The 25 Most Commonly Asked Questions

Contents

Compiled by the faculty of the School of Metaphysics, sponsor of the annual National Dream Hotline® Published by School of Metaphysics (SOM) Publishing, National Headquarters, Windyville, Missouri 65783 U.S.A. ©1994, all rights reserved

Did you know that by age 60 you will sleep 175,200 hours, dream 87,000 hours with 197,100 dreams? Although a significant majority of us remember our dreams, less than ten percent of us understand their meaning. Research shows that by the year 2000, this percentage will more than double with profound effects on the way we see ourselves and our world.

Each day we have hundreds of opportunities to respond to our outer environment by making decisions that determine the quality of our lives. The removal of consciousness from the physical body, commonly known as sleep, provides a rest both mentally and physically from the constant input of information through the body's physical senses. During the sleeping hours, rejuvenation of the mind and body occurs in preparation for the next day's experience. More importantly, assessments of how previous experiences have affected the inner environment of Self transpire. This process of reflection is conducted by your inner mind while the conscious, waking mind sleeps. The inner mind reviews and correlates similar thoughts generated throughout your previous day, offering reports on the attitudes you hold that comprise your state of being. A nightly commentary concerning your state of awareness is offered to your conscious mind in what we know as dreams.

For decades, faculty and students of the School of Metaphysics have been studying and researching man's potential including the universal phenomenon of dreaming. We have found that dreams are communications from the inner levels of man's consciousness. When understood, dream images provide significant feedback concerning the dreamer's spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical state of being. Being attentive and informed about your dream states can resolve problems, enhance creativity, and accelerate learning. Our research indicates all dreams, including flying dreams, nightmares, and recurring dreams, are relevant messages to and about the dreamer.

Dreams offer insights into the state of your awareness. They are communicated in the Universal Language of Mind and are personally relevant to you, the dreamer. When interpreting your own dreams there are two universally true principles to keep in mind:

1

Every dream is about the dreamer

2

Every person, place and thing in the dream represents the dreamer

 

Dreams are a communication from your inner, subconscious mind to your outer, conscious mind. The characters and action in your dream present a symbolic story about you and for you. When interpreted, dreams teach us in much the same way a fable or parable presents a message or lesson to be learned.

Fables, myths, and the world's Holy Scriptures offer insightful stories of the lives of others. The written word describes concepts which reveal Universal Truths that every person on the planet can live by to enrich their lives. When read, the words conjure images in the mind defining a productive action or way of thinking such as courage, trustworthiness, or Self respect. There is an inherent detachment from stories of mythology as they are about someone else's life. We can learn to separate and identify our own dream images in a similar fashion. A detached outlook enables us to rise above emotional reaction to the information received and frees us to objectively perceive the Truth being communicated from another, deeper part of Self.

Applying the Truth revealed in dreams causes new ways of thinking and acting, promoting a change and growth in your awareness. For instance, you dream that you are running down a long dark street. Something is chasing after you but you don't look back to see what it is. When you get to the end of the street there is nowhere to go. This dream indicates you are avoiding the acknowledgment of an aspect or part of your Self. In the dream, you do not even look to see what is motivating you to run, informing you that you are unaware of your own intentions in life. Through the dream images, your subconscious mind is telling you that the result in your waking life is similar to the dead end reached in the dream; your choices are significantly limited. If you've had this kind of dream, you will benefit from admitting the many opportunities open to you and setting goals for a lifestyle you find worthy of pursuing. In this way you respond to the Truth revealed in your dream.

The messages from your subconscious mind contain no judgments regarding right or wrong, good or bad; the way of thinking or the attitude comprising your state of awareness simply exists. When dreams are interpreted you become aware of how you think which gives you freedom to imagine something better than before. You have access to information beyond and in addition to your outer physical experiences. Perhaps you have thought, "If I just had that one specific piece of information, all the pieces would fit and my life would be as I desire." Your dreams provide opportunities to find that missing piece on a daily basis.

