A Thought About Dreams, And Broken Sleep

So I laid down for a little while to nap (or sleep through the night, whichever happened first). And sure enough, again, right about at the two-hour mark into my nap, I woke up…with a mind loaded with dreams. I could’ve gone back to sleep but since I’ve been wondering about the notion about whether or not we’re actually supposed to have broken sleep (as I’ve wondered before here at this post – which shows some evidence for it), I decided to get up and write them down while they were fresh in my memory into a blank dream journal that’s been laying around and unused.

I suppose, along with everyone else, I too, wonder if dreams mean anything or if they’re just some random chemical by-product of the brain. If they are the latter, this post is moot, but what if they belong to the former category? Furthermore, if they mean something, are we supposed to reflect upon them during the “Broken Sleep” period? Because this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten up after only two hours of nap/sleep with a brain full of fresh dreams.

Here are my thoughts on dreams: if they have meaning, they are going to fall into one of two categories (or a combination of both). Either one, dreams have a collective, universal, or archetypal meaning to everyone, or their meanings contain a specific interpretation to the individual. It may be true that snakes are a powerful symbol in this regard, and they could hold a symbolic meaning that blankets all of humanity. However, it may be possible that what a snake means to the individual could override the archetypal symbolism.

In other words, let’s say you grew up with a pet snake that you absolutely adored. And you continued owning snakes your entire life because you love them and they mean something special to you. Now, let’s say I got bit by a poisonous snake as a child and nearly died. Clearly, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that our individual emotional outlook on snakes could override the archetypal interpretation of what the symbology of a snake means in our dreams.

Or, it could be a combination of both. Perhaps our individual emotional interpretation, if strong enough, overrides the universal meaning of that symbol, but, by default, the universal archetypal interpretation holds true should we hold a neutral emotional reaction to something.

At any rate, I wonder if there’s any value in recording them. I know for a fact that by writing your dreams down in a physical journal will spur more and more dreaming. This in turn has the possibility of leading one down the path to experiencing lucid dreams, dreams in which the dreamer’s control is absolute of the dream, instead of the dream being in control of the dreamer. This, is also a path some individuals take when attempting to experience Astral Projection, or, an Out-of-Body experience, or (OBE).

Journal => More Dreams => Lucid Dreaming => Astral Projection. I know for a fact, from first hand experience, that the first three items in that progressive list hold true. How much time it takes varies, of course, from individual to individual, interest levels, effort, intent, etc…

I’ve heard it said that our subconscious, should it speak to us in dreams, is just like a person…ignore it long enough and it’ll surely begin ignoring you, which will manifest in a lack of dreams. But, if you start listening, just like a person, it’ll begin talking again. All you have to do is open yourself up to the listening part. Whether or not this person says anything of value is up for interpretation.

Perhaps there is inherent value in recording our dreams simply from a physiological perspective. Maybe we give our brains a good work out by going through the mental gymnastics of recalling dreams from the gossamer webbing that conceals them from us. Maybe it does something like exercising, growing and strengthening neural pathways or something. We know that keeping the mind active with little puzzles and engaging recall games helps stave off things like dementia…maybe dreams can offer the same benefits?

What if nature designed us to dream, have broken sleep, and use that broken sleep to reflect on our dreams to keep our minds healthy? That’s an interesting question, I think.

Who knows…maybe even there’s an entirely new undiscovered phenomena encoded in our dreams as some sort of pattern that would show itself over time which would allow us to learn something profound about ourselves. Or, maybe dreams are a throwback to some sort of survival mechanism before we as a species learned to write.

An interesting subject for sure.