Dreams are always a curious conversation. We all dream, this I know for sure, some of our dreams are prophetic while some may seem lofty. In the dream world we have the opportunity to visit many realms and come in contact with many beings disguised for our safety and mental health as human beings. Other times we encounter beings who are frightening and so we wake up worrying what could this be.
I have been doing sacrifices all week and so I am tired, I have not read this article in its entirety, it is nine in the morning now in Nigeria and I have not sleep as yet, when I wake up, I will read and during the comments I will give my own perspective in this subject matter.
In the time being gawn hold dah short introduction yah. When my God mother in Africa died, I was shocked at her unexpected death (even though I had stop speaking to her), and I was also puzzled by it. They said she died from kidney failure, but I had, seven months earlier spent a month in Africa with her, and she showed no signs of illness. She was an Osun woman and Osun the deity owned those areas of the body, the whole entire stomach region, so how? what? why?…I was confused and had many questions. I had not yet realized that she had offended the Universe.
She had laid down Obeah on me like wow, but I had not the heart to hate her, I was just sad that someone I treated so much could hurt me without just cause. Several weeks after her death, I went to sleep and saw myself sitting like a Guru, legs lapped under me and I was floating up in the air. The air was dark and billowy, almost like air waves floating around me, I was conscious as if I was awake, yet I knew that I was having an out of body experience. I was in my usual white clothing and I floated (still in a sitting position) to where I was met by my God mother who had transitioned. She sat before me, and colorful airwaves were between us, signalling to me that we were in two different worlds. We sat floating across from each other. She was also dressed in white and her hair braided and in one atop her head with sea shells adorning it like how Osun likes it.
I wanted to feel resentment toward her for all she did to me, but the feeling would not come, and so I sat with her as she mentally communicated with me how she died and other things I do not remember them now, she seemed not at all sad at her plight. I was to encounter her again many times.
I saw her on several more occasions, and one where her son who was two years old wanted to follow her but she told me to hold him back as she crossed the street and wave to us.
She had given me some medicines when I left Africa the time I spent with her, and I wanted to get rid of them, yet I had to know the proper way to dispatched them. So I was brought to the realm where her mother resided, and there her mother, (who had died way before I met my God mother) who lived into a beautiful peach colored house, called her and asked her what should I do with the medicines, she instructed the mother, but she hid from me, she did not want me to see her, and what was interesting was that she was not on in the same realm as her mother. The mother apologized to me about her behavior, and told me that she never took Osun serious, she wanted to live life like an ordinary person and she inherited the work from her mom. She looked to worldly things said the mother, on to[ of that she wronged me greatly. The mother was embarrassed by her actions, and apparently so was she, since she hid from me while I visited.
Dreams like these are no dream at all. They are spiritual experiences, out of body experiences. This is why we should not fear death, because if one has such experience in the dream world, then one has experienced death while living.
The post below, this one is still open for discussion however, do not ignore that post. We have not as a whole discussed it and there are many things I wish to share with you there.
All of us dream. When someone says he or she does not dream, it is due the fact that he or she does not remember the dream. On the average an individual sleeps about 8 hours per 24 hours, i.e. he sleeps away one-third of his life. If he were 60 years of age, he would have slept for 20 years of his life. If he were 90 years old, he would have slept for 30 years in that life. Every night we dream about 2 hours in our 8-hour stretch of sleep, but we can only remember snatches of our dreams. On the whole, in one life time one sleeps about 5 to 6 years of that life.
Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM)
Sleep may be divided into two types: SWS and REM. The former (SWS) is named thus because the brain waves during this stage are large and slow. SWS is divided into 4 stages. The EEG (Electro-encephalogram) machine measures brain waves. At the start of sleep, stage one is registered, which is characterised by slow eye-rolling movements, a loss of alpha brain waves, and a lessening of muscle tone. Stage 2 is defined as comprising of a low voltage EEG, with mixed slow frequencies. A young healthy adult would have reached Stage 2 within 20 minutes of going to sleep. From now onwards, the sleep is deepened with larger and persistent slow waves dominating the EEG record. As far as deep SWS is concerned, the greater the amplitude and the slower the frequency, the deeper the sleep. Stages 3 and 4 are more synchronised and of higher voltages. Stage 3 is defined as having 20% to 50% slow waves of a certain amplitude, and stage 4 has over 50%. It is conventional to regard all the 4 stages as being slow wave sleep in contrast to REM sleep.
