5-8-00 20:09:32 -0400 (EDT)
I don't think that the community I was raised in denigrated dreams in any way; neither did they worship them. I think that "modern society" is actually fairly open to the concept that dreams are another way of thinking; many people have said that a solution to their problems came to them in a dream, or an idea came to them as an image in a dream. The first dreams I remember having (before my fifth birthday) were nightmares. Many of my dreams as a child were strongly influenced by the cold war mentality; us vs. them in apocalyptic settings.
I have always been interested in dreams, ever since that first nightmare I still remember so well. As I realized in college, though, dreaming is a different way of using your mind, and that's what interests me. I first realized this when I solved a math problem I was working on in a dream. It was really exciting, and kept me on a high all day.
I don't believe that dreams foretell the future in any kind of magical sense. I have had powerful experiences of deja vu that felt as though I remembered something from a dream, but I've come to realize through repeated events like this that they are not what they seem. The magic is in the experience of deja vu; it's one of our minds' foibles - the occasional false alarm from our neurons. Of all of the dream journals I've read, and all of the claims I've heard, I have never seen slightly convincing reports of recorded dreams that came true.
I do think that dreaming can give you insight into future events, but only in the same way that, if you put your mind to it, you could do while awake. The exciting thing about the way you do it in your dreams is that your imagination creates images that you absolutely perceive. Your mind feeds back on itself; creating the environment it experiences.
The world of dreams is not one we should live in forever; it can help us become whole persons, but it is a solitary activity and delving too deeply can be anti-social. On the other hand, it can be fun to indulge once in a while! Everything in moderation, as they say.
Dreaming helps you become more mindful of your feelings, and accept your own actions. Thinking about your dreams gives you insight into how other animals, and perhaps other intelligence (if we ever meet or create it) might think.
This was a good tool for me to collate and staple some of my thoughts about dreaming! Thanks! I'll put this up in the Dreams category as a temporary cool site. Unfortunately, the dmoz categories aren't instantly propagated to AOL, Google, and the many many other directories based on it, so I can't guarantee it will show up anywhere else before you take the survey down (please let me know when you do).
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