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Questions Answered

The questions and answers are quoted from my book Dreams and Dreaming - I have added links and new information to a few of the answers.

Click the links below to quickly find the answers.

 

Questions Answered

Why does my lover/partner reject me in my dreams?

Do the dead talk to us in our dreams?

How can I help my child with his/her dreams and nightmares?

Does everybody dream?

How do drugs affect dreaming?

What is the point of predictive dreams?

Do dreams of death mean I am doing to die soon?

How can I conquer my fears in dreams?

Why do I keep having the same dream?

What makes me move or fight in my sleep?

What causes restless legs?

Can one really dream the same dream as someone else?

What can I do If I keep having nightmares?

If I dream I have sexual organs of the opposite sex, am I bisexual?

Do people dream in colour?

How do we know things about people in our dreams?

What does it mean when you talk in your sleep?

Do creative people have more bizarre dreams?

Why do some Christians say dreams are the devils work?

How can I get answers to my life problems from my dreams?

 

 Why does my lover/partner reject me in my dreams?

Most dreams where someone important rejects you are dealing with your own fear of not being loveable, or fear of being deserted by the person you are attached to. The following dream is an example:

Last night I dreamt my wife was trying to get me out of her life, and out of the house. It was as if she was attempting to push me into a feeling of tension and rejection which would make me leave – Gopi.

Gopi had been raised by his grandmother who died when he was nearly two. This led to feelings that he would lose the person he loved. However sometimes such a dream may hide a secret wish to leave the partner. Their apparent rejection would give you an excuse to do so. This next dream is about a different situation though:

My husband is with me on holiday, but for the whole of the time I seldom see him. If I DO see him, he is with other people, completely ignores me. Once only he spoke to me and said, “You never ever loved me!” I woke up sobbing. Why does he always reject me in my dreams? He died nearly seven years ago, after thirty six years of marriage. We had no children, we lived only for each other – Mrs. E. C.

E’s husband has indeed ‘left her’ because of his death. Her dream dramatises this and goes on to show her feeling uncertain about the love that existed. This may be due to ‘E’ taking the loss personally as some sign that she didn’t love him enough. Rejection should not be accepted in your dreams. Ask yourself where such feelings of rejection originate from. Understand the roots and determine to get the love you want and need in your dreams and in life. Put into words what the original message was from the one you trusted to love you – i.e. it might have been, “I was not good enough to love.” Now change the message into something creative in the present – i.e. “If I give love, I deserve love in return.”

Also remember that the person you dream about does not usually relate to an actual person but is a dream image made up of thousands of memories, things learned and emotions felt while you lived together. So in a way you are looking in a mirror and seeing your own inner feelings reflected back to you in the drama of the dream. See Secrets of Power Dreaming - Ages of Love

Do the dead talk to us in our dreams?

This is a very difficult question to answer with certainty. We would need confirmation from the dead person that a message was given and was clearly received. However, some dreams do have the appearance of clear communications.

When I was engaged to be married I had agreed to meet my fiancé at a hotel one weekend. The night before I travelled to the hotel my dead mother appeared to me in a dream. Curtains were pulled back and she walked out and looked at me tenderly. She said, “My darling, your marriage cannot be.” I felt frightened by this dream. The next day while I waited for my fiancé at the hotel a message came. My fiancé had been killed in a car crash on his way to me. The dream helped me enormously to deal with his death – Mary.

Mary is assured by her dream that her mother’s love is caring for her and watching over her. Although the dream brought bad news, it also convinced her of continuing life.

We often dream about people we know who are dead, but few of these dreams have the same power as Mary’s experience. Also they do not often give information about the dead person’s present situation. When they do, there is likelihood that they are, if not a communication, at least an insight or connection with the dead person in the dream. These dreams usually have quite specific themes. They contain some sort of representation of the person’s death, of their departure or separation from the dreamer and from physical life, and lastly they are about the state of and onward journey of the dead person. Sometimes, after the death of someone we are attached to we have a long series of dreams in which we gradually let go of them. The following is typical of this sort of dream.

Two years after my husband’s death I dreamt he came to me and said he wouldn’t be coming back. With that he vanished, leaving me with my hands to my face in shock. As he spoke to me he had a concerned or even distressed look on his face. I asked him, “But what about me?” To which he replied, “Don’t worry, everything will be alright for you.” It was after this remark he vanished. I was awakened by hearing myself say, “I have got to let him go.” We had been married 33 years.

