The significance of dreams has long been a subject of debate.
Are they a way of accessing our subconscious? Do they tell us things we're too afraid to face in the real world? Or are they merely a biological, or even evolutionary, function with no higher purpose?
Here you'll find many resources helping you to decide what they mean to you and, if you're interested, how to make the most of them.
Lucid Dreaming & Astral Projection
Whether you've never heard of lucid dreaming or astral projection before, or you're looking to develop even further, this section is for you. Here you'll find books, websites, and learning materials for controlling your dreams.
Exploring different types of dream philosophies and answering the major philosophical questions regarding dreams (Owen Flanagan):
1. How can I be sure I'm not always dreaming?
2. Can I be immoral in dreams?
3. Are dreams conscious experiences which occur during sleep?
4. Does dreaming have an evolutionary function?
Sigmund Freud – Dreams
Considered the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) revolutionizes the study of dreams with his work The Interpretation Of Dreams.
Introduction to Sigmund Freud’s Theory on Dreams
Freud believed the dream to be composed of two parts - the manifest and the latent content. The manifest content can be thought of as what a person would remember as soon as they wake – what they would consciously describe to someone else when recalling the dream. Freud suggested that the manifest content possessed no meaning whatsoever because it was a disguised representation of the true thought underlying the dream. A fascinating website with lots of information.
The Philosophy of Dreams
- Sri Swami Sivananda
The analysis of dreams and their cause by psychoanalysts are defective. They maintain that the cause of dream creation lies in the suppressed desires of the dreamer. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj is an Advaita Vedantin of Sri Sankara’s School, he is unique in that in his life and teachings he synthesises the highest idealism and dynamic practical life. His “Divine Life” is ideal life, ideal and divine only because it is possible to live it here and now.
The School of Natural Health Scientists
The School of Natural Health Scientists run many courses on Circadian and Ultradian Rhythms, Sleep & REM Deprivation, Lucid Dreams, Remembering Dreams, Sleep Disorders and many more topics. They began their operation in 1997, they are friendly and professional and have trained many thousands of individuals in their chosen Natural Health Fields.
"I was going through a very hard time in life. I was feeling pretty low about everything and I felt as if I could no longer go on. I was at the crossroads in life but it felt as if I was going to have some sort of breakdown. One night I could see myself sitting on the end of my bed with my hands buried in my face. I just felt like I couldn’t handle things any longer and I was crying. I was looking at myself doing this and it was very strange. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw an overpowering bright light in the corner of my room. I’m a very nervous person and I get frightened very quickly so I didn’t want to automatically face the light, but something inside my head told me to face it - so I did. When I did face it, my whole body was thrown into the light and I was showered with an amazing sense of love. A love beyond words. Nothing mattered anymore. Through the light I saw what I believe to be Jesus Christ. We didn’t speak through words but through thoughts. He told me that everything was going to be OK and that I didn’t need to worry anymore. There was even a touch of humor from him. Since that experience I was able to move away from some difficulties I was having at the time."
- Lindsay, 28
"I was in bed asleep and then all of a sudden I woke up. I was lying on my bed and I was looking up at the ceiling. At the bottom of the bed we had built-in wardrobes but all I could do was look up at the ceiling. I then noticed my daughter was on the ceiling. I thought “Oh my goodness, what an earth is she doing there”. Although I was wondering what she was doing up there, I was very aware that I was not the slightest bit scared at all. I then realised that actually it wasn’t my daughter, it was actually me and I was looking back at myself. So my eyes were looking back to my bed and it was actually me that was on top of the ceiling. Then all of a sudden the body disappeared and I went back to sleep. A very peculiar experience and not sure whether it was a dream but indeed very spiritual."
- Sheila, 60
"I was half-asleep one morning and I heard a voice say: 'You realize you're alone now, don't you?'. I immediately woke up and for some reason ran outside the house to find my uncle (adoptive father) lying dead outside. Not the happiest thing to report I know, but definitely spiritual."
- Ray, 41
"Sometimes I would have dreams of people trying to get into my house. In my dream people would be screaming and yelling at me to get in, they would do anything from kicking the door to threatening me. I would be so terrified on the other side, sometimes the door wouldn’t be locked and they would be trying to push the door open and I would give all my strength on the other side to not let them inside. But the thing is, when that would happen I would either yell or call the police. Sometimes I would just ask Jesus to help me, all of a sudden the dream would vanish or I would wake up. Maybe there is something or someone is trying to tell me about my life."
- Rebecca, 22
"After my mother died I had been feeling guilty and blamed myself for a few things. One night I was wide awake in my bed. I saw my mother! She looked incredibly well and told me that she was fine and that I shouldn’t worry. I went to wake my wife up to tell her that my mother had entered the room, but as soon as I did this she vanished."
- Peter, 70
"I dreamt I could see my grandparents’ house which I had never seen before. I saw beside the fence a very old damaged Bible. I was so angry at the person whoever it was who put it there. In real life I would never do this - but I threw the Bible into the brook which was only maybe seven big steps from the house. The water was not deep. But the Bible stopped only close to the water. The wind opened the pages and I saw my sister’s photo there. I was very amazed because my sister died and I saw her smile at me, like in real life. The smile was real indeed. I was running to get this photo but the wind turned the next page and I saw a faded picture of the Virgin Mary and the sentence was: ‘In your hard time seek refuge in me’. The sentence was not in my Slovakian language but I understood the translation. The same morning I called my mum in Slovakia. I said to her that I had a dream about my sister, but I didn’t say what about. She said that she had the dream as well. There was dead silence between us, but the silence can say more than words sometimes."
- Jana, 32