Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trying to Recapture an Elusive Dream

English: Teddybears At the Museum of Childhood...
 Teddybears At the Museum of Childhood, Pen-ffynnon. A wonderful place to recapture the past. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thoughts after waking from a short nap:

       Remembering a dream can be difficult enough, but trying to reenter a wonderful dream after a moment of wakefulness is sometimes a frustrating impossibility.  There can be times that no matter how hard we may try to return to sleep, waking life calls us whether or not we actually need to be up. This is in contrast to those other circumstance when we cannot seem to escape the clutches of a fearful dream that we fall in and out of, wishing that it might go away and yet seeming unable to shake ourselves loose from that nightmare.

        There are times when I will be dreaming of something most wonderful and pleasing only to be awakened for some reason.   The phone might ring or some other external stimulus will rouse me from a blissful sleep.  Sometimes I awaken for no real understandable reason other than my body sensing in some way that it needs to wake up my brain.  This often occurs during a brief nap in the daytime.  Perhaps there is something of the nature of a brain center of responsibility that is telling me to get back into the waking world because there is work to be done or the business of living to which to attend.

       Indeed, sometimes the depths of sleep and dreaming beckon me to enter for some interminable length of time--perhaps even forever.  My mind somewhat begrudging stirs and resists any attempt to return to sleep, to find again that dream that it so leisurely drifted through.  I want to keep on dreaming that wonderful vision of sleep that calls to me from a secret place deep within me.  But the dream is elusive and will not let me return into its magical realm.

        I am a creature of the waking world for the time that I live.  At times the necessity of sleep will open the door to that secret elusive dream world and let me in for a brief while.  I cannot stay for that would violate the laws of being alive and wakefulness.   I read, watch movies, listen to music, or let my imagination wander.  Those are but substitutes for what my dream world promises me.

         To return to the dream might be considered cheating life.  The attempt to replace an imaginary paradise or even a chimerical hell by dreaming away life into an existence of mind only is a paradox to defy actual existence in order to become nonessential to the waking world.   Dreams are intended to be fleeting and temporal as long as we exist in the world of the living.

        As much as we try to return to the dream or escape from it, the dream is an unreal reality of the mind or a real unreality to our interaction with the living world.   We often want that which we cannot have, but every so often we all get a small taste of it.

        Do you think that death could be a doorway into the world where our dreams exist?    Have you ever tried to return to a sweet dream that eluded you?    Are you able to go back to sleep after waking and continue a dream that you were having?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Workplace Dream Analysis

English: Sigmund Freud Museum at Příbor.
 Sigmund Freud Museum at Příbor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      Large companies such as Google or Zappos have introduced innovative ideas such as free lunch, gyms, and nap pods.   Employees are a company's greatest resource.  Why not tap into it and develop it for the mutual benefit of the employee and the business?   The innovations geared toward the employee are a great investment for a company to make.

      As I was thinking along these lines recently, it occurred to me that perhaps delving into the subconscious world of employees could be a useful way to come up with exciting ideas for the company as well as a means of allowing the employees to understand their own problems and concerns that dreams reveal.  A company could establish a psychological aspect to human resources to help employees study their dreams for self-help and as a tool for developing on the job ideas.

       Standard practices concerning confidentiality between patient and psychologist would have to be in place in order to protect the patient in regard to the personal issues that would be revealed by such analysis.   Also, employees would probably need to undergo certain classes or educational procedures to assist them in dealing with the concepts of dream analysis as a personal help as well as a creative tool that they could use for themselves and the company.

       The legal implications would be of vital concern to both employer and employee and need to be considered.    Questions of  employee privacy or ownership of new ideas the company uses would have to be addressed. Bonus plans, incentives, or other types of remuneration could be implemented, but then again it might be considered part of the job upon hiring.