My mother in law just passed on Aug 7th, 2010, she had cancer, and the process of her dying went rather quickly, we are a very close knit family, and my husband, sister in laws, and especially the grandchildren are really having a hard time with her passing. However, I had this disturbing dream last night. In this dream, I was in a small soft lit room, and in this room around the 4 corners of the wall, there were framed pictures of my mother in law from a baby until adulthood even pictures of when she was ill before she passed. She looked up at me and it was my mother in law, her eyes were bulged and red, and she had tears coming down her face.

The pictures on the wall shows a full life review. This is recognisable what happens when you die. Many people who have died and been revived experience a full life review. Of course it can be disturbing, after all you are reliving every moment. Phyllis Atwater, who is an expert on near death experiences, and who has experienced them herself, says, “For me it was a total reliving of every thought I had ever thought, every word I had ever spoken, and every deed I had ever done; plus the effect of each thought, word and deed on everyone and anyone who had ever come within my environment or sphere of influence, whether I knew them or not (including unknown passers-by on the street).”

But there are some dreams that are about the person still alive who is grieving so much it is a real pain to the dead person.

 Example: Perhaps the most common dream experience in spirit communication is related to the message which in essence says, “I am fine and happy. Your grief, however, is holding me back and making me sad. You can help me greatly by trying to overcome your sorrow. You must stop grieving!”

People who grieve because of someone they love has died fail to understand that the person has not gone or left them. In fact, the ‘dead’ person is now more fully alive and aware of those left behind, and is very influenced by what they feel. Please read Talking with the deadDreaming of Death

 

How can I help my child with his/her dreams and nightmares?

Dreams – and even nightmares – are psychologically healthy and a means of releasing fears and tension. However, if a child is haunted by nightmares and wakes with great distress, they obviously need support and help. Most children have nightmares at some time. Childhood is, after all, a vulnerable time. At that age we face a lot of fears and uncertainties, with few of the adult skills or props to comfort them. As children we are not even allowed the general adult methods of alcohol and nicotine to use as socialised drugs to suppress anxiety. The dream below shows how a child’s anxiety can centre around a parent:

When I was a child of about 8 years I often used to have an abstract nightmare. It consisted of me (a soft wavy line) being attacked by the enemy (a pointed zigzag line). As the enemy (zigzag) overcame me (soft waves) I would wake up in terror. The nightmares ended when my father died unexpectedly from a heart attack.

The aim in helping with nightmares is to support the child to release and move beyond the fears. Often such nightmares have a wild animal or dark creature, or connect directly with a parent – i.e. losing them or feeling threatened. The animals represent the child’s unsocialised fears and emotions. They chase the child because the child feels pursued by them, or that he or she cannot escape from them.

The specific help we can give is to aid them in containing and finding a different relationship with their feelings. With the case expressed in the example the child would obviously have had to play out his fear regarding his father. But in such a case there might not have been any escape if the father had not died. Some well-meaning parents have no idea that they terrify their child. They fail to see the body language or facial expression of anxiety, showing their child’s fear. A case I know of was of a father talking to his young son who wet himself. The father seeing this said to the child’s nursemaid, “Why has he wet himself?”

The nursemaid who had witnessed this said, “It is because the way you were talking to him frightened him.”

Drawing, painting or modelling the dream can often help enormously. Get the child to draw or model the dream and talk over each part of the picture. If there are any frightening aspects tell the child, they can draw or model that part again and change it – for instance put the animal/creature in a cage. Caging the frightening part often produces immediate change. When the child feels more confident about the caged creature then he/she can start to make friends with it. Here the aim is to get the creatures power, its strength, or whatever magic abilities the thing has. This may take a series of drawings and talks.

Your child can also be helped by talking about their positive dreams. These can be very supportive and encouraging to the child. This is because they usually centre around issues that are extremely important to them at a feeling level. Talking about the dream is a safe way of talking about such issues. One example is that children face the task of becoming independent in everyday ways like getting their breakfast or turning taps on and off to get a drink. This situation may be represented by a caged pet who has to have everything done for it. Talking this over, with suggestions about where a start might be made toward independence, can be a great gift.

