Following my absence last month, I return this month with my ruminations on dreams.
I haven’t had many dreams in the past 22 years as regular dreaming ceased for me at around the age of 16 giving way to nothingness each night. Even if I can’t remember details upon awakening, I always know when I have dreamed and, until about three months ago, dreams were an irregular occurrence. Conventional wisdom says that everybody dreams but then conventional wisdom says a lot of things that can be argued against.
My current state of regular dreaming has made me think a lot about dreams. What are dreams? Walter Reisch and Charles Brackett described sleep as “little slices of death” in their 1959 screenplay for “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and, if that description holds any weight, perhaps dreams are pale imitations or trailers of what we will all experience as we shuffle off this mortal coil to meet whatever angels, demons or oblivion we imagine is beyond this life.
Some describe dreams as their ‘midnight movies’ which are perhaps the only times in their lives that they feel as though they are the centre of attention because their waking existence robs them of the feeling of being special.
Freud and Jung both saw dreams as important tools to understand the unconscious mind. Freud referred to the interpretation of dreams as “the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind” but tended to view dream images in terms of latent sexual drives and wish fulfilment. Jung, on the other hand, noted that although there may be universal meanings attributable to certain images, individuals may read an entirely unique interpretation to an image and he saw that dreams may have a greater significance to our waking lives such as a warning of approaching ill health.
Dreams could also represent a whole new plane of existence, one that we can only visit when our bodies are at rest allowing our minds to truly wander. Perhaps dreams are meaningless jumbles of imagery onto which we impose our beliefs upon awakening.
So, what are dreams? Your guess is as good as mine but one thing is for sure – dreams can be seriously weird!
See you next month!