Tag Archives: dream content

Turkey dreams

Q: Does eating Turkey really help increase serotonin and make my xmass dreams more funky.

Firstly Turkey does help increase serotonin intake BUT this does not make xmass or thanksgiving dreams more funky.

If your like me, on xmass or thanksgiving day you eat some Turkey, some bread, fruits, salads, a few roast vegetables, maybe some dip and a whole lot of pudding. While you do this you often also drink a substantial amount of Alcohol.  Which as you can guess is actuly our “weirdness” culprit. Alcohol is the big doosey here for every article on how serotonin alone (not just Turkey) affects sleep, depression, etc., there are at least 5 more on Alcohol and its effect on sleep and the body. Your weird xmass dreams are also effected because, you guessed it, you expect to have them. You have had them in the past, everyone talks about them and its a fun way to spend the rest of the day when you wake up and don’t feel like moving as you have a pretty full belly.

Turkey and its effect on sleep is partly myth, partly reality. Preprocessed Turkey (like deli-meat) will be different to non-preprocessed (fresh cooked at home) as well, due what they do to processed meat (more salt, more fat, more accessible protein). If you really want a deit that will give you better “happy dreams” I am afraid that 1 meal Turkey is more likely to just give you a case of gas. Serotonin intake is also affected by everything else you consume on xmass day. And the thing is messing around with Serotonin isn’t something we should just do because we like weird dreams.

Serotonin doesn’t just give us the “happy” feeling, it also does other stuff, and having lots of it will actuly make you nuts. Were talking barking-foam-mad-dog mental asylum nuts here. You want to increase and decrease serotonin slowly and not without the help of real doctor or psychiatrist. 

Eating heaps of Turkey for a while may make your feelings, dreams and behavior change ever so slightly, but the serotonin is converted by your body, your body will stop converting it when you reach whatever level is normal for you and the rest will just end up in the toilet.

If you want to change your diet to get better dreams your better off doing, you guessed it, what every health expert pretty much tells you about diet. Mostly fruit and vegetables, medium grain and pulse, some meat and cheese; not to much and plenty of fresh water; Skip out on Caffeine and Alcohol drinks. Although yes alcohol helped you with the “weird” dream, the “weird” dream effect is diminishing. The longer and more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to do damage and cause issues.

Republished due to high search count. 

Fear of sharing

I’ve talked about this before and I have thought a bit about our fears of sharing dreams. In a lot of societies that share information in the way we do, we get this feeling about each bit of information we ingest. We don’t always have to believe it’s a true feeling to have, it’s still there. In the life !of information it’s our feelings and anthropomorphic model of the medium of that information that sets up how we digest it. I’ll show you what I mean.

Imagine that WordPress was a person. What do they look like? What do they wear? What does this tell you about the information WordPress tells you?

Do this again for another source of information, say Twitter. Again does this anthropomorphic model tell us about this medium?

We do this a lot as humans. We create identified models of things we interact with. Some become universal characters whom we share our daily lives with.

To me WordPress is the girl in highschool whose on the magazine, sharing everything she can with everyone. She cares so much about her little articles. Each one is a little pearl. You know sometimes it’s not the best, but you pay attention to it as most of the time it’s a pretty awesome magazine.

Twitter is a group of friends at a table, each talk about something they care and observe. I’m in this conversation as well. Every person can join this group but I have some favorites whom I keep together with. Every now and again we get together and share something really important, but mostly it’s just the thoughts and feelings about today’s stuff.

What does this have to do with dreams? Well one of these mediums is what we call common knowledge or common sense. If they were a person they would be the slightly dodgy guy who sometimes tells you silly bits of stuff that might be true but sometimes isn’t. It’s often very convincing so you listen to him as he’s your elder. One day maybe he says something that everyone seems to believe. Like our dreams are things people can tease us about if we share them. We can be hurt by this as they tell us our dreams are nuts. We are crazy and need to seek proper phychology all consulting. Secretly we believe we do.

This is now what we feel when we think of sharing our dreams. We get scared of being accused of being crazy. We don’t want other people to know we secretly feel like we are the only ones who are actually genuinely insane.

I will share something with you now.

This was me too.

I believed I was nuts because of my dream content.

I dreamed about becoming a girl. I wanted to be one so bad I was a girl in pretty much every dream I had. Mostly I ignored it. Or when it really made me feel bad I told my diary.

I did start to get over some of this fear. I found out that gender swapping dreams are pretty common.
It was my fears that stopped me from sharing them with anyone.

