Article revised 6/April/02:
Are your dreams trying to tell you something? Can we connect with those we have lost?
Learn more about dreams in general & how they spiritually involve us
Have you ever dreamt you were flying?
Many people do. Soaring around as if you had wings? Or perhaps even being on an aircraft? Even being up high such as on a bridge or a tall building? Well if you have you were probably astral traveling!
The thought goes, that when we dream we become separated from the physical body and are freed to explore the world of spirit. Our spirit friends exist in a world of energy and thought, something that also exists within us. For a while, during the relaxed state of sleep, we touch this world, and those in spirit can reach us. Without a physical body to slow us down, we move around by simply wishing it, by thought. I like to think of the spirit world as more of an 'existence' than a place. I have spoken elsewhere on this site of trying not to be confined by conventional religions, of growing and learning beyond what you previously thought, and so I too understand the spirit world as not being confined by our conventional thoughts of heaven. Consider the fact that when in spirit form, we can explore the universe, visit different periods in time and you may begin to see what is possible and perhaps understand why this painful Earth life is a necessary part of your training. The mind trying to deal with the concept of this 'Astral Traveling' simply represents this through thoughts of flying.
Dreams of falling / waking with a shock
Another popular dream is that of falling, or waking suddenly and feeling like you collided with something. You will certainly know when it happens, some people think they have fallen off their bed, or the springs have broken. I remember an occasion my self when I felt like like I had dropped from my bedroom ceiling onto the bed, it really felt as though I had landed with a wallop! There are two possible reasons for this, one spiritual and one a little more down to earth and scientific, lets look at both..
The Spiritual Answer: This is caused by the astral body suddenly dropping back into the physical body. A noise may have disturbed your sleep and therefore your astral journey. To be fully conscious and deal with whatever disturbed you, your spirit or higher self comes rushing back and snaps back into position. Many people experience a jolt, or a shock, as your astral and physical body were rejoined so quickly you feel the bump! You may remember elements of your journey and these will come through, often hazily, as your dream. It's worth saying at this point, that remembering your astral journeys is not vital, they serve you on a much higher basis.
The Scientific Answer: While we dream we may act out many roles, some of these are very physical such as running, jumping, falling etc, our bodies would respond to these actions, mimicking the action in the dream. However for our protection our muscles become paralyzed. On waking, or coming out of the deep dream state, our muscles are released. This usually happens quite smoothly, but sometimes we wake quickly (maybe because of a disturbance) and the process happens a little more dramatically. it's the release we feel, as our bodies relax and normal functions are restored. It's possible to build a dream scene around this process and incorporate it into a dream, hence the falling of a cliff dream etc.
Both the above may be true, but it's important to keep a sense of balance. Understanding ourselves and our bodies is important in helping us identify the true mystical experiences. Here's another side effect of our dream state..
Dreams of being held down: Some people have said they awake not being able to move, as if being held down. For some the experience can be quite frightening. This is likely to be another case of our muscle paralysis mentioned above. Only this time there is an overhang of the effect, which may continue as we awake. We are though probably in and out of sleep and this may explain why people dream of spirits holding them down, we have drawn physical elements into our dream and created an explanation. This inability to move usually only lasts a few seconds, so relax and wait for it to pass.
Exploring Our Dreams / Self Interpretation
Of course dreams manifest themselves in many ways, and not all of them are do with visiting the spirit world. We often re-live the events of the day or the apprehension of a forthcoming event, in this context our dreams simply talk to us about our desires, fears and problems. We can in fact learn a lot about ourselves from these dreams if we care to examine their meanings.
In attempting to understand our dreams it may help to think about them as being similar to our daytime 'train of thoughts'. In other words how one suggestion received can lead our mind in all sorts of directions. For example;- while watching a tv show, we spot an actor we have seen before, let's say we recognise him from an old science fiction series. Our mind then goes back to that series and how he might have looked or what costume he wore. We might go on to think about the series, about how much we liked it, when we last saw it and if we would like to see it again. We might even go in other directions as one thought generates a new thought and more 'trails' are formed. Because we are conscious we can keep things under control, what we think about is logical and understandable. Now consider your dreams, the suggestion could be anything that was on your mind during the day, or deeper longstanding issues. Our sleeping brain is still processing the information and still forming these thought trails, but without our interactive guidance it calls upon our bank of memories to pad out the original suggestion. Without our waking help, it does this at random, perhaps putting stairs where there shouldn't be any, putting objects in the wrong place and attaching emotions to things which wouldn't normally have them etc. Our dream can end up being surreal and difficult to follow. So the key to understanding what our dreams mean, at least on some occasions, becomes a case of decoding the thought train. Effectively putting order back and extracting the emotions and true message.
