In a dream, conscious awareness is united with the unconscious because a dream has roots in both. It is a bridge over which images from the outer world travel to the inner.
On the occasions when preoccupation with the personal unconscious is diverted or overcome, a symbolic rise from the depths of our being, can launch us high into the spacious dream world of the collective unconscious, among the universal ‘archetypes’. Here we have an independent existence, another life entirely, where the dream dreams the dreamer. Jung wrote, “people do not dream’, they are dreamt. We undergo our dreams”.
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We all have the ability to dream imaginatively and vividly, and there are many ways in which we can encourage our dream lives to blossom. We can experience many different types of dreams, which can provide us with great insight and guidance in respect of our daily lives. Many individuals experience lucid dream states; which means that when they are dreaming, they are consciously aware that they are dreaming; and can potentially influence and guide the direction of their dreams. This can be very helpful, particularly in situations where someone is having an anxiety dream; Because it gives the dreamer the opportunity to face and work through their fears. But, by far the most powerful of dream techniques, is the one in which we are able to ‘incubate’ a dream.
What is incubating a dream:
Dream incubation is a practiced technique of learning to “plant a seed” in the mind, in order for a specific dream topic to occur. By far the most common reason for doing this is problem solving. For example: a person might go to bed repeating to themselves that they will dream about a presentation they have coming up, and want to feel more confident about it.
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Nightmares are often the product of an anxious mind. When the dreamer’s problems and fears, which are suppressed during the day, manifest themselves as a terrifying dream, jerking the dreamer awake. Nightmares that begin as narrative dreams and end with the dreamer in a state of distress are usually rooted in the problems and fears of the dreamers every day life. The dreamer may feel any number of disturbing emotions in a nightmare, such as anger, guilt, sadness or depression, but the most common feelings are fear and anxiety.
Nightmare themes may vary widely from person to person and in frequency. The most common nightmare theme is being chased. Adults are commonly chased by an unknown male figure whereas children are commonly chased by an animal or some fantasy figure.
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Every night, our dreaming body (astral body or spirit) escapes the confines of the conscious world and enters a dimension where existence is timeless. We realize that we are connected soul-to-soul and to everything that exists. In this dimension I believe, we are all psychic. There are three types of psychic dreams, and they are quite common: precognitive, telepathic, and clairvoyant dreams. Once we are awake, these dreams baffle us because we define ourselves as separate from others and see events through constructs of space and time. But non the less, the impact these types of dreams have upon us is hard to deny. We often remember them in great detail. There is a strong sense of knowing that what we have dreamed of, was so much more then just an ordinary dream.
A dream that seems to have predicted a future event is identified as a precognitive dream. For example, dreaming about a friend you have not seen in years and then running into the person in a supermarket the next day or dreaming that you won a raffle days before the drawing and finding the winning ticket in your wallet would be deemed precognitive dream experiences. These dreams can predict good news as well as bad news – even death. They may be quite accurate in revealing even the smallest details of an event that will take place sometime in the future. Dreams of death are one of the most common precognitive dream experiences. Many individuals report an uncanny power to predict the death of a loved one days or months before their passing.
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It is impossible to categorize dreams strictly into type because each dream is different and therefore unique in its own right. They can, however, be recognized as basically literal, symbolic or a mixture of literal and symbolic imagery. Once this is discovered, the dream can then be seen as a warning dream, an encouraging dream, a prophetic dream, a psychic dream, a healing dream or a nightmare, depending on the reason for its creation in the first place.
Life is made up of one experience after another and these experiences often give rise to problems which need solving, accepting or facing. We can do this in two different ways. Through intelligent reasoning with our head, or intuitively with our heart. Sometimes we make decisions with our heart, sometimes with our head, but the best solutions are those reached when our head and heart agree.
Usually, it is our head with its logic that rules during the day, and our heart with its instinct that rules at night. ‘Sleep on it’ is good advice, for that is when our hearts have their chance to contribute, so listening to our dreams with their message is vital.
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Defining dreams as ‘visions during sleep’ may describe what occurs, but this does not explain what they are. Undoubtedly, they are experiences real enough to produce strong psychological and physiological responses in a person. The nightmare, for example, produces the flight or fight mechanism, with its accompanying increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and even sleep-walking, in readiness for physical action. The passionate dream of a lover, renowned for its emotional and biological effects, is a further example, yet these dreams are not reality.
Sometimes events from the previous day are in our thoughts as we drop off to sleep, so not surprisingly these scenes are re-enacted as literal dreams, in the hope of extracting further information from what has already happened. Reliving events in this way has been suggested as a reason for dreaming, but this is only one aspect. The dream reflecting a foreign land the dreamer has never heard of, or the weird and wonderful mansion to which the dreamer returns night after night, demolishes any such simplistic explanation.
Read More: What Are Dreams