Tag Archives: Dreams

What Magic Lies In Sleep?

What Do Your Dreams Mean?

I went to a lecture once about how to interpret dreams. The famous Dr. Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, along with Dr. Watson, gave it. The lecture wasn’t about how to look into them like tea leaves, but rather how the brain was structured and why dreams have such a disjointed story line to them.

I don’t know if you remember you dreams. I usually do, at least for the first few minutes when I wake up. Unless it’s a particularly strange dream that seems to have obvious symbolic meaning, I’ll usually forget it in a few moments. Usually by the time I get to the bathroom. Sometimes, though, I’ll have a dream that has obvious significance to a problem that I’ve been giving a lot of conscious thought to, and many times the dream will contain a solution. When that happens, it’s pretty lucky.

Some people completely discount dreams as meaningless jumbles of random images that they can’t remember. Others treat dreams with as much respect as Neo treated the Oracle. I once saw this huge book, over a thousand pages, filled with dream symbols and what they mean.

That is another whole discussion in and of itself. If I dream of a purple teapot, and you dream of a purple teapot, do they have the same significance? Do they mean the same thing? I would suggest they don’t, but many think that they do.

The whole of Jungian psychoanalysis is based on the idea of “archetypes.” After listening to many hundreds and perhaps thousands of patients, he noticed they many of the same images appeared when they described their dreams. That led him to his theory of archetypes, or some kind of large, shared symbolic library that all of us have access to. This is the idea of some kind of “superconscious” or “infinite intelligence,” as Napoleon Hill described it in “Think and Grow Rich.”

If you read any work by Joseph Campbell, he comes to the same conclusion, that we all share a similar set of symbols and stories, but his reasoning is different than a “superconscious.”

If you aren’t familiar with Campbell’s work, he studied mythology from several cultures around the world, and discovered that they are all very similar in structure. The stories are the same, the characters are the same, and the underlying messages of the stories are basically the same. His reasoning was that since all humans share similar structures in our brains, and a similar experience of how we come into the world and learn to fight for our survival, we al develop the same stories and symbols, regardless of which culture and time we come from.

A good example would be a pasta machine (A what?). A pasta machine. Imagine you have a pasta machine that is set to produce a certain kind of macaroni. You dump in your pasta mix, hit the start button, and then out comes the macaroni. You put the macaroni in a bag, and stick it in the cupboard to eat later. Then you clean the pasta machine and put it away. Somebody else comes along, and makes another batch of pasta. Except they use completely different ingredients, so it comes out smelling and looking and tasting different. But they don’t change the filter on the pasta machine, so it comes out looking the same as your macaroni. Same length, same shape, same curvature. And then they stick it in the cupboard next to yours.

This happen several different times, until there are about twenty different bags of pasta in the cupboard. Then somebody steals the pasta machine and sells it at a garage sale to gamble on dog racing, or something. A few years pass, and the house I bought buy an amateur scientist. He happens to be from Mars, and doesn’t know a thing about pasta. He notices that despite having different flavors and smells, each pasta is shaped the same way.

So he assumes that all the pasta came from the same source. The same person made all the pasta. There must be some grand wizard that has some mysterious combination of all the different pasta’s. He starts to imagine what he great god of pasta must be like to have create all these different kinds of pasta from the same source. There must be some “super pasta source” or “infinite dough” somewhere to produce all these similar pasta.

Of course, his theory is incorrect. Different people made different pasta using different ingredients that they bought from different stores. They just squeezed them all through the same filter that they were too lazy to change.

Campbell’s conclusion was similar. We are all squeezed through the same filter. Namely the process of being born, struggling for several years learning to walk and talk and wipe our own asses and make money and buy food, and keep people from stealing our stuff. So consequently, we have similar ideas and visions and symbolisms about the world.

To him the idea of a superconscious is merely a placeholder in our minds to describe the confounding fact that despite never having come in contact until the last few hundred years both eastern tradition and western tradition both developed mythologies of giant dangerous dragons, which were both basically huge snakes or lizards.

The Jungian would explain this as some deep superconscious symbolism of a dragon being evil (even in the garden of Eden the snake was the bad guy) because of some metaphysical cosmic reason.

The Campbellian would point out that coming up with a mythology of huge dangerous reptiles would be natural if you live in an area where some seemingly small and harmless animal like a snake could kill you with one bite, hence giving it some mythologically dark properties.