At the beginning, most normal people start with SWS until at least 45 minutes later when REM sleep begins. After this, there is an alternation between REM and SWS sleep, with REM arising out of SWS every 90 minutes. REM sleep is characterised by jerky eye movements (noticed beneath the eyelids) and total paralysis of all muscles except those of the chest for automatic breathing. The first sign is the loss of tone of the neck and throat muscles. It is found that during this period dreaming occurs. In humans, the small muscles of the face and hands twitch sporadically, as in animals. The total body paralysis guarantees that the individual does not act out the dreams.
The first REM sleep of the night lasts only a few minutes. Then as sleep continues its duration increases at each subsequent REM, until after several hours of sleep, REM sleep may last for 30 to 45 minutes. At the same time, SWS gets less and less as the night wears out. Therefore, there is some truth that most dreaming occurs in the second half the night. In REM sleep, there is penile erection in the males, and females have erect nipples, clitoral enlargement and lubricated genitals. The heart and respiratory rates become faster and irregular and the blood pressure also becomes irregular. Originally, it was thought that dreams or REM sleep was necessary for health, but now we know that this is not true. Preventing REM sleep with drugs has no bad effects on the individual. Half of the sleep in newborn babies consists of REM sleep, which may mean that this state is important in the development of babies. As animals also exhibit REM sleep, it is quite safe to assume that animals do dream as well. Dreams in REM sleep are more dramatic and exciting, whilst those in non-REM (SWS) sleep are calmer and less stimulating.
There is no muscular paralysis in SWS, and breathing is slow and abdominal. Sleep walking, sleep-talking, bed-wetting and teeth grinding are all performed during SWS.
Sometimes when one wakes up from a REM sleep one finds that one is still totally paralysed. All forms of movements with the large muscles are not possible. The best way to stimulate the muscles to come to life again is to move the small muscles of the face e.g. make a grimace. In this way the movement of the small muscles will lead to the recovery of the large muscles.
Nightmares are normally emotional in flavour and the subject matter is of secondary importance. The emotions are fear, guilt and horror in varying proportions and the dream ends in the subject waking up. About one in 20 people suffer from nightmares once a week. That means several millions of people in the world have nightmares every night. The worst sufferers may have one episode per night, sometimes more. To some the disorder is so extreme that they dare not go to sleep at night and few even tended to be suicidal. Nightmares maybe the cause of some fatalities during sleep. Some of them wake up breathing rapidly with an increased pulse rate and sweating profusely. Some of them may be yelling themselves awake. Therefore someone with an underlying heart disorder could easily die in this nightmare.
There are two types of nightmares. The first variety consists of only 4%, and is found in SWS. These mostly occur within the first one and a half-hour of sleep. There are no preceding physiological signs. The individual wakes up screaming with panic and terror. Then the heart and respiratory rates are seen to rise right away after that. Most of these people do not remember their nightmares the next morning. Some experts believe that this type of nightmare is due to a disturbance of the arousal system in the brain. Sometimes a noise can precipitate an episode. Witnessing some violence in their homes during childhood has traumatised some of these sufferers, and thus remains the cause of the nightmares. These SWS nightmares are sometimes called ‘night terrors’ and are common in children. They are quite often not accompanied by visual images or a story.
The other type of nightmares is really anxiety dreams and they occur during REM sleep. They are by far the commonest. These are inevitably preceded by physiological signs e.g. increased respiratory and heart rates and rapid eye movement. Most of them cannot move due to muscle paralysis, and they are unable to shout out. Some scientists believe that this is the real cause of those who profess to be pressed by spirits in a haunted room. These REM nightmares are horrifying and the images in the stories are seen in gruesome details, quite often in colour. Some of these are recurrent.
Dr. Keith Hearne made a survey of 39 nightmare sufferers. Most of them were women, but this female bias may be due to the fact that males generally do not want to relate their nightmares to others. The age of onset is usually the first 10 years of life. Six out of 10 said that trauma had preceded the onset. Nine out of 10 in this group reported that the nightmares recur some or all the time. It is interesting in the fact that REM nightmares happen during the first half of the night, when REM sleep is more prevalent during the second half of the night.
