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Dreams are either understood or misunderstood through scientific, religious and philosophical interest. Dreams often occur in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep associated with exceedingly high brain activity resembling a state of being awake. REM sleep may cause a constant flutter or movement of eyes during sleep. While dreams can occur at different stages of sleep, dreams that occur in the REM phase are vivid and remembered clearly when a person wakes up. Typically dreams are a succession of images, sensations, emotions and ideas that occur and reoccur. Length of dreams varies in accordance with the stage of sleep. Dreams may last for few seconds to approximately 15-30 minutes. Opinions and perceptions about dreams and their meanings vary in different cultures bringing to the forefront a plethora of superstitions and beliefs. Do dreams have hidden meanings? What are the different superstitions about dreams? What is the significance of dreams? You may well find the answers to these questions in the lines below.
While the Freudian theory of dreams revealing a perspective and insight about emotions and hidden desires is accepted and endorsed by many, several other theories suggest dreams are a result of pure heightened brain activity that boost memory and problem solving. Ancient Chinese texts reveal two aspects of the soul, one which remains in the body and one which is freed from the body during sleep in a state of dreams. The Upanishads, an ancient Indian Sanskrit text (written between 900 and 500BC) brings to light two perceptions about dreams, the first relating to mere expressions or deep desires and the second associated with the belief of the soul leaving the body and embarking on a guided journey until awakened.
Understanding Dreams and Superstitions: Beliefs in Ancient Times
The earliest records of dreams were found documented on clay tablets dating back to approximately 5000 years in Mesopotamia. In ancient times superstitions and beliefs about dreams were widespread. In Ancient Greek and Roman periods dreams were interpreted as messages or signs from deceased persons or deities warning of a calamity in the future. While there is no conclusive evidence of when dream interpretation first took place in ancient times, it is believed dream interpretation was first associated with Ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia dating 2024 BC. The belief of prophetic powers in dreams was popular with Sumer, the earliest known civilization. In many ancient civilizations dreams were considered a symbolic sign of foreseeing the future, while in certain civilizations dreams were interpreted as a sign of dark forces compelling individuals to visit the underworld.
It was believed the soul of a person having dreams would visit other worlds seeking divine intervention to unlock doors of the future. In ancient times superstitions beliefs associated with power of dreams were considered a good omen or bad omen. In Ancient Babylonian good dreams were associated with purity of the soul sent by God, while bad dreams or nightmares represented a burning soul associated with demons and evil spirits. In many ancient civilizations dreams were also associated with divinity. A God or Goddess appearing a man’s dream was a sign of victory while a God or Goddess appearing in a woman’s dream was a sign of diabolic calamity. In ancient Egypt individuals that had dreams frequently were considered the chosen ones by God to reveal messages and unravel mysteries.
Meaning and Interpretation of Dreams
Dreams and visions have been interpreted in different ways among ancient civilizations. In ancient Greece interpreters of dreams were highly regarded by rulers and men of high authority. Incubating dreams was popular in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. According to ancient beliefs, Morpheus, the Greek god associated with dreams would send prophesies, warnings, hidden meanings, and signs to people who would sleep in shrines and temples. The first Greek book about dreams was written by Antiphon in 5th century BC. The Classical Era had a number of philosophers and physicians that came up with theories on dreams. Greek philosopher Aristotle’s theory described the cause of dreams as psychological activity associated with perception and prediction. Hippocrates, the Greek physician had a simple dream theory based on the soul receiving images during the day, and producing images and visions during the night.
Religious Beliefs about Dreams
While superstition about dreams is prevalent in different cultures, personal belief associated with religion has different interpretations of dreams. In ancient religions dreams were interpreted as visions that were sent by the divine power. The association of supernatural also coexists with dreams in certain cultures. Ancient Hebrews perceived dreams to be a significant part of religion with the belief that dreams awakened the soul with the voice of God. It was believed good dreams and visions were Gods sign’s and messages and bad dreams, disturbing images and dark visions were a way for evil spirits to communicate with the soul.
Dreams in Christianity
Christian beliefs about dreams and visions are associated with divine inspiration and divine revelations. The book of Genesis in The Bible describes receiving the word of God through dreams and visions.
Dreams in Islam
Dreams play an important role in Islamic history. Belief among many Muslims is revelations by God are passed on through dream interpretations.
Dreams in Buddhism
In Buddhism dreams are associated with transcending time and premonitions which are described in the Mahavastu.
Dreams in Hinduism
In Indian Hinduism, according to the scriptures in Mandukya Upnishad, a dream is described as one of three states experienced by the soul in its lifetime, the other two being the state of sleep and the state of walking.