        Dreams are a natural human resource that could be mined for the use of the individual as well as the company.   The idea holds exciting prospects as well as scary possibilities.  Maybe one day extricating new ideas from dreams will be the norm in employee-employer relationships.  Then again it could be a component of a brave new world of spying and idea stealing that could be totalitarian society that most of us would not want to live in.

         Would you like to have access to confidential psychological or psychiatric treatment that was provided by your employer?    If there was a possibility of receiving large bonuses or lucrative payouts from your ideas, would you allow your company to engage in dream mining?    What dangers could you foresee in allowing an employer to gain access to your subconscious mind?


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Unexpected Dream Visitors

"Mugu Rock" formed when a cut throug...
"Mugu Rock" formed when a cut through the ocean side mountain for the Pacific Coast Highway at Point Mugu, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       An array of dream characters fill our dreams like actors in a weekly television show.  There are regulars who can appear in nearly every dream episode or at least with great frequency.  Then there are those special guests who appear with enough frequency that we are not surprised when they show up in our dreams.   Also there is that myriad of extras--dream actors who are like the everyday unknown people that we pass in the stores and on the streets.  Some of these may seem familiar, some are strangers, while others might be people we recognize but don't actually know in waking life.

       The real surprise comes when a totally unexpected dream visitor appears on the scene.  This might be a person from our past, someone who is no longer living, or someone whom we encounter on a regular basis but wouldn't expect to see in our dreams.  These are the cameo dream roles, the walk-on performances, or simply unexpected dream visitors.

        In a recent dream I had such a dream encounter...

       The dream memory begins with a work-life scenario from my past as I am on my way with my touring show company to a venue where we are scheduled to work.   We are apparently looking for a high school, but we are out in a barren hilly area that is very muddy and bleak.  From the appearance of the landscape there may have been recent storms.  In the distance I see a complex of large buildings that I know to be the place of our destination, but there seems to be no way to get near to it with our truck.  I am concerned as to how we will get our equipment into the facility with such a far distance to carry it.  I walk to the school to check things out.

         Once I am inside the school I am no longer with my show crew, but on my own looking for someone.  In retrospect I don't remember who that someone is.  The setting seems to be different now.   There is something like a convention going on or actually more like some sort of church conference.  Since many young people are present I understand this to be a Christian youth conference.

          Being older than everyone present at this event I feel uncomfortable and out of place.  I happen to see a younger man whom I recognize as someone I used to know from our church but who left years ago under some unpleasant circumstances.  He turns away as though pretending he doesn't recognize me.  I wander around the building observing all of the activity going on.   At one point I come to a cafeteria where food is being served.  The food does not look very appetizing, but still I somewhat want some of it.  However my greatest desire is to leave this place and go back home.
       Leaving the building I want to go home but I have no transportation.  I began walking on the road through the vast barren muddy landscape.  Ahead I see a familiar person. It is Bill, a man that I know from a study group that I attend during the week.   He is waiting at the bottom of the hill that I am walking down at a place where the road intersects with a larger road.  He seems happy to see me and is apparently aware that I am in need of a ride.  As I approach him a large older car, something like a 90's model Cadillac or Lincoln, pulls up and I realize that Bill has been waiting on a ride.  Bill invites me to get in the car so they can take me home.
         I climb into the front seat and Bill gets in the back.  A man about our age whom I don't know is driving.  He is friendly and says he will be glad to take me home.  We enter a larger highway that reminds me of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.   Bill hands me some booklets and I peruse them as we drive.  I feel very relieved that I have a ride home...

         When I awaken I feel happy about having seen this man in my dream.  His presence gives me a sense of comfort probably because of the circumstance surrounding his appearance in my dream.  As a side note I should mention that this man is someone whom I see on a weekly basis at a Bible study.  He does not have a car and lives far from the church where we meet so that someone needs to take him home after the study or he must take a bus ride involving several transfers which means it would take him a long time to get home.  Usually there is another man at the study who drives in Bill's direction so he is able to take Bill home.

