2015 A to Z

Elements of Dreams

The theme for 2015 on this blog is "Elements of Dreams". I'll be looking at some common dream themes or imagery with some thoughts as to why we might dream about these things and what they might mean to us. As you read, think about your own dreams and see if any of these elements fit into your dreams.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Activity/Action (Elements of Dreams) #AtoZChallenge



        Dreams are typically busy.  We are always doing something or going some place in our dreams.  In fact there is usually action going on all around us much like in waking life.  Since dreams are essentially a sort of reflection of our waking life it only makes sense that the primary component of dreaming is action.  The activities with which we are involved in our dreams as well as those activities going on around us are frequently illogical or seem to have no motivation or goal, but they seem to make total sense to us in our dreams.

       Sometimes we might find ourselves doing one thing and then suddenly doing another with no reasonable explanation as to why things changed.  In other instances we might find ourselves hindered from completing the activity we have been doing which can lead to a certain frustration.  We might start out the dream memory with specific intent and then everything seems to fall apart or get deterred.   We are late for our intended dream appointments or we can't find our way only to wander in confusion until we waken.

        What types of activities do you typically find yourself doing in your dreams?   What keeps you from reaching your goals?   Would you consider most of your dreams to be active or passive?


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Useful dream data

The name NEMO has been used throughout history...
The name NEMO has been used throughout history by many famous authors to describe events and people who find themselves on the border between fantasy and reality. In Latin nemo means ‘no one’ and indicates a world between fantasy and reality. Visitors to NEMO science centre can become a scientist, technologist or technician for a day. Suddenly dreams are real.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


      How useful is data delivered in dreams?   Some believe that information delivered in dreams is for the most part nonsense--inanities dredged from the subconscious mind that are mostly absurd re-imagings of things garnered from our waking life.  Others believe that through interpretations dreams provide valuable information regarding our mental state or circumstances concerning our waking life that have not been recognized previously.

        There are certainly other theories regarding the usefulness or not in respect to dreams.   If you remember your dreams, you probably have your own thought about how useful they are to you.  And those of you who do not remember dreams could possibly be blocking out important information your subconscious is trying to wake you up to understand.

        Stories have been told of dreams solving real life problems such as the location of lost items, exposing problematic relationships, or even solving complicated scientific formulas.  If we are to believe these stories then this seems to indicate that dreams can provide reliable information that can be put to good use in waking life.   Perhaps you have had such an experience of a dream helping to solve a problem that has vexed you.

       Dream research has suggested that dreams are often the subconscious sorting of data and at times might include overt interpretation of data that in waking life has not been understood.    These types of dreams can provide tangible solutions that can later be highly useful to the dreamer.  In other cases the dream may contain hidden solutions to problems, but the dream must be comprehended and decoded in order to put the data to use in waking life.

        The usefulness of dream data might be up for debate, but for some their experience says an emphatic "yes" to applying dreams to solve problems or understand aspects of life.   Since the dreams come from the inner recesses of the mind, uninhibited by the norms that hinder us in waking life, my inclination would be to believe that dreams don't actually lie.  Dreams might be misinterpreted or misunderstood in such a way that we may dismiss them as folly, but the truth is there whether it be disguised or overtly stated.  It's up to the dreamer to understand what the truth is in the dream and what message the dream is conveying.

         Have you had any experiences where a dream has provided information that helped you in some way?    Why do you think a dream might reveal information that one might not recognize in waking life?    Do you believe dreams can provide useful information or do you think they are primarily nonsense?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A to Z Theme Reveal: Elements of Dreams




         Dreams are about so many things.  Everything and anything that we see, hear, experience or think of on a daily basis can enter our dreams.  The dream world is the realm of the subconscious where things and occurrences can be symbols for something else just as much as just be whatever they are in our waking lives.

        In this blog A Faraway View I explore many topics about dreams or anything that is dreamlike.  For the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of 2015 we will be getting to some of the basics of the substance of dreams as we explore "The Elements of Dreams".   What are some of the themes and objects experienced in our sleep visions?     We'll be looking at some of the common subject matter of dreams as well as some of the general themes that pop up in most of our dreams.

        In April we'll explore the archetypes of the dream world.   Whether they be universal symbols of a common collective consciousness or the personal iconology of our inner selves, what we dream about typically has a pattern that once translated can help us to understand what our dreams are telling us.

        The "Elements" theme will be one that will be shared on all of my blogs in April, examining the elements of blogging, memoir, and spirituality.  These other blogs are:

      I look forward to hearing your thoughts about these posts.   To visit other blogs that are revealing their themes at this time please visit The Theme Reveal Blogfest Linky List.  My post has gone up a bit early to stay in keeping with my normal blogging schedule for this blog.  Most of the links should take you to the Theme Reveal post on Monday March 23rd.

        Do you like to analyze your dreams?   Do you have trouble remembering your dreams?   Have you ever attempted to keep a dream journal?


Thursday, March 12, 2015

How Does Television Affect Our Dreams?

Family watching television, c. 1958
Family watching television, c. 1958 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         The arrival of television has undoubtedly played a role in affecting dreamers.   From a personal standpoint, television has certainly influenced my dreams as an external stimulus to dreaming as well as a motif that inherently recurs in my subconscious stories of sleep.  Since dreams reflect our waking life it only seems to make sense that television would often appear in dreams or be a part of them in some way.  Likewise, television being an environmental factor that could stimulate our minds, its very presence might affect what we are dreaming.

Dreams that are like television shows

        Dreams often have some semblance of a story line if not an intricacy of plot, characters, and setting.  We might observe some dream action in the same way that we would watch a movie, stage production, or television show.  Some of us might even understand our dream to be a television show for which in our dream life we have a comprehension of a history of watching or awareness of the show.