Does everybody dream?

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 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.

Another cause 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. See Remembering Your Dreams

How do drugs affect dreaming?

One of the most common social drugs of great power is alcohol. Many people use it as a suppressant in connection with anxiety or depression, and also to help them sleep. Although alcohol appears to work in these cases, in fact its helpfulness is only very temporary, leading to further use and perhaps even habitual excess. The effect of alcohol is to quickly muffle anxiety or sleeplessness. But our body changes much of the alcohol into aldehydes which create restlessness and fitful sleep. Alcohol also inhibits REM sleep. Considering that laboratory tests on inhibiting REM sleep brought about increasing mental distress, this is an insidious effect, once more leading to the possible need to use more alcohol to suppress its own side-effects. Carlyle Smith of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario has shown that the alcohol in just over two pints of beer, for an average-sized person, knocks out about half of the normal amount of REM sleep in the first half of the night.

A study carried out by Jean Knox and published in the Journal of Analytical Psychology[i] showed how heavy alcohol use impairs the capacity to digest new information and experience. This causes resistance to change making it difficult to face loss and depressive anxiety.

Studies performed at the Texas South-Western Medical Center, Dept of Psychiatry, Sleep Study[ii] found that depressed patients using fluoxetine and nefazodone – antidepressants – showed extremely low dream recall. The content of the dream was also changed, making them less vivid and detailed. To quote, “It is possible that the lack of change in the emotional tone of dreams in treatment responders[iii] may reflect a continuing vulnerability to depression.”[iv] Other studies using the drug trimipramine led to a positive influence on dream tone and recall.[v]

Reed Morrison, investigating the recovery of alcoholics and the drug addicted through their dreams, suggests there are five stages of recovery. He names these: Pandora’s box, dragon fight, rebirth, descent, and return.[vi]

Drugs like LSD, cannabis and even ecstasy often allow a state of waking dreaming. In other words the experience of dreams in which we project everything outside us and so see characters animals and scenes apparently exterior to us occurs to us while awake while using such drugs. This can be extremely useful if you are used to realising that such things are just like a dream and can be understood as standing for inner experience, but can lead to tremendous disorientation or fear if not understood. See Hallucinations and HallucinogensWaking Lucid Dream

What is the point of predictive dreams?

Louisa Rhine, wife of the famous ESP researcher J. B. Rhine,[vii] examined over 20,000 cases of ESP and precognition. She placed her findings in categories of – intuitions, dreams, hallucinations, and PK[viii] phenomena. Louisa’s research showed that precognitions occurred more frequently than any other form of extended perception. Other studies showed that about 60 to 68 percent of all precognitions occur during dreaming. Michael Talbot writes, “We may have banished our ability to see the future from our conscious minds, but it is still very active in the deeper strata of our psyches.”[ix]

The research done by Louisa and her husband, and by such people as Ullman and Krippner make it unnecessary to argue the case for dream ESP,[x] but it is still a largely unexplored field though, and not generally accepted in other branches of science. From the purely personal point of view though, many people ask what purpose if any a precognitive dream has. The reason they ask this is because having had such a dream and seeing the event happen as predicted, they wonder what the point was in knowing. From their of viewpoint foreknowledge only added to their anxiety.

This is often because the person involved, although feeling anxious about the dream, did nothing about it. Such dreams are centres of great power. They not only demonstrate that we are in touch with the transcendent in us, but also offer the opportunity to change events. One concept of this is of a ‘branching future’. This means our choice can alter the direction we are taking. The following cases illustrate the possibility of this.

The nineteenth-century suffragette Susan B. Anthony dreamt the hotel she was staying in caught fire. She left the hotel and it did in fact catch fire. More recently a woman dreamt her twenty-month-old daughter was dangerously balanced on a window ledge. The dream woke her and she ran to check her baby’s safety. All was well. But three weeks later, when the mother was outside hanging washing on a line she realised her daughter was still indoors. Rushing to her child’s room she found her daughter balanced on the windowsill and pulled her to safety.

In another case a woman woke from a nightmare in which her son was caught in a hotel fire. The mother knew her son was away on business but did not know where, so could not phone him. She therefore knelt in prayer asking for his safety. At that time the son dreamt he heard his mother calling him urgently. He woke to discover the hotel on fire and was able to get safely out.

