I recently watched Inception, the movie about shared dreams and planting a seed of an idea into someone’s subconscious via a shared dream. This got me thinking about dreams in general and wondering what the deal is with dreams… Why do we dream? What purpose does it serve? And can we control what we dream, or what happens in a dream?

Some think that dreams are a way of your brain working things out while you sleep. Perhaps it is the byproduct or side effects of the problem solving. Some think that dreams serve no purpose, it’s just the unleashed mind entertaining itself while you sleep. Most agree that dreaming is essential to mental, emotional, and physical well being. Others think it’s just your brain trying to create a story from the stimuli it receives during sleep (like when a fire alarm goes off in your dream, but it’s because your alarm clock is going off in real life!). I definitely don’t really think we can control what we do/see/hear in our dreams. I think it’s definitely possible at some point, but the human mind is not that evolved yet 🙂

Either way, your brain never does really rest. It’s always doing something. Even during meditation, the mind is actively working to attain focus. I personally don’t think the mind ever stops working until you are dead! Even coma patients can “hear” people and things around them.

So many people try to interpret dreams. If you’re naked, you’re hiding something. If you dream of teeth, you might be worried about your self image. If you dream of shampoo, you may want to change your character to have a more positive impression on others… WHAT?!? This all sounds bogus to me – but what do I know?

I don’t often vividly remember my dreams, but when I do – it has many different effects. Waking up from a disturbing dream can carry over into the waking world, giving me an uneasy feeling for a while – or even the whole day! Waking up from a happy dream can start your day off in an unexpectedly bright way. I have had many dreams in which I have either accidentally shot or killed people. According to dream interpretation: “To dream that you shoot a person with a gun indicates that you harbour violent emotions and that you are not expressing these emotions to the person involved.” So apparently I have a lot of people I harbour violent emotions towards 😉 In each of these dreams, after I shoot or kill someone, everyone in the dream seems to want to help me escape from the police. They hide me, they help me run away, they delay the police, they clean up the mess! At least I think the people around me are fantastic! 😉

What weird recurring dream-theme do you have? And what do you think it means?