Transgender people don’t get a good wrap in the media. In the 90s the bad press around them was pretty saturating. There was however one moment that stands out for me.

Ace Ventura

This movie is rife with transphobic messages. I was horrified in my little teenage self I would be treated like the trans woman in this movie. People out to proove in every possible way I wasn’t a “real woman”, and never could be.

It pretty much set me back about 15 years. I was just staring to properly question my gender. The context of the medium, a movie, helped clinch the message home. Being transgender wasn’t a good thing. Of course I now know it to be a bunch of shit attempt at horrid comedy designed by a immature fuckwhit (not sorry). That being said it gets my point accross, the medium changes how we interpret and analyze our message. Our own personal dream medium is no different.

Not all transgender people have gender swapping dreams of course. In most of my dreams gender isn’t even a factor. Others it’s the main element. And it’s completely fine for it to be so.

There are a lot of people who ask me if any particular topic in a dream is normal. I have to say again, normal is a concept. It’s another one of these media we humans have created. My normal is vastly different to the normal of a Kenyan boy in his early teens, as an extreme example. My normal is also different from the guy in a business suit sitting across from me on the buss.

Being worried about dream content is kindof normal, as long as it doesn’t cause you anxiety or insomnia or fear of sleep etc. In those cases seek help.
Otherwise normal is just a word.

The medium of dreams should be as free and unfearfull as possible, and if others make you scared of sharing your dreams, they are not the people to share dreams with.

For the night is dark and full of fiction

It’s been a very long time between posts on my dreaming interpretation blog. I have written quite a bit of poetry over at my other blog (http://enigmagarden.wordpress.com/) though, so if you feel like some poems / fiction sometimes inspired by dreams head over there.

My counsellor asked me the other day how common it is to have dreams influenced by popular culture. I.e. Game of Thrones (title for the reference).

Again, and again I come back to these sorts of questions “how common is it?” Well no one knows for sure. The complete lack of properly done, authorative peer-reviewed statistics on dreams is clearly the biggest issue. It’s probably also really hard to do. New “Apps” such as SHADOW and the like try to help, but either fail the ethics test so hard it’s not funny or are clearly not independent of commercialism, lack basic privacy tests or even worse contain upfront bias. The good stats on “commonality” of dreams are a long way off.

Being the massive cynic I am, it’s probably better just to answer “generally it’s very common”.

Putting aside any other inputs, fiction is a pretty big one, and readings, watching, listening to fiction will make it appear in your dreams. Your brain will use fiction to create dreams. Why? Well from my theory of the evolution of dreams, animals started dreaming because it was a safe way to practice hunting or surviving when you had this otherwise useless downtime. The creatures that got creative with this and used it to help them work out problems as well did even better. Sure enough with enough evolution stories would replay in dreams pretty easily as you could use the lessons from the stories as learning. It would help imprint the lesson into your memory and make it even more useful to you. It helped a lot if you could relate to the story.

This is why stories that show even pretty nasty aspects of humanity like Game of Thrones will be replayed in our minds. We can relate to the characters, even the nasty ones. We can learn what they learn and work out how to do better. So that’s why fiction replays happen in our dreams very commonly.

The Collective Conscienceness Myth?

“Hey Darakat, what do you think of the ‘Collective unconsciousness’ thing?” – John Dreaming in Northcort

I will be the first to admit my fist thoughts were sceptical. And it pretty much stayed that way.

The issue we have here is one of a diverse set of different beliefs of a theory that wasn’t actually entirely completed and then was subsequently corrupted by others. Jung is credited with the main stay of this idea appears in The Archetypes and the collective unconscious (1990, Routledge). Jung died before he was able to entirely finish it, hence it’s posthumous collective publication. As I said most people thing of what Jung meant is actuality not entirely correct.

Firstly collective unconsciousness is in itself a concept that relies on one psychological idea, which is that we are all connected in some means. This is what Jung actually meant, but as far as I am aware he also said that we have a personal unconsciousness. Both are of equal importance. The unconsciousness is also poorly understood by both Psychology and more solid Scientific fields. We don’t even know exactly where our consciousness ends or begins. We can’t even seem to fully know if we actually have free will or not. This is pretty deep stuff to be messing around with without fully understanding it. Instead, most of the time, we are doing the best we can. This is why Psychologists need to do so much school, and then do some more after that, and more, and so on. Life long learning is of upmost importance to such fields.

