The Mystery of Dreams & What Can We Learn From Them
Updated: Nov 27
Delving into the Enigma of Dreams: A Personal Journey
Despite our technological and scientific advancements as a species, we have yet to fully unfold the enigma of dreams, unlike the clear-cut functions of tangible objects like a cup or a bed. As such, the metaphysical nature of dreams remains uncertain, as well as their purpose.
As long as this certainty remains elusive, dreams will continue to inhabit the realm of mystery and speculation. Some may interpret them as messages from a higher power, while others relate them to the subconscious/unconscious mind; a few may even dismiss them as meaningless gibberish.
While I lack a definitive answer to the riddle of dreams, I possess a treasure vault of dream experiences accumulated over my life. Their purpose perhaps is destined to remain forever concealed. Unless, of course, a clear explanation emerges from the depths of obscurity.
Throughout my life, I have been haunted by countless strange dreams, populated by enigmatic beings and objects. Some of these dreams have even manipulated me into believing that I am awake and not asleep. On my first night abroad, I vividly dreamt of waking up in my familiar room at my home, only to awaken in a foreign land, momentarily confused and questioning my whereabouts.
Other dreams have manifested as intense "boss battles," encounters with bizarre creatures as if I were immersed in a video game. Once again, I was cleverly scammed into believing that I was an active participant within the dream's simulated reality. I am puzzled by the reason behind these dreamy gaming delusions. It's as if my dreams are going the extra mile to deceive me. Why would they do so? Either way, because of their deceptive nature, I see little reason to trust them as eligble sources of information and insights. Many would tell you otherwise, however.
I would therefore only be relying on them as indicators to what my mentality is capable to produce, and what I'm able to feel in general, with dreams as odd "case examples".
The Recurring Dreams: Crabs, Fort El-Eal And Being Loved
A "series" of dreams I had revolved around a certain location in a video game - Fort El-Eal, a castle that was destroyed at the end of the game. In these dreams, I explored the castle's ruins, often encountering enemies that stood in my way. These foes ranged from strange bats to actual soldiers who appeared in that game, armed with their swords.
In one particularly memorable dream, I battled a giant crab within the castle's crumbling walls. This creature possessed dark skin and small, light blue eyes. Interestingly, a similar crab appeared in a dream I had when I was a child, but it had purple skin and small, yellow eyes. Not sure why I've been haunted by these color-variant, giant crabs throughout my life.
Why can dreams exhibit patterns, despite their mysterious nature? Surely, if we weren't capable of dreaming, our lives would've been a lot more mundane than they might currently be. Nevertheless, it's intriguing to witness something we don't fully comprehend, especially when it displays symbolic patterns that could be analyzed by professionals, who themselves might not know the true purpose of dreams.
Like with numerology, we might not understand some things' full purpose, but it does not mean we cannot extract and learn insights from them. Said insights can be applicable to reality and even hold some degree of practicality. Does it matter if something makes sense despite its logical flaws, when we can still gain some valuable wisdom from it? Star Wars is a very flawed franchise, filled with plotholes, for example, but it does not mean we can't learn from that franchise's stories and characters.
One of the most enigmatic dreams I've experienced involved feeling someone I knew kiss me on the forehead. My family suggested that perhaps my cat was the one who did it, but he had never licked me there, especially while I was asleep. While an exception could always exist, without any witnesses, I cannot confirm this theory with certainty.
Despite the limitations of my current monastic lifestyle, I find myself receiving a wealth of experiences through dreams, serving as "unasked substitutes" for the adventures I've no desire of embarking upon in reality. Thus far, I've "visited" Argentina, Romania, Nepal, and even Mozambique.
My dream journeys have also taken me to the fictional town of Silent Hill, a desolate horror ghost town, manifesting as an abandoned metropolis. I've even experienced "true love" in the form of being loved and loving someone named Minerva, whom I discovered upon waking was "The Goddess of Wisdom." This dream experience has made me question the necessity of empirically knowing true romance, since I've already felt the emotion of mutual love in a way I didn't got to know much in this solitary and skin-deprived life of mine.
Dreams, despite their enigmatic nature, offer a unique window into our subconscious minds, providing possible clues to our untapped potential. They might as well show us what we're capable of experiencing, as our feelings in these dreams feel as if they can be real in real life as well.
When I dreamed of being killed several times by a certain humanoid creature, I slowly realized I am capable of becoming apathetic to much agony, because in that dream I felt no pain, despite the horror that was done to me. Thus, apathy can be seen as a form of strength.
Living a relatively solitary life, my dreams have taken on a personal significance. They enrich my existence by allowing me to explore diverse locations and landscapes, always alone. I sometimes confront adversaries and "bosses" – powerful and distinct enemies – while at other times, I am granted experiences that would likely remain unattainable in this reality. Such as being killed several times, or being loved, which is rare for me.
The Use of Dreams
Yet, the question remains: even if dreams serve a personal purpose for me, does that necessarily reflect their true reason for existence, their inherent "intent"? The same applies to the dreams of others. Do they have an objective function, in the world beyond the mind?
Consider the utilization of lemons for lemonade as example to that question's logic. This doesn't imply that lemons were created solely for that purpose. After all, they possess other potential uses. It's about employing something for our own reasons, rather than adhering to a designated purpose.
I suppose not all questions can be answered by science or philosophy. However, perhaps science will one day gain the upper hand in unraveling these mysteries as well. It's crucial to distinguish between meaning and function. Meaning can be explained as something's originator, while function can either be predetermined or creatively served, regardless of origin. Not all meaningful properties can be utilized, and not all utilized components and materials had a pre-determined use. Either way, their existence will always succeed existence itself, which in this case, are dreams.
So if we were given dreams like we were given lemonades, it's best that we do something useful out of them, even if the true reasoning, AKA, meaning of creation is unknown.