Nightmares and Death Dreams
The common denominator in all of those is that your subconscious WILL bring matters out, no matter how long your conscious mind chooses to ignore them.
Take violence in dreams. The actual fact is that in proportion to the population, a very small percentage of people die violently. Yes, it is horrible when they do. Yes, in today’s world it is prudent to be street wise and cautious. There is no need to ask for trouble. But the majority of the violence to which we are exposed comes from media coverage of events, movies, video games, and television. If you are sensitive to violence, be very selective in your viewing. Even the news uses music and suspense (film at 11!) to manipulate your emotions. Get your current events in print form or online, without violins and sobbing witnesses, sheet covered bodies and weapons displays, if you are plagued with nightmares. Violent dreams may be a plea for a more peaceful existence.
When you have a violent dream that upsets you, take it apart and look at it. If you were attacked, where? What are the surroundings in the dream? Office? Home? Perhaps there is something in the location that is stressing you in real life. As soon as you name it and deal with it, it ceases to be a subconscious problem. Is it a person? Try to see past your emotional response to determine the actual issue with that person. Again, facing it, getting help to face it, in real life brings the issue out of your sub- and into your conscious mind. Is a particular part of your anatomy being attacked? It may be time to finally seek the medical help you’ve been avoiding.
Did someone come to your aid in the dream? That’s a good thing. If you are having a problem in life, your subconscious is telling you to whom you might turn. Did you triumph over the negative? Again, a good thing. While awake you might doubt your actions in a situation, your dream is giving you a pat on the back. Take it and reward yourself. This article will not cover dream symbolism, but it’s worth looking at. If you overcame what was bothering you in the dream, what did you use? Think symbolically. A spear may not be a spear, but getting to the point, or pointing to the real issue. If you have a recurring dream, ask a professional about it. You may be amazed and delighted at the interpretation.
Let’s not leave out food or medication. They can have a profound effect on your dream life.
The appearance in a dream of a deceased person leaves some people distraught. Relax. Again, look past your emotional response, and your biases. What was that person telling you, either in words or actions? Chances are, it’s something you need to know. Or something you need to learn. Other details in the dream play a part, so remember all you can. It may not come to you right away. But think about it, and try to solve the puzzle. Look at that dream in relation to others you’ve had, and see if pieces fit. Your subconscious will keep sending the message until you have the “Aha!” moment. Talking these over with someone who knows you well can be a tremendous resource.
And what of dreams in which you die? Do they scare you? Let’s do a reality check. Deep breath. We are all going to die. It’s a process started the day we’re born. Death is part of life. We have so many examples in nature of how the process works. In a vacant patch in the yard, little green shoots suddenly appear. They grow into tall leaves. In time, a stem can be seen, with a small, tight wad at the tip. It expands and takes on color. Before you know it, the delicate leaves of a flower begin to open. The flower is beautiful for a while, then begins to wither and petals drop off. The stem keels over and dries up. Eventually, so does the whole plant. The dead plant blows away, if not cleared. At the end of the season, we are left with a vacant patch in the yard.
Your “death” in a dream can mean a spiritual or psychological change. It denotes a new attitude or thinking, a surrender, a new aliveness.
Your physical death is how the psyche explores what death might be like. In life, we gather experiences and learn as we go along. Death, however, is a once in a lifetime event. No rehearsals. So we can only explore it subconsciously, and it’s good that we do. Don’t like what you see? You still have life time to make changes to affect the outcome. You can plan to have a beautiful, natural transition. Any hospital chaplain can tell you that people who, in life, were less than pleasant, have a rough time with a transition. How many times have you heard people say, with joy, that a person died peacefully? You can be that person.
A psychologist once asked each person in a small group how they left a party. Some simply slipped out when it was time to go home. Others thanked the hostess, then left. Some made rounds, saying something to each guest before leaving. Then the doctor explained that this could be a metaphor for how we will transition into non-physical life. So if you don’t want to die alone, unnoticed, change the way you leave a party!
And don’t forget your Living Will. Make everyone aware of how much intervention you want in the course of your transition.
Finally, there are those who “don’t dream”. This is actually physically impossible. Science has proven that anyone who sleeps, dreams. They may not remember them, however. Oddly enough, though, these folks will wake up and say “I’ve been thinking - - -“. The dream is forgotten, the outcome acted upon. There may also be reports of visual images flashing while in a drowsy state. One person described it as watching all the commercials you’re skipping in fast forward.
Every Sacred Text of every religion speaks of a life different than that in the physical world. Many, many references are made to dreams. Death is not to be feared, and much of how you experience it is within your power to influence. Pay attention to the gifts given by your subconscious. Sift through your initial reactions, and get to the good stuff. We can all work toward
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