          In other cases dreamers might be a part of the dream television show action.  These dreamers might accept that they are actors in a dream television series or event, thinking in some cases of a life outside of the dream television role and perhaps knowing their fellow "actors" in real dream life roles such as their friends, family members, or people with whom they might have some familiarity.  The latter group will sometimes include real waking life television actors or celebrities.   In dream television shows the dreamer might take breaks from the show or even have a quitting time when they go home or engage in other activities either with members of the dream show cast or with other figures not associated with the dream television show.
       
         What is the purpose of seeing or participating in a dream television show?    There are most likely varying explanations that depend upon who is doing the dreaming and what the dream is trying to tell them.   The scenario of a dream television show is likely a matter of familiarity and importance in the same way that dreams about work or school might be.  If we watch a lot of television or the medium is playing an important role in our current life then it stands to reason that we could dream about television.   The meaning is something that each dreamer must determine for themselves.

 Dreams that have characters or other features that we have seen in TV shows

List of science fiction television programs by...
List of science fiction television programs by genre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
        Let's say for example we are deeply involved in a television series to the point that the show is something that we think, talk, and read about a great deal.  If we are deeply invested in a specific television show to where it engages a great deal of our lives and mental processes, our mind can continue to dwell upon that television show within our dreams.   We will continue stories or try to resolve the conflicts of those stories in our dreams.  Or in some cases there can be a transference of the television show into certain aspects of our waking life that is analyzed by the dreaming mind as a form of interpretation of events or situations.  In other words a dreamer can use the television show as a tool in attempting to understand their own life.

When Television Acts As An External Stimulus to Affect Dreaming

       We've all probably fallen asleep with the television on or slept while someone is watching TV in another room where we can still hear it.  Just as other external stimuli can affect our dreams we might have dreams that are influenced while the television is on while we are sleeping.   This might happen with people who leave the TV on while sleeping or fall asleep with the TV on.   Or in the morning when others turn on the TV as we sleep and we are awakened by it, we might have been having television influenced dreams prior to waking.

       I can recall when I was in high school and college, sometimes during the summer vacation when I would attempt to sleep in late my younger brother would turn on the television with the volume a bit high so that the sound of the television would wake me up.  The awakening would usually be gradual as my mind tried to stay in dream stage and yet the dreams incorporated what my mind was hearing from the television.   This would result in some interesting dream experiences.

More Research?

        I haven't read any detailed studies concerning television and dreaming, but I know that this field has been researched and there are a number of articles available regarding the outcome and interpretation of these studies.   Comparisons between pre-television era dreams and dreams that came after the advent of prevalent TV watching may or may not be out there, though truly conclusive evidence might be difficult to ascertain if no specific attention had been given to this field prior to the time when television became an accepted part of everyday life.

        If you know of any research about the effect of television on dreaming, please let us know in the comment section.

        How has television affected your dreams?    Have you experienced any of the things I've described in this post?   Do you think that frequent television watching makes the mind think and perceive differently than without the influence of television?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Discombobulated Awakenings

Orenburg regional museum of finearts
Orenburg regional museum of finearts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


        The dream world can be confusing enough when we look back on it, but sometimes waking up is the most confusing state of all.   In our dreams the oddest of circumstances can seem perfectly normal.  Any sense of logic we might have in waking life is essentially disregarded much of the time in our dreams.  If we recall a dream, the situations experienced during our sleep may seem utterly absurd in retrospect and yet we will typically accept those experiences as logical and meaningful while we dream them.

        One of the most befuddling and even frightening feelings that humans can have is waking from a dream in a state of confusion not knowing where we are or what time it is or what day it is.  That feeling of  having lost something or have forgotten something can create a sense of apprehension and at times even panic.

        In my own experiences I have had a sense of panic sensing that something has happened such as having swallowed something or having an ailment.  At other times I might be convinced that someone or something is in the house or near my bed.  The dream sense pours into my sense of awakening in such a way that even though I have attained consciousness I might continue to think that what has happened in the dream is totally real.

         Dream deception is not uncommon in my experience.   When it occurs it usually happens before I've gone into a lengthy period of deep sleep either at night in the early stage of just having gone to sleep or even more often in the daytime when I've lain down for a nap.  I'll wake up from a vague sort of dream sleep completely disoriented for up to several seconds.  I might be confused about what time of day it is or even what day it is.  There have been instances when I will be unsure of where I am.  This can all be somewhat frightening and more than once the thought has crossed my mind that I was having a stroke or experiencing the onset of the early stages of Alzheimer's.   Hopefully though it's only the disorientation of waking from a dream.

         Here are some of the possible theories that I can come up with regarding this disoriented state when waking from the dream state:
  • The subconscious dream mind has deceived the conscious into believing the dream state is real.
  • The oddness of the dream state confuses our thinking as it carries into wakefulness.
  • Our mind is fighting the conscious state in trying to return to the subconscious dream state in which it wishes to remain.
  • Waking is such a shock to our mind that we experience a brief state of amnesia or confusion as our brain adjusts to consciousness.
  • The mind is temporarily continuing to think in dream logic which is incompatible to the sensation of wakefulness.
         If you tend to have a sense of disorientation and confusion on waking from a dream, the next time it happens try to pay attention to how long you remain in this state and what it is that finally brings you out of the state.

          Do you ever experience disoriented awakenings?   Have you ever continued doing an act from a dream into the waking life and then realize you are doing something that makes little sense or you are thinking illogically?   What are some theories that you have concerning this state of being confused after waking up?