Dreams What are They and What Do they Mean?

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posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 06:42 PM
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Dreams are images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that happen primarily during the REM (rapid eye movement) cycle of sleep which for most people lasts 2-4 hours per night. They last from a few seconds to several minutes and people average 3-5 per night. Awakening during a dream that occurs in the REM cycle are the ones that are the most memorable and most vivid. Interpretations of dreams date back to at least 7000 years ago and have been recorded on ancient tablets in Mesopotamia. Many cultures believed that dreams were messages sent from gods. Sigmund Freud believed that dreams are manifestations of our deepest desires and anxieties.

Dreams have played a part in ancient records and beliefs, in art througout history, in literature (Alice in Wonderland, The Neverending Story, works from Philip K. Dick just to name a few), and in film (The Wizard of Oz, Inception, Dreamscape, and Nightmare on Elm Street also to name a few).

Freud has called dreams the "Royal road to the unconscious" and theorized that dreams consist of unconscious wish fulfillment. He described dreams as having manifest and latent content with manifest (superficial) content masking latent content (deep unconscious wishes and fantasies).

Carl Jung a student of Freud later in life rejected many of Freud's theories and described dreams as being a message to the dreamer and dreamers should pay attention for thier own good.

An interesting fact is that it is believed that all mammals have the ability to dream and the proof is in the fact that you will often see cats and dogs exhibit muscle movements and making noises (yelps, growls, and meows) while sleeping.

The most common emotion experienced in dreams is anxiety but all emotions play a part in dreams with negative ones being more common than positive ones. Dreams of a sexual nature happen on average 10% of the time being more prevelent in teens and young adults.

While the content of most dreams occurs only once, people do on occasion endure recurring dreams that take place in the same location and in the same way over and over. A very small percentage of people dream only in black and white and the number has been decreasing ever since the invention of the color television.

A study conducted by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology concludes that most people believe thier dreams hold meaningful hidden truths. Sometimes external stimuli (phone ringing, baby crying music playing etc.) are incorporated into dreams and become part of them. Other phenomena include precognition, lucid dreaming and deja vu. I personally can attest to these three as I have experienced all three phenonmena. Precognition is the belief in a dream predicting and foreshadowing future events. It differs from Deja Vu in the sense that precognition is something the dreamer is not personally involved in, and Deja Vu is the sense of having dreamt some thing, place or event and recalling it later when one is experiencing that place, thing or event at a later point in reality. Lucid Dreaming is the experience of the realization in your dream that you are "actually dreaming". Such as an example realizing that you are dreaming while dreaming and trying to wake yourself up.

Recalling dreams is a skill that can be taught and learned. Studies show that women tend to have an easier time recalling dreams than men. A journal is a useful tool in remembering dreams as the less vivid the dream the more likely one is to forget it within 5-10 minutes of awakening due to brain chemistry that supresses the ability to convert short term memory into long term memory while in REM sleep. Only the most vivid of dreams are remembered over time, average people forget 95%+ of thier dreams after 10 minutes without the aid of a journal or a reminder.

Other interesting facts regarding dreams:

1. Every person dreams except those suffering from a severe psychological disorder, most people just can't remember them.

2. People that suffer from blindness dream, even those blind from birth as the dreams just rely on thier other senses and emotions.

3. In dreams we only see faces that we already know (i.e. we don't invent people in our dreams). Even seeing a person only once in our life provides a template for the possibility of that image of the person being in a dream.

4. Dreams or portions thereof are symbolic. Meaning that there are things that need interpretation to truly understand the meaning of the symbol in question.

5. During REM sleep the brain normally supresses movement by inducing body paralysis.

6. Men and women dream differently with mens dreams consisting of 70% male characters and womens being a 50/50 split.

7. Surveys show that between 18% and 38% of people have experienced a precognitive dream with 70% having experinced Deja Vu. 63% to 98% believe that precognitive dreams are possible.

8. A commonly held belief is that if you are snoring that you are not capable of dreaming at the same time (there is no factual data to back up this common belief).