There is evidence that nightmares occur more frequently in anxious people, and the pre-sleep level of anxiety is an important baseline. In sufferers of recurrent nightmares, the anticipation of another nightmare would lower the threshold even more. Conversely, any remedy to calm the individual before sleep either by medication or meditation would lesson the likelihood of another nightmare recurring. The 38 nightmare themes in the above survey are classified thus:
|1. Witnessing horror and violence||12|
|2. Experiencing attack or danger||11|
|3. Flight from someone or something||5|
|4. Sinister presence||5|
|5. Being late and frustrated in travel||2|
|7. Hallucinating creatures||1|
Themes 4,6,7,and 8 are the reasons why dream workers do not believe these episodes are due to spirits or ghosts pressing upon the sufferer.
From the above themes, it can be seen that most of them are either receiving or witnessing violence. As it turns out the contents of the dream are not as vital as the emotional makeup of the sufferers. Analysing their characters, they are principally (a) affected by feelings, (b) apprehensive, (c) tense, (d) undisciplined, and (e) self-sufficient. These anxious people have nightmares because their threshold is low. And any subject in their dreams could trigger a nightmare, which is enacted to fit the tense, apprehensive and emotional character of the sufferers. Therefore one can tell oneself daily prior to sleep ‘to remain calm and relax’ as it is ‘only a dream’. These are also prescribed as imagination exercises daily while one is awake. Another method is to get oneself awaken up just before each nightmare arises by some one else or by a ‘dream machine’, which sets out an alarm at a certain respiratory rate.
All nightmares are there to remind us of some urgent business to be resolved. Therefore, instead of waking up in the nightmare, stand steadfast and find out who or what really is the terror. Then ask the creature or the monster what he wants. Normally when confronted this way, the creature changes to be a much nicer personality, and the message will be delivered in a direct or symbolic way, like ‘give up drinking or smoking’ or ‘you are gambling your fortune away in the stock market’.
A case of lucid dreaming mentioned in Jeremy Taylor’s book, ‘Where People Fly And Water Runs Uphill’ is very illustrative:
“A man was fleeing from a fiery dragon in a scorched and smoldering landscape. While running, he suddenly realised that he was dreaming (i.e. lucid dreaming). So he turned around to face the dragon and demanded the reason why the dragon was chasing him all over the place. The dragon replied ” I am your smoking addiction”. At the moment of this realisation the fire-breathing dragon began to change into a charming, friendly, family dog. Thereupon, he also noticed that the dragon was covered by a nasty, sticky brown slime, and noxious smoke was oozing out from every orifice including underneath the scales. He was revolted by this repulsive odour coming from the dragon. He then said: “Get away from me! I no longer want you in my life”. At awakening, the dreamer could give up smoking straightaway without the slightest difficulty. He never smoked since.”
The Nature and Characteristics of Dreaming
What is the actual duration of a REM dream?
It is fairly prevalent to believe that dreams represent a time warp, in that it is fleetingly short at the end of each period of sleep. However, in the dream laboratory it was found that the period of dreaming corresponds very well with the period of the REM. Waking up the subjects at various intervals and asking them to describe their dreams confirms this. The researchers found that the longer the dream the more words are used to describe the dream. The number of words is proportionate to the length of the dream. Also, a spray of cold water is used at varying intervals on the subjects who are woken up at varying intervals of the dream. Here again, the subjects would dream of water in their dreams, which corresponds to the timing of the spray. However, there are experts who still believe that the duration of the dream is shorter than the story that has transpired.
Does Everyone Dream?
There are people who say that they definitely do not dream at night. However, when they are studied in the dream laboratory, these individuals do dream, but they forget them very easily. When woken up during REM periods, they confess that they do dream. When woken up after the REM period, they remember much less of their dreams than normal dreamers. In the morning when they finally wake up for good, they do not remember any dreams at all!