Which brings me back to Dr. Crick. He was explaining that we have such messed up dreams because of the lattice structure of the brain. Everything isn’t neatly stacked into different piles separate from each other. All the information is cris-crossed all over the place. So remembering one thing may cause you to remember something completely different (Just like on Monty Python).

His theory was that dreams are merely a kind of disk defrag that our brains do naturally while we sleep. However, there have been many people throughout history who have solved complex problems, and made breakthrough discoveries by paying attention to their dreams.

It could be the when we have problems, we know the answer on some level, but we just don’t know how to express it. Because our brains are largely based on images, the solutions naturally come to us through all the various pictures and memories that we have stored in our brains.

For example, the guy who invented the sewing machine had a dream he was in the jungle, and the natives were throwing spears at him with holes in the tips. The guy that came up with the structure for benzene, and pretty much started the whole study of organic chemistry dreamed of a snake eating its tale.

Whether our dreams come from some collective intelligence, or they are merely remnants of our evolutionary past, they can give us very powerful messages. You just need to be creative enough to interpret them. A good strategy would be to ask yourself a question while you are falling asleep, and just pay attention when you wake up. Perhaps you dreamed the solution in the form of images and weird story lines.

The bottom line is that whatever you think about dreams, they can be a powerful tool that most people never choose to utilize. Just by asking some good questions as you fall asleep, and paying attention to any answers that may come in the morning, you might find yourself creating all kinds of good things in your life.

The Expression of Desire at the Third Stage

I was taking the train downtown this evening to pick up a pair of shoes I’d ordered. I found a pair last week that I’d really liked, but they didn’t have my particular size, so they had to call another store to get the right size. Tonight was the first chance I’d had since then to go back and pick them up. On the way there, I saw an acquaintance that I talk to sometimes.

He was telling me about this book that he was reading, it sounded like a personal development book of some sort, because the guy in the book was talking about different ways to look at life. He likes to read those kind of books. Come to think of it, I wish I would have written down the title, although if I see it again I’ll probably remember it. You know how that goes. You notice something, and you tell yourself that you really like this, and you want to see it again, but for some reason you don’t take the time to write it so that you can later remember it.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve really wanted to look at this or that on the internet, based on what I hear or read, but by the time I get home, I can’t remember what it was. Perhaps I should carry around one of those small note pads to write myself messages. I kind of like getting messages from myself.

Anyways, the guy was saying that humans go through three stages in life. Well, not exactly. He was saying that there are three stages that are possible for us to go through, but most of us only go through two, maybe two and a half. Some of us can glimpse the third stage. And one of the great things about being able to glimpse the third stage, even once, is that because you can see what’s up ahead, you will never fall back to your old ways.

The first stage is infancy. We have desires, and we express them the only way we know how. We cry and scream, and if that doesn’t work, then we scream and cry. It works ok if we get picked up right away, but if there is a time lapse, we start to wonder what the heck is going on. And that creates confusion, and since the mind hates confusion, it comes up with a reason why our expression of desire isn’t being immediately met.  So we start to develop anxiety about expressing our desires, because sometimes they get fulfilled, and sometimes they don’t. Since we can’t make any words, or can’t move around much, we don’t have much options except to lie there passively and hope.

The second stage of life is when we develop motor and vocal skills. We can move around, talk, walk, form sentences. When we have a desire at this stage, we can articulate it in a number of ways. We can move around and ask other people. We can even ask in different languages if we want. The problem with this stage is that we still carry that anxiety from long ago, when the mere expression of desire caused anxiety. Before, we really had no control over when or even if the desire would be fulfilled. Scientists have done plenty of experiments that show uncertainty is one of the greatest sources of anxiety, adversely affecting both mental and physical health. So for most of us, the mere expression of desire is linked with anxiety deep within our subconscious. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just the way our brains grow.  Unfortunately, many people stay stuck in this level their whole lives. The best strategy for some people is to blame some aspect of the outside world for not getting the good stuff in life.

The third stage of life is the best part. This is when we realize that the expression of desire is but the starting point to a life full of abundance, happiness, wealth, fantastic relationships, and every other cool thing you can imagine. The trick is to begin to notice on a deep level that if our desires aren’t fulfilled, it means nothing about us personally, only that we have about a million other ways to keep expressing your desire until it gets fulfilled.  Fully adult, you can realize that simply because you can walk and talk, and read and write, you really do have the power to create whatever life you want. And creating the life you want is merely a matter of tapping into your natural genius creativity, and plugging away until you eventually make all your dreams come true.