Then take this and shove archetypes into it. Jung only describes a small number of archetypes, 5-6 at most. Why then when you look in New Age books on them do we see sets of 12-15 or even more? Why do they look suspiciously like a cross between a Rider Wait Tarot deck and Campbell Newman’s Mono-myth?

I’m sorry but you have just been conned, at least to some extent.

I love some New Age things as much as the next person, I practice modern paganism, I have more than a few useful Llewellyn Press (though they have got better in recent years) books on my shelves, and I own more than my share of what I will politely call “complete and utter crap” texts. Problem with most new things is that when it gets popular, it becomes moneymaking. Commercialism essentially takes over and someone in marketing wants to make as much as possible. Thus they add what Jung wrote, to a bit of stuff that people expect (here enters the Tarot and Newman’s Mono-myth), add a bit of water to wash it down, call it Collective Unconsciousness Applied or some such and wallah. You have a best seller.

These books are not a complete con, though. There worth of course depends on the author and the level of research that goes into them. Most are average, but more not so great stuff is being put into “print” thanks to electronic publishing. Wait a while for that to die down, and when electronic publishers get a bit wiser about the stuff they produce, there should be a some ok stuff their too. Best bet is to use your own judgement, do some self-research on the myths and connections for yourself and decide what is and is not useful for you. This takes time and work, but if you are wanting to use this method effectively your going to need to do that at some stage anyway. The best bet is to do it first up, as then you don’t need to re-do everything again when you work out you went wrong, or find its no longer helping.

We hear all the time about the collective mind, thought and ideas that form from our greater cultural inter-activeness. Our culture and religion and everyone we interact with of course influence our dreams. Dream contents are pretty much influenced by everything, including dreams themselves. One can’t help thinking though from a more scientific approach to it?

Well its not something that is easily gained as I mentioned Jung didn’t quite finish the idea to its fullest. The other issue is that what we are looking for may not be possible with current technology or ability. Dreams are often subjective, and although a Cow may mean something relating to milk and the mother and protection to some, it may also mean love and kindness, or it may be a symbol of destruction and inner turmoil. Jung often taught that context was also very important, it was not just the collective unconscious that was being used but the dreamers own conscious and the context of the dream. For example the dream may have a Cow playing a guitar in a field of poppies while bombs from B57’s are dropping into the fields exploding into large puddles of green milk. The cow is playing KISS and wearing white and black makeup. If the dreamer had just been to a KISS concert and usually works as a milkman who has had to deliver a lime flavoured milk due to a promotion that includes a local sporting team whose colours are green and logo is a B57 bomber featuring a guitar playing Cow, its not to hard to work our where this dream has come from. If however the dreamer is normally a lawyer who has been caught up in a particularly bad divorce case, it’s a bit different. The collective unconscious comes in more when we are looking at the archetype within a dream and how they may influence or be influenced by the dreamer and what this related to.

Is it normal? Question set.

  1. Have dreams with a TV character in it?
  2. Yes. I have The Doctor from Dr Who, Tintin, Sgt. Bilko, and many more as frequent charters in mine and I am certain it is normal for TV watches. The fact a lot of shows use archytypal characters may help them become dream characters but thus far no study has been done.

  3. Have dreams where I am a different gender?
  4. There is no reason this has to be cited as abnormal. I would say certainly normal. Some concerned people may say this might be a sign of a gender identity disorder, but this requires knowing the individual dreamer. I would say dream on without worry, if you genuinely feel like your waking time gender is in need of thought and potential questioning or are already aware of a desire to be a different gender, then there isn’t as much need for concern of the dream content. Some may seek professional advice.

  5. Have dreams with only music/audio in it
  6. Yes. Pure audio dreams are commonplace for the blind. Those with vision would only need be concerned if all dream recall is audio after an event or injury. This may indicate trauma or other issues. See your GP.

  7. Have surreal dreams
  8. Yes. Always surreal dreams are often very awesome to read, but if your concerned a sleep Dr may help.

  9. Always be lucid
  10. Rare, but possible. If you don’t try to be lucid, then take note your a very rare person indeed. It’s something to celebrate, not be afraid or annoyed at.

  11. Never have recall
  12. Possible, but often due to lifestyle factors. Try different things, different recall methods. Don’t give up. See GP if you have been trying for a long period of time. Some drugs interfere with recall, especially recreational ones. Best avoided in my opinion.

  13. Predict futures
  14. Very unlikely. Possible but without documented evidence verified from independent parties. Even skeptical then.

