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Do your dreams know something you don't?

I have been "dream journaling' since I was a teenager. I have always been fascinated by this alternate world we go to each night.

Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. Dreams are communications from the unconscious mind. The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology.  

Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement or REM stage of sleep-when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. REM sleep is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep. Dreams can last for a few seconds, or as long as twenty minutes. Each of us averages four to seven a night. We spend 1.5 hours or more - about 20 per cent of our sleep time - in dreaming. 

Decoding our dreams 

While many theories have been proposed about why we dream, no single consensus has emerged. Considering the enormous amount of time we spend in a dreaming state, the fact that researchers do not yet understand the purpose of dreams may seem baffling. 

How did a particular dream make you feel? That is the intuitive measurement of the spiritual meaning of dreams.  

Psychology theories explain that dreams allow you to process and make sense of the world that you experience while awake. Symbols and 'archetypes' can arise that represent aspects of your life. You can learn these symbols, write them down, and learn what they represent to you, for next time. This will help your subconscious communicate to your conscious mind – and you can make better sense of your dreams. We each have our own unique experience in this life, and so each of us adopts unique patterns of symbolic expression of the events of our lives. You can learn what symbolic expressions you have programmed into your “bio-computer” by keeping a dream log or dream diary. 

Dreams are quickly forgotten upon waking, and the longer you leave it the less chance you'll remember. Write down the features of occurrences in dreams without interpretation. Do this morning after morning and examine any patterns that emerge. Compare it with events and goings-on in your daily life, then at the back of the journal make lists of archetypes and what they mean to you. For example, to you, hearing music may represent success, walking in a garden may mean relaxation, seeing your mother may mean to take comfort and so on. In doing this you are giving your subconscious mind a language in which to communicate with you that you both understand. The linking of the conscious with the subconscious mind is the key to all we are doing in the realm of awakening. 

When beginning to interpret, write down the salient points, themes, and symbols (e.g., animals, people, numbers, buildings, death, falling, etc.) in an outline. This helps us to flesh out patterns. Also look for the main action. What is the overall activity of the dream, such as running, flying, hiding, fighting, etc.? Who you are in the dream should be noted because it can speak to how you play your role in your waking life.  

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