Tag Archives: Dreams

Behind a dream

I had a strange dream last night. There was this girl in the dream who was possessed and I was there to exorcise the spirit. The dream was set in a kind of somewhat unfamiliar environment – there was a building with many houses in a row and we were doing this in one of the rooms on the first floor. I remember having done the exorcism (with some reluctance); but cannot recollect anything post that as the dream ended somewhere there.

A friend of mine had rung me up in the evening – he had wanted me to talk to his 7th standard daughter, who seemed to have become uninterested in anything. I advised him to take her to a child psychologist – but he pressed me to have a conversation with her first. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this – at the same time I could not refuse his request.

Reflecting on the dream, it was evident that this incident was what lead to it.

But what I could not figure out was the part with exorcism- where did that come from?. As I was pondering about it during my drive back home in the evening, the whole thing dawned on me and I couldn’t but be amused at what’s going deep inside the mind.

This is what had happened behind this dream:

In the evening, I had watched some part of a film called ‘Resident Evil- Part 2 apocalypse’ on the television for about half an hour while I was on the treadmill. I saw the part where the character Alice escapes from the ‘Hive’ and is caught again and to the point where ‘Operation Alice is activated’. I didn’t quite get the whole story, but sort of figured out that Alice was being programmed to be evil – something like that. Alice’s daughter appears in multiple scenes and there was this scene where she asks Alice if she would be alright again.

Now in the dream I connected these two together. And what was the connecting link ? – The child, that was common between the incident and the dream.

And why these two specific incidents – because both of them were sort of incomplete. In the case of my friend’s daughter I was in a dilemma whether to do it or not and in the case of the film, I did not understand the story.

Imagine something like this – everyday while you are asleep, all the unresolved / incomplete things precipitate in to the unconscious mind (who obviously do not like anything unresolved) and it tries to make sense of them.

If that’s what dreams are made of, then what’s it that this world is made of?

On dreams again

I had this dream today early in the  morning. I was living in Germany. In the street where I was staying, pillars were being erected for a flyover or overhead railway line. I was enquiring with someone if the prize of the apartment I was staying would go up if the construction was complete. There were two small restaurants nearby and I vividly remember choosing between them and picking some specific stuff like juice from one of them. Then there was a room, where there were two Indians apparently changing their cloths. I had picked up some conversation with them, but can’t recollect. I woke by then and was out of the dream.

 Though it looks like one of those common strange dreams, I was amused by the complexity of it. Last night I was watching a film depicting the struggle between an Indian King and the Britishers. There were many English men in the film and only when my wife pointed out, it occurred to me that this had probably triggered the dream. The last time I was in Germany was 2004, but the memories were still intact. The image of the pillar erection comes from Bangalore itself, where the metro rail project is going on. Yesterday afternoon, I had been to a shop right outside the office campus. The place was extremely crowded as I waited in anticipation for the shop keeper’s attention. The shop that I saw in the dream, resembled this shop (the way it was designed). The place I met the two Indians probably (this I am not really sure) came from a movie I watched last week where two Indian medical students turn in to serial killers in the US. They were staying in a similar room in the film.

 All these events had taken place at different points of time and seemingly not related at all. Why the mind tried to connect them in to a dream? Was it just a trial and error going on in the mind to see if it made any sense? Or is there an underlying connection between all these things?

 My experience is that mostly the dreams are triggered by something very recent; something that’s caught the attention. But then what is the mind doing with it during sleep? Is some sense making process going on? And can’t the mind do any sense making without connecting those things together?

How does the mind choose what memory to be recalled in connection with a particular trigger?  Is there a logic that the mind uses or is it just random firing of neurons? Is the mind trying to resolve something? So in reality what is unresolved? The current trigger or some thing unresolved in the memory? In other words is the mind trying to make sense of the current trigger using stuff in memory or is it the other way?

 I happened to catch the dream because I woke up in the middle. But I am sure this must have been happening several times during the night, just that I wasn’t aware or I cannot remember. Is there a result out of these dreams, something like a conclusion, understanding etc, that gets stored in to the mind. In that case it’s very likely that the mind is being programmed without our awareness.

 In the east they say, in deep sleep activities are absorbed in the root ignorance. Probably there is a point.

Dreams and Feelings

So much has been written about dreams, but it’s still a great experience to dream. What do dreams convey? I have had several experiences where subtle feelings are expressed in dreams. Here are two recent dreams.

1)This happened few days back. I had been working in the balcony in the evening and left my laptop there. As I went to bed at night I remembered that the laptop was left at the balcony and someone could steal it. I got up, brought the laptop in and went to sleep. And that night I had the following dream.

I had boarded a bus at a strange hilly region. The bus had travelled some distance when I realized that I had boarded the wrong one. I decided to get down. My bags, including the laptop bag, was kept at the back of the bus. As I moved to the back to pick them up, some strange people rushed past me. I reached the back to realize that the bags were missing and then it struck me that those people who rushed past had stolen my bags and laptop.

I think I woke up at that point….

2) I had an early flight to catch today morning. The taxi was to arrive at 5.00AM and this meant that I had to wake up at 4.30. Waking up early is something that I really hate.

I had set the alarm at 4.30 before I went to bed. I was in deep sleep when I heard the message alert tone from my mobile phone. I immediately understood that it was the message from the taxi company with the chauffeur details and confirming the pickup. The alarm was yet to ring (but I knew it was close) and I drifted back to sleep. Then I had this dream.

