Written by: Jihad Mahmoud
Dreams, this mysterious world of the subconscious, this other dimension that made it out of the suffocating hands of time. It’s this fuzzy realm of stories in all genres – tragedies, thrillers, romantic even horror and science fiction – one starts and one ends in a matter of seconds or minutes that feel like hours; for time has no word here and neither do you.
It’s strange how you’re the hero in all your dreams, in all the made-up stories in your unconscious head yet you neither write nor direct them and you have no power over the course of events that take place in them. It’s your subconscious that has the upper hand; it writes, edits, moves and directs the scenarios till the dream ends and you wake up feeling a little lost between your now-hazy reality and the intense world of dreams you were just diving into. It’s a confusing, unsettling and an intriguing experience that makes you lose your balance for a while and fills your head with questions and wonderings: where did these dreams come from? What do they mean? Are they really important or just figments of our imagination that have no roots in reality?!
Although our dreams are unreal but they’re mainly inspired and instigated by our reality. For example, your ears might catch a phone ringing while you’re sleeping and you dream you actually pick up the phone and take the call. Also, most of the people we picture in our dreams, and most of the surroundings are familiar; people that we know or who are related to us, and places where we live or have been to in our real lives. So, basically our subconscious mind steals all its input and details from our conscious selves and turns them into this imaginary world of dreams that we fall into while sleeping.
Sometimes, our subconscious does us a favor by dropping hints of the unknown our way; that’s when our dreams take the form of predictions or premonitions. We see something before it happens, sometimes good and sometimes bad. The idea lies in being allowed into the forbidden, crossing the limits of time, being granted a present insight into a future that’s yet to be present. It’s as if some kind of an invisible passageway has been opened between our hearts and the Divine to light a few lamps in the dark path that lies ahead of us.
A supernatural phenomenon it is, a gift from God to those who’re stumbling along the bumpy road of life, those who can’t read the signs and are in need of guidance. And perhaps when it’s a premonition – like these ones I had before my dad died – it acts like a warning, a ringing bell in your head asking you to get ready to face whatever calamity life throws at you. Yes, I knew my dad would die before he actually did. I felt it in my bones after a series of bad dreams of him; once falling off a train, once travelling while being sick and once bleeding from his stomach. In all these dreams – or rather nightmares – I tried to help him, I tried to stop him or get him to stay, I tried to save him but he always left at the end. I knew it then that he’ll pass away and that God was trying to prepare me for it. It’s as if the hands of God had reached down from heaven to calm my heart and help me accept what I can’t change.
Some other times, our dreams serve as manifestations. Like these times, when you sleep feeling sad or burdened with some unsolvable problem that you wish so much to escape from and you have this awful dream in which you’re running in an unfamiliar street where buildings are falling and crumbling down all around you – I had that one too. In these instances, dreams act as manifestations of whichever state you slept onto and I think it’s somehow a kind of relief, an unconscious vent-out to all the suppressed feelings we have inside whether happy or sad.
In the same sense, dreams can also work as projections of our deepest fears and desires.
These doubts and insecurities we have inside our souls toward ourselves or others, like for example, your fear of being betrayed or abandoned by your partner or your fear of failing him/her yourself. Not only our fears are projected in our dreams, but also our desires, these little illegitimate desires that lurk into our conscious mind during the day and we quickly push them far away, out of feelings of shame or guilt. We tuck them then into our subconscious mind which plays them later for us out of our own hands, against our own volition to satisfy a need or fulfill an unattainable wish.
In all cases, I believe our dreams are important. They are revelations and insights into our own selves, our own lives and even into the people around us. They are one of the so many signs in our life paths that we have to keep looking at and not to overlook or ignore for they guide our steps toward the right direction and help us, in one way or another, deal with our own unfathomable reality.