By James Wadman
When we remember our dreams, we often don’t remember them as thoughts; we remember a plotline. This is where we take a sharp turn into the human psyche. For this reason, I believe we ignore a certain word all too often when discussing dreams: Curiosity. The mind creates an entire external environment, characters that may or may not seem familiar, and even conflicts and consequences. I call this the hypothetical mind of dreams, where the mind places itself in a particular atmosphere and then simply asks, what if? In personal dreams, I derive meaning from how I answer this question. My response to the chaotic reality created by my subconscious mind is the basis for all of my dream interpretations.
However, before one can begin to analyze a dream, something pivotal and ironically overlooked must be addressed: you must remember your dreams. This is vehemently demanding for many people, especially for those who claim they don’t even have dreams. Though many dreams are the spawn of mere chaos and spontaneity, I will always believe that analyzing your dreams offers the opportunity of insight into your character. And the only way to understand dreams is to remember them. This is what I call the capture. Because dreams occur in the final stage of sleep, there is an extremely fine line between the plot of your dream and the plot of your morning. As soon as you begin thinking of the day in front of you, your memory of your dreams fades into the inaccessible background of your mind. Thus, it is the first few seconds of being awake in which most people lose their dreams from the previous night. The capture is simple. Set an alarm five minutes earlier than you normally would wake up so that you awake in medias res from your dream. In those extra five minutes of your morning, do not think about your day. Instead, immediately pursue the dream you just had and try to let the thoughts of your dream flow into your conscious mind. Capturing the dream when you wake up is the most important part of understanding what it might mean.
Here we reach the end of the road. I can’t tell you what your dreams mean based on symbols I read about in books, and what one dream means to one person might mean something completely different to the next. Seek an understanding subjectively, consider the factor in your life that might be influencing your deepest thought processes. From experience I can say that you will really recognize when a dream has insight on your own life. I have gone entire days after having a dream feeling the emotional impact of whatever may have happened to me in the dream. Still, I would love to answer any questions you might have on dream interpretation because I do believe it is exciting to seek an understanding, and I would be more than happy to help.