For centuries people have believed in the power of dreams to heal, offer spiritual insight, foretell the future and solve problems. The following are the major theories explaining why we dream.
- A dream is a hallucination. A dream is also a fantasy journey in our sleep that either reduces our stress or tries to live out our fears in the safety of sleep.
- We dream to compensate for those parts of the psyche or total personality that are underdeveloped in waking life.
- Dreams happen very regularly, at least four to five times per night during the most active part of sleep, known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. We spend two to three hours per night dreaming.
- Dreams have a problem-solving purpose. Dreams are supposed to deal with problems that we can't solve in waking life and to offer some kind of solutions.
- Dreams are a way of relaxing and letting our minds drift away into distant worlds. In this states, we can interact in a non-physical sense with people, places, both living and non-living things.
- In dreams our unconscious minds are providing clues to help us understand ourselves better and providing solutions to our problems.
- Dreams are created by unconscious desires or hidden fears. The purpose of dreams is to allows us to release our unconscious desires or hidden fears. Dream is a powerful tool in uncovering thoughts and desires.
- Although dreaming is by nature a personal experience, it is clear that there are certain themes that appear consistently in most people's dreams. Events in a dream should not be broken down into symbols; rather they should be taken at face value.
- Dream reflected unresolved personal and emotional issues not yet dealt with in waking life. Dreams are a means of disposing of memories that would otherwise clutter our minds with too many emotions and experiences.
Chinese Dreams Interpretations
In Chinese, there is a saying, "Daytime has some thinkings, nighttime has some dreams. The dreams reflect one's thinkings during the daytime." The following are my translation of some common dreams interpreted by Chou Gong who was a famous dream analyst in ancient China.
Dreams of Good Omen
Carrying a Bucket of Water: The water is a symbol of the dreamer's desire to get in touch wih his or her emotional self. If the bucket is full of water, it indicates good times ahead. It symbolizes spiritual abundance, and also indicates hopes and good news may be near.
Cloudy Day Becoming Sunny Day: Dreaming of cloudy day becoming sunny day is a good omen. It suggests that you will be able to find a solution to a situation or problem that has been troubling you. A peaceful and positive solution to your problems can be achieved.
Dawn: It is a good omen. Dreaming of dawn represents new beginning and hopes. It can also be a sign of spiritual rebirth and symbolize a successful transition out of dark period in your life. If a sick person dreams of dawn, he will get a speedy and full recovery soon.
Death: Dreams of death often forecast important life transitions. Dreaming that your aged parents are dead could indicate that you will take some family responsibilities and might come into possessions of valuable property. It is a good omen that signifies unexpected pleasant things ahead and you can expect good luck.
Dirt: If you dream of being buried alive in the dirts, it can be positive to warn you to take immediate action to release a worrying issue or matter. It is a good omen and indicates peace of mind and comfort for the soul and freedom from anxiety and stress.
Drinking in the Boat: In dreams, the boat signifies hopes. If you dream of eating and drinking, it means that you are satisfying your desires for nourishment or other needs. So, to dream of drinking while riding a boat foretells good news, pleasant things from afar will be coming your way soon.
Eagle: Eagle is a majestic bird and represents aspiration, vigilance and authority. Its appearance in a dream is a positive sign in business or romance.
Flying toward the Sky: To dream of an object flying toward the sky symbolizes success. It foretells moving to a new job, new home, or a new status in relationship
Full Moon: The moon is a symbol of the feminine and is also associated with love and romance. Dreaming of a bright, full moon foretells good fortune and prosperity. It signifies that there are many pleasant things ahead and that you will expect good fortune.
Funeral: Dreaming of attending a funeral ceremony is a sign of your need to accept some kind of loss in order to move on. It is a good omen that will dispel bad luck and bring good luck. It can transform misfortune into good fortune.
Hair Turning to Grey: Dreaming of hair turning into grey is a good omen. It signifies good luck and an upcoming beneficial event ahead.
Jade/Mirror: To dream of obtaining a piece of fine jade or a mirror will give birth to a healthy, beautiful and intelligent baby.
Lightning: Seeing lightning in your dream denotes unexpected, sudden changes. If you dream of being struck by lightning, it is a sign that life changes are occurring at lightning speed. It is a good omen and indicates something of importance will be coming your way very soon.
Mountain: To dream of a mountain represents that you will overcome the obstacles in your path and you will soon achieve your goals. If you continue working hard, you will be pleasantly rewarded and everything will work out right in the end.
Mountain-Climbing: Climbing a mountain or hill suggests your desire to gain a clear perspective on your situation and to solve difficulties. Being on the top of a hill signals the achieving of your goals. Generally, to dream of climbing a mountain or hill indicates that good luck, beneficial things are coming your way.
New Home: Dreaming of moving into a new home is symbolic of a wonderful life ahead and a new beginning. It indicates a major change in your life.
Old Man: To dream of standing in front of a wise old man or holy people foretells that a beneficial change in your life is about to occur. You will receive guidance or assistance to help achieve your goals.
Rain: Dreaming of a brief fall of rain is a sign of good things to come, usually a change that you have been hoping for. It indicates that good luck or a sudden windfall may be near. Your desires will be fulfilled.
Rising Tide: Dreaming of watching the tide rising is a good omen. It is telling you to "go with the flow." This dream represents domestic happiness. Your wedding plan will be successful and your marriage life will be harmonious.
Robber: If you dream of seeing a robber taking something away from you, it is a good omen. It foretells unexpected good fortune and happiness. Good luck or sudden windfall may be near.
Sailing Across Sea: The boat in your dream is a symbol of your hopes. To dream of sailing across sea signifies that you go with the flow to achieve your goals. Sailing is also about freedom and you are in control of your life. Your plans will come to fruition soon.
Snow: Snow is associated with purity and beauty. It is also pointing out the beauty and value of life, despite of difficulties. Dreaming of the fall of snow suggests hopefulness about the future. Things are going to get easier. You will begin to reap the rewards for previous actions.
Sunrise: The sun is associated with success. It is also an image of vitality, warmth and creative energy. So, the sunrise symbolizes a bright future and good fortune. To dream of sun rising implies new beginnings, hopes, new realizations, and great accomplishments.
Thunder: If you hear a loud sound, such as "Gong," or the thunder in your dream, it suggests that you are being called for something of importance. It indicates that upcoming important events will be very beneficial to you. It symbolizes good luck and you may experience prosperity in business.
Travel: To travel is to seek a change from your usual environment. To dream of traveling in any kind of transportation, such as car or boat, is a lucky omen. It foretells good news, wealth and happiness ahead. A car or boat is a symbol of hope and also your control in your life.
Tree: The tree symbolizes the growth both emotionally and physically. It gives the dreamer faith in his future and also achievements will come to fruition. To dream a tree growing inside the house is a lucky omen. It foretells that something of importance will be coming your way.
(5/16/07, Spring Liao)