Jaime Castell used that power of change when he had such a warning dream. In 1978 his wife had just become pregnant. Three months before the baby was born Jaime dreamt a disembodied voice told him that he would die before the baby arrived. Acting on his dream he took out a hefty insurance payable only at his death. Just a few weeks later while driving along a motorway a car travelling in the opposite direction at great speed crashed through the central barrier out of control and landed on top of Jaime’s car, killing him instantly.

Other people who have had similar warning dreams may pray for help or visualise another outcome. They have lived to experience a near miss, avoided because they remained aware of a critical point being reached. See - ESP in Dreams

 

Do dreams of death mean I am doing to die soon?

We all dream of dying, but few dreams are predicting your death or that of another person. Most of them are exploring feelings about death, and breaking through to a more creative relationship with death. Sometimes such ‘practice’ dreams are obvious. We face death and realise there are many things we still want to do before we go. The dream is thereby reminding us of the important issues in our life. If you do have a series of dreams suggesting illness or death and they worry you, then you should seek a medical examination. Your future is yours to make. The direction you are taking can be changed. Your changing attitudes and way of life reshape the future.

People do have warning dreams about the death of a relative though, or even their own death. These dreams usually carry a strong conviction of their message, and are not simply anxiety dreams. See Dreaming of Death

How can I conquer my fears in dreams?

Working with anxiety dreams is one of the best ways of melting fears. To do this, use the questions given in chapter four under Processing Dreams. Especially adopt the technique described in which you carry your dreams forward to more satisfying conclusions as in Secrets of Power Dreaming.

It is also worth reading Nightmares and Method to Manage Intense Emotion.

Why do I keep having the same-recurring dream?

Recurring dreams occur because of several factors. They arise because of buried anxieties or because you are returning to fundamental attitudes and life lessons. Regarding this last reason, the foundations for your character traits were laid down at certain times. For instance the house you lived in as a young child may be used in your dreams to represent the life lessons or attitudes you developed at the time. Your school may be used to depict the life lessons impressed on you during your teen years. So these original scenes appear again and again in your dreams as you are confronted by, or evolve, the attitudes and responses you developed in connection with those places.

If it is a nightmarish or anxiety dream, the recurrence usually happens because your unconscious is trying to heal fears or hurts you experienced and buried in past years. To heal such hurts the unconscious tries to push them to the surface, to make you aware of them. This is necessary because the repression of such strong feelings is rather like cutting off a hand and wrapping it in cling film because it was hurting. If this happens several times we are left with much less energy and mental resources than we had when we were born. To reconnect with the part of you, with the buried energy and experience once more, means feeling the hurts you avoided in the past.

To do this, use the techniques outlined in chapter four under the heading of Techniques for Exploring your Dreams, and also Life’s Little Secrets. You can also continue the dream in imagination to some sort of satisfying conclusion by using Secrets of Power Dreaming.

Recurring dreams are intriguing or sometimes troubling. The most extreme case I have on record is of a woman who had exactly the same dream every night. Even though that is almost unique, most of us either have a dream that repeats a few times, or a theme that recurs, sometimes with a gap of a year or years. The following dream illustrates some of the key features of such dreams:

Years ago I lost my first husband at twenty nine. I had the same dream continually of being in a phone box trying to contact him, not understanding why he had left me. He died of cancer. Later I remarried and this husband died of a heart attack. Once again the same dream came back so much – Mrs. C. J.

Common sense tells us why Mrs. J. has this dream time after time. It is because the difficult emotions, and the questions about why it should happen are powerfully active in her. But as she almost certainly knew these things troubled her, why should she keep having the dream?

The answer is almost as commonplace as the reason for her dreams. With something that is deeply important to us, most of us repeat our attempts to succeed if we do not immediately achieve what we seek. Mrs J. was attempting two important things. First, she was trying to come to terms with what happened and the feelings it left her with. Second, she was trying to understand why it happened, particularly after the second time. The self-regulatory process in dreams attempts to resolve anything that is blocking a reasonably balanced response to life. It tries to find answers to important questions. It tries to help us continue our psychological growth. It tries to clear up issues, even if those issues are years old.

