Most of the time, when I start writing these posts, I usually have a problem in mind I want to solve and I usually have a general idea of an answer. If not, I’m still, usually, able to conclude some sort of answer by the end.
This time, I have a question which I have no idea what my answer might be, and not sure if I’ll find an answer, but I’m going to start writing because maybe something will reveal itself to me.
Anyways, let me start.
I want to start off by talking about dreams. The question of dreams has been one questioning humanity, probably even all life forms, since, well, who knows when. I say that because it’s quite clear that animals dream, to some extent, as well. It’s not to say animals sit down and question their own dreams, but what’s I’m trying to get at is dreaming is a universal phenomenon not unique to humans, so it seems.
Which this leads me to another question that I don’t even have close to an answer to: why do animals dream? I’m not even going to attempt to answer that one. God only knows….
The question I’m facing today are two separate questions, actually.
I’ll start with first one. Why do we forget our dreams, usually in a matter of seconds upon waking up?
There’s certainly been a variety of answers to that question, and I don’t know if I’m going to provide anything new to this. Some have said it’s because dreams aren’t real, so your brain has no practical use for remembering them. Makes sense. Technically speaking, it’s true. Dreams aren’t real, that is, if you’re looking at it objectively. Although there are exceptions in which people will often have nightmares about a particular event in their life, say, the death of a family member or whatever. But then again, I don’t know I would quite call that a real experience. But I digress.
Another critique of dreams and why we can’t remember them is because we’re not paying attention. That would be the Freudian and Jungian approach. We don’t take active steps in trying to remember them. That includes lying in bed after you wake up and meditating on the dreams and then jotting them down in a journal you keep close to your bed. And I’ll agree, this certainly helps.
They say, we can remember all our dreams if we were to try hard enough, but as we become more enlightened and rational-minded, the value of dreams is no longer valid, and the answer to the question is becoming increasingly more the first answer: dreams have no value/meaning.
I say, my answer to the question stems from both answers. Some dreams aren’t worth remembering, but at the same time, some are, though, because we don’t take the necessary steps in remembering them, they can never be later interpreted.
I’ll tell you why I think this. These past few weeks, I’ve been paying quite a lot of attention to my dreams, in response to Carl Jung’s significance he places on them. And, while I’ve been doing this, I’ve been able to recall quite a few, actually! I would say, in a given week, I can recall about 3 or 4 dreams, which is a lot, comparatively speaking.
But here’s the funny thing. When I wake up, and if I don’t remember anything, at first, I’ll dismiss it as “not important to remember”. But then the strangest thing happens. Throughout my day, when I’m just doing whatever, out of nowhere, my dream suddenly pops up in full clarity. At first, I had dismissed it, only to be forgotten, but now, it’s right there, seemingly, beyond my control. Why?
To makes things even more confusing, this hasn’t happened to all of my dreams, but only a select few of them. Some of them random, but that’s if you’re not paying attention. Then I was able to see the recurring theme.
It’s almost like, I was trying to forget them, but my unconscious said no! And rushed them into my conscious, usually unexpectedly.
It’s quite terrifying and fascinating at the same time.
But with all of this, it still raises the question, why?
And as I’m reaching the end of this post, I still don’t have a good answer, but I want to come up with one, in hopes that I will have something to compare it to in the future.
I think, it’s because I haven’t quite solved the problem my unconscious is presenting to me. And you’ll read more about that in my post about “Siegfried” from Carl Jung’s Collected Works in which he goes into detail of a particular dream he had.
And this hypothesis I’ve stated above, it seems to be on the right track, but it doesn’t quite solve the problem, particularly, my own problem. That is, the recurring theme in many of my dreams, and Jung might call it an archetypal theme, but still, that doesn’t help. Other than that, there seems to be no relation. I can’t place a valid narrative on my recurring dream that actually makes sense in relation to my life and the problems I face.
Its kind of like this: what does Harry Potter and Star Wars have in common? Objectively speaking, almost nothing. But, archetypally speaking, it’s a hero’s journey, which makes them fundamentally the same.
I’ll tell you one thing, my dreams, they’re not a hero’s journey, insofar as I can tell.
I do stay hopeful though. While I’ve been on my quest for wisdom, especially these past few months, I’ve actually found real, comforting answers in the writings of the past.
It’s almost like, the problems they were facing then, and the problems we’re facing now, although they might seemed different at the surface level, at the core level, the archetypal level, they’re not, and that’s because, they’re not.
And it’s just mind boggling why we, as smart as we are today, can’t see that.
It makes you wonder, are we actually becoming smarter, and if not, then what is it we are becoming?
Thanks for reading