Monday, January 09, 2012

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes... Or Something Like That


I have always been fascinated with dreams. During our dreaming states there's a shift in reality, from our actual world into the dreaming one that is so smooth that we rarely, if ever, notice it. I'm trying very hard not to reference Inception here.

(image by Strany)

Many cultures believe that dreams are signs from God, that he gives you wisdom or answers questions through them. I don't believe I have ever had a dream that I felt directly came from God, but then again He works in mysterious ways and is probably much more subtle than I imagine and than most of us would like. Crick and Mitchison's theory about dreams basically says that there are cells that are encoded memories memories within the cortex of the brain that when triggered, or sparked if you will, set off all of the cells around it. When all of these cells are set off they prompt a sort of recall of all of those memories, which causes an overload and then malfunction. This would explain why so often we can pinpoint certain events, people, or themes in our dreams that came from things from events the day before. Crick and Mitchison believe that due to these misfirings and overactive cells we then began basically hallucinating, which causes the random dreams that have little to do with reality. Personally, I'd like to think dreams are bit more magical, a bit more divine than that explanation, but I could be wrong. As with many scientific theories I have to believe that while the scientists might be right in their findings, at the end of the day, God is the one that created us and even though something can be explained scientifically (to appease our simple, earthly minds) that doesn't mean it doesn't also have a deeper, and perhaps higher purpose.


(image by escaped-emotions)

Regardless of the reasoning or cause behind dreams, I just love being able to live in an alternate reality for a little while. My favorite kind of dreams? The ones that have absolutely nothing to do with my reality. I like the ones where I'm flying over a town, like Peter Pan, going higher and higher and seeing the world from a bird's eye view. Or the one where my boyfriend is a vampire, yeah... that actually happened. It's like when you can get lost in a fiction book for a few hours, except it's even more real and you're thrown right into the middle of it. How exciting. It's a writer's dream! I've used several dreams I've had in books that I'm writing, because how great is it to be able to pull from something that you feel actually happened right in front of you? It's truly is magical.


I also like the dreams where I connect emotionally, the ones that are so incredibly real that it never enters your mind that you might be dreaming. I think those are the ones that make the biggest impact, the ones that when you make up make you say "Thank God that was only a dream," or "I just want to go back to sleep to keep dreaming that dream!" Because I feel like dreams like that have a lasting impact on our souls. And the fact that we have that ability to feel true feelings about situations both mentally and physically, maybe situations that we've never actually been in, in reality. How is it that we can be tricked so thoroughly into believing these things are actually happening to us, so much so that we can be emotionally drained when we wake up? It's fascinating. Our brains are fascinating. And dreams are truly fascinating!

(Image by strany)

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