Unless you bring conscious attention to what it is doing though, it is partly a blindly instinctive force, like a river trying to find its way through the debris of your hurts and confusions. The nightmare Abe explored in nightmares shows this. His attention helped the nightmare ‘unblock’ and move on to satisfying attitudes. Mrs. J. did not explore her dream. There is every likelihood that it repeated because there was some aspect of her feelings about her husband she had not felt or recognised.

There is of course also the aspect of recurring dreams dealing with practising a situation, or meeting a feeling again and again until you find a different relationship with it. This is seen in dreams that are recurring but evolve. They gradually shift from being frustrating or frightening to resolution. An interesting dream depicting this is one that many of us have as children if we live in a house with stairs. The dream usually starts with us trying to run downstairs, but there is anxiety about falling or stumbling, after all, going down stairs is a form of controlled falling. As the dream recurs we gradually get better at going fast down the stairs. The final ‘satisfying’ end to the recurring series is often as follows:

I have the sensation of skimming down a long flight of stairs, sometimes straight, frequently with a bend. I seem to slide on my toes at great speed, like a tea tray going down and around corners with a great leap, four stairs or so at a time – very exhilarating! Joan Pinker.

The explanation for the series is possibly that as children stairs are difficult to climb, and even more difficult to descend. There is very real danger involved. Therefore as you practice coming down the stairs in dreams you are gradually achieving the mastery of fear and of the physical skill of descent. When you finally manage to descend easily and fast it is like flying and you have the exhilaration of mastering what was frightening.

Most recurring dreams fit into these two categories:  (a) The attempt to deal with a past trauma or a current deeply felt issue; (b) Practising a social or physical skill or exploring a question in an attempt to resolve it. To help the dream get out of its stuck loop use the technique described in Secrets of Power Dreaming – this is where you continue the dream in imagination to some sort of satisfying conclusion.

 

What makes me move or fight in my sleep?

I am twenty, married, and terrified of spiders. I dream I am in bed and a spider falls on me and crawls under the sheets. I see it clearly and leap out of bed screaming. My husband tries to calm me, but sometimes I punch him. I nearly broke his nose one night. I am only seven stone, but in my sleep I am a fighter. Can you help me? Mary.

Mary is not alone in her enormous activity while dreaming, or in her seeing of her spider while still awake. Pippa M. describes her own experiences as follows:

he most alarming nightmares have been to do with spiders. I have felt them crawling over the bedclothes, and over me and the sheets, under the bed covers to the extent where I have to get out of bed and brush them away. After I have woken I can still see them – Pippa.

While dreaming, our brain sends messages to make our body to move, just as it does while we are awake and active. Usually a part of our brain – the pons – inhibits these impulses, allowing us to remain quietly asleep. Occasionally however, the excitement or fear we feel in a dream overrides the inhibition and we start to move or talk in our sleep. This may cause the most amusing or disturbing events to happen. If, as with Pippa and Mary, these dream movements and hallucinations occur often, they need to be treated in the same way as suggested under recurring dreams. See Life’s Little Secrets and Hallucinations

What causes restless legs?

The mind – thinking and feeling – cannot be separated from the body. So what is felt or thought transfers into physical action or a posture. Restless legs is usually the transfer of the feeling of wanting to get away or run away, so your legs are trying to get away from something. The something you are running from is usually a feeling of fear, fear about something you hold as a memory, an event or even from the threat of discovering who you are. Reaction to Meeting YourselfDefence Mechanisms & Resistances 

 Example: I look at the strain in my neck, the starting headache, and the unwillingness to let go and then I ask for help. The help comes in the form of restless legs and a feeling of discomfort and fear which is beyond anything I have perceived so far. But this time there is a wonder-filled reward for every time I go through the fear and the shit that is underneath; I enter the eye of the storm in which there is only quiet and peaceful inner hearing.

When the restless legs dissolve together with the fear and feeling uncomfortable, the veil disappears with it and I fall asleep.

It seems the best way to deal with it is to allow it while you awake and allow it to carry on. Watch it with the feeling you are watching a film interested in what is being expressed. See The Keyboard Condition -

Can one really dream the same dream as someone else?

Some years ago I woke from a terrible dream in which I was backed against a wall and my elder sister was stabbing me with scissors. Later that day at work my sister phoned me to say she’d had an awful dream last night in which she stabbed me. Can you explain this? Brenda S.

