Is there more to dreams? We have often found ourselves wondering the prospect of our nocturnal adventures and the obscure secrets they bury deep. In spite of being subject to countless works of art and literature, the origin and purpose of dreams still remains uncertain.
We know that dreams occur during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep accompanied by a significant amount of brain activity but the reason for this cryptic rise in consciousness during the deepest level of sleep is a mystery. Freud’s understanding of dreams as manifestations from the depth of subconscious or the concept of dreams being the residue of incomplete thought processes, the winding down of the brain device do nothing than to heighten this mystery.
So, why do we dream at all? If we look back at the nature, we are bound to find that nature has reason for everything that exists, every tiny subtleties has its own significance in the bigger picture. Every tiny functions of human body mechanism have been crafted for aiding our survival journey. Thus, it’s only natural or perhaps even inevitable to question the significance of dreams. Experimenting with dreams on the other hand is quite a tricky business for our science. Looking into our own dream experiences, we often find the dream experiences beyond words or logic which unfortunately is beyond practical science as well. Dreams have been associated with various phenomenons on the other end of natural science with references of obscure concepts of astrology, afterlife or supernatural. Ranging from perplexing fairly tales to equally baffling metaphysical ideas, countless intrigued minds have ventured to dig deep into the mystical dream experience. Unfortunately, every such quest into the depth of human mind has lead not to a golden key to unlock the mystery but into deeper mazes of questions and obscurity.
So, you may be asking yourself now, what is the point of stating obscurity? What exactly is the point of talking about the secret of dreams knowing that the key doesn’t exist? Well, you may not actually open the door without a key. But there certainly are ways to peer through the keyhole into the depth of the other world, into the realm of a dream experience. Agreed that science doesn’t actually vouch for it but one has to also accept that science doesn’t indulge in adventures. Adventure is after all a matter of individual undertaking without the essence of consensus that science demands. You don’t need to actually believe that dreams have a secret to venture for a singular nocturnal adventure and be part of an extraordinary experiment with dreams.
The difference between dreams and reality is not the nature of events underlying our experiences; it’s actually the way we perceive it. In simpler terms, in our real life we realize that we are experiencing an event and that gives us the freedom to judge the happenings with our pragmatic scale of logic. In contrast, dream experience is the utter lack of the realization that ‘I am dreaming’ or ‘I am experiencing something’. This essentially means that if one has a complete realization that ‘I am dreaming’ within a dream event, it leads to a logical paradox of our perception and induces a dream state called ‘lucid dreaming’. The concept of lucid dreaming is not in fact that far-fetched as you may have been thinking. We all have experienced conscious or unconscious episodes of ‘lucid dreaming’ somewhere in our dream pattern. Just remember some of your nightmares or some unprecedented occurrence in a dream followed with a sudden realization that ‘It’s just a dream’. It’s not actually a full-fledged lucid dream but such realization that usually occurs at the end of dream settings is what you will be trying to achieve with this experiment.
What we are essentially trying to do is to interpose a dream sequence with a real perception. Just remember that a dream will no longer be a dream if somehow we let our mind realize that whatever is happening around is not real. This concept of ‘dream interference’ has been recently showcased (somehow dramatically) in the movie ‘Inception’. In fact there are a whole bunch of movies based on this concept. Anyway, as accessible as this realization may sound, it’s an extremely tricky job to train your mind to interfere its own dream projections. It actually requires a subtle training method and persistent experimentations to approach anywhere near the secret of dreams.
The foremost step is to learn to remember the ‘dream plots’ as vividly as you can. Now, here is an interesting fact. There are people who say that they never remember their dreams and even people who say that they do only remember a few ‘dream plots’. In reality, we see a lot of dreams in a single session. The reason we don’t remember them all is because brain knows our priorities. Normally dream experiences are wiped off from our memory in the lack any practical use. So, what you have to do is to let your brain know that you are interested in your dreams. The best time to indulge in this quest is right after waking up. As soon as you wake up, close your eyes and try to remember as much of the ‘dream plot’s as you can. You can also keep a dream journal. The point is to think about your dreams more often signaling your brain to change its priorities.
Gradually, you will be experiencing a more vividness in your dream and an efficient recall of the dream plots. Now, you are ready to enter the second and final phase of the experiment. As you will be discovering more about your dream patterns, you will realize that there are few recurring themes. These can be anything, objects- persons or certain situations. Choose few of such recurring themes that aren’t ordinary and use them as ‘anchors’ between your dream perception and reality. Remind yourself constantly that you will know that it’s a dream when those anchors manifest within a dream plot. After considerable training and persistent experiments, you will someday be part of a dream event where you fully realize that you are dreaming. This transition of perception is usually a scary experience accompanied by unexplained lighting and distant echoes of sounds. But when the transition is traversed, you will be in an extraordinary dream cum reality situation where you will be able to advance the plot of your dream to your liking. You will have full control in your actions within the dream plot and essentially, you will realize how it’s like to peer into the keyhole of the secret door.
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