We've all woken up in the morning and said something like 'I had a really strange dream!' or 'My dreams were really vivid last night'. Sometimes we don't remember our dreams, only an emotional residue that tells us that we've been experiencing something. You can receive communication in your dreams, go on wondrous adventures, meet people and animals, even think up new ideas and have revelations. You can ask for spirit contact in a dream or make a request for information, but it's not guaranteed you'll get it. Your physical body needs sleep for survival, but spiritually it could be a link to the great mass unconsciousness. Past lives can also be seen. Whatever your dreams are about, it's likely you've got one foot in the spirit realm each night and you don't even realize it.
Physically we need sleep to survive. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is dream time. It accounts in adults for about 20 to 25% of sleep per night, that's about 90 to 120 minutes. It's broken up into about four or five dream periods and becomes longer toward the end of the night. Everybody dreams, but not everybody remembers (pwpotential.org).
Dreaming is very important to keep healthy, in fact we wouldn't survive without it. Numerous studies of individuals deprived of the REM phase of sleep have been conducted. Participants were allowed to sleep for an equivalent amount of time during other phases of sleep but awoken during REM sleep. During waking hours they became increasingly disorientated, depressed and agitated over a few days. Daily functioning became impaired, they ate more, and experienced temporary memory loss and impaired concentration.
During sleep, your conscious mind and human brain are resting. Your spirit is free to roam. It is believed that in the spirit realm thoughts become thought-forms – that's thought-made realities. In our physical world we live in space-time, that's where time is fixed, running in a straight line - and we can move about in the space surrounding us. In the spirit realm, the opposite is true. It exists in time-space where you can move around in time, but space is fixed – meaning you are free to change and manifest space at will through thought and without having to travel around.
There are three levels of consciousness – the unconscious, subconscious and conscious. The unconscious contains information we don't necessarily know and can't readily access, that's past lives, hidden knowledge, the higher self and so on - we cannot get at it without asking or trying. The subconscious contains information that we already know, but is still difficult to access. We need to attempt to bring that information to a conscious level in order to review it. The conscious level is our working daily level. The dream state may be your conscious self (while dormant during sleep) transferring concepts to the subconscious, and the subconscious in turn communicating back to the conscious. The unconscious too receives communication from the subconscious during sleep while uploading to the mass unconscious or Akashic records.
One theory about dreams regards the 'data dump' – that dreams are the residual effect from your mind uploading, or dumping data, to the great mass unconscious or Akashic records. Ultimately for the benefit of the infinite intelligence of the universe.
Dreams occur in time-space and not space-time where our physical body resides. Therefore, your spirit can explore without the constraints of time or physical space. The images you see tend to be manifested for you and this is the likely result of your spirit self, or higher self or selves manifesting them for you. Dreams can also be excerpts from past lives or extracts from the Akashic records (the great mass unconscious of collective memories, knowledge and experience).
Dreams can also be, as most of us believe, residue from our daily lives playing out in scenarios. For example, if you have been experiencing success at work, you might have a dream that plays out a scenario where you find great success, and feel the resulting enjoyment. This could be your subconscious presenting this to you as a reward for all your hard work or as motivational encouragement to keep trying hard.
Psychology theories explain that dreams allow you to process and make sense of the world that you experience while awake. Symbols and 'archetypes' can arise (discussed shortly) that represent aspects of your life. You can learn these symbols, write them down, and learn what they represent to you, for next time. This will help your subconscious communicate to your conscious mind – and you can make better sense of your dreams.
Many believe that your soul leaves your body during dream time. If so, then it is attached by the astral cord, a shimmering elastic like cord attaching your spirit to your body. Perhaps the most vivid of dreams and the most far fetched, involve leaving the body for astral travel, where distances need to be covered to reach a destination within the physical realm. It may also be true that your spirit manifests actual realities within the spirit realm via thought form. Bringing the realities to you, rather than your spirit visiting them itself (that is, yourself).
Meditation is vitally important for a balanced mind/body/spirit complex and opens the gateway to intelligent infinity. Sleep is unconscious meditation. Given that our mind and body falter so badly without dream-time, it may be true that our mind/body/spirit complex requires it on the most fundamental level in order to survive – meaning we need cosmic energy and universal love to survive on this earthly plane. Through dreams, even those who do not meditate get their daily dose of cosmic energy, keeping their mind/body/spirit complex replenished with vital energies for physical survival.
