This morning, checking one of my favorite Fortean news sites, The Daily Grail, I find the following link: Dream Academy: Secrets of the subconscious unlocked. The article is a bit of a fluff piece and feels the need to add in the skeptic's admonishments:
Louise Chunn, the editor of Psychologies magazine, said she could imagine dream groups taking off, in much the same way that "today's narcissistic society" is addicted to talking about itself on Twitter. "I can imagine talking about your dreams becoming a trend in the way that people photograph their food. Is this just another way to validate ourselves?" She warned that the upshot could be to leave those with less exciting dreams feeling inadequate.
Some psychologists and psychiatrists worry that dream groups might cause harm if the distressing emotions turned up by the subconscious mind are mistreated. Patrick McNamara, associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at Boston University and author of Nightmares: The Science and Solution of Those Frightening Visions During Sleep, believes that dreams shouldn't be shared with anyone who lacks due regard for their complexity.
But the point of the article is that in the UK, dream groups are popular, and individuals are finding that discussing their dreams in groups is very helpful for them. In some cultures, discussing your dreams is not considered woo or "narcissistic" it just is, an important part of the daily routine.
Not all my dreams are UFO related. I have all kinds of dreams: dreams about obvious anxieties or issues about work, daily life, stress related dreams, weird dreams because I ate too much or not feeling well, fun dreams, silly dreams. When it comes to the UFO dreams, there is the question of intepretation, meaning. Are the dreams somewhat literal, something UFO related trying to get through, or are the symbols and scenarios stand-ins for something else?
An example: I have a recurring dream that I find myself driving, usually alone, on a narrow, one lane bridge across the ocean. I just find myself in the middle of nowhere, all I can see is water on either side of me, in front of and behind me. The water comes up to the sides of the bridge, very scary. The bridge only has a small and frail rail on either side. It doesn't seem to have any purpose. It wouldn't stop a car from going off the bridge. I'm scared out of my mind because one slip and I'm in this water. It's all so weird and scary: just one long narrow road on top of the water with no end in sight, no turn around, no signs, nothing.
I've had this dream for years, and still have it. Had one the other night in fact. What completely unglued me a few years ago was, I found myself on this very road! I was completely lost in Portalnd, no idea at all where I was, or going . . . I have no idea how I ended up on this road but there I was, on a narrow road with water all around, no signs, no turn around, no idea where I was going. None of that had to do with UFOs. Just a weird bit of synchronicity.
Memory is a strange thing. Why do we remember vivid small scenes from childhood, the rest fallen away? What was it about that moment, that's stayed with us for decades, while others seem to leave? And what of the rare "scenes" where you remember, but not sure if it happened?
image: Henry Fuseli: Nightmare (The Incubus)