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Is dream interpretation real? My two dreams aren’t so sure…


Is dream interpretation real? Good question. I’ve wondered about dreams since I was a kid, but until recently, I was uncertain. But now, I know. That is, dreams tell you some things about yourself, maybe even things you don’t like. Here’s how my two dreams muddied the mirror in a way that made sense.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

By David Stone

Assorted Ideas, Large & Small

Telling this story easiest lies in laying them out, my two dreams, side by side, and asking what they have to tell me.

Sort of.

Dream interpretation is the process of assigning meaning to dreams. Although associated with some forms of psychotherapy, there is no reliable evidence that understanding or interpreting dreams has a positive impact on one’s mental health

Wikipedia: Dream Interpretation

Is dream interpretation real? Dream #1

One of the most commonly reported dreams is when the dreamer can’t get to to a destination. It’s remembered probably because it leaves a mark of anxiety that carries over into wakefulness.

Anyway, it’s one of my most frequent themes, as far as I recall, as it is in Dream #1.

In a darkening city, I lose my keys. And I’m somehow separated from my wife. This leaves me on my own as I try figuring out my way home.

That’s unusual because, in these kinds of dreams, my destination usually isn’t clear. But this one is.

It’s also odd because the place I want to get to is not where I live. It’s my childhood home. As if using a crude GPS, I see a curving trail I must follow.

Just for the record, my childhood home was torn down, decades ago, because the world, then, needed one more auto junkyard. In truth, though, it probably would’ve fallen down by now on its own.

Long story, but as it works out, I know where it is but not how to get there. It seems close but remote.

“Not reaching your destination in a dream tells you that your hopes for the future have been put on hold at the moment. This dream also indicates you have spiritual goals and aspirations that need to be resolved in order for you to move on with your life. … It is yet another omen for spirituality and depth,” according to the Dream Dictionary.


Is dream interpretation real? Dream #2

My second dream, tumbling in the very next day, is a favorite because it’s flattering. And it completely contradicts the first one.

Is dream interpretation real? This gave me something to chew on.

Nothing special happened. I’ve had more fun — and more drama — in other dreams, but this one was different.

You see, in this dream, I’m the king of cool. I’m confident, the smart guy others come to for guidance.

Now, I’ll be frank. I’ve never been the cool, confident guy anyone comes to for advice. But there I was dishing it out.

And I see no special meaning in this dream. At best, it gives me a fleeting opportunity to polish my ego, until reality slaps me awake.

So, what’s it all mean, Jack?

If dream interpretation is real, it creates contradictions because, on back-to-back days, I got very different messages about myself.

This brings me to something I’ve long suspected…

Going back to a thrilling dream I had about twin sisters during the libidinal peak of my early years, I got the idea that dreams are stories we tell ourselves for entertainment. That dream was entertaining, and at no expense.

Sure, dreams may tell us things about ourselves because, as storytellers, we pick themes that excite us. And that includes nightmares. Check out the movie listings. Many of us like getting the hell scared out of us.

With our senses, braking systems that they are, mostly shut down, we can do magical tricks with time, place and people. And what we do with that can tell us a lot about ourselves, including the parts we’d prefer ignoring, even though our friends won’t let us.

So, is dream interpretation real?

Yeah, sure it is, as long as we remember that dreams are not given to us, that we make them up and direct them ourselves. Other people, gods, demons, etc. can’t get in our heads, not unless we open the door and let them play too.

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