My novel ANTics is inspired by a dream after watching a group of ants carry a potato crisp back to their nest. I get a lot of inspiration from dreams and this got me thinking about dreams and how important they are.
Dreams are complex and amazing. They can convey deep meaning and can be a great creative tool. I believe they are a window to our subconscious mind and analysing them can give you glimpses of yourself and your life.
ANCIENT DREAM INTERPRETERS
In ancient societies, dreams were thought to be messages from the gods. It’s said there were dream interpreters in the courts of kings in early civilisations who followed military leaders into battle.
Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics depict dreams and their interpretation. And in China, a book on dream interpretation was compiled in the 16th Century while in the 17th Century, an English physician wrote a book on dream meanings But the first ever book is said to have been created by the Egyptians in 4,000BC. Wow!
A MODERN DAY INTERPRETATION
In modern times, there are many theories about the meaning of dreams.
Psychologists Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Carl Jung (1875-1960) revolutionised the world of dreams. Freud first argued that dreams represent the dreamer’s unfulfilled wishes. Like his mentor Freud, Jung also believed in the existence of the unconscious. He believed dreams were a window to your unconscious and
offered a solution to a problem you are facing in your waking life.
Dreams are very symbolic. Symbols in your dreams can represent different moods and feelings. There are many books/internet sites out there with cool information about the mysterious and fascinating world of dreams. They can help you interpret the thousands of symbols to help decipher the cryptic messages your dreams are trying to tell you. But it’s not as straightforward as that. Symbols don’t necessarily represent the symbol they stand for. If you dream about a particular subject, it might not in fact be about that subject. Confusing, isn’t it. And as everyone is unique, so the symbols can be unique to the dreamer. You need to use some intuition to find the key to unlock and interpret the meanings in your dreams as well as just looking at symbols.
Although many people can’t remember their dreams, everybody (except people with an extreme psychological disorder) dream.
COOL DREAM FACTS
1. A third of your life is spent sleeping and over an average lifetime you could spend six years dreaming. On average you dream between one and two hours every night and could have between four and seven dreams a night. Although it’s thought you can’t dream when snoring.
2. On average you could have 1,460 dreams a year, yet most dreams are forgotten when waking or very soon after. One way of jogging your memory is to jot down notes or draw a picture of the imagery in your dream as soon as you wake up.
3. Men tend to dream more about other men and the outdoors, while women dream about the indoors and equally about both genders.
4. Twelve percent of us dream in black and white and the rest of us in colour. If you watched black and white TV as a kid, it’s said you tend to dream in black and white and if you watched colour TV, you dream in colour. Isn’t that amazing?
5. Studies reveal animals (more specifically mammals) dream too.
6. People, who are born blind, dream. They don’t see images but dream using other senses such as sound, smell, touch and emotion. But people who become blind after birth can still see images in their dreams. Incredible!
7. Did you know that we are temporarily paralysed while dreaming. It’s said this to stop us hurting ourselves if we try to act out our dreams while sleeping.
8. We see many strange faces in our dreams but hey, guess what, they’re not strange. They are the faces of real people – some of the hundreds of thousands of real people you will have met, seen in the flesh, on the TV, in movies or in print.
9. Imagery in dreams can help solves puzzles that have been plaguing us during the day. You’ve heard the phrase, sleep on it. They have also been the inspiration for artists and scientists.
Thanks for reading and don't forget to keep reaching for the stars.