For years, dreams are elusive to several people. At some point, everyone has pondered on their meanings and tried to interpret them. Many have viewed dreams, spiritual meaning being important in the scheme of life. What do they mean? Do they mean anything at all? These are questions that have plagued humans for a long time. The answer is that there is no clear answer. Nowadays, there are dream “experts” and dream therapists. Since Sigmund Freud was a revolutionary in terms of his studies on dreams, the field of psychoanalysis has come to be.
What Could Dreams Be Telling You?
People who have dreams they interpret as being from the heavens, or God, strive to delve into their meaning. The spiritualism of dreams can be difficult to make sense of. Such dreams may appear bizarre and filled with compelling symbolism, leaving us perplexed and asking, “God, what are you trying to say?” Its important to remember an important fact. Dreams should never be interpreted in a literally, because oftener, they portray something hidden. Another important aspect of dreams is that research has shown that people remember up to 10% of their dreams in any night. Dreams are most experienced during a period of sleep known as “REM” or rapid eye movement. If a person is forced awake during this stage of sleep, he/she will likely remember his/her dream vividly.
REM and Dreams
Energy is available to the body during the phase of REM sleep. Your brain is provided with power so that you can be alert once you wake up. Muscles may be inactive, but the brain remains “alive and kicking”, nourishing your dreams. Scientifically, it has been proven that the quality of dreams changes according to the time of night. At the start of night, REM sleep may result in a brief dream. Later at night, an REM stage will last longer. In this period, you may have a longer, more detailed dream. Adults typically have anywhere from four to six dreams a night. Nonetheless, only a single or two are remembered. Once someone wakes up, the full picture of all your dreams won’t be manifested, and you may have a difficult task understanding the symbolism of dreams.
How are Dreams Scripted?
Where does the script of all these visions in your head come from? While finding out the meaning of your dreams, spiritual meaning can only be deciphered if you can trace the source of dream meanings. Dreams are a blend of early memories, remote in nature, as well as recent memories. Additionally, everything in between is also included in your dreams. According to the renowned authority on dreams, Sigmund Freud, several images contained in dreams arrive from the previous day’s activities. This is called “day residue”. Some images may be brought forth from the last week, known as the “dream lag effect”.
In making some sense of your dreams, spiritual meaning may be particularly hard to fish out in case you happen to have random images in your head. Although, the pictures you “see” in your sleep may appear to come from “nowhere” to you, be sure that they are significant. For instance, you may have passed by a confectioner’s store a week ago and dream of eating a cake. Memories may create images in your mind, but you never replay them as they happened. The brain, instead, decides what you dream of by evaluating the most valuable new memories that warrant some understanding. You may also dream of anything that the brain relates to that memory that is recent. As far as the cake example goes, a guiding force may be telling you something. This message may be that sweet things may do more harm than good to you.
Unveiling the symbolism in dreams is best done when you think of all aspects of your life, and relate the dream to those. For instance, you may have experienced a car accident in actual life. You may dream of this, but your dream takes on a different form. Dreaming about yourself in a bumper car at an amusement park may be the content of your dreams. In the dream, though you should be having fun, you maybe stressed. When you wake up, you probably keep thinking of why you may have had such a dream. Spiritually, it may seem like a warning from a higher being to be more careful when you drive. The dream may have the opposite effect, downplaying the seriousness of the actual car accident you had.
Dreams and the Spiritual Construct
The greatest religions of the world and their spiritual context emerged from visions and dreams. Beginning as a dream, many religions have foundations in the minds of their creators. On his way to Damascus, to curb the extent of the Christian community, Saul of Tarsus suddenly experienced a flash of light before him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice, appearing to be Jesus querying him about his faithlessness in Christianity. After this, Saul turned into St. Paul and was imminent in spreading the word of Christianity. Mohammed, the prophet and founder of the Islamic faith, received his revelations from God in a series of dreams. The spiritualism of dreams is ever-present, as the prophet was read verses by angels in his dreams. This became the text of the Quran.
In an analogy similar to that of Mohammed, the night before “enlightenment”, the Buddha had five great dreams. In the first, the Earth appeared as his bed, the Himalayas as his pillow. Claiming to realize the true meaning of life in natural elements of the universe, the Buddha was finally enlightened and passed his teachings to his followers in the form of Buddhism. Throughout the history of the world, not religious leaders, but healers too, thought of dreams as a portal to spiritual realms. Evidence has shown that humans living 100,000 years ago during the Upper paleolithic period experienced dreaming of deceased people as being alive in dreams. Individuals who had these dreams believed that the souls of these deceased loved ones were inextricably connected with their lives and lived on somehow.
The Spiritualty of Dreams
Science may explain dreams as interpretations of our experiences in life, but deeper meanings are often revealed in dreams. When we think of dreams as altered states of consciousness, we can consider that dreams have spiritual significance. When we first experience dreams, spiritual meaning may not be clear to us. Upon reflection, though, we may carve out a dream’s spiritual significance. A lot about a dream’s meaning depends on how you approach it. Deeply religious people will undoubtedly see hidden meanings and signs. On the other hand, those riddled with common sense and logic may not even remember a dream they’ve had, even though vivid at the time.
How do Dreams and Spirituality Relate?
The connection between dreams of the REM phase and spiritual experience has a disturbing effect on religious people. They fear that religion and spiritual messages from dreams suggest delusional dreaming and hallucinations. This is because biology has proved that the same neural chemistry occurs during these psychic states. Nonetheless, dreams do “tell us” substantial information about our lives, and signs and symbols shouldn’t be written off. There is no doubt that dreams have played key roles in the evolution of the history of several potent religions. These are involuntary and emotional experiences involving the dreamer’s soul.
Should we Pay Attention to Dreams?
The answer seems to be, from scientific evidence, and spirituality, a resounding “yes”! Dreams can give solutions to problems, mostly in the form of warnings to which we may not pay heed otherwise. A dream’s spiritual meaning may have lasting effects on our lives when we are awake. According to research some common dream themes and their spiritual links are listed below:
- Dreams in which you’re chased – Being pursued by a known or unknown entity are quite frightening in a dream. Analysts will suggest that you are trying to avoid a situation in real life. Spiritually, you may be fearful of your own feelings, suppressing them deep inside your conscience. The message that you get from your Maker is that you should be braver and have more faith in Him. Spiritually, it may mean that something or someone in your past haunts you.
- Losing teeth – This is a frequently occurring situation in dreams and may signify a worry over appearance or an inability to communicate with someone. It implies a loss of power of sorts (“loss of teeth” that are used to bite, chew, cut, etc.). Spiritually, the Lord is telling you that you can get whatever you’ve lost, tangible or intangible. The deciding factor is you.
- Dreams of falling – Usually, people have this dream when they are overwhelmed in real life. Symbolically, it means you’ve lost your footing. Spiritually, it’s a sign to slow down. You may have to get your bearings and then restart your life.
People deceased or alive – Dreaming of people you know, or have known, is a common signal that there is a spiritual guide within you. People may carry a message, directly or indirectly, and you must derive meaning as this relates to your life.