In Part 1, I looked at the history of dreams, together with their function in our lives. In this article, I’m going to explore predictive, symbolic and archetypal dreams.
When we sleep, we go through several sleep stages, each at deeper levels of sub consciousness. This is accompanied by involuntary muscle spasms in the eyes, called Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. Scientists don’t yet understand the mechanisms involved in this, other than to state that some people visit such deep states of unconsciousness that their body signs such as heart rate and brain activity alter significantly. Studies have indicated that we all dream every night, but not all of us necessarily remember our dreams. To help you remember your dreams, program yourself by keeping a dream diary and don’t move your body when you wake. Keep your eyes closed and stay with the feeling of the dream, even if you can’t remember the pictures.
When we are in a deeply altered state, some dreams may be of a predictive nature, presaging future events. These dreams have a different “flavour” to normal everyday dreams and “feel” different to the dreamer, seeming more real than symbolic or everyday dreams. Often those who have predictive dreams, are besieged with emotion after the dream and they find it difficult to put the dream out of mind. They can also remember a particular dream many years or decades later, sometimes it never leaves them.
Some famous dreams
Joseph from biblical times dreamt of a severe famine coming to Egypt, he notified the King and advised him to store grain and food for a number of years leading up to the famine. The King took this seriously and saved thousands of Egyptians from starvation.
Carl Jung received much of his archetypal theories through dreams. Jung dreamt of the fourfold relationship between spirit, body, mind and emotion. He was a student of Freud and contributed much to the development of Freudian theory. Carl Jung went on to contribute immensely to psychology and effect positive growth in millions of lives, thanks in part, to his dreams.
Igor Sikorsky invented the modern helicopter after a dream he had as a teenager. In a moment of deja vu, some 50 years later, he finally recalled his dream of himself as a grown man, standing in a helicopter looking down over the countryside, marveling at his invention actually flying. Leonardo Da Vinci came up with the original concept of the helicopter, but it was Sikorsky who actually made it a practical, commercial reality. His dream came back to him to remind him of the inspiration he received as a teenager.
Most of our dreams however, are in fact symbolic in nature. The subconscious gives us information in code, which is a type of language. Neuroscientists think that some of our unconscious energy maybe too threatening for us to deal with directly, so the true meaning is camouflaged by code. We need to learn our own dream language so we can understand the deep true meaning behind our dreams. For example, if I dream of a black cat, it represents a hidden, feminine and beautiful slinky energy. If someone who was afraid of black cats dreamt of one, then it can represent their fears. Black cats mean different things to different people, they can be friendly and warm to one person or to another, they may be the “witches familiar”. In terms of spiritual growth however, anything black in a dream usually means, hidden, unknown or unaware, it doesn’t necessarily mean “evil” in the original Christian sense of the word.
There are also archetypal dreams. These are dreams with the same meaning, regardless of time or culture. A good example of this is tidal wave dreams. Many people have dreamt about them, some people have taken them to be predictive, whereas they are usually symbolic in nature. In the 1970’s certain religions believed that Sydney was about to be flooded by a great tidal wave coming through the heads of Sydney Harbour, which didn’t of course eventuate at that time. These dreams can represent overwhelming emotional contents about to flood into the consciousness of the dreamer. This could be something like losing a job, some unfortunate news affecting loved ones, or a marriage breakdown. More rarely, tidal wave dreams are predictive and this is why we all need to learn discernment between predictive and symbolic dreams.
Another archetypal dream is that of spitting out teeth. This dream occurs at different stages of emotional development throughout our lives. It basically infers that a person has just passed a developmental milestone. When children lose their milk teeth, they then graduate onto their next set of teeth. Adults go through emotional development milestones during the course of their entire lives. Although this dream may leave a “bad taste” in our mouths when we awake, it is actually a very good dream, as it indicates growth.
Whatever you do, do pay attention to your dreams, as they give another perspective on life and provide much material that assists emotional and spiritual evolution.