Philosophical Theories on Dreams
Through ancient times dream superstitions have embroiled with dream beliefs leading to arguments among two schools of thought, philosophical and religious. Philosophical theories about dreams associated with senses distinguishing reality from illusion that cannot be trusted have led to several debates and discussions. Philosophical theories stem from the fact that when people dream, they are not in a state of mind to realize they are dreaming which makes it impossible to be certain whether dreams in fact are reality.
The dream argument is exceedingly popular with philosophers, thinkers and the religious. Visual perceptions often associated with dreams are also supplemented by senses on perceived mental objects that include tastes, smells, sounds, and tactile sensations. Many philosophers have presented theories on dream hypothesis raising new arguments and concepts associated with dreaming. While there is no evidence backing whether dreams are either reality or illusion of waking, the world of our unknown will continue to mystify.
Superstitions about dreams have existed in different civilizations since ancient times. Beliefs and interpretations of visions and dreams have been passed on through generations fueling a new wave of supernatural association with superstition. With the advent of the scientific age a number of ancient superstitions are no longer associated with dreams, however, a significant number of ancient dream superstitions have paved the way for alternate beliefs in religious and philosophical circles. Although we can trick our mind to believe what we want to…superstitions about dreams in different forms will always exist.
The lines below showcase a diverse list of hidden meanings and superstitions about dreams.
15 Superstitions about Dreams: Good Omens and Bad Omens
- In certain cultures when you see diamonds in your dreams it is considered an auspicious sign that will bring prosperity and recognition.
- In certain Asian cultures dreams that have an empty white bed are considered a good omen bringing knowledge and wisdom to the dreamer.
- Crows appearing in dreams is considered a bad omen in certain cultures, the belief being trouble and calamity will befall upon you or your loved ones.
- In some cultures dogs barking in dreams are considered a good omen, the belief being dog bark sounds chase away demons and evil spirits. Alternatively, dogs or wolves howling in dreams are considered a bad omen that brings sadness and depression.
- In some cultures dreams about knives and swords are considered a good omen the belief being you will defend your people and community from the enemy. The dreamer of knives and swords is deemed to be that protector of lands in ancient beliefs.
- Dancing in a dream is considered a good omen in many cultures. The belief about dancing in dreams is associated with expressing the soul freely. This signifies prosperity without any hindrances.
- Dreams and visions about flowers are considered in good omen in many cultures. The belief is seeing flowers in dreams bring good news.
- Weeping in dreams is considered a bad omen in certain cultures. The belief is weeping in a dream is symbolic of inner conflict and weakness of a tormented soul leading to downfall.
- Dreams about falling objects are considered a bad omen in certain cultures. The belief is unknown entities from the supernatural will plague you with fear leading to death or downfall.
- Dreams about fish are considered good omens in certain cultures and a bad luck in certain African cultures. As a good omen fish represent or symbolize explorations of new worlds or taking new paths that lead to prosperity. As a bad omen a dead fish in a dream signifies a troubled mind that stems from guilt of wrong doing.
- In many cultures dreams about Gods are considered a good omen bringing peace of mind, prosperity and safety from calamity. However, goddesses appearing in dreams are considered a bad omen representing wrath of women leading to destruction.
- Dreams about battlefields of dead bodies are considered a bad omen signifying the soul held captive in the underworld.
- Dreams about melting faces or melting body parts are considered a bad omen in indigenous communities and tribes. The belief is demons possess your soul to strengthen the dark forces of the other worlds.
- Dreams about forests are considered good luck in many cultures. The belief is a new way will lead you out of troubles and calamity. However, in certain cultures being lost in a forest is considered bad luck representing confusion and loneliness in your life.
- Dreams about lightning are considered a bad omen in certain cultures. The belief is evil forces will strike upon you without warning. Alternatively in certain cultures, lightning in dreams are considered good luck that will inspire your mind to make the right choices leading to prosperity.
15 Meanings and Interpretations about Dreams
1. Dreams about Falling
When you have dreams about falling into a deep dark space of infinity or dreams about falling from great heights it indicates your anxieties, insecurities, and instabilities with life. Dreams about falling are symbolic of fear. You may be headed in the wrong direction. Examine your inner self and take a decision to take a new road.
2. Dreams about Birds
When you have dreams of birds flying in an open space it is a sign of well being and prosperity. Dreams about a dark bird perched it is an indication of frustration from unaccomplished goals. It may also signify a feeling of loneliness and emptiness within.
3. Dreams about Being Chased
When you have dreams about being chased by someone or something it is an indication you are avoiding a situation, running away from something, avoiding a person, or feeling guilty about something you did.
4. Dreams about Babies
If you see babies in your dreams, it signifies the dawn of a new beginning. You are likely to make new friends or likely to get into a fruitful relationship with someone. In dreams, if you see babies vividly and hear their cries it could symbolize trust being broken with diabolic deception. In dreams babies smiling signify the innocence in you that you may have lost or losing your virginity.