Forgetting of Dreams
Unless we are woken up during REM sleep and asked to specifically remember our dreams, we normally tend to forget our dreams, especially the earlier REM dreams. Those that spontaneously remember dreams in the mornings only remember the most recent ones. So every night most of the earlier REM and the non-REM dreams are forgotten in the morning. Why is this so? This is because dreams are not stored in the brain like normal wakeful events. This is the crux of the matter. In order to retain dream events, at awakening, one must not move or look at the clock or do something to shake off the dream. The same position is held with eyes shut and one must re-enter the dream scene in a systematic method. Dreams are normally illogical, chaotic and unmemorable, and therefore not startling enough to be retained. A frightening nightmare is a different story altogether, because we are woken up by the nightmare at that moment. Even when woken up during a REM dream, some time must be allowed for that dream to be stored in the brain. Otherwise it is very quickly forgotten.
The Colour of Our Dreams
When questioned about colour in their dreams during the day, about half would answer that they dream in colour. When awaken up during a REM dream, the percentage goes up to 70%. On further questioning, another 13% vaguely remember colour in their dreams. The theme of a dream is always the predominant feature and the colour element is glossed over. Therefore, we generally dream in colour, but this aspect of the dream is forgotten.
Other Features of REM Dreams:
1. The movements of the eye are not scanning the images of the dream. They are merely automatic movements, and we do not dream throughout the period of REM.
2. Deprivation of sleep per se and not prevention of dreaming will produce some psychological distress. Dreaming, however, may have a function of resolving emotional conflicts.
3. We do dream during SWS (i.e. non-REM), but the incidence is much less. Primary process thinking and illogical stories are also carried out throughout the night’s sleep.
4. External stimuli (like cold due to falling of blankets or water sprayed) and internal stimuli (like hunger and thirst) do get incorporated into the themes of dreams. When one is cold in actual fact, the individual dreams of being in the arctic. When one is hungry, the dream will be about eating a wondrous feast. When water is sprayed on them, they dream of rain.
Dream Recall (How to keep a Dream Journal)
In order to work on your dreams, you must learn and practice how to recall, capture and write them down. Although we dream about 4 to 5 times per night, it is usually the last dream that we remember. The following steps are suggestions for you to take:
1. Keep a notebook or a small tape recorder beside your bed. It is better to have a notebook, because you still need to transcribe your tape recordings to the notebook at a later date.
2. Before you sleep, put down the date and one or two lines of the eventful incidents of the day.
3. In your mind, have the intention of remembering your dreams for the night, and instruct this intention to yourself either aloud or in silence.
4. Do not use an alarm if you can. If you have to use one, use a buzzer rather than a radio. Do not wake up fully. Lie still in that twilight zone with the eyes shut. Stay in the same sleeping position and try and remember as many details as you can of that last dream. Take your time, and do not think of anything else like office or shopping. After the first dream, try to remember the ones before that.
5. Try and write down your dreams while still in bed. If you do not remember any dream, identify your mood, and merely jot down your moods. Use a penlight if it is dark.
6. Give a heading to your dream. Try and capture as many details as you can, including names, places, periods and phrases. Always write down any quotations, phrases or poems first.
7. Do not censor or interpret your dreams. Be as outspoken and as outrageous as the dream. Do not worry how bizarre or ridiculous is the dream. Put down all the mundane or humdrum details down. Colour of the dresses and houses and the state of disrepair of the homes are all noted meticulously.
8. Feelings and physical sensations. Pay attention to your feelings and body sensations. Fit the feelings to the images, and enquire as to what the physical sensations are in relation to the story line.
9. If you cannot recollect a dream, just stay put in bed for awhile. Slowly move from one position to another and a strand or fiber of the dream may arise, and from there you can recollect your dream.
10. Even if there is no dream, write down your thoughts, sensations, and physical feelings, and in this process something may turn up. Certain periods of the month may be conducive to dreaming and certain hormonal levels (e.g. menstruation) may be inhibitory to dreaming. Julius Nelson found that his rise and fall of his dream recall varied with the lunar month. Similarly, women recall much less during the menstrual period than in the mid-cycle.
11. Read your dream journal periodically, or share some of the dreams with either a partner or a group. The journal must be frequently made use of.
12. You do not have to register a dream every day. If you can write down 2 to 3 dreams per week you are doing fine. However if you are serious about recording your dreams, a good dreamer should be able to record 600 to 900 dreams per year.