Feel Youthful Dreams At Any Age

So today I was hanging out with these four junior high school kids. Which isn’t really something I normally do, but sometimes when you find yourself in an odd situation that happens every once in a while, you can use this opportunity to learn something new that maybe you’d forgotten about. Like sometimes when you get older, you sort of forget what it’s like to be a kid, so when you talk to them, they seem to have a fresh and new perspective on things, until you realize that they are really looking at the world through eyes that you’d had before, and you’d neglected to look through for too long of a while.

So I was asking these kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. One kid said she wanted to be a nurse. Ok, sounds good. A job where you can help people, work in a hospital, wear a cool uniform. The next kid said he wanted to be a teacher. So far, so good. Help out kids to learn about life, help them to discover new things everyday. Next kid said he wanted to be a professional soccer player. Now we’re talking.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional baseball player. That was before you learned that you sort of had to be good at what you want to be when you grow up. Because I wasn’t all that great in baseball. In fact, when I was as old as these kids, I didn’t even make the junior high school team. Before you feel sympathy, realize that I was kind of relieved, because by that time, I’d learned that the baseball team was always the last to go home everyday.

Kind of strange how that works out. You develop these big dreams, then you sometimes realize that your dreams aren’t really based on anything other than a wish. You sort of make your goals based on what you see on TV, which really is just a bunch of imaginary stuff when you think about it. Not that watching baseball on TV is imaginary. It’s just that they only show the fun part, or at least what they think that you’ll think is the fun part. Who wants to watch the part where they stretch and practice and line the field? Unless you really enjoy that, which I guess professional baseball players do, which is why they are professionals, and I didn’t make the junior high school baseball team.

But as you go through life and learn new things, you start to really get a taste for what it is you want to spend your time doing something rewarding, right? I don’t suppose you could be a professional singer unless you really enjoyed band practice.

The thing that struck me the most, is that you can develop a realistic view of life as you grow and learn and experience, and still retain your youthful expectation that you always have the possibility of being able to become something greater than you are. I mean, who wants to stay a junior high school student your whole life?

And the fourth kid said that he wanted to be a taxi driver, which is actually my favorite answer of them all. Because instead of saying something that he thought other people might approve of, he said something he thought would be really cool, for whatever reason it was. And when you can combine your youthful expectation of greatness with saying what’s really on your mind, you got yourself a winning combination. 


The Metaphorical Problem Solving Dream

You go to work. Ugh. Your boss says he’s got good news, and bad news. You go into his office, and sit down. Nervous. “What’s the good news?” You ask, pretty sure you’d prefer no news.

I’m putting you in charge of marketing.”
“That’s great,” you say, but obviously you don’t share his enthusiasm.
“What’s the bad news?” You timidly ask.
“The marketing department is being moved to North Dakota.” (If you happen to live in and love North Dakota, pretend he said Ohio.)
“Oh, great.” What else can you say? You’ve made it quite evident for quite some time that you want the marketing job.

That night, you go out to dinner with your spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend. Coincidentally they received a promotion as well.

To Europe.

“Come with me!” They exhort.

You have a problem. And everybody you ask tells you something different.

Break up.
Give an ultimatum.
Turn down the promotion.
Tell them to turn down the promotion.
Quit your job and become a ventriloquist.

What on Earth do you do?

Enter Dream Number Three. The Metaphorical Problem Solving Dream.

If you’ve read my other articles on dreams, you know how to remember them, how to use them to release fears and anxieties, and how to use them to look out for danger.

In this article, I’ll tell you how you can ask your brain, (or your higher self, or infinite intelligence,) for advice, and how to listen for and interpret the answer.

The most fantastic part about this, is that most of the time, you won’t even need to worry about dream image interpretation. Because your dream will do it all for you, and give you the answer in the morning. If you do happen to encounter a metaphorical problem solving dream, you can still trust you instinct for the answer, or you can choose to interpret the dream.

Here’s what you do. Just before you go to sleep, ask yourself an open ended question that presumes a positive answer.
For example, “Why am I so stupid?” is an open ended question, but it presumes a negative answer. You want to stay away from those.

Some better questions could be:

What solution would be best for everybody?
How many ways can I solve this problem for the greater good?
How can I solve this problem and still maintain my job and my relationship?

