7-8-00 10:01:40 -0400 (EDT)
As a child my dreams were bizarre. I often dreamt that my parents were cannibals or that I was being devoured in some manner. I had a severe thyroid disorder which went undiagnosed until I was about 12 - most of my memories, dream or otherwise do not begin until briefly around this period. My parents attitude toward dreams was "it's just a dream" nothing more was said. I didn't much interact with the larger community as a child. We lived on 11 acres adjacent to the 80 owned by the rest of my mother's family and there were cousins to play with aplenty or typically kids would come to my house because I had a "cool, creative" mom.
I began a dream journal when I was in my early teens, it was incorporated into my daily journal that I began keeping when my thyroid disorder was discovered and treated. I began to pay more serious attention to my dreams when I realized they were a perceptive portal into my somatic functions, as well as vivid adventures that entertained me as much as books. My childhood was lonely because I was often ill, therefore the creatures of book and dream and nightmare became imaginary "friends" of a sort. Escapism and alternate realities in which to exist. I also had a few experiences with what I would term precognitive dreaming, where I dreamt something and whallah it would occur a day or week later. Often these were very disturbing as I would dream of a death or accident and then it would be validated as an actual occurrence on the news or television. These frightening glimpses into psyche and future were the main hinge to why I began paying closer attention as I got up into my elder teens.
Dreams to me are an alternate reality - but one intimately related to my own psyche. However, I do not, because of experience, discount the possibility that an individual can impact themselves on the dream of another. I also think they serve at times as relief from day residue, stress both mental and physical as well as a means of initiatory or spiritual communication. However, I fully contend that only I am able to discern what's what in my dream state and that books and journals of others merely serve as inspiration or in rare cases keys to an extended societal dream theme sort of thing wherein our environmental and societal conditions impact our personal dream symbols and mythology.
I am aware of an area of myself that most people ignore or pass off as silly mind goo. That gives me an advantage because I can access areas of myself others don't. As I write on dreams regularly and share them with my husband on an almost daily basis I suppose you could say they are of great relevance. I often translate my dreams into poetry, short fiction or works of art as well. My waking and dreaming times are separate, but almost of an equal importance because often I tend to be awake and aware in my dreams. However, one must realize that you can only pay so much attention to your dreams or else they become consuming and their information over analyzed. Sometimes a dream is "just a dream" as my mother would have it. They key is in tempering your dream studies so that you have a balance to them and keep objectivity.
For a further look at my view on dreams, you may wish to check out my website on Suite 101. The topic is the Art & Science of Dreams. http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/science_of_dreams
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