Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ― Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora
How many times have you awoken with that thought? Sometimes it is followed with, “At least, I hope it was a dream.” Varying dreams are something that not only unite us, but also mystifies us. Why do we have them? What purpose do they serve? Why are some dreams repetitive and some even common among different peoples around the world? What would happen if we stopped dreaming? Dreams are the most unexplained yet most common pieces of our humanity.
Talk about dreams and we have to talk about the work of Carl Jung, the late psychiatrist of some prominence who felt that dreams were one’s subconscious and that they could be translated to tell us more about ourselves and why we do the things we do. Jung initiated the concept of keeping a dream journal to keep track of which dreams repeated and how one felt and acted after having particular kinds of dreams. Those who follow in his footsteps are still quite sure that dreams hold answers and may even warn of impending mental issues. The majority of psychiatrists find the field interesting, but largely lacking in scientific authority and research.
Varying dreams definitely have their effect on us. Wake up from a particularly good dream and one is likely to start the day in a better mood. Dream about something terrifying or dangerous, and one may find themselves on edge and anxious for a while. Dreams about deceased family members or close friends may have us feeling depressed and lonely. Then, there are those pesky dreams about showing up somewhere important stark naked. Almost everyone has those dreams on occasion, even in tribes where clothing is practically non-existent in the first place. Opinions differ as to the exact meaning, but they always leave us a little unsettled as we try to laugh at how silly they are.
Today’s image is a great example of how we can be influenced by varying dreams. The original image comes from a set we did last year with model Loren Hawk. Pouring paint on her was fun, interesting, and colorful in its own right. The original pictures are not something that necessarily need a lot of manipulation in order to look good. When we started playing with this one, though, we became obsessed with trying to communicate a dreamy, etherial feeling, almost like an underwater ambiance. After almost three days of work, I think the image sufficiently captures the surrealness of a dream state.
We may never know with certainty what our dreams are trying to tell us. Perhaps they’re messages from deity. Maybe aliens are trying to teach us something. Whatever the purpose is for varying dreams, they certainly interest us and at times make our lives very interesting. To the extent we are able to do something productive and creative with our dreams is a benefit. Not to mention that visually suspending the laws of physics on occasion is rather fun.