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The Meaning of Dreams
We realize that your dreams are unique. No other individual can have your background, your emotions, or your experiences. Every dream is connected with your own "reality". Thus, in interpreting your dreams, it is important to draw from your personal life and experiences.
Remember that a dream unifies the body, mind, and spirit. It provides you with insight into ourselves and a means for self-exploration. In understanding your dreams, you will have a better understanding and discovery of your true self.
Many of us take our dreams for granted, not realizing that the dream state is actually an expanded state of consciousness. Due to the fact that the ego lets go of a lot of the control it normally exercises during the day, we become more open to healing forces that help us to regain balance mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually as we dream.
Why do we dream? - Two different schools of thought exist as to why we dream: the physiological school, and the psychological school.
Both, however, agree that we dream during the REM, or rapid eye movement, phase of sleep. During this phase of sleep, our closed eyes dart rapidly about, our brain activity peaks, and our muscles suffer temporary paralysis.
The physiological theory centers upon how our body, specifically our brains, function during the REM phase of sleep. Proponents of this theory believe that we dream to exercise the synapses, or pathways, between brain cells, and that dreaming takes over where the active and awake brain leaves off. When awake, our brains constantly transmit and receive messages, which course through our billions of brain cells to their appropriate destinations, and keep our bodies in perpetual motion. Dreams replace this function.
Two underpinning physiological facts go towards supporting this theory of dreams. The first lies in the fact that the first two or so years of ones life, the most formative ones for learning, are also the ones in which the most REM sleep occurs. It follows that during this time of the greatest REM sleep, we experience the greatest number of dreams. The second physiological fact that lends credence to this theory is that our brain waves during REM sleep, as recorded by machines measuring the brain's electrical activity, are almost identical in nature to the brain waves during the hours we spend awake. This is not the case during the other phases of sleep.
Psychological theorists of dreams focus upon our thoughts and emotions, and speculate that dreams deal with immediate concerns in our lives, such as unfinished business from the day, or concerns we are incapable of handling during the course of the day. Dreams can, in fact, teach us things about ourselves that we are unaware of.
Connections between dreams that the human psyche have been made by many people over thousands of years. The famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle wrote in his "Parva Naturalia," over 2,200 years ago, of a connection between dreams, waking experiences, and emotional needs.
Others have delved into more complicated explanations for dreams, such as the prophetic nature of dreams written of in the Bible, which was and is a belief held by many cultures. Sigmund Freud, one of the fathers of modern psychology, believed dreams to be symbolic of any number of things buried deep within our minds and our memories.
Until someone proves or disproves one of these theories, or poses an alternate one, we are left at square one. Our knowledge as to what causes us to dream is limited to the fact that we do dream, and that dreams occur during the REM phase of sleep. Sweet dreams!
Dream meaning examples -If you dream of being chased, it reflects feelings of insecurity. A dream that takes place on an island may indicate a need for personal space. A dream of rabbits running in green grass is a good omen. A ship in dock or on a calm sea may promise happiness in love. By deciphering the language of your dreams, you can achieve greater spiritual awareness, fulfillment and lasting happiness.
Common Dream Meanings -Dreams of being naked in public symbolize being afraid of being seen for who you really are. They also suggest worry about being vulnerable to others. To see a naked person in your dream and feel disgusted by it, symbolizes some anxiety about discovering the naked truth about some person or situation. It may also foretell loss of prestige and scandalous activities. On the other hand, if you do not have any problem with another's nudity in your dream, then it implies that you see through people and accept them for who and what they are.
The dream meaning for falling may represent feelings of abandonment, especially feeling abandoned by a "caretaker" such as a partner, employer, or by God. Feelings of a loss of security or control, or a sudden lack of foundation in your life, such as a situation where "the rug is pulled out from under you."
To dream of flying is usually a pleasant experience and is accompanied by a sense of exhilaration and freedom. It usually feels completely natural as if we have somehow always known how to do this. Rarely is the dream accompanied by a fear of heights or of falling. Flying may symbolize liberation from something that's been troubling you. The obstructions and shackles that have held you down have been released and you can now experience the same sense of freedom that we see in the birds that soar in the sky. The sky may symbolize consciousness and spirituality so to dream of flying can represent the expansion of your awareness and the unfolding of your higher self. (Freud of course took a more materialistic view: to him flying dreams represented sexual release.) Discover how to find Dream Meanings. For a quick reference to find meanings to your dreams see our dream guide.