Additional points to remember when keeping a dream journal:
1. Find a notebook that allows of some comments to be added on one side of the book.
2. Keep your journal in a safe place and well guarded, so that nobody is allowed to read it.
3. Index your dream theme.
4. Note recurring theme and locality. Lateness, trains, being pursued etc.
5. Are your dreams precognitive? Tie up any relationship of the dream to external events.
6. Does your dream overlap? Does any other person share the same dreamscape as you?
7. Draw as many diagrams and pictures as possible in your journal.
8. Re-entry into the dream. If for some reason one wants to clear up some points, like the location of the dream, or to clarify some teachings, one could go back to the dream after being wide awake for some time. Lie down on the bed as in falling asleep, then pick up a scene of the dream and let your consciousness flow back into that dreamscape. Once you are back in the dream, you are able to concentrate on the details that you have missed out in the first instance. The location, the message, or the exact words that have been used can all be retraced in detail. If possible, a Shamanic drum may be used to re-enter your dream. Sometimes, one can change the ending of a dream with a re-entry. Rarely, one maybe able to make amends with our adversaries, if they turn up in our dreams. Forgive and ask for forgiveness.
In chapter one of Jeremy Taylor’s excellent book called “Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill” he enumerates and discusses ten basic assumptions in dreams. We will now run through eight of these assumptions.
1. All dreams come in the service of health and wholeness. This means that there is no such thing as a bad dream. Even nightmares are there to rudely awaken you for you to pay attention to a truth that you have been ignoring. Any dream that can be remembered is of value.
2. No dream comes to tell you what you already know. Even if you know the fact, the dream is there to remind you to move further along that path for growth and development. Sometimes you may know a truth, but the dream comes up to remind you to act on it.
3. Only the dreamer can say for certainty what meanings the dreams may hold. All the experts in the world may suggest meanings in your dreams, but the dreamer is the only one that can be right all the time, if he or she takes the time and care to interpret the dreams.
4. The dreamer’s ‘aha’ of recognition is a function of previously unconscious memory and is the only reliable touchstone of dream work. The dreamer himself is the only one that can remember consciously the insight of the levels of meanings, which are there unconsciously from the beginning. All dreams have multiple meanings and layers of significance. There is no such thing as a dream has only one meaning. The dream’s multiplicity of truths about one’s life can be dissected out if required. Every interpretation of a dream is incomplete on its own.
5. All dreams speak a universal language of metaphor and symbol at the archetypal level. This universal language of dream cuts across all racial, sexual, intellectual and social barriers. Everyone speaks the same dream language.
6. All dreams reflect inborn creativity and ability to face and solve life’s problems. Dreams are workshops of evolution. Our dreams are our aspirations of our future. Our hypocrisy and our lies about ourselves are all mirrored in our dreams, and it is from this point of facing the truth that we can start our new lives.
7. All dreams reflect society as a whole, as well as the dreamer’s relationship to it.
8. Working with dreams in voluntary groups builds community, intimacy, support and understanding.
The above 8 points are truly pearls of wisdom from a dream expert who has been called ‘the most experienced and insightful explorer of the dream world today’. Much more time can be spent in analysing and discussing these points, but space does not allow it. However, another dream from Jeremy’s Taylor book is most illustrative of points (1), (3), (4), and (5). I quote the dream of a lady in an ‘empty nest syndrome’ in toto:
“I am alone in the kitchen. I hear the sounds of a party going on down in my basement. I think to myself, ‘There haven’t any impromptu parties in my basement since my kids lived at home. What’s going on down there!’ I go down to the basement and see all these people standing around talking and drinking, but now I can’t hear anything—-it’s as though I have gone deaf! I move around and it is as though I have turned into a ghost—-no one seems to be able see or hear me. I realize that I am carrying my handbag now. I didn’t have it with me before, but now I have it. And I know that there is a piece of rotting meat inside the bag, and I am afraid to open it up for fear the smell will offend everyone. So I wander around in the basement feeling more and more anxious and frustrated and hopeless until I finally wake up in a sweat.”
This article is quite lengthy,so here is the link for all who want to read it in its entirety;
Ìka tó bá ńfún’ni lóúnjẹ, a kì í gée jẹ. /
We ought not to bite the fingers that feed us…..Yoruba Proverb!
[Don’t repay good with evil.]
All religion are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…. Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned!….Obara Meji