5. Dreams about Death/Dying
When you have dreams about death it is a symbolic representation of something coming to an end. It could be a relationship, a job, or ties with someone you are closely associated with. Dreams about death may also indicate the end of grief, inner turmoil, anger, or hate directed towards self or someone. Dreams in which you die are indicative of you willing to change by giving up your old dirty self and turning brand new.
6. Dreams about Pregnancy
Dreams about pregnancy represent or symbolize an aspect of your life that will develop and grow. For women that are pregnant, dreaming about pregnancy could mean fears and anxieties about pregnancy. Dreams about being pregnant may also represent a new beginning, or a new direction in your life. Dreams about abortion may mean hesitancy in perusing a new direction in life or may represent guilt that hinders or blocks you from moving forward in life.
7. Dreams about Snakes
If you see snakes in your dreams it indicates you feel threatened about accepting or dealing with a person or situation. A snake in dreams could also be a symbolic representation of transformation. A snake with eyes glued on you could mean temptation coming your way. A snake chasing you or biting you could represent a tormented past you have not come to terms with.
8. Dreams about Being Naked in Public
When you have dreams about being naked in public it indicates you are uncomfortable about certain aspects of your life. It could mean you do not want to reveal your imperfections and shortcomings to people close to you. Nudity in dreams may also signify an incident of the past you are afraid or scared may be revealed to people.
9. Dreams about Water
In different types of dreams water may occur as a symbolic representation. Dreams about standing on top of a hill, mountain, or ledge surrounded with dark waters and shining moon indicates that you are fearful of facing challenges or obstacles that come your way. Dreams in which you are struggling to keep afloat in raging waters or large rough waves signifies overcoming difficulties, trials and tribulations. Drowning in water indicates an emotional change that will come over you. Watching the world submerged underwater indicates you find new meaning and purpose of life.
10. Dreams about Infidelity
When you have dreams about your romantic partner or spouse having an affair with someone else it signifies issues and insecurities you have with your partner. Dreams about infidelity are a way of awakening the soul to different aspects in a relationship. Dreams about infidelity indicate an obsessive nature and a suspicious mind. Dreams about your lover or spouse cheating on you with someone else also indicate issues with loyalty, trust, and communication in your relationship.
11. Dreams about Spiders
When you see spiders in your dream, it could mean someone is trying to manipulate you, or you could be manipulating someone. Spiders could be symbolic sign or warning that someone is scheming, planning or plotting against you.
12. Dreams about Weddings
Dreams about weddings could be a symbolic representation of commitment towards a business partnership in your professional life. For unmarried people who get dreams about weddings it could a sign in the form of a vision that they will find their life partner in marriage soon. Dreams about wedding could also mean ending a bitter relationship with your current spouse or lover and starting a new life afresh with someone trustworthy. Dreams and visions about weddings may also indicate that a friend or family member you are closely associated with will get married to someone you know from the past.
13. Dreams about Flying
Dreams about flying can be frightening or ethereal depending on what you dream. Dreams in which you are flying or have floating objects flying around you symbolically represent freedom and independence. It is an indication you will face difficult situations head on and emerge a winner. Feelings of pleasure and sexuality may also be associated with dreams about flying naked; it’s an indication of breaking free from norms and restraints in society. Alternatively, flying in a dream could also indicate a deep desire to escape or flee from the harsh realities of life.
14. Dreams about Dead People
When you get dreams about a family member or friend that has passed away it could indicate grief you have not come to terms with. Dreams about dead people could also mean feelings of guilt and depression associated with the deceased. For individuals that were very close to the deceased person, images of the deceased person may be a sign to move on and explore a beautiful life. Dreams about the dead may also be signs in the form of a warning, message or advice to avoid hurting yourself and refrain from making mistakes. Dreams about a dead grandmother or dead grandfather may indicate an unknown aspect your childhood you need to look into. When women get dreams of their deceased Father it signifies reconciliation with someone in life with forgiveness. Dreams about dead mothers or fathers indicate loving yourself and sacrificing for others. When you see dead relatives in your dream it could be a sign to improve severed ties with someone in the family.
15. Dreams about Fire
When you see fire in your dreams it could pertain to various stages of your life. Fire represents the burning desire for something. It could mean passion, transformation, sexual feelings, enlightenment, anger, illumination, or destruction in different phases of your life. If you see a fire burning something or someone in a dream it could mean shedding your old self to emerge new. Alternatively it could also mean ego or pride consuming you. A fire surrounded by darkness indicates you will overcome difficulties and obstacles in your life walking in the light.
© 2018 Ansel Pereira