Lessons from Writing a Dream Journal
I love dreaming. I love dreams. Dreams are fascinating. I’ve learned that dreams are realities just as real as this one, physical reality. I’ve learned that much when it comes to dream memory depends on, as everything, one’s own beliefs with respect to dreaming. And I’ve learned that there are ways to work with and benefit from one’s dreams.
I don’t want to discuss all of these specific matters, however. Instead I like to talk a bit about what I’ve found since a year ago, I started writing a dream log. (I actually prefer that term over dream journal, which seems more popular, or dream diary.)
Writing a dream log simply means writing down everything one dreams. For me that means that the first thing I do every morning is to grab my phone and take down what I dreamt that night. Later I’d copy that over into my dreams document (I’ve played with sleep-related apps and have an eye on stuff like SHADOW but my current process works reasonably well). Since I recall at least one dream pretty much every night, I do this every day. Since last January, I’ve accumulated three documents with a total of about 150 pages of dream notes.
[…]in your dreams you work with probabilities and decide which ones will become your physical “true facts.”
I found out a few distinct things about dreaming, and my experience of it.
I dream a lot, easily up to five (maximum so far eight) dreams a night. When it comes to dream memory I average around two dreams a night. (Practicing dream recall helps.)
There are, though not all the time, direct connections from dream realities to this “reality,” relating to people, groups, including companies, also physical urges (have your arm tingle and notify you in a dream). There’s some link between realities. That’s also the case with what I’d call “disorientation” dreams, dreams in which current reality is just “re-interpreted.”
Sleeping long negatively impacts dream remembering. (I’ve observed that I remember far less when I sleep more than eight than when I sleep less than seven hours).
There’s a “feeling quality” to dreams. Personally I’d sometimes not know but “feel” where I am. I found that that in itself is just as reliable and true as what we typically understand as “knowing.”
If you are afraid of your dreams, you are afraid of yourself.
So far I prefer a role of cautious “active observer,” but then I think I can draw some preliminary conclusions. They’re based on the premise that dreams are just as real as this system of reality.
There are a large number of alternative realities.
We live a large number of different lives.
Science has no constructive clue about dreaming—common knowledge about sleeping and dreaming, representing science, very much appears like nonsense. (That’s not a problem as long as we simply believe and trust ourselves and our bodies. We don’t need a “scientist” to tell us something about dreams if we’re the ones having them.)
❧ Dreaming is one part of what fascinates me about life and my own experience of it, and it’s one factor that fuels my studies. I’ll talk more about all of this when I think I can articulate it well enough. This post I just like to close with a few more quotes now. Like the two above they’re taken from Jane Roberts’s books, primarily Seth, Dreams, and Projections of Consciousness and The Nature of Personal Reality. They require some openness, but so far I haven’t met any fault in them.
[…]in dreams you often do work quite as valid as any performed in the day, and in the dream state you meet and interact with your own selves.
Dreams are one of your greatest natural therapies, and one of your most effective assets as connectors between the interior and exterior universes.
This bouncing back of energy into itself is the meaning of the dream state, in which experience that is basically nonphysical is embarked upon, and is then interpreted as a dream through the brain. Your deepest dreams involve nonmaterial comprehensions, however. Your dream, though clearly remembered, is already a translation of the physical brain.
(See even more on Google+. I nearly forgot I’ve already touched dreams before.)
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m an engineering manager and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to the W3C and the WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. Other than that, I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
If you have questions or suggestions about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message.
On February 14, 2014, 3:13 CET, Rupert Breheny said:
Nice write up Jens. It’s worth reading some Freud at this point. He called dreams the “royal road to the subconscious”. Great way of getting insight into what makes you tick. And of course Inception can be enjoyed on many levels too.
On February 14, 2014, 3:39 CET, Rupert Breheny said:
You might also like this app which wakes you up in a way you should be able to remember dreams, but it does chart your REM sleep too - which is where the real dreams happen.
Having a dream journal (or dream log as you prefer) is a great initiative… as long as you don’t mis-interpret your dreams.
Surely, some dreams are responses your subconscient give to you. Some are just bulk ideas.
I’ve learn that it is not easy to be opened to its subconscious. If you know how to be in peace with yourself you’ll learn some useful things and even take huge decision with a few stress.
I’ve tried some apps to track your sleep, but, on me, it doesn’t seems to work very well (and turns to be useless at the end).
I hope you’ll learn a lot on yourself. And I hope you won’t have nightmares for months like I do 😊.
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Perhaps my most interesting book: 100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer (2013). During my time in the States I started trying everything. Everything. Then I noticed that wasn’t only fun, it was also useful. Available at Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.