Dreaming remains an enigma to most people and the questions arising from dream experiences cover a broad spectrum. Many of these questions are related since dreaming is a universal experience for all of mankind. From our exploration in the meaning of dreams, we have gathered twenty-five of the most common questions about our night time dreams and what they reveal about the dreamer. We trust they will offer insight and clarity to your own dream experiences, dispelling fears or anxieties arising from "old wives' tales and bringing to light the vast wisdom available to you each time you sleep.

1. Where do dreams originate?

Dreams are messages originating in the inner levels of your consciousness, the part of Self we term the subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind has a duty to fulfill and a purpose to accomplish. It recreates the images created by your waking, conscious mind so you can enjoy the experiences you desire. Your subconscious mind will fulfill any conscious desire when allowed. This occurs for the growth and maturity of the whole Self. As your desires are manifested in the conditions and circumstances of your life, you have opportunities to learn about your Self and creation. When the essence of experiences are understood and made a part of Self, these understandings are stored in your subconscious mind as permanent memory.

2. Why do we dream?

Most people are consumed by their everyday, physical life, giving little attention to their inner life. They are like someone who continually talks, only stopping to take a breath, and rarely letting another person speak. The incessant chatter of the waking mind leaves little space for the inner mind's communication to be heard. However, when the conscious mind is still during sleep, communications from the subconscious mind can be received. Since your subconscious mind holds all of the understandings you have gained (whether during this lifetime or others), it has a wealth of insight and guidance to assist your waking, conscious mind in learning. Dreaming is a way to establish rapport between the inner and outer Self, offering us nightly access to the wisdom of our own souls.

3. Do I dream every night?

Yes. Dreaming occurs in ninety minute cycles throughout your night's sleep. As the ninety minute cycles continue this shallow sleep gives way to deeper stages of sleep sometimes called "beauty rest". The conscious activities of the day are released to the subconscious mind for review and feedback. This feedback comes in the form of dreams.

4. I have difficulty getting a good night's sleep. Can this be why I don't remember dreams?

Because most people lack knowledge of how to release memories of their day's activities and enter into the inner levels of consciousness, they are restless during the early stages of sleep. This light sleep is characterized by tossing and turning throughout the night, leaving the sleeper physically tired and mentally irritable the next day. If restlessness becomes a habitual pattern, the sleeper remains in shallow sleep throughout the night, resulting in insomnia. By learning to release your mental attachment to people and situations, you ease your mind, promoting restful periods of sleep. Controlling your attention and causing mental and physical relaxation at will enables you to still your conscious mind in order to receive communication from your subconscious mind. These mental skills, as well as many others which provide access to the inner levels of consciousness, can be learned and are taught in the School of Metaphysics course of study.

5. Why do dreams need to be interpreted? Why is there a hidden meaning rather than just a direct meaning?

Omne ignotum pro magnificao. Unless you are acquainted with the Latin language this arrangement of the alphabet has little meaning for you. Although the thought communicated remains what it is, the message imparted is lost because its receiver is unfamiliar with the language. The same is true for your dreams. Dream messages are formed in what we term the Universal Language of Mind. This language is used by the inner mind for all of mankind for communication and is therefore universal. The meaning is only hidden to those who have yet to learn. As our opening quote reveals, "whatever is unknown is held to be magnificent." When the unknown becomes known, the communication offered by your dreams will be very direct for it will be understood by you, the receiver of the message.

6. How can I know what my dreams mean?

In order to understand the communication received in dreams, you must be willing to learn a new language: the Universal Language of Mind. You become familiar with this inner language in much the same way as you learned the English language for communication in your everyday, waking life. Begin recording your dreams immediately upon awakening. This will, in time, give you an extensive list of dream symbols. Use the information here to begin learning the a, b, c's of the Universal Language of Mind. For those desiring further instruction, consult the listing of books and courses found under SOM Publishing.

