Friday, February 03, 2006

Dream On

Inspired by the greatest rock-n-roll band of all time, some discussion around the water cooler at work, and a couple of restless nights, I present a post on dreams. And I’m talking about the sleeping kind, not the lofty goals and aspirations kind that I usually write about.

According to, there are seven different types of dreams:

"Lucid Dream
Lucid dreams occurs [sic] when you realize you are dreaming in the middle of your dream. "Wait a second. This is only a dream!" Most dreamers wake themselves up once they realize that they are only dreaming. Other dreamers have cultivated the skill to remain in the lucid state of dreaming. They become an active participant in their dream, make decisions in their dreams and influence the dream's outcome without awakening.
A nightmare is a disturbing dream... that causes the dreamer to wake up feeling anxious and frightened. Nightmares may be a response to real life trauma and situations. These [sic] type of nightmares fall under a special category called
Post-traumatic stress nightmare (PSN). Nightmares may also occur because we have ignored or refused to accept a particular life situation. Research shows that most people who have regular nightmares have had a family history of psychiatric problems, bad drug experiences, people who have contemplated suicide, and/or rocky relationships. Nightmares are an indication of a fear that needs to be acknowledged and confronted. It is a way for our subconscious to make up take notice. "Pay attention!"
Recurring Dreams
Recurring dreams repeat themselves with little variation in story or theme. These dreams may be positive, but most often they are nightmares. Dreams may recur because a conflict depicted in the dream remains unresolved and ignored. Once you have found a resolution to the problem, your recurring dreams may cease.
Healing Dreams
Healing dreams serve as messages for the dreamer in regards to their health. Dreams of this nature may be telling the dreamer that he/she needs to go to the dentist or doctor.
Prophetic Dreams
Prophetic dreams, also referred to as precognitive dreams, are dreams that seemingly foretell the future. One rational theory to explain this phenomenon is that our dreaming mind is able to piece together bits of information and observation that we normally overlook or that we do not seriously consider. In other words, our unconscious mind knows what is coming before we consciously piece together the same information.
Epic Dreams
Epic dreams are so huge, so compelling, and so vivid that you cannot ignore them. The details of such dreams remain with you for years, as if your dreamt it last night. These dreams possess much beauty and contain many archetypal symbology."

They also add:

Studies show that we all have the tendency to daydream an average of 70-120 minutes a day. Day dreaming is classified as a level of consciousness between sleep and wakefulness. It occurs during our waking hours when we let our imagination carry us away. As our minds begin to wander and our level of awareness decreases, we lose ourselves in our imagined scenario and fantasy."
I might quibble with some of their descriptions. Particularly when they dance around the idea that Prophetic dreams might be real. I think the Bible shows this possibility in Old Testament scripture (for example Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis) and in New Testament scripture (for example another Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus in Matthew.) However, to me, they seem to have it pretty close, and I have personally experienced many of these types.

They also list six categories of common dreams that many people have:

being naked in public, chase dreams, teeth falling out dreams, flying dreams, falling dreams, and dreams where you are taking an exam.

Although it looks like, based on reader feedback, they are also considering adding: dreams about death, natural catastrophe dreams, dreams about snakes, and wedding dreams.

The site also includes a dream dictionary, where an attempt is made to provide a possible interpretation for specific items often found in dreams and the symbolism or cause behind them and a message forum, where visitors from one end of the belief spectrum to the other can discuss their own experiences with these types and categories of dreams.

I think that dreams are a fascinating topic, and this site provided some valuable tools for ferreting out any that have been nagging you.

Or maybe I’m just dreaming. What do you think??


Rich said...

You were inspired by the Vigilantes of Love? Awesome!

Anyway, this is what I'm talking about!!!

WandaV said...

This post is just up my alley, Ken.

So what does it mean if you dream that your sister and her best friend are walking down the road and when they turn around they have the head of a wolf and sheep, respectively? (ha-ha. remember that scene from DreamTag?)

I had a strange dream last night-- not exactly a flying dream (I love those) I was jumping on a trampoline and bouncing about 50 feet in the air with each bounce. I even felt the giddy stomach sensation with it. Really cool. And the best part was that when I missed landing on the trampoline, I still didn't get hurt. Wowo.

trying to finish DreamTag

DugALug said...

I wasn't aware that Led Zepplin had any song about dreams?!

I'm thinking of that movie with Jimmy Stewart and Ingrid Bergman: The one where Jimmy was having all sort of weird dreams and was posing a a Psychatrist, but he really wasn't. Hitchcock was a spooky little booger.


Rich said...

Okay, I'll get serious for a few minutes -- btw, nice painting of yourself in bed that you attached to this post, Ken (much better than the David Schwimmer pic you attached to my Where's Ken post comments) -- and try and address the subject at hand. Dreams.

The only dreams I ever even quasi-remember are daydreams and dreams (usually nightmares) when I'm sick with fever, and even then, I'm not fully asleep.

My Psych 101 & 102 courses assured me that, yes, I do dream when I sleep, but I wouldn't know it. I remember once as a really small kid - I was 5 because it's one of my earliest remembrances and we were still living in Florida - I woke up scared late at night and went to see my parents who were still watching TV. The vision I saw was each of my eyelashes being plucked, and I was pretty scared. They sent me back to bed after a glass of milk. Since then, zippo.

