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Dream Interpretation - Brain soup is good for you

Brilliant and highly creative people have credited their dreams with providing insights into complex problems.
Brilliant and highly creative people have credited their dreams with providing insights into complex problems.
Photo by Steffen Kugler/Getty Images

Many dismiss dreams as the random firing of synapses; sort of a fireworks of the brain, letting off of steam and nothing more. Today’s dreamer seems to fall into this group.

Dear Carolyn,

What’s all the fuss about dreams? I think people read too much into them! Here’s the way I see it:

Every night scenarios of my previous day and thoughts still anchored inside as I go to bed combine to make what I call “brain soup…” the ingredients are tied together in a flavorless mass.

Don’t give too much attention to the night’s nonsense!


A Skeptic

Dear Skeptic,

Certainly many manage their lives and personal growth without the assistance of their dreams. Some eschew help from any source, seeking a sense of independence and self-sufficiency even when faced with complex problems and emotional dilemmas they’ve tried unsuccessfully to resolve on their own.

I’m reminded of the ramps built for handicapped access to public buildings. Certainly, the elderly, those in wheelchairs and others needing assistance, got it when the ramps were put in place. But maybe you’ve noticed that many able-bodied folks use those ramps too.

So it is, or can be, with dreams. They provide easy access into original and inspired problem-solving that eludes us during waking life.

No one is required to take the ramp and delve into the creative language of metaphor. No one is mandated open another perspective into the work of his or her daily life and relationships. But those who do find a rich resource there for the asking, a wealth of insights and possibilities laid out for them to consider and implement as they choose.

I’m so glad Robert Lewis Stevenson worked with scenarios from his dreams as he created many of his stories and novels, most notably his masterpiece, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Mozart and Beethoven both heard compositions in their dreams before bringing them into existence in the waking world.

Dimitri Mendeleyev saw the basic elements of the physical universe in a dream and woke to create the first model of the periodic table.

Albert Einstein credited a sledding dream with providing his early understanding of the principle of relativity: “You could say, and I would say, that my entire scientific career has been a meditation on that dream!”

On one point at least, Dear Dreamer, your assessment of dreams proves true: In each of the famous cases of dreams’ contributions cited here, those dreamers of towering intellect and talent had examined the problems facing them from every viewpoint they knew and understood in their waking lives. When they laid their heads on their pillows, those scenarios and thoughts still anchored in their brains went to work, applying the wisdom and creativity of the dreaming mind to offer up new ways of deciphering clues and unraveling mysteries.

Thank goodness for our Brain Soup! Anything but a flavorless mass.

Sweet Dreams to You!

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