Carl Jung (1875 – 1961), a student and friend of Sigmund Freud (the father of psychoanalysis) perceived that dreams are a manifestation of the human unconscious mind trying to communicate messages to the conscious mind. Jung believed that this was frequently a product of the unconscious mind gaining information form the 'collective unconscious', that's the unconscious mass bank of information uploaded from all things through all time, or the Akashic records. Jung supposed that because the collective unconscious is so extremely and inconceivably vast, the human unconscious mind must make sense of it through symbols in the dream state. He called these symbols 'archetypes'.
When you dream, it doesn’t always make sense with the greatest of clarity, and many have come to rely on the interpretation of dreams to make sense of them. Archetypes, as Jung believed, is the subconscious mind's effort at interpreting the mass unconscious, for your conscious mind to observe in dreams, and then for you to consciously interpret. So an archetype would be an icon that represents a specific thing or aspect in your life. But it must be specific to you.
Here is a popular book on dream interpretation: The Dream Dictionary from A to Z: The Ultimate A-Z to Interpret the Secrets of Your Dreams
We are all different, so we must make sense of our own archetypes. Just like a medium gains information from spirits through clairvoyance by using a series of predefined images and symbols (archetypes) which the spirit puts before her in her mind's eye to make sense of – you can build up your own bank of archetypes to help you effectively interpret your dreams.
So, make a diary. Dreams are quickly forgotten upon waking, and the longer you leave it the less chance you'll remember. Write down the features of occurrences in dreams without interpretation. Do this morning after morning and examine any patterns that emerge. Compare it with events and goings-on in your daily life, then at the back of the journal make lists of archetypes and what they mean to you. For example, to you, hearing music means success, walking in a garden means relaxation, seeing your mother means to take comfort and so on. In doing this you are giving your subconscious mind a language in which to communicate with you that you both understand.
Spirits can visit you in dreams seeing as you are stepping into the spirit realm! Loved ones that have departed are most frequently reported. Before you sleep you can ask to make contact with a dear friend or relative. Don't expect a visit the same night, it usually occurs within the next few nights, or even weeks. As time is not relative in the spirit world, it is less of a concern for our spirit friends, and sometimes it's hard to 'get there on time' within this earthy physical illusion. If you do meet a spirit friend in your dream, talk to them as if you would normally in life. If you can take control of your dreams all the better.
Can you wake yourself up from a dream? Many people can do this, for example, they sense a dream is turning negative or turning into a nightmare - so they attempt to wake themselves up. Are you ever consciously aware that you are dreaming? Often times, if you think and learn about dreaming enough, you can begin to gain consciousness during a dream state. For example, walking through the grounds of a manor house in your dream, you may suddenly think 'wait-up, this is a dream!' and decide to use it to your advantage. You can then consciously decide on questions to ask entities that you meet, and you're more likely to remember the answers by consciously taking control.
If you can consciously take control of your dreams, through practice you can ask for contact with departed relatives and friends, even your spirit guides and perhaps your higher self or selves. You can then engineer your questions and remember answers and events.
Your higher self or selves, and spirit guides can use dreams as a way of subconsciously imparting notions and ideas to you that you require for your journey through life here on Earth. For example, your spiritual awakening can be initiated in the very first place through sleep, by spirit guides planting a notion or a question into your subconscious which sprouts like a seed and grows throughout your consciousness like a tree.
Finally, let's look at past lives. It's possible that your unconscious mind will impart some information to your subconscious mind on occasions, and try to convey it to you through scenarios or symbolism. This information or experience could have been gained within a previous lifetime. The forgetting at birth prevents you from recalling past lives for good reasons, but selectively your spirit self or spirit guides might feel it appropriate for you to regain some of this information while you are incarnate here on earth. Alternatively you may simply be penetrating the forgetting process altogether and your past lives are rising to the surface of your consciousness and you are beginning to remember.
In summary, know that you have an awesome doorway to the spirit world each night, and although there are measures in place that prevent you from too easily utilizing the experience, you can try to make the most of it. It's a gift enabling you to relive your spirit origins while you are here in the Earthly realm.