I can remember a dream I once had. I was sitting in a lush field at a small table with an unknown woman. In front of her, there was a thin wooden board in the shape of a heart, with markings creating a grid. Within a few of them, were collections of small smooth stone piles, placed around various squares of this heart. To the side of the board were more stones waiting to be placed. I began placing them myself in some of the same areas where stones already were, and suddenly the woman stopped me. She told me carefully, to not place the remaining stones in places where they were holding other stones.
Continuing, I was told it was important to not hold so much weight in areas of this heart that were already so weak, to disperse all of the stones in the rest of the space that is empty so that what must be carried is much easier to handle. Then, the woman began taking the stone from parts of the grids that held too much to be placed in these “stronger areas” that could hold them.
When I had this dream almost four months ago, it was the beginnings of global quarantine. In my own life, as also in most of the world’s lives, an avalanche of changing circumstances and arising issues began to take hold over the course of my life that just a few weeks prior, seemed to be maintaining the route I had set during my New Year’s intentions. I remember waking up instantaneously knowing that this odd board and pebbles were symbolic of my own heart, and the stones, these tiny grievances and burdens I had been carrying both prior to and during the pandemic.
Most of my dreams don’t hold as many blatant obvious revelations. A couple weeks ago, I wrote down: “I had a dream I was straight fisting cooked pasta noodles into my mouth, like spaghetti that wasn’t even cooked separately, just shoving them into my mouth.” Or one even one more simplistic, “I had a dream about croquettes”.
Dreams ranging from the mild to the more expansive and elaborate in nature, have a matching system in explanations, ranging from mysticism and prophecy to common introspection. Dreaming is an incredible gift held by ancestors past, and for futures to come. Across many cultures, there’s a harmonic belief that the dreams we have are not just meaningful but can be precognitive. They provide a glimpse into what’s to come by projecting what may already be there in our current life.
In Australian Aboriginal culture, there is the belief that the dream state allows one to commune with ancestral spirits, and witness the creation of life as it happens. In Ancient China, there was the belief that the Hun or soul, would leave the physical body and could travel the land of the deceased.
There is very little extensive scientific research into precognitive dreaming, and there isn’t much at all on what it means to dream. Similarly there is a lack of information on what exactly is the mind, the catalyst from which our dreams come from. Though as humans do, we find ways to interpret the world around us, and the experiences we have during our lifetimes. For many religious groups, dreaming is a means through which the divine imparts wisdom to humanity. What wisdom comes from my dream about croquettes? Probably nothing much, but it’s fun to think and prospect the endless possibilities.
It is more than beneficial to keep a record of the dreams you have both minuscule in significance to the ones you think about a week later during a morning commute. Regardless if someone holds religious or spiritual beliefs, your dreams can lead one to a greater understanding of your internal psychological world as are worth noting. You can look at the state of your relationships, your fears, your desires, or your memories. It is so important to get to know who you are, and what better way than cataloging the subconscious that isn’t clouded by conscious omittance.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate or consistent. I personally write them down in my notes app, whenever I feel moved to. As I sleep with my phone next to me, it’s the quickest way for me to write them down, while I still remember them. Physically journaling though, provides a different sort of intimacy with the self that isn’t quite captured digitally, and is highly encouraged.
To sum it all up:
- Writing down your dreams can be helpful in improving your overall sleep-hygiene
- Creating a dark, noiseless environment (no iPhones!) can help facilitate easier transportation around your dream universe
- Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is the key to longer, undisturbed sleep
- For a cute dream journal, try checking out Muji, Mossery, or Papier
Try to take the time one night this week to make a haven for yourself; light a candle, do a pre-sleep face mask, and draw a long bath with lavender oil for added comfort. I wish you luck on your journey into the self (and maybe the future self!).