans have forced their brains to process dreams in the same controlled ways. All three types of dreams are needed for the human to survive and thrive in the world. The de-fragment dreams help to sort through the thousands of bit of information we take in every day, the symbolic dreams help us to answer questions or see where problems are in life, and premonitions have always been there to help the human survive in a world filled with danger and excitement.
It has become common knowledge that humans spend a third of their lives asleep and though the numbers may vary from person to person, this is true. While we sleep, we also dream and there are few that can argue that humans will have many different kinds of dreams. The Defragmentation Dreams help the human brain to cope the large amounts of information internalized on daily basis. Symbolic Dreams help the mind to sort out difficulties and problems and are often associated with “sleeping on” a problem. Premonition dreams are part of the collective energy that the world shares and efforts to communicate with the larger world through insights into the present and future. All humans have all of these dream throughout their lives and how often one type of dream or another is identified depends upon the individual’s beliefs about dreaming and usefulness of it. R.E.M. sleep happens for all these types of dreams and is important to the mental health of the human mind, which lends to the idea of the need to get “a good night’s sleep.”