Mirror Magazine


Keep on dreaming…
By Thiruni Kelegama and Vidushi Seneviratne
"Harry Potter whizzes by on his broomstick trying to catch the snitch during a game of Quidditch in the presence of his arch enemy Voldemort.

"Bridget Jones is seated on the ground with her diary, crying because Mark Darcy is getting married to some other. Near her is a scale where she keeps measuring herself and moaning aloud because she's too fat!

"And..... I'm in the middle of it all eating candy floss!" states Nilushi (18). "I was enjoying myself- and then to my disappointment, I Woke Up!"

It was just another dream.

What dreams signify
Abandonment - If you are the one being abandoned in your dream, it signifies the contrary. You may experience reconciliation or recovery from trouble or illness. Remember that the unconscious is attempting to compensate for an imbalance in the conscious. For example, if you are overly attached to someone in your daily life, in the dream you may be abandoned by him/her. This is an attempt by the unconscious to make you aware of your dependency.

Attack - If you are being attacked, you may be feeling vulnerable in some areas of your daily life. If you are doing the attacking, it may be that you are releasing some of your frustrations and anger.

Blindness - Those that are literally blind cannot see the world around them. They can only percieve images with their mind's eye. When dreaming about being blind, the message is of a pyschological and spiritual nature. Blindness in a dream suggests that the dreamer may be unwilling to see some aspect of his life. There may be a blind spot in his mind or soul. This definition also applies to darkness and sleep as dream symbols.

Drowning - Dreaming about drowning is common and it invokes fear. However, it has a positive effect. This dream suggests that unresolved emotions, old issues or a current crisis might overwhelm you. It also suggests that a release of the old is necessary in order to emerge and begin anew.

Kidnapping - This is really an omen that you will receive unexpected news and be successful against your opposition. However, the main theme in abduction dreams is fear. The dreamer may be afraid of losing his safest and most familiar surroundings. These type of dreams may be most prevalent during stressful times of your life when the future is somewhat uncertain.

Marriage - A symbol of commitment, affirmation and encouragement to grow in self-awareness. If you are not married, but would like to be, this dream could be a form of wish fulfillment. It could also represent a great deal of awareness whereby the dreamer's conscious and unconscious elements are becoming more familiar and are embracing one another.

Running - It could symbolise the energy levels, the strength or the force that you have to get through life. If you are running without a goal, it may be an indication that you need to slow down in your everyday life. If you are competing, you need to consider your recent rivalries and realistically look at the current challenges.

Vampire - Suggests that the dreamer may be feeling overwhelmed in some areas of his life. It may help you to identify the source of your negative feelings and helplessness. You may be currently concerned about ethical or moral issues and may be experiencing anxiety as a result. The vampire represents personal attributes or negative habits that drain energy and resources or cause emotional exhaustion.

Violence - Violent dreams are relatively common. Violent dreams reflect the confusion and conflict that the dreamer experiences in daily life. Dreams with violent themes suggest that the dreamer has unconscious negative emotions such as fear, anxiety and anger.

On average, we spend about one third of our lives sleeping. So while dreams may be only hallucinations they are also fantastic journeys we make in our sleep.

Dreams help us to understand ourselves if we know how to interpret them. We often wonder why dreams occur. There are several explanations. It is a fact that we all must sleep. We constantly go through cycles of sleep and wakefulness. During each cycle, our minds must be active. To keep our minds active during our sleep, we must dream.

The origin of dream interpretation is unknown but some of the earliest examples of dreams being interpreted are in the Bible. Joseph interpreted the dreams of a cup bearer and a baker and his analysis had a tremendous impact on not only Egypt, but the future of dream interpretation.

Later on, Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, furthered the theory of dream analysis. According to him, dreams are formed by disturbances of the body. It was in the mid-19th century that another great philosopher, Sigmund Freud came up with a truly revolutionary theory. He believed that "the purpose of dreams is to allow us to satisfy in fantasies the instinctual urges that society judges unacceptable."

Interpreting dreams is a very powerful tool. Deep secrets or concealed feelings can be revealed by analysing a dream. For instance, when one dreams of being an alien, it could be that he might be feeling unsure of his or her new surroundings. If, on the other hand, he sees an alien in the dream (whether extra-terrestial or foreign), he might be feeling that his life is being invaded. A couch in your dream symbolises being in love.

But, it can also mean laziness (which is the more likely of the two!).

Being fat in your dreams could mean that you possess a great wealth of knowledge but a pig, could mean that you are greedy and dirty.

Niluka (18), a university student in England who is on holiday here relates a strange dream she had recently. She dreamt of scenes which were a mix of her life here as well as there. "I was working at the hopsital attached to the university, when I got a call and someone asked me to come and see Spider Man (which is currently being screened here, and which she was planning on seeing last week). Once at the theatre, I realised that they weren't showing it, and went back to my flat. Suddenly, I got a call from my music teacher (who is in Sri Lanka), asking me to come and see her immediately. I got all worked up and then suddenly...I was rudely awoken!

Interpreting a dream
Before going to bed, try to keep a clear mind. Having many thoughts on your mind can distract you from remembering your dream.

Take a pencil and a piece of paper and put it next to your bed.

Try to lie down on your bed and not think of anything.

Close your eyes slowly and continue to keep a clear mind. You will eventually fall asleep.

If at any point during the night you wake up, write down all you can remember from the dream and then go back to sleep.

When you wake up in the morning, you should write down everything you remember from the night's dream.

Underline the main aspects of the dream.

On the back of the paper, write down anything that has been disturbing you, causing anxiety or joy.

Study the symbols given to check what they mean!

So do dreams reflect the happenings of our day-to-day life? Do they affect people psychologically?

Prof. Nalaka Mendis of the psychiatric department of the National Hospital of Colombo, disagrees. According to him, dreams have absolutely no psychological effect on people. "They could reflect what is happening to them in their lives. But new research has proven that these Freudian theories on dreams can't be accepted anymore," he said.

Yet, though dreams may not carry any psychological value, interpreting them can still be fun.

"I was walking along a sandy beach and the moon was just rising. It was truly romantic. The sea was calm and I could feel the sand beneath my feet. I was in heaven. Suddenly something appeared out of nowhere. The creature was grinning maliciously. I screamed and started to run. Running towards me was the guy next door whom I had liked for ages. He rescued me and we rode off on a midnight black stallion...", sighed Anusha (18), still carried away by the dream she had a couple of nights before.

In our dreams, we may be trying to figure out this mystery called 'love'. The dream may be wish fulfilling or compensatory in nature.

Dreams are an essential part of our lives. They enrich our imagination - a good laugh is always called for after a particularly funny dream; though a nightmare could keep you shivering for weeks.

Therefore, all that is left to be said is a word of warning: Dreams are not meant to be taken seriously! So..... dream on.

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