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Do you ever find it strange that you just shut down for eight hours a night, perform some degree of healing on your...
Do you ever find it strange that you just shut down for eight hours a night, perform some degree of healing on your body, completely decompress from the stresses of your day, and visit an alternate reality where nothing makes very much sense?
Dreaming is about as strange a phenomenon as a human being is capable of experiencing, yet we all take the psychedelic state we enter every night for granted. The real question is: what effects do our nightly journeys have on our waking lives?
The answers may surprise you.
It’s good to start with what you know. Dreams occur in the deepest stages of sleep, REM state and deep sleep. Your physiology goes into overdrive, increasing heart rate, body temperature, and brain wave patterns. Meanwhile, your body goes into paralysis, except for the muscles needed to breathe and move your eyes.
There is no general consensus on the purpose of dreaming, only theories. The most famous of these is Freud’s theory that dreams exist to act out impulses suppressed in our everyday lives. According to this view, the study of dreams can yield insight into your personality and perception of the world. Others postulate that it’s part of the process of turning short term memory into long-term recall.
Many religions and veins of spiritual thought hold dreams up as highly significant, even prophetic. In biblical literature, God repeatedly speaks to human beings through dreams by warning of impending danger, giving instruction, or revealing the future.
Buddhists also hold that dreams can be psychologically or prophetically significant. And some sects even believe that life itself is a dream, so once we die, we’ll awaken to a higher reality.
So how does this affect reality? Through belief.
The interaction of dreams and reality comes through the power of human belief. By holding an idea we find in a dream to be true, we give that idea power to affect our reality. Just like the placebo effect, if you believe a sugar pill is curing your ailment, your body has a good chance of responding to that belief and healing itself.
Dreams are connected to the imagination, and all human innovation begins in the imagination. So who’s to say that dreaming and reality are really separate at all?
How do your dreams affect your reality? Let us know in the comments.