The secret here, is to keep repeating these silently to yourself questions as you drift off at night. Then your brain will work on them as you sleep, and usually you’ll have an answer in the morning. It’s really amazing the way this works. You’ll wake up, and then an idea will just pop into your head that you hadn’t thought of before. It will seem totally obvious, and you won’t believe you didn’t think of it before.

Now if you do happen to have a really crazy dream, it’s because your brain is taking all the images and memories you have stored, and using them to put together a solution for you. It does this anyways, it’s just that you don’t normally remember them when you wake up. So if you do recall a vivid and strange dream, you can play around with figuring out what it means. In the meantime, watch out for that magical solution to pop into your head out of nowhere.

It’s really fascinating how wonderfully the mind works if you just give it simple instructions, then back up and let it help you out. Not only can you solve many problems, but you can create all kinds of good feelings as well.


Powerfully Use Dreams to Avoid Danger

Have you seen that movie where this guy was about to drive across a crowded bridge, and then right at the last minute, got a wierd feeling and decided against it? Unfortunately for the people on the bridge, it collapsed. But becuase the main character was able to listen to his intuition, he was saved. Have you ever had a feeling, that something was going to happen, and sure enough, it happened?  Wonder why it comes sometimes, and doesn’t come other times? Your intuition is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, it will become weak. Unfortunately most people haven’t been taught how to use your intuition so you can use it to protect yourself from bad things in the future.

The best way is to listen to your dreams. If you haven’t read my article on remembering your dreams, or the follow up article on using them to easily release unwanted emotions, you might want to head over and check them out whenever you find the time.

The second kind of dream (after the release dream) is the warning dream. This dream is alerting you to possible danger in the future. Now there are two ways you can look at this. One is metaphysical, and one is based purely on science and biology. Both seem to make sense, so you can choose whichever one you feel most comfortable with.

The metaphysical explanation is that we all are connected to a Superconscious, and It (or She or He) knows all that ever was and ever will be. Many call this God, some call it Infinite Intelligence. When we dream, our minds somehow merge with this and are able to collect information that may help us.

The physical biological explanation can be just as valid. The brain is a fantastic supercomputer whose operational methods are still barely understood by science. As you move through life, your brain is remembering everything you come across. And while you sleep, your brain looks forward, based on your plans and your previous history, and then alerts you (or tries) to any dangers that might come up.

A personal example is something that happened to me last year. I kept having images of Magic Johnson pulling his hamstring during the Lakers-Pistons championship game. I didn’t pay much attention, and a week later I was playing with some kids. Of course, I pulled my hamstring. Now whether that was a superconcious message or my brilliant neurology looking ahead and warning me (I already knew I would be playing with that specific group of kids,) the message was clear: Stretch before you run, and be careful. Of course when I see kids, I immediately get really excited, and I seem to forget about being an adult. I’m sure you know what that’s like, right? All you want to do is play and have fun? Of course I would have had a lot more fun had I listened to my dreams.

The simple way to do this, is after you’ve become proficient at being able to remember your dreams, and you are spending a couple extra minutes checking to see if you can release unwanted emotions, is to pay attention to any images that you don’t understand. Look for actions or events that you don’t remember, or situations that you can’t recall. And keep those in mind for the next few days, and pay close attention to things in your daily life that cause you to remember those images.

Once you easily begin to remember and pay attention to your dreams, they can serve you as a valuable guide in your daily life, not only making sure that you stay clear of danger,  but as you’ve already learned, to release stress and anxiety as well.

Be sure to check back often, because I will be posting more articles on dreams and other immediately helpful topics than you can use to improve your life. And because like many others, you probably like to help people, you can decide to share this site with your friends.


Use Your Dreams to Beat Stress and Say Goodbye To Anxiety

This article is first in a series on dream interpretation.  If you haven’t yet, please consider reading the article on how to remember your dreams so you can easily maximize your benefits from this article.

The first, and most common type of dream is referred to as ‘Release’ dreams. These are dreams where you are drifting through them and there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to what is going on. These are the most important, and can be the most helpful kind of dream. As you go through the day, you worry about this, stress about that, and create all kinds of emotional worry that doesn’t really offer you much benefit. When you sleep, your brain scans through you recent memory and decides what’s important, and what isn’t. According to Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick, the reason these kind of dreams can seem so chaotic is due to the physical matrix structure of the brain. You might have a memory about your neighbors dog which happens to be physically right next door to a memory of something your third grade teacher said. Your brain will decide that both those memories might be taking up valuable space in your brain, so they might get fired off at the same time. As a result, you have a dream about being in third grade, and your neighbors dog is yelling at you for not understand long division.

