I never know what sort of thoughts or feelings they may evoke. I have no way of knowing what kind of thrill ride I may be taken on, and have essentially zero conscious control while experiencing the adventure. They are completely unpredictable. They are one of the most fascinating phenomenon to take place within the human brain and have always intrigued me. And who doesn't thoroughly delight in the prospect of falling asleep at the end of an average, monotonous day to float off to distant and bewildering worlds far behind anyone's waking imagination? I would think that this would be something most people agree upon, however, to my surprise and dismay I have found that a fair number of people don't quite share my enthusiasm for this means of nightly involuntary escape from reality. The reasons as to why elude me, but I have my guesses. Perhaps -- and most likely -- their dreams are simply not pleasant things. I can understand that. I probably wouldn't be comfortable welcoming such dreams in to invade my otherwise peaceful time of rest if this was a regular occurrence either. Yet, I still find this concept difficult to fathom, as my own dreams have always been a thrilling and fantastical part of my sleep. Many people tell me they never remember their dreams, and this is why they tend to pass them off as nothing close to the sizable deal I make them into or consider them to be. I can also understand that. What would be the point of dreams if you weren't able to reflect on the experience upon waking? Truly, I am almost inclined to commiserate with these people. How awful, to miss out on such fantastic (and cheap!) adventures; one does not even need to leave their place of rest or lift a finger to travel through time and space to embark on unimaginable adventures and revisit memories sometimes long lost and tucked away into the far corners of one's subconscious! And at other times, what of the sheer moments of epiphany dreams can bring . . . the answers to questions and solutions to problems one would not otherwise be able to formulate during one's waking hours of consciousness? I can often put hour upon hours of stress-inducing thought into an attempt to solve one of life's many mysteries only to fall asleep and have the solution laid out plainly in front of me as though there was some part of me that had been inhabited by it it all along but was too selfish to share with the rest of my waking conscious thought 'til my mind laid itself to rest and let its guard down. Sometimes these "answers" are revealed in black and white clarity, and other times they are laid out in a more abstract way, but my mind still finds ways to interpret or incorporate a spark of this inspiration into a more organized formula with a practical application once I wake.
Some people do not stop and give much thought as to what their dreams mean, but I think it is not solely what one takes to be the meaning of any given dream but rather what inspiration can be taken and applied to practical life. This is where one bridges the gap between the abstract images and experiences strewn about one's mind during sleep, and the essence of something more important; something that may perhaps have more use than what some originally choose to believe.
I may speak only for myself in this matter, but regardless, is there not a lesson to be taken away from this? There are many experiences in life we may be quick to deem irrelevant and unimportant, and simply cast away to be forgotten as life goes on. But this begs a question in my mind as to all the many things we might be able to learn, grow from, and accomplish if we took time to pay closer attention to the small happenings of daily life; the comings and goings of the local mailman or newspaper boy, the endeavors of a lone buttercup forcing its way up through a crack in the sidewalk, the attention a mother hen gives to her clutch of chicks as they cross a road for the first time together. What inspiration can we grasp from these simple things? What insight into life can we derive from them? Are they of no meaning simply because they do not directly involve us or our actions and words? Are they to be considered utterly irrelevant to our life though we bore witness to them? Or is it possible that we become involved the moment these images and experiences cross our paths? Do they become a part of us and our life simply because they have etched themselves into the experience of our five senses?
I guess it's all the way you look at it. But I have yet to meet someone in the modern world who sees these things in a similar manner; who appreciates dreams for more than a collection of off-kilter experiences subject to remaining locked away in the irrelevant world of our realm of subconsciousness. I would like to be called crazy then, if crazy is what I am for giving my dreams a chance to inspire and enlighten the hours I spend awake and making life-changing decisions. I have yet to regret where my dreams have brought me, and even if I did, I would be able to forgive myself for the times I tripped up, for it is an undeniable fact that without trying, one will never know.
NIGHTMARE - Definition
1: an evil spirit formerly thought to oppress people during sleep.
I like to believe that this reflects the kind of life I live--or more correctly, the way I am able to take life as it comes, and the attitude with which I choose to face various challenges that come my way. It is common knowledge, or at least common assumption, that people whose lives are filled with stress and surrounded by unpleasant circumstances are more likely to be plagued with rather unpleasant dreams than someone leading a less stressful life during the day. My life has been far from a bed of roses. However, I choose daily to take it one step at a time and work to overcome challenges steadily and level-headedly rather than letting things pile up and overwhelm me. I also avoid stressing over things that will most likely never happen or circumstances that I cannot change. The only way to face situations like these is to alter one's perspective and attitude. The glass is only half empty if you choose to believe more in the emptiness rather than in the fulness. I would like to say this is the reason for the lack of unpleasant dreams I have experienced in the past. I find it genuinely fascinating how it is possible to infer so much about a person and what kind of life they lead merely from knowledge of their dreams. Or maybe I'm just legitimately crazy and think too much.
I am a visually and auditorily-oriented, thus, my dream experience is based around mainly images and sounds. I liken it to acting out a part in a film of one's own life. I never have dreams of creatures besides humans and animals found on this planet, and the occasionally dragon or two. A co-worker of mine and I sometimes used to share our dream experiences with one another. He told me his dreams were always wildly vivid and that he was able to not only see and hear but also touch, taste and smell everything that happened in his dreams. I had never thought about it much up until then, but I realized my dreams were usually not as vivid in this way as he described his, and I wondered why this was. It made me think of how everybody's dream experience widely differs and is unique to that individual. I wondered at the time, if it may be possible to radically alter the style of one's usual dream experience. Soon thereafter, my question was answered, because my dreams ever since have involved all five of my senses in a completely different style as I had previously experienced in my dreams. I now have dreams where I can feel the chilling wetness of rain on my skin; the warmth of a body pressed up against mine; the silken fur of an animal under my fingers; and the rough, unforgiving hardness of rocky ground beneath my feet. I can smell smoke; the intoxicating whiff of perfume; the sweet, fresh scent of ripe peaches; and the musky oder of old books strewn about a deserted attic. I have yet to have a dream which includes my sense of taste, but I know this will probably come soon and when it does I this virtual sense will not fail me and shall perform every bit as excellent as the other four. It is utterly magnificent, really. Just when I thought my dreams could not get any better, my brain has flicked on a switch whose existence had eluded me up 'til now and opened up an entirely new realm of experience. It is incredible what the human mind is capable of during one's sleep.
After quite a bit of thought I have ultimately come to the conclusion that being a person of a rather adventurous type and never frightened by the prospect of experiencing new things or facing new challenges, I dive into my dreams with the same confidence I carry with me throughout my daily life, and thus, my dreams have become friends to me. They are a welcome adventure, just as any other new and unpredictable experience I take part in during my time awake. I am comfortable with the unknown and more often excited by it rather than unnerved.
Mostly, they keep me from becoming bored in my sleep and consequently waking up, which actually happens from time to time, unfortunately. Oh well. C’est la vie!
Live on. Dream on. Dance on!