Why do so many fear their dreams?

I have read research that indicates people have more nightmares than they have dreams. Personally, I don’t believe it. Why? Because I am a people, and I remember as many of my dreams as I do my nightmares, indeed I probably remember more dreams than I do nightmares.

So how could the scientific research being done, be wrong?

Well, like so many types of research, I think it is only as good as the questions it asks. That is a major flaw isn’t it? If the researchers are asking the wrong questions, then how can they expect to get the right answers? Is scientific research really only as good as the questions it asks when it begins? Sadly, in many cases I think so. Why? Because of the way in which the research is currently undertaken.

Let me explain my thinking. Research is no longer done for its own sake.  Actually, I don’t know if research has ever been done for its own sake. Apparently no one can afford pure research. Research must be funded before it can really begin. This funding is often provided in the form of grants given in response to proposals that state specifically what the research hopes to uncover.

That is a poor state of affairs indeed. It bodes ill for such obvious reasons they should require no explanation. {Of course, I’ll address a couple of the most significant problems because if I don’t, then what would the point of this post be? 🙂  Read on, and find out.}

Primarily, and perhaps most importantly, research proposals must be written so as to attract funding. If a sponsor can’t be wooed with the explicitly stated goals of your desired research, then your research is unlikely to receive funding, which means it is unlikely to move forward.

Think about that, and you soon realize this inevitably means research attractive to wealthy sponsors is undertaken far more often than research for research’s own sake.

Think about that, and you soon realize research that can be converted back into money is far more attractive to wealthy sponsors that research which cannot. Why? Well, think about it… The principle interest of wealth, is its retention.

Secondarily, and perhaps equally as important as the already clarified “most important”, is the inescapable fact that all research projects have a lifespan. Why is this significant? Because once a researcher completes their current research project, though their project might be over, their life is not. Which means they must find another research project. Which means they must fund another research project. Amazing how a single letter can change the entire meaning of a complete sentence, isn’t it? Sooner or later everyone realizes that if you’re nice to people they are more likely to be nice to you. Which means that if your research is favorable to those who funded it, you have a better chance of returning to the funding honey/money pot for a second helping. Which means that if your research is not favorable to your funder… well, the funder you found won’t long be your funder, will they?

Both of these reasons inevitably result in biased research.

But how can science be biased, you ask? Easy, by focusing on the wrong questions. How can questions be wrong? Easy, when they lead to the answers someone wants.

And thus to the question with which I opened this post. Which I’ll now rephrase as, “Why do so many fear remembering their dreams?

To me, that is the real question. Why are so many so scared of remembering their dreams?

You see, I believe dreams are crucial to our well-being.

Indeed, I don’t simply believe that, I know it for an absolute fact. How do I know that? Well, firstly from my own experience, and secondly because some investigation has been done into this rather unprofitable area of research. Such research invariably finds that if animals are deprived of Rapid Eye Movement sleep for any significant time their performance significantly degrades.  And yes, contrary to popular belief, we humans are indeed animals. My own personal experience, on which I place at least equivalent weight to the scientific research, has shown me that not only does my performance degrade, but I also start suffering from signs of dementia in which I start becoming confused by waking dreams.

All said, I figure that if dreams are sufficiently important that our bodies literally enforce them on us, whether we’re awake or asleep, then they must be crucial to our well-being. I honestly don’t care what anyone says contrary to this – everything our bodies and minds do, is done for a reason. Nothing “just happens”.

Dreams are about reason. If we’re deprived of dreams, we lose not only our ability to reason, but reason itself. In other words, we go crazy.

I don’t doubt that for an instant.

What I don’t understand {Okay, okay… there is lots I don’t understand!} is why so little research is done into something so crucial to life itself. Sadly, I am fairly certain it isn’t because people aren’t interested.  No, I’m pretty sure it is because no one has figured out how to sell the concept of making money from other people’s dreams to those with the money to fund the research.

What a sad state of affairs for humanity! If money is not to be made, it doesn’t matter… Wrong.

Anyway, back to the opening, and subsequently modified, question of why so many are scared of their dreams.

Many, many reasons – not based on research, just on my thoughts. Some of these thoughts are further questions which I answer, however I encourage you to provide your own answers, and maybe even ask yourself additional questions.  Remember, the best questions always lead to another why, and often to another way.

Where do answers come from? From questions…

Do we awaken to nightmares more often than we do to dreams? I think most people do, but I don’t think this is because we have more nightmares than we have pleasant dreams. I think it is because most people are sufficiently scared by their nightmares that their body actually rouses them to wakefulness in order to flee. Terror is not a fun state of mind, but it is certainly sensational. Sure, some people tell themselves they enjoy being terrified, as witnessed by the popularity of horror movies and books, but I think what they are really enjoying is the sensations terror induces.

If the assumption that people wake to nightmares more often than to pleasant dreams is correct, then it is quite obvious why people would fear remembering their dreams.

However, this begs another question. Do we have nightmares more often than we have pleasant dreams? I don’t believe we do, however I do believe we fully awake to nightmares more often than we do to pleasant dreams. Why? Because when we feel ourselves awaking from a good dream, we are rewarded not by waking, but by lingering within the dream. I’m pretty certain the following statement is true… For us to remember our dreams, we must be awake.

Good news! We can remember our good dreams. All we need to do is learn to wake up as they are ending… Think how amazing that would be. Not only could we enjoy our dreams when we’re having them, but we could enjoy them forever by remembering them at will.

I know how to remember my dreams. I do it often. I will not tell.

What I don’t know, is how to ensure I will dream dreams worth remembering.

Why hasn’t research been done into this? I believe it is because no one knows how to make money from other people’s dreams. I believe it is because true happiness lies within more than without. Happiness is readily accessible in our dreams, if only we knew how to initiate and recall them. Happiness can’t be bought at any price, and price is what the funders of research are focused upon. Happy people don’t need things to make them happy, and the funders of research are more interested in things they can sell, than in dreams – which are free.

What do you believe?

~ Dreams ~
dwells everywhere,
it is in our dreams,
and in the air,
it is the wind that blows
and it is the air we breathe

Though I won’t tell how I remember my dreams, I have told of my dreams. My work {to me Beltamar’s War is far more than merely a novel} is an example of my dreams. Malmaxa is a place where humanity is freed from the self-imposed constraints of survival, it is freed to live, and also to die. Malmaxa is my dream of a better humanity than that which now savages our Earth.

Soon, I’ll post a poem based on another type of dream. If you’re interested in reading it I recommend you subscribe to my blog using the option in the top right. Why? Because I usually refrain from posting my most passionate thoughts, and this poem is based on a dream of passion. Why do I so refrain? I certainly don’t refrain from passion, indeed passion rules my life. However, like everyone, I dread the harsh judgment of others. Perhaps, at its root, that is why people are so scared of remembering their dreams.  For, you see… In our dreams, is the only place we are ever truly free. True freedom, is scary.

About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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