Food for thought: Dreams

I am probably one of those many people to wake up and literally say the words “It was all a dream”. Of course I would never admit that I am simple minded; my cognitive process (just a smart word for thought process) is very complex, and hence I dream. A lot. And not just recurring dreams (repeating dreams) but also dreams full of symbols and confused messages, that has nothing to do with real life. Now, being a Believer of the Creator, a few years back, I used to think maybe, this is God’s way of pointing reality at me, or maybe I have a higher sixth sense power than most people to be able to guess or assume what becomes true. Logically, I denied to believe that I would have any such powers. I do not believe in astrology or any mind controlling powers. And yet, my dreams did not stop, nor did the fact that they highlight real events. And so, to find out more about this “power” of mine, I turned to interpreting dreams.

What does Mark Shelley’s Frankenstein, R.L. Stevenson’s The Strange case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, Stephen King’s Misery, E.B White’s Stuart Little and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre have in common? They were all inspired by dreams. Yes, I was surprised to find out dreams are not just mysteries of the mind but also,  were turned into master piece novels by creative writers. And to think letting imaginations run wild!
Let me give you an analogy now. Computers have two kinds of memory, a temporary memory called RAM and a permanent memory called Hard Drive. While the computer is on, RAM stores data that you enter and that can be audio, video, documents which can be constantly accessed and modified, but the moment we turn off the computer, unless we have saved it on our permanent drive, anything stored is RAM is lost. And therefore, it is advised to always save files and applications before shutting down computers. I bet now you are wondering, what does that have anything to do with dreams? Have you ever thought that when you sleep, every bit of information that you have thought about, seen, heard and felt is being stored in your brain as a temporary memory in the form of dreams? This is why, religions and sometimes psychologists asks us to pray before we sleep, in other words, clear your mind before sleeping. That way, entire collections of data that you have collected as a human being is cleared off from your mind, seldom letting you have dreams and nightmares and to give you a good nights sleep. Just like when you close all applications in your computer and shut it down like a good citizen instead of pulling the plug (like I do sometimes) so that the computer behaves well next time. 
From personal experience, I found out, dreams can be very useful tool to reflect on who we are. Have you ever sat for a moment to think, why you took a certain decision? was there a choice that you did not see at that time, but now you do? are you happy with the choice you made? do you regret making that choice? would you have done it differently? would your life be better or worse because of that choice? and last but not least, are you happy with yourself now that you see the consequence of your choice? Tough questions right? And yet, we all find ourselves in the maze of such questions everyday, maybe not for giving up KFC for a healthy meal, but for life changing decisions. 
Numerous times I have found myself asking questions along these lines and no I did not get a answer I was happy with always, sometimes I did not even get an answer, but I learnt to know myself better. I learnt from my mistakes and I learnt to justify my own actions and be satisfied, maybe not happy, but just satisfied with the decisions I took. Then again that’s me…but who are you?
The Internet is a one of those annoying elements in our lives which knows too much. I mean seriously, there  are hundreds sites out there with dictionaries to point out the meanings of things we see in dreams, my dreams! I could never have imagined why I saw myself being stuck in a Pajero, in the middle of a Tornado frantically searching for a radio to send SOS. I saw my father in another car, struggling to reach me, as I shouted to him “Stay where you are, I’m okay”. The dream couldn’t have been clearer to me, reflecting my situation at that time and my father as always being my savior.A wiser more practical me now has realised that the Creator is a fair Dude. He’s given each an every one of us tools to know ourselves better. And its up to us to try and find out how to work with those tools. It’s funny to think I was thinking I may have Professor X like powers, sadly, everyone has it. But do we know how to use it well?
   

© Tasnim Hafiz – 2012

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