Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dreams


Dreams are nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what happens in them, after all they are not reality. However talking about your dreams, opens them up to the real world, and to everyone’s interpretation. Most people have dreams that are just simply not the kind of things that you would want share with anyone, but a most trusted and intimate friend.

Most of us have had a dream where we devise a special trick that helps us fly. One person that I talked to said that he would just think about walking up into the sky, like climbing a stairway, and soon he would be standing there, looking down at the houses just like he was standing on a tall hill, only he was in mid-air. He said that he had to be very careful around power lines. Another person would tie a towel around his neck and spread his arms and run as fast as he could, and soon he would be flying. He had to keep running in his dreams or he would have to land.

A large percentage of people dream that they find themselves in public places and discover that they are either naked or scantily dressed. It becomes most embarrassing, but because you can’t do any thing about it. You just go about what you were supposed to be doing, but you hope that nobody notices.

A dream that I sometimes have, is when I’m just going to sleep I get a sensation that I’m falling, and I wake up in a start, and grab the bed. My wife does the same thing every now and then. It’s hard to pretend that nothing happened, when you explosively shake the whole bed.

Some people dream that they are being chased by a bear, a dog, a mountain lion, or some other scary critter. These dreams are terrifying, and often you wake up with your heart pounding, and in you are in a sweat.

I try to keep this blog at least “R” rated, so I can’t go into great detail about sexual dreams, but I find it interesting that eighty-three percent of men will admit to having them, and thirty-seven percent of women will admit to have them. That is according to the Kinsey Report. Hmmm… Either men just have more fun or they are bragging. But what's up with the women? Is it that they function better in the real world? There are groups of people that try to focus their dreams on having satisfying sexual dream experiences.

Some cultures of people try to dream, and figure out the meaning. Some believe that their dreams are a connection to the spiritual world, so they try to remember them, and discus them with the elders, to see if the meaning can be determined.



"In past centuries, the Iroquois indians of the Great Lakes considered dreams to be a guide to their lives, to dictate their choices in regard to fishing, hunting, war, dancing, marriage and other significant life events. The Iroquois especially listened carefully to dreams their people had prior to war and hunting - a war party would even turn back if one of its members dreamed of failure immediately before or during the hunt.
In The Shaman's Doorway, Stephen Larsen quotes the French missionary Ragueneau's Jesuit Relations, (and material by Ragueneau originally appearing in the American Anthropologist, April 1958) who carefully documented the Iroquois approach to dreams:

"The Iroquois believe that our souls have other desires, which are, as it were, inborn and concealed. These, they say, come from the depths of the soul, not through any knowledge.... They have no divinity but the dream. They submit themselves to it and follow its order with the utmost exactness. Whatever they see themselves doing in dreams they believe they are absolutely obliged to execute at the earliest possible moment. Iroquois would think themselves guilty of a great crime if they failed to obey a single dream."

Dream Quests Men in the Iroquois society ritually did dream quests as part of their initiation, in order to awaken both visions and dreams that would guide them.

The Ojibwa Indian tribe of the upper Mississippi River and southern Canada, construct dream-catchers by tying sinew strands in a web around a small round or tear-shaped frame of willow. A feather is attached to the frame. The resulting "dream-catcher", is hung above the bed. It’s used to protect sleeping children from nightmares. Dream-catchers made of willow and sinew are not meant to last forever but instead are intended to dry out and collapse over time as the child enters the age of adulthood. It's recommended to hang the dream catcher above someone sleeping, to guard against bad dreams. Good dreams pass through, and slide down the feathers to the sleeper. Few people truly believe in the power of the dream-catcher, but it is such a sweet and tender symbol that it has been adopted by other tribes, and the dream-catcher has become a common household item in America.

The following is a romantisized video on the dreamcatcher.




There is a group of native people in Malaysia called the Senoi. They are hunter gatherers. They practice what is known as Lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is where you are aware that you are dreaming, and you can manipulate your dream to have it do what you want it to do, or you can completely recall your dream upon awakening. One other method of lucid dreaming is to concentrate on a subject as you fall asleep and simply move into the lucid dream. The Senoi actively pursue pleasurable or meaningful dreams.

"Senoi Dream Theory is a set of claims about how people can learn to control their dreams to reduce fear and increase pleasure -- especially sexual pleasure. It was a key element in a whole new orientation toward dreams that first became popular as one small strand of the human potential movement in the 1960s. Since then this new approach has grown to the point where it is now a separate movement, called the "dreamwork movement." It has its own in-group vocabulary, bulletins, workshops, and meeting places. Books on "creative dreaming" and "dream power," often invoking the wisdom of other cultures and classical Greece, have sold in the tens of thousands.”

