Ever wonder about the meaning of an exceptionally vivid dream or one that keeps nagging you the next day? Chances are, that sort of dream carries a hidden message ready to be decoded. Wise Dreams shows you how to understand your very personal dream symbols and how to decipher the concealed wisdom and insight your dreams bring to you, using extraordinary examples from a decades-long dream journal, including dream messages on:
revelations on nurturing the self
communications from loved ones
encouragement from dream guides
visions of the future
Wise Dreams includes a form to help you decode your own dreams.
It was a dream which finally convinced me to write this book.
I was with a group in a small, pleasant room, listening to a professional-looking man read from a book. We were listening thoughtfully, although I don’t know specifically what the content was. Since his voice was giving out from all the reading, I said with some hesitation that I would take over the reading if that would suit everyone, although I felt that my voice was not as strong or as appropriate for the task as his. At the same time, the room had become a small section at the top corner of a large auditorium, where many people were seated throughout the room.
I realized that to be heard by everyone, I would need to be down on the stage, so I made my way carefully down the bleachers which served as seating for the auditorium. As I descended, those in distant areas were standing up and moving down to sit closer to the stage. It seemed that all of the people there wanted to listen to the reading I was going to give. When I got down to the stage, I was handed an odd old microphone of dubious ability to project what I would be reading, but it was what I had to begin with, and that’s what I would use.
When I awoke and contemplated the content of this dream, I realized it was telling me that many more people than I had imagined would like to hear what I had to say. I might have some uncertainties about my first effort at communicating my thoughts to a large group, but in the dream I was willing to proceed anyway. This book is the result of my choosing to listen to that message and to believe that what I have to offer will serve a need and add to the quality of life for many.
What I have to offer is the understanding I have acquired from keeping a dream journal for twenty-four years. During the process of recording and contemplating my dreams throughout this time, I have learned that many carry valuable guidance, and it is very worthwhile to work out the messages they contain. My life has been enriched and enlightened through the many small epiphanies I have gained from my dreams. I would have missed many opportunities for personal growth if I hadn’t learned to search my dreams for their hidden messages.
I cannot imagine that I am unique, that I am the only person having wisdom offered to me via the mode of dreams, nor that seers, sages and prophets of legend have a monopoly on this source of wisdom. I believe that each of us has the capacity to receive assistance from our dreams—all that stands in the way is lack of awareness of this built-in guidance system and knowledge of the means to access it. With this book I hope to bring this innate resource to light and demonstrate how to access the wisdom of dreams, for the enrichment and encouragement of people everywhere.
In their natural state, everyone dreams. Some people remember their dreams; others seldom do. Most pay little attention to their dreams if they do remember them, or discount them as temporarily amusing but essentially meaningless.
Humankind has sought to explain dreams throughout history, but determining their purpose or specific nature has been elusive. Sigmund Freud was the first to posit a theory of dreams in 1900 as being an attempt of the mind to fulfill the wishes of repressed desires; this was the accepted standard for decades.2 In the nineteen-seventies, Hobson and McCarley concluded that dreams are nothing more than a physiological phenomenon of our brains trying “to make sense of meaningless neural impulses.”3 Evans and Newman, expanding on that theory, decided that dreams are a clean-up of the day’s mental clutter, analogous to a similar program on a computer.4 A more insightful explanation was offered recently when Earnest Hartmann reflected Freud contemporary Carl Jung’s attitude toward dreams5 by stating his theory that dreams are simply another part of our mental system. 6 Hartmann further proposed that dreams employ our right-brain functions to connect new emotion and memory in visual symbols that allows us “to build and rebuild a meaningful emotional memory system, which is the basis of our individual selves.”7
A long time ago, I had a visionary friend who held the belief that mysticism—her term—and science, the philosophies of which seem so far apart, are simply going opposite directions on a circular track and would one day come together and agree. I believe that I am seeing her vision coming true: science is indeed approaching some of the very real but seemingly ephemeral truths with which I am acquainted. It is an exciting time to be alive!
My approach to dreams is based solely on my experience of discovering wisdom in those of my own. I have learned that many dreams offer a more direct look into my nature, and often contain useful insights as tools to fix what’s not quite right. It is from this perspective that I offer my thoughts. So I will turn to the subject at hand.
There are dreams that appear to mean very little or nothing at all, like those that mirror the theme of the movie you saw last night or feature some recently-discussed subject. Then again, there are dreams whose scenes or images seem to haunt you throughout the following day, that are exceptionally vivid, or that make a significant impression in some other way. Dreams that seem to seek your attention are those likely to carry messages of wisdom and insight from your inner self.
Becky Cleland holds a Master of Library Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has served as a librarian for more than twenty-two years at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, North Carolina. In addition, she performs Appalachian and Celtic folk music with Ben Seymour, her luthier husband of thirty-three years in the duo known as Gingerthistle, and makes pottery under the label Greenthorn Pottery, as well as creating jewelry for herself and friends. Becky and Ben share a home in Tryon, North Carolina, with two cats and lots of nature.