Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thoughts on Dreaming...

            If you asked a hundred different people what dreams are and what causes them, you’d get two hundred different theories. It’s a timeless question, and one that has far less answers than questions.
Scientists may say that dreams are a chemical reaction in the brain, neurons firing at a particular pace caused by the release of a chemical into the body when it enters stasis, or sleep. This would cause the mind to replay events and scenes which it observed during waking life, only distorting them and rearranging facts to trick you into thinking you’re viewing the images for the first time.

            Psychologists may differ, claiming that dreams are the result of the human subconscious-and possibly the unconscious-working out the things we see and deal with in our waking life. The belief is that we have denied or repressed emotions, feelings, memories, and other influences in our lives. Our brains will translate these denied and repressed senses into images and scenes that play out in our minds like an interactive movie while we sleep.

            Still another theory held by another group of folks is that our dreams are messages. These messages are either warning us of things going on around us, similar to the psychological theory, or warning of things to come.

            So then, what happens one one has dreams of pure insanity? What happens when the dreams are of death, pain, despair, agony, horrors the mind can't even comprehend? Does the person who dreams of murdering someone or who dreams of the ghoulish figure peeling the flesh from someone's body suffer from horrific mental illness? Or is it a warning from another realm of things that are to come, either figuratively or literally in the form of a terrifying monster? How about the chemical interpretation of that one? It's impossible to know.

            We may never fully understand dreams-the why, the what, the how-and there are more theories than you can shake a stick at, but here’s my theory:

            Each theory is right, and each theory is wrong, in its own way. I believe our dreams are the way we work through our everyday waking life as well as how we process the repressed and denied emotions, while at times delivering messages-or warnings-of things to come.

            Consider this: you have a dream that you’re falling, and just before you hit the ground, you wake up. We’ve all had falling dreams, it’s one of the most common dream themes in existence. The question that remains is why you had that particular dream. The interpretation will vary from person to person, but one such interpretation is that a falling dream indicates a sense of being out of control, feeling a sense of failure, and highlighting your insecurities. Others may say it’s a warning that you’re going to fall from whatever position of authority you may hold. Or it could even just be your brain interpreting the reason your muscles start to spasm as you fall asleep.

            So which one is right? The one that you believe. The one that has the most meaning and most relevance in your life. For me, I’d go with the insecurities and the feeling of being out of control, because that would be relevant for me. I may be feeling insecure about my writing, or just be an emotional wreck that's out of control. Sure, it could be a warning telling me, "Girl, you better get it together and quick, or else you're gonna find out what hitting that bottom really feels like!" But in either scenario, it's my own interpretation that's right. 

            I'd love to hear other theories and ideas. Tell me what you think about dreams in the comments!

**Photo of girl above is courtesy of ReihaRin on DeviantArt.com

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