You're deeply asleep . . . seeing a landscape, then a face, . . . strangely important phrases echo in your head . . . now fading . . . . You're having a Dream.
What can it mean?
Dreams can seem significant, to the dreamer at least. If dreams arise only from the experiences and perceptions of the dreamer, could they be useful to that person, providing they could be interpreted in some way?
However, if dreams were stimulated by external forces, perhaps some form of `collective unconscious', note 1 they could, if interpretable, be useful to all humans. Indeed, if that `collective' is envisaged as one of all conscious beings, then dreams could be even more significant.
Folk report many sorts of dreams. Even when babies we seem to dream, like puppies or kittens do, though most of us don't seem to remember that experience.
See latest research - `Day-dreaming in the womb' - Nov 2010
Later, as children, we say they're mostly `nice' or `nasty' dreams.
Partial cause? Having - or lacking - a sense of security in that day's experiences - or family setting; though no amount of security can prevent `nightmares'. Why's that?
Well, humans perceive any tragic - or just irritating - life-pressure as the most terrible thing afflicting us. But if that one stops, we'll almost immediately see a different pressure as the most terrible thing.
Similarly, asleep, while only mildly happy or sad, still our minds find the most dramatic images.
These wildly different dreams are `generic' types that most normal humans will experience occasionally - if physically or emotionally prompted.
Although there may be special reasons for us having one of those dreams, at certain times.
`Falling' has always been a danger for animals like us, of arboreal ancestry - which is why we get `falling' dreams, mostly when cat-napping, occasionally in deep sleep. They're a reminder that we are susceptible to basic forces - not necessarily a warning or precognition. Although, if your sub-conscious were trying to alert you to a dangerous situation in your life - this could be one of the forms such a `message' might take.
Being pursued is also a `natural' fear for us, as we've always been prey to speedy carnivorous animals. So, a dream of being chased is as normal for humans as a dream of chasing is for a cat or dog.
`Naked in the High Street' and variations are actually a sign that we've evolved far enough for our unconscious to worry about social embarassments. [Some folk say that wearing full pyjamas stops some of those type of dreams.]
`Slow motion' is something we experience in waking life - during an accident say, when we feel powerless to stop or avoid events. It's said this is due to the brain trying to handle too much information at once and having to limit its playback to our `conscious mind'. Perhaps the dreaming mind is emulating this state - so maybe we could try `looking around' during a slow-motion dream phase?
That thought introduces the subjects of `movement'. `testing' and `lucid' dreaming :-
There seems to be a whole lot of dreams focussing on `movement' - to or from some (often unknown) place of significance.
What might be interesting about these dreams is their different methods of travel - sometimes by vehicle: car / boat etc; sometimes very convincingly on foot: running / vaulting / climbing etc., or combinations of methods.
These may or may not be general in the population: from trusted reports they seem to begin after a process of learning a new skill or, more especially a new field of study demanding concentration.
Typically they seem to present an allegorical or highly fanciful - magical or hi-tech - version or representation of some aspect of the new study, with implicit question(s) being posed in the dream.
If fortunate one may get the impression of `solving' the dream's puzzles successfully before it ends. That is quite a rewarding and invigorating experience.
Here's the Wiki ref. - it says that `Hypnagogic' name can cover `waking-up dreams' and `falling asleep' dreams as well as more intentional `lucid' dreaming.
Think we can learn a lot from this area of dreaming - first because the content is fresh, clear and available to record. Secondly, there seems to be stronger correlations between state-of-mind and content of the dream or `vision' than in ordinary dreams.
Hint: it's said that preparation or even study beforehand helps to get the best results, and that concentrating on a subject or `posing a question' as one falls asleep (seriously - no selfish or frivolous stuff), can give deeper insights on that subject.