By Margaret Bowater, MA, Author of Dreams and Visions -Language of the Spirit.
Dreaming normally occupies about a quarter of each night’s sleep.
Everybody dreams every night, during 4-5 periods of REM-sleep.
Your big muscles are inhibited from movement during REM periods.
You can improve your recall by recording dreams as soon as you wake up.
You dream mainly about your current emotional concerns.
Dream feelings are real; your body feels them; you may laugh or scream.
They often express your daytime feelings more intensely.
The sense of identity, “I”, in your dreams is called the Dream Ego.
It is a reflected image of your Waking Ego, the centre of consciousness.
It usually shows how you feel in some aspect of your life at the time.
The dream-stories about You come from a different source than your Ego.
This source seems to be a creative observer of all aspects of your life.
Carl Jung called it the Self, the central point of balance in the psyche.
He also called it “the archetype of the Divine;” your “spark of God within.”
Many dreams convey a strong sense of guidance, warning or affirmation.
Imagery in dreams comes mostly from your memory, creatively collated.
Interpretation therefore depends mainly on your own associations.
Some imagery comes more from your subconscious cultural background.
Most of your dreams are metaphor-stories, like parables or cartoons.
They often show you unconscious patterns in your own behaviour.
Nightmares express strong feelings anticipating or following traumatic events
They indicate a need for healing, protection, comfort – or courage to act.
Recurring dreams indicate unresolved grief, trauma or emotional conflict.
Persistent nightmares may indicate a need for psychotherapy.
The hallucinations of mental illness, fever, drugs or sleep-deprivation seem to be extreme forms of dreaming, due to chemical conditions in the brain.
Archetypal visions come from the Collective Unconscious of the human race.
All the world’s major religions have begun with powerful visions.
The Bible is full of dreams and visions, from Genesis to Acts to Revelations
Some dreams have major political impact, eg in Palestine, Afghanistan, etc.
Dreams have inspired artists, scientists, authors, musicians, inventors, films...
They are a major source of creative inspiration and problem-solving.
When you have a big problem on your mind, “sleep on it” for help.
Around one third of us have telepathic, clairvoyant or precognitive dreams.
Some dreams even seem to carry detailed memories from past lives.
Around the time of death, many people report visions of the departing spirit
and the dying in all cultures report glimpses of departed ones coming to greet them.
Your dreams can be a continual source of warning, inspiration and guidance all your life, if you train yourself to listen to your inner Spirit.