Some famous quotes regarding dreams:

Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. --Eugene Ionesco

You see things; and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" --George Bernard Shaw

Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dreams are the touchstones of our character. --Henry David Thoreau

Dreams have but one owner at a time. That is why dreamers are lonely. --Erma Bombeck

My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair. --Thomas Jefferson

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. --Japanese proverb

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night. --Edgar Allen Poe

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. -- Edgar Allen Poe

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. --Carl Jung

For glory gives herself only to those who have always dreamed of her. --Charles de Gaulle

If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time. --Marcel Proust

There is nothing like a dream to create the future. --Victor Hugo

and one of my favorites....

They say dreams are the windows of the soul--take a peek and you can see the inner workings, the nuts and bolts. --Henry Bromel

I am interested in others dreams and encourage people to share if they want, I am of the belief that not only can a person get a greater understanding of thier own dreams by discussing them but we gain insights into our own soul by listening.

Dreams wikipedia

15 Dreaming Facts

Dream Central's Dream Analysis page




posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by Darkphoenix77
Dreams are images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that happen primarily during the REM (rapid eye movement) cycle of sleep which for most people lasts 2-4 hours per night. They last from a few seconds to several minutes and people average 3-5 per night. Awakening during a dream that occurs in the REM cycle are the ones that are the most memorable and most vivid.


Dreams occur the entire time you are asleep, not just during REM. REM dreams are just more action packed, which makes them easier to remember than the more dull non rem dreams. You don't have multiple dreams, you have one long dream. It just seems like multiple dreams because people often forget the parts that link their dream fragments together.

Dreams have no meaning. They are just awareness traveling down the labyrinth of interconnected archetypes we have formed over the course of our lives.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:03 PM
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I have always been fascinated by dreams... I have not yet "cracked the code" as to what they could possibly mean (if anything) but I do find it very intriguing to think that our brain puts all of these images and events into our heads that can seem so realistic and vivid. Like they have to have some sort of meaning behind them.

I have also become interested lately in how dreams have spurred creativity and led to some of the greatest inventions, artistic pieces, and events in human history.

I even wrote a thread about it here.

Great thread topic!

edit on 24-1-2013 by csuldm because: formatting



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by Darkphoenix77
 


Great thread! S&F.

When someone says dreams don't mean anything, that they are "just" blah blah, then I know that someone is totally full of #. From then on I don't listen to a word they say. I've had many spiritually meaningful, precognitive, shared, and telepathic dreams. I dream vividly, in color, sound, and with physical sensations, and I have excellent recall.

"Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths" -Joseph Campbell

edit on 24-1-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:13 PM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


I agree 110%.

For me personally, many of my dreams are simply way too vivid and meaningful to simply be a random collection of images and thoughts that my brain somehow constructed into something that makes sense.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by Darkphoenix77
 


I often fantasize about the idea that dreaming is actually us experiencing a transcendent reality. Something pre-existing our Earth lives, something outside the body yet connected to it and to all other life. I fantasize about the possibility that we are alive in this physical Universe with the sole purpose of adding our memories to this great collective dream.
edit on 24-1-2013 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


Very well put!

I also believe in something along those lines.

The main part about dreams that totally baffles me is when lucid dreaming occurs. A dream where you know you are dreaming, are able to manipulate your environment, and basically do whatever you want to do, all while your physical body is apparently "asleep".





edit on 24-1-2013 by csuldm because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:25 PM
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Well, considering the fact that I have sucessfully had lucid dreams in the past (where I was aware it was a dream and I was in complete control) -- I'd have to say dreams don't really mean anything specifically.

Unless your lucid in your dream, your brain is just on autopilot doing it's "thang". If that's the case, perhaps they are just unconcious thoughts you've got rattling around in your brain.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by BlueMule
reply to post by Darkphoenix77
 


Great thread! S&F.

When someone says dreams don't mean anything, that they are "just" blah blah, then I know that someone is totally full of #. From then on I don't listen to a word they say. I've had many spiritually meaningful, precognitive, shared, and telepathic dreams. I dream vividly, in color, sound, and with physical sensations, and I have excellent recall.

"Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths" -Joseph Campbell

edit on 24-1-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)


People can find meaning in anything. Dreams are a direct reflection of what you have your attention focused on, so if there is meaning to be found, it's in why you focus on the things you do, not the content of dreams.

Learn to master dream control, then tell if you still think dreams have meaning. Like I said, it's attention wandering through the connections and association of your paradigms, which for most people are just random. Just because you can find meaning by looking at if from a certain angle doesn't make it absolute truth, because there are an infinite number of other angles you can approach it from, each with their own meanings.

I've had my share of precognitive and shared dreams as well. If you dream tonight of being clawed non stop, the meaning behind that is that I'm remote influencing your dreams because you were rude. But if you didn't know it was me, you'd probably come up with some deep meaning that resonates with you.

It's one thing to believe dreams are something in particular and never take the time to verify that with practice. But every single person is capable of finding out the truth about dream on their own with a little effort and dedication. Until you do that for yourself, you'll never know the true meaning of dreams.
edit on 24-1-2013 by The Cusp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by The Cusp
 


You said that dreams are a direct reflection of what you have your attention focused on, but then you said they have no meaning. I personally feel that is a contradictory statement.

If you have things in your life that are making their way into your dreams, then you must be preoccupied with them while in an awake state. Therefore dreams do have at least a little bit of a meaning, as you can use the topics of your dreams to self-diagnose things that are making your waking life that much more complicated or stressful.

In other words, maybe dreams are a way for your brain to heal itself, in a way?
edit on 24-1-2013 by csuldm because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by The Cusp

Originally posted by Darkphoenix77
Dreams are images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that happen primarily during the REM (rapid eye movement) cycle of sleep which for most people lasts 2-4 hours per night. They last from a few seconds to several minutes and people average 3-5 per night. Awakening during a dream that occurs in the REM cycle are the ones that are the most memorable and most vivid.


Dreams occur the entire time you are asleep, not just during REM. REM dreams are just more action packed, which makes them easier to remember than the more dull non rem dreams. You don't have multiple dreams, you have one long dream. It just seems like multiple dreams because people often forget the parts that link their dream fragments together.

Dreams have no meaning. They are just awareness traveling down the labyrinth of interconnected archetypes we have formed over the course of our lives.


That is why I used the world "primarily" meaning they can occur outside of REM sleep but it is far less common. Everything I found said 3-5 dreams meaning different ones, not disagreeing just saying I found nothing that states it's one continuous dream. I disagree with the idea that they mean nothing man, sorry......just cannot bring myself to see the reasoning behind that belief....



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:54 PM
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I would put dreams in the category as one of the scientific/philosophical wonders of life. Even with all the excellent information the OP provided, it's interesting how little we still know about dreams (and the whole human brain for that matter).

I believe that dreams have a both scientific purpose and spiritual purpose behind them. Scientifically I can recall reading how dreams we're used to help ancient humans in survival. It said something about our brain making us dream to prepare us for situations or events that may actually occur. Let's say a hunter dreams of being chased by a bear, followed by a real event such as the dream occurring, he might handle it better which I thought was interesting. There are other psychological explanations for dreams too such as the examples from the OP and I agree with that too.

What I mean by spiritual exactly is that I know our dreams have a purpose. It's hard for me to believe otherwise such as just random chemicals in your brain making you randomly dream. All dreams serve some sort of value, whether it is the deja vu ones, nightmares, very vivid ones, etc.

Dreams have inspired us for ages and I hope one day we can reveal its mystery. Fact #3 about dreams only portraying people we've seen in life gave me a Inception like feeling haha.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:57 PM
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Originally posted by csuldm
reply to post by BlueMule
 


I agree 110%.

For me personally, many of my dreams are simply way too vivid and meaningful to simply be a random collection of images and thoughts that my brain somehow constructed into something that makes sense.