Sharing a dream with the same details is uncommon but does happen to some people. The next example illustrates how a link can be created by love not sibling anger

My husband is in the Navy, serving on a ship in the Gulf. We’ve always been close, through 22 years. I dreamt we were making love, and could even smell him. It ended as lovemaking always does for us, with orgasm and a cuddle into deep sleep. I woke surprised he wasn’t next to me. He phoned next day to say he had the same dream, same night – Mrs. E.H.

These shared dreams demonstrate the possibility of our awareness going beyond our own personal boundaries in dreams. Each of us enter this realm of the collective mind when we sleep, but few of us bring back such definite memories.

I feel that our personal awareness is just like an island in a huge ocean in which there are countless other islands. Above the surface of the water, which is like individual waking self-awareness, or our waking self. In this there is a sense of separate existence, with definite boundaries where the shore meets the sea. Beneath the surface however, one island is connected to all other islands. The land stretches away under the waves and rises here and there into other islands. So, it is seen, personal awareness, beneath our everyday consciousness, shades off into a connection with a collective unconscious we all share. Through this connection we may be able to arrive at insights into other people otherwise denied to us. And this explains your dreams. See Collective Unconscious

What can I do if I keep having nightmares?

Nightmares are often expressions of fears we have not faced or have not admitted to while awake. The dream will usually give a clue to what causes the fear. If the dream includes a child, for instance, then it may be a fear you developed in your childhood. If the dream includes an animal it may be related to your powerful urges such as sex or anger. If it shows darkness, then the fear might be about what is unknown or imagined. Look at the nightmare in this way to start with, to define, if only vaguely, what the fear might connect with. Then imagine yourself in the action of the dream and slowly meet, or move toward, whatever or wherever the fear emanates from. Use the techniques described in the sections in Techniques for Exploring your Dreams and the section above dealing with recurring dreams. See nightmaresLife’s Little Secrets

Example: I was alone in a house and asleep in bed. Something materialised or landed on the foot of the bed. It woke me a little and I felt afraid. I had the feeling it was some sort of entity materialising and coming for me in some way. It moved up the bed a little. I felt paralysed, partly by fear but also as if the ‘thing’ was influencing me. This made me more afraid of it. Then it moved up higher, not on my body but on the bed. I was very afraid and struggling against the paralysing influence. I managed to shout at it – I will destroy you. I will destroy you. As I shouted I pushed at it with my hand. This felt to me as if I were going to will its destruction and use my hand to smash it. I still felt a little uncertain of the outcome but I was very determined to fight it. At this point I woke up or was awakened by my wife. She asked me what I had been dreaming. Apparently I had been pushing her and shouting that I would destroy her. Abe

David explored his dream in depth and describes his insights as follows –

I started by considering the recent nightmare of the ‘thing’ at the foot of my bed. Gradually I began to feel tense throughout my body, with difficulty in breathing. The ‘thing’ seemed at first to be a woman’s vagina. There was a little feeling in this but not much. Then it slowly grew in intensity and I realised the ‘thing’ was death. Recently it is obvious from the mirror that my body is going through another period of rapid ageing. The dream was a dramatic representation of my feelings about this. Death was gradually creeping up on me, gradually overwhelming me and I was fighting it. As the session deepened I saw that in my feelings I felt that death had put its finger on me. The touch of death was like a disease though. Once touched the disease was incurable and gradually took over one’s body. I could hardly breathe as I experienced this, and I understood the sort of emotions that might lie beneath asthma attacks. This struggle with death went on for some time. It was not terrible but was felt strongly. I also recognised that my wife Deb, has similar feelings about her ageing, and is communicating to me that her body is dying and unclean, especially her genitals, and this is off-putting. I see that when I shout I ‘I will destroy you!’ in a way it is my fear of being destroyed that is behind the emotion.

I began to wonder what to do about the situation. The feeling was that death was claiming me. So I wanted to face the truth about death, whatever it was. I wanted to walk right up to it and look it in the face and know whether death meant a final end. If it did I would rather know. As I approached death like this by imaging walking toward the THING, my feelings went through an amazing transformation. All the tension left me. I felt good, positive and with a sense of hope about life and death. This was so surprising and sudden I wondered what had produced it. I needed to be aware of how this change had occurred. So I retraced my steps to look at death and try to understand why it had lost its power of fear.

