Results of Dream Survey
Dreaming Around the World
Results of Our Dream Survey
What occurs in the dream world seems sometimes real, sometimes surrealistic. In the dream state your family can be the family you never had. You can perform miraculous feats such as flying or leaping great distances. You can talk with a deceased family member or friend, or attempt to flee from your greatest fear, only to be frozen to the ground or running in slow motion. You may awaken from a dream and think, “Thank goodness, it was only a dream,” or say to yourself, “I’m glad I had that dream!”
Dreams have fascinated artists. They have puzzled scientists. They have intrigued the layman perhaps since the dawning of the first morning and the memory of the first dream. Dreams have provided source material for some of humanity’s most magnificent creations. William Shakespeare wrote about dreams. Thomas Edison dreamt about his inventions. And you, what do you dream about? Many of you responded to the 1995 National Dream Survey conducted following the 1995 National Dream Hotline last April. The School of Metaphysics sent out over 2000 surveys to people across the globe to further our research into Man’s inner nature. The results of our research and your assistance tell how you dream, what you dream, who appears in your dreams and what piqued your interest in dreams.
Dreams are a universal phenomenon. People who are logical, such as scientists, psychologists, engineers and computer consultants responded to the dream survey as did highly creative and imaginative people such as artists, entertainers, writers, floral designers and actresses. Responses were from across the United States and overseas, from people ranging in age from fifteen to ninety-one. Many who responded value education and learning. More than half of the respondents earned degrees beyond high school (10.6% associates degrees; 22.8% bachelors degrees; 17.9% masters degrees; 2.4% doctoral degrees). Most pursued this interest in education to understand dreams more fully by reading books or attending continuing education or college courses (83.7% researched dreams in some way.) A like number (84.6%) said that they would be willing to learn a new language so they could understand and make sense of their dreams. This illustrates an important point: dreams are not mere fancy or idle entertainment, as some people claim. They are real, they are significant, and are a source of knowledge for deep thinkers.
We were pleased to find that some of our respondents were taught when they were young about the importance of dreams. One person reported that the first thing he ever learned about dreams was “they hold lessons, and can provide insights.” Another, “…you can use them to invent, to create…” Although some of our respondents learned dreams were unimportant or to be disregarded “…as only a dream…” or “…they are make-believe and not real,” they later adopted different philosophies incorporating the idea that dreams “are meant to guide and help us…” as one person wrote. Another person responded, “Dreams tell us about ourselves and show us what we can do to solve problems.” Still another, “Dreams are a wonderful tool for unlocking the secrets about who we really are as souls.” It is reassuring to know that even when people have been misinformed by parents and teachers who didn’t know any better, the Truth about dreams reveals itself! Everyone dreams, and their inner urge to understand and know themselves prompts them to keep searching until they find answers that make sense. The people who answered our survey believe almost unanimously (89.4%) that dreams are relevant to the events in their life and that dreams contain significant messages. Many (78%) believe that these dream messages are symbolic.
Through over twenty-five years of research, study, and teaching, the School of Metaphysics has discovered that all dreams are significant because they present a message to the dreamer about his state of awareness. They communicate in a picture language or symbolic language which we call the Universal Language of Mind because the symbols have universal meanings that apply to anyone, anywhere, any place. Dream messages offer insight and wisdom that, when interpreted, aid a dreamer to derive deeper meaning from his or her life experiences.
Earliest Dream Memories
Many people (58.5%) remembered their first dreams before they were seven years old. From birth to age seven, children operate mostly from subconscious awareness. They are “in touch” with their soul’s needs and know that the True Self is not physical. Often, their dreams reflect this: “I would expand filling the universe, light as air, expansive.” “I remember the beauty of the ‘other world,’ which is what I called my dreams then.” “The first dream I remember was a good dream of angels putting up a blank movie screen.” The latter dream was showing the dreamer that she has imagination (symbolized by the movie screen) and can imagine anything she desires (it is blank) to fulfill her highest potential (the angels.) It makes sense that this is a child’s dream — children naturally believe in themselves and their limitlessness until they learn to think otherwise!
A dream that many people remember having as a child is that of falling, or experiencing the sensation of going through a tunnel. Some people recall jerking as they woke up, some say that when they hit the ground after they fall they awakened. Some say that they remember this falling sensation when drifting into sleep. These dreams occur when one is moving from one level of consciousness to another. We have four inner levels of consciousness in the subconscious mind, our dream place. Children are often consciously aware of the process of moving into the sleep/dream state and the process of waking up. This is the falling dream. Because so many adults run themselves until they are exhausted, they fall asleep with a “crash.” As soon as their head hits the pillow they are asleep; therefore, they are less aware of the actual process of going to sleep and also awakening. This is why the falling dreams are more commonly reported by children than adults.
As children mature, they learn to use their conscious mind and physical senses. Ideally, they develop reasoning which is the key to a powerful conscious mind. By keeping the door open to the subconscious mind which they naturally use when very young, children learn to become intuitive with awareness. At this stage in the evolution of humanity, most parents are not aware of the reality of the inner Self; therefore, they do not understand how to teach their children to use the intuitive power of the subconscious mind. When a child speaks to his guide or converses with an “imaginary playmate,” when he sees auras or receives thoughts telepathically, he is often told that these experiences are not real, “just your imagination.” He may even be scolded for talking about such things. Children know that their experiences are real, although they may not know how to interpret them or what they mean, so these mixed messages are confusing. They can become frightened by what is unknown when they receive no explanation for it. For example, one respondent reported the first dream she remembered as, “I was flying and woke up in our basement. It scared me then.” This dream shows that the dreamer left her body during sleep (a common experience known as astral projection) but was unconscious of how she caused it (the basement symbolizes the unconscious part of the brain.) Her fear was the result of the unknown.
Nightmares can be frightening for children who don’t understand them and equally for parents who don’t know how to explain them and relieve their child’s anxiety and despair. As a parent (55.3% of the respondents are parents with children) it is important to listen to your children and help them understand that dreams have a meaning and purpose. Over one-third of the parents (34.1%) talk to the children about dreams. Some listen and ask questions, others help the child understand their dreams and only a small percentage of parents in our survey (3.3%) disregard the dream as unimportant or say “…they’re not real.”
If your child has a nightmare, you can help him or her to understand it. Common nightmares of being chased by monsters or a running from a bad person who is trying to kill you, tell you that the child desires to make some kind of life change but may not know how. (Death in a dream symbolizes change, and other people in a dream are symbols for aspects of the dreamer’s self.) If the child can describe the person who is chasing him or threatening to kill him, this will help you to identify what aspect or quality of himself he needs to understand. Asking your child questions to help him articulate his thoughts will also help him to identify who he is and what he thinks so that what has been unknown can become known. This relieves fear….•
Research compiled by Paul Blosser and reported by Dr. Laurel Clark. The results of our Dream Survey including dream recall, repetitive dreams, and precognitive dreams will conclude in the May issue of Thresholds.
©1996 Vol. 14 No. 1
©2002 School of Metaphysics