The reason why we dream is to continually update our sense of self, so that we can understand who we actually are, what we really need and what we truly believe in our waking lives. The word dream has two meanings in our language. As well as describing the phenomena that we all create every night, it also means our deepest hopes and greatest aspirations in waking life.
When we unconsciously create our dreams at night, we are engaging with the same processes that we use to imagine our ambitions in our day-to-day reality, by forming images of how our future might look. The imagery that you create in your dreams reflects how you see your self-image in waking life and helps you to imagine the person that you have the power to become.
We dream to remember who we really are and to understand who we can become. We dream to reconnect with all the talents and ideas that we possess but that we tend to neglect and ignore. We dream to play around with our potential futures and possibilities. Our dreams collect and connect all the remembered fragments of what we have experienced and what we hope to experience, and weave all those memories and hopes into a meaningful story.
Although our dreams are often dismissed as useless brain noise, they have been the inspiration for some of our most significant technological and cultural advances. The Theory of Relativity originated from a dream that Albert Einstein experienced where he dreamt that he was sledging down a snow covered hillside on a beam of starlight.
The melody to ‘Yesterday’, voted the most popular song ever, came to Paul McCartney as he listened to a classical string quartet playing in one of his dreams. As well as helping us to make artistic and scientific breakthroughs, we can use our dreams to discover our own gifts and express them in our own unique ways.