We See Through A Glass Darkly

Everybody dreams. At least, if you are not severely mentally ill, or have a severe sleep disorder, you dream. A purely empirical explanation might say that our brains use sleep as a chance to backup files, do database maintenance, and do a bit of cleanup, which somehow we experience as random images. Others propose that our brains have their own conscious reality triggered by REM sleep. Freud would say that it is because we don’t get enough sex.

Carl Jung believed that our dreams, and other similar mind states are communications from our unconscious psyche. These states range from an almost if not complete state of unconscious to more lucid or conscious states that take place when we are awake, but where parts of our mind are disconnected from each other.

Humans have experienced these phenomena for millennia, and probably for much further back into pre-history. Most people have attached religious or mystical meanings to these mental states, and one might say that most if not all world religions were founded by men and women who had particularly vivid dreams and visions, or at least were able to interpret those dreams and visions very creatively and persuasively.

Carl Jung encouraged humans to try and understand their dreams and visions, not so much so they can start their own world religions (but please go ahead if you want – it can’t be any worse than the ones we have currently), but so they can help themselves be more mentally strong, flexible, and discover more meaning in their life.

But it takes some work and practice to develop skills in understanding your own unconscious and what the hell (or heaven) it is trying to tell you.

Here are a few tips on how to get started:


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