‘On Dreams’ An extract from the book, ‘The Definitive Guide To Dreams’
by Paul Gill
Published by Book Hub Publishing
What are Dreams?
The answer to this question is as elusive as dreaming itself and there are many schools of thought on this matter. They range from dreaming being the idle wanderings of the mind, to the sprits or God conveying messages, to our reaching into parallel universes.
I believe that dreams are from our emotional subconscious mind; that they are the mind trying to integrate new and not so new ex- periences into ourselves so as we have a better understanding of our lives and so feel more secure.
Primarily, dreams are about emotion and feeling. We are born fully equipped to feel emotions. Emotion is the language of the subconscious and the key to correctly interpreting your dream. If you can identify what particular emotion, or set of emotions, are contained within the dream you are well on your way to under- standing it. To open up the dream you must track that emotion. Where is it currently being felt in your life? When did you first feel it?
Dreams are a rich world of understanding. They contain an enor- mous amount of information and emotional knowledge that if you ignore, you do so at your peril. To understand your dreams is to understand yourself. You are a highly individualised, complex self and yet you are an instinctual, reactive, self too. We are all driven by our hopes and desires. These hopes and desires, be- ing emotionally driven, are much more powerful than logic and reason. Sometimes the morals and conventions of society tell us we can’t have or shouldn’t want certain things or that we should behave in a certain way. These things are then suppressed by the mind but never the less continue to exist in that mind. You can expect these hopes and desires to be expressed in dreams hidden in a safe way so as the mind can dispense with the emo- tional energy which has accumulated.
Why do we Dream?
The mind dreams for many reasons. But the fact is that the mind does dream for “reasons”. Because when you think of it, when you sleep the body sleeps, the conscious awareness sleeps, so why does the subconscious keep you up all night dreaming? Hasn’t it better things to do? Well, no! It hasn’t better things to do. The subconscious mind dreams because it needs to in order to maintain a healthy mind. Even if your dreams are annoying, confusing, upsetting or just plain weird be thankful that your mind is dreaming while you’re asleep because that’s what it’s supposed to do. Everybody dreams at night, it’s just that not everybody remembers their dreams. In fact you dream approxi- mately 5 dreams every night. The only ones usually remembered are the ones immediately before wakening up in the morning and/or if one has caused you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Don’t worry if you can’t remember your dreams. You can train yourself to remember them. It just takes a bit of practice, that’s all. Actually, it is a very useful skill to develop a habit of record- ing your dreams because a dream, in isolation, can have a cer- tain meaning but when combined with a whole series of dreams it can tell you just exactly what your mind is bothered about whilst you sleep.
Really you should know what’s on your mind while you’re asleep because it is your mind and you have every right to know what’s going on there while you’ve switched off!
I should explain. The mind works on many levels but for sim- plicity sake I’ll say 2 levels that is the conscious and the sub- conscious. The conscious part of your mind is the part that you use most during your waking day. It makes decisions, it talks to people, and it generally decides things to do. That part of your mind accounts for only 15% or so of your mind’s abilities. There is a deeper part of your mind, a mind that remembers everything
that ever happened to you, that files away every one of your ex- periences that controls and runs all of your habits, both good and bad. That governs all of your attitudes and most important of all is a deep emotional mind. This is the part of your mind that is most active when you are asleep! 85% of your mind is up while you are asleep! Now that’s fine as long as it doesn’t unduly disturb the part of the mind that’s asleep. Problems occur when you get recurring dreams or nightmares.
It’s said that the people most likely to get nightmares are chil- dren and adult women. Why? Well, I personally think it’s got to do with physical strength. Children are vulnerable living in an adult world and women usually verbally defend themselves, sel- dom physically. When it comes down to it, a man will instinc- tively use “brawn” to defend himself against that monster who chases him in a dream whereas this option is seldom open to a child or a woman. Men fight with their fists, women with their tongues! I return to this later in the book.
In my work as a Hypno/Psychotherapist I have helped many peo- ple discover the causes behind a recurring dream. It has been my delight to free these people from the nightmare of a nightly recurring dream. All it requires is a willingness to look at “your stuff.” We all have “stuff”. Some people refer to it as “skeletons in the closet.” Well, everybody’s got “stuff”! Nobody’s per- fect. And, anyway, perfect people are boring! Actually, I believe there’s no one that is perfect! As a colleague of mine described it once, “We’re all perfectly imperfect!” To be human is to be imperfect and I’m proud to be both.
Through hypnosis you can connect with that part of your mind that creates dreams and sort your stuff. That part of your mind is your own subconscious. It’s the part of your mind that’s running 24/7. But sometimes you don’t notice it until you are asleep. That part of your mind is there to serve you, to help you. Learn how to use it. It is the greater part of your mind. Become fully in control of you and enjoy that whole experience of living.
How to Remember your Dreams
Dreaming is something that goes un-noticed by a significant amount of people. Everybody has had dreams at some stage, but many people never remember their dreams. There can be many reasons for this. Firstly, they never make a point of remember- ing their dreams. This is very important because, like any task we’re attempting to perform, we must pay attention to what it is we want to do. I usually advise clients to put a pen and paper beside their bed and last thing before they go asleep notice it! When the mind notices something left there it will understand that you left it there for a reason. There are so many thoughts going round inside our heads how is the mind going to decide what’s important?
Writing things down gives it priority over everything else. On this piece of paper write “Dream Log”. Now you’ve specified what it’s for – the mind knows that you intend to write up something on that log. In the morning when you are about to awake you can, sometimes, become aware that you are leaving a dream. Before you open your eyes or move a muscle, recite the dream back to yourself a couple of times. In this way you bring the dream from the subconscious to the conscious.
I’ve been working on understanding my own mind’s capacity to dream for many years and consequently I have no trouble re- membering entire dreams in great detail. I’m often asked “How can I remember my dreams?” Basically, the answer is practice. It really comes down to practice.