Health & wellbeing

The mystery of dreaming

07 Apr 2023 | Written by By Mary Gorman

In another wonderfully reflective piece of writing, The Joy Club member Mary Gorman delves into the mysterious subconscious world of dreams…

The early morning sun, creeping in through the chink in the curtains, brought me back into the day ahead. I closed my eyes, hoping to continue the journey I had been on during the night. Would I know my way back to the island that housed the young family whom I didn’t recognise, yet there was a familiarisation and intimacy as if we all knew each other? The beautiful little boy who had taken my hand as we walked along the beach… I cannot see his face now, but the feeling of being connected to him remains within.

Sleep is that special time that moves in silently without an invitation, taking my soul to uncharted places. Sometimes back into the arms of a loved one or down a dark lonely road that I feared to tread. However, sleep is my protection. 

It is a mystery how we travel and to where in our dreams. Many people have claimed to be able to interpret our dreams. Alan Eiser a psychologist writes, “Dreams can be highly meaningful because they deal with the sort of personal conflicts and emotional struggles that people are experiencing in their daily lives.” However, what happens when we arrive somewhere that we have never been or indeed encounter people whom we have never known? 

Rumi a great mystic and Persian poet believed that “humankind is being led along an evolving course through this migration of intelligence and though we seem to be sleeping there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream and that eventually startles us back to the truth of who we are.” 

 Are we ever able to know the truth of who we are; the mystery of our being?

Others believe that it is our subconscious that is awakened. However, we would have had to experience it for it to be there in the first place. So does that lead us to the idea of reincarnation?

There are of course many lyrics and prose written about dreams. Peter Sarstedt sang the song about his girlfriend; “where do you go to my lovely when you are alone in your bed?

He sang about the things he could see and understand about her, for example, how she talked like Marlene Dietrich and danced like Zizi Jean Mare. However, he wanted to know more about her; he wanted to get inside her head. 

When I studied the Johari Window, a psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham to help us have a better understanding of the relationships with others and ourselves, I was able to make sense of some of my reactions to the spoken or written word. I began to ask myself why I reacted in that way to what was said. I still do use this question and more often than not I can trace it back to some incident in my life and not about what was shared. However not always which brings me back to the question will we ever really know ourselves.

Freud’s basic claim is that a dream is the fulfilment of a wish. So, I am left wondering when I wished to be walking along a beach, holding the hand of a little boy whom I had never met.

If you have some of your own thoughts and experiences which you’d like to share with us, please send them to submissions@thejoyclub.com for the chance to get paid and published on our blog. 

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