7. What do people in dreams represent?

People in your dreams represent aspects of your Self. People of the same sex will signify aspects of your waking, conscious mind, while people of the opposite sex will represent aspects of your inner, subconscious mind. To identify an aspect, imagine that you are describing the person who has appeared in your dream to a stranger or even someone from Jupiter. In other words, be specific. What outstanding qualities characterize him or her? These qualities will indicate the aspect of your Self being addressed in the dream. It is important to note that people in positions of authority (ex: parents, employer, minister, teacher, president) will signify your superconscious mind, the part of mind closest to your Creator and seat of your own divinity and inner authority.

8. What do sex dreams mean?

Creation occurs through aggressive and receptive principles working together in harmony. The result is offspring or the manifestation of a creation into physical form. Sexual dreams indicate your willingness to create harmony between your conscious and subconscious minds for the fulfillment of your desires. Through this cooperation, thought is initiated and its likeness is manifested in your outer life. Babies in a dream will represent new ideas or new ways of life.

9. I have no desire to rekindle my relationship with my ex-(husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend). Why do I constantly dream that they are a part of my life again?

Dreaming of a person from your past brings your attention to the need to use and express particular qualities that you specifically associate with that person. Relationships with others throughout our lives provide us with the opportunity to learn by realizing and developing particular qualities. Sometimes the full benefit of what was gained from earlier experiences is left behind with the physical part of the relationship. When there is no one presently in the dreamer's life who reflects this quality, the subconscious mind will draw upon information stored in the brain during an earlier time period in order to get its message across. Thus you may dream about a former love, a college classmate, or a grade school teacher.

10. What do animals represent in dreams?

Animals function compulsively through instinct. Unlike man, they do not possess the necessary physical form for reasoning to be active. Therefore, in a dream animals represent compulsive ways of thinking or habits. Although they are still symbols indicating compulsiveness, there are four animals which universally lend more specific insight into how the dreamer is thinking. Once of these is the snake. Universally, as with the caduceus used in the medical field, the image of a snake signifies creativity, healing, and wisdom. In the Universal Language of Mind snakes represent creative or Kundalini energy. This is a mental energy used for creating the conditions and circumstances in your physical life. The dream action will reveal what your subconscious mind is communicating concerning how you are using your creative energy. An example is dreaming that you fear snakes, indicating your need to acknowledge and admit your own creative ability so you can rise above compulsion. Another example might be handling snakes and directing their activity, indicating intelligent control of your creative energy. The additional three animals cited above are a horse, a fish, and a bird, representing respectively the will, spiritual knowledge, and subconscious thoughts.

11. My car was broken down in my dream. Should I prepare for car repairs?

A car is a vehicle that we use to get from one physical place to another. The mind uses the physical body to move from one place to another. In a dream, small vehicles (ex: a car, small plane, boat) represent your physical body. The condition of the vehicle will reflect the condition of your body. When you dream that something is impairing the function of your car, your subconscious mind is letting you know that your current thoughts and attitudes are dis-eased and if allowed to continue will probably manifest as an illness in your physical body. These "health dreams" are extremely valuable for promoting optimal health in mind and body. For the average person a health dream will occur many weeks before physical symptoms appear. When you learn to interpret your dreams and act on the information, you can change the dis-ease at its point of origin to produce health in your body.

12. Does it mean that my brother is going to die if he is killed in my dream?

Death is a change or transformation to another state of being. Change occurs millions of times in your life as the cells of your body replace themselves and then die. While growing up as a child these changes in cellular structure bring you closer and closer to your goal of becoming a physical adult. In a dream death signifies change. When someone dies in your dream, it represents a change in the way you identify or understand that aspect of Self. The old aspect is dead and a new transformed you is now expressing. These dreams are to be revered rather than feared for they indicate growth.

13. Sometimes I kill people in my dreams. Does this mean that I have a desire to kill people?

As before, death represents a change in an aspect of Self. In these kinds of dreams, the dreamer is making a conscious choice to cause a change. The dream image presented is one of initiating direct action to alter an aspect of Self. This dream will indicate that the dreamer is imaging a new way of thinking, such as becoming more courageous or giving or happy depending on the qualities associated with the person who has been killed in the dream. Remember dreams are symbolic messages for you, about you. You know if you entertain conscious, waking thoughts of harm to another. You don't require your dreams to tell you this. Dreams are offered in the Universal Language of Mind and must be interpreted in that language for full understanding to transpire. Trying to relate to your dreams in a literal fashion keeps you thinking only physically while impairing the development of bilingual skill.

