Ever had one of those dreams that is so engaging, so wondrously vivid that, even after you’re awake, you can still summon the images?
Or so disturbing that you can’t shake that feeling of unease until you’re well into the day? Or one that you don’t remember in the morning, but suddenly comes to you in the middle of the day, after something you’re doing uncannily reminds you of it…?
When we’re being honest with ourselves, most all of us are susceptible to the lure of our dreams. But we’ve also been told that dreams are meaningless, merely our brain’s way of running through its circuitry at night, restoring neural function. But that’s only partially true.
The whole truth is…well, no one actually knows the whole truth. For all of the curiosity about dreams, neuroscience still can only speculate as to their function and meaning. There are some interesting new developments in this realm, such as a Japanese experiment using brain scanners that showed 60% accuracy when predicting the content of a dream, as well as a Brown University study that logs the contents of participants’ dreams in an attempt to uncover their function.
While neuroscience debates the physiological function of dreams, psychologists continue to put significant stock in the belief that dreams are a window into the unconscious mind. As a shaman, I take dreams very seriously, seeing them as a road map to finding our way back to our hearts' desires.