I was at some strange place with a group of friends. We were all leaving to some other place in what looked like early morning. Then suddenly I looked  at my watch and realized that it was only 1:30 AM (or so) and we had misunderstood the time. I informed my friends and proceeded to my room to sleep further.

The alarm went off and I was awake.

What had happened is when I heard the message alert tone, subconsciously I knew that I will need to wake up shortly. But then the subconscious mind expressed its desire to sleep through the dream

 What remains in the mind after the dreams is a very subtle feeling. In the first case it was fear and the in the second case it was a relief. Probably the unconscious mind attempts to express its feelings through dreams!

Strange Dreams

Like everybody, I do get dreams. Though I must be getting several of them, I don’t remember many when I wake up. Though most them are just trivial or too cluttered, there are a few that are really interesting. These occur when my mind moves between different stages. It’s rather strange, but my mind keeps going around compulsive thinking, deep awareness and presence. These dreams are interesting because they seem very familiar, and are either to do with a distant past (that I don’t remember) or something in the future (that has happened later).

Last Friday night, I had such a dream. I was just recovering from a bad state of mind. I saw a colleague of mine in the dream. We, together with a group of people (who looked like students/tourists) were climbing up a winding pathway. We stopped twice on the way before we climbed up to the highest point. Then apparently for no reason, she just jumped down and died. I could not figure out what happened. It wasn’t clear whether she did jump herself, or was it an accident or someone pushed her. From where I stood, I could see a tall building with a garden (I think so) in front of it.

For whatever reason I believe in re-births and also strongly feel that some of these dreams are to do with some previous lives. But that’s completely illogical too if I had to substantiate it. So I deliberated on whether I should share this dream with my colleague.

 Today, I narrated my dream to her over a coffee. She seemed amused. After a pause she told me something interesting. Even now, apparently she is afraid of heights and whenever she stands at height, she is suddenly overcome by a fear of someone pushing her from behind.

Wow! That was interesting. People who believe in re-birth and past lives, suggest that many unknown elements in our personality such a fear, violent emotions etc are the result of past life experience. And the idea of Past Life Regression is that when you see it yourself, the problem vanishes.

“Was it the past or the future that you saw?” she asked me earnestly.

I had not thought about it earlier. But then it occurred to me that whenever the dreams were about the past, the person’s visual image was not clear. I just knew that it was somebody, but I couldn’t see them or I couldn’t recognize them visually. And I think (this I am not sure) there was no sound. But whenever the dreams were of something in future, I could see the visuals and also hear sound.

 “It was probably in the past” I said.

But I don’t know if there is any logic in this. Perhaps time to read “The Interpretation of Dreams”. I had purchased the book long back, but found it extremely difficult to read. But at least I am going to make an attempt now!

How dreams are constructed

Last night I was travelling back to Bangalore in a bus.

 I had a dream. I was sitting in what looked like a coach and there was someone sitting in front of me. Some people were walking towards the train and some of them tied some kind of shining bracelets on his (the person sitting in front of me) arm which was held out through the window. I was just sitting there watching this.

 Suddenly, I was distracted by the crowing of a rooster and as I turned around, I saw few roosters and hens standing nearby.

At this moment the dream ended and I woke up. But I could still hear the rooster crowing, but now more clearly. For few moments, I wasn’t sure if I was still dreaming or awake! As I came to my senses, things became clear. It was nearly day break and the bus had stopped by a roadside tea shop. And there was a cock standing by the road and crowing! And this was the one that I heard in my dream too. There was such a perfect continuity in the crowing between dreaming and wakeful states. But during the dream, the rooster was very much part of the dream (I actually saw it). So either the subconscious mind heard the sound and integrated it nicely in to the dream. Or the other possibility could be that the crowing of the rooster (heard subconsciously) triggered a dream around it.

 I do not know which is right. I have had this experience before. Sometimes when I have been woken up by people talking loud and if I happened to be dreaming, I used to first hear the conversations as a part of the dream woke up with perfect continuity. There is always a small interval which is very hazy, where I am not sure which state the mind is.

Mind and Impressions

Most of us have the delusion that our thinking is conscious and intentional. But this might be far from truth. I think we have no clue what the mind does with the magnitude of information and sense perceptions that we receive every day. Even things that you don’t notice, are picked up by the subconscious mind and processed. Here is an interesting experience that shows how subtle this is.

About three days back I was in conversation with a colleague on Salary benchmarking. During the discussion he told me that at “Oceanus Builders” (this is a construction company in India), this is what they pay for a 15 year experienced engineer. We continued the conversation and I forgot all about it.

Yesterday night we were in a restaurant for a team outing and one I had a person called Navjit sitting next to me. We were there for about talking and eating.

During my sleep yesterday night I had a dream. In one part of the dream, I was walking with Navjit and he pointed to me an area (there was something like a communication tower there) and told me that ‘Oceanus Builders’ were planning to construct a building there, but it did not go forward because of a technical flaw. I asked him if it is something like a design error and by then the frame of the dream changed.

I remember the dream clearly because at some point, we climbed on a rooftop and I fell from there and I woke with a start. What is also interesting is that this person Navjit is recently purchased an apartment and of late I saw him (and heard him) discussing issues related to it with people over phone.

So in my dream, I actually connected three things and tried to put them in to a meaningful incident. What is surprising is also that in this case, I woke up and caught the dream. So we could be seeing hundreds of such dreams in our sleep and do not remember them at all.

Is it that the mind is trying to do some organizing during sleep of all the information that comes in, to make some sense or is it that some neurons just misfired?