14. What does it mean when someone who has died appears in a dream? Are they really there?

Over half of the people surveyed by the University of Chicago several years ago reported dreaming of people who have died. Some want to know why and how this can be while others want to know how to determine if it is really him/her visiting them during their dream. To know if the friend or relative who has died is actually there, note how the communication is occurring. When the mode of communication is telepathic, the experience occurring in the dream state is direct contact with the entity who is no longer experiencing in a physical body. Their lips will be still and the information received will clearly be through thought projection only. You have had an experience on the inner levels, in effect visiting the departed loved one where they now are existing. When the person interacts and communicates verbally in the dream, he or she will represent (like any other person appearing in the dream) an aspect of the dreamer. This person will indicate a quality of Self that had been transformed and is now reverting to its original expression. Whether a person is alive or dead in physical life, information about them is stored in your brain as memory and can be used for communication by your subconscious mind to create a representation of that person in your dream.

15. What causes a nightmare?

If you are a parent and you permit your child to play outside, you have probably told them to remain in the yard and out of the street. If the child begins to move toward the road you might speak sharply to get their attention, redirecting them to safety. Should the child continue to disobey your directions thus putting him/herself in danger, you will use emotion yelling loudly to get your point across or even take physical action. Nightmares are the way your subconscious mind emphasizes a message in order to gain your conscious attention. By the time you experience a nightmare, your subconscious mind has previously presented to you an important message that you have repeatedly ignored. Graphic images that your conscious mind will react to emotionally and thus remember are presented and you awake recalling what you call a nightmare. When the dream messages are heeded and growth occurs, the nightmares cease.

16. I woke up in a cold sweat recently. My heart was pounding and my breath was labored. Why does this happen?

This is the result of experiencing a nightmare. You may not recall what was occurring in your consciousness, but the mental and emotional imbalances are manifested in your body as the residual effects of what your conscious mind avoids or rejects. Your reaction to the physical symptoms is multiplied by your fear and anxiety of being out of control of your body. To break this habit of reacting to dream messages, endeavor to remember your dreams. Place a notebook by your bed, affirming to your Self before retiring that you will remember your dreams. Upon awakening, write down everything you remember. Practice this on a daily basis to cause a consistency in the recall of your dreams. Once you have the information, identify the symbols and what they represent. With practice you will be able to make changes in your life easily and efficiently based on the information you receive on a daily basis from your dreams. Life, and your dream experiences, will become a joy rather than something to fear.

17. I dream of falling off of cliffs or tall buildings. Am I in danger?

Experiencing the sensation of falling occurs when the conscious mind become alert in the dream state prior to waking up. The experience that you are describing is simply that you are conscious in the inner levels, where the dream is taking place, as your awareness moves outward toward the physical level of consciousness. When you reach the ground you are awake and fully aware in your conscious mind. Movement from one level of mind to another can be caused and experienced consciously by one who has applied metaphysical disciplines. There is an old wives' tale that if you dream you are falling and hit bottom then you will die. Those who have experienced this phenomenon reveal the fallacy in this tale.

18. I feel paralyzed sometimes in my dreams. What is happening to me?

Life is passing you by. The same type of paralysis exists in your waking life. Fear of life is what keeps you immobile. Life is for learning and growth. Begin creating desires for yourself and then follow through with action to bring them into existence in your life. Visualize your desired object or state of being. As conditions and circumstances in your life begin to change as a result of your active participation in life, you will begin to learn how to respond to the environment and to create greater successes for yourself and those in your sphere of influence.

19. Why do we have recurring dreams?

Dreams recur when the thoughts and attitudes of the dreamer remain the same. It is similar to repeating the same grade in school until the information presented is used and learning is accelerated. Only then can the student advance to the next grade and be successful at the new level of learning. To encourage new and different dream messages, make changes in the way that you think; your subconscious mind will then offer insight into your next step in progression based on the newly created attitude.

