Why Do We Dream?
WHY DO WE DREAM?
Did you know that by age 60 you will sleep 175,200 hours, dream 87,000 hours with 197,100 dreams? There are a significant number of people who remember their dreams but a very small percentage who are aware of what their dreams mean. Our vision here at the School of Metaphysics is to educate people about their dreams through columns such as this one, books, the annual National Dream Hotline®, and through our classes.
There are several questions that people tend to ask about dreams. For instance, why do we dream and where do dreams come from? Your dreams tell you about your present state of awareness, this is why we dream. Dreams come from an inner place we call the subconscious mind and are presented to you in images which, when interpreted in the Universal Language of Mind, become personally relevant to you and your life. The meaning of these nighttime messages can literally change your life.
When studying dreams and learning to interpret them, you need to know the two universal principles which apply to everyone, everywhere, at all times. The first of these principles is that every dream is about the dreamer. The second principle is that every person, place and thing in the dream is the dreamer. We as human beings are very multi-faceted. A great majority of us are only aware of a small part of who we are. You can learn to expand your awareness of yourself by learning to interpret your dreams.
People in your dreams represent aspects of yourself. An aspect can be defined as a certain way in which you think and express. When you are dreaming of someone of the same sex [for example a woman is dreaming of another woman] this person symbolizes an aspect of your conscious mind. These are the ways in which you express yourself while awake. A person of the opposite sex symbolizes an aspect of your inner Self. The way to identify these aspects is to imagine yourself describing them to someone else. Here is an example: You are dreaming about a co-worker of the same sex. In your daily life you perceive this acquaintance as being compassionate, generous, and strong. These are the qualities of self (your Self) which are being addressed in the dream. You might not use these qualities to describe yourself, yet they are being brought out in your dream because your subconscious mind wants you to see that they are a part of your character. This is one way dreams expand our awareness — we learn that we possess qualities we may not have known we had.
A question often asked is, “Why do we dream?” Some theories state that dreams are a way in which we release stress. If this were true, then more people (especially those who are stressed-out) would remember their dreams. Remember that dreams come from the inner you, more specifically they are communications from your subconscious mind. All day long we are busy moving through our waking lives, taking in sensations from all around ourselves. During our nighttime slumber our conscious mind is stilled, providing us with the opportunity to receive communication from our subconscious mind.
You might ask, “Why is it so important that we receive information from our subconscious mind?” Our subconscious mind holds all of our understandings which we have gained either through this lifetime or other lifetimes. It has messages to share with the outer self that are rich with knowledge and wisdom. Our inner mind is our best friend, revealing to us the truth of our present state of thinking and expression.
Others have asked, “Do we dream every night, because I rarely remember my dreams?” Yes, we do dream every night. Actually we dream several times in one night, as you might have figured out from the statistics given at the beginning of this column. We dream in ninety minute cycles. Most people do not know how to release their attention from their day’s activities when they go to sleep. They find themselves restless, tossing and turning throughout the night. If continued this restlessness forces the person to remain in a shallow level of sleep. Dreams occur in the deeper stages of sleep which means that one needs to learn how to relax and remove attention from the worries and concerns of the day in order to receive from the subconscious mind.
If you are one of those individuals who suffers from insomnia, or if you wake up feeling more tired than you did before you went to bed, there is a solution. Practice each day in every moment releasing your attention from your past situations and people in your life. Practice saying to yourself, “I am here right now and will give my full attention to what I am doing.” It will also help to practice relaxation exercises such as deep breathing exercises. To do this you take in a deep breath, filling your lungs full with air, hold the breath for a count of six, then release the breath slowly through your mouth. Attempt to remain breathless for a count of six. Repeat these steps for ten minutes each night before going to bed.
When you wake up in the morning record your dreams. If you don’t remember a dream, record the first thoughts you had as you were waking up. This will stimulate you to capture those precious messages from your best friend, your soul.
If you have a dream you want interpreted, write to Sandman, c/o Thresholds, School of Metaphysics National Headquarters, Windyville, MO 65783. When relating a dream indicate your gender and age.
©1996 Vol. 14 No. 1
©2002 School of Metaphysics