        On a few occasions that other man was not at the study and I volunteered to take Bill home even though it is considerably out of my way meaning that it takes an extra 45 minutes for me to do this.  After I related my dream to my wife she suggested that maybe my dream is telling me that I should continue to take Bill home when the other ride is not available because one day I might need to count on Bill to help me in some way.

        What do you think of my wife's interpretation?  Are there people for whom you have done favors who appear in your dreams to help you?    Do you sometimes have unexpected dream visitors?


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Was I Threatened By A Demon?

Philippe de Champaigne's The Dream of Saint Jo...
Philippe de Champaigne's The Dream of Saint Joseph painted around 1636 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


          Last week I had a dream of a spiritual nature that I discussed from a Biblical perspective on my Sunday blog A Few Words.   I shared the dream on that blog because of the spirituality of the dream and the implications that I sensed from that dream.  You can follow the link to read that particular analysis if you are curious, but I will speak more generally about this dream in this current blog post.

          The reason why I want to relate this dream on this blog--aside from the fact that it was a dream--is that a few nights later I had a related dream with a very similar outcome.   Why I would have had these particular dreams at this particular time I do not know.   That is part of the reason why I'm discussing these dreams in this post.  Perhaps one of you will have some idea of what these dreams might represent.

         The first dream occurred sometime after the 2 AM hour on a day last week.  I no longer remember much about the dream other than the setting was a very large odd house that in the dream I recognized as my own, but it was not a house that I know in waking life.  There were a number of people coming and going throughout the dream.  At the point where memory kicks in...

          I am talking to my mother (who recently passed away).  She is relating how my father (who passed away in 1990) is in the hospital recovering from a serious condition.  I am puzzled as I know that my father died years ago, but my mother assures me that now he is back.   Soon after our conversation my father supposedly has arrived at the house and I see the door open.  A man who resembles my father enters.   He seems weak and sickly and is of a much smaller stature than he had been when I last saw him in life.  He does not acknowledge anyone, seeming to be in a daze or even lifeless.  He is not wearing a shirt and is clad only in a pair of white shorts.
         The small father-looking being is led back into a bedroom and the door is closed.   I become concerned about the man's presence and go into the room.  I find him sitting on the edge of the bed slumped over looking dejected and hopeless.  Suddenly I sense that this is not my father or if it is he is demon-possessed.   I become very afraid.  Knowing him to have been very religious I approach him and try to talk to him about Jesus.  Filled with terror I have trouble speaking, but finally I weakly force out of my mouth the name of Jesus.   I begin repeating "Jesus" and each time I say the name my voice gets stronger and my fear begins to subside...  

          Then I awaken.  My wife asks if I am okay. She tells me that I was repeating the name Jesus.

          Three nights after that, about an hour after I had gone to sleep, I had another dream...

          I am in an unfamiliar location, perhaps a place that is like a warehouse where I work (in this dream world),   I am in conversation with a group of three other men when a man resembling my father comes into the room.  At first I think this man to be my father and I am happy to see him.  Then I realize this man is taller and more imposing looking than my late father had been.  The man's face looks cruel, verging on anger, filled with an ominous dark expression.  I become afraid as I begin to surmise that this is not my father but a demonic figure assuming my father's image.  
          This man/demon first approaches me in a threatening manner.  I stand more erect to confront him.  Then the figure turns to one of the men with whom I had been conversing and moves toward this man as though he is going to attack him.   I begin invoking the name of Jesus to take away the demonic power.  I repeat the name of Jesus gaining more confidence each time I say it...

           I wake up in a fetal position saying "Jesus".  My wife asks if I am okay because I am repeating the name of Jesus just as I had done a few nights earlier. I look at the clock and it says 11:55.

           On the first instance that I had the dream, I remained awake for what was probably an hour pondering what I had experienced in the dream.  The second time I fell asleep almost immediately.  Both dreams impacted me such that I have thought about them often since they happened.

