Sunday, August 10, 2014

On Dreaming: Before You Can Get Started

What a lot of dream guides seem to skip is the starting steps. They assume you can already remember at least some of your dreams, except not everybody can.

Some people start with poor dream recall, make the decision, conscious or unconscious, for any of a number of reasons, that they don't want to remember their dreams, and after perpetuating that decision, they stop remembering them all together.

This doesn't mean you've stopped dreaming. Everybody dreams.

There's a simple enough countermand. You just have to decide you want to start remembering your dreams again.

I'm not going to tell you it will happen right away, because it won't. It will take time. I'm also not going to tell you when the details finally start to come in that they're going to vivid, or that they're going to linear, or that they will make sense. The first details that start to come in might not even be images or words: you might get scents, or colors, or emotions, or textures. Regardless what it is that you get, record it.

Now, most people say "Keep a dream journal." Essentially, that is true: you should keep a record of what impressions you have when you wake up, which is a quiet message to your brain telling it to remember those sorts of things, and not let them slip away like it's used to doing. Regardless what level of a dreamer you are, regardless whether recall comes to you naturally or not (some people are just that lucky), you should keep a record of your dreams.

But calling it a "journal" sometimes seems to imply like you're writing a story or keeping a diary or a shopping list of all the things that happened in the dream, and it's not like that at all. You can draw in your "journal;" you can have building plans in your "journal;" you can record scents, textures, sounds, you can have three-dimensional designs that you've built in a CAD program. The nature of the material in the "journal" isn't important, the matter of whether or not you have one is.