Tag Archives: dreaming

Dreams interpretation for you

If you are so inclined, and can’t get a decent answers by looking in the archives of this blog, I am indeed happy to do interpretation of dreams. Please note I take a no nonsense and somewhat scientific approach (as much as possible as I can). Also note I will not publish interpretation. Ever. 

I may however publish any questions about dream interpretation and dreaming in general. 

I am also aware this is the first post on this blog in a long time. 

To ask comment or email. 

Anne

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. 

Not a volunteer in dreams 

Previously I discussed how Jung thought (probably based on evidence at the time) that dreams were a Involentry state. I can’t find any evidence to say he changed from this view. It’s somewhat ironic that a lot of lucid dreaming texts use Jung as a basis for the archetypal interaction with dream characters. Lucid dreaming being, in of itself, purely voluntary. 

Modern Psychology tends to say that Jung was rather flawed in his views. Considering my reading of his texts I can see why. No one is above criticism, though it should if at all possible be objective. 

The creation of the archetype is however somewhat more. One can see such a concept being applied in the way people interact with myth, story and many of the way humans use their ability to  make sense and classify things. 

A “sense” of a area is assertianed, a set of attributes is listed and in short order a list of these things as they appear to be is made. This could be called a list of archetypes in this case. This leads to the idea that a archetypes might be a way to interact and understand the phenomenon of characters or concepts within dreams. 

This isn’t wrong. Let me say that clearly. It’s just not the whole picture of how a dream or a dream character could be interpreted. Like a novel character or like a tv show character. It’s a way of working out perhaps how you might continue to interact within a lucid dream or who you might tell your dreams to.

The point is, though their are many other factors to dream interpretation and that the Jungian method is unfortunately not entirely fool proof (though I am not aware of one that is). 

If you do use it, use it at your own risk and in the knowledge that dreams are not always Involentry. 

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.

Making your own dreams

There are a lot of people who want to make a dream. Some want to re-dream they have had before. Some want to dream about a particular thing. Some want to not dream about a particular thing. They all have one thing in common. Lucid dreaming.

Write it down
The main stay of dream control before anything else is writing your dreams down. This is essential. The more recall you have the more you will be able to see what LeBarge and other lucid dreaming advocates call dream signs. This is basically about recognizing what your doing right now is dreaming. You will know as you spot a dream sign or you will do a reality cgeck out of habit. Reality checks are things you do when your dreaming. There are heaps of apps out their for mobile users (no I am not endorsing one or the other). For fans of pen and paper you can use that too. I put my dreams into my journal I use for day to day entries, but I will also voice record them to write later as I have limited time on weekdays (like most of us). I find the best time to do a reality check is every time I look at a clock or every time I look at my phone. Making it habitual is not an issue for this method. There are others, but most fall back on reality checks as a first line of defense for lucid dreaming. The only exceptions are Ophiels little system, the “light body” method (which is also in his book but it’s in pretty much every book I have read on the subject of lucid dreaming/astral projection). Ophiels symbol method is just a very specific reality check method. LeBarge is a much more modern and down to earth writer and his methods are both easier and don’t patronize you. I recommend his texts as being a better source for beginners.

Sleep
Ok this sounds stupid but it’s not. The number of times someone has told me they don’t get recall or can’t get started and I have worked out that they are not sleeping properly is pretty huge. The best thing for making your own dreams is making sure you have a good sleeping pattern. It’s possible that this is really hard or impossible for you. Maybe for medical reasons, maybe for work reasons. Either of these can mean using a method like LeBarge’s Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) method is better for your circumstances. Seeing a Sleep Doctor may also be a good idea.

Write down your day
This I find is pretty essential to recall. When I am slack about journaling, I slack in dreamland recall. So writing down your day is important to get better recall for me. You may find it’s not the case for you though. I think it’s a pretty good habit to get into as a lot of what you dream ends up coming from your day. You will also find writing your fantasies and desires really useful as well. The dreams you have that relate to those will increase with the amount you write about them.

Visulistions
The next step is making what you want to dream about possible. You want to make it as real as you can. As you learn your dreams you will learn what your dreams think is possible. It may be highly based on reality or highly based on fantastic worlds. Don’t feel disappointed if your one who dreams the first. This does not mean your not creative and you can’t make your dreams yours.

You need to write about the thing you want in the dream. In your dream journal. This is important as your mind will associate it with dreaming. It needs to be as well described as possible. Draw it. Paint it. Make a model of it of you can. Imagine what it smells like if it has a smell. Imagine what it tastes like if it has a taste. As much as possible you need to see it clearly in your mind. When you do a reality check imagine it in your next dream. When you go to bed imagine it next to your near your sleeping place. Eventually it will be there in your dream. It will have as much reality as you can give it.

I know quite a few people who imagined lucidity potions. They did things like drawing the flask is was in, then they imagined it’s taste and look and so on. Some even made a drink like it and drank it before bed (if you do this don’t make it contain a stimulant or other drug). They soon had this drink in their dreams and as soon as they drank it, they were lucid. Others imagined warrior figures who helped them fight their nightmares away. Some imagines dream rooms, painted a door in their bedroom and pretended to open it every night until they dreamed it and could go into their dreamworld through it. Still others took a clue from literature and went into their wardrobe every night, even sleeping their sometimes till they had a dreamlike space beyond.

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.

Lucidity and truama

I was wondering if you could do a post about trauma and dreams; and how to stop them. I’ve heard that lucid dreaming is good- but every time I try I end up in a hypnagogic state. It really affects my sleep as I want to try meditating but it’s difficult because of the stuff that pops up. So maybe a post on lucid dreaming and trauma to block nightmares would be helpful…

Firstly I want to say how its great that you feel comfortable asking this question. Trauma and getting over trauma isn’t easy and I know it can be very difficult for some people to even admit they are having issues with trauma, or dreaming in general. A lot of people just enter a state of conformity, for generally the worse. I also want to say that this is a trigger warning for those who are still not ready to deal with this yet.

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