I do walk around in a sleep-deprived stupor half the time, but that's just from insomnia or the self-inflicted torture of keeping myself up too late to get things accomplished during the night. Any thoughts then could only be considered daydreams or worse.

And that daydreaming stat of only 70-120 minutes a day, that's got to be low. Double, triple, or quadruple that for me.

I will say that it would certainly be a nightmare for everyone involved if I found myself naked in a lucid dream.

What does all this make me? Well, like your Garden of Eden post, it makes me an expert, this time on dreams... so you can count on me to help you mine through and field your comments on the subject. Armed and ready, sir.

WandaV said...

And--oh yeah-- I've had color dreams. I remember colors from certain scenes.

I've never heard of anyone not remembering any dreams, though. Weird, huh.


codepoke said...

Sleep fewer than 4 hours a night, and you are not going to remember a lot of dreams!

Teeth falling out dreams??? I've never had one of those, but thanks to this post....

On the prophetic dreams, I would not quibble with them. Human prophetic dreams are very different from divine prophetic dreams, I would bet. When people wake up from dreams in the bible, I never hear the "I wonder what that means" feeling that people seem to have after normal prophetic dreams.

Some book told me recently that you can tell the state of someone's life from the color of their dreams. Color is supposed to be a better indicator than the dream's content. Red=stress, etc. I don't know where I heard it, but it was something that I thought was reasonably dependable.

codepoke said...

BTW, on the naked dreams.

Rich having naked, lucid dreams does sound like a trip. I cannot begin to imagine what that mind would do in a socially uncomfortable situation with no repercussions. :-D

I am always highly socially stressed. Always. Even when I am "on", I just collapse after it's over. Unfortunately, I am addicted to the stress. I don't know what to do about that.

Anyway, I used to have so many naked dreams that I got bored with them. They terrified me for years, but I guess there is "too much of a bad thing." To this day, if I have one, I just look down and go on about the rest of the dream. Nobody else ever notices, so why should I? It's pretty funny. I never got over them, I just quit caring.

P&S said...

Rich: Speaking of fever, it's 4AM, and I think I have just broken mine. I'd agree with codepoke on the amount of sleep you get having an effect on your dreams. But I think a lighter or more restless sleep is when I dream the most. And the dreams in the morning, near waking up time, are the ones that I remember the most about.

Wanda: The site I linked actually has trampoline in their dream dictionary. It says: "To dream that you are jumping on a trampoline, represents your resilience and your ability to bounce back from difficult and emotional times.

To see a trampoline in your dream, symbolizes the ups and downs of life."

'Course if you were going to make up something, that to me would be the obvious answer. Still they thought trampolines were common enough to list it.

They also have an entire section on colors and there meanings in dreams listed under "dream themes". I won't try to paste all of that here though.

codepoke: Maybe you are right about prophetic dreams. Though, I could get into an entire discussion on prophecy itself: Old Testament vs. The Gospels vs. Post-Pentacost spiritual giftedness (which I believe I personally have), but I won't hijack this post for that now.

However, if you're right, I still think that I'd quibble with them that there should be a listing for two types of prophetic dreams and perhaps another category for visions (which I think are a little different as well) if they are going to list daydreaming.

Maybe I've become too sensitive to looking for instances where God is just cut out of the everyday equation. But it seemed to me that is what they were doing.

I saw them not denying the existence of prophetic dreams because of the numbers of people claiming to have them, but looking for some explanation that doesn't include God.

On "teeth falling out" dreams, I have never had one either and had never heard of them, but when I brought it up at work, one guy said, "Oh yeah, I have them all the time."

Scot said...

It's bad when you have a dream that you have gotten up and are getting ready for work. That can make you late getting up. But that's better than, as a kid, dreaming that I had gotten up to use the bathroom. You can guess what that gets you.
I think neat to watch babies have dreams. What experiences could a newborn be drawing upon as the source of their dreams?

I think Joseph made a career out of explaining dreams to those who did not understand their prophetic dreams.

codepoke said...

I think Joseph made a career out of explaining dreams to those who did not understand their prophetic dreams.

Yep. They sought Joseph out because they knew these were like no other dreams they had ever had. These were from God.


Did you read the recent Reader's Digest article on children with near death experiences? (I cannot reference it; it was in a doctor's waiting room.)

Rich said...

Near-death experiences sounds like a post. Are you hearing me, Kenneth?

P&S said...

I have not seen the Reader's Digest article. Does it relate to dreams in some way or did I just make you think of it by something I said in the comments? Please explain.

Rich, I hear you, and you have my full authorization to pursue your idea about a post on near-death experiences. It sounds interesting.

codepoke said...

More, I thought of you every paragraph or two through the article, and I didn't have anywhere better to put the idea. I think I maybe need to be slapped as often as I go off topic on comment threads.

The doc in question interviewed a slough of munchkins who had been near death and found a remarkable degree of similarity in their stories. They are thought to be too young to have muddled their stories with religion or shame, so the similarities are striking.

I actually came back to this post because I was trying to comment on topic for once :-).

Our pastor commented on Job 33:14ff. The passage pertains to God speaking to men in dreams.

For God speaketh once, yea twice, [yet man] perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man [from his] purpose, and hide pride from man. ... If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:

There's a lot I did not quote.

After this discussion, the subject was just that much more poignant to me.