Because these are the most common, they are naturally the most useful. Simply because your brain is telling you what not to worry about. If you brain has decided you don’t need to worry about something, why should you, right?

One good way to handle these dreams is to pay attention to the images that you remember upon awakening. What do they remind you of?  How do those things make you feel? And what do those things remind you of? It’s important to ask yourselves these questions when you are still in the groggy waking up state while you are still blinking the sleep out of your eyes. It might not be natural at first, but as you practice this, you will get better.  The key here is to accept whatever images come up in those first few moments. These are the things that your brain has decided are not important enough to worry about. So whatever images and feelings associated with those images come up, simply choose to release them.  And if you happen to think about them later in the day, just remind yourself that your brain already decided that you don’t need to worry about those things any more, because they have already been taken care of. You can choose to free up your thoughts to think about better things that will help you to get what you want out of life.

And when you decide to release your anxiety about things that are no longer important, you will notice that you will naturally decrease your stress. And when you do that you will start to notice less and less anxiety, which will lead to you not only to improve your physical health but to improve your mental health as well.

And all it will cost you is a few minutes of focused releasing every moring. You can do that, right?

Please be sure to check back often, because as most people are starting to realize, the more you improve yourself everyday, the happier you will become.  And one good way to do that is to share this with others.


How to Find The Treasure of Your Dreams

There you are, drifting, floating, experience something so incredibly ecstatic you wonder how you didn’t discover this before. Everywhere your eyes drift you find something to enjoy gazing at. Every sound you hear allows your ears to create a feeling of pure love. Suddenly everything starts to fade. The images are pulled away, feelings of bliss and peace slowly turn and spin until there is nothing but awkward confusion, and there is something else, something just out of reach. What? Huh? Where…?

Aw, crap. You wake up. You were dreaming. It was a great dream. Why did you have to wake up? What was it about, anyways? Oh well. You roll over, and go back to sleep. Maybe in the morning you might be able to remember something about the dream, or perhaps only that you’d had one.  Perhaps you share with many others the trait of never being able to remember your dreams. “Do you have dreams?” Your friends may ask. “Uh, yea, but I never remember them.” You answer.

Well, if you don’t make the effort to remember your dreams, you are missing out on perhaps one of the greatest tools around for you to receive insights that can give you an edge not only in your relationships, but in your goals, your future, and even your direction towards the afterlife.

There are several theories as to why we dream, the meaning of dreams, what causes dreams.  It’s generally agreed upon that there are five types of dreams.  I’ll cover those in another article. For now, let’s discuss the importance of getting into the habit of being able to easily remember your dreams.

Despite all the varied theories as to the purpose of our dreams, there is plenty of evidence of them being helpful to people in the past. Robert Louis Stevensen is said to have been able to harness his dreams to come up with stories for his wonderful novels containing deep psychological and moral significance. Kekule, the German Chemist, was able to discover the chemical formula for Benzene during a dream of a snake eatings his tail. Even the invention of the modern sewing machine, by Elias Howe, was inspired by a dream of hostile natives throwing strangely shaped spears. 

So how can you tap into this power?  Firstly, as you realize that dreams contain powerful information, you will naturally be more inclined to recall them when you wake up. And the more you get into the habit of taking a few moments when you wake up to review the nights dreams, the more they will stand out in your mind.

Next is to create a dream journal. For now, you don’t need to worry about how to understand your dreams, the only important thing now is that you learn to remember them. The easiest way is to create a dream journal. Nothing complicated. Just whenever you wake up, jot down a few ideas from your dreams. Simple facts. The situation, people, what was happening. And make sure to thank yourself. That way you can more easily get into the habit of being able to remember key parts of your dreams.  This skill will naturally get better over time as you learn how rich and wonderful your dreams are. Once you can harness the ability to remember your dreams, the next step is to find out what they mean. More on that later. For now, just focus on spending a few minutes a day on something that can naturally turn into a lifelong and powerful resource.

Remember to check back for more articles, or link or share this site because I will be posting more about how to interpret your dreams. You will be amazed at how well being able to remember them will help you so much this can feel like you have a spiritual guide coming to you every day with a helpful message.