Generally speaking, the time that we all spend dreaming is probably the least-examined portion of normal everyday life. Many people are intrigued by these nightly excursions, but oftentimes go no further in their reflections than to say, “Wow. I had the strangest dream last night!” Some people are of the opinion that dreams are meaningless. Others think that they do indeed mean something, but they’re afraid to know what the message may be. And so dreams remain little more than curiosities to the majority of us.
When we are awake we tend to have a lot of barriers erected between our minds and our inner lives. The things that we focus on during the day – like our jobs, relationships, and other commitments – tend to absorb our concentration to such an extent that messages from the deeper and more intuitive portions of our minds rarely have a chance to come through. But when we’re asleep those barriers dissolve. Our conscious minds no longer have a grip on the steering wheel, and so the unconscious can speak freely. Unfortunately, it does so in a language that seldom makes logical sense.
The way to get past this language barrier is to stop trying to resolve the inner meaning of dreams with logic. The feeling that you’re left with, after waking from a dream, usually provides a much more accurate clue to its intent. Indeed, that feeling may be the whole thrust of the message. Dreams constitute a natural system of feedback that gives us the picture of “the other side” of our lives, the side that usually escapes our notice. The feelings that they bring to our awareness can also be vessels of energy that arise from the deeper regions of the psyche. This energy can revitalize us, bring us renewed awareness, and fill our minds with new insights and inspirations. Dreams are the motive power through which our psyches grow and mature from infancy through to old age.
Dreams can be seen as the system by which the psyche regulates itself. When our conscious attitudes become too rigid or one-sided we’ll have dreams that attempt to balance the picture. An acquaintance who we’ve been perhaps too willing to trust may appear in an unseemly light, while another person who’d hitherto escaped our notice might play some heroic role. We can also find much-needed emotional release within the R.E.M. state. We might be afforded the opportunity, for example, to vent anger by smashing things within a dream – and then we can awaken feeling relieved of some of that excess frustration, and glad that there were no real life consequences.
Dreams are as natural a part of our lives as eating and breathing are. Below the level of our conscious awareness, we are much more attuned to each other and to the world around us than we generally realize. Our unconscious can keep us connected to this greater realm of wisdom and knowledge through our dreams. We just need to be willing to listen to them and to accept what we hear.