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Dreams have been important in cultures all over the world since the beginning of recorded history. They have often been considered prophecies or omens. It is rare for a dream to be emotionally striking enough to be remembered, and when this does happen, the dream is often thought to be highly significant. Stories throughout human history confirm that such dreams often are, indeed, significant. Legends abound all over the world of leaders having dreams that told them the future, or ordinary people having dreams that began them on an extraordinary path.
This is not to say that every dream is necessarily prophetic, but we know now that every dream does at least give you insight into your own psyche. If you pay attention to your dreams, you may find out about motivations, desires, ambitions, and fears that you never even knew you had. You may also find solutions to problems and creative inspiration. Stephanie Meyer said that the idea for the Twilight series came to her in a dream. Learn to pay attention to your own dream and who knows? You may write the next best seller.
Some of the most common dreams we have are dreams about working through emotional issues. Conflicts with others, especially loved ones, are very common topics. The way that you act toward the other person in your dream and the way they act toward you is very important and revealing about this conflict. Do note that the events that happen in the dream reveal your feelings about the relationship, not actions that you yourself would actually take or that the other person would take against you. For instance, if you dream about someone being physically violent to you, this does not necessarily mean that they will cause physical harm to you, but it does mean that for some reason you feel that you do not trust them, and that you expect them to cause some sort of harm to you.
Similarly, if you dream about hitting them or being physically violent in some way, this does not necessarily indicate that you are a violent person. It may simply indicate that you feel frustration in your relationship with then, and that perhaps there is no other way to get through to them by more civilized means such as speaking. Rather than dwelling on the literal events of such a dream about a relationship, instead try to determine the underlying causes for the feelings that triggered the dream.
Dreams Can Reveal Hidden Truths
Dreams can also be the result of your subconscious revealing to you certain things about other people or circumstances that your conscious mind is not aware of. Our instincts of people are often more trustworthy than our rational conclusions about them, and our subconscious understanding of them is often more trustworthy still. Having a dream about a near and dear person betraying you may be an indication that you expect them to do so, but it may also be a sign that this person is not to be trusted. While it may not be prudent to break ties with someone based solely on a dream you had about them, you should take note of the dream and perhaps not place yourself in a position of vulnerability with regards to that person. Similarly, dreaming that someone you do not like saves you is likely to be an indication that you have misjudged this person, and that you can in fact trust him or her.
One of the common reasons for dreaming is to engrain and cement knowledge learned during the day into the brain. If you have been learning a new task or skill, or even if you have been studying new facts or exploring a new place, you are likely to dream about this. Such dreams may be very intense and feel exhausting, even though you have been in bed the whole time. These dreams are important functions for your brain, but are not actually terribly significant, except to note that your brain found the skill or information important enough to continue working on it while sleeping.
Prophetic dreams are the most notable types of dreams in stories, and the rarest and most controversial in real life. It is easy to get a romanticized notion of dreams and begin to think that everything you dream is essentially a preview or script for the future of your life. However, prophecy is complicated. Some events may seem to be set in stone, but our actions can also shape our destinies, and, as Oedipus’ parents found out, some prophecies only come true when we go out of our way to prevent them from happening.
What You Should Assume
As a practical guide, it is most wise to assume that dreams are revelations about the current state of things and our emotional and subconscious feelings and interpretations of them, rather than prophecies of the future. However, this is not meant to negate the possibility that a deity or the universe sends messages via dreams. After all, while dreaming, we are in a receptive state, which is why hypnosis works well during sleep. If there is a message we need to receive, dreams are an excellent way for them to be sent. In short, treat a dream that seems prophetic with skepticism, but do not ignore it offhand, and learn what it may be prophesying in case it is, in fact, prophetic.
Some people who are close and psychologically linked have been known to co-dream, or share a dream. When this happens, the two people are often able to speak more directly than they are in waking life, and gain a better understanding of each other. If you share a dream with someone, always take that dream seriously as a revelation about the other person (and about yourself as well, often). The activities you do with the other person and the events that happen to you are also revelatory about your relationship.