At first I saw that my tension and sense of death being or giving a disease was due to a view I had of it. When we look at the world only through our senses, death is obviously a terminal sickness that claims everyone. Someone said on TV the other day – Life is a sexually transmitted disease that produces a 100% mortality. Seen in this way death is the rotting corpse, the skeleton. The path to it is disease or breakdown. But in looking it in the face I saw another view of it. I saw the dead body, the corpse, the skeleton, as a form left behind by the process of life. When I looked at myself to see what ‘David’ is – I cannot separate myself from the process of life. That process leaves behind shells, bodies, tree trunks, but it goes on creating other forms. See - Secrets of Power Dreaming 

 

If I dream I have sexual organs of the opposite sex, am I bisexual?

Somehow my pants came right off. Nobody noticed, not even myself, until I was seated with knee up, and heal in groin. Then looking down I noticed my legs were very smooth skinned and I had female sex organs. There was no pubic hair at all – Dan.

Dan is not bisexual or homosexual in his behaviour. But psychologically everyone has the potential of the opposite sex. In most cases such dreams show us dealing with this secondary side to our personality. See Archetype of the AnimaArchetype of the AnimusHermaphrodite

 

Do people dream in colour?

Examining the written record of thousands of dreams, most descriptions do not mention colour at all. When asked if they dream in colour the majority of people find it difficult to answer. This is because for many there is no awareness of colour in our dreams, except for occasional dreams in which an object grabs our awareness because it is seen in colour. Some people, perhaps those with keen colour awareness while awake, do dream in colour more frequently. Colour is used in dreams to create mood in some way. For instance in many dreams where red appears, there is also heightened fear or anxiety.

How do we know things about people in our dreams?

As can be seen from the section above on shared dreams, we often link unconsciously with another person. In this way we can know things about them that we have no idea about through our senses. We also have the ability to understand a great deal from subliminal awareness of the information we gather unconsciously from a person’s body language and speech. This information may be presented to us in an intuitive dream. See Using Your IntuitionESP in DreamsCollective Unconscious

How do you explain why some people never remember their dreams?

See the section above on Does everybody Dream?

 

What does it mean when you talk in your sleep?

My boyfriend frequently talks in his sleep and asks me things. When I wake up and ask him what he is talking about he gets incredibly insistent and demands answers. I now usually tell him to go back to sleep and he does, but sometimes I think he is awake and things he says worry me. Why does he do this? – Debbie.

The answer to Debbie’s question is probably that her boyfriend carries worries into his sleep. Instead of talking them out with Debbie. While awake he wrestles with them in his dreams. The worries then emerge in a way that concerns Debbie  more than if he were to approach them directly.

A more general understanding is explained under the question of What makes me move or fight in my sleep? Sleep talking ranges from the incomprehensible and gibberish to the other extreme of someone like Edgar Cayce who spoke 14 million words in his sleep, all taken down by a secretary. Cayce – pro. kay-see – was able to tap the transcendent within and report information about health or any other subject asked about. See Edgar Cayce

In general though we may wake ourselves from sleep when we cry out from a troubling dream, or sometimes in exciting dreams such as having sex.

Sleep talking occurs in REM sleep as well as in non-REM sleep. In REM sleep the person can usually remember some dream fragment linked with the talking. In non-REM sleep no such memories can be found. An interesting description of sleep talking is given in Tom Sawyer after Tom witnessed a murder.

“Tom, you pitch around and talk in your sleep so much that you keep me awake about half the time.”

Tom blanched and dropped his eyes.

“It’s a bad sign,” said Aunt Polly gravely. “What you got on your mind, Tom?”

“Nothing. Abe I know of.” But the boy’s hand shook so that he spilled his coffee.”

While we sleep our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we sleep our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body. So we have a Conscious Will, and what I will call a Life Will. The first one we have experience of as we can move our arm or speak in everyday activities; but the second will takes over when we sleep. See Sleep Paralysis

This Life will can move us to speak, to move our body, and in fact do things that we cannot do with our Conscious Will. As Freud pointed out this inner will has full access to our memories. When the unconscious or Life will pushes through to waking awareness we experience it as what have been called hallucinations, a voice speaking to us, spontaneous movements or speech, as happens in dreams. Just as the dream process, while active in sleep produces spontaneous speech, movements and drama, so, by taking on a passive receptive attitude of body and mind, this process is allowed while awake, and produces similar actions.  

