Last night I had a dream and when I woke up I thought, “You know, that was a crazy dream! I should write about dreams today.” Well I have since forgotten the dream that inspired this post. That’s how dreams work though right? We have these collages of images in our minds that we make some sort of story out of while we sleep, and in that moment between sleep and waking – we remember them for that instant and as we wake further the story becomes fragmented. What made sense in our sleeping minds becomes complete confusion or completely leaves our consciousnesses as we enter a more conscience state and wander through our day. Sometimes we remember enough of them to explain them but it comes out like this:
Well I was in a field and I was surrounded by mice, then all of a sudden purple hats danced around me and said I needed to to go Wal-Mart and buy laundry detergent. On my way to Wal-mart (I think because it didn’t look like the route I usually take) but I was going to Wal-Mart because that’s where the hats told me to go. Then I was at my elementary school and some girl I sort of remember was telling me about rain. We walked around the school looking for raindrops when all of a sudden we were being chased by elephants dressed in armor and they were yelling at us the whole time. Then all my teeth fell out and I’m pretty sure I was naked the entire time. The end.
So what are we supposed to do with all that? I mean really brain… Why? I just made up that dream, but if I grab my handy dandy dream dictionary I can ‘interpret’ my dream and try to find the meaning behind the purple hats, nakedness, old friends, mice, raindrops, elephants, teeth falling out, Wal-Mart and Laundry detergent. So let’s interpret one aspect of my completely made up dream using three different dream books: (1) The Dreamers Dictionary, (2) 1001 Dreams, and (3) Russell Grants Illustrated Dream Dictionary.
To dream of elephants:
(1) “These big animals if in a normal friendly mood are an omen of great good luck. Performing they signify helpful friends and associates. Working they indicate assured success in all your undertakings. If you fed it, watered it, rode or sat on it you may expect a sudden rise of status or other improvement through a sheer lucky break or the discovery or return of something you thought irretrievable. Even the adverse aspect of this beast, which is if it is frightened or attacked you, isn’t really dreary, as it signifies annoying but temporary obstacles to your progress.”
(2) In this dream book elephants are only talked about in conjunction with other trained animals and represent the “impressive results that people can achieve when working on their primitive urges” and “represent a dreamers base instincts.”
(3) “Elephants show you are in good health. You are also about to meet someone important who will influence your career.”
If I had more dream books handy I am sure that I could find more variations on what dreaming of elephants means. Personally, I think it might just be that I like elephants but maybe they scare me a little bit because they are so big and smart. I could make some stuff up and write a book about it and people would read it and say, “Oh I had a dream with elephants so that means I am facing something that both scares and fascinates me.” Total and complete B.S. I just made that up. People would buy it though.
Who decided what these things mean and why are we so eager to believe them? Humans have been trying to interpret their dreams since forever. Kings and Pharaohs have often been depicted as having dream interpreters by their sides at all times. If I was a dream interpreter for a Pharaoh – well all his dreams would bring good omens simply because I value my own life. I would feed him a line of complete and utter nonsense that could come true either way I presented it. “Oh great Pharaoh your dreams of elephants signifies a great victory and prosperity for your kingdom. It will come after some hardship, but you are a strong Pharaoh and will prevail.” I will feed his ego, account for hardship, and project a knowledge that I don’t actually posses. He will be so grateful I will feast on milk and honey forever. Yay me.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday about science – we have been questioning our dreams forever and I do believe that one day science will come up with some sort of answer for us and I sincerely doubt that the answer will contain specific reasons for elephants showing up in our dreams. It will be something that actually explains the purpose of dreaming and what it contributes to our conscience and unconscious lives. They are getting close: Scientists Decode Dreams. While it certainly isn’t perfect – it is a step in the right direction. I am waiting for the day when we can record our dreams and watch them with our waking minds. Won’t that be interesting? Won’t that be terrifying? Just the thought of it, like elephants, both fascinate and terrify me.
Do you have a dream book lying around? Look up elephants and post the results in the comments. It will be fun. 🙂