Monday, February 15, 2010
The Reality of Dreams
When we close our eyes at night other realities emerge from within us. Some say it’s our subconscious playing out what happened during the day and trying to make sense of it. Some say it is other worlds that we visit when we sleep. I think it’s probably both and sometimes neither. Our dreaming is fluid. Trying to order it and box it into perfect categories will only warp the meanings we receive. Take heed of your dreams, but use a poet’s eye when you try to understand what they are about. Look and see how they can help you make sense of yourself and your life.
Dreams also bring us many interesting ideas for writing, especially in creative writing. I had a dream the other night in which I was doing some rather mundane things and then a story idea came to me. When I woke up I remembered it. It’s a pretty good idea. I might use it. I wasn’t trying to get an idea from my dreams, but it is possible to purposely use your dreams for such things.
Now you may say you don’t remember your dreams. That can be remedied. Before you go to sleep tell yourself you will remember your dreams. Soon you will. Also when you do dream, write it down. Don’t wait until morning because you will most likely forget it. The very act of doing these things trains you to be aware of your dream life.
Once you’ve established yourself as a conscious dreamer* you can use your dreams for more detailed work. You can ask yourself a question before you go to sleep. Try asking about a project you are having trouble with. Maybe you want to know where next to take it. See what comes up and remember to look at your dreams with poet’s eyes because the subconscious uses metaphor, symbols, and images. But sometimes a door is just a door. Learn to know the difference and don’t over analyze.
Dreams are just another aspect of your reality. They can provide you with insights and help with problems. You can learn a lot about yourself and with this self-knowledge you can create the reality of your dreams.
*I’m not talking about lucid dreaming. I’m talking about being aware of your dreaming not being awake in the dream. You want to let the subconscious do the work which is impossible once you are conscious in a dream.