Dream Language
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Your Own Dream
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Frequently Asked Questions

The study of dreams and dream interpretation go back to the earliest glimmerings of human history. The Bible includes many stories of dreams and the people who changed human  history because they paid attention and interpreted those dreams.  In our scientific age, when many ancient beliefs and practices have been discarded as superstitious foolishness, dreams have continued to be studied as important windows into the human mind. The psychologist Carl G. Jung expanded and developed the study of dreams and the images they present. Today, researchers in sleep labs are able to observe the functions of the brain as it passes from dreaming to non-dreaming stages of sleep.

Dreams are endlessly fascinating. Whether you approach the subject out of concern over an alarming dream experience, as part of Biblical studies, as psychological investigation or interest in advanced brain imaging or out of pure curiosity, there is plenty of material here to explore.

And if you don't find exactly what you're looking for .... just ask,   right here.

Do dreams mean anything or are they just random nonsense?
Dreams are produced by your subconscious mind while your conscious, waking mind is inactive, in sleep. Many dreams suggest that the sleeping mind is sifting through the events and experiences of the day, sorting through all the sensory input, emotions, thoughts and experiences of the day. It's like clearing the daily clutter from your desk or from the kitchen counter. Other dreams clearly indicate that the mind is working through specific problems. These might include matters from the past that have not yet been resolved, or patterns that produce hunches about future events. The sleeping mind can even create dreams that allow the dreamer to "practice" behaviors that could be risky if tried in real life.
Last night I dreamed about my crush. Does that mean he was THINKING ABOUT ME last night before he went to sleep?
No. Dreams are about the DREAMER, and they express the DREAMER'S thoughts and feelings. Dreams do not create any magical link between one person's brain and another person's brain. The old superstition that thinking about someone you loved before falling asleep will cause that person to dream about you is very common, but it is still a superstition. It is no true.
Why are my dreams so confusing?
Dreams use symbols and metaphors so that one thing represents something else. In the same way that the Bald Eagle represents the United States and the Bear might represent Russia, a dream image like a house or a truck might represent the dreamer's life or job. Although dream images can seem bizarre, once you understand the symbols, they make very good sense.
Should I use a dream dictionary?
Although dream dictionaries are popular, I do not recommend them. Dreams are intensely personal and the images and symbols they contain almost always refer to the dreamer and the dreamer's life. In the words of Carl Jung, "... it is plain foolishness to believe in ready-made systematic guides to dream interpretation, as if one could simply buy a reference book and look up a particular symbol. No dream symbol can be separated from the individual who dreams it, and there is no definite or straightforward interpretation of any dream. " ... Man and His Symbols
Does the Bible have anything to say about dreams?
The Bible says a lot about dreams! Dreams play a central role in many favorite Bible stories, including Jacob's Ladder, Joseph's Coat of Many Colors, and in the stories of Gideon. The Book of Daniel includes many examples of dreams and their interpretations. Perhaps the most familiar dreams are those in the Christmas story, when St. Joseph is told that Mary's child will be the Messiah, and when he is told in another dream to escape with Mary and the Baby Jesus to Egypt. Later in the Gospels, Pilot's wife warns him not to judge Christ, because of what she had seen in a dream. One of my favorite passages is found in the 2nd chapter of Joel: 28 "After that, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will have dreams. Your young men will have visions. 29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women alike.
Can dreams predict the future?
In the vast majority of cases, the answer is no, dreams do not predict the future. Dreams arise from the subconscious mind and although they sometimes seem to present amazing information, the fact is that they draw from our own memories, emotions and intuition, not from any supernatural sources. Many times what seem to be prophetic dreams are nothing more than subtle impressions that the subconscious mind combines with intuition. These dreams might "forecast" the future in exactly the same way the weather report will "forecast" next week's storm, by following the evidence to its obvious conclusion.
About those Psychic Dreams ...

