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Forgetfulness of Dreams

Why doesn’t everyone remember their dreams? This is usually because we are not interested enough. If you are in a crowded room there will only be certain people who attract your attention. Dreams are like that, you will only recognize and remember them if you love them enough. The attitude that dreams and what lies deep within you are pointless will also act like a delete button wiping out any memory. But most of us cannot remember much of the day we have just lived through.

Laboratory testing on a huge variety of people shows that all of us dream each night. Even people who claim they never sleep have been found to cat-nap during the night without awareness of having slept. During these periods of sleep they dream. The only exception was a man who had been injured in the head by shrapnel. It had damaged the part of his brain that dealt with dreams.

The real question is why some of us do not remember our dreams. There are several possible reasons for this. One of the foremost is that we do not want to remember or we might have ignored them for so long we have the entrenched habit of pushing them aside a we wake. People who become interested in their dreams find they start to recall them easily. Tests have shown that interest and intention to remember are major factors in dream recall.

Wilda Tanner makes an interesting point; “Most of us have been told repeatedly in our youth to “forget it, it’s only a dream…” and being obedient children, we “forget”; and our minds, being similar to a computer, having once been programmed to forget, will continue to ignore dreams until reprogrammed to remember. The only exception to this is an occasional nightmare or extremely vivid dream which seems to crash through all our defences.”

Another reason for forgetting is that we each have a threshold between waking and sleeping – perhaps like a swing door. In some people this door is very heavy and hard to swing. This ‘heaviness’ is possibly made up of physiological and psychological tendencies. It is known for instance that the ‘B’ vitamins help to strengthen this threshold, making it more difficult for fantasy material or feelings to stream into consciousness from the unconscious. This is sometimes used in aiding people to control difficult feelings. But some people have a body type that is already strong in this way, while others find they have a very volatile feeling range and easy access to fantasies or even hallucinations, or visions as they used to be called. The psychological factors are that many people completely discount imagination and feelings, and so suppress them from conscious life.

After receiving thousands of dreams it became obvious that the ones that most people remember are nightmares or ones that frighten them. There are also dreams which are so wonderful or exciting that they easily break through any barriers. Some dreams are difficult to remember because the images and theme is not strong enough to survive the translation into consciousness.

As you go to sleep stimulate interest in what is going on in that enormous area of your mind that lies in the darkness of sleep and unconsciousness. Peer into the darkness beyond your thoughts and body sensations. Make the decision, “I will remember my dreams because I realize the largest part of my mind is unknown. That is a great loss and I want to change.” Also put a notepad and pen by your bed, or get one of those small digital recorders, as they are much easier to use than waking up fully and writing.

Useful questions:

What is it I want to learn from my dreams?

What do I feel they can reveal?

What dream have I remembered from the past that really intrigues me?

See Remebering dreamsSumming UpTechniques for Exploring your Dreams


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