Addressing the “Reality” of dreams

The irony is that we all hear voices and see “things that aren’t there” when we dream, voice and visions that we do not consciously create — and that’s considered socially acceptable. It’s even acceptable, to a certain extent, to look to dreams for personal direction. But for some reason, it’s not acceptable to listen to these voices or pay attention to these images when we are awake. And the truth is that everyone hears voices and sees image in their head, even when we are awake. And I would hazard that most people have had the experience of hearing a voice or seeing an image which did not feel like it came from them. And sometimes these experiences feel … well, significant… (http://allergicpagan.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/hearing-voices-or-talking-to-ourselves/)

Talking to “yourself” is nor acceptable as it is mentally unstable
We could talk here about historical context, or even anthropology, we can take this to deep psychology or philosophy. The entire argument is a logical fallacy. The problem is that this is in fact http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies). Having a considerable level of experience with mentally ill people in my real life I get REALLY annoyed at this argument. It essentially is saying that your mentally ill and therefor everything you say, do, or have ever done is therefor able to be ignored. Which you can tell is a pretty stupid argument. Especially when we consider the fact that most of us, especially those who read this blog regularly will know that dreams are in fact a projection of our unconsciousness mixed with a dash of psychology and some neurology thrown in for good measure. If you think people who interact with their own unconsciousness are nuts, then I will kindly show you the door.

Reality
Now we have addressed that, we will go onto the idea of “Reality.”

Philosophically speaking our dreams are real. Not a different state or reality or a different universe. They are real. You experience thought in them, conduct actions, do things that seem as “real” as they do when you are awake. Sure they seem pretty silly, or “weird” (https://dreamsandbass.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/you-are-not-weird/) when you are awake. Last night I had a dream that combined George R.R. Martins Song of Ice and Fire with Rob Balder’s and Doctor Who. We are not talking fully surreal (see
: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhXGxNgv6Iw ), but its pretty cool. Maybe some might say its “Weird” but we have already pretty much dismissed this sort of talk as logical fallacy and even possible bullying.

My point is, don’t worry about how “real” things are unless you really want to get a decent headache.

You want to interact with your dream characters? Do so. No really do. Interacting with your dreams is a awesome thing to do. Are they really spirits or gods? I can’t really answer that one for you. That really up to you, and I know what I think (but this is not a blog about my opinion on those matters, my opinions on religion/philosophy go elsewhere). And to be perfectly honest I think we have better things to do then argue ourselves into yet another debate that goes nowhere.

Worried about your mental health? Seek help from your GP or psychologist.

Time

Time in dreams is a wondrously wired thing. Linear dreams are not uncommon, but non-linear, time jumping, time meshing and chaotic time are are as equally common. Often time is not so much a character in a dream but a means for the mind to get as much into a dream as possible. Most of these terms are used by dream loggers and mappers in their journals.

Jumping:
Also called skips, this is when a recorded dream has a gap in the chronology or plot that is hard to make sense of. Sometimes this can be a memory or recall issue with the logger. Sometimes the dream just skips for no reason, or as threads of dream plot interact. Jumping is more a phenomena then a part of interpretation.

Non-linear:
Linear time is a fairly common thread in life, non-linear however occurs in dreams. This isn’t so much about time jumping around, as a way for a dreaming mind to deal with complex subject or concept. It might also be the influence of TV and nonlinear plots in the media. It’s more likely though that nonlinear dreams influenced TV plots than the other way round. These dreams could be about any number of subjects.

Time meshing:
Ever had a dream with a Pharos, a astronaut, a 1950s London policewoman and a priest from Benedictine France in the 1820s?
Just me then.
This is a brief description of time meshing, a number of different time periods that don’t belong in the same plot. Dr Who may have a case to answer for some of these dreams. History researchers might also encounter such dreams with large frequency. These dreams are in general about memories of the dreamer.

Chaotic time dreams:
Dreams with no time aspect at all or were time is jumping so much to make sense could be common for some. Time is not always important for dreams to be helpful for your psychology. Focus is more likely on the characters or objects in the dream.

Clocks as a recall or lucidity function:
Reading clocks in dreams is a common means of obtaining lucidity as a Reality check (RC). LeBarge mentions it in a number of books. The method involves making sure you always check clocks twice, or thrice every time. This habit becomes usual and when you do it in a dream you become lucid. Some practitioners find it easy, some find that clocks occur less and less frequently in dreams as they container to practice. Combined with other RC methods its generally useful.