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You and Your Dreams: some basic information

by Margaret Bowater

MA, MNZAP, Author of Dreams and Visions - Language of the Spirit
1. Dreaming normally occupies about a quarter of each night’s sleep.
  • Therefore, on average, you spend one-twelfth of your life-time dreaming.
  • Everybody dreams every night, during 4-5 periods of Rapid Eye Movement sleep.
  • Your big muscles are inhibited from movement during REM periods, to prevent action.
  • You can improve your recall by recording your dream as soon as you wake up.
2. You dream mainly about your current emotional concerns.
  • Dream feelings are real; your body feels them; you may laugh, cry or scream.
  • They often express under-lying daytime feelings more intensely.
  • They often present different perspectives on your current problems.
3. The sense of identity, “I”, in your dreams is called the Dream Ego.
  • It is a reflected image of your Waking Ego, the centre of consciousness.
  • It usually shows how you feel in some aspect of your life at the time.
  • Other figures in the dream may signify people close to you, or aspects of yourself.
4. The dream-stories about You come from a different source than your Ego.
  • This source seems to be a creative observer in touch with all aspects of your life.
  • Carl Jung called it the Self, the central point of balance in the psyche.
  • He also called it “the archetype of the Divine;” your “spark of God within.”
  • Many dreams convey a strong sense of guidance, warning or affirmation.
5. Imagery in dreams comes mostly from your memory, creatively collated.
  • Interpretation therefore depends mainly on your own associations.
  • Some imagery comes more from your sub-conscious cultural background.
  • Most of your dreams are metaphor-stories, like parables or cartoons.
  • They often show you unconscious patterns in your own behaviour, eg running away.
6. Nightmares express strong feelings anticipating or following traumatic events
  • They indicate a need for healing, protection, comfort – or courage to act assertively.
  • Recurring dreams usually indicate unresolved grief, trauma or emotional conflict.
  • Persistent nightmares may indicate a need for psychotherapy, parallel to recurring pain.
  • The hallucinations of mental illness, fever, drugs or sleep-deprivation seem to be extreme forms of dreaming, due to chemical conditions in the brain.
7.  Archetypal visions come from the Collective Unconscious of the human race.
  • Nearly all the world’s major religions have begun with powerful visions.
  • The Bible is full of dreams and visions, from Genesis to Acts to Revelations.
  • Some dreams have major political impact, eg in India, Palestine, Afghanistan, etc.
8. Dreams have inspired artists, scientists, authors, musicians, inventors, films...
  • They are a major source of creative inspiration and problem-solving.
  • When you have a big problem on your mind, “sleep on it” for help.
9. Around one third of us have telepathic, clairvoyant or precognitive dreams.
  • Some dreams seem to carry detailed memories from past lives, or forthcoming events.
10. Around the time of death
  • many people report visions of the beyond, or seeing the spirit depart; and the dying in all cultures report glimpses of departed ones coming to greet them.
Your dreams can be a continual source of warning, inspiration and guidance
    all your life, if you train yourself to listen to your inner Spirit.

Article posted 30 May 2014

This article was posted for Dream Network Aotearoa - New Zealand  arrow-10find out more

Margaret Bowater, MA, MNZAP, Author of Dreams and Visions - Language of the Spirit, is a dream therapist and researcher in Auckland.   arrow-10find out more