I have both dreams that are random and uneventful, and have also had dreams that were very vivid with me able to recall details and sensations years later without any record of them (journal, casette recording etc.). I also believe that some dreams have definate meaning in at the very least the way our brains and thought patterns are wired. I have personally on a few occasions had lucid dreams and precognitive ones, and several times experience deja vu.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by Lucid Lunacy
reply to post by Darkphoenix77
 


I often fantasize about the idea that dreaming is actually us experiencing a transcendent reality. Something pre-existing our Earth lives, something outside the body yet connected to it and to all other life. I fantasize about the possibility that we are alive in this physical Universe with the sole purpose of adding our memories to this great collective dream.
edit on 24-1-2013 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)


Very interesting theory! I will say that there is alot about our minds and our psyche still left undiscovered so won't rule out the possibilty. People are more than the sum of thier parts.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by MystikMushroom
Well, considering the fact that I have sucessfully had lucid dreams in the past (where I was aware it was a dream and I was in complete control) -- I'd have to say dreams don't really mean anything specifically.

Unless your lucid in your dream, your brain is just on autopilot doing it's "thang". If that's the case, perhaps they are just unconcious thoughts you've got rattling around in your brain.



It's possible that is all they are, but if that is the case then why dream at all? Even if they are on some level your unconscious self projecting wants and desires they still have relevence.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 08:08 PM
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I've had my share of precognitive and shared dreams as well. If you dream tonight of being clawed non stop, the meaning behind that is that I'm remote influencing your dreams because you were rude. But if you didn't know it was me, you'd probably come up with some deep meaning that resonates with you.

It's one thing to believe dreams are something in particular and never take the time to verify that with practice. But every single person is capable of finding out the truth about dream on their own with a little effort and dedication. Until you do that for yourself, you'll never know the true meaning of dreams.



Thanks for bringing up the subject of shared dreaming Cusp, I have never experienced that but have heard about people that have. That is a topic in and of itself I am sure.

I agree that dreams may have more than one meaning, several infact, but I think we learn more about ourselves by exploring them. If we can learn more about ourselves is it not also possible that we can learn more of others?
edit on 24-1-2013 by Darkphoenix77 because: format



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by Darkphoenix77
 


That makes me think of an interesting idea...

So IF dreams are simply a result of our brains putting together random images and events, then why do we create memories from these events? Is our brain making its own memories?



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by csuldm
reply to post by Darkphoenix77
 


That makes me think of an interesting idea...

So IF dreams are simply a result of our brains putting together random images and events, then why do we create memories from these events? Is our brain making its own memories?



That is why I believe it is more than randomness. I have had dreams from several years ago that I can still recall bits and pieces of.

One of my dreams was of my ex girlfriend of 7 years, she passed away from a brain aneurism and a few days after she passed I had a dream about her, and I distinctly remember "in my dream saying to her that her being there was impossible because she had died?!?" ( I wish I would have said passed on because I think back at this now with great sadness with how blunt I put it in my dream). I remember seeing a profound look of sadness from her and tears streaming down her face before I woke up myself with tears in my eyes. It was one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had and I simply put CANNOT believe the dream had absolutely no meaning.

edit on 24-1-2013 by Darkphoenix77 because: punctuation



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 08:32 PM
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Originally posted by csuldm
I have always been fascinated by dreams... I have not yet "cracked the code" as to what they could possibly mean (if anything) but I do find it very intriguing to think that our brain puts all of these images and events into our heads that can seem so realistic and vivid. Like they have to have some sort of meaning behind them.

I have also become interested lately in how dreams have spurred creativity and led to some of the greatest inventions, artistic pieces, and events in human history.

I even wrote a thread about it here.

Great thread topic!

edit on 24-1-2013 by csuldm because: formatting


Ugh I wish I could have flagged your thread...alot of cool ideas about inventions being the direct results of dreams. I starred the posts I thought brought up good ideas though.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 08:42 PM
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reply to post by Darkphoenix77
 


I think dreams allow us to tap into our fantasies,sub consciousness, and on a spiritual level other dimensions and parallel universes. It's amazing the wide variety of things you can dream about. I know I like to dream it's a nice little vacation from the harsh reality of this universe.





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