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To sleep, perchance to dream...

Since adolescence, I have been on a spiritual journey, seeking to find the purpose and meaning of my life. We are all on that journey, of course, in one way or another, each taking an individual path. Mine has led me down some interesting side roads. Dreams have engaged me since my first nightmares as a young child. Wolves chased me, with the dreams triggered by my mother’s transferred anxiety over a pack of gray wolves that had crossed the field behind our house. As an adult, I kept coming across references to dreams and their meanings while pursuing other subjects, so I endeavored to examine my personal dreams by starting a dream diary. Each morning I would record my remembered dreams. I discovered that I could enhance my memory of them by utilizing a template, letting my thoughts run through a set of both general and specific keywords that would trigger remembrance. I did this for twenty years. I have notebooks filled with dreams, as I don’t believe there were more than a dozen times that I didn’t recall at least one dream a night. For twenty years, every single morning, week after week, month after month, year after year, I doggedly recorded these recollections of nocturnal trips into that fantastical realm. (Being a Taurus, I’m naturally disposed toward intractable stubbornness, ha, ha). My dreams ran the gamut from those where I seemed a vaguely realized participant to those so real and immediate that I felt I was physically experiencing the events. Most dreams appear so wrapped in symbolism that it is difficult to interpret fully their meaning. However, I began to see patterns and soon could decipher codes to a limited degree. It’s difficult when there are so many layers. What is the meaning of a lamp on a table? Does the lamp’s size matter? What is the significance of it being lit or unlit? What is its condition? What is the lamp’s relationship to everything else in its vicinity? You can drive yourself crazy by over analyzing a single dream element. What I looked forward to the most, but had rarely, were out-of-body experiences and lucid dreams, where you become consciously aware within the dream. Realizing that you can direct your dream, go any desired place or do anything within the dream world is exhilarating. In the end, I concluded that the dream world was an interesting and valuable resource to understanding one’s daily life, but that I did not have the passion or time to devote to it. I ended my journal several years ago with no regrets, as I still dream and still remember, only no longer keep a record.

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