If you've read my blog in the past, you might recall that I had made some posts about recurring places in my dreams.
Lately I've been reading a book that made me think about dreams again. One thing this author (Robert Moss, if I recall) says that I am pondering is that the places in your dreams are as real as this place, just a lot more fluid and possibly much easier for us to control/manipulate. In Islam, we learn that this world is really not the "real" world, but illusory - it is what our senses tell us is there, but ultimately our brain chemistry acts much in the same way to images in this world as it does to dream or "imaginary" images. This is one reason why people can heal themselves sometimes through dreaming or imagination, because the body and brain can respond to these "made up" visions the same way it does to sensory input from this world.
So it seems to be that the dream world or imaginary world is as real as you decide to treat it. If you decide to regard it as real, then you can interact with it as if it were and get results much more "real" than you might otherwise, such as the healing, etc.
Well for about a week, every time I wake up I've asked myself what I just dreamed. Sometimes it takes me a moment or several to realize I was dreaming at all because it was so real or so gone already, but other times the dream itself wakes me up and I remember it quickly. I turn on the bed light, write a few notes about the dream, and then go back to sleep. As I write the notes, I have discovered, I think, that every single dream is in a recurring place. Previously I had thought only certain dreams of mine were in recurring places. As I think about the dream, I realize that although maybe I wasn't in that exact same place, it is connected to it, or it is the same place but slightly modified. So I am concluding that perhaps there is some entire universe-reality in my dreams of actual places that I can see and describe, sometimes I could map them, and sometimes change at will, and I keep dreaming in that universe, the same places, every time, my whole life. It is a big place - so I can go somewhere I've never been before in my dream but realize how it is connected to other places I have been - just like someone can go to, say, Pueblo, in real life for the first time, so it is unfamiliar, but he or she has a sense of how it is connected to Colorado Springs, Denver, Chicago, or whatever.
Perhaps that lends credence to the idea of its reality, just maybe not as collective as one as this one? It makes dreams seem much more important and powerful, a whole other life, one in which we have a lot more direct manipulative power. Yet one connected to this reality, our brain working out things, who knows all what - so that sometimes we can do things in our dreams that can affect us here, like healing, or we can pay attention to dreams and learn something about what is going on in our psyches, perhaps.
Some people in all religious backgrounds have claimed to be able to travel in this reality in their dreams, and to meet people who had lived before or are in other places, etc. Maybe they really can! Maybe we really can! Anyone want to try to meet up with me in dreams? :) I had one experience like this I can particularly remember in which I woke feeling I had really been to this basement room in the Haram in Mecca that I had passed through once briefly when I had gone for hajj. It was really peaceful; but I don't think I commonly experience that - but maybe people can train themselves to do so.
And then there are the occasional precognitive dreams. It is suggested that these dreams are just tapping into something that is 'in the wind' in our psyches before it has happened in this reality, but time is much more fluid in the dream world. I don't know that I've ever had a precognitive dream; I wonder if any reader has?
Anyway, I'm still thinking about a lot, such as some other ideas I read about - that we can have guides - sometimes human or animal or whatever in our dreams. I've noticed lots of cats and dogs in my dreams, more than I expected. Last week I saw Scooter, a cat that my brother's family had but they quit taking care of it (! lots of sadness, anger, .....), it became a neighborhood cat and a few weeks ago it disappeared. In my dream he was on a neighbor's roof in pouring rain. He came when I called him and he was terribly skinny and that's what woke me, and I remember thinking, "This is Dreamworld, you don't have to be skinny if you don't want to be" and I think he got the message, he seemed okay and I lost contact with him then, and I also felt his appearance was meant to alert me to something, like a message for me, but I am not quite sure I figured that out.
Another idea I'm still thinking about is the idea of problem solving in dreams. I think we've all experienced it to some extent, when you are thinking of some problem, sleep and wake up with an answer or solution. Apparently in history some people used this as a major source of their problem solving and creative work. Robert Louis Stevenson claimed the vast majority of all of his stories were written by creatures he called "brownies" in his dreams. A lot of physicists had scientific breakthroughs in dreams - and I did study physics after all, didn't I? :)
I've also noticed a lot of these dreams I've had, 'I' am not necessarily in them - sometimes I am more of an observer, or 'I' am there but not really, like I am playing a character that is kind of me but that I am not really that attached to, like I am not "in" that person so much. That has surprised me, too. But we'll see what happens if I keep paying attention to the dreams.