This involves spontaneous body movements, feelings and vocalisation, expressing themes and drama just as dreams do. It is a form of waking lucid dreaming. Our inner process can do so many other things that are described else where – See Edgar Cayce and the Cosmic MindESP in Dreams – .

 

 Do creative people have more bizarre dreams?

An experiment was carried out at the University of Arizona, Tucson, US to see if creative people have more bizarre dreams. Dreams were collected from 126 undergraduates and rated for unusual features against controls. The experiment did not show that the dreams of the undergraduates had any more unusual or creative features than anyone else’s. Perhaps the undergraduates were not particularly creative, but part of the establishment?

Tests by other researchers show that we can extend our range of behaviour in our dreams by becoming aware of habitual patterns expressed in them. For instance, if you are habitually passive in your dreams, becoming aware of this and deciding to express more fully in dreams and waking, changes the habit.

Throughout history creative people have said they have been given some of their most important ideas in dreams. Einstein dreamt about the theory of relativity in his teens. Elias Howe clearly saw a design for making a functioning needle for his Singer sewing machine in a dream. William Blake was shown in a dream how to create a new type of printing. There are too many others to list.

See Create Creative CreativityWoman’s Creative PowerCreative Uses of Your Dreams and IncubationMagical Dream Machine

 

 Why do some Christians say dreams are the devils work?

Many fundamentalist Christians assert that we should all live in a way suggested by the Bible. However, their interpretation of the Bible is one which does not accept that dreams were taken seriously by early Christians. The story of Joseph the dream interpreter is central to this, as is the guidance given in dreams to the apostles in the New Testament.

The fundamentalists’ fear is founded upon a rational difficulty. Many people base their life on superstitious beliefs such as the power of an amulet. The fundamentalists want believers to abandon any such dependencies and place their trust in God, or rather in the interpretation they preach of God. Dreams are seen as another source of speculative dependency, and so are criticised. This has some historical context in that the early Christians had a long struggle with converts to eliminate their dependence on gods connected with dream incubation.

If you face this difficult question yourself, it is important to define what is meant by God, and what your personal relationship with God is. From there you might have a clearer idea of what is a suitable direction for yourself.

And He said, “Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream” (Num. 12:6).

“I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17).

“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.  He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:14- 18).

See Religion and DreamsPrayer and Dream Interpretation

 

 How can I get answers to my life problems from my dreams?

Dreams are perhaps the most profoundly useful of any method of self-help. Each dream you have in some way informs you of what is important in your life and growth. Although occasionally a single dream will release an influence that will change your whole direction, usually it takes insight and involvement in many dreams to gain life changing solutions. Therefore it is important to start a dream journal and extract as much as you can from at least one dream a week. Use the techniques described in Dream Interpretation. If possible get a few friends to join you in your dream explorations. Such joint work is one of the most bonding and satisfying activities you can experience. Also see – Peer Dream WorkSecrets of Power Dreaming

 



[i] Appeared in 1995 Apr Vol. 40(2) 161-175.

[ii] Published in Dreaming-Journal-of-the-Association-for-the-Study-of-Dreams; 1995

 Sep Vol. 5(3) 189-198.

[iii] ie. patients who respond to treatment.

 [iv] Quoted from PsycLIT Database Copyright 1996 American Psychological Assn, all

 rights reserved.

[v] Record 769 of 3000 – PsycLIT Journal Articles 1/90-3/96 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

 [vi] Record 676 of 3000 – PsycLIT Journal Articles 1/90-3/96 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

 [vii] J. B. Rhine was the person who introduced the words parapsychology and ESP – extra sensory perception. See: http://www.fpc.edu/academic/behave/psych/web93-1.htm

 [viii] Psychokinesis. This refers to the ability to move objects without obvious physical contact, by the power of mind.

 [ix] From The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. Grafton Press, 1991. ISBN O-24-13690-1

 [x] See: Dream Telepathy by Ullman and Krippner. Published by Turnstone 1973. Researched results of telepathy during dreaming.

 

 

Comments

-Thezil 2015-11-01 16:07:30

Can people dream about animals chasing you and someone pushing you out of the window?

Reply

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