“I have read or been told that in a book of etiquette of the seventeenth century the very first rule forbids you to tell your dreams to other people, since they cannot possibly be of interest to them.”
Lately people have been talking to me about their dreams. They either now feel comfortable telling me their dreams or there has been a huge increase in people having (or remembering) dreams and I am getting that overflow. Lol. I don’t know why that is happening. Though I do faintly recall some movie or book whose plot centered around everyone on earth suddenly experiencing many more remembered dreams than usual, and, in that plot, it signaled the end of times. I am hoping that this is not the case for now. If I get any other signs indicating that I will let you know. Maybe.
We all have dreams every single night. You might not remember them at all, but they were there. Any number of reasons cause us not to remember our dreams, or even recall that we had one at all. I often have a memory of having dreamt, but no memory of the dream at all.
But why dream at all?
I took several advanced psychology courses when I attended college some time back. Some of those courses gave me what little knowledge about the nature of dreams that I now have. But none of them came close to explaining the need for dreams in our sleep. We must need to dream or why do we involuntarily do it?
In my entire lifetime I have remembered very few dreams. And those that I have remembered were closely attached to something that had happened in real life, or related to something that eventually happened in my life. Some of my dreams I understood perfectly. Others remain a mystery even today. One or two were attached to real events that I could not have possibly known about half way around the world in a different space and time. I try not to think about those.
And then there are day-dreams.
When I was a detective, and if I’m honest even sometimes today, I day-dream things intentionally. Not a real dream of course, but a mixture of things I know and things I have to add or extrapolate myself to fill in the missing parts. I did this mostly in crime scene reconstruction. Having only minimal evidence to go on I would picture the crime in my head. I am a very visual person. When I looked at a crime scene I couldn’t see just the dead person on the floor. I had to see the person being killed too. I had to see the killer walk this way or that way and raise his hand this way or that way. I had to see the look in the killers eyes and the victims eyes for me to understand what happened. Facts are useless things if they don’t mean something. I had to make them mean something in my head.
Sometimes when doing that I filled in parts with things that I could not possibly know. Not material things that were important to the case, just things that made sense in my head based on everything I knew about everything I knew. I know that makes no real sense, but it was part of my process.
Once, when figuring out a crime scene in my head, I pictured the suspect walking out of the house and into his car (after stabbing a man to death). After getting in his car I pictured him lighting up a cigarette and then dropping the cigarette on his lap and burning himself and then throwing the cigarette out the window. This was long after the crime and before the suspect was arrested. There was no evidence or witnesses to this and the suspect had never told anyone this story. When I arrested the suspect I asked him about it and he admitted that it was exactly what happened. This was after he had already admitted to the crime. I don’t know how I “knew” that. I probably didn’t. It was just a guess that made sense somehow when I combined my conscious knowledge with whatever my subconscious was thinking. Though I didn’t know the suspect at the time, much less that he smoked.
A rather useless thing really. I had a bunch of these things in my head, but never really had a chance every time to ask if I was right all the time. A few times I know for a fact I was wrong. Not that it would have made a difference in the case. These little tangents my mind went off to during these things were of no value to the case. But they are interesting, and I do believe they are more than just educated guesses. I just don’t know what they are.
Day-dreams are strange things whether I have them intentionally or other wise.
The other day I was taking a walk close to where I live. A paved street sits between a huge empty field (currently being turned into a new subdivision) and an old cemetery. Only two street lights illuminate the street at night. But this was morning and I stopped to catch my breath while looking down the street between the cemetery and the field.
Suddenly, and for no good reason, I saw it at night in my mind with the full moon out. The street was lighted well by the moon and far at the other end where the cemetery begins I saw a large white dog. The dog looked up at me from the middle of the road and suddenly sprinted in my direction. I was pretty far away but could see it clearly (my first hint it was a day-dream since I did not have my glasses, lol) as it ran toward me.
I was well aware it was not real. I stood there and just watched the dog in my mind run my direction. By the time it covered half the distance I realized it was not a dog, but a large white wolf. The night-time was very quiet and I could hear the wolf panting hard. I realized though that I could not hear it running. I could not hear it’s paws and nails hitting the pavement like I do when I take Blue out there and I should have. As it got closer I realized why that was so. It’s paws were not touching the ground. I knelt down (in my mind, not for real, that would be silly) and saw the wolf was running about maybe half a foot off the ground. The wolf never slowed down and when it got to me it pounced in my direction and vanished in mid-air.
And just like that the day-dream was over and I continued my walk. What did any of that mean? Who the hell knows? I don’t. But it happened. Does it have to have a reason? I don’t know that either. Maybe it was just a story my head made up, or maybe it was something that could have only happened there at that moment for reasons I don’t know. It’s a mystery.
I don’t expect anyone will solve the mystery of sleep dreams or day-dreams anytime soon. But I suspect that they both have a use of some kind that maybe be helpful if we bother taking a good look at them.
I should probably get more sleep. Or stay away from cemeteries? Or better yet, stop walking. Yeah, that’s it. That makes more sense. You’re right. I should just stop walking.
See you all on the other side.