October 13, 2010

The Best Dream I Ever Had

Keeping track of dreams is one of the most powerful practices I've incorporated in the past year. Generally there are two types of dreams - little dreams which mostly relate to topics in my own life, and big dreams which focus on bigger collective topics.

One of the best dreams I ever had fell into the second category. My first memory was being in a modern building with about 7 stories: marble floors, contemporary decor, minimalist style. Somehow I knew viscerally that this building was going to be destroyed. With this knowledge, I was running from floor to floor trying to get people to safety. Yet each floor was not simply a different location, but a different time. One was ahead 10 minutes, another behind 10 minutes, etc.

You can imagine this was rather confusing. Making a change on one floor prompted changes on another level - if I brought one person to safety on one floor, another floor would show me the ramifications of the action. Often somebody else would, as an unintended consequence, move into an unsafe area. I was constantly shifting people, objects, and even ideas into various areas - like a giant puzzle in space and time.

This process was exhilarating - a deep and meaningful challenge. When I woke up, I felt a great and powerful sense of wonder. This feeling usually comes only after the "big dreams." It took some time before I realized my dream was about dreaming itself. The building was a symbol for my own mind and I was arranging pieces of knowledge in different ways, seeing which way worked the best - all during the course of my dream. People I knew, experiences I had, and objects I came across all had to "click" together into one meaningful whole.

The destruction of the building referred to my waking from the dream, after which I could no longer re-arrange my thoughts. It really interested me to learn that many researchers believe that one of the purposes of dreams is in fact to re-arrange knowledge and experiences, to try them out in different manners and see what clicks. In that sense, symbolically interacting with the actual process of the dream itself makes this one of my favorite and most interesting dreams ever.