“Dreams can be important in many different ways in Senoi culture. They can reveal that a woman is pregnant or why a child is sick. They can tell a man whether or not his new field will be productive. Dreams are essential in contacting the supernatural world, and they play a role in healing ceremonies. It is even claimed that dreams can predict the weather. Still, most Senoi are very reluctant to make very many predictions on the basis of their dreams. They tend not to mention a predictive dream to anyone until the prediction has come true. "Thus," says Dentan, "no one ever told us about having a weather forecast dream until after the prophesied weather had occurred.”
Whatever our dreams are trying to tell us, I don’t put much faith in having their meanings interpreted. If someone dreams of a cat, it might be a warm and fuzzy dream, but another person might be terrorized by cats, so I don’t think that dreams of cats mean anything. I just don’t believe that the meaning of a dream can be correctly determined by someone else. I’ve never tried to “steer” my dreams toward more pleasurable goals, but I have realized that I was dreaming and forced myself to wake up. Next time that I’m being chased by a bear in a dream, and I figure out that I‘m dreaming, I’m just going to turn around and kick the crap out of the bear!

11 comments:

omr said...

Great post Ernie!

Indie said...

Humans just naturally think in symbols, respond to symbols, dream in symbols.

It is futile, I think, to try to interpret other people's dreams, because only we know what our symbols mean. But it's very useful to try to look at one's own dreams, interpret the symbols to allow the subconscious to communicate.

It's so amazing and mysterious that we have this whole underlying world, the subconscious, this whole other reality we can only experience when we sleep.

OK, off to bed to go frolic in my dreamworld for awhile. Good night!

Dave Kirby said...

I am lucky enough to be an ace dreamer. I dream from the time I fall asleep til morning. I have several unusual abilities. I can not only will my dreams to be different but I also have epic dreams where I can get up, go back to bed and pick up the dream where I left off. One of the most interesting aspects of my dreams is that I have imaginary locales that I have visited in my dreams many times over the years. I have not been to any of these places in real life but they are unique and the same each visit. They suggest past life places. Anyway I am lucky to have this ability as sometimes that world is a whole lot more interesting than my waking world.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Working now?

Oneness calling said...

Meditators know..
outside world little
inside world BIG.

Ewel Neverknow said...

That there is a consciousness even in sleep that dreams is proven by the fact that we can pull out of dreams, or be a conscious dreamer like Dave K. (Lucky You!)
I did a lot of dreamwork in my youth trying to apply the senoi principles. The last, and very pragmatic, vestige of those old abilities is that "I" instantly wake up if there is running water in the dream...and get up to pee. Now that may not be a universal symbol for everyone, but it sure might be for us older folk!

Anonymous said...

that pre-sleep period is called the hypnagogic state, and hypnic jerking is what your body is doing.
once, after a surgery, i was relaxing into sleep and i distinctly remember stepping off a curb with my right leg and my recently surgered part jerked along with the rest of me. got my attention.
but that hypnagogic state is considered a bit of a threshold... images, geometries, sensations of falling, sensations of feeling heeeaaaavy may occur before the loss of awareness of consciousness that we call sleep.
did you know that the brain burns more sugar at night than by day?

Anonymous said...

More on the hypnopompic state.

spyrock said...

i'm not sure if this is the dream or if when i'm asleep is the dream. i was married for 25 years to the same person and i never dreamed about her during that time. but i do now, especially if i'm sleeping with someone else. it's sort of ironic. she was usually mean at first, but things have changed over the years. she's nicer and nicer, tempting sometimes. but there still seems to be a relationship there, just at another level of reality.
i want to dream the impossible dream, reach the unreachable star. aka d. q. i want to see what i can't see and hear what i can't hear aka e. e. that about sums it up. be careful of what you wish for, because dreams come true.

Ernie Branscomb said...

OMR, thanks

“be careful of what you wish for, because dreams come true.”Spy, I can only hope you are right. Oh, by the way, you should probably keep that part about your ex-wife to yourself. Remember, if you don’t tell anybody, there is no guilt.

Dave, you lucky dog. My wife tells me that I live in a dream world, but I know the difference. In my dreams I actually get my way.

Indie. Sweet dreams!

Anon, I tried reading about that “hypnopompic state”, but I kept falling asleep.

Anonymous said...

All I Have To Do Is Dream
Written by Boudleaux Bryant & Felice Bryant

Dream
Dream dream dream
Dream
Dream dream dream

When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream
Dream dream dream

When I feel blue in the night
And I need you to hold me tight
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream

I can make you mine
Taste your lips of wine
Any time, night or day
Only trouble is, gee whiz
I'm dreaming my life away

I need you so that I could die
I love you so and that is why
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream

I can make you mine
Taste your lips of wine
Any time night or day
Only trouble is, gee whiz
I'm dreaming my life away

I need you so that I could die
I love you so and that is why
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream
Dream dream dream
Dream
Dream dream dream
Dream