A third of our life is spent sleeping. Dreams take place during REM sleep. Scientific sources say that a person can dream on average 100 minutes (1 hour and 40 minutes) per night based on 15 to 20 minutes of REM sleep per cycle with 4 to 5 cycles per night A sixty-year-old will have spent 5 years dreaming with a total of 20 years sleeping!
What are dreams? How is it that in a dream, our reality blends in with the dream? In that state, we have no conscious feeling of our body lying in bed, or any sense of our real life. We exist, feel and act in a reality that, despite not being real, is our reality in that moment. Our mind believes it to be true, and for those short minutes (that somehow always feel way longer), it is our one true reality.
I don’t know about you, but for me, this casts serious doubt on what I believe to be my true consciousness, my “awake” life. If my brain is powerful enough not only to bring me to alternate realities, but to also make me believe in them, then heck, how can I trust it?
Overthinking this can be very claustrophobic. A better approach may be to keep an open mind: perhaps what I perceive to be tangible reality is not as concrete as it would seem. You know that feeling that we all get sometimes when we wake up and it seems like we’re coming back from so far that it takes a few seconds to get grounded, well maybe that is just another layer of awareness being shaken off. Where does our consciousness really lay?
How can we bridge these 2 realities? With a bit of luck, we can sometimes recognize familiar places, situations and events in our dreams that don’t have any apparent connection to our “awake” reality. These may evolve and become connected to our inner awakedness. It’s fascinating to spot personal symbolism – dictionaries on the meaning of dreams explain them in a general sense, but symbols change and adapt to each of our unique realities, as reflected in our dreams. The symbols present in my dreams are mine exclusively; only I have the key to unlock their meaning.
The brain alone cannot decode these meanings. Emotions and deep connections with our inner self are called into play to decipher the secrets language of our dreams. They are invaluable tools for personal development. Great strides achieved while awake will assuredly impact our dreams.
You rarely remember your dreams? Well, that can be learned with practice. After all, accessing an alternative reality is a skill worth developing. Personally, two moments stand out as ideal for remembering dreams: in the morning upon waking up, with a foot in both worlds so to speak; and at bedtime as I drift off to sleep my mind will often wander to the dreams I’ve had the night before. Weekends are best because we can usually linger longer in a sleepy state of consciousness.
Would you like to delve deeper into your alternate realities? Many years ago, I attended a talk by Nicole Gratton, who gave up a promising career in the medical field to follow her passion for the world of dreams. I thought of her again a few weeks ago and bought one of her books at my local used bookstore. It was nice to see that even after 20 years, her school on the art of dreams is still going strong. Her website in in French only but there is a link under “Boutique” to her various publications in English. Check out this valuable resource at https://nicolegratton.com.
Good night dear Seekers and sweet dreams…