“I believe it to be true that dreams are the true interpreters of our inclinations; but there is an art required to sort and understand them.” – Montaigne
Since the beginning of time mankind has been mystified by dreams. Kings, poets, philosophers, statesmen, peasants: They have ALL dreamed, have all wondered about their dreams, and have all been made happy or miserable by them. They have treated them, alternately, with the utmost seriousness and respect or with scorn and skepticism. They have, at times, held them in awe and wonder and at other times, laughed them off.
But they’ve never – and we’d never – ignore them.
Dreams are lived and relived… told and re-told… remembered and forgotten… laughed over and cried over…. accepted as the gospel truth and rejected as utter nonsense. They are credited with influencing the future and praised as shedding light on the present. They have been the inspiration for literally countless books, paintings and other works of art. They are said to drive men and women to take action when nothing else will move them.
But they’ve never been – nor will they ever be – ignored.
The “art” that Montaigne referred to in the opening quote is known today as dreamology. Simply put, it’s the in-depth study of dreams. Those of us who do so on a regular, daily basis are “dreamologists”. It isn’t a term that any of us take lightly, any more than anyone in any given field would. We may, at times, be overly defensive of our field simply due to the negativism associated with it.
I notice that in a lot of bookstores, books about dreams, dream interpretation, and dream dictionaries are often in creepy sections of the store! Somewhere along the way we got grouped with voodoo, witches and worse. I’d love to take this opportunity to state that a great many of us who study dreams are actually Christians and would love to distance ourselves from the other notions completely. There isn’t any hocus pocus involved in dream interpretation or dream analysis – the mind is at work while we sleep, and the details of its work can provide us with golden insights into our life. It’s all about finding out what our mind is telling us and using that information to enrich our lives and the lives of others. It’s as simple as that.
The passion that drives most dreamologists isn’t just the fascination or the fun…although each are undeniable. The real goal and motivation of any good dreamologist is the thought that by looking closely at the dreamer’s dream we can, hopefully, help the dreamer. If their dream is somehow trying to convey an important message to him/her, we want very much for them to get it!