I've been studying my dreams for quite a few years now.
For me the world of dreams presents word play and symbolism in an attempt to convey information about myself...to myself. It's fascinating to speculate that there is another language between my subconscious and conscious while I sleep which requires the cracking of code to just scrape the surface of goodies in there.
I've established a method of interpreting my own dreams.
Writing down each detail is helpful in triggering memories, but also in analyzing words and themes. A message may not necessarily be encrypted in the imagery of a dream. It could be the literal definitions of
those images that hint at, or produce a solution. I'll sometimes marvel that something has just been "spelled out" for me.
I find that I’m much more receptive in the thick of night when my mind is still floating half between slumber and a coherent state. The most odd symbols are punctuated with a clarity that during the day would just seem surreal and unexplainable.
A friend suggested maintaining a journal as if trying to explain your dreams to someone from a different planet that has no concept of this world. For example, if in your dream you are in a car, you could explain that you are in a vehicle that transports you from one place to another. Depending on your own personal experiences, the description of a dog could be a companion that depends on you and that you have loving bond with or it could be an unpredictable animal capable of doing harm. My theories fluctuate here but it would seem that symbolism in dreams would be specific to the individual. Jung's theory of collective archetypes, however, seem to infiltrate my dream world. The age-old symbol of a snake is a repetitive theme in my dreams since I was very young. If I don't consider myself to be religious in the traditional sense does that eliminate The Garden of Eden's serpent from the symbolic possibilities of interpretation? Or is that a universal image that transcends personal beliefs?
Assuming that their purpose is to process thoughts, feelings, and experiences, make sense of problems, or guide us with premonitions, do our dreams still go to work for us attaining the same therapeutic results if left to their own devices? Or without acknowledgement and interpretation are they washed aside and their message lost?
Are we even remotely close to utilizing our dreamtime in the fullest to work out issues?
It will be exciting to see where technology can advance to further help us illustrate our dreams and better interpret them. I'm imagining miniature suction cups hooked up to our temples transmitting thought waves to a high def screen projecting the most Dahli-esque images from the utterly strange and beautiful world of our sub conscious.
My dream state has provided me with juicy bits of information about myself that have been helpful in understanding why I am what I am, and why things affect me the way they do, and how I develop my relationships with the people close and far from me.