Friday, May 27, 2011

Serial Dreams and Repeating Themes

Serial Dreams
Ever wake up in the morning feeling like you started the story but it's not quite finished yet? Maybe it's not. It is not uncommon for dreams to run like a television series, short episodes spanning the course of several nights, which may or may not be consecutive.

Dreams can be very long and yet still be contained in a single night, and yet, if they are very detailed, even that time dilation may not be enough to play out everything. There is no precise time ratio as you saw in Inception, where they could mathematically figure out how much time they would spend in the dream until the drug runs out. This time dilation depends entirely on the detail level of the dream--the greater level of detail, the closer to true waking time it runs. This may not even be consistent within a single dream: it can fluctuate considerably.

If you have difficulty completing a dream sequence, when it feels like more should be added on to give you a finished feeling, be sure to include in your dream journal (or just plain remember, which is much more difficult) not only the close of the dream, but how you felt as it ended. When you go to sleep next, bring those thoughts and feelings back into your mind, and the dream will hopefully continue.

Repeating Dreams
Those who insist on interpreting dreams (of which I do not participate in) usually claim that repeating dreams indicate a message that your mind (or a higher power maybe) is trying to tell you, or a lesson you need to learn.

Repeating dreams can be a cause of something considerably more simple. As shown in How To Initiate Lucid Dreams, your thoughts as you fall asleep can have a considerable influence on your dreams, especially for those practiced in using those related styles to make themselves dream lucidly. If you live a repetitive lifestyle, where you work regular hours, participate in regularly scheduled activities, and such, going to bed feeling very similarly can cause your brain to behave similarly when you're asleep.

It's also possible that your brain is trying to tell you something.

Repeating Geography
Outside of serial dreaming (where the geographic is mostly expected to repeat) and repeating dreams (where by sheer nature of the concept, it must), geography and landscapes may repeat, even as the topic of the dreams change.

When each of us thinks about a immaterial concept such as "home," even though there is no actual place called Home, a consistent image is drawn into the mind. As in the waking world, so in the dream world.

For regular and experienced dreamers, calling oneself to wake in one's personal domain is not unusual. It allows the dreamer to start somewhere familiar, and either continue on their current or most recent journey, or to go seek out a new one.

Mabon is such a place in the dream world of Charles deLint. It makes for a magnificent starting place of journeys both simple and grand, and allows the dreamer to find or build a home for themselves in the dream world. Similar places also appear in Stephen Harper's Silent Empire series and Bruce Balfour's Prometheus Road.

Our minds may be wondrous things, but even so, they can only create a limited (but seemingly infinite) supply of geographical features. For regular dreamers, these landscapes and landmarks are bound to repeat, even if they are not always recognizable as repetitions.