How do I make these nightmares stop?
Upsetting as nightmares may be, they can be an effective means of getting the conscious mind to pay attention to important messages from the subconscious self. Perhaps the most important thing to know about nightmares is that the characters, monsters and other elements are all symbols. Many of these represent different aspects of the dreamer's own personality. Other elements in the nightmare represent aspects of the dreamer's life: family, career, co-workers, relationships - these are just a few possibilities. Once the dreamer recognizes the message contained in the nightmare, that dream might never occur again - unless a similar situation returns. For example, a common nightmare is finding oneself inside a car / train / vehicle that is speeding out of control with no one at the wheel. When the dreamer recognizes that the car represents their own life, and begins to actively take control of real-life circumstances, the nightmare will stop recurring. But if the dreamer's life returns to similar out-of-control patterns, that nightmare could return with a vengeance. More about nightmares...
Why do I dream the same thing over and over again?
Repetitive dreams can be like commercials. They might be funny or interesting the first time they appear. But when they play over and over, we start to hate them. We know commercials are repeated intentionally, to impress the advertiser's message in our minds. Repetitive dreams have a message too, and happily, once we decipher the message, the dream will stop repeating. Or it stops until we need to hear that message again. ... Suppose Daniel repeatedly dreams he is in the back seat of a car racing out of control with no driver. When Daniel figures out that the dream is a metaphor for his out-of-control lifestyle and changes his behavior, the dream goes away -- until Daniel slips into his old passive habits. Then the dream returns with a vengeance. So when a dream goes into re-runs, pay better attention.
Why do I keep dreaming that I'm PREGNANT?
Your dreams are very intimately in tune with your physical state, including all of your hormonal cycles and body chemistry. So if you are sexually active, you absolutely should get yourself to the drug store for a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, get to a health professional and get prenatal care. If you are not pregnant, use protection every time from now on. OTHERWISE, dreams about being pregnant and/or having a baby almost always are metaphors for some object or task that needs to be developed and brought to completion. Keep in mind that dreams are about the dreamer; if you are dreaming about pregnancy, you are the one with unfinished business. Adolescents often dream of being pregnant, when the "baby" they are nurturing toward maturity is themselves. Like a pregnancy, maturity cannot be rushed. It requires a lot of care and effort to metamorphosize from a kid into a grown-up. Read more from Zia Lucia about dreams and pregnancy by clicking on the tab "I'm Pregnant ?!" in the menu on the left of this page.
More about Pregnancy and Baby Dreams
Has anyone else dreamed you were NAKED in front of a ton of people?
Oh, yes. Unfortunately, just about all of us have had The Naked Dream. This awful dream is about more-or-less subconscious feelings of vulnerability and fear that one's inadequacies will be exposed. It takes the expression, "his faults were uncovered," and presents a literal picture of exactly that! While the meaning of The naked Dream is easy to understand, it is harder to do something constructive with the message. Most of us know our own inadequacies all too well. Perhaps the best response is to admit our vulnerability to ourselves and do our best to drop any false pretenses.
What does it mean when I'm always running from something in my dreams?
Dreams of running away from something are often figurative representations of the dreamer running away from some problem in real life. For example, one might want to run away from unpaid bills, an upcoming exam or a confrontation with a certain person. When one tries to avoid unpleasant issues, the subconscious mind will present a dream of literally running away. Sometimes such dreams can be resolved through lucid dreaming, in which the dreamer stops running, turns around, and discovers what it is they are running from, all during the process of dreaming. A more practical and dependable solution is to figure out what one is avoiding in real life and deal directly with that issue. Then the running dreams will stop.
Could too much lucid dreaming be bad for you?
"Lucid Dreaming" describes a skill in which one can become aware that one is dreaming, and can learn to take control of the dream. In lucid dreams, the dreamer is able to ask questions of dream characters, change or stop events, or will themselves to wake up. Lucid dreaming can be very helpful in controlling recurrent dreams and nightmares. However, you are wise to suspect too much lucid dreaming might not be a good thing. The subconscious mind has tasks to perform through normal dreaming. First, the conscious mind needs a rest. Then there is all the mental clutter of the day to sift through, associations to be made between experiences and memories, and problems that need intuitive attention without the intrusion of the control-freak conscious will. Medical science has shown that the natural cycles of sleep and dreaming are critical to physical and mental health. Why throw a wrench into a delicate, healthy, natural system?
Is dream walking real? How do I learn to do it?
Dream walking is the ability to move in and out of other people's dreams. It has been described as sleeping telepathy, and some people claim to be able to consciously enter other people's dreams and effect their dreaming any time they like. It doesn't stop there; there are those who claim to be able to have sex with anyone they like in the dreams of those persons, and who offer to teach others to do the same. Let's think about that for a moment. Most people don't like the idea of people they know - much less strangers - reading their personal emails. Opening others' letters sent by real mail is a federal crime and we have laws against wire tapping. We do not expect friends to walk into our house without knocking on the door first, and certainly don't allow strangers off the street to walk into the bedroom. So how can it sound like a good idea to have others walk into our most private, intimate dreams? It is hard to imagine anything more immoral than "walking" into another person's dreams, and teaching others to do such a thing would be criminal if it were considered remotely possible. And the idea of having sex with an unsuspecting, sleeping person cannot be described as anything but psychic rape. Is dream walking real? No. It is a silly fraud without a scrap of verifiable evidence. But that never stopped anyone from selling books and making a fast buck.
Are dreams true?
Dreams are not "true" in the sense that the news on television is "true." But they are absolutely true in the same sense that your thoughts and memories are true. Dreams do not contain hidden messages from the supernatural realm or prophesies of future events or communication from the dead. But dreams ARE messages from the dreamer's own subconscious mind and sometimes from the very deep unconscious self.
Do dead loved ones really visit us in our dreams, or is it just in our heads?
The answer is yes and yes. Yes, our deceased loved ones do sometimes visit through our dreams, and yes, of course it is "just" in our heads. Understanding the mode of the experience does not invalidate the experience.