Saturday, 1 March 2014

What do you think about dreams?

Dreams are amazing. Flat out. I could just leave it there, but I’ll expand for the sake of writing. In this case, I’m talking about the dreams we have while sleeping. I think we can all agree that having dreams, as in plans for your future, is a good idea. But dreams we can’t control? Those are some fascinating lil’ buggers! Do you remember your dreams? I am a ridiculously light sleeper, and as such I tend to remember my dreams quite often. Different people and situations play across my mind’s eye from night to night, almost always new and entertaining. I very rarely will have a ‘repeat’ dream, and I also very rarely have bad dreams. What I do have are reminders of different people and places that I may not have seen in a while, or spoken to, or been able to visit. Or new situations that seem wondrous and weird with people I don’t know. The other night I dreamt of friends in Edinburgh, and we were in Edinburgh. A few days before, a guy I knew in High school who I haven’t seen since. I’ve dreamt of my dead Grandfather, my dead cat, people I have never met who I feel very connected to in my dream, and other family and friends over the years. My brain likes to mix it up, stop me from getting bored!

And sometimes I get cameos by famous actors or characters from books I’ve read. Some of my most memorable cameos have been David Tennant (as The Doctor), Benedict Cumberbatch (as himself), and Fred and George Weasley from the Happy Potter series. Those are always the best dreams, when you get to be the star of your own movie or book series inside your own head. J

On a less tangible level, I think what I love the most about dreams is how little we understand them. Why do we have them? What is their purpose? I read a book by an anthropologist who studied Mexican traditional healing, and he learned how to go into the underworld through his dreams to recapture the souls of people who had been bewitched. When the souls got captured in the underworld, the people became physically ill. He was able to learn how to do the lucid dreaming of the shamans to reclaim souls, and control where he travelled during his nightly sojourns into the Mexican underworld. It was a fascinating study. I think the idea of being able to control your dreams is really cool. Maybe someday I’ll try to learn how to do it. I know that lucid dreaming is a thing that many people around the world have attempted and claim to be able to do. Is that the purpose of dreams? To enter a world that exists but can only be reached through dreams?

Or do our dreams connect us to other people living here on earth? Science tells us that it is impossible to create (aka imagine) in our dreams. Everything we dream is an amalgamation of things we have seen and learned before. So when you dream of a stranger, you have actually seen that person before, maybe just in a crowd, for a fleeting moment, but your brain held onto the image and one day supplanted it into a storyline for your night time enjoyment. So it’s weird to think that somewhere, people who you don’t know are also dreaming of YOU as an unknown stranger in their own dreams. What sorts of things are you doing in other people’s dreams? Who can know? How does this connect us as humans?

Also, do you ever wonder if the people you dream about are also having the same dream? And you are meeting in the dream plane of existence to act out this story together? Maybe only one person can remember these dreams, and so the other people just forget the dreams, either upon waking, or sleep so deeply that they don’t consciously remember dreaming at all. Are there dream rules that are looked over by some sort of Dream Fairy? If so, dear Fairy, I request more Benedict Cumberbatch dreams, please! 

Or are our dreams solely a way to connect with your subconscious? Your brain, regurgitating random bits and pieces of the debris that we mentally collect on a daily basis from the media, our lives, and our imaginations? Helping you weed through the static and figure out problems, or helping decide what knowledge to hold on to, and what to lock away for good?

Who knows, but I do know that I look forward to remembering my dreams on a regular basis. Mostly to recall the silly things that can happen, but also to allow myself to wonder, and to think that maybe, just maybe, my dreams might be something bigger than they seem.

Kim x

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