Forget Conventional Dream Interpretation: Learn to Cultivate Your Dreams Today!
One of my favourite quotes of all time and I am sure many of you share my thoughts, is the speech by Martin Luther King at the civil rights march in Washington, 1963, which went like this:
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood..."
"I have a dream..." Indeed. Inspiring stuff. I want to discuss our dreams in a very practical way today.
I want to talk about how to cultivate your dreaming. It really is a tremendously valuable thing to do. I want to steer away from conventional dream interpretation and will explain why.
As of today, pay attention to your dreaming and your daydreaming. Dreams are important to us in many ways, because they do the following:
Firstly, when you dream you actively process information and feelings.
Secondly, dreams are always involving many senses, so the highly sensory experience is very rich. It is quite rare for us to use all our senses at once as we do when we dream.
Thirdly, dreams give us valuable information about what is going on in our lives, whether directly or more often in a disguised or symbolic form.
Fourthly, dreams are strongly sequenced, though often in a way which is emotionally rather than logically organised.
Finally, dreams draw upon a rich range of unconscious, associative, creative links between many kinds of information.
Some people remember their dreams; others tend to forget all but the most dramatic bits as soon as they wake. When you dream or daydream, take time to replay as much of it as you can in your mind before the events of the day overlay it. Relive the story of that dream. Remind yourself of the events, pictures, sensations and other sensory information it involved.
This dream was the product of your mind. Marvel at your own creativity! This is amazing stuff here; get excited by it.
If you get into the habit of asking yourself when you wake, what did I dream? you may at first only remember a few particularly strong feelings or vivid images: write them down and review it regularly. I actually used to write a dream journal and wrote everything down as soon as I opened my eyes each morning. It provided me with such inspiration when I required it.
Naturally, lots of you may want to start with dream interpretation straight away. Resist the urge for dream interpretation, ok?
Do your best not to assume that there is necessarily a single clear meaning which can be interpreted according to psychological theories or books on dream significance or dream interpretation. How can your dreams have the same meaning as someone else? Is your brain the same as that persons? For now, ease off the dream interpretation.
I have found that the most useful assumption to make about dreams is that they have some kind of significance for you, the dreamer: they come from your internal, unconscious minds storehouse of feelings, experiences and images, and are an active and useful way of processing that is quite different from and just as useful as the processing that belongs to the logical conscious part of your mind.
Often a strong feeling will be your first clue to the meaning a dream has for you: so note it, and wonder about it, but dont try to rush to tie it down by conscious analysis. The real work of the dream is often done simply in the dreaming of it: the conscious mind does not always have to understand, and when it tries to translate dreams into its own terms it may be limiting it, just as poetry translated from another language usually loses something of its more subtle tapestry of meanings.
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