You may find it easier if you can place your dream into a category, try these;
Let's say you had a dream about trying to get away from a monster or wild animal, so we could call this a FEAR dream. But it's all too easy to concentrate on the monster or wild animal as the main content. When perhaps the fact that we are trying to 'get away' or 'escape' holds a more important message. What is it in your waking hours that you can't face, or what are trying to 'get away' from? What are you putting off that is going to catch up with you? The dream in this case is a message that something is worrying you and it needs sorting out to bring peace back into your life.
We all desire peace, our bodies work better if we are less stressed, so our body is communicating it's requirements.
The sleeping messenger?
Even when considered purely from a scientific or medical viewpoint our dreams are informative and useful. Let's consider again those dreams of falling, while our psychic explanation at the top of the page is one possible cause, we cannot afford to be so arrogant as to not look for others. It has been reasoned that dreams of falling can be linked back to something like a mother letting a baby slip from her arms while bathing a child. The child may develop this as a fear or phobia of heights. The dreamer may have nightmares of falling or just experience these common 'falling' dreams. Perhaps we should ask, if those who report regularly having dreams of falling, also have some daytime fear related to heights?
If we accept both explanations as true, can we learn from these dreams? The answer must be YES. If we harbour a fear of heights then the mind, communicating through dreams, is telling us to do something about it. In fact most of us have some sort of phobia, spiders, heights, insects, rats etc, our mind sees this as a defect, but a curable one. It's making us face this fear and getting us to deal with it. We have proved how after working with a therapist, we can control our fears and face our phobias. Repeated dreams, even if cryptic, are again a message of something unsolved or that has not been faced.
If our dreams are more spiritually aligned, then this too could be a message reflecting a need to grow and learn new things in that area. Confusing religious imagery is often simply a desire to explore and grow, it may incorporate ideas from your current or previous beliefs, mixed with fanciful mystical elements. We are happier learning, our dreams reflect this.
Although our dreams are wrapped in confusing cryptic imagery, they can often be explained. We need to work through the scenes and relate them to our current state of mind, lifestyle and circumstances. Most dreams have a common theme, even though the location and surroundings might seem strange or unknown. Even nightmares, although unpleasant, can be warning us of fears we have. I would go even further and say the mind can act as our own councilor and personal advisor, making us face things we often try to bury. There are many books that claim to interpret your dreams, but we should treat them as a means to understanding how to interpret our own sleeping adventures.
Why do we hear so many people say they had predicted an event while dreaming? And, interestingly, why are far more people ready to accept predictions in this format? The idea that we can visit the world of spirit in our dreams has been spoken of often, many mediums have made contact with spirit people in this way. Our consciousness travels to the various areas and dimensions of spirit, but when we awake we often have no recollection of these events. Of those impressions we do retain, they are often intermixed with our own subconscious desires leaving us with a dream that is confusing and difficult to understand.
So why are we able to predict things in our dreams? First let us remember that we are all psychic, it's just that some of us use it and some don't. But our dreams connect us with our spirit guides, our higher consciousness and an appreciation of this life and the next. So it is reasonable to presume that we may be privileged to information that relates to time and things such as 'cause and effect', or as we understand them, - predications.
Meeting Those in Spirit Through our Dreams
While on our astral travels we are free to interact with those in spirit, often meeting our loved ones, but unfortunately we do not always remember. In the same way, we may on occasion have some memory of the event, but our own mind can often create illusions to fill in the blanks. Some people who have recently passed into spirit may choose this method of making contact with those they left behind.
So how can you meet those you have lost, in your dreams? There are no guarantees of course, but there are some things that may help you reach them. Try a few minutes meditation before you go to bed, let your mind become calm and still, direct your thoughts to those you wish to meet and ask them to be around you. Ask if you can be awoken after the meeting so that you can remember it better.
Another suggestion to get more out of your dreams is to consider a dream diary. Keep a pad or notebook by your bed. This way if you wake from a dream you can make notes, it's surprising how quickly the content of our dreams fade away. This will also train you into the habit of remembering what you experienced. If you persist, you will find you are able to remember more each time. You may find your dreams becoming premonitions, though don't expect total accuracy, just see if it relates to your situation or if you can tie things together.
There also exists another point in sleep where we are receptive to our spirit guides. This often happens in the morning shortly before we wake, but can in fact happen at any time. It's that moment when we have awoken and not quite got back off to sleep, neither awake nor asleep, but existing almost in-between. During this time our spirit guides may show us images, people, or simply get an idea or feeling across to you. If you feel any of these, then my advice is investigate, they tell you for a reason!
Dreaming of Conclusions?
Dreams are very personal, understanding them means facing your own life, it's problems, fears and desires. Sometimes dreams will present these things in a straightforward way, and sometimes they appear more cryptic. Although people who have studied dreams may help you find common threads and explanations, only you really know what they refer to. Take more time to work through what you saw, start by being logical. For example if you saw shoes, feet, footprints etc. Could it be that you are going on a journey? Are you walking into something, a situation? If you see angels and dream of those in spirit, then perhaps you seek to expand your spirituality, to grow and learn? In short, the best person to interpret your dream is you.
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