20. What does flying in a dream mean?

The nature of the soul is freedom. During sleep, unencumbered by the physical limitations that we put on ourselves, the soul is free to experience to its full capacity. Just the thought of being somewhere is enough to get you there in your astral body. Flying in a dream occurs when you are aware of this freedom. Flying signifies astral projection in the inner levels of mind.

21. What does it mean when you dream that you are taking a test in school and are unprepared?

A school represents a place where learning can occur. Opportunities for learning are available every day as a result of your chosen experiences. It is your responsibility to learn from these experiences, adding to your soul's understanding of creation. To dream of being unprepared for a test indicates the need to assimilate and use the information received from daily experiences. A test is a means of drawing forth what has been learned; an evaluation. To have an experience without understanding perpetuates ignorance of the purpose for existence. This dream brings attention to the dreamer's need to use what has been received for greater Self awareness.

22. I dreamed that my teeth were very large and they kept falling out.

Teeth are used to chew food so it can be transformed into usable energy for the body. In a dream, food represents knowledge which can be transformed into usable energy for the mind. This dreamer's attention is being drawn, by the largeness of the teeth, to the need to use the knowledge received for enriching the mind. It is difficult to accomplish this when the proper equipment, as symbolized by the teeth, is lacking. If you have this type of dream, begin imagining purposes for your goals. Receive knowledge with an intention to put that knowledge into practice for bettering your Self and your life.

23. Why do I dream of being naked in public?

Honesty in your thoughts and actions is the attitude revealed when you are naked in a dream. You are expressing your Self in an open and truthful manner; there is nothing to hide. Your subconscious mind is informing you that your thoughts and actions are in alignment. Clothing in a dream will symbolize how you are expressing certain attributes in accordance with the characters and action in your dream.

24. I have dreamed of drowning in water several times. Sometimes it is a tidal wave. Sometimes it is a whirlpool or a flood.

The earth is 75% water. The physical body is over 70% water. As physical beings we exist and live in water. In our dreams water represents conscious life experiences. Your dreams of water reflect back to you how you exist on a day-to-day basis. These dreams provide an image of being deluged by water in various ways indicating the dreamer's thought pattern of being overwhelmed by life and daily experiences. By setting ideals for Self and acting upon them the dreamer can begin taking control of Self in everyday experiences. If you have these kinds of dreams, whenever you feel overwhelmed or like you are struggling, bring your ideals to the forefront of your mind and act upon them. You will no longer feel a need to escape from life. Your dreams will change to a more pleasant scene, perhaps you are paddling down a river or sailing on the ocean very much in control of your existence.

25. Many of my dreams come true. What causes this?

Dreams that later occur in our physical lives are known as precognitive dreams. While your conscious mind sleeps, your subconscious mind is free to review the past, present, and probable future. Your subconscious mind can use symbols in its communication that are drawn from probable future events. Sometimes this is to provide you with foresight or precognition so you can consciously respond by either changing the lines of probability or by adjusting your attitudes to the probable event. At other times, a precognitive dream will be offered as a means to stimulate recall of dreams. You may not remember the dream upon awakening but several days later you have a feeling of deja vu because you indeed have been here nights before during a dream state. Either way, the dream is still symbolic of your state of awareness. In addition, you now have information about probable future events. Because you make choices every day you now have the opportunity to see how your choices of today affect your future experiences. If you have identified a dream as precognitive and desire to change what is set up for the future, then begin to make appropriate choices today. You will alter the outcome.


It is a pleasure to share the benefits of our research with you. We hope some of your questions about dreams have been answered and that these answers have stimulated your urge to remember, investigate, and utilize your dreams for greater Self awareness. Understanding the messages given to you by your subconscious mind in the form of dreams opens your consciousness to what exists beyond the five physical senses and enriches your inner life.

As you learn to respond to this inner communication, you will develop a cooperative relationship with the best teacher you will ever know — your own soul. To learn more about dreams visit our virtual campus: www.dreamschool.org

Copyright© 1996 School of Metaphysics

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