Dreams mean different things to different people.
What exactly are dreams? Scientists have been studying dreams for hundreds of years, and it’s still not quite clear exactly what they are.
The dictionary defines a dream as a “succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.”
Cinderella sings, “A dream is a wish your heart makes.”
Psychologists claim that dreams are the “stories the brain tells during sleep–collections of clips, images, feelings, and memories that involuntarily occur during rapid eye movement.”
Famous Neurologist, Sigmund Freud, conceptualized that dreams are “disguised fulfillment of repressed wishes.”
As you can see, there are various views of dreams from many different entities. This makes studying dreams a bit difficult – if there are so many theories on what dreams are, how do we know what the truth is?
Despite all the different dream theories, there are two agreements:
1. Dreams contain images.
2. No theory is 100% proven.
The First Agreement:
Dreams contain images.
This may seem like an obvious statement, but there is more depth to it than at first glance. It is universally agreed upon that when we dream, they are comprised of images. When we sleep through the night, we don’t just shut off our brain and see black (some folks may believe this is the case, but it is not!).
The fact that dreams contain images means there is something to interpret.
Right now, in our waking life, we see many things. For example, you are looking at a computer or a phone and can see the words and images in this article. You are looking at something you can interpret based on your beliefs. You can perceive these words however you choose: fact, fiction, ridiculous, interesting, enlightening, etc. But the point is: it’s up to you to decide.
This is the same with our dreams (and anything in life, really). We see the images, and we get to decide what they mean. The fact of the matter is that dreams have images that we can interpret.
The Second Agreement:
No theory on dreaming is 100% proven.
Dreams are still wildly misunderstood. No one can state with 100% certainty what dreams are, what they mean, or why we have them. Nope, not even Sigmund Freud. They were his theories. This can either make you want to brush dreams off completely, or, it can show you the wonder and possibilities this topic can bring.
You can travel down many rabbit holes regarding dreams – you can explore views from science, psychology, spirituality, Buddhism, poetry, mythology, the list goes on. Many views are opposing – but they all have the same agreement: they’re theories, not fact.
So, what does this mean?
Anything is possible.
Dreams could be our portal to another realm. They could be random firings of neurological impulses. They could be our brain’s way of processing memories. They could be visions from alternate realities. They could be our heart’s strongest desires. They could be…nothing.
Any of these could be the truth.
Since no one knows for sure what dreams are (not even Freud!), it’s up to us to decide for ourselves. You can read hundreds of books, research articles in scientific journals, speak with dream masters, and browse websites for the answer to the question, “What are dreams?” until you are blue in the face. But at the end of the day, even the most researched and credible scientific studies are just hypotheses. That’s what makes dreaming so exciting to study – dreams can be anything your mind decides.
The best way to learn about dreams is through your own experience. So I personally recommend getting a dream journal (the most important journal you will ever have!) and start writing down your nighttime stories. If you have trouble remembering your dreams (or you don’t believe you dream), here is a good place to start your dream life connection.