Dreams – What they are going to tell us
Dreams are a part of life and there is no one normal human on earth who has not dreamed at least once. There is no age restriction or gender specific dreams. So, what they are going to tell us is a big question that, crop up frequently and is always impossible to solve. In today's world the importance of dream is not taken too seriously due to the belief that they are thoughts, fears or desires of subconscious mind. But no one knows that in olden days they were given lot of importance and some interesting facts are associated with it.
In ancient times:
- In 3000-4000B.C dreams were treated as real situations in life and were documented in clay tablets.
The society at that time was unaware and could not find difference between dream and reality. They thought that dream world is more potent world and is something related to reality or extension to it.
- In Greek and Roman period there were special people who are known as dream interpreters. These people escorted army in battlefield and were given special privileges, due to the belief that dreams are messages of gods.
- The well-known Egyptian culture also gave importance to dreams and in case of religious context, priest performed the dream interpreter's role. People with vibrant and significant thoughts or dreams were considered special as the belief was they were god messengers. The recording of dreams was done in hieroglyphics.
The power of interpreting dream was considered as divine power in ancient times and we come across various references in holy Bible too. People at that time were inclined in interpreting the dreams as they treat it as some prophesy and signs of caution or advice. It is also believed that dreams show signs of spirits, activities of demons, message from gods or dead people. The superstitious belief is so intense that dream interpreter was appointed to dictate the next process in political, military and medical fields.
- Ancient Greek and China were more prone to dreams and used this dream in deciding next action. The dreaming is treated as activity where spirit or soul leave body and go out for some time and come back again after getting refreshed. So, they think a sudden wake up can divert the soul in reaching the body after getting refreshed. Even today Chinese are more concerned about this fact and are cautious about alarm clocks.
- This same idea on dreams is shared in some Native American tribes and Mexicans. They have strong feeling that dreams take non-living forms such as plants and also help in staying touch with their ancestors. The role to be played in this life is also recognized with the help of dreams.
- The 19th century dismissed the dream philosophy due to problems like anxiety, but Sigmund Freud invigorated the importance and the necessity of interpretation of dreams.
Studies on dream philosophy have continued from that age and now-a-days people have different opinions on dream interpretation. However, classification has been done and different types of dreams were explained.
Classifications in dreams:
1. Day dream is most frequent one and studies show that the average duration of this type of dreams is between 70 to 120 minutes in a day. This type of dream occurs between sleep and sleeplessness. Though these types of dreams occur during waking hours, they make the person carried out and make them imagine things. The conscious mind begins to wander and lost in imaginative scenario.
2. Lucid dream is generally not a type of dream as people realize it as dream, in the middle of dream. But still it is consider as dream and some dreamers wake themselves when they realize it whereas some dreams continue in that lucid state only. Being in lucid state they become active participants and make decisions by implementing it in unawake state.
3. The dreams which are disturbing and often forcefully wake the dreamer from sleep are called as Nightmares. These types of dreams create anxiety and fear in the dreamers mind and they wake up sweating or shouting in real. The classification of such dreams is placed in the category of Post-traumatic stress nightmare or PSN and may be response to real life traumatic circumstances. It may be due to stressful condition or unable to accept particular situation of life. In extreme conditions, the dream may be due to Psychiatric problem in family history, drugs, suicide tendency or discrepancy in relationship. So, it is good to recognize nightmares and confront them if possible.
4. Sometime we may come across dream which often repeat with slight difference in the story theme, which are known as Recurring dreams. Though such type of dreams are positive they are nightmares and recurring is due to unsolved problem depicted in the dream previously. Once the problem is solved these types of dreams may not persist.
5. Uncommon type of dreams whether dreamer gets dream on their health which serves as message to consult a physician is known as Healing dream.
6. Most interesting type of dreams is Prophetic dreams, where people dream and predict the future. The explanation associated with such dream is that the mind of dreamer collect pieces of information and examined things, which are unnoticed or ignored and recognize the future. If the same bit of information is put together in conscious state the same conclusion is predicted.
7. Bright and large dreams that are unpreventable are known as Epic dreams. Such types of dreams are unforgettable and depict many archetypes that need interpretation.
Everyone should understand the fact that all or any of these types of dreams, is part of life and as one third of our life is allocated to sleeping, anyone cannot avoid dreaming. The ability to dream is indispensable activity in human life and if such activity is missing such person may be having protein deficiency or some personality problem. Even a blind person is capable of dreaming through other senses such as smell, sounds if not vision. According to studies, dream can be equal in case of a woman that is they may have dream on man or women equally, but men dream more about men. In case, of toddlers dreaming about themselves, is not possible till the age of 3 years and will continue till the age of 8 years. Brain waves when observed during dreaming will be more active, if compared to conscious state.
Some examples of true dreams that have occurred in real life:
In the past there are many instances where the meaning of true dreams was acknowledged:
• The famous assassination case of Abraham Lincoln is one such instance, where Lincoln dreamed about White house servant announcing about his death on the previous day of his assassination. However, he ignored that dream and got killed in the next day evening even after warnings from others.
• Another instance is Eisenhower dream where he saw a storm causing damage to landing crafts. Due to this dream he could change the course of Second World War in 1944, which was accurate and recorded in history.
• A Russian writer Anne Ostrovosky's mother dreamed about German-Russian war scenes just five year before the exact situation burst out, which is Second World War.
• Elias Howe first dreamed about and then discovered the sewing machine. Similarly, Niels Bohr also dreamed about planets been connected with sun through threads and planets revolving around it. This gave him imagination to find the atomic structures.
Though the examples are numerous and are different, the main objective is to show that the existence of immaterial world is to be recognized through dreams.
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