by Sophia Marcel
For the most part I don’t remember my dreams. However, I do recall dreaming about Elvis when I was younger, and more recently Brad Pitt. A few weeks ago I had a dream that I had gone to a party with Richard Gere. Once at the party, I went up to the bar for a drink where I sat next to Kevin Costner (I know what you are thinking). Anyhow, we flirted for awhile and I was having a hard time deciding who I was going home with, I didn’t want to hurt Richard’s feelings but I was leaning towards Kevin. Just then I woke up. I tried so hard going back to sleep, so I could pick up where I left off, but it didn’t work.
What are dreams anyway?
Dreaming is universal. People in all cultures have dreams and corresponding interpretations of what they might mean – a sign of the future or a message from the gods. The Bible, as well as other great books of historical and revealed religion, show traces of a general and substantial belief in dreams. Plato, Goethe, Shakespeare and Napoleon assigned to certain dreams prophetic value. The famine of Egypt was revealed by a vision.
Sigmund Freud called them a “royal road” to the unconscious mind, full of threatening sexual and aggressive urges that we normally keep in check. In the 1970′s scientists figured out that dreams are regulated by a chemical that comes from our primitive brainstem and kicks off rapid-eye-movement, or the REM, phase of sleep. Some scientists concluded, then, that our dreams were simply random stories concocted by the brain. Freudians were not happy with this view. Three decades later scientist are still arguing, still studying.
Some of the most memorable dreams are the ones we have where we find ourselves falling, maybe you’re being chased, perhaps leaving the house without your clothes on. How many of us remember Freddie Krueger, in NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET? I could certainly relate to more than a couple of incidents from the movie. Above all, dreams have the potential to take us beyond the sphere of our ordinary lives. A good book to have if you are at all interested in dream interpretation is one by Gustavus Hindman Miller, 10,000 DREAMS Interpreted, an illustrated guide to unlocking the secrets of your Dreamlife. As he explains two dreams are never the same, nor are two flowers ever alike. If nothing else it makes for interesting reading.