I’d like to ponder another question. Actually it’s a variation on an old question but is of a quite similar nature. Which came first, the dream or the dreamer? It’s often quite interesting how different ideas, while wandering around the corridors formed by the gyri and sulci of the brain, bump into each other, stop for a chat and realise they have a connection. Just such a rendezvous occurred over coffee and croissants in the echoey chamber of my cranium this morning, before it became more populated as the thoughts of daily life woke up.
I was thinking about dreaming, a subject fresh in my mind because I’d only just been doing it. Having recently discussed the similarity of our inner reality that we define as imagined to the outer reality and the possibility that the latter is in fact a projection of the former onto the fabric of the quantum soup in which we live, I wondered how powerful and significant a place dreams might have in this cosmology.
That was when this idea rounded a squishy cerebral corner and met an old thought form from some reading I did a while ago on aboriginal mythology. According to the aboriginal creation myth the Earth was originally a fairly featureless plain, beneath the surface of which slept unknown life forms. This time was known as the dreaming, or the dreamtime and from it came all life, the sun and pretty much all that is. Does this imply that before life there was some form of consciousness or multiple consciousnesses that dreamed our consensual reality into being? Could our world have been created from the thought forms and dreams of ancient ancestors? If this is so, could the dreamtime to which we return each night still be a place of creative power, a place where we might construct thoughts that could inform our reality. In earlier posts I have explored how blurred the boundary is between our inner and outer, our imagined and tangible realities and the interplay between them via our perception. So where might dreams, the unbridled creations of our immensly powerful unconscious minds, fit into this? Ok, so I decided to ponder quite a few questions but stick with me, this might be fun.
It’s interesting that there is some dispute as to whether dreamtime is an entirely adequate translation by Europeans of the aboriginal word, alcheringa that is used in this mythology. The word has a meaning that encompasses “eternal” or “time outside of time”, a kind of anywhen. Suggesting, perhaps, that dreaming may take us to an eternal place of creation.
So that’s a little about one of the most intriguing roles dreams play in the magical world of one particular mythology to which they are quite central. What can scientists tell us about dreams? Strangely, and quite enticingly, there seems to be very little that science can agree on as certainty relating to dreams. In fact, rarely have I seen scientists indulge in so much conjecture as I do when I read studies and papers on this subject. These wonderful journeys into a realm where the laws of physics don’t apply and we are released from the constraints of our human biology are not surprisingly quite baffling to both fields of investigation. Excellent! Dreams are quite mysterious and mystery is where I feel quite at home. It has so much more potential than dogma.
Over the next few days I’ll be exploring the different forms that dreams can take and the potential for experimentation that may lie within each of them. If you’d like to join me, perhaps you might also like to increase your chances of remembering your own dreams to enhance the depth of your participation in this part of the journey. If so, here are some tips for doing this.
1) Wake up without an alarm. An annoying and intrusive noise will quickly demand your focus making it likely you will forget your dream.
2)Make a conscious decision to remember your dreams. Deciding and reminding yourself, before you go to sleep to remember your dreams will increase the likelihood of doing so.
3)Keep a dream journal and keep it by your bed where you can see it. This way you can write down your dreams before you forget them and it’s presence may help you to maintain your awareness of your intention to remember your dream.
4)Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Both interfere with REM sleep, which is when dreams take place.
5)Take vitamin B. Choline bitartrate is a b vitamin that is particularly associated with dreaming, but remember, any B vitamin should be taken with a vitamin B complex to avoid imbalance.
6)Eat melatonin containing foods. Bananas, cherries, oatmeal and almonds are good sources.
7)Don’t move! Seriously, dreams are stored in the short term memory. Any movement or activity will shift your focus to external stimuli and the the dream will dissolve annoyingly quickly.
8)Drink Calea Zacatechichi tea. If you really want to go for it this is an ancient herb native to Mexico where it is known as the dream herb. Taken an hour before bed it will produce vivid and often more meaningful dreams.
I hope you’ll come along on a dream voyage over the next few days. What else could I possibly say now other than,