          There is no explanation that I can think of as to what may have influenced my mind that I had these dreams.   My wife believes that Satan had tried to trick me by taking on the appearance of my father.  Why I can't say.   As I considered the occurrence, I wondered if a demonic force was trying somehow to take my life--to kill me during sleep--and my resistance prevented this from happening.

          Do you think there was some sort of spiritual force at work in my dreams?   Do you believe a demonic force would have the power to enter a dream to take control of the dreamer or even kill him?  Have you had any dreams where you felt that spiritual forces were communicating with you in some way?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

What's Your Dream Age?

The Dream
The Dream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


        With my birthday coming up tomorrow (January 30th) age is something that's on my mind.   Age is something that crops up for most of us with some frequency as it is a personal bit of data that's often required when we fill out forms, medical records, surveys, and other such statistical information requests.  We may not go around touting our age in public, but age is something that we likely think about most days.

         When we are children we proudly tell others our ages being sure to add the "half" or the number of months if seemingly necessary.   We long to be older and relish in the attention given when we have another birthday, especially when that attention comes in the form of a birthday party.  The festivities that include the party activities, the cake, and the birthday gifts are something we look forward to each year.

         Then somewhere along the line after we've entered adulthood those birthdays become a bit less welcomed.  We know how old we are and would just as well forget it and wish everyone else would forget it as well.   After all, the graying hair, wrinkles, and aches and pains that we never experienced in our former young lives are constant reminders that old age is coming upon us and there is no stopping it.

         I've heard many people say that though their bodies feel older and they can't do a lot of the things they once were able to do, they don't feel any older in their minds.   Mentally, in many ways, I don't feel much different than I did in my teenage or young adult years.   Memories and accumulated experiences are there and perhaps I have a more conservative outlook to my thinking, but my perception of the world around me, many of the insecurities, and my interests are almost the same in a great many ways.

           In other words, if I'm just going along without thinking about where I am in life, in my mind I could be at just about any age of my life.   That is until I start thinking a bit more closely about who I am, what I am, and where I am in my life.  Then age starts to creep though all the cracks of my thinking.   I look in the mirror and see my father.  Surely that isn't me--that's not what I used to look like.  Not exactly like that.

           And yet it is me.  Years of memories flood my brain and I realize how many more lost memories may never again be recaptured.    My brain is overflowing as it keeps filling with newness.  That guy I see in the mirror is that child who once loved birthdays but now has seen too many of them come and go.

           In my dream life things are different.   There I am typically ageless.   I might still be in elementary school, high school, or the university.  In other dreams I am still working at some previous job.   Or I might be where I am today.   The dream characters around me might be from my distant past or my present and they are usually all of a same age, an ageless adult age that is neither young nor old.     I don't think of myself as being any particular age either.   I can run, leap, or even fly without effort, dauntless and carefree.

           Perhaps the dream life is us stepping into another dimension where age is not an issue, but somehow interpreted as a generic adult who has passed childhood  but remains eternally youngish.  Maybe the dreams are a glimpse into heaven.    Most of the characters populating my dreams are equals in age, physique, and mentality no matter who they are and what relation they have been to me in my life.   If I see my father or my grandfather in a dream they are the same age as I am.

            In certain dreams there might be a baby, a child, or someone very old, but those characters do not seem to appear very often--not to my recollection at least.    These stand-out anomalous characters apparently act as symbols or special dream messages, but they are not the norm.  They are like props in the dream drama--or maybe cameo appearances.

            In my waking life I see those around me according to their ages or the ages I estimate them to be.    People are categorized according to their age.   I am in my age group.    When I interact I might often do so without taking age into too much consideration, but if I stop to think about it I am aware.  In dreams I rarely stop to think about my age or anyone's age.   Age in my dreams is typically inconsequential.

           Do you notice people's ages in your dreams?    What age do you seem to be in your own dreams?    Do you think you are actually experiencing visual images in dreams?   Or do you think your mind's processing of the dream thoughts is interpreting the dream into your memory as something that you "saw" while in a subconscious state?